Christchurch - Christchurch

Fly total time: 5 days

A journey from Canterbury to Fiordland offers clients everything from heritage buildings and historic landmarks to outdoor adventure amidst stunning lakes and mountains.

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

    On arrival in Christchurch your clients can enjoy a leisurely day exploring the largest city in the South Island.  They can take in the sights, taste quality 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.
    • Take an inner city coach tour from the Museum to look at the rebuild after the Canterbury Earthquakes in 2010-11
    • Stretch your legs with a tour or a leisurely walk through the Botanic Gardens. Or cruise through the gardens by boat on the beautiful Avon River from the Antigua Boatsheds.
    • Take a trip on the Historic Christchurch Tram
    • Shop the central city and experience the boutique shops in heritage New Regent Street or the funky pop up shopping in Cashel Mall.  
    • For a stunning view head up the Christchurch GondolaTee up some fun with activities like mini golf or a visit to the Airforce Museum at Wigram, on the outskirts of the city
  • Day 2 - Akaroa or Hamner Springs or the West Coast

    Drive Fly 1 hour 15 minutes 81 KMS 50 MI
    Option 1: Akaroa Drive over the hills and around the scenic bays to the quaint historic French seaside settlement of Akaroa. Take a guided walk of the town or head out on the harbour and see the world’s smallest Dolphin up close.  Stay overnight before returning to Christchurch next day.
    Option: Hamner Springs Drive through rolling hills and farmland to Hamner Springs in North Canterbury. Have lunch enroute at a local Waipara vineyard before relaxing in the hot pools at Hamner. For more active clients there’s golf, mountain biking or jetboating. There are plenty of accommodation options for clients who want to stay overnight.
    Option 3: TranzAlpine Train take a day trip on the scenic TranzAlpine from Christchurch Railway Station all the way to Greymouth on the West Coast and be back in Christchurch by evening. There’s options to stop off part way at Arthur’s Pass National Park for a short bush walk or Lake Brunner on the West Coast for a lake cruise.  

    Recommended activities:

    Option 1 Akaroa

    • Enjoy a scenic drive over the hills and bays of Banks Peninsula to Akaroa.  
    • Stop enroute at the Barry’s Bay Cheese Factory for a tasting of award winning local cheese.
    • Take an Akaroa Harbour Nature Cruise and see the rare Hector’s Dolphin, seals and other marine life.  
    • Discover the French history of charming  Akaroa Village on a guided walk
    • Enjoy fresh seafood and other local produce at cafes and restaurants to suit every budget and taste

    Option 2 Hamner Springs

    • Stop enroute for lunch at one of the vineyards in the Waipara Valley
    • Adventurous clients can try out a bungy, go rafting or quadbiking, play a round of golf or mountain bike through a plantation forest
    • Make the most of this spa town with a few hours relaxing in the outdoor Hamner Springs Thermal Pools. Spoil yourself with a massage or spa treatment.

    Option 3 TranzAlpine Train

    • Experience one of New Zealand’s most scenic rail journeys across diverse terrain that includes the Canterbury plains with its braided rivers, bush clad Arthur’s Pass National Park and the rugged West Coast. 
    • Stay on the train right through to Greymouth and explore this character filled West Coast town.
    • Or stop off at the Arthur’s Pass village for lunch and a short walk in the beech forest.  
    • Or stop off at Moana on the West Coast and cruise on  scenic Lake Brunner.
  • Day 3 - Queenstown

    Drive Fly 5 hours 37 minutes 483 KMS 300 MI

    Base your clients in Queenstown, New Zealand’s premier alpine lake resort for the next few days. Surrounded by majestic mountains on the shores of beautiful Lake Wakatipu, this alpine town can be enjoyed all year round.

    Recommended activities:

    In the morning take a domestic flight from Christchurch to Queenstown, approximately 1 hour 10 minutes.

    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, jetboating, 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 skifields 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 the historic steamer TSS Earnslaw and visit Walter Peak Station or with another operator the neigbouring Mt Nicholas Station.
    • Take a tour and check out some of the stunning locations featured in Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings and Hobbit trilogies.
    • Enjoy world class golf courses at Jack’s Point, Millbrook and The Hills
    • Take a wine tour to get a taste of the region’s 75 wineries.
    • Cycle your heart out by mountain bike from the top of Bob’s Peak and catch a ride back up by gondola with your bike. Braver clients can check out Heli biking for a real adrenalin rush.
    • Relax at one of the many day spa option in the local hotels. 
    • Save some time to shop for gifts or treats from the boutique shops open late to 9 or 10 at night.  
    • Ride the gondola and enjoy spectacular views from the Skyline complex on Bob’s Peak 
  • Day 4 - Queenstown or a daytrip to Doubtful or Milford Sounds

    Drive Fly 3 hours 24 minutes 286 KMS 177 MI

    Stay on in Queenstown to enjoy more of the delights this alpine town has on offer or take a day trip to the nearby Fiordland for a cruise through spectacular Milford or Doubtful Sound.

    Recommended activities:

    • Experience a step back in time with a scenic daytrip to the waterfalls cascading down bush clad cliffs to the deep waters of Milford Sound.  Cruise on the Sound and hear the native birdsong.   For a once in a lifetime experience your clients can choose to fly back from Milford to Queenstown, subject to weather conditions.  
    • Journey to Doubtful Sound. Start with a boat trip across Lake Manapouri, followed by a bus journey over the rugged Wilmot Pass. This 22km road connects West Arm in Lake Manpouri to Deep Cove in Doubtful Sound.   
    • Both Milford and Doubtful Sound are easily accessible from Queenstown by a scenic daytrip by coach through the beautiful native bush in Fiordland National Park. 
  • Day 5 - Queenstown or Christchurch

    Drive Fly 5 hours and 35 minutes 483 KMS 300 MI

    Experience more of what Queenstown and Fiordland has to be offer or fly home from Queenstown or return early to Christchurch and indulge in another opportunity to explore this city of change.

    Recommended activities:

    See Christchurch or Queenstown

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