12
days

New Zealand Relaxed Adventure in the Scenic South Island

This 12 day New Zealand relaxed adventure itinerary will provide you with unspoilt landscapes both at the unique properties chosen and the experiences had. we purposely keep you away from the tourist traps,  allowing you to savor the peace and tranquility that New Zealand is famed for.

Moeraki Boulders, Blue Penguins, Larnachs Castle, Otago Peninsula Cruise, Fiordland Expedition, Milford Sound Flight, Glacier & Mt Cook Walk.

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Itinerary

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1
Christchurch – The Future is Here

Welcome to Christchurch an Exciting City to Visit ... Now!
Five Years on from the devastating earthquake that raised the city’s centre to the ground, a new city built for the future is rising from the ashes. It’s an exciting time to visit Christchurch, the blank canvas that was the CBD is starting to fill and inspiring architects from all over the world.

21st Century Architecture
Explore a western city in transition from a former Victorian beauty to a cutting edge 21st Century City. Visit the ‘Cardboard Transitional Cathedral’ in Latimer Square, designed by Japanese architect Shigeru Ban. Built in August 2013, it seats 700 people and is primarily made from futuristic cardboard combined with wood and steel or visit the ‘Restart Mall’ eloquently made from shipping containers. There are many examples of ingenuity popping up all over the city – after all, necessity is the mother of all invention and these Cantabrians are a resourceful bunch.

An explosion of Street Art
With a crisis comes true Artistic expression and the February 22, 2011 earthquake exerted a revitalising influence over Christchurch’s arts scene ‘Outer Space’ art galleries consume spare space with work being installed on outside walls, billboards, in windows and temporary spaces, sharing street space with a proliferation of temporary installations and outdoor exhibitions – truly worth taking time to explore.

Accommodation Christchurch - 1 night

2
Travel to Oamaru - A Victorian Beauty

Your New Zealand Relaxed Adventure starts now, collect your car and head south on a the scenic drive to Oamaru the Victorian Beauty built to New Zealand's capital city.

Quirky Oamaru
While its façade is strictly of the Victorian era with ornately decorated grand white stone buildings that once housed upstanding banks, hotels and restaurants, the ‘Oamaruivans’ are certainly not, In fact, they are quite the contrary, unlike the Victorians they (the locals) are bohemian artisans, creative’s and antiquarians who run ‘out-there’ galleries, museums, shops and venues – it has to be seen to be believed and you'll love it.

The Art of Victorian Futurism
One of these quirky manifestations is the Steam-punk Museum and workshop, housed in a beautiful but imposing free-standing Oamaru stone building. Outside the infamous Steampunk Engine SP001 greets visitors, belching flames, smoke and odd sounds, inside the museum presents a theme of a dark post-apocalyptic vision of a future "as it might have been".

Blog Article: The Art of Victorian Futurism in Oamaru

Meet the Smallest Penguins in the World
Also worthy of a look is the nightly return to land of the Little Blue Penguin that nest under the local wharf.

Travel Time 3 hr 15 min Approximate Distance 250 km | 155 mi

Accommodationn Oamaru - 1 night

3
Dunedin - Scottish City of Grace and Grandeur

The Famous Moeraki Boulders
Visit the Moeraki Boulders 40 km (24 Miles) south of Oamaru. These other worldly boulders are steeped in Maori Legend. Scientists explain the boulders as septarian concretions formed about 65 million years ago. Crystallization of calcium and carbonates around charged particles in muddy undersea sediments gradually formed the boulders in a process taking as long as four million years. The soft mud-stone containing the boulders was raised from the seabed around 15 million years ago and sea erosion is exposing the erosion-resistant boulders.

Dunedin
Dunedin is now the second largest city in the South Island and positively thriving - a bustling university town that is packed with interesting sights from the wonderful cultural attractions to the thriving marine life and spectacular ocean front geography. Dunedin was founded by Scottish immigrants, who built the impressive buildings the city is now famed for. These buildings incorporate a diverse array of styles from Tudor, Jacobean, Georgian, Carpenter, Gothic and Arts and Crafts styles also feature - to some very fine examples of Neo-Gothic. Dunedin is regarded as one of the best preserved Victorian cities in the Commonwealth.

Travel Time 2hrs 15mins Approximate Distance 125 km | 75 mi

Accommodation Otago Peninsula - 2 nights

4
Otago Peninsula Wildlife Cruise

Join the highly rated Otago Peninsula Wildlife Cruise, a voyage of discovery among a unique diversity and abundance of wildlife (10-20 species), great beauty, dramatic views and significant geological features Passengers can see what cannot be seen from land, to greet the mighty Northern Royal Albatross as it sweeps in from the open Pacific Ocean and soars above the spectacular inaccessible cliffs of Taiaroa. These escarpments are alive with eight other species of birds nesting above families of Fur Seals. Close offshore, huge flocks of Sooty Shearwaters feed among other Shearwaters, Petrels and other species of Albatross. The abundance and diversity of wildlife makes a cruise different - a truly multi-species tour on a sheltered harbour that sparkles with scenic beauty, gems of geology and a colourful heritage.

5
Travel to Te Anau - Gateway to Fiordland

Set amongst a skyline of great mountains and beside the gorgeous Lake Te Anau, Te Anau is one of the great scenic towns of the South Island. It's location in Fiordland puts Te Anau Township squarely on the doorstep to adventure - some of the most spectacular wilderness landscapes in New Zealand are accessed from here, including the incredible Milford Road, Doubtful Sound, Te Anau Glow Worm Caves and Milford Sound. The name Te Anau translates in Maori to 'Caves of Swirling Water' and until a relatively recent discovery, the origin of the swirling waters remained lost in old Maori legend. The town is surrounded by beauty and brimming with great accommodation options, dining and unique attractions. 

Travel Time 3.5 hrs  Approximate Distance 300km | 185mi

Accommodation Te Anau - 3 nights

6
Wairaurahiri River Jetboat Expedition into Southern Fiordland

Follow the River Deep into the Waitutu Rainforest. BBQ on a Wild West Coast Beach

Today will take you literally beyond the beaten track - this 94 km (58 mile) jet boat adventure provides access to the most remote section of Fiordland National Park. Beginning with a crossing of Lake Haroto, following the mighty Wairaurahiri River down to the rugged southern coast while dodging giant overhanging trees and massive gnarled, moss-covered branches – the rainforest is everywhere. This full Day Adventure includes several nature walks deep into the Waitutu rainforest viewing and identifying indigenous flora and fauna – You will soon realize why this place is considered a national treasure.

Finally on reaching the South Coast, we pull into an idyllic beach location for a delicious kiwi style BBQ is served with typical great Southern hospitality. The adventure continues and the return journey allows you to experience the full force of the Wairaurahiri River's mighty current as we travel upstream to the original departure point.

7
Milford Sound from the Air

A trip to New Zealand isn’t complete without a scenic flight into majestic Fiordland.
It took millions of years for nature to create the towering mountains and for the glaciers to carve its deep fiords. By helicopter in a few hours we can show you stunning scenery and can encompass areas like Te Anau, Lake Manapouri and the Wilmot Pass into remote Doubtful Sound or fly over George and Bligh Sounds via the Sutherland Falls en route to Milford Sound. A glacier landing, along with several other remote landings, even a gourmet lunch somewhere in the wilderness – Tell us what you want and we can arrange it! 

8
Travel to Wanaka

Wanaka is a compelling mix of spectacular alpine scenery, fine food, wine and boutique shopping - Very Twee.  the lakeside resort town of Wanaka is surrounded by some of New Zealand’s most wild and beautiful places. On the doorstep of Mount Aspiring National Park, the spectacular walks & hikes, skiing, water sports and boating options available here delight those passionate about the outdoors. Wanaka is a destination that’s charming in all seasons. Staying around town is just as enjoyable; delight in the many delicious eateries and bustling pubs and enjoy a stroll on the lakeside walkway or a swim in the refreshing waters. 

Travel Time 3hrs  Approximate Distance 227km | 141mi

Accommodation Wanaka - 2 nights

9
Guided Rob Roy Glacier Day Walk

Get away from it all and enjoy the peace and tranquillity of New Zealand’s spectacular mountain landscape on a one day trek into the Mt Aspiring National Park. You'll be immersed in the dramatic mountain and bush scenery on this trek with views of the amazing glaciers of Rob Roy directly overhead. This guided trek takes you on a wonderfully scenic journey up the Matukituki valley where you will be surrounded by mountains and true wilderness. You will be escorted by knowledgeable and friendly guides with a wealth of experience in the mountains. 

 

10
Aoraki Mount Cook National Park - Picture Perfect

The road to Mt Cook is one of the most spectacular drives in New Zealand, it hugs the edge of picture perfect 'Lake Pukaki'. This exquisite opaque turquoise coloured lake is one of the most photographed in New Zealand and for good reason, its astounding colour is caused by fine, glacier-ground rock particles suspended in the waters of the lake and reflected out to you the viewer - The colour needs to be seen to be believed.

The Aoraki Mount Cook National Parks  landscape is a mixture of high country tussock, farmland and snow-capped mountains and includes the highest peak in Australasia - 3755m (12,319 feet). The region attracts mountain climbers, hikers and scenery fanatics. Heli skiing, heli hiking and aerial sightseeing provide visitors with amazing memories. A variety of walking trails begin in or near Mount Cook Village - most take only a couple of hours. In the bar of the local hotel, huge windows provide a perfect view of Mt Cook.

Travel Time 2.2 hrs  Approximate Distance 206km | 128mi

​Accommodation Mt Cook - 2 nights

11
Walking the Hooker Glacier Valley Track

Hooker Valley Guided Hike: 5 Hours Walking, Distance 11 km (6.8 mi)

Start your day with a guided walk up the beautiful Hooker Valley, providing breathtaking views of some of New Zealand's highest and most enthralling peaks. Enjoy a stunning 11 km (6.8 mile) trek along over mostly flat terrain (there are some rocky bits) to the terminal lake of the Hooker Glacier. The journey encompasses an Alpine Memorial and passes over the turbulent Hooker River by Swing Bridge to unsurpassed vistas of Aoraki Mount Cook's south face and the surrounding glaciers. Your guide will point out the unique features of this alpine world as you enjoy lunch in the shadow of New Zealand's and Oceania's highest peak, standing at 3,754 metres (12,316 Feet)

12
Return to Christchurch and depart

Haere rā and Bon Voyage!

We are sure you will enjoy your New Zealand Relaxed Adventure and our promise is to make your travels through New Zealand as hassle-free and hospitable as possible - ensuring that today you leave with a memory card full of photos, and huge smiles on your faces when recalling your time in New Zealand! Have a great homeward journey, farewell and hope to see you again soon in Aotearoa, New Zealand. 

Travel Time 4.0 hrs  Approximate Distance 331km | 205mi

Ready to find out more? Talk to us here in New Zealand about the 'New Zealand Relaxed Adventure'  - We Guarantee it will be the Holiday of a Lifetime!