Tour 304. MAGNIFICENT SOUTH 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. Wednesday. CHRISTCHURCH - MOUNT COOK 11am Depart Christchurch city 11.30am Depart Christchurch airport.
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. Accommodation at the Hermitage in Mt Cook view rooms.Admission to the Sir Edmund Hillary centre is included.
For Lord of the Rings fans the "Edoras" tour by 4WD is a must. Depart Christchurch 9am and enjoy breathtaking alpine back country scenery, a short walk to stand on the summit of Edoras and see other lord of the Rings. A selection of Movie replicas is available fo photo use. Rejoin us late afternoon for the journey to Mt Cook. Extra cost $190.
Day 2. Thursday. MOUNT COOK-OAMARU-DUNEDIN (B)
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.We highly recommend the cruise among the icebergs on the lake at the base of the Tasman Glacier.
Drive down the Waitaki River Valley with a visit to the Benmore Hydro dam, the historic centre of Oamaru, the Little Blue Penguin colony, and enjoy some beach time to explore the unique Moeraki Boulders before arriving Dunedin. Tour the city including historic Olveston Homestead, Dunedin Chinese Gardens, Knox Church, the Octagon, and the world's steepest street.
Day 3. Friday. DUNEDIN (B)
Enjoy a ride on the privately operated "Taieri Gorge" railway to Pukerangi and return. This afternoon tour the Otago Peninsula including Larnachs Castle, Royal Albatross Centre, and see the local wildlife including seals, and Yellow Eyed penguins.
Day 4. Saturday. CATLINS - INVERCARGILL (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. Accommodation in Invercargill at the Kelvin Hotel or similar.
Day 5. Sunday. INVERCARGILL - TE ANAU (B) OPTIONAL STEWART ISLAND EXCURSION
Free time to explore or take an optional tour to Stewart Island
Stewart Island option: Transfer to Bluff near the bottom of the South Island and cruise to Stewart Island.Tour the town of Oban and enjoy a cruise on Patterson Inlet in a local boat with a visit to the nature sanctuary of Ulva island to meet some of the friendliest native birds in New Zealand before returning to Invercargill. Patterson inlet and Ulva Island tour operate November - April only.
Later in the day we drive to Te Anau for the night. Optional evening cruise across the lake to the Te Anau glowworm caves.
Day 6. Monday. TE ANAU-MILFORD SOUND- QUEENSTOWN (BL)
A day of 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 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 with us on Monday 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 $290 per person.
Option 3. Doubtful Sound overnight cruise (1 September - 31 May only).
Option A. We will take you to Manapouri monday for your overnight cruise on magnificent Doubtful Sound returning to Queenstown tuesday evening.Extra cost 2 per cabin $390
Option B. Transfer from Invercargill to Manapouri sunday morning to join your overnight cruise returning to Manpouri and on to Queenstown monday. On some departures it may be possible to cruise Milford Sound also on monday after your cruise - extra cost $150
Day 7. Tuesday. 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 8. 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 9. Thursday. GLACIER - HOKITIKA (B)
Visit beautiful Lake Matheson and you have 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 10. 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 late afternoon.
Option 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 - extra cost including transfers $150. This option will miss the visit to Punakaiki rocks
Day 11. Saturday. CHRISTCHURCH DEPART (B)
You will be transferred to the airport for departure.
Tour cost per person 11 days. Full tour 2 per room $3,850 3 per room $3,600 Single room $4,650
8 Days. Christchurch to Queenstown. Days 1-8
2 per room $2,800. 3 per room $2,650 Single room $4,650
15 Days. Auckland to Queenstown. Days 4-19
2 per room $5,200. Single room $6,440. Triple room $4,900
We are flexible!!
You are welcome to join us for part of the tour provided a minimum of 2 consecutive nights are on tour with us. For any combination not listed above please ask us.