14 Day Grand South
14 Day Grand South
Tick the South Island of New Zealand off your bucket list after completing this grand tour over 14 days. Explore the Abel Tasman National Park, stop over in Nelson, visit Punakaiki, marvel at the Franz Joseph Glacier and cruise the spectacular Milford Sound.
|Tour Type:||Independent Coach Tour|
|From:||Christchurch to Christchurch|
|Departures:||Jan 2019 - March 2020|
|Price:||From (NZD) $3179 per person|
|Tour Operator:||Relaxing Journeys|
|13 nights accommodation|
|All Coach, Ferry & Rail Transport & Transfers|
|Abel Tasman National Park Walk & Cruise (including lunch)|
|Milford Sound Day Tour & Cruise (including lunch)|
Prices are per person based on twin-share, and are subject to availability. Prices are correct at the time of submission but are subject to change without notice. Valid for travel January 2019 – March 2020. Blackout periods may apply. A non-refundable deposit of $500 per person is required at time of booking.
Click here for our full terms and conditions.
Day by Day Tour Itinerary
“Haere Mai” Welcome to Christchurch – the Garden City! Begin your holiday with a friendly face when you are met at the airport by our representative and transferred to your chosen accommodation. Following the 2011 earthquake, Christchurch has re-emerged as a vibrant, ever-changing city. The remainder of the day is yours to enjoy – use the time to get a taste of what the city has to offer.
This morning board your coach and travel inland north through the Lewis Pass and the Maruia Forest to Murchison, originally a gold rush town and almost completely destroyed by a huge earthquake in 1929. Enjoy a mixture of forest, farmland and hill country as you travel through a string of settlements to sunny Nelson.
Nelson’s diverse geography captures everything from long golden beaches to untouched forests and jagged mountains. (3 nights)
Today you will travel through Motueka to Kaiteriteri where you board your launch. Relax in style as you cruise the stunning golden inlets of the Abel Tasman coast. Inviting sandy beaches fill the spaces between trees and tide line. Crystal clear streams tumble down mossy valleys to join the ocean.
Native wildlife is an essential part of the scenery. Tui and bellbird song fills the forest, shags (cormorants), gannets and little blue penguins dive for their dinner, fur seals lounge on the rocks around the edge of Tonga Island.
Rejoin your cruise back to Kaiteriteri and return to your hotel late afternoon. (L)
Today is your day of leisure. Whether it is a day of adventure or a day to relax, Nelson is known as the walkway capital of New Zealand with over 40 walks available, beaches to explore, swimming spots to be found and sea kayaking to enjoy. Or just relax. Sit in the sun, sip a wine from one of the local vineyards, and dine on the famous Nelson Bay scallops.
You will be heading south through Murchison, making your way to the West Coast today. The Murchison Skyline Walkway zigzags through mixed beech and podocarp forest, native ferns, and bracken and broom covered slopes on the outskirts of Murchison – it’s worth breaking your journey here for the 90 minute walk before you navigate the awesome Buller Gorge.
At Hawks Crag, the road has been hacked out of solid rock – be ready for the dramatic overhang, lending shade and character to the route. The road to Punakaiki hugs the coast, providing spectacular views of wild beaches and the tempestuous Tasman Sea. Overnight at Punakaiki.
The morning is at your leisure. Punakaiki is best known for its Pancake Rocks and Blowholes – we highly recommend that you make time to see them. A loop track takes you on a gentle walk from the main road, through rainforest to the coast. At the coastline the track has many lookouts and areas for fantastic photos to be taken of the Pancake Rocks and Blowholes. The best time to visit the blowholes is at high tide when they are at their most powerful. Allow 45 minutes for the loop walk.
This afternoon enjoy the views of the wild west coast as you travel to Greymouth, the commercial centre of the West Coast and the coastal town of Hokitika before arriving into Franz Josef which is known for being home to one of the world’s most accessible glaciers. (2 nights)
Today you have a whole day at leisure. Perhaps enjoy a guided walk, a heli-hike or a scenic flight from the Franz Josef township. If you’d prefer a relaxing day, head to the Franz Josef Glacier Hot Pools that are nestled amongst the lush rainforest of the glacier country or meander through the village where you will find a wonderful selection of gifts, artwork, merchandise and cafes.
Treat yourself and upgrade your accommodation in Franz Josef to the 5 star Te Waonui Forest Retreat, a luxury lodge hotel nestled amongst native West Coast rainforest. Our upgrade package includes luxurious accommodation, dinner on the first night – an indulgent 5 course degustation menu in The Canopy Restaurant, and a la carte breakfast both mornings. We’ve also included a stunning Franz Josef Heli Hike to help you make the most of your time in the region. Ask us for a price!
Today your coach will take you south along the west coast towards Haast Pass as you enjoy views of dense coastal forest, crystal clear waterfalls and wind swept sand dunes. Once at Haast Pass, the southernmost pass between the East and West Coasts of New Zealand, you will head east and experience more spectacular views of the Lake Hawea before arriving in Wanaka in the early afternoon.
A free morning in this peaceful and popular resort. In the early afternoon rejoin the coach for a scenic drive through the rugged Kawarau Gorge to Queenstown for a three night stay. (3 nights)
It’s an early departure today as your coach follows the southern arm of Lake Wakitipu to Lumsden, and onward to Lake Te Anau. The scenery changes dramatically from tussock covered grasslands to glacier hewn valleys as you enter the Eglington Valley and travel through the breath taking man-made Homer Tunnel before reaching Milford Sound.
Upon arrival, board either the Milford Mariner or Milford Wanderer – our specifically designed fiord explorers – and settle in for a 2.5-hour cruise. Milford Sound is nothing short of heart-stopping, inducing subconscious smiles in the hard to please and easily bored almost instantly; it’s simply magnificent.
See the wonders of Mitre Peak, glacier scarred rock walls that rise 1,200m vertically from the sea, and waterfalls that tumble from hanging valleys and crash into the Sound far below.Keep an eye out for dolphins, seals and penguins! On completion of your cruise you will return to Queenstown by coach arriving in the evening. (L)
Upgrade your itinerary to return to Queenstown on a scenic flight taking in magnificent views of the alps, glaciers, lakes and forests of Fiordland National Park – a quick and convenient way to return to Queenstown. (Duration 35mins) The flight shaves off approximately 4 hours off a return by coach. It is however very weather dependent, so if the weather doesn’t play ball, then you will need to return by coach and we will refund the upgrade price.
Today is at your leisure to enjoy the many sights as well as activities in and around Queenstown. The capital of adrenaline, beauty and local foodie culture, you can pick and choose from a long list of adventures. From thrilling funyak tours along the Dart River and horse-riding in Glenorchy, to panning for gold in Arrowtown or taking a tour of Lake Wakatipu via the TSS Earnslaw, there is certainly something for every speed.
Or, if you’re not ready to break the spell of the last few days a scenic walk may do the trick, exploring the diverse range of stunning trails the region delivers in troves.
Today, travel through the rugged and beautiful landscape of Otago. Cross the Lindis Pass into the Mackenzie Country to arrive at Mt Cook National Park a World Heritage listed site. Mt Cook is Australasia’s highest mountain at 3764 metres. The park covers over 70,000 hectares of breathtaking alpine scenery and is also home to the Tasman Glacier, the longest in the Southern hemisphere.
The afternoon is free to explore the area and take one of the many short walks starting from Mt Cook Village.
This morning is at your leisure. Hike around one of the walking tracks; take one of the scenic flights to get up close to Mt Cook and Southern Alps’ magnificent glaciers. You also have time to explore the Tasman Glacier by the terminal lake. This afternoon you’ll travel down the Tasman Valley past Glentanner Park as well as Lakes Pukaki and Tekapo where you can view the Church of the Good Shepherd by the lake shore.
The altar window offers awe inspiring views of the lake and mountains of the Mackenzie Country. The coach then continues on towards Fairlie. Journey through diverse farmland and descend to cross the Canterbury Plains before arriving in Christchurch, the South Island’s largest city.
Sadly your trip has come to an end. We hope that you have thoroughly enjoyed your experiences in New Zealand. Today you will be met at your accommodation and transferred to the airport for your onward journey. Have a safe trip home.
There are 4 reviews of this tour from past clients of Relaxing Journeys, averaging 4.8 out of 5.
New Zealand has a great deal of things to see and do, why not add one of our optional sightseeing activities to your trip. Prices are per adult (we'll adjust your quote for any children).
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Tick the South Island of New Zealand off your bucket list after completing this grand tour over 14 days. Explore the Abel Tasman National Park, stop o... Read More
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