Discover New Zealand's South Islands on this trip, taking in Mt. Cook, Milford Sound, Franz Josef Glacier and more.
The sights and sounds of the South take centre stage on this sojourn through the Pancake Rocks and Blow Holes of Punakaiki and on to the picture-perfect Tasman Sea. Tuck into a taste of country life with the Taylors, board the TranzAlpine train and cruise the tranquil waters of the Milford Sound.
Highlights and Inclusions
- View the Southern Alps from the TranzAlpine train
- 9 nights hotel accommodation
- 17 meals including 9 hot buffet breakfasts
- 1 lunch
- 7 dinners
- City tour in Dunedin
- Cruise on Milford Sound
- See spectacular sights in Fiordland National Park en route to Milford Sound
- Visit Franz Josef Glacier, historic Arrowtown, and the Pancake Rocks and Blowholes at Punakaiki
- Optional Experiences and free time
- VIP entry to many sights
- Luxury air-conditioned coach with WiFi in most regions or alternative transportation (such as rail journeys)
- An expert Travel Director and separate Driver, Driver Guide only on Mini-Stays
- Airport transfers on the first and last day of your guided holiday
- All hotel charges and local taxes
- Porterage, local tips and charges
Day 1 - International Flight to Christchurch
Embark on your international flight to Christchurch from your U.S. gateway. (International flight is not included)
Day 2 - Arrive Christchurch
Welcome to Christchurch! On arrival, you will be transferred to your hotel (flights to arrive prior to 4pm). You'll have free time to relax and unwind after your journey before you meet your Travel Director and fellow travellers this evening for a Welcome Reception. (D)
Day 3 - Christchurch - Twizel
Join us for a taste of country life at a barbecue lunch on Morelea Farm, a typical working sheep farm. You'll be welcomed into the home of your hosts Angie and Stan Taylor and their 600-acre garden. Hear their stories and sample delicious food prepared just for you. Later see Lakes Tekapo and Pukaki, visit the Church of the Good Shepherd and soak up the alpine scenery of Mount Cook National Park. There's time for an optional scenic flight over Mt. Cook (weather permitting). (B, L, D)
Day 4 - Twizel - Dunedin Sightseeing
Your day starts with a journey along the Waitaki River, and a photo stop at the Waitaki Hydro Power Scheme and Benmore Dam. Travel through to the township of Oamaru with its famous white limestone buildings and then on to Dunedin. This afternoon your choice of sightseeing: tour Larnach Castle; ride the Taieri Gorge Railway; take the Monarch Wildlife Cruise to see the Penguins and the Royal Albatross or experience an interactive tour of Speight's Brewery. (B, D)
Day 5 - Dunedin - Te Anau
This morning enjoy a chance to explore Dunedin. In the afternoon travel through lush green pastures, crossing sheep-filled farming land to the village of Te Anau, on the shores of Lake Te Anau, the South Island's largest lake. Tonight consider an Optional Experience out across the lake to the Te Anau Glow Worm Caves. (B, D)
Day 6 - Te Anau - Queenstown
You'll be awe-struck by the magnificence of the World Heritage listed Fiordland National Park. Amazing photo opportunities await you as you see rainforest, ancient glaciers and mountain ranges before driving through the hand-hewn Homer Tunnel. Pass the Mirror Lake, Pop's Lookout, Cleddau Valley and the Chasm. Your cruise on mystical Milford Sound will take you past Bowen Falls and Mitre Peak. Afterwards, travel over the Devil's Staircase, along the shores of Lake Wakatipu on your way to Queenstown. An orientation tour of New Zealand's adventure capital finishes this highlight day. (B)
Day 7 - Queenstown Sightseeing
Today your choice of sightseeing: ride the Shotover Jet boat; take a gondola to Bob's Peak for thrilling luge rides; visit the Skyline Restaurant for dinner; take a 4WD minibus excursion through Skippers Canyon; visit Kiwi Birdlife Park or journey deep into the mountains to Mt. Nicholas High Country Farm for lunch. This evening cruise across Lake Wakatipu aboard New Zealand's oldest steamship, the TSS Earnslaw, to Walter Peak High Country Farm for a gourmet barbecue Regional Meal at the Colonel's Homestead. An entertaining farm show provides a glimpse into high-country farm life. Afterwards, return to Queenstown to sample the festive nightlife. (B, D)
Day 8 - Queenstown - Franz Josef
Visit the historic gold mining village of Arrowtown on the Arrow River, previously one of the world's richest rivers. Enjoy the tastes of delicious stone fruit at Cromwell, the stone fruit capital. See a trio of lakes, Dunstan, Hawea and Wanaka. Travel over the Haast Pass, view amazing Thunder Creek Falls and take a small rainforest walk. Then it's on to Franz Josef Glacier, the world's most accessible glacier. (B, D)
Day 9 - Franz Josef - Punakaiki
There is time this morning to explore Franz Josef Glacier. Later, take a walk among rainforest giants on the West Coast Treetop Walkway. Depart for Hokitika, home of the native greenstone (jade), for a factory visit and jewellery demonstration with a Local Specialist. Later, travel to Punakaiki to view the Pancake Rocks and Blowholes. Spend the night at your eco-friendly resort right on the waterfront. (B, D)
Day 10 - Punakaiki - Christchurch
There's time to relax before travelling to Arthur's Pass where you'll board the TranzAlpine train, rated as one of the world's great scenic railways journeys, to travel across the Canterbury Plains through the Southern Alps to Christchurch. Celebrate your trip this evening at a Farewell Dinner with your Travel Director and new-found friends. (B, D)
Day 11 - Depart Christchurch
Your holiday concludes this morning after breakfast. You will be transferred to Christchurch Airport for your onward flight (flights anytime). (B)
Train and Hotel Accommodations
Enjoy the scenery of inland New Zealand as you travel on the TranzAlpine train, which was designed to bring in optimal light and panoramic views. With ample legroom, skylights, and reclining seats, you are sure to enjoy your trip with the utmost comfort. The outdoor viewing carriages have open sides to ensure nothing obstructs your view of the surrounding landscape. You can even learn more about your current location's history and culture through the audio commentary system. Satisfy your hunger or thirst with a well-stocked café that includes snacks, hot food, coffee, and alcoholic beverages.
Dates & Prices
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*Additional departure dates are available. Please contact a rail specialist.