Golfing Tour of New Zealand
15 day North & South Island Self Drive, from Auckland to Queenstown
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New Zealand tour itinerary name and information

Golfing Tour of New Zealand

New Zealand is home to nearly 400 golf courses and the majority of these welcome international guests for casual play.  This 15 day tour of New Zealand takes you from the sub-tropical Bay of Islands in the north to the alpine resort of Queenstown in the South Island.  Along the way you have an enticing range of courses to choose from.  With many designed by well known heroes of the game including Sir Bob Charles and Jack Nicklaus or try one of the locals favourites like Muriwai Golf Course located on the rugged west coast of Auckland.

Tour summary and feature
Itinerary details at a glance

North & South Island Self Drive

This suggested tour costs from NZD$4,409 per person (twin share, low season)

Starts in Auckland, finishes in Queenstown

15 days/14 nights

Hotel 4 star

 Rental car insurance included: Fully inclusive with variable excess/deductible

 Rental car inclusions: GPS navigation, unlimited kms, airport/ferry terminal fees, additional drivers

 Viewed 13 times in the last 7 days

Tour feature
Also included with this tour

All breakfasts

Private airport transfers

Air New Zealand Airfare Napier to Christchurch

Tour at a glance
Quick itinerary overview - Golfing Tour of New Zealand

Day 1: Arrive Auckland City, transfer to your hotel and rest of day at leisure
Accommodation: Stamford Plaza, Auckland

Day 2: Today is yours to explore Auckland or take to the fairway at one of the fabulous coastal golf clubs
Accommodation: Stamford Plaza, Auckland

Day 3: Head north to the tropical Bay of Islands
Accommodation: Copthorne Hotel & Resort Bay of Islands
Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 226 kms / 140 miles : 3.0 hours

Day 4: Explore the Bay of Islands or perhaps play a round at the scenic Waitangi golf club or head north to the prestigious Kauri Cliffs
Accommodation: Copthorne Hotel & Resort Bay of Islands

Day 5: Travel back to Auckland via the Kauri Coast. Take a break at Waipoua Forest to get up close to the magnificent Kauri trees
Accommodation: SkyCity Hotel Auckland
Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 343 kms / 213 miles : 4.4 hours

Day 6: A drive into central North Island and New Zealand's largest lake, Lake Taupo
Accommodation: Millennium Hotel & Resort Manuels Taupo
Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 267 kms / 166 miles : 3.1 hours

Day 7: There's plenty of choice in Taupo for world-class greens, so take your pick
Accommodation: Millennium Hotel & Resort Manuels Taupo

Day 8: Cross to the east coast and Napier, famed for its art deco architecture. Tonight enjoy a fine dining winery experience
Accommodation: Art Deco Masonic Hotel
Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 137 kms / 85 miles : 1.7 hours

Day 9: Explore the Hawkes Bay vineyards or maybe enjoy a game of golf at Cape Kidnappers
Accommodation: Art Deco Masonic Hotel

Day 10: Today you fly south to Christchurch, gateway to the South Island
Accommodation: Peppers Clearwater Resort

Day 11: Play a round today at the Clearwater course
Accommodation: Peppers Clearwater Resort

Day 12: Cross the Canterbury Plains to Mt Cook National Park where you'll get up close to icebergs on the Tasman Glacier Lake
Accommodation: Hermitage Hotel, Aoraki Wing Premium
Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 350 kms / 217 miles : 4.1 hours

Day 13: Continue your drive south into Central Otago, through the Gibbston Valley and onto Queenstown
Accommodation: Millbrook Resort, Arrowtown
Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 257 kms / 159 miles : 3.0 hours

Day 14: A day to relax or try one of the many activities on offer in Queenstown or maybe a round of golf at Millbrook
Accommodation: Millbrook Resort, Arrowtown

Day 15: Depart Queenstown today

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 8 kms / 5 miles : 0.2 hours

Detailed itinerary
See a day by day description including activities & accommodation suggestions for this itinerary example
Tour full itinerary
Day 1 - Arrive Auckland City, transfer to your hotel and rest of day at leisure
Golfing Tour of New Zealand - Day 1
Private transfer Auckland airport to your accommodation

On arrival, you will be met by a private driver and transferred to your Auckland accommodation.

Itinerary information by APP & in country support

Access to our exclusive New Zealand Touring APP. The APP includes your full itinerary and reservation details, all available online and offline as well as lots of other great information such as restaurant guides, weather forecasts and local activity suggestions. Instant itinerary updates and changes are available and it's easy to keep in touch with us. The App is free and easy to download on your mobile using Android or IOS.
You also have access to our free call number and after-hours service if you require support while on tour.

Welcome to Auckland

Auckland, New Zealand's self-proclaimed "City of Sails" is the country's largest metro area. Resting between the Pacific Ocean and the Tasman Sea, this urban paradise has something for everyone. Surrounded by native bush, rainforests and an abundance of beaches, Auckland is a playground for both the city savvy and those with an eye for adventure. Explore the central museums and galleries on foot, or take a drive through one of over 800 regional National Parks to see deserted beaches, waterfalls and native forest.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Harbour Dinner Cruise with Explore

This unique on-water dining experience is not to be missed while you're in Auckland. Enjoy smooth sailing on the Waitemata Harbour - then watch this photogenic city come alive with twinkling lights. Enjoy your meal as you sail around the beautiful Auckland Harbour taking in the view as the sun slowly sets. You'll be treated to canapes and a drink as you set off towards Westhaven Marina. Choose between dining in the downstairs cabin or on deck to take in the iconic sights of the Auckland Harbour. To finish the evening off, savour your dessert course as you leisurely sail back to Auckland's vibrant Viaduct Harbour.

Your accommodation: Stamford Plaza, Auckland

Located just a few minutes stroll from Auckland's vibrant waterfront the Stamford Plaza Hotel offers 5 star accommodation and services including 4 on site restaurants to choose from.
Day 2 - Today is yours to explore Auckland or take to the fairway at one of the fabulous coastal golf clubs
Golfing Tour of New Zealand - Day 2
Choose from our great range of late model rental cars for your driving holiday

Today you’ll take to the road for your New Zealand Self Drive holiday, so take a look through the great selection of late model vehicles available and take your pick.  To help you on your way GPS is included with all rentals.

GPS navigation system

Use the latest GPS technology as you tour New Zealand. Your portable GPS features a simple touch screen interface with automatic route calculation and turn-by-turn voice-prompted directions including street name announcement. The automotive-grade GPS unit is easy to use and has multiple language options.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Muriwai Golf Club

Muriwai Golf Club is a links course situated in a protected bird sanctuary and famous for its Gannet colony.  There are no encroaching buildings, no traffic sounds or large crowds.  The only sound you'll hear are the calls of native birds and the surf breaking on the beach.

The course is of naturally rolling fairways and breathtaking views of sea and forests from every hole.  To play at Muriwai is to play as the game was meant to be played.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Formosa Golf Resort

Formosa Golf Resort is listed in The Finest Golf Clubs of the World and covers an area of 440 acres. The course has panoramic views of Waiheke Island and Rangitoto from its clifftop and coastal fairways. Designed by internationally renowned golfing professional, Bob Charles, the course features 18 holes of sensational golf.

Your accommodation: Stamford Plaza, Auckland

Located just a few minutes stroll from Auckland's vibrant waterfront the Stamford Plaza Hotel offers 5 star accommodation and services including 4 on site restaurants to choose from.

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 3 - Head north to the tropical Bay of Islands
Golfing Tour of New Zealand - Day 3
Auckland to Paihia, Bay of Islands

The trip from Auckland to the Bay Of Islands takes around 3.5 hours but give yourself some leeway for stops and sightseeing. As you go through Puhoi, take in the bohemian atmosphere of this historical township. Stop for a breath of fresh salty air in Whangarei and take another break at Kawakawa - home to the world famous Hundertwasser toilets. Enjoy the native bush surrounds and marvel at the endless golden beaches as you arrive into central Bay Of The Islands, Paihia.

Your accommodation: Copthorne Hotel & Resort Bay of Islands

Copthorne Hotel & Resort Bay of Islands is located within the Waitangi Treaty grounds, surrounded by native bush and the beautiful Bay of Islands Harbour.

Meals included: Breakfast

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 226 kms / 140 miles : 3.0 hours

Day 4 - Explore the Bay of Islands or perhaps play a round at the scenic Waitangi golf club or head north to the prestigious Kauri Cliffs
Golfing Tour of New Zealand - Day 4
Explore the Bay of Islands

Made up of over 140 subtropical atolls, New Zealand's Bay of Islands is renowned for its untouched beaches, abundant marine life and idyllic climate. Commonly known as the 'Winterless North' this tropical paradise is the ideal holiday destination. Spend some time on a remote stretch of beach, or cool off during a ‘swim with dolphins’ ocean safari. If diving is your thing, take the morning to descend the Rainbow Warrior - The Greenpeace flagship sunk by French saboteurs in 1985. Wander around Russell, a whaling port founded in 1843. Learn about our culture in historic Waitangi, the site where The Treaty of Waitangi was signed in 1840 between the Maori and European settlers dictating the terms by which New Zealand would become a British colony. Finally, before you leave take a travel day to Cape Reinga, the very top of the North Island.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Waitangi Golf Club

The Waitangi Course not only provides an exciting and ever changing challenge to the golfer but also the most tremendous panorama of sea and island views over the Bay of Islands and Russell, river and estuary views over Waitangi and Opua and rolling bush and forest views inland over Mount Bledisloe and Puketona.
These views are complemented by well groomed greens and fairways surrounded by areas of flowering native trees which provide sanctuary for many varieties of native birds. As many visiting golfers, particularly those from overseas, claim Waitangi is truly millionaires country for all to enjoy.
In 1932 the then Governor General of New Zealand, Lord Bledisloe and his wife Lady Bledisloe purchased just over one thousand acres of land on the Waitangi Peninsular and donated it to the inhabitants of New Zealand as a place of historic interest and recreational enjoyment for their benefit and use in perpetuity.
This land is known as the Waitangi National Trust and is now administered and managed under the terms of the original gift by the Waitangi National Trust Board. The Waitangi Golf Club leases the land on which the course has been developed from the Trust.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Kauri Cliffs Golf Course

Kauri Cliffs was designed and built by David Harman. The par 72 championship golf course measures 7,119 yards / 6,510 metres and offers five sets of tees to challenge every skill level. Fifteen holes view the Pacific Ocean, six of which are played alongside cliffs which plunge to the sea. The beautiful inland holes wind through marsh, forest and farmland. Kauri Cliffs is currently ranked #39 in the world by Golf Digest Top 100 Greatest Golf Courses in the World.
Kauri Cliffs recently underwent a renovation from world-renowned golf course architect Rees Jones. The 5th hole received a complete redesign and was transformed from a long, uphill, forced carry par-3 to a short "drop shot" par-3. Other notable changes were the addition of tees on the 2nd and 9th holes and a bunker renovation on the 4th hole. The golf complex includes a world-class practice range, putting and chipping greens, a well-stocked golf shop, and ladies’ and men’s locker rooms. Premium ladies’ and men’s rental clubs are available.

Your accommodation: Copthorne Hotel & Resort Bay of Islands

Copthorne Hotel & Resort Bay of Islands is located within the Waitangi Treaty grounds, surrounded by native bush and the beautiful Bay of Islands Harbour.

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 5 - Travel back to Auckland via the Kauri Coast. Take a break at Waipoua Forest to get up close to the magnificent Kauri trees
Golfing Tour of New Zealand - Day 5
Bay of Islands (Paihia) to Auckland via Waipoua Forest

Today you will leave the Bay of Islands for a scenic return trip to Auckland. Head west, leaving the Pacific Ocean for the wilder seas of the Tasman and Hokianga. Go through the small townships of Omapere and Opononi, each with a great seaside feel.

Your route now goes south through Waipoua Forest, home to the largest and oldest Kauri trees in the country. Make sure you allow time for several of the signposted short walks as you pass - not to be missed is the five minute loop to view the largest of all the trees -Tane Mahuta.

As you make your way back down the country you’ll pass the Matakohe Kauri Museum with extensive displays on the region’s logging, farming and social history. Continuing on, go through Warkworth and the bohemian settlement of Puhoi before crossing the harbour bridge to arrive in Auckland city.

Your accommodation: SkyCity Hotel Auckland

This modern and spacious hotel allows you to relax in style while enjoying the world-class casino, more than 20 restaurants, cafes and bars, a theatre, free live entertainment on selected nights and the iconic Sky Tower - all right on your doorstep!

Meals included: Breakfast

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 343 kms / 213 miles : 4.4 hours

Day 6 - A drive into central North Island and New Zealand's largest lake, Lake Taupo
Golfing Tour of New Zealand - Day 6
Auckland to Taupo

Heading south from Auckland you'll go through the lush pastures of Waikato king country. Choose to bypass Hamilton or if you've got the time, stop in to visit the renowned Hamilton Gardens - a detour we highly recommend. Continue on, following the Waikato River through the small township of Cambridge to eventually arrive in Taupo, which sits on New Zealand's largest lake - Lake Taupo - and is actually a giant volcanic caldera.

Hukafalls Jet Boat Ride

The Huka Jet is 30 minutes of pure fun and exhilaration, skimming close to cliffs, sliding past trees, feeling the adrenalin of full 360 degree spins. The excitement continues right up to the base of the foaming Huka Falls, where you get a spectacular water level view to New Zealand's most visited natural attraction. Nothing compares to watching 220,000 litres per second tumbling over the cliff face towards you.
The water from the mighty Huka Falls runs down the Waikato River through a series of Hydro Power Stations. You'll get a view of the Wairakei Geothermal Power Station in the comfort of a powerful Chevrolet V8 jet boat. This unique Geothermal Power Station uses underground geothermal activity to produce hot steamy water. The Waikato Rivers beautiful environment is varied and unique and is New Zealand's longest river flowing north from our largest lake - Lake Taupō.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Maori Rock Carving Cruise

Sit back and relax in luxury bean bags on board the yacht Barbary as you enjoy a scenic sail across Lake Taupo to the 10-metre high Maori rock art, only accessible by boat. You're guaranteed amazing photo opportunities as you experience one of life's postcard moments on this Maori tour. Glide across a smooth lake as you soak up the warming sun or go for a swim before you enjoy free light refreshments at the rock carvings. If you're looking for a little more activity you can help hoist the sails or take a turn at the wheel. Taupo's Maori rock carvings may look like the remains of a 1,000-year-old Maori village, but these rock carvings were created in the late 70s by local artists lead by John Randall. Duration of cruise is 2 to 2.5 hours.

Your accommodation: Millennium Hotel & Resort Manuels Taupo

Millennium Hotel & Resort Manuels Taupo enjoys a magnificent location right on the shores of Lake Taupo, New Zealand's largest lake.

Meals included: Breakfast

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 267 kms / 166 miles : 3.1 hours

Day 7 - There's plenty of choice in Taupo for world-class greens, so take your pick
Golfing Tour of New Zealand - Day 7
Taupo

The town of Taupo sits on New Zealand's largest lake, Lake Taupo and this beautiful and serene body of water is reason enough to visit. The lake is actually a volcanic caldera formed following a massive eruption in the year 186 and is considered to be one of the most massive and violent eruptions known. Overlooking the lake are the cones of long extinct volcanoes, further evidence of the regions fiery past. To the south west Mt. Ruapehu in the Tongariro National Park can be seen. The town itself is a lively place with many shops, bars and cafes all catering for the traveller and visitor. A whole host of activities can be undertaken here such as bungy jumping, sky diving, fishing for trout in the lake and rivers, kayaking, sailing, horse riding and walking and hiking to name but a few. Just to the north of the town centre is the Wairakei geothermal power station and a little further north is Craters of the Moon, a geothermal wonderland where you can explore colourful sulphurous lakes, bubbling mud pools and hot water geysers from the safety of boardwalks. The nearby Huka Falls are a spectacular sight and a jet boat ride will give you a very exciting ride to view the thundering water from below.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Kinloch Golf Course

Ranked in 2013 in the Top 100 in the World by Golf Course Architecture Magazine, The Kinloch Club was also rated on opening in 2007 as the top new golf course outside North America by the prestigious US Travel and Leisure Golf Magazine. The Golden Bear visited Kinloch to oversee construction of his signature Championship golf course and returned to The Kinloch Club in February of 2008 to play the course for the first time since completion. Jack was extremely happy with how his vision had come to fruition and was greatly impressed with the maturity of the golf course after it's 'grow in' stage. The Kinloch Club (Nicklaus signature golf course) is the only Nicklaus designed golf course in New Zealand.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Taupo Golf Club

Taupo Golf Club offers golfers a unique golfing experience with two 18 hole golf courses on offer year round, along with modern facilities and services to provide you with a wonderful golfing experience in Taupo. Their courses are located close to Taupo township and situated in a mature park setting amongst thermal activity and under the eye of Mt Tauhara. For more details see www.taupogolf.co.nz

Your accommodation: Millennium Hotel & Resort Manuels Taupo

Millennium Hotel & Resort Manuels Taupo enjoys a magnificent location right on the shores of Lake Taupo, New Zealand's largest lake.

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 8 - Cross to the east coast and Napier, famed for its art deco architecture. Tonight enjoy a fine dining winery experience
Golfing Tour of New Zealand - Day 8
Taupo to Napier

The road from Taupo climbs high onto the plateau crossing the Ahiminawa Range before arriving onto the Pacific Coast just north of the worlds finest art deco city of Napier.
Napier, the city by the sea, is renowned for its 1930s Art Deco architecture, events such as the Art Deco Weekend in February, stately Norfolk pines, surrounding wineries and local fresh produce. Supported by a Mediterranean climate and over 2,200 hours of sunshine a year this popular year-round destination boasts a vibrant cafe culture amongst the splendour of the Art Deco buildings. Around 30 cafes are within walking distance of the central city area, while Ahuriri, just over Bluff Hill, is home to a further cluster of up market establishments. Marine Parade overlooks the Pacific Ocean and out towards Cape Kidnappers, home to the world's largest mainland gannet colony. A full day can be taken visiting Ocean Spa hot pools and swimming complex, the Hawke's Bay Museum and the National Aquarium of New Zealand.

A landmark of Napier is Bluff Hill, which is home for many Napier residents and provides views of the town,  beaches of Perfume Point and Westshore and out towards Whirinaki. Bluff Hill also overlooks the Port of Napier, one of New Zealand's busiest ports, transporting timber, local fruit and meat products to worldwide destinations.

In 1931, New Zealand's greatest natural disaster struck Hawke's Bay. At 10.47am on Tuesday February 3rd, an earthquake of magnitude Richter 7.8 struck. In a minute and a half, in two separate shocks, the centre of Napier was almost totally destroyed. Fires quickly broke out and reduced to ashes or gutted what the tremors had left standing. Damage in Hastings was also devastating, although the fires were contained. Wairoa and the smaller towns to the south as far as Dannevirke were affected. There were 258 deaths - 162 in Napier, 93 in Hastings and 3 in Wairoa along with many injuries. The reconstruction of Napier and Hastings were costly but the benefit was two modern cities and the Ahuriri Lagoon, or Inner Harbour as it was usually known, was raised over 2 metres, creating the land, which Napier desperately needed to expand.

Twilight Odyssey Progressive Winery Dinner

Take a scenic drive through the vineyards as you learn about the region and its wines. Enjoy a full interactive wine tasting alongside gourmet platters at a boutique winery. Take in the breathtaking panoramic views from Te Mata Peak while enjoying a glass of bubbles as the sun sets from 399m above sea level overlooking the glimmering lights of the Twin Cities.
The Twilight Odyssey Tour includes sightseeing of the region with fully guided commentary, a progressive three course dinner at one of New Zealands top winery restaurants, wine tasting, champagne, wine with dinner, dessert wine, tea and coffee.

Your accommodation: Art Deco Masonic Hotel

The Art Deco Masonic Hotel occupies a significant historic building on Napier’s waterfront and has been richly refurbished in keeping with the Art Deco architecture. With its central location and decadent décor, this is the best place to experience what Napier is famous for.

Meals included: Breakfast

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 137 kms / 85 miles : 1.7 hours

Day 9 - Explore the Hawkes Bay vineyards or maybe enjoy a game of golf at Cape Kidnappers
Golfing Tour of New Zealand - Day 9
Explore Napier and the Hawke's Bay

With is Mediterranean climate and Art Deco style, Hawke's Bay is an attractive holiday prospect. As the nation's first winemaking region, a visit to one of its 30 wineries is a must. A trip to Mission Estate touted as the birthplace of NZ wine, can't be missed. For the truly enthused, head out on a tour of the vines. We recommend the to make the most of what's on offer. Those into Gatsby will enjoy the chance to view prominent Art Deco landmarks on a 1930s Vintage Car Tour. Passengers will spend just over an hour learning about the history of the city's architecture - including the Napier Municipal Theatre, one of the top ten Art Deco Buildings in the world. If you're after some fresh air, hire a bike and take your pick of one of over 200km of cycling trails or head on down to one of the many beaches that ring the area. Ocean or Waimarama beach are good choices, and both are patrolled by surf lifeguards during the summer. Indulge in some local produce and head out on a cheese, chocolate, honey or orchard tour. End on a high with another ride, this time in a comfortable trailer pulled by a tractor en-route to Cape Kidnappers Gannet Colony - the largest of its kind in the world.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Gannet Safaris

Drive along the scenic coast from Napier to Te Awanga and join Gannet Safaris Overland and the world's largest, most accessible gannet colony at Cape Kidnappers. Gannet Safaris has been guiding visitors over Cape Kidnappers for over 35 years and their safaris are the only way to be driven right to within a few feet of these remarkable birds. You will travel in comfort in air conditioned 4 x 4 wheeled vehicles, through Cape Kidnappers Station - traversing riverbeds, broad rolling pastures, through stands of native bush, steep gullies and breath-taking inclines. There is a stop on the way at a spectacular cliff top with panoramic views of Hawke Bay right across to Mahia peninsular. The 36km, three hour trip includes a commentary by your tour guide / driver on the farming operation on Cape Kidnappers Station and an introduction to the gannets. On arrival at the gannets you can stretch your legs and take in the scenery from your position at the brink of the cliffs edge - 100 metres above the ocean!

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Cape Kidnappers Golf Course

Designed by legendary golf architect Tom Doak, the Cape Kidnappers par 71 golf course measures 7,119 yards (6,510 meters) and will challenge golfers of all skill levels. Completed in 2004, our spectacular New Zealand golf course has been hailed as one of the great modern marvels in golf. Built on a ridge-and-valley landscape and with stunning sea views, Cape Kidnappers Golf Course plays high above the ocean atop dramatic cliffs.
With cliff-edge fairways perched 140 metres above sea level and with a surface that remains firm and fast, this course offers holes unlike anything you find elsewhere in the world. While every hole has a spectacular view of the Bay, some play cautiously alongside deep ravines as others intimidate golfers with deep cliff top bunkers and sheer drops off the very edge of the earth. The golf complex includes a world-class practice range, putting and chipping greens, a well-stocked golf shop, clubhouse and ladies’ and mens’ locker rooms. Premium ladies’ and mens’ rental clubs are available.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Grape Escape half day Hawke's Bay Wine tour

The Grape Escape Half Day Wine Tour visits some of Hawke's Bay's most famous wineries and is designed for casual wine appreciators and wine aficionados. Meet like-minded people and share an appreciation of Hawke's Bay's fantastic wines. Taste great wines made with passion and learn of the areas unique growing conditions. There is the opportunity to purchase and take home your favourite wines and memories. You will visit 4 to 5 local wineries and taste Syrah, Merlot, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and much more. Also try some of New Zealand's finest cheeses matched with wine.

Your accommodation: Art Deco Masonic Hotel

The Art Deco Masonic Hotel occupies a significant historic building on Napier’s waterfront and has been richly refurbished in keeping with the Art Deco architecture. With its central location and decadent décor, this is the best place to experience what Napier is famous for.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 10 - Today you fly south to Christchurch, gateway to the South Island
Golfing Tour of New Zealand - Day 10
Air New Zealand flight Napier to Christchurch
Choose from our great range of late model rental cars for your driving holiday

Today you’ll take to the road for your New Zealand Self Drive holiday, so take a look through the great selection of late model vehicles available and take your pick.  To help you on your way GPS is included with all rentals.

Explore Christchurch City

Following the 2011 earthquake that razed its centre and much of the outlying suburbs, Christchurch is well into a billion-dollar makeover. In the middle of the Canterbury Plains, bordering the pacific ocean, New Zealand’s newest city is an ideal gateway to exploring the middle of the South.

Go punting on the Avon River, take a historic tram ride, catch the gondola to the rim of an extinct volcano or do all three! See the world's only Cardboard Cathedral and for nature enthusiasts - wander the renowned Christchurch Botanic Gardens. 

Drive an hour in any direction to ski, mountain bike, wine taste, whale-watch, bungy jump or play golf. Visit the International Antarctic Centre or take a day to go on safari at Orana Wildlife Park. Take the winding Port Hills road to the French settlement of Akaroa and tour the vines in Waipara for a authentic New Zealand wine-tasting experience.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Akaroa Day Tour including Harbour Nature Cruise

Enjoy a full day tour to Akaroa with Canterbury Leisure Tours. You will travel the scenic route to Akaroa via Governors Bay, Gebbies Pass, Lake Forsyth and Little River. Stop for spectacular views over the Akaroa Harbour. You'll then take a two hour cruise through Akaroa Harbour for a chance to see this quaint french settlement from the sea as well as dolphins, penguins and seals. On the return journey to Christchurch you will visit the cheese factory at Barry's Bay and sample some of New Zealand's finest cheese.
Lunch at the popular waterfront restaurant 'Bully Hayes' is included - offering a wide choice of New Zealand cuisine.

Your accommodation: Peppers Clearwater Resort

Peppers Clearwater Resort is a waterfront property set within beautiful grounds overlooking the clear, shimmering Lake Kaikainui. All rooms offer either lake views or views of the championship fairways.

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 11 - Play a round today at the Clearwater course
Golfing Tour of New Zealand - Day 11
A second day to explore Christchurch City and surrounds

A relaxing way to spend your second day in Christchurch is with a day trip to the village of Akaroa or the wine growing region of Waipara.  The historic French settlement of Akaroa sits on a picturesque harbour and is a beautiful place to relax, soak in its history and play in the harbour. Two of the most popular activities are the Akaroa Harbour nature cruise or swimming with the rare hectors dolphin.  If you prefer fresh mountain air and an adrenalin rush, Christchurch is a great base to explore the Southern Alps.  Enjoy an early morning hot air balloon ride, or a full day Alpine Safari, with jet boating, a 4WD farm tour and the spectacular TranzAlpine Scenic Train journey included.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Clearwater Golf Course

The par 72 championship course is home to the HSBC NZ PGA Championship. Designed by John Darby in consultation with New Zealand golfing legend, Sir Bob Charles, the course combines elements of links golf inspired by the great Scottish courses with parkland golf, more reminiscent of Florida. Playable year-round, the course meanders around a succession of spring-fed lakes and trout-filled streams, with uninterrupted views of the spectacular Southern Alps. There are five tee positions to suit players of all abilities.

Your accommodation: Peppers Clearwater Resort

Peppers Clearwater Resort is a waterfront property set within beautiful grounds overlooking the clear, shimmering Lake Kaikainui. All rooms offer either lake views or views of the championship fairways.

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 12 - Cross the Canterbury Plains to Mt Cook National Park where you'll get up close to icebergs on the Tasman Glacier Lake
Golfing Tour of New Zealand - Day 12
Christchurch to Mt. Cook National Park

Today you'll drive through the heart of the South Island, crossing the vast Canterbury plains. Catch your breath in Geraldine before continuing through Fairlie. Ascending Burkes pass you'll come to the picturesque lakeside town of Tekapo.
Follow the road and take in the view of Aoraki Mt Cook (New Zealand's tallest mountain) from the shores of Lake Pukaki, known for its glacier fed turquoise blue color. Continue along the lake to your final destination Mt Cook Village. Please note there are no food or shops at Mount Cook you will need to stock up prior to arriving in Mount Cook if you wish to self cater.

Glacier Explorers Mt. Cook

Experience 500 year old icebergs up-close on the Mt Cook terminal lake. The Glacier Explorers tour is the only one of its kind in New Zealand - and one of only three in the world! Very few glaciers terminate into lakes and even fewer of them are accessible. See towering ice cliffs and floating icebergs from the safety of a specially designed boat.  These boats provide a safe way to view unseen and inaccessible areas of New Zealand's largest glacier - The Tasman.

Your accommodation: Hermitage Hotel, Aoraki Wing Premium

The Hermitage Hotel ringed by magnificent snow-capped peaks of the Southern Alps, is a world-renowned tourist destination and has been an icon of superior accommodation and dining since 1884.

Meals included: Breakfast

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 350 kms / 217 miles : 4.1 hours

Day 13 - Continue your drive south into Central Otago, through the Gibbston Valley and onto Queenstown
Golfing Tour of New Zealand - Day 13
Mt. Cook National Park to Queenstown

Today you'll leave Mount Cook National park and travel to Queenstown. Go through the lakeside town of Twizel and then pass through the gliding capital of New Zealand - Omarama - before ascending the Lindis Pass. Follow the road to Cromwell, located at the at the head of the Kawarau Gorge. Continue on towards the Gibbston Valley, one of New Zealand's premier wine growing regions. See the historic Kawarau Bridge where you can bungy jump, or relax and watch others take the plunge. Approaching Queenstown, the Remarkables mountain range comes into view as you arrive into the adventure capital of New Zealand.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - TSS Earnslaw cruise to Walter Peak including gourmet BBQ dinner and a farm tour

Go back in time on this return trip to Walter Peak High Country Farm aboard the historic TSS Earnslaw Steamship. You'll be greeted off the boat and guided through beautiful lakeside gardens to the charming homestead.
Here you'll enjoy a Gourmet BBQ dinner which your chef will prepare in front of you. The seasonal menu includes an expansive array of local produce, including succulent meats cooked on the outdoor rotisserie and a selection of delicious vegetables and salads. Finish your meal with an irresistible dessert, New Zealand cheeses and freshly brewed tea and coffee. After dinner, an entertaining and informative demonstration gives you a glimpse of life in the high country.
On your cruise home, enjoy the camaraderie of a singalong with the ship's pianist or breathe in the fresh night air as you watch the lights of Queenstown draw nearer.

Your accommodation: Millbrook Resort, Arrowtown

This 175 room boutique hotel is situated on 500 acres of golf course and grounds. Surrounded by mountains the resort offers everything you need but is also close enough to Arrowtown and Queenstown to enjoy the region to its fullest.

Meals included: Breakfast

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 257 kms / 159 miles : 3.0 hours

Day 14 - A day to relax or try one of the many activities on offer in Queenstown or maybe a round of golf at Millbrook
Golfing Tour of New Zealand - Day 14
Explore Queenstown and surrounds

Although celebrated as New Zealand's ‘adventure capital’ Queenstown offers far more than a fast paced action-packed holiday. Settled on the shores of Lake Wakatipu beneath a soaring panorama of the Remarkables Mountain Range, this alpine town is surrounded by a plethora of historic, gastronomic and scenic wonders.
Head down the Gibbston Valley wine trail to sample some of the region’s best Pinot or catch a ride on the 100 year old Steamship - the TSS Earnslaw -  to Walter Peak Station for dinner and a farm tour. Browse the waterfront cafes and have lunch at Michelin star chef Josh Emett's ‘Rata.’ Check out nearby historic Arrowtown and enhance your experience with a four wheel drive trip to Macetown.
Take a leisurely lakeside stroll or ride the gondola for breathtaking views. Venture further afield into the Fiordland National Park or head over the Crown Range to Wanaka. Drive through Lord Of The Rings country - or for the really fanatic, jump aboard one of many dedicated LOTR tours. And after all of that - if you do really want the adrenaline rush Queenstown is known for, take your pick from the Shotover Jet, Nevis Bungy, Canyon Swing, Zipline, Luge or Heli-ski.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Millbrook Golf Course

Set in a natural, alpine amphitheatre, against the backdrop of the Remarkables Mountain Range, the golf course at Millbrook exploits the dramatic terrain fully, delivering world-class golf. Designed by Sir Bob Charles and recently upgraded by Greg Turner, this 18 hole, par-72 championship course features 4 different tee positions for complete enjoyment at all levels of playing expertise. Take a tour of the course here.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Appellation Boutique Wine Tour

Experience a tasting journey through three of Central Otago’s incredibly scenic and varying wine sub-regions; Gibbston, Bannockburn and Cromwell. Visit three boutique vineyards, tasting their unique cool climate wines and discover why the Central Otago region has become world-renowned in its own right.
Indulge at a fourth vineyard restaurant for a platter-style lunch, savouring the finest and freshest produce, accompanied with a glass of premium wine of your choice.
There will also be an opportunity to retrace history when you stroll through the charming historical settlement of Old Cromwell.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Over The Top Golf Fly-Drive-Putt

For the ultimate golf experience you can't go past a hole in one at 4,500 feet! From Queenstown take a scenic helicopter flight with Over The Top helicopters to the most spectacular golf range in the world. Landing at 4500 feet on top of the Southern Alps you'll find a unique par 3 golf experience with magnificent views of Queenstown and the surrounding mountains. You'll choose two T's from the four onsite for your own golfing adventure. The challenge includes nearest to pin, longest putt and longest drive and for maximum bragging rights - a hole in one. You'll have 5 balls and 1.5 hours so take your best shot!

Your accommodation: Millbrook Resort, Arrowtown

This 175 room boutique hotel is situated on 500 acres of golf course and grounds. Surrounded by mountains the resort offers everything you need but is also close enough to Arrowtown and Queenstown to enjoy the region to its fullest.

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 15 - Depart Queenstown today
Golfing Tour of New Zealand - Day 15
Depart Queenstown today

Explore more of Queenstown before dropping your rental car at the airport depot and continuing your onward journey.

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 8 kms / 5 miles : 0.2 hours

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