Tour 301 BEST OF THE SOUTH ISLAND. 9 days/8 nights (7 days/6 nights excluding Christchurch accommodation and transfers).
Christchurch - Tekapo - Mount Cook (overnight Hermitage), - Queenstown (3 nights) - Milford Sound and Doubtful Sound options - Wanaka - Lake Matheson - Franz Josef Glacier - Hokitika - Punakaiki - Christchurch.
Day 1. Saturday. ARRIVE CHRISTCHURCH.
Arrive Christchurch and you will be met and transferred to Ibis Hotel in the heart of the city, 5 minutes walk from the museum, Botanic Gardens, The Market Square etc.
Day 2. Sunday. CHRISTCHURCH - MOUNT COOK
Depart Christchurch city 9.00am (pickup any accommodation in Metropolitan area)
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, or visit the National Park headquarters.
Accommodation at the Hermitage hotel in the heart of the Mount Cook National Park in Mt Cook view rooms,
Day 3. Monday. MOUNT COOK – QUEENSTOWN (B)
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
We depart late morning and drive through the Mckenzie Country with a short visit to Lake Ohau, and over the Lindis pass to Lake Dunstan and the fruit growing region of Cromwell and on through the Kawarau Gorge to the historic gold mining centre of Arrowtown. Visit the remains of the Chinese village and you have time to visit the museum and shops before arriving Queenstown late afternoon. Accommodation in Queenstown for 3 nights.
Day 4. Tuesday QUEENSTOWN - options (B)
Day 5. Wednesday QUEENSTOWN - options (B)
Two days free for you to plan and enjoy the beauty of Queenstown and the many activities available. We recommend a Shotover Jet boat ride, Skyline gondola and luge, and a cruise across Lake Wakatipu on the historic steamer "Earnslaw" to the Walter Peak sheep station. Maybe take a journey along the shores of Lake Wakatipu to beautiful Glenorchy. All activities these days extra expense.
"Earnslaw" cruise and barbecue at Walter Peak. Lunch cruise 12pm - 3.45pm. $145............ Dinner cruise 5pm - 9pm $165
Milford Sound Option - Drive to Te Anau and enjoy a day of magnificent scenery driving through the Eglinton and Hollyford Valleys and Homer Tunnel to Milford Sound. Visit the Mirror Lakes and Roaring chasm en route. Enjoy a leisurely cruise to the head of the Sound under majestic Mitre Peak and see the Bowen as well as many other waterfalls. Hot plated lunch included. Return to Queenstown mid evening. 6.55am - 7.30pm $259.
Doubtful Sound option - Drive to Manapouri and cruise across the bush fringed Lake Manapouri to West Arm then drive over the Wilmot Pass to Doubtful Sound. Cruise the length of the Sound to the Tasman Sea and return to Manapouri and Queenstown. Cold packed lunch included. 6.55am - 7.30pm. $329
Milford Sound and Doubtful Sound combo with 1 night in Te Anau in between - extra cost $570
Doubtful Sound over night cruise - Operates daily October - April. (2 night cruise operates friday and sunday July - September). Tuesday: Depart Queenstown 9am for Manapouri and cruise across Lake Manapouri and drive across Wilmot Pass to Doubtful Sound to join your cruise ship. Cruise the length of the Sound to the Tasman Sea and anchor overnight in a quiet bay. Opportunity to explore further by kayak or ships tender. Retrace your steps wednesday returning to Queenstown about 3.30pm. Transfer and cruise cost ex Queenstown: October and April share twin $659, single $1,159: November - March share twin $759, single $1,359. 4 berth family cabins with share facilities are available for minimum of 3 people travelling together. Cost per person October and April $559, November to March $659.
Milford Sound overnight cruise - operates daily October - May: Tuesday. Depart Queenstown 9am for Te Anau and Milford Sound and join your overnight cruise sailing at 4pm. Explore Milford Sound to the open sea and anchor overnight in a quiet bay. Explore further by kayak or ships tender if you wish. Return to the dock at 9.15am wednesday and return to Queenstown arriving about 3.30pm. Transfer and cruise cost ex Queenstown: October and April share twin $609. Single $1,109. November - March share twin $709, single $1,209. 4 berth family cabins with share facilities are available for minimum of 3 people travelling together. Cost October and April $509, November to March $509.
These cruises are very heavily booked during summer. Early booking is esential.
Day 6. Thursday. QUEENSTOWN – WANAKA – FRANZ JOSEF GLACIER (B)
Depart 9am. Drive north to Lake Wanaka for a brief stop (optional admission to Puzzling World - own expense) before heading over the Haast Pass to the rainforest of the West Coast. Continue north with amazing vistas of the coastline and a photo stop at Knights Point. Continue to Fox Glacier and visit beautiful Lake Matheson then on to Franz Josef Glacier township. Overnight Scenic Franz Josef Hotel.
Day 7. Friday. FRANZ JOSEF GLACIER – HOKITIKA (B)
Drive to the Franz Josef Glacier lookout car park and it is about a 30 minute return hike to the glacier lookout (limited views). Shorter walks available. You have time for a ski plane or helicopter flight to land on the snows of the glacier - or take a guided helihilke for a deeper experience - extra expense and weather permitting. Drive north to Treetops for an exciting walk above the forest canopy and enjoy a waterways eco cruise. Continue to Hokitika. Visit the beach and maybe see jade carvers and glass blowers at work. Overnight in Hokitika at Beachfront Hotel.
Day 8. Saturday. HOKITIKA - PUNAKAIKI - CHRISTCHURCH
Drive to Greymouth for a brief visit then along the beautiful coast to the Punakaiki pancake rocks in the Paparoa National Park. Explore the area before visiting the recreated gold mining village of Shantytown to ride the steam ttrain and pan for gold. Drive over Arthurs and Porters Passes and the Canterbury Plains to Christchurch. Arrive Christchurch airport about 4.30pm and Christchurch city about 5.00pm with drop off at any city accommodation.
Option to travel on the "Tranz Alpine" train if you wish from Greymouth to Christchurch departing Greymouth 2.05pm and arriving Christchurch 6.30pm. For best fares book on www greatjourneysofnz.co.nz web site.
Day 9. Sunday. CHRISTCHURCH DEPART
You will be transferred to the airport for departure. Why not add on our TOP OF THE SOUTH ISLAND tour departing November 06 2022 and March 05, 2023
1. BEST OF THE SOUTH ISLAND AND FABULOUS FIORDLAND - 15 day Grand Combo. Commence Christchurch every saturday Just $4,600 per person share twin. Take a break from your BEST OF THE SOUTH ISLAND tour and enjoy our FABULOUS FIORDLAND tour departing Queenstown thursday for Milford Sound cruise and Te Anau, Doubtful Sound overnight cruise ffriday and return to Queenstown sunday or go on to Stewart Island and Catlins. July - September 1 night Te Anau and 2 night cruise. October - April 2 nights Te Anau and 1 night cruise.
2. QUEENSTOWN STOPOVER - 7 days. Stayover for a week in beautiful Queenstown and enjoy all it has to offer - extra cost $790 per person share twin, $1490 single including room and breakfast. You are welcome to arrange your own accommodation from thursday to thursday if you wish. THERE IS NO EXTRA CHARGE FOR YOUR TOUR. You will need to arrange your own transfer to your new accommodation and we will pick you up from there (City or Frankton area when you resume your tour)