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8 Day South Island Tour

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With these tours we present some of our most popular and compelling self-drive itineraries. Experience the benefits of self driving but enjoy the convenience and security of us pre-booking your chosen type of accommodation and rental car. Just enjoy the travelling without having to worry about where you are going to stay. 

Any of our itineraries can be modified as well as adding extra days in any of the locations. If you require something completely different, please advise and we will be happy to put something together. 

During your trip you can call us anytime to make amendments to your tour, book extra activity or simply ask for some advice. We will be happy to help you anytime of the day or night.


  • 7 nights accommodation in 3.5 to 5 star B&Bs / motels / hotels 
  • Rental vehicle of your choice including airport and ferry port collection charges, unlimited kms & additional driver fees 
  • Rental car insurance included – Excess reduced to zero 
  • Comprehensive travel itinerary, maps and vouchers 
  • Guided Franz Josef Glacier Valley Walk, enjoy amazing views of the glacier and glacier valley (note there is no time spent on the ice) 
  • 24/7 nationwide roadside accident assistance 
  • Free after hours assistance for amendments or additional bookings with you assigned consultant. 
  • 15% Goods and Services Tax

Other Information


  • ​​These tours depart daily. Please click on the “Prices and Dates” tab for accommodation and rental car options.


  • Daily departures / 365 days of the year 
  • Tours can start and finish on any day of the week 
  • Mix, match and join individual tours together to create a tailor made itinerary 

Packages are priced per person based on double occupancy/twin share. Prices do not include international airfare

Plan and Book Ahead 
Preplanning and pre-booking your New Zealand vacation before you depart is essential. Limited accommodation in certain areas during the high season could mean that a town’s accommodation can be booked out well in advance. Without pre-booking, you may find that the you pay a higher rate upon check-in or waste a lot of time travelling between accommodation providers trying to find a suitable option. 
We know the best places and with our discounted rates you are guaranteed of receiving well chosen accommodation options at the best possible price. Pre-planning will ensure you make the most of your valuable holiday time. Acrossnz is well-versed with all areas of New Zealand and is totally experienced at arranging well planned self drive itineraries. Feel free to ask the advice of Acrossnz when planning your self drive adventure to make sure you maximize your holiday experience. 

Book early: New Zealand has very limited availability in the summer months and often books out well in advance. It is recommended to book early to avoid disappointment. 

Create Your Own Self Drive Holiday 
Along with choosing one of our prearranged itineraries you can construct your own ‘a la carte’ holiday by booking the rental vehicle from this link and selecting your accommodation from our accommodation link. If you choose to book your accommodation through our link we will happily assist with knowledge on your accommodation choices or amendment your itinerary to ensure your holiday is just what you want. 

Camper Vans & Motor Homes 
Perhaps you prefer to follow one of the itineraries we have created in a Motor Home? Just book the Motor Home with us and we will be happy to provide you for the full itinerary as well as assisting you with camping ground bookings. Click here to choose some of the cheapest options in NZ.

Arrive Christchurch - Travel to Punakaiki Rocks - Travel to Franz Josef Glacier - Travel to Queenstown - Full Day Queenstown - Travel to Mt Cook National Park - Travel to Christchurch - Depart from Christchurch


Arrive Christchurch

Fondly dubbed “The Garden City”, sparkles all year round and is sure to charm its many visitors. A lively blend of English tradition and contemporary New Zealand culminate in Christchurch offering a vast array of unique attractions and experiences. 

Starting with a gentle pace, take a stroll through one of Christchurch’s many public parks to appreciate the city’s natural beauty and diversity – there’s the expansive Hagley Park, the resplendent central Botanical Gardens, the elegant homesteads and gardens of yesteryear – Mona Vale and Riccarton House/Bush – and the ecological restoration programme, Travis Wetlands, to name just a few. 
The Christchurch Botanic Gardens showcase some of the flora of New Zealand and other parts of the world.

Founded in 1863 with the planting of an English Oak tree, the Gardens now feature one of the finest collections of exotic and native plants found in New Zealand.
Towering majestic trees – many over 120 years old – dominate the Gardens, forming a striking backdrop to the extensive themed plant collections and sweeping lawns.

Dominating Christchurch’s skyline is the gothic architecture of the Arts Centre (the original home of ‘Canterbury College’, now a major hub of artistic and cultural creativity), the Anglican Cathedral in Cathedral Square (the official city centre), the renaissance-style Catholic Cathedral and, in stark visual contrast, the ultra-modern Christchurch Art Gallery. 
Using one of the city’s fun and alternative modes of transport can leave an indelible memory – punt down the Avon River, weave down Christchurch’s streets and alleys on the historic tram or view the city from the skies in a Gondola or hot air balloon! 

From buskers to opera, boutiques to Ballantynes (the iconic department store), Christchurch’s vibrant city life offers the visitor first-rate daytime and evening entertainment – shops (Cashel Mall), galleries, theatres, cinemas, museums (Canterbury Museum and Southern Encounter Aquarium/Kiwi House), restaurants and cafes (the ‘Strip’) cater for all tastes.

Often used a gateway to exploring the South Island and even Antarctica (International Antarctic Centre); Christchurch is bordered by geographical wonders and breathtaking scenery – the Pacific Ocean to the east, the volcanic slopes of the Port Hills to the south, the Southern Alps mountain range to the west and the vast Canterbury plains and magnificent braided rivers to the north. 


Travel to Punakaiki Rocks

Christchurch to Punakaiki 
Driving distance: 296 km / 184 miles 
Driving: Approx 3h59m 

Rural serenity and friendly towns lead you across the Canterbury Plains. You’ll pass Kirwee, Darfield, Sheffield and Springfield. The road then winds up into the skiing areas of Porter Heights and Craigieburn before following the Waimakariri and Bealey Rivers to Arthur’s Pass. Lakes Pearson and Grasmere are photo opportunities along the way.

The route known as Arthur’s Pass was first used by Maori tribes crossing to the west coast to find pounamu (jade). Today it’s a sophisticated mountain pass, memorable for its scenery as well as its breathtaking civil engineering. 

The settlement of Arthur’s Pass is a base for climbing, hiking, hunting and skiing adventures in the adjacent national park. There’s a good choice of short walks.
Once you’re through the pass, the misty mountains gradually give way to classic west coast river and forest scenery. Rushing water, impressive bridges and tiny towns are soulfully picturesque.

Upon hitting the West Coast you turn right and head towards the beautiful Punakaiki 


Travel to Franz Josef Glacier

Punakaiki to Franz Josef 
Driving distance: 224 km / 139 miles 
Driving: Approx 3h14m 

Following the coastline south from Punakaiki, SH6 is not only breath-takingly beautiful and utterly unique, it is also dotted with many wonders and fun opportunities. Try knife-making at Barrytown ; gold-panning at Shantytown, the restored town from the gold-rush era; and glass-blowing at Hokitika. 

Okarito is known for its white herons; whilst the many lakes and beaches invite rest and reflection before arriving at the stunning Glaciers.



Guided Franz Josef Glacier Valley Walk

Travel to Queenstown

Franz Josef to Queenstown 
Driving distance: 355 km / 221 miles 
Driving: Approx 5h8m 

This route heads south on the rugged and sparsely populated West Coast Road (SH6) before turning inland through the scenic and historic  Haast Pass. Mount Aspiring National Park beckons, Lake Wanaka and Lake Hawea vie for attention and Wanaka is simply beautiful. Your visit to Queenstown is imminent: SH6 for the cautious or through the Crown Range for the adventurous.


Full Day Queenstown

An adventure playground extraordinaire, Queenstown is both beautiful and bountiful: even the mountain range framing the town is called “The Remarkables”. Add to this Lake Wakatipu and lush forestation, its no wonder Hollywood film-makers frequently visit. Home to the first commercial bungy jumping enterprise, Queenstown is known for its many adrenaline-filled activities. Nearby Skipper’s Canyon and Arthur’s point commemorate the discovery of gold in the area. 

A stunningly beautiful and compact town, walking around Queenstown from eatery to entertainment, from parties to performances is all too easy – and being the unofficial adrenaline capital of New Zealand, you might want to pace out your days! Mountain skiing is immensely popular at Cardrona Alpine Resort, Coronet Peak, The Remarkables and Treble Cone; with cross country skiing at the Waiorau Snow Farm (near Cardrona). Other adventure possibilities include jet boating, whitewater rafting, mountain biking, skateboarding, tramping, paragliding, canyon-swinging, sky diving, river surfing and fly fishing!

If a calmer pace suits you, Queenstown has a great shopping and commercial scene and there is an equally vibrant night-life. Take in Queenstown’s incredible scenery over a leisurely lunch and a locally produced Pinot noir from, apparently, the world’s southernmost wine region! Bars are a-plenty, whilst there is a constant buzz of street (and indoor) entertainment and live music. Queenstown is home to the coal fired steamship, the TSS Earnslaw; hosts an annual International Jazz  Festival and a Winter Festival and also makes a great base for exploring the inland lakes (Lake Hawea, Lake Wakatipu, and Lake Wanaka).


Travel to Mt Cook National Park

Queenstown to Mt Cook Village 
Driving distance: 262 km / 163 miles
Driving: Approx 3h48m 

Through the Kawarau Gorge with its historic gold mines, then past the stone fruit growing area of Cromwell, OR over the Crown Range – New Zealand’s highest sealed road at 2200 meters – a route for the bold, the views from the Crown Range are without comparison.

Both routes meet at Lindis Pass; crossing the spectacular Mackenzie Country bound by the Southern Alps to the glacial lakes and into the Mount Cook National Park.


Travel to Christchurch

Mt Cook Village to Christchurch 
Driving distance: 332 km / 206 miles
Driving: Approx 4h50m 

Leaving behind the peaks of Mount Cook National Park and heading towards Christchurch, SH80 and then SH8 offer some magical and scenic places to stop along the route. Firstly Lake Tekapo with its tiny stone Church of the Good Shepherd, crystal clear lake and distant snow capped mountains, is truly wondrous. 

The Mackenzie Country, vast and barren, is famously moody and scenic and Geraldine is a delightful town with some unusual museums. The route then crosses the Rakaia, river, passes small Glentunnel, a reminder of New Zealand’s mining history, and traverses the plains of Canterbury before leading to Christchurch.


Depart from Christchurch

Drop your rental car off at the airport and depart Christchurch 

Vehicle Quality Hotels Bed & Breakfast Superior Hotels Exclusive
NZ $2,094.00NZ $2,864.00NZ $2,654.00NZ $4,054.00
NZ $2,118.00NZ $2,888.00NZ $2,678.00NZ $4,078.00
NZ $2,214.00NZ $2,984.00NZ $2,774.00NZ $4,174.00
Full Size
NZ $2,246.00NZ $3,016.00NZ $2,806.00NZ $4,206.00
Permium Wagon AWD
NZ $2,350.00NZ $3,120.00NZ $2,910.00NZ $4,310.00
Intermediate 4WD
NZ $2,334.00NZ $3,104.00NZ $2,894.00NZ $4,294.00
Full Size 4WD
NZ $2,258.00NZ $3,328.00NZ $3,118.00NZ $4,206.00
8 Seater People Mover
NZ $2,478.00NZ $3,248.00NZ $3,038.00NZ $4,438.00
12 Seater Van
NZ $2,574.00NZ $3,344.00NZ $3,134.00NZ $4,534.00

Pricing Details
Pricing is based on 2 people. Option of  Double Room (1 bed) or Twin Room (2 beds) For single travellers or larger groups vacationing together please contact us for a customized quation to ensure you receive the best price. For different rooming configurations (eg triple share or special needs)  please contact us.

Children Costs
Children under 5 travel for free (max 2  excluding certain activities)  Children aged 5-14 at time of travel are an added extra (max 2)

Price Includes
7 nights accommodation; 8 days rental vehicle of choice; All Inclusive rate hire including unlimited kilometres, loss damage waiver (LDW, provides Accident Damages Cover which is subject to excesses that can be reduced); airport concession fee recovery; accident excess reduction insurance; local sales tax (GST); 
Guided Franz Josef Glacier Valley Walk

Price Excludes 
Flights to New Zealand and airport taxes

Prices are in New Zealand dollars and include 15% GST (local sales tax) Click here for an online currency converter to convert prices to your own currency (approximate only)

All prices are based on travel between October 1st through to March 31st. For prices outside these dates, please contact us directly

8 Day South Island Tour

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