12 Day The Southern Drift

12 Day The Southern Drift

Discover 100% Pure New Zealand on this Inspiring Journey through the bountiful natural treasures of the South Island. From the still waters of Milford Sound and snowcapped peaks of the Southern Alps, to rolling hills and grassy plains of Central Otago, delve into the exquisite beauty of a land that has remained unchanged for millennia.

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Tour Info

Tour Type: Small Group Tours
From: Christchurch to Christchurch
Departures: Nov 2018 to Mar 2019
Price:
From (NZD) $5920 per person
Tour Operator: Inspiring Journeys
Duration: 12 Days
Tour Code: NZSI

Inclusions

11 nights accommodation in superior hotels
Travel by luxury small group vehicle with average 12-20 guests
11 fully cooked breakfasts (B), 1 lunch (L) & 9 dinners (D)
Journey on the iconic TranzAlpine Train
Discover the fascinating Pancake Rocks at Punakaiki
Travel along the spectacular wild West Coast
Visit a Pounamu factory and marvel as artists hand carve unique jade designs
Walk high above the lush rainforest on a treetop walk
Experience mighty Franz Josef Glacier
Journey past spectacular rivers, waterfalls and the Haast Pass rainforest
Explore historic Arrowtown
Let your hair down in the adventure capital, Queenstown
Cruise on Milford Sound
Kayak on mystical Milford Sound
Marvel at crystal clear Lake Pukaki and Lake Tekapo
Discover fascinating Christchurch and witness the incredible rebuild of this city
Travel wallet, comprehensive customised itinerary, bound map book, accommodation & activity vouchers and local travel guides

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Day by Day Tour Itinerary

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Day 1
Arrive Christchurch

Your New Zealand adventure begins in Christchurch, the Garden City. Spend the afternoon at leisure, before joining your Travel Director and fellow travellers for a welcome drink and dinner to kick-off your journey of a lifetime.

Stay: The Crown Plaza Christchurch (D)

Day 2
Christchurch - Punakaiki

Traverse the Canterbury Plains on board the TranzAlpine train. The gentle chug-chug in extraordinary surrounds gives way to more epic scenery as you board the coach at Arthur’s Pass and travel to Punakaiki to see the Pancake Rocks and Blowholes. Your home tonight is in an eco-friendly resort on the waterfront.

Stay: Punakaiki Resort (B, D)

Day 3
Punakaiki - Franz Josef

Admire the vivid hues of greenstone (jade) on a visit to Hokitika for a jewellery carving demonstration. Continue to Franz Josef Glacier. Spend tonight in the pristine wildernerss. Your only priority – relaxing in Franz Josef’s geothermal hot pools.

Stay: Te Waonui Forest Retreat, Franz Josef (B, D)

Day 4
Franz Josef - Queenstown

Today, meander through the Haast Pass and along the pebble-laden shores of Lakes Wanaka and Hawea, stopping in Makarora and the historic gold-mining village of Arrowtown. The adventure capital of Queenstown awaits and you’ll have an opportunity to explore it during an orientation tour.

Stay: Crowne Plaza Queenstown (3 nights) (B, D)

Day 5
Queenstown "Free Time"

Calling all thrill seekers! Today’s the day to earn your adventurer stripes braving some of Queenstown’s most daring activities. Or indulge your more serene side with a round of golf or relaxing spa treatment. This evening, enjoy a memorable Highlight Dinner at one of Queenstown’s fine dining restaurants. (B, D)

Day 6
Queenstown "Free Time"

Another daring day awaits in New Zealand’s adrenalin capital. Consider a day indulging in the region’s vintages at the Gibbston Valley Winery, or board a jet boat for an exhilarating ride. (B)

Day 7
Queenstown - Milford Sound

Venture to Te Anau and then deep within the Fiordland National Park. Drive through the hand-hewn Homer Tunnel and emerge into a photographer’s paradise where glaciers and peaks give way to the unexpected beauty of Mirror Lake. You’ll stop to explore the wonder of the Chasm Walk before arriving at Milford Sound Lodge, with its exquisite views of the Cleddau Valley.

Stay: Milford Sound Lodge (2 nights) (B, D)

Day 8
Milford Sound Cruise

Wake up to the startling beauty of Milford Sound. This morning, board the Southern Discoveries vessel for a half day exploration of Milford Sound. Sail out to the Tasman sea looking for wildlife and an opportunity to go sea kayaking in Harrisons Cove. (B, L, D)

Day 9
Milford Sound - Wedderburn

This morning, embark on a journey from the rainforests of Fiordland through Te Anau and the rolling hill country of Southland to the hills of Central Otago. Arrive in Wedderburn and head out to a high country farm to learn about life on the plains. Finish your day with dinner at the local pub.

Stay: Wedderburn Cottages (B, D)

Day 10
Wedderburn - Mt Cook

Today explore the town of Naseby to learn the history of this gold mining town. From here it’s on towards the spectacular scenery of the Southern Alps and Lake Pukaki before arriving in Aoraki Mt Cook National Park. Enjoy dinner against the backdrop of the highest mountain in the southern hemisphere.

Stay: The Hermitage, Mt Cook (B, D)

Day 11
Mt Cook - Christchurch

Discover the shores of Lake Tekapo and the Church of the Good Shepherd today, before returning to Christchurch for an indepth sightseeing tour.

Stay: Crowne Plazal Christchurch (B)

Day 12
Depart Christchurch

It’s time to say a fond farewell to your fellow travellers as your Inspiring Journey comes to an end today.

4.7/5.0

There are 9 reviews of this tour from past clients of Relaxing Journeys, averaging 4.7 out of 5.

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

Tour Reviews

5
22/01/2018
For a luxury tour the coach provided was sub-standard. The seats were not particularly comfortable, had limited adjustment and no cup-holders. On the only day it rained, fortunately just the last one, it leaked badly on both sides of the aisle. As we were 13 on a 20 seater people were able to move to dry seats. I hope it was changed in Christchurch for the second NI part of the tour.
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5
06/03/2017
A wonderful tour to see the diversity and beauty of the South Island, with the added extra to experience Stewart Island.
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5
08/02/2016
This was an excellent trip in all regards. The tour guide (Katie) and the driver (Maxine) were outstanding. We were particularly impressed with the quality of the lodging and the fantastic food. The large coach for this group of 19 gave us plenty of room to spread out and be comfortable during the long rides. The free laundry at Milbrook helped a lot and if we knew in advance, we could have packed less. More information about what to expect (such as carry on luggage only for the Milford Sound cruise) would have been helpful. As for the schedule, many of us felt that we would have preferred more than one night stays at some of the stops such as Mt Cook and Franz Josef and one less night at Queenstown and Stewart Island. All of the excursions were great except for the Glacier Walk at Franz Josef. There was far too much time spent in preparation for the walk (medical reviews, foul weather gear check out, etc) and not enough time for the walk itself. We were only allowed to go as far as the waterfalls. It was not a difficult walk and could have just as easily be done on our own if the bus took us to the trail head. We thoroughly enjoyed all other aspects of the trip and would recommend this tour to others.
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5
09/03/2015
I filled out a feedback form on the coach towards the end of the tour which did include some suggestions which I thought could improve the tour but they were minor - the whole ten days were so enjoyable and the South Island scenery was fantastic (we were blessed with fabulous weather) - as spectacular as I had expected! We were also looked after so well by Katie Hunter and Kerry McCarthy - we could not have had better people accompanying us on this trip. Top marks to them!
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5
12/01/2015
The Southern Drift was very well structured and paced. Our AAT Kings tour director, Kevin, and driver Maxine, really added a great deal to the whole tour. They were both very knowledgeable and fun to be around. We were very impressed with the quality of the accommodations and meals as well as the coach. Needless to say we had a great time. We showed up a day early at the George Hotel in Christchurch to ensure we were rested after a long travel day to begin the tour and were disappointed that AAT Kings could not provide transport from the airport a day early.
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4
15/12/2014
Mani was great at responding to any email inquiries. I don't think I realized the tour group would be AAT Kings though until we received our final itinerary just a couple of weeks before we left. Kevin Pilbrow was a great guide and Maxine a superb driver. The two of them make a fantastic team and I don't think our trip would have been as good without them. Both were very patient and helpful. We had some elderly people with mobility issues and Kevin and Maxine made sure they were accommodated very well. Because of the dates of our trip, we couldn't do the family barbeque after staying at the Hermitage at Mt. Cook. The morning was wasted after breakfast because we had to check out and just wait around to eat lunch again. Nothing was open and we couldn't do any big walks because we couldn't change of shower. The time couldn't been better spend getting back to Christchurch so we could have a little tour there. Also, the Christmas dinner at the George was way overpriced. Felt a big obliged to join in with everyone as there were no other options since all was closed on Christmas. If the tour runs again at that time of year, I would consider alternatives to Mt. Cook and the George dinner. Other than that, accommodations were fantastic and the tour was great though a bit rushed with some of the 1 night stays. The hotel in Franz Josef was so good but we had such little time there.
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5
15/12/2014
Exceeded all my expectations.The accommodations and meals were superb. Believe we saw all the beauty of the South Island. The guide and coach driver were amazing I believe they went over and above job specifications to ensure everyone had an enjoyable experience. Toni at Relaxing Journeys ensured that my booking went smoothly and was always quick in answering any queries. New Zealand itself is a beautiful scenic country that can not be done justice by a camera. New Zealanders are such happy people who so proud of their country and traditions. Love every minute of it and will return.
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4
17/02/2014
Excellent tour well designed to make the best use of the time without being too frantic. Great to have an overnight cruise on Milford Sound - the rain just made the waterfalls more spectacular. Highlight was the time on Stewart Island. Unfortunate start to tour was not being told time of welcome drink and meal. (Ed. For the 2014/15 season, the tour itinerary & accommodations have been revised)
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4
11/03/2013
The tour was very good. The hotels were excellent and the food on Stewert Island was very good. But the Buffet food at Skyline restaurant was not very good but the views were stunning. Also had a lunch in Te Anua at Kiwi World which was appalling. Our guide Marty and driver Dave were excellent...very knowledgable. (Ed. For the 2014/15 season, the tour itinerary & accommodations have been revised)
Overall Tour Rating

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Relaxing Journeys Experience

Enquire about our 12 Day The Southern Drift

12 Day The Southern Drift
Small Group Tours
Tour Code: NZSI
From (NZD) $5920 per person
Save (NZD) $675 per person
Enquire Now
Departures: Nov 2018 to Mar 2019
Rating:
9 reviews (4.7/5)

Discover 100% Pure New Zealand on this Inspiring Journey through the bountiful natural treasures of the South Island. From the still waters of Milford... Read More

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12 Day The Southern Drift
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