South Island Coastal Self Drive tour

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Description

You’ll begin this journey with magnificent views of the Pacific Ocean as you travel south from Christchurch.  In Dunedin there’s time to explore the Otago Peninsula with its abundant wildlife, then you’ll follow the Catlins coastline to the bottom of the South Island.  On the western side of the island highlights include a nature cruise on the famous Milford Sound, the spectacular West Coast Road edging the Tasman Sea and the remarkable Punakaiki Pancake Rocks.  The top of the South Island brings the calm aqua waters of Abel Tasman National Park and the Marlborough Sounds before you return to the Pacific Ocean.

Day 1: Arrive into Christchurch today

Accommodation: Bella Vista Christchurch

Day 2: Travel south through the Canterbury Plains where you’ll join the coastline which takes you to Dunedin

Accommodation: Motel on York
Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 346 kms / 215 miles : 4.2 hours

Day 3: Explore Dunedin or opt for a wildlife encounter on Otago Peninsula

Accommodation: Motel on York

Day 4: Follow the Southern Scenic Route through the Catlins to Invercargill

Accommodation: Tower Lodge Motel
Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 236 kms / 146 miles : 3.0 hours

Day 5: Continue on the Southern Scenic Route as it takes you along the southern coastline of the South Island

Accommodation: Lakefront Lodge
Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 177 kms / 110 miles : 2.1 hours

Day 6: Journey along the magnificent Milford Road for your scenic nature cruise on Milford Sound

Accommodation: Lakefront Lodge
Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 233 kms / 145 miles : 3.6 hours

Day 7: Travel through rolling Southland countryside then follow Lake Wakatipu to Queenstown

Accommodation: Garden Court Suites and Apartments
Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 164 kms / 102 miles : 1.9 hours

Day 8: Take the Crown Range Road to Wanaka before travelling the spectacular Haast Pass to the West Coast

Accommodation: Bella Vista Franz Josef
Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 350 kms / 217 miles : 4.6 hours

Day 9: Drive north along the stunning West Coast Road to Punakaiki and the Pancake Rocks

Accommodation: Hydrangea Cottages (Self check in required)
Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 212 kms / 132 miles : 2.6 hours

Day 10: Leave the coast and travel between two expansive national parks to reach the laid back city of Nelson

Accommodation: The Hotel Nelson
Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 249 kms / 155 miles : 2.9 hours

Day 11: Explore Abel Tasman National Park home to aqua blue waters and playful seals

Accommodation: The Hotel Nelson

Day 12: Follow the beautiful Queen Charlotte Drive to the vineyards of Blenheim

Accommodation: Lugano Motor Lodge
Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 131 kms / 82 miles : 2.0 hours

Day 13: Head South today to Christchurch

Accommodation: Bella Vista Christchurch
Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 294 kms / 182 miles : 3.6 hours

Day 14: Depart Christchurch today

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