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.
|Tour Type:||Self Drive Tours|
|From:||Christchurch to Christchurch|
|Departures:||Jan 2020 - March 2021|
|Price:||From (NZD) $4803 per person|
|Tour Operator:||Relaxing Journeys|
|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|
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 2020 – March 2021. Blackout periods may apply. A non-refundable deposit of $250 per person is required at time of booking.
Click here for our full terms and conditions.
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.
Day by Day Tour Itinerary
“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.
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)
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.
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.
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)
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.
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’.
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.
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)
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.
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).
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.
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.
There are 17 reviews of this tour from past clients of Relaxing Journeys, averaging 4.7 out of 5.
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 thatâ€™s Relaxing Journeyâ€™s influence and foresight, and maybe itâ€™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!
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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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
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