About Anzcro

ANZCRO (UK) (the Australia New Zealand Central Reservations Office) was initially established in 1990, with the UK office having been open since 2001. With our Head Office based in Southport, Australia, and offices in Queenstown New Zealand, & Truro, the company has successfully grown to become one of the largest tour operators to New Zealand, Australia & the South Pacific.   [read more..]


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16 Day Southern Scenic Route

Self-Drive Tour - New Zealand
Image: Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown
ANZCRO / 16 Day Southern Scenic Route

16 Day Southern Scenic Route


per person

Don’t you deserve a holiday with a little bit of everything all rolled into one leisurely drive?

Climb mountains one day and traverse glaciers the next, touring ancient sounds, coastal islands and international cities in one sitting, with loads of free time in-between to experience even more of beautiful Te Waipounamu (South Island).

ANZCRO have channelled the essentials of New Zealand’s South Island into 16 days of pure bliss, combined with a dollop of adventure and a liberal slice of wonder. If we’ve neglected a box or skipped a bucket-list stop, don’t hold back. Our planned itineraries can be adapted to suit your needs, wants and desires.

Call us on to talk to one of our New Zealand Experts

Tour Inclusions

The following are included in your package tour:

16 days mid-size rental car

Return ferry transfers from Bluff to Stewart Island / Rakiura

Doubtful Sound wilderness cruise (ex Manapouri) including lunch

15 nights 3-star hotel/motel accommodation

Milford Sound nature cruise including lunch

Skyline gondola ride and three luge rides

Fox Glacier Hot Pools Entry

Shotover Jet ride

Price Excludes: International and domestic flights to Australia, airport taxes, all meals and airport transfers.


Conditions: Prices are per person, twin/double-share and subject to availability. Prices are correct at the time of submission (Sep 18) but are subject to change without notice. Valid for travel 1 Aug 18– 31 Mar 19. Blackout periods and surcharges may apply. Advertised price based on travel in March 2019. Car hire excess fee of NZ$2,000 + GST applies. This will be authorised on a credit card upon collecting the vehicle. Excess reduction options are available at an additional cost per day. There are no airport fees as the depots are located offsite from the airport. An airport shuttle transfer service is available to take you to the depot during office hours. Car parking fees may apply in some locations.

Click here for our full terms and conditions.


Day 1: Arrive Christchurch

You’ve arrived! The Garden City is waiting for you just beyond customs and baggage claim. Collect your rental car from the offsite airport depot and plot a route for your designated hotel – depending on your arrival time, there are a few things you should check off on your day of leisure. Why not speak to one of our experienced travel planners before you go and make the most out of your time in Christchurch?

Day 2: Christchurch to Dunedin, 360km (5 hrs)

Enjoy a delicious breakfast at one of the many Christchurch cafés before strapping yourself in for a relaxing drive south to the delightful city of Dunedin. Although the commute time itself is respectable, don’t feel compelled to rush, there’s a lot to see along the way. From the wild saltwater view of Cape Wanbrow to the South Hill Walk at Oamaru, the aim of today is scenic enjoyment, short walks, and shareable moments sure to have everyone back home green with envy. Take a few moments to really savour your first full day in New Zealand.

Day 3: Dunedin to The Catlins, 160km (2 hrs 30 mins)

Don’t cheat yourself out of sampling some of the best scenic trails in New Zealand this morning. Before taking your leave, walk one or two of the many paths that wind through the Otago Peninsula.
Bring in the afternoon with a short drive to The Catlins, settling into your B&B before donning your favourite walking shoes again and following the path to both Matai and Horseshoe Falls.
Popular Picks: Test your calves against Baldwin Street in Dunedin, the steepest residential road in New Zealand.

Day 4: The Catlins to Invercargill, 90km (1 hr 15 mins)

What a flipper of a morning! Get an early start and check out, before making a side-trip to Surat Bay, a 10-minute drive out of town. Put on your best weather-resistant jacket and take a walk down this pretty beach – we almost guarantee you’ll be the only person there, but you won’t be alone. Sea lions love the scratchy sand under their bellies and you’re sure to spot more than one here – we must recommend keeping your distance though, and only viewing them through a zoom lens or binoculars.
When you’ve spent enough time with your new aquatic friends, make the short trip to Invercargill and spend the day exploring the local area.
Popular Picks:
  • Forest to dune trail ride – perfect for experienced and inexperienced equestrians
  • Invercargill Brewery – a hopping afternoon tour and beer tasting
  • The spectacular scenery along the Southern Scenic Route drive

Day 5: Invercargill to Stewart Island (by ferry ex Bluff), 29km, (25 mins)

Leave the car behind for a day and board the ferry to the marvellous Stewart Island / Rakiura, perched off the shore of Invercargill. Your new island home-away-from-home for the next 24 hours, this small slice of New Zealand packs a punch when it comes to nature tours, walking treks, day-experiences, and much more. Because we don’t want to dictate a good time to you, the day is free for your own exploration; should you need a little help, our travel planners are always available to book the right excursion to suit your holiday needs and wants.

Day 6: Stewart Island to Invercargill (by ferry), 29km (25 mins)

You have another day of island fun before catching the afternoon ferry back to the mainland – what will you do? Paterson Inlet Cruises are ever popular, and the Ruggedy Range Wilderness Experience never disappoints – go your own speed and make memories that will last for years to come.

Day 7: Invercargill to Te Anau via Tuatapere, 189km (2 hrs 30 mins)

Enjoy a pleasant putter for another 200km to the gorgeous Te Anau, spanning a sealed section of the Southern Scenic Route and edging the expansively stunning Fiordland National Park. ‘Wow’ will be on your lips a lot today, as the rugged coastline gives way to the Te Wahipounamu World Heritage Area, making multiple stops a must and a charged smartphone essential.

Day 8: Day-trip to Doubtful Sound, 44km (40 mins)

Your morning begins on the crystalline waters of Lake Manapouri, surrounded by pristine beaches and tiny islands teeming with native wildlife. Soak up the near-silence as your boat steers towards Wilmot Pass, a remote road that puts the ‘p’ in pretty, lined with dense rainforest and views of Doubtful Sound, your day-trip destination. As your Explorer vessel pushes off from its Deep Cove mooring, you’ll be spoiled with more sights and commentary than you can keep track of over the next three hours. A truly underrated experience, you may encounter social bottlenose dolphins, frolicking fur seals, and the occasional flipper of a rare penguin playing in the wake of the boat, taking your attention from the sheer walls and awe-inspiring surrounds of the sound itself.
Day-Tripper Perks: Lunch is included. Sit back, chill out, and enjoy the day!

Day 9: Day-trip to Milford Sound, 240km (4 hrs)

Yesterday was a warm-up for the main event – are you ready to give that camera clicking finger a real workout? Start your engine in the early morning and make the four-hour drive to the docks of Milford Sound. There, you’ll board a specialist boat for your nature cruise, delving into the cliffs and inlets of this true wonder of the world. You’d be forgiven for thinking you’ve gone back in time or stumbled onto the set of a Jurassic Park movie. There’s an ancient atmosphere permeating the air, as your boat twists and turns in the wake of spectacular rock obelisks, channels and waterfalls. Unmissable, unforgettable and worthy of a repeat visit by kayak!
Day-Tripper Perks: Lunch is included. Keep your rumbling stomach at bay!

Day 10: Te Anau to Queenstown, 175km (2 hrs)

Your time in Te Anau isn’t over just yet. Why not spend the morning enjoy a lakeside stroll, or short walk on one of the wonderful tracks before you make the short drive to Queenstown? Get your first taste of New Zealand’s adventure capital with a Skyline Gondola ride to the summit of Bob’s Peak, before speeding down the mountain in a luge built for one – not once, but three times! Follow up with a bite to eat at Market Kitchen Café and enjoy a sunset view of The Remarkables in the distance.

Day 11: At Queenstown

There’s jet boating, and then there’s the heart-stopping, jaw-dropping, smile-fest that is the Shotover Jet experience – your excursion port of call for today. If the seat belts weren’t so secure, you’d be on the edge of your seat every single second as your tour guide darts through the extreme canyons of the South Island, pulling off 360-degree spins, close shaves, and ever so narrow canyon passes. Of course, there are a few surprises to look forward to, but we’re not going to give away the game here!
With 90 minutes taken care of, the rest of the day is yours to enjoy. What will you do? What should you see? Fancy a funyak? What about a ride through Lord of the Rings country? Or a heart-pumping, head-first dive off the Nevis Bungy platform? We’ll find an excursion to suit your travel style.

Day 12: Queenstown to Wanaka, 68km (1 hr)

Can’t get enough of Queenstown? You’re not alone. Today’s driving stage is short and very easy on the legs, so why not take the time to explore what else this adventure city has in store? Take an easy as you please trail and scope out the Frankton Arm Walkway, leading travellers along the banks of the shimmering Lake Wakatipu, concluding with an early lunch on the marina.
Searching for something a little more challenging? Get the best free views in Queenstown along the Tiki Trail, beginning at the foot of the gondola and winding its way slowly upward, eventually terminating in breathless awe at the Bob’s Peak lookout. Take a picture or two and share a drink before making your way back down and driving to Wanaka.

Day 13: Wanaka to Fox Glacier, 260km (3 hrs)

Trails, treks and walks, Wanaka is renowned all over the globe for its world-class views, usually witnessed on foot or by bike. Before proceeding to Fox Glacier, breathe in the fresh alpine air of this natural resort for the soul, as Mount Aspiring National Park unfurls before your eyes with well-maintained tracks and accessible terrains.
Popular Picks: Grandview Track – occasionally steep, but extremely satisfying and visually arresting.

Day 14: Fox Glacier to Greymouth, 220km (2 hrs 30 mins)

Fill your morning with glacial memories, as Fox Valley crunches beneath your feet and an experienced guide takes you close to the Fox Glacier terminus, charting the journey of the thick, freezing ice from the Southern Alps to the valley floor. You’ll soon see how essential the Fox Glacier is to the region, identifying where the ice once held the walls in place and its current point of recessive collapse. Although you’ll be sharing a publicly accessible track, this guided experience will take you closer to the ice than anyone else – a relaxing, beautiful, and educational start to your day!
The wonderful West Coast awaits, as your drive to Greymouth will take you along another must-see scenic route. Keep an eye out for designated parking zones to get the best vantage point!

Day 15: Greymouth to Christchurch, 240km (3 hrs 30 mins)

Wake up to the rushing tides of the New Zealand West Coast, as Greymouth greets you with a few things to do. From the local brewery to the history museum, or a dash of white-water rafting to get your pulse thumping, there are numerous ways to start your second-to-last day.
Once you’ve had your fill of excitement, take the road well-travelled over Arthur’s Pass, a magnificent union of natural beauty and civil engineering. Should you wish to stop, there’s a long list of short walks on offer to soak up the alpine scenery.
Popular Picks:
  • Lake Misery Track – 40 mins return
  • Old Coach Road – 30 mins return
  • Village Historic & Interpretative Walk – 90 mins return

Day 16: Depart Christchurch

Quick! Take advantage of a half-day tour and milk your last day in New Zealand for every second. There are a lot of little things to do before returning your rental car to the offsite airport depot with plenty of time for your onward flight. Speak to your ANZCRO travel planner for an idea or two!

Tour Route

Click on the days below to follow the tour route.

Tour Pricing Enquiry