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
11 – 19 Jul, 2021 SOLD OUT
12 – 20 Sep, 2021
19 – 27 Oct, 2021
9 – 17 Nov, 2021
11 – 19 Jan, 2022
12 – 20 Feb, 2022
12 – 20 Mar, 2022
5 – 13 Apr, 2022
• Return flights from Auckland (please ask us about flights from other airports – there could be a price adjustment).
• All meals.
• 4 star accommodation.
• Scenic flight over the Southern Alps.
• Entrance fees.
• All transport by comfortable, air conditioned coach (maximum of 18 travellers).
• Services of your knowledgeable guide.
• Land Only price on application.
• Travel Insurance.
After a mid-morning flight to Christchurch we head south for a special lunch at Akaunui homestead south of Ashburton, a 115-year-old country home where we dine on wonderful fresh produce prepared by our hosts, Di and Ian Mackenzie.
We continue through Burke’s Pass to the spectacular Mackenzie Country for sweeping vistas of tussock lands, glacial lakes and the Southern Alps. On route to Mt Cook we can’t miss the Church at Lake Tekapo and the unreal turquoise blue Lake Pukaki before arrival at the Hermitage Hotel.
Always a memorable time on tour, your day in Mount Cook, New Zealand’s highest mountain and ‘home ground’ of the most famous Kiwi of all, Sir Edmund Hillary. Wake up to the beauty of this alpine wonderland and enjoy the fresh air and wide open spaces with a stroll in Aoraki National Park.
Our adventure continues on to Omarama, over the Lindis Pass and through the rugged Kawarau Gorge and Gibbston Valley onto Queenstown – our home for three nights.
Today is all about the one and only Milford Sound. From Queenstown we follow the shores of the great southern lakes Wakatipu and Te Anau before heading into the heart of Fiordland National Park on the spectacular Milford Road.
On arrival at Milford cruise by launch out onto the sound dominated by iconic Mitre Peak and home to birdlife, seal colonies and marine life. A magical flight over the Southern Alps returns us to Queenstown at the end of a fantastic day of touring by land, sea and air.
Today is our day to explore everything Queenstown has to offer, we’ll start our day by catching the Skyline Gondola for the best views of Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkables. Then we’ll take the Glenorchy road to the stunning head of Lake Wakatipu for a lakeside lunch and the famous Lord of the Rings scenery.
Once back in town we enjoy a cruise on Lake Wakatipu aboard the famous TSS Earnslaw before dinner.
Our day starts with a short hop to leafy Arrowtown, where gold mining history comes alive. We then climb up into the tussock country of the Crown Range and our last views of the beautiful Wakatipu. The picture perfect Cardrona Hotel is our lunch venue and we stop in at the family owned Cardrona distillery for a tipple before carrying on to Wanaka.
We arrive with plenty of time to explore the town centre, take a leisurely stroll along the lakefront or one of the many excellent local walks. Our accommodation this evening is the only hotel right on the waterfront, it’s a beautiful secluded setting for the evening.
Today is unforgettable, where else in the world can you visit the beach, a rainforest and a glacier all in the same day? We start off following the shores of Lakes Wanaka & Hawea before the beech forest and alpine streams of the Haast Pass and Mt Aspiring National Park.
We continue north along the coast through the lush, prehistoric Gondwanaland, stopping at Ship Creek to stroll the beach, keep your eye out for dolphins feeding in the shallows. Get your camera ready for Lake Matheson’s famous reflections and our first glimpse of Fox Glacier. Our home for the night is Franz Josef.
This morning we explore the real heart of Te Waihpounamu World Heritage Area. Our day starts with a short walk in the Franz Josef Valley for views of the glacier and pristine rainforest. We continue to Okarito where we meet our local guides Swade and Paula for lunch. They share the colourful history and unique ecosystem on a short walk around the tiny settlement and a wildlife cruise out on the lagoon.
We continue north to Hokitika, the Pounamu capital of the country and home to carvers, glass blowing and artisans. We arrive at our home for two nights in Punakaiki, right on the beach in the perfect spot to enjoy the sunsets.
The surrounding Paparoa National Park is very different to any other area on the trip, towering limestone cliffs and karst rock formations with beautiful river valleys draped in subtropical forest. We’ll start our day with a short walk at the famous Pancake Rocks and Blowholes.
We’ll then head north through Paparoa National Park, to the mining country of Westport and the famous Denniston Plateau, a spot where not many Kiwis ever get to. We’ll round off our day with a short walk at the Cape Foulwind Seal Colony before returning to our beachside accommodation at Punakaiki for our final evening.
Today is a real day of contrasts, you’ll wake up to the sounds of the Tasman Sea, traverse the Southern Alps and into the stunning Canterbury High Country and across the plains into Christchurch.
Highlights include the Otira Viaduct and Arthur’s Pass National Park – one of the best places in the country to see the hilarious antics of our alpine parrot, the Kea. Enjoy the mountain air with short walks at Arthur’s Pass and the limestone rock formation at Castle Hill before we reach Christchurch airport in the late afternoon.
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!