The Shotover rises up the river that winds through a canyon.

The Best of the South Island in 14 Days.

This circuit approaches perfection and offers an incredible variety of landscapes.

Guillaume picture in the mountains Guillaume,
Kiwipal Guide.

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Your Trip Day by Day.

Guillaume picture in the mountains

Here are the steps of the journey with available activities.

For each day, you can book the hotel and the activities of your choice. You book online and save 30% of the travel price.

How to book online?
Before the 2011 earthquake disrupted the lives of its people, Christchurch was the most beautiful city on the South Island.

Arrival in New Zealand



Depending on your flight schedule, you may have time to explore the city and its beautiful Botanical Garden. Otherwise, you will have a half day at the end of your New Zealand stay to do it.

It is the presence of a giant underwater canyon 1500 meters deep that attracts whales. This particularity make the happiness of the travelers who come to admire the biggest mammals in the world.



Kaikoura Peninsula

Christchurch Kaikoura Peninsula

182 km (2h20)

Hotel or bed & breakfast.

Collect your rental car in Christchurch and drive up to Kaikoura. Take a boat trip to observe whales and dolphins, then go hiking around the peninsula to spot sea lions.

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Abel Tasman is the favorite National Park of New Zealanders. It is ideally located at the tip of the South Island.



Abel Tasman

Kaikoura Peninsula Abel Tasman

310 km (4h)

Hotel or bed & breakfast.

Arrive in the afternoon at Motueka, the base camp of Abel Tasman Park. Go hiking if you want, or just enjoy the farniente on an orange sandy beach. Observe the magical glow worms in the forest at nightfall.

Book hotel for this nightGuide Abel Tasman
Kayaking is the best means of transport in a park that does not have roads. But you can also borrow the taxi boats to move from one beach to another.

Free day


Abel Tasman

Hotel or bed & breakfast.

The Paradise of New Zealand. Learn the kayak and meet the fur seals of Tonga Island. Orange sandy beaches and turquoise lagoons await lovers of sunbathing.

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The Pancake Rocks are 33 million years old rocks sculpted by erosion and weather.



Pancake Rocks

Abel Tasman Pancake Rocks

287 km (3h35)

Hotel or bed & breakfast.

These strange cliffs give birth to prodigious geysers. Follow an ancient trail of gold seekers into a Jurassic Park canyon.

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It is rare to be able to visit a glacier because they are often inaccessible. But the Fox Glacier descends to sea level and has caves of blue ice.



Fox Glacier

Pancake Rocks Fox Glacier

240 km (3h)

Hotel or bed & breakfast.

Hiking in the forest to reach a glacier that descends into the valley. Explore the blue ice caves with a mountain guide.

Book hotel for this nightGuide Fox Glacier
The dark water of the lake and its ideal position reflect the whole valley. It is still necessary to enjoy the good weather (rather rare in this region).

Early morning


Lake Matheson

Fox Glacier Lac Matheson

5 km (10 min)

Short stopover on the road to admire one of the most beautiful landscapes of the country. A path in the blue mushroom forest leads to Reflection Island. Admire the mountain that is reflected on the surface of the lake.

Book hotel for this nightGuide Lake Matheson
Wanaka has a mild climate and a breathtaking panorama. It is perhaps the most beautiful landscape in New Zealand.




Lake Matheson Wanaka

265 km (3h10)

Hotel or bed & breakfast.

Picnic in the vineyards and savor the best ice cream in the country. Visit the museum of illusion and take a bicycle ride along the lake. In the evening, watch a movie in a sofa or an old car!

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The Diamond Lake is located halfway up the hike to the top of Rocky Mountain.

Free day



Hotel or bed & breakfast.

The Puzzling World illusion museum, the Rocky Mountain hike and the best ice cream in the country after a bike ride along the lake shore.

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The city of Queenstown is located on the South Island of New Zealand. It has the deserved reputation of being the world capital of adventure.

End of morning + Afternoon



Wanaka Queenstown

75 km (1h15)

Hotel or bed & breakfast.

The ancient city of gold seekers has become the World capital of adventure. Discover the bungee jumping or summer luge rides in a breathtaking landscape!

Book hotel for this nightGuide Queenstown

Free day



Hotel or bed & breakfast.

Hiking in the mountains that overlook the lake or enjoying a cruise aboard an authentic steamboat. You even have time to drive along the most beautiful road in the world to reach Glenorchy's Paradise Valley.

Book hotel for this nightGuide Queenstown
Te Anau makes it possible to shorten travel time for excursions to Milford Sound and Doubtful Sound.

Late afternoon

DAY 10

Queenstown Te Anau

171 km (2h)

Hotel or bed & breakfast.

Te Anau will be your base camp for the next two days. The majestic lake shelters spectacular caves with glow worms.

The Mitre Peak culminates at 1696 meters above sea level and owes its name because of its pointed shape which evokes the headdress of a bishop. The mountain is visible as soon as you reach the parking lot.

End of morning + Afternoon

DAY 11

Milford Sound

Te Anau Milford Sound

236 km (3h aller-retour)

Hotel or bed & breakfast.

The Milford Sound is one of the most beautiful fjords in the world. A cruise explores this majestic place up to the Sea of Tasman where a colony of fur seals lives.

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Founded by Scottish settlers, Dunedin was founded in 1848 as a tribute to the city of Edinburgh. Its name means


DAY 12


Te Anau Dunedin

290 km (3h25)

Hotel or bed & breakfast.

Famous for its architecture and its fairytale railway station, Dunedin has the world's steepest street. Join the beach via a tunnel pierced with dynamite!

Book hotel for this nightGuide Dunedin
Several theories exist to explain the formation of these round rocks. None is entirely satisfactory.

Early morning

DAY 13

Moeraki Boulders

Dunedin Moeraki Boulders

75 km (55 min)

There are so many explanations to explain the origin of these strange rocks on the beach of Moeraki... Forge your own opinion during a road-trip break.

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Mt Aoraki / Cook is the highest peak in New Zealand. It is located on the South Island and culminates at 3754 meters.


DAY 13

Mount Cook

Moeraki Boulders Mount Cook

305 km (3h30 avec A/R à Twizel)

Hotel or bed & breakfast.

Leave your luggage at Twizel and head to Mt Cook. The journey along the most beautiful lake of the country will take you to the village of l'Hermitage. Set sail in the middle of icebergs or go hiking in search of the kea.

Book hotel for this nightGuide Mount Cook
The Botanical Garden covers 21 hectares and was spared by the earthquake.


DAY 14


Mount Cook Christchurch

285 km (3h20)

Last stage before the return flight, Christchurch in full reconstruction forces the admiration. The new buildings replace the ruins left by the earthquake and the third city of the country regains its charm.

Book your plane tickets.

Guillaume picture in the mountains

Compare the best, without advertising or hidden fees.

Our service is based on Google Flights to bring you the best comparator tool, removing the bad airlines.

With Kiwipal, there is no travel agency fees, no advertising and no hidden costs.

Book your plane tickets

Book your car.

Guillaume picture in the mountains

Compare and rent a car at the lowest price.

With Kiwipal, you book directly from an New Zealand rental company and do not pay travel agency fees.

The vehicle insurance is included with free cancellation until a short interval before departure.

Rent a car with Kiwipal

Your car to explore the country.

Do not let go of your attention even if the road is deserted. And always hold your left and not your right as in Europe!

The New Zealand road network is in excellent condition!

You may have to adapt to driving on the left on the roads of New Zealand. This is another reason for not choosing a vehicle lightly.

The choice of the vehicle is an essential step for an autotour. It is an important expense in the travel budget.

The New Zealand market is saturated by the old Japanese models. A good deal at discount prices often turns out to be a disaster in terms of safety standards.

Of course, the choice of the model depends on the number of passengers.

Automatic or manual gearbox?

Contrary to popular belief, the cheapest rental is not often a good deal. The lower the price, the lower the comfort and safety. Not to mention gasoline consumption that is not to your advantage in a mountainous country. It is better to avoid floor prices and opt for a reasonable rate at around $ 35 per rental day.

Rental cars are mostly automatic.

With the majority of the fleet in automatic, finding a car with a manual gearbox is often more difficult.

In addition to facilitating driving on the left (you can concentrate 100% on the road), automatic models are more suitable for long journeys.

You will travel several thousand kilometers and for driving to remain a pleasure, an automatic gearbox is highly recommended.

Cars with automatic gearbox are more suited to New Zealand.

Should we redeem the deductible?

The road network matches the quality of the landscapes. In addition to the secured paved roads, there are thousands of kilometers of gravel roads where it is necessary to drive carefully.

Paying the deductible allows traveling with a zen mind.

The deductible part corresponds to the amount that remains your responsibility in the event of an accident.

The redemption of the franchise costs only a few euros per day. In case of accident, you will not pay anything if you have subscribed to this option.

Kiwipal recommends you do not skimp on this extra little expense that can save your holidays! Ben the Kiwi will answer your practical questions, but if you want to know more about driving in New Zealand, I invite you to read our driving guide.

Questions & Answers.

Have you ever drive on the left side of the road? Rest assured, the priority remains on the right and you'll quickly get used to this. If you have questions on the subject, I am here to help you.

Ask a question to Ben

  • What kind of driver's license do you need?

    If you don't come from an English-speaking country, your driving license must be completed with an international permit written in English. Do not wait until the last minute to get this document usually delivered free of charge.

  • What is the minimal age to drive in New Zealand?

    For most car rental agencies, the driver must be at least 18 years old.

  • What are speed limits?

    There are no highways, strictly speaking. Outside the cities, speed is limited to 100 km / h, and in agglomeration the limit is 50 km / h. Take time to familiarize yourself with the vehicle controls before departure. Do not hesitate to go around the neighborhood several times before starting your trip. The priority remains to the right, and after an initial hour, one generally get used to it very fast. As the roads are relatively deserted outside the cities, you will have time to get used to the driving on the left.

  • Is driving on the left difficult?

    Take time to familiarize yourself with the vehicle controls before departure. Do not hesitate to go around the neighborhood several times before starting your trip. The priority remains to the right, and after an initial hour, one generally adapts very quickly. As the roads are relatively deserted outside the cities, you will have time to get used to the driving on the left.

  • How many kilometers to drive every day?

    Kiwipal itineraries are calculated to limit distances. On average, you will drive two hours a day. The beauty of the landscapes traversed is such that one could easily drive more, but it is necessary to keep time for the activities.

  • How to get the vehicle at the rental company?

    After the formalities (presentation of identity documents, driver's license), the rental agent will present the vehicle in detail. Be vigilant and make sure everything works, including the car radio.

  • How to return the vehicle?

    It will be necessary to reach the car park of the rental agency. Be careful to refuel before returning the keys. The tank must be full otherwise you will have to return to the gas station. You will then have to check the condition of the vehicle.

  • Is it easy to park in the city?

    Finding a parking lot downtown in Auckland or Wellington is not easy, especially when you're not used to driving on the left. One should find parking in advance or try to get away from the city center.

  • What is the quality of the road network?

    With roads so little frequented, roads could be expected to be in poor condition. However, the road network is modern and in excellent condition. Apart from the main roads, there are many gravel roads, but they are generally well maintained (moderate, however, your speed on this type of road).

  • How is the crossing from one island to another?

    It is more advantageous to change cars than to embark it on the ferry but this adds many formalities and you lose precious time on the holidays.

  • Is driving in the mountains dangerous?

    Some roads can be problematic in winter when it is necessary to equip the vehicle with chains. The rest of the year, driving is not a problem in the mountains, especially if you stay on the main roads.

  • Can I get fines?

    Parking or speeding fines will follow you to France. The rental agency will communicate your address to the administration.

  • How many drivers do you recommend?

    For a stay of two weeks or more, it is recommended to have two drivers.

Book your hotel rooms.

Guillaume picture in the mountains

Online booking with free cancellation.

You book online and pay only at the hotel in New Zealand. You can change your mind and replace each hotel by another whenever you want.

If the weather is bad, you can also change your route, because the cancellation is free until 24 hours before arrival at the hotel.

Book hotels rooms

Your accommodation during the stay.

At Kiwipal, we recommend Beds and Breakfasts because they allow to meet authentic inhabitants of the country.

A selection of the best budget Hotels.

The quality of the accommodation is excellent in New Zealand. The latest survey conducted by the Ministry of Tourism reveals that travelers rate the hotel sector an average score of 8/10.

The purchasing power in rich Europeans countries is often 10 to 15% higher than in New Zealand. This gap allows you to enjoy a better average quality of accommodation than usual.

As for the service, there is no worry to have, the kindness of the Kiwis is proverbial. The quality of welcome is cited as the second best advantage of the country after its landscapes (which says everything...).

In addition to receiving you in perfect conditions, the hotel staff can advises you on the best itineraries and activities often unknown to the general public.

Cheap accommodation.

The legendary hospitality of the New Zealanders owes much to the owners of Beds and Breakfasts who take care of travelers.

The Bed & Breakfasts are very comfortable.

The Bed & Breakfasts (nicknamed B & B) are booming all over the country. But contrary to what one might think, they often cost more than a hotel stay. However, this type of accommodation offers many advantages.

In some cases, it is more interesting to book a lodge or a motel. This is particularly the case in national parks, where the motel facilitate the organization of the stay (it's sometimes nice to make your own cuisine rather than having diner at restaurants).

The goal is not to find the cheapest room systematically, but to favor an excellent value for money.

Whoever says B & B of course implies that breakfast is included! And considering your busy days with so many discoveries and activities, it would be a shame to skip this important meal, especially when you know the quality of service in New Zealand!

Mid-range accommodation.

If there are of course exceptions, the level of the New Zealand hotel industry is very good.

The lodges are beautiful colonial-style mansions.

If you are willing to spend about 10% more, you can significantly improve your stay.

The quality of the staff will remain about the same (the New Zealanders are very welcoming anyway). The main difference lies in the location and beauty of the hotel location (you will often be closer to the main attractions). This formula should be of interest to couples traveling on honeymoon. Note that this is not a luxury trip, prices remain within a reasonable range.

The price difference (sometimes minimal) makes it possible to switch to a higher category. The rooms are bigger, better oriented, etc.

High-end accommodation.

Large hotel chains have settled in New Zealand in large cities. The rating system Qualmark allows you to know the level of service to be expected.

The upscale hotels are perfect for a honeymoon.

This offer no longer offers B & B but only lodges and luxury hotels. It takes about 30% more budget to afford this kind of stay.

But it's not a luxury trip for millionaires!

The target clientele is the one who wish to enjoy a beautiful honeymoon or a second one.      In these conditions, you will enjoy many nice attentions and an unforgettable quality of service.

In general, the selected establishments have a restaurant, a very appreciable service if you travel with your family.

The high-end offer is made up of hotels and lodges reputed throughout the country.

If you have a hard time choosing, I recommend you read our record on accommodations in New Zealand.      I will explain with more detail the differences between Bed & Breakfasts, Lodges and Hotels.

You can also continue to scroll down this page to discover the advice of Ben the Kiwi.      Our friend gives practical advice and answers questions from future travelers.

Questions & Answers.

Ask me your questions about the accommodation! I test the quality of B & B's, lodges and hotels al the time. If you need advice I'm here to help you.

Ask a question to Ben

  • What is the difference between a B & B and a lodge?

    A New Zealand lodge is often a beautiful colonial-style mansion with character. Often, the level of service is higher than the one offered at a B & B but this is not always a rule. There are even luxury lodges (the Huka Lodge for example) frequented by the crowned heads.

  • What is the purpose of the Qualmark?

    It is a quality label awarded by a government company responsible for evaluating services in the field of tourism. B & Bs and hotels are not obliged to do so even if many do to attract customers.Qualmark

  • What is the arrival time for a B & B?

    One usually check-in at the end of the afternoon. If you are planning a delay on the road, it is recommended contacting your host by phone so that he does not worry. A B & B is not a hotel, so do not arrive late in the evening.

  • At what time should I leave the B & B?

    It is customary to leave before 10 am to allow the owner to prepare the room for the next guests. You can always ask the question to your host when you arrive.

  • What type of breakfast will be served?

    You will be left with the choice between an English or continental breakfast. Most hosts are proud to treat guests the best they can as this is part of the B & B philosophy.

  • Would I have an individual bathroom?

    Yes, we only recommend B & Bs with private bathrooms.

  • Who usually run the Beds & Breakfasts?

    They are usually young retirees or parents whose children have left the country for study or work. Holding a B & B has more to do with the desire to meet travelers than the hope of making a fortune.

  • How are B & Bs selected?

    The quality of the accommodations is tested, and an establishment that would no longer be satisfactory would be immediately replaced by another.

  • What does a B & B room looks like?

    I reassure you, it won't be an old teenage room with posters, but a tastefully decorated room, often more comfortable than an impersonal hotel room.

  • Can I choose between B & B and lodges?

    For Kiwipal itineraries, we suggest alternating between B & B and lodges along the route. For stays in national parks (e.g. Abel Tasman), we prefer to suggest comfortable motels to facilitate the organization of hikes.

  • Can I ask advice from the B & B manager?

    Your host is usually a goldmine in terms of tip and advice. I always prefer to listen to a local than my GPS.

  • Will the B & B owner join us during breakfast?

    This happens if you give the impression that you want it or if you ask for it.

  • Do we share the B & B with other travelers?

    Some B & Bs have several rooms and you will sometimes meet other travelers for breakfast.This is sometimes the opportunity to spend pleasant moments or exchange tips on the itinerary.

  • Which hotel chains are present in NZ?

    In large cities, you'll find most of the major international hotel chains.

Free quote of your budget.

Guillaume picture in the mountains

Complete the form to get a price estimation.

Our price estimation will give you a better idea of the requested holiday budget. You can request several estimations if you want.

This detailed estimation is not a quote and does not commit you to anything. Kiwipal is not a travel agency but a guide to help travelers to book their trip themselves.

When do you plan your travel?

What would be the departure date?

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Do you need airline tickets as well?

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What comfort do you want?

What type of accommodation?

  • Budget accommodation
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Which model of car?

  • Road car or sedan (large trunk)
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  • Four-wheel drive (4x4)

What are the optional activities?

Use the arrows to scroll through the activities

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    Who is traveling?

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