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Luxury Lodges of New Zealand - South Island Tour

Tour the finest Luxury Lodges of New Zealand's South Island set in outstanding locations offering onsite and local activities, complimented by world-class cuisine and exceptional hospitality. Experience truly unique and interesting places and meet genuinely friendly people. Have plenty of time to relax and enjoy being in our beautiful country - wish you didn't have to leave.

Milford Scenic Flight, Glacier Hot Pools, Whale Watching, Marlborough Sounds Cruise, Beach in Abel Tasman, Glacier Scenic Flight.

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Itinerary

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1
Welcome to New Zealand!

‘Haere Mai’ and welcome to Queenstown.

Relax you are on holiday and everything has been taken care of. We will meet you at the airport and help you to transfer to your waterfront hotel.

This sophisticated all-season resort town enjoys the best of both worlds, offering bespoke and authentic luxury experiences in beautifully natural settings hosted by our naturally warm and welcoming people. You don’t have to be an adrenaline junkie to enjoy Queenstown and part of its charm is the array of less hectic quality activities on offer. 

Accommodation Queenstown  - 3 nights

2
Milford Sound Scenic Flight

A Helicopter Flight to Milford Sound is a journey to one of the world's greatest natural wonders - Fiordland National Park. This is a world heritage area, a vast remote wilderness with snow capped mountains, glacial lakes and valleys, fiords, waterfalls and dense forests. Mitre Peak beckons as your helicopter lifts off to begin your journey into Milford Sound. Discover isolated valleys of ancient forests and pristine rivers famous for their fishing as well as mountains sculptured from ice over thousands of years. Upon landing in Milford, enjoy a short nature walk and gain that iconic Mitre Peak photo. Experience an exhilarating flight past spectacular mountains and blue-green ice falls, and land upon Mt Tutoko glacier in the heart of Fiordland National Park. You will then be returned to Queenstown. 

3
A Day of Leisure - Queenstown

Explore everything Queenstown has to offer and do it your way on a day of leisure. You can get your adrenaline pumping with a thrilling Shotover Jet Boat ride or if you prefer relaxing take your time with a wine and food walk in the stunning vineyards of the Gibbston Valley, you won’t be disappointed. 

Some suggested activities and outings.

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
 
4
Lake Wanaka

Gateway to Mt Aspiring National Park and Treble Cone and Cardrona Alpine Resort ski fields, Wanaka Township is located on the southern shores of Lake Wanaka, embraced by the Southern Alps. Wanaka is Otago's second resort town after Queenstown.  (Think Queenstown 20 years ago)
 
Friendly and vibrant, Wanaka’s pristine wilderness draws folk from all over to experience the perfect combination of outdoor adventure and indoor luxury. There are great shops and eateries—and all the time there's the call of the wild for walkers, bikers and those that like beautiful scenery.

Have lunch at the historic Cardrona Hotel or perhaps take the Mou Waho Island Cruise and Nature Walk before boarding your helicopter transfer to the idyllic Minaret Station.

Approximate Distance: 70.5 kms | 43 miles  Total Driving Time: 1 hour 10 mins

Accommodation - Remote Wanaka District  - 2 nights

5
Minaret Station Adventure

Minaret Station allows guests to experience the otherwise inaccessible breathtaking wilderness of the Southern Alps and Mt Aspiring National Park. The options are endless, from scenic flights to heli-biking, Minaret Station’s wide range of adventures that means there is something for everyone. Explore the wilderness of New Zealand's South Island.

Some suggested activities and outings.

Scenic Flights/Picnics Guided Fishing Guided Heli Skiing
Guided Mountain Biking Fiordland Experience Guided Heli Hiking
Guided Hunting  Guided Farm Tour Jet Boating

 

6
Franz Joseph Glacier

The scenery is impressive all the way, and once over the Haast Pass it changes dramatically as you head from the mountains and bid farewell to Central Otago and head into the the Wild West Coast following the Haast River into Glacier Country (This pass was used by the Maori to trade Poumanu (Greenstone) and food)

This drive is World Class, some of the vistas to watch out for are: Lake Matheson, Views of Mount Cook, Bruce Bay, Ship Cove, Haast River/Pass, Thunder Creek Falls, and the beautiful Blue Pools.

This evening immerse yourself in the bubbling thermal Glacier Hot Pools. This Natural environment is completely surrounded by beautiful New Zealand native bush and bird life, relax and enjoy a soak the pools that have been designed to enhance relaxation, rejuvenation and privacy, offering three large pools, three private pools and the option for some massage therapy.

Approximate Distance: 284 kms | 176 miles  Total Driving Time: 3 hours 28 mins

Accommodation - Franz Josef  - 2 nights

7
Franz Joseph Glacier - Scenic Helicopter Flight

Franz Josef Glacier is a unique relic of the last ice age. A Mighty river of solid white and is classically beautiful in the glacial sense. Nowhere else in the world has a glacier advanced so close to the sea at this latitude. A helicopter tour is the best way to experience the glacier and magical surrounds.

The Franz Joseph Glacier Scenic Helicopter Flight is the ultimate glacial and mountain experience, this flight covers it all; Glacial icefalls, crevasses and neves, and views from ocean to Alps and covers Franz Joseph Glacier and the very beautiful Fox Glacier. Get your camera ready for a spectacular snow landing – with rotors off, the silence is deafening. 

8
Arthur's Pass National Park

Arthurs Pass National Park is a major national park in the centre of the South Island situated between the West Coast. It’s famous for its rugged high mountains with large scree slopes, steep gorges and wide braided rivers – but more importantly its known for its serenity.

The pass straddles the main divide – the ‘back bone’ of the South Island. It’s a park of contrasts, with dry beech/tawhai forest in the east, luxuriant rainforest on western slopes, and a historic railway running through the middle. The park is well-known for its various walkingtracks, leading you to mountain peaks or beautiful waterfalls. Arthur's Pass National Park is full of native birds such as the Kiwi, Morepork, Kea and Falcon. 

Approximate Distance: 233 kms | 144 miles  Total Driving Time: 2 hours 48 mins

Accommodation - Arthur's Pass National Park  - 2 nights

9
A World of Peace and Serenity

Leisurely activities at Grasmere Lodge include resting by the pool, being pampered in the spa, or picnicking by one of the nearby lakes. If however, you are an ‘active relaxer’ and enjoy getting out and about and enjoy fishing, horse riding, hiking or kayaking then these and more activities can easily arranged. (Some may be subject to season and weather)

Some suggested activities and outings.

Spa Treatments Mountain Biking Various Guided Tours
Trout Fishing Horse Riding Hunting and Shooting
Scenic Flights Walking & Hiking Golf

 

10
Contrasting Scenery on the road to Kaikoura

Traverse Arthurs Pass and leave behind the massive glacial valleys of the Southern Alps as you enter the dramatic Waimakariri Gorge and the braided riverbeds of the Canterbury high country. The drive is spectacular and the contrasts breathtaking.

The road up the Kaikoura Coast is one of New Zealand's great drives. The road hugs the shoreline with the ocean on one side and the Kaikoura ranges on the other.The route has impressive coastal views, roaring surf, rocky bays dotted with fur seals sunbathing on rocks.

"Kai" means food in Maori and "koura" means crayfish - hence Kaikoura.

Approximate Distance: 305 kms | 189 miles  Total Driving Time: 3 hours 48 mins

Accommodation - Kaikoura  - 2 nights

11
Kaikoura ‘Serengeti of the Sea’ - Whale Watching Flight

Nestled between soaring mountains and the Pacific Ocean, Kaikoura is known as New Zealand’s ‘Serengeti of the Sea’. The natural wonders here are breath taking. Fur seals lounge on the rugged coastline and, just offshore, whales and dolphins thrive in an ocean that teems with life. Kaikoura’s unique submarine environment of deep underwater canyons and warm and cool currents pushes the ocean’s nutrients to the surface, supporting a phenomenal array of marine life.

Today embark on a birds eye view of giant humpback and the mighty sperm whale from the air, a Whale Watching Flight is the best way to view whales and the scenic surrounding mountains and gives a great insight into the variety and numbers of whales found in Kaikoura.

12
Marlborough Wine Country

Follow the grapevines to reach Blenheim right in the heart of th Marlborough wine growing district. Not surprisingly, it’s a great base from which to cycle the local vineyards and enjoy the artisanal food offerings. Don’t miss tasting a glass of the Sauvignon Blanc – the vineyards surrounding Blenheim are known for producing some of the world’s best. 

One of the towns popular attractions is the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre  - This museum is not far from the Blenheim town centre.This fascinating historic collection features WW1 aircraft and artifacts. There are some very rare planes on display and even some genuine personal memorabilia from the famous Red Baron - the top scoring ace from the war.

Approximate Distance: 127 kms | 78 miles  Total Driving Time: 1 hour 35 min 

Accommodation - Blenheim - 2 nights

13
Marlborough Sounds Food and Wine Cruise

A short day-trip to Havelock will have you at the entrance to Pelorus and Kenepuru Sounds - the Greenshell Mussel Capital of the World. Enjoy a waterfront lunch before departing on your fantastic Mussel and Wine Cruise heading into the tranquil Marlborough Sounds. Your Skipper will tell fascinating stories of the ancient Maori tribes of the region and the history of the pioneering families who settled over 6 generations ago.  Visit a Greenshell Mussel farm and taste this local treat – freshly steamed mussels matched perfectly to a glass of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.

Dinner: There are several well regarded local restaurants we will recommend.

Approximate Distance: 85 kms | 53 miles  Total Driving Time: 1 hour 10 mins

14
The Nelson / Tasman District - Gateway to Abel Tasman

The Nelson/Tasman region of New Zealand is abundant in creativity, natural beauty, and the opportunity to feast on stunning fresh produce, and the labours of artisan craft beers and wine makers. Your accommodation is conveniently located next to the beautiful Abel Tasman National Park overlooking the pristine waters of Tasman Bay.

Approximate Distance: 178 kms | 110 miles  Total Driving Time: 2 hours 31 min 

Accommodation - Abel Tasman - 2 nights

15
Life's a Beach - ABEL TASMAN National Park

Private Cruise into the National Park

Abel Tasman is New Zealand’s smallest National Park, but it’s perfectly formed for marine and coastal adventures. The beauty of this National Park is simply dazzling – golden beaches border the translucent turquoise sea, and sandy estuaries are fringed by pretty coastal forests. The area is home to both coastal and inland walking tracks that are world-famous for their natural beauty. 

Today you will board a private launch to take you into the park. Explore the coast and islands where face-to-face encounters with marine wildlife and birds abound. Dolphins and Orcas often visit these pristine waters, and the resident fur seal colony is ever-entertaining just offshore, at the Tonga Island Marine Reserve and spend as much time on any of the many beaches as you wish.

16
Homeward Bound

Enjoy a relaxed morning reflecting on your New Zealand holiday before heading to Nelson airport to begin your journey home.

Haere rā and Bon Voyage!

We are sure you will enjoy the 'Luxury Lodges of New Zealand - South Island Tour', our promise is to make your travels through New Zealand as hassle-free and hospitable as possible - ensuring that today you leave with a memory card full of photos, and huge smiles on your faces when recalling your time in New Zealand! Have a great homeward journey, farewell and hope to see you again soon in Aotearoa, New Zealand. 

Ready to find out more? Talk to us here in New Zealand about our 'Luxury Lodges of New Zealand - South Island Tour'  - We Guarantee it will be the Holiday of a Lifetime!