Australia & the Pacific Forums

Start a new topic Change Forum
Advanced search

NZ South Island Self Drive 7 day itinerary

Jump to last reply

Hi, I'm headed to New Zealand"s South Island for one week in May for my honeymoon (we will be in Fiji prior to that). We fly into Christchurch Friday night and out of Queenstown the following Saturday. We plan to rent a car and see as much as possible. We definitely want to see Milford Sound and hit some wineries. Suggestions please!

1 Reply |

Add a Reply
  • Report Abuse

    A few options:

    Arrive Christchurch - one night

    Drive from Christchurch to Hokitika via Arthur's Pass, detouring to Punakaiki (Pancake Rocks) - one night Hokitika

    Drive from Hokitika to the glaciers -1-2 nights

    Drive from the glaciers to Wanaka - 1-2 nights

    Drive from Wanaka to Te Anau - two nights (you'll need a full day to visit Milford from Te Anau)

    Drive from Te Anau to Queenstown - remaining nights

    This isn't an itinerary I'd do myself as it's a lot of moving around and too many one and two night stays, but...

    An alternative:

    Arrive Christchurch - one night (this really depends on what time you arrive and whether or not you've just gotten off an overnight flight.)

    NOTE: If you've not arrived from an overnight flight and are fit for driving, I'd suggest driving to Geraldine for the first night, but only if you're comfortable getting right into a car and driving on the left). - one night Geraldine

    Drive from Geraldine to Mt Cook via Lake Tekapo - two nights (this will give you one full day to explore).

    Drive from Mt Cook to Wanaka - 1-2 nights

    Drive from Wanaka to Te Anau - two nights

    Drive from Te Anau to QT - remaining nights

    Yet another option:

    Arrive Christchurch, stay overnight, or forge on to Arthur's Pass for the night

    Drive Arthur's Pass to glaciers, with detour to Punakaiki - 1-2 nights (two is best as you'd then have a full day to explore both glaciers)

    Drive glaciers to Wanaka 1-2 nights

    Drive Wanaka to Te Anau - two nights

    Drive Te Anau to QT - remaining nights

    There are basically two ways to get from Christchurch to QT - the West Coast (glaciers) and the inland route (Mt Cook).

    Once you decide which route you want to take, the rest is pretty easy.

    Regarding wineries - there are wineries near Christchurch (easily done on way to Geraldine), in the Tarras/Bendigo/Lake Dunstan/Cromwell area as well as between Cromwell and Queenstown (easily done on way to Te Anau/QT).

    You don't have to go far to find a winery.

Sign in to comment.

Recent Activity

  • Announcement:
  • Fodor's Go List 2015 Has Been Announced
    by Emily_D Fodor's Editor | Posted on Dec 19, 14 at 05:08 PM
View all Australia & the Pacific activity »
  1. 1 Shoe Recommendations for NZ??
  2. 2 Trip Report The Great Australian Adventure
  3. 3 First time in NZ and only have a week
  4. 4 Our First Trip to New Zealand
  5. 5 Trip Report Songdoc's Tasmanian Honeymoon
  6. 6 NZ SI: Picton to Christchurch anywhere worth staying a night?
  7. 7 18 & 19 year old traveling for two weeks after 7 months in Brisbane
  8. 8 Must See/Dos in New Zealand
  9. 9 21 day New Zealand Itinerary with Milford Track
  10. 10 Songdoc - Skippers Canyon
  11. 11 7 day south island itinerary help, start/end in Queenstown
  12. 12 Moorea - Villas/House/Condo's
  13. 13 Great Ocean Road Itinerary
  14. 14 5 week itinerary help
  15. 15 Trip Report Beachmere Australias most Unfriendly Town
  16. 16 Help with Australia/ New Zealand plan!
  17. 17 New Zealand Trip - Solicit suggestions
  18. 18 Trip Report Margaret River, One Bite at a Time
  19. 19 New Zealand (South Island) 10 Day Itinerary - Need Advice Please
  20. 20 Ideas for holidays in Australia in January/February
  21. 21 This special community - Fodorville
  22. 22 New Zealand -help with itinerary
  23. 23 Traveling to Hawaii
  24. 24 Great food/local favorites
  25. 25 Trip Report Australia Vacation Sept 2014: Focus on WA
View next 25 » Back to the top