Experience the best of New Zealand’s South Island on this guided tour. Your private guide will meet your group at the airport and take you on an insider’s tour of New Zealand, visiting iconic landmarks and local secrets alike.
Offering New Zealand’s top escorted tour operators and highly experienced tour guides, we cater for groups between 1-20 people. With no date or itinerary restrictions, your New Zealand tour can be completely customised.
10 Day South Island Guided Tour Itinerary
Day 1 Arrive Christchurch
Your fantastic guided holiday begins in Christchurch, New Zealand’s “Garden City.” With a thriving restaurant scene, a string of beautiful parks, and a historic town centre, Christchurch is an excellent holiday destination.
Explore Christchurch with your guide, visiting the botanic gardens, the Christchurch Cathedral, the RE:Start Container Mall, and the Canterbury Museum.
Stay 1 night in Christchurch.
Day 2 Mount Cook + Tasman Glacier
Travel time Christchurch to Mt Cook Village – 4 hours
Your scenic journey through the Mackenzie Basin begins today as you cross over Burkes Pass. As the Southern Alps loom before you, there will be photo opportunities around every corner.
Continue past Lake Pukaki on your way to Mt Cook Village, nestled at the foot of New Zealand’s highest mountain. Your guide will take you to a viewpoint over Tasman Glacier, lying at the base of the spectacular Tasman Valley.
In the evening, visit the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre to view the displays and watch any of a wide offering of films and planetarium shows on New Zealand.
Stay 1 night in Mt Cook Village.
Day 3 Queenstown – The Adventure Capital of New Zealand!
Travel time Mt Cook Village to Queenstown – 3 hours
Continue south to Queenstown, the adventure capital of New Zealand. Along the way, your guide will take you to sample the fresh fruit from the orchards of Cromwell. You also have the option to visit several top wineries with your guide on the drive through the Kawarau Gorge.
Explore Queenstown independently in the evening.
Stay 3 nights in Queenstown.
Day 4 Remarkables Helicopter Flight + High Country Farm Dinner
Discover the rugged Remarkables mountain range today with a breathtaking scenic helicopter flight, and land on a remote alpine ridge to soak in the spectacular views.
Visit Arrowtown with your guide in the afternoon, and explore the quaint historic mining settlement. If there are any Lord of the Rings fans in the group, your guide will show you the filming locations for Minas Tirith, Argonath, the Misty Mountains, and the Ford of Bruinen.
In the evening, relive the elegance of turn-of-the-century travel with a cruise aboard the vintage steamship TSS Earnslaw. Disembark at Walter Peak High Country Farm for a stunning gourmet BBQ meal and farm tour.
Day 5 Glenorchy Lord of the Rings Tour
Explore the Lord of the Rings locations around Queenstown with your guide today on an excursion to the stunning Glenorchy region. Stop along the way for majestic views up Lake Wakatipu, and visit the stunning Paradise Valley and Dart Valley at the head of the lake. Along the way, you will get the chance to see the filming locations for Isengard, Lothlorien, and Ithilien Camp.
Stop in Glenorchy for a coffee or relaxing lunch, and soak in the incredible views of snow-capped peaks and turquoise rivers.
Day 6 Te Anau Glowworm Caves
Travel time Queenstown to Te Anau – 2.5 hours
Your scenic tour will continue as you make your way past Lake Wakatipu on your way to Te Anau, the gateway to Fiordland National Park.
In the afternoon, explore a mysterious underground world of rushing water and glittering glowworms on a tour of the Te Anau Glowworm Caves.
Stay 2 nights in Te Anau.
Day 7 Milford Sound Experience
Embark on a fantastic journey along the Milford Highway today to New Zealand’s most iconic fiord – Milford Sound. Travel with a small tour group on this extended day trip to Milford Sound, stopping along the way for countless scenic photo opportunities and short walks plus a delicious morning tea. At Milford Sound, enjoy a scenic nature cruise that takes you up close to the majesty of the fiord – you might even spot keas, seals, dolphins, or the rare Fiordland Crested Penguin!
Day 8 Wanaka
Travel time Te Anau to Wanaka – 3.5 hours
Return past Lake Wakatipu to Queenstown, where you will stop for lunch before enjoying the scenic drive over the Crown Range to Wanaka. Your guide will stop along the way for photos at fantastic viewing points.
Explore the alpine town of Wanaka in the afternoon – your guide could take you to Puzzling World or Rippon Winery, or you could simply relax on the lakefront and do a bit of boutique shopping.
Stay 1 night in Wanaka.
Day 9 Franz Josef Glacier + Hot Pools
Travel time Wanaka to Franz Josef – 4 hours
After the Milford Highway, the Haast Pass Highway is one of the most scenic alpine routes in New Zealand. Explore the pass with your guide, stopping to view cascading waterfalls, broad alpine meadows, craggy snowcapped mountains, and the turquoise depths of the Blue Pools.
Continuing along the West Coast, your guide will take you to the base of Fox Glacier, where you have the option to enjoy a 1-hour return walk to a viewing point over the mighty glacier.
In the evening, soak in the Glacier Hot Pools to unwind and rejuvenate.
Stay 1 night in Franz Josef.
Day 10 TranzAlpine Train Journey
Travel time Franz Josef to Greymouth – 2.5 hours
Train travel time Greymouth to Christchurch – 4.5 hours
Leave the rugged West Coast behind today as you board the TranzAlpine Train for a fantastic journey through Arthurs Pass. Travel past the soaring peaks and braided rivers of the Southern Alps, through the gorges of the Waimakariri River, and past the rolling Canterbury Plains.
Your guide will meet you at the train station and bring you to your accommodation.
Stay 1 night in Christchurch.
Day 11 Depart Christchurch
Your guide will deliver you to Christchurch Airport for your departing flight.
- Driving through the Mackenzie Basin, with countless photo opportunities along the way – see the craggy, snow-capped Mt Cook (New Zealand’s highest mountain), drive past two stunning turquoise lakes, and witness the grandeur of the Southern Alps.
- Viewing the spectacular Tasman Glacier.
- Learning the incredible stories of New Zealand at the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre planetarium and theatre.
- Reliving the elegance of turn-of-the-century travel with a steamship cruise across Lake Wakatipu.
- Experiencing farm life and enjoying a gourmet dinner at Walter Peak High Country Station.
- Exploring the quaint historic mining settlement of Arrowtown.
- Flying over the jagged, breathtaking Remarkables mountain range on a scenic helicopter tour!
- Venturing into paradise on a stunning scenic tour of Glenorchy, where you will find countless Lord of the Rings film locations surrounded by snow-capped mountains and turquoise river valleys.
- Marvelling at the galaxy of glowworms overhead at the Te Anau Glowworm Caves.
- Journeying down the incredible Milford Highway and experiencing the grandeur of Milford Sound on an unforgettable nature cruise.
- Driving over the lofty Crown Range and stopping for sweeping views of the valley below.
- Travelling through Haast Pass, past hanging glaciers and pounding waterfalls and turquoise rivers.
- Soaking in the Glacier Hot Pools beneath the stars.
- Riding the TranzAlpine Train through the spectacular Arthurs Pass.
Your privately guided tour includes:
- All transportation within New Zealand – you will be collected at the arrivals hall of the Christchurch, and dropped off at the departures hall of the Christchurch Airport
- Excellent 4-star accommodation
- Private tour guide
- Sightseeing and Photo Stops En Route
- Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre Explorers Pass
- Remarkables Scenic Helicopter Flight over Queenstown
- TSS Earnslaw Steamship Cruise and High Country Farm Dinner
- Te Anau Glowworm Cave Tour
- Milford Sound Fiordland Extraordinaire Tour
- Entry to Glacier Hot Pools
- TranzAlpine Train Journey
** Your privately guided tour does NOT include flights, food (except where included in activities) or travel insurance.
As guide prices are split between travellers, the pricing will vary depending on the number of travellers on your tour.
1 Traveller: NZD$17,799
2 Travellers: NZD$9599 per adult | NZD$9149 per child
3 Travellers: NZD$7249 per adult | NZD$6799 per child
4 Travellers: NZD$6059 per adult | NZD$5599 per child
5 Travellers: NZD$5349 per adult | NZD$4899 per child
6 Travellers: NZD$4899 per adult | NZD$4449 per child
7 Travellers: NZD$4549 per adult | NZD$4099 per child
8 Travellers: NZD$4299 per adult | NZD$3849 per child
9 Travellers: NZD$4299 per adult | NZD$3849 per child
10 Travellers: NZD$4099 per adult | NZD$3649 per child
11 + Travellers: Please enquire for your custom quote