Wellington to Queenstown or Christchurch Self Drive
New Zealand’s capital city of Wellington, is a great option to explore the South Island. These Wellington to Christchurch or Queenstown self drive holidays commence with the scenic Interislander ferry crossing of Cook Strait, through the Marlborough Sounds to Picton. From here you can explore the Queen Charlotte track or Marlborough Sounds on a cruise, hike or kayak trip. Alternatively, it is a short drive to Blenheim and the Marlborough wine growing region.
Follow the Pacific Coast south to Kaikoura with its whale watching and marine nature cruises. Inland stop at Hanmer Springs and bathe in the hot pools. Halfway from Picton, they are a great place to stop on the drive to the garden city of Christchurch.
Taking the inland route past Lake Tekapo and Mount Cook, the road returns to the coast near Oamaru, before you arrive at the university town of Dunedin, with its Scottish heritage, gardens of international significance, and wildlife attractions on Otago Peninsula. For train buffs a trip on the Taieri Gorge Railway is highly recommended.
The route inland takes you to Te Anau, the gateway to Fiordland National Park, where you can take a nature cruise or go sea kayaking on Milford Sound, or the even more spectacular Doubtful Sound. For hikers, there are a multitude of walking tracks with plenty of day walks, as well as multi day hikes such as the Milford, Routeburn, Kepler and Hollyford Tracks.
Queenstown in the Southern Lakes district is often referred to as the adventure capital of New Zealand, with a plethora of adventure and family activities to keep all ages amused. You can either fly out from Queenstown, or continue back to Christchurch via either Mt Cook or the West Coast glacier towns of Fox Glacier and Franz Josef. A great way to finish your trip is to take the scenic TranzAlpine train from Greymouth through Arthurs Pass to Christchurch.
Our Wellington to Queenstown or Christchurch self-drive itineraries are fully flexible, so they can be amended or combined with other itineraries. All one way itineraries can also be done in reverse. 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.
Please be advised that there is limited to no availability in North and South Island in January and February.