The dramatic South Island offers a wealth of superb mountain scenery, glaciers, fiords and wildlife along its rugged coastline. This exciting private journey combines these natural highlights with the island’s small towns and historic cities. The tour can be started from Christchurch for travellers arriving at its international airport, or adjusted to combine with the North Island Explorer itinerary on the previous page.
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On arrival, transfer to The George for 2 nights. Spend the next day relaxing after your flight, or book an excursion to tour the surrounding area such as a Lord of the Rings scenery tour or a trip to the former French settlement of Akaroa. (N)
Collect your car hire this morning and drive north to the coastal town of Kaikoura. Stay overnight at the Fyffe Country Lodge. Whale-watching cruises can be pre-booked. Upgrades available to the Hapuku Lodge & Treehouses, a luxury eco retreat in the Kaikoura mountains. (N)
Drive to Blenheim in the heart of the wineproducing region of Marlborough and visit some of the excellent local wineries. Stay 2 nights at Chateau Marlborough in Blenheim. (B), (N)
Drive to Nelson in the Tasman Bay, the gateway to Abel Tasman National Park. During your stay we recommend pre-booking a full-day tour into Abel Tasman National Park or visiting Nelson’s superb Museum of Wearable Art and Classic Cars. Stay 2 nights at Cambria House. (N), (B)
Drive south-west to the small coastal town of Punakaiki, best known for its ‘pancake’ limestone rock formations and blowholes. Stay overnight at Punakaiki Resort. (B)
Continue south along the rugged west coast to the town of Franz Josef and stay 2 nights at the Te Waonui Forest Retreat. Guided walks to the glacier terminal face or a scenic helicopter flight are recommended. (D), (B)
Continue south-west through the spectacular Southern Alps to Queenstown and stay at the Rees Hotel for 2 nights. Following day at leisure for a cruise on the lake or a helicopter flight to a mountain top for a romantic picnic. (B), (N)
Drive into Fiordland National Park, passing through the lakeside town of Te Anau before continuing to Milford Sound. On arrival, board the Milford Mariner* for an overnight cruise on this dramatic fiord. (D)
Morning cruise through Milford Sound, keeping an eye out for seals and dolphins, before driving east to Dunedin, a city with strong Scottish influences and history. Stay at Fletcher Lodge for 2 nights or pay the supplement to stay at the Camp Estate at Larnach Lodge on the Otago peninsula. Prebookable optional excursions include a wildlife cruise and a visit to New Zealand’s only castle – Larnach Castle. (B)
Return your car hire to the airport and fly home. Alternatively continue your holiday in New Zealand; see the North Island Explorer itinerary on the previous page or speak to one of our New Zealand experts for more information and suggestions. (B)
As per itinerary – B: Breakfast, L: Lunch, D: Dinner, N: No meals.
International flights are not included with this itinerary. For flight options and prices, please call one of our New Zealand experts.
This cruise does not operate between mid-May and mid-September, however we are able to tailor your itinerary should you wish to travel during this period
This tour is based in 4- and 5-star accommodation.
For a price quote based on alternative accommodation standards, to discuss flight options or to tailor this itinerary, please call 020 3930 5042 or email Info@CoxandKings.co.uk.
Cambria House is a beautifully restored Victorian villa, only 5 minutes' walk from the centre of Nelson. Hosted by owners Karel and David, the property has six guestrooms, each with different decor. Breakfast is included each morning and the communal garden is perfect for afternoon tea.
Features: 6 rooms, internet access, parking, garden.
Room amenities: Amenities vary, but typically include king-sized bed, large en suite bathroom with shower and bath, bathrobes, mini-stereo, underfloor...
The boutique Chateau Marlborough offers 4-star accommodation just a short walk from the centre of Blenheim town. The property has 40 rooms, all with air conditioning and modern amenities. Facilities include car parking, an outdoor swimming pool and a...
Situated just a few minutes walk from the
centre of Dunedin, Fletcher Lodge offers just
6 guestrooms and 2 self-contained apartments
in an atmosphere of restrained elegance. The
property prides itself on providing the charm and
personal service of a bed and breakfast whilst
offering the amenities associated with a...
Located 5km south of Kaikoura, Fyffe Country Lodge is a luxury bed and breakfast property with just six rooms. Each of the guestrooms has individual decor, fine furnishings and modern amenities. Facilities include car parking and a restaurant. Stays include breakfast...
The Milford Mariner provides a very special dinner, bed and breakfast experience, when the daytime visitors depart and a silence descends on the Sound. The vessel has been purpose built to accommodate passengers in 30 private cabins with en suite bathrooms. It has a spacious dining room, observation lounge and large open deck areas for viewing the scenery of Milford Sound.
The Fiordland's scenery never fails to impress. Waterfalls tumble hundreds of metres; ancient rainforests cover the mountains; lakes shimmer and granite peaks look just like they did a thousand years ago. Milford is by far the best known of all of the fjords.
Departing from the Milford Wharf, cruise the full length of Milford Sound to the Tasman Sea. Leisurely explore many points of interest and view waterfalls, rainforest, mountains and wildlife with the experienced nature guide on board....
Punakaiki Resort is a modern complex located just 300 metres from the famous Pancake Rocks and blowholes in Punakaiki. The hotel has 61 rooms and suites, each with a minibar, tea and coffee making equipment, ironing facilities and an en suite bathroom. The hotel also has a restaurant, bar and car...
Te Waonui Forest Retreat is a 5 star hotel
located amongst the native west coast rainforest
at Franz Josef. Designed to be sensitive to the
surrounding environment, guests at the property
are encircled by rainforest and accommodated
in natural and sustainable luxury. The retreat has
100 rooms, a restaurant and...
Offering warm, personalised service, The George is a boutique hotel located beside the beautiful Hagley Park and Avon river. A member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World, The George offers chic and spacious rooms and suites, all comfortably furnished and elegantly decorated. The hotel's two restaurants serve award-winning cuisine with seasonal menus.
Features: 53 rooms, 2 restaurants, bar, coffee shop, sitting room.
Room amenities: Television, minibar, bathrobes, hairdryer, coffee & tea...
The Rees Hotel is located on the edge of Lake Wakatipu, just a short drive from the centre of Queenstown. The property offers a range of accommodation, including one-,two-,three- and four-bedroom self-contained apartments, each with a fully equipped kitchen, lounge and bathroom. Complimentary transfers to Queenstown town centre are available at set times of day. The Rees emphasises local history and culture, and encompasses a gallery displaying a selection of original paintings and historic prints featuring life in Central Otago, and a library with more than 250 rare books and maps depicting the settlement and development of the region.
Features: 150 rooms, restaurant, wine lounge & extensive wine cellar, Wi-Fi, spa, library;, gym, observatory, private jetty, art gallery.
Room amenities: Lounge, balcony, super-king bed, television, iPod docking station, spacious bathrooms with...
Regional air connections are available from within the UK. Please contact your travel consultant for current prices from your nearest city.
We can also arrange flights from overseas, simply give us a call to find out more.
If you choose to take the tour without flights arranged through Cox & Kings, please contact one of our travel consultants prior to booking the flights to ensure that you are aware of the tour timings and all the implications of not booking through us. We strongly advise you not to book flights independently of Cox & Kings if significant charges would apply in case of cancellation.
Flight details may be subject to change prior to departure.
This tour can be booked / reserved online by clicking on one of the coloured links below.
NSF2018: 8 Nights
Blenheim is situated in the heart of wine-growing Marlborough. It is one of...
The South Island’s largest city, Christchurch is an entertaining mixture of refined lifestyle and cultural excitement. The tranquil...
Dunedin was founded by settlers from the Presbyterian Church of Scotland in...
Kaikoura is a base for wildlife experiences of all kinds. It is also a great...
Located close to the Abel Tasman National Park, Nelson is a great base for the...
The village is the gateway to the Franz Josef Glacier. This glacier was first documented by Abel Tasman in 1642...
The resort town of Queenstown is sophisticated and fantastically scenic. Its lake and mountain landscape is suited...