Southern Beauty Tour - MSB

Sep 29, 2020

Stay in the heart of Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park, cruise on Milford Sound and take a spectacular flight back over the Alps to Queenstown. From Wanaka, the Haast Pass leads to lush rainforests, Franz Josef Glacier, Okarito Lagoon and Punakaiki’s wild coastline.

Tour Highlights

  • On Milford Sound take nature and wildlife cruise out to the Tasman Sea.• Take a breathtaking scenic flight over the Southern Alps and Lake Wakatipu.
  • At Akaunui Farm enjoy a private lunch with Di and Ian Mackenzie.• Explore the legendary Aoraki/Mount Cook region.
  • Walk in the great outdoors in Aoraki/Mt Cook, Fiordland, Mt Aspiring, Tai Poutini Westland, Paparoa and Arthur’s Pass National Parks.
  • Drive over the Crown Range and lunch at historic Cardrona Hotel.
  • Enjoy a tipple and a tour of the Cardrona Distillery.
  • Stroll in Haast Pass’ mountain beech forests to waterfalls and blue pools.
  • Stay in Franz Josef Glacier village.
  • Cruise on the Okarito Lagoon in search of birdlife.
  • Take a walking tour with a local guide around Okarito’s tiny settlement.
  • 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 Otira Gorge cantilevered highway to Arthur’s Pass.

Tour Inclusions

General Inclusions

  • All transport by comfortable, air conditioned coach (maximum of 18 travellers).
  • Services of your knowledgeable MoaTours Kiwi guide.
  • Quality accommodation chosen for a “sense of place".
  • Return airfares from Auckland. (please ask us about flights from other airports)

All Meals Are Included

  • All breakfasts (B).
  • All lunches (L) including special lunches at Di and Ian Mackenzie's Akaunui Farm homestead and the Cardrona Hotel.
  • All dinners (D).

Included Activities & Entrance Fees

The following activities and attractions are all included in the price of your tour:

  • Meet a South Island farming family on a working sheep and beef farm and enjoy their warm hospitality.
  • Experience the pristine landscapes of Milford Sound with a 1.45 hour nature and wildlife cruise.
  • Soar high above the Southern Alps from Milford Sound to Queenstown on a scenic flight.
  • Lake Wakatipu cruise on the TSS Earnslaw
  • Enjoy a tipple and a tour of the Cardrona Distillery
  • Guided nature cruise on Okarito Lagoon in search of birdlife
  • Guided historical walk at Okarito Village

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.

Departure Dates

On request - monthly. Price from $5,995 pp t/share. Single Supplement on request


Day 1: Fly to Christchurch – Akaunui Farm – Aoraki/Mt Cook

From Christchurch, we head to Akaunui Farm to lunch with Di and Ian Mackenzie before driving through Burkes Pass to the tussock lands of the Mackenzie Country and a photostop at Lake Tekapo’s church and sheepdog statue and dine in the Panorama Room where Aoraki/Mt Cook (3,724 metres) dominates the view. 

Accommodation: The Hermitage Hotel, 89 Terrace Road, Mt Cook

Day 2: Aoraki/Mt Cook – Lindis Pass – Queenstown

Wake up to the beauty of this alpine valley and take a stroll in the Aoraki National Park. We head down the mountain rimmed Mackenzie Basin to Omarama and over the golden tussock hillsides of the Lindis Pass. The rugged Kawarau Gorge and the Gibbston valley vineyards lead on to Queenstown, our home for three nights. 

Accommodation: Scenic Suites, 27 Stanley St, Queenstown

Day 3: Queenstown – Milford Sound – Milford Cruise – Scenic Flight

Follow the shores of lakes Wakatipu and Te Anau into the mountains, beech forests and waterfalls of spectacular Fiordland National Park. Cruise beautiful Milford Sound, home to seals and dolphins and iconic Mitre Peak and take a magnificent scenic flight back over the Southern Alps to Queenstown.

Day 4: Queenstown– sightseeing – Glenorchy

We catch the Gondola up to the Skyline ridge to enjoy the views of The Remarkables and this pretty resort town. Later we drive beside the lake to Glenorchy, returning to Queenstown to stroll the shops and the waterfront.

Day 5: Queenstown – Arrowtown – Cardrona Hotel – Wanaka

We call into leafy, picturesque Arrowtown where gold mining history comes alive beside the Arrow River. From the Crown Range we take in the last views of the Wakatipu basin. We lunch at historic Cardrona Hotel and sample at the family owned Distillery nearby before arriving at our hotel beside the lake at Wanaka. 

Accommodation: Edgewater Hotel, 54 Sargood Drive, Lake Wanaka

Day 6: Wanaka – Haast Pass – Lake Matheson – Franz Josef

We drive beside lakes Hawea and Wanaka and through the mountain and river scenery of the Haast Pass. There are short walks in the beech forests to waterfalls and coastal scenery at Ship Creek to enjoy. Lush rainforest lines the road as wehead north to Fox Glacier, Lake Matheson and on to Franz Josef. 

Accommodation: Scenic Hotel Franz Josef, 36 Main Road, Franz Josef

Day 7: Franz Josef – Okarito Lagoon – Hokitika – Punakaiki

At Okarito we take an hour’s cruise on the lagoon looking out for birdlife in wetlands bordered by ancient forests. Our local guide Paula takes us on a walking tour of this tiny settlement of 30 people. We visit the artists of Hokitika before reaching Paparoa National Park and Punakaiki, our home for two nights. 

Accommodation: Punakaiki Resort Hotel, State Highway 6, Punakaiki

Day 8: Punakaiki Pancake Rocks – Denniston – Westport – Punakaiki

See the Pancake rocks and blowholes, limestone cliffs and karst rock formations and river valleys of subtropical forest. Further up the coast, Denniston Plateau gives an insight into the lives of early coal miners and their families. We stroll to the seal colony near Cape Foulwind before returning down the coast road to Punakaiki.

Day 9: Punakaiki – Brunner – Arthur’s Pass – Christchurch – Fly to Auckland

From Lake Brunner we drive up the Otira Viaduct, a spectacular cantilevered road, and stop to photograph the cheeky Kea parrots and enjoy the alpine and river scenery of Arthur’s Pass National Park before continuing to Christchurch Airport.

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