Experience the best of New Zealand with this 5* reviewed South Island tour package. We offer flexible New Zealand escorted tours with no date or itinerary restrictions.
Each South Island tour package includes a private tour guide/driver, private touring vehicle, quality accommodation, and a range of must-do activities.
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 Riverside Farmers Market, the Cardboard Cathedral and the Canterbury Museum.
Stay 1 night in Christchurch.
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.
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.
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, the only
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.
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, take the magical Te Anau Glowworm Caves Tour. Explore a mysterious underground world of rushing water before drifting in silent darkness beneath the luminous shimmer of thousands of glowworms. In this mysterious underground world, discover fossils and rock formations, and view rushing waterfalls and whirlpools. Learn how the caves are still being carved out by the incredible and relentless power of nature before gliding through silent darkness to the glowworm grotto. The delicate incandescence of thousands of tiny glowworms is a magical sight!
Stay 2 nights in Te Anau.
Travel time Te Anau to Milford Sound – 2.5 hours (each way)
The Milford Road (between Te Anau and Milford) is one of the finest alpine drives in the world. The scenery is exceptional, ranging from broad grassy flats, dense rainforest, and towering mountains through to glacial lakes and alpine herb fields. The schedule includes plenty of time for short nature walks and photo opportunities along the way.
Upon reaching Milford Sound, you will enjoy a 2.5 hour Milford Sound Nature Cruise. With specialist nature guides on board, Real Journeys Nature Cruises offer a close-up experience of Milford Sound’s rainforest, soaring rock walls, towering snow capped mountains, cascading waterfalls, hanging valleys and wildlife… words just don’t do it justice, you have to see it for yourself! Throughout the cruise, the guides share stories of the fiord’s history and are happy to answer your questions
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.
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 Lake Matheson, where you can take a 20 minute walk (one-way) to the jetty, to admire the reflected views of the Southern Alps on the surface of the lake.
In the evening, soak in the Glacier Hot Pools to unwind and rejuvenate.
Stay 1 night in Franz Josef.
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.
Your guide will deliver you to Christchurch Airport for your departing flight.
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