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15 day self drive holiday New Zealand
South Island (NZ15S)

Introduction:

The New Zealand South Island holiday for visitors wanting the get the very most out of their two week visit to the South Island of New Zealand, great scenic diversity from mountains to sea, stunning scenic drives, plus quality time in key city and village locations. Enjoy activities and experiences to really get an appreciation of some of the best of New Zealand South Island.

We can customise this holiday to suit your accommodation style and transport preferences including car, motorhome and scheduled coach services.

To see a price guide for this holiday and to send us an enqiry
Please click here

Itinerary Overview:

Day 1 - Arrive Christchurch travel to Kaikoura
Day 2 - Kaikoura to Blenheim/Marlborough
Day 3 - Blenheim/Marlborough
Day 4 - Blenheim to Nelson
Day 5 - Nelson and Abel Tasman National Park
Day 6 - Nelson to Hokitika
Day 7 - Hokitika to Fox Glacier or Lake Moeraki
Day 8 - Fox Glacier or Lake Moeraki
Day 9 - To Queenstown
Day 10, 11 & 12 - Queenstown
Day 13 - Queenstown to Te Anau Fiordland
Day 14 - Te Anau & Milford Sound
Day 15 - Te Anau and end trip

Itinerary map

Itinerary details:

Day 1 - Arrive Christchurch
Following your arrival in Christchurch, collect your rental car and head north through the wine growing region of Waipara and the rolling grazing country of North Canterbury. Travel 2 1/2 hours to Kaikoura, set amongst spectacular coastal scenery this location is famous for its Whale population that is present all year round.

Day 2 - Kaikoura to Blenheim/Marlborough
Meet the amazing giants of the sea aboard your Whale Watch Tour this morning, a truly unforgettable encounter, before continuing your journey north. Enjoy more of the splendid coast line watching for dolphins and seals along the way, before heading into Marlborough's renowned wine growing region.

Day 3 - Blenheim/Marlborough
A full day escorted tour today to sample great regional wines, take in the fabulous scenery - including the picturesque Marlborough Sounds - and taste freshly steamed mussels straight from the mussel farm. A day designed to keep the taste buds and the camera busy.

Day 4 - Blenheim to Nelson
Nelson is renowned for its artisans and galleries including the highly regarded Hoglund Art Glass studio. Local produce including wines are also a feature of the region. White sandy beaches and great food make Nelson a popular holiday destination.

Day 5 - Nelson
Full day in the Abel Tasman National Park. From Kaiteriteri walk, sea kayak or sail north along the picturesque Kaiteriteri coastline, including the famous "Split Apple Rock". Beach stops for a swim,  visit Tonga Island Seal Colony. A range of options are available incl 1, 3 -or 5 day guided trips staying in beachfront lodges.

Day 6 - Nelson to Hokitika
From the sheltered haven of Tasman Bay travel south through the inland Nelson Lakes region before heading west to the dramatic and rugged scenery of the 'coast road'. Winding its way between the bush clad slopes, studded with Nikau Palms and the surf of the Tasman Sea this has to be one of New Zealand's most beautiful drives. Along the way visit Punakaiki where you will find the intriguing Pancake Rocks and blowholes. Your overnight is the historic sea side town of Hokitika. Evening sunset on the beach before heading to the town's famous Glow Worm Dell

Day 7 - Hokitika to Fox Glacier or Lake Moeraki
Spend the morning in the many interesting art and craft galleries around Hokitika, visit the West Coast Historical Museum or stroll the wild West Coast beach and maybe find a piece of greenstone. Lunch at one of the cafes before driving south this afternoon,  pass bush clad pristine lakes, remote farms, wild rivers and native forests. This region is packed with natural features, at days end arrive at Westland National Park including the Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers. Option of heading a bit further south to the Wilderness Lodge Lake Moeraki

Day 8 - Fox Glacier  or Lake Moeraki
A day at Fox Glacier for a guided walk onto the glacier, maybe take a Fox Glacier HeliHike for an exhilarating and memorable experience. Time for a leisurely walk around Lake Matheson with it's stunning reflections of Mount Cook, visit the wild west coast beach at Gillespie's Beach and an evening visit to the Glow Worm forest. From Lake Moeraki enjoy this pristine temperate rainforest lake side preserve on guided or self guided nature experiences, visit the stunning wilderness coast.

Day 9 - To Queenstown
Leaving behind the lush vegetation of South Westland you will travel the hills and valleys of the Haast Pass where roadside walkways provide easy access to a number of waterfalls and mountain pools. Emerge into the tussock country of the Southern Lakes district as you pass lakes Wanaka, Hawea and Dunstan. The fruit and wine growing region around Cromwell leads you to the craggy confines of the Kawarau Gorge famous for its historic bridge and some spectacularly located vineyards. Finish this full day of sightseeing in beautiful Queenstown.

Days 10, 11 & 12 - Queenstown
Journey up the Dart River into the stunning scenery of the Mount Aspiring National Park. Then free time to enjoy some of the many other Queenstown activities. Ride the Gondola for spectacular views over the town and across the lake to the mountains, Bungy jump, take one of the many hikes including the famous Routeburn Track for a day. Catch a fish, white water rafting, horse treks, winery visits, the possibilities are endless!

Day 13 - Queenstown to Te Anau
 A two and a half hour drive today means you can spend the morning in Queenstown or the afternoon in Te Anau, allowing time to visit the amazing glow worm caves. The journey today begins with a scenic drive beside Lake Wakatipu before crossing predominantly grazing country, then to the boundary of the Fiordland National Park.

Day 14 - Te Anau day trip to Milford Sound
Drive from Te Anau taking in the sights of the Milford Road, stop for short walks, before cruising the wonderful Milford Sound with its soaring peaks and cascading waterfalls. Watch for seals, dolphins and penguins as you make your way to where the fiord meets the sea and back. If you don't want to drive then we recommend a small group guided trip. Visit the Te Anau glow worm caves, take a cruise on Doubtful Sound, walk the Milford track or several others we recommend. Try Milford Sound sea kayaking for a fantastic day amongst nature.

Day 15 - Te Anau and end trip
Flights to return you to all main centres depart from Queenstown throughout the day . Your departure time from Te Anau will be subject your onward travel arrangements, allowing for the return drive back to Queenstown. We can assist with these connecting flights or build them into your international ticket arrangements.

Remember the above itinerary can be amended to fit your schedule and interests.

If you have more days available - there's plenty more to see and do!

For some examples of New Zealand accommodation styles and indicative pricing
Please click here

To see a price guide for this holiday and to send us an enqiry
Please click here

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