14 Day South Island Family Adventure Holiday
Discover the South Island with this all-inclusive New Zealand self-drive tour…
Holiday Package Includes:
- 14 Nights in 4 Star Accommodation
- Car Hire: Premium Holden Commodore Sedan or Similar Automatic including Full Insurance (0-18 months old)
- Whale Watch Cruise
- Abel Tasman Sea Kayaking
- Franz Josef Heli Hike
- Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise
- Queenstown Rafting
Day 1 Arrive Christchurch
Arrive in Christchurch, New Zealand’s Garden City. Collect your rental car from the airport, discover the city or relax in your Christchurch accommodation.
Stay 1 night in Christchurch.
Day 2 Kaikoura
Driving time Christchurch to Kaikoura 181 km / 112 miles, 2.5 hours
Enjoy the scenic coastal drive north along the South Island’s East Coast to Kaikoura, a stunning coastal township offering a backdrop of majestic mountains.
In the afternoon, take a scenic cruise to view the majestic Sperm Whales off the Kaikoura Coast.
Stay 1 night in Kaikoura.
Day 3 Nelson
Driving time Kaikoura to Nelson 245 km / 152 miles, 3.5 hours
Continue north to Nelson, passing through the Marlborough wine region. Enjoying New Zealand’s highest sunshine hours, Nelson is a creative paradise, with galleries, boutique shopping, local markets and gourmet cafes. You will soon love the Nelson way of life.
Stay 2 nights in Nelson.
Day 4 Nelson -> Abel Tasman
Driving time Nelson to Abel Tasman 65 km / 40 miles, 1 hour (each way)
Discover the Abel Tasman, an area renowned for its golden beaches, sculptured granite cliffs, unmodified estuaries, long sunshine hours and the world-famous Abel Tasman Coast Track.
Explore the coast with a kayak tour around the iconic Split Apple Rock, and enjoy the best of the picturesque beaches.
Day 5 Hokitika
Driving time Nelson to Hokitika 325 km / 201 miles, 4.5 hours
Discover the rugged West Coast as you travel to Hokitika, famous for its arts and crafts. Watch a masterpiece being crafted from gold, silver, molten glass, bone, silk or greywacke 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.
Day 6 Franz Josef
Driving time Hokitika to Franz Josef 136 km / 85 miles, 2 hours
Continue south through dense rainforest towards Franz Josef, located at the foot of New Zealand’s most famous glaciers.
Stay 2 nights in Franz Josef.
Day 7 Franz Josef
Take a short helicopter flight onto Franz Josef Glacier today, where you will explore the spectacular ice formations on a heli hike!
Afterwards, soak in the Glacier Hot Pools to warm up after an exciting day on the ice.
* Note: Ages 8 and up only. An alternative option will be provided for younger children.
Day 8 Wanaka
Driving time Franz Josef to Wanaka 285 km / 177 miles, 3.5 hours
Continue down the West Coast. The change in landscape will amaze you as you make your way farther south, with glimpses of the Tasman Sea showing beneath rugged cliffs. Take the Haast Pass Highway inland, and admire waterfalls, glaciers, and the crystal-clear river flowing beside the highway. Eventually you will arrive in Wanaka, an alpine paradise with views so good it’s hard to put down your camera.
Stay 2 nights in Wanaka.
Day 9 Wanaka
Relax and explore Wanaka – you may want 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, 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. For a more adrenaline-filled day, add on a skydive or scenic helicopter flight.
Day 10 Te Anau
Driving time Wanaka to Te Anau 230 km / 143 miles, 3 hours
Drive over the beautiful Crown Range, following New Zealand’s highest state highway, and admire the fantastic views along the way. Continue on past Lake Wakatipu as you make your way into the heart of New Zealand, where you will find the town of Te Anau sitting beside a vast lake.
Option to add on a tour of the Te Anau Glowworm Caves.
Stay 1 night in Te Anau.
Day 11 Doubtful Sound
Driving time Te Anau to Manapouri 21 km / 13 miles, 20 minutes
Board the Fiordland Navigator today for an overnight cruise on Doubtful Sound. Explore by kayak or tender boat, soak in the overwhelming majesty of the fiord, or even go for a swim!
Stay 1 night aboard the Fiordland Navigator.
* Note: This cruise is only available from September through March. If you are travelling in winter, this will be changed to the Te Anau Glowworm Cave Tour plus the Doubtful Sound Day Cruise.
Day 12 Queenstown
After a hearty breakfast, return to Manapouri and make your way back to Queenstown.
Driving time Manapouri to Queenstown 172 km / 107 miles, 2 hours
Known as the adventure capital of New Zealand, Queenstown has something for the whole family! Relax and explore the downtown in the afternoon, or add on a thrilling ride on the Shotover Jet!
Stay 3 nights in Queenstown.
Day 13 Queenstown
Conquer one of Queenstown’s rivers today with a thrilling whitewater rafting trip! Choose from the Kawarau River (grade 2-3, beginner) or the Shotover River (grade 3-5, advanced).
* Note: Ages 13 and up only. An alternative option will be provided for younger children.
Day 14 Queenstown
On your last day in paradise, finish on a high and choose from an exciting range of optional activities including scenic flights, 4WD safaris, winery tours, and more.
Day 15 Depart Queenstown
Drop off your rental car at Queenstown Airport and depart Queenstown.