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Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
80 posts

We are planning a visit to Christchurch and Queenstown in June. We do not drive and I am now thinking it is going to be a problem exploring. The places of attraction are few hours away and most tours only do day trips. It would mean that I will have to reeat that same jouney on another tour another day to get to an attraction that is myabe an hour from the previous attraction. Wondering if there are any tour operators who run 3 or 4 day tours and recommendations is possible. any other suggestions will be appreciated. Thank u!

6 replies to this topic
Arrowtown, New...
Level Contributor
8,316 posts
68 reviews
65 helpful votes
1. Re: Transportation

Kia Ora Pou,

What are the sights you are wanting to see/ experience between and around Christchurch and Queenstown? Perhaps we can help you out with itinerary suggestions that will help link them all together?

What time of year are you coming? Who is in your group?

Are you able to drive - but decided not to rent due to confidence driving localy?

Also back to the first qu - what tours have you been looking at that repeat areas? - again, we can probably tell you which overlap or are unneccesary

Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
80 posts
2. Re: Transportation

Thanks so much pineapplesensei for the warm greeting!

We are arriving on 11th June which is less than 2 weeks away. It's a last min decision, hence the chaos.

It's just me n hubby on this trip. I don't drive n he prefers not to.

Some attractions I am looking at are onsen hot pools, milford sound, milford sound underwater observatory, lake wakatipu,Mount cook, fjordland national park, akaroa, Tanaka, lake tekapo, tasman glacier lake cruise, Franz josef glacier.

Presently, my solution is to try to do day tours from Klook.

Arrowtown, New...
Level Contributor
8,316 posts
68 reviews
65 helpful votes
3. Re: Transportation

How many days are you here for?

Please try to book directly with tour providers rather than through any third party website.

Arrive Chch - at least 3 nights - day trip to Akaroa

Cheeky Kiwi does small group tour/ transport from Christchurch to Mt Cook (past Lake Tekapo)

Book asap accom in Mt Cook - I think you might want at least two nights.

Tasman glacier cruises - oh - you have until June 18th before the stop over winter - perfect.

Then another Cheeky Kiwi 'tour' can take you through to Queenstown.

You'll want at least 3 nights in Queenstown

One day you can do a coach- cruise - fly to Milford Sound (ensure it include the observatory).

As soon as you know your Queenstown dates, book Onsen. Driftaway is another spot that have some nice private hot tubs with Lake Whakatipu views.

Franz Josef Glacier is an outlier, and one that might be best skipped this trip. Easiest access for you this time might be if you want to take a heli flight from Mt Cook Village that flies around Mt Cook and overtop of Fox and Franz Josef glaciers.

Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Fiji, New Zealand, Tasmania
Level Contributor
28,296 posts
440 reviews
245 helpful votes
4. Re: Transportation

I would give Franz Josef a miss as it is a long trip but you could certainly cover Akaroa from Christchurch on a day tour.

A bus from Christchurch to Mt Cook for two nights which will give you time to do the Tasman Glacier tour on day 2 and on the morning of Day 3 you could do a helicopter ride.

Afternoon bus to Queenstown and most attractions in Queenstown provide pick up points so you could do onsen hot pools (book ASAP) , milford sound cruise with underwater observatory,Luge and Gondola ride, taking you 480m up over Lake Wakatipu to the top of Bob’s Peak

New Zealand
Destination Expert
for South Island, Nelson-Tasman Region, New Zealand, Tonga
Level Contributor
24,759 posts
749 reviews
511 helpful votes
5. Re: Transportation

how long are you in nz for?

i dont recommend klook - just book direct in nz and take out the middleman and any problems getting refunds or making changes.

if you dont drive i recommend you book cheeky kiwi to mt cook national park and stay a couple of nights and then cheeky kiwi to queenstown. you can do a coach tour to milford sound,

i also suggest you miss the west coast - especially in winter. do a glacier sightseeing tour from mt cook national park instead and you can fly over fox, franz and tasman glaciers.

nz doesnt lend itself well to staying in one place and doing day trips as its just too much travel on twisty roads.

Edited: 29 May 2024, 06:59
Christchurch, New...
Destination Expert
for Christchurch, South Island, Akaroa
Level Contributor
51,479 posts
577 reviews
231 helpful votes
6. Re: Transportation

Good advice above. Several of the places you name are repetitive or all in the same place:

Milford Sound and MS Observatory are both in Fiordland NP so all three will be seen on a one day trip to Milford Sound from QTN - either coach/cruise/coach or coach/cruise/fly etc.

Onsen Pools and Lake Wakatipu are in QTN so can be covered by walking/Uber.

Tasman Glacier explorer is in Aoraki Mt Cook NP & Lake Tekapo will be seen between Chch & Aoraki.

Without knowing how many days you have I'd suggest as a minimum:

Christchurch (2N - day trip to Akaroa with The French Connection)

Day 3. Great Sights or Cheeky kiwi bus to Aoraki Mt Cook (1-2N including scenic flight over FJG and Glacier Explorers boat trip)

Day 4 or 5 Bus to QTN (3N)

Day 5 or 6 Milford Sound tour

Day 6 or 7 Explore QTN; Onsen Pools (book NOW)

Day 7 or 8 Fly back to CHC.

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