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Inspiring JourneysInspiring Journeys 12 Day The Southern Drift

Discover 100% Pure New Zealand on this Inspiring Journey through the bountiful natural treasures of the South Island. From the still waters of Milford Sound and snowcapped peaks of the Southern Alps, to rolling hills and grassy plains of Central Otago, delve into the exquisite beauty of a land that has remained unchanged for millennia.

 New Zealand small group tour
 Starts in Christchurch, finishes in Christchurch
 12 days/ 11 nights
 Hotel 4 star
  Pre and post tour options? YES Enquire Enquire
 Viewed 26 times in the last 7 days

Included in this tour package

Tour map
AAT Kings tours New Zealand
Mt Cook National Park, New Zealand

At a glance - Inspiring Journeys 12 Day The Southern Drift

Day 1: Arrive into Christchurch. Accommodation: Hotel Montreal

Day 2: Board the Tranz Alpine Scenic Trail and head through to Arthur's Pass and later onto Franz Josef. Accommodation: Te Waonui Forest Retreat

Day 3: Journey down to the breathtaking Franz Josef glacier. Accommodation: Te Waonui Forest Retreat

Day 4: Travel over the Haast Pass and past the lakeside towns of Wanaka and Hawea to Queenstown. Accommodation: Crowne Plaza Queenstown

Day 5: A day free for you to explore the pristine alpine town of Queenstown. Accommodation: Crowne Plaza Queenstown

Day 6: With so much to do you have a second day to experience all Queenstown has to offer. Accommodation: Crowne Plaza Queenstown

Day 7: Travel south along the shores of Lake Wakatipu to the lakeside town of Te Anau before continuing on to Milford Sound. Accommodation: Milford Sound Lodge

Day 8: Cruise Milford Sound today and experience an informative talk by a local expert. Accommodation: Milford Sound Lodge

Day 9: From Milford head to the other coast and see what life on the Otago Peninsula is like. Accommodation: Distinction Dunedin Hotel

Day 10: Take a good look at Dunedin today after a tour of Larnach castle. Accommodation: Distinction Dunedin Hotel

Day 11: Start your journey to Christchurch the tours final destination. Accommodation: Hotel Montreal

Day 12: Depart from Christchurch.

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Inspiring Journeys 12 Day The Southern Drift - Detailed Itinerary  

Day 1: Arrive into Christchurch

Inspiring Journeys 12 Day The Southern Drift - Day 1

Arrive Christchurch

On arrival in Christchurch, you will be transferred by private car to your hotel. Spend some time at leisure to relax or explore on your own. Perhaps visit the International Antarctic Centre or Orana Wildlife Park, New Zealand’s only open-range zoo. In the evening you will meet your journey Director for a welcome reception.

Your Accommodation: Hotel Montreal

Hotel Montreal offers luxurious inner city Christchurch accommodation just a short walk to the cafes and restaurants of Victoria St. The spacious suites also include a kitchenette or kitchen and your own private balcony.

Hotel Montreal

Day 2: Board the Tranz Alpine Scenic Trail and head through to Arthur's Pass and later onto Franz Josef

Inspiring Journeys 12 Day The Southern Drift - Day 2

Christchurch to Franz Josef

Today it's all aboard the TranzAlpine train. Rated as one of the world's great scenic railway journeys, you'll travel in comfort across the Canterbury Plains through the southern Alps. From Arthur's Pass, visit the small town of Hokitika, the heritage and cultural centre of the West Coast, and meet local greenstone (jade) carver for a jewellery demonstration. Later we continue to Franz Josef. Your eco-friendly accommodation is set amid native bush, with an emphasis on relaxation and rejuvenation. This evening, why not enjoy Franz Josef's local geothermal hot pools or perhaps massage?

Your Accommodation: Te Waonui Forest Retreat

Nestled amongst native West Coast rainforest at Franz Josef is a very special five-star retreat. Designed with utmost care of its precious environment, guests at Te Waonui Forest Retreat will find themselves encircled by rainforest and accommodated in natural and sustainable luxury.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Te Waonui Forest Retreat

Day 3: Journey down to the breathtaking Franz Josef glacier

Inspiring Journeys 12 Day The Southern Drift - Day 3

Spend the day exploring Franz Josef and the glacier country

Today you’ll explore Franz Josef Glacier with your Local Expert Guide on an interpretive tour. This afternoon you’ll have the opportunity to take an optional scenic flight over the Franz Josef & Fox Glaciers and Mt. Cook (weather permitting).

Your Accommodation: Te Waonui Forest Retreat

Nestled amongst native West Coast rainforest at Franz Josef is a very special five-star retreat. Designed with utmost care of its precious environment, guests at Te Waonui Forest Retreat will find themselves encircled by rainforest and accommodated in natural and sustainable luxury.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Te Waonui Forest Retreat

Day 4: Travel over the Haast Pass and past the lakeside towns of Wanaka and Hawea to Queenstown

Inspiring Journeys 12 Day The Southern Drift - Day 4

Franz Josef to Queenstown

This morning it's time for an adventure as we travel in a purpose-built fully enclosed river jet boat and journey down the Haast River. After a lunch stop at Makarora, we head to Queenstown, taking time to stop to explore the historic gold mining village of Arrowtown on the Arrow River, with an orientation tour on arrival. Tonight, dinner is included at your hotel.

Your Accommodation: Crowne Plaza Queenstown

Overlooking stunning Lake Wakatipu with its majestic mountain backdrop, Crowne Plaza Queenstown offers contemporary, stylish accommodation in an outstanding in-town location. A chic, modern, contemporary 4+ star resort hotel, with premium accommodation, quality furnishings and amenities and world class facilities.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Crowne Plaza Queenstown

Day 5: A day free for you to explore the pristine alpine town of Queenstown

Inspiring Journeys 12 Day The Southern Drift - Day 5

Explore Queenstown

Explore exciting Queenstown your way! Take the opportunity to encounter a Queenstown legend and ride the Shotover Jet Boat or venture out on a 4WD Skippers Canyon Scenic Tour. If laid-back and relaxed is more your idea of fun then join a Wine Tour and sample some of Central Otago's award-winning wines, or visit our native birds at Queenstown's Kiwi Birdlife Park. Your AAT Kings Travel Director will assist you in booking all of your chosen optional experiences. This evening, enjoy a memorable Highlight Dinner at one of Queenstown's fine dining restaurants, against the backdrop of the beautiful snow-capped Remarkables and Lake Wakatipu.

Your Accommodation: Crowne Plaza Queenstown

Overlooking stunning Lake Wakatipu with its majestic mountain backdrop, Crowne Plaza Queenstown offers contemporary, stylish accommodation in an outstanding in-town location. A chic, modern, contemporary 4+ star resort hotel, with premium accommodation, quality furnishings and amenities and world class facilities.

Meals included: Breakfast

Crowne Plaza Queenstown

Day 6: With so much to do you have a second day to experience all Queenstown has to offer

Inspiring Journeys 12 Day The Southern Drift - Day 6

Another day to experience Queenstown

Make the most of your extended stay in Queenstown. Why not sit back and enjoy a peaceful cruise across Lake Wakatipu aboard New Zealands oldest steamship, the TSS Earnslaw, to Walter Peak Station Otherwise, you could simply relax, shop or enjoy time at one of the many cafes and restaurants while soaking up the alpine views.

Your Accommodation: Crowne Plaza Queenstown

Overlooking stunning Lake Wakatipu with its majestic mountain backdrop, Crowne Plaza Queenstown offers contemporary, stylish accommodation in an outstanding in-town location. A chic, modern, contemporary 4+ star resort hotel, with premium accommodation, quality furnishings and amenities and world class facilities.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Crowne Plaza Queenstown

Day 7: Travel south along the shores of Lake Wakatipu to the lakeside town of Te Anau before continuing on to Milford Sound

Inspiring Journeys 12 Day The Southern Drift - Day 7

Queenstown to Milford Sound

Travel south along the shores of Lake Wakatipu to Te Anau on the shores of the South Island's largest lake. Later you'll travel through the rainforest of World Heritage Fiordland National Park, sighting glaciers and mountain ranges before driving through the hand-hewn Homer Tunnel to the amazing Mirror Lake. Afterwards, walk to see the Chasm on your way into Milford Sound and take some time to kayak this majestic fiord, considered by many as the Eighth Wonder of the World (Optional Experience - own expense). Tonight stay at the magical Milford Sound Lodge, with views of the Cleddau Valley.

Your Accommodation: Milford Sound Lodge

Experience the tranquility of Milford once the day visitors have left. Breakfast on the deck while keas look on. The Mountain View and River Chalets offer a spectacular views from the sumptuous comfort of your self contained chalet.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Milford Sound Lodge

Day 8: Cruise Milford Sound today and experience an informative talk by a local expert

Inspiring Journeys 12 Day The Southern Drift - Day 8

Milford Sound

Wake up to the startling beauty of Milford Sound. Board the Southern Discoveries vessel for a half day exploration of Milford Sound, often called the "eighth natural wonder of the world". Sail out to the Tasman Sea, looking for wildlife along the way, for a visit to the Underwater Observatory and the opportunity to go sea kayaking in Harrison Cove. This afternoon learn more about breathtaking Fiordland National Park with an informative talk by a local expert.

Your Accommodation: Milford Sound Lodge

Experience the tranquility of Milford once the day visitors have left. Breakfast on the deck while keas look on. The Mountain View and River Chalets offer a spectacular views from the sumptuous comfort of your self contained chalet.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Milford Sound Lodge

Day 9: From Milford head to the other coast and see what life on the Otago Peninsula is like

Inspiring Journeys 12 Day The Southern Drift - Day 9

Milford to Dunedin

Embark on a journey through the fertile sheep-dotted pastures of South Otago and Te Anau. Stop in Gore at lunchtime before arriving in Dunedin.

Your Accommodation: Distinction Dunedin Hotel

Distinction Dunedin Hotel occupies the grand Chief Post Office built in the 1930’s. This art deco inspired building has recently been transformed into a 4 star hotel with elegant décor, set in the heart of the city.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Distinction Dunedin Hotel

Day 10: Take a good look at Dunedin today after a tour of Larnach castle

Inspiring Journeys 12 Day The Southern Drift - Day 10

A day in Dunedin

This morning visit Larnach Castle, learn about its colourful history and take in the breathtaking views from the Tower including a 360° view of Dunedin, Otago Peninsula and out to the Pacific Ocean. After this wonderful tour, the day is yours to explore and discover Dunedin. Your tour director can help with any recommendations or bookings you would like to make.

 

Your Accommodation: Distinction Dunedin Hotel

Distinction Dunedin Hotel occupies the grand Chief Post Office built in the 1930’s. This art deco inspired building has recently been transformed into a 4 star hotel with elegant décor, set in the heart of the city.

Meals included: Breakfast

Distinction Dunedin Hotel

Day 11: Start your journey to Christchurch the tours final destination

Inspiring Journeys 12 Day The Southern Drift - Day 11

Dunedin to Christchurch

Travel up the East coast of the South Island returning to Christchurch for an in-depth sightseeing tour.

Your Accommodation: Hotel Montreal

Hotel Montreal offers luxurious inner city Christchurch accommodation just a short walk to the cafes and restaurants of Victoria St. The spacious suites also include a kitchenette or kitchen and your own private balcony.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Hotel Montreal

Day 12: Depart from Christchurch

Farewell From Christchurch and Transfer to Airport

Say farewell to your fellow travellers as your Inspiring Journey comes to an end and you'll be transferred to Christchurch Airport for your onward flight.

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