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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
View more climate information & imperial units
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 here 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 to speak with a Cox & Kings consultant or
This tour can be booked / reserved online by clicking on one of the coloured links below.
NZS2019: 15 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...