Queenstown to Queenstown Self Drive
The gateway to the Southern Lakes District of New Zealand, Queenstown is in within easy reach of Wanaka and Mt Aspiring National Park.; as well as being only a day trip away from Fiordland National Park, magnificent Milford Sound and the equally spectacular Doubtful Sound. For those looking for an active holiday, there is a plethora of activities to choose from, including hiking, cycling, sea kayaking, white water rafting, and in winter skiing and snowboarding in the Southern Alps.
From Queenstown you can either head north through Wanaka and up the rugged West Coast to Fox Glacier and Franz Josef, before crossing through Arthurs Pass to Christchurch. On the way a stop at the old gold mining town of Hokitika is a must, to browse the arts and crafts shops, view the historic building from the gold rush era, and perhaps buy some Pounamu or New Zealand Jade jewellery.
Or alternatively drive south to Dunedin and the Otago Peninsula. View the wildlife attractions, historic architecture and magnificent gardens of international importance. If you have the time, take the Southern Scenic Route from Te Anau through Invercargill to Dunedin. The drive goes through luxurious rainforest, past unspoiled lakes, stunning mountains and isolated beaches. At Bluff take the ferry to Stewart Island, and spend at least 2 nights on this remote outpost. Whilst there a trip to Ulva island to see the rare and endangered birdlife should not be missed. From Dunedin your route takes you inland to magnificent Lake Pukaki and Mount Cook, before driving on past Lake Tekapo and the Church of the good Shepherd to Christchurch.
For those with longer time you can continue further north through Punakaiki and the Pancake Rocks to Nelson, with its eclectic arts & crafts, food & wine and nearby Abel Tasman National Park, popular for walking, cruises, kayaking and sailing. Nearby is the Marlborough food and wine region, with nearby Marlborough Sounds & Queen Charlotte Track, popular for boating, hiking and kayaking. From Blenheim head south on the Coastal Pacific Scenic Train to Christchurch via Kaikoura, or head inland through the small spa town of Hanmer Springs.
Our Queenstown self-drive itineraries are fully flexible, so they can be amended or combined with other itineraries. So if you have any changes or special requests, just put a note in the booking/enquiry form.
International flights can be included from Australia for all Australian residents.