11 Day Southern Glaciers

11 Day Southern Glaciers

Walk along the base of the highest mountain in New Zealand, cruise Milford Sound, relax in the alpine retreat of Queenstown and explore the West Coast Glaciers.

Book your self drive tour this month and receive an Earlybird Discount of 10%. Make full payment by 31 July 2018 to qualify or receive a discount of 7.5% if you pay by 30 September 2018.

Tour Info

Tour Type: Self Drive Tours
From: Christchurch to Christchurch
Departures: May 2018 to March 2019
Price:
From (NZD) $1653 per person
Tour Operator: Relaxing Journeys
Pace: Relaxing
Duration: 11 Days
Tour Code: GNSG

Inclusions

10 nights accommodation
Rental vehicle of your choice including airport collection charges
Milford Sound Day Tour - Coach & Nature Cruise
Travel wallet, comprehensive customised itinerary, bound map book, accommodation & activity vouchers and local travel guides

Book your self drive tour this month and receive an Earlybird Discount of 10%. Make full payment by 31 July 2018 to qualify or receive a discount of 7.5% if you pay by 30 September 2018.

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Day by Day Tour Itinerary

Day 1
Arrive Christchurch

On arrival at Christchurch airport, you will pick up your rental car and then make your way to your hotel in the central City. Following the 2011 earthquake, Christchurch has re-emerged as a vibrant, ever-changing city. The rest of the day is yours to enjoy the unique magic of the Garden City.

Your choice of accommodation

Day 2
Christchurch - Mount Cook

Head south today across the Canterbury Plains, through the picturesque town of Geraldine . Be sure you make a photo stop at Lake Tekapo, a beautiful turquoise coloured lake. Visit the Church of the Good Shepherd on the shores of the lake. This is one of the most photographed churches in the world made of stone and sand from around the lake. You are now in Mackenzie Country and the scenery is fantastic as you drive to Lake Pukaki and turn towards the Southern Alps and Mount Cook, New Zealand’s highest mountain. Follow this glacier-fed lake and the Tasman River all the way up to the alpine village of Aoraki-Mount Cook. (2 nights)

Your choice of accommodation

Day 3
Mount Cook

There are many tracks for walking and tramping in this area – you can find the most suitable for you by going to the Visitor Centre. There are scenic flights available by helicopter or fixed wing aircraft, and if you wish to have a glacial adventure there is the Glacier Explorers excursion on Lake Tasman at the base of the Tasman Glacier.

Your choice of accommodation

Day 4
Mount Cook - Queenstown

Leave New Zealand’s highest mountain behind today as you drive through Twizel and Omarama before heading up over the Lindis Pass – this is the area where gold was first discovered in the Central Otago region in 1861. Central Otago has a harsh but beautiful landscape due to its summer heat and winter cold. A lot of gold was discovered in the area in the late 1800’s. More recently in the late 1900’s it’s been discovered as a great place for growing grapes so there are some good reasons for exploring this area. Continue on through the Kawarau gorge to get to the alpine town of Queenstown where you are staying for three nights. (3 nights)

Your choice of accommodation

Day 5
Queenstown

There are a huge number of activities to choose from here in Queenstown – for the adventurous there is bungy jumping, jet boating, skiing, 4WD Safaris snow boarding, rafting and skydiving to name a few. There are also some less adrenaline producing activities such as a cruise on Lake Wakatipu, a ride up the Skyline Gondola, or even a great day out on the Dart River Wilderness Safari.

Your choice of accommodation

Day 6
Milford Sound

Today we’ve included the Milford Sound Nature Cruise. Travel by luxury coach on an unforgettable journey from Queenstown into Milford Sound. Upon arrival at Milford Sound, board our vessels, the Milford Mariner or Milford Wanderer which are designed along the lines of traditional trading scows; purpose built to operate in the fiords and offering a laid back, extended, 2.5 hour cruise. Explore dramatic, moody Milford Sound, New Zealand’s most famous waterway. Throughout your cruise, our nature guide provides an engaging commentary about the magnificent scenery and wildlife (English only). Keep a look out for dolphins, seals and penguins. Return by coach to Queenstown or weather permitting, you can choose to fly back to Queenstown. (L)

Your choice of accommodation

Day UP
Milford Sound Return Flight Upgrade Package (NZ $395pp)

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.

Your choice of accommodation

Day 7
Queenstown - Franz Josef

This morning, journey up the West coast of the South Island to Fox & Franz Josef Glaciers. Drive to Cromwell, Wanaka and on through the Southern Lakes district to the Haast Pass then north, through dense rain forest broken by rugged coastal vistas, towards the glaciers. (2 nights)

Your choice of accommodation

Day 8
Franz Josef

There’s lots to explore in this area – you can take your own time walking up to the glacier, going to the Okarito Lagoon; or join a guided walk on the glacier, take a heli-hike adventure, or a scenic flight over both glaciers.

Your choice of accommodation

Day 9
Franz Josef - Punakaiki

There are some neat old towns to visit on the way north today as well as some great places to photograph the scenery and take a look at the dramatic coastline. Our experience tells us that it really is worth the drive north of Greymouth to stay the night at Punakaiki, best known for its Pancake Rocks and Blowholes – both of which are spectacular and a must-see when visiting the West Coast. Other activities include canoe adventures, horse trekking, caving and guided tours to name just a few. Punakaiki has many colourful local crafts people – jewellers, carvers, painters and potters.

Your choice of accommodation

Day 10
Punakaiki - Greymouth - Christchurch

Once you’ve finished your morning exploration of this area make your way back to Greymouth then turn inland to travel over the beautiful Arthur’s Pass. Along the way you’ll see the awesome engineering feats of the Otira Viaduct and Tunnel. You’ll have time to stop and look around before descending through some fantastic alpine scenery and on down to the Canterbury Plains and Christchurch.

Your choice of accommodation

Day UP
TranzAlpine Train Upgrade Package

For a small cost we can amend your itinerary so that you drop your vehicle off in Greymouth and then join the TranzAlpine Train for your journey across the Alps. On arrival in Christchurch we’ll arrange transfers to your accommodation and transfers the next day to the airport for your onward flight.

Your choice of accommodation

Day 11
Depart Christchurch

After breakfast this morning, please make your way to the airport where you will return your car in time for your onward flight.

Your choice of accommodation

4.7/5.0

There are 19 reviews of this tour from past clients of Relaxing Journeys, averaging 4.7 out of 5.

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Tour Reviews

4
07/11/2016
Only minor drawback was the Dairy Private Hotel in Queenstown - although very stylish, the room was small and parking was a real problem. We would have preferred one with a better outlook over the lake. Otherwise a very enjoyable trip apart from the last night in Christchurch with an earthquake experience!
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5
14/03/2016
Many thanks to Toni and team as the tour was very well planned! It was an amazing trip, love the Wine Tours and Heli-Hike at Franz Josef! We are very grateful as the trip was uneventful and full of memories! I will definitely recommend Relaxing Journeys to my friends who plan to visit NZ!
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5
15/02/2016
Relaxing Journeys representative (Toni) was extremely responsive, answering questions, making changes, booking hotels and excursions, and essentially covering every detail we could anticipate in advance. What a relief! We were very impressed with the quality of the hotels booked and relieved to have someone take that responsibility. The only surprise was the pace and distance between each location - anywhere from 3 to 6 hours of driving with stops along the way. In the future we would recommend a minimum of two nights at each location and at least 2 or 3 days without a scheduled activity to allow us to explore at a more leisurely pace. We learned that everything doesn't have to be scheduled. There is joy in exploring as well.
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5
15/02/2016
We loved our trip and really appreciated all the support and feedback provided by Toni. All her assistance in planning and changes to accommodate our needs was very timely. We will definitely get back in touch for our next trip to New Zealand, as we hope to return some day!
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5
11/01/2016
The tour was amazing. We had a great time. All along the people were great. Thanks. Did not know we would have some of the in country transfers arranged, that made things easy. All the hotels were excellent. The Rydges in Christchurch has a great location, close to the CBD. The St. Moritz in Queenstown also close to the action. Great food here, especially the eggs cooked to order at breakfast. The Mt. Cook hotel was very nice. What a view. We were upgraded at the Franz Josef to the Te Waonui Forest Retreat. The restaurant here was a little disappointing, very limited menu. We did eat at the restaurant at the Scenic Franz Josef. We thought this one was better. The Punakaiki location is amazing. Right on the beach. We did not eat in the restaurant for dinner, but others we spoke to were not completely satisfied. The breakfast also not as good as the others, but by no means spoiled anything. The tours we booked through you were great! The Kaikoura whale trip was fun, glade we took the train ride back, some great scenery. Mt. Cook was also a great time. Luckily we had a clear day. Milford sound trip was amazing, highly recommend the flight back, great time, also made for a shorter day. We missed out on the Franz Josef Heli Hike due to weather. Who would have thought it would rain in the rain forest. We were able to get a short 20 min. heli ride here from Fox Glacier. The driving went well, no problems there. Overall a great time had by all. Thanks for making things so easy.
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5
09/01/2016
We loved our trip. Beautiful country and everything went smoothly so it was a great holiday. Thank you everybody!
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5
20/03/2015
Just back from Southern Glaciers, loved the trip and the itinerary, can't thank Leanne & Marie enough for organising the trip. Everything went to plan, car and accommodation excellent. Our itinerary was well thought out, as we had some days that were long drives, but these days were intercepted with 2 night stays, which broke up the journey. The hotels were excellent, even in Franz Josef, where they were only motels, the level of accommodation was of a high standard. I would recommend Relaxing Journeys as the place to go for NZ.
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5
05/03/2015
It was an amazing journey for us. We loved every single moment there so the days we spent in Mt cook and Fran's Josef. Thank you so much, to our tour adviser Mani and the whole family of Relaxing Journeys for all the arrangements which were beyond our expectations. We would love to travel North Island as well.
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5
07/02/2015
We booked the basic 10 day South Island tour and upgraded to a RAV4 vehicle with a commentary GPS system and opted to include breakfast as part of the tour. Please note that if you choose the GPS system it will not give any audio unless it is plugged into the cigarette socket. There was nothing on the instructions advising of this minor but very important detail and we drove around for 3 days without it. Because we arrived on a Saturday, we couldn't get through to the help desk for the system until Monday. We were lucky we had travel sims in our phones and could use those instead. We had an excellent hot breakfast at every hotel we stayed at with the exception of the Bella Vista at Franz Joseph. Here we found a very basic provision of juice, tinned fruit and cereal. A little disappointing. The room had cooking facilities so we chose to go to the local supermarket and buy/cook our own.

We had read another review suggesting we drive ourselves to Milford Sound from our Queenstown accommodation instead of going by coach. We drove ourselves and enjoyed being able to go at our own pace and stop wherever we liked. If you can handle the driving, we would recommend this option. We found our consultant Leanne to be exceptional. Happy to answer any questions and tweak the tour to our preferences. The hotels exceeded our expectations. We especially loved Chateau on the Park at Christchurch. We would highly recommend Relaxing Journeys to anyone looking at touring New Zealand and would be more than comfortable contacting them again in the future.
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5
08/11/2014
Really was a Relaxing Journey. Had great time! The pace and itinerary was great (added a day in Queenstown and Christchurch). Toni and Leanne were very helpful and responded quickly to any questions and were able to make a last minute change thrown at them. All the arrangements went like clockwork and did not have any issues along the way. The hotels and staffs were very good. The South Island's scenery is amazing and the people are genuine and friendly. When I return to do the North Island, I won't hesitate to contact Toni again.
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5
27/09/2014
We both loved the tour. Queenstown was our favourite place on the tour with the beautiful scenery, the exciting activities and the buzzing nightlife. All of the accommodation was great with Punga Grove at Franz Joseph being our favourite. The hire car arranged for us was great and I loved driving on the NZ roads. We would highly recommend Relaxing Journeys for tours in New Zealand.
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5
28/01/2014
Very happy with our tour consultnat (Leanne) and the product we received The voucher system worked excellentlly and we were very happy with all our stops and very much appreciated all the extra tips for site seeing stops and excursions. The accommodations in Wanaka were excellent and we really appreciated having a full kitchen so we could get out to the grocery store and make a home cooked meal for ourselves after all the eating out! My husband also loved having access to the Tennis courts, hot tub, pool and games room. Our only suggestions...Franz Josef accommodation - Bella Vista was a little small with the only window being the glass door/window which you had to keep the curtains open if you wanted any natural light - this gave you no privacy as everyone else on the second floor has to walk past your room and can see right in. Wouldn't be our first choice. You may want to advise people of the length of the Milford sound bus trip. Had we known we were going to spend 6-7 hours on a bus - we would probably planned it differently and either driven part way ourselves or chosen Doughtful Sound instead. It was beautiful, but a very long, tiring day and with so much to see in your beautiful country, it felt like we wasted a whole precious day on a bus. These were small things in the over all picture, but thought you might like to know. We will be happy to reccomend your company to anyone we know who is travelling to New Zealand!
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4
28/01/2014
I loved the tour and the help we received from Leanne to personalize our trip to include a wedding in Hokitika and our interests. I enjoyed the route and the different options for hiking, scenery, and activities. The trip to Milford Sound was great but after going I may have liked the option for Doubtful Sound instead as it was a long day.
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5
11/09/2013
Absolutely fabulous. South Island, New Zealand is the most spectacular place in the world, full of very friendly, helpful people and excellent food. Toni from Relaxing Journeys was incredibly helpful and accessible throughout the planning stage and managed to organise a holiday that was really geared to our needs. When an avalanche suddenly forced us to change plans, Christine from Relaxing Journeys, rang our hotel and arranged a complete change of itinerary, even ringing back late at night to confirm some changes. She handled all the cancellations and new bookings seamlessly. All very friendly, but completely professional. Brilliant!
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5
23/02/2013
I was very pleased with the tour. I enjoyed every bit of my journey in New Zealand. Self-driving let me stop when I wanted to, and there really was no rush in having to get to the next town. New Zealand is one big hiking trail. Everywhere I stopped there were tracks. The travel motels, though considered cheaper, were perfect and all had full kitchens. The only thing I wished I had was more time in the southern part of the South Island. I really wanted to go to Stewart Island to see the Southern Borealis. The weather was unfortuantely great. More rain would've meant more waterfalls and fuller rivers and creeks. Mani, my Tour Consultant, was able to put my package together quickly and to my budget and promptly returned my e-mails. I am looking forward to returning to New Zealand in the future during the winter months.
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5
25/12/2011
For our Christmas 2011 holidays, my wife and I selected the 11 Day Southern Glaciers drive/stay itinerary from Relaxing Journeys. It was a wonderful and most memorable experience. All of the logistics including the car rental, boutique hotels, and activities were superbly handled by our Relaxing Journeys' travel advisor Jarrod Scharvi. Besides the impeccable and personal service, Jarrod's suggested routes and stops to maximize our New Zealand experience were spot on. We traveled the 11 day Southern Glacier tour which took us from Christchurch to Lake Tekapo and Mt Cook, Queenstown, Milford Sound, Te Anua, Franz Josef Glacier, and then to Greymouth for the TranzAlpine train back to Christchurch. The sights were wonderful, the scenery fantastic, the accommodations definitely deluxe, and the added adventures made this a most memorable, relaxing, and enjoyable trip. It all started with the fabulous organizational skills and attentiveness of Jarrod at Relaxing Journeys. I definitely recommend their services and assistance when planning your trip of a lifetime to the South Island of New Zealand.
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4
15/03/2010
We had the most thoroughly enjoyable time - look forward to coming back in the not too distant future - Thank you.
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4
28/01/2008
Kia Ora. Just returned from the great trip you helped me arrange to South Island. All went well and was very enjoyable. Particularly enjoyed the B&Bs - all were fine hosts and friendly places to stay and helped with suggestions for sites to visit along the way. I would recommend any of them to other travellers.
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4
12/04/2007
We are finally (but sadly) back to Singapore and our holidays have now come to an end. :( I wanted to say a BIG THANK YOU for making our trip enjoyable. I really liked the upgrades... and in Mercure Grand St Moriz we got a garden view suite! South NZ is really superb, the sceneries are spectacular and we stayed just right in front of the mountains or the beaches for most places.. wonderful. And oh, Sandra, our farmstay host cooked really nice dishes and I copied her recipe - which actually comes from Allison Holst and... I subsequently bought her cook book from NZ! Cant wait to try her recipes! And yes I will recommend friends your agency if they need someone to plan for their NZ trip!
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Optionals

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).

Enquire about our 11 Day Southern Glaciers

11 Day Southern Glaciers
Self Drive Tours
Tour Code: GNSG
From (NZD) $1653 per person
Save (NZD) $165 per person
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Departures: May 2018 to March 2019
Rating:
19 reviews (4.7/5)

Walk along the base of the highest mountain in New Zealand, cruise Milford Sound, relax in the alpine retreat of Queenstown and explore the West Coast... Read More

Itinerary Map

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11 Day Southern Glaciers
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