10 Day Southern Wild Itinerary

The 10 Day Southern Wild Itinerary

Documentation pack and support: We've got you covered!

When you touch down in New Zealand your detailed documentation pack will be hand-delivered by one of our trusted representatives. You'll find everything you need in one handy place: your personalised itinerary, clear instructions and maps, and reservation details for your accommodation and activities.

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Dedicated Travel Consultant                 Detailed Daily Itinerary and Vouchers        


Full 24 Hour Support50 Page Essential New Zealand Guide 
First Light Travel's Documentation Pack


Welcome to Christchurch

‘Haere Mai’ and welcome to New Zealand!

Welcome to Christchurch, New Zealand’s Garden City. On arrival you will be transferred from the airport to your Christchurch hotel. After you check-in, you can head out and explore Christchurch, see the changes as the city is being rebuilt since the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes.

Some Suggested Activities Options for Christchurch

Easygoing Cycling Tour  Punting the Avon River  Lyttelton Harbour Wildlife Cruise
Māori Cultural EveningFrench Akaroa TourSouthern Alps Ballooning
Christchurch GondolaClearwater GolfArthur's Pass TranzAlpine Hike

Accommodation Christchurch - 1 night

Christchurch Punting Avon River
The George, a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, is located in the heart of Christchurch overlooking the picturesque Hagley Park and river Avon and just steps from the cultural precinct and key attractions. The George will offer you a supreme comfort, with personalised stay and attentive staff.
The George - Christchurch


TranzAlpine Train Journey

It’s ‘all aboard’ this morning as you will begin your 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.

Once arrived in Greymouth we continue by coach to Franz Josef. 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. You will stay 2 nights in Franz Josef. 

Meals: Dinner & 2 breakfasts

Accommodation Franz Josef - 2 Nights

TranzAlpine Rail Journey

Te Waonui is the only luxury property of its kind in the area. The retreat is nestled in the lush bush with views of the natural environment at almost every turn. Located in Franz Josef, the retreat offers easy access to the many natural wonders of the South West World Heritage Area. Mountains, glaciers, rivers, lakes, coastline, and native flora and fauna all lie in wait at the doorstep for visitors to admire and explore.

Te Waonui Forest Retreat - Franz Josef


The Glaciers at Leisure

Today is a free day to explore the region around Franz Josef. You are in the heart of the Westland National Park, considered to be the most diverse and beautiful areas in New Zealand and the home of the Kea, a protected native parrot that thrives in the chilly environment and is infamous for its inquisitive and often destructive behaviour! 

Simply relax in the Glacier Hot Pools or if you are feeling adventurous take a Glacier Heli Hike and land on the glacier with an experienced guide to explore the towering peaks and ice formations.

Excursions available in and around the Franz Josef area:

Kayak Okarito Lagoon 

   Glacier Hot Pools      Glacier Scenic Flight

Horseback Riding  

   Walk to Glacier Face   Glacier Heli-hike


Franz Josef Glacier


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. The final stop of today is Queenstown - the adventure capital of New Zealand.

Accommodation Queenstown - 2 nights

Queenstown Wharf
Experience the sophistication of Queenstown Park Boutique Hotel, a haven of stylish, 5 star accommodation for all seasons. A boutique hotel with a modern romantic style and exclusive service awaits you in the heart of New Zealand’s adventure capital. Set in peaceful parkland, and savour views of Queenstown’s majestic mountains. Enjoy easy access to the vibrant town centre where shopping, cafes and nightlife are nestled on the shores of spectacular Lake Wakatipu.
Queenstown Park Boutique Hotel


Day at leisure Queenstown

The surrounding area is known for its Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vineyards and the natural landscape with wild rivers, high peaks and deep canyons has allowed Queenstown to developed an exciting array of outdoor adventure activities - and there's plenty to choose from. But if you are just want to chill out then Queenstown's compact downtown area is relaxed during the day and huge fun at night. In any season, you can count on stylish designer shops and many trendy restaurants offering a kaleidoscope of dining experiences.

Recommended excursions around Queenstown:

Routeburn Day WalkHighest Bungey JumpExplore Arrowtown

Wine Tasting Central Otago      

Biking Skippers Canyon      Round at Millbrook Golf Resort
Earnslaw Steamboat Cruise  Dart River Jetboat Safari      

Gibbston Valley Wine Trail

Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu


Spectacular Milford Sound Wildlife Cruise

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 to Te Anau for the night. 

Accommodation Te Anau - 1 Night

Milford Sound Mitre Peak
Located to make the most of this beautiful area on the Te Anau lake front, a short stroll from the Te Anau town centre. Distinction Te Anua Hotel and Villas, offers chic, elegant and comfortable room options. This 4 Star hotel is surrounded by extensive landscaped gardens where you can enjoy the spectacular view of Lake Te Anua and the Fiordland ranges.
Distinction Hotel Te Anau & Villas


Te Anau - Dunedin

Today you will leave Te Anau and continue to Dunedin where you will arrive in the early afternoon. 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. Enjoy some time exploring some of the old historical buildings, university and train station! 

Accommodation Dunedin - 2 Nights

Dunedin Larnach Castle
The former Dunedin Chief Post Office (1937), transformed the 1937 former Chief Post Office in Dunedin into an elegant 4 1/2 star luxury hotel. It occupies an entire city block in The Exchange, the historic business centre of Dunedin. The impressive building was considered a monument to the importance of the role of the state and also to Dunedin's preeminent position as the country's most prosperous city. The Distinction Dunedin Hotel offers a variety of brand new accommodation to suit everyone from the businesses traveller requiring spacious and modern facilities to those wanting a relaxing weekend away.
The Distinction Dunedin Hotel


Otago Harbour Cruise & Wildlife Tour

Today you will cruise the length of the Otago Harbour. Experience an unforgettable half day cruise and peninsula tour and explore Careys Bay historic fishing village, Port Chalmers’ busy wharves and the harbour’s beautiful bays, hills, farmland, and forest. Enjoy Monarch’s fascinating Wildlife Cruise around Taiaroa Head and the surrounding coastline of dramatic cliffs. 

Watch the NZ Furseals play and swim near their breeding colonies, out at sea you can spot rarely seen ocean birds including other albatross species and petrels, and you may see penguins, dolphins and other marine mammals.



Dunedin - Christchurch

Today we are heading back to Christchurch. Keep your eyes peeled for the perfectly rounded boulders which are embedded in the sand at Moeraki Beach.

Accommodation Christchurch - 1 Night

Moeraki Boulders
The George, a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, is located in the heart of Christchurch overlooking the picturesque Hagley Park and river Avon and just steps from the cultural precinct and key attractions. The George will offer you a supreme comfort, with personalised stay and attentive staff.
The George - Christchurch


Bon Voyage!

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

Today it’s time to say farewell to New Zealand. You will be transferred to the airport to begin your homeward journey. 


Christchurch City Tram


What is an Independent Coach Tour

Tour Inclusions

  • 5 Star Accommodation
  • Experienced Driver Guides
  • Detailed and informative commentary
  • Travel in an air-conditioned coach
  • 24 Hour Assistance
  • Franz Josef Glacier
  • Milford Sound Scenic Cruise
  • Moeraki Boulders
  • TranzAlpine Rail Journey
  • Wildlife Cruise Otago Peninsula
  • Return airport transfers - flight details to be provided 14 days prior to travel
wild south map

Profile picture for user Tracy
What Tracy says about this tour: This is the definitive Independent Coach tour using luxury 5 Star accommodation. Whilst the travel will be by comfortable coach the accommodation reflects the need for high quality accommodation at the end of a busy day of touring. The tour lives up to its reputation providing memorable nature experiences in pristine locations such as Milford Sound and the Otago peninsula. Highly recommended.
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