Inspiring Journeys

The Southern Drift

12 Days | Christchurch Return

Travel Period

Discover New Zealand on this Inspiring Journey through the natural treasures of the South Island. From the still waters of Milford Sound and snow-capped peaks of the Southern Alps to the rolling hills of Central Otago, delve into the beauty of landscapes that have remained unchanged for millennia.

Prices From Code: NZSI

$7059

Adult Twin i A person 16 years and over (note a person 16–17 years must be accompanied by a person 18 years and over). All prices are per person, land only.

$9801

Single i A person, who must be 18 years and over, travelling alone, must pay the single room price. All prices are per person, land only.

$7059

Child i A child must be accompanied by a person 18 years+. Some tours have minimum age requirements.
Prices above are per person in USD
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The Southern Drift

Inspiring Journeys

12 Days

Christchurch Return

Discover New Zealand on this Inspiring Journey through the natural treasures of the South Island. From the still waters of Milford Sound and snow-capped peaks of the Southern Alps to the rolling hills of Central Otago, delve into the beauty of landscapes that have remained unchanged for millennia.

Highlights

Immerse

Delve deep into the natural wonders of Milford Sound, with specialist nature guides sharing their knowledge of this mystical landscape.

Indulge

Join a behind-the-scenes tour and tasting at Emerson’s, a state of the art craft brewery, and embark on a culinary discovery of Queenstown.

Explore

Journey down the Haast River in a fully enclosed jet boat, and discover the remarkable glacial valley where temperate rainforest thrives.

Relax

Take a dip in Franz Josef’s local geothermal hot pools and relax and rejuvenate after a day of discovering the South’s natural wonders.

Itinerary

image map

On arrival at Christchurch Airport you'll be driven by private car to your hotel. Spend some time at leisure to relax or explore on your own. Perhaps visit the Christchurch Botanical Garden or take a ride on the Christchurch Tram. In the evening meet your Journey Director for a Welcome Reception.

  Hotel: The George

It's all aboard the TranzAlpine train. Rated as one of the world's great scenic railway journeys, you'll travel in comfort across the Canterbury Plains through to the Southern Alps. From Arthur's Pass, visit the small town of Hokitika, the heritage and cultural centre of the West Coast, to learn about the importance of Pounamu, better known as jade or greenstone. Later we continue to Franz Josef. Your eco-friendly accommodation is set amid native bush, with an emphasis on relaxation and rejuvenation. This evening, why not enjoy Franz Josef's local geothermal hot pools or perhaps a massage.

  Hotel: Te Waonui Forest Retreat, 2 nights

  Included Meals: Dinner with Wine, Breakfast

After a relaxed start we explore this area, where a local guide explains the history behind the mighty Franz Josef Glacier.

  Included Meals: Breakfast

This morning it’s time for an adventure as we journey down the Haast River in a purpose built, fully enclosed river jet boat. After a lunch stop at Makarora then travel on to Arrowtown where there is time to explore this historic gold-mining village on the Arrow River.  Continue to Queenstown for an orientation tour. Tonight, dinner is included at your hotel.

  Hotel: Hotel St Moritz Queenstown, 3 nights

  Included Meals: Dinner with Wine, Breakfast

Enjoy Queenstown your way! Perhaps join a wine tour and taste some of Central Otago’s world-renowned Pinot Noir or view The Lord of the Rings film locations on a scenic tour of Queenstown and Glenorchy.  Tonight, you can dine at one of the local restaurants along the waterfront in town or simply relax at your hotel. 

  Included Meals: Breakfast

Make the most of your extended stay in Queenstown. Why not sit back and enjoy a peaceful cruise across Lake Wakatipu aboard New Zealand’s oldest steamship, the TSS Earnslaw to Walter Peak Station, take a jet boat ride down the mighty Shotover River.  Or simply relax, shop or enjoy time at one of the many cafés and restaurants while soaking up the alpine views. Tonight, enjoy a highlight dinner at one of Queenstown’s exclusive restaurants.

  Included Meals: Highlight Dinner, Breakfast

Travel south along the shores of Lake Wakatipu to Te Anau on the shores of the South Island’s largest lake. Later you’ll travel through the rainforest of the UNESCO-listed World Heritage site of Fiordland National Park, sighting glaciers and mountain ranges onto the amazing Mirror Lake before driving through the hand-hewn Homer Tunnel. Tonight, stay at the magical Milford Sound Lodge, with views of the Cleddau Valley.

  Hotel: Milford Sound Lodge, 2 nights

  Included Meals: Dinner with Wine, Breakfast

Wake up to the startling beauty of Milford Sound. This morning, explore a section of the famous Milford Track on an easy going half day guided walk. This place is steeped in rich history and stories, the flora and fauna are unique and special. This afternoon aboard the Southern Discoveries vessel sit back and relax as a specialist nature guide introduces you to the natural wonders of Milford Sound often called the ‘eighth natural wonder of the world’.

  Included Meals: Dinner with Wine, Breakfast

We leave the majestic Fiordland National Park for the fertile sheep-dotted pastures of South Otago. Travel through Te Anau known for its beautiful lake and on to the country musical town of Gore for lunchtime, before arriving in Dunedin, New Zealand’s southernmost city. Enjoy dinner tonight at Parcels Restaurant at your hotel.

  Hotel: Distinction Dunedin Hotel, 2 nights

  Included Meals: Dinner with Wine, Breakfast

Enjoy a relaxed start this morning, before taking a guided tour oat Emerson’s Brewery, sample the tasty craft beer before an afternoon at leisure.  Relax or continue exploring Dunedin as you wish. Perhaps ride the historic Tairei Gorge Railway or take a wildlife cruise of the Otago Pennisula.

  Included Meals: Breakfast

Travel up the east coast of the South Island via Oamaru and Timaru. On arrival in Christchurch embark on a sightseeing tour of the city to learn about its rebirth after the devastating 2011 earthquake.

  Hotel: The George

  Included Meals: Celebration Dinner, Breakfast

Say farewell to your fellow travellers as your Inspiring Journey comes to an end and we transfer you to Christchurch Airport for your onward flight.

  Included Meals: Breakfast

Please note: This itinerary may be subject to change.


Accommodation

Your Guided Holiday includes a range of quality accommodation for your comfort.
The accommodation you will enjoy on this tour includes:

 Accommodation Hotel
 Accommodation Hotel

The George, a luxury boutique hotel, is the essence of supreme comfort and is renowned for offering a personalised stay and attentive staff. Located in the heart of Christchurch overlooking the picturesque Hagley Park and river Avon you will find peaceful Christchurch accommodation just steps from the cultural precinct and key attractions. Impeccable service in an intimate ambiance is guaranteed at The George, the only Christchurch Hotel with a one-to-one staff to guest ratio.

    Features

  • Hair Dryer
  • Air-conditioning
  • Safety deposit box (laptop size)
  • 24 hour room service
  • Wireless Internet access
  • Mini Bar
  • Bathrobe
  • Alarm Clock
  • Modern bathroom with luxury amenities
  • 42 inch LED television
  • Night sensor lighting
  • Laundry/Valet service
 Accommodation Hotel
 Accommodation Hotel

A haven from the city rush, a foray into New Zealand’s pristine wilderness – Te Waonui Forest Retreat is truly a place to relax and refresh. All focus has been on creating a healthy, environmentally safe habitat to maximise guests’ wellbeing. With a natural, earthy ambience and attentive service, there’s no better place to take a deep breath and simply unwind.

Te Waonui Forest Retreat seamlessly incorporates measures that greatly reduce its environmental impact. Designed to stand the test of time, Te Waonui’s durable, New Zealand building design blends in with its stunning natural setting. Management and staff at Te Waonui actively support community-based projects to preserve our outstanding natural heritage in Franz Josef Glacier Town.

    Features

  • In-room safe
  • Wireless Internet access
  • Tea & Coffee Facilities
  • Pillow Menu (Choice of pillows)
  • Luxurious bed linen
  • Private balcony or courtyard
  • Electronic security key system
  • Air-conditioning
  • Iron / Ironing Board
  • Mini Bar
  • TV
 Accommodation Hotel
 Accommodation Hotel

Idyllically situated in the heart of Queenstown and with wonderful views overlooking Lake Wakatipu to The Remarkables mountain range, Hotel St Moritz embodies the spirit of its location. Blending understated luxury with warmth, and genuine hospitality, Hotel St Moritz offers a choice of rooms and suites, each handsomely appointed to cleverly blend timeless classics with modern essentials.Offering unparalleled views of Lake Wakatipu and The Remarkables mountain ranges, Hotel St Moritz Queenstown is perfectly positioned for sightseeing and adventure.

    Features

  • WiFi / Internet Access
  • Mini Bar
  • Bathroom Facilities
  • Hair Dryer
  • Phone
  • Satellite/Cable Colour TV
 Accommodation Hotel
 Accommodation Hotel

Nestled beneath the towering peaks of the Darran Mountains, Milford Sound Lodge provides a fantastic base to experience the beauty and majesty of Fiordland National Park / Te Wahipounamu. To experience this World Heritage destination in a more authentic, relaxed way, stay a night or two. There are so many inspiring possibilities for outdoor adventure right on our doorstep.

    Features

  • Tea & Coffee Facilities
  • Flat Screen TV
  • DVD players
  • Wi-Fi (additional cost)
  • Ensuite
  • Heater
 Accommodation Hotel
 Accommodation Hotel

The Distinction Hotels Group has transformed the 1937 former Chief Post Office in Dunedin into an elegant 4 1/2 star luxury hotel, located in the rejuvenated and vibrant Warehouse Precinct in the heart of the city. The modern Distinction Dunedin Hotel consists of 121 elegant suites and studio rooms. Offering a variety of premier accommodation to suit everyone from the businesses traveller requiring spacious and modern facilities to those wanting a relaxing weekend away.

    Features

  • Air-conditioning
  • Flat Screen TV
  • Desk & chair
  • Wi-Fi
  • Hair Dryer
 Accommodation Hotel
 Accommodation Hotel

The George, a luxury boutique hotel, is the essence of supreme comfort and is renowned for offering a personalised stay and attentive staff. Located in the heart of Christchurch overlooking the picturesque Hagley Park and river Avon you will find peaceful Christchurch accommodation just steps from the cultural precinct and key attractions. Impeccable service in an intimate ambiance is guaranteed at The George, the only Christchurch Hotel with a one-to-one staff to guest ratio.

    Features

  • Hair Dryer
  • Air-conditioning
  • Safety deposit box (laptop size)
  • 24 hour room service
  • Wireless Internet access
  • Mini Bar
  • Bathrobe
  • Alarm Clock
  • Modern bathroom with luxury amenities
  • 42 inch LED television
  • Night sensor lighting
  • Laundry/Valet service
Need accommodation before or after your tour?

Our special discounted rates make booking accommodation with us during your holiday both easy and affordable at selected AAT Kings hotels and resorts. Ask our friendly reservations at the time of booking.

Trip Details

What's included

  • • Specialist team of two highly experienced Journey Director and Driver Guide
  • • Local Specialists (Guides)
  • • Mixture of boutique, unique and 5-star hotels

What to Bring

  • • Sunglasses, sunscreen and hat
  • • Water bottle
  • • Warm layers in cooler months
  • • Camera
  • • Comfortable walking shoes

Fitness Requirements

  • • Low level of fitness required

Dining

  • • Breakfast (11)
  • • Dinner (7)

Flight Information

  • • Day 1: Flights to arrive by 4:00pm into Christchurch airport
  • • Day 12: Flights to depart any time from Christchurch airport

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