Overview

Witness the natural features of North Island unfold from the harbour city of Auckland, then journey through the North Island heartland by scenic train. Continue on to South Island and marvel at the region’s wild beauty and picturesque locations, along with inclusions. Renowned for the diversity of its landscape, South Island is a place of dramatic contrasts as you journey from the beaches of Tasman National Park to the fascinating geology and glaciers of the West Coast and Kaikoura’s whales on the east coast. Moving on to the deep south, you’ll discover Otago Peninsula’s wildlife and spend the night in the remote Doubtful Sound. The tour ends in the alpine resort, Queenstown – the adventure capital of New Zealand.

Itineraries

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

Auckland - Wellington - Abel Tasman National Park - Kaikoura - Christchurch - Punakaiki - Franz Josef Glacier - Queenstown - Dunedin - Doubtful Sound - Queenstown

Map of 20 Day Southbound Explorer Self Drive
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Welcome to Auckland City
Explore Auckland City
Full Day Taste of Auckland Tour with Lunch
The Northern Explorer Scenic Train Auckland to Wellington
Wellington City
Wellington to Abel Tasman National Park
Abel Tasman National Park
Abel Tasman National Park to Kaikoura
Kaikoura to Christchurch
Christchurch to Punakaiki via Tranz Alpine Scenic Train
Punakaiki to Franz Josef Glacier
Explore Franz Josef Glacier
Franz Josef to Queenstown (via Wanaka)
Explore Queenstown and surrounds
Around Queenstown
Queenstown to Dunedin
Explore Dunedin and the Otago Peninsula
Dunedin to Manapouri
Manapouri to Queenstown
Depart Queenstown

Day 1

Welcome to Auckland City

Day 2

Explore Auckland City

Day 3

Full Day Taste of Auckland Tour with Lunch

Day 4

The Northern Explorer Scenic Train Auckland to Wellington

Day 5

Wellington City

Day 6

Wellington to Abel Tasman National Park

Travel Time: 2hrs 30mins

Distance: 162 kms

Day 7

Abel Tasman National Park

Day 8

Abel Tasman National Park to Kaikoura

Travel Time: 4 hrs

Distance: 297 kms

Day 9

Kaikoura to Christchurch

Travel Time: 2 hrs 10 mins

Distance: 170 kms

Day 10

Christchurch to Punakaiki via Tranz Alpine Scenic Train

Day 11

Punakaiki to Franz Josef Glacier

Travel Time: 2 hrs 40 mins

Distance: 212 kms

Day 12

Explore Franz Josef Glacier

Day 13

Franz Josef to Queenstown (via Wanaka)

Travel Time: 4 hrs 20 mins

Distance: 344 kms

Day 14

Explore Queenstown and surrounds

Day 15

Around Queenstown

Day 16

Queenstown to Dunedin

Travel Time: 3 hrs 20 mins

Distance: 274 kms

Day 17

Explore Dunedin and the Otago Peninsula

Day 18

Dunedin to Manapouri

Travel Time: 3 hrs 25 min

Distance: 288 kms

Day 19

Manapouri to Queenstown

Travel Time: 2 hrs

Distance: 166 kms

Day 20

Depart Queenstown

Welcome to Auckland City 

Auckland, New Zealand’s self-proclaimed ‘City of Sails’ is the country’s largest metro area. Resting between the Pacific Ocean and the Tasman Sea, this urban paradise has something for everyone. Surrounded by native bush, rainforests and an abundance of beaches, Auckland is a playground for both the city savvy and those with an eye for adventure. Explore the central museums and galleries on foot, or take a drive through one of over 800 regional National Parks to see deserted beaches, waterfalls and native forest.

Stay 3 nights Auckland

Perched on the edge of a large natural harbour, New Zealand's ‘City of Sails’ offers the best of both worlds. Sandy beaches, native bush and lush rainforests give way to a vibrant urban culture, humming with life. 

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Americas Cup Yacht Sailing 
SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Waiheke Island Explorer Tour 

Spend the morning exploring the city highlights within a small group tour, then travel to Auckland’s dramatic west coast for a taste of New Zealand's best food and wine. 

The Northern Explorer Scenic Train Auckland to Wellington 

The Northern Explorer is a journey through the heart of the North Island, travelling between Auckland - New Zealand's largest city, to Wellington - New Zealand's arts and culture capital. Along the way you pass the Central North Island ski towns of National Park and Ohakune. You also see fantastic views of New Zealand farmland, the volcanic plateau, Mount Ruapehu, the world famous Raurimu Spiral, and stunning river gorges - all from panoramic windows or open air viewing decks allowing you the best possible views. All carriages feature large panoramic windows giving sweeping views of the magnificent North Island. The Observation Carriage includes a mix of seating including lounge style seating. The lounge style seating is arranged at the very rear of this glass backed carriage enabling you to enjoy a totally unique Northern Explore experience.

Stay 2 nights Wellington

Wellington, home to New Zealand’s centre of government has a largely cosmopolitan feel. Often referred to as ‘mini-Melbourne’, this (self described) windy city is a melting pot of art, culture, food and fashion. Quirky laneway bars, underground art shows, and hipster eateries make up its inner city vibe, while a host of sandy beaches outside the urban bustle bring a cheerful holiday feel.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Walking Gourmet Food Tour

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Half day Lord of the Rings tour with Wellington Rover 

Interislander ferry Wellington to Picton 

The 92 km journey between Wellington and Picton takes around 3 hours and has been described as 'one of the most beautiful ferry rides in the world'.

Picton to Abel Tasman National Park

From Picton you’ll first travel the Marlborough sounds coastline between Picton and Havelock. This drive offers spectacular views of the sounds, so be sure to allow plenty of time for stops and sightseeing.

Motueka is a further 45 minutes along the coast and from there it’s just a short drive to Kaiteriteri and Marahau, all ideal spots from which to explore the beautiful Abel Tasman National Park.

Stay 2 nights Abel Tasman National Park

Abel Tasman National Park, known for its coastal hiking track has an abundance of golden beaches, inlets and private lagoons. The park has a mild climate and is a special place to visit at any time of the year. Enjoy a scenic cruise through the sounds or take a kayaking tour around it’s many sheltered bays. Enjoy the melodious birdsong and get up close to some of the park’s many animal residents, including native bats, geckos, birds and marine mammals  - fur seals and dolphins.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Beaches, Bays and Seals Guided Sea Kayaking Trip including picnic lunch 
SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Split Apple, Seals and Walk day trip including picnic lunch 

Today you will drive through Marlborough to Blenheim, New Zealand's largest wine growing region - and home to many award winning wines. We recommend timing your day to arrive for lunch with a view to sampling some of the local offerings at one of the 40 plus wineries surrounding the area. Continue over the ‘dry hills’ of the Marlborough Ranges to one of the most spectacular coastlines in the world, Kaikoura. For over 50 kilometers (30 miles) follow the shoreline. Keep an eye out for an abundance of seals, seabirds and other native wildlife. Kaikoura is also one of the only places in the world where whales can be seen all year round. To the east you'll see the Pacific Ocean while the West brings views of the towering Kaikoura ranges. Arriving in the Kaikoura township, you'll find it bustling with cafes and restaurants.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Whale Watch Kaikoura 

Stay 1 night Kaikoura

Today you continue down the coast before heading inland through the North Canterbury wine region - the Waipara Valley. As you drive through this area you’ll be greeted by one of New Zealand's most notorious animals, the sheep. If you’ve time on your hands we recommend taking a detour to Hanmer Springs for relaxing dip in its thermal pools. Arriving into Christchurch you'll see a new and improved city, steadily rising from the ruins of the 2011 earthquake.

Stay 1 night Christchurch

Tranz Alpine Scenic Train Christchurch to Greymouth 

Considered one of the worlds great train journeys, the TranzAlpine scenic train travels between Christchurch and Greymouth, from one coast of New Zealand to the other. 

Pancake Rocks

Punakaiki is most famous for the Pancake Rocks and Blowholes. Visitors are often less aware of the great many other experiences available. Located in the heart of the Paparoa National Park, the area offers guided beach, forest and mountain walks, canoeing, wildlife, horse trekking, surfing, caving and climbing, heritage sites. There are taverns, cafés and restaurants, and a great range of accommodation. The area also boasts a vibrant arts and crafts community and a cooperative gallery.

Stay 1 night Punakaiki

The drive South on State Highway 6 takes you through many West Coast towns. 

Arriving in to the Glacier region you catch your first glimpse of Franz Josef Glacier from a few kilometres out as it flows from the Southern Alps. Franz Josef township is a lively place with a great atmosphere, plenty of choice to dine out and some wonderful activities to enjoy.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Glacier Hot Pools

Stay 2 nights Franz Josef

Franz Josef is small but lively town in the heart of the West Coast, known for its 12 km long glacier. Surrounded by lush rainforest-clad mountains the township has a vibrant and bustling atmosphere. 

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.

Heading south you pass through the second glacier town of Fox Glacier. Crossing the massive Haast River you turn inland and head into the valley climbing through mountains littered with waterfalls.

Lakes Wanaka and Hawea guide you into the township of Wanaka before you head over New Zealand's highest sealed road, Crown Range Road before dropping into Queenstown. This drive should be planned as a whole day to really enjoy the scenery and to allow time to explore the walks, and many stops en route.

Stay 3 nights Queenstown

Although celebrated as New Zealand's ‘adventure capital’ Queenstown offers far more than a fast paced action-packed holiday. Settled on the shores of Lake Wakatipu beneath a soaring panorama of the Remarkables Mountain Range, this alpine town is surrounded by a plethora of historic, gastronomic and scenic wonders.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Shotover Canyon River Jet Boat Adventure 
SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Appellation Central Boutique Wine Tour 
Nomad Safaris, Safari of the Scenes Wakatipu Basin tour

For those keen on the Hobbit and Lord of The Rings films, come with us for an unexpectedly delightful journey. In safari-equipped 4WD vehicles, you will be taken on a true off-road adventure. 

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. 

Your route today is a historic one with many small towns along the way. Go through the Kawarau Gorge and stop at one of its renowned wineries. A little further you'll come to Cromwell.

Continue on through the Otago Goldfields. Pass the townships of Alexandra, Lawrence and Roxburgh - once with booming populations three times their current at the height of the 1800's gold-rush. As you drive further south the landscape changes to rolling hills and windswept farmland - melding fluidly with the rugged coast of Dunedin, your destination for the night.

Stay 2 nights Dunedin

Known as the Edinburgh of the South, Dunedin City has a heavy scottish influence. Surrounded by rugged coastal plains and windswept beaches it’s home to an eclectic mix of historical and modern architecture as well as industrial technology. Renowned for its Flemish Baroque-inspired ‘gingerbread house’ Railway Station, this university town is bustling with life. 

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 Manapouri takes you through classic Southland farmland and some wonderful scenery. 

Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise

Take in the tranquility of remote Doubtful Sound on this unique overnight wilderness cruise. Beginning in Manapouri with a short boat ride across the lake, you’ll be taken by coach over the Wilmot Pass to Deep Cove, Doubtful Sound.  

Board the Fiordland Navigator, a purpose-built vessel designed like a traditional coastal trading scow. Be accommodated in a private cabin with an ensuite bathroom or a quad-share bunk room with shared bathroom facilities. The Navigator has a large spacious deck for viewing the scenery and wildlife as well as a dining saloon, bar and observation lounge.

Your Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise returns to Manapouri at midday.

Crossing the rolling tussocklands, pass through Mossburn, the deer capital of New Zealand. Continue north through lush Southland countryside towards Lake Wakatipu. The road now hugs the lake edge and the Remarkable mountain range towers over your approach to Queenstown, the adventure capital of New Zealand.

Stay 1 night Queenstown

Drop your rental car at the Queenstown airport today and farewell New Zealand.

Day 1, Welcome to Auckland City

Welcome to Auckland City
Welcome to Auckland City 

Auckland, New Zealand’s self-proclaimed ‘City of Sails’ is the country’s largest metro area. Resting between the Pacific Ocean and the Tasman Sea, this urban paradise has something for everyone. Surrounded by native bush, rainforests and an abundance of beaches, Auckland is a playground for both the city savvy and those with an eye for adventure. Explore the central museums and galleries on foot, or take a drive through one of over 800 regional National Parks to see deserted beaches, waterfalls and native forest.

Stay 3 nights Auckland

Day 2, Explore Auckland City

Explore Auckland City

Perched on the edge of a large natural harbour, New Zealand's ‘City of Sails’ offers the best of both worlds. Sandy beaches, native bush and lush rainforests give way to a vibrant urban culture, humming with life. 

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Americas Cup Yacht Sailing 
SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Waiheke Island Explorer Tour 

Day 3, Full Day Taste of Auckland Tour with Lunch

Full Day Taste of Auckland Tour with Lunch

Spend the morning exploring the city highlights within a small group tour, then travel to Auckland’s dramatic west coast for a taste of New Zealand's best food and wine. 

Day 4, The Northern Explorer Scenic Train Auckland to Wellington

The Northern Explorer Scenic Train Auckland to Wellington
The Northern Explorer Scenic Train Auckland to Wellington 

The Northern Explorer is a journey through the heart of the North Island, travelling between Auckland - New Zealand's largest city, to Wellington - New Zealand's arts and culture capital. Along the way you pass the Central North Island ski towns of National Park and Ohakune. You also see fantastic views of New Zealand farmland, the volcanic plateau, Mount Ruapehu, the world famous Raurimu Spiral, and stunning river gorges - all from panoramic windows or open air viewing decks allowing you the best possible views. All carriages feature large panoramic windows giving sweeping views of the magnificent North Island. The Observation Carriage includes a mix of seating including lounge style seating. The lounge style seating is arranged at the very rear of this glass backed carriage enabling you to enjoy a totally unique Northern Explore experience.

Stay 2 nights Wellington

Day 5, Wellington City

Wellington City

Wellington, home to New Zealand’s centre of government has a largely cosmopolitan feel. Often referred to as ‘mini-Melbourne’, this (self described) windy city is a melting pot of art, culture, food and fashion. Quirky laneway bars, underground art shows, and hipster eateries make up its inner city vibe, while a host of sandy beaches outside the urban bustle bring a cheerful holiday feel.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Walking Gourmet Food Tour

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Half day Lord of the Rings tour with Wellington Rover 

Day 6, Wellington to Abel Tasman National Park

Wellington to Abel Tasman National Park

Travel Time: 2hrs 30mins

Distance: 162 kms

Interislander ferry Wellington to Picton 

The 92 km journey between Wellington and Picton takes around 3 hours and has been described as 'one of the most beautiful ferry rides in the world'.

Picton to Abel Tasman National Park

From Picton you’ll first travel the Marlborough sounds coastline between Picton and Havelock. This drive offers spectacular views of the sounds, so be sure to allow plenty of time for stops and sightseeing.

Motueka is a further 45 minutes along the coast and from there it’s just a short drive to Kaiteriteri and Marahau, all ideal spots from which to explore the beautiful Abel Tasman National Park.

Stay 2 nights Abel Tasman National Park

Day 7, Abel Tasman National Park

Abel Tasman National Park

Abel Tasman National Park, known for its coastal hiking track has an abundance of golden beaches, inlets and private lagoons. The park has a mild climate and is a special place to visit at any time of the year. Enjoy a scenic cruise through the sounds or take a kayaking tour around it’s many sheltered bays. Enjoy the melodious birdsong and get up close to some of the park’s many animal residents, including native bats, geckos, birds and marine mammals  - fur seals and dolphins.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Beaches, Bays and Seals Guided Sea Kayaking Trip including picnic lunch 
SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Split Apple, Seals and Walk day trip including picnic lunch 

Day 8, Abel Tasman National Park to Kaikoura

Abel Tasman National Park to Kaikoura

Travel Time: 4 hrs

Distance: 297 kms

Today you will drive through Marlborough to Blenheim, New Zealand's largest wine growing region - and home to many award winning wines. We recommend timing your day to arrive for lunch with a view to sampling some of the local offerings at one of the 40 plus wineries surrounding the area. Continue over the ‘dry hills’ of the Marlborough Ranges to one of the most spectacular coastlines in the world, Kaikoura. For over 50 kilometers (30 miles) follow the shoreline. Keep an eye out for an abundance of seals, seabirds and other native wildlife. Kaikoura is also one of the only places in the world where whales can be seen all year round. To the east you'll see the Pacific Ocean while the West brings views of the towering Kaikoura ranges. Arriving in the Kaikoura township, you'll find it bustling with cafes and restaurants.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Whale Watch Kaikoura 

Stay 1 night Kaikoura

Day 9, Kaikoura to Christchurch

Kaikoura to Christchurch

Travel Time: 2 hrs 10 mins

Distance: 170 kms

Today you continue down the coast before heading inland through the North Canterbury wine region - the Waipara Valley. As you drive through this area you’ll be greeted by one of New Zealand's most notorious animals, the sheep. If you’ve time on your hands we recommend taking a detour to Hanmer Springs for relaxing dip in its thermal pools. Arriving into Christchurch you'll see a new and improved city, steadily rising from the ruins of the 2011 earthquake.

Stay 1 night Christchurch

Day 10, Christchurch to Punakaiki via Tranz Alpine Scenic Train

Christchurch to Punakaiki via Tranz Alpine Scenic Train
Tranz Alpine Scenic Train Christchurch to Greymouth 

Considered one of the worlds great train journeys, the TranzAlpine scenic train travels between Christchurch and Greymouth, from one coast of New Zealand to the other. 

Pancake Rocks

Punakaiki is most famous for the Pancake Rocks and Blowholes. Visitors are often less aware of the great many other experiences available. Located in the heart of the Paparoa National Park, the area offers guided beach, forest and mountain walks, canoeing, wildlife, horse trekking, surfing, caving and climbing, heritage sites. There are taverns, cafés and restaurants, and a great range of accommodation. The area also boasts a vibrant arts and crafts community and a cooperative gallery.

Stay 1 night Punakaiki

Day 11, Punakaiki to Franz Josef Glacier

Punakaiki to Franz Josef Glacier

Travel Time: 2 hrs 40 mins

Distance: 212 kms

The drive South on State Highway 6 takes you through many West Coast towns. 

Arriving in to the Glacier region you catch your first glimpse of Franz Josef Glacier from a few kilometres out as it flows from the Southern Alps. Franz Josef township is a lively place with a great atmosphere, plenty of choice to dine out and some wonderful activities to enjoy.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Glacier Hot Pools

Stay 2 nights Franz Josef

Day 12, Explore Franz Josef Glacier

Explore Franz Josef Glacier

Franz Josef is small but lively town in the heart of the West Coast, known for its 12 km long glacier. Surrounded by lush rainforest-clad mountains the township has a vibrant and bustling atmosphere. 

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.

Day 13, Franz Josef to Queenstown (via Wanaka)

Franz Josef to Queenstown (via Wanaka)

Travel Time: 4 hrs 20 mins

Distance: 344 kms

Heading south you pass through the second glacier town of Fox Glacier. Crossing the massive Haast River you turn inland and head into the valley climbing through mountains littered with waterfalls.

Lakes Wanaka and Hawea guide you into the township of Wanaka before you head over New Zealand's highest sealed road, Crown Range Road before dropping into Queenstown. This drive should be planned as a whole day to really enjoy the scenery and to allow time to explore the walks, and many stops en route.

Stay 3 nights Queenstown

Day 14, Explore Queenstown and surrounds

Explore Queenstown and surrounds

Although celebrated as New Zealand's ‘adventure capital’ Queenstown offers far more than a fast paced action-packed holiday. Settled on the shores of Lake Wakatipu beneath a soaring panorama of the Remarkables Mountain Range, this alpine town is surrounded by a plethora of historic, gastronomic and scenic wonders.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Shotover Canyon River Jet Boat Adventure 
SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Appellation Central Boutique Wine Tour 

Day 15, Around Queenstown

Around Queenstown
Nomad Safaris, Safari of the Scenes Wakatipu Basin tour

For those keen on the Hobbit and Lord of The Rings films, come with us for an unexpectedly delightful journey. In safari-equipped 4WD vehicles, you will be taken on a true off-road adventure. 

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. 

Day 16, Queenstown to Dunedin

Queenstown to Dunedin

Travel Time: 3 hrs 20 mins

Distance: 274 kms

Your route today is a historic one with many small towns along the way. Go through the Kawarau Gorge and stop at one of its renowned wineries. A little further you'll come to Cromwell.

Continue on through the Otago Goldfields. Pass the townships of Alexandra, Lawrence and Roxburgh - once with booming populations three times their current at the height of the 1800's gold-rush. As you drive further south the landscape changes to rolling hills and windswept farmland - melding fluidly with the rugged coast of Dunedin, your destination for the night.

Stay 2 nights Dunedin

Day 17, Explore Dunedin and the Otago Peninsula

Explore Dunedin and the Otago Peninsula

Known as the Edinburgh of the South, Dunedin City has a heavy scottish influence. Surrounded by rugged coastal plains and windswept beaches it’s home to an eclectic mix of historical and modern architecture as well as industrial technology. Renowned for its Flemish Baroque-inspired ‘gingerbread house’ Railway Station, this university town is bustling with life. 

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 18, Dunedin to Manapouri

Dunedin to Manapouri

Travel Time: 3 hrs 25 min

Distance: 288 kms

The drive to Manapouri takes you through classic Southland farmland and some wonderful scenery. 

Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise

Take in the tranquility of remote Doubtful Sound on this unique overnight wilderness cruise. Beginning in Manapouri with a short boat ride across the lake, you’ll be taken by coach over the Wilmot Pass to Deep Cove, Doubtful Sound.  

Board the Fiordland Navigator, a purpose-built vessel designed like a traditional coastal trading scow. Be accommodated in a private cabin with an ensuite bathroom or a quad-share bunk room with shared bathroom facilities. The Navigator has a large spacious deck for viewing the scenery and wildlife as well as a dining saloon, bar and observation lounge.

Day 19, Manapouri to Queenstown

Manapouri to Queenstown

Travel Time: 2 hrs

Distance: 166 kms

Your Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise returns to Manapouri at midday.

Crossing the rolling tussocklands, pass through Mossburn, the deer capital of New Zealand. Continue north through lush Southland countryside towards Lake Wakatipu. The road now hugs the lake edge and the Remarkable mountain range towers over your approach to Queenstown, the adventure capital of New Zealand.

Stay 1 night Queenstown

Day 20, Depart Queenstown

Depart Queenstown

Drop your rental car at the Queenstown airport today and farewell New Zealand.

Additional Information

Pricing

Cost per Person

 Twin/Double
Boutique Lodges and Hotel  from NZ$7,095* 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:

19 nights accommodation

  • 3 nights Auckland
  • 2 nights Wellington
  • 2 nights Abel Tasman National Park
  • 1 night Kaikoura
  • 1 night Christchurch
  • 1 night Punakaiki
  • 2 nights Franz Josef
  • 3 nights Queenstown
  • 1 night Doubtful Sound
  • 2 nights Dunedin
  • 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 (Boutique and 4-star only)

Interislander ferry crossing

Northern Explorer Scenic Train from Auckland to Wellington

Tranz Alpine Train from Christchurch to Greymouth

Taste of Auckland full day tour

Otago Peninsula Wildlife Premier tour including Larnach Castle

TSS Earnslaw cruise and dinner at Walter Peak high country farm

Safari of the Scenes Wakatipu Basin tour

Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise

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

Highlights

Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise

The Fiordland Navigator offers a very special dinner, bed and breakfast wilderness experience. Real Journeys Doubtful Sound overnight vessel, the Fiordland Navigator, is designed along the lines of a traditional New Zealand coastal trading scow to reflect Fiordland's heritage. The purpose built vessel accommodates passengers either in private cabins with ensuite bathrooms or in quad-share bunk style compartments with shared bathroom facilities. The vessel has spacious deck areas for viewing the wilderness scenery and wildlife of Doubtful Sound. Of particular interest, if sighted, are fur seals, dolphins, and in season, rare penguins.

Interislander ferry crossing

The 92 km journey between Picton and Wellington or vice versa takes around 3 hours and has been described as 'one of the most beautiful ferry rides in the world'. Around one hour of the cruise takes you through the Marlborough Sounds. This region of bush covered mountains, small islands, crystal clear waters and secluded bays is a true photographic opportunity. From the Cook Strait spectacular views of the Kaikoura Ranges on the South Island can be enjoyed and dolphins and many sea birds are often seen. Wellington Harbour sees you pass many interesting points such as Pencarrow Head on top of which is New Zealand's oldest lighthouse (1859). Red Rocks is home to a seal colony and Oterangi Bay is the site which recorded the countries highest ever wind speed of 268 kph (167 mph).

Northern Explorer Scenic Train from Auckland to Wellington

The Northern Explorer is a journey through the heart of the North Island, travelling between Auckland - New Zealand's largest city, to Wellington - New Zealand's arts and culture capital. Along the way you pass the Central North Island ski towns of National Park and Ohakune. You also see fantastic views of New Zealand farmland, the volcanic plateau, Mount Ruapehu, the world famous Raurimu Spiral, and stunning river gorges - all from panoramic windows or open air viewing decks allowing you the best possible views. All carriages feature large panoramic windows giving sweeping views of the magnificent North Island. The Observation Carriage includes a mix of seating including lounge style seating. The lounge style seating is arranged at the very rear of this glass backed carriage enabling you to enjoy a totally unique Northern Explore experience.

Tranz Alpine Train from Christchurch to Greymouth

Considered one of the worlds great train journeys, the Tranz Alpine scenic train trip operates between Christchurch and Greymouth and vice versa. Crossing from the Tasman Sea through to Arthur's Pass National Park. 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.

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.

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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20 Day Southbound Explorer Self Drive

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