Inspiring Journeys - The 12 day Southern Drift Itinerary

Small Group NZ Tour

Welcome to Christchurch

‘Haere Mai’ … Welcome to New Zealand!

Your adventure begins in Christchurch. Send the afternoon at leisure before meeting your Journey Director and fellow companions for a Welcome Reception

Some suggested excursions if you have time.

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

Meals: None

Accommodation: Christchurch - 1 Night

Christchurch City

One of the most recent luxury boutique hotels in Christchurch, Hotel Montreal is situated overlooking Cramner Square, right on the doorstep of Hagley Park, Christchurch's largest park. Experience absolute comfort and luxury in their beautifully finished rooms, choose from their Deluxe Suite, Penthouse, Twin Bed Suite or Family Suite.

Hotel Montreal - Christchurch


Christchurch to Franz Josef Glacier

All aboard the famous TranzAlpine train, rated as one of the world’s great scenic railway journeys. Travel across the Canterbury Plains through the Southern Alps, an unforgettable trip. Re-join your coach at Arthur’s Pass and travel to Hokitika to meet a local artisan for a jewelry carving demonstration. Continue to Franz Josef Glacier for the next two nights. Tonight relax away in Franz Josef geothermal hot pools. 

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

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


Franz Josef Glacier

A relaxed start to the day followed by a guided tour of the area of Franz Josef Glacier with a local expert glacier guide, who will explain the history of the area. Later, why not take an optional flight over the spectacular glacier?

Meals: Breakfast


Franz Josef Glacier


Queenstown - The Adventure Capital of the World

Today you get to feel the wind in your hair with a jetboat ride on the Haast River at Haast Pass followed by a lunch stop at Makarora, and later visit the historic gold-mining village of Arrowtown, before a chance to relax in Queenstown. Surrounded by majestic mountains and nestled on the shores of crystal clear Lake Wakatipu, the surrounding scenery is breathtaking.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with wine

Accommodation: Queenstown - 3 Nights



Overlooking Lake Wakatipu and a short walk in to the centre of Queenstown is the elegant Hotel St Moritz. The hotel is modern and stylish decorated in an alpine style fitting to the location. Boasting an excellent restaurant and bar on site, spacious comfortable rooms, and a professional level of service, your stay will be rewarding.


Queenstown at Leisure

Your Journey Select options for Queenstown include the following:

  1. A day in indulging in the region's vintages on a wine tour
  2. View the Lord of the Rings film locations - in Queenstown or Glenorchy
  3. Or indulge in a luxurious spa treatment.

Meals: Breakfast

relaxing in Queenstown
lotr 4wd safari queenstown


Free Time in Queenstown

Make the most of your extended stay in Queenstown. Why not take a trip to the Gibbston Valley Winery, take a jet boat ride down the mighty Shotover River or get wet white water rafting down the Kawarau River! This evening, enjoy a meal to remember at one of Queenstown's finest restaurants.

Recommended Queenstown Excursions:

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


Meals: Breakfast, Local Dining Experience

Sunny wharf in Queentown


Queenstown to Milford Sound

Today continue your journey South to Te Anau, located on the shores of the South Island’s largest lake. Travel through World Heritage Fiordland National Park's stunning glaciers and lush rainforest.

Spend the night aboard the iconic Milford Mariner and wake up in one of the most beautiful places on earth. The cruise style is relaxed, allowing plenty of time to view the fiord’s spectacular waterfalls, rainforest, mountains, and diverse wildlife such as seals, penguins, and dolphins. Hear from the specialist nature guide on board or choose to explore the shoreline by kayak or small boat.

The Milford Mariner offers the facilities of a larger ship while retaining the intimate atmosphere of a small ship. Onboard facilities are made up of spacious viewing decks, a dining saloon with fully licensed bar, as well as an observation lounge. Dining included in your cruise are hors d’oeuvres followed by a sumptuous three-course meal, as well as a choice between continental or a cooked breakfast.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Milford Mariner - 1 Night

Milford Sound
For the ultimate Milford Sound experience, spend the night aboard the Mariner and wake up to the dawn of a new day in one of the most beautiful places on earth. The Milford Mariner then anchors in a sheltered cove, where you can join the nature guide and explore in the vessel’s tender craft (small boat) and kayaks. Or, if you prefer, you can simply relax on deck and soak in the beauty of this amazing place or go for a swim (if you’re brave enough). As evening falls, enjoy a delicious carvery buffet in the dining saloon, prepared freshly by our onboard chef. Then relax in the company of fellow travellers or indulge in some star-gazing before retiring to your private cabin 
Milford Sound Overnight Cruise


Milford Sound - Invercargill

We leave the majestic Fiordland National Park for the fertile sheep-dotted pastures of South Otago through to Invercargill, a commercial hub full of grand architecture and gardens. A city obsessed with motoring history, there are tributes to speed legends across town, from Burt Munro to Bill Richardson and his shed full of classic vehicles. Enjoy a tour of the largest private collection of its type in the world. Later this afternoon you will have some free time to explore this city, and an evening free to seek out local hot spots.

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Invercargil - 2 nights

Cruise on Milford Sound
The Langlands Hotel is Invercargill’s newest accommodation experience. This seven-storey, 78-room, 4.5 star hotel brings contemporary style to the inner city.
The langford hotel


Invercargill - Stewart Island

Board a ferry at Bluff and cruise to Stewart Island, known by locals as Rakiura the Māori reference to Glowing Skies. It has been described as rugged, pristine and tranquil – and rightly so as 97% of the island is designated National Park and Conservation Estate. This means the birdlife, native flora & fauna and other natural environmental features have been able to thrive. You will gain an entertaining insight into New Zealand's southernmost community and learn about the history and environment of Stewart Island on a Village and Bays tour. Later you will join a leisurely cruise, including a picnic lunch, around Paterson Inlet that will take you past unique places including Acker's Cottage before docking at Ulva Island to admire the bird life and native flora. Travel back to Invercargill for a relaxed dinner.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner with wine

Stewart Island


Invercargill - Dunedin

Enjoy a relaxed start in Invercargill before departing for Dunedin. Visit Dunedin Craft Distillers, the first distillery in Aotearoa New Zealand and one of only a handful worldwide, to produce botanical spirits from surplus bread and bakery products that would otherwise go to landfill. Discover on this MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience how owners, Jenny McDonald and Sue Stockwell do it, on a ‘Bread to Bottle Tour’ which takes you through the process used to turn bread into spirits. Venture just next door for a special chocolate tasting journey at OCHO Chocolate.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

otago wildlife little blue penguins
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


Dunedin - Christchurch

Travel up the east coast of the South Island via Omarau and Timaru to Christchurch for a sightseeing tour. This evening, toast your tour at a Celebration Dinner with your new-found friends and Journey Director.

Meals: Breakfast, Celebration Dinner

Accommodation: Christchurch - 1 Night

Lake Tekapo

One of the most recent luxury boutique hotels in Christchurch, Hotel Montreal is situated overlooking Cramner Square, right on the doorstep of Hagley Park, Christchurch's largest park. Experience absolute comfort and luxury in their beautifully finished rooms, choose from their Deluxe Suite, Penthouse, Twin Bed Suite or Family Suite.

Hotel Montreal - Christchurch


Farewell Christchurch

Your holiday concludes this morning after breakfast. You will be transferred to the airport for your onward flight.

Haere rā and Bon Voyage!

We hope you enjoyed your holiday and our promise 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.

Meals: Breakfast

Bon Voyage New Zealand


Itinerary Variations – the provider strives to improve trip itineraries. If improvements can be made, or if circumstances beyond their control make changes necessary, the provider reserves the right to vary itineraries and to make substitutions. 


Journey down the Haast River in a fully enclosed jet boat, and discover the remarkable glacial valley where temperate rainforest thrives.


Join a behind-the-scenes tour at Dunedin Craft Distillers. OCHO Chocolate, and embark on a culinary discovery of Queenstown.


Delve deep into the natural wonders of Milford Sound/Piopiotahi, with specialist nature guides sharing their knowledge of this mystical landscape.


Take a dip in the Franz Josef/Waiau local geothermal hot pools and relax and rejuvenate after a day of discovering the South’s natural wonders.


  • 18 meals including 11 breakfasts, 7 dinners, Welcome Drinks
  • Specialist team of two highly experienced Journey Director and Driver Guide
  • Local Specialists (Guides)
  • Mixture of boutique, unique and 5-star hotels

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What suzie says about this tour: This trip is absolutely filled to the brim with epic landscapes that will leave you topped up with 'wow' moments. Rainforests, remote kayaking in Milford Sound, free time to relax in Queenstown and select your own adventures. 5 star Eco Accommodation and fine dining will leave you feeling inspired.
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The price is based on current exchange rates but is only an approximation. Please contact us for a final price