South Island Luxury
New Zealand has a variety of outstanding luxury lodges in stunning private locations. This tour is designed specifically for those with luxury in mind staying at the best accommodation New Zealand has to offer in 5 star boutique hotel and exclusive luxury lodges. Perfect for the discerning client, these intimate, exclusive and highly individual properties offer the finest of locations, facilities and personalised service. Highlights include guided glacier heli-hike, farm tour, jet boating, wildlife cruises, helicopter and hot air balloon flights to give you the ultimate views of the South Island.
- Meet and Greet on arrival in New Zealand
- New Zealand Airport Transfers
- English/Foreign speaking guide depending on arrangements
- Quality hotel accommodation, twin/double rooms, (single rooms available with single supplement) all with private facilities
- Cooked Breakfasts (B) and Dinners (D) where indicated on the itinerary or to be included by arrangement.
- Tour admissions as per itinerary. (eg scenic boat cruises, cultural events). Please see itinerary for specifics.
- Touring in a modern air conditioned vehicle, type depending on arrangements
- Complimentary Travel Kit including travel vouchers, support documentation and a New Zealand Map.
Self Drive Rental Vehicle - Private Car & Driver/Guide (or a combination)
Day 1 - WELCOME TO CHRISTCHURCH, NEW ZEALAND
Arrive Christchurch International Airport where you will be welcomed to New Zealand by our Christchurch staff who will deliver your travel documents and assist with any last minute questions you may have. Transfer by chauffeur driven car from the airport for an orientation tour of the highlights of the 'Garden City' then drive to your accommodation which is an exclusive country estate retaining architectural features from the 19th century and spectacular 110-year old gardens.
Day 2 - AKAROA DAY EXCURSION
Today join a small group tour taking the high summit route less travelled to the quaint French Settlement of Akaroa on the Banks Peninsula. Visit a Cheese Factory and sample the local produce then explore the charming village before enjoying a nature cruise on the harbour to see a variety of marine and bird life in its natural habitat, including the rare Hector's Dolphins. Lunch is included at a local café.
Day 3 - CHRISTCHURCH/CASS
Transfer to the Christchurch Railway Station by private car and driver then join the Tranz Alpine train for a journey across the Canterbury Plains into the foothills of the Southern Alps mountain range. Transfer to the lodge which is situated on a working merino sheep station. The original homestead was built in 1858 and has since been extensively modernised for guest comfort. .
Day 4 - CASS
Day at leisure to enjoy the lodge and the recreational activities and facilities available to guests which include a farm drive and tour, billiard table, outdoors heated swimming pool, tennis, petanque, gymnasium, clay pigeon shooting, guided horse trekking, kayaks and mountain bikes. There is also the Mountain Spa on site and guided trout fishing can also be arranged at extra cost.
Day 5 - CASS/FRANZ JOSEF
Time at leisure then transfer to the train stop. Depart on the Tranz Alpine train once more travelling through the splendour of the Southern Alps to the West Coast. On arrival in Greymouth collect a Ford Falcon or similar 3 litre automatic rental vehicle and travel south down the western coastline then through rainforest and past bush-fringed lakes to Franz Josef.
Day 6 - FRANZ JOSEF
This morning after an exciting scenic helicopter flight, land high up on the glacier and undertake a two hour guided hike amongst some of the most pristine and awe-inspiring glacier scenery available. Your guide chooses the route with the most spectacular formations of towering pinnacles and brilliantly blue ice. Enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding mountains with plenty of photo opportunities and the chance to learn more about this magnificent glacier. Afternoon at leisure to enjoy to the area.
Day 7 - FRANZ JOSEF/GLENORCHY
Travel through the ever-changing scenery of rainforest, mountain streams, bush-fringed lakes and wild beaches then through the rugged beauty of the Haast Pass, around the shores of glacial Lakes Hawea and Wanaka into Wanaka. Enjoy a flightseeing adventure like no other - with your experienced pilot take to the skies for a scenic flight over the stunning lakes and Mt Aspiring National Park. And the best thing is that you take the controls between take-off and landing!! From here drive over the Crown Range or through the fruit-growing region of Central Otago into the delightful lakeside resort of Queenstown. Continue on around the shores of Lake Wakatipu towards the head of the lake where the lodge is located. Natural materials are showcased throughout the buildings, echoing the lodge's natural interaction with the environment. All rooms within the lodge are placed to take full advantage of the magnificent lake and mountain vistas.
Day 8 - MILFORD SOUND EXCURSION
Today fly by helicopter across the deep glacial valleys and towering snow-capped peaks to Milford Sound where you will join a cruise travelling down the fiord enjoying the stunning scenery of sheer cliff faces, dense rainforest, cascading waterfalls and the wildlife that inhabit these waters. Return by helicopter. Remainder of the day at leisure to enjoy the lodge facilities or just take in the view.
Day 9 - GLENORCHY
In the morning join a half-day rural discovery tour in the heart of New Zealand's high country. Reaching an altitude of 1300 feet you will be captivated by the majestic views, the bush walk through massive schist out crops leading to an amphitheatre that peers into the valley below. Beneath you livestock appear sprinkled over pasture beside a lake sparkling like diamonds. This afternoon depart on a jetboat ride up the braided channels of the Dart River deep into the Mt Aspiring National Park surrounded by majestic snow-capped mountains and pristine scenery. Enjoy a short walk through the primitive native beech forest and a 4WD tour through Paradise where some of the locations that were used for the 'Lord of the Rings' movie trilogy can been seen.
Day 10 - GLENORCHY/MOUNT COOK
Drive from Glenorchy through Central Otago and the barren terrain of the Lindis Pass then alongside the shores of Lake Pukaki, which owes its vibrant colour to the minerals suspended in the waters as the glaciers melt. Continue on through the Mount Cook National Park - home to Mount Cook, New Zealand's highest mountain peak. This afternoon enjoy a 40 minute ski plane flight into the Southern Alps with close-up views of the mountains with a glacier landing (conditions permitting) and the opportunity to walk on the pristine snow of this frozen river of ice. This evening join a night sky tour to see the Southern Sky and its constellations through telescopes situated in the open - the air here is said to be some of the clearest in the world.
Day 11 - MOUNT COOK/CHRISTCHURCH
This morning join a tour into the Tasman Valley - on reaching the glacier lake you will be taken by boat with an experienced guide to explore icebergs and the terminal face of the glacier itself - see the ice melt and hear the moraine rocks splash into the murky waters. Later in the day drive back alongside Lake Pukaki then on to Tekapo where you may wish to stop at the quaint Church of the Good Shepherd which has stunning views from the altar window across the lake to the mountains. Continue on through rural communities and the plains of Canterbury to Christchurch. Your accommodation is in a centrally located and delightfully restored wooden colonial house originally built in 1893 and now decorated in classical Victorian style. .
Day 12 - CHRISTCHURCH
Very early this morning enjoy a silent balloon ride high above the city, hills and plains with views from the Pacific Ocean stretching across to the Southern Alps mountain range. Later this morning sit back and relax in a traditional English Punt enjoying a 30 minute trip along the meandering Avon River through the lovely Botanic Gardens with a professional boatman, in straw boater and traditional dress. Remainder of the day is at leisure and you can explore the inner city independently on the historic tram, which travels around the city circuit.
Day 13 - DEPART NEW ZEALAND
Return rental vehicle at Christchurch Airport and depart New Zealand.