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Home6-10 Day Independent Tours from Christchurch › 8 Day Wildlife and Glaciers Tour

8 Day Wildlife and Glaciers Tour

With a smorgasbord of New Zealand's unique wildlife in their natural environment, Dunedin’s Otago Peninsula is a fabulous place. Here’s your opportunity to see the royal albatross soaring high above, fur seals happily playing on the rocks, the odd lazy sea lion and the gorgeous yellow eyed penguins clambering up the sand dunes toward home. This tour is a photographers’ paradise.

8 Day Wildlife and Glaciers Tour

A comprehensive eight day South Island tour. With stunning scenery and incredible wildlife around every corner, it will be difficult to put you camera down. Enjoy the sights of a ‘World Heritage’ National Park, an abundance of wildlife on Otago Peninsula and guided walk to the terminal face of Franz Josef Glacier. This tour has it all.

Tour Type: Independent Tours
From: Christchurch to Christchurch
Departs: Daily
Duration: 8 Days
Tour Code: 8W

Regions Visited

Click on the region name to view more information about the region

Christchurch, Dunedin, Te Anau, Milford Sound, Queenstown, Franz Josef, Greymouth

Tour Inclusions

  • All transport
  • 7 nights accommodation
  • Otago Peninsula tour
  • Milford Sound cruise & picnic lunch
  • Queenstown Gondola
  • Guided Glacier Valley Walk

Day By Day Itinerary

DAY 1 - CHRISTCHURCH / DUNEDIN

Travel south over the Canterbury Plains to the towns of Timaru and Oamaru. Follow the coastline to Palmerston and then it’s over the Kilmog Hill and Mt Cargill to Dunedin, the Edinburgh of the South. Afternoon at your own leisure to explore Dunedin.

Stay: Dunedin

DAY 2 - OTAGO PENINSULA

Today is a full day tour out to the Otago Peninsula. This includes the Otago Harbour and Taiaroa Head wildlife cruise, scenic Otago Peninsula bus tour and guided tours of the Royal Albatross colony, the Yellow Eyed Penguin Reserve, a visit to wading bird habitats and a guided tour of Larnach Castle, one of Dunedin’s great landmarks.

Stay: Dunedin

 

DAY 3 - DUNEDIN / TE ANAU

Morning at leisure in Dunedin for you to take in some of the many sites. In the afternoon board your coach for your journey through the lush pastures of Otago and Southland to the lakeside town of Te Anau.

Stay: Te Anau

DAY 4 - TE ANAU / MILFORD SOUND / QUEENSTOWN

Regarded as one of the world’s most scenic journeys, Fiordland National Park – a world heritage area. Enjoy a one and a half hour cruise of Milford Sound viewing spectacular waterfalls and famous Mitre Peak before travelling to Queenstown arriving in the evening.

Stay: Queenstown

DAY 5 - QUEENSTOWN AT LEISURE

A free day for you to enjoy this fabulous resort style town. We have included the Skyline Gondola in your tour. We are happy to book additional sightseeing activities, please ask at time of booking.

Stay: Queenstown

DAY 6 - QUEENSTOWN / FRANZ JOSEF

Leaving Queenstown, travel to the West Coast passing through Cromwell, Wanaka and Hawea before climbing over the Haast Pass into the Westland National Park.

Stay: Franz Josef

DAY 7: GLACIER VALLEY WALK

This morning we have included a 3 hour guided Glacier Valley Walk to the Franz Josef terminal face. Your Glacier Valley Walk will take you up alongside the mighty Waiho River bed following the glaciers path of retreat in this remarkable landscape. Here you will learn about the glacier’s history, see what is left behind by this majestic giant, and learn the legend of Ka Roimata o Hinehukatere. Near the terminal face, after a brief climb you will be rewarded with spectacular views of the rapidly changing terminal face of the glacier. This leisurely and informative tour is customised to suit every walking group, no tour is exactly the same. Please note this trip does not take you onto the ice. Afternoon at your own leisure in Franz Josef. (Option to up-grade to a glacier heli hike at additional cost. Please ask at time of booking for details).

Stay: Franz Josef

DAY 8: FRANZ JOSEF / GREYMOUTH / CHRISTCHURCH

Continue north through lush rainforest and spectacular scenery to Greymouth to board the famous TranzAlpine Train, recognised as one of the top six rail journeys in the world. Arrive into Christchurch early evening.

Average Score: 5 (3 ratings)
I just wanted to thank you for setting up our tour tor New Zealand this past February. My wife and I had a great time and were very happy with the trip you planned.

Our lodging was always in great locations to enable walking to sites and restaurants and the sights that we couldn’t miss were all on our itinerary.
Thank you for a most memorable tour!
After visiting some friends in the North Island, we visited the South Island with the help of Scenic Pacific Travel. I travelled with my wife and 9 years old son during 8 days and we all enjoyed every single day.

We don´t really like to travel in big groups of people and this company is just perfect for independent travellers. I am more than happy to have dealt with Karina Davidson from Scenic Pacific, who always answered to our questions really quickly and did a great job.

Everything worked perfectly: hotels, coaches, train…. All the places we visited are amazing. Whole New Zealand is incredible to be honest. We will never forget such a wonderful trip.
Many thanks!
Sorry not to reply before but things have been quite busy since we got back.

We had a great time on the trip and all transport and liaison arrangements went perfectly. We were made very welcome at the Alexis Motor Lodge but didn’t have time to use the spa pool!

Taxis and InterCity was all efficient and vouchers for Gondola and Franz Josef worked well. We had a great time in Dunedin with the 4 integrated tours, the day to Milford Sound was quite awesome.

We managed the Franz Josef guided walk with some help, it was a bit tough walking up a boulder strewn river bed but glad we did. Another worthwhile visit at FJ was the West Coast wildlife centre where we saw Rowi Kiwi, Tuatara and a good explanation about glaciers etc. Very pleasant staff and good displays.

So thanks Sophie for arranging the Glacier and Wildlife trip, all went smoothly and we had lovely weather (giving you credit for that, too!).

Prices for period 1st October 2018 to 30th September 2019

Accommodation Tourist (Motel) Quality (Hotel)  
Twin/Double $2,385 NZD $3,090 NZD Enquire / Book
Triple $2,180 NZD $2,705 NZD Enquire / Book
Single $3,340 NZD $4,750 NZD Enquire / Book

Prices are per person and in New Zealand Dollars.

NOT INCLUDED
Expenses of a personal nature such as meals (except where stated in the itinerary), beverages, travel insurance, laundry and optional sightseeing are not included in the tour cost.

 

TOUR TYPE - INDEPENDENT TOUR

Independent Tours are not escorted group tours - they are for independent travellers. What this means is that it is not the same group of people travelling on their own coach with a tour leader/escort looking after you. You are travelling independently. However, you are picked up and dropped off at your accommodation each morning and evening and interesting commentary is provided on many sectors.

Frequently Asked Questions – Independent Tours

What is an Independent Tour?
Independent Tours are not escorted group tours - they are for independent travellers. What this means is that it is not the same group of people traveling on their own coach with a tour leader/escort looking after you. You are traveling independently.  However, you are picked up and dropped off at your accommodation each morning and evening and interesting commentary is provided on many sectors.

What dates do your tours depart?
The Pacific Travel Independent Iour programme operates on a daily basis (with daily departures) using the services of Great Sights, InterCity, Interislander and KiwiRail. All tours are subject to availability at time of booking.

What is included in the tour cost?
All tours 2+ days in length include coach travel, transfers, accommodation and sightseeing activities where specified. A detailed travel wallet with your travel vouchers and comprehensive itinerary will be sent to your agent prior to your departure or delivered to your pre tour accommodation for you to collect on check in.

I am travelling alone – can I pay the triple or twin share rate and be linked with other travellers?
No, unfortunately. You must pay the single room – per person cost.

I am travelling with children, what price will I pay?
Please contact us for information on child fares, as these vary based on the specific product you require. Some sightseeing activities are unsuitable for children.

Are any meals included in the tour cost?
Our Independent Tours do not include meals. There are exceptions where a picnic lunch is included on particular sectors. The coach does make various refreshment / comfort stops throughout the day where food can be purchased. Each evening you are free to relax and dine at you choice of restaurant either on site if you choose quality class, or just a short walk into town with tourist class. Many accommodation providers offer a breakfast service which can be arranged directly.

Is Halal food available in New Zealand?
Along with a small population of Muslims, New Zealand has an increasing number of Muslim visitors. Halal food and restaurants are now found in many areas of the country.

Do Independent Tours have a tour escort?
As these tours are Independent, you do not have an escort traveling with you. However all coach drivers are experienced professionals. They will share their vast knowledge of our country with you by providing an informative commentary on most routes.

Can I add in additional nights to a tour?
Yes you can. All tours are very flexible. Please ask one of our Travel Consultants for extra nightly rates.

What is the difference between quality and tourist class accommodation? 
Quality class:
 Hotel style accommodation with a restaurant on site, 4 star standard. At times 4 star motor lodges are also used. 
Tourist class: Self contained style accommodation with ensuite bathrooms and kitchenette facilities, 3.5 – 4 star standard. Breakfast provisions can be purchased from these properties but you will need to go to the town centre to purchase your evening meal. We endeavour where possible to book accommodation that is within easy walking distance of the centre of town.

What if I cannot find exactly what I am looking for on the website?
Let us know what is on your wish list to see and do and we are more than happy to help you plan a customised tour.

How much luggage can I take on my tour?
Each passenger may take 2 pieces of luggage (max 25kg each). For safety reasons, each passenger is limited to one carry on item (max 5kg). We also advise you check the maximum baggage allowance with your chosen airline.

How do I make a payment for a tour?
For bookings made more than 30 days prior to travel, Pacific Travel require a NZ$500 per person or 10% of the value of the package price (whichever is greater). This is a non-refundable deposit. Balance of payment is due 30 days prior to travel. For bookings made 30 days or less prior to travel, full payment is required at the time of booking. Visa & MasterCard are accepted forms of payment. All prices advertised are in New Zealand dollars and are GST inclusive.

What is your cancellation policy?
If after your booking has been confirmed you wish to cancel, the following cancellation fees will apply:
Cancellations 31 or more days prior to travel: Your deposit plus a further 10% of the total package price.
Cancellations 15 – 30 days prior to travel: Deposit + a further 20% of the total package price.
Cancellations 0-14 days prior to travel: 100% of total fare (no refund).
Booking amendments made by you: an amendment fee of 10% of total package price will be charged to cover our administration and communication costs. We may also need to pass on any amendment/cancellation fees imposed by our suppliers.

Conditions of travel
Pacific Travel reserves the right to alter fares, amend itineraries, book alternative accommodation or to cancel tours. Pacific Travel Ltd shall not be held responsible for any loss or damage to luggage or personal effects and/or damage resulting in death or personal injury, which may arise whilst travelling with Pacific Travel Ltd or its nominated suppliers. All transportation, both land and sea, is subject to the terms and conditions of the company providing the transport, some of which limit or exclude liability. These are available from the carriers concerned on request.

Will I need travel insurance?
We strongly recommend you purchase travel insurance. Factors may arise that require you to cancel or amend your holiday, so it is essential you are covered for any costs that may be incurred. We recommend purchasing your travel insurance locally at the same time as you book your tour and flights. Unfortunately Pacific Travel does not sell travel insurance.

Do I need to tip in New Zealand?
If you wish to reward someone for a job well done it is always much appreciated.

Do I need a visa to visit New Zealand?
Most visitors to New Zealand do not require a visa to enter for the purpose of a holiday or vacation under the visa waiver program. If you do need a visa to visit New Zealand then you should contact the New Zealand consulate in your home country well before your departure date. We recommend you also check with your local travel agent or airline for any visa requirements to New Zealand particularly if you are passing through Australia.

What currency is used in New Zealand?
The New Zealand dollar is the only legal tender in New Zealand. View a guide between your local currency and the New Zealand dollar. Please note: Your tour and all purchases using a credit card in New Zealand will be charged in New Zealand Dollars (NZD) at the current exchange rate at the time of purchase. The above currency conversion page is to be used as a guide only.