All our self-drive tours include all accommodation costs, car rental (including insurance*), pre-booked activities and items that are clearly identified in your tour. Your tour is also inclusive of all local government taxes.
Items that are not included in the cost of your tour are:
* our tours all include CDW insurance with minimum excess.
See other FAQ's for indications of costs for some of these items.
Smoking is prohibited by law in all cafes, bars, restaurants and other public buildings.
Smoking is not permitted inside rental cars, nor inside hotels or other accommodations.
Some properties are also smoke-free in their entire grounds. If this presents a problem to you please let us know.
New Zealand is a fairly informal country and very few places insist on strict dress codes. If you’re spending time in one of the big cities then it pays to bring a tidier outfit for an evening out, otherwise comfort and practicality is key when choosing clothing for your visit. Layers are essential - as the weather can change rapidly. Natural fibres that draw moisture away from the skin like cotton and wool are the best for our climate.
Ensure you pack a rain jacket
A wind and rain proof jacket is important to have when travelling here. As mentioned the weather in New Zealand is changeable, even in the height of summer. If you're heading to Fiordland National Park or the West Coast be prepared for a high chance of rain. These are among some of the wettest places on earth, but that in itself is part of what makes it so special.
Come prepared for water based activities.
Many activities in New Zealand are based around water. On activities such as hikes or glacier walks you will usually be provided with suitable equipment - but if you're planning on going jet-boating, kayaking or swimming, don't forget to pack the appropriate gear.
Bring sturdy shoes for walking
All of the walking tracks and paths are well marked and well maintained so comfortable walking shoes or sneakers. However, if you're planning to venture into the wilderness or tackle any of New Zealand’s Great Walks, Hiking boots are a good idea.
Protect yourself from the sun
The UV levels are particularly strong in New Zealand so be sure to bring a hat and at least 50 SPF Sunscreen.
Depending on where you are travelling from, it is likely that you will need a transformer. New Zealand operates on 230 volts (50hz), so appliances on other voltages will need a transformer.
Finding the voltage your devices operate on
Most devices state their operating voltage near where the power cord plug. If the voltage isn't clear then you may need to check on the manufacturer's website for more information.
Adaptors for New Zealand power sockets
You will also need an adaptor to suit NZ sockets. These can be purchased at the airport or online if you can't find one in your local stores. New Zealand sockets are usually three pins, rather than the two pin sockets that you may find in Europe and North America. (See Socket 1 on the useful socket comparison table available here.)
Getting New Zealand Currency before you leave
It is a good idea bring a small amount of New Zealand Currency with you, so you don't need to spend time organising cash at the airport or at the bank on your first day. Your local bank may need to order New Zealand Currency so allow a few days for this in your trip preparation. If you for some reason are not able to get any currency before you come, all major kiosks at the airport should be able to help you.
Exchanging cash as you travel in New Zealand
You won't need a lot of cash at once, as exchanging cash in New Zealand is easy. Just get enough to cover small purchases on your first day, such as a cup of coffee or lunch. When you do need New Zealand Currency, any branch of a major bank including ASB, ANZ, BNZ, Westpac or Kiwibank will have the latest conversion rates, which are consistent throughout the country.
Carrying large amounts of cash while you travel In New Zealand
New Zealand has one of the highest credit card and eftpos usages in the world, so there is no need to carry large amounts of cash. Most retailers including traders at local markets and convenience stores accept electronic payments. This means you will be able to pay for virtually anything with your debit or credit card as you move around - and this is also the safest and most secure way to cover your expenses while you are in New Zealand.
New Zealand is the perfect place for group travel, simply because you can have something to inspire every member of your group without a huge amount of travel. Remember the last time you wanted to plan a group trip and many wanted a beautiful beach atmosphere and others wanted lush rainforest? Well, no surprise this can be achieved in New Zealand with less than TWO hours of driving. Don't mistake me for saying you can see it all in two hours, you seriously need a lifetime (trust me) to experience the rare beauty of New Zealand.
There are plenty of activities that are appropriate for all ages and physicality. Where there are age restrictions or perhaps different interests, we can absolutely find an alternative for those who are unable or not interested in partaking. Not everyone always wants to do the same thing, and that is ok!
Often apartment-style accommodation is the preferred type with this type of travel. There are some fabulous options in this range, especially for those seeking a touch of luxury, however, the quantity of these rooms is more limited than hotel accommodation, so booking in advance is essential.
Two vehicles, not one. If you are planning a self-drive holiday, often having 2 vehicles will be more comfortable than 1 large vehicle, as it gives more room for luggage and there are more options in terms of availability. This also gives the ability for the family to break off into groups if they've got different activities/interests for the day.
A great way to start the planning process in these situations is for everyone to write down their top activities, destinations, or even interests and give us the tricky task of creating an itinerary from there!
Once you have confirmed your booking with us we will invite you to use our travel app. This will give you on-the-go access to your full itinerary with all the most up-to-date confirmations.
You will benefit from:
This app is compatible with Android or Apple software and can be easily downloaded from the App Store/Google Play on your mobile. To find it search "New Zealand Touring". Please include the quotation marks to find the app much quicker. You can get your login details from your travel consultant at any time.
Our team of New Zealand specialists can help you with your questions. We can create a holiday to suit your interests, accommodation requirements, self drive or by coach & bus. Whatever you want we can arrange. Just get in touch with us today.
Discover New Zealand is part of the New Zealand Fine Touring Group of companies. It specialises in self drive, seat in coach and escorted coach touring holidays across New Zealand's North & South Islands. We have hundreds of tour ideas listed to inspire you or give you an indication of what is possible to achieve on your New Zealand adventure. Whether it is a luxury fully escorted coach tour or a self driven off the beaten track adventure, we have something suitable for everyone. Our wide range of tour lengths and tour prices give you options and are tailor made so we can build the itinerary to suit your interests and needs.
Our team of consultants are all 100% Pure New Zealand Certified specialists and are passionate about designing your New Zealand holiday. Our consultation service is free and our quotes are provided with no obligation. Based in the heart of Wanaka you can be assured you will get the best local advice when planning your dream holiday to New Zealand. Contact one of our experienced team today.
Discover New Zealand is also Qualmark Gold Certified. This is Tourism New Zealand's official measure of how our business impacts the environment and our team are proud to have achieved the highest level of quality.