South Island trips

South Island Mountains and Glaciers Itinerary

10 Days


Christchurch to Christchurch


  • Icy glaciers
  • Milford Sound
  • Our tallest mountain

Best time of year

All year

Take in the South Island’s mountains and glaciers, rivers and plains, alpine lakes and magical fiords. After enjoying the excitement of Christchurch, discover the wild world of Arthur’s Pass – an excellent place to take a hike. The West Coast towns of Greymouth and Hokitika will introduce you to gold mining and greenstone before you move on to the cool experience of Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers.

Have a fun night out at the lakeside town of Wanaka then make your way to our adventure capital, Queenstown. From here you'll take a scenic journey to majestic Milford Sound, where you can relax on a daytime or overnight boat cruise.

Next you ascend to the peaks and lakes of Aoraki Mt Cook, where you can enjoy a visit to New Zealand's largest glacier. A parade of country towns takes you across the Canterbury Plains back to Christchurch.


Cycling past Lake Pukaki, Aoraki/Mount Cook.

Photo by Miles Holden

Day 1

Spend the day in Christchurch

Christchurch - Canterbury

Fast-changing and funky, Christchurch is the South Island's largest city. Old English gardens contrast with pop-up bars and container-based shopping malls in this enduring centre, which is rebuilding itself after a damaging earthquake in February 2011. Favourite activities include punting down the Avon River, biking in the Port Hills, visiting Sumner Beach, or taking a day trip out to the French colonial settlement of Akaroa.

Cashel Mall Re:Start Project, Christchurch


Christchurch city promises an eclectic mix of historic elegance and contemporary culture. As the gateway to the South Island, it's a must on any itinerary.

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