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Premium New Zealand South Island


Taking you from Christchurch to Queenstown via glaciers, wineries, lakes, and an overnight cruise on Milford Sound, this 10-day tour showcases the natural beauty and thriving food and wine scene in the South Island of New Zealand. With a friendly leader to guide the way, you’ll experience a landscape that has been shaped by the elements over thousands of years, taste wine at picturesque cellar doors, go kiwi spotting, and enjoy some delicious breakfasts, lunches, and dinners showcasing outstanding local produce.

10 days, from

$4,285

per person

GROUP SIZE

11 people max

ACTIVITY LEVEL

 
2
Trip code: PHPS
Style: Premium
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Details

Countries Visited:  New Zealand
Accommodation: Hotel (5 nights), Homestead (2 nights), Cruise boat (1 night)
Transportation: Private vehicle , Jet boat , Cruise boat
Meals: 2 dinners, 9 breakfasts
Group size: Minimum 1, Max 11

  • Experience some of New Zealand’s most spectacular scenery with an overnight stay on Milford Sound aboard a purpose-built vessel.

  • Savour the flavours of the Otago region with a chef-led food and foraging tour on an expansive and stunning New Zealand deer station.

  • Take an exhilarating jetboat ride on the Kimi Akau (Shotover River), deep into the spectacular Shotover Canyons, with the Ngai Tahu - the Maori people of this land.

  • Enjoy a ranger-guided walk around the aptly named Blue Pools that feed the Makarora River and learn about the important work of the Aspiring Biodiversity Trust to reduce predators and save some of New Zealand’s rarest species.

  • Take a 'backstage tour' of the West Coast Wildlife Centre, helping bring the critically endangered Rowi and Haast tokoeka kiwi back from extinction. Come face-to-face with these rare creatures.

Itinerary

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Day 1: Christchurch

Welcome to Christchurch! Your tour begins with a late afternoon group meeting at 5pm followed by an exclusive Welcome Dinner at a tiny restaurant and natural wine bar featuring produce from the Canterbury region and across the South Island. Meet the chef and learn firsthand about the sustainable ethos that underpins his cooking, then enjoy a delicious three course meal celebrating local producers.

Day 2: Christchurch / Greymouth / Punakaiki

Take a morning stroll with your leader around some of the landmarks of Christchurch. Next set off for Punakaiki, driving through Arthur’s Pass and Castle Hill – the spectacular mountain scenery may look familiar, as parts of The Chronicles of Narnia movie were filmed against this dramatic backdrop. After lunch in Moana, enjoy a short walk at Lake Brunner, the largest lake in the northwestern South Island of New Zealand. Spend the afternoon in Greymouth, stopping into a boutique studio to learn about the prized west coast jade known locally as Pounamu (Greenstone). Then continue to Monteith's Brewery, considered the original home of New Zealand craft brewing, for a tour and tasting. Arrive at Punakaiki Resort by late afternoon. Situated in Paparoa National Park, the resort is adjacent to the beautiful Punakaiki beach and the magnificent Pancake Rocks and Blowholes - the perfect spot to reflect and relax.

Day 3: Hokitika / Franz Josef

After breakfast, explore the Punakaiki Rocks and Blowhole before the drive to Franz Josef. Along the way, stretch your legs at the charming west coast town of Hokitika, and enjoy an exhilarating treetop adventure on a walk through the ancient Rimu and Kamahi tree canopy. In the afternoon, take a private ranger-guided tour of the West Coast Wildlife Centre, home of the official breeding programme for the world's rarest kiwi, the Rowi. Also keep an eye out for tuatara, a reptile endemic to New Zealand. Arrive at your Franz Josef accommodation by evening.

Day 4: Franz Josef

Join your leader for a guided walk to see the icy wonderland created by the Franz Josef Glacier, one of the steepest glaciers in New Zealand. If you’re feeling more adventurous, you may like to join an optional heli-hiking tour and get even closer to this incredible glacier. Other optional activities include kayaking, a scenic cruise on Lake Mapourika or a soak in the hot tubs at Franz Josef.

Day 5: Makaroa / Wanaka

Depart Franz Josef for the picturesque resort town of Wanaka, the gateway to Mount Aspiring National Park, located in the Otago region. Stop along the way at Makorora and visit the Aspiring Biodiversity Trust, an organisation which strives to protect and restore indigenous biodiversity. After lunch, take a guided walk with a local ornithologist and ecologist to enjoy the vibrant hue of the aptly named Blue Pools that feed the Makarora River. Keep an eye out for endangered birds as you learn about how the Aspiring Biodiversity Trust is working to reduce predators and save some of New Zealand’s rarest species. Arrive in Wanaka by later afternoon, and settle in to your home for the next two nights - a homestead built on the site of a former sheep station. Located next to the resplendent Wanaka Station Park on the shores of Lake Wanaka, and a short stroll from Wanaka township, you'll be perfectly placed to enjoy all this charming town has to offer.

Day 6: Wanaka

Enjoy a sleep in or perhaps start your day with a hike up Mt Iron for a view over Lake Wanaka and the surrounding peaks. Today's experience is one of the real highlight's of your trip. Central Otago is a region well known for food and wine, and today you will visit the spectacular Criffel Station for a chef-guided tasting and foraging tour, followed by a delicious lunch, washed down with some excellent Central Otago wines.

Day 7: Milford Sound

Depart Wanaka for the drive to Te Anau. Along the way, take in a spectacular scenic drive across the Crown Range and by the shores of Lake Wakatipu. After lunch, continue on to your embarkation point for an overnight cruise surrounded by the spectacular beauty of Milford Sound, also known by its Te Reo (Maori) name Piopiotahi. Aboard your purpose-built vessel, enjoy a full length journey of the fjord out to the Tasman Sea, with the possibility to see wildlife such as seals, penguins and dolphins. You will also have access to a specialist guide with information on the fjord's history and natural environment. For those who are keen, kayaking and/or small boat tours allow a truly immersive experience of this special place. Finish your day with a delicious three-course dinner before settling down in your cosy cabin.

Day 8: Milford Sound / Te Anau / Queenstown

After a leisurely onboard breakfast surrounded by some of New Zealand’s most spectacular scenery, you’ll disembark and travel to Queenstown with plenty of opportunities to stretch your legs along the way. After another stop in pretty Te Anau for lunch, you’ll arrive in plenty of time to check into your boutique hotel in Queenstown.

Day 9: Arrowtown / Queenstown

Today is the grand finale of your trip. In the morning, take an exhilarating jetboat ride on the Kimi Akau (Shotover River), deep into the spectacular Shotover Canyons. Speeding over water as shallow as 10cm, this is an amazing white water experience, operated by the Ngai Tahu, Maori people who have a centuries-old connection with this land. Continue on for a leader-led walk through historical Arrowtown, then enjoy a wine and cheese pairing at Gibbston Valley. Toast the end of your journey with a New Zealand-inspired gin & tonic or glass of Otago wine at a bar & restaurant with arguably the most spectacular views in all of Queenstown.

Day 10: Queenstown

Your New Zealand adventure ends this morning after breakfast. As this trip spends very little time in Queenstown, we recommend you spend an extra day or two here if you want to experience all the town has to offer. Your booking agent will be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability).

Unscripted experiences, insider access and authentic local flavors


Our team of travel specialists and local contacts have curated some of the best, most exclusive and authentic experiences, restaurants and accommodations in New Zealand to truly immerse yourself in a way that wouldn't be possible in larger groups or just on your own.

10 days, from $4,285

to book call 1-844-205-6226

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