Self Drive Holiday Review, Milford Sound

Gary and Denise's New Zealand Tour

New Zealand Self Drive clients Gary and Denise recently travelled to New Zealand on an 18 Day Taste of New Zealand self-drive tour!

Check out what they had to say about their experience.

Well, it was a sensational holiday with everything going to plan. The pick up through to the final drop off was so professional and hassle-free. Our introduction to New Zealand was an eye-opener and we will definitely be returning, hopefully with some friends in tow!

On leaving our starting point of Auckland city, the fields opened up we were welcomed into Rotorua where all the staff at the various establishments were happy and helpful.

On to Napier, which was an interesting place with retro themes along the foreshore.

A big drive took us to Wellington, and now we know why it’s called the windy city! It was blustery when we arrived, but that certainly didn’t detract from the whole scheme of things.

An early morning cruise across Cook Strait into Picton was relaxing but we didn’t venture outside much as it was a tad cold! Our cruise was followed by a pleasant winery tour and an evening in Blenheim.

On through to Christchurch and we arrived at the majestic OGB hotel - fantastic accommodation! The weather wasn’t on our side but we ventured out and investigated a city rebuilding.

Onwards to Lake Tekapo - what a jewel this place is, and the sun was out so it just made you feel awestruck. The locals were friendly and easy to chat to about everything and nothing. The observatory above Lake Tekapo is a must-do, with its massive panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.

A slow drive to the majestic Mt Cook - what a sight as you travel towards the snow-capped mountain! The accommodation was great in the national park - we opened the curtain, and there looking at us was a splendid view up to Mt Cook.

Leaving the following morning it was on to Queenstown, where a few days spent there and in the surrounding areas were awesome.

Milford Sound is a must! If done again I think we would have paid the extra and flown back to Queenstown to save the long bus ride – but that didn’t detract from Milford Sound’s natural wonder – it was a tad cold, but braving the chill was worth every moment!

We then left for Franz Josef, an interesting drive as the west coast changes to sub-tropical. Franz Josef was a quirky place, small but busy, and the walk up to the glacier was invigorating.

From here we arrived at Greymouth where the vehicle was returned and we caught the TranzAlpine scenic train back to Christchurch. This produced some amazing sights and photo opportunities as we meandered through the mountains and down onto the Canterbury Plains.

With our last two and a half days blessing us with beautiful sunshine in Christchurch, we spent the time wandering through the botanic gardens, visiting museums, taking tram rides, strolling through the city streets and frequenting local eateries and shops. This place hums even though it looks like a war zone and construction is going on all around you, it’s well worth visiting.

Finally, we departed after what felt like forever. Any less of a stay and we would not have achieved an understanding of this lovely country.

Our self-drive gave us a lot and with Jane at the helm sorting out the best options along with my own investigations, I think we achieved one of our best drive holidays yet! Next time we will be going back to look at the region north of Auckland to investigate the wonders up there!

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