9 Day Southern Exposure
9 Day Southern Exposure
Explore the deep south of New Zealand with adventure packed Queenstown, the grandeur of Mt Cook, the incredible Milford and Doubtful Sounds, and the abundance of marine wildlife in the Catlins.
The vistas on this tour will leave you in awe!
HighlightsAoraki-Mt Cook National Park Wanaka Wildwire Go wild Kiwi Birdlife Park Milford Sound Cruise Doubtful Sound overnight kayaking The Catlins wildlife
Terms and Conditions
Prices are based on twin share occupancy in a double room, and are subject to availability. If anything comes back unavailable, we will endeavor to find you a suitable alternative.
Click here for the full
Day 1 : Christchurch
Welcome to Christchurch. On arrival you will be picked up at the airport and transferred to your first night’s accommodation. Or if you’ve decided to pick up your rental vehicle immediately, you pick up your vehicle at the airport and drive to your accommodation.
Your detailed tour information pack will be given to you once you arrive at your accommodation.
Take the rest of the day to relax and explore the inner city, with its famous botanic gardens. The city has bounced back from the devastating 2010 earthquake and is once again a very vibrant place.
Hotel : Scenic Hotel Christchurch
Motel : Bella Vista Christchurch
Day 2 :Christchurch - Mt. Cook
Once you've collected your car first thing in the morning (in case you don't already have it), you'll cross the expansive Canterbury plains on your way to Mt Cook. The route via Geraldine is the more scenic option, just before entering McKenzie Country. The Southern Alps seem to be ever increasing in size as you approach closer, and leaving a bigger impression as you carry on.
Lake Tekapo will leave you dazzled with its remarkable turquoise coloured water against the backdrop of the Southern Alps. The picturesque Church of the Good Shepherd is a great place for great photo opportunities, but please note that photos are not allowed inside the church.
Once you arrive at Lake Pukaki, Mt Cook dominates the landscape, and how! It will leave a memorable impression, and the drive along the lake with its green and turquoise water is nothing but spectacular. This is New Zealand driving at its best!
We recommend you do one of the hikes in the Aoraki National Park.
Motel : Mt. Cook Lodge.
Driving distance : 333 km - Driving time : approximately 4 hours 10 mins
Day 3 : Mt. Cook -Wanaka
The wide open roads on your drive today will make you feel as you're alone in this world going south to Wanaka. You will cross the the Lindis Pass, one of the highest roads in New Zealand. The contrast in scenery will be noticeable as you leave the McKenzie Country and enter Otago.
Wanaka town is nestled below towering mountains, and is a little bit quieter than its neighbour Queenstown. In winters skiers from all over the world flock here for its great skiing, and in summer the impressive mountains provide for a range of adventure activities. We recommend a hike in the Matukituki Valley west of Wanaka.
You afternoon however will be spent on a very original adventure, the Wanaka Wildwire Go Wild.
Hotel : Edgewater Hotel Wanaka.
Motel : Wanaka Lakeview.
Driving distance : 209 km - Driving time : approximately 2 hours 30 mins
Day 4 : Wanaka- Queenstown
Today you will not be traveling far. The road over the Crown Range between Wanaka and Queenstown only takes a little over an hour, so you'll have plenty of time to spend the day in Queenstown.
The day is entirely yours, the question is, will you be able to decide what to do? Queenstown is synonymous with adventure, and often labelled the "adventure capital of the world". Regardless of the season, Queenstown gets your adrenaline flowing year round, and the options are endless. Want to throw yourself out of a plane in amazing scenery, jump off a bridge in the birthplace of Bungy, jetboat, raft down a river, you name it...Queenstown has it all.
The town itself sits on the shore of Lake Wakatipu among dramatic alpine ranges, and the scenic drive to Glenorchy is one of our favourites in New Zealand. Another way to enjoy the beautiful scenery is a cruise on the iconic TSS Earnslaw.
Because Kiwis are nocturnal birds, chances are slim you will see one in the wild, so a good place to meet the New Zealand icon is the Kiwi Birdlife Park.
Hotel : Millennium Hotel.
Motel : Queenstown Bella Vista.
Driving distance : 67 km - Driving time : approximately 1 hours 5 mins
Day 5 : Queenstown - Te Anau
Heading south along the shores of Lake Wakatipu you are heading for Te Anau today. This picturesque town on the shores of Lake Te Anau is your base for the Fiordland National Park wilderness. When you arrive in Te Anau, your will continue onwards to Milford Sound on one of the most spectacular drives in New Zealand. Once you arrive you will board for a cruise through the fiords. Also keep an eye out for bottlenose dolphins and fur seals as you cruise along.
Milford Sound is truly breathtaking in any weather. The fiord's cliffs rise vertically from the dark waters, mountain peaks scrape the sky and waterfalls cascade downwards, some as high as 1000 metres. When it rains in Milford Sound, and it often does, those waterfalls multiply with magnificent effect. You will feel humbled by the magnitude of nature upon your return to Te Anau late in the afternoon.
Hotel : Distinction Hotel Te Anau
Motel : Te Anau Bella Vista.
Driving distance : 173 km - Driving time : approximately 2 hours 10 mins
Driving Te Anau - Milford Sound : 118 km - Driving time : approximately 1 hour 45 mins
Day 6 and 7 : Te Anau - Doubtful Sound
A true wilderness adventure deep in Fiordland National Park awaits you today. You'll be kayaking for 2 days in an untouched world of spectacular mountains, lush rain forests and dramatic landscapes. Your tour starts off with a cruise across Lake Manapouri by ferry and a coach across the Southern Alps, via the Wilmot Pass. As you arrive into the sound, make sure you put on plenty of insect repellent, the sandflies will be waiting for you!
Once on the water though, they will not bother you. Each day involves around 5 hours of kayaking, and in the evening you'll camp out at a camp nestled in the forest up Hall Arm.
This could very well be the highlight of your journey!
Day 8 : Te Anau - Dunedin
Crossing back from west to east today, your journey will take you off the beaten track to the Catlins in the southwest of the South Island. This regions is blessed with some spectacular waterfalls as well as the abundance of marine wildlife. New Zealand fur seals, hooker sea lions, yellow-eyed penguins and seabirds all live here. The Curio Bay area is also a protected nesting ground for yellow-eyed penguins. You'll need to arrive at low tide and the best viewing position is from the purpose-built platform.
Make sure you also visit Nugget Point, one of the most distinctive landforms along the Otago coast. A five minute walk takes you to the lighthouse, where you'll enjoy amazing views along the coastline in both directions. If you look down onto the rocks directly below the lighthouse, you'll see fur seals lolling about, playing in rock pools and generally having fun. Nugget Point is also home to sea lions, sooty shearwaters, shags, yellow-eyed penguins, spoonbills and a breeding colony of gannets. Occasionally, elephant and leopard seals visit the area. If you watch the water for a while, you might see Hector's dolphins. From Nugget Point it's an easy walk to Roaring Bay, where you can hide and wait for yellow-eyed penguins. Early morning or sunset are the best times for viewing.
After all these encounters, you'll head up to Dunedin to spend the night. Known as the Edinburgh of New Zealand, Dunedin is the country's city of the south, wearing its Scottish heritage with pride. Surrounded by dramatic hills and at the foot of a long, picturesque harbour, Dunedin is one of the best-preserved Victorian and Edwardian cities in the Southern Hemisphere.
Hotel : Scenic Hotel Dunedin.
Motel : Dunedin Bella Vista.
Day 9 : Dunedin- Christchurch
On the last day of your tour, you'll have the chance to see the world's smallest penguins in their natural environment in Oamaru. The birds nest right around the harbour area and the Oamaru Blue Penguin Colony offers a unique opportunity for you to observe these birds.
A little bit further north you'll find the Moeraki boulders, mysteriously spherical stones scattered across a beach.
You are now on your final stretch into Christchurch where your tour ends.
Driving distance : 361 km - Driving time : approximately 4 hours 40 mins
- Complimentary airport transfers
- Detailed tour pack upon arrival at first night's accommodation.
- 9 day car rental with unlimited daily kilometers
- Standard insurance with zero excess reduction option.
- 8 Nights Accommodation.
- Wanaka Wildwire
- Entrance to kiwi birdlife park Queenstown
- Milford Sound Cruise.
- Overnight kayaking trip Doubtful Sound
- Where the date of cancellation is a date 45 days or more before the start of the tour, the cancellation fee will be equivalent to the deposit paid
- Where the date of cancellation is a date 30 to 45 days before the start of the tour the cancellation fee shall be 25% of the contract price
- Where the date of cancellation is a date 7 to 30 days before the start of the tour the cancellation fee shall be 50% of the contract price
- Where the date of cancellation is a date 7 days or less before the start of the tour the cancellation fee shall be 100% of the contract price
Create your custom itinerary
Start planning and create your own custom New Zealand itinerary here: