Tour 304. MAGNIFICENT SOUTH AND STEWART ISLAND
Unsolicited comments from past passengers:
I speak for J and myself in praising Roy, our driver. He was an exceptional courier with his vast knowledge of the South Island. His expertise helps makes dreams come true. My son and myself are starting to save for a further trip to New Zealand. (J.D. England).
Just a note to say a big THANK YOU for a superb tour in the South Island, all the better for having Roy in command. (R.W. England)
We have just returned to England after a memorable and very enjoyable six weeks holiday in New Zealand. we booked a tour for 11 days to visit the South Island with your company and both P and I want to thank very much for making it such a wonderful unforgettable experience. All your drivers were very professional and knowledgeable and with a friendliness rarely encountered in other parts of the world. I would certainly have no hesitation whatsoever in recommending you and your company to any of my friends wanting to visit New Zealand. (B.D. and P.M. England)
Day 1. Sunday October 23/ Saturday 18 February. ARRIVE CHRISTCHURCH (February, 2023 tour operates Saturday - Saturday)
Arrive Christchurch. You will be met and transferred to your accommodation.
Day 2. Monday/Sunday. CHRISTCHURCH - MOUNT COOK (B)
Pickup from your hotel or home anywhere in metro Christchurch. 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. Travel along the shores of Lake Pukaki to Mt Cook, New Zealand's highest mountain. Free time for alpine walks, visit the National Park headquarters, or take a ski plane or helicopter flight to land on the snows of the glaciers - extra expense and weather permitting. Accommodation at the Hermitage in Mt Cook view rooms. Admission to the Sir Edmund Hillary centre is included.
Day 3. Tuesday/Monday. MOUNT COOK - OAMARU - DUNEDIN (B)
We highly recommend the cruise among the icebergs on the lake at the base of the Tasman Glacier in summer - extra expense.
Drive down the Waitaki River Valley with a visit to the Benmore Hydro dam, the historic centre of Oamaru, and enjoy some beach time to explore the unique Moeraki Boulders. Accommodation in Dunedin for 2 nights.
Day 4. Wednesday/Tuesday DUNEDIN (B)
Visit historic "Olveston House", Dunedin Chinese Garden, Knox Church, The Octagon, and the world's steepest street. This afternoon tour the Otago Peninsula including Larnachs Castle, Royal Albatross Centre, and see the local wildlife including seals, and Yellow Eyed penguins.
Day 5. Thursday/Wednesday. DUNEDIN - CATLINS - STEWART ISLAND. (B)
Enjoy a scenic drive through the Catlins. one of New Zealand's most beautiful and unspoiled wilderness areas. See the wildlife, waterfalls,and beautiful coastal scenery and visit Nugget Point lighthouse and the petrified forest (available low tide only). Continue to Bluff and take the ferry to Stewart Island. Accommodation and breakfast at Stewart Island Lodge.
Optional evening Wild Kiwi Encounter with a high chance of seeing our iconic native birds on the beach - extra expense.
Day 6. Friday/Thursday. STEWART ISLAND - INVERCARGILL (B)
Wake up to the Kereru and Tui visiting in front of the Lodge and enjoy a guided one hour tour of Oban before cruising Patterson Inlet for a guided walk through the Ulva island wildlife sanctuary. Cruise back to Bluff for a photo stop at the famous signpost. Overnight in Invercargill at the Kelvin Hotel or similar.
Day 7. Saturday/Friday INVERCARGILL - MILFORD SOUND - TE ANAU. (B)
We take the scenic back roads via Riverton and Tuatapere to Te Anau and enjoy the magnificent scenery as we drive through the Eglinton and Hollyford Valleys. Visit the Mirror Lakes and Roaring Chasm and drive through the Homer tunnel before arriving in Milford Sound. Board your cruise to travel the length of Milford Sound under majestic Mitre Peak. See the seal colony and Bowen Falls before visiting the underwater aquarium and retracing our steps to Te Anau. Overnight at Luxmore Hotel or similar.
Please note: February group travels from Invercargill to Manapouri friday for Doubtful Sound cruise then to Te Anau saturday, and Milford Spound and Queenstown sunday.
Day 8. Sunday/Saturday TE ANAU - DOUBTFUL SOUND (BD)
Late morning drive to Manapouri to join your scenic cruise across bush clad Lake Manapouri to West Arm. Join your coach to drive across Wilmot Pass through the lush rainforest to Doubtful Sound and join your overnight cruise exploring Doubtful Sound to the Tasman Sea. Anchor overnight in a quiet bay and you have the opportunity to kayak up to the massive cliffs or take a cruise in the ships tender. A picnic lunch is included as you cross Lake Manapouri and dinner on board.
Day 9. Monday/Sunday. DOUBTFUL SOUND - QUEENSTOWN. (B)
Disembark after breakfast and retrace your steps across Wilmot Pass and Lake Manapouri and drive to Queenstown arriving mid afternoon. A visit to historic Arrowtown will be made en route.
Day 10. Tuesday/Monday. QUEENSTOWN (BD)
This morning tour along the shores of Lake Wakatipu to beautiful Glenorchy and visit some of the filming sites of Lord of the Rings.
This evening cruise across Lake Wakatipu on the historic steamer Earnslaw" for a barbecue dinner at the Colonels Homestead.
Day 11. Wednesday/Tuesday. QUEENSTOWN (B)
Free day to relax or explore at your leisure.
Day 12. Thursday/ Wednesday. QUEENSTOWN - WANAKA - FRANZ JOSEF GLACIER (B)
Continue through the Kawarau Gorge or over the Crown Range to Wanaka for a brief stop with optional 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. Overnight Scenic Franz Josef Hotel.
Day 13. Friday/Thursday. FRANZ JOSEF - HOKITIKA (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
Day 14. Saturday/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 late afternoon. You will be taken to any address in Metro Christchurch or the airport
Day 15. Sunday/Saturday CHRISTCHURCH DEPART (B)
You will be transferred to the airport for departure.
12 days. Christchurch to Queenstown. Days 1-13
2 per room $4,900. Single room $5,900
10 days. Dunedin to Queenstown Day 3 - 12
2 per room $3,970. Single Room $4,900
We are flexible!!
You are welcome to join us for part of the tour provided a minimum of 4 consecutive nights are on tour with us. For any combination not listed above please ask us.