Ocean and Mountain Journey
Your nine-day journey will take you from Coast to Coast of New Zealand's South Island, self driving will give you the flexibility to explore the stunning surrounds at your own pace.
Start your journey from Christchurch, head to the Pacific Ocean and explore the charming French settlement of Akaroa. Stroll around the streets, later board a luxury vessel, indulge in some home baking and a drink while cruising past spectacular coastal scenery, looking out for wildlife including the world’s smallest and rarest dolphin, the Hector dolphin.
Next it is time to start your scenic drive to the West Coast, taking Arthur's Pass to arrive at the historic gold rush town of Kumara. Take in the vistas, learn about the local history and at night check out the glow worms, Expect things to be different on the West Coast, the scenery, the weather and roads. Explore the coast as you continue south via Hokitika to Franz Josef.
Ready for an adventure? Lift off by helicopter and gaze over staggering ice formations and mountains. Land on the snowy glacial plains and inhale the mountain air. Continue exploring the rain forest, waterfalls, lakes and hot pools of the region around Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers, and take a short walk to get your perfect shot of Lake Matheson.
Traverse the Southern Alps as you drive the Haast Pass and enjoy this UNESCO World Heritage Area. Your next few days are spent around Wanaka, surrounded by stunning lakes, rivers, mountains and vineyards. Journey the pristine waters of the Matukituki River by jet boat, hear stories of the land and walk through moss-covered forests. Check out some of the many beautiful vineyards of Central Otago, the world’s southern-most commercial wine growing region. Make the most of the adventure capital Queenstown before it’s time to leave the dramatic south.
More time? Let us tailor-make the perfect self-drive for you
Viva's Best Bits...
View the Southern Alps from the air and set foot on a glacier during a short guided glacier walk.
“One of my favourite itineraries; unique wildlife, mountains, ocean, rainforest, lakes, rivers, wine and nice food - what else do you need?” Pia, Team Viva
Immerse yourself into New Zealand’s history and nature; the French settlement, Gold Rush times, wildlife and UNESCO World Heritage Areas