Overview

This 15 Day South Island Natural Discovery Self Drive tour takes you to some of the best of New Zealand’s scenery, flora and fauna. Casting off from Akaroa Harbour, embark on a nature cruise that will bring you up close to the smallest and rarest dolphin. Enjoy a full day encounter with the extraordinary marine wildlife inhabiting the wild Otago Peninsula before venturing south to the Fiordland National Park.

Look forward to an overnight cruise in the remote pristine wilderness of Doubtful Sound where you can truly enjoy the ‘Sound of Silence.’ Get your adrenaline going again with a trip to the alpine playground of Queenstown followed by a journey up the West Coast for an encounter with the glaciers during an on-ice adventure. Finally, catch the iconic TranzAlpine Scenic Train crossing the Southern Alps back to Christchurch.

Christchurch - Akaroa - Mt Cook - Dunedin - Te Anau - Doubtful Sound - Queenstown - Lake Moeraki - Glaciers - TranzAlpine Train - Christchurch

Map of 15 Day South Island Natural Discovery 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
View itinerary for day 11
View itinerary for day 12
View itinerary for day 13
View itinerary for day 14
View itinerary for day 15
Arrive in Christchurch
Christchurch to Akaroa
Akaroa to Mt. Cook National Park
Mt. Cook to Twizel to Dunedin
Monarch Wildlife Cruises Half day tour and Yellow Eyed Penguin Reserve
Dunedin to Te Anau
Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise
Manapouri to Queenstown
Explore Queenstown and surrounds
Queenstown to Lake Moeraki
Wilderness Lodge Lake Moeraki
Lake Moeraki to Franz Josef Glacier
Franz Josef Glacier Valley Walk
TranzAlpine Scenic Train to Christchurch
Depart Christchurch

Day 1

Arrive in Christchurch

Day 2

Christchurch to Akaroa

Travel Time: 1 hr

Distance: 71 kms

Day 3

Akaroa to Mt. Cook National Park

Travel Time: 4 hrs 40 mins

Distance: 383 kms

Day 4

Mt. Cook to Twizel to Dunedin

Travel Time: 3 hrs 35 mins

Distance: 312 kms

Day 5

Monarch Wildlife Cruises Half day tour and Yellow Eyed Penguin Reserve

Day 6

Dunedin to Te Anau

Travel Time: 4 hrs 40 mins

Distance: 387 kms

Day 7

Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise

Travel Time: 15 mins

Distance: 18 kms

Day 8

Manapouri to Queenstown

Travel Time: 2 hrs

Distance: 166 kms

Day 9

Explore Queenstown and surrounds

Day 10

Queenstown to Lake Moeraki

Travel Time: 3 hrs

Distance: 233 kms

Day 11

Wilderness Lodge Lake Moeraki

Day 12

Lake Moeraki to Franz Josef Glacier

Travel Time: 1 hr 25 mins

Distance: 111 kms

Day 13

Franz Josef Glacier Valley Walk

Day 14

TranzAlpine Scenic Train to Christchurch

Travel Time: 2 hrs 10 mins

Distance: 170 kms

Day 15

Depart Christchurch

On arrival you will be met by a private driver and delivered to your Christchurch accommodation.

Your tour documentation pack and support
Once you touch down in New Zealand your detailed tour pack will be hand delivered by one of our trusted representatives. The pack contains everything you need for the duration of your stay. It will include a comprehensive, printed and bound version of your itinerary as well as clear driving instructions and maps for each leg of your journey. It also contains all the reservation details for your accommodation and activities - along with relevant brochures and information. While in New Zealand we offer 24 hour support - details on how to contact us at any time will be well documented.
Stay 1 night in Christchurch

Collect your rental car and drive to Akaroa

Akaroa Harbour Nature Cruise
A leisurely 2 hour cruise in the sheltered Akaroa Harbour. Cruising aboard a modern catamaran, the 60 feet / 20 meter Black Cat is perfect for viewing the natural wonders of the harbour. 

The highlight of this trip is undoubtedly the sighting of one of the world's smallest and rarest dolphins, the Hector's or New Zealand Dolphin.

Stay 1 night Akaroa

Today you head into the heart of the South Island, Mt Cook Natioanl Park.

Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre Explorer Pass
A tribute to New Zealand's Sir Edmund Hillary - humanitarian, ambassador and one of the world's greatest explorers - the centre showcases the Aoraki Mount Cook region and its people within a comprehensive museum as well as a 126-seat custom-designed theatre and Digital Dome Planetarium.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Glacier Explorers Mt. Cook
Stay 1 night Mt Cook

A short drive south along the spectacular Mt Cook Highway to join the main road south and onto Twizel. Twizel occupies a central location in the Mt. Cook/ Mackenzie region, with the Southern Alps as a backdrop, the town is close to five picturesque lakes, including a world-standard rowing course and Formula One class boating area at Lake Ruataniwha.

The next town south is Omarama and then heading down the Waitaki valley, from Omarama, you follow the hydro power generating system towards the east coast. The town of Oamaru is most famous for its white stone buildings, constructed with the local 'Oamaru Stone'. Further south the Moeraki Boulders are a unique geological feature and worth the short detour to the beach to view. Arriving into Dunedin, you can appreciate the city's Edwardian and Scottish heritage through its fine buildings particularly around the Octagon.

Stay 2 nights Dunedin

A half day tour of the Otago Peninsula and its unique wildlife including a cruise through Dunedin Harbour. A unique environment, this tour includes a visit to The Penguin Place to view the rare and unique yellow eyed penguin. The tour also includes a scenic bus tour and the wading bird wetlands.

The drive to Te-Anau takes you through classic Southland farming scenery. Head off-the-beaten-track today and follow the coastline instead of the inland route. Go through The Catlins area and be sure to take a detour to Kaka Point to view its majestic cliffs and pounding surf. Continue through Invercargill to Riverton and Colac Bay, and then head north to Manapouri. From here you can embark on a day or overnight cruise to the remote Doubtful Sound - renowned for its natural beauty. Just a short way further will bring you to your lakeside destination of Te Anau, gateway to Fiordland National Park and Milford Sound.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Te Anau Glow Worm Caves
Stay 1 night Te Anau

Te Anau to Manapouri
This short drive takes you along the lake edge of Te Anau and across lush southern farmlands to the small township of Lake Manapouri, gateway to Doubtful Sound.

Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise
Take in the tranquility of remote Doubtful Sound on this unique overnight wilderness cruise. 

Board the Fiordland Navigator, a purpose-built vessel designed like a traditional coastal trading scow. The Navigator has a large spacious deck for viewing the scenery and wildlife as well as a dining saloon, bar and observation lounge.

As you take in the stunning scenery of the Fiord, you’ll be provided a running commentary of the area and its history, points of interest and wildlife. You'll have the opportunity to see dolphins, fur seals and - if you’re lucky - rare Fiordland penguins. 

Your Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise returns to Manapouri at midday.

Crossing the rolling tussocklands, pass through Mossburn, the deer capital of New Zealand. Continue north through lush Southland countryside towards Lake Wakatipu. The road now hugs the lake edge and the Remarkable mountain range towers over your approach to Queenstown, the adventure capital of New Zealand.

Stay 2 nights Queenstown

Although celebrated as New Zealand's ‘adventure capital’ Queenstown offers far more than a fast paced action-packed holiday. Settled on the shores of Lake Wakatipu beneath a soaring panorama of the Remarkables Mountain Range, this alpine town is surrounded by a plethora of historic, gastronomic and scenic wonders.

Take a leisurely lakeside stroll or ride the gondola for breathtaking views. Drive through Lord Of The Rings country - or for the really fanatic, jump aboard one of many dedicated LOTR tours. And after all of that - if you do really want the adrenaline rush Queenstown is known for, take your pick from the Shotover Jet, Nevis Bungy, Canyon Swing, Zipline, Luge or Heli-ski.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Dart River Wilderness Safari

Crossing the Crown Range, the highest sealed road in the country, you arrive into the alpine town of Wanaka. The route follows the shores of Lakes Wanaka and Hawea before you enter the township of Makarora, the gateway to Mt. Aspiring National Park and the Blue Pools here are a wonderful 30 minute walk through pristine native beech forest. Descending into Mt. Aspiring National Park and towards the Haast Pass, crashing rivers and waterfalls are around every corner. Crossing the Haast River you are now truly on the wild West Coast, a 600 kilometre stretch of bush, rainforest and podocarp forest. The tranquil bush surroundings of Wilderness Lodge Lake Moeraki are just a few extra kilometres.

Stay 2 nights Lake Moeraki

Complimentary Guided Nature Activities:

Twice daily complimentary activities are led by expert naturalists and introduce guests to the area remarkable natural history (approx. 1-hour duration each).

Longer Charged Guided Activities:

Join a guide to explore further afield. These trips are generally 3 to 4 hours in length and are a great way to learn about wild New Zealand. nts beside the wild Tasman Sea.

Self-Guided Activity Options:
Explore a 10km network of walking trails. Stroll beneath 1000-year-old rainforest trees, along rivers and lakeshores and visit a beach home to Tawaki penguins.
Borrow a complimentary guest kayak and discover the calm waters of Lake Moeraki. You may like to hire a fishing rod and try your luck catching a brown trout.

Continuing along the wild west coast you pass through ancient podocarp forests. At Knights Point Lookout an interesting display tells of shipwrecks in the region and at the right time of year you can see elephant seals basking on the far beaches.
First Fox Glacier welcomes you to the glacier region and Lake Matheson, the famous reflection lake, is a five minute drive west of Fox Township. Historic Gillespie's Beach, a wilderness of crashing surf and distant snow capped mountains, known for its seal colony and colourful gold mining history, is 25 minutes west by car. Access to Fox Glacier is well signposted from the highway and a short walk will reward you with some great views of the largest of the West Coast glaciers.
Franz Josef township is just a further 45 minutes and a great way to experience the glaciers is with The Helicopter Line or Mt. Cook ski planes.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Twin Glaciers Scenic Helicopter Flight

Stay 2 nights Franz Josef

On this relaxing walk, you’ll wander through regenerating rainforest alongside the Waiho Riverbed, following the path of the glacier as it winds its way through the landscape. Learn about the glacier’s history and role in shaping this remarkable area. As you approach the terminal face, you’ll have the chance to venture beyond the public barriers and see this magnificent river of ice up close. You’ll also have the chance to access exclusive trails and hear the Maori legend of Ka Roimata O Hine Hukatere.

With 1 guide for every 13 guests, this 3 hour trip ensures you gain an in-depth knowledge about this unique region.

Franz Josef to Greymouth Train Station
Today you’ll head north through the historic gold mining region of Hokitika. Known for its Greenstone (Pounamu) this seaside town has a rich history dating back to the 1860’s. Head to the coast and take in the endless sea-views or pick up a souvenir at one of the many craft shops. Continue on to Greymouth, the largest town on the West Coast and the starting point for the next leg of your journey - the Tranz Alpine Scenic Train. Drop your rental car at the Greymouth Train Station depot located inside the train station building before boarding your train to Christchurch.

TranzAlpine Scenic train Greymouth to Christchurch
Considered one of the world's great train journeys, the Tranz Alpine scenic train takes you from Greymouth to Christchurch. You'll travel across the South Island through the Arthur's Pass National Park from the west coast to the east.

On arrival into the Christchurch train station you will be met by a private transfer driver and taken to your accommodation.

Stay 1 night Christchurch

You will be collected from your accommodation and a private transfer will deliver you to Christchurch airport in time for your departing flight.

Day 1, Arrive in Christchurch

Arrive in Christchurch

On arrival you will be met by a private driver and delivered to your Christchurch accommodation.

Your tour documentation pack and support
Once you touch down in New Zealand your detailed tour pack will be hand delivered by one of our trusted representatives. The pack contains everything you need for the duration of your stay. It will include a comprehensive, printed and bound version of your itinerary as well as clear driving instructions and maps for each leg of your journey. It also contains all the reservation details for your accommodation and activities - along with relevant brochures and information. While in New Zealand we offer 24 hour support - details on how to contact us at any time will be well documented.
Stay 1 night in Christchurch

Day 2, Christchurch to Akaroa

Christchurch to Akaroa

Travel Time: 1 hr

Distance: 71 kms

Collect your rental car and drive to Akaroa

Akaroa Harbour Nature Cruise
A leisurely 2 hour cruise in the sheltered Akaroa Harbour. Cruising aboard a modern catamaran, the 60 feet / 20 meter Black Cat is perfect for viewing the natural wonders of the harbour. 

The highlight of this trip is undoubtedly the sighting of one of the world's smallest and rarest dolphins, the Hector's or New Zealand Dolphin.

Stay 1 night Akaroa

Day 3, Akaroa to Mt. Cook National Park

Akaroa to Mt. Cook National Park

Travel Time: 4 hrs 40 mins

Distance: 383 kms

Today you head into the heart of the South Island, Mt Cook Natioanl Park.

Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre Explorer Pass
A tribute to New Zealand's Sir Edmund Hillary - humanitarian, ambassador and one of the world's greatest explorers - the centre showcases the Aoraki Mount Cook region and its people within a comprehensive museum as well as a 126-seat custom-designed theatre and Digital Dome Planetarium.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Glacier Explorers Mt. Cook
Stay 1 night Mt Cook

Day 4, Mt. Cook to Twizel to Dunedin

Mt. Cook to Twizel to Dunedin

Travel Time: 3 hrs 35 mins

Distance: 312 kms

A short drive south along the spectacular Mt Cook Highway to join the main road south and onto Twizel. Twizel occupies a central location in the Mt. Cook/ Mackenzie region, with the Southern Alps as a backdrop, the town is close to five picturesque lakes, including a world-standard rowing course and Formula One class boating area at Lake Ruataniwha.

The next town south is Omarama and then heading down the Waitaki valley, from Omarama, you follow the hydro power generating system towards the east coast. The town of Oamaru is most famous for its white stone buildings, constructed with the local 'Oamaru Stone'. Further south the Moeraki Boulders are a unique geological feature and worth the short detour to the beach to view. Arriving into Dunedin, you can appreciate the city's Edwardian and Scottish heritage through its fine buildings particularly around the Octagon.

Stay 2 nights Dunedin

Day 5, Monarch Wildlife Cruises Half day tour and Yellow Eyed Penguin Reserve

Monarch Wildlife Cruises Half day tour and Yellow Eyed Penguin Reserve

A half day tour of the Otago Peninsula and its unique wildlife including a cruise through Dunedin Harbour. A unique environment, this tour includes a visit to The Penguin Place to view the rare and unique yellow eyed penguin. The tour also includes a scenic bus tour and the wading bird wetlands.

Day 6, Dunedin to Te Anau

Dunedin to Te Anau

Travel Time: 4 hrs 40 mins

Distance: 387 kms

The drive to Te-Anau takes you through classic Southland farming scenery. Head off-the-beaten-track today and follow the coastline instead of the inland route. Go through The Catlins area and be sure to take a detour to Kaka Point to view its majestic cliffs and pounding surf. Continue through Invercargill to Riverton and Colac Bay, and then head north to Manapouri. From here you can embark on a day or overnight cruise to the remote Doubtful Sound - renowned for its natural beauty. Just a short way further will bring you to your lakeside destination of Te Anau, gateway to Fiordland National Park and Milford Sound.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Te Anau Glow Worm Caves
Stay 1 night Te Anau

Day 7, Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise

Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise

Travel Time: 15 mins

Distance: 18 kms

Te Anau to Manapouri
This short drive takes you along the lake edge of Te Anau and across lush southern farmlands to the small township of Lake Manapouri, gateway to Doubtful Sound.

Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise
Take in the tranquility of remote Doubtful Sound on this unique overnight wilderness cruise. 

Board the Fiordland Navigator, a purpose-built vessel designed like a traditional coastal trading scow. The Navigator has a large spacious deck for viewing the scenery and wildlife as well as a dining saloon, bar and observation lounge.

As you take in the stunning scenery of the Fiord, you’ll be provided a running commentary of the area and its history, points of interest and wildlife. You'll have the opportunity to see dolphins, fur seals and - if you’re lucky - rare Fiordland penguins. 

Day 8, Manapouri to Queenstown

Manapouri to Queenstown

Travel Time: 2 hrs

Distance: 166 kms

Your Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise returns to Manapouri at midday.

Crossing the rolling tussocklands, pass through Mossburn, the deer capital of New Zealand. Continue north through lush Southland countryside towards Lake Wakatipu. The road now hugs the lake edge and the Remarkable mountain range towers over your approach to Queenstown, the adventure capital of New Zealand.

Stay 2 nights Queenstown

Day 9, Explore Queenstown and surrounds

Explore Queenstown and surrounds

Although celebrated as New Zealand's ‘adventure capital’ Queenstown offers far more than a fast paced action-packed holiday. Settled on the shores of Lake Wakatipu beneath a soaring panorama of the Remarkables Mountain Range, this alpine town is surrounded by a plethora of historic, gastronomic and scenic wonders.

Take a leisurely lakeside stroll or ride the gondola for breathtaking views. Drive through Lord Of The Rings country - or for the really fanatic, jump aboard one of many dedicated LOTR tours. And after all of that - if you do really want the adrenaline rush Queenstown is known for, take your pick from the Shotover Jet, Nevis Bungy, Canyon Swing, Zipline, Luge or Heli-ski.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Dart River Wilderness Safari

Day 10, Queenstown to Lake Moeraki

Queenstown to Lake Moeraki

Travel Time: 3 hrs

Distance: 233 kms

Crossing the Crown Range, the highest sealed road in the country, you arrive into the alpine town of Wanaka. The route follows the shores of Lakes Wanaka and Hawea before you enter the township of Makarora, the gateway to Mt. Aspiring National Park and the Blue Pools here are a wonderful 30 minute walk through pristine native beech forest. Descending into Mt. Aspiring National Park and towards the Haast Pass, crashing rivers and waterfalls are around every corner. Crossing the Haast River you are now truly on the wild West Coast, a 600 kilometre stretch of bush, rainforest and podocarp forest. The tranquil bush surroundings of Wilderness Lodge Lake Moeraki are just a few extra kilometres.

Stay 2 nights Lake Moeraki

Day 11, Wilderness Lodge Lake Moeraki

Wilderness Lodge Lake Moeraki

Complimentary Guided Nature Activities:

Twice daily complimentary activities are led by expert naturalists and introduce guests to the area remarkable natural history (approx. 1-hour duration each).

Longer Charged Guided Activities:

Join a guide to explore further afield. These trips are generally 3 to 4 hours in length and are a great way to learn about wild New Zealand. nts beside the wild Tasman Sea.

Self-Guided Activity Options:
Explore a 10km network of walking trails. Stroll beneath 1000-year-old rainforest trees, along rivers and lakeshores and visit a beach home to Tawaki penguins.
Borrow a complimentary guest kayak and discover the calm waters of Lake Moeraki. You may like to hire a fishing rod and try your luck catching a brown trout.

Day 12, Lake Moeraki to Franz Josef Glacier

Lake Moeraki to Franz Josef Glacier

Travel Time: 1 hr 25 mins

Distance: 111 kms

Continuing along the wild west coast you pass through ancient podocarp forests. At Knights Point Lookout an interesting display tells of shipwrecks in the region and at the right time of year you can see elephant seals basking on the far beaches.
First Fox Glacier welcomes you to the glacier region and Lake Matheson, the famous reflection lake, is a five minute drive west of Fox Township. Historic Gillespie's Beach, a wilderness of crashing surf and distant snow capped mountains, known for its seal colony and colourful gold mining history, is 25 minutes west by car. Access to Fox Glacier is well signposted from the highway and a short walk will reward you with some great views of the largest of the West Coast glaciers.
Franz Josef township is just a further 45 minutes and a great way to experience the glaciers is with The Helicopter Line or Mt. Cook ski planes.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Twin Glaciers Scenic Helicopter Flight

Stay 2 nights Franz Josef

Day 13, Franz Josef Glacier Valley Walk

Franz Josef Glacier Valley Walk

On this relaxing walk, you’ll wander through regenerating rainforest alongside the Waiho Riverbed, following the path of the glacier as it winds its way through the landscape. Learn about the glacier’s history and role in shaping this remarkable area. As you approach the terminal face, you’ll have the chance to venture beyond the public barriers and see this magnificent river of ice up close. You’ll also have the chance to access exclusive trails and hear the Maori legend of Ka Roimata O Hine Hukatere.

With 1 guide for every 13 guests, this 3 hour trip ensures you gain an in-depth knowledge about this unique region.

Day 14, TranzAlpine Scenic Train to Christchurch

TranzAlpine Scenic Train to Christchurch

Travel Time: 2 hrs 10 mins

Distance: 170 kms

Franz Josef to Greymouth Train Station
Today you’ll head north through the historic gold mining region of Hokitika. Known for its Greenstone (Pounamu) this seaside town has a rich history dating back to the 1860’s. Head to the coast and take in the endless sea-views or pick up a souvenir at one of the many craft shops. Continue on to Greymouth, the largest town on the West Coast and the starting point for the next leg of your journey - the Tranz Alpine Scenic Train. Drop your rental car at the Greymouth Train Station depot located inside the train station building before boarding your train to Christchurch.

TranzAlpine Scenic train Greymouth to Christchurch
Considered one of the world's great train journeys, the Tranz Alpine scenic train takes you from Greymouth to Christchurch. You'll travel across the South Island through the Arthur's Pass National Park from the west coast to the east.

On arrival into the Christchurch train station you will be met by a private transfer driver and taken to your accommodation.

Stay 1 night Christchurch

Day 15, Depart Christchurch

Depart Christchurch

You will be collected from your accommodation and a private transfer will deliver you to Christchurch airport in time for your departing flight.

Additional Information

Pricing

Cost per Person

 Twin/Double
Motel Accommodation from NZ$4,714* per person
Boutique Hotels & Lodges from NZ$5,564* per person

 * PLEASE NOTE

Price is based on two adults sharing a rental car and accommodation (twin/double-share).

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.

Payment

  • Deposit: 20% of the package cost or NZ$250 per person (whichever is the greater) at time of booking
  • Full Payment: 45 Days before travel
  • Airfares (if applicable): Paid in full at the time of 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
Currency Converter

Includes

Includes:

14 nights accommodation

  • 1 night Christchurch
  • 1 night Akaroa
  • 1 night Mt Cook
  • 2 nights Dunedin
  • 1 night Te Anau
  • 1 night Doubtful Sound 
  • 2 nights Queenstown
  • 2 nights Lake Moeraki
  • 2 nights Glaciers
  • 1 night Christchurch

Rental Car Hire

  • Rental car insurance included: Fully inclusive with variable excess/deductible.
  • Rental car inclusions: GPS navigation. unlimited kms,airport/ferry terminal fees, additional drivers.

Private airport and train station transfers

All breakfasts (4-star accommodation only)

Tranz Alpine Train from Greymouth to Christchurch

Akaroa Harbour Nature Cruise

Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre explorer pass

Wildlife cruise and Yellow eyed penguin colony

Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise

Franz Josef Glacier Valley Walk

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.

Accommodation

There is a choice of accommodation available on all packages, which depending on locations, includes motels, 3 star hotels, 4 star hotels, boutique lodges & hotels and luxury lodges and hotels. We are happy to quote on alternate accommodation requests.

Optional Extras

From Mt Cook

Glacier Explorers Mt. Cook

Experience 500 year old icebergs up-close on the Mt Cook terminal lake. The Glacier Explorers tour is the only one of its kind in New Zealand - and one of only three in the world! Very few glaciers terminate into lakes and even fewer of them are accessible. See towering ice cliffs and floating icebergs from the safety of a specially designed boat. These boats provide a safe way to view unseen and inaccessible areas of New Zealand's largest glacier - The Tasman.

From Te Anau

Te Anau Glow Worm Caves

Begin your Te Anau Glowworm experience with a scenic cruise across lake Te Anau on board the luxury catamaran, Luminosa, to the western side of the lake. On arrival you’ll enter the caves through Cavern House, where informative displays detail the history of this 12,000 year old underground network.

You’ll then explore by limestone pathway while your guide points out hidden whirlpools, sculpted rock formations and a rushing underground waterfall. See a magical display of thousands of glowworms as you glide through the darkness in a small boat.

From Queenstown

Dart River Wilderness Safari

Take a one and a half hour jet boat safari through the remote wilderness of Mt Aspiring National Park. Home to towering mountains, alpine bush, glacial lakes and icy rivers, this spectacular trip is considered one of the most scenic in the world. Following your boat journey, take a 40 minute walk through ancient beech forests over 80 million years old. Learn about the area and its history before taking a four wheel drive coach on a 50 minute journey to the isolated hamlet of Paradise - home to many Lord of the Rings filming locations.

From Franz Josef

Twin Glaciers Scenic Helicopter Flight

Take a spectacular scenic flight over two of New Zealand's most famous glaciers. Land at the head of one and view the incredible sight of this frozen river as it winds its way through ancient carved valleys. Should weather not be suitable to take this flight you are able to transfer your booking onto a similar tour on any of the Helicopter Line’s operations in Queenstown or Mt Cook.

Highlights

Christchurch - Akaroa - Mt Cook - Dunedin - Te Anau - Doubtful Sound - Queenstown - Lake Moeraki - Glaciers - TranzAlpine Train - Christchurch

Tranz Alpine Train from Greymouth to Christchurch

Considered one of the worlds great train journeys, the Tranz Alpine scenic train trip operates between Christchurch and Greynouth and vice versa. Crossing from the Tasman Sea through Arthur's Pass National Park to the Pacific Ocean. From your carriage enjoy views of the lush rain forest of the West Coast to the spectacular mountains of the Southern Alps. Travel through gorges and river valleys of the Waimakariri River.

From Akaroa

Akaroa Harbour Nature Cruise

A leisurely 2 hour cruise in the sheltered Akaroa Harbour. Cruising aboard a modern catamaran, the 60 feet / 20 meter Black Cat is perfect for viewing the natural wonders of the harbour. The vessel is the largest and most luxurious on the harbour. There's lots of space on the 2 decks for unimpeded viewing and inside you will find a bar and toilets. The vessel offers comfortable, safe and stable comfort.

The highlight of this trip is undoubtedly the sighting of one of the world's smallest and rarest dolphins, the Hector's or New Zealand Dolphin. These friendly and inquisitive mammals meet the boat most days throughout the year and their calves can be seen between October and March.

From Mt Cook

Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre explorer pass

A tribute to New Zealand's Sir Edmund Hillary - humanitarian, ambassador and one of the world's greatest explorers - the centre showcases the Aoraki Mount Cook region and its people within a comprehensive museum as well as a 126-seat custom-designed theatre and Digital Dome Planetarium.

From Dunedin

Wildlife cruise and Yellow eyed penguin colony

A half day tour of the Otago Peninsula and its unique wildlife including a cruise through Dunedin Harbour. A unique environment, this tour includes a visit to The Penguin Place to view the rare and unique yellow eyed penguin. The tour also includes a scenic bus tour and the wading bird wetlands.

Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise

The Fiordland Navigator offers a very special dinner, bed and breakfast wilderness experience. Real Journeys Doubtful Sound overnight vessel, the Fiordland Navigator, is designed along the lines of a traditional New Zealand coastal trading scow to reflect Fiordland's heritage. The purpose built vessel accommodates passengers either in private cabins with ensuite bathrooms or in quad-share bunk style compartments with shared bathroom facilities. The vessel has spacious deck areas for viewing the wilderness scenery and wildlife of Doubtful Sound. Of particular interest, if sighted, are fur seals, dolphins, and in season, rare penguins.

From Franz Josef

Franz Josef Glacier Valley Walk

On this relaxing walk, you’ll wander through regenerating rainforest alongside the Waiho Riverbed, following the path of the glacier as it winds its way through the landscape. Learn about the glacier’s history and role in shaping this remarkable area. As you approach the terminal face, you’ll have the chance to venture beyond the public barriers and see this magnificent river of ice up close. You’ll also have the chance to access exclusive trails and hear the Maori legend of Ka Roimata O Hine Hukatere.

With 1 guide for every 13 guests, this 3 hour trip ensures you gain an in-depth knowledge about this unique region.

Book now, pay later No credit card required

15 Day South Island Natural Discovery Self Drive

Fields marked with * are required

If you see this field, please leave it blank and invest in CSS support.

Your Details

(e.g +44 208 123456)

Additional Extras

Accommodation & Transport

Other Passengers

Please list the full name(s) of each passenger travelling with you.

General Information

Please specify if you wish to include any tour options or extra days & if you have any special requirements. e.g dietary, physical, medical; and (if available) advise arrival and departure flight details in New Zealand.