South Island trips

South Island Discovery

16 Days


Christchurch to Christchurch


  • Majestic Milford Sound
  • West Coast glaciers
  • Whale watching

Best time of year

All year

This route takes you right around the South Island. From Christchurch you’ll follow the coast to Oamaru, where you can see the amazing Moeraki Boulders. Dunedin has history and wildlife experiences on offer before you drive across Southland to Lake Te Anau and spectacular Milford Sound.

Have fun in Queenstown and Wanaka, where adventure and indulgence are available in equal quantities, then explore the soulful West Coast between Haast and Westport.

The Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers and the Pancake Rocks at Punakaiki are highlights. Beaches, wine and art are things to enjoy around Nelson and Blenheim, while in Kaikoura you can get close to whales and dolphins. Shop for wine in the Waipara Valley as you return to Christchurch.


Akaroa promises a little bit of France just an hour’s drive from Christchurch

Photo by Julian Apse

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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