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Central South Island

Central South Island Holidays

The central South Island boasts an incredibly diverse landscape, from the spectacular shimmering ice formations of Franz Josef Glacier and the snow-capped peak of Mount Cook, to the turquoise waters of Lake Tekapo and towering gorges of Arthur’s Pass National Park. Christchurch, the largest city in the region boasts extensive botanical gardens and the quaint town of Akaroa, nestled in a dormant volcano, is not to be missed.

New Zealand no1
Trailfinders is the UK & Ireland’s No.1 Tour Operator to New Zealand and most of our travel consultants have travelled extensively here. What we specialise in is tailormade holidays in New Zealand and with us, in every part of the country, you can pick and choose how you’d like to get around, where you’d like to stay and how you’d like to experience the attractions.
Expert Travel Consultants
Speak to a Travel Expert

We believe booking online is no substitute for one-on-one service. Between them our expert travel consultants have travelled to over 96% of the world's countries. As a result the service and advice they offer is second to none.


Best of New Zealand
20 days / 19 nights
from £2,134
  • Maori Culture
  • Wellington
  • Queenstown

  • Absolute Luxury New Zealand
    16 days / 15 nights
    from £4,870
  • TranzAlpine Train
  • Franz Josef Glacier
  • Milford Sound

  • Unique & Boutique New Zealand
    23 days / 22 nights
    from £5,138
  • Marlborough Sounds
  • Arthur's Pass National Park
  • Fiordland National Park
  • Lake Pukaki

  • South Island Highlights
    17 days / 16 nights
    from £2,355
  • Milford Sound
  • Marlborough Sounds
  • Franz Josef Glacier

  • South Island Less Travelled
    11 days / 10 nights
    from £1,482
  • Birdlife
  • Stewart Island

  • Kiwis & Campers
    16 days / 15 nights
    from £Please contact us
  • Auckland
  • Bay of Islands


    Central South Island map
    Christchurch & Akaroa
    Christchurch & Akaroa
    While parts of Christchurch are yet to fully recover from the 2013 earthquake, the Garden City’s beautiful botanic gardens and eclectic mix of heritage and modern architecture mean it’s still a good option for a short stay. An hour and a half’s drive east, the lush Banks Peninsula was originally an island formed of two volcanic cones and is now home to the scenic township of Akaroa. With its unique French colonial history, rare Hector’s dolphins frolicking in the bay and a passion for fine cuisine, Akaroa makes for a wonderful stop on any itinerary.
    Franz Josef & Fox Glaciers
    Franz Josef & Fox Glaciers
    Poised in the heart of glacier country on the beautiful west coast, the awe-inspiring Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers are best experienced on a thrilling helicopter adventure, where you can marvel at the cascading blue ice from above or hike across the surface with an experienced guide. Ever a land of contrasts, the small village of Franz Josef is set amongst lush rainforest and offers an ideal base to explore the region; visit rare kiwi chicks at the West Coast Wildlife Centre and enjoy a relaxing dip in the Glacier Hot Pools as night falls.
    Lake Tekapo & Lake Pukaki
    Lake Tekapo & Lake Pukaki
    The inherent beauty of this region becomes apparent as soon as you set eyes on the vivid glacial waters of Lake Tekapo and its lesser known but equally spectacular neighbour, Lake Pukaki, which reflects Mount Cook in its shimmering turquoise waters. A UNESCO Dark Sky Reserve, the region becomes even more magical at night when the stars of the Milky Way dazzle above you. Deservedly popular, lakeside accommodation can be busy but the nearby town of Twizel makes for a great base from which to explore these glorious lakes and majestic Mount Cook.


    Te Waonui Forest Retreat
    Marlborough, Abel Tasman & Kaikoura
    from £216
  • Renowned restaurant
  • Lounge bar & terrace
  • Spa
  • Free parking
  • Free wi-fi

  • Lakestone Lodge
    Central South Island
    from £214
  • Dining room & communal lounge
  • Massage treatment room
  • Cinema room
  • Free use of bikes
  • Free parking
  • Free wi-fi

  • The George
    Central South Island
    from £98
  • Restaurant & bar
  • Free parking
  • Free wi-fi

  • Akaroa Village Inn
    Central South Island
    from £52
  • Laundry facilities
  • Free parking
  • Free wi-fi

  • Wilderness Lodge
    Central South Island
    from £263
  • Restaurant & bar
  • Guided excursions of the working sheep farm
  • Over 12 miles of walking trails
  • Free parking
  • Free wi-fi

  • Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier
    Marlborough, Abel Tasman & Kaikoura
    from £92
  • 2 restaurants & a bar
  • 4 hot tubs
  • Free parking
  • Free wi-fi


    Akaroa Harbour Nature Cruise
    Approx 2 hours
    from £54
  • Modern catamaran
  • Dolphins & seals
  • Fully narrated tour

  • International Antarctic Centre
    Attraction Tickets
    from £34
  • Resident penguins
  • Ride an arctic expedition vehicle

  • Mount Cook Helicopter Tour
    Approx 35 mins
    from £229
  • New Zealand’s highest mountain
  • Spectacular views

  • Franz Josef Glacier Heli Hike
    Approx 3 hours
    from £267
  • Scenic helicopter flight
  • Ice hike

  • Fox and Franz Josef Glacier Landing by Helicopter
    Approx 30min
    from £194
  • Spectacular glacial scenery
  • Thrilling glacier landing
  • Expansive snowfields

  • Mount John Observatory Tour
    Approx 2 hours
    from £96
  • Mount John summit
  • Panoramic views
  • Star gazing

  • Trailfinders is Trustpilot’s No.1 rated travel company
    Our latest new zealand & the pacific holiday reviews
    Speak to a Travel Expert

    We believe booking online is no substitute for one-on-one service. Between them our expert travel consultants have travelled to over 96% of the world's countries. As a result the service and advice they offer is second to none.

    Our travel centres are currently closed
    Our phone lines are open at the following times:-

    Monday to Friday: 8am - 8pm (UK) : 9am-7pm (ROI)
    Saturday & Bank Holidays: 9am - 6pm
    Sunday: 10am - 6pm

    For individual opening times please check your local travel centre

    Submit an Enquiry Request a quote or appointment about this holiday and we call you back at a time that suits you Make an Appointment Make an Appointment to visit one of our travel centres alarm

    Central South Island Fast Facts

    Time Zone


    Flight Time to Central South Island


    Visa Required?

    £20 Off your visa service charge if you have booked your holiday with Trailfinders.

    Recommended Immunisations

    Diphtheria/Tetanus/Polio booster

    20% Discount off immunisations at our London Travel Clinic if you have booked your holiday with Trailfinders.

    Trailfinders Travel Insurance

    Enjoy comprehensive cover in Central South Island from just £65 for 7 days with our superb value Single Trip Travel Insurance.

    Visa information given is given for British citizens holding a valid UK passport with at least 6 months validity remaining. Immunisation guidelines assume routine UK childhood immunisation has been given and will not apply to all situations. Medical advice should be sought. Your Trailfinders consultant will advise you of the specific visa and immunisation requirements for your trip.


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