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10 Days on South Island of New Zealand

Updated: May 6, 2020

Route: Christchurch - Kaikoura - Christchurch - Lake Tekapo - Mt Cook - Wanaka - Queenstown - Dunedin

Island: South

Duration: 10 days/9 nights

Transport: By car

Description: South Island of New Zealand is famous because of its wild nature. Mountains with snow caps, ancient glaciers, lakes of different shades of blue and green, mysterious fiords, rugged mountain rivers - all this and much more, including a sea of positive emotions, awaits you on the South Island.

West Coast of South Island, New Zealand
Meditation on West Coast of South Island

Day 1

Itinerary: Arrival to Christchurch. Free time in the city. Take a rest or visit Orana Wildlife Park which is just amazing.

Day 2


11:00 – 12:00 Christchurch Tram Tour around the city centre.

12:00 – 12:30 Driving to Antarctic Centre located in the airport.

14:30 – 16:00 Lunch at a local cafe. We advise Bloody Marys.

16:15 – 17:00 Finish this awesome day with relaxed Punting on the River Avon. It may be a private or a group tour.

Hagglund Ride in Antarctic Centre, Christchurch New Zealand
Hagglund Ride in Antarctic Centre, Christchurch

Day 3


07:30 – 10:30 Driving to Kaikoura.

10:30 – 11:00 Check-in the tour Boat Based Seal Swim Kaikoura.

11:00 – 13:30 Swimming with fur seals is a fantastic experience! These cute creatures are very friendly in the water. They will demonstrate different swimming styles and might allow you to pet them.

13:30 – 14:00 Showering and changing.

14:00 – 14:30 Make you way to the helipad.

14:30 – 15:00 Heli Whalewatch Tour. Whales are the largest mammals on Earth. The length of the blue whale is 25 meters. Therefore, to see the giant in full scale, it is better to observe him from the air. Helicopter tour in Kaikoura will give you the unique opportunity to see the entire whale and take great pictures of it. The helicopter can hang over the point for a long time. The probability of a meeting with an animal(s) is very high: they are found by an echo sounder.

15:00 – 16:30 Lunch at a cafe. Try yummy local crayfishes.

16:30 – 19:30 Way back to Christchurch.

Heli whalewatch in Kaikoura, New Zealand
Heli whalewatch in Kaikoura, New Zealand

Day 4


Relaxed trip to the centre of South Island where the highest mountain called Aoraki or Cook is located. On the way, you'll take a break near Lake Tekapo to see The Church of the Good Shepherd and enjoy the incredible colour of the lake.

When you drive further to Mt Cook you will see one more lake with fantastic colour of the water - Pukaki. Its water has all shades of blue.

The Church of the Good Shepherd, lake Tekapo New Zealand
The Church of the Good Shepherd, lake Tekapo

Day 5


09:00 – 09:30 Check-in the tour.

09:30 – 12:00 Abel Tasman Glacier tour by boat. You will be transferred to Tasman lake where you will embark a boat. It will take you through the smoky waters of the lake full of icebergs closer to the glacier's edge where you will see ancient blue ice of the longest "snow river" of Mt Cook's region. Yo need to book this tour on the website of the provider.

12:00 – 13:00 Lunch at a local cafe.

13:00 – 16:00 Driving to Wanaka (209 km).

16:00 – 17:30 Puzzling World: The Combo - Illusion Rooms & Great Maze. Stuart Landsborough's Puzzling World is a unique attraction with a theme of puzzling eccentricity!

Spend the evening walking on shores of amazing Lake Wanaka.

Stuart Landsborough's Puzzling World Wanaka New Zealand
How does the water come into the tap? Stuart Landsborough's Puzzling World.

Day 6


09:30 – 10:00 Driving to Wanaka airfield.

10:00 – 10:30 Check-in the tour.

10:30 - 11:00 Lakes Original U-Fly Adventure (30 min). You will be able to fly a plane on a supervision of an experienced pilot!

11:00 – 13:00 Driving to Queenstown. In a sunny dry day, we recommend you to go through Cardrona pass. The views there are amazing! In wet rainy days, it's better to drive through Cromwell.

13:00 – 14:30 Skyline Gondola & Lunch at Skyline Queenstown.

14:30 – 15:00 Driving to The Station building in the town centre. Check-in the tour.

15:00 – 16:45 Shotover Jet Ride. This is Must Do activity in Queenstown!

17:30 – 18:00 Check-in the tour to Walter Peak farm by the vintage steamship TSS Earnslaw.

Pilot a plane in Wanaka New Zealand
Pilot a plane in Wanaka!

Day 7


07:30 – 07:45 Check-in the tour.

07:45 – 16:30 Dart River Funyaks. It is an amazing journey from Glenorchy deep into the heart of the world-renowned Mt Aspiring National Park. Get up-close with nature with a gentle paddle on sparkling waters.

Dart River funyaks Queenstown New Zealand
Dart River funyaks

Day 8


08:00 – 08:30 Check-in the tour.

08:30 – 12:00 Queenstown Quad Safari. See Queenstown in a whole new way when you explore it via ATV! These fully automatic quad bikes are easy to ride and suitable for everyone from complete beginners to total pros.

12:00 – 13:00 Driving to the town centre.

13:00 – 15:00 You must try some special adrenalin rush things in the capital of adventure! We advise thrilling Shotover Canyon Fox or Shotover Canyon Swing or the combo deal Shotover Canyon Fox & Swing.

15:00 – 15:40 Driving to Queenstown airport. Check-in the heli tour.

15:40 – 17:40 Helicopter Tour Ultimate Paradise Picnic. Looking for something special? Then this incredible heli-tour and picnic experience is for you.

Helicopter Tour Ultimate Paradise Picnic Queenstown New Zealand
This is real paradise!

Day 9


08:00 – 13:00 Driving to Dunedin (280 km).

13:00 – 14:30 Lunch at the restaurant of Speights brewery. Finally, it's time to taste local beer!

14:30 – 16:30 Self-guided tour around the city. You should visit the famous railway building, Octagon square, Otago University, the steepest street in the world - Baldwin Street.

16:30 – 17:30 Driving to the beach with Moeraki boulders.

17:30 – 18:00 Walking and photo session near the amazing round stone boulders. The boulders are one of the most fascinating and popular attractions on the South Island.

18:00 - 19:00 Coming back to the city.

Dunedin railway building New Zealand
Dunedin railway building

Day 10

Dunedin - Auckland


09:20 – 10:15 Driving to Penguin Place.

10:15 – 11:45 Dunedin Penguin Tour. This 90-minute tour introduces you to the conservation efforts of Penguin Place, a private conversation reserve dedicated to the survival of the rare Yellow-Eyed Penguin.

11:45 – 12:15 Driving to the single New Zealand castle - Larnach.

12:15 – 13:30 Tour with Audio Guide at Larnach Castle. Come and discover New Zealand's only castle, Larnach Castle, the historic labour of love built by politician and merchant, William Larnach, for his beloved first wife Eliza. Eliza was clearly one special lady in the eyes of William, a man of great vision whose life makes a thrilling biography, from his three wives, to his career in politics, banking and business, and his eventual suicide shrouded in scandal.

13:30 – 14:30 Lunch in the Ballroom Café.

14:30 – 17:00 Free time in the city. Shopping.

In the evening is your flight to Auckland or overseas directly.

Larnach castle Dunedin New Zealand
Larnach castle, Dunedin

The End

We'll be happy to see you in New Zealand!

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