14 Day Southern Highlights Family Holiday Package
This 14 day New Zealand family vacation package is the perfect self-drive option for an unforgettable South Island family holiday. 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.
Family Holiday Package Includes:
- 14 Nights in 4 Star Accommodation
- Car Hire: Premium Hyundai Sonata Sedan or similar automatic including Full Insurance (0-18 months old)
- TSS Earnslaw Vintage Steamship Cruise & Walter Peak High Country Farm Excursion Queenstown
- Te Anau Glowworm Cave Tour
- Milford Sound Nature Cruise
- Taieri Gorge Railway Adventure
- Christchurch Gondola, Tramway, Punting and Botanical Gardens Tour
Day 1 Arrive Queenstown
Arrive in Queenstown, New Zealand’s adventure capital. Collect your rental car from the airport and make your way to your accommodation.
Explore downtown Queenstown in the afternoon.
Stay 3 nights in Queenstown.
Day 2 Queenstown
Today, get a taste of New Zealand’s farming lifestyle at Walter Peak High Country Farm. Situated on picturesque Lake Wakatipu’s southwestern shores, the farm is the perfect place to spend a relaxing few hours. The farm tour itself is a wonderful, interactive experience for the whole family, with something to keep everyone entertained and happy. Your rural host will meet you after you disembark from the TSS Earnslaw and take you for a walking tour of the farmyard. The first stop is the holding pens, where you can help feed the sheep and deer and even get up close to the Scottish Highland Cattle. Then stroll through the lakeside gardens to the charming Colonel’s Homestead for afternoon tea. Afterwards, the farmer will lead you over to the shearing shed where you can watch the farm dogs rounding up sheep from the hill paddocks and see the farmer shear a sheep. You will then board the TSS Earnslaw for your cruise back to Queenstown.
Day 3 Queenstown
Relax and explore Queenstown today or choose from an exciting range of optional activities including rafting, scenic flights, 4WD safaris, winery tours, lake cruises and many more.
Day 4 Te Anau
Driving time Queenstown to Te Anau 171 km / 106 miles, 2.5 hours
Journey alongside Queenstown’s stunning Lake Wakatipu and then through lush green farmland to reach Te Anau, the gateway to Fiordland National Park.
In the afternoon, take the magical Te Anau Glowworm Caves Tour. Explore a mysterious underground world of rushing water before drifting in silent darkness beneath the luminous shimmer of thousands of glowworms. Your Te Anau Glowworm Cave adventure begins with a cruise across beautiful Lake Te Anau on board the catamaran Luminosa to the western side of the lake. On arrival, there is time to view the interesting displays at Cavern House before your friendly guides accompany you underground in small groups. As you explore by path and small boat, your senses will be overwhelmed. In this mysterious underground world, discover fossils and rock formations, and view rushing waterfalls and whirlpools. Learn how the caves are still being carved out by the incredible and relentless power of nature before gliding through silent darkness to the glowworm grotto. The delicate incandescence of thousands of tiny glowworms is a magical sight!
Stay 2 nights in Te Anau.
Day 5 Te Anau > Milford Sound
Driving time Te Anau to Milford Sound 116 km / 72 miles, 1.5 hours
Today, enjoy the stunning Milford Sound Nature Cruise! The Milford Road (between Te Anau and Milford) is one of the finest alpine drives in the world. The scenery is exceptional, ranging from broad grassy flats, dense rainforest, and towering mountains through to glacial lakes and alpine herb fields. No other road in Fiordland offers such a diverse glimpse into New Zealand’s alpine zone.
Upon reaching Milford Sound, you will enjoy a 2.5 hour Milford Sound Nature Cruise. With specialist nature guides on board, Real Journeys Nature Cruises offer a close-up experience of Milford Sound’s rainforest, soaring rock walls, and wildlife. Throughout the cruise, the guides share stories of the fiord’s history and are happy to answer your questions.
Relax and explore Te Anau for the afternoon.
Day 6 Dunedin
Driving time Te Anau to Dunedin 291 km / 180 miles, 4 hours
Travel to Dunedin, one of the best preserved Victorian and Edwardian cities in the southern hemisphere. Dunedin offers a diverse range of experiences including the Cadbury Chocolate Factory, the Speight’s Brewery, Larnach Castle and of course the stunning Otago Peninsula. Explore Dunedin and visit attractions of interest.
Stay 2 nights in Dunedin.
Day 7 Dunedin
Today, join the Taieri Gorge Railway for one of the world’s great train trips, an experience not to be missed. Departing from Dunedin’s beautiful railway station, the Taieri Gorge Railway begins its scenic journey into some of New Zealand’s most rugged, ever-changing scenery. The train travels into the Taieri Gorge, a narrow and deep canyon carved out over aeons by the ancient Taieri River. The train negotiates the gorge with ease as it travels through ten tunnels and over countless bridges and viaducts. The train will stop or slow down at various scenic points along the way, and you will get the chance to take photos or disembark to look around. Stand on the open-air platforms while the train moves, or enjoy a quiet drink and food from the onboard cafe while the train manager tells the story of the nature and history of the area.
Day 8 Lake Tekapo
Driving time Dunedin to Lake Tekapo 286 km / 177 miles, 4 hours
The drive to Lake Tekapo is stunning. On the way you will first come across the Moeraki Boulders, a series of unusually large and spherical boulders lying along a stretch of Koekohe Beach on the wave-cut Otago coast between Moeraki and Hampden. Next you will pass through Oamaru, which is surrounded by stunning natural beauty and also features some of New Zealand’s best 19th century architecture. Then follow braided rivers and glacial lakes to reach Lake Tekapo. Lake Tekapo presents many world class attractions such as the iconic Church of the Good Shepherd, the luxurious spa complex Tekapo Springs and of course the world-famous Mt John Observatory.
Stay 1 night in Lake Tekapo.
Day 9 Christchurch
Driving time Lake Tekapo to Christchurch 227 km /141 miles, 3 hours
This far reaching road adventure takes you from the mountains to sea level. Climb through the tussocky wilds of the Mackenzie Country before reaching the flat green tranquillity of the Canterbury Plains on your way to Christchurch.
Experience Christchurch in the afternoon with the Christchurch Tramway and Botanical Gardens Tour.
Stay 2 nights in Christchurch.
Day 10 Christchurch
Today, experience Punting on the Avon and the Christchurch Gondola.
Day 11 Greymouth
Driving time Christchurch to Greymouth 250 km /155 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.
Explore Greymouth for the afternoon. You have the option to visit the Pancake Rocks at Punakaiki, which look like giant pancakes. The curious limestone formations are especially spectacular at high tide in a westerly sea. Mildly acidic rain, wind and seawater sculpted the bizarre shapes.
Stay 1 night in Greymouth.
Day 12 Franz Josef
Driving time Greymouth to Franz Josef 173 km /107 miles, 2.5 hours
Continue south through dense rainforest towards New Zealand’s most famous glaciers. Stay at Franz Josef Glacier township.
In the evening, you have the option to visit the Glacier Hot Pools for a relaxing spa under the stars.
Stay 1 night in Franz Josef.
Day 13 Wanaka
Driving time Franz Josef to Wanaka 285 km / 177 miles, 4 hours
The change in landscape will amaze you as you travel down the West Coast, with glimpses of the Tasman Sea showing beneath rugged cliffs. Take the Haast Pass Highway inland and admire waterfalls and many viewing points and short walks along the way before reaching Wanaka, an alpine paradise with views so good it’s hard to put down your camera.
Stay 2 nights in Wanaka.
Day 14 Wanaka
Relax in Wanaka, exploring attractions such as Puzzling World, the National Toy and Transport Museum, the Warbirds and Wheels Museum, Have a Shot, Rippon Vineyard and Tasting Room, and Paradiso Cinema.
Day 15 Depart Queenstown
Driving time Wanaka to Queenstown 68 km / 42 miles, 1 hour
Drive over the Crown Range, New Zealand’s highest State Highway, and admire the fantastic views along the way before arriving back in the stunning alpine resort of Queenstown. Drop your rental car off at Queenstown Airport and depart Queenstown at your leisure.