BEST OF THE SOUTH ISLAND - includes Milford Sound and Doubtful Sound cruises! 11 days/10 nights Christchurch - Queenstown, 14 days/13 nights Christchurch/Christchurch including West Coast.
CHRISTCHURCH - LAKE TEKAPO - MT COOK - OAMARU - DUNEDIN - QUEENSTOWN - TE ANAU - MILFORD SOUND - DOUBTFUL SOUND - - QUEENSTOWN - LAKE WANAKA - FRANZ JOSEF GLACIER - PUNAKAIKI PANCAKE ROCKS - CHRISTCHURCH.
11 days/10 nights Christchurch - Queenstown. 14 days/13 nights Christchurch/Christchurch including West Coast. Commence Christchurch saturdays.
Please note: This tour will commence any saturday for minimum of 2. To minimise costs and carbon footprint for 4 or less passengers we use daily tour coach services from Christchurch to Tekapo and Mt Cook and from Queenstown to Milford Sound, Te Anau, and back to Queenstown for minimum of 4. With 5 or more we will use our own driver and mini bus. You will be looked after from Mt Cook to Dunedin and in Dunedin by our local operator. The tour is flexible if you would like a night at Mt Cook as well as Tekapo and/or a night at Oamaru to see the Little Blue Penguins, The West Coast extension is always with our driver guide and departs Queenstown wednesdays
Day 1. Saturday. CHRISTCHURCH ARRIVE
Arrive Christchurch and you will be transferred to your accommodation.
3 star hotels. Cotswald, Ibis, or similar
4 star hotels. Distinction or similar
Day 2. Sunday. CHRISTCHURCH - TEKAPO or MT COOK.
Drive across the fertile Canterbury Plains and over Burke's Pass to Lake Tekapo. See the sheep dog monument and Church of the Good Shepherd. Accommodation is at Bluewater Resort Tekapo or Hermitage, Mt Cook. Optional Dark Sky Experience at Tekapo - extra expense. This is a fabulous introduction to the heavens in fine weather!. Book at www.darkskyproject.co.nz
3 star hotel. TEKAPO. Bluewater Resort hotel. MT COOK. Hermitage standard Mt Cook View
4 star hotel. TEKAPO. Bluewater Resort Superior Lakeview MT COOK. Hermitage premium room
Day 3. Monday. TEKAPO or MOUNT COOK – DUNEDIN (B)
If you stayed at Tekapo: Travel along the shores of Lake Pukaki to Mt Cook, New Zealand's highest mountain. Free time for alpine walks, or visit the National Park headquarters. You have 5-6 hours at Mt Cook .
If you stayed at Mt Cook: Free time to enjoy the beauty of the mountains and optional activities. Maybe take a hike in the Hooker Valley or we recommend the following options (all options should be pre booked as space is limited).
Glacier cruise among the icebergs at the base of the Tasman Glacier $170 - summer only.
Ski plane or helicopter flight with glacier landing, 25 mins $299, 35 mins $359, 45 minutes $499, Grand Circle 55 minutes - the ultimate sightseeing experience $599. Prices subject to confirmation.
Glacier helihike $585
After leaving Mt Cook drive down the Waitaki Valley with a visit to the massive Benmore Dam. Enjoy time exploring the historic centre of Oamaru, visit the Steampunk Museum - admissions extra, and port, and travel south to the unique Moeraki Bouders for beach time before continuing to Dunedin to visit the worlds steepest street and historic railway station.
Day 4. Tuesday. Dunedin. (B)
Visit historic "Olveston House, Railway Station, and Chinese Garden, This afternoon tour the Otago Peninsula including Larnachs Castle, Royal Albatross Centre, and see the local wildlife including seals, and penguins.
Day 5. Wednesday. Dunedin - Queenstown. (B)
Free morning to explore Dunedin including the excellent Otago museum if you wish. Depart Dunedin by Intercity coach at 2.30pm for the scenic journey through Central Otago arriving Queenstown 7.13pm to rejoin your group.
Day 6. Thursday QUEENSTOWN - Glenorchy and Walter Peak (BL)
Drive along the shores of Lake Wakatipu to beautiful Glenorchy and see some of the scenes from Lord of the Rings movies. Return to Queenstown and board the historic steamer "Earnslaw" for the cruise across Lake Wakatipu to Walter Peak Sheep Station. Enjoy a barbecue lunch in a beautiful setting and return to Queenstown mid afternoon.
Day 7. Friday. QUEENSTOWN - MILFORD SOUND - TE ANAU (BL)
A day of fabulous scenery as we drive to Te Anau then on through the Eglinton and Hollyford Valleys and through the Homer tunnel to magnificent Milford Sound. Enjoy a cruise to the head of the Sound under majestic Mitre Peak with picnic lunch included and see the Bowen Waterfall before returning to Te Anau for accommodation
3 star: Luxmore standard rooms
4 star: Luxmore de luxe rooms or Te Anau Hotel.
Day 8. Saturday. TE ANAU - DOUBTFUL SOUND (BD)
Day cruise (included) - Transfer to Manapouri and cruise across the bush clad Lake Manapouri to the West Arm. Drive through the forest across Wilmot Pass, and join our cruise ship. Doubtful Sound is much more extensive than Milford Sound. Explore the fiords and travel to the entrance with the Tasman Sea. See the seals and often dolphins and other wildlife are to be seen. Picnic lunch included. Return to Te Anau for accommodation
Overnight cruise - extra cost $100 per person. Transfer to Doubtful Sound and board your overnight cruise. Dinner included on board. Comfortable 'compact' cabins with private shower/toilet. Anchor overnight in a quiet bay. Optional evening exploring by kayak or ships tender to get up close and personal with the Fiords. Return to Manapouri sunday morning and transfer to Queenstown.
Overnight cruises are very popular. Book early
Day 9. Sunday. TE ANAU OR DOUBTFUL SOUND - QUEENSTOWN (B)
Those cruising overnight return to Manapouri midday and link with those in Te Anau. Return to Queenstown arriving mid afternoon.
Day 10. Monday QUEENSTOWN. (B)
Free day for your own activities. We recommend the Skyline gondola and maybe a luge ride, a Shotover jet boat ride, or try a Segway tour. All activities are extra expense.
Day 11. Tuesday QUEENSTOWN DEPART
We will transfer you to the airport for departure.
ADD THE WEST COAST AND RECEIVE 1 FREE NIGHT ACCOMMODATION AND BREAKFAST IN QUEENSTOWN.
Day 12. Wednesday. QUEENSTOWN - WANAKA - FRANZ JOSEF GLACIER (B)
Drive to the historic gold mining centre of Arrowtown. Explore the town and the remains of the Chinese village and continue through the Kawarau Gorge or over the Crown Range to Wanaka for a brief stop with optional (own expense) visit to amazing Puzzling World. Continue through Makarora and over the Haast Pass into the rainforest and spectacular coastline of the West Coast. Visit Shipwreck Beach, and beautiful Lake Matheson.
3 star: Scenic Franz Josef Graham wing
4 star: Te Waionui Forest Retreat
Day13 Thursday. FRANZ JOSEF - HOKITIKA OR PUNAKAIKI (B)
Visit the Franz Josef Glacier lookout with time for a helicopter or ski plane flight or heli hike on the glacier (extra expense and weather permitting) or bush walk. Drive north to enjoy the Treetops walk overlooking Lake Mahinapua. Enjoy the wetlands eco cruise and see jade carvers at work. Overnight Beachfront Hotel, Hokitika or Scenic Punakaiki Hotel.
Day 14. Friday. HOKITIKA - PUNAKAIKI - CHRISTCHURCH (B)
After a short tour of Greymouth continue to the Punakaiki Pancake Rocks in the Paparoa National Park. Explore the area before visiting the recreated gold mining village of Shantytown to pan for gold and ride the train into the forest and the site of an old saw mill. Drive over spectacular Arthurs Pass and the Canterbury Plains arriving Christchurch airport around 4.30pm and Christchurch city around 5.30pm.. You will be taken to any address in Metro Christchurch.
Option to travel on the "Tranz Alpine" train if you wish from Greymouth to Christchurch departing Greymouth 2.05pm and arriving Christchurch 7.00pm. Extra cost $240 per person. If coming by train we do not recommend arranging a flight tonight. The time keeping of the train is not always good!
We can arrange accommodation and breakfast and transfer to the airport if you wish. You may find cheaper accommodation on Booking.com
3 star hotels 2 per room $180 per person. Single room $260 per person
4 star hotels 2 per room $230 per person. Single room $360 per person