Southern Scenic Circle


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This is the perfect self drive itinerary for those in search of scenery. This loop will take you past mountains, rainforests and ocean so factor in time for photo stops! Mixed in some adventure activity and wine tasting and you’ll feel completely refreshed and rejuvenated.

A self drive, self-guided, scenic route designed for those who want to experience the beauty of New Zealand’s South Island at their own pace.

Unique activities and unspoiled sightseeing, while staying at small, Bed & Breakfast accommodations offering true Kiwi hospitality

Self-Drive package for two includes:

  • Roundtrip air from Los Angeles or San Francisco via Air New Zealand’s award-winning non-stop service Pacific Economy Class to Auckland, and domestic flights within New Zealand
  • Seven nights at five different accommodations including six breakfasts and one dinner.
  • Air-conditioned compact rental car with automatic transmission, unlimited miles and daily vehicle insurance
  • New Zealand’s 15% Goods & Services Tax

rentalcar1The following information is a highlights view of what is possible.

We are able to customise the program to make it the perfect vacation for you.

Christchurch:

Known as the ‘Garden City’, enjoy its huge central city park, English architecture and nearby Banks Peninsula.

Punakaiki:

Watch the of sunset over the thundering Tasman Sea and wind-weathered Punakaiki Rocks.

Be sure to take the 30 minute Pancake Rocks walk to see the blow holes and rugged rock formations. Walk on the beach and take the short Truman Track through rainforest to the beach. In the evening have a drink at the local pub and say hi to Pete the bartender.

The West Coast:

Drive on what is the most scenic drive in New Zealand—along the West Coast with it’s rugged beaches; rain forests; 18 peaks over 12,000 feet; and glaciers coming down to sea level. Note: Travel book Lonely Planet has recently rated this South Island Highway as one of the world’s greatest road trips.

Franz Josef/Fox Glaciers:

Take a helicopter ride over the numerous glaciers in this area, over Aoraki/Mt Cook (New Zealand’s highest mountain) and even land on the glacier to see it close up. Take a walk up to the Franz Josef or Fox glaciers and walk around picturesque Lake Matheson for photographs of Mt Cook reflected in its mirror-like surface.

The Haast Pass and Wanaka:

Enjoy more breath-taking scenery as you head south and cross over the Haast Pass. Stop in Wanaka to admire the mountains, lake and cafés.

Queenstown:

One of New Zealand’s most picturesque towns. The peaks of The Remarkables soar up to over 7,500 feet above Lake Wakatipu.

On the drive into Queenstown you might stop and visit one of the award winning wineries along the route. Maybe cruise across lake Wakatipu on the TSS Earnslaw to Walter Peak High Country Farm for a BBQ dinner.

Suggest a flight to Milford for cruise on Milford Sound -then fly back to Queenstown. Still time for a jet boat ride on the Shotover Jet or perhaps a Nomad Safaris; Lord of the Rings; 4WD trip to Skippers Canyon or Macetown.

Mt Cook:

A 4 hour drive from Queenstown. Visit the Sir Edmund Hillary Museum—and maybe take a hike. Then return to Twizel to the Heartland Lodge, a lovely, large, comfortable, purpose-built Bed & Breakfast with two guest rooms in the heart of the beautiful and awesome Mackenzie country, renowned for its spectacular turquoise lakes and snow capped mountains.

Wave Watchers Retreat, Punakaiki

A private self catering, luxury two bedroom three bathroom cottage on a large private beach front site. The retreat was built with every room capturing the spectacular views of the garden, the cliffs and the beach. Both bedrooms have French Doors with panoramic views directly to the sea. Each bedroom has an ensuite. The cottage is equipped with a fireplace, flat screen television with Sky TV, CD player, telephone, desktop computer, wireless & broadband cable for laptop computers, full laundry with washing machine, drier and iron, and a fully equipped kitchen with dishwasher, thermal oven, microwave and fridge-freezer. The cottage has three spacious outdoor decks, a large covered verandah, outdoor furniture, gas barbecue, a delightful garden, and an unbelievable view of sunset over the thundering Tasman Sea and wind-weathered Punakaiki Rocks.

Mahitahi Lodge

A delightful small Bed & Breakfast (dinner optional). Located in Bruce Bay

The Dairy Boutique Hotel

A delightful 10 room Bed & Breakfast. For more details & photos go to: The Dairy

The Heartland Lodge

A lovely, large, comfortable, purpose-built Bed & Breakfast with two guest rooms in the heart of the beautiful and awesome Mackenzie country

This is the perfect self drive tour for those in search of scenery. This loop will take you past mountains, rainforests and ocean so factor in time for photo stops! Mixed in some adventure activity and wine tasting and you’ll feel completely refreshed and rejuvenated.


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