Duration: 10 Days
Location: Christchurch, Akaroa, Mt. Cook National Park, Mt. Cook to Queenstown, Queenstown, Franz Josef Glacier
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  • Day 01 – Christchurch

    Day 02 – Akaroa

    Day 03 – Mt. Cook National Park

    Day 04 – Mt. Cook to Queenstown

    Day 05 – Queenstown

    Day 06 – Queenstown

    Day 07 – Franz Josef Glacier

    Day 08 – Franz Josef Glacier

    Day 09 – Franz Josef Glacier to Christchurch

    Day 10 – Christchurch

    Fiords,glaciers and mountains - page photo
  • Day 01 – Christchurch

    On arrival, you will be met at the airport by our representative and transferred to your accommodation in Christchurch. Day at leisure.

    Meals included: Nil.

    Day 02 – Akaroa

    Collect your rental car and drive from Christchurch to Akaroa.

    The Banks Peninsula offers a great contrast to the South Island’s largest city. Just around a 1 1/2 hours drive from the city centre are rolling green hills, streams, golden sand beaches and small settlements that offer a unique insight into New Zealand’s history and development.

    Just on the other side of the Port Hills is Lyttelton, a busy port town that was crucial to the development of Christchurch and the Canterbury Plains. Following the road around the beautiful natural harbour the names, such as Magazine Bay, Battery Point, Corsair Point and Governors’ Bay, remind of the importance the navy placed on this harbour.

    The Harbour itself is teeming with wildlife and a nature cruise is a must do activity. One of the world’s smallest and rarest dolphins, hectors dolphin, are often seen and cruises also offer excursions with the chance to swim amongst them.

    Akaroa Harbour Nature Cruise (included)

    Join a leisurely 2 hour cruise in the sheltered Akaroa Harbour. Cruising aboard a modern catamaran, the 60 feet / 20 meter Black Cat is perfect for viewing the natural wonders of the harbour. The vessel is the largest and most luxurious on the harbour. The highlight of this trip is undoubtedly the sighting of one of the world’s smallest and rarest dolphins, the Hector’s or New Zealand Dolphin. These friendly and inquisitive mammals meet the boat most days throughout the year and their calves can be seen between October and March. Also on the trip you will catch glimpses of the White Flippered Blue Penguin, the smallest penguin in the world. There are many different bird species in the harbour, including five different cormorant species and the chance of sighting the endangered yellow-eyed penguin. You’ll also see the New Zealand Fur Seal sunning themselves on the harbours rocks near the entrance at Seal Bay and you also get to stop at Lucas Bay to see at a salmon farm where thousands of salmon from fingerlings to adult fish are farmed in a series of cages. This is where the world-famous ‘Akaroa Salmon’ are raised.

    Meals included: Nil.

    Day 03 – Mt. Cook National Park

    Today, you head into the heart of the South Island. Crossing the vast Canterbury Plains along the inland scenic route the first township of Geraldine offers an ideal refreshment stop before you head into Mackenzie country. Passing through places such as Beautiful Valley it’s not hard to understand where the names originate. Ascending Burkes Pass and onto the high country plateau and the picturesque town of Lake Tekapo, the first of the large Southern Lakes. It’s a great place to take a scenic flight, enjoy a guided horse trek, a boat trip on the pristine lake or just enjoy the magnificent views.

    Lake Pukaki is just another 30 minutes from Lake Tekapo and it’s from here you can be rewarded with spectacular views the full length of the lake and into Mt. Cook National Park. In Mt. Cook Village, a myriad of activities are available from glacier landings by ski plane or helicopter, kayaking on a glacial lake and a host of walks to suit all abilities and time frames. At The Hermitage Hotel, the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre is a must see.

    Glacier Explorers Tour (included)

    Glacier Explorers is the only tour of its kind in New Zealand, and one of only three in the world! Very few glaciers terminate into lakes and even fewer of these are accessible to the average person. By using a boat you get close to towering ice cliffs and huge floating icebergs. The boats provide a safe way to unseen and inaccessible areas of New Zealand’s largest glacier.

    Being able to view, touch and taste 500 year old ice is a new experience for most people! Departing from Mount Cook Village outside The Hermitage Hotel, you board a small bus for a pleasant trip to the Tasman Valley, followed by an easy 30 minute stroll through the National Park. Then board your MAC boat, and enjoy the ever changing ice face of the Tasman Glacier icebergs on the Tasman Glacier Terminal Lake. The 2.5 hour trip (45 min to 1 hour on the lake) enjoys a commentary throughout provided by your experienced guide.

    Meals included: Nil.

    Day 04Mt. Cook to Queenstown

    Twizel, just south of Mt. Cook, was the location of many Lord of the Rings movie scenes and a little further on is Omarama, the gliding capital of New Zealand. Wrinkly Rams is a local café and also offers an informative sheep shearing demonstration.

    The Lindis Pass is one of New Zealand’s highest roads with the summit reaching 971 metres. The tussock covered hills offer an unusual contrast as you pass from the Mackenzie Basin and into Central Otago. The first Central Otago settlement you reach is the quaint village of Tarras, which has a number of boutique stores and a lovely café.  A short drive further along is the historic and scenic Bendigo Reserve, which was one of Otago’s original gold mining settlements.  Well marked paths will guide you to the remains of stone cottages and other buildings from this bygone era.

    Cromwell sits at the head of the Kawarau Gorge and the historic old town is well worth the visit, the buildings are now home to quaint shops and cafes. The old town buildings were relocated from the valley that now sits deep under Lake Dunstan. Continue on through the sheer cliffs of the Kawarau Gorge as they guide you towards the Gibbston Valley, one of New Zealand’s premier wine growing regions. At the famous historic Kawarau Bridge you can take a bungee jump or sit back and enjoy the drama as visitors hurtle off the bridge. Approaching Queenstown, the impressive Remarkables mountain range comes into view and then beautiful Lake Wakatipu as you head towards Queenstown, the adventure capital of New Zealand.

    TSS Earnslaw cruise to Walter Peak including gourmet BBQ dinner and a farm tour (included)

    Enjoy a return scenic cruise from downtown Queenstown to Walter Peak High Country Farm on board the vintage steamship TSS Earnslaw. On disembarking at Walter Peak you are warmly welcomed and escorted through the beautiful lakeside gardens to the charming Colonel’s Homestead. Here, you’ll enjoy a Gourmet BBQ dinner which includes an expansive array of New Zealand and local produce, from succulent meats cooked on the outdoor rotisserie or grill, a selection of delicious vegetables and salads.  Then finish your meal with our irresistible desserts, New Zealand cheeses and freshly brewed tea & coffee. After dinner, an entertaining and informative demonstration gives you a glimpse of life in the high country.

    Meals included: Dinner.

    Day 05Queenstown

    Nomad Safaris, Safari of the Scenes Wakatipu Basin tour (included)

    For those with an interest in the Lord of the Rings epics, we will take you on a scenic adventure through the locations used in the filming. No sets are left behind, just the gorgeous scenery featured in the films. And if you haven’t seen the movies, it doesn’t matter, the scenery will still take your breath away. In safari-equipped 4WD vehicles, you will be taken on a true off-road adventure. Experienced guides will host you on a truly breathtaking excursion through the diverse scenery on offer in the Wakatipu Basin. You travel through historic Arrowtown and put the Land Rovers through their paces as you make a number of crossings over the Arrow River. View the stunning lake and mountain views from The Remarkables road and the Skippers Canyon Saddle. Some of the Lord of the Rings sites you will visit during this tour includes a glimpse of the Misty Mountains, the Pillars of the Kings and the Ford of Bruinen.

     Shotover Canyon River Jet Boat Adventure (included)

    Riding the iconic ‘Big Red’ Jet Boat through the narrow Shotover Canyon is an exhilarating experience not to be missed.  Your skilled jet boat driver pushes the boat to 85 kph, skimming across shallow water and past towering canyon walls.  This 25 minute white water ride includes 360 degree spins and maximum thrills.

    Meals included: Nil.

    Day 06Queenstown

    Doubtful Sound Wilderness Cruise from Queenstown (included)

    On boarding the luxury glass-roofed coach in Queenstown, enjoy a relaxing trip along the shores of Lake Wakatipu and through the rolling countryside to Manapouri. From Pearl Harbour, Manapouri, you cruise across picturesque Lake Manapouri to West Arm and then travel by coach over Wilmot Pass through dense rainforest. There are opportunities along the way to examine the plant life and view the spectacular scenery. Once at Doubtful Sound, you board the catamaran, Commander Peak, for a 3 hour cruise of beautiful Doubtful Sound to the Tasman Sea. On board there is excellent viewing of waterfalls, rainforest and mountains. Of particular interest, if sighted, are fur seals basking on the rocks, or a resident pod of bottlenose dolphins. Rare Fiordland crested penguins are sometimes encountered in the right season. An interesting on board commentary keeps you informed and on the return journey, the vessel’s engines are turned off and visitors are treated to the ‘Sound of Silence’.

    Meals included: Lunch.

    Day 07Franz Josef Glacier

    Crossing the Crown Range, the highest sealed road in the country, you arrive into the alpine town of Wanaka, the gateway to Mt. Aspiring National Park. The route follows the shores of Lakes Wanaka and Hawea before you enter the village of Makarora. The Blue Pools, just outside Makarora, are a wonderful 30 minute walk through pristine native beech forest. Driving towards the Haast Pass, crashing rivers and waterfalls are around every corner. Crossing the Haast River you are now truly on the wild West Coast, a 600 kilometre stretch of bush, rainforest and podocarp forest. First Fox Glacier welcomes you to the glacier region and Franz Josef township is just a further 45 minutes.

    Meals included: Nil.

    Day 08Franz Josef Glacier

    Twin Glaciers Scenic Helicopter Flight (included)

    Fly over two of New Zealand’s most famous glaciers and land at the head of either the Franz Josef Glacier or Fox Glacier. View the incredible natural phenomenon of the glacier as it winds slowly down the carved valleys from its origin in the mountains high above you. Duration – 30 Minutes.

    Glacier Hot Pools (included)

    Nestled in lush rainforest, the Glacier Hot Pools is a haven of natural tranquility and the perfect way for visitors to unwind and experience a blissful state of pure relaxation after travelling along the coast or enjoying one of its many attractions. The Glacier Hot Pools are situated in a heavily wooded rainforest, beneath mature 30 metre tall trees. The temperatures of the three main pools and three secluded private pools range from 36 to 40 degrees. Amid this tranquil and enticing setting, the natural water features and call of native birds calm the mind and nourish the spirit.

    Meals included: Nil.

    Day 09Franz Josef Glacier to Christchurch

    Franz Josef to Greymouth Train Station

    The drive north from Franz Josef takes you through the historic gold mining region of Ross and the town of Hokitika, renowned for its pounamu (greenstone) it’s also a great place to explore the craft stores. You’ll then arrive at the West Coast’s largest town, Greymouth, which is also the starting point for the Tranz Alpine Scenic Train.  Drop your rental car at the Greymouth Train Station depot located inside the train station building.

    Tranz Alpine Scenic train Greymouth to Christchurch (included)

    Considered one of the world’s great train journeys, the Tranz Alpine scenic train takes you from Greymouth to Christchurch. You’ll travel from the Tasman Sea through Arthur’s Pass National Park to the Pacific Ocean. From the comfort of your carriage you will rise from the lush rain forest of the West Coast to the spectacular mountains of the Southern Alps. Traveling through gorges and the river valley of the Waimakariri River you’ll descend to the farmland of the Canterbury Plains before arriving in the city of Christchurch. A private transfer will meet you on arrival into Christchurch train station and drive you to your Christchurch accommodation.

    Meals included: Nil.

     Day 10Christchurch

    You will be collected from your accommodation and a private transfer will deliver you to Christchurch airport in time for your departing flight.

    Meals included: Nil.

  • Trip Cost varies based on travel season (high to low), your choice of accommodation (from budget to luxury), flight (economy to first class), optional tours and other special requests. Kindly email us at to get the correct price for your selected trip.

    Self Drive Options (Rental Cars)

    This tour will be priced based on your selection of available rental cars, from economy hatchbacks to prestige saloons and SUV’s.

    Accommodation Type for this trip: Motels

    • Akaroa – Akaroa Village Inn, La Voyager Apartments.
    • Mt. Cook – Mt. Cook Lodge & Motels.
    • Queenstown – Garden Court Suites & Apartments.
    • Franz Josef Glacier – Glenfern Villas.
    • Christchurch – Camelot Motor Lodge


    • Accommodation on twin or double sharing basis.
    • All meals as stated in itinerary.
    • Private airport / train station transfers.
    • Choice of rental car + GPS navigation + car insurance. Unlimited kms, airport/ferry terminal fees.
    • Tour activities as stated below:
      • Tranz Alpine Train from Greymouth to Christchurch.
      • Akaroa Harbour Nature Cruise.
      • Glacier Explorers Tour, Mt Cook National Park.
      • Shotover jet boat ride.
      • TSS Earnslaw cruise and dinner at Walter Peak high country farm.
      • Safari of the Scenes, Wakatipu Basin tour.
      • Doubtful Sound Wilderness Cruise.
      • Twin Glaciers Scenic Helicopter Flight.
      • Entry to Glacier Hot Pools.
    • Tour Pack includes detailed driving instructions, maps, guide books and much more.


    • International Airfare and airport / government taxes.
    • Visa (if required).
    • Travel insurance.
    • Beverages in the restaurants where meals are included.
    • Optional tours mentioned in the itinerary will be charged extra.
    • Gratuities to guide and driver.
    • Personal and other expenses such as bar bills and laundry not stated in the itinerary.