10 Day South Island Discovery Private Guided Tour Package
Explore the South Island with one of our fantastic New Zealand tours. Our private guided tours are personalised to suit your group. Our private guided tours are hosted by one of New Zealand’s leading tour guides. Your guide will meet your group at the airport and chauffeur your group to explore the destinations and activities included in your personalised tour package. They will tend to your needs and share valuable local knowledge with your group to enhance your holiday experience. We can cater for groups between 1-20 people.
Our private guided tour packages are flexible and are booked to suit your group’s travel dates and interests.
Private Guided Tour Package Includes:
- Private tour guide / driver
- Private vehicle including fuel (0 – 18 months old)
- 10 Nights in 4 Star Accommodation
- Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre Explorers Pass Mount Cook
- Remarkables Scenic Helicopter Flight over Queenstown
- TSS Earnslaw Vintage Steamship Cruise & Walter Peak High Country Farm Evening Dining
- The Safaris of the Scenes – Glenorchy
- Te Anau Glowworm Cave Tour
- Milford Sound Nature Cruise
- TranzAlpine Train Journey Greymouth to Christchurch
- Airport transfers
Day 1 Arrive Christchurch
Arrive in Christchurch, New Zealand’s Garden City. Your tour guide will meet you at the airport and take you to your Christchurch City accommodation. In the afternoon explore Christchurch City with your tour guide or relax in your accommodation.
Stay 1 night in Christchurch.
Day 2 Mount Cook
Travel time Christchurch to Mount Cook Village 332 km / 206 miles, 4 hours
Travel south across the Canterbury Plains and inland towards the majestic Southern Alps. Cross the barren Mackenzie Country to reach the glacial lakes as you journey towards Mount Cook.
In the afternoon visit the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre offering a 2D and 3D theatre and world-class deﬁniti® Digital Dome Planetarium. You will also find a museum showcasing the history of the Mount Cook region through transport, climbing, and pioneer extraordinaire, Sir Edmund Hillary.
Add-on a must do Scenic Helicopter Flight with snow landing to view Mount Cook.
Stay 1 night in Mount Cook.
Day 3 Queenstown
Travel time Mount Cook Village to Queenstown 262 km / 163 miles, 3.5 hours
Venture past Lake Pukaki a picturesque turquoise glacial lake, before you travel through the dramatic Lindis Pass which links the Mackenzie Basin with Central Otago. Queenstown awaits you, New Zealand’s adventure capital.
Activity Option: Add on the world’s most exciting Jet Boat ride! It’s a thrilling ride – skimming past rocky outcrops at close range in your Shotover Jet ‘Big Red’, as you twist and turn through the narrow canyons at breath taking speeds. And a major highlight – hold tight for the world famous Shotover Jet full 360º spins!
Stay 3 nights in Queenstown.
Day 4 Queenstown
Discover Queenstown today with the ‘Remarkables Scenic Helicopter Flight.’ Watch the jet boats race up the Shotover and Kawarau Rivers as you fly along the face of the Remarkables – so called as it is one of only two mountain ranges in the world to run directly North to South. Land atop the Remarkables mountain range for a photo opportunity over stunning Queenstown. Then return to base flying over Jack’s Point.
In the evening relive the elegance of turn-of-the-century travel with a cruise aboard the vintage steamship TSS Earnslaw, the only coal fired passenger carrying vessel still operating in the southern hemisphere. Step aboard – watch the stokers fueling the fireboxes and hear the hiss of the steam engines working as the TSS Earnslaw takes you on a nostalgic cruise over beautiful Lake Wakatipu to Walter Peak High Country Farm where you will enjoy a stunning gourmet BBQ dinner. An entertaining after dinner farm show provides a glimpse into high country farming life. Then on your return cruise, relax with a drink from the bar or join a fun sing-along with the ship’s pianist.
Day 5 Queenstown
In the morning explore the Lord of the Rings film locations around Queenstown on a spectacular half day 4WD adventure! This scenic safari offers breathtaking mountain and forest views along the shore of Lake Wakatipu towards Glenorchy and the Paradise Valley. Beyond Glenorchy travel up the Dart Valley to the filming location for Isengard, set amongst snow-capped mountains beside the turquoise waters of the Dart River This setting offers views of Mt Earnslaw and it’s hanging glacier, used in the first instalment of The Hobbit trilogy. Explore the Paradise Forest, the location for the Forest of Lothlorien. Leaving Glenorchy and returning towards Queenstown we stop at 12 Mile Delta to explore the location of the Ithilien Camp.
In the afternoon explore downtown Queenstown.
Day 6 Te Anau
Travel time Queenstown to Te Anau 174 km / 108 miles, 2.5 hours
Relax and take in the views of heartland New Zealand while you travel to Te Anau, the gateway to Fiordland.
In the afternoon take the magical Te Anau Glowworm Caves Tour. Explore a mysterious underground world of rushing water before drifting in silent darkness beneath the luminous shimmer of thousands of glowworms. Your Te Anau Glowworm Cave adventure begins with a cruise across beautiful Lake Te Anau on board the catamaran Luminosa to the western side of the lake. On arrival there is time to view the interesting displays at Cavern House before your friendly guides accompany you underground in small groups. As you explore by path and small boat, your senses will be overwhelmed. In this mysterious underground world discover fossils and rock formations, and view rushing waterfalls and whirlpools. Learn how the caves are still being carved out by the incredible and relentless power of nature, before gliding through silent darkness to the glowworm grotto. The delicate incandescence of thousands of tiny glowworms is a magical sight!
Stay 2 nights in Te Anau.
Day 7 Te Anau > Milford Sound
Travel time Te Anau to Milford Sound 116 km / 72 miles, 1.5 hours
Today enjoy the stunning Milford Sound Nature Cruise! The Milford Road (between Te Anau and Milford) is one of the finest alpine drives in the world. The scenery is exceptional, ranging from broad grassy flats, dense rainforest, and towering mountains through to glacial lakes and alpine herb fields. No other road in Fiordland offers such a diverse glimpse into New Zealand’s alpine zone.
Upon reaching Milford Sound you will enjoy a 2.5 hour Milford Sound Nature Cruise. With specialist nature guides on board, Real Journeys Nature Cruises offer a close-up experience of Milford Sound’s rainforest, soaring rock walls, and wildlife. Throughout the cruise, the guides share stories of the fiord’s history and are happy to answer your questions.
Relax and explore Te Anau for the afternoon.
Day 8 Wanaka
Travel time Te Anau to Wanaka 230 km / 143 miles, 3.5 hours
Drive through farm land and along stunning Lake Wakatipu, by-pass Queenstown and drive over the beautiful Crown Range, New Zealand’s highest State Highway and admire the vistas from fantastic viewing points. Be sure to stop at the historic Cardrona Hotel for a refreshment before your arrival into Wanaka, boasting panoramic views, a relaxing atmosphere and a myriad of walking tracks.
In the afternoon you have many options, you may want to visit Puzzling World, Wanaka’s iconic illusional attraction as well as the famous National Toy and Transport Museum or Have a Shot. You may also want to take a look around Wanaka’s boutique shops, stroll around the lake’s edge, or indulge in one of the many activities on offer.
Stay 1 night in Wanaka.
Day 9 Franz Josef
Travel time Wanaka to Franz Josef 285 km / 177 miles, 4 hours
Enjoy the stunning journey up the West Coast to reach Franz Josef – there are many short walks / viewing points to take in along the Haast Pass Highway to break the journey – a stop at the Blue Pools (a natural viewing attraction) is highly recommended. Other points of interest along the way are Ship Cove, Bruce Bay and of course Fox Glacier. If you have time you may want to visit Fox Glacier itself, which is signposted and located just before Fox Glacier township. You can take the 2.6 km return walk to access an excellent viewing point of Fox Glacier. Franz Josef is only a short 30 minute drive from Fox Glacier.
Activity Option: add on a 20 minute scenic helicopter flight sweeping above Westland National Park as you explore Franz Josef Glacier before landing in the snow to enjoy exceptional views of the majestic Southern Alps.
In the evening visit Glacier Hot Pools for a rejuvenating hot spa under the stars.
Stay 1 night in Franz Josef.
Day 10 Greymouth > Christchurch
Travel time Franz Josef to Greymouth 180 km / 112 miles, 2.5 hours
Train travel Greymouth to Christchurch 223 km / 138 miles, 4.5 hours
Travel north to reach Greymouth where you will board the TranzAlpine Train which journeys from the West to East Coast. Your train travels through the spectacular Southern Alps, gorges and river valleys before reaching the fields of the Canterbury Plains. Arrive in the garden city of Christchurch.
Stay 1 night in Christchurch.
Day 11 Depart Christchurch
Depart Christchurch. Your guide will personally deliver you to the airport ready for your departure flight.