10 Day Southern Wildlife

10 Day Southern Wildlife

The best adventures begin slowly... unless you're going to New Zealand. You'll be in the thick of things from the first day, inviting your senses to sample the joys of helicopter flight, glacier tours, jet boat rides, hikes and little talked about trails. Strap yourself in for a walking and self-drive tour around the South Island - this is a holiday you won't want to throw away.

Book your self drive tour this month and receive an Earlybird Discount of 10%. Full Payment by 31 July 2018 to Qualify 

Tour Info

Tour Type: Self Drive Tours
From: Christchurch to Christchurch
Departures: May 2018 to March 2019
Price:
From (NZD) $3056 per person
Tour Operator: Relaxing Journeys
Pace: Comfortable
Duration: 10 Days
Tour Code: GWSW

Inclusions

9 nights accommodation
Rental vehicle of your choice
Franz Josef glacier heli-hike
Admission to Glacier hot pools
Lakeshore, Forest and Bird Guided walk
Dart River Wilderness Safari
Milford Sound nature cruise
Dunedin Wildlife Cruise and Peninsula Tour
Travel wallet, comprehensive customised itinerary, bound map book, accommodation & activity vouchers and local travel guides

Day by Day Tour Itinerary

Day 1
Arrive Christchurch

“Haere Mai” Welcome to Christchurch – the Garden City! Disembark, pass through customs and collect your luggage – it’s time to start your holiday. Your rental car is ready to whisk you away to your centrally located accommodation. What should you do with the rest of the day? Take it slow, sit back and relax, punting down the River Avon through the stunning Christchurch Botanic Gardens.

Day 2
Christchurch - Franz Josef

Get ready to journey across the Canterbury Plains, over the gorgeous Arthur’s Pass. It’s here you’ll stop, as Arthur’s Pass serves as an entry point to a short walk you shouldn’t miss, terminating at the Devil’s Punchbowl, a 100m high waterfall. Descend through some fantastic alpine scenery and on down to Greymouth from where you will make your way down to the Franz Josef Glacier. The Fox and Franz Josef glaciers are, without doubt, the natural superstars of this region. Nestled on the edge of the rainforest, these immense frozen rivers are only 6kms from the Tasman Sea – this makes them extremely unique, as your guide will soon tell you.

Or you could choose to travel to Greymouth on the world famous TranzAlpine train. Rated as one of the world’s great scenic railway journeys, you’ll see the fields of the Canterbury Plains and farmland, followed by the spectacular gorges and river valleys of the Waimakariri River. The train then climbs into the Southern Alps before descending through lush beech rain forest to the West Coast town of Greymouth – a great base for visits to Punakaiki and the Glaciers. (2 nights)

Day 3
Franz Josef

Thrills and chills abound, as we combine a scenic helicopter flight over the Franz Josef Glacier, with a guided walk amongst the ice caves, pinnacles and crevices – this is alpine country as you’ve never seen it. You’ll enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding mountains with plenty of snap-happy opportunities and the chance to learn more about this magnificent glacier.

Your guide chooses the route, ensuring you see only the most spectacular ice formations, leading you into icefall terrain that is usually seen only by experienced mountaineers. With a spotless safety record, rigid assessments, and using exclusive quality equipment, your safety and enjoyment is taken seriously by the folks at Heli-Hike.

After your trek is complete, bathe under a rainforest canopy and climb into the Franz Josef Glacier hot pools for some warm R&R.

Day 4
Franz Josef - Queenstown

Farewell Franz Josef and travel down the West Coast, alongside braided riverbeds, native forests and roadside waterfalls before climbing up over the Haast Pass and through Mount Aspiring National Park. Stop the car, stretch your legs and drink in the scenery, as impressive mountains touch the sky, remnants of the Ice Age glacial valley. Take your time and drive along the shores of Lakes Hawea, arriving at the action-packed city of Queenstown. (3 nights)

Day 5
Queenstown

Morning
Lace up your trainers and enjoy the Lakeshore Forest and Bird guided walk, a meandering trail for those who like relaxed walks. You’ll be taken through majestic native beech forests, combining the best of flora and fauna with breath-taking mountain views. You’ll feel like the trees are watching in the very best way.

Keep an ear out for native bird calls, as little wings flit around the forest canopy or from under the brush framing the path. Your guide will be invested in your positive, authentic experience, pointing out a range of edible and medicinal plants used by Maori culture to cure anything from colds to arthritis.

Difficulty: The track is good but uneven and winds around the lake shore with the option of a steeper climb to a lookout with magnificent views in all directions.

Day 6
Queenstown - Dart River Safari - Queenstown

Wear something waterproof and comfortable, you’re about to go on a jetboat ride. You will be collected you from your hotel and travel to Glenorchy in time for your Dart River Wilderness Safari. Speed on crystal clear waters, watching the wild and scenic landscape of Mt Aspiring National Park pass you by with twist, turns and impressive acceleration. Don’t be fooled by the jet-boat classification – thrills aside, you’ll be afforded a rare chance to glimpse the enchanted wilderness of a World Heritage area.

Day 7
Queenstown - Milford Sound Cruise - Te Anau

Follow the inspiring southern shores of Lake Wakatipu, stopping to gape before continuing your journey. On arrival at Milford Sound, 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. Keep an eye out for dolphins, seals and penguins! After your cruise, retrace your journey to Te Anau.

Day 8
Te Anau - Dunedin

Drive across the Waimea plains towards the farming community of Gore, traversing the rolling hill country of South Otago to Dunedin. What to do when you arrive?

The Otago Harbour deserves to be on every bucket list. Board a Monarch Cruises vessel and savour an unrivalled view of Taiaroa Head, the only mainland nesting place for Northern Royal Albatross in the world and the home to New Zealand fur seals. Don’t be surprised if you spot dolphins, sea lions and countless ocean birds, including penguins!

Day 9
Dunedin - Christchurch

Morning
Dunedin is teeming with scenic walks and easy trails, as short tracks criss-cross the Otago Peninsula and the town Belt… and let’s not forget Baldwin Street, the world’s steepest street. Don’t cheat yourself out of curious paths and sights that don’t make it into many guide books – ask a local for the inside story.

Afternoon
Start your engine and head along the coastal highway to Moeraki Beach, stopping for a walk to view its mysterious, spherical, 60 million-year-old boulders. On to the town of Oamaru, to sample the South Hill Walk, perfect for stunning coastal views from Cape Wanbrow. Tick off towns like Timaru, Geraldine and Ashburton as you make you way back to Christchurch.

Day 10
Depart Christchurch

Sadly, your holiday has finished. Today you will return your rental car to the airport and connect with your onward flight.

Book your self drive tour this month and receive an Earlybird Discount of 10%. Full Payment by 31 July 2018 to Qualify 

* Prices shown are per person (based on two people travelling).
* 2 Bedroom Motel pricing also available with Exclusive Specials. Please request a quote for prices.

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10 Day Southern Wildlife
Self Drive Tours
Tour Code: GWSW
From (NZD) $3056 per person
Enquire about this tour
Departures: May 2018 to March 2019

The best adventures begin slowly... unless you're going to New Zealand. You'll be in the thick of things from the first day, inviting your senses to s... Read More

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