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South Island New Zealand (self-drive)

Drive full circle from Christchurch and back again seeing the many highlights available on the South Island including the famous Pancake Rocks and Franz Josef, Milford Sound and Dunedin.

Some of the world’s most spectacular scenery awaits you on this 10 day round trip from Christchurch. You’ll visit all the key sights of the South Island, while enjoying the flexibility of self-driving.

Nelson is the South Island’s oldest established city. Leave your vehicle in town to explore Abel Tasman National Park, a pristine wilderness with unspoiled beaches and spectacular ocean views. A drive along the Tasman coast brings you to the unique Pancake rocks of Punakaiki, as well as Glacier country, where stunning Franz Josef glacier is said to be the tears of a Maori princess, pining for her lost love. Enjoy the drive through scenic Haast Pass on your way to Queenstown. 

As New Zealand’s adventure capital, Queenstown is a Mecca for skiers, but still has plenty to offer the less active visitor, including a range of tours, or a ride on the famous Shotover jetboat. No stay here is complete without a day trip to Milford Sound. A 16km fjord carved by glacial ice, this is New Zealand’s most spectacular attraction and is best seen via a cruise along its length, during which you might spot a range of wildlife including dolphins, seals, penguins, and the occasional whale. (gw)