Tour 301      SOUTH ISLAND MINI TOUR. 7 days/6 nights 

Christchurch - Tekapo  - Mount Cook - Queenstown (2 nights) - Milford Sound and Doubtful Sound options - Wanaka - Lake Matheson - Franz Josef Glacier - Hokitika  - Punakaiki - Christchurch. 

Commence Christchurch every saturday year round for minimum of 2.

Please Note: To keep our costs and carbon footprint as low as possible while providing the best possible service for less than 6 passengers on any departure we will use the Great Sights tour coach which operates daily from Christchurch to Tekapo, Mt Cook, and Queenstown. This tour departs Christchurch at 7.30am and provides commentary  through headsets, and approximately 30 minutes at Tekapo to see the Church of the Good Shepherd, and one and a half hours at Mt Cook to enjoy the magnificent scenery - weather permitting! The tour crosses the Lindis Pass and is scheduled to arrive Queenstown 6.30pm. This service also makes the tour flexible. Depart Christchurch Saturday or Friday  and  enjoy a night at Tekapo and the Dark Sky Experience, and/or a night or two at Mt Cook for scenic flights, alpine hikes, glacier lake cruise etc. You are welcome to extend or reduce the number of nights in Queenstown.

Travel from Queenstown to Wanaka, Franz Josef, Hokitika, Punakaiki, and Christchurch is always in our vehicle every wednesday with our driver guide to maximise the experience. This tour leaves Queenstown 9am every wednesday for minimum of 2. Ask us for a quote if you would like some other arrangement.

(For more extended sightseeing see our BEST OF THE SOUTH ISLAND and SOUTHERN SERENITY tours - 12 days. Combine our SOUTH ISLAND MINI TOUR and FABULOUS FIORDLAND tours including Milford Sound and Doubtful Sound cruises!)

Day 1. Saturday.       ARRIVE CHRISTCHURCH 

Arrive Christchurch and you will be met and transferred to your accommodation.

Day 2. Sunday.  CHRISTCHURCH - TEKAPO  -  MT COOK - QUEENSTOWN 

Depart Christchurch 7.30am. 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. Continue 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 1.5 hours at Mt Cook. We recommend departing Christchurch friday or saturday and enjoying a night at Tekapo and/or Mt Cook for glacier cruise, scenic ski plane flights to land on the glacier etc.

2.25pm. Depart Mount Cook and drive through the Mckenzie Country and over the Lindis Pass to Lake Dunstan and the fruit growing region of Cromwell and on through the Kawarau Gorge arriving Queenstown 6.30pm.

3 star. Heartland or similar

4 star. Millennium, Heritage, Rydges or similar

Day 3. Monday.                QUEENSTOWN  -  options                            (B)

Day 4. Tuesday.               QUEENSTOWN - options                              (B)

Two free days 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 today are  extra expense.

"Earnslaw" cruise and barbecue at Walter Peak. Lunch cruise 12pm -   3.45pm.   $175............ Dinner cruise 5pm - 9pm , or 6pm-10pm.  $189

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. Picnic lunch included. Return to Queenstown mid evening.  6.55am - 7.30pm $290.

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.  Picnic lunch included. 6.55am - 7.30pm. $514

Overnight cruises - depart Queenstown 9am monday - return 3.30pm tuesday.  DOUBTFUL SOUND. $899 - $999 twin. $1299 - $1899 single. MILFORD SOUND. $809 m- $859 twin. $2385 single.     

These cruises are very heavily booked during summer. Early booking is esential. 

Day 5. Wednesday. QUEENSTOWN – WANAKA – FRANZ JOSEF GLACIER    (B)

Depart 9am 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 continuing  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  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.  Optional scenic helicopter flights whihc is now really the only way to see Franz Josef Glacier. Overnight Scenic Franz Josef Hotel.

3 Star. Scenic Franz Josef Hotel - Graham Wing

4 star. Scenic Franz Josef Hotel - Douglas Wing

Day 6.  Thursday.  FRANZ JOSEF GLACIER – HOKITIKA        (B)

Drive north to Treetops for an exciting walk above the forest canopy and enjoy an eco cruise on the Lake Mahinapua waterways. Continue to Hokitika. Usually jade carvers and maybe a glass blower will be at work. Optional scenic flights to land on the glacier if you were unable to do them at Mt Cook. (Accommodation Beachfront Hotel in Hokitika or some groups may stay at Punakaiki Resort)

Day 7. Friday.    HOKITIKA - PUNAKAIKI - CHRISTCHURCH.   (B)

Drive north to the beautiful Punakaiki Pancake Rocks. Explore the area before returning to Greymouth for a short tour and visit the recreated gold mining village of Shantytown to ride the steam train and pan for gold.  Drive over spectacular Arthurs and Porters Passes and the Canterbury Plains to Christchurch. Arrive Christchurch airport about 5.00pm and Christchurch city about 5.30pm 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 7.00pm. For best fares book on www greatjourneysofnz.co.nz web site. 

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Please note our 3 day West Coast driver/guide escorted small group  tour departs Queenstown 9am every wednesday for a minimum of 2.  Other days for a minimum of 4 subject to availability of driver/guide at the same price. Tour cost $1,490 2 per room, $1,750 single room.

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TEKAPO STOPOVER

Great Sights coach arrives Tekapo 11am and departs at 11.30am. You are welcome to depart Christchurch earlier (Great Sights operate daily from 01 October, 2023 - April 2024), or shorten your stay in Queenstown, and stayover for a night or two however breaking the journey does increase travel costs by $120 per person. You can arrange your own accommodation through Booking.com, or direct. We do recommend a visit to the Dark Skies project and Mt John observatory but unfortunately we cannot guarantee clear skies!! Book your experience at www.darkskyproject.co.nz

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AORAKI/MOUNT COOK STOPOVER

Great Sights coach arrives Mt Cook at 12.50pm and departs at 2.25pm. You are welcome to stopover at Mt Cook as well as, or instead of, Tekapo. Extra travel cost is $120 if just stopping at Mt Cook or $150 if stopping at both Mt Cook and Tekapo. The Hermitage offers a variety of accommodation options including at the iconic Hermitage Mt Cook View standard rooms, Premium Rooms, and Lodge rooms (15 minutes walk from Hermitage) plus  motels, and chalets. Other options can be checked on Booking.com. Hermitage requires a minimum of 2 night stays 24 December - 06 January.

Optional activities if overnighting 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

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Tour 301.  SOUTH ISLAND MINI TOUR   7 days/6 nights. 

Christchurch - Tekapo - Mt Cook - Queenstown - Glaciers - Hokitika - Punakaiki - Christchurch

Commence  Christchurch every saturday year round 

This tour can depart any day for minimum of 4 subject to availability of vehicle and driver/guide.

Stayover in Queenstown for a week between tours if you wish and relax or enjoy Fiordland,  Dunedin, Catlins, Stewart Island, etc.

 

Tour cost per person to  21 April, 2024.

3 star hotels:    2 per room.... $2,990........Single room... $3,490

4 star hotels:   2 per room.... $3,390....... Single room... $4,150

Backpacker (breakfasts not included)   Dormitory $1,990. 2 per room with shower/toilet $2,400 - only available for 2 people reserving together.

 

"Friendly Four"....4 plus people reserving and travelling together save $200 each!  

For a more relaxed and inclusive experience enjoy our BEST OF THE SOUTH ISLAND  or MAGNIFICENT SOUTH ISLAND tours.

Tour cost Includes      

** Arrival transfer in Christchurch 

** 6 nights accommodation at grade chosen

** 6 breakfasts for 3 and 4 star hotel passengers - not backpackers

** All travel by people mover or mini bus.

** Treetops walk

** Shantytown

Doubtful Sound and Milford Sound day cruise options. See  details in the itinerary
 

Travel for 2-4 passengers by Mercedes Valente or similar,  5 plus by Mercedes Sprinter or similar. Maximum 8 passengers in our 12 seat mini bus or 14 in our 18 seat mini bus 

 

Tour cost per person one way... (minimum 2 required)

Christchurch - Tekapo/Mount Cook - Queenstown.   3 days/2 nights      

3. star. 2 per room.  $1,290. Single $1,430
4 star. 2 per room.  $1,450. Single $1,590

Queenstown - Franz Josef - Hokitika - Christchurch.  3 days/2 nights. Wednesday -Friday

2 per room   $1,990. Single room $2,390 

 

 

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