Discover the BEST OF THE SOUTH ISLAND
CHRISTCHURCH - LAKE TEKAPO - MT COOK - QUEENSTOWN - MILFORD SOUND - 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).
Commences Christchurch every saturday year round Minimum of 2 passengers.
Day 1. Saturday. ARRIVE CHRISTCHURCH.
Arrive Christchurch and transfer to your accommodation.
Day 2. Sunday. MOUNT COOK-QUEENSTOWN (B)
Depart Christchurch 7.30am. Travel across the Canterbury plains to Lake Tekapo. See the sheep dog monument and Church of the Good Shepherd before travelling along the shores of Lake Pukaki into the heart of the Mount Cook National Park.You have time to visit the National Park headquarters or (extra expense and weather permitting) a ski plane or helicopter flight to land on the snows of the Glacier. Continue south over the Lindis pass and through the fruit growing region of Cromwell, and the kawarau Gorge to Queenstown.
Day 3. Monday. QUEENSTOWN (B)
This morning visit Queenstown Hill for a panoramic view of Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu. Continue to Lake Hayes, the bungy bridge, Gibbston valley winery, and the historic gold mining settlement of Arrowtown. Explore the town and ruins of the Chinese village.
The afternoon is free to enjoy this beautiful resort with many optional activities (extra expense) available. Ride the gondola to the Skyline restaurant and luge,enjoy an exciting (must do) jet boat ride on the Shotover River, bungy jump, white water raft, take a cruise on the historic steamer "Earnslaw" or whatever you wish.
For Lord of the Rings and Hobbit fans we recommend the tour to Glenorchy with stunning natural scenery and places where Isengard, Wizards Vale, Lothlorien Forest, Amon Hen, Misty Mountains, Ithilien, were filmed - extra expense $160
Day 4. Tuesday. MILFORD SOUND EXCURSION (BL)
A day of magnificent scenery as we drive along the shores of Lake Wakatipu and across Southland farming country to Lake Te Anau for a brief stopover then on into the heart of the Fiordland National Park travelling through the Eglinton and Hollyford Valleys. Visit the Mirror Lakes and Roaring Chasm and drive through the Homer tunnel before we arrive 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 retracing our steps to Queenstown. A buffet lunch is included during your cruise.
CRUISE MAGNIFICENT DOUBTFUL SOUND
Option 1. Doubtful Sound instead of Milford sound. Day cruise across Lake Manapouri and drive over Wilmot Pass to cruise the length of Doubtful Sound before returning to Manapouri and Queenstown - extra cost $160
Option 2. Milford Sound and Doubtful Sound - double delight! Enjoy Milford Sound on Monday (excludes Queenstown sightseeing) and stay in Te Anau monday night. Enjoy a day cruise across Lake Manapouri and drive across Wilmot Pass for a cruise on Doubtful Sound tuesday rejoining us in Queenstown if you wish. Extra cost $390 per person.
Option 3. Doubtful Sound overnight cruise (1 September - 31 May only). Transfer to Manapouri monday for your overnight cruise on magnificent Doubtful Sound returning to Queenstown tuesday evening.Extra cost 2 per cabin $590
Day 5. Wednesday. QUEENSTOWN - WANAKA - GLACIERS (B)
Drive through the Kawarau Gorge to Wanaka for a brief stop with admission to amazing Puzzling World included and continue through Makarora and over the Haast Pass into the rainforest and spectacular coastline of the West Coast. Visit Shipwreck beach, beautiful Lake Matheson, Franz Josef Glacier lookout, and arrive Franz Josef Glacier late afternoon. (Some tours may stay at Fox Glacier)
Day 6. Thursday. GLACIERS - HOKITIKA (B)
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 Hokitika, setting for the Booker award winning novel "The Luminaries". Overnight Hokitika or Greymouth.
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 $135
Day 7. Friday. HOKITIKA - PUNAKAIKI ROCKS - CHRISTCHURCH. (B)
Visit the recreated gold mining village of Shantytown and after a short tour of Greymouth continue to the Punakaiki Pancake Rocks in the Paparoa National Park. Explore the area before driving across spectacular Arthurs Pass and return across the Canterbury Plains to Christchurch arriving Christchurch airport by 3pm and Christchurch City by 3.30pm.
Day 8. Saturday. CHRISTCHURCH DEPART (B)
You will be transferred to the airport for departure.
Tour cost per person
8 days full tour as above.
2 per room $2,990
3 per room $2,770
Single room $3,600
Tour Cost includes
** All travel from Christchurch back to Christchurch
** 7 nights accommodation and breakfast
** Milford Sound cruise with buffet lunch, ** Admission to Puzzling World and Shantytown
ADD THE TOP OF THE SOUTH ISLAND.
This tour links from our BEST OF THE SOUTH ISLAND tour every friday at Punakaiki. (Minimum 2 required)
Day 1. Friday. PUNAKAIKI - NELSON. (B) Travel from Punakaiki to Nelson by scheduled Intercity coach arriving early evening. Accommodation near the depot - no transfer provided.
Day 2. Saturday. CAPE FAREWELL EXCURSION. (B)
Drive to Takaka and visit the amazing Pupu Springs and on through Collingwood to visit Cape Farewell, northernmost point in the South Island. On to spectacular Wharariki beach for 1 hour walk to enjoy the sea caves, seal pups,wind swept sand dunes and coastal rock formations. A 30 minute walk to Pillar Point will give spectacular views of Farewell Spit and Golden Bay. Overnight in Takaka.
Day 3. Sunday. ABEL TASMAN NATIONAL PARK - NELSON (B)
Drive through part of the Abel Tasman National Park to Totaranui with a visit to the Abel Tasman Memorial en route. Join your scenic cruise along the shores of the Abel Tasman National Park. Drop in to Tonga Quarry, Medlands Beach, Anchorage and Apple Tree Bay before arriving in Kaiteriteri.You have the option to land at Tonga Quarry for a 2 hour walk over a forested saddle to Medlands Beach and cruise to Kaiteriteri. Transfer to Nelson after your cruise.
Day 4. Monday. NELSON DEPART. (B)
Visit the Cathedral, Hoglung glass blowing studio, World of Wearable Arts and classic cars Museum this morning and our arrangements end.
Extra cost per person:
2 per room $1,550. Single room
Extra cost includes:
** All travel from Punakaiki to Nelson
** 3 nights accommodation and breakfast.
** Cape Farewell tour, Abel Tasman National Park cruise, World of Wearable Arts museum
SEMI INDEPENDENT TOUR. Commences Christchurch daily
This tour uses the best day tour operators available and may be extended at any point
Day 1. ARRIVE CHRISTCHURCH
Arrive Christchurch and make your own way to your accommodation at
Standard: Heartland Cotswald or Ibis Hotel or similar
First Class: Novotel or similar
Day 2. CHRISTCHURCH - LAKE TEKAPO - MT COOK - QUEENSTOWN
Depart Christchurch 7.30am and drive across the fertile Canterbury Plains and over Burke's Pass to Lake Tekapo. See the sheep dog monument and visit the Church of the Good Shepherd. Continue along the shores of Lake Pukaki to Mt Cook, New Zealand's highest mountain. Visit the Mt Cook National Park headquarters, and you have time for a short alpine walk or flight by helicopter or ski plane over the mountains and glaciers with a landing on the glacier - extra expense and weather permitting. Continue through the McKenzie country and over the Lindis Pass to Queenstown arriving early evening. You will be taken to your accommodation at
Standard: Scenic Heartland Hotel
First Class: Heritage or similar
We recommend staying over for a night at magnificent Mt Cook.
Extra cost per person backpacker dormitory $40, Hermitage Mt Cook view rooms $330 per room for 1 or 2 people
Day 3. QUEENSTOWN
Morning tour of Queenstown includes Bungy Bridge, Pillars of the Kings (Lord of the Rings site), Gibbston Valley winery, and Arrowtown. The afternoon is free with many optional (extra expense) activities available including a highly recommended jet boat ride on the Shotover river, Skyline Gondola and Luge, cruise on the historic steamer "Earnslaw" etc.
Day 4. MILFORD SOUND EXCURSION (DOUBTFUL SOUND OPTION) (L)
A day of magnificent scenery as you drive along the shores of Lake Wakatipu and across Southland farming country to Te Anau then on through the Eglinton and Hollyford Valleys to Milford Sound in the heart of the Fiordland National Park with visits to the Mirror Lake and 'Roaring Chasm' en route. Enjoy a cruise to the head of Milford Sound under majestic Mitre Peak and see Bowen Waterfall before returning to Queenstown. Lunch is included during your cruise.
DOUBTFUL SOUND OPTION. For even more magnificent scenery travel to Manapouri to join your cruise across Lake Manapouri, coach across Wilmot Pass, and cruise to the head of Doubtful Sound - much more extensive than Milford Sound - extra cost per person $150. Return to Manapouri and our driver will pick you up for your journey back to Queenstown. Note: Picnic lunch only on Doubtful Sound excursion.
Day 5. QUEENSTOWN - WANAKA - GLACIERS
Drive north through the Kawarau Gorge and fruit growing region of Cromwell to Wanaka for a brief stop and continue through Makarora and over the Haast Pass into the rainforest and spectacular coastline of the West Coast and arrive Franz Josef Glacier late afternoon. Accommodation at
Standard: Rainforest Retreat - standard motel room
First Class: Rainforest Retreat - Tree House unit or Franz Josef Hotel
Optional scenic flight by ski plane or helicopter to land on the glacier - extra expense and weather permitting.
Please note: We recommend travelling wednesday where possible. If we have our own vehicle travelling on our BEST OF NEW ZEALAND or BEST OF THE SOUTH ISLAND tours you will travel with us with more time in Wanaka and en route sightseeing including a visit to Lake Matheson.
Day 6. FRANZ JOSEF GLACIER
Free day to heli hike, tandem parachute, walk to the glacier face, or enjoy a forest hike
Day 7 GLACIERS - TRANZ ALPINE TRAIN - CHRISTCHURCH If travelling semi independently drive north to Hokitika then on to Greymouth to join the "Tranz Alpine express' for one of the most scenic train journeys in the world across the Southern Alps to Christchurch arriving late afternoon. You will be transferred back to your accommodation.
Please Note; If travelling in our vehicle you will visit the Punakaiki Pancake rocks and blowholes in the Paparoa National Park and driving across the Southern Alps instead of taking the "Tranz Alpine" train. Cost remains the same. If you wish to experience the Tranz Alpine train instead of Punakaiki cost increases by $150 per adult.
Day 8. CHRISTCHURCH DEPART
Our arrangements end at check out this morning
Tour cost per person
2 per room $1,990 Single room $2,250
First Class Hotels
2 per room $2,380 Single room $2,820
Dorm .... $1,380 2 per room $1,690 single $1,970
Tour cost includes:
** All travel from Christchurch to Christchurch by mini bus or coach and Tranz Alpine train ( semi independent)
** 7 nights accommodation at grade chosen. (No meals)
** Milford Sound cruise including lunch.
** Franz Josef lookout shuttle and arrival transfer from Tranz Alpine"
Stopover and extra night costs. Cost per person per night.
CHRISTCHURCH - QUEENSTOWN - GLACIERS
Backpacker Dormitory - $40 per person
Standard Hotels - 2 per room $110. Single room $200
First class hotels - 2 per room $140. Single $250