Have you always dreamed of visiting all the South Island’s iconic spots like Aoraki Mt Cook, Milford Sound, Queenstown & the West Coast Glaciers? Our Southern Beauty tour is the ultimate South Island 9 day itinerary, with all the world famous spots included in one very special tour itinerary.
As well as our world famous South Island scenery, you’ll meet the locals and hear their stories, see our unique native wildlife up close, get out on the water and up in the air, enjoy fresh food & wine, make new friends and at the end of each unforgettable day relax in 4-star comfort.
$5,690 per person, share twin
$600 single supplement
1 – 9 Dec, 2020
15 – 23 Jan, 2021
12 – 20 Feb, 2021
12 – 20 Mar, 2021
13 – 21 Apr 2021
• All meals
• 4 star accommodation
• Scenic flight over the Southern Alps
• Return flights from Auckland (ask us about flights from other destinations)
• Entrance fees
• All transport by comfortable, air conditioned coach (maximum of 18 travellers).
• Services of your knowledgeable guide.
From Christchurch, we head to Akaunui Farm to lunch with Di and Ian Mackenzie before driving through Burkes Pass to the tussock lands of the Mackenzie Country and a photostop at Lake Tekapo’s church and sheepdog statue and dine in the Panorama Room where Aoraki/Mt Cook (3,724 metres) dominates the view.
Staying at The Hermitage Hotel, Mt Cook
Wake up to the beauty of this alpine valley and take a stroll in the Aoraki National Park. We head down the mountain rimmed Mackenzie Basin to Omarama and over the golden tussock hillsides of the Lindis Pass. The rugged Kawarau Gorge and the Gibbston valley vineyards lead on to Queenstown, our home for three nights at the Scenic Suites, Queenstown.
Follow the shores of lakes Wakatipu and Te Anau into the mountains, beech forests and waterfalls of spectacular Fiordland National Park. Cruise beautiful Milford Sound, home to seals and dolphins and iconic Mitre Peak and take a magnificent scenic flight back over the Southern Alps to Queenstown.
We catch the Gondola up to the Skyline ridge to enjoy the views of The Remarkables and this pretty resort town. Later we drive beside the lake to Glenorchy, returning to Queenstown to stroll the shops and the waterfront.
We call into leafy, picturesque Arrowtown where gold mining history comes alive beside the Arrow River. From the Crown Range we take in the last views of the Wakatipu basin. We lunch at historic Cardrona Hotel and sample at the family owned Distillery nearby before arriving at our hotel, Edgewater Hotel, beside the lake at Wanaka.
We drive beside lakes Hawea and Wanaka and through the mountain and river scenery of the Haast Pass. There are short walks in the beech forests to waterfalls and coastal scenery at Ship Creek to enjoy. Lush rainforest lines the road as we head north to Fox Glacier, Lake Matheson and on to Franz Josef. Our hotel stay will be at the Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier.
At Okarito we take an hour’s cruise on the lagoon looking out for birdlife in wetlands bordered by ancient forests. Our local guide Paula takes us on a walking tour of this tiny settlement of 30 people. We visit the artists of Hokitika before reaching Paparoa National Park and Punakaiki, our home for two nights at the Punakaiki Resort.
See the Pancake rocks and blowholes, limestone cliffs and karst rock formations and river valleys of subtropical forest. Further up the coast, Denniston Plateau gives an insight into the lives of early coal miners and their families. We stroll to the seal colony near Cape Foulwind before returning down the coast road to Punakaiki.
From Lake Brunner we drive up the Otira Viaduct, a spectacular cantilevered road, and stop to photograph the cheeky Kea parrots and enjoy the alpine and river scenery of Arthur’s Pass National Park before continuing to Christchurch Airport.
Some great news… while we wait for international borders to re-open, there is no better time to see a bit of our own backyard and help our local communities get back to business.
We’re excited to let you know that we have partnered with MoaTours, one of New Zealand’s leading and most trusted local tour operators since 1971. MoaTours offers a range of small group tours all over New Zealand that we think you’ll love — from Cape Reinga to Stewart Island.
A a family run business just like Tours Direct, MoaTours has great connections and unbeatable local knowledge of New Zealand’s best kept secrets. They also share common values so we know you will be well looked after and have a great experience.
If you’ve always dreamed of visiting the real South Island icons of Mount Cook, Milford Sound, Queenstown and the West Coast then this is the trip for you. This is the chance for Kiwis to discover what overseas visitors have known for so long, the South Island is amazing!