9
days

Southern Wanderer Escorted Tour

Start with a magical ride on the famous TranzAlpine railway into your journey across the South Islands best regions. Soaring peaks, ribbon-like rivers of emerald green and deep, rocky gorges set the precedent for a truly unforgettable kiwi touring holiday in the company of like-minded people.

Milford Sound Cruise, Franz Josef Glacier, Walter Peak Cruise, Journey on the TranzAlpine Train, Punakaiki Pancake Rocks, Church of the Good Shepherd Lake Tekapo, View Mt Cook National Park.

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Itinerary

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1
ARRIVE IN CHRISTCHURCH

‘Haere Mai’ and welcome to New Zealand!

Flying into Christchurch, your transfer will pick you up from the airport and transport you to your hotel for tonight. Enjoy a day exploring New Zealand’s ‘Garden City’, a place famous for its beautifully manicured landscapes and quirky shopping and dining districts. Take a relaxing punt along the Avon River and cruise past stunning parks, stroll the Re -Start Mall – made entirely from shipping containers or stroll the Botanic Gardens.

Some Suggested Activities Options for Christchurch

Easygoing Cycling Tour Punting the Avon River Lyttelton Harbour Wildlife Cruise
Māori Cultural Evening French Akaroa Tour Southern Alps Ballooning
Christchurch Gondola Clearwater Golf Arthur's Pass TranzAlpine Hike

 

Later this evening, meet your Tour Director and fellow travellers for welcome drinks and dinner.

Meals: Dinner

Accommodation Christchurch - 1 night

2
TranzAlpine Train into Glacier Country

It’s ‘all aboard’ this morning as we begin our adventure on the renowned Tranz Alpine Railway, rated as one of the top 6 rail journeys in the world. Be entranced by the spectacular panorama that unfolds outside your window – the tracks wind through the very heart of the Southern Alps, a mighty mountain landscape that’s home to craggy gorges, soaring peaks and ribbons of crystal-clear rivers. We disembark at Arthur’s Pass National Park.

This afternoon, we drive to Hokitika, where a nearby river is famous for being a traditional source of pounamu (greenstone). We stop in at a pounamu jewellery factory for a close-up look at this special native gem. Journeying onwards, we reach our final destination of Franz Josef Village – and here, you’re in for a real treat. The Franz Josef Glacier tumbles down from the Southern Alps almost to the sea, its ancient icy faces contrasting spectacularly with the surrounding rainforests.

Meals: Full Buffet Breakfast and Dinner

Accommodation Franz Josef - 1 night 

3
FRANZ JOSEF - QUEENSTOWN

Today we venture across the mountains, driving up and over the Haast Pass and travelling past dramatic rivers, forests and mountains. We stop to stretch our legs on an easy forest track that leads to dazzling blue pools and the amazing Thunder Creek Falls. We journey along the shores of the turquoise-blue lakes of Wanaka, Hawea and Dunstan, and make our way through the rugged cliffs of the Kawarau Gorge and onwards to Cromwell. This is the stone fruit capital of New Zealand, so we stop to pick up a bag or two of delicious cherries, nectarines or apricots. In the afternoon we make our way to the charming village of Arrowtown, located on the banks of the Arrow River and steeped in gold mining heritage.

The adventure capital of New Zealand, Queenstown, is our final destination for today. Enjoy an evening of free time in this stunningly picturesque place.

Meals: Full buffet breakfast

Accommodation Queenstown - 2 nights

4
QUEENSTOWN at Leisure

The alpine grandeur, adventure activities and relaxing pursuits of Queenstown are all yours to enjoy as you see fit. If you’re after excitement, choose from activities like a thrilling wilderness jet boat ride or an adventurous white water rafting trip. For something more relaxing, wine tours in the Gibbston Valley or a stroll around the Botanic Gardens are both highly enjoyable. 

Recommended Queenstown Excursions:

Routeburn Track Guided Day Walk Explore Historic Arrowtown Highest Bungy Jump
Wine Tasting Tour Central Otago Biking Skippers Canyon Round at Millbrook Golf Resort
TSS Earnslaw Steamboat Cruise Dart River Jetboat Safari Gibbston Valley Wine Trail
 

Dinner: A special experience awaits across the other side of Lake Wakatipu this evening. We cruise the pristine waters aboard New Zealand’s oldest steamship – the TSS Earnslaw – to our destination of Walter Peak Station. Here, we enjoy a delicious carvery dinner and a farm show at the Colonel’s Homestead.

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

5
Cruise on the Majestic Milford Sound

Today promises to be one of the major highlights of your time in New Zealand. We journey to Te Anau, the gateway to the stunning Fiordland National Park, before driving the spectacular Milford Road. Lush forests, glacier-carved valleys, snowy peaks and mirror-like lakes dot this very special driving experience into a renowned World Heritage Site. Continuing through the hand-carved Homer Tunnel and on to Milford Sound itself, the views of this grand fiord are breath taking. We explore its inky waters on a boat cruise, soaking up the surroundings of granite cliffs, tumbling waterfalls and unique wildlife before journeying back to Te Anau for the night.

Meals: Full buffet breakfast

Accommodation Te Anau - 1 night

6
TE ANAU - DUNEDIN

Venturing south, we journey through the rich, fertile farming landscapes of South Otago before arriving in the distinctly Scottish city of Dunedin. Majestic Victorian architecture dots the city centre, but one of the main attractions is the rare wildlife that lives here. Dunedin is home to rare yellow-eyed penguins as well as the world’s only accessible mainland colony of Northern Royal Albatross. These princely ocean adventurers are thrilling to see up-close. Experience Dunedin your way with an afternoon of free time. Take a wildlife cruise, visit the Cadbury Chocolate Factory or enjoy a historic rail experience on the Taieri Gorge Railway.

Meals: Full Buffet Breakfast and Dinner

Accommodation Dunedin - 1 night

7
DUNEDIN - OMARAMA

We begin today with a morning spent exploring Dunedin. First up is a sightseeing tour of this seaside town, followed by a visit to the beautifully historic Larnach Castle – New Zealand’s only castle. Bidding a fond farewell to Dunedin, we drive north to Oamaru and see the stunning 19th - century architecture the town is famous for. Following the banks of the Waitaki River we pass the huge hydro-electric dams of Waitaki, making our way to Omarama – our destination for tonight.

Meals: Full Buffet Breakfast and Dinner

Accommodation Omarama - 1 night

8
OMARAMA - CHRISTCHURCH

Today we traverse the stunning landscape of the central South Island. Cloaked in golden tussock and decorated with mighty rivers and bright blue alpine lakes, this is a very special part of New Zealand. We journey past Mount Cook National Park, home to the country’s highest peak. For spectacular views and a different perspective, choose to take an optional scenic flight if the weather permits.

Afterwards we continue towards the coast, stopping at the jewel-coloured lakes of Pukaki and Tekapo. Here we visit the charming Church of the Good Shepherd – located right on the banks of the lake, it offers spectacular photo opportunities. Leaving the alpine scenery behind, we drive through the patchwork of the Canterbury Plains, arriving in Christchurch for our final night.

 Meals: Full Buffet Breakfast

Accommodation Christchurch - 1 night

9
Homeward Bound

Homeward Bound"Haere rā" Goodbye! and Bon Voyage!

Today it’s time to bid farewell to New Zealand. Enjoy breakfast in your hotel before being transfer red to the airport to begin your homeward journey. Your tour concludes this morning after breakfast and you will be transferred to Christchurch Airport to board your onward flight home. 

Some suggested activities if you have time.

Easygoing Cycling Tour Punting the Avon River Lyttelton Harbour Wildlife Cruise
Māori Cultural Evening French Akaroa Tour Southern Alps Ballooning
Christchurch Gondola Clearwater Golf Arthur's Pass TranzAlpine Hike

Meals: Breakfast