Breadcrumb
New Zealand tour itinerary name and information
Thrifty Tours

10 day Southern National Parks tour

This 10 day tour follows the classic route around the South Island but with and extended stay in Mt Cook National Park. The trip includes Queenstown, Fiordland, Milford Sound and the West Coast Glaciers, as well as a ride on the TranzAlpine scenic train.

Tour special blurb

Unfortunately, the Mt Cook portion of this itinerary is not available for the current season due to schedule changes on the InterCity and GreatSights coaches - this service will resume as travel restrictions are lifted. In the meantime, we encourage you to make contact with one of our specialists, they may have a suitable travel alternative.

Quick itinerary details
Currency selector
All prices are in
Tour summary and feature

New Zealand independent tour

This suggested tour costs from NZD$2,743 per person (twin share, low season)

Starts in Christchurch, finishes in Christchurch

10 days/9 nights

Hotel 3 star

 Customisable? YES

 Viewed 50 times in the last 7 days

This tour also includes

All coach tour transport as specified in this tour package

All breakfasts

Private train station transfers

Private airport transfers

Tour at a glance
Brief itinerary - 10 day Southern National Parks tour

Day 1: Welcome to Christchurch, transfer to accommodation, rest of day at leisure. Accommodation: Heartland Hotel Cotswold

Day 2: Christchurch to Mt Cook National Park. Accommodation: Hermitage Hotel Room Mount Cook View

Day 3: Explore the World Heritage area that is Mt. Cook National Park. Accommodation: Hermitage Hotel Room Mount Cook View

Day 4: Mt Cook National Park to Queenstown. Accommodation: Heartland Hotel Queenstown

Day 5: Free day to explore Queenstown. Accommodation: Heartland Hotel Queenstown

Day 6: Milford Sound day tour with Real Journeys. Accommodation: Heartland Hotel Queenstown

Day 7: Queenstown to Fox Glacier by Greatsights coach. Accommodation: Heartland Hotel Fox Glacier

Day 8: Explore Fox Glacier and the Glacier region. Accommodation: Heartland Hotel Fox Glacier

Day 9: Fox Glacier to Greymouth train station, Tranz Alpine train to Christchurch . Accommodation: Heartland Hotel Cotswold

Day 10: Depart Christchurch today.

Detailed itinerary

Tour full itinerary

Day 1 - Welcome to Christchurch, transfer to accommodation, rest of day at leisure

10 day Southern National Parks tour - Day 1
Private transfer Christchurch Airport to your accommodation

On arrival, you will be met by a private driver and transferred to your Christchurch accommodation.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Christchurch Hop On Hop Off City Tour - 24 Hour Pass

Discover the true magic of city sightseeing on-board this city tour bus. With a mix of open and closed top buses, you will ride in comfort and style, enjoying spectacular views. Join friendly local guides as they take you on a journey of discovery through Christchurch. Listen to "live" entertaining and informative commentary and learn about the fascinating history, from pioneering days to modern times.

Your accommodation: Heartland Hotel Cotswold

The Heartland Hotel Cotswold is just a few minutes walk to boutique shopping at Merivale and Hagley Park. The distinctive architecture of the Heartland Hotel Cotswold reflects Christchurch's image as the most English of cities outside of England.

Back to top

Day 2 - Christchurch to Mt Cook National Park

10 day Southern National Parks tour - Day 2
Christchurch to Mount Cook with GreatSights

Depart Christchurch in the morning and travel through the lush farmland of the Canterbury Plains to Lake Tekapo, where you can see the iconic Church of the Good Shepherd as it stands in solitude next to the vibrant blue waters. Leaving Tekapo, continue into the Southern Alps towards Aoraki / Mount Cook National Park, home to New Zealand's tallest mountain. Along the way your driver guide will keep you entertained and informed with commentary on the area's history and sites of interest. The tour concludes on arrival at Mount Cook Village, where you can explore and soak up the views of Aoraki / Mount Cook as it towers above. Please be aware, due to the remote location of the property there are no shops at Mt Cook Village. We recommend you stock up on any supplies you may want before leaving Christchurch.

Your accommodation: Hermitage Hotel Room Mount Cook View

The Hermitage Hotel ringed by magnificent snow-capped peaks of the Southern Alps, is a world-renowned tourist destination and has been an icon of superior accommodation and dining since 1884.

Meals included: Breakfast

Back to top

Day 3 - Explore the World Heritage area that is Mt. Cook National Park

10 day Southern National Parks tour - Day 3
Aoraki-Mt. Cook National Park

At 3754 metres Aoraki-Mt. Cook is New Zealand's highest mountain, located deep in the heart of the Southern Alps. From the Visitor Centre at the southern end of Lake Pukaki, you will be rewarded with magnificent views of this immense peak. As well as its impressive beauty, Mt. Cook National Park is also home to a huge range of awe-inspiring sights and activities. Take to the air with Mt. Cook Ski Planes for a scenic flight that includes a glacier landing. At around 27 kilometres long the Tasman Glacier is New Zealand's longest and a Glacier Explorers tour will give you the opportunity to see its unique features.
There are many short hikes in and around the park and these are well signposted. For a fascinating guided tour the Mt. Cook Encounter Guided Walk is a must-do and those with an interest in the night sky should take a stargazing tour with the Hermitage Hotel. The region is considered to have one of the clearest night skies in the world and is one of the few gold-rated dark sky reserves worldwide.
The Hermitage Hotel complex offers fine dining, multiple cafes and a bar. Due to the remote location of the property, there are no shops and limited supplies at Mt Cook Village. Visit the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre for insight into this region's mountain climbing history. You'll also learn of Sir Ed's incredible achievements and his dedication to helping others around the world.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Mount Cook Encounter Guided Walk of the Hooker Valley Track

The Mount Cook Encounter Walk is an 8km guided tour of the Hooker Valley, providing breath-taking views of some of New Zealand's highest and most enthralling peaks. Your knowledgeable and enthusiastic guide will talk about the unique flora and fauna of the region and the local history as you trek through this amazing landscape.  From The Hermitage Hotel, head to the White Horse Hill camping ground. The journey takes in the poignant Alpine Memorial and passes over the turbulent Hooker River twice by swing bridge to unsurpassed vistas of Aoraki Mount Cook's south face and the surrounding glaciers and mountains, then continue to the terminal lake of the Hooker Glacier.  A Packed lunch is included on this full day walk.

Your accommodation: Hermitage Hotel Room Mount Cook View

The Hermitage Hotel ringed by magnificent snow-capped peaks of the Southern Alps, is a world-renowned tourist destination and has been an icon of superior accommodation and dining since 1884.

Meals included: Breakfast

Back to top

Day 4 - Mt Cook National Park to Queenstown

10 day Southern National Parks tour - Day 4
Mount Cook to Queenstown with GreatSights

Depart Aoraki / Mount Cook National Park in the afternoon and head south through the tawny tussock of the Mackenzie Country. En route enjoy a stop in the quaint village of Omarama. Crossing the Lindis Pass this is one of New Zealand's highest roads with the summit reaching 971 metres, you pass from the Mackenzie Basin and into Central Otago. Approaching Queenstown the impressive Remarkables mountain range come into view and then beautiful Lake Wakatipu as you head towards the adventure and activity capital of New Zealand. Tour concludes this evening on arrival into Queenstown.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Glacier Explorers Mt. Cook

Enjoy a glacier experience that is unique in New Zealand and one of only three in the world. Get up and close and personal with icebergs, on a glacial terminal lake.

It is extremely rare for a glacier to terminate into a lake and rarer still to find one that is accessible to visitors. Join your group on our boat for an intimate encounter with a glacier -- see massive icebergs and soaring ice cliffs. You'll experience seldom seen and inaccessible parts of New Zealand's largest glacier in a safe way aboard your boat. Few people can say they have seen, touched and tasted 500 year old ice. Now you will be one of them!

Tours depart from Mount Cook Village outside The Hermitage Hotel, where you'll board a small bus for an enjoyable trip to the Tasman Valley. This is followed by a relaxing 30 minute stroll through the National Park to your waiting MAC boat. Now it’s time to witness the changing ice face of the Tasman Glacier and the icebergs it spawns on the Tasman Glacier Lake. Throughout your 2.5 hour trip (45 min to 1 hour on the lake) your experienced guide offers an informative and entertaining commentary that ensures you don't miss a thing.

Your accommodation: Heartland Hotel Queenstown

The Heartland Hotel Queenstown is the ideal place to stay if you want to be close to all the action of Queenstown's main centre, yet be elevated enough to take advantage of the spectacular views over Lake Wakatipu to the mountains.

Meals included: Breakfast

Back to top

Day 5 - Free day to explore Queenstown

10 day Southern National Parks tour - Day 5
Free day in Queenstown

Although celebrated as New Zealand's ‘adventure capital’ Queenstown offers far more than a fast paced action-packed holiday. Settled on the shores of Lake Wakatipu beneath a soaring panorama of the Remarkables Mountain Range, this alpine town is surrounded by a plethora of historic, gastronomic, and scenic wonders.
Head down the Gibbston valley wine trail to sample some of the region’s best Pinot or catch a ride on the 100 year old Steamship - the TSS Earnslaw -  to Walter Peak Station for dinner and a farm tour.
Browse the waterfront cafes and have lunch at Michelin star chef Josh Emett's ‘Rata' or simply take a leisurely lakeside stroll or ride the gondola for breathtaking views.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Dart River Wilderness Jet

The Wilderness Jet journeys deep into the heart of the world-renowned Mt Aspiring National Park, where myth, heritage and fantasy come to life. Here, you can experience a unique combination of breath-taking scenery and an exhilarating ride as we follow the braided, glacier-fed rivers by jet boat with exciting 360 degree spins along the way. Your guides give you their authentic touch, talking about the area’s rich history, the Greenstone trail and countless Maori legends. We’ll also take the chance to tie up the boat and let you walk amongst the ancient beech tree forests – an atmosphere you may recognise from The Lord of the Rings films.

Your accommodation: Heartland Hotel Queenstown

The Heartland Hotel Queenstown is the ideal place to stay if you want to be close to all the action of Queenstown's main centre, yet be elevated enough to take advantage of the spectacular views over Lake Wakatipu to the mountains.

Meals included: Breakfast

Back to top

Day 6 - Milford Sound day tour with Real Journeys

10 day Southern National Parks tour - Day 6
Milford Sound Cruise and coach tour from Queenstown

Return luxury coach transport from Queenstown to Milford Sound, with a 1 hour 40 minute Cruise along the full length of the fiord. On boarding a Real Journeys luxury glass-roofed coach in Queenstown or Te Anau, you will enjoy a relaxing trip along the shores of Lake Wakatipu and through the rolling countryside to Te Anau. The coach driver provides an informative commentary. After a morning tea break in Te Anau, where you have the option of purchasing refreshments, the coach continues along the spectacular Milford Road. There is time for photo stops and short walks along the way. On reaching Milford Sound, you board the modern, spacious vessel for a leisurely cruise in the fiord. The cruise provides excellent viewing opportunities and plenty of time is available to enjoy waterfalls, rainforest, mountains and the wildlife. During the cruise your friendly crew provide commentaries in several languages and point out the sights such as Mitre Peak and the Pembroke Glacier.

Your accommodation: Heartland Hotel Queenstown

The Heartland Hotel Queenstown is the ideal place to stay if you want to be close to all the action of Queenstown's main centre, yet be elevated enough to take advantage of the spectacular views over Lake Wakatipu to the mountains.

Meals included: Breakfast

Back to top

Day 7 - Queenstown to Fox Glacier by Greatsights coach

10 day Southern National Parks tour - Day 7
Queenstown to Fox Glacier with GreatSights

See the majestic Southern Alps, picturesque lakes and rivers and the wild beauty of the West Coast on this journey from Queenstown to Fox Glacier. Along the way your driver guide will provide commentary on this unique region. Pass man-made Lake Dunstan outside Cromwell, beautiful Lake Wanaka and its neighbouring Lake Hawea. Entering Mount Aspiring National Park, follow the historic route used by Māori as they travelled across the Southern Alps in search of pounamu (greenstone). Journey through the Haast Pass, the southernmost pass between the South Island's two coasts, enjoying views of native beech forest, waterfalls and glacier-fed rivers. Arriving on the West Coast, you enter an awe-inspiring landscape of vast rainforests, crystal clear waterfalls and rugged mountain tops. Here you will discover an isolated and tranquil part of New Zealand. Your journey concludes as you reach the small village of Fox Glacier.

Your accommodation: Heartland Hotel Fox Glacier

The Heartland Hotel Fox Glacier is nestled at the base of the majestic Southern Alps, in the Westland World Heritage Park. Originally built in 1928 it has been refurbished to retain its charming atmosphere.

Meals included: Breakfast

Back to top

Day 8 - Explore Fox Glacier and the Glacier region

10 day Southern National Parks tour - Day 8
Fox Glacier

The mighty Fox is the largest and longest of the magnificent West Coast glaciers. Remarkably, it ends in temperate rainforest, 250 metres above sea level only twelve kilometres from the sea.

There are more peaks at the head of the Fox Glacier than in any other valley in New Zealand.

The Fox Glacier, like all glaciers, advances and retreats. Evidence of the latest surge forward can be seen in the bulging lower ice fall. Alpine Guides has access onto the lower part of the glacier via a secret track that climbs through regenerating native forest. From the track, you will have stunning views into the upper parts of the glacier. Fox Glacier township is the more "laid back" of the twin Glacier Country townships of Fox and Franz Josef, and people often comment on having chosen Fox for its relaxed atmosphere.

An excellent selection of cafés and a wide range of accommodation complement are available.  The township enjoys breathtaking views of New Zealand's highest peaks - Mount Cook and Mount Tasman. Lake Matheson, the famous reflection lake, is a five minute drive west of Fox Township and historic Gillespie's Beach, known for its crashing surf and distant snow capped mountains,  is only 25 minutes west by car.

 

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Twin Glacier Scenic Helicopter Flight with The Helicopter Line

Explore the glacial icefalls of not one but two glaciers - Fox Glacier and Franz Josef Glacier. Discover up close their neve and unusual ice formations - landing on the snowfields is a highlight and will make for superb photos, snowballs and memories. A 30 minute flight with snow landing. Should weather not be suitable to take this flight you are able to transfer your booking onto a similar tour on any of the Helicopter Line's operations in Queenstown or Mt Cook.

Your accommodation: Heartland Hotel Fox Glacier

The Heartland Hotel Fox Glacier is nestled at the base of the majestic Southern Alps, in the Westland World Heritage Park. Originally built in 1928 it has been refurbished to retain its charming atmosphere.

Meals included: Breakfast

Back to top

Day 9 - Fox Glacier to Greymouth train station, Tranz Alpine train to Christchurch

10 day Southern National Parks tour - Day 9
Fox Glacier to Greymouth Train Station with GreatSights

This morning travel north through the small townships of Whataroa and Harihari. Pass through the township of Ross, which in the late 1800s was the centre of one of New Zealand's richest alluvial goldfields. In 1903 the largest gold nugget ever found in New Zealand was discovered at Jones Creek, not far from the town centre. It weighed 2807 grams. The New Zealand Government later purchased the nugget and presented it as a coronation gift to King George V. On arrival into Hokitika there is a 35-minute break in your journey. This allows time to purchase lunch, explore the town centre and relax. Hokitika is the administrative and commercial centre for this part of Westland. The major primary industry is timber milling. Dairy and sheep farming, commercial fishing, white baiting and eel processing being the other major industries. Your coach concludes at the Greymouth Train Station.

TranzAlpine Scenic Train: Greymouth to Christchurch

Your transport from Greymouth to Christchurch, the Tranz Alpine scenic train, offers a chance to take in one of the world's great train journeys. The train -- with carriages specially designed to allow you to take in all the amazing views on offer -- will carry you from the Tasman Sea up into the Southern Alps and through Arthur's Pass National Park to the Pacific Ocean.

The train offers a comfortable and relaxing way to cross Arthurs Pass from the South Island's wild West Coast to the more tamed east coast and its biggest city. Leaving Greymouth Station, you will travel through lush West Coast rain forest before climbing into to the spectacular mountains of the Southern Alps. And, after a stop in Arthur's Pass for a breath of mountain air, you'll travel dramatic gorges and the beautiful Waimakariri river valley to emerge on the farmland of the Canterbury Plains. From here the train crosses the plains for an early evening arrival in Christchurch city.

Private Transfer Christchurch Train Station to your accommodation

You will be met by a private transfer driver at Christchurch train station who will take you to your Christchurch accommodation. (Look for a driver holding a board displaying your name after arriving into the station.)

Your accommodation: Heartland Hotel Cotswold

The Heartland Hotel Cotswold is just a few minutes walk to boutique shopping at Merivale and Hagley Park. The distinctive architecture of the Heartland Hotel Cotswold reflects Christchurch's image as the most English of cities outside of England.

Meals included: Breakfast

Back to top

Day 10 - Depart Christchurch today

10 day Southern National Parks tour - Day 10
Private transfer accommodation to Christchurch Airport

A private transfer will collect you from your accommodation and transfer you to Christchurch Airport in time for your departing flight.

Back to top

Get an instant quote for this tour
Tour quick quote
You are quoting for the - 10 day Southern National Parks tour
Step 1: Choose start date for your tour here
Step 2: Select number of guests and room configuration
Select number of adult per room type
Single occupancy (based on 1 adult in one room)
Triple share (based on 3 adults sharing 1 room)
Double room (based on 2 adults in 1 room, 1 bed)
Twin room (based on 2 adults sharing 1 room with 2 beds)
Select number of child per room type
Child (5-14yrs inclusive) Child cost when sharing with at least one adult
Child (0-4yrs inclusive) Child cost when sharing with at least one adult
No pricing loaded - please choose another date or contact us
Your quote for this tour:
Start date:
End date:
Guests:
Rooms:
Total cost for this tour package is:
0
This quote is based on vehicles to accommodate your party in the vehicle type. We suggest changing the car type or contacting us for the best options.
Save and send a copy of this quote to
or

NOTE: Quotes are subject to availability of specific accommodation and other inclusions. Our NZ touring experts will be in touch with you regarding this. Costs quoted in currencies other than New Zealand dollars (NZ$) are based on todays exchange rate and is subject to change.Terms and Conditions apply.
Remember - we can create this itinerary with any style of accommodation or customise to suit your interests and time frame. Just get in touch with us today.

Departure dates & prices
Tour departure list
All scheduled departure dates & prices for this tour : 10 day Southern National Parks tour
This tour has 353 departure dates.
All prices are in
Go to dates in
Starts Status Twin/Double (2 people sharing) Single occupancy You save  
May 13, 2021
(Thursday)
Check with us
NZD$2,743
NZD$4,060
save
NZD$0pp
Enquire Book
May 14, 2021
(Friday)
Check with us
NZD$2,743
NZD$4,060
save
NZD$0pp
Enquire Book
May 15, 2021
(Saturday)
Check with us
NZD$2,743
NZD$4,060
save
NZD$0pp
Enquire Book
May 16, 2021
(Sunday)
Check with us
NZD$2,743
NZD$4,060
save
NZD$0pp
Enquire Book
May 17, 2021
(Monday)
Check with us
NZD$2,743
NZD$4,060
save
NZD$0pp
Enquire Book
May 18, 2021
(Tuesday)
Check with us
NZD$2,743
NZD$4,060
save
NZD$0pp
Enquire Book
May 19, 2021
(Wednesday)
Check with us
NZD$2,743
NZD$4,060
save
NZD$0pp
Enquire Book
May 20, 2021
(Thursday)
Check with us
NZD$2,743
NZD$4,060
save
NZD$0pp
Enquire Book
May 21, 2021
(Friday)
Check with us
NZD$2,743
NZD$4,060
save
NZD$0pp
Enquire Book
May 22, 2021
(Saturday)
Check with us
NZD$2,743
NZD$4,060
save
NZD$0pp
Enquire Book
May 23, 2021
(Sunday)
Check with us
NZD$2,743
NZD$4,060
save
NZD$0pp
Enquire Book
May 24, 2021
(Monday)
Check with us
NZD$2,743
NZD$4,060
save
NZD$0pp
Enquire Book
May 25, 2021
(Tuesday)
Check with us
NZD$2,743
NZD$4,060
save
NZD$0pp
Enquire Book
May 26, 2021
(Wednesday)
Check with us
NZD$2,743
NZD$4,060
save
NZD$0pp
Enquire Book
May 27, 2021
(Thursday)
Check with us
NZD$2,743
NZD$4,060
save
NZD$0pp
Enquire Book
May 28, 2021
(Friday)
Check with us
NZD$2,743
NZD$4,060
save
NZD$0pp
Enquire Book
May 29, 2021
(Saturday)
Check with us
NZD$2,743
NZD$4,060
save
NZD$0pp
Enquire Book
May 30, 2021
(Sunday)
Check with us
NZD$2,743
NZD$4,060
save
NZD$0pp
Enquire Book
May 31, 2021
(Monday)
Check with us
NZD$2,743
NZD$4,060
save
NZD$0pp
Enquire Book
Jun 1, 2021
(Tuesday)
Check with us
NZD$2,743
NZD$4,060
save
NZD$0pp
Enquire Book
Jun 2, 2021
(Wednesday)
Check with us
NZD$2,743
NZD$4,060
save
NZD$0pp
Enquire Book
Jun 3, 2021
(Thursday)
Check with us
NZD$2,743
NZD$4,060
save
NZD$0pp
Enquire Book
Jun 4, 2021
(Friday)
Check with us
NZD$2,743
NZD$4,060
save
NZD$0pp
Enquire Book
Jun 5, 2021
(Saturday)
Check with us
NZD$2,743
NZD$4,060
save
NZD$0pp
Enquire Book
Jun 6, 2021
(Sunday)
Check with us
NZD$2,743
NZD$4,060
save
NZD$0pp
Enquire Book
Jun 7, 2021
(Monday)
Check with us
NZD$2,743
NZD$4,060
save
NZD$0pp
Enquire Book
Jun 8, 2021
(Tuesday)
Check with us
NZD$2,743
NZD$4,060
save
NZD$0pp
Enquire Book
Jun 9, 2021
(Wednesday)
Check with us
NZD$2,743
NZD$4,060
save
NZD$0pp
Enquire Book
Jun 10, 2021
(Thursday)
Check with us
NZD$2,743
NZD$4,060
save
NZD$0pp
Enquire Book
Jun 11, 2021
(Friday)
Check with us
NZD$2,743
NZD$4,060
save
NZD$0pp
Enquire Book
Jun 12, 2021
(Saturday)
Check with us
NZD$2,743
NZD$4,060
save
NZD$0pp
Enquire Book
All prices are in
Go to dates in
Send us an enquiry about this tour
Contact form

Fields marked * are mandatory

See some tours similar to this one