11 Day Southern Discovery
Starts in: Christchurch Ends in: Wellington
Experience the spectacular South Island national parks of Mt Cook, Fiordland, Mt Aspiring, Westland, Paparoa and Abel Tasman on this comprehensive 11 day tour of the South Island
Enjoy a 3 night stay in the popular alpine resort of Queenstown, New Zealand’s premier holiday destination and cruise the pristine fiord of Doubtful Sound with its breathtaking beauty. Wander around the picturesque and historic gold mining village of Arrowtown & travel the wild & rugged west coast, home to glaciers, lakes, raging rivers and the famous Punakaiki Pancake Rocks and Blowhole. Enjoy a scenic cruise of the Abel Tasman Park then travel across Cook Strait to the nation’s capital, Wellington.
- Visit the Church of the Good Shepherd
- World Heritage listed Mt Cook National Park
- Fiordland National Park
- Spectacular Southern Lakes District
- West Coast Glaciers
- Punakaiki Pancake Rocks & Blowhole
- Abel Tasman National Park
ItineraryView Tour PDF
On arrival in Christchurch, a Kirra representative will greet you at the airport with transport waiting to take you to your downtown city hotel. This evening, join your fellow travellers for a welcome cocktail party
After a brief tour of Christchurch, cross the Canterbury Plains into the MacKenzie Country. View the Church of the Good Shepherd and the Collie Dog Memorial at Lake Tekapo. Visit Mt Cook National Park, a World Heritage listed site covering over 70,000 hectares of breathtaking alpine scenery before travelling on to Omarama. Optional ski-plane and helicopter flights are available subject to weather conditions.
Begin the assent over the Lindis Pass to the township of Cromwell, then continue on to the historic village of Clyde, nestled in a sheltered basin at the foot of an immense and crooked gorge. Stop for lunch at Alexandra, located on the banks of the mighty Clutha River, then travel across the farmlands of Central Otago to the township of Gore before arriving at the shores of Lake Te Anau, gateway to the Fiordland National Park.
After breakfast, travel to Manapouri and enjoy a leisurely cruise across this picturesque lake to West Arm. Travel over the Wilmot Pass and pause to experience the dense Fiordland rainforest and view Doubtful Sound glistening far below. Board ‘Patea Explorer’ for a three hour cruise through this pristine fiord. During the cruise, knowledgeable and friendly nature guides will share with you their passion for the region through their commentary. They will answer questions, point out landmarks and provide you with information about the varied wildlife you may encounter like dolphins, fur seals and the rare Fiordland crested penguin. As the majesty of Doubtful Sound unfolds before you, its vastness will take your breath away. Later this afternoon, travel on to Queenstown, regarded as New Zealand’s premier holiday destination and enjoy dinner at your hotel on arrival.
Queenstown boasts an incredible array of adventure and leisure activities in all its various forms and your Coach Captain will happily recommend and assist with any optional activities you would like to do. Alternatively, you may prefer to browse in the many shops and galleries. Tonight, ride the Skyline gondola to the top of Bob’s Peak where both the dining and the views are unsurpassed.
This morning, we visit Arrowtown. Set beneath the rugged Crown Range, this historic village was once a haven for the gold prospectors of the 1860’s and features a fascinating collection of mining cottages with an atmosphere straight out of last century. Stop at Wanaka, a picture postcard resort on the lakes edge with a spectacular mountain backdrop. View the untouched wilderness and pristine lakes of the Mt Aspiring and Westland National Parks before arriving on the rugged and wild West Coast, home to the twin glaciers of Fox and Franz Josef.
At Hokitika, we stop to visit to a Pounamu, (also known as Greenstone or Jade) factory. Marvel at the bizarre limestone landscapes that are the Pancake Rocks & Blowhole before checking into our eco resort located in the Paparoa National Park and only a stone’s throw from the beach
Skirt the west coastline before heading inland to Murchison. Travel north through the Nelson Lakes region before arriving at Nelson, a city of charm based on a harbour that is the busiest fishing port in New Zealand. This afternoon, visit the World of Wearable Art & Classic Car Museum.
Enjoy a scenic cruise of the famous Abel Tasman National Park, calling in to picturesque beaches and coves. Pause to view Split Apple Rock and the antics at Tonga Island Seal Colony. An optional coastal walk may be available for those wishing to spend time ashore, your Coach Captain will be happy to provide you with details.
At the picturesque village of Picton, we board the Interislander and cruise through the spectacular Marlborough Sounds into Cook Strait. Enjoy stunning views of New Zealand’s capital city as you arrive into Wellington Harbour.( Guests returning to Christchurch will join the Coastal Pacific Train from Picton and overnight at the Sudima Christchurch Hotel )
Sadly, your holiday ends today and you will be transferred to Wellington airport to connect with your onward flight.