Bisected by the mountainous peaks of the Southern Alps, New Zealand’s South Island plays host to some of the finest natural landscapes you’ll find anywhere on the planet.
Bisected by the mountainous peaks of the Southern Alps, New Zealand’s South Island plays host to some of the finest natural landscapes you’ll find anywhere on the planet. From the sunshine-laden golden beaches of the Abel Tasman National Park, and the watery labyrinth of the Marlborough Sounds to the marine-rich waters off Kaikoura and alpine jewels of Queenstown, with plenty of time to explore along the way.
Days 1-2 Nelson
On arrival in Picton (port or airport) you’ll collect your rental car and drive to Nelson.
One of the country’s sunniest spots and home to some of New Zealand’s finest artists, this region is also known for its spectacular, natural landscapes including the jaw-dropping Abel Tasman National Park.
Days 3-4 Marlborough Sounds
The Marlborough region is home to the beautiful Sounds, award winning wineries that you can explore by bicycle and numerous walking and hiking trails, including the Queen Charlotte Track.
Day 5 Kaikoura
From Blenheim you’ll follow State Highway 1 along the coast to Kaikoura for unforgettable marine experiences. We’ve included a whale watching trip but you can also take to the air for a birds-eye view.
Day 6 Christchurch
This vibrant and energetic city is home to wonderful street art, cool café culture and state of the art architecture. Take time to explore the innovative regeneration.
Day 7 Aoraki - Mount Cook
The Aoraki Mount Cook National Park is home to New Zealand’s highest mountains, longest glaciers and much of it sits within the country’s only dark sky reserve. The drive from Christchurch takes you via Lake Tekapo and the Church of the Good Shepherd.
Days 8-10 Queenstown
Wind your way through the magnificent Lindis Pass towards Queenstown. The drive takes you through the vineyards of the Otago and past historic Arrowtown, which is well-worth a visit. Your time in Queenstown is free but high on our list of recommendations would be a visit to Doubtful Sound, a 4WD tour through Middle-earth, lunch and wine tasting at one of the award wining Central Otago wineries and a jet boat and kayak safari on the Dart River.
Day 11 Departure
Hotels on a room only basis unless otherwise stated
Whale Watch Kaikoura
From Queenstown travel south to Invercargill, jumping off point for Stewart Island.
A bird-lovers paradise and one of the only places where you might be lucky enough to spot the brown kiwi in the wild. On Stewart Island they outnumber humans by 50 to 1.