South Island Uncovered

Over 10 days, journey from charming Nelson to the adventurer’s paradise of Queenstown, immersing yourself in breathtaking lakeside landscapes and magnificent National Park panoramas as you travel.

Journey Overview

Discover the best of New Zealand’s South Island from every angle on this unforgettable self-drive escape. Over ten days, journey from charming Nelson to the adventurer’s paradise of Queenstown, immersing yourself in breathtaking lakeside landscapes and magnificent national park panoramas as you travel. Pair adventure with divine dining experiences and stays at some of the island’s most luxurious lodges, and this journey is one sure to stay with you for a lifetime.

Journey Highlights

  • Enjoy stays in spectacular luxury havens including iconic Hapuku Lodge
  • Swim with the charismatic resident dolphins of Kaikoura
  • Witness the natural wonders of Nelson on a cycling adventure
  • Explore the untouched landscapes of Abel Tasman National Park on a coastal cruise
  • Soar by helicopter over the majestic panoramas of Queenstown and savour a Fiordland Lodge lunch

Journey Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive Nelson

Arriving into Nelson on the first day of your adventure, collect your rental car and make your way leisurely to your accommodation, the luxurious Te Koi Lodge at Bronte and enjoy a delicious dinner of flavourful local fare.

Te Koi - The Lodge at Bronte | D

Day 2: Nelson

Embark on a two-wheeled discovery on a full-day cycling tour.

Cycle along sections of quiet country back roads before joining The Great Taste Trail, experiencing the tranquillity of the countryside, hop gardens, orchards, and authentic rural landscapes, with the stunning backdrop of Kahurangi National Park. Enjoy lunch on your tour, guided by knowledgeable locals, you’ll uncover the hidden gems of the regions and enjoy the journey as only a local can.

All necessary gear is included for an unforgettable day, with the option to upgrade to an e-bike available.

Te Koi - The Lodge at Bronte | BLD

Day 3: Nelson

Today offers some coastal cruising, with a shared scenic exploration of the Abel Tasman National Park's coastline. In between admiring the spectacular landscapes, enjoy kayaking, swimming and bush walk discoveries throughout the day, including a visit to the Tonga Island Marine Reserve where you can witness majestic New Zealand fur seals basking in the sun. Enjoy a delicious platter-style lunch of flavourful local fare before, should you so choose, striding out on one of the picturesque coastal bushwalking tracks. Return to your accommodation after your day of outdoor expeditions, relaxing in your luxurious lodge.

Te Koi - The Lodge at Bronte | BLD

Day 4: Nelson – Kaikoura

Continue your self-drive South Island adventure today, travelling to Hapuku Lodge at your own pace. Consider taking the scenic route with time to admire the magnificent Kaikoura Ranges, continuing through the picturesque wine country of Blenheim and onward to Kaikoura. Your luxurious haven is located on a working deer farm complete with olive grove. Time to settle in before a delicious dinner, showcasing produce sourced from the farm and vegetable garden.

Hapuku Lodge & Tree Houses | BD

Day 5: Kaikoura

After breakfast prepare for a morning filled with encounters of the wild kind. Join a shared cruise for an unforgettable swim with the resident dusky dolphins. Witness dozens of these gentle creatures leaping, flipping and jumping in an acrobatic spectacular - an extraordinary up-close interaction. Head back to the lodge, with the afternoon at leisure. Relax on the beach with a picnic lunch, take a surfing trip, explore Kaikoura's seaside charms, or simply wind down at the lodge. The choice is yours.

Hapuku Lodge & Tree Houses | BD

Day 6: Kaikoura

A day to plan your own adventure. Keen anglers will find many an opportunity for a spot of fishing, or you might like to embark on one of the many walking or bush trails in the area. Consider a visit to the local lavender farm and a relaxing massage, or indulge in an epicurean exploration of this coastal haven that is a mecca for fresh seafood, olive oil, cheeses and venison.

Hapuku Lodge & Tree Houses | BD

Day 7: Kaikoura – Queenstown

Farewell Kaikoura this morning, as after breakfast you make your way to the airport and drop off your rental vehicle before your flight to Queenstown, adventure capital of New Zealand*.

On arrival, meet your lodge driver and transfer to your luxury lakeside base for the next few days, the elegant Azur Lodge.

Azur Lodge | B

Day 8: Queenstown

Today is one full of sky-high adventure as you transfer to Queenstown airport for a private Fiordland helicopter flight, soaring through Skippers Canyon and past Mt Larkin to the head of majestic Lake Wakatipu. Cross the Humboldts Mountain Range and land at Lake Erskine, toasting the spectacular views over a glass of champagne before taking flight once more and landing at famed Fiordland Lodge for a delicious lunch of flavoursome local fare. Afterwards, embark on the last leg of your heli-adventure, landing on Cecil Peak to take in panoramic views of Queenstown and the picturesque Wakatipu Basin before being returned to your lodge.

Azur Lodge | BL

Day 9: Queenstown

Today is at your leisure to explore the wonders of Queenstown. Consider a bracing walk or hike along one of the nearby trails, or a game of golf at one of the many beautiful courses on offer. Perhaps embark on an epicurean exploration with a winery tour and savour some of the best Pinot Noir in the country. Or, visit nearby Arrowtown, an historic gold mining town, or get your adrenalin pumping with one of the many adventure activities which the area is famous for - bungee jumping, jetboat rides and more.

Azur Lodge | B

Day 10: Depart Queenstown

Today your unforgettable journey comes to an end as you are transferred to Queenstown Airport for your onward flight*.



*Flights not included.

Show Full Itinerary
Preferred Accommodation

Preferred Accommodation

This journey features the following Preferred Accommodations:

Te Koi - The Lodge at Bronte

South Island Uncovered

New Zealand owned and operated, Te Koi - The Lodge at Bronte offers charming luxury accommodation in a tranquil natural waterfront settin... Read more

Hapuku Lodge & Tree Houses

South Island Uncovered

Framed by the beautiful Kaikoura Mountains and just one kilometre from the spectacular Kaikoura coast, Hapuku Lodge has a unique country ... Read more

Azur Lodge, Queenstown

South Island Uncovered

Azur is a contemporary luxury lodge overlooking some of the most spectacular scenery in New Zealand, and consists of nine private villas,... Read more

Journey Dates & Prices

As this suggested itinerary can be personalised to your specific requirements, it is not available for online booking.

Depending on your preferred dates and arrangements, final pricing will vary from low season to peak season travel.

Please call A&K on 1300 851 800 or send us a booking enquiry to book this journey.


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