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South Island In-Depth (Self Drive)

Duration
12 Days
Prices From:
US$ 1,515

Drive the South Island experiencing all it has to offer. Enjoy whale watching, Abel Tasman National Park and the Glacier Region as well as Queenstown and Scottish influenced Dunedin.


From whale watching in Kaikoura to spectacular Milford Sound, explore the rugged beauty of New Zealand’s South Island on this 12 day journey, available as either a self-drive or coach tour.

Christchurch has become synonymous with tragedy in recent years. Four large earthquakes devastated the city between September 2010 and December 2011. While some areas and attractions remain closed for repairs, there is still plenty for early arrivals to do and see. The Air Force Museum will thrill military history buffs, while the Canterbury Museum provides a fascinating look at New Zealand history. Or take a tour of sites affected by the quakes for a glimpse of a resilient, rebuilding Christchurch.

Journey to Kaikoura for your included whale-watching cruise, then stay overnight before the scenic drive to Nelson. The South Island’s oldest settled city is famed for its arts and crafts, along with its 23 local wineries and nearby Abel Tasman National Park. The park is closed off to vehicles, allowing you to enjoy a full day exploring on foot, by boat or by kayak. Intrepid travelers will be rewarded with sights such as Cleopatra’s Pool and beautiful Cascade Falls.

Head for the West Coast to see Punakaiki’s Pancake Rocks, distinctive geological formations formed over tens of thousands of years of pummeling from the Tasman Sea. Spend the night before continuing on to the Glacier Region, where you can base your exploration in either Franz Josef or Fox Glacier.

A Mecca for skiers, Queenstown puts you in the heart of the South Island’s mountain landscape. A highlight of your journey is a day trip to Milford Sound, a breathtaking, 16km long fjord carved by glaciers out to the Tasman Sea. You’ll also have a full day at leisure to explore Queenstown.

Journey back east to Dunedin, which, thanks to the discovery of nearby gold in 1861, was New Zealand’s most populated city until 1900. It’s now a university town proud of its strong Scots heritage. You’ll have free time to explore this ‘Edinburgh of the South’ before your Wildlife Cruise beneath the Albatross Colony.

Please click here for our New Zealand Self Drive itineraries


 

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Duration
12 Days
Prices From:
US$ 1,515

Itinerary View Trip Map

Day 1

Arrive in Christchurch

Pick-up your vehicle and drive to your accommodation

Duration1 Night
Accommodation

Heartland Hotel Cotswold

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Location View map
  • starstarstar

    Heartland Hotel Cotswold



    Full of character, Heartland Hotel Cotswold is warm and welcoming, and the perfect place to relax during your visit to Christchurch. The hotel has 77 spacious rooms and its spacious grounds feature award-winning gardens. Located on the edge of the central business district it's an ...

    Full of character, Heartland Hotel Cotswold is warm and welcoming, and the perfect place to relax during your visit to Christchurch. The hotel has 77 spacious rooms and its spacious grounds feature award-winning gardens. Located on the edge of the central business district it's an easy stroll to boutique shopping at Merivale Mall, Christchurch Casino and the beautiful Hagley Park. Just a 20 minute drive from Christchurch airport Heartland Hotel Cotswold is well-positioned for travellers visiting Christchurch.

    Facilities

    • Business Centre
    • Conference Facilities
    • Gym/Fitness Centre
    • Internet Access
    • Laundry facilities
    • Laundry/Dry Cleaning Service
    • Parking
    • Pool (s)
    • Reception (24 hrs)
    • Restaurant(s)
    • Room Service
    • Sauna
    • Secretarial Service

    More Details

Day 2

Christchurch to Kaikoura

Journey to Kaikoura, and on arrival make your own way to your overnight accommodation. In the afternoon go on a spectacular whale watching cruise.

Duration1 Night
Accommodation

Kaikoura Gateway Motor Lodge

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  • starstar

    Kaikoura Gateway Motor Lodge



    Kaikoura's Gateway Motor Lodge is a few minutes' walk from the charming seaside town of Kaikoura, the busy hub of eco-tourism ventures and a thriving rural community. This Kaikoura Motel, opened in August 2005, will meet all of your needs with 20 self-contained units from ...

    Kaikoura's Gateway Motor Lodge is a few minutes' walk from the charming seaside town of Kaikoura, the busy hub of eco-tourism ventures and a thriving rural community. This Kaikoura Motel, opened in August 2005, will meet all of your needs with 20 self-contained units from studio to two bedroom units as well as three wheelchair friendly units. All units feature ensuite bathrooms, complementary WiFi, TV and DVD players. Continental breakfast is available.

    Facilities

    • Barbeque
    • Conference Facilities
    • Disabled Facilities
    • Laundry facilities
    • Non-Smoking Property
    • Sauna
    • Spa/Jacuzzi
    • Swimming Pool

    More Details

Day 3

Kaikoura to Nelson

Travel from Kaikoura to Nelson at the top of the South Island, known for it's local wineries and arts and crafts. On arrival make your way to your chosen overnight accommodation.

Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

Bella Vista Motel Nelson

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Location View map
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    Bella Vista Motel Nelson



    Bella Vista Motel Nelson is ideally located in Nelson's Tahunanui Drive, a 15 minute stroll to Tahuna beach. Its central location is a few minutes' drive to the beach and its shops, bars, restaurants, cafes and other great Nelson attractions and activities. The airport is ...

    Bella Vista Motel Nelson is ideally located in Nelson's Tahunanui Drive, a 15 minute stroll to Tahuna beach. Its central location is a few minutes' drive to the beach and its shops, bars, restaurants, cafes and other great Nelson attractions and activities. The airport is a 5 minute drive away. The Bella Vista Motel Nelson offers a range of studio and one bedroom units. All room types feature; ensuite, microwave or kitchenette, tea & coffee making facilities, free WiFi, SKY cable TV. The property has a guest laundry, BBQ area and children's play area.

    Facilities

    • Bar
    • Barbeques (BBQ)
    • Children's Activities
    • Internet Access
    • Laundry facilities
    • Non-Smoking Rooms
    • Parking
    • Playground
    • Wheelchair Accessible Rooms

    More Details

Day 4

Nelson

Today is at leisure to explore Nelson, or perhaps explore the Abel Tasman National Park on foot or by kayak.

Day 5

Nelson to Punakaiki

Drive to Punakaiki, home to the scenic Pancake Rocks. On arrival make your way to your accommodation.

Duration1 Night
Accommodation

Punakaiki Resort

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Location View map
  • starstarstarstar

    Punakaiki Resort



    The Punakaiki Resort is an eco-tourism hotel located in the Buller district between Greymouth, 30 minutes to the south and Westport which is 45 minutes to the north. Carefully designed to complement the stunning natural setting, it is situated close to Pancake Rocks and Blowhole ...

    The Punakaiki Resort is an eco-tourism hotel located in the Buller district between Greymouth, 30 minutes to the south and Westport which is 45 minutes to the north. Carefully designed to complement the stunning natural setting, it is situated close to Pancake Rocks and Blowhole at Punakaiki and adjacent to Paparoa National Park. This hotel is a perfect choice for a leisure stay.

    Facilities

    • Bar(s)
    • Daycare/Babysitting Service
    • Laundry facilities
    • Parking
    • Reception (24 hrs)
    • Restaurant(s)
    • Room Service
    • Wheelchair Accessible Rooms

    More Details

Day 6

Punakaiki to Glacier Region

Drive down to the Glacier Region, and make your way to your accommodation in Franz Josef or Fox Glacier.

Duration1 Night
Accommodation

Glenfern Villas Franz Josef

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    Glenfern Villas Franz Josef



    Glenfern Villas offers one and two bedroom villas for the discerning traveller. Set just outside the main Franz Josef Glacier village, Glenfern Villas is an ideal base for you to enjoy everything the Glacier region and the glorious West Coast has to offer.

    Glenfern Villas offers one and two bedroom villas for the discerning traveller. Set just outside the main Franz Josef Glacier village, Glenfern Villas is an ideal base for you to enjoy everything the Glacier region and the glorious West Coast has to offer.

    Facilities

    • Barbeques (BBQ)
    • Children's Activities
    • Internet Access
    • Laundry facilities
    • Parking

    More Details

Day 7

Glacier Region to Queenstown

Continue on to Queenstown and your accommodation.

Duration3 Nights
Accommodation

Heartland Hotel Queenstown

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Location View map
  • starstarstar

    Heartland Hotel Queenstown



    Heartland Hotel Queenstown is perched just above the town centre - an excellent vantage point where you can feel tucked away and enjoy magnificent views, yet you are only a few minutes walk to the town centre. With 81 comfortable, well-appointed guest rooms, including five ...

    Heartland Hotel Queenstown is perched just above the town centre - an excellent vantage point where you can feel tucked away and enjoy magnificent views, yet you are only a few minutes walk to the town centre. With 81 comfortable, well-appointed guest rooms, including five family rooms, Heartland Hotel Queenstown provides all you need for a comfortable rest at the end of another action-packed Queenstown day.

    Facilities

    • Bar(s)
    • Concierge
    • Conference Facilities
    • Currency Exchange
    • Daycare/Babysitting Service
    • Gym/Fitness Centre
    • Internet Access
    • Laundry facilities
    • Laundry/Dry Cleaning Service
    • Parking
    • Reception (24 hrs)
    • Restaurant(s)
    • Room Service
    • Spa(Hot-tub)/Jacuzzi

    More Details

Day 8

Queenstown

A highlight of your trip is a spectacular day trip to Milford Sound, including a cruise in this scenic location.

Meal Plan Lunch
Day 9

Queenstown

Today is at leisure to explore.

Day 10

Queenstown to Dunedin

Journey to the Scottish town of to Dunedin. On arrival in Dunedin, make your way to your accommodation.

Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

Kingsgate Hotel Dunedin

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  • starstarstar

    Kingsgate Hotel Dunedin



    Kingsgate Hotel Dunedin is right in the heart of the city and ideal for business or leisure. You are within strolling distance of stately homes and Gothic revival style buildings; Otago Museum is a fifteen minute walk away, the beach a ten minute drive and ...

    Kingsgate Hotel Dunedin is right in the heart of the city and ideal for business or leisure. You are within strolling distance of stately homes and Gothic revival style buildings; Otago Museum is a fifteen minute walk away, the beach a ten minute drive and the Central Business District is right on your doorstep. Kingsgate Hotel Dunedin has 55 sunny north facing guest rooms.

    Facilities

    • Bar(s)
    • Conference Facilities
    • Internet Access
    • Secretarial Service

    More Details

Day 11

Dunedin

This morning is at leisure. This afternoon depart on your Wildlife Cruise beneath the Albatross Colony.

Duration1 Night
Day 12

Dunedin to Christchurch

Drive North to Christchurch where you return your vehicle and end your self-drive vacation.

Other Information

DEPARTURES:

Daily.

PRICE INCLUDES:

  • 11 nights accommodation
  • 12 day car rental
  • Tours as indicated in the itinerary
  • Meals as indicated

PRICE EXCLUDES:

  • Travel Insurance
  • International and domestic airfare & airfare taxes
  • Visa fees if applicable
  • Meals and beverages not specifically indicated
  • Optional excursions
  • Park fees unless stated
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Gratuities

TERMS AND CONDITIONS:

Prices are "from" per person based on twin/double share accommodation and for travel in low season. Seasonal surcharges and blackout dates may apply. Limited seat/spaces and all pricing is subject to change and availability. Rates for single or triple travellers are available on request - please enquire.

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23 Aug 2017
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