7 Day Southern Alps Circuit Itinerary


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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        

144 Page A4 NZ Touring Atlas  

Full 24 Hour Support 50 Page Essential New Zealand Guide  


Welcome to Christchurch

‘Haere Mai’ and welcome to Christchurch, New Zealand’s second-largest city and the South Island's capital. A transfer has been arranged from the airport to your hotel.

Bordered by the Pacific Ocean, Christchurch is our "Garden City", blessed with beautiful parks and gardens right in the heart of town. English heritage buildings sit side by side with innovative post-earthquake regeneration in this vibrant place.

After settling in, why not relax with a punting trip down the Avon River? Gliding gently along in a flat-bottomed boat, you will take in Christchurch's 'must-see' historic attractions and botanic gardens away from the hustle and bustle of the streets.

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

Accommodation: Christchurch - 1 Night


Opened in 1913 this Italian High Renaissance Palazzo offers a feeling of grandeur with high ceilings and stunning architecture, the hotel passed the test in the recent earthquakes and remains an icon of the city. Comfort and spacious accommodation with an excellent breakfast available in the onsite restaurant.

Heritage Christchurch


Christchurch to Franz Josef Glacier

Driving from the East Coast of the South Island to the West, you'll discover a huge diversity of landscapes in the space of a single day - this is what New Zealand is famous for!

Leaving our southern capital behind, travel over the vast Canterbury Plains into pure New Zealand backcountry. The views turn alpine as you snake through the ski fields on your way to cross picturesque Arthurs Pass.

The landscape turns lusher and greener as you enter the rainforest territory of the West Coast, where you'll meet the ocean and drive south along the magnificent windswept coastline.

Nestled in a rainforest clearing, Franz Josef Glacier Village lies at the heart of the Westland National Park. Welcome to one of the most diverse and beautiful areas of New Zealand.

Glacier Hot Pools

This evening, simply relax in your private Glacier Hot Pool and enjoy a rejuvenating soak under the stars.

Approximate Distance: 382 km | 237 miles  Total Driving Time: 5 hours 

Accommodation: Franz Joseph - 2 nights

Situated on the very edge of the Westland World Heritage Park, the Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier will welcome you in true New Zealand style. The Hotel makes the most of its alpine location and is only moments from spectacular Franz Josef Glacier. The highly regarded Hot Pools are within walking distance. Featuring patios or balconies, the simple, warmly decorated rooms and suites include free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs and mini-fridges, plus tea and coffee making facilities. Suites add living areas. (formerly known as the Scenic Circle Franz Josef Glacier Hotel) has quality rooms with balcony views and special access.
Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier


Franz Josef: Towering Glaciers and Ancient Rainforests

The magnificent Franz Josef Glacier is widely regarded as the gem of New Zealand’s West Coast glaciers. It tumbles down from the Southern Alps almost to the sea, its ancient icy faces contrasting spectacularly with the surrounding rainforests.

There are many different ways to admire the glacier. You can walk to the terminal face, get a birds eye view with a scenic helicopter flight, or take an exhilarating Heli Hike up to the bluest ice.

Whatever you choose, get ready to experience the most spectacular glacier environment anywhere in the world.

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 to Lake Wanaka

Today's drive from Franz Josef to Wanaka is one of the most scenic in New Zealand, as the windswept West Coast gives way to ancient forests and mountain passes.

Behind the Gates of Haast is a lost world so spectacular and remote that UNESCO designated it a World Heritage area. There's beauty around every bend, with woodland walks and dramatic waterfalls along the way - perfect for picnic stops.

After this breathtaking drive you will arrive in the lakeside town of Wanaka, where you will relax for the next two nights.

Approximate Distance: 285 km | 177 miles  Total Driving Time: 3 hours 37 min

Accommodation: Wanaka - 2 nights

Located on the ground floor for easy access, these modern two bedroom serviced Wanaka apartments are perfect for families or friends travelling together. Offering a fully equipped kitchen, comfortable lounge & dining area plus bathroom with underfloor heating. TV with 50+ SKY channels, DVD player & FREE WiFi. All apartments have their own balcony and complimentary access to a private car garage which is ideal for drying and storing outdoor equipment such as skis and bikes securely.
Distinction Wanaka Alpine Resort


Wanaka at leisure

A compelling mix of spectacular alpine scenery, fine food & wine and boutique shopping, the lakeside resort town of Wanaka is surrounded by some of New Zealand’s most wild and beautiful places.

The spectacular hikes, skiing, water sports and boating options here will delight anyone with a passion for the outdoors. The mountain backdrop is perfect for a for a skydive or even a romantic flight in a vintage Tiger Moth plane.

Staying around town is just as enjoyable; delight in the many delicious eateries and bustling pubs and enjoy a stroll on the lakeside walkway. Charming in all seasons, we're pretty sure you'll fall in love with Wanaka.


Mt Cook National Park - Mountain Majesty

Enjoy one of New Zealand's top scenic drives through the spectacular Southern Alps as you travel from Wanaka to Aoraki / Mount Cook National Park. Home to our country's highest mountain, this icy wonderland is exquisitely beautiful.

Mt Cook Scenic Flight with Tasman Glacier Landing

This afternoon a helicopter whisks you away on a scenic flight to the Tasman Glacier. Soaring high above the Southern Alps, you'll fly up the Tasman Valley and land on New Zealand's largest glacier. With pristine snowfields all around (not to mention 600 metres (1968 ft) of ice under your feet!) it's a magical experience.

Tonight, look to the skies for another New Zealand Natural Wonder: Mount Cook National Park is an International Dark Sky Reserve, and the stargazing opportunities are simply unbeatable.

Approximate Distance: 265 km | 165 miles Total Driving Time: 3 hours 10 mins

Accommodation: Mt Cook - 1 night

A stunning destination surrounded by the silent splendor of the Southern Alps and with spectacular views of Aoraki/Mount Cook and the surrounding National Park World Heritage area. There is a selection of properties within the Terrace Road campus from Hotel to Chalet and Mountainview Motels - all budgets and standards can be catered for.

Hermitage Hotel Mount Cook


Mt Cook to Christchurch & Bon Voyage

To make the most of your time in the mountains, why not embark on one of New Zealand's finest short walks before you depart for Christchurch?

The Hooker Valley Track is a stunning 11 km (6.8 miles) trek leading to the terminal lake of the Hooker Glacier. The trail winds through the Hooker Valley in the shadow of Aoraki /Mount Cook, crossing the mighty Hooker River on old-fashioned swing bridges.
Reaching the lake, you are rewarded by unsurpassed vistas of Aoraki / Mount Cook's south face and the surrounding glaciers.

Returning to Christchurch, it's time to say "Haere rā" Goodbye! and Bon Voyage! We take care of your transfer to Christchurch Airport where you will board your onward flight, taking with you the magical memories of a truly exceptional New Zealand holiday.

Approximate Distance: 310 km | 192 miles  Total Driving Time: 3 hours 45 mins

Profile picture for user Jess
What Jess says about this tour: With storybook scenery at every turn, the Southern Alps mountains will take your breath away. Relax & enjoy New Zealand's legendary warm hospitality even in our snowiest settings!
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