7 Days Southern Lakes & Glaciers
7 Days | South Island
For those short on time this impressive itinerary is packed full of New Zealand's most majestic scenic highlights.
(01 Oct 2017 - 30 Apr 2018)
NZ$840 per person
(01 May - 30 Sep 2017)
NZ$725 per person
- 4 nights gold and 2 nights blue motel accommodation
- 6 days small rental car hire
- welcome voucher wallet & driving maps
- expert itinerary planning & booking service
- 15% Goods and Services Tax (GST)
- Prices are per person, share twin/double room and in NZ$
A trip of impressive features visiting the West Coast glacier region where the Franz Josef Glacier and Fox Glacier tower behind rain forests. Sparkling Queenstown resort on the shores of beautiful Lake Wakatipu offers high adventure or blissful relaxation. A true highlight is the spectacular peak of Aoraki Mount Cook in the Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park en route back to Christchurch.
Day 1 - Arrive Christchurch, pick up rental car on arrival. Kia ora, welcome to Christchurch, the largest city of the South Island. Christchurch offers pockets of perfect as the central city rebuilds after the 2011 earthquakes. Located on the vast Canterbury Plains, with the sweeping coastal curve of Pegasus Bay and the volcanic hills of Banks Peninsula, Christchurch offers surprisingly diverse landscapes. Stroll the graceful Botanic Gardens and Hagley Park, relax beside the gently flowing Avon River or take in the expansive city and mountain views from the Christchurch Gondola.
Day 2 - Drive Christchurch - Franz Josef (approx 5 hours, 30 mins) Traverse the South Island today as you travel from Canterbury's grassy plains to the mystical West Coast. The scenery changes constantly as you drive around a hill, over a mountain pass, across a river, past lakes, ski fields and unique geological features. Don’t miss the ancient monolithic limestone rock formations at Castle Hill. Arthur's Pass, climbing to more than 900 metres through Arthur's Pass National Park, is the highest and most spectacular pass across the Southern Alps. Take time to admire the engineering feat of the Otira Viaduct before descending into the lush coastal rainforest of the South Island's West Coast. Travel through the heritage town of Hokitika renowned for its magnificent greenstone and multitude of shops, galleries and cafes right on the beach. Nearby the Hokitika Walkway offers extraordinary mountain and ocean views. From Hokitika, the native bush-lined road takes you south to the glacier region. Picturesque lakes Ianthe and Wahapo make very scenic picnic lunch spots! The small township of Franz Josef is home to the Franz Josef Glacier - a huge river of ice that has squeezed down the valleys to just 250m above sea level. Enjoy a scenic flight, glacier walk, one of the many short walks around the village or relax in the hot pools complex set within the rainforest.
Day 3 - Drive Franz Josef - Queenstown (approx 4 hours,40 mins) Pass through the alpine village of Fox Glacier, past Lake Paringa and Lake Moeraki to the rugged Tasman Sea coastline. A stop at Knights Point offers dramatic views. Through the Gates of Haast, follow the Haast River into the extraordinary, remote beauty of the Mount Aspiring National Park. Skirt the shores of Lake Wanaka and Lake Hawea to the township of Wanaka, then on to the vibrant alpine resort town of Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu with it's backdrop of The Remarkables Mountains.
Day 4 - Queenstown - day at leisure. Queenstown's vast array of outstanding activities includes thrilling river jet boating, out back 4WD trips, white water rafting, bungy jumping, tandem skydiving, hot air ballooning, mountain bike and hiking trails. For a more relaxing day perhaps choose a scenic lake cruise in the historic TSS Earnslaw, visit a high country farm, play a round of golf at one of the many world class courses, ride on the Skyline Gondola for breathtaking views, take a guided Lord of the Rings film site tour or a guided winery tour. Visit historic Arrowtown for insights into the early gold mining days. Queenstown's enticing cafes, restaurants and nightlife will complete the day.
Day 5 - Drive Queenstown - Twizel (approx 2 hours, 40 mins) The colourful wine-growing Gibbston Valley, rugged Kawarau Gorge and fruit orchards surrounding Cromwell create a scenic drive en route to cross the Lindis Pass and on to the vast plain of the Mckenzie Country. Clear starry nights, brilliant sunny days, stunning turquoise lakes and snow-capped mountains contribute to a truly breathtaking experience. Twizel is a small township located near Aoraki Mount Cook which was originally created to provide a home for workers involved with the Upper Waitaki Power Scheme. Today it is a well-positioned base for exploring the Mackenzie Basin and Aoraki Mt Cook National Park.
Day 6 - Drive Twizel - Christchurch (approx 4 hours) Lake Pukaki and Lake Tekapo create outstanding photo opportunities of the Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park, dominated by New Zealand's highest mountain, Aoraki/Mount Cook. Cross Burkes Pass to the peaceful rural towns of Fairlie and Geraldine, before traversing the vast Canterbury Plains to Christchurch. Its location between the Pacific Ocean, snow capped Southern Alps and volcanic hills of the Banks Peninsula gives Christchurch stunning landscapes and an enticing range of attractions. Ride the historic tramway, punt on the River Avon, stroll the Botanic Gardens and enjoy vibrant restaurants and cafes.
Day 7 - Depart Christchurch, drop off rental car at airport. You have the day at leisure until you make your way to Christchurch Airport for your departure flight.
This South Island KiwiCombo road trip itinerary can be travelled in reverse and can be modified to suit your individual requirements. Suggested activities are a guideline to some of the special and unique experiences offered in each region but are optional and not included in the KiwiCombo Pass. However we can make reservations for you, just ask!