Alpine Lakes Itinerary

Walk beneath New Zealand’s highest mountain, climb to towering waterfalls and take a thrilling jet boat ride through narrow river canyons. An Alpine Lakes Journey in the South Island is packed with adventures you won’t find anywhere else.

Day 1: Spend the day in Christchurch

Start your journey in the vibrant city of Christchurch, the largest centre in the South Island, where old English gardens contrast with pop-up bars and fascinating street art.

Christchurch offers an amazing array of activities, try punting down the Avon River, biking in the surrounding Port Hills, or take an early morning ride in a hot air balloon.

The city is also home to several fascinating museums and galleries, including the International Antarctic Centre.

For something a little further afield, visit the historic port town of Lyttelton or enjoy French culture in Akaroa.

Day 2: Christchurch - Lake Tekapo

As you travel through the patchwork fields of the Canterbury Plains, take time to visit some of the small towns along the way.

With its stunning turquoise water, Lake Tekapo offers a magnificent spectacle year-round. There are so many ways to enjoy this part of the country – hiking, fishing or relaxing in hot pools while gazing at the lake.

The sheer grandeur of the place truly comes alive at night. With clear skies and remarkably dark nights, this area is home to world’s largest Dark Sky Reserve and one of the best places to view the Southern Lights.

Head to the Mount John Observatory and take in unobstructed views of a star filled sky.

Day 3: Lake Tekapo - Aoraki/Mount Cook

From Lake Tekapo head to Mount Cook Village, at the foot of the country’s highest peak.

This region is a mountaineer’s dream, offering some of the best climbing experiences in Australasia. For the less adventurous, choose from the array of shorter walks and take in the stunning alpine landscapes of herb fields, morraines, glaciers and cheeky kea.

Mount Cook National Park is also the home of New Zealand’s longest glacier. Get up close with a Tasman Glacier boat trip, or for something a little different take a scenic flight and view the glacier from above aboard a ski-plane or helicopter.