Take a stunning drive down New Zealand’s South Island on this 10-day adventure. Starting from Christchurch on the eastern coast, head inland and travel down the edge of the spectacular Southern Alps. See Aoraki/Mount Cook, the tallest peak on the South Island, as well as Queenstown, Te Anau and the magnificent Milford Sound. Embark on guided treks and hikes to see the mountains, glaciers, flora and fauna in all their beauty.
Our expert tour specialists can tailor this trip to exactly meet your needs. We make the suggestions but the decision is yours
Depart from the UK to Christchurch. The most direct route to this city on the east coast of South Island is with Singapore Airlines, offering just one stop en route. Other alternatives are available, usually with two stops using either Air New Zealand via LA and Auckland or via the Middle East and Australia with Emirates or Etihad.
After arriving at Christchurch International Airport, pick up your rental car and drive into the city. This stunning location on the east coast offers plenty of options for relaxing after a long flight, or head out into the Port Hills for some stunning scenery overlooking Lyttleton Harbour.
Drive distance – 333 km / 207 miles
Travel from Christchurch to the impressive scenery of Aoraki Mount Cook National Park, taking you along the banks of the picturesque Lake Pukaki. This evening take advantage of being in New Zealand’s only designated International Dark Sky Reserve with some stargazing.
Enjoy a guided walk of the Hooker Valley. Your knowledgeable and enthusiastic guide will tell you all about the unique flora and fauna of the region and the local history as you trek through this amazing landscape.
Drive distance – 199 km / 124 miles
Take a fantastic drive through the South Island countryside, heading south from Mount Cook to the southern edge of Lake Wanaka. Wanaka is famed for its outdoor actives such as mountain biking, fishing and kayaking.
Today we include a hike to the top of Rocky Mountain adjacent to Diamond Lake near Lake Wanaka, with stunning scenery along the way. From Wanaka take a 25-minute scenic drive around Lake Wanaka to Diamond Lake. Walk up to then, around Diamond Lake before taking a steady climb up a good track overlooking Diamond Lake. Through the weeping forest, search for the light as you come to the wailing wall where during the wetter months of the year water drops fall from the over-hanging cliff. Enjoy an overview of Diamond Lake from the viewing platform. From here head to the top of Rocky Mountain. From here we enjoy wonderful panoramic views over Lake Wanaka and the Matukituki River. After relaxing here for lunch and refreshments, head back down and go on a different loop track around Diamond Lake, to the starting point and back to Wanaka.
Includes: breakfast & lunch
Drive distance – 231 km / 143 miles
Driving south from Wanaka, pass around Queenstown and follow the banks of Lake Wakatipu before heading west and into the stunning location of Te Anau, on the banks of the lake baring the same name. Located in Southland region, Te Anau is a fantastic gateway to exploring the Fjordland that boarders the west coast of South Island.
Travel along the shores of Lake Te Anau to the boat harbour at Te Anau Downs. Enjoy a hot drink aboard an hour-long boat journey to the northern end of the lake and the start of the Milford Track. Disembarking, you will take a short walk of about a miles (1.6km) to the historic Glade House. Here you enjoy lunch from the kitchen. After visiting the small museum there, follow the Clinton River through rich Beech forest. Your guide will point out aspects of the forest and history to you along the way. On the return, you will walk up the Glade Burn Track for a fantastic view of Lake Te Anau before descending a dry river bed to the return launch.
Includes: breakfast & lunch
Drive distance – 172 km / 107 miles
Head back east and north, along the southern edge of Lake Wakatipu and into Queenstown, located on the northern edge of the Frankton Arm. A winter sports destination, Queenstown is lively year-round and attract adrenaline junkies, mountain bikers and hikers from all over during the summer here to appreciate the fantastic weather and those amazing adventures such as bungee jumping and more.
This great walk in Mount Aspiring National Park starts with a gradual climb through a 130 million-year-old world of ferns, mosses, lichens and beech forest. On you return explore the old forgotten paths of the Maori as you travel along the old Greenstone trails.
Includes: lunch, snacks & refreshments
Enjoy a final day around Queenstown before dropping the car off at the airport and catching an overnight flight back to the UK.
'Boutique Hotel in the Heart of Christchurch’
The George Hotel is the essence of comfort and renowned for offering a personalised stay and attentive service. Its opulent rooms are elegant and stylish with sumptuous beds and luxurious furnishings. Located opposite Hagley Park and the Avon River, many attractions, including the Botanic Gardens and the Museum are within an easy walk. Dining is a highlight of the hotel and signature restaurant Pescatore, rated as one of New Zealand’s best dining experiences, is not to be missed.
‘Historical Hotel; Breath-taking Views’
First built in 1884, The Hermitage Hotel has a lengthy history of adventure which is synonymous with the fiery Kiwi nature. The perfect base from which to explore the local region, The Hermitage Hotel offers a range of restaurants and bars to appease any guest and suit all traveller’s needs. Similarly, the accommodation is wonderfully composed, with a host of rooms to facilitate many personalities.
‘Warm, Friendly and Luxurious’
Located at the foothills of the spectacular Southern Alps and Mt Aspiring National Park is the comfortable boutique, Lime Tree Lodge. The five-star luxury retreat is set on ten acres, just minutes from Lake Wanaka resort and a short drive from some of New Zealand’s finest vineyards. Lime Tree Lodge offers stunning 360 degree uninterrupted, unparalleled mountain views, luxuriously appointed accommodation, landscaped gardens, gourmet breakfasts and an introduction to the fine wine and produce of the region.
'A comfortable, inviting haven; Bed and breakfast in the heart of nature'
The Blue Ridge B&B is the perfect getaway for those in search of natural surroundings, where opportunities to relax or be active are bountiful. The hotel's accommodation provides its guests with many amenities and for extra comfort guests may also take a dip in the hotel's outdoor Hydrotherapy Spa Pool. Complimentary Wi-Fi is available and guests may also use the hotel's laundry facilities, pentanque sets, DVDs, books and board games at their leisure.
‘Modern, unique and friendly Lakeside Hotel’
The Rees Hotel Queenstown is a hotel on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, with fantastic panoramic views of the lake. Being just a stroll from Queenstown’s centre, The Rees Hotel boasts a variety of accommodation options, restaurants, a world-class wine cellar, gymnasium, hot tubs, observatory and a private wharf. This property offers a variety of luxurious and spacious accommodation options including hotel rooms and apartments with private balconies. You can aslo enjoy socialising in the elegant lounge bar and then dine in the stunning 'True South Dining Room'.
Fully trained guides are delighted to show you the beautiful southern night sky using the naked eye, state of the art astronomy telescopes and binoculars at an outdoor viewing platform or if the weather is not favourable then 'live' under a high definition digital dome planetarium. Unleash your imagination as you discover our neighbourhood in the universe including the Southern Cross, seasonal ecliptic objects, planets, star clusters, moons, distant galaxies and even our very own galaxy, the spectacular Milky Way.
Experience a mysterious underground world of rushing water before drifting in silent darkness beneath the luminous shimmer of hundreds of glowworms.
Accommodation as listed
Flights in economy
Car hire with GPS
Big Sky Stargazing at Mount Cook
Mount Cook guided walk
Diamond Lake guided trek
Milford Track guided walk
Meals unless stated otherwise
Car hire one way drop-fees
Share your ideas, tell us what you’re expecting and ask us as many questions as you like; together we can identify what will make your trip exceptional – only then will we begin to tailor-make your holiday.
We will use our destination expertise to plan an itinerary that will work for you – your personal specialist is happy to respond by phone, email or text. Your trip will be refined and reshaped until you love the way it looks, and it fits you perfectly!
We partner with only the finest hotels & resorts that we feel exemplify the Destinology experience. It’s these close relationships that help us to offer our clients that little bit more. We live luxury and we think you should too.