10 days South Island NZ

Just this March 2013, I recently went to NZ on a roadtrip for 10 days in South Island NZ.

Attached here is the excel sheet containing our itinerary and costs. (excel sheet here -> New Zealand)

Factors in consideration:
1. This was just for 3 people, but ideally can be up to 4-5 people. (Accommodations might vary a little)
2. Our plan has us arrive in Christchurch, and depart to Queenstown.
3. All of the costs are in AUD
4. Flight not included in the cost estimates.
5. Was during the fall season. (winter you might have a slight change in itinerary, and possibly costs)
6. We searched for promos and discounts in various websites, so prices might vary.
7. We wanted to enjoy on activities, and didn’t really care about food (since there’s really nothing “uniquely” NZ food.  So our food was 90% of the time grocery shopping and sandwiches and cup noodles.  We only ate out in our last days in Queenstown.
8. We’re not hikers so although NZ has a lot to offer for mountaineers, campers and hikers, our itinerary is just for not so fit people who just want a to relax and sightsee.
9. This assumes you are willing to rent a car and drive around on your own.  NZ like AU, is the type of place where it’s best to rent a car and just explore on your own.

Here are the blog entries I have documenting the highlights from the NZ roadtrip:
1. Christchurch
2. Tranzalpine train ride
3. Franz Josef glacier walk
4. Franz Josef to Lake Tekapo
5. Fiordlands
6. Queenstown and surrounds

If you have any questions, feel free to post in case I might have some ideas on it based on my research.


3 thoughts on “10 days South Island NZ

  1. Hi! I am currently researching my south island trip and came across ur blog! I am also tbinking of making the same franz josef drove to lake tekapo and visiting the observatory. Some ppl on TripAdvisor did mention it is not possible to make tt drive cos therea a mountain range but I saw tt u did. Theres only me and my husband so I dont think we can do 8hrs 1 day. Probably hav to stop In wanaka then? Also what route did you take and did you stay near the observatory? Thank you so much for your help!!!

    • Hi!

      Yes it is possible, stopping over at Wanaka is a good idea so that you can spend more time in the stopovers along the way. From Franz Josef what you will do is drive down towards Wanaka (which is the route you would take if you were going to Queenstown), see the map here to get an idea of how the route will be http://www.lakewanaka.co.nz/new-zealand/Christchurch-to-Wanaka-Queenstown/

      Get a map as well and ask directions in Wanaka or Franz Josef before you go. But basically it’s Wanaka – Tarras – Omarama – Twizel – Lake Tekapo. I remember we went into the town of Twizel just to re confirm that we were heading in the right direction going to Lake Tekapo.

      As for where we stayed, the observatory is up in a hill so I didn’t see any accommodations there, you have to stay within Tekapo itself. We stayed at Lake Tekapo Scenic Resort which has a really nice view of the lake! And from there we just walked to join the tour for the night astronomy viewing. They drive a bus to take you up to the observatory.

      Good luck in your planning! Lake Tekapo is a really nice spot!! If you go for the night tour it’s a bit risky since you’re dependent on clear weather.. So check beforehand and cross your fingers it’s all good 😀

      • Hey there! Thanks for your help! So ppl basixally says it does not make sense cos its like backtracking to queenstown from franz josef right? So queenstown – franz josef – wanaka – lake tekapo is possible? Are the drives long, eg frm queenstown to franz josef, then to wanaka..? Im not sure if we will be too ttird from driving and some say skip franz josef so I dont backtrack. I am so confused planning this! :s haha

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