10 Day Pure South Island

10 Day Pure South Island

This leisurely self-drive tour takes you through many of the 'must see' attractions on the South Island. Go to Queenstown, visit the West Coast, stopping in Te Anau and Milford Sound.

Book and pay your deposit by 30 November 2018 to receive a 5% discount off your tour price for this month

Tour Info

Tour Type: Self Drive Tours
From: Christchurch to Christchurch
Departures: May 2018 to March 2019
Price:
From (NZD) $1489 per person
Tour Operator: Relaxing Journeys
Duration: 10 Days
Tour Code: GNPSI

Inclusions

9 nights accommodation
Rental vehicle of your choice
2 night stopover in Franz Josef & 3 nights in Queenstown
Milford Sound Nature Cruise
Admissions outlined in the Itinerary
Airport transfers to/from your accommodation
Travel wallet, comprehensive customised itinerary, bound map book, accommodation & activity vouchers and local travel guides

Conditions

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 May 2018 – March 2019. 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.

Book and pay your deposit by 30 November 2018 to receive a 5% discount off your tour price for this month

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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. 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 - Dunedin

Take delivery of your rental car this morning and travel south across the Canterbury Plains through seaside Timaru, and historic Oamaru. Here you can stop and sample the South Hill Walk, perfect for stunning coastal views from Cape Wanbrow.

Continue on to reach Moeraki  Beach – famous for the fascinating 60 million-year-old boulders. Maori legend describes these boulders as the food baskets of the gods.

Continue south to reach the Scottish influenced city of Dunedin, “the Edinburgh of the South”.

Your choice of accommodation

Day 3
Dunedin - Te Anau

Drive through the rolling hill country of South Otago and Southland. 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!

After a visit to the farming centre of Gore, cross the Waimea plains towards Fiordland. Visit Lake Manapouri with its rugged bush clad mountains before arriving at the shores of Lake Te Anau.

Your choice of accommodation

Day 4
Te Anau - Milford Sound - Queenstown

Drive through pristine beech forests and the Homer Tunnel to Milford Sound. We have included a cruise on Milford Sound to enable you to appreciate the majesty of Mitre Peak and Bowen Falls.

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!

Return to Te Anau, then turn north, following the dramatic southern shores of Lake Wakatipu to reach Queenstown, a beautiful alpine resort town and regarded as one of New Zealand’s premier holiday destinations. (3 nights)

Your choice of accommodation

Day 5
Queenstown

The capital of adrenaline, beauty and local foodie culture, you can 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 6
Queenstown

Enjoy another day of exploring the magnificent Queenstown. If you have not yet had your will of adventure, why not try bungy jumping or white water surfing, jet-boating, canyoning and luging.

Added to that the more traditional pursuits of rafting, wind-surfing, mountain biking and skiing in winter. The only question to as is: ‘Will you have time to fit it all in?’

Your choice of accommodation

Day 7
Queenstown - Franz Josef

Depart Queenstown this morning, travel along the shores of Lakes Wanaka and Hawea to the Haast Pass, gateway to World Heritage Westland National Park.

Then continue up the West Coast past spectacular mountain ranges, native forests and lakes to Franz Josef Glacier. (2 nights)

Your choice of accommodation

Day 8
Glaciers

Endless opportunities exist to allow you to take in the beauty of this special part of the South Island’s West Coast. Take a guided walk or heli-hike to explore the spectacular ice formations, experience the thrill of a scenic flight and place your footprints onto a high alpine snowfield.

You could visit New Zealand’s only White Heron (Kotuku) nesting colony, take in the scenery as you kayak the stunning Okarito lagoon or visit Lake Matheson, renowned for its mirror images of Aoraki (Mt Cook) and Mt Tasman, New Zealand’s highest peaks.

Your choice of accommodation

Day 9
Franz Josef - Christchurch

Travel north along the narrow, bush clad, coastal plain past Hokitika, to Greymouth. Turn inland towards the Southern Alps to travel through the Otira Gorge, over Arthur’s Pass and across the Canterbury Plains to Christchurch.

Your choice of accommodation

Day UP
TranzAlpine Train Upgrade Package

Upgrade your itinerary to include the TranzAlpine train journey to Christchurch! Drop your vehicle off in Greymouth and then join the TranzAlpine Train for your journey across the Alps.

The TranzAlpine is described as “The Great New Zealand Rail Adventure” and is rated as one of the top six scenic train journeys in the world – with accolades like those, you know it will be good.

Ascend through lush beech forests past the beautiful Lake Brunner via the alpine village of Arthur’s Pass situated 737 metres above sea level, before crossing the spectacular Southern Alps. The TranzAlpine then winds its way over massive viaducts, through spectacular river gorges and the stunning Waimakariri River valley before arriving in Christchurch.

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 10
Depart Christchurch

Sadly your holiday is at an end and you will return your rental car to 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

4.6/5.0

There are 27 reviews of this tour from past clients of Relaxing Journeys, averaging 4.6 out of 5.

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Value For Money
Accommodation
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Relaxing Journeys Experience

Tour Reviews

5
17/10/2018
Well planned, supported by great customer service and follow up at all times during the pre and post trip phases.
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5
16/10/2017
A wonderful tour that exceeded all my expectations. Every arrangement clicked into place with unbelievable precision. We were never left waiting for a second at any airport or hotel lobby. Well done, Marie Sarmon. We had a slight hiccup with the GPS commentary device and I recommend that those who are technically-challenged buy a local SIM card to put in their mobile phones so they can contact the company for advice (Mobile phones with overseas numbers cannot connect to a toll-free service). We did, however, overcome the problem and simply nothing else went wrong. I won't go on describing the tour or New Zealand, because I will run out of superlatives.
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5
16/04/2017
Words can not express how fabulous our vacation was! Our tour consultant, Mani Fagundes, built a perfect tour for us. It was customized to include the famous Tongariro National Park Alpine Crossing hike and then followed the Pure South Island self-drive itinerary. Mani and Relaxing Journeys made this the easiest vacation ever. When we arrived at our rental car company, just as promised we received a complete package of information including our vouchers, detailed itinerary, helpful road map, and guidebooks for each major town that we visited. All we had to do was follow the itinerary, it was just that easy. Driving in New Zealand is very easy. The roads are wide, smooth, and well marked. There were arrows everywhere so remembering which side of the road to drive on was not a problem. Clearly New Zealand has made an investment in their road system to assist their many visitors and boost tourism. Using vouchers was incredibly easy. Car rentals, NZ domestic airfare e-tickets, hotel accommodations, excursions, taxi rides, and private car service were all reserved in advance for us, all we had to do was hand over the voucher. I wish all vacations were as simple as that! We knew in advance what all of our costs would be and did not have to keep handing over money every day. Mani booked our car through Thrifty and we had a beautiful Toyota Camry. It was clean, efficient, and the perfect size. The hotel accommodations were immaculate, their service was top-notch, and the locations were perfect so that we could walk to everything once we arrived at our hotels. They were interesting and beautiful. I also feel that we were given better rooms within the hotels, all our rooms had a view of whatever landmark was near (lake, rainforest, downtown, etc). I think it may have been better to book through a company than individually because it may give a better chance of getting better rooms. We enjoyed quite a few excursions and we loved every one. We did the heli-hike in Franz Josef Glacier - that is a MUST DO. We did the zip-line echo tour in Queenstown which was fun, they have the steepest zip line in the world. We did the Dart River jet boat and funyak (which are inflated kayaks) in Queenstown and that was fabulous. We saw miniature blue penguins in the Otago Peninsula by Dunedin - that may have been our favorite part of the trip, they were absolutely adorable. We saw glow worms in a cave in Te Anau which was great fun. And we did an excellent bus tour of Christchurch. Aside from the excursions, Mani gave a good description of sites to see during the long drives in between towns. We stopped at wineries, a gold mining town, jade (green stone) artisan shop, glass blowing studio, and too many short hikes / overlooks to count. Do not be intimidated by long drives between towns. The itinerary left us plenty of time to take it slow and enjoy the scenery, and driving there is so easy. Literally almost no stoplights (just round-abouts) and there is no stress in the driving. The self-drive itinerary was a great way to see the country. We did have a few questions during our trip, and each time I called Relaxing Journeys they quickly answered the phone and gave me an answer on the spot. They even called the Christchurch bus tour company when I couldn't find them to make sure I connected with them. Both Mani and Relaxing Journey provided excellent service. Mani took all of the guess work out of our trip - where to stay, where to go, and what to do - which meant that we could just go and enjoy ourselves. We had the vacation of a lifetime and I'd highly recommend using Relaxing Journeys when planning a vacation in New Zealand. I would use them again in a heartbeat.
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5
16/04/2017
Right from the first exchange of mails everything was perfect. Ms.Toni first understood our requirements, devised an itinerary to our needs, provided useful suggestions regarding the various tour programs and most importantly executed it perfectly. So good was the execution that I didn't have the need to use my phone once tour commenced! Prompt reply to mails was another thing that impressed me...keeping in mind the time zone differences. I chose Relaxing Journeys after I couldn't reach an agreement with my first tour operator...and I don't regret it a bit now. Your rates were better than the rates available on internet. Coupled with it your local knowledge made it a terrific experience. NZ is an amazing country especially South Island...right out of books. So blown away we were with the beauty we stopped taking photos and decided to soak in every moment. All accommodations, tours, local guides...exceptional. This will rank as one of our best trips. Thanks everyone.
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5
14/03/2017
I loved the tour, especially the West side. I would love to spend less time on the East side and more on the West. I loved hiking on the West. Thank you.
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3
10/01/2017
The time estimate between stops was greatly underestimated. At least two hours additional would be more accurate. At the Fletcher Lodge no one was available to help us carry our luggage up two flights of stairs. Blanket Bay was outstanding. The George was also very nice.
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4
30/12/2016
Overall we really enjoyed our trip. We were really taken by the the beautiful environments in Christchurch, Arrowtown and Franz Josef Glacier. Accommodation was good. Would love to stay in the Heritage Hotel, Dockbay Lodge and The Arrow Private Hotel again. The Scenic Hotel in Franz Josef was a bit of a disappointment though. Our room had a funny smell at first and we had to open the windows for half a day in order to get rid of it. Wasn't sure about traveling through Dunedin either, because it was difficult to do much there given the very long drive from Christchurch. Had high hope for the Alpine Scenic Train but proved to be average only. Will probably skip it next time when we visit NZ. We were also very impressed by the neat organization of all our travel documents (maps, vouchers, brochure etc). It certainly made our trip free from major hassles.
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5
19/09/2016
This was our first experience of self touring. A great tour though I suspect it would have been better had we known about the commentary on the Sat Nav. Only discovered it on the last day! Maybe a reminder at car pick would have helped. However, being a keen map reader and Lonely planet reader we still got interesting facts etc. Accommodation was out of this world - top notch each and every stay. All host were friendly, helpful and went above and beyond to ensure our stay was perfect. We stayed in a mixture of hotels, B&B and boutique hotels - all exquisite. Brilliant choices so well done Relaxing Journeys for sourcing such places. The driving was a little taxing....not always possible to relax and see all we wanted as the distances were on some days very long. Would have preferred at least two night stay in all places or a shorter distance between each. Would certainly return as this tour offered a fantastic flavour of NZ and highlighted it's amazing attractions, history and geography as well as its famous friendliness. Our tour arranger, Mani, was amazing helping change things around to accommodate my birthday without fuss. Very much appreciated, thank you Mani. It was a fabulous holiday and birthday with memories to treasure. I have passed my recommendations to use Relaxing Journeys to colleagues for their NZ holiday.
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5
06/08/2016
Everything went like clockwork, from receiving information before leaving for the trip, arrival at Christchurch was perfect and we can't think of anything that was wrong with the vacation. We made one late change to our itinerary one week before travelling and it was no problem. We chose boutique hotels and they were all very suitable for the locations we were in, special mention to Prospect Lodge in Te Anua; always book this one if you get a chance. Allow a full day for the Milford sound trip, there is so much to stop and see on the way up and down. I'd recommend Relaxing Journeys and tour consultant Toni to everyone - you will not be let down.
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5
30/12/2015
Our trip was everything we had hoped for and more. All of our accommodations and connections were perfect. Everyone was on time, expecting us and most friendly and helpful. The GPS commentary was interesting and informative but the directions to specific locations were poor and often incorrect. We would have liked to stay a little longer some places and missed a few in retrospect. We will be back someday to take in more of this wonderful place. New Zealand is a beautiful country with friendly people. We love New Zealand and Relaxing Journeys.
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 10 Day Pure South Island

10 Day Pure South Island
Self Drive Tours
Tour Code: GNPSI
From (NZD) $1489 per person
Save (NZD) $148 per person
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Terms and conditions apply. Please see tour overview for more information.

Rating:
27 reviews (4.6/5)

This leisurely self-drive tour takes you through many of the 'must see' attractions on the South Island. Go to Queenstown, visit the West Coast, stopp... Read More

Itinerary Map

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10 Day Pure South Island
Regions Visited

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