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New Zealand’s South Island promises breathtaking scenery and unforgettable experiences, with a reputation as a unique land packed with magnificent, raw scenery: craggy coastlines, primeval forests, snow-capped alpine mountains, fast flowing rivers and glacier-fed lakes, all beneath a brilliant blue sky. From the North Island, take the Interislander ferry from Wellington to Picton and continue your journey through the wine region of Marlborough and onwards to Christchurch and the Canterbury region.
3 Days From Queenstown to Christchurch
If you’re after a scenic drive with dramatic landscapes in every turn, the journey between Queenstown and Christchurch is for you. First stop after Queenstown is Arrowtown, a former gold mining town full of history. Arrowtown has a quaint village feel and is great all year round. Autumn is a nice time to visit as the foliage in the region burst into amazing colours of orange, crimson and yellow. Continue to Aoraki/Mount Cook and stopover in the country towns of Omarama and Twizel. Continue through Mackenzie Country and explore the glacier-blue lakes of Pukaki and Tekapo before visiting Christchurch.
3 Days Alpine Pacific Triangle
You’ll find a great mixture of nature discover, amazing landscapes, wildlife and local produce sampling along the Alpine Pacific Highway. Start with Christchurch, a city with culture and heritage focus before heading up the coast towards Kaikoura. Enjoy beautiful beaches and catch a glimpse of whales, seals and dolphins that live in the area. Make sure you try crayfish, one of the local specialty foods in the region. Waipara’s vineyards and olive groves are a highlight of the drive to Hammer Springs. Then just relax in hot pools, indulge in massage therapies and dine in great restaurants.
4 Days South Island Short Escape
This journey revolved around Christchurch and the neigbouring region where you’ll experience a unique short escape. Start with Christchurch and explore the heritage of the city in its architectural style. Explore the cultural element in the city’s art scenes followed by a day trip to the French and British settlement of Akaroa. Explore the village’s colonial past, kayak in the surrounding harbour, see the penguin colony in Flea Bay, sample the region’s best produce and more. Continue your journey to the mountain village of Arthurs Pass and explore the native plant species and wildlife before returning to Christchurch.
6 Days Fiordland Experience
For a unique South Island experience, visit the Fiordland National Park for natural attractions unmatched by anywhere in the world. The mountains, lakes and forest provide the inspiration of a lifetime. Start with your drive from Christchurch to Oamaru and visit the Moreaki’s weird spherical boulders shaped by nature. Proceed to Dunedin, a historic town showcasing the best of Edwardian and Victorian architecture. Catch a glimpse of South Island’s wildlife on the way to Invercargill, the historic southern-most city of New Zealand, followed by a visit to Stewart Island, Milford Sound and Queenstown before heading back to Christchurch.
With Viva! Holidays, you can deisgn your own New Zealand self-drive itinerary around your interests, available time and budget with a selection of our accommodation passes. Passes may either be pre-booked or alternatively, travel at your own pace booking accommodation as you go on your trip. Simply select the passes based on your accommodation preference.
Types of Passes
How The Passes Work
Passes must be purchased prior to your arrival in New Zealand. Your pass will comprise of accommodation vouchers for your stay. It is possible to mix and match passes so that you have some nights of one pass and some nights of another.
There will be one voucher for each night of your accommodation and they can be pre-booked or open-dated. Advance reservations are recommended though during the peak season from October through to April.
Vouchers for a particular pass are only valid for use at member properties. For example, a Go Kiwi Hotel Pass or Choic Hotels Australiasia pass cannot be used at Oceana Resorts & Apartments.
If you have a good idea of where you want to holiday in New Zealand, you can always go for pre-booked passes and book your accommodation in advance. Or, you can purchase open-dated passes and simply make your reservations direct with the property at least 24 - 48 hours in advance as you go.
New Zealand’s North Island is an island of diverse landscapes and scenery. The region offers a full spectrum of sights and experiences perfect for an amazing holiday. Imagine velvety-green hills of Wellington, metropolitan atmosphere of Auckland, smoking craters of the Central Volcanic Plateau, sub-tropical rainforest of the Bay of Islands and more. The north Island is captivating and full of holiday venue for activities such as ski, swim and surf.
4 Days North Island Short Escapes
In just four days you’ll discover some of the North Island’s most unique features. Start with the vineyards and marine activities of Auckland, then head for Hamilton to relax by the peaceful Waikato River and soak up the café culture. Horses are a feature of the landscape around Cambridge, while the town of Tirau is a great place for shopping. Rotorua is always steaming with excitement, because the geothermal attractions never stop. Taupo offers more geothermal experiences, plus the chance to catch a trout. Then it’s time to delve underground and admire the cave formations in the Waitomo region. Why not stop again in Hamilton on your way to Auckland.
5 Days Heart of North Island Discovery
A popular drive itinerary, the middle route lets you explore the heart of the North Island and its volcanic characteristics. To start, check out Auckland’s attractions to get you in the mood before the drive to Hamilton, where you can enjoy gardens and a riverboat cruise. Then, proceed to see the subterranean labyrinth of Waitomo Caves, followed by Rotorua’s spectacular geothermal and Maori attractions. At Lake Taupo soak in hot spas and experience the geothermal properties of the region. Follow the lake’s edge to Turangi, a renowned trout fishing spot. You’ll see the volcanic plateau gently converge with farmlands on the way to Palmerston North. The Kapiti coast will provide the entertainment on the last leg of your journey.
6 Days Coastal Explorer
If you’re a beach lover, you’ll love this route to Wellington with a serving of vineyards on the side. Kick off with the urban and marine pleasures of Auckland, then move on to the tranquil bays of the Coromandel Coast. Over the ranges you’ll find a series of surf beaches. After the sunny city of Tauranga, head inland to the geothermal parks of Rotorua. Drive back to the coast to find Opotiki and then begin the memorable journey around the edge of East Cape. The vineyards of Gisborne, Napier and Hastings are definitely worth investigating before you drive on to the heritage and cultural attractions of Wellington. Consider continuing your journey to the South Island via the Interislander.