15 Day Ultimate South Island Tour

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15 Day Ultimate South Island Tour - Bushwalking, Nature & WildlifeA tour of the South Island beginning in Wellington and concluding in Christchurch. See some of the worlds most beautiful scenery, and experience the unique culture, only found in New Zealand's South Island. Available options include a 3 day Hollford Guided Walk, and 1 day at the world-renowned Abel Tasman National Park.

This tour has a Coach Captain that acts as both driver and guide. He will share with you his in-depth knowledge of New Zealand, its history, culture and lots of special anecdotes. He will also advise on optional activities and where to find a shopping bargain.

Tour Itinerary

Day 1 - Arrive Wellington

Welcome to New Zealand! You will be met at Wellington Airport and transferred to your hotel

Accommodation: Bay Plaza Hotel (1 night)

Day 2 - Wellington/Blenheim/Nelson

Your tour departs from the Bay Plaza Hotel at 7:45am. Take the Ferry for the scenic cruise to Picton, enjoy spectacular views of Wellington and the sheltered waters of Queen Charlotte Sound. Welcomed by your Coach Captain then on to Montana Winery for a tasting and winery tour. From this renowned wine region it's a fascinating drive to Nelson noted for its arts and crafts.

Accommodation: Leisure Lodge (2 nights)

Day 3 - Nelson or Abel Tasman National Park

Recommended is an optional day tour to the Abel Tasman National Park, inclusive of all transfers and a picnic lunch. By coach to Kaiteriteri then board a comfortable launch to cruise along the parks coastline. Either go ashore at Torrent Bay and walk 2 hours to Bark Bay or come ashore at Bark Bay and explore that area. From Bark Bay by launch, retrace your journey arriving in Nelson at 5.00pm. Alternatively, explore Nelson, follow the art trail, galleries and coffee shops featuring art, pottery, jewellery, wood and more or visit Tahunahui with its broad beaches and coastal panoramas.

Day 4 - Nelson/Greymouth

Lush farmlands then forest covered ranges to the rugged Buller Gorge - a spectacular scenic drive. Visit Westport and the coast near Cape Foulwind, possibly lunch at the award winning Beach House Cafe and south to explore the Pancake rocks at Punakaiki. At Greymouth visit Jade Boulder Gallery to see native jade, mined in remote alpine valleys crafted into fine jewellery.

Accommodation: Hotel Ashley (1 night)

Day 5 - Greymouth/Fox Glacier

Remote farms, tiny landlocked lakes with dense native bush and forest, all dominated by the towering Southern Alps, highlight your journey to Fox Glacier. Plenty of time to enjoy a guided walk to the glaciers terminal face, a helicopter flight and snow landing or walk to nearby Lake Matheson.

Accommodation: Heartland Hotel Fox Hotel (1 night)

Day 6 - Fox Glacier/Wanaka

Follow the rugged coastline then inland across the Alps and the Haast Pass to the impressive bushlands of the Aspiring National Park. At Wanaka a choice of two afternoon activities. Either a launch cruise across the lake to Stevensons Island, a nature reserve, for a bush walk followed by refreshments. Look for the native Buff Weka, a small, flightless bird whose curiosity is likely to attract them close to you. Alternatively a very picturesque walk along a track beside the Clutha River as it flows from Lake Wanaka to a picnic spot. Enjoy light refreshments and a thrilling jet boat excursion on the river tailored to suit - full on exciting, leisurely scenic cruising or somewhere in between.

Accommodation: Grand Mecure Oakridge Resort (1 night)

Day 7 - Wanaka/Queenstown

Drive through a picturesque region that has a fascinating history of early settlement and goldmining for a late morning arrival into the ever-popular resort of Queenstown. Dinner tonight is at the spectacular Skyline Restaurant. (entire group)

You have 2 choices for the next three days:

OPTION 1: The Hollyford Track Guided Walk.
Today enjoy the sights, sounds and activities of Queenstown plus attend a pre-walk briefing.

Accommodation: Rydges Hotel (1 night)

Day 8 - Queenstown/Pyke Lodge

By coach to the beginning of the Hollyford track, follow ancient Maori footsteps through beech forests, past impressive waterfalls to reach Pyke Lodge. Walking 17kms.

Day 9 - Pyke Lodge/Martins Bay Lodge

See the beautiful reflections of Lake Alabaster before crossing Fiordlands longest swing bridge to board your jet boat along the Hollyford River and onto lake McKerrow to reach martins Bay. Walking 12kms.

Day 10 - Martins bay/Milford Sound

This morning explore Martins Bay Spit, a famous landmark seperating the Hollyford Valley and powerful Tasman Sea. Learn about the diversity of this truly remote area before taking an afternoon scenic flight into Milford Sound to rejoin your tour group for the Milford Mariner Overnight Cruise.

Board the Milford Mariner for an overnight cruise - an undoubted highlight. (1 night)

OPTION 2: At leisure in Queenstown

Jet boating, lake cruises, a day on the Routeburn Track, Lord of the Rings Tours, rafting and more shops, galleries and boutiques than you can count - enjoy. Dinner day 8 is not included allowing the opportunity to dine at a restaurant of your choice.

Accommodation: Rydges Hotel (3 nights)

Day 8 & Day 9

Also at leisure.

Day 10 - Queenstown/Milford Sound

Follow the lake to Kingston, across fertile farmlands to Fiordland. Visit moody Lake Manapouri then Lake Te Anau. Follow the Eglinton Valley, native forests, lakes, waterfalls and towering mountains. At The Divide collect the Greenstone Trek group and travel through the Hollyford Valley and Homer Tunnel to Milford Sound.

Board the Milford Mariner for an overnight cruise - an undoubted highlight. (1 night)

Day 11 - Milford Sound/Dunedin

Wake to the sounds of silence in a pristine world. Rugged and remote mountains change to lush green countryside, which in turn gives way to rolling hills as you approach Dunedin, the “Edinburgh of the South”. This evening prior to Dinner you will be treated to a traditional Scottish Haggis Ceremony, complete with piper, address to the Haggis and gift.

Accommodation: Scenic Hotel Dunedin City (2 nights)

Day 12 - Dunedin

A day to enjoy at your leisure with a multitude of optional activities available. A Monarch Wildlife Cruise, Natures Wonders Tour (both featuring penguins, seals and birdlife), the Taieri Gorge Railway, a Citibus Newtons Tour, fascinating Larnach Castle or Tour the Cadbury Factory or Speights Brewery. Have fun!

Day 13 - Dunedin/Omarama

Visit Olveston, Dunedin's majestic historic home with its original furnishings. See bush clad hillsides, tidal estuaries and a rocky coastline, view the unusual Moeraki Boulders then explore Oamaru. Follow the Waitaki Valley, passing several hydro lakes to Omarama.

Accommodation: Heritage Gateway Hotel (1 night)

Day 14 - Omarama/Mt Cook/ Christchurch

Pass the milky blue waters of Lake Pukaki to Mt Cook National Park and village, amidst New Zealand's highest mountains. At Lake Tekapo view the Church of the Good Shepherd and Collie Dog memorial with time for a highly recommended (optional) flight. Descend Burkes Pass to the Canterbury Plains and Christchurch.

Accommodation: Pavilions Hotel (1 night)

Day 15 - Christchurch/Home
Today is goodbye to all your new found friends before making your homeward journey. A transfer to Christchurch Airport is included.

NOTE: Unless otherwise specified, the rates listed are for the 2020 - 2021 season. The 2020 - 2021 season rates are valid from the 1st April 2020 - 31st March 2021. The 2021 - 2022 season rates commence on the 1st April 2021.

2018-2019 Season Rates

Rates valid from Sunday 1 April 2018 to Sunday 31 March 2019:

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