Premium New Zealand South Island

10 Days | Scenic beauty and delicious adventures in the South Island

4.8 out of 5 based on 6 reviews submitted.
Explorer
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USD $5,090
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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. Forage for fresh ingredients with a local chef in Otago, set your pulse racing during a jetboat ride in Queenstown and come face to face with endangered species at a wildlife centre on the West Coast, including New Zealand’s rarest kiwi. With a friendly leader to guide the way, you’ll experience a landscape that has been shaped by the elements over thousands of years.

Trip overview

Map of Premium New Zealand South Island including New Zealand
Start
Christchurch, New Zealand
Finish
Queenstown, New Zealand
Theme
Explorer
Destinations
New Zealand
Physical rating
Indicates how physically exerting a trip is, and how fit you will need to be to enjoy it. More info on physical ratings
Style
Premium
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1 - Max 12
Trip code
PHPS
This trip generates 18.6 kg of CO2-e per person per day.
We offset these emissions on your behalf. But we know that is not enough, so we also have a carbon reduction target.
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Premium knowledge

Trips led by our most experienced and highest-rated local leaders


Why you'll love this trip
  • Experience some of New Zealand’s most spectacular scenery during your Feature Stay on Milford Sound aboard a purpose-built vessel.
  • Savour the flavours of the Otago region with a chef-led food and foraging Exclusive Experience on an expansive and stunning New Zealand deer station.
  • Take an exhilarating jetboat ride on the Kimi Akau (Shotover River). This Exclusive Experience takes you 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.
  • By travelling on this trip, you’ll directly support our Intrepid Foundation partner, Eden Reforestation Projects. Donations help them provide local employment opportunities and tackle climate change one tree at a time as they restore forests across 10 different countries.

Is this trip right for you?
  • 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

This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 July 2023 to 30 June 2024.

View the itinerary for departures between 01 July 2024 - 30 June 2025

Map of Premium New Zealand South Island including New Zealand

Inclusions

Meals

9 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners

Transport

Private vehicle, Jet boat, Cruise boat

Accommodation

Hotel (6 nights), Homestead (2 nights), Cruise boat (1 night)

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
Activities
  • Christchurch - Welcome Dinner
  • Complimentary Airport Arrival Transfer - Premium Trip
  • 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 - Wine Cave Tour
  • Arrowtown - Leader-led walk
  • Queenstown - Farewell Aperitivo
Add on activities
  • Franz Josef - Lake Mapourika Scenic Cruise - NZD115
  • Franz Josef - Waiho Hot Tubs - from - NZD89
  • Franz Josef - Heli-Hiking Tour - from - NZD485
  • Franz Josef - Kayaking Excursion - from - NZD130

Dates and availability

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Important notes

1. 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.

2. The Milford Sound Cruise is seasonal and weather dependent. Some departures may require a slight shift in itinerary to make sure the cruise is included. If the Cruise has finished for the season, the Feature Stay will instead be the Milford Sound Lodge.

3. Travel is always an adventure and, as destinations reopen, there are a few challenges as everyone gets back up to speed and adjusts to the new normal. Our leaders are experts when it comes to dealing with anything unexpected along the journey, so pack your understanding and flexibility, sit back and relax while they take care of the rest.

4. Some changes will be required for departures over Christmas and New Years. On PHPS231219 and PHPS231221, the visit to Aspiring Biodiversity on Day 5 will be replaced by a boat ride to explore islands on Lake Wanaka, and Criffel Station on Day 6 will be replaced by Walter Peak Gourmet BBQ Dining on the final night.

5. Criffel Station will be closed during the following departures: PHPS231228, PHPS240130, and PHPS240201. Instead, the visit will be replaced by Walter Peak Gourmet BBQ Dining on the final night.

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.

Read Essential Trip Information

Reviews

4.8 out of 5 based on 6 reviews submitted.
Reviews are from travellers who have completed their trip and want to share their experience. We show all reviews, but may remove any that include profanity or inappropriate content, are unrelated to the trip or reveal personal details.

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Ian · Traveled May 2023
The grandeur of New Zealand and our excellent tour leader made this a memorable trip.
Review submitted 09 Jun 2023

Barbara · Traveled March 2023
An excellent itinerary that covered a variety of landscapes and many differing and interesting experiences, including learning more about what is being done to protect NZ's natural species and biodiversity. Our tour leader/driver Michelle did an excellent job, which added to the overall trip experience.
Review submitted 16 Apr 2023

Cheryl · Traveled February 2023
The South Island tour led by Michelle was fantastic and exceeded our expectations. With a small group our individual needs were accommodated when needed. The itinerary and accommodations were top rate. We had a good mix of personal and group time.
Review submitted 10 Mar 2023

Naji · Traveled December 2022
This was a phenomenal tour that provides the perfect balance between thoughtfully-organized group activities and ample time for self-guided adventures. If you're looking to check the 'must-sees' of the South Island off your bucket list in the company of a rockstar tour guide and fairly luxurious accommodations, I would strongly consider hopping on board.
Review submitted 06 Jan 2023

Brendan · Traveled May 2022
An amazing experience led superbly by passionate, knowledgeable, experienced guides. An inaugural trip in a small group, went without a hitch. Stunning scenery, food and experiences. Miss the group already, the friendly guides added so much.
Review submitted 16 May 2022
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