New Zealand trips

Wellington to Queenstown via Aoraki Mt Cook

4 Days


Wellington Central to Central Queenstown


  • Whale watching
  • Our tallest mountain
  • Adventurous Queenstown

Best time of year

All year

This journey includes some of New Zealand’s most impressive landscapes and wildlife experiences. Extend your knowledge of New Zealand at Te Papa museum before catching the ferry to Picton - the Marlborough Sounds are your first taste of the South Island’s stunning scenery.

The beautiful coastal road to Kaikoura gets you in the right mood to enjoy a whale watching trip and other wildlife encounters. Visit Christchurch city before you head for the tussocky wilds of the MacKenzie Country and the peaks of Aoraki Mt Cook National Park.

The glamorous adventure town of Queenstown tops off your alpine experience.


Whale tail, Kaikoura

Photo by Chris McLennan

Day 1

Wellington - Blenheim - Kaikoura

5 hrs

54 mins

256 km

159 mi


Wellington City is compact, cultured and full of character. Nestled between the harbour and the hills, the downtown area is ideal for explorations on foot. Enjoy cafes, restaurants, museums and all kinds of shops. Dance, theatre and musical performances are a Wellington specialty. As New Zealand’s capital, this city is rich in political history.

The passage across Cook Strait and through the Marlborough Sounds is one of the most scenic ferry trips in the world. The cruise-style ferry takes just over 3 hours and can transport vehicles. Highlights along the way include the Red Rocks seal colony, Tory Channel, Cook’s Lookout and the beautiful coves of the sounds.

Blenheim is the heart of wine-growing Marlborough. You’ll find a pleasing selection of cafes, restaurants, pubs, shops, and more than 20 wineries within driving distance of the town.

State Highway 1 takes you through the coastal foothills, and then out into the picturesque Awatere Valley. In the township of Seddon you’ll find authentic New Zealand crafts. The Lake Grassmere saltworks is an interesting stop - the ponds turn coral pink in late summer. After the small town of Ward, the road turns toward the awesome beauty of the Pacific Coast.

Kaikoura is a base for wildlife experiences of all kinds – it’s also a great place to eat crayfish. A whale watch tour can take you to see Minke, Humpback and Southern Right whales mixing it with dolphins and orcas. You can also walk to see fur seal colonies and spy on big seabirds such as mollymawks, albatross and petrels.

Wellington Harbour

Start in Wellington Central

Whether you want to dabble in history or indulge at divine restaurants, Wellington is a capital city with a great deal of style. Enjoy!

Acercate a las enormes ballenas con un paseo en barco en Kaikoura.

End in Kaikoura

The picturesque coastal town of Kaikoura is the perfect place for marine life encounters, coastal walks, and tucking into a plate of crayfish.

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