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9 Day Southern Beauty Small Group Tour

Days
9

Pricing From
$5690

South Island
Book Now

Overview

 

Explore the very best of Te Waipounamu or South Island New Zealand on this 9-day Southern Beauty Small Group Coach Tour. We will take you to some of the most iconic destinations in the South including Aoraki Mt Cook, Milford Sound, Queenstown, Wanaka, the Glaciers, and the West Coast.

Experience the warmth of Kiwi hospitality, enjoy some of the country’s best food and wine, make new friends along the way, and relax in superior 4-star accommodation at the end of each day.

Included Sightseeing & Exploring

 

You'll visit and discover all these iconic New Zealand places on your tour:

  • Take a memorable photograph of the Church of the Good Shepherd on the shores of the turquoise-hued Lake Tekapo.
  • See New Zealand’s highest mountain in the Aoraki/Mt Cook region.
  • Drive through the diverse beauty of the Lindis Pass and Kawarau Gorge.
  • Learn about Arrowtown’s place in New Zealand’s gold mining history.
  • Drive the stunning Crown Range & Cardrona Valley road
  • Explore the shores of the Great Southern Lakes of Wakatipu, Wanaka and Hawea.
  • Drive the world famous Milford Road & Haast Highway with time to enjoy all the best stops on route.
  • Stroll in Haast Pass’ mountain beech forests to waterfalls and blue pools
  • Explore the Glacier Country highlights of Lake Matheson and Franz Josef Glacier, overnight stay in Franz Josef.
  • See the blow holes at the Punakaiki Pancake rocks and walk in the rainforest
  • Visit remote Denniston where coal was first mined in 1879
  • Drive the dramatic Otira Gorge highway to Arthur’s Pass and say hello to New Zealand’s cheeky mountain parrot, the Kea.
  • Short walks in the great outdoors in Aoraki/Mt Cook, Fiordland, Mt Aspiring, Tai Poutini Westland, Paparoa and Arthur’s Pass National Parks.

Southern Beauty: Aoraki Mt Cook, Milford & Franz Josef

Milford Sound

Southern Beauty: Aoraki Mt Cook, Milford & Franz Josef

Franz Josef Glacier

Southern Beauty: Aoraki Mt Cook, Milford & Franz Josef

Queenstown

Southern Beauty: Aoraki Mt Cook, Milford & Franz Josef

Mount Cook

Itinerary

Open All
Day 1Christchurch - Aoraki / Mt Cook

After a mid-morning flight to Christchurch we head south for a special lunch at Akaunui homestead south of Ashburton, a 100-year-old country home where we dine on wonderful fresh produce prepared by our hosts, Di and Ian Mackenzie. 

We continue through Burke's Pass to the spectacular Mackenzie Country for sweeping vistas of tussock lands, glacial lakes and the Southern Alps. On route to Mt Cook we can’t miss the Church at Lake Tekapo and the unreal turquoise blue Lake Pukaki before arrival and dining in house at the Hermitage Hotel.

Stay at the Hermitage Hotel, Mt. Cook

Day 2Aoraki/Mt Cook - Queenstown

Always a memorable time on tour, your day in Mount Cook, New Zealand’s highest mountain and ‘home ground’ of the most famous Kiwi of all, Sir Edmund Hillary. Wake up to the beauty of this alpine wonderland and enjoy the fresh air and wide open spaces with a stroll in Aoraki National Park.

Our adventure continues on to Omarama, over the Lindis Pass and through the rugged Kawarau Gorge and Gibbston Valley onto Queenstown - our home for three nights. 

Stay at Scenic Suites, Queenstown for 3 nights

Day 3Queenstown - Milford Sound

Today is all about the one and only Milford Sound. From Queenstown we follow the shores of the great southern lakes Wakatipu and Te Anau before heading into the heart of Fiordland National Park on the spectacular Milford Road.  

On arrival at Milford cruise by launch out onto the sound dominated by iconic Mitre Peak and home to birdlife, seal colonies and marine life. A magical flight over the Southern Alps returns us to Queenstown at the end of a fantastic day of touring by land, sea and air. 

Day 4Queenstown Sightseeing - Glenorchy

Today is our day to explore everything Queenstown has to offer, we'll start our day by catching the Skyline Gondola for the best views of Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkables. Then we'll take the Glenorchy road to the stunning head of Lake Wakatipu for a lakeside lunch and the famous Lord of the Rings scenery.

Once back in town we enjoy a cruise on Lake Wakatipu aboard the famous TSS Earnslaw before dinner.

Day 5Queenstown - Wanaka

Our day starts with a short hop to leafy Arrowtown, where gold mining history comes alive. We then climb up into the tussock country of the Crown Range and our last views of the beautiful Wakatipu. The picture perfect Cardrona Hotel is our lunch venue and stop in at the family owned distillery for a wee dram before carrying on to Wanaka.

We arrive with plenty of time to explore the town centre, take a leisurely stroll along the lakefront or one of the many excellent local walks. Our accommodation this evening is the only hotel right on the waterfront, it's a beautiful secluded setting for the evening.

Stay at Edgewater Resort, Wanaka

Day 6Wanaka - Franz Josef Glacier

Today is unforgettable, where else in the world can you visit the beach, a rainforest and a glacier all in the same day? We start off following the shores of Lakes Wanaka & Hawea before the beech forest and alpine streams of the Haast Pass and Mt Aspiring National Park.

We continue north along the coast through the lush, prehistoric Gondwanaland, stopping at Ship Creek to stroll the beach, keep your eye out for dolphins feeding in the shallows. Get your camera ready for Lake Matheson’s famous reflections and our first glimpse of Fox Glacier. Our home for the night is Franz Josef.

Stay at Scenic Hotel Franz Josef

Day 7Franz Josef Glacier - Punakaiki

This morning we explore the real heart of Te Waihpounamu World Heritage Area. Our day starts with a short walk in the Franz Josef Valley for views of the fast disappearing glacier and pristine rainforest. We continue to Okarito where our local guides Swade and Paula share the colourful history and unique ecosystem with a short walk and wildlife cruise out on the lagoon.

Our journey continues north to Hokitika, the Pounamu capital of the country and home to carvers, glass blowing and artisans. We arrive at our home for two nights in Punakaiki, right on the beach in the perfect spot to enjoy your last few sunsets of our South Island adventure.

Stay at Punakaiki Resort for 2 nights

Day 8Punakaiki - Cape Foulwind

The surrounding Paparoa National Park is very different to any other area on the trip, towering limestone cliffs and karst rock formations with beautiful river valleys draped in subtropical forest. We'll start our day with a short walk at the famous Pancake Rocks and Blowholes.

We'll then head north through Paparoa National Park, to the mining country of Westport and the famous Denniston Plateau, a spot where not many Kiwis ever get to. We'll round off our day with a short walk at the Cape Foulwind Seal Colony before returning to our beachside accommodation at Punakaiki for our final evening.

Day 9Punakaiki - Arthur’s Pass - Christchurch

Today is a real day of contrasts, you'll wake up to the sounds of the Tasman Sea, traverse the Southern Alps and into the stunning Canterbury High Country and across the plains into Christchurch.

Highlights include the Otira Viaduct and Arthur’s Pass National Park - one of the best places in the country to see the hilarious antics of our alpine parrot, the Kea. Enjoy the mountain air with short walks at Arthur's Pass and the limestone rock formation at Castle Hill before we reach Christchurch airport in the late afternoon.

Cost per person

October 2021 - April 2022

  • Twin:   NZ$5,690
  • Single: NZ$6,290

Baggage Please note: Try to keep to one suitcase weighing around 23kgs and one small carry on bag.

Pricing: Single share price is base on one person in a single room. Twin share price is based on 2 people sharing one room.

Updated Booking Terms:

  • No deposit is required until 1 August 2020 to confirm your reservation on our October 2020 to April 2021 tour departures.
  • On 1 August 2020 the 20% non-refundable tour deposit payment is due depending on New Zealand Government travel advice at the time.
  • If a tour departure is cancelled due to a Covid-19 lockdown, we provide the option to either transfer your deposit to another tour departure or receive a full refund of the deposit.
  • On all tour departures not affected by Covid-19, if you cancel your tour the 20% deposit is not refundable.
  • The balance of your fare is due 60 days before your tour departs.
  • Tour prices were correct at time of publication but may be subject to change at the time of booking.

Cancellation fees depend on when we receive notice of your cancellation:

  • Bookings cancelled between 59 days and 45 days incur 50% of tour cost.
  • Bookings cancelled between 44 days and 31 days incur 75% of tour cost.
  • Bookings cancelled within 30 days or less of tour departure incur 100% of tour cost.
  • No refunds will be made after travel has commenced.

 

Itinerary

Open All
Day 1Christchurch - Aoraki / Mt Cook

After a mid-morning flight to Christchurch we head south for a special lunch at Akaunui homestead south of Ashburton, a 100-year-old country home where we dine on wonderful fresh produce prepared by our hosts, Di and Ian Mackenzie. 

We continue through Burke's Pass to the spectacular Mackenzie Country for sweeping vistas of tussock lands, glacial lakes and the Southern Alps. On route to Mt Cook we can’t miss the Church at Lake Tekapo and the unreal turquoise blue Lake Pukaki before arrival and dining in house at the Hermitage Hotel.

Stay at the Hermitage Hotel, Mt. Cook

Day 2Aoraki/Mt Cook - Queenstown

Always a memorable time on tour, your day in Mount Cook, New Zealand’s highest mountain and ‘home ground’ of the most famous Kiwi of all, Sir Edmund Hillary. Wake up to the beauty of this alpine wonderland and enjoy the fresh air and wide open spaces with a stroll in Aoraki National Park.

Our adventure continues on to Omarama, over the Lindis Pass and through the rugged Kawarau Gorge and Gibbston Valley onto Queenstown - our home for three nights. 

Stay at Scenic Suites, Queenstown for 3 nights

Day 3Queenstown - Milford Sound

Today is all about the one and only Milford Sound. From Queenstown we follow the shores of the great southern lakes Wakatipu and Te Anau before heading into the heart of Fiordland National Park on the spectacular Milford Road.  

On arrival at Milford cruise by launch out onto the sound dominated by iconic Mitre Peak and home to birdlife, seal colonies and marine life. A magical flight over the Southern Alps returns us to Queenstown at the end of a fantastic day of touring by land, sea and air. 

Day 4Queenstown Sightseeing - Glenorchy

Today is our day to explore everything Queenstown has to offer, we'll start our day by catching the Skyline Gondola for the best views of Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkables. Then we'll take the Glenorchy road to the stunning head of Lake Wakatipu for a lakeside lunch and the famous Lord of the Rings scenery.

Once back in town we enjoy a cruise on Lake Wakatipu aboard the famous TSS Earnslaw before dinner.

Day 5Queenstown - Wanaka

Our day starts with a short hop to leafy Arrowtown, where gold mining history comes alive. We then climb up into the tussock country of the Crown Range and our last views of the beautiful Wakatipu. The picture perfect Cardrona Hotel is our lunch venue and stop in at the family owned distillery for a wee dram before carrying on to Wanaka.

We arrive with plenty of time to explore the town centre, take a leisurely stroll along the lakefront or one of the many excellent local walks. Our accommodation this evening is the only hotel right on the waterfront, it's a beautiful secluded setting for the evening.

Stay at Edgewater Resort, Wanaka

Day 6Wanaka - Franz Josef Glacier

Today is unforgettable, where else in the world can you visit the beach, a rainforest and a glacier all in the same day? We start off following the shores of Lakes Wanaka & Hawea before the beech forest and alpine streams of the Haast Pass and Mt Aspiring National Park.

We continue north along the coast through the lush, prehistoric Gondwanaland, stopping at Ship Creek to stroll the beach, keep your eye out for dolphins feeding in the shallows. Get your camera ready for Lake Matheson’s famous reflections and our first glimpse of Fox Glacier. Our home for the night is Franz Josef.

Stay at Scenic Hotel Franz Josef

Day 7Franz Josef Glacier - Punakaiki

This morning we explore the real heart of Te Waihpounamu World Heritage Area. Our day starts with a short walk in the Franz Josef Valley for views of the fast disappearing glacier and pristine rainforest. We continue to Okarito where our local guides Swade and Paula share the colourful history and unique ecosystem with a short walk and wildlife cruise out on the lagoon.

Our journey continues north to Hokitika, the Pounamu capital of the country and home to carvers, glass blowing and artisans. We arrive at our home for two nights in Punakaiki, right on the beach in the perfect spot to enjoy your last few sunsets of our South Island adventure.

Stay at Punakaiki Resort for 2 nights

Day 8Punakaiki - Cape Foulwind

The surrounding Paparoa National Park is very different to any other area on the trip, towering limestone cliffs and karst rock formations with beautiful river valleys draped in subtropical forest. We'll start our day with a short walk at the famous Pancake Rocks and Blowholes.

We'll then head north through Paparoa National Park, to the mining country of Westport and the famous Denniston Plateau, a spot where not many Kiwis ever get to. We'll round off our day with a short walk at the Cape Foulwind Seal Colony before returning to our beachside accommodation at Punakaiki for our final evening.

Day 9Punakaiki - Arthur’s Pass - Christchurch

Today is a real day of contrasts, you'll wake up to the sounds of the Tasman Sea, traverse the Southern Alps and into the stunning Canterbury High Country and across the plains into Christchurch.

Highlights include the Otira Viaduct and Arthur’s Pass National Park - one of the best places in the country to see the hilarious antics of our alpine parrot, the Kea. Enjoy the mountain air with short walks at Arthur's Pass and the limestone rock formation at Castle Hill before we reach Christchurch airport in the late afternoon.

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