Overview

Starting and finishing in the alpine resort of Queenstown, this 15 day tour explores the best of the South Island, going as far north as the remarkable Pancake Rocks at Punakaiki. Included are two of the most scenic road trips in the world, the Milford and West Coast Roads as well as activities that will take you to breath-taking locations. Have your camera at the ready!

Itineraries

All itineraries can be amended or combined with other itineraries. Please advise amendments when requesting a quote.

Queenstown - Wanaka - Franz Josef - Punakaiki - Christchurch - Mt Cook - Dunedin - Te Anau - Queenstown

Map of 15 Day South Island Spectacular Self Drive
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Arrive in Queenstown
Dart River Wilderness Safari
Queenstown to Wanaka
Wanaka to Franz Josef Glacier
Explore Franz Josef Glacier
Franz Josef to Punakaiki
Punakaiki to Christchurch via Tranz Alpine Scenic Train
Explore Christchurch City
Christchurch to Mt. Cook National Park
Mt. Cook National Park to Dunedin
Explore the Otago Peninsula
Dunedin to Te Anau
Milford Sound Nature Cruise
Te Anau to Queenstown
Depart Queenstown

Day 1

Arrive in Queenstown

Day 2

Dart River Wilderness Safari

Day 3

Queenstown to Wanaka

Travel Time: 1 hr

Distance: 60 kms

Day 4

Wanaka to Franz Josef Glacier

Travel Time: 3 hrs 25 mins

Distance: 282 kms

Day 5

Explore Franz Josef Glacier

Day 6

Franz Josef to Punakaiki

Travel Time: 2 hrs 40 mins

Distance: 212 kms

Day 7

Punakaiki to Christchurch via Tranz Alpine Scenic Train

Travel Time: 40 mins

Distance: 42 kms

Day 8

Explore Christchurch City

Day 9

Christchurch to Mt. Cook National Park

Travel Time: 4 hrs 10 mins

Distance: 350 kms

Day 10

Mt. Cook National Park to Dunedin

Travel Time: 3 hrs 45 mins

Distance: 318 kms

Day 11

Explore the Otago Peninsula

Day 12

Dunedin to Te Anau

Travel Time: 4 hrs 45 mins

Distance: 387 kms

Day 13

Milford Sound Nature Cruise

Travel Time: 3 hrs 40 mins

Distance: 233 kms

Day 14

Te Anau to Queenstown

Travel Time: 2 hrs

Distance: 164 kms

Day 15

Depart Queenstown

Welcome to Queenstown. You will be met from your flight and transferred to your Queenstown hotel.

Welcome to Queenstown

Renowned for its adrenaline inducing activities 'Queenstown' is synonymous with adventure. Parked on the shores of Lake Wakatipu this small alpine town is nestled below soaring vistas of The Remarkables Mountain Range. While arguably the brightest gem in New Zealand’s crown, Queenstown offers far more than an action-packed getaway. 

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Remarkable Experience Art, Wine and Heritage Tour

Stay 2 nights Queenstown

Take a one and a half hour jet boat safari through the remote wilderness of Mt Aspiring National Park. Home to towering mountains, alpine bush, glacial lakes and icy rivers, this spectacular trip is considered one of the most scenic in the world. Following your boat journey, take a 40 minute walk through ancient beech forests over 80 million years old. Learn about the area and its history before taking a  four wheel drive coach on a 50 minute journey to the isolated hamlet of Paradise - home to many Lord of the Rings filming locations.

Collect your rental car 
 
Queenstown to Wanaka

Leaving Queenstown you'll drive over New Zealand's highest sealed road, the Crown Range before arriving into the resort town of Wanaka.

Wanaka Wine Tours Boutique Central Otago Wine Trail 

This small group wine tour (maximum 8) offers a relaxed and personal introduction to the wines and scenery of the Central Otago region. This tour is a great way to explore award-winning vineyards hidden amongst the rugged landscape of Central Otago. Visit and enjoy tastings at 4 Central Otago vineyards including a gourmet canape matched tasting. You'll also discover the history of the region with a visit to Old Cromwell Town, a charming heritage precinct that has been revitalised into a boutique arts and crafts village.

Stay 1 night Wanaka

The route follows the shores of Lakes Wanaka and Hawea before you enter the village of Makarora, the gateway to Mt. Aspiring National Park. The Blue Pools, just outside Makarora, are a wonderful 30 minute walk through pristine native beech forest. Descending into Mt. Aspiring National Park and towards the Haast Pass, crashing rivers and waterfalls are around every corner. Crossing the Haast River you are now truly on the wild West Coast, a 600 kilometre stretch of bush, rainforest and podocarp forest. First Fox Glacier welcomes you to the glacier region and Franz Josef township is just a further 45 minutes. 

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Blue Pools Nature Experience 

Stay 2 nights Franz Josef Glacier

Twin Glaciers Scenic Helicopter Flight

Take a spectacular scenic flight over two of New Zealand's most famous glaciers. Land at the head of one and view the incredible sight of this frozen river as it winds its way through ancient carved valleys.

Glacier Hot Pools 

Nestled within the lush rainforest surrounds, the Glacier Hot Pools is a haven of tranquility. Unwind in one of the three main pools or relax in a secluded private oasis. Temperatures range from 36 to 40 degrees and the water comes directly from a glacial stream. Wash off the day and rejuvenate in this unique forest paradise.

Driving north on State Highway 6 you pass through many small West Coast towns. Be sure to stop at the supermarket in Greymouth as there is none in Punakaiki. Punakaiki is a highlight of this drive so allow plenty of time to walk the paths and explore the formations.

Stay 1 night Punakaiki

Punakaiki to Greymouth

You have plenty of time to explore Punakaiki this morning and to enjoy the scenic drive back along the coast to Greymouth to catch the Tranz Alpine Scenic Train to Christchurch. 

Tranz Alpine Scenic train Greymouth to Christchurch

Considered one of the world's great train journeys, the Tranz Alpine scenic train takes you from Greymouth to Christchurch. You'll travel across the South Island through the Arthur's Pass National Park from the west coast to the east.

On arrival into the Christchurch train station you will be met by a private transfer driver and taken to your accommodation.

Stay 2 nights Christchurch

Collect your rental car 

Explore Christchurch City 

Following the 2011 earthquake that razed its centre and much of the outlying suburbs, Christchurch is well into a billion-dollar makeover. In the middle of the Canterbury Plains, bordering the pacific ocean, New Zealand’s newest city is an ideal gateway to exploring the middle of the South.

Christchurch Gondola

In the Heathcote Valley, just fifteen minutes from the heart of Christchurch city, ride the Christchurch Gondola for nearly a kilometre to the collapsed rim of an extinct volcano - which exploded six million years ago. Take in the panoramic 360-degree views of the central city, Lyttelton Harbour, Banks Peninsula, Canterbury Plains and the distant peaks of the Southern Alps. 

Today you’ll drive through the heart of the South Island, crossing the vast Canterbury plains. 

Glacier Explorers Mt. Cook

Experience 500 year old icebergs up-close on the Mt Cook terminal lake. The Glacier Explorers tour is the only one of its kind in New Zealand - and one of only three in the world! Very few glaciers terminate into lakes and even fewer of them are accessible. See towering ice cliffs and floating icebergs from the safety of a specially designed boat.  These boats provide a safe way to view unseen and inaccessible areas of New Zealand's largest glacier - The Tasman.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre Explorer Pass 

Stay 1 night Mt. Cook

Today you'll leave Mt Cook National Park and travel past Twizel, one of the locations for the Lord of the Rings films. Go through Omarama and stretch your legs in Oamaru.

Continue south down the coast to Moeraki, and take a detour towards the beach to see the Moeraki Boulders, a unique geological feature well worth a look. As you arrive in Dunedin, take in the city’s Edwardian and Scottish heritage reflected in the buildings around the city centre - The Octagon.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Speights Brewery Tour 

Stay 2 nights Dunedin

Otago Peninsula Wildlife full day tour including Larnach Castle

Enjoy a scenic Otago Peninsula tour by bus seeing various species of wading birds in their natural habitats. Experience a guided tour at the Royal Albatross This premier package includes the full Otago Harbour and Taiaroa Head wildlife cruise, scenic Otago Peninsula bus tour, and guided tours of the Royal Albatross Colony, the Yellow Eyed Penguin Reserve and a visit to wading bird habitats. Also includes either a tour of Larnach Castle, one of Dunedin’s great landmarks or a visit to the New Zealand Marine Studies Centre with its absorbing display of local sealife.

The drive to Te-Anau takes you through classic Southland farming scenery. Head off-the-beaten-track today and follow the coastline instead of the inland route. Go through The Catlins area and be sure to take a detour to Kaka Point to view its majestic cliffs and pounding surf.  Continue through Invercargill to Riverton and Colac Bay, and then head north to Manapouri. From here you can embark on a day or overnight cruise to the remote Doubtful Sound - renowned for its natural beauty. Just a short way further will bring you to your lakeside destination of Te Anau, gateway to Fiordland National Park and Milford Sound.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Te Anau Glow Worm Caves 

Stay 2 nights Te Anau

Te Anau to Milford Sound and return to Te Anau

The road to Milford Sound offers some of the most beautiful and iconic scenery in the country. 

Milford Sound Nature Cruise

A two and a half hour nature cruise of spectacular Milford Sound. On board one of three purpose built vessels you'll experience tumbling waterfalls, towering peaks, lush rainforest and native wildlife. Learn about the region, its history and natural surroundings while enjoying a delicious picnic lunch. As you cruise, keep an eye out for dolphins, seals and penguins - frequent visitors to the fiord.

Today you’ll cross vast tussocklands on your way to Queenstown. 

TSS Earnslaw cruise to Walter Peak including gourmet BBQ dinner and a farm tour

Go back in time on this return trip to Walter Peak High Country Farm aboard the historic TSS Earnslaw steamship. On disembarking, you’ll be escorted through the beautiful lakeside gardens to the charming Colonel's Homestead. Here you’ll enjoy a Gourmet BBQ dinner which your chef will prepare in front of you. 

Finish your meal with an irresistible dessert, New Zealand cheeses and freshly brewed tea & coffee. After dinner, an entertaining and informative demonstration gives you a glimpse of life in the high country. 

Stay 1 night Queenstown

Depending on when your flight departs you might have time for one last Queenstown adventure before dropping your car off at the airport and catching your flight.

Day 1, Arrive in Queenstown

Arrive in Queenstown

Welcome to Queenstown. You will be met from your flight and transferred to your Queenstown hotel.

Welcome to Queenstown

Renowned for its adrenaline inducing activities 'Queenstown' is synonymous with adventure. Parked on the shores of Lake Wakatipu this small alpine town is nestled below soaring vistas of The Remarkables Mountain Range. While arguably the brightest gem in New Zealand’s crown, Queenstown offers far more than an action-packed getaway. 

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Remarkable Experience Art, Wine and Heritage Tour

Stay 2 nights Queenstown

Day 2, Dart River Wilderness Safari

Dart River Wilderness Safari

Take a one and a half hour jet boat safari through the remote wilderness of Mt Aspiring National Park. Home to towering mountains, alpine bush, glacial lakes and icy rivers, this spectacular trip is considered one of the most scenic in the world. Following your boat journey, take a 40 minute walk through ancient beech forests over 80 million years old. Learn about the area and its history before taking a  four wheel drive coach on a 50 minute journey to the isolated hamlet of Paradise - home to many Lord of the Rings filming locations.

Day 3, Queenstown to Wanaka

Queenstown to Wanaka

Travel Time: 1 hr

Distance: 60 kms

Collect your rental car 
 
Queenstown to Wanaka

Leaving Queenstown you'll drive over New Zealand's highest sealed road, the Crown Range before arriving into the resort town of Wanaka.

Wanaka Wine Tours Boutique Central Otago Wine Trail 

This small group wine tour (maximum 8) offers a relaxed and personal introduction to the wines and scenery of the Central Otago region. This tour is a great way to explore award-winning vineyards hidden amongst the rugged landscape of Central Otago. Visit and enjoy tastings at 4 Central Otago vineyards including a gourmet canape matched tasting. You'll also discover the history of the region with a visit to Old Cromwell Town, a charming heritage precinct that has been revitalised into a boutique arts and crafts village.

Stay 1 night Wanaka

Day 4, Wanaka to Franz Josef Glacier

Wanaka to Franz Josef Glacier

Travel Time: 3 hrs 25 mins

Distance: 282 kms

The route follows the shores of Lakes Wanaka and Hawea before you enter the village of Makarora, the gateway to Mt. Aspiring National Park. The Blue Pools, just outside Makarora, are a wonderful 30 minute walk through pristine native beech forest. Descending into Mt. Aspiring National Park and towards the Haast Pass, crashing rivers and waterfalls are around every corner. Crossing the Haast River you are now truly on the wild West Coast, a 600 kilometre stretch of bush, rainforest and podocarp forest. First Fox Glacier welcomes you to the glacier region and Franz Josef township is just a further 45 minutes. 

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Blue Pools Nature Experience 

Stay 2 nights Franz Josef Glacier

Day 5, Explore Franz Josef Glacier

Explore Franz Josef Glacier
Twin Glaciers Scenic Helicopter Flight

Take a spectacular scenic flight over two of New Zealand's most famous glaciers. Land at the head of one and view the incredible sight of this frozen river as it winds its way through ancient carved valleys.

Glacier Hot Pools 

Nestled within the lush rainforest surrounds, the Glacier Hot Pools is a haven of tranquility. Unwind in one of the three main pools or relax in a secluded private oasis. Temperatures range from 36 to 40 degrees and the water comes directly from a glacial stream. Wash off the day and rejuvenate in this unique forest paradise.

Day 6, Franz Josef to Punakaiki

Franz Josef to Punakaiki

Travel Time: 2 hrs 40 mins

Distance: 212 kms

Driving north on State Highway 6 you pass through many small West Coast towns. Be sure to stop at the supermarket in Greymouth as there is none in Punakaiki. Punakaiki is a highlight of this drive so allow plenty of time to walk the paths and explore the formations.

Stay 1 night Punakaiki

Day 7, Punakaiki to Christchurch via Tranz Alpine Scenic Train

Punakaiki to Christchurch via Tranz Alpine Scenic Train

Travel Time: 40 mins

Distance: 42 kms

Punakaiki to Greymouth

You have plenty of time to explore Punakaiki this morning and to enjoy the scenic drive back along the coast to Greymouth to catch the Tranz Alpine Scenic Train to Christchurch. 

Tranz Alpine Scenic train Greymouth to Christchurch

Considered one of the world's great train journeys, the Tranz Alpine scenic train takes you from Greymouth to Christchurch. You'll travel across the South Island through the Arthur's Pass National Park from the west coast to the east.

On arrival into the Christchurch train station you will be met by a private transfer driver and taken to your accommodation.

Stay 2 nights Christchurch

Day 8, Explore Christchurch City

Explore Christchurch City
Collect your rental car 

Explore Christchurch City 

Following the 2011 earthquake that razed its centre and much of the outlying suburbs, Christchurch is well into a billion-dollar makeover. In the middle of the Canterbury Plains, bordering the pacific ocean, New Zealand’s newest city is an ideal gateway to exploring the middle of the South.

Christchurch Gondola

In the Heathcote Valley, just fifteen minutes from the heart of Christchurch city, ride the Christchurch Gondola for nearly a kilometre to the collapsed rim of an extinct volcano - which exploded six million years ago. Take in the panoramic 360-degree views of the central city, Lyttelton Harbour, Banks Peninsula, Canterbury Plains and the distant peaks of the Southern Alps. 

Day 9, Christchurch to Mt. Cook National Park

Christchurch to Mt. Cook National Park

Travel Time: 4 hrs 10 mins

Distance: 350 kms

Today you’ll drive through the heart of the South Island, crossing the vast Canterbury plains. 

Glacier Explorers Mt. Cook

Experience 500 year old icebergs up-close on the Mt Cook terminal lake. The Glacier Explorers tour is the only one of its kind in New Zealand - and one of only three in the world! Very few glaciers terminate into lakes and even fewer of them are accessible. See towering ice cliffs and floating icebergs from the safety of a specially designed boat.  These boats provide a safe way to view unseen and inaccessible areas of New Zealand's largest glacier - The Tasman.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre Explorer Pass 

Stay 1 night Mt. Cook

Day 10, Mt. Cook National Park to Dunedin

Mt. Cook National Park to Dunedin

Travel Time: 3 hrs 45 mins

Distance: 318 kms

Today you'll leave Mt Cook National Park and travel past Twizel, one of the locations for the Lord of the Rings films. Go through Omarama and stretch your legs in Oamaru.

Continue south down the coast to Moeraki, and take a detour towards the beach to see the Moeraki Boulders, a unique geological feature well worth a look. As you arrive in Dunedin, take in the city’s Edwardian and Scottish heritage reflected in the buildings around the city centre - The Octagon.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Speights Brewery Tour 

Stay 2 nights Dunedin

Day 11, Explore the Otago Peninsula

Explore the Otago Peninsula

Otago Peninsula Wildlife full day tour including Larnach Castle

Enjoy a scenic Otago Peninsula tour by bus seeing various species of wading birds in their natural habitats. Experience a guided tour at the Royal Albatross This premier package includes the full Otago Harbour and Taiaroa Head wildlife cruise, scenic Otago Peninsula bus tour, and guided tours of the Royal Albatross Colony, the Yellow Eyed Penguin Reserve and a visit to wading bird habitats. Also includes either a tour of Larnach Castle, one of Dunedin’s great landmarks or a visit to the New Zealand Marine Studies Centre with its absorbing display of local sealife.

Day 12, Dunedin to Te Anau

Dunedin to Te Anau

Travel Time: 4 hrs 45 mins

Distance: 387 kms

The drive to Te-Anau takes you through classic Southland farming scenery. Head off-the-beaten-track today and follow the coastline instead of the inland route. Go through The Catlins area and be sure to take a detour to Kaka Point to view its majestic cliffs and pounding surf.  Continue through Invercargill to Riverton and Colac Bay, and then head north to Manapouri. From here you can embark on a day or overnight cruise to the remote Doubtful Sound - renowned for its natural beauty. Just a short way further will bring you to your lakeside destination of Te Anau, gateway to Fiordland National Park and Milford Sound.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Te Anau Glow Worm Caves 

Stay 2 nights Te Anau

Day 13, Milford Sound Nature Cruise

Milford Sound Nature Cruise

Travel Time: 3 hrs 40 mins

Distance: 233 kms

Te Anau to Milford Sound and return to Te Anau

The road to Milford Sound offers some of the most beautiful and iconic scenery in the country. 

Milford Sound Nature Cruise

A two and a half hour nature cruise of spectacular Milford Sound. On board one of three purpose built vessels you'll experience tumbling waterfalls, towering peaks, lush rainforest and native wildlife. Learn about the region, its history and natural surroundings while enjoying a delicious picnic lunch. As you cruise, keep an eye out for dolphins, seals and penguins - frequent visitors to the fiord.

Day 14, Te Anau to Queenstown

Te Anau to Queenstown

Travel Time: 2 hrs

Distance: 164 kms

Today you’ll cross vast tussocklands on your way to Queenstown. 

TSS Earnslaw cruise to Walter Peak including gourmet BBQ dinner and a farm tour

Go back in time on this return trip to Walter Peak High Country Farm aboard the historic TSS Earnslaw steamship. On disembarking, you’ll be escorted through the beautiful lakeside gardens to the charming Colonel's Homestead. Here you’ll enjoy a Gourmet BBQ dinner which your chef will prepare in front of you. 

Finish your meal with an irresistible dessert, New Zealand cheeses and freshly brewed tea & coffee. After dinner, an entertaining and informative demonstration gives you a glimpse of life in the high country. 

Stay 1 night Queenstown

Day 15, Depart Queenstown

Depart Queenstown

Depending on when your flight departs you might have time for one last Queenstown adventure before dropping your car off at the airport and catching your flight.

Additional Information

Pricing

Cost per Person

 Twin/Double
4-Star Accommodation from NZ$6,077* per person

*PLEASE NOTE

Price is based on two adults sharing a rental car and accommodation (twin/double-share).

Prices are estimates only, and are subject to availability and exchange rates when booking, seasonal or holiday price surcharges (such as Christmas/New Year and Easter); as well as special events that may be on. Please forward a request and we will be happy to forward a quote.

Payment

  • Deposit: 20% of the package cost or NZ$250 per person (whichever is the greater) at time of booking
  • Full Payment: 45 Days before travel
  • Airfares (if applicable): Paid in full at the time of booking

Cancellation Charges

  • Cancellation Fees up to 100% can apply after booking. Extra deposits or full payment may be requested to cover these charges prior to booking
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Includes

Includes:

14 nights accommodation

  • 2 nights Queenstown
  • 1 night Wanaka
  • 2 nights Franz Josef Glacier
  • 1 night Punakaiki
  • 2 nights Christchurch
  • 1 night Mt Cook
  • 2 nights Dunedin
  • 2 nights Te Anau
  • 1 night Queenstown

Rental Car Hire

  • Rental car insurance included: Fully inclusive with variable excess/deductible.
  • Rental car inclusions: GPS navigation. unlimited kms,airport/ferry terminal fees, additional drivers.

Private airport and train station transfers

All breakfasts (4-star accommodation only)

Tranz Alpine Train from Greymouth to Christchurch

Christchurch Gondola Ride

Glacier Explorers Tour, Mt Cook National Park

Otago Peninsula Wildlife Premier tour including Larnach Castle

Dart River Wilderness Safari

TSS Earnslaw cruise and dinner at Walter Peak high country farm

Boutique Half Day Wanaka Wine Tour

Milford Sound nature cruise

Entry to Glacier Hot Pools

Twin Glaciers Scenic Helicopter Flight

Options

Travel Insurance

If you are going overseas, then travel insurance is a necssity. Compare rates and polices online and get a free travel insurance quote.

Accommodation

There is a choice of accommodation available on all packages, which depending on locations, includes motels, 3 star hotels, 4 star hotels, boutique lodges & hotels and luxury lodges and hotels. We are happy to quote on alternate accommodation requests.

Airfares

International flights can be included from Australia for all Australian residents.

Optional Extras

Remarkable Experience Art, Wine and Heritage Tour, Queenstown

Cruise in style in a 1937 convertible soft-top Chevrolet bus, taking in spectacular mountain and lake vistas.  You’ll also visit historic areas in Queenstown and Arrowtown and sample some of the local cuisine.  You will also get the chance to view the personal galleries of some amazing local artists. Travelling with the unique, convertible top down you can enjoy an open-air view of the magnificent surroundings and alluring beauty of the region. Rich and golden, moody and blue or full of sunshine and glory, bright and crisp with snowy peaks on craggy mountaintops, each day and season offers a fresh new scene. You have the opportunity to view fine art, carefully crafted and created by renowned artists of New Zealand in their personal galleries. Paintings of various styles and beautifully crafted wood sculptures are among the mediums. You’ll complete a circuit from Queenstown, along rolling hills of the clear countryside and drive through the picturesque gold-mining town of Arrowtown. Travelling on to the final stop you can enjoy and taste wines grown from grapes onsite and indulge in mouth-watering cuisine in the cosy gallery or al fresco. Wander around delightful grounds of terraced gardens and ponds over-looking the beautiful Lake Hayes.

Monteiths Brewery Personalised Bottle & Tour, Greymouth

From humble origins in 1868, the Monteith's family-owned Phoenix Brewery became the West Coast's most popular brewery for its strong tasting, full-bodied ale. The Phoenix Brewery later merged with a group of small breweries to form Westland Brewing Company, predecessor to today's Monteith's Brewing Company. In this informative brewery experience, you will learn about the heritage and traditions of the brewing business. Witness the making of a fine beer in open fermenters by coal-fired boilers, using only the finest ingredients. Watch the brewers carefully hand craft the beer in small batches to develop the full natural flavours. When each batch is ready, the brewers employ a brilliant time honoured tradition for quality control - they taste it.

Speights Brewery Tour, Dunedin

Founded in 1876 the Speights Brewery still occupies its original Dunedin site - with several of its buildings dating back to the late 1800's. One of the only remaining 'gravity breweries' in the world, your 90 minute tour will take you through its inner workings. You'll also have a chance to taste six different beers as well as bottle, cap and brew your own personal Speights Gold Medal Ale - the brewery's flagship beer.

Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre Explorer Pass, Mt. Cook

A tribute to New Zealand's Sir Edmund Hillary - humanitarian, ambassador and one of the world's greatest explorers - the centre showcases the Aoraki Mount Cook region and its people within a comprehensive museum as well as a 126-seat custom-designed theatre and Digital Dome Planetarium.

Glow Worm Caves, Te Anau

Begin your Te Anau Glowworm experience with a scenic cruise across lake Te Anau on board the luxury catamaran, Luminosa, to the western side of the lake. On arrival you'll enter the caves through Cavern House, where informative displays detail the history of this 12,000 year old underground network.

You'll then explore by limestone pathway while your guide points out hidden whirlpools, sculpted rock formations and a rushing underground waterfall. See a magical display of thousands of glowworms as you glide through the darkness in a small boat.

Blue Pools Nature Experience, Wanaka

Begin with a 30 minute scenic flight encompassing views of glaciers, Mt Aspiring, remote waterfalls, river valleys and mountain ranges that few people get to experience.  With a window seat for every passenger the views are spectacular. From your landing point at Makarora, you are driven a short distance to the beginning of your 2 hour wilderness walk. The walk is on a well formed track through native beech forest which leads you to cross the first of 4 swing bridges and the clear and pure waters of the 'Blue Pools' - pristine, beautiful pools in the Blue River to linger at and enjoy while spotting fish. From here the track winds through native forest amongst the mountains of the Southern Alps near the banks of the Makarora River. Interesting and picturesque this is a very ancient setting only recently made easily accessible.  The natural surroundings and tranquility are most noticeable during your relaxing walk in this special part of the Mt Aspiring World Heritage National Park. 

Highlights

Tranz Alpine Train from Greymouth to Christchurch

Considered one of the worlds great train journeys, the Tranz Alpine scenic train trip operates between Christchurch and Greynouth and vice versa. Crossing from the Tasman Sea through Arthur's Pass National Park to the Pacific Ocean. From your carriage enjoy views of the lush rain forest of the West Coast to the spectacular mountains of the Southern Alps. Travel through gorges and river valleys of the Waimakariri River.

Christchurch Gondola Ride

In the Heathcote Valley, just fifteen minutes from the heart of Christchurch city, ride the Christchurch Gondola for nearly a kilometre to the collapsed rim of an extinct volcano - which exploded six million years ago. Take in the panoramic 360-degree views of the central city, Lyttelton Harbour, Banks Peninsula, Canterbury Plains and the distant peaks of the Southern Alps. Wander the summit complex and choose one of many nature walks or visit the Time Tunnel - a dramatic reconstruction of the history of the Port Hills and Christchurch.

Glacier Explorers Tour, Mt Cook National Park

Experience 500 year old icebergs up-close on the Mt Cook terminal lake. The Glacier Explorers tour is the only one of its kind in New Zealand - and one of only three in the world! Very few glaciers terminate into lakes and even fewer of them are accessible. See towering ice cliffs and floating icebergs from the safety of a specially designed boat. These boats provide a safe way to view unseen and inaccessible areas of New Zealand's largest glacier - The Tasman.

Otago Peninsula Wildlife Premier tour including Larnach Castle

This premier package includes the full Otago Harbour and Taiaroa Head wildlife cruise, scenic Otago Peninsula bus tour, and guided tours of the Royal Albatross Colony, the Yellow Eyed Penguin Reserve and a visit to wading bird habitats. Also includes a tour of Larnach Castle, one of Dunedin's great landmarks.

From Queenstown

Dart River Wilderness Safari

Take a one and a half hour jet boat safari through the remote wilderness of Mt Aspiring National Park. Home to towering mountains, alpine bush, glacial lakes and icy rivers, this spectacular trip is considered one of the most scenic in the world. Following your boat journey, take a 40 minute walk through ancient beech forests over 80 million years old. Learn about the area and its history before taking a four wheel drive coach on a 50 minute journey to the isolated hamlet of Paradise - home to many Lord of the Rings filming locations.

TSS Earnslaw cruise and dinner at Walter Peak high country farm

Go back in time on this return trip to Walter Peak High Country Farm aboard the historic TSS Earnslaw steamship. On disembarking, you'll be escorted through the beautiful lakeside gardens to the charming Colonel's Homestead. Here you'll enjoy a Gourmet BBQ dinner which your chef will prepare in front of you. The seasonal menu includes an expansive array of local produce, including succulent meats cooked on the outdoor rotisserie and a selection of delicious vegetables and salads. Finish your meal with an irresistible dessert, New Zealand cheeses and freshly brewed tea and coffee. After dinner, an entertaining and informative demonstration gives you a glimpse of life in the high country. On your cruise home, enjoy the camaraderie of a singalong with the ship's pianist or breathe in the fresh night air as you watch the lights of Queenstown draw nearer.

Boutique Half Day Wanaka Wine Tour

This small group wine tour (maximum 8) offers a relaxed and personal introduction to the wines and scenery of the Central Otago region. This tour is a great way to explore award-winning vineyards hidden amongst the rugged landscape of Central Otago. Visit and enjoy tastings at 4 Central Otago vineyards including a gourmet canape matched tasting. You'll also discover the history of the region with a visit to Old Cromwell Town, a charming heritage precinct that has been revitalised into a boutique arts and crafts village.

Milford Sound nature cruise

An extended and leisurely 2½ hour cruise of Milford Sound on board the Milford Mariner, MV Sinbad or Milford Wanderer. These modern vessels, purpose built for operating in a fiord environment, have been designed along the lines of a traditional trading scow, and have real character. These relaxing cruises have special appeal for the independent traveller and an on board nature guide provides detailed interpretation and commentary. There is plenty of time available to explore points of interest and to view the stunning scenery, including waterfalls, rainforest and the towering peaks. Keep a lookout for dolphins, seals and penguins.

From Franz Josef

Entry to Glacier Hot Pools

Nestled within the lush rainforest surrounds, the Glacier Hot Pools is a haven of tranquility. Unwind in one of the three main pools or relax in a secluded private oasis. Temperatures range from 36 to 40 degrees and the water comes directly from a glacial stream. Wash off the day and rejuvenate in this unique forest paradise.

Twin Glaciers Scenic Helicopter Flight

Take a spectacular scenic flight over two of New Zealand's most famous glaciers. Land at the head of one and view the incredible sight of this frozen river as it winds its way through ancient carved valleys. Should weather not be suitable to take this flight you are able to transfer your booking onto a similar tour on any of the Helicopter Line's operations in Queenstown or Mt Cook.

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15 Day South Island Spectacular Self Drive

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