Southern Highlights, Milford Sound, Alps and Glacier tour - SHM
Number of Days: 5
Destination: New Zealand
Explore the beautiful South Island on this tour from Christchurch into the Southern Alps, Queenstown, Milford Sound, Haast Pass, a glacier and the famous West Coast, before returning through the Arthurs Pass by train back to Christchurch.
Tour commences and concludes in Canterbury most days, subject to availability at time of booking.
Day 1: Christchurch, Mt Cook National Park, Queenstown
Leaving Christchurch early, you will travel through the fertile farmland of the Canterbury Plains to glacier-fed Lake Tekapo, where you can view the solitary Church of the Good Shepherd and take in the sights of the spectacular Southern Alps. Then continue to the location of New Zealand's tallest mountain, Aoraki / Mount Cook. Here you will enjoy lunch at the famous Hermitage Hotel. After lunch you'll have time to explore the village and soak up the view. The tour continues south, past Lake Pukaki and through the tawny tussock of the Mackenzie Country.Your tour concludes in the evening upon reaching Queenstown, the adventure capital of New Zealand.
Accommodation for 3 nights: Self contained room at Blue Peaks Lodge overlooking Queenstown.
It’s a five minute walk to the Queenstown lakefront. L
Day 2: Queenstown
Although celebrated as New Zealand's ‘adventure capital’ Queenstown offers far more than a fast paced action-packed holiday. Settled on the shores of Lake Wakatipu beneath a soaring panorama of the Remarkables Mountain Range, this alpine town is surrounded by a plethora of historic, gastronomic and scenic wonders. Head down the Gibbston valley wine trail to sample some of the region’s best Pinot or catch a ride on the 100 year old Steamship - the TSS Earnslaw - to Walter Peak Station for dinner and a farm tour. Browse the waterfront cafes and have lunch at Michelin star chef Josh Emett's ‘Rata.’ Check out nearby historic Arrowtown and enhance your experience with a four wheel drive trip to Macetown. Take a leisurely lakeside stroll or ride the gondola for breathtaking views. Venture further afield into the Fiordland National Park or head over the Crown Range to Wanaka. Drive through Lord Of The Rings country - or for the really fanatic, jump aboard one of many dedicated LOTR tours. And after all of that - if you do really want the adrenaline rush Queenstown is known for, take your pick from the Shotover Jet, Nevis Bungy, Canyon Swing, Zipline, Luge or White Water rafting.
SUGGESTED OPTIONAL ACTIVITY - Shotover Jet Canyon Jet Boat Ride
Shotover Jet is the only company permitted to operate in the Shotover River Canyons. It's a thrilling ride! Skim past rocky outcrops at close range in your Shotover Jet 'Big Red', as you twist and turn through the narrow canyons at breathtaking speeds. And a major highlight - hold tight for the world-famous Shotover Jet full 360-degree spins!
SUGGESTED OPTIONAL ACTIVITY - Queenstown Skyline Gondola Ride
Hop aboard the Skyline Gondola - the steepest cable car lift in the Southern hemisphere! From which you can take in the awe-inspiring views of this spectacular landscape. Sit back and relax as you enjoy panoramic views of The Remarkables, Walter Peak, Cecil Peak, Coronet Peak and the magnificent Lake Wakatipu.
Day 3: Milford Sound cruise
Return luxury coach transport from Queenstown to Milford Sound, with an extended two hour Nature Cruise along the full length of the fiord. On board a Real Journeys luxury glass-roofed coach in Queenstown, you will enjoy a relaxing trip along the shores of Lake Wakatipu and through the rolling countryside to Te Anau. The coach driver provides an informative commentary. After a morning tea break in Te Anau, where you have the option of purchasing refreshments, the coach continues along the spectacular Milford Road. There is time for photo stops and short walks along the way. On reaching Milford Sound, you board the Milford Mariner for a leisurely extended cruise of the fiord. The cruise provides excellent viewing opportunities and plenty of time is available to enjoy waterfalls, rain forest, mountains and wildlife with extensive commentary by the onboard nature guide. Includes picnic boxed lunch. L
Day 4: Haast Pass, Franz Josef Glacier
Leaving Queenstown, travel by luxury coach through the stunning scenery of the South Island. Your driver guide will provide entertaining commentary and point out sites of interest as you pass by the crystal-clear waters of Lake Dunstan, Lake Wanaka and Lake Hawea. After a morning tea break in Makarora on the border of Mount Aspiring World Heritage Park, you'll travel through the Haast Pass, journeying through native beech forest and over the Southern Alps, before emerging on the West Coast, arriving in the afternoon at the small village of Franz Josef. From we can explore the world famous Franz Josef Glacier (as available).
You will be met at your accommodation by Glacier Shuttles and taken on a short viewing tour of the glacier. Your shuttle takes you up the Franz Josef valley to the road end, from here you will have the opportunity to walk to the viewing platform. Limited access May to September.
Accommodation: Punga Grove Motel in the heart of Franz Josef Glacier village.
Day 5: Franz Josef, Greymouth, TranzAlpine, Christchurch
This morning travel north through the small townships of Whataroa and Harihari. Stop at the Bushman's Centre for refreshments and a chance to experience a bit of West Coast humour. Continue through the township of Ross, which in the late 1800s was the centre of one of New Zealand's richest alluvial goldfields. On arrival in Hokitika there is time to purchase lunch and explore the town centre. Continue to Greymouth Railway Station to catch the world famous TranzAlpine train across the Southern Alps to Christchurch.
The TranzAlpine Scenic Train: Greymouth to Christchurch is considered one of the world's great train journeys. It takes you from Greymouth to Christchurch, across New Zealands South Island from the west to the east coast and through Arthur's Pass National Park. Experience the lush beech forest, deep river valleys and the spectacular peaks of the Southern Alps before descend to the Canterbury Plains and the city of Christchurch.
- Twin share motel accommodation.
- Transport by coach, cruiser and rail as specified.
- Meals - L = Light lunch.
- Meals other than specified on final itinerary.
- From $1,645 per person based on twin share