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A Quick New Zealand Fix - The South Island

Short of time but want to maximize your experience in New Zealand's South Island, well with-out going over the top and leaving you breathless at the end of your journey, we have compiled a couple of New Zealand Short Break self-drive itineraries that allow you to see and do those iconic New Zealand site-seeing and activities New Zealand is famed for - the Must-do's.

Scenic flight and Cruise Milford Sound, Fiordland, Franz Joseph Glacier, Tranz Alpine Rail Journey, Mt Cook Star Gazing, Queenstown.

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Itinerary

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1
Christchurch

‘Haere Mai’ and Welcome to New Zealand.

New Zealand’s second-largest city and the gateway to the South Island, Christchurch sits on the very edge of the Canterbury Plains and is bordered by the Pacific Ocean. The city itself has bounced back after a series of major earthquakes, and has shown its resiliency with a number of new and exciting developments popping up everywhere. Don’t miss the Re Start shopping area, made out of Shipping Containers, as well as the many funky Pop Up bars dotted throughout the city. Make the most of your free time, your New Zealand Short Break starts tomorrow.

Some Suggested Activities If You Have Time

Easygoing Cycling Tour Punting the Avon River Lyttelton Harbour Wildlife Cruise
Māori Cultural Evening French Akaroa Tour Southern Alps Ballooning
Christchurch Gondola Clearwater Golf Arthur's Pass TranzAlpine Hike

Accommodation Christchurch - 1 night

2
Christchurch | Lake Tekapo | Mt Cook

Mt Cook National Park

This is a Fantasy Land of Ice and Rock. Mt Cook National Park, known for its exquisite alpine beauty and is home to the highest mountain in New Zealand, Mt Cook. Its Maori name, ‘Aoraki’ means ‘cloud piercer’ and at 12,016ft (3,755m) it towers above the surrounding snow-covered peaks in the park. Tonight enjoy a Star Gazing Tour - this area also has World Heritage status as a SkyPark for the purity and lack of light pollution.

Approximate Distance: 359 kms | 223 miles  Total Driving Time: 4 hours 45 mins

Accommodation Mt Cook - 1 night

3
Queenstown

Queenstown, located on the shores of Lake Wakatipu and surrounded by the magnificent Southern Alps, is New Zealand’s most celebrated destination.  Offering a wealth of experiences to be enjoyed – from adrenaline activities such as bungee jumps and sky diving, adventurous excursions like the famous Shotover Jet-Boating and hiking through to superb golf, gourmet food and wine tours or romantic hot air ballooning.

Recommended excursions in Queenstown:

Routeburn Track Guided Day Walk Explore Historic Arrowtown Highest Bungy Jump
Wine Tasting Tour Central Otago Biking Skippers Canyon Round at Millbrook Golf Resort
TSS Earnslaw Steamboat Cruise Dart River Jetboat Safari Gibbston Valley Wine Trail
 

Approximate Distance: 255 kms | 159 miles  Total Driving Time: 3 hours

Accommodation Queenstown - 2 nights

4
RETURN SCENIC FLIGHT AND CRUISE OF THE DRAMATIC MILFORD SOUND

Today, board a twin engine aircraft for your scenic 35 minute flight to Milford Sound. During your flight there are panoramic views of the spectacular alpine scenery including glaciers, rivers, lakes and rainforest.  On reaching Milford Sound, enjoy a full length cruise of the fiord in modern, purpose built vessels. The vessels offer excellent viewing of waterfalls, rainforest, mountains and wildlife with large windows, spacious decks and comfortable lounges. At the completion of your cruise, return to Queenstown by plane. This excursion is a must for those short on time and here for a New Zealand short break holiday.

5
Franz Joseph Glacier

Franz Josef village is small (only 500 locals) and is located only ten minutes from the Glacier. The Franz Josef is a glacier located in Westland National Park on the West Coast of New Zealand's South Island. Together with the Fox Glacier 20 km (13 Miles) to the south, it is a unique in the fact that it descends from the Southern Alps to just 200 metres above sea level amidst the greenery and lushness of a temperate rainforest. The glacier is currently 12 kilometres ( 8 miles) long and terminates 19 km (11mi) from the Tasman Sea. The glacier exhibits a cyclic pattern of advance and retreat, driven by differences between the volume of meltwater at the foot of the glacier and volume of snowfall feeding the neve.

Take the time this afternoon for a walk to the glaciers terminal face.

Approximate Distance: 352 kms | 219 miles  Total Driving Time: 4 hours 30 mins

Accommodation Franz Joseph - 1 night

6
TranZ Alpine Train to Christchurch

Rated as one of the top scenic train journeys in the world, the Famous Tranz Alpine Train will take you deep into the heartland of the South Island… a coast to coast journey through some of the world’s most extreme and beautiful scenery. The Tranz Alpine winds its way over massive viaducts and through spectacular gorges and river valleys, tracking slowly across the country's greatest mountain range, the Southern Alps. It stops in the heart of the Southern Alps at Arthur’s Pass National Park before descending to the Canterbury Plains and on to Christchurch.

Accommodation Christchurch - 1 night

7
Homeward Bound

"Haere rā" Goodbye! and Bon Voyage!

Some Suggested Activities If You Have Time

Easygoing Cycling Tour Punting the Avon River Lyttelton Harbour Wildlife Cruise
Māori Cultural Evening French Akaroa Tour Southern Alps Ballooning
Christchurch Gondola Clearwater Golf Arthur's Pass TranzAlpine Hike

 

There maybe time for some last minute excursions or shopping before making your way for your outbound flight. We are sure you will enjoy your New Zealand short break holiday, 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.

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