Lakes & Mountains of the South Island

11 days / 10 nights
Ex Christchurch – Self-drive

Tour Cost
Prices on request

Explore some the South Island’s most inspiring landscapes staying at a range of beautiful lodges

This 11D/10N self-drive itinerary explores some of the South Island’s most awe-inspiring and remarkable scenic areas. Start your adventure in Christchurch at The George, one of the city’s most beautiful hotels that houses an award-winning restaurant. Discover the city at your leisure – Christchurch has a wealth of exciting and enjoyable activities to choose from, such as the Christchurch Gondola and the interesting Air Force Museum of New Zealand.

Travel south-west to the magical Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park. This beautiful region offers some the country’s most breathtaking scenery. Stay at The Hermitage Hotel and discover walking trails and glacial landscapes as well as learning about the region’s history at the Sir Edmund Hilary Centre. Next, continue south to The Lindis, located in the remote and starkly beautiful Ahuriri Valley. A slice of paradise, self-guided exploration on foot and by e-bike is a highlight. There are plenty of other highly rated activities to consider, such as Heli-skiing, Heli-hiking or an exclusive wine tour by helicopter.

Finally travel to legendary Queenstown – often referred to as “The Adventure Capital of the World”. Staying at The Rees Hotel, over the next 3 days explore the town at your leisure. There are countless activities available for guests of all ages; take a cruise on Lake Wakatipu or perhaps a scenic flight over the mountains. For wine loves or golf enthusiasts, there are plenty of top vineyards and highly rated golf courses to discover.

For further information on tours in Queenstown, please contact one of our Destination Specialists on 1300 363 302.

Tour Details


Lakes & Mountains of the South Island

11 days/10 nights

Days 1-2


On arrival in Christchurch, you will be met and transferred to The George hotel, located opposite beautiful Hagely Park. One of the city’s finest hotels, it boasts an award-winning restaurant as well as a substantial collection of New Zealand Art that has been refined over almost 30 years. Discover the city at your leisure, perhaps take a scenic ride on the Christchurch gondola, explore the trails along the River Avon or visit a winery in the nearby Waipara Valley. B (day 2 only)

Days 3-4

Mount Cook

This morning your hire car will be delivered to your hotel. In your own time head south-west to The Hermitage Hotel in the breathtaking Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park. The drive from Christchurch is approximately 330 kilometres (4 hours). A fantastic spot to stop en route for lunch is the town of Lake Tekapo. There are a wealth of exciting activities to enjoy at The Hermitage, including scenic flights, glacier explorations, hiking, mountain bike hire and a visit to the fascinating and insightful Sir Edmund Hilary Centre. B D

Days 5-7

Ahuriri Valley

Today carry on south to the The Lindis, located in the astoundingly beautiful Ahuriri Valley. This remote section of New Zealand provides guests a chance to explore this pristine landscape in almost complete privacy. Self-guided exploration on foot and by e-bike is a highlight, whilst for those wishing to delve a little deeper, guided walks are also available. Heli-skiing, Heli-hiking, exclusive wine tours by helicopter and horse riding are just a handful of the exciting excursions available (at an additional cost). At the end of each day, return to the lodge and relax in complete luxury and comfort. B L D

Days 8-10


After one last morning activity it’s time to head to your final destination – Queenstown – approximately a 3-hour drive from the Ahuriri Valley. A good spot to stop to break up your drive is either Wanaka, a small town on the shores of its namesake lake, or in Cromwell, home to a host of excellent vineyards.

On arrival in Queenstown make your way to either Matakauri Lodge or The Rees Hotel. Over the next 3 days explore this sensational town – often referred to as “The Adventure Capital of the World” – at your leisure. take a cruise on Lake Wakatipu, scenic flight over the mountains, kayak, walk, play a round of golf or ski (seasonal); there are countless activities to consider and enjoy. B

Please note: For those looking to explore nearby Milford Sound, we can organise a guided day trip and cruise with either bus or light aircraft transfers. Please contact us for details on 1300 363 302.

Day 11

Tour ends

This morning after checking out, please drop off your hire car at the airport. Tour ends. B

B L D = Breakfast – Lunch – Dinner

Fancy Staying longer?

Discover Milford Sound
For those wishing to explore world-renowned Milford Sound in greater depth, why not stay at Milford Sound Lodge – the regions premier accommodation.

Milford Sound Lodge in New Zealand

Enquire Now

Places to stay in the South Island

Below is a range of suggested hotels in the South Island of New Zealand. Please contact us for availability.

The George

Located in the heart of Christchurch overlooking beautiful Hagley Park, The George offers superb accommodation and impeccable service

The Hermitage Hotel

Discover the wonders of Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park in New Zealand's South Island staying at The Hermitage Hotel

The Lindis

Located in the remote and starkly beautiful Ahuriri Valley, The Lindis is a hidden paradise far from civilisation.

Rimu Lodge

Sometimes called “the land that time forgot” this is a region of snow-covered mountains, forest and gentle farmland where the Hokitika River runs down to the sea.

Maruia River Retreat

Find yourself in a world of peace and beauty at Maruia River Retreat, a boutique lodge surrounded by stunning natural wilderness on the Maruia River.

The Rees Hotel

Located 2.5 kilometres outside of beautiful Queenstown, The Rees Hotel is perfectly positioned right on the shores of Lake Wakatipu.

Matakauri Lodge

Matakauri Lodge echoes the perfect proportions of its crisp alpine surrounds with elements of warm, personable service and fiery interior accents.

Milford Sound Lodge

Milford Sound Lodge sits within the breathtaking UNESCO World Heritage Listed Fiordland National Park in New Zealand’s South Island.

Split Apple Retreat

Located at the very top of New Zealand’s South Island, Split Apple Retreat sits on the shores of beautiful Tasman Bay, one hours drive north of the fascinating town of Nelson.

More New Zealand Tours

A personalised itinerary takes into account your individual travel style, budget and special interests. To get you started on deciding what you may want to do and see in New Zealand, we have compiled a range of suggested itineraries and inspirations in case you are travelling as a family, on a honeymoon or enjoy more physical activity. Below are some of our most popular sample tour in New Zealand.

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