5 Day Queenstown Escape
South Island Self Drive from Queenstown to Queenstown
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5 Day Queenstown Escape

Head to New Zealand's "Adventure Capital" - Queenstown on this 5 day self drive escape. Travel through past the Southern Alps into Fiordland and take a cruise through the iconic Milford Sound, before taking time to explore Te Anau and Queenstown.

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Tour summary and feature

South Island Self Drive

This suggested tour costs from NZD$885 per person (twin share, low season)

Starts in Queenstown, finishes in Queenstown

5 days/4 nights

Motels

 Rental car included

 Viewed 49 times in the last 7 days

Tour at a glance

Day 1: Haere Mai, welcome to Queenstown. Accommodation: Blue Peaks Lodge

Day 2: Travel through lush farmland into Fiordland and into the magnificent Milford Sound. Accommodation: Lakefront Lodge
Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 394 kms / 245 miles : 5.4 hours

Day 3: Leave the fiords behind and head back into the mountains. Accommodation: Blue Peaks Lodge
Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 164 kms / 102 miles : 1.9 hours

Day 4: Have a leisurely day to explore Queenstown. Accommodation: Blue Peaks Lodge

Day 5: It's time to bid farewell and take home lasting memories.

Tour full itinerary

Detailed itinerary: 5 day tour starting in Queenstown

Day 1 - Haere Mai, welcome to Queenstown
5 Day Queenstown Escape - Day 1
Welcome to Queenstown

Renowned for its adrenaline inducing activities Queenstown is synonymous with adventure. Parked on the shores of Lake Wakatipu this small alpine town is nestled below soaring vistas of The Remarkables Mountain Range. While arguably the brightest gem in New Zealand’s crown, Queenstown offers far more than an action-packed getaway. Spend time on the Gibbston wine trail and end with a meal at Michelin star chef Josh Emett’s restaurant, Rata. Take a trip down memory lane on a 100 year old steamship the TSS Earnslaw. Soak in the scenery on your walk around the lake, or venture further afield into Fiordland National Park. Head over the hill to resort town Wanaka, or re-live scenes from Lord Of The Rings by four wheel drive. But - if you really do want that rush - head out on the Shotover Jet, dive off the Nevis Bungy, freefall on the Canyon swing or Zip line the Gondola. Just be sure it's done on an empty stomach  – don’t say we didn’t warn you!

Collect your rental car

This tour can be priced with any of the rental cars available in our fantastic range, from economy hatchbacks to prestige saloons and SUV's.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - The Ledge Bungy Jump

Queenstown is where bungy jumping was pioneered by AJ Hackett and the first commercial jump started in 1988 at the Kawarau Bridge (on the main road in...

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Queenstown is where bungy jumping was pioneered by AJ Hackett and the first commercial jump started in 1988 at the Kawarau Bridge (on the main road into Queenstown from the east). Take The Ledge Bungy - located 400 metres above Queenstown the Ledge operates from the Skyline Gondola Complex. A unique location for a unique experience.(47m jump).

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Your accommodation: Blue Peaks Lodge

Blue Peaks Lodge offers well equipped self contained rooms with a fantastic location overlooking Queenstown and is just an easy five minutes walk to the Queenstown lakefront.
Day 2 - Travel through lush farmland into Fiordland and into the magnificent Milford Sound
5 Day Queenstown Escape - Day 2
Queenstown to Milford Sound

Following the shores of Lake Wakatipu south the Remarkable mountain range towers over you as you approach township of Kingston. Then into Southland and rolling fertile farm country. Crossing the rolling tussock lands you pass through Mossburn, the deer capital of New Zealand and into Te Anau, the gateway to Fiordland National Park. Passing Te Anau you joining the Milford Road which takes you to Milford Sound.  This stretch of road has countless photo opportunities and short walks. The Mirror Lakes create perfectly clear reflections of the surrounding mountains and glacier formed meadows.  Further along the road The Chasm Walk includes two walking bridges over the dramatic Cleddau River, while the surrounding ancient native beech forest creates a fascinating landscape. You'll pass through the Homer Tunnel, an incredible feat of engineering at 1219 metres long. Milford Sound is the only sound accessible by road, making it very popular to visit. Coming into the village you'll be greeted with an amazing view of Mitre Peak which rises spectacularly from the waters up to the sky. Real Journey cruises can take you out into the sound where you'll receive a wealth of information on how this magnificent area has been formed and experience first-hand the multitude of waterfalls that line the fiord.

 

Milford Sound Cruise with Real Journeys

Get up close and personal with Milford Sound on a leisurely cruise of this spectacular fiord. From thundering waterfalls to sky-high mountains to lush rainforests, Milford has it all. Experience the spray of a waterfall as you cruise close to sheer rock faces. Informative, participative and relaxed, this is the perfect way to experience Milford Sound to the fullest.

Milford Sound to Te Anau (one way)

Today you'll return on the Milford Road from Milford Sound to Te Anau.  You'll have time to explore any of the walks and viewing points that you missed on the drive in.

 

Your accommodation: Lakefront Lodge

Stylish self contained motel units less than one minute walk from Te Anau Lakefront. Close to shops, cafes and restaurants.

Meals included: Lunch

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 394 kms / 245 miles : 5.4 hours

Day 3 - Leave the fiords behind and head back into the mountains
5 Day Queenstown Escape - Day 3
Te Anau to Queenstown

Today you’ll cross vast tussock lands on your way to Queenstown. Pass through Mossburn, the deer capital of the nation. Continue on through the Southland countryside where the road begins to hug the lake edge and the Remarkables mountain range towers over your approach into the adventure capital of New Zealand.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Te Anau Glowworm Caves

Begin your Te Anau Glowworm experience with a scenic cruise across Lake Te Anau on board the luxury catamaran, Luminosa, to the western side of the la...

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Begin your Te Anau Glowworm experience with a scenic cruise across Lake Te Anau on board the luxury catamaran, Luminosa, to the western side of the lake. On arrival, you'll enter the caves through Cavern House, where informative displays detail the history of this 12,000 year old underground network.
You'll then explore by limestone pathway while your guide points out hidden whirlpools, sculpted rock formations and a rushing underground waterfall. See a magical display of thousands of glowworms as you glide through the darkness in a small boat.

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SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Pure Wilderness Jet Boat

Jet boat down the Waiau river, across Lake Manapouri, to the ancient forest of the Fiordland National Park. Enjoy the thrill of jet boating down the m...

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Jet boat down the Waiau river, across Lake Manapouri, to the ancient forest of the Fiordland National Park. Enjoy the thrill of jet boating down the majestic trout-filled Waiau River, to the serene Lake Manapouri. Step foot into the Fiordland National Park and go for a short walk while learning about the ancient beech forest and ferns. Your jet boat ride includes a number of stops at the exact locations of the filming the "Fellowship of the Ring" on the Waiau or Anduin River, where the driver will tell you the inside story of the filming the Lord of the Rings on this river. The trip will also include some thrilling 360 degree turns and spins as well as interesting interpretation about the flora and fauna and the local European and Maori history.

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Your accommodation: Blue Peaks Lodge

Blue Peaks Lodge offers well equipped self contained rooms with a fantastic location overlooking Queenstown and is just an easy five minutes walk to the Queenstown lakefront.

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 164 kms / 102 miles : 1.9 hours

Day 4 - Have a leisurely day to explore Queenstown
5 Day Queenstown Escape - Day 4
Explore Queenstown and surrounds

Although celebrated as New Zealand's ‘adventure capital’ Queenstown offers far more than a fast-paced action-packed holiday. Settled on the shores of Lake Wakatipu beneath a soaring panorama of the Remarkables Mountain Range, this alpine town is surrounded by a plethora of historic, gastronomic and scenic wonders.
Head down the Gibbston Valley wine trail to sample some of the region’s best Pinot or catch a ride on the 100 year old Steamship - the TSS Earnslaw -  to Walter Peak Station for dinner and a farm tour. Browse the waterfront cafes and have lunch at Michelin star chef Josh Emett's ‘Rata.’ Check out nearby historic Arrowtown and enhance your experience with a four wheel drive trip to Macetown.
Take a leisurely lakeside stroll or ride the gondola for breathtaking views. Drive through Lord Of The Rings country - or for the really fanatic, jump aboard one of many dedicated LOTR tours. If you do really want the adrenaline rush Queenstown is known for, take your pick from the Shotover Jet, Bungy, Canyon Swing, Zipline, Luge or Heli-ski.
Finally, if you're lucky enough to visit in winter (July-September) there are four ski resorts close by. You can head up to Coronet Peak and the Remarkables close to Queenstown, or head to Wanaka for Cardrona and Treble Cone.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - NZSki: One Day Lift, Lesson & Rental Pack

Available in winter (July-September) only.This is a one-day product designed for anyone who has skied or snowboarded before, this package can be used ...

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Available in winter (July-September) only.
This is a one-day product designed for anyone who has skied or snowboarded before, this package can be used at both The Remarkables and Coronet Peak. This combo features two group lessons, full mountain lift pass, as well as rental equipment (skis, boots and poles or snowboard and boots). Under the expertise of your Snowsports instructors, you'll build on your basic skills, grow in confidence on challenging terrain and iron out any bad habits.

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SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Appellation Boutique Wine Tour

Experience a tasting journey through three of Central Otago’s incredibly scenic and varying wine sub-regions; Gibbston, Bannockburn and Cromwell...

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Experience a tasting journey through three of Central Otago’s incredibly scenic and varying wine sub-regions; Gibbston, Bannockburn and Cromwell. Visit three boutique vineyards, tasting their unique cool climate wines and discover why the Central Otago region has become world-renowned in its own right.
Indulge at a fourth vineyard restaurant for a platter-style lunch, savouring the finest and freshest produce, accompanied with a wine flight.
There will also be an opportunity to retrace history when you stroll through the charming historical settlement of Old Cromwell.

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SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Spirit of Queenstown Scenic Cruise

Sit back and relax aboard Spirit of Queenstown. Take an epic voyage of discovery around Lake Wakatipu and go further than any other cruise to explore ...

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Sit back and relax aboard Spirit of Queenstown. Take an epic voyage of discovery around Lake Wakatipu and go further than any other cruise to explore secluded bays, historic landmarks and mountain views. The purpose-built catamaran ensures unobstructed views out either side of the vessel with large tall viewing windows and spacious outdoor decks for panoramic viewing.
The cruise includes a glass of wine and a freshly prepared platter of delicious Gibbston Valley cheeses, and locally sourced chutneys and dried fruits.

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Your accommodation: Blue Peaks Lodge

Blue Peaks Lodge offers well equipped self contained rooms with a fantastic location overlooking Queenstown and is just an easy five minutes walk to the Queenstown lakefront.
Day 5 - It's time to bid farewell and take home lasting memories
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