ITINERARY / SCHEDULE
DAY 1 - Christchurch (Arrival)
Arrive Christchurch airport, collect your rental car and drive to hotel. Hotel check in time 1400pm. Free at own leisure.
Christchurch city promises an eclectic mix of historic elegance and contemporary culture. As the gateway to the South Island, it's a must on any itinerary.
Visit the Re Start container mall, the transitional Cardboard Cathedral, and some of the many pop up restaurants and bars. Contemporary art galleries, boutique shops and open-air markets add to Christchurch’s creative vibe.
Hotel The Ashley hotel or similar
DAY 2 - Christchurch - Dunedin (361km)
The road to Dunedin is lined with breathtaking beaches and fascinating geology.
As you travel south take time to explore the region's many charming rural towns. Visit local museums in Ashburton, shop for arts and crafts in Geraldine, discover maori rock art in Timaru and /or spend the afternoon wandering the streets of Oamaru where you will find New Zealand's best 19th century architecture.
Visit Moeraki where giant perfectly rounded boulders lie strewn across the beach. At Katiki Point, see fur seals and yellow-eyed penguin resting alongside the Moeraki Lighthouse. Stroll down the stunning white sand beaches of Kakanui, Waikouati and Karitane.
Dunedin is a vibrant mix of heritage, wildlife and colourful nightlife. Explore the historic homestead of Olveston, wander through the magnificent Larnach Castle or visit one of the city's popular museums.
Don't forget to check out the harbour and the Oamaru Blue Penguin Colony – a must see attraction. Spend the evening checking out the city's many restaurants and bars.
*Add Larnach Castle or Penguin Place*
Penguin Place 90min Guided Tour:-
Larnach Castle Admission:-
Hotel Victoria Hotel or similar
DAY 3 - Dunedin - Te Anau (291km)
While in Dunedin, visit Baldwin Street, the world's steepest street, and challenge yourself to climb up it. From here, head to Te Anau - the gateway to Fiordland National Park.
The picturesque township of Te Anau is the main visitor base for the glacier-carved wilderness that is Fiordland National Park, and the perfect place to stay when visiting Milford Sound. Restaurants are plentiful and give visitors the opportunity to sample delicious local fare like venison, lobster and seafood.
You can make plans to walk the Milford and Routeburn Tracks. Apart from hiking, popular local activities include scenic flights, lake cruising, fishing, kayaking and exploring the Te Ana-au Glowworm caves. There’s also a bird sanctuary that specialises in native birds.
Hotel Village Inn or similar
DAY 4 - Te Anau - Milford Sound (117km) - Queenstown (314km)
From Te Anau, follow the road to Milford Sound and enter the picturesque Eglinton Valley, a place of ancient alpine forest and gushing waterfalls and one of only a few road-accessible glacier valleys in New Zealand, and take advantage of the photo opportunities on offer along the Milford Road, like the stunning Mirror Lakes, where on a calm day the surrounding mountain ranges are perfectly reflected in the still waters, and Knobs Flat, where glaciers have carved their mark on the terrain.
Travel under the mountains through the Homer Tunnel, a 1.2km passageway drilled into solid rock, then experience The Chasm, a short but impressive walk over footbridges spanning a series of powerful, swirling waterfalls and rapids.
At Milford Sound, board your 1 hour 45 minute Scenic Cruise with buffet lunch on-board and set off to explore the region that Rudyard Kipling called the Eighth Wonder of the World. Travel the length of the fiord and out to the Tasman Sea, gliding past glacier-scarred rock walls and waterfalls that tumble through valleys and crash into the sea far below. Lush native forest clings to steep cliffs, while wildlife including seals, penguins and dolphins are regular visitors to the icy waters. Mountain ranges surround the fiord, including Mitre Peak which rises dramatically from the depths to a height of 1,692 metres above sea level.
Take your time disembarking from your boat cruise and exploring the surrounding area. Slowly head back along the same road to Queenstown, making sure you stock up on photos on the way.
Meals Breakfast, Lunch
Hotel Heartland Hotel or similar
DAY 5 - Queenstown
Whole day at own leisure.
Sitting on the edge of Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown buzzes with adventure activities, quirky bars and delicious restaurants. If you're brave enough, it's the perfect place to bungy jump - the adrenaline-pumping sport was invented here, and now it's a right of passage for visitors looking for a thrill. Other adventure activities include jet boating, sky diving, zip lining, rafting and river boarding. In winter (June - October) Queenstown is a skiing mecca, with The Remarkables and Coronet Peak ski fields within easy reach.
The landscapes are so pretty here it's work getting out and taking a walk or going hiking. The Queenstown hill time walk starts from Belfast Street and is around 3 hours return. Walkers are rewarded with spectacular, 360-degree views of Lake Wakatipu and beyond. There's also plenty of other short walks to choose from - head to the information centre to find out more.
*Add Queenstown Skyline Gondola with Lunch & Luge or Bungy Jump or Skydive*
Admission Ticket Skyline Gondola, Buffet Lunch & Luge Ride:-
Kawarau Bridge Bungy 43m
NZONE Tandem Skydive 15,000ft - 60 seconds freefall
Hotel Standard Hotel: Heartland Hotel or similar | Superior Hotel : Copthorne Hotel or similar
DAY 6 - Queenstown - Mt Cook (271km) - Christchurch (330km)
Today you'll venture north to New Zealand's tallest mountain. You’ll know you’re in Omarama when you see the giant merino sheep statue. The easy drive to Twizel takes you through picturesque sheep farming country fringed with mountain ranges. After Twizel, you'll turn left and hug the edge of turquoise Lake Pukaki as you approach Aoraki Mount Cook Village.
The Aoraki Mount Cook National Park includes the highest peak in Australasia (Mt Cook - 3755m).
The road to Lake Tekapo takes you back down the Tasman Valley to beautiful Lake Pukaki. The settlement of Lake Tekapo is at the southern end of the lake. The Church of the Good Shepherd and the sheepdog statue are great photo opportunities.
The scenic route to Christchurch leads you out of the Mackenzie Country, named after the legendary Scottish sheep rustler who once roamed the area. Travelling past braided rivers and the patchwordk quilt of the Canterbury Plains, you'll soon find yourself back in Christchurch. Fast-changing and funky, Christchurch is the South Island's largest city.
Hotel The Ashley hotel or similar
DAY 7 - Christchurch (Departure)
Your arrangements conclude today. Hotel check out time 1000am.
Your rental car should be dropped off at the airport, by the same time as it was picked up on Day 1, to avoid any additional charges.
*Extend your stay in Christchurch, to explore the city by own or add optional activities/tour around Christchurch*
International Antarctic Centre General Admission:-
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Standard Hotels & Rental Car of Holden Commodore or similar (FDAR)
Standard Hotels & Rental Car of Kia Carnival or similar (PVAR)