South Island New Zealand Vacation [ST-NZD11] - About New Zealand
 
 
10 Days: South Island New Zealand Vacation [ST-NZD11]
New Zealand Vacation Deal

Book By: July 31, 2019

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Highlights & Inclusions
  • Accommodation - Christchurch (1 Night), Dunedin (1), Te Anau (1), Queenstown (2), Franz Josef (2), Christchurch (1)
  • US Domestic Flights - not included (as per your own arrangements)
  • International Flights - Los Angeles to Auckland (Return) (Not included, but may be added upon request)
  • New Zealand Domestic Flights - Auckland to Christchurch (Return)
  • Day Tours - Te Anau: Milford Sound Cruise; Queenstown: Shotover Jet
  • Car Rental: 8 Days Car Rental, Pick up and drop off in Christchurch
  • Rental Car (Base rate only) does not include taxes, insurance, fuel levies, drop off fees, or environmental fees.
  • All Other Day Tours are Optional and not included
  • Visa only required for some South Pacific countries; $15 visa fee per person where applicable.
  • F.I.T. (Free & Independent Travel, i.e. this is not an Organized Group Tour)
  • All Taxes and Fuel Levies (Except where noted)
  • Itinerary is flexible and can be tailored to suit your needs.
Itinerary Details
(Day 1) - International Flight, Los Angeles to Auckland

Shortly after departing Los Angeles you will be served dinner and you will be given breakfast before landing in Auckland.

Relax, watch some movies, and try to get some sleep!

Please confirm with the airlines at Check-in that they have all your Frequent Flyer information on record.

(Day 2) - New Zealand Domestic Flight, Auckland to Christchurch

Travel within New Zealand by domestic air from Auckland to Christchurch (South Island).

(Days 2 to 10) - 8 Days Car Rental

Discover New Zealand as you travel by rental car for eight days.

Take the opportunity to explore parts of New Zealand at your own pace by car. Please bring a valid American driver’s license with you and be aware that in New Zealand people drive on the left hand side of the road.

*Upgrade available to include GPS navigation system (additional cost).

Base rate only paid by About Australia. Insurance, Premium Location Surcharge, Fuel and Fees to driver’s credit card.

(Days 2 to 3) - 1 Night Accommodation in Christchurch

Travel to your accommodation in Christchurch, New Zealand, where you will be staying whilst on vacation for 1 night.

Your 4 Star vacation accommodation in Christchurch, located on New Zealand’s South Island, offers a stylish boutique hotel, just metres from Cathedral Square, major business houses, convention facilities and prime attractions. The city, also known as the “Garden City” offers many opportunities to either rest from your travel or explore the city. Consider traveling to Arthur’s Pass National Park, which has an incredible diversity of flora and landscape. Experience a breathtaking journey aboard the TranzAlpine Train winding its way through New Zealand’s magnificent Waimakariri Gorge.

Optional Day Tour (Not Included) - Discover Christchurch on a Double Decker

Discover Christchurch on New Zealand’s Only Top Double Decker Day Tour!

This tour takes place on a 1960’s London Open Top Double Decker bus for a fun and informative tour of Christchurch. Learn about Christchurch’s fascinating history from the pioneering days through to modern day times and learn how Christchurch is recovering from the devastating February 22 earthquake which has now become a major event in New Zealand’s history.

On tour, you will view some of the areas affected by the earthquakes, see how Christchurch is preserving some of its iconic heritage buildings and hear about the exciting vision to rebuild and restore the inner city.

Your experience includes a 1 hour Tour around central Christchurch on New Zealand’s only Open Top Double Decker and a 2 hour Tour on a closed top Double Decker visiting places of interest in greater Christchurch.

Open Top Bus highlights: Hagley Park and Antigua; Boatsheds; Botanic Gardens and The River Avon; Canterbury Museum and Arts Centre; Christchurch Art Gallery; Provincial Chambers; Catholic Basilica; Bridge of Remembrance and Friendship Corner; Cashel St ReStart Shipping Container Mall; Christchurch Cathedral and new Cardboard Cathedral; Art Deco New Regent Street; AMI Stadium and much, much more!

Closed Top Bus highlights: Picturesque Seaside Sumner – Visit the quaint seaside village of Sumner, here you will have time to explore the beach while taking in the beautiful views of the sea towards the Southern Alps. Port Hills/Sign of the Takahe – Travel up the Port Hills to the sign of the Takahe for breathtaking views overlooking Christchurch City, the Canterbury Plains and the Southern Alps. Mona Vale Gardens – At Mona Vale you will enjoy a casual stroll through one of Christchurch’s most famous and spectacular gardens.

Click to View Google Map

(Day 3) - Self-Drive from Christchurch to Dunedin

From Christchurch head South on State Highway 1 to Dunedin (5 hours).

Situated 110 km/68 miles north of Dunedin, is Oamar. Wonder at the Sperical Moeraki Boulders. Visit the historic limstone precint and view the Omaru penguin colony coming ashore at dusk. Along the way stop in Ashburton, for the Ashford Craft Village, which specializes in wood crafts and spinning wheels. In Temuka you can explore the Temuka Pottery Shop for locally made pottery.

(Days 3 to 4) - 1 Night Accommodation in Dunedin

Travel to your accommodation in Dunedin, New Zealand, where you will be staying whilst on vacation for 1 night.

Escape to a different world. Your vacation accommodation is located twenty minutes from Dunedin, New Zealand’s oldest city, in a quiet and rural setting. The lodge is a new re-creation of a colonial farm building set in 35 acres of award winning gardens and grounds on Dunedin’s premier landmark, Larnach Castle. Relax from your travel in one of the boutique rooms, each with unique theme and all with ensuite bathrooms. Travel to and experience the Royal Albatross Colony, The Yellow Eyed Penguin Reserve, Monarch Wildlife Cruises and Glenfalloch Gardens.

Optional Day Tour (Not Included) - Taieri Gorge Railway

A visit to the city of Dunedin is not complete without a trip on the Taieri Gorge Railway, one of Dunedin’s top attractions and considered one of the world’s great train trips.

Sit back and relax as the train negotiates this exhilarating narrow river gorge with cliff hugging tunnels and viaducts soaring high above the river or ride the open air platforms for that perfect photo! The train will also stop for you to disembark for scenic and photo opportunities. The ever-changing scenery along the way will leave you amazed at what scenery Dunedin has to offer.
Departing daily (except Christmas day)

Optional Day Tour (Not Included) - Larnach Castle Tour & Cruise

Enjoy your guided tour cruise along Otago Peninsula, see wildlife and also experience a tour of Larnach Castle.

Depart Dunedin for a scenic drive along Otago Peninsula, enjoying spectacular harbour and ocean views. Arrive at Larnach Castle for a fully guided tour of New Zealands only castle, built in 1871. Learn the scandalous, exciting and tragic history of the Castle. See the magnificent carved ceilings, antiques and craftsmanship. Enjoy the beauty of the gardens of international significance and breathtaking views. Continue your tour to the tip of the peninsula for a cruise aboard the M.V.Monarch. Enjoy unrivalled wildlife viewing with 3 time NZ Tourism Award winners. See what cannot be seen from the land. Albatross, Seals and up to 20 species of bird and marine life in their undisturbed and otherwise inaccessible environment. Learn the fascinating history and geology of the area. During the summer months you will return to the city by harbourside drive around 2pm, with plenty of time to explore other city attractions. During the winter months you will return by cruise around 5pm, to enjoy a relaxing evening.

Summer: October to early April
Winter: early April to September

(Day 4) - Self-Drive from Dunedin to Te Anau

Leave Mt. Cook and wave goodbye to the beautiful range of snow-capped mountains in your rear-view mirror. The drive to Dunedin is a relaxing journey with some of the best sights in the country.

Head south toward Highway 8 from Mt. Cook for great views of Lake Pukaki, named one of the most stunning lakes in New Zealand. The alpine-fed lake is a brilliant turquoise color due to fine glacial sediments suspended in the water.

Once you reach the Ahuriri River and Omarama, head east for the coast. This beautiful, lakeside offers scenic views of pristine, blue water. Stop for a quick view and photo-op at the Waitiki Dam Lookout, a hydro-electric power station on the Waitaki River.

Continue your drive along the “braided” Waitaki River and then head south for Moeraki. Stop for another photo-op at the Moeraki Boulders, large spherical boulders that dot the beach. If you’ve worked up an appetite, Moeraki is home to Fleurs Place, a world renowned, oceanside seafood spot.

Finish your drive down to Dunedin and stop at Shag Point Scenic Reserve. This under-the-radar lookout is home to colonies of fur-seals and even New Zealand’s yellow-eyed penguins. Stop for a bit of wildlife spotting before heading to your accommodation in Dunedin.

(6 hours)

Photo: Vaughan Brookfield

(Days 4 to 5) - 1 Night Accommodation in Te Anau

Tucked away on the shores of New Zealand’s second largest lake, Te Anau is an inviting South Island town.

Te Anau is your gateway to the walking capital of the world. Discover the internationally renowned walks of the Milford Track,the Routeburn, Hollyford,Kepler Track and many more. Cruise the remote depths of Milford and Doubtful Sounds, visit the spectacular lakes of Te Anau and Manapouri, experience Te Anau’s magical glowworm caves. In Fiordland you can go hiking, caving, boating, diving, biking, play golf, go fly fishing, sky dive. Soar over the wilderness on a scenic flight, explore the water on a kayaking adventure, breathe in the scents of native forest on a guided walk .Cruise the beauty of Milford or Doubtful sounds or simply enjoy a round of golf.

Whatever your desire, whether it be leisure or activity you crave, there’s plenty to see and do.

*Optional Upgrade Available to Lakeside property (Pricing Upon Request)

Photo Credit: Destination Fiordland

(Day 5) - Self Drive from Te Anau to Queenstown

Drive time: Approx. 2 hours

Depart Te Anau for Queenstown.

Trout fishing rivers and high country scenery are features of the drive to Queenstown. Leave time to take a break in Kingston, the home of a remarkable vintage steam train. From here, the rest of your journey clings scenically to the edge of Lake Wakatipu.

(Days 5 to 7) - 2 Nights Accommodation in Queenstown

Travel to your accommodation in Queenstown, New Zealand, where you will be staying whilst on vacation for 2 nights.

It’s all about location! Your 4 star accommodations sits in a tranquil lakefront setting only a minute’s walk from the heart of Queenstown with shopping, restaurants, nightlife and activities all within easy reach. This fresh, modern hotel features rooms and facilities furnished with the finest comforts and conveniences. A place where you can relax with superb uninterrupted views of the lake, mountains and adjoining gardens. Comfortable and serene you will surely enjoy your stay here!

Upgrades Available: Garden View Room, Lakeview Room

(Day 5) - Day Tour, Milford Sound Cruise

Take an unforgettable journey into the heart of Milford Sound, New Zealand’s most famous tourist destination. You’ll experience the world-famous fiord in all its natural glory – surrounded by dense rainforest, glacier-carved valleys and beautiful waterfalls. Lunch included.

Today you will visit Milford Sound and experience a world of cascading waterfalls, sheer rock faces and dense rainforest. Your sightseeing tour to Milford Sound is made even more enjoyable by our glass-roofed coaches, which provide spectacular panoramic views as you travel along the Milford Road – one of the world’s most scenic roads – and through the Homer Tunnel, before arriving for your Milford Sound cruise. Enjoy striking views of iconic Mitre Peak from the head of the Sound – it rises 1,692 metres from the south shore and is named for its resemblance to a bishop’s mitre (headdress).

Upon leaving Queenstown, you will travel in comfort through rugged mountain terrain past Te Anau, a quiet town on the shores of the largest lake in the South Island. Your glass-roof coach will provide amazing views of the skyline. Your journey continues through the Southern Alps and along the picturesque Eglinton Valley, a place of ancient alpine forest and gushing waterfalls and one of only a few road-accessible glacier valleys in New Zealand.

Take advantage of the photo opportunities on offer along the Milford Road, like the stunning Mirror Lakes, where on a calm day the surrounding mountain ranges are perfectly reflected in the still waters, and Knobs Flat, where glaciers have carved their mark on the terrain. Travel through the Homer Tunnel, a 1.2km passageway drilled into solid rock, then experience The Chasm, a short but impressive walk over footbridges spanning a series of powerful, swirling waterfalls and rapids.

At Milford Sound, board your 2 hour 15 minute Nature Cruise and set off to explore the region that Rudyard Kipling called the Eighth Wonder of the World. Travel the length of the fiord and out to the Tasman Sea, gliding past glacier-scarred rock walls and waterfalls that tumble through valleys and crash into the sea far below. Lush native forest clings to steep cliffs, while seals, penguins and dolphins are regular visitors to the icy waters. At the pinnacle of the sound, Mitre Peak rises dramatically from the depths to a height of 1,692 metres above sea level. Along the way your captain will provide lively and informative commentary.

After your cruise, you will return to Queenstown by coach. Alternatively, book a scenic flight option (optional extra) and wing your way back high over the mountains, lakes and rivers of the South Island.

Buffett Lunch Included.

(Day 6) - Jet Boat through the Shotover River Canyons

Welcome to Shotover Jet Country, Queenstown New Zealand.



Get ready to experience the World’s most exciting Jet Boat ride! Acknowledged as the globes most famous Jet Boat operation! Being the only company permitted to operate in the breathtaking Shotover river canyons, you won’t get this experience anywhere else. There are many like Shotover Jet, but for sheer excitement, no one comes close.



It’s a thrilling ride – skimming past rocky outcrops at close range, as you twist and turn through the narrow canyons at breath taking speeds. And a major highlight – hold tight for the Jets gripping 360º spins!

No visit to Queenstown is complete without “Catching the Canyons” with this spectacular and unique Jet Boat ride! Shotover Jet operates every day of the year (weather and river conditions permitting) except Christmas day

(Day 7) - Self Drive from Queenstown to Franz Josef

The 5 hours drive from Queenstown to Franz Josef is visually spectactular and an easy drive.

Enjoy waterfalls and river scenery as you arrive in rainforest country. The vineyards of the Gibbston area and bungy jumpers at the Kawarau River Bridge are interesting distractions along the way. Be on the lookout for the famous bra fence; it started as a joke, but it’s become a local legend.

The lakeside resort town of Wanaka can provide you with an appealing mix of fine living, family fun and adventure. It has a high concentration of cafes, restaurants and interesting shops.

(Days 7 to 9) - 2 Nights Accommodation in Franz Josef

Travel to just outside the main Franz Josef Glacier village, your Accommodation is the ideal base for you to enjoy your vacation and everything the Glacier region and the glorious New Zealand West Coast has to offer.

Franz Josef Glacier, a perfect paradox. This remote village is set on the six hundred kilometre coastline in the tranquility of Westland National Park and yet offers rest and recreation at city levels amongst some of the wildest scenery in New Zealand. A wonderful relaxing bush environment with one of only two glaciers in the world that descend from crisp, clear snowfalls into lush, temporate rainforest.

New Zealand’s West Coast in the South Island rises from sea level through luxurious rain forest to a breath-taking high country that draws visitors from all over the world on an all-round pilgrimage for the uncluttered and unspoilt beauty that it offers.

Heli-hike on the glacier; take a guided walk; jet boat; go hunting and fishing or take sedate walks. We can make arrangements for all your vacation needs. You are our priority.

Photo Credit: Gareth Eyres; Tourism New Zealand

(Day 8) - Free Day to Explore Franz Josef

Relax or explore in and around Franz Josef!

Franz Josef Glacier Village’s natural credentials are impeccable and there is a huge variety of natural attractions just a short distance from the Franz Josef Glacier Village. Lakes, rainforests, surging waterfalls and the glacial rivers of ice mean that the area is an adventure and leisure destination that is ready to be explored.

Optional Day Tour (Not Included) - Franz Josef Glacier Valley Guided Walk (3 Hours)

Today enjoy a 3 hour hike through the rainforest to the magnificent Franz Josef Glacier.

Spend 3 hours with a knowledgeable guide who will provide you with geographical information and history on Franz Josef Glacier. Your day begins with a short walk through a beautiful rainforest. You will then continue along the glacier valley up to the dramatic terminal face of this glacier. Learn about the unique features of Franz Josef Glacier and its effects on the surrounding landscape.

Easy level of physical ability required for Glacier Valley Walk. Upgrade to a half day experience available at an additional cost.

Optional Day Tour (Not Included) - Grand Traverse

The flight of a lifetime, the “Grand Traverse” is a spectacular scenic flight that explores the Mount Cook and Westland National Parks.




The Grand Traverse is recognised as the premier Aoraki Mount Cook flight-seeing experience; this magnificent flight encompasses two World Heritage National Parks and 200 km of New Zealand’s most memorable and breathtaking scenery.




The highlights of the Grand Traverse include: Beautiful turquoise glacial lakes, golden tussock lands, and the braided river systems of the Mackenzie basin; Remote High Country Sheep Stations, glacial valleys, and landforms; The Aoraki Mount Cook National Park – a magical world of permanent ice and snow; New Zealand’s highest mountains and largest glaciers – including Aoraki Mount Cook and the Tasman Glacier; The Westland Tai Poutini National Park encompassing the magnificent Franz Josef and Fox – Glaciers spilling down to the rainforests of the west coast

The aircraft is ideal for New Zealand’s conditions, offering a window seat for every passenger and have wings-above to ensure unobstructed viewing below. Your friendly pilot will provide an informative and enjoyable commentary.

The Grand Traverse is approximately 50 minutes flight time. Allow one hour total duration.

(Day 9) - Self Drive from Franz Josef to Christchurch

4.5 hour self-drive across the South Island of New Zealand

(Days 9 to 10) - 1 Night Accommodation in Christchurch

Travel to your accommodation in Christchurch, New Zealand, where you will be staying whilst on vacation for 1 night.

Your 4 Star vacation accommodation in Christchurch, located on New Zealand’s South Island, offers a stylish boutique hotel, just metres from Cathedral Square, major business houses, convention facilities and prime attractions. The city, also known as the “Garden City” offers many opportunities to either rest from your travel or explore the city. Consider traveling to Arthur’s Pass National Park, which has an incredible diversity of flora and landscape. Experience a breathtaking journey aboard the TranzAlpine Train winding its way through New Zealand’s magnificent Waimakariri Gorge.

Optional Day Tour (Not Included) - Ko Tane Maori Cultural Experience

The Ko Tane The Maori Experience includes a Maori Welcome, Maori Village, Maori Interactive Performance, and Hangi Dinner (4 course meal).

The blowing of the Putatara (conch) starts your evening. The conch was used as a form of communication over great distances to inform of intruders or visitors.

Your guide will explain the night ahead, with stories that have been passed down through the generations.

Come face to face with the wildlife. The guide will explain the relationship between Maori, wildlife and conservation.

Be guided through and welcomed onto the Pa (village) with a powerful challenge by their fearsome warrior. The Wero or Challenge is where the warrior or most skilled warrior displays a number of movements to distinguish the intentions of the visiting parties. (Do you come in peace or to fight?)

This will be confirmed by the picking up of the TAKE laid by the warrior for the chief of the visitors. Once this gift has been accepted visitors will be allowed to enter onto the next stage.

Inside the village the chief will speak words of welcome to the visitors and thank the chief of the visitors for accepting the challenge to come in peace.

The pressing of noses (hongi) is the final part of the welcome process this is the sharing of life between the two parties and must be done between the two chiefs.

The Village: Here your guide will discuss the lifestyles, including some of the hunting techniques, of the Maori people. The village is a papa-kainga or hunting village. There were around 1,400 of these types of sites in and around the pre-European Canterbury region.

The hunting and capturing of bird species was a specialised skill with different types of birds serving different needs. The easiest birds to hunt for food were the flightless kiwi, weka and the large moa which were trapped with snares.

Flax was the most important fibre to Maori as it was used to bind buildings & boats, for clothing, hunting snares, rope & fishing nets. One of the traditional uses for musical instruments was to duplicate communication with the birds to trick the bird into a trap.

A Performance: Haka (war dance) the haka is a preparation for war. This is a dance usually for men however there are some haka where women participate, the first haka of the evening will be one such haka.

Poi dance (swinging ball): The poi was a flax ball commonly used to store food for long distance journeys. Other uses included training for warfare where the balls use was to assist with the strengthening of elbow and wrist joints to aid in greater flexibly for the heavy short and long club weapons

Waiata ringa (action songs with a hand display) spoke about events and family members of great mana (prestige). It also helped to record and preserve historical events.

Hangi Meal: After the performance you will move into the Restaurant where you will be served a 4 course dinner with Hangi cooked mains. There is a fully licensed bar.

This will conclude your tour. Click Here to View Map

(Day 10) - New Zealand Domestic Flight, Christchurch to Auckland

Travel within New Zealand from Christchurch to Auckland (North Island).

(Day 10) - International Flight, Auckland to Los Angeles

Today depart Auckland and fly to the USA. Enjoy an in-flight dinner and movie with arrival in the USA. Note: you will be traveling back across the International Date Line. Gain that day back you lost on the way over, you actually arrive in the USA on the same day you leave Auckland.

Note: Flight may include a stop over in Australia.

 
Detailed Pricing
Approximate Pricing Double Occupancy Sole Occupancy Permitted USA Departure Dates & Fare Rules
Land Content Only $1,850 $2,866 International return flights from the USA are not included. Please see detailed itinerary (above) for more information on inclusions. Itinerary can commence any day (subject to availability).
Special (Economy Class) $2,996 $4,013 Jul 24 2019 - Jun 28 2020
USA Departures: 24JUL - 17SEP, 01NOV - 10DEC 2019, 17FEB - 28JUN 2020. Expires 31JUL
International Return Flights from the USA (Los Angeles) are included. Non-Refundable, Non-Changeable. Other Dates may also apply. For details phone Toll-Free: (888)359 2877
Basic (Economy Class) $3,941 $4,957 Basic: 24JUL-21SEP 2018 and 1MAY-8JUN 2019. International Return Flights from the USA (Los Angeles) are included. Non-Refundable. Changeable (Fees Apply). Subject to Availability
Shoulder (Economy Class) $4,148 $5,164 Shoulder: 9JUN-23JUL 2018, 22SEP-8DEC 2018 and 1FEB-30APR 2019. International Return Flights from the USA (Los Angeles) are included. Non-Refundable. Changeable (Fees Apply). Subject to Availability
Peak (Economy Class) $4,665 $5,682 Peak: 9DEC 2018 - 31JAN 2019. International Return Flights from the USA (Los Angeles) are included. Non-Refundable. Changeable (Fees Apply) Subject to Availability
Premium (Economy Class) $6,917 $7,934 Premium Economy Class International Return Flights from the USA (Los Angeles) are included. Change and Cancellation Fees Apply. Subject to Availability.
Business Class $8,631 $9,648 Business Class International Return Flights from the USA (Los Angeles) are included. Subject to Availability.
First Class $28,395 $29,411 First Class International Return Flights from the USA (Los Angeles) are included. Subject to Availability.

Packages by About New Zealand, a subsidiary of About Australia, a fully bonded and ARC accredited travel company.