14 Great Days – South Island New Zealand Self Drive Tour

From Christchurch to Christchurch – Incl. Steward Island!

One of our most popular self drive tours 4.8/5
4.8/5

Experience the highlights and unlimited natural diversity of New Zealand’s South Island – incl. the insider tip and natural paradise Steward Island!

 

This 14 day itinerary from Christchurch to Christchurch will overwhelme you by its majestic rocky mountains, vast glaciers, native rain forest and stunning mirror lakes.

 

This South Island Road Trip captures the iconic and spectacular South Island scenery and is the ideal way to see snow-capped mountains, bright turquoise coloured lakes, waterfalls, glaciers surrounded by rainforest and rugged beaches. Experience the incredible natural beauty and the hidden gems like Stewart Island! This amazing islands is a haven for brown kiwi or Tokoeka, which outnumber humans on the island and are active day and night. Blue penguins and the rare yellow-eyed penguins waddle among the rocks. The perfect journey to explore this pristine country!

Find here the itinerary and daily details of your New Zealand tour.

This tour package can be customized to suit your requirements precisely. All our self drive tours can also be booked with a chauffeur/tour guide as a private tour option! Please let us know your special requests.

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p.P. in Double Room or Twin Share from:

NZD 3,095 *

 
  • 1 Person in Single Room NZD 5.690
  • Daily Departures possible
  • *) Please note:
    • All Prices in New Zealand Dollar (NZD)
    • incl. 15% GST (New Zealand Goods & Services Tax)
    • Payment options in USD, EUR, AUD, CAD, CHF
    • Currency converter
     
  • Tour Options/Upgrades:
    • Upgrade Options: 4-5+ Star Hotels/Motels, Boutique Lodges, Luxury Retreats, Rental Category, Activities, Tour extensions etc.
New Zealand Tours Sepcialist Tour Operator DMC
New Zealand Tourism Board certified specialist
Please take a look at our other New Zealand self-drive tours and if you can’t find the right tour- no problem! We are happy to advise you individually to offer you the perfect New Zealand holiday. That’s why we are winner of the „Bespoke Tour Operator of the year“ LTG-Award – New Zealand 2018, 2019″. Get in touch with us! Behind this website are real people who want to share their enthusiasm and expertise for this country. You enjoy New Zealand and your round trip, we take care of the rest.

Included within this package:

 

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  • Accommodation Standard Option, 13 Nights
    • 1 Night at Homelea B&B - 1 x Double Room BB
    • 1 Night at Creel House B&B - 1 x Double Room BB
    • 2 Nights at The Brothers Boutique Hotel - 1 x Double Room BB
    • 2 Nights at Real Journeys - Stewart Island Lodge - 1 x Double Room BB
    • 1 Night at South Fiord B&B - 1 x Double Room BB
    • 2 Nights at Garden Court Suites & Apartments - 1 x Studio Suite BB
    • 1 Night at Te Wanaka Lodge - 1 x Double Room BB
    • 1 Night at Lake Matheson Motel - 1 x Studio Room BB
    • 1 Night at Beachfront Hotel Hokitika - 1 x Driftwood Room BB
    • 1 Night at Homelea B&B - 1 x Double Room BB
  • Accommodation Superior Option, 13 Nights
    • 1 Night at Chateau on the Park - Hilton Hotels - 1 x Deluxe Room BB
    • 1 Night at Peppers Bluewater Resort - 1 x Double Room BB
    • 2 Nights at Scenic Hotel Southern Cross - 1 x Superior Room BB
    • 2 Nights at Real Journeys - Stewart Island Lodge - 1 x Double Room BB
    • 1 Night at Te Anau Lodge - 1 x Double Room BB
    • 2 Nights at Millennium Hotel Queenstown - 1 x Superior Room BB
    • 1 Night at Edgewater Resort - 1 x One Bedroom Suite BB
    • 1 Night at Rainforest Retreat Franz Josef - 1 x Tree Hut BB
    • 1 Night at Teichelmanns Bed & Breakfast - 1 x Double Room BB
    • 1 Night at Chateau on the Park - Hilton Hotels - 1 x Deluxe Room BB
  • Key:  BB: Bed and Breakfast, DBB Dinner, Bed and Breakfast
  • Meals: Daily breakfasts (cooked, continental, buffet or self-prepare)
  • Rental car hire:
    • Vehicle according to the booked category, day 1 - 14
    • Rental car insurance: Fully inclusive with variable excess/deductible
    • GPS navigation, unlimited kms, additional drivers
    • airport/ferry terminal fees
  • Tour & Activity Pack: (can be customized to suit you precisely - enquire here)
    • Real Journeys - Bluff to Stewart Island Return Ferry and Transfers

  • While in New Zealand 24 hour support
  • Tour Excludes:
    • Flights, Travel Insurance
    • Fuel and parking fees
    • Meals, unless otherwise specified
    • Optional activities

We all know Terms and Conditions are really boring.

These are no exception. We fell asleep two times while we wrote them!

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BUT - we need them so that there is no misunderstanding if you decide to change or cancel anything. If you transact through this website then we will give you every chance to read these. Any quotes and bookings undertaken are done so on the understanding that you have read and agree to these terms. Please read here  our Terms & Conditions for payment options and cancellation policy.
We play fair and we know we play with people who play fair!

  • Our tours incl. all tax, fees and admissions
  • All prices are displayed/charged in NZ$ and may vary in your home currency depending on currency conversion rates.
  • This tour price is based on 2 people sharing one room and may vary depending on type of accommodation (Motel, Boutique Lodges, 3-5 Star Hotels). Of course, we can provide more options in type of car, accommodation, also in route and duration of your tour.

Additional Information:

 

Tiakai - Care for New Zealand
Tiakai - Care for New Zealand
  • Before you travel to New Zealand - New Zealand travel tips - Good to know!
  • This tour package can be customized to suit your requirements precisely! All we need to know is the date when your flight will arrive in New Zealand.
  • Please let us know your special request or if you want to stay a bit longer. We will tailor your holiday.
  • Please note: All of our self-drive tours can be booked with a chauffeur/tour guide as a private tour option!
  • While in New Zealand we offer 24 hour support - details on how to contact us at any time will be well documented.
  • Bookings are essential even if the tours are operating daily. Please send us your dates for reservations.

How it works:

  • You send us the date you will arrive in New Zealand
  • If you have special interests, please let us know
  • We send you a detailed quote plus options
  • When you are happy to accept the quote we will send you the invoice
  • You go on with the payment to secure all bookings
  • We are looking forward to your stay in this amazing country and your once in a lifetime holiday!
Please take a look at our other New Zealand self-drive tours and if you can’t find the right tour- no problem! We are happy to advise you individually to offer you the perfect New Zealand holiday. That’s why we are winner of the „Bespoke Tour Operator of the year“ LTG-Award – New Zealand 2018, 2019″. Get in touch with us! Behind this website are real people who want to share their enthusiasm and expertise for this country. You enjoy New Zealand and your round trip, we take care of the rest.
  • Stunning and proven New Zealand itineraries

    Accommodations and meals | Activities package: All admissions, tours and activities marked as such in the tour itinerary | Detailed driving information, road maps, route book, and more.

  • Extras for your individual New Zealand Tour holiday

    Numerous additional options and individual tips possible | Tour price options (upgrade/downgrade) possible in Standard, Superior and Luxury categories (3-5 star hotels/motels, boutique lodges, rental car category, tour extension, etc.) | Personal "Meet & Greet" service possible (private shuttle/transport airport, city hotel, cruise terminal, etc.)

  • Rental car incl. all inclusive Insurance with GPS

    All-Inclusive rental insurance or with variable excess | GPS navigation | airport/ferry handling fees | unlimited mileage | additional drivers

  • Ideal prices thanks to daily currency conversion

    Perfect for you: We offer our tours in NZD$  (New Zealand Dollar). Experience has shown that this is often more favourable for our guests during the booking period than a fixed price in your local currency, which may include possible currency fluctuations at the time of travel.
    All prices in New Zealand Dollar (NZD) incl. 15% GST (New Zealand Goods and Services Tax) and incl. all taxes applicable in New Zealand.

  • 24-hours Support while you are in New Zealand

    Details on how you can reach us at any time during your New Zealand holiday - in your time zone - can be found in the travel documentation.

Your daily New Zealand tour details:

 

The following summary lists driving information for each major driving day of your itinerary. Times and distances are based on ideal conditions without stops. Plan to take longer to allow time to explore and enjoy some stops. While in New Zealand we offer 24 hour support – details on how to contact us at any time will be well documented.

Day 1 – Arrival – Kia Ora and welcome to New Zealand!

 
Kia Ora and welcome to New Zealand! After your arrival in New Zealand you will pick up your rental car at the airport and drive to your first accommodation.
Explore Christchurch, known for its English heritage, today. Expect street art and innovative projects, a bustling hospitality scene and of course the stunning parks and gardens.
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Day 2 – Christchurch – Lake Tekapo

 
In the Garden City, as Christchurch is also called, you can visit the Botanical Gardens or drive to the Port Hills for panoramic views of the Banks Peninsula and Lyttelton Harbour (optional).
Afterwards you will continue your journey to Lake Tekapo. There you can visit the „Church of the Good Shepherd“ (optional) which impresses with its seclusion, history and world-famous views..
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Day 3 – Lake Tekapo – Dunedin

You will drive along the turquoise-colored Lake Pukaki, in which the snow-covered peaks of the 3000m Southern Alps are reflected. From here you have an ideal view to the Aoraki/Mount Cook, the highest mountain of New Zealand (3754m). The journey continues via Oamaru to Dunedin, the impressive Scottish-founded university town.  Landmarks of this city are the Railway Station, the old castle and Dunedin is also the home of the steepest street in the world. Surrounded by pristine nature you can experience Albatrosses, penguins, seals and incredible landscapes.

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Day 4 – Dunedin

 
Today is at your leisure. You can enjoy a trip to Taiaroa Head, the tip of the Otago Peninsula, where the only mainland colony of Royal Albatrosses in the world is located. Here you can see one of the worlds largest birds gliding majestically through the air in strong winds (optional). Afterwards you will have the opportunity to meet the strictly protected, endangered Yellow-Eyed Penguin (optional).
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Day 5 – Dunedin – Steward Island

Today you will head towards the rarely visited area of the Catlins, a wild and rugged stretch of coastline away from civilization. Here you can spot numerous sea lions and seals. In Bluff, at the southern end of the South Island, you will board a comfortable catamaran and cross the Foveaux Strait to Stewart Island. After an approximately one-hour ferry ride, you will reach New Zealand’s third largest and also southernmost island with a population of just 450. The island consists of 85% of the Rakiura National Park.
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Day 6 – Steward Island

Stewart Island is a paradise for ornithologists. Many birds that are extinct or endangered on the main islands live here. Even in and around Oban, the main town of Stewart Island (400 inhabitants!), you can hear and see numerous forest parrots (Kaka), bellbirds (Bellbird), Tui, wood pigeons (Kereru), gray fantails (Fantail) and various cuckoo species. Stewart Island is one of the best places to see a kiwi in the wild!

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Day 7 – Steward Island – Te Anau

After the ferry crossing back to Bluff, you will continue your journey to Fjordland National Park, New Zealand’s largest and most undeveloped National Park. Hardly any landscape embodies the term wilderness better than Fjordland. In the west, 14 fjords penetrate deep into the primeval forests of a rugged alpine world. Not far away, snow-capped mountain rise above alpine grass mats to 2700 meters. You will drive to Te Anau, the gateway to this UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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Day 8 – Te Anau – Queenstown

 

Today you will drive on the most beautiful mountain road in New Zealand to Milford Sound (optional). You’ll pass Mirror Lakes and the gloomy Homer Tunnel. Once at Milford Sound, board an excursion boat that will take you through the Sound almost out to the Tasman Sea (optional). Enjoy the wildl romantic scenery, which is dominated by almost vertical rocks like Mitre Peak with incredible waterfalls.

Afterwards your journey continues to Queenstown. Due to its beautiful mountain location on the shore of Lake Wakatipu, the small resort town of Queenstown has developed into a popular tourist center. The elongated lake stretches between steeply rising mountain ranges.

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Day 9 – Queenstown

 

Today is at your free leisure.

Take a short walk through the arcades or along the lakeshore. Relax with a ride on the steamboat „TSS EARNSLAW“ while crossing Lake Wakatipu to Walter Peak Station (optional). Here you can have a grilled lunch and join a farm tour if you wish.

You have the possibility to drive with rapid speed on the Shotover River through a narrow gorge or you can take a gondola ride to Bob’s Peak. If you want, choose one of the adrenaline activities like a bungy or thrilling downhill mountain bike trails.

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Day 10 – Queenstown – Wanaka

 From Queenstown you’ll cross the Crown Range – New Zealand’s highest sealed road – to the alpine town of Wanaka, gateway to Mt. Aspiring National Park. On your way you will pass the Cardrona Hotel, known from the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Enjoy this impressive alpine scenic route.  The area arounf Wanaka is a hiker’s paradise with trails of varying length and difficulty and outstanding beautiful scenery. Another landmark of Wanaka ist the Wanaka tree, growing in the pristne waters of Lake Wanaka.

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Day 11 – Wanaka – Fox/Franz-Josef Glacier

 

Lake Hawea is the first scenic highlight of your journey. At Makarora you can fuel up and refresh before you take on the dramatic twists and turns of the Haast Pass scenic route. Enjoy waterfalls and stunning river scenery as you arrive in the rainforest wilderness where you  face the glaciers up-close.

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Day 12 – Fox/Franz-Josef Glacier – Hokitika

 

This morning you have the opportunity to take a helicopter flight with a glacier landing (optional). From the air you will have an impressive view of the glacier reaching down into the valley. You will then follow the west coast further north, traveling through rainforest, deep blue lakes and turquoise glacial rivers, rugged coastline and former gold mining settlements to Hokitika. Along the way, there are numerous opportunities to photograph this wildly romantic landscape.

Hokitika is a cozy little town right on the ocean and a beach peppered with driftwood in bizarre shapes. You can visit a jade factory (Greenstone) and make a side trip to Punakaiki to see the famous „pancake rocks“.

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Day 13 – Hokitika – Christchurch

 

Today you will leave the West Coast and travel eastward via Arthur’s Pass through the majestic Southern Alps, crossing the highest and most impressive route in the Southern Alps. As you drive through spectacular gorges and river valleys, you can marvel at the snow-capped Southern Alps and the fascinating changes in landscape from rainforest to high mountain region to farmland.

Destination is Christchurch. Here you have the opportunity to explore the inner city core by the historic tram. The tram also has a restaurant where you can end your last evening in New Zealand with a stylish dinner (optional).

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Day 14 – Christchurch

Unfortunately, your round trip through New Zealand ends today. Depending on your departure time, you still have the opportunity to admire the beautiful gardens and impressive old trees in the Botanical Garden. Please drive to Christchurch airport in time and drop off your rental car here. From here you will start your  home journey. We wish you a good flight!

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Please take a look at our other New Zealand self-drive tours and if you can’t find the right tour- no problem! We are happy to advise you individually to offer you the perfect New Zealand holiday. That’s why we are winner of the „Bespoke Tour Operator of the year“ LTG-Award – New Zealand 2018, 2019″.

Get in touch with us! Behind this website are real people who want to share their enthusiasm and expertise for this country. You enjoy New Zealand and your round trip, we take care of the rest.

"What I loved about this tour was that the guide was not afraid to get off the beaten track and show us the real country. This was an experience I would definitely want to come back to."
Alene Elvine
HR Manager
“Our tour was everything I hoped for, and more. Great Days really makes a difference, I would have never discovered the beautiful places we stopped at."
Jona Gerber
Designer

Enjoy the Holiday of a lifetime