This is a 5 day self-drive itinerary that travels the South Island of New Zealand, starting and finishing in Queenstown.
“Haere Mai” Welcome to Queenstown – the beautiful alpine resort town regarded as New Zealand’s premier holiday destination. On completion of formalities, pick up your rental car and travel onto your accommodation. The remainder of the day is at leisure to explore Queenstown.
A great place to start is a gondola ride to the Skyline complex high above Queenstown. The best views in the region are found here spread out in a spectacular 220 degree panorama, with breathtaking views of Coronet Peak, The Remarkables mountain range and across Lake Wakatipu to Cecil and Walter Peaks. It’s truly magnificent and awe-inspiring!
This morning depart Queenstown for your journey to Milford Sound. The road from Te Anau to Milford is one of New Zealand’s most scenic drives. The first part is relatively mild farmland, then you’ll ease into beech forest near the entrance to the Fiordland National Park. Look for the Avenue of the Disappearing Mountain and the Mirror Lakes.
Then the rough hewn Homer Tunnel brings you into Milford Sound, an amazing 22km-long fiord dominated by Mitre Peak. Make sure you allow for plenty of time to stop at the numerous viewing points or short walking opportunities en route.
At Milford Sound, board your boat for a spectacular cruise in New Zealand’s most famous waterway, a dramatic 22 kilometre fiord carved by glaciers during the last ice age. After your cruise make your way back to Te Anau.
If you would like, you can substitute a cruise on Doubtful Sound from Manapouri instead.
Spend the morning in Te Anau. You may like to take an excursion across the lake to visit the Te Anau Glowworm Caves, take a walk along the side of Lake Te Anau, or catch the local movie Ata Whenua – Shadowland. This is a locally produced 32 minute film which explores Fiordland by helicopter and is highly recommended.
After lunch in one of the local cafes, retrace your steps to Queenstown.
Enjoy a full day to experience this magnificent resort town. Surrounded by majestic mountains, Queenstown boasts adventure and leisure activities in all forms, from extreme to relaxed exploration.
Here you can take a thrilling jet boat ride on the Shotover Jet or Dart River Safari, pan for gold in Arrowtown, board the TSS Earnslaw and take a nostalgic cruise of beautiful Lake Wakatipu, play golf or experience Queenstown’s sheer canyons by 4WD.
Sadly your holiday is at an end and you will return your rental car to Queenstown airport today for your onward flight. Here, we bid you a fond farewell and hope you leave with many happy memories of your stay in Aotearoa, New Zealand.