SOUTHERN EXPLORER

CHRISTCHURCH - LAKE TEKAPO - MT COOK - QUEENSTOWN - TE ANAU - MILFORD SOUND -  DOUBTFUL SOUND -  - QUEENSTOWN -  LAKE WANAKA - FRANZ JOSEF GLACIER - PUNAKAIKI PANCAKE ROCKS - CHRISTCHURCH. 

Unsolicited comments from past passengers 

Just a quick email to say thank you for a very enjoyable trip around the South Island. Everything worked out very well. We enjoyed Des company very much. He had a lot of extremely interesting local knowledge. The trip was especially good because it was so personal. It will be extremely difficult to travel with a larger group in the future.  (M.F. Ireland).

Mr J and Mrs S called into our office earlier this week and could not speak highly enough of your travel arrangements, content of trip, and particularly the courteousness and help given by the driver. I have used your company before and have only ever had good reports of your tours and have no hesitation in recommending your service. (Travel Agent. New Zealand). 

I speak for J and myself in praising 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).

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)

ITINERARY

Day 1. Sunday   ARRIVE CHRISTCHURCH

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

Hotel normall used:

3 Star: Ibis or Scenic Cotswald

4 star Novotel Cathedral Square, Heritage, Sudima

Day 2 Monday.  CHRISTCHURCH - MOUNT COOK    (B)

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 and enjoy an introduction to the stars and their importance to Maori at the Dark Sky Astronomy Centre.  Continue along the shores of Lake Pukaki to Mt Cook, New Zealand's highest mountain. Accommodation for 2 nights at the Hermitage. Admission to the Sir Edmund Hillary centre is included.

3 star: Hermitage Mt Cook View standard rooms

4 star  Hermitage Mt Cook view de luxe rooms

Day 3. Tuesday.  MOUNT COOK  - QUEENSTOWN    (B)

Free time for alpine walks near the Hermitage or the Hooker Valley,  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. We highly recommend the cruise among the icebergs on the lake at the base of the Tasman Glacier - extra cost $170. 

A 'must do' weather permitting  is a scenic flight by helicopter or ski plane up the magnificent Tasman Valley (30 minutes - no landing $249) or with a landing on the snows of one of the glaciers - 35 minutes $359, 45 minutes $499, Grand Circle 55  minutes $599. For a greater experience of the ice and explore the snow caves try a 3 hour helihike $585.

This afternoon drive through the McKenzie Country and over the Lindis Pass to lake Dunstand and Cromwell and on to Queenstown arriving late afternoon.

3 star: Scenic Heartland Queenstown

4 star:  Crown Plaza, Heritage, Scenic Suites

Day 4. Wednesday.    QUEENSTOWN           (B)

Free day with many options available .

Day 5. Thursday    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 at Luxmore Hotel.

3 star: Luxmore standard rooms

4 srae Luxmore de luxe rooms

Day 6. Friday.   TE ANAU          (B) 

Free day to explore Te Anau. Cruise across the lake to the Te Ana-au glowworms cave, walk the first part of the Milford Track, enjoy a scenic flight by float plane over Fiordland, or just relax. 

Day 7. Saturday  TE ANAU - DOUBTFUL SOUND       (BD)               Late morning we transfer to Manapouri and cruise across the bush clad lake to the West Arm. Drive across Wilmot Pass, and join our cruise ship  "Fiordland Navigator." Sail mid afternoon. Doubtful Sound is much more extensive then 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.  This evening you will have the opportunity to explore up close to the massive cliffs by kayak or in the ships tender. Dinner included on board. Anchor overnight in a quiet bay.

Day 8. Sunday.  DOUBTFUL SOUND - QUEENSTOWN   (B)  

We retrace our steps to Manapouri and return to Queenstown arriving mid afternoon. 

Day 9 Monday.         QUEENSTOWN - WALTER PEAK        (B)

We depart the wharf at midday on the historic steamer "Earnslaw" and cruise across the lake to Walter Peak for a barbecue lunch at the Colonels homestead returning 3.45pm.. 

Day 10. Tuesday            QUEENSTOWN - GLENORCHY     (B)

This morning we drive along the shores of Lake Wakatipu to the charming town of Glenorchy for a visit to some of the Lord of the Rings sites and walk in the forest. Free time this afternoon for other activities.

Day 11. Wednesday          QUEENSTOWN                              (B)
Free day for your own activiies

Day 12. Thursday.    QUEENSTOWN - WANAKA - FRANZ JOSEF       (B)
Visit the historic gold mining cenre of Arrowtown and Kawarau Gorge bungy bridge (try it if you dare). Cross the Crown Range to Wanaka for a brief stop with optional admission to amazing Puzzling World and see the 'Wanaka tree' 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. Scenic hotel Franz Josef.

Day 13. Friday. FRANZ JOSEF GLACIER - 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. This afternoon drive north to Hokitika. Enjoy the wetlands eco cruise and see jade carvers  at work. Overnight Beachfront Hotel Hokitika.

Optional fabulous White Heron tour November to early March including a 20 minute jetboat cruise on the Lake Okarito lagoon and a walk through the rainforest to the bird hide. We have 30-40 minutes here to see the White Heron, Royal Spoonbill, Little Shag and other birdlife. Extra cost $145

Day 14. Saturday. HOKITIKA - PUNAKAIKI - CHRISTCHURCH   (B)    
Visit 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. After a short tour of Greymouth continue to the Punakaiki Pancake Rocks in the Paparoa National Park. Explore the area before driving  over spectacular Arthurs Pass and the Canterbury Plains arriving late afternoon

Option to travel on the "Tranz Alpine train - extra cost $180 per person including transfer to the hotel on arrival. 

Day 15. Sunday         CHRISTCHURCH DEPART

You will be transferred to the airport for departure.

 

Tour cost per person  14 days.

2 per room        $3,990     3 per room        $3,500     Single room       $5,900                   

1 days. Christchurch to Queenstown. Days 1-12
2 per room        $3,600.    3 per room        $2,140       Single room       $4,500 

10 days. Dunedin to Queenstown Day 3 - 12

2 per room  $3,800    Triple Room  $3,650     Single Room  $4,500
 

 

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 p

SOUTHERN EXPLORER

15 days/ 14 nights. Tour commences Christchurch every sunday until 24 April, 2022.   Minimum of 2 passengers 

Includes:

** All travel Christchurch/Christchurch by driver escorted mini bus or tour coach 

** 14 nights accommodation and breakfast    

** Tekapo dark Sky Astronomy Centre, Edmund Hillary Centre at the Hermitage.

** Milford Sound cruise with  lunch 

** Walter Peak "Earnslaw" cruise and lunch.

** Treetops walk, Waterways cruise.  and Shantytown


Tour cost per person*

3 star hotels 

2 per room   $3,990      

3 per room   $3,500      

Single room  $5,300 

* $200 surcharge tours commencing 12 December - 09  January.

Tour cost per person 

4 star hotels 

2 per room   $4,500      

3 per room   $3,900      

Single room  $5,900

$400 surcharge tours commencing 12 December - 09 January

 

Part tour possible.

You may join or leave this tour at Queenstown

 

Option 1. Days 1-

 

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