Southern Lakes Rental Car Travel Itinerary
The Southern Lakes region makes for a stunning holiday destination for everybody from thrill-seekers through to those seeking a more relaxing rejuvenating vacation. Find a multitude of adrenaline pumping activities, stunning lakes and rivers, beautiful mountains and some amazing resort style accommodation.
Explore this beautiful region at your own pace with our suggested travel itinerary or just pick out your favourites and forge your own path.
Flying in to the Queenstown Airport? Hire a car and let’s get going!
- Taking a day to explore the city of Queenstown is a great way to kick off your Southern Lakes holiday. Find plenty of boutique shopping, gift stores, souvenirs, cafes and restaurants.
- Make your way to the iSITE visitor information centre in the centre of town for handy information and advice on what to do in Queenstown and where to do it. Many tour and activity operators will require booking in advance so it might pay to plan ahead.
- A visit to the famous Fergburger Restaurant will undoubtedly make your ‘To Do’ list so why not tick that one off right now. Lunch at Fergburger it is then.
- Want to ramp it up for the afternoon? How does White Water Rafting sound? Give the team at Challenge Rafting a call and go for the Kawarau River if you have never rafted before or the Shotover River if you need something a bit more challenging.
Snow, snow and more snow!
- For winter travelers, hitting the slopes is one of the must-do activities when in the Southern Lakes region. There are plenty of ski fields to choose from in and around Wanaka and Queenstown.
- For families we recommend Coronet Peak, or The Remarkables. Cardrona is great for more advanced skiers. The Treble Cone Ski area is the largest in in the South Island and is closest to Wanaka.
- Looking for a slightly different snow experience? Give Snow Farm a go. Try out snow shoeing, cross country skiing, tubing, tobogganing or just making snow angles – a great one for the whole family.
Milford Sound…need I say more?
- A self-drive tour through to Milford Sound is a once in a lifetime experience. Appreciate the region’s stunning natural beauty as you make your way along one of New Zealand’s most scenic roads – getting there is half the fun.
- The road trip to Milford Sound takes approximately 4 hours, Te Anau is a great stop for refueling and getting a quick bite to eat.
- On arrival at Milford Sound most people take to the water to fully appreciate the surrounds. Milford Sound day cruises last around 1-2 hours and take in the best of the sights and wildlife.
Wanaka is the destination for today, grab your walking boots we are getting outdoors!
- The gateway to Mount Aspiring National Park, Wanaka is an outdoor enthusiasts dream destination.
- Walking and hiking are well catered for in Wanaka, with hundreds of kilometres of tracks available to choose from. For us today its Roy’s Peak Track that we will tackle, voted one of the best tracks in the area for views.
- Access to the track is along Mount Aspiring Road, about a five minute drive from Wanaka. There is a small car park on the side of the road, for convenience. The track winds its way upwards then continues along the ridge to the Roy’s Peak Lookout point.
- The track then connects with the Skyline Route (a much longer track for experienced trampers only) making its way along the cliff tops and down into valleys emerging eventually on the Cardrona Valley Road.
Sticking with Wanaka for another day, it’s worth exploring this little township a bit further.
- If you’re travelling with kids, a half day at Puzzling World is fun for the whole family.
- Lake Wanaka and nearby Lake Hawea offer up some excellent boat cruises, kayaking and fishing opportunities for the water enthusiasts.
- A visit to the New Zealand Fighter Pilots Museum (home to ‘War Birds over Wanaka’) is perfect for those who prefer airborne adventures.
- Taste some of the award-winning local wine, and drop in at the Historical Cardrona Hotel on your way back to Queenstown.
We are getting airborne today so don’t forget the camera.
- Scenic flights over Queenstown are probably many peoples most memorable highlight when in the Southern Lakes region. Choose from a wide array of fixed-wing aircraft, hot air balloon and helicopter options.
- The Southern Glacier Experience from the team at The Helicopter Line Company is a great option, departing and returning to Queenstown. The trip includes an alpine landing and close to an hours flight time out over the Mount Aspiring National Park.
- Or Air Milford offer really great fixed wing flights to Milford Sound, around the Fiord and back again.
Adventure Capital of NZ anyone? Ok so how about we tick a few off the bucket list…
- Bungy jumping with AJ Hackett Bungy
- Hangliding with Skytrek
- Ziplining with Ziptrek Eco Tours
- World’s biggest swing (Nevis Swing) with AJ Hackett Bungy
- Jet Boating the Shotover River with the Shotover Jet team
- Skydiving with NZONE
- White Water Rafting with Queenstown Rafting
- And the list goes on… and on… you can easily fill a day or even a week with adventure activities alone when in Queenstown.
Southern Lakes Travel
Getting around the Southern Lakes is easy with a rental car and there are plenty of options for you to choose from.
NZ Rent A Car has car rental locations throughout New Zealand, including a handy Queenstown car rental depot offering a wide range of reliable affordable rental cars to suit all budgets.
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Explore the Southern Lakes region with affordable Queenstown car rental from New Zealand Rent A Car.