New Zealand self-drive holiday with San Francisco & Shanghai

Tailor-made holidays
Duration (in days): 16

From: UK

To: China | New Zealand | USA



Inc. International flights (per person, based on 2 sharing) 
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This New Zealand self-drive holiday with stopovers will take you round the world in 2 weeks. Experience Shanghai’s blend of ancient and modern city living before taking a laid back self-drive through New Zealand’s North Island. Finish up with a 3-night city break in trendy San Francisco, home to the iconic Golden Gate Bridge.

Beginning in Shanghai, you’ll have just enough time to get a quick taste of this city, famed for its modern skyscrapers side by side with traditional Chinese shop fronts and street food. Spend the night here before moving on to your next stop – Auckland.

In New Zealand, grab your hire car and 8-night flexible motel pass and see where the roads take you! You’ll have all the freedom you need to explore the North Island, from the stunning Bay of Islands to the Art Deco city of Napier and geothermal wonders of Rotorua.

To complete your round the world break, enjoy a city break in beautiful San Francisco. Excellent shopping, iconic sights like the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz, alongside charming boho districts with café culture and a lively arts scene – a great end to your whirlwind trip!

This itinerary can be tailored to suit your requirements, please contact one of our consultants to start planning your dream trip.

This New Zealand self-drive holiday with stopovers includes

  • All international flights
  • All accommodation
  • All-inclusive car hire in New Zealand


  • Visit 3 countries on 3 continents in just over 2 weeks
  • Get a quick taste of Chinese life with a stopover in Shanghai
  • Enjoy 8 days exploring New Zealand’s north island with a self-drive
  • Cover New Zealand's north island highlights including geothermal Rotorua
  • Visit the stunning bay of islands
  • See the glow worms at Waitomo Caves
  • Visit the pretty Art Deco city of Napier and the capital, Wellington
New Zealand Self-Drive Holiday With San Francisco & Shanghai | Map | Travel Nation



Itinerary in brief:

  • 2 nights Shanghai
  • 8 nights New Zealand
  • 3 nights San Francisco


Day 1: Depart UK

Depart the UK from your chosen airport and fly to Shanghai, China.

Included: International flight

Day 2: Arrive Shanghai

On arrival in Shanghai, make your way to the train station located within the airport and catch the train into the city (not included).

Check into your hotel, and then head out to explore; for shopping - head to Nanjing road for upmarket boutiques nestled beside traditional shop fronts and street food vendors. As the evening approaches, listen out for the sound of street musicians who provide an intoxicating backdrop to your evening in China. (If you’d prefer to extend your stay in China, we can arrange this).

Included: Hotel

Day 3: Depart Shanghai

After your brief stop in Shanghai, it’s time to move onto your next adventure. Make your own way to the airport today to connect with your flight to Auckland, New Zealand.

Included: International flight

Day 4-11: Arrive Auckland

On arrival in Auckland, you’ll be met and taken by shuttle to the car hire depot. For the New Zealand part of your trip, we’ve included an 8-night flexible motel pass. This means all your accommodation is paid in advance and you have complete flexibility about where you choose to go!

As you arrive in Auckland, we recommend exploring the North Island’s highlights including:

  • Auckland, the ‘City of Sails’
  • Stunning scenery in the Bay of Islands
  • Bathing in self-dug thermal spas at Hot Water Beach in the Coromandel Peninsula
  • Traditional Maori Hangi feasts and geothermal activity in Rotorua
  • Visiting the glow-worm caves in Waitomo
  • Sky-diving over Lake Taupo
  • Wine tasting and gourmet food at Hawkes Bay
  • Wellington, the capital city and the heart of New Zealand’s film industry

If you’d like to explore the South Island as well, we can extend your time here. Speak to one of our experienced consultants about the options.

Included: Car hire (all-inclusive) & 8-night flexible motel pass

Day 12: Auckland to San Francisco

Make your way to the airport today to return your car off before boarding your flight for San Francisco. You’ll be travelling overnight but because you cross the dateline, you’ll actually arrive the same day you left!

Included: International flight

Days 13 & 14: San Francisco

We’ve included 2 full days to explore this quirky and cosmopolitan city. Perhaps the west coast’s most vibrant and liberal city, San Francisco offers great food and art, a lively cultural and social scene and top shopping. Take a journey in one of the historic cable cars and enjoy brunch in a boho café in Haight-Ashbury or Hayes Valley. Discover the vivid street art in the Mexican-inspired Mission District, walk through China Town, or visit the rainbow filled Castro District. In the golden-hour, head up to Alamo Park to see the sunset over elegant, pastel-coloured Victorian houses and the tips of the Golden Gate Bridge in the distance.

Included: Hotel

Day 15: Depart San Francisco

Your San Francisco city stay finishes today so you’ll be collected from your hotel and taken by shared transfer to connect with your flight back to the UK.


Day 16: Arrive UK



All of these destinations are suitable for year-round travel, speak to one of our consultants for further advice.

During peak times in New Zealand, we do not recommend that you travel on open dated vouchers as availability is limited at these times. We can help you plan an itinerary and organise your motels in advance to ensure you have a stress free trip!

Are you looking for more New Zealand ideas?

We’re experts in planning tailor-made holidays, so whether you’re looking for a luxury New Zealand holiday, ideas for a road trip or multi-stop flights to New Zealand with stopovers – let us help you with the planning. Our experts can tailor-make precisely the trip you’re looking for – this itinerary is purely a suggestion, so please contact us with your dates and requests, and we’ll put together a bespoke quotation for you.

What's included: 

  • All International flights
  • All accommodation
  • All-inclusive car hire in New Zealand
  • Return airport transfers in San Francisco

Not included: 

  • Airport transfers in Shanghai
  • Any meals not mentioned
  • Personal expenses
  • Tips & gratuities


13 nights in 3-4* standard motel & hotel style accommodation.

Hotels in this category include:

  • Radisson Blu New World, Shanghai

  • 8 nights flexible motel pass, New Zealand

  • Cova Hotel, San Francisco      


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