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SELF DRIVE TOURS - South Island Highlights Tour

Select a start city to view interesting and valuable advice and information Self drive tours from Auckland - North Island of New Zealand Self drive tours from Christchurch - South Island of New Zealand




South Island Highlights Tour
9 days
Explore the highlights of the South Island in 9 days and some of the best driving in the region.

South Island Experience Tour
13 days
All of the South Island in 13 days spectacular days.


Twin Island Tour
14 days
Christchurch to Auckland via all the most spectacular scenery and driving roads of the South and North Islands in 14 days.

Ultimate Islands Tour
21 days
The best of the best. See all of the best of what New Zealand has to offer!


  • Great accommodation in nice 3.5 to 4 star B&Bs / motels / hotels

  • Google Maps links showing you the exact route to take for each day’s drive

  • Official hard copy road maps of the areas you’ll be passing through

  • A thorough and very detailed itinerary document incorporating:

  • Daily trip sections
    The background to each area
    Places of interest and where to visit

Please note: We don't include the car in the prices as there are so many choices. You can either book your own car or we'd be pleased to do it for you.

Christchurch and the South Island of New Zealand
South Island Highlights Tour

Seven days of breathtaking alpine passes, snow covered mountains, massive valleys and cool, shaded rivers. Wind your way through to the 'adrenaline capital of the world' and then view the imposing South Island glaciers.

9 day tour

NZ$ 1,784 BOOK NOW

Includes: 8 nights accommodation plus:
Allows full days at Mt Cook, Queenstown and Fox Glacier, excursions optional

Terms & Conditions for this tour

Experience the highlights of the South Island and some of the best driving in the region...

Christchurch - Designed to be a piece of ordered English class structure instead of just another shabby colonial outpost, Christchurch is the most 'English' of New Zealand's cities. Stroll through exquisite gardens, punt on the Avon River, ride a tram or people-watch in Cathedral Square.

Mt Cook - The first day's drive gets you in the mood for the brilliant roads to follow as it twists over mountain passes and along turquoise lakes with snow-capped mountains in the background. The mighty Mt Cook is the highest peak in Australasia and a must-see. You can add an optional day to explore Mt Cook National Park.

Milford SoundFjordland - More superb roads and a day of great driving brings you to Fjordland National Park. This indescribably beautiful area is on every tourist's agenda and you'll quickly discover why. You'll have an extra day here to visit Milford Sound for a spectacular cruise and do some touring in the area. There is only one road in and out but you won't mind driving it twice, it's as scenic as they come. No matter how you say “steep ravines, deep fjords, blue shimmering crevasses, snow-covered Alps, blue seas and thundering waterfalls” the words just cannot do this area justice. Take a look at the pictures and you'll see what we mean!

Shotover River jet boat (Photo by Andras Ikladi)Queenstown - The 'adrenaline capital of the world' has plenty to keep you busy. Choose from bungy jumping, jet-boating, white-water rafting, river surfing, white-water sledging, paragliding, parachuting, canyoning, mountain biking and aerial sightseeing! I'm out of breath just saying all of that. Still not enough? Add fishing, water-skiing, windsurfing, yachting, horseback riding and rock climbing. You have an extra day here to make the most of the activities on offer. For the not-so-active it has some of the best restaurants on the South Island in one of the most scenic spots in the world on the shores of Lake Wakatipu. Or you could simply collapse onto a sofa....

Westland National Park - If Queenstown didn't provide enough adrenaline, the shortcut via Cardrona to Wanaka will! Then drive over the Alps via the beautiful Haast Pass. The road winds along steep slopes with huge views over the glacier lakes Hawea and Wanaka and down to the same named town. After a great drive you'll arrive at two of the most prolific glaciers in the world - Fox Glacier and Franz Josef Glacier are tumbling rivers of ice streaking down the valleys towards the sea. There are plenty of great walks in the area but the best way to see the glaciers is via helicopter. Add an optional day if you'd like more time for sightseeing, it's worth it.

Helicopter on Fox Glacier (Photo by Andras Ikladi)

Arthur's Pass Returning to Christchurch you’ll leave the west coast and drive one of the most beautiful roads in New Zealand. Arthur's Pass is the highest, most impressive and by far the twistiest highway over the Southern Alps! It's a long day in the saddle but also one of the best of the trip. Thick rain forest, steep slopes, strange rock formations, snow-covered mountains, deep blue icy rivers, colossal valleys and flat plains are all within just 250 kilometres of each other.