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SELF DRIVE TOURS - Christchurch

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
Christchurch and the South Island

Area highlights:
Christchurch city, Banks Peninsula & Akaroa, MacKenzie Country, Mount Cook, Te Anau, Milford Sound, Queenstown, Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers, the rugged west coast, Abel Tasman National Park, Marlborough region, Kaikoura, Hanmer Springs thermals, Dunedin and the Catlins. All of this is linked by some of the best driving roads on the planet - perfectly surfaced, empty, twisting ribbons of tarmac!

Rent a bike and go here! (Photo by Andras Ikladi)

You'll find everything you need on this website to make planning your tour in New Zealand really easy...! Start your trip from Auckland Start your trip from Christchurch

What can I see and do on the South Island? Read on.....

Christ Church Cathedral (Photo by Andras Ikladi)Christchurch has the laid-back, relaxed atmosphere of a small town combined with all the attractions of a big city. Known as the most 'English' of New Zealand's cities it boasts a stunning Anglican cathedral, beautiful gardens, punts gliding down the serene Avon River and trams rambling down Worcester Street. It has become far more cosmopolitan and multicultural of late - some say it's about time! Spend a few days in Christchurch before or after your trip and explore the beachside suburb of Sumner, the superb Arts Centre, the Botanic Gardens, Christchurch Catherdral and the International Antarctic Centre. Your evenings will be far from boring as there are superb restuarants, great pubs and lively nightlife too!

Further afield there's Lyttelton Harbour and a spectacular drive along Summit Road to Banks Peninsula. Akaroa is the main town on the peninsula and the place where French settlers first arrived in New Zealand. It retains much of its Gallic charm and many of the settlers' descendants still live there.

Head north to the thermal resort of Hanmer Springs and on to Kaikoura, where all kinds of marine mammals can be spotted on cruises out in the bay. Then there's the Marlborough wine region which produces some of the best white wines in the world as well as having some divine coastal scenery. The Nelson region has some of the best beaches in New Zealand along with the most sunshine days - a great combination! Abel Tasman National Park is New Zealand's most visited and it's easy to see why, with its spectacular hiking routes and natural scenery.

The straightest road on the South Island! (Photo by Andras Ikladi)The rugged west coast is unique, remote and desolate but with the kind of beauty one finds in few places in the world. It's also home to Westland National Park with two of the fastest-moving glaciers you're ever likely to see. Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers are accessible and spectacular. Spend a day here to explore and walk on the glaciers with a guided tour.

Queenstown is the self-styled 'adrenaline capital of the world' and the most popular resort town on the South Island. Indulge in any number of adventure sports like bungy jumping, jet-boating, white-water rafting, river surfing, white-water sledging, paragliding, parachuting, canyoning, mountain biking and aerial sightseeing! Still not enough? Add fishing, water-skiing, windsurfing, yachting, horseback riding and rock climbing. For the less adventurous there's the astonishing natural scenery of Lake Wakatipu and the surrounding mountains with some of the best dining in New Zealand.

Te Anau is the gateway to the Fiordland, NZ's last great wilderness area. From here you can easlily reach Milford Sound and cruise its still waters among jagged, near vertical cliffs and jaw-dropping waterfalls. The Southland is home to Invercargill and the Catlins, where peaceful forest, rugged coastline and green farmland happily lie side by side.

The Otago area has party-town Dunedin as its drawcard for most tourists, but few know about the amazing, picturesque small towns which lie inland. Head through here and stop by Mt Cook, the highest peak in Australasia. At 3,755m in height it dominates the landscape of the entire central part of the South Island. The first time you see it will stay with you forever!

The rugged west coast (Photo by Andras Ikladi)In summary, we're here to help make it as easy as possible for you to arrange your tour in New Zealand so that you make the most of your time whilst here. You'll be taken great care of from the moment you first enquire to the day you hand back your keys. If some expert advice and help would help you plan your tour of New Zealand then just ask! 99% of the time we will come back to you within 24 hours of your enquiry - usually less depending on where you're located in the world. We love New Zealand, know most areas intimately and hope that our advice helps you to leave with the same passion for the country as we have.

Thanks for your interest and we hope to welcome you to New Zealand sometime soon!