Explore the highlights of New Zealand's South Island on this two-week self-drive designed to showcase the best of New Zealand in winter. Discover snow-capped mountains, frozen glaciers and sparkling lakes as you follow a circular route from Christchurch.
- Journey on one of the world's great railroads, the TranzAlpine
- Enjoy a full day guided snowshoeing adventure in Queenstown
- Bathe in the natural hot pools at Hanmer Springs
- Marvel at the alpine beauty of Queenstown and Wanaka
Travel from the picturesque town of Christchurch across country on one of the world's greatest train journeys, the TranzAlpine, through mountain gorges and dramatic scenery to Greymouth. Travel south through Glacier country and the Southern Lakes region, spending time in Queenstown, Lake Wanaka and Hanmer Springs. Lake Tekapo is the world's largest International Dark Sky Reserve renowned for its exceptionally clear skies and exceptional stargazing.
This holiday is designed to be enjoyed in New Zealand's winter months allowing you to experience the dramatic mountain scenery and snow covered mountains at their best.
Itinerary & Accommodation
- Day 1: arrive Christchurch
You will be met on arrival and transferred to your hotel in Christchurch. Spend the rest of the day at leisure taking in the many sites of Christchurch including the International Antarctic Centre, an open-top bus tour or a gentle punt down the Avon River
Overnight: Rydges Latimer
- Day 2: Christchurch - Franz Josef
This morning, you will be collected from your hotel and taken to Christchurch railway station in order to board one of the world’s greatest train journeys; The TranzAlpine. Admire the stunning vistas, mountain scenery and ever changing landscape as you journey from east to west crossing Arthurs Pass and into Greymouth. On arrival in Greymouth, collect your rental car and travel south to New Zealand’s glacier country.
Overnight: Scenic Hotel Franz Josef
- Day 3: Franz Josef
Explore the mighty glacier of Franz Josef today either on a guided Heli-hike allowing you to explore the crevasses and ever changing landscape of this shifting glacier, or alternatively undertake a gentle scenic flight above the glacier, allowing you to see it in all its might.
Overnight: Scenic Hotel Franz Josef
- Day 4-6: Franz Josef - Lake Wanaka (285kms)
Today make your way to the lakeside town of Wanaka. This beautiful town has an abundance of outdoor activities yet is known as the quieter neighbour of nearby bustling Queenstown. Lake Wanaka is an ideal base for keen hikers, due to the town’s proximity to nearby Mt Aspiring National Park. Alternatively undertake one of the many winter activities available in this stunning southern lakes region.
Overnight Edgewater Resort
- Day 7-8: Lake Wanaka - Queenstown (70kms)
Today, drive a short distance to the stunning alpine resort of Queenstown. A bustling ski village in winter, with a plethora of outdoor and winter activities on offer. Make the most of the picture perfect snow-capped mountain and lake scenery before enjoying a full day guided snowshoeing adventure, giving you a taste of the winter sports of New Zealand.
Overnight: Heritage Queenstown
- Day 9-10: Queenstown - Lake Tekapo (275kms)
Today you will drive towards the Mackenzie Basin and the stunning area known as Lake Tekapo. Famous for its remarkable turquoise coloured lake and mountainous backdrop. Explore the beautiful Church of the Good Shepherd that sits perched overlooking the lake. Lake Tekapo is part of a UNESCO Dark Sky Reserve, making it one of New Zealand’s best spots for star gazing.
Overnight: Three Rivers Lodge
- Day 11-13: Lake Tekapo - Hanmer Springs (370kms)
Continue to the resort town of Hamner Springs, a year-round holiday destination known for its indulgent natural hot springs and stunning landscapes. Explore the charming town with its boutique shops and cafes that are surrounded by dramatic mountains and towering forests. With a variety of adventure based activities on offer why not explore the native forests or join a jet boating excursion or simply just relax in the bubbling hot pools this town is famed for.
Overnight: Heritage Hanmer Springs
- Day 14: Hanmer Springs - Christchurch
- Return to Christchurch for your flight home.
ExcursionsA number of excursions are included in this itinerary and some suggestions however your Travel Specialist will be able to advise on additional or upgraded options to suit your interests.
Dedicated to keeping the skies light-pollution free, the Ao…
An incredible stretch of land that incompasses towering mou…
Prices & Dates
Prices from £ per person
Meet & greet and private transfer on arrival ● Accommodation for 13 nights ● 12 days mid-range vehicle rental (including unlimited kilometres, & vehicle insurance subject to an insurance excess). For 1-3 persons a group CDAR *** (Ford Focus 1.6-2.0 litre 4/5 door automatic with air conditioning or similar) ● TranzAlpine Rail journey, one way from Christchurch to Greymouth ● Excursions: Full day snowshoeing adventure
International and domestic flights and airport taxes ● Fuel ● Travel insurance ● Personal expenses ● Tips and gratuities
We pride ourselves on our ability to tailor make holidays for our clients. Please let us know if you have any specific requests.
How to book
So that we may send you a personalised quote and confirmation of availability, please click on the link below and complete our Enquiry form. One of our Travel Specialists will then be in touch to complete your booking or answer any further questions you might have.
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Speak to a specialist: 01737 214 250Book this trip
Our team of Travel Specialists have extensive first-hand knowledge of our destinations and are passionate about travel.