12 Day South Island Explorer (Reverse)
12 Day South Island Explorer (Reverse)
Take an enlightening adventure of New Zealand's South Island with APT. With its stunning mountains, tranquil lakes, beautiful fiords and spectacular glaciers, there is something for everyone.
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|Tour Type:||Premium Coach Tour|
|From:||Christchurch to Christchurch|
|Departures:||Oct 2018 to May 2019|
From (NZD) $6125 per person
|Tour Operator:||APT Tours|
|11 nights in premium accommodation|
|19 meals – 11 breakfasts (B) and 8 dinners (D)|
|Marvel at impressive Franz Josef Glacier|
|Enjoy a full length cruise of Milford Sound|
|Discover Australasia's highest peak in Aoraki Mount Cook National Park|
|Freedom of Choice Touring in Queenstown, Te Anau, Dunedin and Aoraki Mount Cook|
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* Single pricing also available with Exclusive Specials. Please enquire for Prices.
Day by Day Tour ItineraryView Tour PDF
Today arrive in Christchurch, the ‘Garden City’. You will be met and transferred to your hotel. The rest of today is at leisure to relax and settle in, or begin exploring this wonderful city. This evening, enjoy dinner with your APT Tour Director and your fellow travellers.
Stay: Rydges Latimer, Christchurch (D)
Today is sure to be a highlight of your holiday as you join New Zealand’s famous TranzAlpine train. Prepare to experience one of the world’s greatest train journeys as you voyage from Christchurch to Arthur’s Pass. Journey through the striking patchwork farmlands of the Canterbury Plains, before travelling through deep gorges, river valleys and across the Southern Alps within Arthur’s Pass National Park. Re-board your coach at Arthur’s Pass and set out for Hokitika, a town rich in pounamu (jade). Here, see pounamu being carved into jewellery. Later, continue along the dramatic west coast into Westland Tai Poutini National Park, home to the magnificent Franz Josef Glacier. Take in the stunning alpine scenery in this impressive World Heritage area. Check in to your luxury eco-resort before enjoying a four-course degustation dinner this evening.
Stay: Franz Josef Glacier, Te Waonui Forest Retreat (B, D)
Enjoy a day of truly breathtaking scenery as you travel to Queenstown. This morning cross the spectacular Haast Pass and skirt around the shores of Lakes Wanaka and Hawea. See the vistas and surrounding mountains that shift moods with the seasons. View historic mining sites as we travel through the beautiful Kawarau Gorge and meander through Cromwell. Pass the incredible orchards and vineyards that have been inspiring artists for decades before arriving in Queenstown, where you’ll stay for three nights in comfortable and stylish accommodation.
Stay: Millennium Hotel, Queenstown (3 nights) (B, D)
Personalise your holiday experience today as you enjoy your chosen Freedom of Choice activity. Lord of the Rings fans will jump at the chance to visit key filming locations, while thrill seekers will find a ride on the exhilarating Shotover Jet tough to resist. Or, get back to nature with an enthralling lakeshore forest and bird watching walk complete with a delicious morning tea. Others may enjoy exploring the country’s premier wine region – the choice is all yours. This evening, enjoy even more variety as you select from a range of Freedom of Choice dining inclusions. Perhaps sample the fresh produce at Finz seafood restaurant located on Steamer Wharf. Alternatively, you might like to take a gondola ride to Stratosfare Restaurant. Cruise aboard a vintage steamer to Walter Peak High Country Farm, or dine at your stylish hotel restaurant. (B, D)
Immerse yourself in beautiful Queenstown as you enjoy a full day at leisure in this exciting resort town surrounded by majestic mountains. You may like to use this time to take a relaxing stroll along the tranquil shores of Lake Wakatipu, browse through the stores and art galleries in the bustling central shopping district, or visit a spa or wellness centre. Perhaps take advantage of being in the ‘adventure capital of the New Zealand’ and indulge in the thrill of a lifetime such as white-water rafting, or a helicopter flight to get a birds-eye view of this picturesque area; a truly exciting way to experience the sights (all own expense). (B)
Embark on one of the most scenic drives today as you journey along the Milford Road. Wind down the Eglinton and Hollyford Valleys, then drive through the Homer Tunnel to be met by the majestic sight of Mitre Peak. Continue to spectacular Milford Sound where you’ll enjoy a cruise that explores the full length of this pristine fiord. See towering mountains climb straight out of the sea, be entranced by the verdant rainforest as it clings to sheer rock walls, and watch in awe as cascading waterfalls tumble hundreds of metres into the sea below. Afterwards, enjoy a drive through picturesque countryside to the lakeside settlement of Te Anau, set against the backdrop of Mount Luxmore and the Murchison Mountains. Settle in to your hotel before enjoying dinner.
Stay: Distinction Te Anau Hotels and Villas (2 nights) (B, D)
Today choose from a range of exciting Freedom of Choice sightseeing activities that are available to you. Perhaps explore an underground network of limestone caves, lit by thousands of tiny glowworms, or embark on a Doubtful Sound wilderness cruise and explore the beauty of this vast fiord. Equally tempting is the option to sit back and relax with a glass of wine as you enjoy a film featuring Fiordland’s breathtaking landscapes. The rest of the day is yours at leisure to explore this magical region of New Zealand. (B)
Depart the lakeside settlement of Te Anau and traverse Southland to Dunedin, a university town that was planned in Scotland and still maintains its Victorian and Edwardian heritage. Known as the ‘Edinburgh of the South’, this former gold mining town was once New Zealand’s largest city thanks to an influx of miners during the gold rush.
This afternoon, choose from our extensive range of Freedom of Choice sightseeing inclusions. Perhaps tour Larnach Castle, New Zealand’s only castle, and learn of its intriguing history. In keeping with the heritage theme, you may prefer to explore Olveston House, or visit Dunedin’s beautiful railway station and board the Taieri Gorge Railway for a journey into the rugged countryside. Those who enjoy a beer might like to tour Speight’s Brewery and taste the local brew that has been produced on this site since 1876. Alternatively, nature lovers can either visit an albatross colony, see penguins, or take an off-road tour of the Otago Peninsula.
Stay: Distinction Dunedin Hotel (B, D)
Today travel north via the Waitaki Valley and Ōamaru. See the unique collection of elegant Victorian-style architecture here as we follow the coast to view the mysterious Moeraki Boulders along Koekohe Beach. These unique formations are concretions that formed in ancient sea floor sediments around 60 million years ago. Some of these incredible boulders are up to three metres in diameter. Follow the shores of blue Lake Pukaki before entering spectacular Aoraki Mount Cook National Park. Here, appreciate the sheer magnitude of Australasia’s highest mountain – Aoraki Mount Cook. A favourite challenge for mountain climbers, the sight of it is truly awe-inspiring.
Stay: The Hermitage Hotel (2 nights) (B, D)
Today offers you the chance to explore Aoraki Mount Cook through one of the Freedom of Choice sightseeing options available to you. Perhaps visit the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre and enjoy a stargazing session with an astronomer, or immerse yourself in the region’s incredible native flora and fauna on a guided nature walk. Alternatively, during the summer months, board a MAC boat and get up close to icebergs on the Tasman Glacier Terminal Lake. This evening enjoy a farewell dinner with your fellow travellers. (B, D)
This morning travel to beautiful Lake Tekapo and visit the tiny Church of the Good Shepherd, perched on the lakeshore. Built of locally gathered stone and oak, this charming church was erected as a tribute to the early pioneers of the region. Absorb the serenity of this magical area before continuing to Christchurch, the South Island’s largest city, for the final night of your luxury holiday.
Stay: Rydges Latimer, Christchurch (B)
Your journey ends today. After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight. (B)
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