Te Waipounamu is the Māori name for the larger of New Zealand's two main islands. The South Island, affectionately referred to as the Mainland by its inhabitants, is nearly one third larger than the North however less than one quarter of the population lives there. We've handpicked all the must-see spots and most popular attractions for your driving holiday itinerary in the South Island. And remember, all our tour itineraries are infinitely customisable free of charge. So, you'll see everything you want to see regardless of how long you have. Take a look at our South Island New Zealand Self Drive Tours and start the road trip of a lifetime now.

Open Search Filters

You searched for

Tour type:
Self Drive,
Island:
South Island,

View As

View mode
Location
South Island
3,4 and 5 Star Options
Tour Type
Self Drive
Departing from
Christchurch

Don't miss this stunning short-stay South Island wildlife encounter: you'll discover the very best spots to see New Zealand's whales and dolphins frolicking in the wild. Get up close and personal with the ultra-rare Hector's Dolphin in Akaroa and watch giant whales in beautiful Kaikoura, where the mountains meet the sea.

QUICK OVERVIEW
Price on Application
Provider
Location
South Island
4, 5 Star & Lodge Options
Tour Type
Self Drive
Departing from
Queenstown
Next Departure
Departs Daily

This sophisticated all-season town enjoys the best of both worlds offering bespoke and authentic luxury experiences in beautifully natural settings hosted by our warm and welcoming people. Here is a suggested five days in Queenstown that won't disappoint!

QUICK OVERVIEW
From $3598
per person twin share
Provider
Location
South Island
3,4 & 5 Star Options
Tour Type
Self Drive
Departing from
Queenstown

Be seduced by Fiordland’s most awe-inspiring and diverse landscapes on the ultimate New Zealand walking package. Get to know the Milford, Routeburn and Kepler Tracks plus beautiful Lake Marian on this unforgettable, fully-guided 4 day South Island Great Walk adventure. Our alpine vistas, native forests, giant lakes, roaring rivers and vast fiords will leave you spellbound!

QUICK OVERVIEW
From $2420
per person
Provider
Location
South Island
4 Star Hotel
Tour Type
Self Drive
Departing from
Queenstown
Next Departure
Departs Daily

Picturesque views, endless snow-capped mountains and world-class resorts – a skier’s paradise! Let your hair down in New Zealand's adventure capital. Cruise Milford Sound, take a gondola ride for panoramic views of Lake Wakatipu and get your adrenaline pumping on a jet boat ride, all with spectacular scenic backdrops.

QUICK OVERVIEW
Price on Application
Provider
Location
South Island
3, 4 & 5 Star Options
Tour Type
Self Drive
Departing from
Queenstown
Next Departure
Departs Daily

New Zealand is a small island nation, with a fascinating history. This self drive itinerary embraces the heritage and culture of New Zealand's South Island. Historic accommodations have been selected to provide a sense of place, and the landmark locations that celebrate the architecture, art, history and culture of New Zealand are included in this itinerary.

QUICK OVERVIEW
From $1173
per person twin share
Provider
Location
South Island
3, 4.5 & 5 Star Options
Tour Type
Self Drive
Departing from
Christchurch
Next Departure
Departs Daily

Short of time but want to maximize your experience in New Zealand's South Island, well without 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-dos.

BEST OF THE SOUTH IN 7 DAYS

QUICK OVERVIEW
From $1950
per person twin share
Provider
Location
South Island
3 to 4.5 Star
Tour Type
Self Drive
Departing from
Christchurch
Next Departure
Departs Daily

The New Zealand Winter Family Holiday is designed for family fun, with an interesting array of activities and experiences to keep your kids engaged, while also keeping it enjoyable for parents. Family adventures both off and on the snow that have been tried and tested for years by own children. 

QUICK OVERVIEW
From $1704
per person Two Adults + 2 kids under 14yrs
Provider
Location
South Island
3, 4 & 5 Star Options
Tour Type
Self Drive
Departing from
Queenstown
Next Departure
Departs Daily

It took two years to film the LoTR trilogy, but many millions of years to build the sets.....This 7 Day LoTR New Zealand Self Drive Itinerary gets you up close and personal with the grand landscapes that inspired Director Peter Jackson to make the majority of the Trilogy in New Zealand's South.

QUICK OVERVIEW
From $1840
per person twin share
Provider
Location
South Island
3,4 & 5 Star Accommodation
Tour Type
Self Drive
Departing from
Queenstown

Enjoy Queenstown’s very best alpine vistas, tranquil lakes, and award-winning championship golf courses. From lakeside Jacks Point to the mountain backdrop of Millbrook, each course is an experience in itself. With a full day free in Queenstown, a flight to Milford Sound, and one of the top scenic drives in the country, this tour truly has it all.

QUICK OVERVIEW
From $2625
per person
Provider
Location
South Island
3, 4 & 5 Star Options
Tour Type
Self Drive
Next Departure
Departs Daily

Just relax and enjoy, feel like you have really had a holiday – no rushing around on this itinerary. The South Island Relaxing Journey is designed for those needing space and relaxation. Enjoy exceptional scenery, stunning lakes, wild rivers and our remote Southern Alps.

QUICK OVERVIEW
From $2802
per person twin share
Provider
Location
South Island
3, 4 & 5 Star Options
Tour Type
Self Drive
Departing from
Christchurch
Next Departure
Departs Daily

Routeburn and Milford Tracks, Glaciers & More. The South Island of New Zealand is a haven for walkers and hikers. This self-drive New Zealand itinerary focuses on easy going guided walks for hikers of modest fitness who love being in the bush and the natural environment. No hiking experience is necessary.

QUICK OVERVIEW
From $2850
per person twin share
Provider
Location
South Island
5 Star Accommodation
Tour Type
Self Drive
Departing from
Queenstown

An unforgettable winter wonderland awaits you in Queenstown and Wanaka. You'll play at four of New Zealand's top ski areas by day, coming home to 5-star hotel luxury every night. For the ultimate thrill, take an exhilarating heli-ski trip to find untouched powder in the beautiful backcountry of the Southern Alps.

QUICK OVERVIEW
From $2880
per person
Provider
Location
South Island
3,4 & 5 Star Options
Tour Type
Self Drive
Departing from
Christchurch

Enjoy South Island's very best alpine vistas, tranquil towns, and award-winning championship golf courses. From the spring-fed lakes of Clearwater, to the mountain backdrops of Jacks Point, each course is an experience in itself. With a full day in Queenstown, a flight to Milford Sound, and one of the top scenic drives in the country, this nine day tour truly has it all.

QUICK OVERVIEW
From $3049
per person
Provider
Location
South Island
4 Star Accommodation
Tour Type
Self Drive
Departing from
Christchurch
Next Departure
Departs Daily

This tour will delight the traveller who is interested in New Zealand's varied alpine and marine environments. Explore the wild West Coast, the top portion of the Southern Alps and the beautiful Marlborough Sounds - and return via Kaikoura to Christchurch.

QUICK OVERVIEW
From $2586
per person twin share
Provider
Location
South Island
4, 5 Star & Lodge Options
Tour Type
Self Drive
Departing from
Nelson

Want to bask on secluded beaches in a National Park forest? Sip world-class wines in picturesque Marlborough? Watch whales spouting seawater as they surface in Kaikoura? Marvel at Milford Sound's towering fiords? In ten unforgettable days the incredible variety of this South Island honeymoon is guaranteed to win your heart.

QUICK OVERVIEW
From $2695
per person
Provider
Location
South Island
3.5 to 4.5 Star
Tour Type
Self Drive
Departing from
Wellington
Next Departure
Departs Daily

This is a moderate to easy 9-day walking and/or kayaking adventure (you have option) with the best accommodation available in these remote regions. Enjoy spectacular scenery & wildlife and the well groomed coastal tracks of the beautiful Abel Tasman National Park and the magnificent Queen Charlotte Sound.

QUICK OVERVIEW
From $3477
per person twin share
Provider
Location
South Island
3.5 & 5 Star Options
Tour Type
Self Drive
Departing from
Christchurch

Fall in love with the South Island's magnificent mountains, giant glaciers, untouched wilderness and delectable cuisine. With romantic hideaways, jaw-dropping views and welcoming locals, this unique honeymoon destination is guaranteed to win your heart.

 

QUICK OVERVIEW
From $4085
per person
Provider
Location
South Island
3.5 Star Accommodation
Tour Type
Self Drive
Departing from
Queenstown
Next Departure
Departs Daily

We are often asked to create walking itineraries that cover the diverse spectrum of New Zealand's unique and natural environments, within a manageable time frame. Experience the magical Hollyford Valley and the beautiful Queen Charlotte Sound – Both considered 'A'-list New Zealand hiking experiences.

QUICK OVERVIEW
From $5200
per person twin share
Provider
Location
South Island
3, 4 & 5 Star Options
Tour Type
Self Drive
Departing from
Christchurch
Next Departure
Departs Daily

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

QUICK OVERVIEW
From $2685
per person twin share
Provider
Location
South Island
Wilderness Camping/Huts
Tour Type
Self Drive
Departing from
Queenstown
Next Departure
Departs Daily

Embark on a journey into some of New Zealand's finest scenic destinations, secluded in the great wilderness areas of the West Coast and mighty Southern Alps of the South Island. This is a camping and adventure tour for intrepid lovers of nature as well as those seeking a unique snapshot of our great outdoors.

QUICK OVERVIEW
From $4267
per person twin share
Provider
Location
South Island
Premium Hiking Lodges
Tour Type
Self Drive
Departing from
Queenstown
Next Departure
Departs Daily

This is a world-class scenic landscape and a treasure trove of awesome geology, rare flora and fauna. Walk, fully guided, the Milford Track. Then explore the Wild West Coast experiencing its glaciers, forests and wildlife.

QUICK OVERVIEW
From $5410
per person (quad share Milford Track)
Provider
Location
South Island
Fishing Lodges
Tour Type
Self Drive
Departing from
Nelson

Our South Island Fly Fishing Itinerary is every angler's dream come true. Spend your days stalking our king-sized brown and rainbow trout in remote backcountry rivers, winding down each night in luxurious lodges with views to die for. Hand-picked local guides reveal the secrets of our remote Fiordland rivers, Otago alpine streams, and the legendary sighted brown trout fisheries of the Upper South Island.

 

QUICK OVERVIEW
Price on Application
Location
South Island
3,4, or 5 Star Options
Tour Type
Self Drive
Departing from
Christchurch

Grab your hiking boots and swap everyday life for the towering mountains, high country lakes, and ice-carved fiords of New Zealand's iconic backcountry. Featuring spectacular day hikes on the Milford and Hooker Valley Tracks, plus a fully guided three-day Routeburn Track adventure, this South Island itinerary takes you to the beating heart of the New Zealand wilderness.

QUICK OVERVIEW
From $3997
per person
Provider
Location
South Island
4 Star Accommodation
Tour Type
Self Drive
Departing from
Queenstown
Next Departure
Departs Daily

In June as the summer in South East Asia starts to heat up, it's time to adventure down to New Zealand’s South Island and enjoy our exhilarating pristine powder paradise. If you really want diversity when carving up the white stuff, it is here you will undoubtedly experience heaven.

Off-Piste Back Country, Snow-Shoeing, Boarding with APRES-SKI

QUICK OVERVIEW
From $4200
per person
Provider
Location
South Island
Luxury Lodges
Tour Type
Self Drive
Departing from
Queenstown
Next Departure
Departs Daily

Tour the finest Luxury Lodges of New Zealand's South Island set in outstanding locations offering onsite and local activities, complimented by world-class cuisine and exceptional hospitality. Experience truly unique and interesting places and meet genuinely friendly people. Have plenty of time to relax and enjoy being in our beautiful country - wish you didn't have to leave.

QUICK OVERVIEW
Price on Application
Provider
Location
South Island
3,4,and 5 Star Options
Tour Type
Self Drive
Departing from
Picton

New Zealand is home to some of the rarest and most unique birds on earth. With a stunning backdrop of golden bays, vast wetlands, mountain ranges, and ancient forests, you'll travel the full length of the South Island for unforgettable encounters with our best-loved and most endangered species in their natural habitats.

QUICK OVERVIEW
From $4245
per person
Provider
Location
South Island
3,4 & 5 Star Options
Tour Type
Self Drive
Departing from
Queenstown

Embrace your wild side on this unforgettable journey to the South Island's isolated hidden gems. Be awed by the Marlborough Sound's secluded bays, the rugged Catlins Coast, and the majestic fiords of Milford Sound.

Featuring three New Zealand Great Walks tracks, hand picked for their unsurpassed beauty, your itinerary includes a 5 Day hike along the famous Milford Track with expert guides by your side.
 

QUICK OVERVIEW
From $6919
per person