Travel Package Ideas

  • All itineraries here are suggestions to give you an idea of what New Zealand has to offer. They are fully customizable and prices will vary depending on your level of comfort. Our travel advisors are flexible and will design your trip to suit your individual budget and desires.
  • All prices are in USD. Per couple, and includes accommodation, rental cars, airport transfers, and some activities.

Full South Island 18+ Days



Milford Sound

National Parks

Whale Watching




Rental Car

Airport Transfers

Selected Activities

The South Island of New Zealand is a captivating destination known for its majestic mountains, pristine lakes, and rugged coastlines. Fiordland National Park showcases iconic attractions like Milford Sound and Doubtful Sound, where travelers can cruise through deep fjords, surrounded by towering cliffs and cascading waterfalls.The Southern Alps offer adventure opportunities, with Aoraki/Mount Cook being the tallest peak in New Zealand, attracting climbers and hikers. The nearby Tasman Glacier and its turquoise meltwater lake add to the allure of the region. Heading west, the wild West Coast awaits with its Punakaiki Pancake Rocks, a geological marvel of limestone formations pounded by the Tasman Sea. Lake Tekapo and Lake Pukaki present picturesque scenes with their turquoise and intense blue hues, reflecting the surrounding landscapes. Queenstown is an adventure hub, offering bungee jumping, jet boating, and panoramic views from the Remarkables mountain range. Marlborough Sounds provide a peaceful escape, with waterways, forests, and hidden bays for exploration by kayak or hiking. Throughout the journey, charming towns and cities like Dunedin offer historic architecture, arts scenes, and opportunities to spot diverse wildlife, including albatrosses and penguins on Otago Peninsula. The South Island's diverse array of highlights promises an unforgettable journey through one of the world's most captivating destinations.

Start: Christchurch

Known in New Zealand as the ‘Garden City’, Christchurch is our second-largest city in the heart of the Canterbury Region. Wander the tree-lined streets, exploring Culture, Art, and Innovation along the way. A thriving city with a unique energy that provides something for every visitor. Boasting an impressive list of outdoor activities right on its doorstep. Go hiking around the trails of Banks Peninsula for a breathtaking view west over the plains towards New Zealand’s South Alps. Get the blood pumping at Christchurch Adventure park with ziplining and mountain biking for all ages. Take an evening Gondola along the Avon river, then browse the local art galleries before sampling fine cuisine in the revitalized city centre. We recommend the world-famous Canterbury lamb. A great day trip or one-night getaway is a visit to nearby Akaroa, this cute seaside historical French Settlement


International Antarctic Centre

Botanic Gardens

Punting on the Avon

Street Art

Port Hills Hiking

Drive: Christchurch to Kaikoura

Take the Northern Motorway out of Christchurch towards Kaikoura. There are ample refreshment stops at Woodend, Waikuku and Amberley or continue towards the Waipara Valley and detour for some excellent wine tastings at any of the many wineries in the region. Continue to Cheviot, the region's largest town, and if you have time, detour down to Gore Bay to stretch your legs and marvel at the stunning Cathedral Cliffs. Back on SH 1, the road traverse's hilly rural landscapes before hugging the coastline. Enjoy the spectacular sea views as you drive towards Kaikoura. Once there, walk around the small town to enjoy the street art. Dine on the freshest of seafood, get fit on the cycle and walking trails or prepare to be captivated on one of the many whale-watching, dolphin and seal experiences on offer.

Stay: Kaikoura

Kaikoura is a haven of wildlife and seaside adventures. This charming coastal town provides the opportunity to get up close and personal with the local whales, dolphins and seals. Take a scenic helicopter tour to see these magnificent animals from above, or jump in the water for an incredible encounter with Dusky Dolphins. Hike the shores to spot an abundance of birdlife, including albatross, molly-mawks and petrels.


Whale Watching

Dolphin Swimming

Peninsula Walkway

Scenic Helicopter Flights

Seal Colony Visits

Drive Kaikoura to Blenheim

SH 1 offers endless views of the Pacific Ocean as it hugs the coastline from Kaikoura to the tiny town of Ward. As the road turns inland, the Lake Grassmere saltworks offer an interesting stopping point. The lake turns deep pink in summer, in contrast with the white, salty mounds surrounding it. Further on is Seddon, named for an early, influential Prime Minister, and the historic, double-decker Awatere River Bridge, one of only three such bridges in NZ. Blenheim is in the heart of Marlborough wine country and offers vineyard tours, artisan chocolates, fresh seafood restaurants, and more. It's well-worth visiting the Omaka Aviation Heritage Center, which houses Sir Peter Jackson's WW1 airplane and artefacts collection. Blenheim is also the gateway to the four-day Queen Charlotte walking track. And just down the road lies the coastal town of Picton where the Cook Strait ferries dock. There you can explore the remote Marlborough Sounds on one of several picturesque boat tours.

Stay: Blenheim

For those who crave wine and food culture, this sunny town is the perfect spot to satisfy your hunger. Encompassed by vineyards that stretch towards the encircling hills, here is an excellent opportunity to sample the world-renowned Marlborough wines. There are plenty of Boutique Hotels and B&Bs amongst beautiful gardens that will provide an authentic feel to your stay here. Visit New Zealand's original farmers market to stock up on fresh produce from the local growers. Witness history brought to life at the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre, view a rare collection of aircraft and memorabilia.





Scenic views

Marlborough Sounds

Drive: Blenheim to Nelson

Climb through the hills, taking advantage of the viewpoints along the way. The small town of Havelock will give you your first taste of the Marlborough Sounds; take a small cruise around the Pelorus Sounds and be sure to taste the local Mussels when you return. Your destination is the creative town of Nelson, gateway to three national parks. Kahurangi, Nelson Lakes and Abel Tasman.

Stay: Nelson

This vibrant beach town boasts an exceptional Art and Crafts scene, a small city where the ordinary is extraordinary. Surrounded by beaches, rivers and lakes, Nelson is a place that has it all. Visit artists studios and admire the creativeness of these friendly kiwis; find that perfect souvenir piece for your wall or mantelpiece. With three National Parks within your grasp, you can choose from the abundance of outdoor activities on offer. Popular activities include exploring the clear waters of Abel Tasman National Park via kayak or hiking through untouched forests leading to golden sandy beaches.


Abel Tasman NP




Local Art

Drive: Nelson to Hokitika

Your trip begins with a pleasant drive through rural landscapes and small villages to the town of Murchison, an excellent place to refuel and grab a cuppa. Leave time on your journey to enjoy the Buller Heritage Park with its thrilling jet boat ride and zipline. Cross the longest swing bridge in New Zealand 63ft above the mighty Buller River and learn some West Coast history on the easy bushwalks around the park. The scenic drive through the gorge takes around an hour on the winding road. Once past Lower Buller Gorge, the road curves towards the sea and hugs the wild Tasman Coast from Charleston to Punakaiki and the famous Pancake Rocks and Blowholes. With mountains on one side and the Tasman Sea on the other, it's easy to be distracted by the scenery but watch for a few sharp corners on the winding road to Hokitika.

Stay: Hokitika

Sitting on the wild shores of the Tasman Sea is Hokitika, a cool little seaside town in the heart of the West Coast. Something genuinely novel about Hokitika is being able to walk around and observe Artists at work. Gaze in awe as woodturners, potters, jewelers create their unique products. Call into the Hokitika Glass Blowing studio to view sculptors form colorful bowls, birds, fruit and anything else imaginable out of molten glass. A short drive out of town is the Hokitika Gorge with its bright blue glacial water. Be sure to call into the Tree Tops Walk to give you a birds view of the rainforest as you stroll in and above the forest canopy. Evening activities often include a bonfire on the beach or a visit to the Glow Worm caves.


Hokitika Gorge


Glass Blowing

Local Arts

Treetop Walk

Drive Hokitika to Franz Josef

From Hokitika, it's a relatively straight run beside the coast on SH 6 before the road turns slightly inland towards the gold-mining town of Ross. If you're ready for a stop, the Ross Goldfields Heritage Center is a great place to try a spot of gold panning and take a one-hour historic gold trail walk. Continue through rural landscapes and over several river bridges before reaching beautiful Franz Josef. The town is the gateway to the Franz Josef and Fox glaciers and nearby Ōkārito Lagoon, home of the rare kotoku (White Heron). Walk to the Franz Josef Glacier's base or experience the thrill of a helicopter ride and land right on the glacier. Maybe get truly adventurous and try your hand at ice climbing. Enjoy a scenic flight over Mt Cook — or a long flight down to Milford Sound and back for awe-inspiring aerial mountain views.

Stay: Franz Josef

Welcome to Glacier Country. Franz Josef is a small town with a huge amount on offer. Perched amongst a temperate rainforest, this is the perfect base to explore Westland Tai Poutini National Park and the Glaciers within it. Take a scenic helicopter flight around the peaks and land in the snowfields, or hike around the crevasses and caves on the lower glacier. Paddle a kayak on Lake Mapourika and take in the views of the snow-capped mountains that rise above. For the truly adventurous, take a leap on New Zealand’s Highest Skydive, jumping out at a ridiculous 20,000ft. There is plenty of hiking trails leading out of town; our favorites include the Tartare Tunnels, Roberts Point and Alex Knob tracks.


Glacier Hikes



Helicopter Flights

Health Spa

Drive Franz Josef to Wanaka

Prepare for a slow-at-times but beautiful drive down the west coast from Franz Josef to Haast because you'll want to stop again and again to drink in the mountain and ocean views. Just 30 minutes into your drive, take a detour into Lake Matheson if it's a fine day. There's a lovely cafe and a pretty bushwalk, but what makes this New Zealand's most-photographed lake are its perfect reflections of Mt Cook and Mt Tasman. Back on SH 6, continue driving through rural landscapes, past mountains, rivers and sea to Haast. On the way, consider a stop at Munro Beach near Lake Moeraki. You'll find a bushwalk between the lake and the beach — a good place for the kids to run on the sand and clamber among rocks. If you're fortunate, you might spot some of the rare Fiordland-Crested penguins known to nest in the nearby bush. Haast is the Whitebait capital of New Zealand, so grab a whitebait patty or enjoy some fish and chips before turning inland towards the Haast Pass. Maori traditionally took this route on their journeys to the west coast, searching for pounamu (greenstone). Again, prepare for a winding road through the mountains. Descend through the Landsborough valley to Makarora and a welcome stop at the Country Cafe. The route travels alongside Lakes Wanaka and Hawea then turns into Wanaka township, known as the gateway to the Mt Aspiring National Park.

Stay: Wanaka

Situated on the shores of a pristine alpine lake, the setting surrounding this place is nothing short of spectacular. There is always a buzz about Wanaka, with sports, art, and music events all year round. If you're an outdoor enthusiast, then you are in good company. You will find easy access to the great outdoors, with everything from climbing, skiing, mountain biking, kayaking, canyoning, the list goes on. Stretch your brain at Puzzling World, take on the Maze and check out the mind-bending exhibits. Moviegoers can watch the latest flicks from the backseat of a Morris minor and enjoy tasty homemade ice cream, pizza and cookies during the intermission



Aspiring NP




Drive Wanaka to Queenstown

The beautiful shortcut through the Crown Range offers a winding mountain road and incredible scenery. But if you're driving in winter, check the road conditions before you leave Wanaka, as it can sometimes be icy or covered in snow. If you're not in a hurry, stop in at Cardrona Village. Here you'll find the historic Cardrona Pub, famous for its food and the eclectic collections decorating the walls. Here, too, are the entrances to the Cardrona Skifield and the Snow Farm (cross country skiing). Once through the pass, the road drops steeply, with many sharp corners, bypassing the pretty village of Arrowtown and on to Queenstown. Right on the shores of Lake Wakatipu and surrounded by mountains, Queenstown offers adventure and relaxation. Choose between golf, art, and wine tours. Ride the historic Earnslaw steamboat to visit Walter Peak Station farm. Go mountain biking, skiing, bungy jumping, canyoning or try the indoor skydiving experience for those who'd prefer not to jump out of a plane.

Stay: Queenstown

Often considered the number one destination for adventure seekers worldwide, Queenstown is the Bucket List destination of many. This exciting lakeside town offers any activity you could imagine, and some you couldn't. But it's not all bungee jumping and jet boat rides; it also presents an array of more comfortable and luxurious options for those who enjoy the finer points of life. Framed by the dramatic peaks of the aptly named Remarkable Mountains, hiking, skiing, and biking are all right out your front door. There are plenty of fine dining options to savour after a day of shopping; sit back and watch the bustle of the promenade as busker tunes fill the fresh alpine air. Queenstown is the ideal base to explore the surrounding areas; take a scenic plane or helicopter through the mountains over to Milford Sound. Witness this natural wonder from above before hopping on a guided cruise or kayak.




The Remarkables

Scenic Flights


Drive Queenstown to Te Anau

From Queenstown, cross the Kawarau River Bridge towards the Remarkables mountain range and follow SH 6 south as it twists and turns beside Lake Wakatipu to the small towns of Kingston and Garston. Stop at Garston for a hot drink, snack and local honey at the Coffee Bomb, then continue through rural landscapes, through the Upper Mataura River valley and out onto the Five Rivers plain. Turn onto SH 97 to take the shortcut to SH 94 at Mossburn, where you'll find gas stations and two cafes. Driving on, the farms give way to wild tussock country and mountain scenery before dipping down into the Te Anau basin. Bustling Te Anau is the gateway to Fiordland National Park and three of New Zealand's great walks. Don't miss the chance to take a coach tour and boat ride on the pristine Milford or Doubtful Sounds. Or, enjoy the sheer cliffs and spectacular waterfalls from the air on a Wings and Water floatplane. Take a short boat trip across Lake Te Anau for a guided tour around glow worm caves or sample a short walk beside the lake on part of the Kepler Track.

Stay: Te Anau

Parked on the shores of a pristine lake, Te Anau is the gateway to Fiordland National Park. Surrounded by World-Heritage-status mountains, here is the perfect opportunity to escape to isolation. The starting point of several multi-day hikes, Fiordland is a dream destination for relaxing in nature. After an extensive day of hiking and exploring, enjoy the freshly caught New Zealand Crayfish or local Venison at the many charming restaurants. The obvious option from here is to explore Milford Sound, but another option is to check out nearby and often overlooked Doubtful Sound.


Milford Sound


Glowworm Caves

Helicopter Flights

Lake Views

Drive Te Anau to Dunedin

Leaving Te Anau, wend your way through farms, over rivers and up into the wild tussock mountain scenery of Gorge Hill. Then dip down to the grain and dairy farms of Northern Southland. Stop for fuel, snacks, and souvenirs in Mossburn or Lumsden and continue on SH 94 through the rural landscapes to Gore, home of NZ's premier country music festival. Stop off at the Hokonui Moonshine Museum, which celebrates the area's colorful history of illicit whiskey-making during the prohibition years. SH 1 now leads you through rolling hills, small towns and rural landscapes to Balclutha, best known for its iconic historic bridge over the Clutha, NZ's second-longest river. The last hour of your journey alternates between the rolling hill country and small towns before reaching the flat, once-marshy farmland south of Dunedin. Take a break from your trip on the two-hour Sinclair Wetlands Walk near Lake Waihola or continue through villages and onto Dunedin's southern motorway. Dunedin, NZ's Scottish City, has plenty to keep you busy. At the Otago Museum, Discovery World and the Butterfly Rainforest will keep the whole family enthralled. Toito, the Early Settlers Museum is equally fascinating, as is the nearby Chinese Garden. Don't miss a trip to the Otago Peninsula, where you'll find Larnach Castle and the Taiaroa Heads Royal Albatross Center or take the scenic drive north to the Orokonui Ecosanctuary.

Stay: Dunedin

New Zealand’s most ‘Scottish City’ city, Dunedin (Gaelic word for Edinburgh), is packed with amazing sights and wonders. Witness the Royal Albatross soar around New Zealand’s only mainland breeding grounds or have high tea at Larnach Castle. It’s an easy walk around the city center, and as you explore the city, you will notice stunning street art painted by talented local and international artists. For a not so easy walk, get the blood flowing by walking up the Worlds Steepest street, “Baldwin Street”. Being in the ‘Edinburgh’ of the south, it’s an ideal time to sample the local whisky’s, renowned for being some of the best in the world. Or just smell the roses at Dunedin’s stunning Botanical gardens.




Larnach Castle

Street Art

The Highlanders

Drive Dunedin to Lake Tekapo

Prepare for a picturesque drive from the ocean to lakes and mountains on the road from Dunedin to Tekapo. Take the motorway north over the hills and down to the coast. There are many small towns on the way but make sure you stop at Moeraki Boulders between Palmerston and Oamaru. Enjoy the pretty cafe bar and take the long stairway down to the beach to see the famous, round boulders. Oamaru's Victorian Precinct near the harbor is a busy hub filled with shops, galleries, cafes, bars and restaurants, museums, a brewery, a steam train, and plenty of fun activities. Oamaru is also famous for its little blue penguins that trek into the harbor every day at sunset. Turn onto SH 83 just past Oamaru (signs for Kurow and Omarama.) Drive through picturesque countryside and follow the river up the Waitaki Valley past the three lakes of the Waitaki hydro scheme. You'll find many stopping and viewing points beside the lakes as you wind your way towards Omarama. Then continue on SH 8 through once-parched farmland now studded with irrigation booms and carefully formed lakes. Take the 2-minute detour to Twizel or continue to Lake Pukaki for your first view of Aoraki/Mt Cook, New Zealand's tallest mountain. Here you can turn onto SH 80 towards Mt Cook Village or continue on SH 8 towards Lake Tekapo.

Stay: Lake Tekapo

The Mackenzie Country is a landscape unlike anywhere else in New Zealand. A wide-open dry plain shadowed by Aoraki/ Mt Cook, with large piercing blue glacial lakes stretching from the alps above. Cyclists can take a spin on a portion of the Alps to Ocean trail, while hikers can walk from the valley floor up glacial moraines for incredible views of the Southern Alps. Learn about the Solar System, Glaciation and New Zealand's fascinating history of Mountaineering at the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre. Stroll the canals and feed the salmon at the Aoraki Salmon farm. The Mackenzie is an iconic kiwi destination, filled with a colorful history and waiting to be explored.



Turquoise Lakes


Glacier Flights

Mt Cook

Drive Lake Tekapo to Christchurch

Today you will journey north to Christchurch, stopping at several country towns along the way. By now, you would have seen and heard about New Zealand pies, so if you haven’t yet tried one, then the Fairlie Bakehouse offers the perfect opportunity to try this kiwi favourite. If delicious jams and chutneys are more your thing, then Barkers of Geraldine will provide plenty of samples before choosing a gift pack to take home. At this point, it is recommended to ignore Google maps and take the inland scenic route, tracing the foothills to the resort town of Methven. From here, it’s a straight drive to the Garden City, officially known as Christchurch.

Finish: Christchurch

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