Experience the highlights of New Zealand's South Island. Stay in luxury accommodations, eat great food and enjoy a good glass of wine in Central Otago. The tour includes a 4WD ride through the geological wonders of in the Southern Alps and a spectacular helicopter flight through Milford Sound. Travel Comments
*This Tour can start in any of the 2 main centres of Christchurch or Queenstown.
*We can add days or reduce the travel time to your request.
*We can add or change suggested activities to your special needs.
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 – Arthur Pass transfer - driving distance 1,5h
Arrive in Christchurch Int. 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 s your wish than we can take a city tour of Christchurch. Depart Christchurch through the scenic untouched areas and through the Arthurs Pass. From your car you’ll see the fields of the Canterbury Plains and farmland, followed by the spectacular gorges and river valleys of the Waimakariri River. Stop for a walk the Castle Hill Basin, characterised by its distinctive limestone rock formations. These limestone rock formations are the water eroded remnants of limestone formed during the Oligocene age 30-40 million years ago when much of present day New Zealand was covered by the sea. This is mainly a sightseeing drive along the historic goldminer’s road; however opportunities are available to walk amongst alpine wildflowers and beech forest - and for the athletically inclined hobbit-filled gorges and waterfalls. The Lodge is tucked away in the heart of the Southern Alps of New Zealand. Whatever you choose, we’ll endeavour to make any arrangements necessary so that you can relax and enjoy this beautiful spot. You might want to escape from city life by expending energy: going fishing, horse riding, hiking or playing tennis, or just simple walk one of the many walking and hiking trails around the station. Arthur Pass - Grasmere Lodge (superior) or Wilderness Lodge (luxury)
Day 2: Arthur Pass – Franz Josef Glacier (Pancake Rocks, Helicopter flight over Glaciers) with private guide - driving distance 4h
On arriving in Greymouth, your driver/guide will take you to the upper 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 stop at Punakaiki the jewel of the West Coast, Punakaiki is world renowned for its pancake rock formation and blowholes. Walk along some of the stunning and remote beach treks, though a dense rainforest with Nikau Palms and large ferns. We follow the winding road along one of the most stunning coastal drives in the country. Pass the township of Greymouth and Hokitika; known both for gold and coal mining in New Zealand. 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. In the afternoon experience awe-inspiring views of Mt Cook and Tasman, breath-taking views of the glaciers and neve's. 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. 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: West Coast - Te Waonui Forest Retreat or Westwood Lodge (luxury)
Day 3: West Coast – Lake Wanaka (Rainforest and wetlands, Waterfalls, "The Neck") with private guide - driving distance 4h
Go as far South as the township of Haast. Nearby take a gentle walk following the slow flowing Ship Creek Tauparikaka. A creek-side viewpoint allows easy observation of the forest plants and wildlife. Deep in the swamp forest, are views of New Zealand's tallest tree, the kahikatea. Explore a part of New Zealand that's splendidly isolated - there are more resident seals and penguins than people. South of Haast, the coastline turns westward along a 24 kilometre, gently curving bay to Jackson Head. This headland provides shelter from the prevailing wind direction, and here a fishing harbour has survived since the early pioneer days of seal hunting. Jackson Head also marks the southern end of the west coast's narrow river plains. Beyond this point, the steep mountain ranges plunge directly into the sea - the first of the deep glacial fiords is just 60 kilometres away. 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 take 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 in 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: Lake Wanaka - Wharekea Lodge (Superior), Tin Tub B&B, Riverrun Lodge or Silverpine Lodge (Luxury)
Day 4: Lake Wanaka – Central Otago – Queenstown (Private Wine tour/tasting Area Tour with Kawarau Gorge, Arrowtown and Glenorchy) with private guide - driving distance 4h
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 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 journey takes you pass the Eastern shores of Lake Wakatipu and to Queenstown. Queenstown is the top adventure and activity centre in New Zealand. Most of t he cast of the Lord of the Rings were based here and major parts of the movie where filmed in this region. 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 Taupo 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 the captivating stories of the original Maori and early pioneers. In Glenorchy take short walk through the flatlands to the lagoon. Accommodation: Queenstown - Azur Lodge, Matakauri Lodge, Blanket Bay or The Spire Hotel (Superior), Sofitel or Peppers Beacon (Luxury)
Day 5: Queenstown (Helicopter flight to Milford Sounds)
Today we have organised a helicopter flight to Milford Sound. The icon of Mitre Peak beckons you as your helicopter lifts off to begin your journey into Milford Sound. Get up and close with some of the most spectacular mountains and glaciers in the Southern Alps before landing at Milford. Experience the Sound up close and personal with great photo opportunities of Mitre Peak and the Bowen falls. Upon departing Milford via the Harrison Valley take in the beautiful blue green icefalls, true rivers of ice, as we land you exclusively upon Ngapunatoru Plateau of Mt Tutoko. One of the few companies with this privilege! Return to Queenstown via isolated valleys with impressive views to make this special trip truly memorable. 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. Accommodation: Queenstown - Azur Lodge, Matakauri Lodge, Blanket Bay or The Spire Hotel (Superior), Sofitel or Peppers Beacon (Luxury)
Day 6: Queenstown (4WD and Jet-boat trip into Skippers canon)
In the morning we have organised to take you to 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 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 - Azur Lodge, Matakauri Lodge, Blanket Bay or The Spire Hotel (Superior), Sofitel or Peppers Beacon (Luxury)
Day 7: Queenstown departure
Your private chauffer will take you to your departing flight in Queenstown airport
As a matter of course, we do not publish prices for these luxury tours as they can vary enormously for tailor-made travel. There are a number of factors which will influence the price of your travel arrangements: these include the standard of hotel (we offer a variety of premium to the super-luxurious), the season, the level of private guiding/transfers and the complexity of the itinerary. Our specialists will be delighted to discuss the various options in more detail with you.