Christchurch - Christchurch

Fly total time: 8 days

Hire a car and enjoy the diverse scenery and activities of the South Island in 8 days.  A journey from Canterbury to Fiordland and across to the West Coast is packed full of memorable experiences including stunning scenery, adventurous activities, historic townships and great food and wine.

To ensure your clients are well rested after their flight, we recommend they stay a night or two in their arrival city before collecting a rental vehicle. Driving in a new country can be challenging and will be even worse if the driver is tired. The driver should always be well rested, take regular breaks during the journey and plan to drive for only 1-2 hours at a time.
 
New Zealand has unique road rules and driving conditions that your clients may not be used to. For a safe and enjoyable journey make sure your clients know where to find information on New Zealand’s road rules before they depart for their holiday.
 
Here are some suggestions:
  • Day 1 - Christchurch

    Drive Fly

    Your clients will arrive in Christchurch and enjoy a leisurely day exploring this changing, vibrant city.  Take in the sights, sample the local food and wine and browse the shops.

    Recommended activities:

    • For a memorable wildlife experience within minutes of arrival visit the International Antarctic Centre or the Willowbank Wildlife Centre.  Both are located just a kilometre from the airport
    • Head into central Christchurch for some local history at the beautiful heritage building of the Canterbury Museum
    • Stretch your legs with a leisurely walk through the Christchurch Botanic Gardens.  Or punt through the gardens by boat on the beautiful Avon River with Welcome Aboard.
    • Take an inner city bus tour from the museum to look at the rebuild after the Canterbury Earthquakes in 2010-11
    • Take a trip on the historic Christchurch Tram
    • Shop the city in quaint Spanish Mission style New Regent Street or the funky new pop shops in Cashel Mall.  There is a market here Friday-Sunday 9am - 4pm.
    • Ride the Christchurch Gondola for a view of the city
    • Visit the Airforce Museum at Wigram
  • Day 2 - Christchurch - Aoraki/Mount Cook

    Drive Fly 5 hours 329 KMS 204 MI

    Drive from Christchurch to Aoraki/Mount Cook in around 5 hours..  There’s an option to take the longer inland scenic route and see more of the Southern Alps.  Arrive in time for lunch and explore the region’s delights.

    Recommended activities:

    • Explore the spectacular Hooker Valley with views of New Zealand’s highest mountain, Aoraki Mount Cook on your own or with a guide
    • Head for the skies for a scenic flight above the Southern Alps by helicopter or fixed wing aircraft
    • Between mid September and late May take a trip with Glacier Explorers out onto the spectacular Tasman Glacier terminal lake  
    • Explore the area by land via Tasman Valley 4WD and Argo Tours
    • Experience the wonder of the Southern Hemisphere at night in the Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve through Big Sky Stargazing 
    • Experience the wonder of the Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve by stargazing
    • Treat yourself to dinner at The Hermitage Hotel and visit the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre.
    Please note that all alpine outdoor activities are weather dependent.
  • Day 3 - Aoraki/Mount Cook - Queenstown

    Drive Fly 4 hours 268 KMS 166 MI

    Tick off more activities on your client’s wish list with another morning at Aoraki/Mount Cook before driving on to Queenstown for the night. This drive will take approximately 4 hours.

    Recommended activities:

    • Same as Day 2
  • Day 4-5 - Queenstown

    Drive Fly

    Base your clients in the spectacular alpine village of Queenstown for the next two or three days. This all year round lakeside resort is the gateway to experiencing a scenic region that offers a fantastic range of recreational and lifestyle activities to suit every client. 

    Head over to the lakeside town of Wanaka to sample local food and wines, enjoy a lake cruise, discover the fun of Puzzling World or get active on land or by air.  
     
    Take a day trip or overnight trip to Milford or Doubtful Sounds.

    Recommended activities:

    Queenstown is outdoor adventure heaven. Most activities can be enjoyed all year round with the snow sport season from June to early October. There’s also plenty of opportunities to relax with top quality local food and wine experiences.

    • Adventure activities include bungy jumping, jet boating, white water rafting and ziplining
    • For snow enthusiasts head up to Coronet Peak or The Remarkables skifields, just 30-40 minute by car or shuttle.  Further afield, Cardrona and Treble Cone ski fields near Wanaka are just an hour by car or shuttle (season mid June to mid October, varing by year and field)
    • Enjoy the pristine waters of Lake Wakatipu on a boat cruise and visit a high country station
    • Take a tour and check out some of the stunning locations featured in Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies
    • Enjoy world class golf courses including Jack’s Point, Millbrook and The Hills.
    • Take a wine tour to get a taste of the region’s 75 wineries
    • Grab a bike and go cycling – options are available to suit everyone, including cycling on the Queenstown Trail, mountain biking and heli biking
    • Ride the gondola and enjoy spectacular views from the Skyline complex on Bob’s Peak
    Head over to Wanaka for a day of relaxation or exercise:
     
    • Take to Wanaka by air with a fixed wing scenic flight, a helicopter ride including a glacier landing, sky diving or paragliding
    • Experience high action on the water by jet boating, fishing or paragliding.  For the adventurous there’s canyoning or white water sledging
    • Go on a hike, 4WD experience or mountain bike 
    • Satisfy all tastes with a visit to award winning vineyards for local food and wine 
    • Have fun at the maze and other tricks at Puzzling World
    • Have lunch at the historic Cardrona Hotel
  • Day 6 - Drive Queenstown to South Westland

    Drive Fly 5 hours 10 minutes 268 KMS 166 MI

    Drive to Queenstown via Wanaka and Haast to either Fox or Franz Josef Glaciers in around 5 hours, 10 minutes.

    Recommended activities:

    • Stop off in Wanaka
    • Drive straight to Haast and enjoy a scenic or wildlife tour by jetboat or helicopter 
    • Enjoy the spectacular bush and mountain reflections in Lake Matheson 
    • Relax in the steaming Glacier Hot Pools at Franz Josef Glacier
  • Day 7 - Fox or Franz Josef Glacier - Greymouth

    Drive Fly 2 hours 20 minutes (from Fox Glacier) 196 KMS 121 MI

    Glacier Country is best known for year round guided glacier walks and scenic flights by helicopter or fixed wing, with or without snow landings.

    Recommended activities:

    Spend the morning:

    • Taking a guided trip onto Fox or Franz Josef Glaciers
    • View the Glaciers from above with a scenic flight
    • Get to know New Zealand’s national bird, the Kiwi, up close at the West Coast Wildlife Centre in Franz Josef 
    Enjoy lunch in the area before driving to Greymouth in around 3 hours.  Take a break at Hokitika and buy some local West Coast pounamu (jade) jewellery.
  • Day 8 - Greymouth - Christchurch

    Drive Fly 2 hours and 55 minutes 241 KMS 149 MI

    If driving, take a lunch break en-route at Arthur’s Pass to enjoy a short walk into the beech forest around the Village. Watch out for the Kea, New Zealand’s native alpine parrot – they are very inquisitive!

    Recommended activities:

    • Option 1: Drop off the rental car at Greymouth Railway Station in time to catch the spectacular TranzAlpine train back to Christchurch.  Book in advance to ensure a seat.
    • Option 2: Self-drive to Christchurch via Arthur’s Pass National Park. This drive will take approximately 4 hours.