9D8N South Island Discovery
South Island in New Zealand hosts the purest and most stunning natural landscapes you’ll ever experience. In this itinerary, witness the beauty of turquoise lakes and lush peninsulas to snowcapped mountains and sparkling glaciers, the South Island's majestic landscapes that offer both awe and adventure.
- Overnight Stay in one of the Luxury Lodges of New Zealand, Fiordland Lodge: located in one of the world's most beautiful areas where snow-capped mountains, rivers of ice, deep lakes, unbroken forests and tussock grasslands produce a landscape of exceptional beauty.
- Unique Stargazing Experience: Take the opportunity to relax by floating in the pool with the assistance of a buoyancy pillow as you look straight up the incredible night sky. Picturesque by day and dazzling by night, Lake Tekapo part of a UNESCO Dark Sky Reserve, making it the perfect spot for stargazing.
- Glacier Boat Trip at Mt. Cook: Explore New Zealand's largest glacier by boat. Listen to the huge ice-face melting before your eyes in this peaceful glacial lake nestled in the Southern Alps. Discover the magnificent ice formations, which have calved into the murky waters of Lake Tasman, and if you dare, stop to touch and taste this 500-year-old ice.
- Milford Sound Private Tour with Boat Cruise: Ventures deep into the place Rudyard Kipling called, "the Eighth Wonder of the World" and explore the magnificent sheer cliffs and shimmering waters of this world-renowned location. To ensure the most authentic experience, we travel by one of the best small boat operators in Milford Sound. This guarantees an uncrowded, comfortable cruise that enables you to get closer to nature’s wonders.
- Full day Lord of the Rings Tour: Journey to the LOTR filming location: remote and beautiful Mt Potts High Country station, home of Mt Sunday. See how this peaceful mountain was transformed into Edoras, the capital city of the Rohan people in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Immerse yourself in the natural, unspoilt beauty of this breath-taking area with its sparkling clear lakes, glistening blue rivers and fresh, crisp mountain air.
Day 1: Singapore - Christchurch
Depart Singapore for Christchurch
Day 2: Christchurch
Upon arrival, embark on a city tour of Christchurch and visit unique attractions like the Transitional Cardboard Cathedral. Then, take a private 45 minute Private Edwardian Style Punt ride and admire the beautiful Christchurch Botanic Gardens or the changing face of the city centre as you are expertly guided gently along the Avon River.
This evening, hop on the Christchurch Tramway Restaurant and experience the luxury of the 36 seaters air-conditioned, colonial style dining tram and be treated to the finest service, cuisine and beverages New Zealand has to offer. Incorporate fabulous dining with a sightseeing tour showcasing Christchurch’s inner-city vibrancy and heritage.
Note: Tramway Dinner: Tramway Dinner is not suitable under 10 years. Not operated on NZ Public holidays.
If Christchurch Tramway Restaurant is not available, visit Ko Tane Living Maori Village and enjoy a unique Maori cultural experience in Christchurch. In the afternoon, savour a delicious and filling traditional hangi feast lunch and relish in an exotic Maori concert.
Then, make your way to your accommodation for the night. At the exclusive country estate that is Otahuna Lodge, you'll feel as if you own the place. With just seven suites set in the ornate main lodge, there's ample room to spread out, and the attentive staff treats you like family.
Exclusive Amenities for your stay, For 2020:
Accommodation: 5* Otahuna Lodge
Day 2: Tekapo
Today, we head for Tekapo* en-route Lake Tekapo (3 hours journey), then arrive at Tekapo Springs, one of New Zealand’s leading tourism attractions, providing the perfect mix of relaxation and recreation in Lake Tekapo.
Enjoy a unique Tekapo Springs with stargazing experience. Take the opportunity to relax by floating in the pool with the assistance of a buoyancy pillow as you look straight up the incredible night sky. Picturesque by day and dazzling by night, Lake Tekapo part of a UNESCO Dark Sky Reserve, making it the perfect spot for stargazing.
Make your way to Mount Cook, check into your accommodation for the night.
Accommodation: 4* Hermitage Hotel
Day 3: Mt. Cook
This morning, embark on a Glacier Boat Trip at Mt. Cook. You will be picked up at your hotel.
Then, explore New Zealand's largest glacier by boat. Listen to the huge ice-face melting before your eyes in this peaceful glacial lake nestled in the Southern Alps. Discover the magnificent ice formations, which have calved into the murky waters of Lake Tasman, and if you dare, stop to touch and taste this 500-year-old ice.
Experience the excitement of walking on the iceberg and being shocked back to reality as rockfall crashes down from the ice-face above and take a 25-minute Alpine walk to the lake.
After the tour, take a short coach transfer to return to the Hermitage Hotel.
After lunch, go for a Hooker Valley Half-Day Nature Walk. Your knowledgeable and enthusiastic guides will tell you all about the unique flora and fauna of the region and local history as you trek through this amazing landscape whilst providing breath-taking views of some of New Zealand's highest and most enthralling peaks.
This guided half-day nature tour is a stunning 4.5km return trek along the well-maintained track. The journey takes in the poignant Alpine Memorial and passes over the turbulent Hooker River by swing bridge to unsurpassed vistas of Aoraki Mount Cook's south face and the surrounding glaciers.
Return back to your accommodation for the night.
Accommodation: 4* Hermitage Hotel
Day 4: Queenstown
This morning after breakfast, go on a 'Funyak Safari', a unique adventure. This adventure that exhilarating wilderness jet boating with ‘Funyak’ inflatable canoes as a fun way to intimately explore magnificent ‘World Heritage’ wilderness within Mt Aspiring National Park. Professional guides will take you on an inspiring adventure through dramatic landscapes to discover the natural and cultural diversity of this unique and special area.
The next part of your adventure begins as you paddle / drift your own ‘Funyak’ on a fun downstream journey, with your specialist guide pointing out sights and sharing stories of this awe-inspiring area as you explore the shimmering channels of the Dart River as well as hidden side streams, rock pools and dramatic chasms.
Stop along the way and enjoy a delicious buffet lunch amidst wilderness surrounds before continuing in your ‘Funyak’ downstream to ‘Paradise’. From here travel via back-country routes through spectacular locations and scenery that have formed the epic backdrop for many international movies, including ‘The Lord of the Rings’.
Accommodation: 5* The Rees Hotel and Luxury Apartments
Day 5: Queenstown – Te Anau
Today, head for a Milford Sound Private Tour with Boat Cruise.
This full-day experience ventures deep into the place Rudyard Kipling called, "the Eighth Wonder of the World" as we explore the magnificent sheer cliffs and shimmering waters of this world-renowned location.
Enjoy the constantly evolving landscapes from windswept alpine plains and turquoise lakes to vast mountain peaks and lovely lakeside towns. Skip the crowds and never miss a photo opportunity with the flexibility to stop, step out of the car and breathe in the crisp mountain air. Along the way, look out for the crystal-clear Lake Te Anau, wildflower-filled plains of the Eglinton Valley, picturesque Lake Marian and Mirror Lakes, the engineering feat that is the 1270m long Homer Tunnel and thundering waterfalls at Chasm Creek.
We take to the water for a scenic 1-hour 45-minute boat cruise to marvel at towering cliffs and peaks – including the iconic Mitre Peak that rises more than a kilometre straight out of the sea. Get up close to cascading waterfalls and vibrant rainforest, and keep an eye out for New Zealand wildlife including fur seals, dolphins or yellow-crested penguins.
To ensure the most authentic experience, we travel with one of the best small boat operators in Milford Sound. This guarantees an uncrowded, comfortable cruise that enables you to get closer to nature’s wonders. Then, following the included cruise, you will travel back along the Milford Highway stopping at the small lakeside town in Te Anau for the evening.
Then, head to your accommodation, Fiordland Lodge located in one of the world's most beautiful areas. It is an area where snow-capped mountains, rivers of ice, deep lakes, unbroken forests and tussock grasslands produce a landscape of exceptional beauty.
Fiordland Lodge is a member of Luxury Lodges of New Zealand, a select group of most exclusive luxury lodges in New Zealand – fulfilling the promise of our outstanding landscape.
Accommodation: 5* Fiordland Lodge Te Anau
Day 6: Te Anau – Dunedin
A half day’s journey from Te Anau will take you to Dunedin. Dunedin boasts a strong Scottish heritage. Start your tour at Baldwin Street, which is known as the world’s steepest street. This 350-metre stretch of road in Dunedin, New Zealand is recognised by the Guinness World Records as the world’s steepest street. Its maximum gradient is 19 degrees.
Head to Speight’s Brewery and enjoy a brewery tour and enjoy beer tasting. See over 141 years of brewing history as our guides take you through our interactive brewery tour. Focus on the history of this Dunedin icon, by exploring the brewery from top to bottom with your guide along the way you will learn about all of the ingredients that go into our award-winning brews and hear about our state-of-the-art brewing process used today. The tour ends with a tasting, where you’ll get to enjoy samples of the beer as our knowledgeable guides talk you through the different styles and flavours in our range. Then, sample the beer in our brand-new tasting room you will be able to pour your own tastings from the range.
After touring, pop down to the Speight’s Ale House, situated within the Brewery, where you will find generous helpings of great Southern Fare. All of the Speight’s range is available from the tap.
Then, head to your accommodation, Bluestone On George located on an elevated site in the central city overlooking the City of Dunedin and its lovely surrounding landscape, Bluestone on George is perfectly located to walk to many fabulous local dining options, cafes, bars, the main shopping area and the city’s attractions.
Accommodation: 5* Bluestone On George
Day 7: Dunedin - Christchurch
This morning, proceed to Dunedin Railway Station for your Taieri Gorge Railway ride and take in splendid views along the train journey.
Negotiating the winding gorge, the comfortable train travels through ten tunnels and across numerous bridges including the famous Wingatui Viaduct – the second-largest wrought iron structure in operation in the world.
Enjoy refreshments from the on-board café, or take that must-have photo from one of the open-air platforms, all while the train manager shares fascinating stories about the environment and history of New Zealand’s gold rush era.
*Please note that due to the remote nature of this journey, the mobile phone connection is limited and it is not always possible to use credit cards or eftpos in the buffet carriage. It is therefore recommended that you bring cash if you wish to purchase refreshments.
Alight at Pukerangi and head towards Cromwell (2.5 hours drive) Stop over at Mrs Jones Fruit Stall and shop for some local fruits and an orchard walk. The fruit stall stocks a huge array of fresh fruits, dried fruits, nuts, honey products and vegetables. Be sure to try their real fruit ice cream which is made to order. Whilst enjoying your ice cream, stretch your legs in Mrs Jones beautiful English-style garden. The garden contains hundreds of roses and is open all year round.
Next, visit Goldfield’s Mining Centre and enjoy a gold-panning experience and get insights into the country’s gold mining heritage.
The Goldfields Mining Centre is a special place where visitors can gain an appreciation of the life and working environment of those early miners who struggled against the harsh and sometimes dangerous conditions along Central Otago’s famed Kawarau Gorge.
Located on the banks of the spectacular Kawarau River, the Goldfields Mining Centre is a historic reserve which has been set aside by New Zealand’s Department of Conservation to preserve an authentic mining site where gold has been mined for over 100 years and can still be found in the rocks & gravels of this unique area.
Then, adventure through diverse waterways, pristine lakes and secret canyons on a jetboating adventure at Kawarau River which flows eastwards from lake Wakatipu. It's known for its dramatic gorges, strong currents and bright blue colour.
Upon arrival in Pukerani, enjoy a scenic ride to Oamaru, head to Katiki Point, home to New Zealand fur seals and Yellow-eyed penguins, along with many other coastal species. If you’re lucky, you might spot them. Then, visit the famous Moeraki Boulders, known for its natural and perfectly spherical boulders on the beach.
Then, drive to Christchurch and make your way to your accommodation for the night. At the exclusive country estate that is Otahuna Lodge, you'll feel as if you own the place. With just seven suites set in the ornate main lodge, there's ample room to spread out, and the attentive staff treats you like family.
Accommodation: 5* Otahuna Lodge
Day 8: Christchurch
Today, head for a full day Lord of the Rings Tour and journey to the LOTR filming location: remote and beautiful Mt Potts High Country station, home of Mt Sunday. See how this peaceful mountain was transformed into Edoras, the capital city of the Rohan people in the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Immerse yourself in the natural, unspoilt beauty of this breath-taking area with its sparkling clear lakes, glistening blue rivers and fresh, crisp mountain air.
Accommodation: 5* Otahuna Lodge
Day 9: Christchurch – Singapore
This morning, enjoy a visit to Penguin Encounter and indulge in an exclusive champagne breakfast. Saveur the memorable moment and be captivated as you enjoy breakfast and entertained by the little blue penguins swimming in the massive aquarium.
For the perfect start to the day it’s hard to beat our breakfast with the penguins' tour. Here the early bird will catch breakfast, learn about Antarctica and get to enjoy all the other exciting experiences here at the centre.
Breakfast commences at 7.30 am next to the Penguin Encounter and includes an informative talk on Little Blue penguins and Antarctica. After a hearty meal, you’ll have all the energy you need to tour the rest of the centre.
Note: There is a minimum number of 20 guests and a maximum of 40 for this special breakfast event.
If time permits, you can do some shopping before you transfer to the airport for your flight home.
Please note: This itinerary is designed to give you an idea of what to expect on the tour but is not set in stone. What we actually do on a given day is flexible and can be tailored based on the interests of the group.
This itinerary and its package inclusions might be changed later in time, subject to availability.