South Island Wanderer9 Day • Travel around the New Zealand's Southern Region, starting and ending in Christchurch
South Island Wanderer
9 Day Guided Tour - Travel around the New Zealand's Southern Region, starting and ending in Christchurch
Small Group Tour of the South Island
Discover New Zealand’s South Island on a small group tour of the famous spots in one itinerary including Aoraki/Mt Cook, Milford Sound, Queenstown, Wanaka and the West Coast Glaciers. Explore stunning scenery, meet locals and hear their stories, see the unique native wildlife up close, get out on the water and up in the air, enjoy fresh food and wine, make new friends and at the end of each unforgettable day relax in comfort.
We recommend booking early as these tours sell out well in advance!
- Package includes:
- 8 nights Accommodation, Tour Guide, Transport and Sightseeing per itinerary
- Tour Departure Dates:
- 2024: 14 Apr, 12 May, 8 Sep, 13 Oct, 10 Nov, 8 Dec2025: 12 Jan, 9 Feb, 9 Mar, 13 Apr, 11 May, 7 Sep, 12 Oct, 9 Nov, 7 Dec
2026: 11 Jan, 12 Feb
- Meals: 1 Lunch, 2 Dinners
- Contact us for Single Traveller Rates
Included in your trip
EXCLUDED FROM YOUR TRIP
WHERE WILL YOU VISIT?
- Aoraki Mount Cook
- Milford Sound
- Franz Josef Glacier
South Island Wanderer Guided Small Group Tour - Christchurch to Christchurch
9 Day Adventure
Touring Highlights in New Zealand
- Six National Parks – Aoraki/Mt Cook, Mt Aspiring, Fiordland, Westland Tai Poutini, Paparoa, Arthurs Pass
- Scenic flight across the Southern Alps from Milford Sound to Queenstown
- Five included Activities – hosted homestead lunch, Milford Sound cruise, scenic flight, welcome dinner, farewell dinner
Day 1: Christchurch to Aoraki/Mt Cook
Meet your group in Christchurch and head south for a special lunch at a 117-year-old country home. Continue through the spectacular Mackenzie Country for sweeping vistas of tussock lands, glacial lakes and the Southern Alps. Stop at the Church at Lake Tekapo and the stunning backdrop of the turquoise Lake Pukaki before arriving at Aoraki/Mt Cook village. Enjoy a welcome dinner at The Hermitage. Meals included: Lunch, Dinner
Day 2: Aoraki/Mt Cook to Queenstown
Aoraki/Mt Cook is our highest mountain and “home ground” of the most famous Kiwi of all, Sir Edmund Hillary. Enjoy a short walk in this alpine wonderland. Continue to Omarama, over the Lindis Pass through the rugged Kawarau Gorge and Gibbston Valley to Queenstown where you will stay for three nights.
Day 3: Queenstown to Milford Sound – Queenstown
Follow the shores of the great lakes Wakatipu and Te Anau into the mountains and waterfalls of Fiordland National Park. Take a small boat cruise on Milford Sound that is home to seal colonies, dolphins and the dramatic Mitre Peak. Enjoy a highlight memorable scenic flight over the Southern Alps to Queenstown.
Day 4: Queenstown
Today is free to spend at your leisure exploring Queenstown and the surrounding region. There is almost an infinite number of activities to choose from. Popular experiences include a jet boat ride on the Dart River through ‘Lord of the Rings’ backdrop scenery, wine tasting at vineyards, e-biking or cruising on the heritage steamship TSS Earnslaw on Lake Wakatipu, bungy jumping or offroad back country adventures. (Activities not included, additional expense).
Day 5: Queenstown to Wanaka
Leave Queenstown and travel via picturesque Arrowtown where gold mining history comes alive beside the Arrow River through the Crown Range with the last views of the Wakatipu basin. Stop for refreshments at the small historic Cardrona Hotel before arriving your lakeside hotel in Wanaka where you will overnight.
Day 6: Wanaka to Franz Josef
Depart Wanaka and drive past lakes Hawea and Wanaka and into 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 you drive north to Fox Glacier, Lake Matheson and Franz Josef.
Day 7: Franz Josef to Punakaiki (Pancake Rocks)
The morning is free to walk to Franz Josef Glacier lookout, take an optional helihike or flight onto the Glacier, or cruise out on Okarito Lagoon in search of the rare Kotuku, White Heron (activities additional expense). When you arrive in Hokitika, meet artisan carvers of the treasured Pounamu (greenstone) before travelling on to Paparoa National Park and Punakaiki where you will stay for two nights.
Day 8: Punakaiki
See the Pancake rocks, blowholes, limestone cliffs, karst rock formations and river valleys of subtropical rainforest. Further up the coast historic Denniston Plateau gives an insight into the lives of early coal miners and their families. Walk to an isolated beach and the seal colony at Cape Foulwind or enjoy a favourite option, the glow worm cave at Charleston before returning down the coast road to Punakaiki. Celebrate the end of your adventures with a group farewell dinner this evening.
Day 9: Punakaiki to Christchurch
Leave the West Coast and drive up the Otira Viaduct, a spectacular cantilevered road, to the alpine beech forests and river scenery of Arthur’s Pass National Park. Stop to take short walks in the forest and to the massive rock formations at Kura Tawhiti Castle Hill. The dramatic landscapes make a fitting finale to your adventure. Descend Porter’s Pass and leave the mountains behind, crossing the Canterbury Plains to Christchurch where your tour concludes.
Flights from Canada to New Zealand and pre/post accommodation in Christchurch are not included. Ask our team about adding these to your trip for you.
about South Island Wanderer
Trip Code: NZL2408
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