17 Day Luxurious South Island Tour

Experience New Zealand's South Island in luxury and style as you visit some beautiful locations with stunning scenery.

17 Day Luxurious South Island Tour

Not only is this tour packed full of beautiful scenery and delightful activities, you'll also stay at some of the most stunning accommodation found around the South Island - there's no better way to rest at night other than luxury.

Tour Type: Self Drive Tours
From: Christchurch to Christchurch
Departs: Daily
Duration: 17 days
Tour Code: SD17L

Regions Visited

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

Christchurch, Mt Cook, Queenstown, Te Anau, Doubtful Sound, Wanaka, Franz Josef

Tour Inclusions

  • 15 day car hire
  • 16 nights accommodation
  • Arrival transfer
  • Glacier Explorer
  • Appellation Boutique wine tour, Queenstown
  • Dart River Safari
  • Ridgeline Safari, Wanaka
  • Franz Josef Heli Hike

Day By Day Itinerary

DAY 1: WELCOME TO CHRISTCHURCH
Christchurch, South Island Tours

Welcome to Christchurch. You will be met at the airport and transferred to your accommodation. Depending on your flight, there may be time for you to explore the “Garden City”. Perhaps take a relaxing tram ride through the city and enjoy the interesting commentary of past and present, wonder through the beautiful Botanical Gardens and alongside the Avon River.

Stay: Christchurch

DAY 2: CHRISTCHURCH AT LEISURE
9 Day Southern Spotlight Guided Tour

Today collect your rental car giving you the day to explore.

Christchurch offers a lively range of attractions and activities, from a stroll around Hagley Park and its beautiful botanical gardens to a double decker bus tour of the city centre. Enjoy the “pockets of brilliance” as Christchurch rebuilds its city centre after the 2011 earthquakes.

Stay: Christchurch

DAY 3: CHRISTCHURCH / MT COOK

Leaving Christchurch, cross the patchwork farmlands of the Canterbury Plains and through the picturesque village of Geraldine nestled in the foothills of the Southern Alps. Take time to visit the Church of the Good Shepherd at Tekapo and take in the stunning turquoise waters of lakes Tekapo and Pukaki as you make you way to Mt Cook village.

Stay: Mt Cook

DAY 4: MT COOK GLACIER EXPLORER
Tasman Glacier Explorer Tour

Today enjoy an amazing encounter with the Tasman Glacier, New Zealand’s largest glacier. Start your journey with a gentle walk through the National Park, you then board your powered vessel enjoy the ever changing face of the Tasman Glacier Lake and its icebergs.

Stay: Mt Cook

DAY 5: MT COOK / QUEENSTOWN
South Island Tours

Re-trace the beautiful edges of Lake Pukaki and later snake your way through the Lindis Pass. The mountainous tussock soon gives way to rolling farmlands and the stone fruit growing region of Cromwell. Continue through the rocky but spectacular Kawarau Gorge and the splendid vineyards in the Gibbston Valley before reaching picturesque Queenstown.

Stay: Queenstown

DAY 6: QUEENSTOWN WINE TOUR

Relax today as your wine guide immerses you amongst the boutique vineyards and the splendid scenery of Central Otago. You will visit four premium vineyards over three wine regions. Taste and learn about the excellent wine varietals and enjoy a delicious shared platter lunch with complementing wine.

Stay: Queenstown

DAY 7: DART RIVER ADVENTURE
Dart River Wilderness Jet Tour

Your Wilderness Safari is an exhilarating and spectacular journey deep into the heart of the world-renowned Mt Aspiring National Park.

Experience a unique combination of breath-taking scenery matched with exciting jet boating on braided, glacier fed rivers. Your informative guides will talk about the area’s history, the Greenstone trail and Maori legends. Walk amongst ancient beech forest unchanged for 80 million years and view the scenic backgrounds for many Middle Earth movie scenes. A truly authentic New Zealand experience in an untouched world.

Stay: Queenstown

DAY 8: QUEENSTOWN AT LEISURE
Queenstown, South Island Tours

A full day for you to enjoy this fabulous resort style town. There are dozens of optional activities you can participate in: thrilling jet boating on the rivers, white water rafting, helicopter rides, sky diving, AJ Hackett’s world-famous bungy jumping, cruises on the lake and spectacular walking trails. The list is endless with something for everyone.

Stay: Queenstown

DAY 9: QUEENSTOWN / TE ANAU
Lake Te Anau, South Island

Leave Queenstown and follow the road to Te Anau as it winds round the gentle curves of Lake Wakatipu. The scenery here is stunning. 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 and lush forests.

Stay: Te Anau

DAY 10: TE ANAU AT LEISURE
Te Anau Glowworm Caves Tour

As gateway to the Fiordland National Park, Te Anau’s proximity to Milford Sound and Doubtful Sound make it a very popular destination. Take a guided hike on to the Milford Track, visit the Te Anau Glowworm Caves, thrilling river and lake jet boating, trout fishing and star gazing. There are choices galore!

Stay: Te Anau

DAY 11: TE ANAU / DOUBTFUL SOUND OVERNIGHT CRUISE
Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise departing Queenstown Tour

Boarding the coach in Te Anau, enjoy a short trip through the rolling countryside to Manapouri.

You have a very special overnight cruise in New Zealand’s most remote and beautiful wilderness areas. Cruise across the crystal waters of Lake Manapouri before boarding a coach, crossing the alpine route of the Wilmot Pass through some of the Fiordland’s most dense rainforest. Cruise the fiord, weaving through hidden coves and mystical waterways. Take the opportunity to explore the shoreline by kayak or small boat. In the evening, relax in the saloon and enjoy a delicious three course buffet meal prepared by the chef.

Stay: Fiordland Navigator

DAY 12: DOUBTFUL SOUND / TE ANAU / WANAKA
Wanaka, South Island Tours

This morning there is time for further cruising before the vessel then returns to Deep Cove where you will retrace steps back to Manapouri. After disembarking you will return to Te Anau by transfer coach.

Drive through fertile farmland to the small town of Kingston at the southern tip of Lake Wakatipu. Follow the lake shore towards Queenstown, crossing the dramatic Kawarau River at Frankton. Drive through the rugged Kawarau Gorge to Cromwell, famous for its stone fruit and nearby vineyards at Bannockburn. Follow Lake Dunstan and the Clutha River to the relaxed resort town of Wanaka, hugging the lake edge with snow tipped mountains of the Mt Aspiring National Park in the distance.

Stay: Wanaka

DAY 13: WANAKA ACTIVITIES

Climb aboard a comfortable 4WD and experience a taste of Wanaka’s spectacular lakeside scenery an insight into real farming life. Journey high into the mountains exploring life behind the scenes of West Wanaka Station an authentic alpine mountain farm bordering the snow-capped peaks and glaciers of Mt Aspiring National Park and overlooking sparkling Lake Wanaka. Next your helicopter arrives to whisk you off for a once-in-a-lifetime scenic flight through the mountains, past towering snow-capped peaks, plunging waterfalls landing on the remote Isobel Glacier for photos.

Stay: Wanaka

DAY 14: WANAKA / FRANZ JOSEF

Drive along the shores of Lake Wanaka and Lake Hawea with their impressive mountain backdrop of the Mount Aspiring National Park. Follow the Haast River to the coast. Pass through the Fox Glacier village to Franz Josef Glacier township with its exciting outdoor activities such as guided glacier hikes, scenic helicopter flights, kayaking on nearby lakes.

Stay: Franz Josef

DAY 15: FRANZ JOSEF HELI HIKE
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.

Stay: Franz Josef

DAY 16: FRANZ JOSEF / CHRISTCHURCH

Your drive today from the South Island’s West coast to the East coast takes you over the majestic Arthurs Pass. The scenery changes constantly as you drive around a hill, over a mountain pass, across a river, past lakes, ski fields and unique geological features. Descend to the vast Canterbury Plains with its braided rivers, vast swathes of farmland and small rural towns as you make you way back to Christchurch city.

Stay: Christchurch

DAY 17: FAREWELL FROM CHRISTCHURCH
Christchurch, South Island Tours

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

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Prices valid from 1st October 2020

Accommodation Double/Twin Single Triple
Premium $12,551 NZD $22,092 NZD $9,466 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.

17 Day Luxurious South Island Tour

Tour Type: Self Drive Tours Tour Code: SD17L From $9,466 Per Person Departs: Daily Experience New Zealand's South Island in luxury and style as you visit some beautiful locations with stunning scenery. Enquire about this tour

Where this tour will take you...