9 Day South Island Tour – Kea

Kea

9 Day South Island Tour

Christchurch → Aoraki Mount Cook → Queenstown → Milford Sound → Wanaka → Franz Josef Glacier → Punakaiki → Christchurch

Have you always dreamed of visiting the South Island of New Zealand and its iconic spots like Aoraki/Mt Cook, Milford Sound, Queenstown, Wanaka and the West Coast Glaciers?

Our Kea tour is the ultimate small group South Island tour with all the world famous spots included in one very special itinerary.

As well as the stunning South Island scenery, you’ll meet the locals and hear their stories, see our unique, native wildlife up close, get out on the water and up in the air, enjoy fresh food and wine, make new friends and at the end of each unforgettable day relax in 4-star comfort.

TWO MULTI NIGHT STAYS

Queenstown (3 nights) • Punakaiki (2 nights)

SIX NATIONAL PARKS

Aoraki/Mt Cook • Mt Aspiring • Fiordland • Westland Tai Poutini • Paparoa • Arthur’s Pass

FIVE INCLUDED ACTIVITIES

Privately hosted homestead lunch • Milford Sound Cruise • Milford Sound Scenic Flight • Welcome dinner at Aoraki/Mt Cook • Farewell dinner at Punakaiki

  • $6,290 (NZD) pp twin share
  • $7,090 (NZD) pp single
WHAT TANYA LOVES ABOUT THIS TOUR: This is the very best of our stunning South Island – Aoraki Mt Cook, Queenstown, Milford Sound, Wanaka, the West Coast Glaciers and Punakaiki. Our Kiwi Guides love this route, it’s just one wow moment after another.

Day 1

Christchurch - Aoraki / Mt Cook

We meet in Christchurch and head south for a special lunch at Akaunui homestead, a 117-year-old country home where we dine on wonderful fresh produce prepared by our hosts, Di and Ian Mackenzie. 

We continue through the spectacular Mackenzie Country for sweeping vistas of tussock lands, glacial lakes and the Southern Alps. We can’t miss the Church at Lake Tekapo and the unreal turquoise blue Lake Pukaki before arrival at Aoraki/Mt Cook village. We celebrate our arrival with dinner at The Hermitage.

  • A hosted country lunch with friends at Akaunui homestead
  • Enjoy our welcome dinner in the heart of the mountains 

Included activities & exploring

Accommodation

The Hermitage Hotel in Mt Cook

Mt Cook - The Hermitage Hotel

Another national icon, the ghost of the greatest Kiwi of all, Sir Edmund Hillary, is everywhere here. There is no more stunning setting in the entire country, spectacular views of New Zealand’s highest peak and you can walk right out the front door into the great scenery.

What we love about the Hermitage – Having a drink in the Snowline bar watching the sunset work its magic on ‘the cloud piercer’.

Day 2

Aoraki/Mt Cook - Lindis Pass - Queenstown

Aoraki/Mt Cook is our highest mountain and “home ground” of the most famous Kiwi of all, Sir Edmund Hillary.
Enjoy a short walk in this alpine wonderland. Continue to Omarama, over the Lindis Pass and through the rugged Kawarau Gorge and Gibbston Valley to Queenstown – our home for three nights.

  • New Zealand’s most stunning alpine scenery at Aoraki/Mt Cook
  • Settle in for three nights in Queenstown and enjoy the vibrant scene

Included activities & exploring

Optional activities

Accommodation

Queenstown, Scenic Suites

Queenstown - Scenic Suites

Everyone wants to be close to all the action in Queenstown, and we’re just minutes walk from the Mall and Lakefront. This is our home for 3 nights on tour, you’ll love all the space and being so close to it all.

What we love about the Scenic Suites – Being able to walk into town so easily!

Day 3

Queenstown - Milford Sound Cruise - Scenic flight - Queenstown

We follow the shores of the great lakes Wakatipu and Te Anau into the mountains and waterfalls of Fiordland National Park. We cruise on Milford Sound dominated by iconic Mitre Peak and home to seal colonies and dolphins. A magnificent scenic flight back over the Southern Alps to Queenstown ends this fantastic day.

  • From Lake Te Anau through Fiordland National Park on the Milford Road
  • Small Boat Cruise on Milford Sound, under waterfalls and out to the Tasman Sea
  • A memorable scenic flight from Milford Sound back to Queenstown

Included activities & exploring

Accommodation

Queenstown, Scenic Suites

Queenstown - Scenic Suites

Everyone wants to be close to all the action in Queenstown, and we’re just minutes walk from the Mall and Lakefront. This is our home for 3 nights on tour, you’ll love all the space and being so close to it all.

What we love about the Scenic Suites – Being able to walk into town so easily!

Day 4

At leisure in Queenstown - activities and day tours

Today is yours to make the most of the infinite number of activities Queenstown has to offer.

Your Kiwi Guide can help you choose – a jet boat ride on the Dart River in Lord of the Rings scenery, wine tasting at vineyards, e-biking or cruising on the heritage steamship tss “Earnslaw” on Lake Wakatipu, and many more.

Optional activities

Accommodation

Queenstown, Scenic Suites

Queenstown - Scenic Suites

Everyone wants to be close to all the action in Queenstown, and we’re just minutes walk from the Mall and Lakefront. This is our home for 3 nights on tour, you’ll love all the space and being so close to it all.

What we love about the Scenic Suites – Being able to walk into town so easily!

Day 5

Queenstown - Arrowtown - Cardrona Valley - Wanaka

We call into picturesque Arrowtown where gold mining history comes alive beside the Arrow River.

From the Crown Range we take in the last views of the Wakatipu basin. We stop for refreshments at historic Cardrona Hotel before arriving at Edgewater Resort, our lakeside hotel in Wanaka.

Enjoy a walk or bike along the lakefront trail. 

Included activities & exploring

Optional activities

Accommodation

Wanaka - Edgewater Resort

This is the only hotel in Wanaka that’s right on the lake edge, that’s why we stay here. Nestled in a friendly Kiwi neighbourhood, with everything here we need and super friendly staff it’ feels just like home. On site spa, tennis and bikes too.

What we love about Edgewater – Walk out of your room, across the lawn and down to the lake before breakfast, you’re in New Zealand now!

Day 6

Wanaka - Haast Pass - Lake Matheson - Franz Josef

We drive beside lakes Hawea and Wanaka and into the mountain and river scenery of the Haast Pass. 

There are short walks in the beech forests to waterfalls and coastal scenery at Ship Creek to enjoy. Lush rainforest lines the road as we head north to Fox Glacier, Lake Matheson and on to Franz Josef.

Included activities & exploring

Accommodation

Views of the Southern Alps and native forest from Aspen Court Motel in Franz Josef Glacier

Franz Josef Glacier - Aspen Court

One of the newest accommodations in town set amongst native bush, staying at Aspen Court is comfortable and relaxing.

What we love about Aspen Court Franz Josef – Being surrounded by native bush and the views of the mountains.

Day 7

Franz Josef - Hokitika - Punakaiki

The morning is free to walk to Franz Josef Glacier lookout, take an optional helihike or flight onto the Glacier, or cruise out on Okarito Lagoon in search of the rare Kotuku, White Heron.

In Hokitika meet the carvers of the treasured Pounamu (greenstone) before reaching Papamoa National Park and Scenic Hotel Punakaiki, our home for two nights.

Included activities & exploring

Optional activities

Accommodation

Scenic Hotel Punakaiki

Punakaiki - Scenic Hotel

What a spot for our final night, we’re so close to the beach you can smell the sea air and hear the waves crashing on the shore. Just around the corner from the Pancake Rocks and tucked in beside our own little beach, most the world just passes on by.

What we love about Scenic Hotel Punakaiki – sharing a farewell drink on the beach right outside our rooms for our last sunset on tour.

Day 8

Punakaiki - Paparoa National Park - Charleston - Cape Foulwind

See the Pancake rocks, blowholes, limestone cliffs, karst rock formations and river valleys of subtropical rainforest. Further up the coast historic Denniston Plateau gives an insight into the lives of early coal miners and their families.

Walk to an isolated beach and the seal colony at Cape Foulwind or enjoy a favourite option, the glow worm cave at Charleston before returning down the coast road to Punakaiki. Celebrate our adventures over dinner tonight at the Scenic Hotel.

Included activities & exploring

Optional activities

Accommodation

Scenic Hotel Punakaiki

Punakaiki - Scenic Hotel

What a spot for our final night, we’re so close to the beach you can smell the sea air and hear the waves crashing on the shore. Just around the corner from the Pancake Rocks and tucked in beside our own little beach, most the world just passes on by.

What we love about Scenic Hotel Punakaiki – sharing a farewell drink on the beach right outside our rooms for our last sunset on tour.

Day 9

Punakaiki – Arthur’s Pass – Christchurch

Leaving the West Coast we drive up the Otira Viaduct, a spectacular cantilevered road, to the alpine beech forests and river scenery of Arthur’s Pass National Park.

We stop to take short walks in the forest and to the massive rock formations at Kura Tawhiti Castle Hill. The dramatic landscapes make a fitting finale to your adventure. We descend Porter’s Pass and leave the mountains behind, crossing the Canterbury Plains to Christchurch.

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Optional activities on your Kea tour

Over the course of the tour, you’ll have many chances for some wonderful optional tour add-ons. These excursions are booked by your Kiwi Guide to fit with the tour itinerary timings. 

 

Aoraki / Mount Cook National Park

Cruise on the glacier lake or touch down in a snowy landscape. Book these activities on tour with your Kiwi Guide.

Queenstown

One of our scenic tourism hot spots, you’re spoiled for choice in Queenstown. Book these activities on tour with your Kiwi Guide.

Wanaka

Cruise out on Lake Wanaka with a nature guide. Book this activity on tour with your Kiwi Guide.

Franz Josef

Either fly or hike on the glacier or join a nature cruise in search of birdlife. Book these activities on tour with your Kiwi Guide.

Punakaiki

Charleston has great glowworms! Book these activities on tour with your Kiwi Guide.

Next departures

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13 Oct 2024 - 21 Oct 2024
$6,290 (NZD)
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10 Nov 2024 - 18 Nov 2024
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08 Dec 2024 - 16 Dec 2024
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08 Jan 2025 - 16 Jan 2025
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26 Jan 2025 - 03 Feb 2025
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09 Feb 2025 - 17 Feb 2025
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28 Feb 2025 - 08 Mar 2025
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09 Mar 2025 - 17 Mar 2025
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