This 10 day New Zealand family vacation package is the perfect self-drive option for an unforgettable South Island family vacation. This is a great way for you and your family to visit some of the South Island’s best vacation spots and top destinations. With fun activities to entertain the kids, and the planning stress taken away, this vacation package will offer a unique family vacation.
Arrive in New Zealand’s Garden City, Christchurch. Collect your rental car from the airport and make your way to your accommodation.
Discover the vibrant and picturesque garden city, renowned for its natural beauty, lively entertainment scene, and strong cultural heritage. With its stunning botanical gardens and tree-lined avenues, Christchurch is both a sophisticated city and beautiful place to relax.
Your options include visiting the Canterbury Museum where you can find rare Maori artefacts; the stories behind them will fascinate you. The museum has a frequent range of special exhibitions, a café and a gift shop for you to browse. Other recommended activities include the Christchurch Gondola, Tramway, Punting on the Avon River and the Botanical Gardens Tour.
Stay 1 night in Christchurch.
Driving time Christchurch to Lake Tekapo 230 km / 143 miles, 3.5 hours
Depart Christchurch and travel south across the Canterbury Plains and inland towards the Southern Alps to reach Lake Tekapo, an amazing turquoise lake. Tekapo presents many world class attractions, from the iconic Church of the Good Shepherd to scenic flights exploring NZ’s highest mountains and largest glaciers, including Mt Cook, Tasman Glacier, Fox Glacier and Franz Josef Glacier.
Stay 1 night in Lake Tekapo.
Driving time Lake Tekapo to Queenstown 255 km / 158 miles, 3.5 hours
Venture past Lake Pukaki, a picturesque turquoise glacial lake, before you travel through the dramatic Lindis Pass which links the Mackenzie Basin with Central Otago. Arrive in Queenstown, New Zealand’s adventure capital and scenic resort town.
Stay 3 nights in Queenstown.
Today, get ready for the world’s most exciting jet boat ride! It’s a thrilling ride – skimming past rocky outcrops at close range in your Shotover Jet ‘Big Red,’ you will twist and turn through the narrow canyons at breathtaking speeds. And a major highlight – hold tight for the world-famous Shotover Jet full 360º spins!
Explore Queenstown in the afternoon. You have the option to make a trip to Arrowtown. You’ll be enchanted by historic Arrowtown, a New Zealand treasure located 20 minutes from Queenstown. Arrowtown is charming and quirky – a delightful gold rush village nestled below the beautiful peaks that surround the sparkling Arrow River. The heart of its history is Buckingham Street, a procession of heritage buildings that stretches into a tree-lined avenue of tiny miner’s cottages. The buildings in this lovely precinct house shops, galleries, bars, and restaurants – many classy, most individual, and not one from an international chain.
Today, enjoy the TSS Earnslaw Steamship Cruise, Gourmet BBQ Lunch and High Country Farm Tour. Your experience starts with a cruise across Lake Wakatipu on a 100-year-old steamship, the TSS Earnslaw. Disembark at Walter Peak High Country Farm to enjoy a Gourmet BBQ lunch. An entertaining after-lunch farm show provides a glimpse into high country farming life. On your return cruise to Queenstown, perhaps relax with a drink from the bar or join a fun sing-along with the ship’s pianist.
Driving time Queenstown to Wanaka 70 km / 43 miles, 1 hour
Drive over the beautiful Crown Range, New Zealand’s highest State Highway, and admire the vistas from fantastic viewing points. Be sure to stop at the historic Cardrona Hotel for a refreshment before your arrival into Wanaka, an alpine town boasting panoramic views, a relaxing atmosphere and myriad walking tracks.
In the afternoon you have many options – you may want to visit Puzzling World, Wanaka’s illusional attraction, or the National Toy and Transport Museum. Other options include relaxing on the lake’s edge or browsing through Wanaka’s boutique shops.
You could also visit Rippon Vineyard and Tasting Room to sample local wines, or catch a film at Cinema Paradiso, Wanaka’s quirky local theatre
Stay 2 nights in Wanaka.
Explore Wanaka at your leisure today. If you enjoy walking, you might like to embark on one of the various lake or riverside tracks, climb Mt Iron, or take the track to Diamond Lake – continuing to Rocky Summit if you’re feeling fit!
The more adventurous might like to check out Wildwire – a Ferrata course on a rocky Wanaka hillside, showcasing some of the best waterfall views in Wanaka! Clip ‘N Climb is also available, as well as Crossfire gaming centre if you haven’t paid a visit yet.
Driving time Wanaka to Franz Josef 285 km / 177 miles, 4 hours
Discover the Haast Pass Highway, where there are many short walks and natural attractions to view along the way. Continue north, through dense rainforest broken by rugged coastal vistas, towards New Zealand’s most famous glaciers.
Stay 1 night in Franz Josef.
Driving time Franz Josef to Hokitika 136 km / 85 miles, 1.5 hours
Discover more West Coast beauty as you travel to Hokitika, famous for its arts and crafts. Watch a masterpiece being crafted from gold, molten glass, paua or bone or carve your own creation from wood or jade (pounamu). Take in Hokitika’s natural beauty, enjoy its expansive beach or venture down one of the many walking and mountain biking tracks.
Stay 1 night in Hokitika.
Driving time Hokitika to Christchurch 253 km / 157 miles, 3.5 hours
The Arthur’s Pass Highway through Porters Pass and Arthur’s Pass National Park is one of the most stunning drives in New Zealand. This coast-to-coast route traverses the Southern Alps. Highlights include passing the impressive Waimakariri and Otira River gorges, driving along the Otira Viaduct and exploring natural wonders like the rocks at Castle Hill and the narrow limestone cave at Cave Stream Reserve.
Arrive in Christchurch, go out for a lovely evening meal and celebrate a fantastic family holiday!
Stay 1 night in Christchurch.
Drop your rental car off at Christchurch Airport and depart Christchurch.
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