Overview

Visit historic Dunedin and see the wildlife on Otago Peninsula on this Self Drive New Zealand Itinerary; take a Scenic Cruise on Milford Sound; take Skyline Gondola Ride for a spectacular view of Queenstown, Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkables; be amazed at the majesty of the West Coast Glaciers.

"I just wanted to drop a line to you and say how much we enjoyed our holiday,and how the itinerary was spot on and the accommodation great - we particularly had fantastic views at Lake Tekapo and Lanarch Castle."

- L Allister - Australia

Christchurch - Lake Tekapo - Dunedin - Te Anau - Milford Sound Nature Cruise - Queenstown - Franz Josef Glacier - TranzAlpine Train - Christchurch

Map of 10 Day Alpine Explorer Self Drive
View itinerary for day 1
View itinerary for day 2
View itinerary for day 3
View itinerary for day 4
View itinerary for day 5
View itinerary for day 6
View itinerary for day 7
View itinerary for day 8
View itinerary for day 9
View itinerary for day 10
Arrive Christchurch
Christchurch to Lake Tekapo
Lake Tekapo to Dunedin
Explore Dunedin
Dunedin to Te Anau
Te Anau to Milford Sound and Queenstown
Explore Queenstown
Queenstown to Franz Josef Glacier
Franz Josef Glacier to Christchurch
Depart Christchurch

Day 1

Arrive Christchurch

Day 2

Christchurch to Lake Tekapo

Travel Time: 3 hrs 45 mins

Distance: 256 kms

Day 3

Lake Tekapo to Dunedin

Travel Time: 4 hrs 10 mins

Distance: 315 kms

Day 4

Explore Dunedin

Day 5

Dunedin to Te Anau

Travel Time: 3 hrs 55 mins

Distance: 290 kms

Day 6

Te Anau to Milford Sound and Queenstown

Travel Time: 5hrs 5 mins

Distance: 405 kms

Day 7

Explore Queenstown

Day 8

Queenstown to Franz Josef Glacier

Travel Time: 4 hrs 30 mins

Distance: 390 kms

Day 9

Franz Josef Glacier to Christchurch

Travel Time: 2 hrs 30 mins

Distance: 175 kms

Day 10

Depart Christchurch

Collect your rental car from the airport on arrival in Christchurch. Depending on when you touch down, you may have time to sample the delights of this elegant city. Cathedral Square is at the heart of the post-earthquake rejuvenation, with food markets, sculpture, street art, and new architecture happily sharing space with the original cityscape.

Overnight accommodation, Standard - Christchurch Motel, Superior - Novotel Christchurch Hotel

Today you traverse the wide Canterbury Plains to reach the alpine town of Lake Tekapo, with its impossibly blue lake and pristine landscape. The historic Church of the Good Shepherd is a stellar spot for photo opportunities, or take a scenic flight over Aoraki Mt Cook and Westland Tai Poutini National Park for an experience you’ll never forget.

Standard - Peppers Bluewater Resort
Superior - Parkbrae Estate Garden Studio

Cruise back down to sea level and follow the eastern coastline to Dunedin, known as the Edinburgh of the south. We recommend a stop at the Moeraki Boulders, a natural attraction rich in Māori legend and geological history.

Two nights accommodation
Standard - Park Regis Dunedin
Superior - Scenic Hotel Dunedin City

Enjoy a day at leisure to explore this memorable city. Take a drive out to visit Larnach Castle on the Otago Peninsula. The peninsula is also renowned for its abundance of seabirds – Toroa (royal albatross), Korora (little blue penguins), and Hoiho (yellow-eyed penguins) – in addition to colonies of fur seals and sea lions. This evening, enjoy a tour of the iconic Speights Brewery followed by sumptuous dinner at Speights Alehouse.

Today head inland to Te Anau. Cross rich farmlands to the agricultural towns of Gore and Lumsden, before arriving at the shores of Lake Te Anau, the gateway to Fiordland National Park.

Overnight accommodation
Standard - Distinction Luxmore Hotel
Superior - Distinction Hotel & Villas 

Drive the scenic Milford Road, taking time to stop for photos in the breathtaking surrounds. In the heart of Fiordland National Park, board a boat for your nature cruise on Milford Sound and feast your eyes on the awe-inspiring Mitre Peak, enchanting waterfalls and native fauna. Afterwards, follow the road back to Te Anau and onto Queenstown.

Two nights accommodation
Standard - Blue Peaks Lodge
Superior - The Rees Hotel (Lakeview)

Spend this free day in Queenstown savouring the myriad of activities on offer. Options include a jetboat ride, winery tour, skiing (mid-June – early October) and lots more. This evening, we suggest taking a ride up Bob’s Peak on the Skyline Gondola and dine at Stratosfare. With spectacular food and panoramic views over the lake and mountains, it’s an exceptional experience.

Leave Queenstown early this morning and head into the quaint village of Arrowtown, known for its heritage buildings and old gold mining days. Drive north through Wanaka and along the untamed west coast. In Haast Pass a number of short walks start at the road’s edge, leading through rainforest to thundering waterfalls and luminous blue pools.

Overnight accommodation
Standard - Glacier View Motel
Superior - Scenic Hotel Franz Josef

Continue northward and drop your rental car in Greymouth, before boarding the TranzAlpine for one of the world’s finest scenic rail voyages. You will be treated to unparallelled vistas over deep gorges, traverse the roughly-hewn alpine landscape of the mighty Southern Alps, and roll through a mosaic of farmland as you make your way into Christchurch.

Overnight accommodation
Standard - Christchurch Motel
Superior - Novotel Christchurch Hotel

Today you are free to explore Christchurch before transferring to Christchurch Airport for your onward journey.

Day 1, Arrive Christchurch

Arrive Christchurch

Collect your rental car from the airport on arrival in Christchurch. Depending on when you touch down, you may have time to sample the delights of this elegant city. Cathedral Square is at the heart of the post-earthquake rejuvenation, with food markets, sculpture, street art, and new architecture happily sharing space with the original cityscape.

Overnight accommodation, Standard - Christchurch Motel, Superior - Novotel Christchurch Hotel

Day 2, Christchurch to Lake Tekapo

Christchurch to Lake Tekapo

Travel Time: 3 hrs 45 mins

Distance: 256 kms

Today you traverse the wide Canterbury Plains to reach the alpine town of Lake Tekapo, with its impossibly blue lake and pristine landscape. The historic Church of the Good Shepherd is a stellar spot for photo opportunities, or take a scenic flight over Aoraki Mt Cook and Westland Tai Poutini National Park for an experience you’ll never forget.

Standard - Peppers Bluewater Resort
Superior - Parkbrae Estate Garden Studio

Day 3, Lake Tekapo to Dunedin

Lake Tekapo to Dunedin

Travel Time: 4 hrs 10 mins

Distance: 315 kms

Cruise back down to sea level and follow the eastern coastline to Dunedin, known as the Edinburgh of the south. We recommend a stop at the Moeraki Boulders, a natural attraction rich in Māori legend and geological history.

Two nights accommodation
Standard - Park Regis Dunedin
Superior - Scenic Hotel Dunedin City

Day 4, Explore Dunedin

Explore Dunedin

Enjoy a day at leisure to explore this memorable city. Take a drive out to visit Larnach Castle on the Otago Peninsula. The peninsula is also renowned for its abundance of seabirds – Toroa (royal albatross), Korora (little blue penguins), and Hoiho (yellow-eyed penguins) – in addition to colonies of fur seals and sea lions. This evening, enjoy a tour of the iconic Speights Brewery followed by sumptuous dinner at Speights Alehouse.

Day 5, Dunedin to Te Anau

Dunedin to Te Anau

Travel Time: 3 hrs 55 mins

Distance: 290 kms

Today head inland to Te Anau. Cross rich farmlands to the agricultural towns of Gore and Lumsden, before arriving at the shores of Lake Te Anau, the gateway to Fiordland National Park.

Overnight accommodation
Standard - Distinction Luxmore Hotel
Superior - Distinction Hotel & Villas 

Day 6, Te Anau to Milford Sound and Queenstown

Te Anau to Milford Sound and Queenstown

Travel Time: 5hrs 5 mins

Distance: 405 kms

Drive the scenic Milford Road, taking time to stop for photos in the breathtaking surrounds. In the heart of Fiordland National Park, board a boat for your nature cruise on Milford Sound and feast your eyes on the awe-inspiring Mitre Peak, enchanting waterfalls and native fauna. Afterwards, follow the road back to Te Anau and onto Queenstown.

Two nights accommodation
Standard - Blue Peaks Lodge
Superior - The Rees Hotel (Lakeview)

Day 7, Explore Queenstown

Explore Queenstown

Spend this free day in Queenstown savouring the myriad of activities on offer. Options include a jetboat ride, winery tour, skiing (mid-June – early October) and lots more. This evening, we suggest taking a ride up Bob’s Peak on the Skyline Gondola and dine at Stratosfare. With spectacular food and panoramic views over the lake and mountains, it’s an exceptional experience.

Day 8, Queenstown to Franz Josef Glacier

Queenstown to Franz Josef Glacier

Travel Time: 4 hrs 30 mins

Distance: 390 kms

Leave Queenstown early this morning and head into the quaint village of Arrowtown, known for its heritage buildings and old gold mining days. Drive north through Wanaka and along the untamed west coast. In Haast Pass a number of short walks start at the road’s edge, leading through rainforest to thundering waterfalls and luminous blue pools.

Overnight accommodation
Standard - Glacier View Motel
Superior - Scenic Hotel Franz Josef

Day 9, Franz Josef Glacier to Christchurch

Franz Josef Glacier to Christchurch

Travel Time: 2 hrs 30 mins

Distance: 175 kms

Continue northward and drop your rental car in Greymouth, before boarding the TranzAlpine for one of the world’s finest scenic rail voyages. You will be treated to unparallelled vistas over deep gorges, traverse the roughly-hewn alpine landscape of the mighty Southern Alps, and roll through a mosaic of farmland as you make your way into Christchurch.

Overnight accommodation
Standard - Christchurch Motel
Superior - Novotel Christchurch Hotel

Day 10, Depart Christchurch

Depart Christchurch

Today you are free to explore Christchurch before transferring to Christchurch Airport for your onward journey.

Additional Information

Pricing

Cost per person

1 September 2017 May to 31 August 2018

 Twin/Double
Standard From AU$1,855* per person

 * PLEASE NOTE

Prices are estimates only, and are subject to availability and exchange rates when booking, seasonal or holiday price surcharges (such as Christmas/New Year and Easter); as well as special events that may be on. Please forward a request and we will be happy to forward a quote.

  • Car hire excess fees of NZ$3000 + GST applies. This will be imprinted on a credit card upon collecting the vehicle. Excess reduction options are available at an additional cost per day. 
  • Airport/Ferry pick up fee of NZ$45+ GST applies. This must be paid direct in New Zealand. 
  • Car parking fees may apply in some locations.

Payment

  • Deposit: $200 per person at time of booking
  • Full Payment: 60 Days before travel
  • Airfares (if applicable): Paid in full no more than 6 days after booking

Cancellation Charges

  • Cancellation Fees up to 100% can apply after booking. Extra deposits or full payment may be requested to cover these charges prior to booking.
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Includes

Includes:

 9 nights accommodation in your chosen category

    • 1 Night Christchurch
    • 1 Night Lake Tekapo
    • 2 Nights Dunedin
    • 1 Night Te Anau
    • 2 Nights Queenstown
    • 1 Night Franz Josef Glacier
    • 1 Night Christchurch

 8 days Budget Rental Car (CDAR - Automatic, 1.8L, Airconditioned)

 Milford Sound Nature Cruise

 TranzAlpine Train

 Airport and railway station transfers

Options:

Kruse GPS Audio Travel Guide

A great alternative to normal GPS Sat Nav in New Zealand is a KRUSE GPS Audio Travel Guide. As well as working like a normal GPS, this great alternative also gives you a detailed commentary as you travel through each region. Let's you know what you can do, where the best restaurants and cafes are, as well as all those hidden secret gems.

Options

Travel Insurance

If you are going overseas, then travel insurance is a necssity. Compare rates and polices online and get a free travel insurance quote.

Kruse GPS Audio Travel Guide

A great alternative to normal GPS Sat Nav in New Zealand is a KRUSE GPS Audio Travel Guide. As well as working like a normal GPS, this great alternative also gives you a detailed commentary as you travel through each region. Let's you know what you can do, where the best restaurants and cafes are, as well as all those hidden secret gems.

Airfares

International flights can be included from Australia for all Australian residents.

Highlights

TranzAlpine Train Journey

Your TranzAlpine train journey begins in Greymouth. Travel through lush beech forest from the West Coast, then descend into the Southern Alps. Cross the spectacular gorges & river valleys of the Waimakariri River before crossing the Canterbury Plains.

Milford Sound Nature Cruise

Get up close & personal with Milford Sound on this leisurely nature cruise. Experience the spray of a waterfall as you cruise close to sheer rock faces or watch out for dolphins, seals and in season, the rare Fiordland blue crested penguins.

Book now, pay later No credit card required

10 Day Alpine Explorer Self Drive

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