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 fjords and spectacular glaciers, there is something for everyone.

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Tour Info

Tour Type: Premium Coach Tour
From: Christchurch to Christchurch
Departures: Oct 2018 to May 2019
From (NZD) $5945 per person
Tour Operator: APT Tours
Pace: Relaxing
Duration: 12 Days
Tour Code: NZCCS12


11 nights in premium accommodation
19 meals – 11 breakfasts (B) & 8 dinners (D)
Marvel at impressive Franz Josef Glacier
Enjoy a full length cruise of Milford Sound
Discover Australasia's highest peak in Aoraki Mt Cook National Park
Freedom of Choice Touring in Queenstown, Te Anau, Dunedin and Mt Cook
Travel wallet, comprehensive customised itinerary, bound map book, accommodation & activity vouchers and local travel guides

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Day by Day Tour Itinerary

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Day 1
Arrive Christchurch

Today arrive in Christchurch, ‘The Garden City’. You’ll 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)

Day 2
Christchurch - TranzAlpine Train - Franz Josef

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. Reboard your coach at Arthur’s Pass and set out for Hokitika, a town rich in jade greenstone. Here, see Pounamu (jade) being carved into jewellery. Later, continue along the dramatic west coast into Westland 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)

Day 3
Franz Josef - Wanaka - Queenstown

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)

Day 4
Queenstown, Freedom of Choice Touring

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 thrillseekers will find the exhilarating Shotover jet boat ride tough to resist. Or, get back to nature with an enthralling lake-shore 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 fresh seafood restaurant located on Steamer Wharf. Alternatively, you might like to take a gondola ride to the Skyline Restaurant. Another option is to cruise to Walter Peak High Country Farm aboard the TSS Earnslaw, a vintage steamboat, and enjoy dinner at The Great Kiwi Carvery; or you may choose to dine amid the stylish surrounds of your hotel restaurant. (B, D)

Day 5

Immerse yourself in beautiful Queenstown as you enjoy a full day at leisure in this exciting city 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 in the bustling central shopping district, or browse the arts and crafts on display in the city’s many galleries, or visit a spa or wellness centre. Perhaps take advantage of being in the ‘adventure capital of the world’ and indulge in the thrill of a lifetime such as white-water rafting or a helicopter flight and get a birds eye view of this picturesque city, a truly exciting way to experience the sights (all own expense). (B)

Day 6
Queenstown - Milford Sound Cruise - Te Anau

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)

Day 7
Te Anau, Freedom of Choice Touring

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 glow-worms. Or embark on a Doubtful Sound wilderness cruise and explore the beauty of this vast fiord, or the more adventurous could try the Luxmore Jet Boat ride. 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)

Day 8
Te Anau - Dunedin, Freedom of Choice

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 goldmining town was once New Zealand’s largest city thanks to an influx of miners during the goldrush.

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 visit 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)

Day 9
Dunedin - Mt Cook

Today, travel north via the Waitaki Valley and Oamaru. 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 Mt Cook National Park. Here, appreciate the sheer magnitude of Australasia’s highest mountain, Mt Cook. A favourite challenge for mountain climbers, the sight of it is truly awe-inspiring.

Stay: Mt Cook, The Hermitage Hotel (2 nights) (B, D)

Day 10
Mt Cook, Freedom of Choice Touring

Today offers you the chance to explore Mt 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)

Day 11
Mt Cook - Lake Tekapo - Christchurch

This morning travel to beautiful Lake Tekapo and visit the tiny Church of the Good Shepherd, perched on its shores. 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)

Day 12
Depart Christchurch

Your journey ends today. After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight. (B)

Enquire about our 12 Day South Island Explorer (Reverse)

12 Day South Island Explorer (Reverse)
Premium Coach Tour
Tour Code: NZCCS12
From (NZD) $5945 per person
Save (NZD) $450 per person
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Departures: Oct 2018 to May 2019

Take an enlightening adventure of New Zealand's South Island with APT. With its stunning mountains, tranquil lakes, beautiful fjords and spectacular g... Read More

Itinerary Map

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12 Day South Island Explorer (Reverse)
Regions Visited

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