12 Day Southern Delight
12 Day Southern Delight
Visit the Southern Alps, historic Arrowtown, the beautiful Southern Lakes District as well as the Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers. You will also experience the world renowned TranzAlpine Train journey on this exciting 12 day itinerary.
|Tour Type:||Self Drive Tours|
|From:||Christchurch to Christchurch|
|Departures:||Jan 2020 - March 2021|
|Price:||From (NZD) $3564 per person|
|Tour Operator:||Relaxing Journeys|
|11 nights accommodation|
|Rental vehicle of your choice|
|2 night stopovers in Kaikoura & Franz Josef|
|3 nights in majestic Queenstown|
|Award winning TranzAlpine Train Journey through the Southern Alps|
|Admission to Hanmer Springs Thermal Reserve|
|Kaikoura Whale Watching and Dolphin Encounter|
|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 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, we suggest punting down the River Avon through the stunning Christchurch Botanic Gardens.
This morning, you will be met again and 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 for your overnight stay. (2 nights)
A free day of leisure to experience the endless opportunities that exist 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.
Feel your adrenaline rush on New Zealand’s most scenic skydive, 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.
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 as you travel over the magnificent Southern Alps to the Southern Lakes District.
There is time to wander around the popular lakeside township of Wanaka before travelling over the spectacular Crown Range to the historic gold mining village of Arrowtown. On to Queenstown, a beautiful alpine resort town regarded as New Zealand’s adrenaline capitol. (3 nights)
It’s time to make memories in Queenstown. 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.
Today is free to experience this magnificent town. Surrounded by majestic mountains, Queenstown boasts adventure and leisure activities in all forms, from extreme to relaxed exploration.
Here you can take a thrilling jet boat ride, raft the white water rapids, take a wine trail, fish for trout, play golf or 4WD sheer canyons. It is also a great base from which to explore the Fiordland National Park, gateway to the awesome Milford and Doubtful Sounds.
To experience the best of Milford Sound, include an overnight cruise package onboard the Milford Mariner in your itinerary. With return coach transfers from Queenstown (or optional scenic flight – see below). Normally we would add an extra day to your itinerary.
Return to Queenstown on a scenic flight taking in magnificent views of the alps, glaciers, lakes and forests of Fiordland National Park – a quick and convenient way to return to Queenstown (Duration 35mins).
The flight shaves off approximately 4 hours from the return journey by coach. It is however very weather dependent, so if the weather doesn’t play ball, then you will need to return by coach and we will refund the upgrade price.
Journey north through the historic gold rush routes of Central Otago 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).
A short drive then brings you to the stunning glacier lake of Tekapo.
Be sure to visit the tiny Church of the Good Shepherd, on the shores of Lake Tekapo, built of local stone and oak in 1935 before travelling on to Hanmer Springs, an exciting and picturesque alpine thermal resort surrounded by tall mountains. The village is renowned for its relaxing and therapeutic thermal springs.
This morning, bathe in the hot thermal pools of the Hanmer Springs Thermal Reserve. For 125 years, this reserve has attracted people from all over the globe, seeking the benefits of its natural clean mineral water and the crisp Alpine air.
Later, a short drive brings you to Kaikoura, a place of unparalleled wildlife experiences, located in a narrow strip of stunning coastline between mountain peaks and the Pacific Ocean. (2 nights)
A blend of ocean currents creates a habitat that supports an abundance of ocean species, from fish and birds to marine life. This morning, view dolphins up close in their natural environment as you go on a Dolphin Experience.
Later, board your boat and enjoy the awesome experience of a 3-hour whale-watch excursion. This 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 Whale Watch tour may 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.
Leave Kaikoura in the rearview and drive two hours direct to Christchurch. The ‘Garden City’ regarded as the most ‘English’ of all New Zealand cities as a variety of parks, gardens, historic buildings, the Arts Centre and much more to be discovered.
What should you do with the rest of the day? Take it slow, sit back and relax, we suggest punting down the River Avon through the stunning Christchurch Botanic Gardens.
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 32 reviews of this tour from past clients of Relaxing Journeys, averaging 4.8 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).
Enquire about our 12 Day Southern Delight
Terms and conditions apply. Please see tour overview for more information.
Visit the Southern Alps, historic Arrowtown, the beautiful Southern Lakes District as well as the Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers. You will also experien... Read More
Click on each area to view more information.
Upgrade this tour by adding one of our carefully selected optional tours & activities or go ahead and request a quote to guarantee your spot.
You can also create your dream holiday by using our custom itinerary planner.
Create your Custom Itinerary