11 day South Island Itinerary Christchurch - Christchurch (11 days)
Day 1: Christchurch to Lake Tekapo Approx travel time: 4 hours
Depart Christchurch for Lake Tekapo and enjoy stunning scenery, uninterrupted views of the Southern Alps, the peace and quiet and views in the Church of the good shepherd and visit the Collie Dog Memorial. Have a picnic at the Lake and indulge in views of Mt Cook for dessert. What to do and see:
Day 2: Lake Tekapo to Mt Cook Approx travel time: 1.5 hours
- Get the best views of the Southern Alps and Lakes from bird perspective with Air-Safaris Lake Tekapo.
- Make sure not to miss the most romantic sunset sitting on the rocks with your feet dangling in the crystal clear water.
Get up and personal with the Southern Hemisphere’s highest mountain: Auraki – Mt Cook. Take you hiking boots out for adventurous walks on the endless treks around Mt Cook and soak up the breathtaking scenery. What to do and see:
Day 3: Mt Cook to Queenstown Approx travel time: 4 hours
- Flightseeing, horse trekking, glacier trips, heli-biking, heli-skiing, fishing, hunting and leisure walks. For more information visit Glentanner Park.
Surrounded by the beautiful Remarkables , nothing is too crazy or too extreme in Queenstown. Dare yourself to a bungy jump, skydive or have the thrill of your life jet boating, white water rafting or hang gliding. What to do and see:
The sky truly it the limit here, and Queenstown's nightlife will get your adrenalin pumping, too!
Day 4: Queenstown to Te Anau Approx travel time: 4 hours
- AJ Hackett Bungy offers six very different experiences in Queenstown, ranging from the ultimate personal challenge to a more low-key discovery of Bungy from the sidelines.
- Experience the ultimate adrenaline rush of tandem skydiving while on vacation in New Zealand.
- You can step onto a big yellow Kawarau Jet boat every hour at the Main Town Pier in the centre of Queenstown.
- Choose Queenstown Rafting for your ultimate adventure activity.
The attractive town of Te Anau lies on the edge of Lake Te Anau and offers truly spectacular Mountain Views. Te Anau is the closest service base to Milford Sound with a scenic 2.5hrs drive from Te Anau to Milford. Depending on weather conditions we recommend taking one if the numerous shuttles to Milford Sound because the drive is just as challenging as it is beautiful. What to do and see:
Day 5: Milford Sound Approx travel time: 20 minutes
- An excursion to the Te Anau Glowworm Caves begins with a cruise across spectacular Lake Te Anau on a purpose-built scenic cruise vessel.
- Cruise Te Anau offer a variety of Boutique Cruises, Private Charters and Walking Track Transport for tourist and locals wanting to explore the hidden beauty and tranquility of Lake Te Anau and the Fiordland National Park.
Don’t miss out on taking a day to explore Milford Sound by boat. Go on an unforgettable cruise through one of the most awe-inspiring landscapes on earth. What to do and see: Day 6: Te Anau to Wanaka Approx travel time: 4 hours
Stop at beautiful Lake Wanaka, enjoy lunch by the lake and explore a truly unique New Zealand attraction: Puzzling World! This is a must-see with children and for everyone who loves a giggle. What to do and see:
Day 7: Wanaka to Fox Glacier Approx travel time: 4 hours
- Puzzling World Wanaka offers the world's first modern-style Great Maze, incredible Illusion Rooms, a Puzzle Centre/Café, large Gift Shop and eccentric Architecture and Oddities.
- Lake Wanaka Winter Resort is the most preferred skiing and snowboarding resort in the Southern Hemisphere.
Drive on towards the West Coast and enjoy ever changing and versatile scenery along the way. Stop at the first of the two Glaciers: Fox Glacier. What to do and see:
Day 8: Fox Glacier & Franz Joseph Glacier to Hokitika Approx travel time: 2.5 hours
- Here you have the unique opportunity to get close to eternal ice. Fox and Franz Josef Glacier can be explored in many different ways; a truly exciting option is a helicopter tour.
Relax in the romantic town of Hokitika, take long walks in the beach, enjoy the heartwarming sunset at “sunset-point” and visit the Jade stone shops to see how New Zealand’s famous green stone carvings are made. What to do and see: Day 9: Hokitika to Hanmer Springs Approx travel time: 3.5 hours
Take your route through Lewis Pass, stop for lunch at one of the scenic spots of Lake Sumner Forest Park and keep your eyes open to spot “frog rock”. Stop at Hamner Springs and unwind in the favorite recreation spot of all Christchurch Depot staff. What to do and see:
Day 10: Hanmer Springs to Kaikoura Approx travel time: 3.5 hours
- Sit in the hot pools all day and night and soak up the impressive mountain views. If you're still full of energy go on New Zealand’s best horse treks or hire out some mountain bikes and take them for a spin on great mountain biking treks around Hamner.
- Hanmer Horses offers you the chance to explore the spectacular surrounding countryside and Hanmer Forest Park on horseback.
- The Hanmer Springs Adventure Centre is the place to book your adventure activities in Hanmer Springs! .
Kaikoura originated as a fishing village and is famous for its Crayfish and selection of fresh seafood. What to do and see:
Day 11: Kaikoura to Christchurch Approx travel time: 3 hours
- If seeing Dolphins and Whales was on your agenda, this is the place to be. Kaikoura offers excellent Whale and Dolphin cruises which will get you closer than ever to the animals.
- Kaikoura also offers great options for fishing tours.
- A Kaikoura- Highlight are the “Maori Tours Kaikoura” as these special tours transcend the usual tourist trip and become something moving and spiritual.
Take your final drive nice and easy and make sure you stop at the Seal Colony just out of Kaikoura down SH1 for a meet and great with wild seals. Stop at Woodend Beach and take a walk on this quiet east coast sandy beach. Spoil yourself to a nice “last night” dinner in one of the fantastic restaurants in Christchurch City and enjoy your last evening in the historical town centre. What to do and see:
- The Antarctic Attraction is the modern day shop window for Antarctica. This is a fun, exciting and hands-on experience for all the family to enjoy.