12 Day Mountains & Glaciers

12 Day Mountains & Glaciers

Covering the south of New Zealand, this unique tour encapsulates the essence of the South Island in all its majesty. You won't find a more memorable Southern experience.

Book your self drive tour this month and 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) $4703 per person
Tour Operator: Relaxing Journeys
Duration: 12 Days
Tour Code: GNMG

Inclusions

11 nights accommodation
Rental vehicle of your choice including airport collection charges
2 night stopovers in Franz Josef, Dunedin & Christchurch
3 nights in majestic Queenstown
Award winning TranzAlpine Train Journey through the magnificent Southern Alps
Siberia Experience, Mt Aspiring National Park
World-famous Shotover Jet boat ride
Doubtful Sound Wilderness Excursion
Enjoy the nature & abundant wildlife of Dunedin & Otago Peninsula on the Monarch Wildlife Cruise (additional cost)
Experience icebergs & glaciers up close on a Tasman Glacier Explorer excursion
Travel wallet, comprehensive customised itinerary, bound map book, accommodation & activity vouchers and local travel guides

Book your self drive tour this month and receive a discount of 7.5%. If you pay by 30 September 2018.

Click on the prices below to enquire.

* 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.

Chat Request Callback

Day by Day Tour Itinerary

Day 1
Arrive Christchurch

“Haere Mai” Welcome to Christchurch – the Garden City. Upon arrival at Christchurch airport, you will be personally met by our representative and transferred in an executive sedan to your accommodation. Following the 2011 earthquake, Christchurch has re-emerged as a vibrant, ever-changing city.

The remainder of the day is at leisure to get a taste of what the city has to offer. 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.

Your choice of accommodation

Day 2
Christchurch - TranzAlpine Train - Franz Josef

This morning, you will be transferred to Christchurch Railway Station where you board the TranzAlpine Train, described as “The Great New Zealand Rail Adventure”. It is rated one of the top six scenic train journeys in the world.

After crossing the huge and fertile patchwork farmlands of the Canterbury Plains, the TranzAlpine winds its way over massive viaducts, through spectacular river gorges and the stunning Waimakariri River valley. It tracks its way up and across the spectacular Southern Alps via the alpine village of Arthur’s Pass situated 737 metres above sea level.

On arrival in Greymouth, collect your chosen rental car and drive down the dramatic West Coast, steeped in history dating back to the gold rush era of the 1800’s, to the glacier township of Franz Josef or Fox Glacier for your overnight stay. (2 nights)

Your choice of accommodation

Day 3
Franz Josef at Leisure

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.

There’s also quad biking through rainforest and riverbeds or even a half hour drive back down to Fox Glacier and Lake Matheson. The Franz Josef Glacier hot pools are open for a hot bathe amongst the rainforest! Let us know if you’d like us to include any of these activities in your itinerary.

Your choice of accommodation

Day 4
Franz Josef - Siberia Experence - Wanaka

Today, view incredible scenery as you travel past the untouched native forests and pristine lakes of the World Heritage Westland National Park and Haast Pass. At Makarora, begin a 4 hour unique New Zealand wilderness adventure, the Siberia Experience, in the Mt Aspiring National Park.

Commence your journey with a 25 minute flight that captures stunning views of the Southern Alps, vast rainforests, hanging valleys and dramatic unspoiled beauty. Land in the Siberia Valley to immerse yourself in nature on this unguided journey amongst natural New Zealand World Heritage wilderness before you board your jetboat for a thrilling scenic 30-minute trip back to Makaroa.

From there a short drive brings you to the beautiful, popular lakeside resort of Wanaka.

Your choice of accommodation

Day 5
Wanaka - Arrowtown - Queenstown

Running along the Clutha River, Lake Dunstan and the Shotover River, the Central Otago Wine Trail region encompasses Wanaka, Cromwell, Bannockburn, Bendigo, Alexandra, and Gibbston, boasting an international reputation for Pinot Noir.

There are over 30 wineries and vineyards in this area offering tastings, tours, lunches and meals. Further along SH6, 15 minutes from central Queenstown, stands the Arrowtown Junction at Lake Hayes, home of the unmissable Amisfield Winery and Bistro – sink your teeth into a local meal and savour the notes of New Zealand before arriving in Queenstown. (3 nights)

Your choice of accommodation

Day 6
Explore Queenstown

The day begins with an exhilarating ride on the world-famous Shotover Jet. Then enjoy the rest of the day to experience this magnificent resort. It’s time to make memories in Queenstown, the capital of adrenaline, beauty and local foodie culture.

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.

Your choice of accommodation

Day 7
Queenstown - Doubtful Sounds Cruise - Queenstown

Queenstown is also a great base from which to explore the Fiordland National Park. Today, leave your car behind and board a luxury glass-roofed coach to the Doubtful Sound. Travel along the shores of Lake Wakatipu and through the rolling countryside to Manapouri.

Then cruise across the crystal waters of Lake Manapouri to West Arm before boarding a coach and crossing the alpine route of Wilmot Pass through some of Fiordland and Doubtful Sound’s most dense rainforest. On reaching Deep Cove, board a modern catamaran vessel, the Patea Explorer for a three hour cruise exploring the waterways of this serene and isolated fiord.

There is plenty of time available to explore points of interest and view the spectacular alpine scenery including waterfalls, rainforest and mountains all the way out to the Tasman Sea. It is home to bottlenose dolphins and fur seals and when in season, the rare Fiordland crested penguin.

An on board nature guide with specialist knowledge of the region’s history, flora and fauna provides detailed interpretation in English with a roving microphone. On the return cruise, the vessel’s engines are turned off and visitors are treated to the ‘sound of silence’.

Your choice of accommodation

Day UP
Doubtful Sound Overnight Upgrade Package

To experience the best of Doubtful Sound, upgrade to an overnight cruise and instead of returning to Queenstown, stay onboard the Fiordland Navigator. Return to Queenstown by coach the next day. This upgrade package adds an extra day to your itinerary.

Your choice of accommodation

Day 8
Queenstown - Dunedin

Today you will journey through the historic gold rush routes of Central Otago, passing through the townships of Cromwell, Clyde and Alexandra en-route to Dunedin, the ‘Edinburgh of the South’.

It is a city of rare charm set amidst a magical landscape edged by the sea. The historical significance of the city dates back to the gold rush era of the 1860’s. 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. (2 nights)

Your choice of accommodation

Day 9
Dunedin at Leisure

Take the opportunity to enjoy the city’s cultural riches as well as its abundant nature and wildlife. If you wish, visit New Zealand’s oldest brewery for an entertaining and enlightening heritage tour.

Enjoy guided Tours of Larnach Castle and the stately home of Olveston House or play Golf at Balmacewan, the oldest golf course in New Zealand and enjoyed by many of the sports greats, both past and present.

You could also make the short journey to Otago Peninsula to enjoy seals, the Albatross Colony and visit the Yellow-eyed penguin conservation reserve.

Your choice of accommodation

Day 10
Dunedin - Oamaru - Mt Cook

This morning, drive north along the ocean highway to Moeraki Beach with its 60 million year old boulders. On to Oamaru, home to the exquisite Oamaru Stone then travel to the 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 (optional Ski-plane and helicopter flights are available subject to weather conditions).

Your choice of accommodation

Day 11
Mt Cook - Tasman Glacier Explorer - Christchurch

This morning, you get to experience the Tasman Glacier, New Zealand’s largest, in the most unique way possible. An experienced guide will whisk you away in a stable MAC Boat to explore the melting ice-face of the Tasman Glacier where you will also get to touch and taste 400-year old icebergs that have been carved into the murky waters of the lake*.

Later, stop to visit beautiful Lake Tekapo and view the tiny Church of the Good Shepherd, built of local stone and oak in 1935.

After your glacier experience, you will leave the High Country and cross the vast Canterbury Plains on your way to the ‘Garden City’ of Christchurch.

Your choice of accommodation

Day 12
Depart Christchurch

Sadly, your holiday is at an end and you deliver your car back to the rental car depot at Christchurch airport today for your onward flight. Here, we bid you a fond farewell and hope you leave with many happy memories of your stay in Aotearoa, New Zealand.

Your choice of accommodation

4.7/5.0

There are 16 reviews of this tour from past clients of Relaxing Journeys, averaging 4.7 out of 5.

Overall Tour Rating
Value For Money
Accommodation
Tour Pace
Relaxing Journeys Experience

Tour Reviews

4
04/12/2016
We were extremely well advised by Toni. In retrospect we could have spent more time in Queenstown and done more there so I understand now why initially the plan would have seen us have three full days there. I think also we did not really have much to do in Wanaka and maybe could have just carried straight on to Queenstown. In general, our accommodation was very good. Weather was disappointing on the train journey on Day 1, but that is life. Doing the rain forest canopy circuit later the same day in pouring rain was actually great fun and made our arrival in Franz Joseph seem like a great adventure. And we had a glorious sunny day to hike to the glacier. With a small infant Hanmer Springs made an excellent substitute for our final night - there was a Christmas parade. Next time around we will know what we are especially interested in and will be able to plan accordingly. Finally, maybe more warning about sandflies would have been good.
Overall Tour Rating

Value For Money

Accommodation

Tour Pace

Relaxing Journeys Experience
5
12/01/2016
The tour was well organised with clear instructions on reporting for activities. The Kruse navigator was essential for finding the route and accommodation. The distance that had to be travelled each day was relaxing with useful information about things to see on the way. The owners of the accommodations were friendly and supplied useful local information.
Overall Tour Rating

Value For Money

Accommodation

Tour Pace

Relaxing Journeys Experience
5
14/02/2015
I appreciated the help from a New Zealand local in planning this trip. He was diligent in finding us places to stay when the accomodations were very full by the time we started the planning. New Zealand is full of beauty, adventure, friendly people, diversity, excellent food! All transfers were on time. The car and GPS worked well, and the roads are well maintained with good signage - which makes for a relaxing driving experience. It was the most expensive trip we have ever taken, so it is hard to judge the value for the money, but we have no complaints about anything. Te Waonui Forest Retreat is over rated but dinner was excellent. The Arthur's Pass Wilderness Lodge was a wonderful surprise for its remote and pristine setting, excellent food and a view that is to die for; we broke up the TranzAlpine train ride with an overnight there and are really glad we did.
Overall Tour Rating

Value For Money

Accommodation

Tour Pace

Relaxing Journeys Experience
5
20/12/2014
Everything was great. We even got great assistance from our Tour Consultant during the trip on an incorrect charge from a hotel.
Overall Tour Rating

Value For Money

Accommodation

Tour Pace

Relaxing Journeys Experience
5
28/04/2014
Excellent tour, arrangements worked perfectly, top accommodation in well chosen places. Highly recommended.
Overall Tour Rating

Value For Money

Accommodation

Tour Pace

Relaxing Journeys Experience
5
11/04/2014
The self-drive tour worked well. Some busy days, others some time for an easy pace. With all arrangements already made it made the experience very .....relaxed ! Everything went smootlhly. We found the day by day guide quite helpful. Perhaps the biggest plus was not having to do the research, bookings, itinerary, etc. yourself.
Overall Tour Rating

Value For Money

Accommodation

Tour Pace

Relaxing Journeys Experience
5
01/03/2014
Just a quick note to thank you and Relaxing Journeys for facilitating a fun-filled and smooth adventure on the South Island of New Zealand during our recent Custom Mountains and Glaciers Tour. The pace and distances between destinations suited our vacation style quite well. Your accommodations provided in the package all held up to our expectations, some like The Edgewater in Wanaka, exceeded those expectations. Other highlights include the Wilkin River Jet Boat tour (our driver Danielle was very flexible around the rough, windy weather and our schedule), the very next day we went off to the Shotover Jet tour and had a different type of positive experience as well. The Walter Peak Farm tour had us going across Wakatipu on the most gorgeous weather days to the finest meal of our trip.

We bumped into various fellow travellers during our trip and noticed their vouchers from Relaxing Journeys and inquired as to how their experience was going with Relaxing Journeys, and three groups, in various stages of their journey, all had positive things to relate, regarding the ease of travelling with your company. Word of mouth praise such as that really promotes a sense of confidence in choosing an operation that receives such positive feedback. Any small scheduling bumps and hiccups in bookings and pickup times were all worked out the way minor things should be, handled smoothly by your agents and subcontractors, maybe that’s Relaxing Journey’s influence and foresight, and maybe it’s just the Kiwi way. Either way, Relaxing Journeys plans a great, hassle free holiday filled with a variety of experiences that allow for a vacation to remember!
Overall Tour Rating

Value For Money

Accommodation

Tour Pace

Relaxing Journeys Experience
5
03/02/2014
New Zealand is a wonderful country and everyone is very friendly. We took a lot of fun hikes but the highlight of our trip was the Siberia Experience. The weather was perfect and it was awesome flying around the glaciers, crossing the river, hiking the trails and being picked up in the jet boat. We had a great time. In retrospect, things we would do differently are...we would swap out the Doubtful Sound tour for a day of kayaking through the Glowworm Caves or something similar. We don't really enjoy the motor coach/captive audience experience. Doubtful Sound was beautiful but I don't feel like we would have missed out an anything given the scenery we saw at our other stops. We would have spent an extra day in Wanaka. We felt like there was more to explore there but we did not have time. Maybe one day less in Queenstown or add a day to the trip. Overall, we had a great time and thoroughly enjoyed New Zealand. Thanks Leanne for your patience as we booked the trip.
Overall Tour Rating

Value For Money

Accommodation

Tour Pace

Relaxing Journeys Experience
5
28/12/2013
Relaxing Journey's were very responsive to cancellation of a planned activity due to bad weather conditions. The service provided was execellent and all legs of our trips, from airport pickup to individual hotel stays went according to plan. A big thank you!
Overall Tour Rating

Value For Money

Accommodation

Tour Pace

Relaxing Journeys Experience
4
10/02/2013
Each of the places visited showed us a different aspect of New Zealand. The scenery is varied and amazing. Most of the accommodation was top quality. We would have liked to have spent more time in some places - one night just wasn't enough. In some places, we couldn't eat in the hotel's restaurant because they had been booked out by coach tour companies or because of special events, so I would suggest booking well in advance, not waiting until you arrive. A couple of hotels charged extra for car parking, which we weren't expecting. All in all, we had a wonderful trip and we would definitely visit again.
Overall Tour Rating

Value For Money

Accommodation

Tour Pace

Relaxing Journeys Experience

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 12 Day Mountains & Glaciers

12 Day Mountains & Glaciers
Self Drive Tours
Tour Code: GNMG
From (NZD) $4703 per person
Save (NZD) $470 per person
Enquire Now
Departures: May 2018 to March 2019
Rating:
16 reviews (4.7/5)

Covering the south of New Zealand, this unique tour encapsulates the essence of the South Island in all its majesty. You won't find a more memorable S... Read More

Itinerary Map

Click to view a larger image.

12 Day Mountains & Glaciers
Regions Visited

Click on each area to view more information.

Like this tour?

Upgrade this tour by adding one of our carefully selected optional tours & activities or go ahead and request a quote to guarantee your spot.

Custom Itinerary

You can also create your dream holiday by using our custom itinerary planner.
Create your Custom Itinerary