New Zealand Tour (Self-Drive)

18 days
Difficulty Level
New Zealand
4600 km

New Zealand Tour (Self-Drive)

Welcome to an extraordinary adventure tour in New Zealand, renowned as one of the world’s premier vacation destinations. Whether you’re an adventure enthusiast or a first-time traveler seeking to immerse yourself in nature’s splendor, New Zealand offers an array of attractions to captivate every visitor.

Embark on a thrilling journey through this breathtaking country aboard your preferred mode of transportation, be it a car or motorcycle. Prepare to be awe-struck as you traverse pristine roads, winding your way through stunning landscapes that defy imagination. This Self-Drive tour is meticulously curated to showcase the very best of New Zealand’s motorcycle routes and must-see attractions. From iconic landmarks to hidden gems, each stop promises unforgettable experiences and unparalleled natural beauty.

Get set for the adventure of a lifetime as you explore New Zealand’s unrivaled beauty and discover the magic that awaits around every corner.


Motorcycle/Car rental w/unlimited milage
1st choice vehicle model class
Shared room in biker-friendly hotels
Continental breakfast at most hotels
Entrance fees Nat. parks
Welcome meeting
Multi-lingual Tour leader
Transport to rental company
Support van w/ luggage
State min. SLI insurance
Loss damage Waiver
Half-shell helmet
Tour PDF w/route description.
Pictures from the tour
NOT Included
Optional attractions
Vehicle model guarantee
Security deposit for LDW
Food and beverages
LDW Zero & insurance upgrades
Anything not listed in “Included” above



Day 1: Departure - Arrival Auckland, New Zealand

After a long period of anticipation, your departure day has finally arrived: Welcome to New Zealand!


Day 2: Auckland

(Fun and explorer day)

Prepare for an exhilarating day in Auckland. The city boasts a unique blend of urban sophistication and outdoor adventure, with pristine beaches, lush hiking trails, and picturesque islands all within easy reach.

Explore the city’s diverse culinary scene, from top-end restaurants to bustling street markets, showcasing the best of New Zealand’s food, wine, and culture. Take in the charming ambiance of Viaduct Harbor, Wynyard Quarter, and Parnell, where you can relax at cafes, dine at acclaimed eateries, or immerse yourself in the city’s vibrant nightlife.

For a truly captivating experience, ascend Auckland’s iconic Sky Tower, standing tall at 328 meters, the tallest artificial structure in New Zealand. Enjoy breathtaking views spanning up to 80 kilometers in every direction from one of the tower’s three spectacular viewing platforms. For the adventurous, embark on a Sky Walk around the tower’s 192-meter-high pergola or take a thrilling Sky Jump. Indulge in a culinary delight at Peter Gordon’s elegant restaurant, The Sugar Club, or savor a cup of coffee at Sky Café while soaking in the panoramic vistas.

In the afternoon, your journey continues as you depart to pick up your bike for the tour. Rest assured, your booked bike is prepared, and all necessary insurance is included, ensuring a seamless and enjoyable adventure ahead.


Day 3: Auckland - Whangamatā

(Driving day 1: 301 km/188 miles)

Today marks the beginning of your thrilling New Zealand riding adventure! Ahead lies a unique adventure filled with tradition, winding roads, breathtaking nature, and awe-inspiring coastlines.

Your first stop takes you to Coromandel’s TOP 10 Holiday Park, where you’ll enjoy a delicious lunch amidst the beauty of Coromandel Forest Park. This area offers a plethora of outdoor experiences, including scenic walks, mountain bike trails, and remnants of old gold mining sites. Be sure to explore the town’s excellent shopping center, boasting some of the best shops in the region.

Continuing along the enchanting east coast, you’ll make several stops to soak in the spectacular natural scenery before reaching your evening destination in Whangamatā. Renowned among locals as one of New Zealand’s finest beaches, Whangamatā boasts pristine surf breaks and safe swimming spots, making it a favorite among Kiwi holidaymakers. Beyond its sandy shores, the town also hosts the Beach Hop, a lively five-day celebration of ’50s and ’60s culture, adding to its vibrant seaside charm. Get ready to immerse yourself in the relaxed village vibe and diverse attractions that await in Whangamatā.


Day 4: Whangamatā – Rotorua

(Driving day 2: 173 km/107 miles)

Continuing your enchanting journey, you’ll ride along Route 25, ascending into the mountains toward the captivating city of Rotorua. Known for its bubbling mud pools, erupting geysers, and natural hot springs, Rotorua offers a fascinating glimpse into Māori culture amidst a backdrop of stunning natural wonders.

From crystal-clear streams to enchanting forests and thrilling biking trails, Rotorua beckons adventurers and relaxation-seekers alike with its diverse array of attractions and experiences. As you immerse yourself in this geothermal wonderland, you’ll encounter bubbling mud pools, billowing clouds of steam, and rejuvenating hot springs ideal for unwinding and rejuvenating.

After marveling at the unique landscapes and volcanic activity within a geothermal park, take the opportunity to soak in a natural hot stream or indulge in a pampering session at a luxurious spa. Spend the afternoon and evening exploring the myriad attractions and experiences that make Rotorua a truly exciting destination, where adventure and relaxation intertwine amidst the beauty of nature.


Day 5: Rotorua – Gisborne

(Driving day 3: 274 km/170 miles)

Begin your day with a breathtaking ride along the shores of Lake Rotorua, soaking in the tranquil beauty of the surroundings. As you continue your journey, you’ll turn onto Route 2, navigating winding mountain roads that promise both beauty and excitement as you traverse the rugged terrain.

Crossing over the mountains, you’ll eventually arrive in Gisborne, the vibrant capital of the northeast region nestled along the shores of Poverty Bay. Here, you’ll have the opportunity to dine at Bar Marina Park, where you can savor a delicious dinner while enjoying views of the bay and soaking in the relaxed atmosphere of this coastal gem.


Day 6: Gisborne – Taupō

(Driving day 4: 329 km/204 miles)

Get ready for a day filled with awe-inspiring roads and unforgettable nature experiences. Departing from Gisborne, your journey leads southeast through breathtaking mountain vistas and picturesque coastlines. Along the route, you’ll encounter some of the finest roads the North Island has to offer, punctuated by several stops to take in the myriad sights that adorn the landscape.

Your ultimate destination for the day is the stunning Lake Taupō, a magnificent body of water roughly the size of Singapore, resembling more of an inland sea. Formed nearly two millennia ago by a colossal volcanic eruption of immense proportions, Lake Taupō bears witness to its fiery birth through the Craters of the Moon. Here, geysers, steaming craters, and boiling mud pools serve as remnants of the cataclysmic event that once darkened the skies over Europe and China.

At Taupō’s inviting beaches, swimmers and paddlers can luxuriate in the warmth of geothermal currents, offering a unique and rejuvenating aquatic experience. Immerse yourself in the natural wonders of Lake Taupō, where the echoes of ancient volcanic activity blend harmoniously with the serenity of the surrounding landscape.


Day 7: Taupō – New Plymouth

(Driving day 5: 312 km/194 miles)

Leaving the stunning shores of Lake Taupō behind, you embark on an exhilarating journey along one of New Zealand’s finest motorcycle routes: The Forgotten (World) Highway, also known as Route 43. This legendary road traces its origins to colonial bridle paths carved out in the late 19th century, weaving through remote and enigmatic landscapes that seem to defy time itself.

Described by locals as “a bit upsy downsy,” the Forgotten World Highway offers a roller coaster-like adventure, with its winding path hugging the rugged contours of the land. As you navigate its twists and turns, be prepared for an unforgettable ride that promises thrills at every corner.

From towering mountains to sweeping valleys, the scenery along the Forgotten World Highway is nothing short of spectacular. Prepare to be awestruck as you delve into the heart of this remote and mysterious landscape, where every twist and turn unveils a new facet of its mesmerizing charm.


Day 8: New Plymouth – Wellington

(Driving day 6: 388 km/241 miles)

Welcome to another exhilarating day of driving along the picturesque west coast of the North Island. As you journey along the stunning coastline, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of the rugged cliffs, pristine beaches, and crashing waves that define this captivating region.

Your ultimate destination for the day is the vibrant city of Wellington, nestled in the southern part of the North Island. Situated between a picturesque harbor and verdant green hills, Wellington boasts a population of over 380,000 inhabitants, making it the largest capital in Oceania. Founded in the 1840s, the city exudes a rich blend of history, culture, and natural beauty, offering a plethora of attractions and experiences for visitors to enjoy.


Day 9: Wellington – Nelson

(Driving day 7: 114 km/74 miles)

Get ready for what may be the most breathtaking ferry journey of your life. Rise early to catch the first ferry to the South Island, where some of the most stunning motorcycle roads and nature experiences await.

As you embark on this scenic crossing, allow yourself to be fully present and immersed in the beauty that surrounds you. From the majestic fjords to the rugged coastline and winding mountain passes, today is all about embracing the wonders of nature.

Prepare for a day filled with awe-inspiring landscapes and unforgettable moments as you traverse the South Island’s remarkable terrain. Whether you’re cruising along the coast or winding your way through mountain passes, every turn promises to reveal a new vista more stunning than the last.


Day 10: Nelson – Puponga - Nelson

(Fun and explorer day – 302 km/188 miles)

Today presents an opportunity for rest, exploration, and adventure in Nelson. Alternatively, you can join us for an absolutely stunning ride up Abel Tasman National Park via Route 60. The choice is yours, but we highly recommend experiencing the beauty of Collingwood.

Abel Tasman National Park, New Zealand’s smallest national park, is a coastal paradise offering relaxation and adventure in equal measure. Easily accessible, the park beckons exploration by land, water, or air. Cruise along the coastline, kayak through pristine waters, or soar above it all on a helitour. The park’s charm extends beyond summer, with locals favoring the tranquil shoulder seasons for their crisp mornings, calm waters, and quiet beaches.

Luxurious lodges offer comfort for those seeking it, but sleeping under the stars is hailed as the ultimate way to immerse oneself in the spirit of Abel Tasman. Whether you opt for adventure or relaxation, a day in Abel Tasman National Park promises unforgettable moments amidst breathtaking scenery.


Day 11: Nelson – Punakaiki

Driving day 8: 283 km/176 miles)

Prepare for another breathtaking journey as you head south on Route 6 towards Cape Foulwind. Following this, your adventure continues southward along the stunning coastline to Punakaiki, promising a day filled with spectacular views and unforgettable experiences.


Day 12: Panakaiki - Fox Glacier

(Driving day 9: 377 km/234 miles)

Village. Next, embark on a journey to the charming Fox Glacier, nestled amidst the wooded foothills of the Southern Alps. Here, you can indulge in glacier walks, hikes, and aerial tours, immersing yourself in the natural wonders of the region.

The route along Route 6 along the west coast of the South Island is renowned as one of the most stunning in New Zealand, offering unparalleled vistas at every turn. We recommend frequent stops along the way to fully appreciate the awe-inspiring beauty of the surroundings. Upon reaching Fox Glacier, consider embarking on a glacier tour to witness nature’s grandeur up close. Nearby, don’t miss the opportunity to visit Lake Matheson, famed for its captivating reflections of Mount Cook on clear days.


Day 13: Fox Glacier – Queenstown

(Driving day 10: 353 km/219 miles)

Setting out on Route 6 once more, your journey hugs the coastline before ascending into the mountains. You’ll make a stop in Haast, a gateway to natural wonders, before navigating through Mount Aspiring National Park. Here, you’re treated to a parade of mountain lakes set against the backdrop of awe-inspiring nature, with winding roads leading you all the way to Queenstown. This segment of your adventure promises a blend of thrilling drives and breathtaking vistas, making for an unforgettable journey to Queenstown.


Day 14: Queenstown

(Fun & Explorer day)

Immerse yourself in the thrill-seeker’s paradise of Queenstown, where adventure awaits at every turn. Whether you’re drawn to adrenaline-pumping sports, immersive nature experiences, or gastronomic delights, Queenstown caters to all your desires with an array of exhilarating activities.

Nestled in the scenic region of Otago on New Zealand’s South Island, Queenstown beckons visitors with its welcoming atmosphere and adventurous spirit. Renowned as a premier destination for snow sports, the city also offers a myriad of thrilling adventures, from bungee jumping and water skiing to mountain biking amidst breathtaking landscapes.

Spend the day exploring the vibrant streets of Queenstown, where endless opportunities for excitement await. Whether you choose to embark on heart-pounding adventures or simply soak in the stunning surroundings, Queenstown promises an unforgettable experience filled with exhilaration and wonder. Enjoy every moment of your stay in this adventure-seeker’s paradise!


Day 15: Queenstown - Dunedin

(Driving day 11: 359 km/233 miles)

Today’s journey takes you through what is affectionately known in New Zealand as “Fjord country,” offering yet another extraordinary “day in nature.” You’ll travel on spectacular roads, winding through mountain passes en route to Dunedin, encountering landscapes so unique and breathtaking, they seem almost beyond imagination. As you approach Dunedin, prepare for a scenic ride through the beautiful Taieri River Mouth.


Day 16: Dunedin – Mount Cook Village

(Driving day 12: 317 km/197 miles)

Get ready for another day of breathtaking coastlines and mountain vistas as you embark on an unforgettable journey. Begin your day with a magical coastal drive to Oamaru, where you may even catch a glimpse of the charming penguins that call this area home. Keep your eyes peeled for these delightful creatures as you traverse the stunning coastline.

Next, head inland toward the majestic Lake Pukaki, where you’ll be treated to awe-inspiring views of crystal-clear waters and towering mountains. Set against the backdrop of the Southern Alps, Lake Pukaki offers a picture-perfect setting for a scenic ride to Mount Cook National Park.

Prepare to be enchanted by the rugged beauty of Mount Cook National Park as you spend the night surrounded by towering peaks and pristine wilderness.


Day 17: Mount Cook – Christchurch

(Driving day 13: 404 km/251 miles)

As you embark on our final riding day, you’re nearing the end of your New Zealand Adventure (though, regrettably). Begin your day with another breathtaking ride along the shores of Lake Pukaki, soaking in the stunning scenery before turning onto Route 8 toward Tekapo. From there, ascend to higher elevations as you journey toward our ultimate destination: Christchurch. Situated on the east coast of the South Island, Christchurch is the largest city in the region.

Upon arrival, return the bike, exchange your riding gear for lighter summer clothing, and bid farewell to the exhilarating journey through New Zealand’s remarkable landscapes.


Day 18: Departure Christchurch - Home travel

Bid farewell to the enchanting landscapes of New Zealand – Aotearoa Adventure as you make your way back home. Thank you for selecting our New Zealand Self-Drive Tour. We hope your journey was filled with moments of awe, discovery, and the unique magic that only New Zealand can offer. Safe travels back, and we look forward to welcoming you on another adventure in the future!

Please note: Due to time differences, travelers from Europe will arrive home on the date or day after departing from the US.

Additionally: It’s essential to understand that while our itinerary outlines a comprehensive framework for the tour’s planned activities and experiences, deviations may occur. The beauty of a self-drive tour lies in the personal freedom it offers. You are in control, serving as your own guide. This flexibility allows you to choose whether to stick to our suggested path or venture off into detours that catch your eye. Your adventure is yours to shape, providing an opportunity to make the trip uniquely yours, filled with unexpected discoveries and personal highlights.