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Explore NZ Travel Blog

See more and travel less – planning your New Zealand adventure

Destinations

Snow-capped mountains

We may be small but we pack a lot in.    

If you’re looking for an awesome holiday destination where you want to see as much as possible but don’t want to spend 3 weeks on planes, in your car or on a tour bus, then New Zealand is the perfect destination.

Our main state highway network has around 11,000 kilometres of road. To put that into context, the USA has 4.3 million kilometres of paved roads.

That means it’s a lot easier for people to come and explore our beautiful country without spending too long in the car or on a bus. All our major tourist destinations are no further than three hours apart and there is always plenty to see and do in those three hours.

If you are planning a trip to New Zealand, make sure you check out our awesome Trip Planner section which not only gives you some great ideas for places to visit on your trip, it also includes the estimated driving times and distances between all the cool spots we recommend checking out.

City Guides

View from the top of M Eden, Auckland during the winter

View from the top of Mt Eden, Auckland during the winter

New Zealand has some major tourist hubs – the places that tend to attract international visitors in their thousands. From Queenstown to Paihia and everywhere in between, New Zealand’s major cities are great places to base yourself for the start or end of any New Zealand adventure.

That’s why we wanted to create a set of awesome city guides. A one-stop-shop where you can find out all the key information about a city you are planning on visiting and make sure you don’t miss a thing.

Our City Guides give you some great tips on the best places to stay, where to eat out, where you can get the best cocktail and more. We also give you some great ‘locals’ tips’, letting you in on some of the best-kept secrets from around our awesome cities and tourist hot spots.

Trip Planner

Sunrise at Paihia

There are so many different way people choose to explore New Zealand. Whether you’re looking for a long weekend itinerary or maybe you’re visiting us for a month, we’ve got some amazing road trip itineraries to fit the bill.

From our popular three day trips from Auckland to places like the Bay of Islands, Coromandel and Rotorua, to our one-way journeys that will take you from Queenstown in the South to Auckland in the North. We have over 80 itineraries starting from our four major location hubs in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Queenstown.

With the option to select a one way or round trip as well as picking your adventure length, from 3 to 28 days, we have so many flexible options when it comes to road tripping around New Zealand, we know there’s one to suit you.

Travel Times

One thing that our overseas visitors love about New Zealand is how close everything is. Whilst our roads may be a bit different (we don’t really do major multi-lane highways), all our major attractions are fairly close together. That means you can be exploring the city in the morning, discovering geothermal wonders in the afternoon and watching the sun set over the waves of one of our beautiful beaches at night.

Surfers walking back up the beach at Piha, West of Auckand

One thing that is important to understand in New Zealand is the travel times between places, not necessarily the distance. Whilst it may not seem a long way from Auckland to Paihia in the Bay of Islands (245kms), a big part of the journey takes you on the single carriageway of SH1 and you should allow at least 3 hours 15 mins for that journey. In the UK or the US, that same journey would probably take an hour less on wide open motorways but forget about getting places quickly, focus on enjoying the journey.

We teamed up with the AA Traveller to include accurate travel times and distances on all our Trip Planner Itineraries to help you to plan your journey more accurately so make sure you check them out.

New Zealand is one of the best places in the world to visit if you are looking to fit as much into your holiday as possible. With great roads, lots of accommodation options and a great range of rental cars to choose from, is it time you started planning your New Zealand adventure?

GO Play activities in this area

  • 15% Off

    Spirit of Queenstown Scenic Cruise

    The longest cruise on the lake. Explore Bob's Cove and enjoy alpine views towards Glenorchy. Offer available on website and phone bookings. Must present GO Play card at check in. Book direct - www.southerndiscoveries.co.nz use the code GOPLAY15

    Tel: 0800 264 536

  • 5% Off

    Giant Bubble Ride

    Another Kiwi-nutter ride! You dive into the centre of a huge clear plastic ball and roll down a two-hundred-metre hill or the slower but wilder zigzag course; you can choose from wet and dry rides. Adrenaline and laughter guaranteed!

    Western Road, Rotorua. Tel : 0800 227 474