Specials Trip Finder Brochures Menu

New Zealand Nature Lovers Self Drive with Air Canada

18 Days
Prices From:
C$ 3,279

Explore New Zealand at your leisure with this self-drive tour of the North Island. Connect to Auckland with Air Canada and then spend two weeks driving around the island, connecting to the Coromandel Peninsula, Napier, and Rotorua, to experience its beautiful landscape and friendly culture.

This 18-day New Zealand vacation takes you on a self-drive across the North Island. It features, economy, moderate, or first-class accommodations, depending on your preference, international airfare, shared and independent touring, and is a great way for independent travellers to explore the nation.

Your journey begins on a flight across the Pacific Ocean with Air Canada. Arrive in Auckland, the largest city in New Zealand and home to two gorgeous natural harbours. Auckland is the City of Sails, an attractive metropolis defined by its proximity to the ocean and its abundant natural highlights. Take advantage of the Hop-On Hop-Off Explorer tour to see 14 of the city’s biggest attractions, including SkyCity, the Auckland Museum, and the Auckland Waterfront. Then explore the surrounding natural highlights. A Volcanic Explorer tour of Rangitoto Island will take you through the largest Pohutukawa forest in the world up to the summit of Rangitoto, where you’ll enjoy a 360° view of the Harauki Gulf. Then join the Fullers Explorer tour of Waiheke Island to see its collection of vineyards, beaches, and olive groves.

After your time in Auckland, pick up your rental car and begin your journey along the Pacific Coast Highway towards the Coromandel Peninsula, one of New Zealand’s most gorgeous stretches of coastline, defined by its white-sand beaches, stunning rock formations, and abundant opportunities for surfing, swimming, and fishing. Savour the sulphur-heated waters of Hot Water Beach, where the thermal waters transform a beach into your own personal spa. Continue towards the Bay of Plenty and Tauranga where you can explore Mt. Maunganui. Continue to Whakatane, the gateway to nearby accessible volcanoes that you can explore during a full day here. You can also delve into the bay’s Maori history and may even have the opportunity to swim with dolphins.

Continue your journey south to reach the east coast. Discover hidden valleys and gorgeous beaches on your way to Gisborne, home to surf beaches and historical landmarks like Wyllie Cottage and the Tairawhiti Museum, which explores the nation’s colonial history. Take your time exploring the Hawke’s Bay wine country along the east coast. Choose from over 30 vineyards to visit and sample some of New Zealand’s award-winning wines. Connect to Napier and Hastings, where you’ll explore charming cities known for their Art Deco and Spanish Mission architectural styles.

On the final leg of your self-drive, drive to Lake Taupo, in the centre of the North Island and one of its premier holiday spots. After savouring the resort life here, head to Rotorua to explore a landscape of spouting geysers and bubbling mud pools. In between visits to the parks that showcase the region’s geothermal activity, delve into the nation’s Maori heritage with visits to cultural centres. Connect to nearby Waitomo to venture into caverns lit up by glowworms. Admire the underground environment of stalactites and stalagmites and stand in awe of the glowworms that transform the caves into an approximation of the night sky.

You’ll then connect back to Auckland to drop off your rental car and return back to North America with Air Canada.


Read More

At Goway we are experts at designing personalized itineraries to suit your special interests, tastes and budget. Let us arrange your ultimate travel experience today.
18 Days
Prices From:
C$ 3,279

Itinerary View Trip Map

Day 1

Depart North America

Depart from Vancouver on board Air Canada’s new non stop flight to Auckland

Day 2

Cross the International Dateline

You will lose a day, which is regained on the return journey

Day 3

Arrive Auckland

On arrival, you will be transferred to your accommodation and the rest of the day is at leisure.  On arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel and the remainder of the day is at leisure. Auckland, the largest city in New Zealand on the North Island, is known as the “City of Sails” due to its attractive harbour, home to thousands of sailing boats. It occupies a narrow isthmus between the harbour and the sea. It also has the largest Polynesian population of any city in the world. This modern city combines urban with beautiful beaches, hiking trails, islands and a rugged West Coast. For amazing views of the city, visit the Skytower, the tallest building in the Southern Hemisphere or Mount Eden, an extinct volcano crater and the highest point in Auckland.

Hotel Category Hotel
Economy Ibis Budget Auckland Central 
Moderate Adina Apartment Hotel Britomart 
First Class Grand Millennium Hotel Auckland  
Duration4 Nights
Day 4

Auckland Hop on Hop Off Explorer Tour

Today you will enjoy the Auckland Hop On Hop Off Explorer, an all day sightseeing tour visiting Auckland's Big 14 Attractions with full commentary.

 Buses leave every 30 minutes from and the all-day bus pass allows you to get on and off all day with the same pass. The tour visits a number of Auckland attractions including SkyCity, Auckland Museum, Parnell Village, Kelly Tarlton's, Auckland waterfront, Mount Eden and Auckland Zoo just to name a few (entry fees not included).

Day 5

Rangitoto Island Volcanic Explorer Tour

On your arrival at the Island you will be met by your Rangitoto Guide and escorted to the 4WD road-train for a journey of discovery. Along the way you'll learn of Rangitoto's fiery past and its amazing climate that has allowed lush growth to flourish amongst the lava. Journey through the largest Pohutukawa forest in the world, a treasured fern glen and rugged lava terrain as you make your way to the base of the summit of Rangitoto. From there it's a 900m walk along a scenic boardwalk to the top. Here you'll be rewarded with 360 degree views of the Islands of the Hauraki Gulf and back to Auckland City. Note: No shops are located on the island and it is advised that passengers take food and drinks with them, or food and beverages can be purchased onboard the vessel.

Day 6

Waiheke Island Explorer Tour

Be introduced to Waiheke on the Fullers Explorer Tour, a picturesque 35 minutes boat trip followed by 1.5 hour scenic highlight tour of Waiheke's stunning locations. Cruise to Waiheke through the glorious Hauraki Gulf, on arrival you will be met by an experienced guide who will give you a taste of the views, culture and history that make up the diverse Island of Waiheke. On conclusion of the tour, take advantage of the complimentary All Day Bus Pass allowing you to either return to a destination on the tour or discover the island further on the Waiheke Island scheduled bus services

Day 7

Auckland to Coromandel Peninsula 164 km (102 miles) 2.5 hours

Collect your rental car and depart Auckland and travel the Pacific Coast Highway touring route to the Coromandel Peninsula. The Coromandel's dramatic and unspoiled coast, and beautiful white sandy beaches, offer endless opportunities for fishing, diving, boating, surfing and swimming.

Hotel Category Hotel
Motel Aotearoa Lodge 
Hotel/Small & Special Grand Mercure Puka Park Resort Pauanui 
Duration2 Nights
Day 8

Coromandel at leisure

Enjoy the unique experience of Hot Water Beach where at low tide you can dig in the sand, allowing the sulphur-heated waters to rise to the top to create your very own thermal spa. Swim with dolphins, hire a kayak and explore the many offshore islands or simply let the azure water lap at your feet and marvel at the beauty of the Pacific Ocean.

Day 9

Coromandel Peninsula to Tauranga 166 km (103 miles) 2.5 hours

Continuing down the Pacific Coast Highway, sapphire waters and white sand beaches will give way to lush farmland and orchards of the Bay of Plenty. Enjoy the beautiful harbour of Tauranga and the white sand beaches of Mount Maunganui.

Hotel Category Hotel
Motel Cobblestone Court Motel 
Hotel Trinity Wharf Tauranga 
Small & Special Tauranga Lodge
Duration1 Night
Day 10

Tauranga to Whakatane 97 km (60 miles) 1.25 hours

Further down the Pacific Coast Highway is Whakatane, gateway to one of the most accessible active volcanoes.

Hotel Category Hotel
Motel/ Hotel/ Small & Special White Island Rendezvous Whakatane 
Duration2 Nights
Day 11

Whakatane at leisure

Further down the Pacific Coast Highway the coastal landscape is untamed and wild. You can lose yourself in the hills and valleys, and renew your inner peace on the beautifully natural beaches.

Day 12

Whakatane to Gisborne 262 km (163 miles) 3.5 hours

Further down the Pacific Coast Highway the coastal landscape is untamed and wild. You can lose yourself in the hills and valleys, and renew your inner peace on the beautifully natural beaches.

Hotel Category Hotel
Motel BK's Palm Court Motor Lodge Gisborne 
Hotel/ Small & Special Portside Hotel Gisborne 
Duration1 Night
Day 13

Gisborne to Napier 216 km (134 miles) 3 hours

From here you enter more breathtaking scenery as you travel your final leg on this highway to Hawke's Bay Wine Country. Basking in a Mediterranean climate, the Hawke's Bay region is known for its wine, food and fabulous scenery. Over 30 vineyards offer visitors a wine tasting and indoor/ outdoor dining experience. Napier and Hastings, the two main centres in the region, have a high concentration of Art Deco and Spanish Mission architecture. The rest of the day is free to enjoy the many vineyards and wonderful restaurants in the area.

Hotel Category Hotel
Motel Bella Tuscany Motor Lodge Napier 
Hotel Scenic Hotel Te Pania Napier  
Small & Special Art Deco Masonic Hotel  
Duration1 Night
Day 14

Napier to Taupo 143 km (89 miles) 2 hours

Depart Napier for a journey through to the Lake Taupo region. Taupo is the main centre of the region and Lake Taupo is one of the North Islands most popular holiday destinations

Hotel Category Hotel
Motel Phoenix Resort Taupo 
Hotel Millennium Hotel and Resort Taupo Manuels 
Small & Special Tauhara Sunrise Lodge
Duration1 Night
Day 15

Taupo to Rotorua 80 km (50 miles) 1.25 hours

Depart Taupo for a short journey to Rotorua, famous for its spouting geysers, bubbling mud pools and warm geothermal ponds.

Hotel Category Hotel
Motel Copthorne Hotel Rotorua 
Hotel Millennium Hotel and Resort 
Small & Special The Springs 
Duration2 Nights
Day 16

Rotorua at leisure

As the spiritual home to the Maori and host to some of the worlds’ most incredible earth forces, there is plenty to see and do here with its steamy thermal attractions and fascinating cultural experiences.

Day 17

Rotorua to Auckland 234 km (145 miles) 3.5 hours

Today head across to the Waitomo Caves district is famous for its subterranean splendour. Beneath the surface of this limestone region is a series of vast cave systems decorated with stalactites, stalagmites and glow-worms. Continue on to Auckland.

Hotel Category Hotel
Economy Ibis Budget Auckland Central 
Moderate Adina Apartment Hotel Britomart 
First Class Grand Millennium Hotel Auckland   
Duration1 Night
Day 18

Depart Auckland

Return your rental car and depart Auckland on Air Canada for your onward destination.

Other Information



Departures from Vancouver, Prices in CAD

Economy Hotel in Auckland/
Motel Self Drive Accommodation

Moderate Hotel in Auckland/
Hotel Self Drive Accommodation

First Class Hotel in Auckland/Small & Special
Self Drive Accommodation

12 Dec '19 - 12 Jan '20

$4,489 $5,149 $5,459

13 Jan - 31 Jan '20

$3,319 $3,969 $4,289

1 - 16 Feb '20

$3,279 $3,929 $4,159

17 Feb - 31 Mar '20

$3,319 $3,929 $4,159

From Victoria/Edmonton/Kamloops/Kelowna add $100, from Toronto/Montreal/Ottawa add $300, from Saskatoon/Regina/Winnipeg add $350, from Quebec City add $640, from Halifax/Charlottetown/Fredericton/St Johns/Sydney add $720, please enquire about departures from cities not listed.

Book By: 30-Nov-19


  • Round trip airfare with Air Canada from listed cities to Auckland
  • Accommodation for 4 nights in Auckland 
  • Rangitoto Island Volcanic Explorer Tour
  • Auckland Hop on – Hop Off Tour
  • Waiheke Island Explorer Tour
  • Goway Nature Lovers Self Drive 
    • 11 nights' accommodation as per itinerary
    • 12 Day Hertz Group E car rental
    • Goway's co-pilot kit (maps, directions, discounts)


  • Travel Insurance
  • Gratuities unless otherwise stated
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Optional excursions
  • Meals and beverages not mentioned
  • Visa fees if applicable
  • Park fees unless stated


Prices are quoted in CAD and are ‘from’, per person, based on double/twin occupancy. Single supplements apply. Seasonal surcharges and blackout dates may apply.

 Cities in New Zealand are very busy with special events, if your travel falls over the following dates a surcharge will apply or this package may not be available at listed price. Your Goway Agent will prepare a customized quotation for you for any travel over these dates:

Hotel Blackouts


Ibis Budget Central Auckland 14 - 19 Dec, 31 Dec '19, 10 - 16 Feb '20
Adina Apartments Auckland

13 - 15 Dec '19, 30 Dec '19 - 1 Jan '20

Grand Millennium Auckland

31 Dec, 25 Jan - 3 Feb

Copthorne Lakefront  26 Dec '19- 2 Jan '20, 25 Jan - 3 Feb '20
Millenium Queenstown 26 Dec '19- 2 Jan '20, 25 Jan - 3 Feb '20
Copthorne & Millenium Rotorua 25 Jan - 3 Feb '20
Grand Mercure Puka Park 25 Dec '19
Trinity Wharf Tauranga 31 Dec '19- 3 Jan '20, 24 - 25 Jan, 5 - 7 Feb '20
Portside Hotel 25 Dec '19 - 12 Jan '20

Airlines frequently change their prices as a result of fare increases. Prices are current at time of posting. All prices, itineraries and routing are subject to change without notice and all pricing subject to availability and may not be available every day at listed prices. 

 Advance Purchase and minimum stay requirements may apply to the airfares used.  Pricing are based on midweek flights (Mon/Tue/Wed/Thu) and if travelling on a weekend (Fri/Sat/Sun) a supplement will apply. 

10 Mar 2020
Trip Finder

What our travelers say

Goway Toolkit

Need help planning your holiday? Our toolkit is a great place to get started.