Minivan Touring Ideas

Self-drive holidays in NZ

Inspiration for your trip

This page includes some suggestions, and links to other websites to help you plan your holiday in New Zealand. Whether you want to enjoy the sights and comforts of city life, or explore more remote parts of Aotearoa (New Zealand), hiring a self-drive minivan/minibus, coach or people mover is the perfect way for your tour group or family to see the country.

WHERE TO START

Maugers Rentals pickup, dropoff, one-way hires and relocations are available for/between: Auckland, Christchurch, Queenstown, Wellington, Dunedin, Invercargill, Picton, Nelson, Blenheim, Greymouth, Hokitika. You can request this when Booking, or requesting a Quote.

Maugers Rentals has branches in Auckland, Christchurch and Queenstown. We can also book One-way hires and Relocations between our branches and other dropoff locations*. You can request this when Booking, or requesting a Quote.

Auckland - North Island

New Zealand’s largest, fastest-growing and most culturally-diverse city, with the largest number of Pacific Islanders in the world. Rated as the third ‘most liveable city’ in the world, Auckland is within the Greater Auckland region, which is blessed with innumerable lovely bays and beaches. The city is bounded by the Hauraki Gulf and Manukau Harbour - you’re never far from the sea. With world-class accommodation, shopping, nightlife, restaurants and bars… If you like the ‘bright lights’, Auckland is for you! It’s also the gateway to so many other New Zealand destinations, including nearby Waiheke Island.

Learn more: Auckland Tourism (official website)  |  Auckland Tourism |  NZ TourismAuckland Maps & Guides

Christchurch - South Island

The South Island’s largest city. Christchurch is experiencing an exciting period of post-earthquake regeneration, with many predicting it will become New Zealand’s most innovative and interesting city. Christchurch is also a great base for exploring Canterbury e.g. the Southern Alps, and Aoraki/Mount Cook - New Zealand’s highest mountain. The Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers and rugged West Coast are accessible from Christchurch… Drive to Kaikoura for whale watching… Hanmer Springs for soothing thermal pools… And to Banks Peninsula, including historic Akaroa which was once a French colonial settlement.

Learn more: Christchurch & Canterbury  |   Day Trips from Christchurch   |  Canterbury Road TripsNZ Tourism

Queenstown - South Island

The adventure capital of New Zealand, with breathtaking Lake Wakitipu and the Southern Alps as its backdrop. A popular resort town year-round, with adventures to revel in such as jet boating, bungy jumping, skydiving, rafting, mountain-biking, skiing and snowboarding at Coronet Peak and The Remarkables. If adrenaline-fuelled activities aren’t to your taste, seek out the many wineries in the region, peaceful Glenorchy, and picturesque Arrowtown - known for its glorious autumn foliage. Further afield are stunningly-beautiful (World Heritage) Fiordland National Park, Milford Sound and the Milford Track.

Learn more: Queenstown |  Queenstown & Southern Lakes regionNZ Tourism

SCENIC ROUTES IN NZ

New Zealand’s other main cities include Wellington, Whangarei, Tauranga, Gisborne, Rotorua, New Plymouth, Hamilton, Whanganui, Palmerston North, Napier/Hastings, Wellington, Nelson, Dunedin and Invercargill. New Zealand also has 13 diverse and spectacular National Parks, the majority of which are in the South Island.

Below are a few examples of possible self-drive trips - you’ll find more suggested itineraries in New Zealand Tourism’s Recommended Trips (to see routes, choose length of trip and activities you’re interested in - results will also show maps, activities, accommodation, and i-SITE locations).

Twin Coast Discovery Highway: Auckland - Northland - Auckland

Exploring both Auckland’s beautiful coasts - including Whangarei, the Bay of Islands, and the northernmost part of New Zealand: Cape Reinga near Ninety Mile Beach.

Thermal Explorer Highway: Auckland - Napier

Travel to Art Deco Napier, via Hamilton, then Rotorua and Taupo - the geothermal ‘hot spots’ of New Zealand - with geysers, bubbling mud pools and hot springs.

Pacific Coast Highway: Auckland - Napier

Approx. 1000km, exploring the stunning coastline of the East Cape e.g. Coromandel Peninsula, Hot Water Beach, Tauranga, Whakatane, Gisborne and Napier.

Inland Scenic Route 72: Christchurch - inland Canterbury - Akaroa

Travel through the ‘heartland’; farmland and towns at the foothills of the Southern Alps. Then onto Banks Peninsula and historic Akaroa, previously a French settlement.

Queenstown to Christchurch - via Aoraki/Mount Cook

Don’t miss picturesque Arrowtown (particularly beautiful in Autumn), see Omarama, Twizel, Mount Cook village, turquoise-blue Lake Pukaki and Lake Tekapo.

MAP: click here for a downloadable New Zealand Touring Map (PDF), including Themed Highways and Scenic Routes.
DRIVING TIMES: click here for a Travel Time and Distance calculator which will also show a map of your route. We suggest you treat the estimated driving time as the minimum driving time; allow for breaks, traffic and changeable weather.