‘Book with Flexibility
Book with confidence with our flexible holiday options, knowing that if things change, you’ll have room to move without the fear of fees! See the inclusions below for more details on flexible bookings.
8 night self drive itinerary departing Christchurch.
9 day economy car hire, picking up Christchurch & dropping off Queenstown.
Christchurch 1 night accommodation at the 3-star BreakFree on Cashel, Christchurch in a Urban Room.
Hokitika 1 night accommodation at the 3-star Beachfront Hotel, Hokitika in a Driftwood Room.
Franz Josef 2 nights accommodation at the 4-star Rainforest Retreat, Franz Josef and Holiday Park in a Cottage.
Wanaka 1 night accommodation at the 3-star Wanaka Hotel in a Lake View Room.
Queenstown 3 nights accommodation at the 4 -star BreakFree The Point, Queenstown in a Studio Room.
Franz Josef Glacier Tour.
Scenic Skyline Gondola Ride in Queenstown.
BONUS SAVE up to $70.
FLEXIBLE FREE changes & cancellations up to 8 days prior to travel.
In Queenstown, why not add a Glacier Heli-Hike from an extra $455.
In Queenstown, why not add a Shotover Jet Boat Ride from an extra $125.
Tick-off a number of bucket-list items in this 9-day itinerary. Make your way from vibrant Christchurch, across to the west coasts towns of Greymouth, Hokitika, Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers, where you will spend 3 nights on the coast with a Glacier tour. Travel along the coast and inland to the alpine town of Wanaka before making your way to Queenstown for 3 nights, where there are a plethora of activities to experience.
Your package includes 9 days car hire, 1 night in Christchurch, 1 night in Hokitika, 2 nights in Franz Josef, 1 night in Wanaka, 3 nights in Queenstown plus a two-hour Glacier Tour in Franz Josef and a scenic Skyline Gondola trip in Queenstown.
Day 1 Christchurch
Christchurch is known as the Garden City for its award-winning expanse of parks and gardens. Hire a bike or stroll through the botanic gardens through the north and south Hagley Parks for a lovely day out, take a leisurely punt ride down the picturesque Avon River, and head up to Summit Road for panoramic views over the city. While in the city, dont miss a visit to the International Antarctic Centre, showcasing the grandeur of the Antarctic through sound and light shows and interactive exhibits. With an eclectic assortment of cafes, bars and restaurants dotted around the city, unique shopping malls and fascinating museums, art spaces, and tram and gondola rides, there is plenty to see and do.
Stay 1 night in Christchurch
Day 2 Christchurch to Hokitika (278km)
Travel west across the Canterbury Plains and watch as the scenery changes from mountain pass to rivers, lakes and unique geological features. See the ancient limestone rock formations of Kura Tawhiti at Castle Hill, just a short walk from the road, where you can follow the track that weaves through the giant stones. A further 45-minute drive west, you will reach the small village of Arthurs Pass nestled in alpine grandeur, a popular starting point for a range of hiking trails through the Southern Alps. Close by, you can see the historic Otira rail tunnel, an epic engineering marvel through 8.5 km of rock. As you travel further west towards the coast, the landscape becomes greener with lush rainforests and dramatic wilderness.
If time permits, you can take a slight detour and stop into Greymouth, a town with a history of jade hunting, gold mining and dramatic river floods. Visit Shantytown Heritage Park for a history lesson of gold mining in the area or enjoy a local brew at the famous Monteiths brewery.
Head back on your way along the west coast, stopping historic Hokitika for the night, passing Arahura Valley where pounamu (greenstone) is traditionally sourced from the Arahura River. Hokitika has a fascinating history and a great place to hear all the stories of shipwrecks, gold mining and pounamu hunters. Take a walk-through town and discover old buildings, galleries specialising in pounamu jewellery and artworks.
Stay 1 night in Hokitika
Day 3 – 4 Hokitika to Franz Josef (138km)
You will reach Franz Josef first, with Fox Glacier only a 25-minute drive apart. Both glaciers are a puzzle of huge valleys of ice that extend well below the snowline, almost to the sea, and are considered to be among the most convenient glaciers in the world to visit. You can view the glaciers on heli hikes, scenic flights, and spectacular walks in their lower valleys. The best way to see and experience the glaciers are on a heli hike combining a helicopter ride and a hike through the jaw-dropping scenery. Or join a glacier valley walk to see waterfalls and ancient temperate rainforests. End your day soaking in the Franz Josef Glacier Hot Pools, set in the lush native rainforest, for absolute relaxation.
Stay 2 nights in Franz Josef
Day 5 Franz Josef to Wanaka (286km)
As you travel along the picturesque alpine scenery, you will pass through the spectacular Haast Pass travelling alongside the Haast River. As you continue past Haast, there are a number of short walks that begin at the highway’s edge, including Roaring Billy, Thunder Creek Falls and Fantail Falls. Get your camera ready at the Gates of Haast gorge, as the wild water crashes over the river boulders. Next stop is Makarora River, make time to follow the boardwalk to a viewing platform over the Blue Pools for great views up the river gorge. A further hour’s drive and you will reach the town of Wanaka.
Wanaka sits on the shores of a crystal-clear lake, and at the foot of the Southern Alps. Easily accessible ski fields in the winter, and mountain-bike and hiking trails in the summer, means Wanaka is always buzzing with adventure seekers. The town is also the gateway to the stunning Mt Aspiring National Park, a collection of high mountain peaks, verdant forests, and plunging waterfalls.
Immerse yourself in Wanakas iconic, unique, and award-winning Puzzling World that will keep people of all ages keen to engage in a fun, challenging and sensory experience. Take a cruise on the lake to Mou Waho Island and enjoy a nature walk, or try a Wildwire climbing adventure up twin waterfalls, or in winter hit the slopes at nearby Cardrona or Treble Cone ski areas. Cardrona also offers some of the best conditions for stargazing, and in summer, mountain bike riding. In winter, enjoy an evening relaxing beside a roaring open fire at one of the many restaurants or bars around town, while watching as the sun sets over the lake.
Stay 1 night in Wanaka
Day 6 – 9 Wanaka to Queenstown, via Arrowtown (75km)
As you make your way to Queenstown, take a slight detour to the charming town of Arrowtown, where you can learn about the areas prospecting history. The town centre is brimming with art galleries to explore, and many examples of Maori culture to discover.
Queenstown is New Zealands most prosperous resort town with an array of summer and winter activities to do from heart-racing jaw-dropping action, to soft-adventure, pure relaxation and exploring hidden gems surrounding the town. A great introduction into Queenstown is to head up to Skyline Queenstown where you can enjoy the most spectacular views over the town, lake and mountains. Travel by gondola up 450m above the town to the Skyline complex, try your hand at the gravity-fuelled luge, or enjoy a meal at their onsite restaurant. Head down to the lakes edge for a picnic or take a leisurely scenic cruise along Lake Wakatipu by a vintage steamship, TSS Earnslaw, and stop into Walter Peak High Country Farm for lunch. A must-do experience is to head to Fergburger, Queenstowns iconic institution serving delicious burgers!
The adrenaline junkies will have a plethora of action-packed activities to choose from. Take a breathtaking ride through dramatic and narrow canyons with the award-winning Shotover Jet, or jump out of an aircraft into thin air, or bungy jump or catapult from a bridge. Or, if shopping till you drop sounds better than dropping from a ledge, try the many boutiques, like pre-loved fashion boutique, The Walk In Wardrobe, plus a weekly arts & crafts market. Finish your day soaking at the Onsen Hot Pools, open day or night.
Stay 3 nights in Queenstown