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.

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) $3464 per person
Tour Operator: Relaxing Journeys
Duration: 12 Days
Tour Code: GNSS

Inclusions

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
ravel 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.

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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. 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.

Your choice of accommodation

Day 2
Christchurch - Greymouth - Franz Josef

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)

Your choice of accommodation

Day 3
Glaciers

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.

Your choice of accommodation

Day 4
Franz Josef - Haast - Wanaka - Queenstown

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)

Your choice of accommodation

Day 5
Queenstown

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.

Your choice of accommodation

Day 6
Queenstown

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.

Your choice of accommodation

Day UP
Milford Sound Overnight Upgrade Package

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.

Your choice of accommodation

Day UP
Milford Sound Return Flight Upgrade Package (NZ $395pp)

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.

Your choice of accommodation

Day 7
Queenstown - Lake Tekapo

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.

Your choice of accommodation

Day 8
Lake Tekapo - Hanmer Springs

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.

Your choice of accommodation

Day 9
Hanmer Springs - Kaikoura

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)

Your choice of accommodation

Day 10
Kaikoura

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.

Your choice of accommodation

Day 11
Kaikoura - Christchurch

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.

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

4.8/5.0

There are 32 reviews of this tour from past clients of Relaxing Journeys, averaging 4.8 out of 5.

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

Tour Reviews

5
03/12/2017
We really enjoyed our trip to South Island. Marie has been most helpful in sorting out all our accommodations and answering all our questions. The voucher system works really well and makes the transactions simple and quick. There were a few long drives for the itinerary we chose - from Franz Josef to Queenstown and from Lake Tekapo to Hanmer Springs, about 5 hours each. Other than those, the pace was very manageable. The accommodations provided were all clean and comfortable. Noting the number of toilets in each apartment may be helpful especially when six people share an apartment. Due to our large group size (17), some of us had to be accommodated in some smaller twin/triple rooms at some destinations instead of more spacious apartments. Overall, the accommodations were of excellent quality. The highlight of our trip was seeing lots of wild dolphins and whales on our trip out to sea at Kaikoura. However, the sea conditions were really rough and some in our group had to forgo the whale-watching trip. The tour operator was helpful to allow us to reschedule our whale-watching to the next day without penalty and to allow cancellation for those who suffered from sea-sickness. As SH1 was still closed, we had to take the windy inland route to Kaikoura but the experience of seeing so much wild life at Kaikoura made the drive worth the while.
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4
18/09/2017
The choice for the accommodation was excellent, with the exception of Lake Tekapo Lodge. The driving instructions and ease of organising activities was excellent as well. The lower rating I have provided comes from the inclusion of three 5 hour drives during the trip. These were quite long and tiring, which meant by the time we go to our destination we did not feel we had enough time to relax.
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Relaxing Journeys Experience
5
20/12/2016
Having it all planned allowed us to just show up and enjoy! This is an incredible country that you must see. The South Island is best viewed by car so a driving tour allows you to experience this diverse and beautiful country. I loved the independence to see only what we wanted. The Kruse system commentary was entertaining but lacked detail about where to go an what to see.
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5
10/12/2016
We had a great time. Terrific weather, no hassles, great fun. The only negative really was the Peppers Resort at Lake Tekapo. They got the bedding configuration wrong, which was no big deal - it's a busy time of year - but they were stroppy when we asked if they could change it - the man at reception said, 'That's your agent's fault, it's not our problem.' We didn't ask to change rooms, just for housekeeping to come when they had a chance and reconfigure the twin beds into a Queen. In the end, they did, but I felt bad for asking. The room itself was modern but poorly equipped - one tiny pot and only three forks. And the buffet breakfast was horrible - watery eggs, no fresh fruit (in Otago!), flabby bacon and sliced supermarket bread. Sally said it was a bit like school camp! The hotel was packed with coach loads of tourists and we felt a bit ... processed? Perhaps we felt that way because our experiences in Christchurch, Franz Josef and Queenstown had all been excellent. Our agent Toni was terrific from go to whoa. Especially after things got a little crazy after the earthquakes took Kaikoura off the itinerary. Akaroa was a brilliant alternative. We had a fantastic time there and really appreciated the great location of the apartment we had there - especially at such short notice. The operators Toni recommended in Akaroa and Franz Josef were brilliant too. The Queenstown BBQ lunch cruise on the TSS Earnslaw was great but possibly a little 'touristy' (for us) but it is what it is and the meal, as Toni had promised was excellent and the day was well spent! The car, notes, itinerary and everything else was great and although I'm sure there are cheaper ways to see NZ by road this was brilliant for us. 2016 was frantic for our family with work and school and we just didn't have the time to research, plot and plan every detail of an NZ tour. Having Toni sort everything meant we could just 'show up' and enjoy our holiday.
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Relaxing Journeys Experience
5
05/12/2016
We had an excellent self drive family trip overseen by Marie who made sure everything went smoothly and accommodated all our requests like adding and removing places in the itinerary. The standard of B&B's and hotels booked were high and we enjoyed all the accommodation choices. Car rental was easy and the intermediate car option she advised was great and spacious. Thank you Relaxing Journeys, it was truly relaxing!
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5
29/11/2016
Very smartly chosen itinerary and accommodation. The timing of visiting specific places made a lot of sense in terms of getting the best out of them. For example, we very much appreciated having the TranzAlpine ride the day after we arrived, which gave us adequate time to shake jet lag off. I could go on and on, but the gist is we felt the package was more than simply a number of must-do destinations, with particular attention to pacing. The accommodation was superbly chosen and we were very satisfied with both the premises and the people we interacted with. Special thanks to Marie Sarmon, who always responded in a timely and informative fashion and ensured everything went smoothly. Her skills shone when the Kaikoura part of the trip was cancelled due to the earthquake and we always felt we were in good hands. We have already recommended your company to our friends on the strength of her skills and our overall satisfaction.
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5
01/09/2016
We have just completed our fly drive tour of NZ. This was organized by Marie and was a terrific experience. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and the organization of the trip was excellent, Marie did a great job which ran like clockwork.
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Relaxing Journeys Experience
5
11/04/2016
We really enjoyed the self-drive tour basis and the spacings/locations of each night stop were such that daily driving times weren't demanding. It was also good that we had more than one night in three of the stops. We had opted for the mid-range accommodation option and were very pleased with the standard of each stay. The overnight ship option in Doubtful Sound was definitely a highlight and so we are very glad that this could be accommodated in our itinerary. There were no hiccups with accommodation bookings - we even got several unexpected upgrades! - or the several booked transfers.
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Relaxing Journeys Experience
5
26/03/2016
A lovely holiday in an absolutely beautiful country. The South Island of New Zealand takes your breath away around just about every corner. Mani at Relaxing Journeys patiently tailored a 9 day tour of the South Island for us and we could not have asked for anymore from him and Relaxing Journeys. Everything was organised as planned and we had no issues at all with our accommodation and pre-booked tours. Our highlights were the helicopter flight and snow landing on the Fox Glacier and walking up to Kea Point and seeing the summit of Mt Cook and being so close to Mt Sefton, the Footstool and the glaciers right in front of us. Spectacular! We had a family holiday and our 6yo loved it saying it was his best holiday ever. He loved the helicopter flight too with his face saying it all. We also had lots of family fun on the Luge at the Queenstown Skyline. Thank you New Zealand and Relaxing Journeys for a memory-filled holiday. We just loved it!
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5
19/10/2015
Everything was just great, except the weather at Franz Josef and you couldn't change that! We sincerely appreciated all the upgrades - had a great AWD Toyota Highlander which was great on the wet and slippery roads. We finally caught a glimpse of Mt. Cook as we were leaving, after cloud cover and high water prevented us from doing much hiking. The upgraded hotel in Franz Josef was a treat, as well. The Heritage Hotel in Christchurch was terrific and gave us a great vantage point to explore the quake damage and restoration going on. Will be better when more restaurants are available but enjoyed Fiddlesticks twice and learned a lot about rugby since we caught the All Black spirit everywhere. Thanks for a great service! We will certainly use you in the future and recommend you to our friends.
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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 Southern Delight

12 Day Southern Delight
Self Drive Tours
Tour Code: GNSS
From (NZD) $3464 per person
Save (NZD) $346 per person
Enquire Now
Departures: May 2018 to March 2019
Rating:
32 reviews (4.8/5)

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

Itinerary Map

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12 Day Southern Delight
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