Christchurch - Auckland

Fly total time: 10 days

Adventure through the South Island’s diverse landscapes, before a brief city break in cosmopolitan Auckland.

AT A GLANCE:
  • 10 days/9 nights (self-drive with some transfers)
  • Cycle the sights in Christchurch
  • See icy giants in glacier country
  • Visit boutique wineries
  • Kayak serence lagoons
  • Zipline thorugh native forests
  • Day 1: Christchurch

    Drive Fly 0
    Your journey begins in Christchurch, the South Island’s largest city. Explore this everchanging and growing city on a vintage bicycle with your local guide. Take a relaxing punt down the Avon River or ride the historic tram to the city’s various shopping and eating precincts.

    Top tip: Take some time to smell the flowers in the stunning botanic gardens.

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  • Day 2: Christchurch - Greymouth - Franz Josef

    Drive Fly 7 hours 15 minutes 395 KMS 245 MI
    Christchurch - Greymouth (223km / 5 hours)
    Greymouth - Franz Josef (172km / 2 hours 15 minutes)

    Enjoy one of the world’s most scenic train journeys – the TranzAlpine – before taking to the road in your rental car and exploring a region famed for its wild natural beauty. Stop off en route to Franz Josef for a treetop adventure, where you can walk in the canopy of a temperate rainforest of ancient giants. After a day of travel, enjoy a soak in a hot pool amongst lush vegetation.

    Top tip: Stop off in Hokitika for unique jewellery carved from pounamu (greenstone) found in West Coast rivers.

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  • Day 3: Franz Josef - Wanaka

    Drive Fly 3 hours 50 minutes 284 KMS 176 MI
    Walk on the shoulders of an icy giant with a glacier heli-hike, or admire the everchanging icescape from the river valley with a dedicated guide. A personalised kayak tour is a great way to explore the nearby waterways of Okarito lagoon, a delight for wildlife photographers with its diverse birdlife and snowy peaks in the distance.

    Top tip: Leave lots of time for the onward drive to Wanaka, and consider taking a break at the pristine Blue Pools.

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  • Day 4: Wanaka

    Drive Fly 0
    Start your day with an exhilarating 4x4 safari showcasing Wanaka’s best scenic locations and offering a unique insight into the town’s rich history, heritage and modern-day farming life. After lunch, get on your bike and take an easy riverside ramble along crystal clear waters, or ride some of Wanaka’s excellent single track.

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  • Day 5: Wanaka - Arrowtown - Queenstown

    Drive Fly 1 hour 25 minutes 76 KMS 47 MI
    Wanaka - Arrowtown (55km / 1 hour)
    Arrowtown - Queenstown (21km / 25 minutes)

    Discover hidden pools, picnic next to towering waterfalls and be blown away by spectacularviews on a via ferrata climbing adventure. Guided options are available for both beginners and seasoned adventurers. Then explore Arrowtown on a walking tour, a charming gold rush village nestled below craggy peaks.

    Top tip: Stop off for a tasty lunch at one of New Zealand's oldest places to stay, the Cardrona Hotel.

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  • Day 6/7: Queenstown - Milford Sound - Queenstown

    Drive Fly 3 hours 45 minutes 287 KMS 178 MI
    Spend the day journeying to Milford Sound by coach or private transfer, which gives you the chance to sit back and let the vast, glacier-carved wilderness of the world’s largest national park go by. Cruise out into the iconic fiord, most impressive in the mist and rain when the waterfalls are pumping.

    Top tip: If you enjoy hiking, several of New Zealand's iconic Great Walks can be accessed from Te Anau - such as the Milford, Routeburn and Kepler tracks. Guided walks and day trips can be arranged for those looking for shorter or more comfortable options.

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  • Day 8: Queenstown

    Drive Fly 0
    Start your day with a supported cycling adventure on the Queenstown trails. Follow the Arrow River trail over spectacular suspension bridges before joining the original gold miners’ trail, which takes you to the doorstep of an award-winning winery. Rest your legs in the afternoon with more wine tasting, or zoom downhill in a luge before enjoying dinner with a view at Skyline Queenstown.

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  • Day 9: Queenstown - Auckland

    Drive Fly 1 hour 50 minutes 1550 KMS 963 MI
    Today you will fly to Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city. Take a tour of Maungawhau (Mount Eden). Hear stories of this ancient fortress and see the city’s sights from its highest geographical point. Alternatively, blow away the cobwebs with a sail on an America’s Cup yacht and take a look (or a leap) from the iconic Sky Tower or Auckland’s Harbour Bridge.

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  • Day 10: Auckland - Waiheke Island - Auckland

    Drive Fly 40 minutes 50 KMS 31 MI
    Auckland - Waiheke (40 minute ferry)

    Get back to nature on Waiheke Island, just a short ferry ride from Auckland’s city centre. This island paradise offers a blend of wining, dining, shopping and coastal scenery. Fly through the forest canopy on a zipline adventure, followed by a short nature walk. Enjoy lunch and wine-tasting at one of the island’s many excellent wineries. Spend your last night in Auckland city before flying out the next morning.

    Top tip: For early morning departures, stay at the Novotel Airport hotel.

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