Ultimate New Zealand Road Trip

Highlights

Safari Specialist and in-house New Zealand expert Jamie recently returned from a 3 week journey road tripping with her husband through New Zealand. Boy, were we jealous when we heard about their exploits on the road. To quote Jamie, “While New Zealand is in many ways about the destination, the journey is an awful lot of fun.” Their itinerary was too good not to replicate. So we asked Jamie to share the love and help us put together a really special 16 day road trip itinerary through New Zealand.

Begin on the North Island with 3 nights at Solitaire Lodge on Lake Tarawera, one of the largest lakes in New Zealand at the foot of a majestic volcano, with picturesque surroundings and natural hot springs. Here your preferred mode of transportation is scenic boat cruises; however, the beauty of having your own set of “wheels” means you’ll always have the option of exploring on your own. Next up is The Farm at Cape Kidnappers in Hawke’s Bay for 3 nights at the 5* luxury lodge in the heart of wine country. Horseback riding around the property is really a lot of fun.

Fly to the South Island for 2 nights at Edenhouse Luxury Lodge, with an upscale B&B feel, set on 6 acres of landscaped gardens in a valley surrounded by mountainous hills. The area is very reminiscent of the South African winelands but with sheep dotting the hillsides. Set off on wine tastings or visit galleries in and around Nelson. Make sure to stop for lunch at Jellyfish, one of Jamie’s favorite local cafes. (Lodge owner Peter is always on point with maps and directions a better way than the GPS would have you go.) Ditch the car for 2 nights at Bay of Many Coves Resort. The resort is not accessible by road so it feels totally and beautifully isolated. You will reach it from Picton, a cute port town If you reach Picton late morning, you can hop on the Seafood Odyssey to tour oyster and famed green-lipped mussel farms (with lunch) before being dropped at Many Coves. Stretch your legs on 5 or 10 mile hikes along the Queen Charlotte track, kayak, SUP, visit Motuara Island or do a Maori Myths and Legends private departure cruise around the islands. Then take a step back in time for 2 nights at Otahuna Lodge in Christchurch. Once the largest private home in New Zealand, Otahuna has been lovingly restored to its original grandeur with careful attention to architectural and decorative details that respect the period of the house. Finish up at Eichardt’s Private Hotel in Queenstown for 3 nights. If you want to upgrade your ride, the fantastic concierge (and gear head) Kieran can help you arrange a one-day rental of luxury vehicles like an Aston Martin Vanquish to explore the Southern Lakes district. Take a winding drive out to Glenorchy with the goal of grabbing a cup of coffee and Danish before heading back to catch the morning glow on The Remarkables over Lake Wakatipu. Your next adventure is just a road trip away.

Summary

  • 3 Nights: Solitaire Lodge, Lake Tarawera
  • 3 Nights: The Farm at Cape Kidnappers, Hawke's Bay
  • 2 Nights: Edenhouse Luxury Lodge, Abel Tasman National Park
  • 2 Nights: Bay of Many Coves Resort, Marlborough
  • 2 Nights: Otahuna Lodge, Christchurch
  • 3 Nights: Eichardt's Private Hotel, Queenstown

Price

The price for this trip is $13,600.00 per person sharing. See detailed inclusions in the full itinerary below. (Based on travel in March 2017.)

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Marcia Gordon