Arrive in Christchurch – New Zealand’s Garden City. Collect your rental car from the airport, discover the city or relax in your Christchurch accommodation.
Late afternoon relax as you enjoy a private punt ride down the Avon River. Glide past trailing willows, woodlands, the leafy banks of the Botanic Gardens and historic buildings along the river.
Stay 1 night in Christchurch.
Driving time Christchurch to Mount Cook Village 332 km / 206 miles, 4.5 hours
Travel south across the Canterbury Plains and inland towards the majestic Southern Alps. Cross the barren Mackenzie Country to reach the glacial lakes as you journey towards Mount Cook.
Enjoy a magnificent Tasman Glacier Scenic Helicopter Flight with a snow landing on the Tasman Glacier and views Mount Cook.
Stay 1 night in Mount Cook.
Driving time Mount Cook Village to Queenstown 264 km / 164 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.
Enjoy a romantic evening cruise on the TSS Earnslaw. Cruise on the historic steamship across to Walter Peak Station for a Gourmet BBQ Dinner and followed by a farm tour. Cruise back to Queenstown as the sunsets over the mountains and lake.
Stay 2 nights in Queenstown.
Relax and explore Queenstown, with the option to visit the Kiwi Birdlife Park, the Underwater Observatory, or the Ivan Clarke Gallery; ride the Skyline Gondola to the top of Bob’s Peak for panoramic views over the Wakatipu Basin; or simply enjoy a lakefront stroll or a bit of boutique shopping.
Enjoy an afternoon Boutique Wine Tour, this tour takes your through the stunning scenery of the Wakatipu Basin, Gibbston Valley, Cromwell and Bannockburn. Taste wines from 4 boutique wineries in the area. Complimented by a delightful platter lunch at Carrick Winery Restaurant. Visit Old Cromwell Town, Kawarau Gorge and the historic Kawarua Bridge and bungy. Before returning to Queenstown.
Driving time Queenstown to Milford Sound 287 km / 178 miles, 4.5 hours
Enjoy the stunning drive along Lake Wakatipu as you drive towards Te Anau, stop in Te Anau for a relaxing lunch before continuing on towards Milford Sound. The road climbs through native bush and winds through valleys surrounded by grand mountains on either side. Descend down into Milford Sound ready to board your overnight cruise on the Milford Mariner. This cruise is the ultimate way to experience Milford Sound. Start by cruising the full length of the Sound before anchoring in a sheltered cove. Relax on the deck, swim or explore by kayak. Enjoy a delicious carvery buffet in the dining saloon, before retiring to your private cabin.
Stay 1 night aboard the Milford Mariner.
In the morning enjoy a cooked breakfast before heading back out to the Tasman Sea and exploring the fiord as you cruise back towards Milford. Keep an eye out for seals, dolphins and penguins. Return to Milford mid-morning and wind your way out of the Sound towards Te Anau.
Driving time Milford Sound to Te Anau 118 km / 73 miles, 2.5 hours
Several short walks along the way take you to features such as waterfalls and chasms just off the road. Relax and explore Te Anau in the afternoon.
Stay 1 night in Te Anau.
Driving time Te Anau to Wanaka 227 km / 141 miles, 3 hours
In the morning travel through lush farmland and alongside Lake Wakatipu before arriving back in Queenstown. Continue over the beautiful Crown Range, one of New Zealand’s highest alpine roads, 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, boasting panoramic views, a relaxing atmosphere and a myriad of walking tracks.
In the afternoon you have many options, you may want to visit Rippon Winery, Wanaka’s local boutique winery overlooking the lake with stunning views of the surround mountains. You may also want to take a look around Wanaka’s shops, stroll around the lake’s edge, or indulge in one of the many activities on offer.
Stay 2 nights in Wanaka.
Relax and explore Wanaka today. You may like to visit Puzzling World, Wanaka’s illusional attraction, or the National Toy and Transport Museum. Other options include strolling along one of Wanaka’s stunning walking tracks, or you could catch a film at Cinema Paradiso, Wanaka’s quirky local theatre.
Driving time Wanaka to Franz Josef 286 km / 177 miles, 4 hours
Enjoy the journey up the West Coast to reach Franz Josef. There are many short walks and viewing points to take in along the Haast Pass Highway, which will help break up the journey—a scenic walk to the Blue Pools is highly recommended. Other points of interest along the way are Ship Cove and Bruce Bay. Continuing along the West Coast, you may like to visit to Lake Matheson near Fox Glacier, where you can take a 20-minute walk (one-way) to the jetty, to admire the reflected views of the Southern Alps on the surface of the lake.
In the afternoon enjoy a 20 minute scenic helicopter flight sweeping above Westland National Park as you explore Franz Josef before landing in the snow to enjoy exceptional views of the majestic Southern Alps.
In the evening visit Glacier Hot Pools for a rejuvenating soak under the stars in your own private hot pool.
Stay 1 night in Franz Josef.
Driving time Franz Josef to Greymouth 173 km / 107 miles, 2.5
Drive north to reach Greymouth where you will drop off your rental car and board your TranzAlpine Train which journeys from the West to East Coast. Your train travels through the spectacular Southern Alps, gorges and river valleys before reaching the fields of the Canterbury Plains.
Arrive in the garden city of Christchurch and make your way to your accommodation.
Stay 1 night in Christchurch.
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