10 Day Natures Delight
10 Day Natures Delight
Experience the beauty and majesty of the South Island on this unique self-drive tour. You will have ample opportunity to get up-close and personal with the flora and fauna that makes the South of New Zealand so special.
|Tour Type:||Self Drive Tours|
|From:||Christchurch to Queenstown|
|Departures:||Jan 2019 - March 2020|
|Price:||From (NZD) $3492 per person|
|Tour Operator:||Relaxing Journeys|
|9 nights accommodation|
|Rental vehicle of your choice|
|2 night stopovers in Dunedin & Queenstown|
|3 nights in the Garden City of Christchurch|
|Akaroa Harbour Nature Cruise|
|Kaikoura Whalewatch Excursion or Swim with Dophins Excursion|
|World Heritage listed Mt Cook National Park|
|Otago Peninsula Wildlife Cruise|
|Te Anau Glowworm Cave Tour|
|Milford Sound Nature Cruise|
|Admissions outlined in the Itinerary|
|Airport transfers to/from your accommodation|
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.
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. 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. (3 nights)
Take delivery of your rental car this morning after breakfast. Just over an hour away from Christchurch lies the quaint seaside village of Akaroa on the beautiful Banks Peninsula. Settled by the French in the early 1860’s, it still retains a strong French flavour with its street names and architecture.
Enjoy a wildlife harbour cruise this afternoon, the highlight being the sighting of one of the world’s smallest and rarest dolphin, the Hector’s or New Zealand dolphin. You might also capture glimpses of the White Flippered Blue Penguin, the smallest penguin in the world. Season permitting, there is also the chance of sighting the endangered Yellow-eyed penguin. Once back on dry land, make your way back to Christchurch.
Drive north today to the township of Kaikoura, located in a narrow strip of stunning coastline that lies between mountain peaks and the Pacific Ocean. Here you’ll enjoy a three-hour Whale Watching Experience by boat.
Every Whalewatch tour is a unique experience and sightings may vary from day to day. Giant sperm whales are the star of the show and are year-round residents. A typical tour may also encounter fur seals, pods of Dusky dolphins and the endangered Wandering Albatross.
Depending on the season, you may also see migrating Hump Back whales, Pilot whales, Blue whales and Southern Right whales. Kaikoura also attracts the largest concentration and variety of seabirds on mainland New Zealand including 13 species of Albatross, 14 varieties of Petrel as well as 7 types of Shearwater. Return to Christchurch later this afternoon.
Today you will drive through the MacKenzie Country to Lake Tekapo, where you stop view the tiny Church of the Good Shepherd, built of local stone and oak in 1935. Then it’s on 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).
Time to enjoy some of the nearby bush walks in the park before heading west to the coastal town of Oamaru, famous for its white limestone buildings. Be sure to stop at Moeraki Beach with its mysterious, spherical, 60 million year old boulders. Continue on to Dunedin, the ‘Edinburgh of the South’. (2 nights)
Cruise the length of the beautiful Otago Harbour and experience unrivalled viewing of the exciting diversity of wildlife that abounds on spectacular Taiaroa Head. This is the only mainland nesting place for Northern Royal Albatross in the world, and it is home to New Zealand fur seals as well as eight other nesting bird species.
You may also see dolphins, sea lions and a fascinating array of rarely seen ocean birds including other species of albatross, penguins and marine mammals in their natural environment. Enjoy a scenic Peninsula tour by coach and guided tours of the Royal Albatross Colony, the Yellow Eyed Penguin Reserve and a visit to wading bird habitats.
This morning make your way to the lakeside town of Te Anau, travelling through the towns of Winton and Mossburn en route. This evening, explore a mysterious underground world of rushing water before drifting in silent darkness beneath the luminous shimmer of thousands of glowworms.
Your Te Anau Glowworm Cave adventure begins with a cruise across beautiful Lake Te Anau. On arrival there is time to view the interesting displays at Cavern House before friendly guides accompany you underground in small groups. As you explore by path and small boat, your senses will be overwhelmed. In this mysterious underground world discover fossils as well as rock formations, and view rushing waterfalls and whirlpools.
Learn how the caves are still being carved out by the incredible and relentless power of nature, before gliding through silent darkness to the glowworm grotto. The delicate incandescence of thousands of tiny glowworms is a magical sight.
Join the Milford Road from Te Anau and drive through the famous hand-hewn Homer Tunnel to the Sound itself. Here you board a purpose-built vessel, designed along the lines of a traditional trading scow, for an extended 2 ½ hour nature cruise of the full length of Milford Sound to the Tasman Sea.
This magnificent glacier-carved fiord is home to the famous, mile-high Mitre Peak and you will view spectacular waterfalls, rainforests, mountains and wildlife whilst enjoying an extensive commentary from the on-board nature guide. At the completion of your cruise, make your way to the stunning alpine resort village of Queenstown, regarded as New Zealand’s premier adrenalin destination. (L) (2 nights)
Enjoy a full day to experience this magnificent alpine resort town. Surrounded by majestic mountains, Queenstown boasts adventure and leisure activities in all forms, from extreme to relaxed exploration.
Take a thrilling jet boat ride on the Shotover Jet or Dart River Safari, pan for gold in Arrowtown, board the TSS Earnslaw or take a nostalgic cruise of beautiful Lake Wakatipu. You also have the option to play golf or experience Queenstown’s sheer canyons by 4WD.
At leisure today for some last minute sightseeing before returning your rental car to the airport in time to connect with your onward flight.
There are 5 reviews of this tour from past clients of Relaxing Journeys, averaging 5 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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Experience the beauty and majesty of the South Island on this unique self-drive tour. You will have ample opportunity to get up-close and personal wit... Read More
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