New Zealand Aotearoa Self-Drive Tour
Welcome to a truly spectacular adventure tour in New Zealand, one of the world’s top vacation destinations. New Zealand offers a variety of tourist attractions for both adventure junkies and first-time travelers looking to experience the natural wonder of New Zealand’s beauty.
The best way to experience all of the amazing attractions New Zealand has to offer is on your favorite car or motorcycle. Prepare yourself for a breathtaking ride on great roads through an amazingly beautiful country. The tour is packed with unique attractions and natural scenery which you hardly can imagine before you see them for yourself.
We ride New Zealand’s best motorcycle roads and visit all of the most spectacular attractions on the tour. Get ready for the adventure of a lifetime!
|DEPARTURE/RETURN LOCATION||Auckland/AKL & Christchurch/CHC|
|DEPARTURE TIME||Begin at your convenience on your designated start date|
“At Explorify Tours we believe that good experiences and camaraderie are at least as important as the journey. Our goal is to fill your tour travelbag with as many positive memories as possible, so you go home with a big smile on your face. And with friends, you didn’t have before you started the tour.”
Note: Because of the time difference you will arrive home the date/day after you depart from NZ.
Day 1: Departure - Arrival Auckland, New Zealand
Day 2: Auckland
(Fun and explorer day)
You spend an exciting day in Auckland. Imagine a city where everyone lives within half an hour of beautiful beaches, hiking trails and a dozen enchanting islands. Add a sunny climate, a background of Polynesian culture and a passion for outstanding food, wine and shopping; Auckland has everything from top-end designers to street markets. While you are here, enjoy the city’s various cafes, restaurants and nightlife, as well as pleasant areas in the city’s Viaduct Harbor, Wynyard Quarter, and Parnell.
A truly captivating experience awaits visitors to Auckland’s Sky Tower. With 328 m it is the tallest artificial building in New Zealand and offers stunning views for up to 80 kilometers in each direction. Get up in a glass elevator to one of the three spectacular viewing platforms, or for more excitement, Sky Walk around the 192 m high pergola or Sky Jump from the tower! Experience Peter Gordon’s elegant restaurant – The Sugar Club, and relax with a cup of coffee or light refreshments at Sky Café or you can eat on the “Orbit” – the end of Auckland 360-degree rotating restaurant. Sky Tower is one of New Zealand’s most exciting attractions!
In the afternoon you depart to pick up your bike. The bike you have booked for the tour is prepared, and all necessary insurance is included.
Day 3: Auckland - Whangamatā
(Driving day 1: 301 km/188 miles)
Youstart our New Zealand riding adventure!
When you are ready on your bike, you start your ride on the 2.500 miles / 4.051 km long New Zealand – Aotearoa adventure. Auckland disappears behind you as you head east for a unique adventure full of tradition, twisty roads, spectacular nature, breathtaking coastlines and fun. You drive to Coromandel TOP 10 Holiday Park, where you eat lunch. Coromandel Forest Park borders the area and provides many other outdoor experiences, including short walks, mountain bike trails and old gold mining sites. The town also has one of the best shopping centers in the region.
You continue our amazing journey along the east coast, stopping several times along the way where you can experience this spectacular nature before you arrive at our destination for the evening in Whangamatā.
Kiwis say Whangamatā is one of the best beaches in New Zealand, it has some of the best surf breaks, yet safest to swim in Aotearoa New Zealand. Famous for its unique combination of sand, sun, bush, and relaxed village vibe means Kiwi holidaymakers flock to the ocean beaches and saltwater estuaries of Whangamatā to enjoy this popular aquatic playground. But there is so much more to this seaside town, it is also home to the Beach Hop, a five-day celebration of the ’50s and ’60s culture.
Day 4: Whangamatā – Rotorua
(Driving day 2: 173 km/107 miles)
You continue your magical ride on route 25 up in the mountains towards Rotorua, known for bubbling mud pools, shooting geysers, and natural hot springs, as well as showcasing fascinating Māori culture. From crystal-clear streams and magical forests to epic biking trails and thermal mud pools, Rotorua has it all. The city offers a raft of attractions and experiences for everyone from adventure-seekers to those just looking to unwind.
Sitting within the Pacific Rim of Fire, Rotorua is a geothermal wonderland with bubbling mud pools, clouds of steam, and natural hot springs perfect for bathing and relaxing in. After marveling at the distinctive landscapes and volcanic activity within a geothermal park, enjoy a simple soak in a natural hot stream or indulge in a wellness getaway at a luxurious spa. You will spend the afternoon & evening exploring this exciting place.
Day 5: Rotorua – Gisborne
(Driving day 3: 274 km/170 miles)
You start the day with a spectacular ride along Lake Rotorua before you turn into Route 2 to drive beautiful & fun curvy mountain roads crossing over the mountain, to reach Gisborne. Gisborne is the capital of the northeast region, at the Bay Poverty Bay. You can eat dinner at Bar Marina Park.
Day 6: Gisborne – Taupō
(Driving day 4: 329 km/204 miles)
It will be a day of spectacular roads and nature experiences. The ride from Gisborne runs south-east through magnificent mountain scenery and stunning coastlines. You drive some of the best roads on the northern island and make several stops to view the many sights along the way to your final destination for the day: Lake Taupō.
The beautiful Lake Taupō is about the size of Singapore – more of an inland sea really. Taupō was created nearly two thousand years ago by a volcanic eruption so big it darkened the skies in Europe and China. Visit the Craters of the Moon and you will see evidence of the lake’s fiery birth in the geysers, steaming craters, and boiling mud pools. At some of Taupō’s beaches, swimmers and paddlers can enjoy warm, geothermal water currents.
Day 7: Taupō – New Plymouth
(Driving day 5: 312 km/194 miles)
You leave breathtaking Lake Taupō to ride one of the best motorcycle roads in New Zealand; The Forgotten (World) Highway (Route 43). Built on colonial bridle paths formed in the late 19th century, Forgotten World Highway is remote and mysterious to the extreme. “A bit upsy downsy” is how one local resident puts it – a classic New Zealand understatement to describe a road that hugs the rugged contours of the land to provide a natural roller coaster experience. It is truly an amazing experience, have your cameras ready!
Day 8: New Plymouth – Wellington
(Driving day 6: 388 km/241 miles)
Welcome to another day of exciting driving, on the west coast of the Northern Island. You will spend the day driving along the beautiful coastline before you reach our final destination; Wellington. Wellington is located in the southern part of the North Island, sandwiched between a beautiful harbor and the lush green hills. With a population of over 380.000 inhabitants, the city is Oceania’s largest capital and was founded in 1840th.
Day 9: Wellington – Nelson
(Driving day 7: 114 km/74 miles)
Prepare yourself for maybe the most beautiful ferry tour of your life. You start early to take the first ferry to the South Island, where it is said that the best and most beautiful motorcycle roads and nature experiences are found.
Make sure to have peace of mind, so you fully will enjoy the crossing to the South Island, the roads along the fjords, the coast and mountain passes. It will be “NATURE” day.
Day 10: Nelson – Puponga - Nelson
(Fun and explorer day – 302 km/188 miles)
Today you can rest, explore and have fun in Nelson, or join us for an absolutely stunning ride up the Abel Tasman National Park / Route 60. You can go as far up as you want and then turn back, but it is definitely worth going as far as Collingwood.
Abel Tasman National Park is New Zealand’s smallest national park – but it is perfectly formed for relaxation and adventure. It is an easily accessible coastal paradise. You can choose to explore the park from land, on the water, or in the air, with tour operators aplenty offering cruises, water taxi services, kayaking options, helitours and sailing catamarans. Whilst summer is a popular time to visit, locals believe that the shoulder seasons are actually the best time to explore the park, as crisp mornings, calm waters and quiet beaches allow you to truly enjoy the peace and serenity. Those who crave home comforts can stay in luxurious lodges, but sleeping under the stars is regarded as the ultimate way to experience the spirit of Abel Tasman.
You return to spend another fun evening in Nelson.
Day 11: Nelson – Punakaiki
(Driving day 8: 283 km/176 miles)
It will be another stunning ride as you head south on Route 6 towards Cape Foulwind. Thereafter, you head south along the spectacular coastline to Punakaiki.
Day 12: Panakaiki - Fox Glacier
(Driving day 9: 377 km/234 miles)
You start the day with an amazing ride up the mountain to Arthur’s Pass National park, where you stop to enjoy the spectacular view & scenery in Arthur’s Pass Village. Thereafter, you set course to cozy Fox Glacier, hidden in the wooded foothills of the Southern Alps. Cozy Fox Glacier city offers glacier walks, hikes and aerial tours. Today’s ride on Route 6 along the west coast of the south island is by many ranked as the most beautiful on the islands.
we recommend making many stops to be able to absorb everything. You can make a glacier tour when you arrive at Fox Glacier. Located near Fox Glacier is beautiful Lake Matheson, one of the most photographed lakes in New Zealand. On a clear day, the lake reflects Mount Cook.
Attractions: Route 6, Arthur’s Pass National park, Arthurs Pass Village, Fox Glacier
Day 13: Fox Glacier – Queenstown
(Driving day 10: 353 km/219 miles)
Once again you set course on Route 6 down the coastline, before taking you up to the mountains. You stop in Haast, before driving through Mount Aspring National Park; passing mountain lakes, through breathtaking nature, with nice curvy roads all the way to Queenstown.
Day 14: Queenstown
(Fun & Explorer day – 276 km/234 miles)
An action-packed holiday in New Zealand is spelled “Queenstown”. Whatever interests you, Queenstown offers adventures that will meet all your desires (sports, nature experiences, or gastronomic discoveries) – Queenstown has it all!
Queenstown is a resort that attracts numerous visitors with its very tourist-friendly and adventurous approach. The city, located in Otago, south-west of New Zealand’s south island is not only the center of various snow sports but also offers tourists all imaginable adventures such as bungee jumping, water skiing, or biking in the mountains. You will spend the day exploring & having fun in Queenstown. Enjoy!
Day 15: Queenstown - Dunedin
(Driving day 11: 359 km/233 miles)
Today’s driving leg goes through what is called in New Zealand for “Fjord country”. Without being tedious, another fantastic “day in nature”. You drive on spectacular roads through mountain passes towards Dunedin, where you will drive through places you never thought existed. On our way into Dunedin you will ride through the beautiful Taeiri River Mouth. Hold your cameras ready!
Day 16: Dunedin – Mount Cook Village
(Driving day 12: 317 km/197 miles)
Welcome to another day of spectacular coast & mountain driving with amazing natural experiences. You start the day with a magical coastal drive to Oamaru, p.s. watch out for Penguins. Thereafter, you head up the mountains towards Lake Pukaki, where you will enjoy a spectacular ride to Mount Cook National Park. You will spend the night in this breathtaking preserve.
Day 17: Mount Cook – Christchurch
(Driving day 13: 404 km/251 miles)
As youstart on our last riding day, you are approaching the end of our New Zealand Adventure (Unfortunately). Youstart the day with another beautiful ride along Lake Pukaki, before you turn into Route 8 towards Tercuka. Thereafter, you head for higher grounds on our way to today’s destination; Christchurch. Christchurch is the largest city on the South Island, and is located on the east coast of the island.
You return the bikes, take off your boots and replace driving gear with light summer clothing.
Day 18: Departure Christchurch - Home travel
Say goodbye to the magical New Zealand – Aotearoa Adventure and return home. Thank you for choosing our New Zealand Self-Drive Tour.
Note: Because of the time difference travelers from Europe will arrive home the date/day after departing the US.
Also: This program is a guideline for activities and experiences on the tour. Deviations may occur, we are continually working to improve the program, thus you may experience positive surprises.
Prices per person (USD)
From $4 495
From $5 995
From $7 245