Have you always wanted to visit New Zealand, but never knew where to start from? Just follow our 8-day, car-free itinerary and enjoy the beauties this amazing country has to offer!
Day 1: Arrive in Christchurch
Christchurch is South Island’s largest city and it impresses with its amazing historical buildings, contemporary culture and award-winning gardens. Depending on what time you arrive, take a relaxing stroll through the Botanic gardens, enjoy a boat ride on the Avon River or check the city’s many bars and restaurants. Good public transport connections make the city easy to get around car-free.
Day 2: A day in Christchurch
Use the second day of your trip, when you have had the time to relax and fight the jet-lag, to fully appreciate the city of Christchurch. Go on the popular Tranz-Alpine train and journey to Arthur’s Pass and the Southern Alps for the day, or take a tour to Akaroa – a French-colonial settlement on the Banks Peninsula. If you would rather not leave the city, go to the beautiful Sumner Beach, hop on the historic tram or take a bicycle tour and learn more about the city’s history.
Day 3-4: Kaikoura
Take a trip to Kaikoura, a scenic coastal town known for its marine life. You can choose to travel by coach or take the Coastal Pacific train (only between September-May), which offers mesmerizing views of the Pacific Ocean. Once you get to Kaikoura, visit the entertaining local seal colony, hike the 3-hour Kaikoura Peninsula walkway or simply relax in one of the many restaurants in town.
On the fourth day of your trip, take some time to fully appreciate the amazing marine life on Kaikoura. Go whale watching by boat or by air, swim with dolphins and fur seals, or take a bird watching tour. In terms of transportation, Kaikoura is a small town and walking around is easy. In addition, many tours offer transport to and from the departure location. One final recommendation: Kaikoura is a fantastic place to eat crayfish – in fact, in Maori, ‘kai’ means food and ‘koura’ means crayfish.
Day 5: Back to Christchurch
On the 5th day of your trip travel back to Christchurch via bus or train. Relax in one of Christchurch City’s many cafes in the afternoon; browse the art galleries, visit the International Antarctic Centre or spend some time with the animals at Orana Wildlife Park.
Day 6-7: Queenstown
Take a bus to Queenstown, a popular destination nestled on the shores of Lake Wakatipu and bordered by the Remarkables mountain range. The city offers various activities in the nature and there is something for everybody: from walking trails to bungee jumping. Take a stroll around the many boutiques, wander lakeside or take the gondola up to Bob’s Peak for dinner accompanied by panoramic views of the city lights. Another good idea is a wine tour, as the region is famous for award-winning Pinot Noir. Taxis are plentiful and the city centre is easy to get around on foot.
Day 8: Milford Sound
Embark on a day trip to Milford Sound, once described by Rudyard Kipling as the ‘eighth natural wonder of the world’. Breathtaking in any weather, soaring granite cliffs, sky scraping mountain peaks and huge waterfalls make Milford Sound an unforgettable ending to your trip.
Prices starting at 600 Euro