The Best of the West

10 Day Itinerary

10 Days

728 km

Highlights

Volcanoes | Beaches | Surfing | Skiing

Travel Time

9 hrs & 56 mins

Day One

Abel Tasman National Park

Our first stop is the Abel Tasman National Park. This is New Zealand’s smallest national park, sitting at around 22,530 hectares. This is a great place to visit year-round, due to its mild climate. Depending on how much you want to see here, you could spend a day, a week or two weeks getting lost in the beauty of the National park. Tour the Tasman by hiking, biking, kayaking or by boat.

Must do:
Harwoods Hole Track - 5km | Kayak/snorkel at Tonga Island marine reserve | Canyoning in the Abel Tasman

Day Two

Abel Tasman to Punakaiki

One of the greatest sights that we have come across on the road is Punakaiki. This tourist hot spot is also commonly known as ‘Pancake Rocks’. Over 30 million years ago, these rocks were sculpted by marine creatures, plants and seismic action. It is an all-weather walk, where the entire family can see the limestone formation and blowholes.

Must do:

Punakaiki pancake rocks and blowholes | Pororari River Track | Truman Track Route

CampgroundPunakaiki Beach Camp

 

Day Three

Punakaiki to Hokitika

Next, we are heading to Hokitika. Jump in your motorhome rental and drive one of the most scenic routes in New Zealand. On our journey, we will be stopping at Hokitika Gorge, located approximately 30-minutes inland from the town centre. Don’t forget to pack your camera, because you will want to capture every moment.

Must do: 

Hokitika Gorge walk - 15 minute walk | The National Kiwi Centre | Glow worm Dell Sunset Point | Hokitika Beach Sign

CampgroundHokitika Holiday Park

Day Four

Hokitika to Franz Josef Glacier

You may want to splash a little cash on our next stop because a great way to tour the Franz Josef Glacier is by helicopter! No two days are ever the same here. This glacier is on the move, and much faster than your average glacier, travelling at around 50cm per day. You will be inspired by the sights, from ice caves to tunnels and crevasses. It is a must-see.

Must do: 

Glacier valley walk | Glacier Heli Hike | Franz Josef Glacier Hot Pools | West Coast Wildlife Centre

CampgroundTop 10 Holiday Park Franz Josef Glacier

Day Six

Franz Josef Glacier to Haast

Haast is famous for its dramatic landscapes and is nothing short of spectacular. It was even awarded the status of a “World Heritage” area, by UNESCO. There are so many things to love about Haast. It is rich in outdoor activities from jet boating, to deep-sea fishing, wetlands, beaches and sand dunes. Oh, and don’t forget about the delicious whitebait! Haast is known as the Whitebait Country. So you’ll want to at least give it a try.

Must do:

Lake Moeraki | Haast River Safari | Knights Point Lookout | Jackson Bay Walk

CampgroundHaast River Motel and Holiday Parks

Day Seven

Haast to Mount Aspiring National Park

If you’re a hiker or just an all round nature lover, this is your dreamland. Mount Aspiring is New Zealand’s highest peak, surrounded by glaciers, rivers and alpine lakes. Here, you can easily spend a day or two exploring this wanderland, or simply spend a few hours hiking the trails.

Must do:

Blue Pools walk | Hike the Routeburn Track | Rob Roy Glacier Track | Jet Boating on the Wilkin and Makarora Rivers | Canyoning Tour

CampgroundMount Aspiring Holiday Park

Day Eight

Mount Aspiring National Park to Wanaka

Wanaka is a vibrant town that bustles with both tourists and locals year-round. Just a short journey from Mount Aspiring, this adventure town is the perfect destination. Spend your days hiking, biking, jet boating, or enjoy lazy days on the crystal-clear lake. Don’t forget to pack your wetsuit in winter! 

Must do:

Hike Roys Peak | Puzzling World | Canyoning | Wanaka Lavender Farm

CampgroundWanaka Lakeview Holiday Park 

Day Nine & Ten

Queenstown

Queenstown has been named the adventure capital of the world and for good reason. So, thrill-seekers and adrenaline junkies, this one is for you. This destination has everything from jet boating on the Shotover River, to canyoning, skiing, and bungy jumping off the Kawarau Bridge. It's also a renowned cycling destination due to its stunning backdrop. There's plenty to do. 

Must do:

Kawarau Bungy jump | Arrowtown | Bob’s Peak and Sky Gondola | The Remarkables | Queenstown Gardens | Shotover River | Gibbston Valley Winery and more

Campground - Queenstown Holiday Park & Motels

The Best of the West

This trip is for the thrill-seekers and adventure lovers. Your epic South Island adventure begins at the Abel Tasman. This local hot spot is renowned for its white-sand beaches, granite cliffs, and world-famous coastal tracks. The journey is only just beginning here. Uncover some of New Zealand’s most spectacular sights on this 10 day exhibition.