Aroha Luxury New Zealand Tours From the sea to the sky, the South Island encapsulates in one compact island the very best that New Zealand has to offer. You will see the main highlights of the South Island and visit the best known locations at a very comfortable pace. Scenic Highlights Tours
14 Day – Relaxing Sightseeing Tour – South Island
Christchurch, Marlborough Sounds, Golden Bay, Galcier area, Wanaka, Queenstown (flight to Milford Sounds)
All tours are private, depart daily, and can be customized to suit individual interests and schedules. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 0064-21-890611 for more information about our luxury New Zealand tours. Our Vehicles Travel Guide Profiles
Day 1: Christchurch Airport arrival (City tour) - Hanmer Springs (City rour, Relax in the Hot pools) driving distance 1,5h
Start of private guided tour! Arrive in Christchurch International Airport and you will be met by your driver/guide. Since the devastating earthquake in February 2011, we do not recommend to stay in the inner city of Christchurch, but if it is your wish than we can take a city tour of Christchurch. Described by the Lonely Planet as a "vibrant city in transition, coping resiliently and creatively,” Christchurch is showing off its vibrancy with new developments popping up all over the place. Whilst part of the central city of Christchurch is still cordoned off due to the impact of a series of earthquakes, there’s plenty to do in and around this rapidly changing city, like visiting the Re:Start shopping area and Pop Up City bars.. From Christchurch your journey will take you across the alpine mountains into the small alpine settlement of Hanmer Springs. You have the opportunity to relax in the hot natural thermal waters of famous mineral pools, which are set in a garden of giant conifers. Accommodation: Hanmer Springs
Day 2: Hanmer Springs – Kaikoura (Whale-watching, seal colonies, coastal walks) driving distance 2h
Before midday we reach the small seaside town of Kaikoura which is nestled on a rugged peninsula on the East Coast and is backed by the breathtaking Seaward Kaikoura Ranges. A spectacular marine playground exists off the coast of Kaikoura; - living in this environment is the mighty Sperm Whale. Join a whale-watch tour and encounter the “Giant Sperm Whale” in their natural environment. Giant Sperm Whales are the biggest of the toothed whales and the world's largest predator. They are equivalent in size to four elephants. This deep-diving whale (up to 3 km) may stay submerged for over two hours while hunting prey such as the Giant Squid. Many of Kaikoura's Sperm Whales wear battle scars from close encounters with this monster of the deep. Sperm Whales have the largest head, proportionally, of any animal. This giant head contains a fibrous tank full of white waxy oil early whalers thought was sperm. It is believed the oil tank amplifies the whales powerful acoustic clicks used for echolocation and hunting. Kaikoura is one of the few places in the world where Sperm Whales can be seen year-round and close to shore. They congregate here because the 3km deep Kaikoura Canyon runs right up against the coast creating a rare system of sea currents that sustain an incredibly rich marine food chain. Sperm Whales are at the top of this food chain and the abundance of fish ensures they make the waters of Kaikoura their home. Or: Join a dolphin watching and if preferred swimming cruise at the beautiful coastline of the South Island Dolphin. (Optional) Encounter takes you to swim with the dusky dolphins in their natural environment, or watch their acrobatic displays from the comfort of our boat. The pod sizes of the resident dusky dolphins range in the hundreds along the Kaikoura coastline and we have an impressive success rate in locating these marine mammals. Fur seals, once almost hunted to extinction are now plentiful here, resting on warm rocks after a nights fishing. Walk among these creatures at this unique beach and watch our native Seabirds (Albatross and Shags), also enjoying the rich sea harvest. Accommodation: Kaikoura
Day 3: Kaikoura – Picton (Marlborough Sounds wineries, water-taxi to remote lodge) driving distance 2h
You leave the dramatic Pacific Coastline and travel along the East Coast of New Zealand. We pass over the arid rolling foothills of South Marlborough, we drop down to New Zealand’s pre-eminent grape-growing area. Blenheim is the main town in the region of New Zealand. Its lovely sunny climate makes Blenheim an ideal wine growing region. New Zealand's climate is perfect for fine wine growing, wineries and vineyards. Sample with us wines such as Pinot Noir and Chardonnay on a wine tour. For lunch enjoy a gourmet lunch at one of our many vineyards (optional and extra charge). From here we travel by water taxi to a small remote beach in the Marlborough Sounds. You encounter a glorious world as you enter the outskirts of the Marlborough Sounds. You will discover a region of myriad inlets and bays with dramatic hills that plunge steeply into the sea. Enjoy an evening meal and a local wine at your accommodation. Accommodation: Marlborough Sounds
Day 4: Marlborough Sounds (Day for relaxing, Kayaking)
The steep, wooded hills and small quiet bays of the sounds are sparsely populated, as access is difficult. Many of the small settlements and isolated houses are only accessible by boat. The main large port is Picton on the mainland, at the head of Queen Charlotte Sound. The Queen Charlotte Track runs almost the entire length of New Zealand's Queen Charlotte Sound. Take a water taxi to some of the remote bays and walk the Queen Charlotte Track. The track stretches from Ship Cove to Anakiwa - 71 kilometres (approximately 45 miles) of spectacular walking track passing through historic sites, secluded bays and lush coastal bush. Your guide will inform you of the optional day walks through this area, or enjoy a kayak through the many bays and picnic on one of the remote sand-beaches. Highly recommended: (Optional) Fishing trip: Dotted with many long Sounds and islands and a myriad of secluded beaches, the entire region offers a fantastic opportunity to fish in waters that are rich with an abundance of sea life! A charter fishing trip is the best way to see the natural beauty of the Marlborough Sounds, and enjoy some fantastic fishing too. We can arrange a private yacht-charter for the day, to discover the many bays, visit the hole in the Rock, swim near the sandy shores and catch a fish for lunch or dinner. Accommodation: Marlborough Sounds
Day 5: Marlborough – Nelson – Golden Bay (Abel Tasman Park, Pupu Springs) driving distances 4h
The Nelson district is known for is irresistible blend of lifestyle and stunning landscape at the top northwest corner of the South Island. Apples, cherries and classic wine varietal grapes are well suited to the mild climate around the Nelson areas. From there we take you over the Takaka Hill and drive to the “Golden Bay” Zealand's best kept secrets because there is only one road in. On the drive over the Takaka Hill you catch your first sight of Golden Bay and it takes your breath away. The idyllic charm and lifestyle of Golden Bay attracts an interesting variety of artists and crafts-folk. In this hidden corner of New Zealand are the world class Kahurangi and Abel Tasman National Parks and the famous Farewell Spit and Waikoropupu (Pupu) springs. The "Pupu" springs, as they are affectionately known to the locals are home to the clearest spring water in the world (the only place with clearer water is the salt water Weddell Sea in Antarctica). Underwater clarity tests have shown the water from the springs to have underwater visibility of 63 metres! After your small walk we take you on an unpaved road to the beautiful stay on the rugged coastal wilderness of New Zealand's West Coast. This unique Lodge is nestled on a large private peninsula at the top of the South Island, located directly at the mouth of Whanganui Inlet, near the Golden Bay. Accommodation: Golden Bay
Day 6: Golden Bay – Sheep farm station (Day for relaxing, remote walking treks)
Day free for guide: This farmis also a working farm with 800 Perendale sheep and 70 llamas. Guests are always welcome to come along as we go about our farm chores, which can include moving stock around the farm, or shearing sheep in the woolshed. Quickest shearing time per sheep is around one minute – impressive! You can fully explore our stunning 350 ha peninsula via six very different walking tracks which allow easy access to all our most special places and many different beaches. Go alone for solitude and discover the natural wonders. In the morning walk the stunning Nikau trek. The Nikau forest track takes you through the 2nd largest Nikau forest in New Zealand and underneath the towering Camel Rock before arriving at a delightful hard sandy beach which faces out onto the Tasman Sea, called Turtle Bay. If you are lucky you may see a wild pig, which is a common occurrence by our guests. This place received its name from a huge leatherback turtle that got washed up here a long time ago. You'll find fascinating rock pools and even Paua at low tide amongst the rocks which are easy to scramble over. Around one hour each way from the lodge. In the afternoon take a walk up to the Hill Top Walk. It is an easy 15 minute stroll from the turnoff along the Westhaven main farm access track and gets you right up into the craggy battlements of one of the highest limestone ridges on the property. The magnificent 360 degrees views of the surrounding ocean, inlet and mountains make this one lookout not to miss! Allow two hours return if walking to and from the lodge. Accommodation: Golden Bay
Day 7: Golden Bay - West Coast (Buller Gorge, Rainforest train and Glow-worm Caves hike) driving distance 4,5h
Depart Golden Bay for the start of your 'Wilderness Tour'. Your tour takes you deep into the heartland of the south. The northernmost of the three main passes across the Alps, you traverse the pass on its route between north Canterbury and the West Coast. On your way you pass through extensive unmodified beech forest, alpine scenery and crystal clear rivers. You drive through the Buller Valley, contained within steep-sided, bush-clad gorges. The twisting road that has been carved through this gorge is often the only man-made structure you'll see for some time. On arriving in Westport, your driver/guide will take you along the West Coast. The West Coast – New Zealand’s longest region – is a narrow 600km stretch of wild coastline, mountain peaks, glaciers, clear lakes and sparsely populated towns. This immense untamed natural environment is New Zealand’s most protected region. We take you to the Nile River Rainforest Train for travel through the primeval rain forest close to the enormous Nile River Caves. You will explore an ancient wonderland of stalactites, stalagmites in the large dry upper levels and become entranced while under the galaxies of glowworms in the awe-inspiring Ananui entrance series. Discovered only recently, the Metro cave is one of the few caves in the world you can walk through and see in its natural, unspoilt state, the way it was discovered. Accommodation: Punakaiki
Day 8: Punakaiki - Franz Josef Glacier (Treetops walk, Hokitika Gorge, White Heron Colony, Glaciers) driving distance 3h
By midday enjoy an exhilarating treetop adventure on New Zealand’s first treetop walk, among temperate rainforest giants as you experience life with the native birds, high in the ancient Rimu and Kamahi tree canopy. It is an easy access for all to enjoy along a steel platform 20 meters high and over 450 meters long. Before midday we visit the historical gold mining town of Hokitika. Nearby take a walk over a swing bridge to the Hokitika Gorge, this is truly one of the beautiful places in New Zealand! The beautiful turquoise waters are quite breathtaking as is the gorge itself. In the afternoon we take a jet boat ride to a rare white heron sanctuary. The Waitangi Roto Nature Reserve is a sanctuary to most of the bird life that you will see in the South West Heritage Area. The pristine rainforest, predominantly Kahikatea, stands tall and shows off its untouched beauty. We take a leisurely and scenic drive to the famous glacier region and your day’s itinerary will end in the tiny settlement of Franz Josef. The rugged West Coast is hemmed between the Tasman Sea and the imposing Southern Alps, making for spectacular contrasts in the surrounding scenery. Two glaciers are located only 25 km from each other and are unique in the world as they seem to nearly reach the ocean. Recommended: (Optional) Helicopter flight and landing on ice: Discover the gigantic expanse of the Franz Josef Glacier and Fox Glacier snowfields with a landing at high altitude. Step out of your helicopter and experience how it feels to stand in snow. The flight includes fantastic views of the Tasman Glacier and Mount Cook. Accommodation: Franz Josef Glacier
Day 9: Franz Josef Glacier - Haast - Mt Aspiring National Park - Wanaka (Rainforest walks, wetlands, and remote water-falls) driving distance 4h
In the morning visit nearby Lake Matheson. The forested path skirts the shores of the mist-shrouded lake and on a clear day, New Zealand’s highest peaks are spectacularly reflected in the mirror-like waters. A spectacular and scenic road links Haast and Wanaka. It reaches beyond wind-whipped Lakes Wanaka and Hawea, through golden tussock-covered hills, to wind among steep mountains cloaked in lush rainforest and cross tumbling rivers. Just 20 min from Haast take a 20 min walk to the Roaring Billy Waterfall, an easy fern line walk takes you to the shores of the Haast River. Shortly later make a short stop at the 28m drop Thunder Creek falls. By midday, take a 30 min return walk to the Blue pools. It features a carefully maintained gravel path and boardwalks that wind through a native silver beech forest and lead to a swing bridge strung high above the Makarora River. The views back to the mountains of the Main Divide are absolutely breath-taking. The glacier-fed water in these deep pools is the colour of deep azure blue, and so clear that you can see right to the bottom, making the resident brown trout look like they are suspended in the air. As you exit Mt Aspiring National Park you will travel through what is known as “The Neck” a formation of land that separates two of our great South Island lakes, Lake Hawea and Lake Wanaka. Wanaka is a new and modern Alpine resort and mostly visited by us New Zealanders. A year-round destination set against the pristine alpine backdrop of Mount Aspiring National Park, you can still discover that totally relaxed Kiwi way of life at Lake Wanaka. Accommodation: Wanaka
Day 10: Wanaka (4WD scenic and heritage tour on private high country station, afternoon for relaxing)
In the morning experience the rugged beauty and solitude of the spectacular high country, with this exclusive 4WD journey exploring an historic New Zealand sheep, cattle and deer farm. Maori and European historic sites, pure mountain air and breathtaking scenery. As braided river valleys, native beach forests and lush alpine meadows give way to the dramatic glaciated Southern Alps, the pure beauty of the scenery pushes daily pressures a million miles away. Part of Te Wahipounamu - Southwest New Zealand World Heritage Area, Mt Aspiring National Park is an area of unrivalled natural beauty and host to hundreds of hiking tracks, rock climbing routes and trout fishing rivers, all within easy reach of Lake Wanaka, New Zealand. At its heart is Mt Aspiring, the park’s highest mountain at 3,027m and known to early Maori as ‘Tititea’ or ‘glistening peak’. This journey offers an unique insight into Wanaka’s rich history, heritage and modern-day farming life. Wanaka is a new and modern Alpine resort and mostly visited by us New Zealanders. A year-round destination set against the pristine alpine backdrop of Mount Aspiring National Park, you can still discover that totally relaxed Kiwi way of life at Lake Wanaka. Accommodation: Wanaka
Day 11: Wanaka - Queenstown (Central Otago Wineries, Kawarau Gorge, Arrowtown) driving distance 1h
Central Otago is New Zealand’s fastest growing wine region and also it’s most scenic. Take the time to explore these incredible vineyards set in small microclimates in a landscape dominated by high snow-capped mountains, and tussock clad slopes. Travel to Cromwell and Bannockburn, the heart of Pinot Noir country, and depending on your personal tastes, we will guide you to a selection of boutique wineries. At some stage of the wine tour we suggest a stop for a relaxing lunch at one of the wineries. Drive through the famous Kawarau Valley and Gorge. Stop at, which is widely regarded as a safe spectator attraction the famous Kawarau Gorge Bungy Jumping exhibition (this is free for spectators, however if you desire to make a jump the charge is additional to your tour package). Visit the surrounding areas to Arthur's Point stop in Arrowtown, a historic colonial village that takes you back into the Gold Mining days of the Otago region. From there the journey takes you past the Eastern shores of Lake Wakatipu and to Queenstown. Queenstown is the top adventure and activity centre in New Zealand. Most of the cast of Lord of the Rings were based here and major parts of the movie were filmed in this region. Accommodation: Queenstown
Day 12: Queenstown – Day trip to Fiordland National Park (Scenic flight and cruise at Milford Sounds, Glenorchy)
In the morning take a flight/cruise excursion into the Milford Sound. You are heading for the spectacular Milford Sound, described by Rudyard Kipling as the “Eighth Wonder of the World” which was carved out during successive ice ages and, at its deepest point off Mitre Peak, plunges to a depth of 265 meters. The awesome splendour of this region is unsurpassed anywhere else in the world, a daring claim in a country which offers extraordinary beauty around every corner. Fly from Queenstown to the magnificent Milford Sound and enjoy a spectacular view of the mountains, lakes and fiords of the Fiordland National Park. At Milford Sound your launch cruise travels the full length of Milford Sound. Return to Queenstown via the famous Sutherland Falls and glaciers of the Fiordland National Park. Only 45m west you find a little paradise, the tiny settlement of Glenorchy. This is one of the most beautiful places in New Zealand and used for a favourite location in several Hollywood film productions and commercials around the world. Glenorchy is one of the gateways to Mt Aspiring National Park covering a large World Heritage area. Travel further into the Park along a most picturesque river and multiple river arms to a forest glade. The high peak of Mt Earnslaw and its Glacier is powering over this area. Surrounded by awe-inspiring peaks and mysterious hidden valleys shrouded in native Beech forest, your specialist guides will bring to life the variety of landscapes, vegetation and wildlife within this unique area, as well as the captivating stories of the original Maori and early pioneers. In Glenorchy take short walk through the flatlands to the lagoon. End of private guided tour! Accommodation: Queenstown
Day 13: Queenstown (Day for relaxing)
Queenstown, New Zealand, is the Southern Hemisphere’s premier four season lake and alpine resort. Surrounded by majestic mountains and nestled on the shores of crystal clear Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown’s stunning scenery is inspiring and revitalising. The region is renowned for incredible adventure activities and spectacular outdoor terrain. You could try skiing, snowboarding, bungy jumping, paragliding, jetboating, sky diving and more! Or, if you want something a little more relaxed, you can choose from numerous family activities, nature experiences, tours and beauty spas. Please talk with us. Our team of experts is very happy to assist you with any further enquiries. Winter sports, nearly all activities can be enjoyed all year round - Queenstown's a four season resort with distinct and beautiful seasons. Queenstown has transformed into a sophisticated cosmopolitan town, tucked into a picturesque bay on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, beneath majestic mountains. There’s a permanent buzz in downtown Queenstown, where you’ll find a fantastic choice of restaurants, a lively bar scene and excellent shopping. Highly recommended: (Optional) By 4WD and Jet boat. Take Queenstown’s greatest jet boat adventure. This is a Jet boat trip like no other! Recognized as one of Queenstown’s best value products for a good reason, this is an adrenaline rush from the moment you leave town. Tour into Skippers Canyon, along the sheer canyon walls, on the 'road to riches' carved from the rock walls and sheer cliffs by miners over 120 years ago. And that’s just getting to the boat! A Jet boat created to excite and thrill you as you race through the Shotover River Canyons at a speed of 80km/hr. Sit back, hold on, and try to relax as our experienced boat drivers navigate the sheer canyon walls along the Shotover River as well as the mining dredges and sheet piles left by the miners through Skippers Canyon over a century ago. With skill and speed you will negotiate the narrow river channel, skimming over shallow 6 inch deep river beds, when suddenly you are going sideways, backwards, sideways and back facing the way you were going, WOW, that’s a Hamilton spin! 360 degree spin, as the boat turns in its own length! Accommodation: Queenstown
Day 14: Queenstown departure
A Taxi will bring you to the airport in Queenstown, where you can connect with your international flight over Auckland or Christchurch.
We are specialized in custom made tours for the desiring traveller. Each tour package will be tailored to your specific needs. Individual choices of accommodation style and the amount of activities you anticipate in will reflect on the general overall cost of the tour. Please make an enquiry.
We use quality accommodations which are handpicked and have great hosts and are located in beautiful locations. All rooms are modern with private on suites or bathrooms! If you decide on 5 Star travel that we will offer you the best boutique lodging that New Zealand has to offer.
We have decided not to include lunches and most dinners in the package (Exceptions’: Wilderness and Farm-stays and superior Lodges are inclusive private dinners), as we believe that each individual has different needs and tastes and that New Zealand had great restaurants in each area, that are within reach. It also allows you to choose places to your own budget. Your guide will advise you in each area about your best options. Special dietary needs can be catered for.
We pride ourselves on a wide range of activities in your tour package. We chosen those that we feel will enhance your New Zealand experiences. You can participate in as many or as few as you like. If you are unable to participate in any activity or there are weather restrictions, alternatives will be provided where possible. Please check our activity list on 'Links' site
All our vehicles are comfortable, luxury sedans (max 4 people) or luxury vans (max 10 people).
You will receive detailed pre-trip information. Including passport and visa requirements, packing tips and general travel information for New Zealand!
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