Day 1 : Christchurch to Kaikoura
Departing Christchurch *, we arrive in Kaikoura in time for you to check out what it's most famous for – whale watching or swimming with the dolphins. Spend the evening chilling on the beach or sampling some of the best seafood New Zealand offers for your dinner. The name Kaikoura means to eat crayfish (“kai” means to eat, “koura” means crayfish). *Christchurch departure times may vary, impacting some tour options.
Day 2 : Kaikoura to Abel Tasman
We head north and take in the last of the dramatic Kaikoura coastline. It’s a spectacular drive and we stop for a close look at the seals that lay about on the rocks. Travel through vineyards to Nelson, New Zealand’s sunniest city, then on to Kaiteriteri at the edge of the Abel Tasman National Park. Kaiteriteri is a great spot to begin an adventure (on foot, by kayak or by
Day 3 : Abel Tasman to Westport
Spend the morning kayaking out to Split Apple Rock and along the golden bays near Kaiteriteri, looking out for the local marine wildlife; or catch a water taxi to one of the bays in the Abel Tasman National Park to go for a morning stroll in the native New Zealand forest. This afternoon we stop at the iconic Nelson Lakes, so you can get your legendary wharf jumping shot before hitting surf town Westport.
Day 4 : Westport to Franz Josef
Today we start our journey down spectacular State Highway 6, that stretches 435 kilometres along the rugged Tasman shoreline. The road winds through a diverse series of landscapes which never cease to amaze. Highlights today include the Cape Foulwind seal colony walk, rugged beaches, and the Punakaiki Pancake Rocks. We then hit the road on our way to Franz Josef. Franz Josef is the northern gateway to Te Wahipounamu, the Southwest New Zealand World Heritage area. The region includes Aoraki/Mount Cook, Westland Tai Poutini, Mount Aspiring, the Fiordland National Parks, and surrounding conservation lands. We factor in a free day in Franz Josef so that you can get out there and experience what Franz Josef has to offer. It’s a wicked spot and whatever you get out and do, you will be blown away by the views of the glacier and Alps.
Day 5 : Franz Josef (Extra day)
Today we have a free day in Franz Josef where you have the opportunity to experience a Heli-Hike to New Zealand’s most famous Franz Josef Glacier or you can explore this lush corner of New Zealand (for free) on foot; hitting up the many walking trails in the area.
Day 6 : Franz Josef to Queenstown
We start out early in order to catch the perfect mirror reflection of Mt Cook and the Southern Alps on Lake Matheson. We then cruise down the last stretch of Highway 6, stopping at popular scenic spots along the way. Then it’s into Mount Aspiring National Park, arriving in the awe-inspiring destination of Wanaka. After a stroll round Lake Wanaka and some lunch, we head to the world’s first commercial bungy site - the Kawarau Bridge. Only the brave will sign themselves up for this iconic New Zealand activity. On arrival in Queenstown, we will head down to the spectacular waterfront before it’s out on the town exploring Queenstown’s infamous nightlife with all the crew!
Day 7 : Queenstown (Extra day)
Queenstown is one of the most amazing places on Earth. No matter what time of the year it is rated as one of our passenger’s favourite spots. Take the time to spend a few days here as it is one of the most picturesque places in the world. Make the most of the beautiful lake and surrounding walks, or get into a whole range of adrenalin pumping activities. If there was one activity that you couldn’t miss it would be the day trip to Milford Sound, commonly referred to as The Eighth Wonder of the World.
Day 8 : Milford Sound Day Trip
Visiting Milford Sound is a must-do when visiting the South Island. The Milford Explorer departs Queenstown early, and the first stop for breakfast, coffee or just a snack is at the picturesque town of Te Anau. Before getting to the Homer Tunnel, with plenty of Instagram-worthy photo stops along the way. Once we arrive in Milford, you will go on an unforgettable scenic boat cruise through the sound. Beginning under the watchful eye of Rahotu / Mitre Peak, Milford Sound Piopiotahi runs 16 kilometres to the Tasman Sea. A treasure trove of ecological delights awaits within this steep, narrow, glacially carved valley. Discover dolphins, penguins and seals safe within the protection of the Piopiotahi (Milford Sound) Marine Reserve. Explore the phenomenon known as deep-water emergence, where species usually found at great depths are just metres below the surface due to a constant layer of dark, cool freshwater blocking light to creatures below.
Day 9 : Queenstown to Lake Tekapo
We head out of Queenstown, through the Lindis Pass, so get your cameras ready because this is ‘Lord of the Rings’ territory. After stopping to admire Mt Cook at Lake Pukaki, we travel to Lake Tekapo with its amazing location by snow-capped alps and clear starry skies. Lake Tekapo has something for everyone - relaxing at the lakeside and taking in the untouched view, soaking in the hot springs, discovering one of the many scenic walkways or checking out the mind-boggling stars in what is the world’s largest dark sky reserve.
Day 10 : Lake Tekapo to Christchurch
We have a straight run into Christchurch, our largest city in the South Island and the 3rd largest in New Zealand. Witness a city rebuilding and flourishing in the wake of the 2011 earthquakes, and explore the street art, see the blooming botanical gardens and learn about the history of a city that’s experienced so much in recent times.
Start Anywhere finish where you started.
Minimum travel time 11 days
Maximum travel time 12 months from the first day of travel
What to Bring:
Comfortable walking shoes.
Best Value Guaranteed
No Booking Fees*
Flexible Travel Bookings