This one-of-a-kind 9 day New Zealand South Island tour takes you on a wonderful journey from Queenstown. The first stop is Milford Sound where you’ll take a cruise on the picturesque sound against the backdrop of the iconic Mitre Peak.

Then we travel on to Wanaka, experience the West Coast’s rainforests, the jaw dropping Franz Josef Glacier and the Punakaiki Pancake Rocks. Finally, our journeys finishes in Christchurch after a stunning journey over the Southern Alps.

A short tour that will leave you with memories that last a lifetime.

8 Night / 9 Day New Zealand South Island Tour

Milford Sound
Franz Josef Glacier
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Tour Price

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2018 / 2019 Season

$4490.00 pp twin
$5690.00 pp single

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Day 1: Arrive Queenstown

Earnslaw Steamship on Lake Wakatipu with the mountains behind - NZ South Island Tour

On arrival into Queenstown you will be met at the airport and transferred to your centrally located hotel. The rest of the day is yours to explore New Zealand's premier alpine resort town. Overnight in Queenstown.

What you'll love today
  • Your MoaTrek Kiwi Guide will meet you at the airport for a short orientation and to show you back to our accommodation
  • Everything is right at your doorstep, easy walking distance to the centre of Queenstown, Lake Wakatipu and the gardens
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Day 2: Queenstown - Milford Sound

Small boat cruise on Milford Sound

Today is all about the one and only Milford Sound, from Queenstown we follow the shores of the great southern lakes before heading into the heart of Fiordland National Park on the spectacular Milford Road.  Everything you’ve heard is true, this is unreal countryside.

On arrival into Milford head out onto the water on our cruise out onto the sound, dominated by iconic Mitre Peak and home to birdlife, seal colonies and pods of dolphins. A magical flight over the Southern Alps returns us to Queenstown at the end of a fantastic day of touring by land, sea and air. The very best of Milford! 

What you'll love today
  • Milford Sound cruise and scenic flight, no better way to experience Fiordland
  • New Zealand’s most stunning road, through the heart of Fiordland National Park
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Day 3: Queenstown Activities and Day Tours

The Dart River jetboat, mountain scenery near Queenstown

Today is yours to make the most of the infinite choice of day tours and activities Queenstown has to offer, your "Kiwi Guide" will be right there to help.

What do we love in Queenstown?  A jet boat ride on the remote and beautiful Dart River in "The Lord of the Rings" scenery, walking along the lakeshore and the Botanic Gardens or take a thrilling raft ride on the Kawarau River. Other favourites are wine tasting in the celebrated boutique vineyards of Central Otago, golf on one of New Zealand’s best courses, a day walk on the famous Routeburn Track or cruising Lake Wakatipu on the 1912 Steamship, the TSS "Earnslaw".

What you'll love today
  • Take your pick from literally hundreds of activities and tours on offer in Queenstown
  • Enjoy dinner at one of the many award winning restaurants on the lakefront
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Day 4: Queenstown - Arrowtown - Wanaka

Cadrona Hotel

Our day starts with a short hop to leafy Arrowtown, where gold mining history comes alive beside the Arrow River. Then we head into tussock country for the climb up the Crown Range and our last views of the beautiful Wakatipu basin. We call into picture perfect Cardrona Hotel, its history dates back to the colonial era, then continue on to Wanaka. 

Our hotel this evening is right on the lake edge, you’ve got plenty of time after lunch to discover this lovely lakeside town for yourself. Bike the waterfront trail, get out on the lake in a kayak or head next door to Rippon Vineyard for wine tasting with a view!

What you'll love today
  • Gold mining history comes to life in Arrowtown
  • Stroll along the lake edge at Wanaka, it’s right outside your door
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Day 5: Wanaka - Haast Pass - Franz Josef Glacier

Mountain reflections in Lake Matheson - NZ South Island Tour

Today is a quintessential kiwi day, where else in the world can you visit the seaside, a rainforest and a glacier all in the same day?  In New Zealand, no worries!  We start off following the shores of Lakes Wanaka and Hawea before reaching the pristine mountain and river scenery of the Mount Aspiring National Park. Then it’s up and over the Haast Pass through beech forests, past cascading waterfalls and clear blue pools before following the Haast River out to the sea. There’s plenty of time for short walks and photo stops on the way, we’re in no hurry.

Head north through the lush, prehistoric Gondwanaland forest of the Southwest New Zealand World Heritage Area, stopping at Ship Creek to stroll the beach, keep your eye out for dolphins feeding in the shallows. Get your camera ready for Lake Matheson’s famous reflections and our first glimpse of Fox Glacier descending from Aoraki/Mt Cook. Our home for the night is Franz Josef.

What you'll love today
  • Where else in the world can you see a glacier, rainforest and the beach all in the same day?
  • Wake up by the lakeshore in Wanaka, go to sleep surrounded by rainforest in Franz Josef
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Day 6: Franz Josef Glacier - Hokitika - Punakaiki

Heli landing on Franz Josef Glacier, 3 friends - NZ South Island Tour

Your morning is free to discover Glacier Country and Westland, right in the heart of Te Wahipounamu World Heritage Area. Walk to the Franz Josef Glacier Valley lookout or cruise out on Okarito lagoon on an optional kayak or boat trip in search of the Kotuku - White Heron.

We head north through countryside dotted with little lakes and boulder strewn rivers. Hokitika is the Pounamu (greenstone) capital of the country and you’ll have the chance to visit the carvers as well as glass blowing, wood and copper artisans. We arrive at our home for two nights in Punakaiki, right on the beach in the perfect spot to enjoy your last few sunsets in New Zealand.

What you'll love today
  • Franz Josef Glacier walks, heli hiking or glacier landing
  • There’s nowhere more ‘off the beaten track’ than secluded Okarito, breeding ground of the graceful White Heron
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Day 7: Punakaiki and Paparoa National Park

Tasman Sea views at the Punakaiki Pancake Rocks

The surrounding Paparoa National Park is very different to any other area on the trip, towering limestone cliffs and karst rock formations with beautiful river valleys draped in subtropical forest.

You’ll have plenty of time to discover the Pancake Rocks and Blowholes. There are also some great optional activities here, our favourite is the Glowworm Caves at Charleston but there are also exceptional walking tracks including the Truman track to an isolated beach and the coastal walkway at Cape Foulwind.

What you'll love today
  • Discover the limestone cliffs and caves of Paparoa
  • Toast your last Kiwi sunset with your friends on the beach at Punakaiki
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Day 8: Punakaiki - Arthur’s Pass - Christchurch

Walking at Castle Hill limestone rock formations, Canterbury

Wake up to the sounds of the waves crashing on the beach, cross New Zealand’s main divide, traverse the stunning Canterbury High Country and cross the plains into the ‘Garden City’ of Christchurch.  To do this in most countries would take days or weeks, in New Zealand it’s easy, we’ve even got plenty of time on the for short walks and photo stops.  Nice one, New Zealand!

Highlights will be the Otira Viaduct, a spectacular cantilevered road through towering mountains to Arthur’s Pass National Park, with dramatic views from the lookout at the top of the Gorge and one of the best places in the country to see the hilarious antics of our alpine parrot, the Kea.  Stretch your legs in the beech forests at Arthur’s Pass National Park and again at the massive limestone rocks rising out of bare pasture at Castle Hill before we descend Porter’s Pass to the Canterbury Plains reaching Christchurch in the late afternoon. 

What you'll love today
  • Wake up by the beach, cross the mountains and be in Christchurch by dinner time!
  • Kura Tawhiti (Castle Hill) on the Great Alpine Highway, a real ‘power spot’
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Day 9: Depart Christchurch

Punting through the willows in Christchurch - NZ South Island Tour

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast on the last day of your tour in Christchurch, we'll drop you off at the airport for your flight home after your New Zealand ’Trip of a Lifetime'.

We’re right on the edge of Hagley Park, so take the time for one last walk through the botanical gardens, a scenic tram ride through the streets or even a punt on the treelined Avon River.  We call Christchurch the most English city outside England, and it’s easy to see why. Catch up on last minute shopping for New Zealand favourites such as merino clothing or manuka honey, it’s all right here. Thank you for choosing to travel with MoaTrek New Zealand Tours. Ka kite ano – “See you again”. 

What you'll love today
  • Check out the new Christchurch, the rebuild mall and cardboard cathedral
  • Swapping addresses and saying goodbye to the new friends you’ve made

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