Southern Wines and Southern Scenes 10 Day Tour
10 day South Island Self Drive, from Queenstown to Queenstown
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New Zealand tour itinerary name and information

Southern Wines and Southern Scenes 10 Day Tour

Discover two of the most exciting wine regions in New Zealand, The Waipara Valley and Central Otago.  Along the way you'll also explore the magnificent alpine scenery of Mt Cook National Park, get up close to the West Coast's remarkable glaciers and spend time relaxing in charming boutique accommodation in the beautiful Southern Lakes district.

Tour summary and feature
Itinerary details at a glance

South Island Self Drive

This suggested tour costs from NZD$4,234 per person (twin share, low season)

Starts in Queenstown, finishes in Queenstown

10 days/9 nights

Boutique lodges & hotels

 Rental car insurance included: Fully inclusive with variable excess/deductible

 Rental car inclusions: GPS navigation, unlimited kms, airport/ferry terminal fees, additional drivers

 Viewed 7 times in the last 7 days

Tour at a glance
Quick itinerary overview - Southern Wines and Southern Scenes 10 Day Tour

Day 1: Welcome to Queenstown, you'll be met at the airport and transferred to The Dairy Boutique Hotel
Accommodation: The Dairy Private Hotel

Day 2: Explore the vineyards of Central Otago and the Gibbston Valley, famed for their Pinot Noir
Accommodation: The Dairy Private Hotel

Day 3: Your rental car is delivered then take the short trip over the Crown Range to Wanaka
Accommodation: Wanaka Haven
Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 60 kms / 38 miles : 0.9 hours

Day 4: Journey through the spectacular Haast Pass to the West Coast wilderness
Accommodation: Westwood Lodge
Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 282 kms / 175 miles : 3.4 hours

Day 5: Take to the air for amazing views, then land on the glacier for an adventure on the ice
Accommodation: Westwood Lodge

Day 6: Drive north along the stunning West Coast Road and take the TranzAlpine train to Christchurch
Accommodation: The George Hotel
Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 170 kms / 106 miles : 2.1 hours

Day 7: Just north of Christchurch is the Waipara Valley, enjoy an afternoon guided tour including lunch
Accommodation: The George Hotel

Day 8: Travel south to the immense Southern Alps and Mt Cook National Park for your Glacier Explorers tour
Accommodation: Hermitage Hotel, Aoraki Wing Premium
Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 350 kms / 217 miles : 4.1 hours

Day 9: Follow the dry lands to Lindis Pass which leads into Central Otago, then through the Kawerau Gorge to Queenstown
Accommodation: The Dairy Private Hotel
Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 257 kms / 159 miles : 3.0 hours

Day 10: Depart Queenstown today

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 8 kms / 5 miles : 0.2 hours

Detailed itinerary
See a day by day description including activities & accommodation suggestions for this itinerary example
Tour full itinerary
Day 1 - Welcome to Queenstown, you'll be met at the airport and transferred to The Dairy Boutique Hotel
Transfer from Queenstown Airport to your accommodation

Welcome to the Adventure Capital of Queenstown.  You will be met at the airport and driven to your accommodation.

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Welcome to Queenstown

Renowned for its adrenaline inducing activities Queenstown is synonymous with adventure. Parked on the shores of Lake Wakatipu this small alpine town is nestled below soaring vistas of The Remarkables Mountain Range. While arguably the brightest gem in New Zealand’s crown, Queenstown offers far more than an action-packed getaway. Spend time on the Gibbston valley wine trail and end with a meal at Michelin star chef Josh Emett’s restaurant, Rata. Take a trip down memory lane on a 100 year old steamship the TSS Earnslaw. Soak in the scenery on your walk around the lake, or venture further afield into Fiordland National Park. Head over the hill to resort town Wanaka, or re-live scenes from Lord Of The Rings by four wheel drive. But - if you really do want that rush - head out on the Shotover Jet, dive off the Nevis Bungy, freefall on the Canyon swing or Zip line the Gondola. Just be sure it's done on an empty stomach  – don’t say we didn’t warn you!

Your accommodation: The Dairy Private Hotel

The Dairy is a small private luxury hotel providing exquisite bed and breakfast accommodation. Just 1 minutes walk from Queenstown Centre it also features a large lounge with an open fire, outdoor spa and a bar.
Day 2 - Explore the vineyards of Central Otago and the Gibbston Valley, famed for their Pinot Noir
Southern Wines and Southern Scenes 10 Day Tour - Day 2
Appellation Gourmet Food & Wine Tour

An indulgent and diverse full day tour showcasing the very best sights and tastes from the Central Otago region. Let an experienced wine guide lead you on a tasting journey through the three contrasting Central Otago wine sub-regions of Gibbston, Bannockburn and Cromwell.
Visit 4 premium vineyards, extensively sampling the region’s renowned cool-climate wines and retrace history by discovering the historic settlements of Old Cromwell and beautiful Arrowtown.
Indulge in a delicious gourmet lunch cooked in retired French Oak Pinot Noir wine barrels with matched wines, as well as savouring locally produced cheeses and artisan chocolates.

Your accommodation: The Dairy Private Hotel

The Dairy is a small private luxury hotel providing exquisite bed and breakfast accommodation. Just 1 minutes walk from Queenstown Centre it also features a large lounge with an open fire, outdoor spa and a bar.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 3 - Your rental car is delivered then take the short trip over the Crown Range to Wanaka
Southern Wines and Southern Scenes 10 Day Tour - Day 3
Choose from our great range of late model rental cars for your driving holiday

Today you’ll take to the road for your New Zealand Self Drive holiday, so take a look through the great selection of late model vehicles available and take your pick.  To help you on your way GPS is included with all rentals.

GPS navigation system

Use the latest GPS technology as you tour New Zealand. Your portable GPS features a simple touch screen interface with automatic route calculation and turn-by-turn voice-prompted directions including street name announcement. The automotive-grade GPS unit is easy to use and has multiple language options.

Queenstown to Wanaka

Leaving Queenstown you'll drive over New Zealand's highest sealed road, the Crown Range before arriving into the resort town of Wanaka.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - The Thrill Seeker Adventure Combo

Oxbow The Adventure Company is located in the heart of New Zealand’s Southern Alps, and is proud to exist as a passionate provider of one hundred percent super-charged, pure Kiwi fun - all set in a private paradise. During the Thrill Seeker combo you will take a ride in the ultimate off roader, the jet sprint boat and shoot some targets at the Oxbow Gun Club.

The Ultimate Off-Roader is a one-of a kind, custom built all-terrain vehicle that goes everywhere. This is Oxbow’s most unique adventure experience. Creek jumping, rock hopping and cliff climbing around a specially designed course of steep gullies, boulders and some ridiculous angles, is all in a day’s work for this Beast. Prepare to be totally unprepared!

When you board the Jet Sprint Boat you will learn how it feels to fly on water. Literally. This speed demon is the only custom built 4-seater Jet Sprint boat in New Zealand, and guarantees to make a ‘screamer’ out of everyone it has the pleasure of meeting. Accelerating at an incredible 0 to 100km in only 2.5 seconds your expert jet sprint boat driver will negotiate you around Oxbow’s very own Aqua-Track before you’ve had a moment to catch your breath. This ride is guaranteed to get you wet!

Become an honorary guest at the exclusive Oxbow Gun Club!  You can enjoy a spot of healthy competition pelting clays against one of New Zealand’s most magnificent rural backdrops, whilst enjoying the unique atmosphere of Oxbow’s purpose built Gun Club. Enjoy one-on-one guidance in clay target shooting from an experienced instructor to ensure no clay gets away alive.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Wanaka Wine Tours Boutique Central Otago Wine Trail

This small group wine tour (maximum 8) offers a relaxed and personal introduction to the wines and scenery of the Central Otago region. This tour is a great way to explore award-winning vineyards hidden amongst the rugged landscape of Central Otago. Visit and enjoy tastings at 4 Central Otago vineyards including a delicious mid-afternoon platter to enjoy with your tastings.  You'll also discover the history of the region with a visit to Old Cromwell Town, a charming heritage precinct that has been revitalised into a boutique arts and crafts village.

Your accommodation: Wanaka Haven

Wanaka Haven is located a short drive from Wanaka township and offers commanding views of the Southern Alps. This purpose built property offers luxurious bed and breakfast accommodation in a relaxed alpine atmosphere.

Meals included: Breakfast

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 60 kms / 38 miles : 0.9 hours

Day 4 - Journey through the spectacular Haast Pass to the West Coast wilderness
Southern Wines and Southern Scenes 10 Day Tour - Day 4
Wanaka to Franz Josef Glacier

The route follows the shores of Lakes Wanaka and Hawea before you enter the village of Makarora, the gateway to Mt. Aspiring National Park.  The Blue Pools, just outside Makarora, are a wonderful 30 minute walk through pristine native beech forest. Descending into Mt. Aspiring National Park and towards the Haast Pass, crashing rivers and waterfalls are around every corner. Crossing the Haast River you are now truly on the wild West Coast, a 600 kilometre stretch of bush, rainforest and podocarp forest. First Fox Glacier welcomes you to the glacier region and Franz Josef township is just a further 45 minutes. A great way to experience the glaciers is with a scenic flight or glacier hike.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Blue Pools Nature Experience with Southern Alps Air

Begin with a 30 minute scenic flight encompassing views of glaciers, Mt Aspiring, remote waterfalls, river valleys and mountain ranges that few people get to experience.  With a window seat for every passenger the views are spectacular. From your landing point at Makarora, you are driven a short distance to the beginning of your 2 hour wilderness walk. The walk is on a well formed track through native beech forest which leads you to cross the first of 4 swing bridges and the clear and pure waters of the 'Blue Pools' - pristine, beautiful pools in the Blue River to linger at and enjoy while spotting fish. From here the track winds through native forest amongst the mountains of the Southern Alps near the banks of the Makarora River. Interesting and picturesque this is a very ancient setting only recently made easily accessible.  The natural surroundings and tranquility are most noticeable during your relaxing walk in this special part of the Mt Aspiring World Heritage National Park. The track leads you to the meeting point at the mouth of the Young River where the jet boat will be waiting to whisk you off on a 1 hour scenic and spectacular journey through the Makarora Valley on the glacially fed waters of the pristine Makarora River. Feel the wind in your hair during your jet boat safari and be intrigued by the changing landscape as you journey to the mouth of the Makarora River and the head waters of Lake Wanaka before returning to Makarora Village.

Your accommodation: Westwood Lodge

Westwood is a purpose built lodge, crafted entirely from wood and exquisitely decorated throughout. The lounge is the place to meet to watch the Southern Alps turn a soft pink in the setting sun.

Meals included: Breakfast

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 282 kms / 175 miles : 3.4 hours

Day 5 - Take to the air for amazing views, then land on the glacier for an adventure on the ice
Southern Wines and Southern Scenes 10 Day Tour - Day 5
Franz Josef Glacier Helihike with The Helicopter Line

Take a scenic flight over all three Franz Josef glacier icefalls. Landing high on the glacier take a two hour guided trip through some of the most beautiful terrain in the country. Your guide will choose the route as you go through a wonderland of blue ice and frozen pinnacles. You'll have endless views of the surrounding mountains and rainforest as well as plenty of opportunities to take photographs. Sure to be one of the most memorable experiences you have while you are in New Zealand. Should weather not be suitable to take this flight you are able to transfer your booking onto a similar tour on any of the Helicopter Line operations in Queenstown or Mt Cook.

Your accommodation: Westwood Lodge

Westwood is a purpose built lodge, crafted entirely from wood and exquisitely decorated throughout. The lounge is the place to meet to watch the Southern Alps turn a soft pink in the setting sun.

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 6 - Drive north along the stunning West Coast Road and take the TranzAlpine train to Christchurch
Southern Wines and Southern Scenes 10 Day Tour - Day 6
Franz Josef to Greymouth Train Station

Today you’ll head north through the historic gold mining region of Hokitika. Known for its Greenstone (Pounamu) this seaside town has a rich history dating back to the 1860’s. Head to the coast and take in the endless sea-views or pick up a souvenir at one of the many craft shops. Continue on to Greymouth, the largest town on the West Coast and the starting point for the next leg of your journey - the TranzAlpine Scenic Train. Drop your rental car at the Greymouth Train Station depot located inside the train station building before boarding your train to Christchurch.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Monteiths Brewery Personalised Bottle & Tour

From humble origins in 1868, the Monteith's family-owned Phoenix Brewery became the West Coast's most popular brewery for its strong tasting, full-bodied ale. The Phoenix Brewery later merged with a group of small breweries to form Westland Brewing Company, predecessor to today's Monteith's Brewing Company. In this informative brewery experience, you will learn about the heritage and traditions of the brewing business. Witness the making of a fine beer in open fermenters by coal-fired boilers, using only the finest ingredients. Watch the brewers carefully hand craft the beer in small batches to develop the full natural flavours. When each batch is ready, the brewers employ a brilliant time honoured tradition for quality control - they taste it.

On completion, you will receive a tasting a 3 beers of your choice from the tap at the Brewery bar, plus your very own personalised Monteith's 500ml bottle with your name on it - a personalised endorsement from the head brewer himself.

TranzAlpine Scenic Train: Greymouth to Christchurch

Crossing the south from Greymouth to Christchurch, the Tranz Alpine is considered one of the worlds greatest train journeys. You'll travel from east to the west of the south island through Arthur's Pass National Park.

From the comfort of your carriage see lush beech forest, deep river valleys and the spectacular peaks of the Southern Alps. Descend to the windswept Canterbury Plains before arriving in the city of Christchurch.

Private Transfer Christchurch Train Station to your accommodation

On arrival at the Christchurch train station, you will be met by a private driver and transferred to your accommodation.

Your accommodation: The George Hotel

The George is the essence of supreme comfort. The award winning 5 star hotel is opposite Hagley Park and just a few minutes stroll from the Botanic Gardens. 2 superb award winning on site restaurants also feature.

Meals included: Breakfast

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 170 kms / 106 miles : 2.1 hours

Day 7 - Just north of Christchurch is the Waipara Valley, enjoy an afternoon guided tour including lunch
Southern Wines and Southern Scenes 10 Day Tour - Day 7
Choose from our great range of late model rental cars for your driving holiday

Today you’ll take to the road for your New Zealand Self Drive holiday, so take a look through the great selection of late model vehicles available and take your pick.  To help you on your way GPS is included with all rentals.

Explore Christchurch City

Following the 2011 earthquake that razed its centre and much of the outlying suburbs, Christchurch is well into a billion-dollar makeover. In the middle of the Canterbury Plains, bordering the pacific ocean, New Zealand’s newest city is an ideal gateway to exploring the middle of the South.

Go punting on the Avon River, take a historic tram ride, catch the gondola to the rim of an extinct volcano or do all three! See the world's only Cardboard Cathedral and for nature enthusiasts - wander the renowned Christchurch Botanic Gardens. 

Drive an hour in any direction to ski, mountain bike, wine taste, whale-watch, bungy jump or play golf. Visit the International Antarctic Centre or take a day to go on safari at Orana Wildlife Park. Take the winding Port Hills road to the French settlement of Akaroa and tour the vines in Waipara for a authentic New Zealand wine-tasting experience.

Waipara Valley Wine Trail with Lunch

This tour explores 4 of North Canterbury’s boutique vineyards. Travel 45 minutes north of Christchurch through the New Zealand countryside to the Waipara Valley, well known for its warm, dry climate and rich alluvial soils, ideal for superior wine production. Over 40 vineyards and wineries pepper the landscape of the valley, with Pinot Noir, Riesling, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc dominating local plantings. You will stop for tastings at Pegasus Bay, Waipara Springs, Greystone Winery and Waipara Hills Winery. If for any reason one of these wineries is closed on the day or your tour an alternative winery in the Waipara Valley will be included. This activity also includes lunch at Waipara Springs Winery. The platter lunch includes tastes of both a regional and New Zealand flavour and is the perfect accompaniment to some of these wineries fine wines.

Your accommodation: The George Hotel

The George is the essence of supreme comfort. The award winning 5 star hotel is opposite Hagley Park and just a few minutes stroll from the Botanic Gardens. 2 superb award winning on site restaurants also feature.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 8 - Travel south to the immense Southern Alps and Mt Cook National Park for your Glacier Explorers tour
Southern Wines and Southern Scenes 10 Day Tour - Day 8
Christchurch to Mt. Cook National Park

Today you'll drive through the heart of the South Island, crossing the vast Canterbury plains. Catch your breath in Geraldine before continuing through Fairlie. Ascending Burkes pass you'll come to the picturesque lakeside town of Tekapo.
Follow the road and take in the view of Aoraki Mt Cook (New Zealand's tallest mountain) from the shores of Lake Pukaki, known for its glacier fed turquoise blue color. Continue along the lake to your final destination Mt Cook Village. Please note there are no food or shops at Mount Cook you will need to stock up prior to arriving in Mount Cook if you wish to self cater.

Glacier Explorers Mt. Cook

Experience 500 year old icebergs up-close on the Mt Cook terminal lake. The Glacier Explorers tour is the only one of its kind in New Zealand - and one of only three in the world! Very few glaciers terminate into lakes and even fewer of them are accessible. See towering ice cliffs and floating icebergs from the safety of a specially designed boat.  These boats provide a safe way to view unseen and inaccessible areas of New Zealand's largest glacier - The Tasman.

Your accommodation: Hermitage Hotel, Aoraki Wing Premium

The Hermitage Hotel ringed by magnificent snow-capped peaks of the Southern Alps, is a world-renowned tourist destination and has been an icon of superior accommodation and dining since 1884.

Meals included: Breakfast

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 350 kms / 217 miles : 4.1 hours

Day 9 - Follow the dry lands to Lindis Pass which leads into Central Otago, then through the Kawerau Gorge to Queenstown
Southern Wines and Southern Scenes 10 Day Tour - Day 9
Mt. Cook National Park to Queenstown

Today you'll leave Mount Cook National park and travel to Queenstown. Go through the lakeside town of Twizel and then pass through the gliding capital of New Zealand - Omarama - before ascending the Lindis Pass. Follow the road to Cromwell, located at the at the head of the Kawarau Gorge. Continue on towards the Gibbston Valley, one of New Zealand's premier wine growing regions. See the historic Kawarau Bridge where you can bungy jump, or relax and watch others take the plunge. Approaching Queenstown, the Remarkables mountain range comes into view as you arrive into the adventure capital of New Zealand.

Your accommodation: The Dairy Private Hotel

The Dairy is a small private luxury hotel providing exquisite bed and breakfast accommodation. Just 1 minutes walk from Queenstown Centre it also features a large lounge with an open fire, outdoor spa and a bar.

Meals included: Breakfast

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 257 kms / 159 miles : 3.0 hours

Day 10 - Depart Queenstown today
Southern Wines and Southern Scenes 10 Day Tour - Day 10
Depart Queenstown today

Explore more of Queenstown before dropping your rental car at the airport depot and continuing your onward journey.

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 8 kms / 5 miles : 0.2 hours

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