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Discover the natural wonders of the South Island with our self drive New Zealand holidays. Highlights include a Milford Sound cruise, a Franz Josef Glacier helicopter flight with a snow landing, and the TranzAlpine Train. This all-inclusive package deal includes accommodation, activities, and a rental car.
Read on for more details of the 7 Day South Island Discovery Package.
Arrive in Queenstown, New Zealand’s adventure capital. Collect your rental car from the airport and make your way to your Queenstown accommodation.
Relax and explore downtown Queenstown in the afternoon and evening. You have 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.
Stay 3 nights in Queenstown.
Enjoy a scenic coach journey through heartland New Zealand to reach Milford Sound, where you will enjoy a 2.5 hour Milford Sound Nature Cruise. Milford Sound is sure to impress! Sheer cliffs, towering snow-capped mountains, cascading waterfalls, hanging valleys, sub-tropical rainforest, marine life… words just don’t do it justice, you have to see it for yourself! After your cruise, relax while your coach returns through stunning scenery before delivering you back to your Queenstown accommodation.
Relax in Queenstown today. 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.
Driving time Queenstown to Wanaka 69 km / 43 miles, 1.5 hours
Drive over the beautiful Crown Range, one of New Zealand’s highest alpine roads, and admire the fantastic views along the way. 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.
Relax and explore Wanaka—you may want to visit Puzzling World, Wanaka’s illusional attraction, or the National Toy and Transport Museum. You may also want to take a look around Wanaka’s boutique shops, stroll around the lake’s edge, or indulge in one of the many activities on offer.
Stay 1 night in Wanaka.
Driving time Wanaka to Franz Josef 286 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 Franz Josef and New Zealand’s most famous glaciers.
In the afternoon, enjoy a scenic helicopter flight sweeping above Westland National Park as you explore Franz Josef Glacier before landing in the snow!
Stay 1 night in Franz Josef.
Driving time Franz Josef to Hokitika 134 km / 83 miles, 2 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 Greymouth 39 km / 24 miles, 30
Drive north to Greymouth, where you will drop off your rental car and board the TranzAlpine Train which journeys from the West to the East Coast. The train travels through the spectacular Southern Alps and past 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.
Make your way to Christchurch Airport and depart Christchurch.
With so much to see and do, it can be hard to choose. We have therefore designed this South Island itinerary to include as many highlights as possible at a comfortable pace.
In addition, this holiday package is fully customisable. As you begin planning, we will work with you to ensure the itinerary matches exactly what you are looking for.
For further inspiration, we offer a range of 7 Day South Island Holiday Packages.
Contact New Zealand Travel Organiser today to begin planning your South Island adventure.