Map of Premium New Zealand South Island including New Zealand

Scenic beauty and delicious adventures in the 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.

£1 deposit on trips

Offer applies to trips departing in 2022.

Terms & Conditions

Start
Christchurch, New Zealand
Finish
Queenstown, New Zealand
Destination
New Zealand
Style
Premium
Code
PHPS
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 11

Why you'll love this trip

premium accommodation

Our best accommodation and highest level of service.

premium experiences

Unusual, exceptional and authentic on-trip experiences.

premium knowledge

Led by our most experienced and highest rated local leaders.

  • 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.

Is this trip right for you?

  • This trip is new to our range this year. Despite rigorous planning and research, new itineraries can sometimes throw us some unexpected surprises. More often than not, it’ll be a welcome surprise, but every now and again there might be a hiccup. We like to think that is what puts the ‘adventure’ in ‘adventure travel’.

  • The diversity of the seasons here makes for incredible scenery, but the weather in this region can be unpredictable. It’s best to wear layers at all times of the year in case conditions change during the day. At night the temperature can really drop, so bring your warm clothes.

  • There are walking opportunities throughout this trip. We recommend you bring good quality walking shoes if you're keen to enjoy a hike - or two!

Itinerary

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.
Accommodation
  • Christchurch City Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Christchurch - Welcome Dinner
Meals Included
  • Dinner
Special Information
It’s very important that you attend the welcome meeting as we will be collecting insurance and emergency contact details at this time. If you are going to be late, please let your travel agent or hotel reception know. A note will be placed in the hotel lobby for more information on where the welcome meeting will take place.
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.
Accommodation
  • Punakaiki Resort or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Greymouth - Monteith's Brewery Tour & Tasting
  • Greymouth - Pounamu (Greenstone) Studio Visit
  • Christchurch - Leader-led Orientation Walk
  • Lake Brunner - Nature Walk
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Total driving time today is around 5 hours.
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.
Accommodation
  • Rainforest Retreat Deluxe Tree Hut or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Hokitika - West Coast Treetops Walk
  • Franz Josef - West Coast Wildlife Centre Visit with Ranger
  • Punakaiki - Rocks & Blowhole Visit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Total driving time today is around 4 hours.
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.
Accommodation
  • Rainforest Retreat Deluxe Tree Hut or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Franz Josef - Glacier View Walk
Optional Activities
  • Franz Josef - Lake Mapourika Scenic Cruise - NZD155
  • Franz Josef - Waiho Hot Tubs - from - NZD69
  • Franz Josef - Heli-Hiking Tour - from - NZD485
  • Franz Josef - Kayaking Excursion - from - NZD130
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
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.
Accommodation
  • Wanaka Homestead (Feature Stay) or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Makaroa - Aspiring Biodiversity Trust Lunch
  • Makaroa - Guided Walk to the Blue Pools with Local Ornithologist
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Special Information
Total driving time today is around 4.5 hours.
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.
Accommodation
  • Wanaka Homestead (Feature Stay) or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Wanaka - Criffel Station Foraging & Lunch Experience with Local Chef
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
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.
Accommodation
  • Milford Sound Overnight Cruise (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Milford Sound - Overnight Boat Cruise
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Special Information
Total driving time today is around 3 hours. If you have booked a single supplement please be advised that tonight's accommodation aboard the cruise ship is a single supplement exception and you will be accommodated in twin share cabins.
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.
Accommodation
  • Kamana Lakehouse Hotel or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Total driving time today is around 3.5 hours.
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.
Accommodation
  • Kamana Lakehouse Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Queenstown - Shotover River Jetboat Experience
  • Gibbston Valley - Cheese & Wine Pairing
  • Arrowtown - Leader-led walk
  • Queenstown - Farewell Aperitivo
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Special Information
Total driving time is 1.5 hours.
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).
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

9 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 2 dinners

Transport

Private vehicle, Jet Boat, Cruise boat

Accommodation

Hotel (5 nights), Homestead (2 nights), Cruise boat (1 night)

Included activities

  • Christchurch - Welcome Dinner
  • Greymouth - Monteith's Brewery Tour & Tasting
  • Greymouth - Pounamu (Greenstone) Studio Visit
  • Christchurch - Leader-led Orientation Walk
  • Lake Brunner - Nature Walk
  • Hokitika - West Coast Treetops Walk
  • Franz Josef - West Coast Wildlife Centre Visit with Ranger
  • Punakaiki - Rocks & Blowhole Visit
  • Franz Josef - Glacier View Walk
  • Makaroa - Aspiring Biodiversity Trust Lunch
  • Makaroa - Guided Walk to the Blue Pools with Local Ornithologist
  • Wanaka - Criffel Station Foraging & Lunch Experience with Local Chef
  • Milford Sound - Overnight Boat Cruise
  • Queenstown - Shotover River Jetboat Experience
  • Gibbston Valley - Cheese & Wine Pairing
  • Arrowtown - Leader-led walk
  • Queenstown - Farewell Aperitivo

Premium Inclusions

  • Arrival airport transfer
  • Tipping for accommodation, activities and transport
  • Luggage transfer
  • Daily breakfast and signature local meal experiences
  • 24/7 on-ground support

Dates & availability

Trip departures are unavailable.

There are currently no scheduled departures on our Premium New Zealand South Island trip. If you are interested in other trips in the region visit one of the links below.

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Important notes

All travellers on Intrepid trips (outside Australia, New Zealand and the Cook Islands) are required to produce proof of full vaccination against COVID-19. From 1 December 2021, all travellers on Intrepid trips, including in Australia, New Zealand and the Cook Islands, are required to produce proof of full vaccination against COVID-19. Read details here.

SINGLE SUPPLEMENT
A Single Supplement is bookable on this trip, subject to availability at the time of booking. The price of the single supplement does not include the following nights, where a single room does not form part of the package. In this case you will be matched up with another traveller of the same gender:
- Day 7 - Milford Sound Cruise
Please also note that due to the small properties we use there is only a limited amount of single supplements available per trip departure. If you would like to book a single supplement and enquire about availability please speak to your booking agent.

Essential trip information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

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