New Zealand Heritage Road Trip – Stay at Classic Hotels

VentureOut - classic road trip North and South

Time required: We recommend that you have at least 10 nights for this itinerary. To make it more enjoyable you should have 20 nights/3 weeks. Depending on your arrival time, we recommend you staying at least one night to acclimatize and get over your jetlag before driving (and on the road, always stay on the LEFT!)

Distance: The route along the North Island is about 900-1000 km (approximate 600 miles). For the South Island the mimium is 800 km (approximate 500 miles).

Start/End: Your journey can either start from Auckland or from Christchurch. Often it is cheaper to book your rental vehicle in Christchurch and drop it off in Auckland. Please use the following links to compare prices. This will take you to our partner website Rental Cars connect.

Map legend

  • Blue markers: destinations (with links for general accommodation)
  • Purple bed markers: classic accommodation (link takes you directly to the hotel page)
  • Green star markers: additional destinations (with general accommodation links) - visit some places off the beaten track if you have extra time

Itinerary recommendations for main destinations

Auckland: You could check out the Viaduct Harbour, enjoy views from Skytower and visit some exiting museums.

Rotorua: the cultural centre of New Zealand, you can experience a variety of attractions: Volcanic landscapes at Waimangu, Redwoods Treewalk, Canopy Zipline, Maori Villages, Gondola with a luge and a dinner with panoramic views.

Taupo: You can experience a variety of exciting activities: Sky diving, Jet boating, volcanic landscapes at Orakei Korako, trout fishing and hot pools. Visit Huka Falls, it’s easily accessible and the most photographed waterfall in the country.

Wellington: The capital of New Zealand, offers a lot of places with views and museums and galleries to visit, have a look at the Parliament House and check out Te Papa Museum. It is also the gateway to the South Island. Take the ferry to Picton (about 4 hrs).

Nelson: Great art scene and wineries. Located near the Abel Tasman National Park. Here you can walk, cruise and kajak. If you have more time drive over the Takaka Hill to Golden Bay where beautiful, remote beaches with golden sand await you.

Christchurch: One of the most interesting cities, with traditional English heritage. Visit the Botanical Garden, Canterbury Museum and the Arts Centre.

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