Christchurch to Queenstown via Kaikoura itinerary
The grandeur of highland Queenstown is combined with the marine life of Kaikoura and the funky heritage city of Christchurch in this nine-day tour. Whale and dolphin sightings, action and excitement in Queenstown, and a day trip to Milford Sound are among the highlights.
Day 1 - 2: Explore Christchurch
Christchurch is the largest city in Canterbury and the South Island's main entry point. Spend your first day in the city taking in everything it has to offer, from the city's captivating blend of exquisite history buildings to the contemporary art center and award-winning gardens. Try punting down the Avon River, or take a hot air balloon or beautiful helicopter flight to see the city from above. The following day, enjoy a ride on the Tranz-Alpine railway, which passes deep into the magnificent Southern Alps. Akaroa, on the other hand, offers a wonderful mix of French heritage and rare wildlife encounters.
ChristchurchChristchurch, New Zealand
Day 3 - 4: Christchurch to Kaikoura
Travel north to Kaikoura, a lovely coastal town noted for its abundant marine life and delectable seafood. Stop at Canterbury's Waipara Valley, the country's fastest growing wine region, for a long lunch on the way. Few places on the planet can compare to the natural wonders that Kaikoura has to offer. A boat excursion will allow you to get up up and personal with a variety of marine mammals, including various types of whales, playful dolphins, and an unknown number of marine birds. The magnificent Peninsula Walkway is a terrific opportunity to watch seals sunning on the rocky coast if you want to stay on dry land. Don't forget to try the native crayfish from which Kaikoura gets its name while you're here.
KaikōuraKaikōura, New Zealand
Day 5: Kaikoura to Christchurch
Stop through the Willowbank Wildlife Reserve on your way back to Christchurch today. This is one of the greatest sites in New Zealand to observe some of the country's most endangered species up close, including tuatara, kiwi, kea, and the extremely uncommon takahe. The International Antarctic Centre, with its thrilling rides, fascinating stories, and adorable blue penguin, is also well worth a visit. You might perhaps spend the afternoon touring the city center. Refurbished heritage trams will carry you from sights to fashionable stores and eccentric cafes, or you can walk around the city and take in the fascinating street art.
ChristchurchChristchurch, New Zealand
Day 6: Christchurch to Queenstown
Continue on to Queenstown, New Zealand's most popular tourist destination, a spectacular alpine town. Spend the day taking in everything this stunning location has to offer. Bike, kayak, horseback, 4WD Safari, or walk along one of the region's many hiking paths to take in the breathtaking mountain landscape. If you're feeling more daring, choose from a variety of adrenaline-pumping sports such as jetboating and bungee leaping, as well as white-water rafting and skydiving.
Coronet PeakCoronet Peak, Queenstown, New Zealand
Day 7: Spend time in Queenstown
You'll have some free time today to visit some of Queenstown's nearby towns and villages. In Arrowtown, learn about the history of gold mining. This lovely village, built during the gold rush, still retains the scars of its interesting past. The historic Chinese mining village, with its reconstructed shelters, is a highlight, providing a peek into the area's early beginnings. The Gibbston Valley is located to the east. This area is known for its award-winning Pinot Noir and is a terrific place to visit a winery. Alternatively, movie buffs should pay a visit to Glenorchy, the location where Peter Jackson shot parts of the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies.
GlenorchyGlenorchy, New Zealand
Day 8: Milford Sound day trip
Milford Sound, once dubbed the "eighth natural wonder of the world" by Rudyard Kipling, provides a tranquil contrast to Queenstown. It takes some time to get there, but once you're out on the water of the Sounds, it's well worth it. Enjoy the stunning blue skies, green mountains, crystal-clear water, and cascading waterfalls by taking a boat tour or renting a kayak. Take a flightseeing excursion, which departs from Queenstown airport. Spend a night at Te Anau to explore glowworm caverns or trek one of Fiordland's many walking routes if you want to break up the journey.
Milford SoundMilford Sound, Southland, New Zealand
Day 9: Queenstown
Spend your last day in Queenstown unwinding with fine dining and drink, as well as boutique shopping. Visit the Onsen hot springs for a relaxing spa treatment, or enjoy a round of golf on one of Queenstown's world-class courses. Before leaving, take a leisurely stroll around the lake to take in the alpine scenery.