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Intrepid Travel

10 Day Intrepid Premium New Zealand South Island

Taking you from Christchurch to Queenstown via glaciers, wineries, lakes, and an overnight cruise on Milford Sound, this 10-day tour showcases the natural beauty and thriving food and wine scene in the South Island of New Zealand. Forage for fresh ingredients with a local chef in Otago, set your pulse racing during a jetboat ride in Queenstown and come face to face with endangered species at a wildlife centre on the West Coast, including New Zealand’s rarest kiwi. With a friendly leader to guide the way, you’ll experience a landscape that has been shaped by the elements over thousands of years.

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Tour summary and feature

Quick Itinerary Details

New Zealand Small Group Tour

This suggested tour costs from NZD$7,205 per person (twin share, low season)

Starts in Christchurch, finishes in Queenstown

10 days/9 nights

Hotel 4 star

 Pre and post tour options? YES

 Viewed 141 times in the last 7 days

This tour also includes
Criffel Station Foraging & Lunch Experience with Local Chef
Gibbston Valley Cheese & Wine Pairing
Guided Walk to the Blue Pools with a Local Ornithologist
Milford Sound Overnight Boat Cruise
Monteiths Brewing Co. Tasting
Punakaiki Rocks
Shotover River Jetboat Experince
West Coast Treetops Walkway
West Coast Wildlife Centre Visit with Ranger
9 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners
Tour full itinerary
Detailed Itinerary
Christchurch Tramway

Welcome to Christchurch! Your tour begins with a late afternoon group meeting at 6pm followed by an exclusive Welcome Dinner at a tiny restaurant and natural wine bar featuring produce from the Canterbury region and across the South Island. Enjoy a delicious three course meal celebrating local producers at a restaurant that champions sustainability.

It’s very important that you attend the welcome meeting as we will be collecting insurance details and next of kin information at this time. If you are going to be late please let your travel agent or hotel reception know. Ask reception or look for a note in the lobby for more information on where the meeting will take place. The arrival transfer is only valid if arriving on Day 1 or if you have booked pre-trip accommodation through Intrepid. Please provide your flight details at the time of booking, or at a minimum 14 days prior to travel, as we may not be able to confirm a request made within 14 days of travel.

Activities:

  • Christchurch - Welcome Dinner
  • Complimentary Arrival Transfer

Staying in:

  • The Fable Christchurch or similar (1 night)

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Punters on the Avon River Christchurch

Take a morning stroll with your leader around some of the landmarks of Christchurch. Next set off for Punakaiki, driving through Arthur’s Pass and Castle Hill – the spectacular mountain scenery may look familiar, as parts of The Chronicles of Narnia movie were filmed against this dramatic backdrop. After lunch in Moana, enjoy a short stop at Lake Brunner, the largest lake in the northwestern South Island of New Zealand. Spend the afternoon in Greymouth, stopping into a boutique studio to learn about the prized west coast jade known locally as Pounamu (Greenstone). Then continue to Monteith's Brewery, considered the original home of New Zealand craft brewing, for a tour and tasting. Arrive at Punakaiki Resort by late afternoon. Situated in Paparoa National Park, the resort is adjacent to the beautiful Punakaiki beach and the magnificent Pancake Rocks and Blowholes - the perfect spot to reflect and relax.

Total driving time today is around 5 hours.

Activities:

  • Greymouth - Monteith's Brewery Tour & Tasting
  • Greymouth - Pounamu (Greenstone) Studio Visit
  • Christchurch - Leader-led Orientation Walk
  • Lake Brunner - Nature Walk

Staying in:

  • Scenic Hotel Punakaiki (previously called Ocean View Retreat) or similar (1 night)

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Punakaiki Rocks

After breakfast, explore the Punakaiki Rocks and Blowhole before the drive to Franz Josef. Along the way, stretch your legs at the charming west coast town of Hokitika, and enjoy an exhilarating treetop adventure on a walk through the ancient Rimu and Kamahi tree canopy. In the afternoon, take a private ranger-guided tour of the West Coast Wildlife Centre, home of the official breeding programme for the world's rarest kiwi, the Rowi. Also keep an eye out for tuatara, a reptile endemic to New Zealand. Arrive at your Franz Josef accommodation by evening.

Total driving time today is around 4 hours.

Activities:

  • Hokitika - West Coast Treetops Walk
  • Franz Josef - West Coast Wildlife Centre Visit with Ranger
  • Punakaiki - Rocks & Blowhole Visit

Staying in:

  • Rainforest Retreat Deluxe Tree Hut or similar (1 night)

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Franz Josef Glacier

Begin your day with a self-guided walk to see the icy wonderland created by the Franz Josef Glacier, one of the steepest glaciers in New Zealand. If you’re feeling more adventurous, you may like to join an optional heli-hiking tour and get even closer to this incredible glacier. Other optional activities include kayaking, a scenic cruise on Lake Mapourika or a soak in the hot tubs at Franz Josef.

Currently, some walking paths around the Franz Josef Glacier are currently closed due to recent heavy rains. Check in with your Trip Leader or Westland Tai Poutini National Park Visitor Centre in Franz Joseph for the most up to date information.

Activities:

  • Franz Josef - Glacier View Walk

Staying in:

  • Rainforest Retreat Deluxe Tree Hut or similar (1 night)

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Wanaka Tree in Lake Wanaka

Depart Franz Josef for the picturesque resort town of Wanaka, the gateway to Mount Aspiring National Park, located in the Otago region. Stop along the way at Makorora and visit the Aspiring Biodiversity Trust, an organisation which strives to protect and restore indigenous biodiversity. After lunch, enjoy a guided flora and fauna walk with a local ornithologist and ecologist. Keep an eye out for endangered birds as you learn about how the Aspiring Biodiversity Trust is working to reduce predators and save some of New Zealand’s rarest species. Arrive in Wanaka by later afternoon, and settle in to your home for the next two nights - a homestead built on the site of a former sheep station. Located next to the resplendent Wanaka Station Park on the shores of Lake Wanaka, and a short stroll from Wanaka township, you'll be perfectly placed to enjoy all this charming town has to offer.

Total driving time today is around 4.5 hours.

Activities:

  • Makaroa - Aspiring Biodiversity Trust Lunch
  • Makaroa - Guided Flora and Fauna Walk with Local Ornithologist

Staying in:

  • Wanaka Homestead (Feature Stay) or similar (1 night)

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Wanaka Lakefront

Enjoy a sleep in or perhaps start your day with a hike up Mt Iron for a view over Lake Wanaka and the surrounding peaks. Today's experience is one of the real highlight's of your trip. Central Otago is a region well known for food and wine, and today you will visit the spectacular Criffel Station for a chef-guided tasting and foraging tour, followed by a delicious lunch, washed down with some excellent Central Otago wines.

Activities:

  • Wanaka - Criffel Station Foraging & Lunch Experience with Local Chef

Staying in:

  • Wanaka Homestead (Feature Stay) or similar (1 night)

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Sign to Te Anau

Depart Wanaka for the drive to Te Anau. Along the way, take in a spectacular scenic drive across the Crown Range and by the shores of Lake Wakatipu. After lunch, continue on to your embarkation point for your Feature Stay, an overnight cruise surrounded by the spectacular beauty of Milford Sound, also known by its Te Reo (Maori) name Piopiotahi. Aboard your purpose-built vessel, enjoy a full length journey of the fjord out to the Tasman Sea, with the possibility to see wildlife such as seals, penguins and dolphins. You will also have access to a specialist guide with information on the fjord's history and natural environment. For those who are keen, kayaking and/or small boat tours allow a truly immersive experience of this special place. Finish your day with a delicious three-course dinner before settling down in your cosy cabin.

Total driving time today is around 5 hours + stops along the way. If you have booked a single supplement please be advised that tonight's accommodation aboard the cruise ship is a single supplement exception and you will be accommodated in twin share cabins.

Activities:

  • Milford Sound - Overnight Boat Cruise

Staying in:

  • Milford Sound Overnight Cruise (1 night)

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Queenstown Lake view

After a leisurely onboard breakfast surrounded by some of New Zealand’s most spectacular scenery, you’ll disembark and travel to Queenstown with plenty of opportunities to stretch your legs along the way. After another stop in pretty Te Anau for lunch, you’ll arrive in plenty of time to check into your boutique hotel in Queenstown.

Total driving time today is around 3.5 hours.

Staying in:

  • Ramada Queenstown Central or similar (1 night)

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Street in Arrowtown

Today is the grand finale of your trip. In the morning, take an exhilarating jetboat ride on the Kimi Akau (Shotover River), deep into the spectacular Shotover Canyons. Speeding over water as shallow as 10cm, this is an amazing white water experience, operated by the Ngai Tahu, Maori people who have a centuries-old connection with this land. Continue on for a leader-led walk through historical Arrowtown, then enjoy a wine tasting at Gibbston Valley. Perhaps toast the end of your journey with a New Zealand-inspired gin & tonic or glass of Otago wine at a bar & restaurant with arguably the most spectacular views in all of Queenstown.

Total driving time is 1.5 hours.

Activities:

  • Queenstown - Shotover River Jetboat Experience
  • Gibbston Valley - Wine Cave Tour
  • Arrowtown - Leader-led walk
  • Queenstown - Farewell Aperitivo

Staying in:

  • Ramada Queenstown Central or similar (1 night)

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View from the top of the Skyline in Queenstown

Your New Zealand adventure ends this morning after breakfast. As this trip spends very little time in Queenstown, we recommend you spend an extra day or two here if you want to experience all the town has to offer. Your booking agent will be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability).

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10 Day Intrepid Premium New Zealand South Island
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Remember - we can create this itinerary with any style of accommodation or customise to suit your interests and timeframe. Just contact us here.

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Mar 21, 2024
(Thursday)
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NZD$8,255 NZD$10,940 Enquire Book
Mar 28, 2024
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