Driver Information
New Zealand ItinerariesTravel distance is approximately 254kms (159 miles).
Allow at least 3 hours drive time (not including stops).

This 5 day self-drive South Island tour is a scenic journey from east to west and then back again so you can view and experience some of the major attractions in the South Island.

From gold mining on the wild West Coast to the wilderness wonderland of Arthur’s Pass, the magic of walking on a glacier and enjoying the year round visual feast that is Lake Wanaka, there is plenty to see and do as you leave and come back across the stunning Canterbury Plains!

Day one will see you departing Christchurch, the South Island’s largest city before enjoying the unique ‘true-blue Kiwi’ rural townships of quaint places such as Kirwee, Darfield, Sheffield and Springfield before taking the winding sealed road up towards popular local ski-fields such as Porter Heights and Craigieburn, as you head towards Arthur’s Pass and then down into the fabulous West Coast of New Zealand and some of the most breath-taking rugged costal scenery you will lay your eyes upon!

Some notable stops along the route to Greymouth include:

New Zealand ItinerariesLocated in the basis of Castle Hill, this photography friendly reserve is a truly awesome natural Canterbury feature. Enjoy an easy walk to the 594 metre cave as you meander past an impressive limestone landscape and sculptured rock formations. It takes approximately 1 hour to walk from one entrance of the cove through to the exit.

Popular with trampers and hunters, the alpine village of Arthur’s Pass is famous for the surreal civil engineering that makes access safer and easier into the West Coast. The village is a favourite base for local tramping, hiking and hunting in the nearby national park. Great place to enjoy a coffee and a leg stretch!

From short walks to advanced mountaineering hikes, the national park offers it all. The most popular short walk is the Punchbowl Falls Track. This one hour return walk provides stunning scenery and native wildlife.

Situated at the mouth of the Grey River, Greymouth is the largest town on the West Coast of the South Island. This is a popular coastal tourist stop, mainly because of the Greymouth airport and the TranzAlpine scenic train that arrives from and departs to Christchurch daily.

The town offers a variety of cafe, dining and accommodation options for your overnight stay. Choose from modern hotels and motels in the town or beside the ocean.

Highly recommended Greymouth tourist attractions include…

Monteith’s Brewery Tour – Located in Greymouth, the brewery maintains the brewing traditions almost 150 years on from its inception. Tours are available daily and designed so you can experience the making of fine beer in open fermenter’s by coal-fired boilers, learn about a time-honoured tradition that lives on, learn about the origins of each beer and taste profiles plus enjoy formal tasting of each beer style.

Blackwater Glow-worm Cave Rafting – This Qualmark Endorsed Visitor Activity is a truly magical and fun way to enjoy some of the special natural beauty that is New Zealand! Float through a galaxy world of glow-worms on subterranean lakes, experience under-ground waterfalls and drift through tunnels on an inflatable tube.

History House Museum – Open weekdays from 10am to 4pm (and some summer and holiday weekends), the museum offers an extensive photographic collection of the history of the West Coast. View thousands of photographs going right back to the 1800’s.

On Yer Bike – Off road and 4WD adventures for all ages. From Quad bikes to the awesome 6-seater 8WD Amphibious Argo, Go-Karts, 4WD motorbikes and Mini bikes! Fun for all the family plus plenty of photo opportunities at beautiful spots throughout the forest on your tour.

New Zealand Itineraries: South Island Suggested Itineraries

Our modern self-drive travel Itineraries have routes specifically for the North Island as well as the South Island, ranging from 5 to 11 days, plus there are some travel routes that take in both the North and South Island’s. Our range of travel itineraries include information regarding travel distances and time to ensure that you can make the best of your time in New Zealand, no longer how short your visit!

  • 5 Day Itinerary: Christchurch – Greymouth, Greymouth – Fox Glacier, Franz Josef – Wanaka, Wanaka – Mt Cook and Mt Cook – Christchurch
  • 5 Day Itinerary (route 2): Christchurch – Hanmer Springs, Hanmer Springs – St Arnuad, St Arnuad – Blenheim, Blenheim – Kaikoura and Kaikoura – Christchurch
  • 5 Day Itinerary (route 3): Christchurch – Mt Cook, Mt Cook – Queenstown, Queenstown – Dunedin, Dunedin – Oamaru and Oamaru – Christchurch
  • 7 Day Itinerary: Christchurch – Dunedin, Dunedin – Invercargill, Invercargill – Stewart Island, Stewart Island – Te-anau, Te Anau – Milford Sound, Te Anau – Queenstown and Queenstown – Christchurch
  • 8 Day Itinerary: Christchurch – Greymouth, Greymouth – Fox Glacier, Fox Glacier – Wanaka, Wanaka – Queenstown, Queenstown – Te Anau, Te Anau – Dunedin and Dunedin – Christchurch
  • 9 Day Itinerary: Christchurch – Dunedin, Dunedin, Dunedin – Invercragill, Invercargill – Te Anau, Te Anau Milford Sound, Te Anau – Queenstown, Queenstown – Mt Cook, Mt Cook – Lake Tekapo and Lake Tekapo – Christchurch
  • 9 Day Itinerary (route 2): Christchurch – Omarama, Omarama – Dunedin, Dunedin, Dunedin – Te Anau, Te Anau – Milford Sound, Te Anau – Queenstown, Queenstown – Haast, Haast – Greymouth and Greymouth – Christchurch
  • 9 Day Itinerary (route 3): Christchurch – Hanmer Springs, Hanmer Springs – Greymouth, Greymouth – Nelson, Nelson – Takaka, Takaka – Motueka, Motueka – Nelson, Nelson – Blenheim, Blenheim – Kaikoura and Kaikoura – Christchurch
  • 11 Day Itinerary: Christchurch – Dunedin, Dunedin – Te Anau, Te Anau – Milford Sound, Milford Sound – Queenstown, Queenstown – Wanaka, Wanaka – Franz Josef, Franz Josef – Greymouth, Greymouth – Nelson, Nelson – Blenheim, Blenheim – Kaikoura and Kaikoura – Christchurch