12 Day Ultimate Southern Walks Tour

Enjoy a glacier heli hike, guided walks on both the Milford & Routeburn Tracks as well as a number of leisure days for you to relax and enjoy the stunning surroundings during this 12 day tour.

12 Day Ultimate Southern Walks Tour

A fabulous walking tour taking in the 'must see' spots around the bottom of the South Island. Enjoy a mix of guided day walks and leisure days for you to explore the beautiful scenery and outdoors as you travel.

Tour Type: Self Drive Tours
From: Christchurch to Queenstown
Departs: Daily
Duration: 12 days
Tour Code: SD12SW

Regions Visited

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

Christchurch, Greymouth, Hokitika, Franz Josef, Haast, Wanaka, Te Anau, Queenstown

Tour Inclusions

  • 12 day car hire
  • 11 nights accommodation
  • Superior & Premium accommodation includes breakfast
  • TranzAlpine train journey
  • Treetop walk, Hokitika
  • Heli Hike, Franz Josef
  • Milford Track guided day walk
  • Routeburn Track guided day walk

Day By Day Itinerary


From Christchurch climb aboard one of the world’s great train journeys – the TranzAlpine train. You will cross the Canterbury Plains, enjoy thrilling vistas over deep gorges travelling alongside the ice-fed Waimakariri River. Traverse the mighty Southern Alps, where spectacular views of the chiselled alpine landscape will take your breath away. Descending through thick stands of native beech forest to your destination.

Collect your rental car at the Greymouth Railway Station. Leaving the bustle of the West Coast’s main hub, it’s just a short drive to the heritage town of Hokitika renowned for its magnificent greenstone and cafes right on the beach.

Stay: Hokitika


Today stroll through the beautiful West Coast rainforest tree tops. We have included an exhilarating treetop adventure. Experience life with the birds, high in the ancient Rimu and Kamahi tree canopy along a steel platform 20 metres high and over 450 metres long. You have the rest of today at leisure, perhaps visit the Hokitika Gorge surrounded by lush native bush and turquoise blue water.

Stay: Hokitika


Leaving Hokitika, the beautiful green native forests thicken as you continue south and into the glacier region, crossing blue flowing rivers and passing scenic lakes of Ianthe and Wahapo – which also make for great lunch spots! The small township of Franz Josef is home to the Franz Josef Glacier – a huge river of ice that has squeezed down the valleys to just 250m above sea level.

Stay: Franz Josef

Franz Josef Glacier Heli Hike Tour

After an exciting scenic flight, you 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 as you go and with an eye for the most spectacular ice formations you’ll soon be making your way through a wonderland of towering pinnacles and brilliantly blue ice. You’ll enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and with plenty of photo opportunities and the chance to learn more about this magnificent glacier, this will almost certainly be your most memorable experience whilst in New Zealand.

Stay: Franz Josef

New Zealand Tours

The Franz Josef Glacier is widely regarded as a gem. The village has a busy cafe scene and provides the hub to the region’s many exciting outdoor activities such as kayaking on nearby Lake Mapourika. Local native bush & forest walks and nearby Lake Mathieson or relax in the hot pools complex set within the rainforest.

Stay: Franz Josef


Pass through the alpine village of Fox Glacier, continue your drive south to the rugged Tasman Sea coastline. Through the Gates of Haast, follow the Haast River into the extraordinary, remote beauty of the Mount Aspiring National Park. Skirt the shores of Lake Wanaka and Lake Hawea to the resort town of Wanaka with its mirror lake shores and rugged mountainous backdrop. The perfect destination for outdoor adventure.

Stay: Wanaka


From jet boating up the Matukituki River, outback 4WD safaris, mountain biking and tandem paragliding for those who want a bit of adventure, to more leisurely attractions such as Puzzling World, a round of golf with stunning lake views, a scenic lake cruise or a guided tour of local vineyards. A lakeside stroll offers impressive views up the lake towards the remote Mt Aspiring National Park. We can include optional extras, just ask us at the time of booking.

Stay: Wanaka

Lake Te Anau, South Island

From one picture postcard location to the next, today’s drive travels via Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu to Te Anau. Pass through the historic town of Cromwell, onto the roaring Kawarau Gorge with stunning vineyard views before following the gentle curves of Lake Wakatipu. Easy rolling countryside soon leads you to the shores of Lake Te Anau, the biggest of the South Island’s many lakes. Nestled on the shores of the lake is the township of Te Anau which offers a picturesque landscape with its blue lakes, spectacular mountains as well as being the gateway to the Fiordland National Park.

Stay: Te Anau


Today explore the unique World Heritage Area by foot. From Te Anau to Milford Sound, you begin with a short boat ride to Sandfly Point. Your walk meanders alongside the cascading Arthur River through lush rainforest to Giant Gate. View a spectacular waterfall from the large swing bridge spanning the river. Walking at an easy going pace in a small group, your knowledgeable, nature guide will point out the native plants and birds inhabiting this lush environment bringing the history of the area to life.

Stay: Te Anau

Skyline Gondola, Queenstown

Rolling farmland with native and exotic forest en route to the small settlement of Kingston at the southern tip of Lake Wakatipu. Skirt the lake shore with the imposing backdrop of the majestic Remarkables mountains to reach Queenstown, famous for its outstanding adventure activities, superb wineries and restaurants and sparkling nightlife.

Stay: Queenstown


Make your way on this great walk in Mount Aspiring National Park with a gradual ascent through a magical world of ancient ferns, mosses, lichens and beech forest. Explore the paths as you travel along old greenstone trails, finding enchantment around each corner.

Stay: Queenstown

9 Day Southern Wonders Guided Tour

You have the day at leisure, if time permits for last minute sightseeing before you return your rental car at Queenstown Airport before your departure.

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Prices valid from 1st October 2020

Accommodation Double/Twin Single Triple
Standard $3,263 NZD $5,050 NZD $2,882 NZD Enquire / Book
Superior $4,222 NZD $6,720 NZD $3,748 NZD Enquire / Book
Premium $4,907 NZD $7,884 NZD $4,174 NZD Enquire / Book
Prices are per person and in New Zealand Dollars.

Tour Type: Self Drive Tour
A Self Drive tour allows you to travel at your own pace on one of our comprehensive itineraries. Our experienced New Zealand based travel consultants have planned each itinerary to ensure practical driving times while allowing you the freedom for photo opportunities as you travel. Your accommodation and car hire is pre-booked and we are happy to include optional activities to coincide with driving times.
Frequently Asked Questions – Self Drive Tours

What is a Self Drive tour?
A Self Drive tour allows you to travel at your own pace on one of our comprehensive itineraries. Our experienced New Zealand based travel consultants have planned each itinerary to ensure practical driving times while allowing you the freedom for photo opportunities as you travel. Your accommodation and car hire is pre-booked and we are happy to include optional activities to coincide with driving times.

What is required to hire a vehicle within New Zealand?
A valid driver’s licence in English is required to hire a rental vehicle within New Zealand.  Please note drivers must be over 21 years to hire a vehicle, between 21 – 25 years a young driver surcharge is applicable. We recommend all clients have a credit card for car rental, the card number is then held for a bond. All vehicles are automatic transmission, we do not offer manual transmissions.

What is driving in New Zealand like?
We drive on the right in New Zealand, all rental vehicles are set up for right hand drive. Within the cities, roads are busy, there are motorways and highways. Once out of town most of our roads two lanes, there are some divided carriage ways, however most driving will be on 2 lane paved/sealed roads. It will take you a lot longer than you think looking at the map to get from point A to point B.

What dates do your tours depart?
Our self drive tours depart daily, driving times do vary each day so please consider this when booking departure flights.

What is included in the tour cost?
All tours include accommodation and rental car. Some tours include activities listed in the itineraries. Car hire is quoted including basic insurance, with the option to upgrade to fully comprehensive insurance.  A detailed travel wallet with your travel vouchers will be sent to your arrival accommodation, a comprehensive itinerary will be sent to you prior to your departure. Your personal travel consultant will contact you on arrival, allowing ease of communication whilst you are traveling.

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

How many people can I include in a self-drive tour?
Our largest hire vehicle is 9 passengers and a driver. You can travel in a group, with a number of vehicles but each vehicle must have a licenced driver.

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 Superior and Premium tour rates include breakfast.  There are exceptions where some activities will include lunch or dinner. We are more than happy to make recommendations, please advise if there are any dietary requirements so we can recommend accordingly. .

Is Halal and other speciality 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, let us now if you require this and we will compile a list for you. We can also offer advice in regards to Vegan and other special requirements.

How will I navigate my way around New Zealand?
You will be supplied with a map in your travel wallet. If you require a GPS, this can be arranged with your car hire, if you are wishing to use your own navigational device, SIM cards can be purchased at the airport. Our comprehensive itinerary will guide you, especially with our personal touches just for you. We are only a phone call away. Most pre booked optional activities will have an informative guide giving you an insight into the activity you have chosen.

Can I add in additional days to a tour?
Yes you can. All tours are very flexible – we will gladly work with you to make our tours suit your requirements. Please ask one of our Travel Consultants for extra day rates.

What is the difference between the three tour types Quality, Superior and Premium Tours?
Standard:  Motor Lodge, apartment style accommodation, self-contained accommodation, ensuite bathrooms. Your rental car is a small compact car.
Superior: 4 star hotel accommodation, includes breakfast. Your rental car is a mid-size car.
Premium: 5 star hotel accommodation, including breakfast. Your rental car is an SUV.
Note all accommodation is reviewed regularly by staff, we have high standards and good relationships with all our providers.

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 will be delighted to plan a customised tour to suit your requirements, using our 30 years of experience. Our local knowledge will come up with many pleasant surprises for you. 

How much luggage can I take on my tour?
You can bring as much luggage as you require, we recommend 1 piece of luggage (max 25kg each), for ease of travel. 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 45 days prior to travel, Pacific Travel require a deposit of NZ$50 per person. This deposit is non-refundable. Balance of payment is due 45 days prior to travel. For bookings made 45 days or less prior to travel, full payment is required at the time of booking. Visa & MasterCard are accepted forms of payment. A 2.5% Credit Card Fee applies to all payments by credit card. You may pay via direct bank transfer to avoid the credit card fee. Bank details will be on your booking advice. 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. 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.

Do I need to tip in New Zealand?
If you wish to reward someone for a job well done it is always much appreciated, but not a requirement. It is certainly not expected, nobody will be offended should you wish to.

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.

12 Day Ultimate Southern Walks Tour

Tour Type: Self Drive Tours Tour Code: SD12SW From $2,882 Per Person Departs: Daily Enjoy a glacier heli hike, guided walks on both the Milford & Routeburn Tracks as well as a number of leisure days for you to relax and enjoy the stunning surroundings during this 12 day tour. Enquire about this tour

Where this tour will take you...