Inspiring Journeys

The Southern Drift

12 Day | Christchurch Return

Discover New Zealand on this Inspiring Journey through the natural treasures of the South Island. From the still waters of Milford Sound/Piopiotahi 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.

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$7124

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 unless otherwise indicated.
Above lowest price is based on 2024-10-07 departure

$9441

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 unless otherwise indicated.
Above lowest price is based on 2024-10-07 departure
Prices above are per person in USD

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Trip Details

trip-details-whats-includedWhat's included

  • • Small group (16 guests max)• 6+ Unforgettable experiences• 20 included meals• 11 Nights premium accommodation

trip-details-diningDining

  • • 1 Welcome Reception
  • • 11 Full Breakfasts
  • • 5 Dinners with Wine
  • • 1 Local Dining Experience
  • • 2 Lunches
  • • 1 Celebration Dinner

trip-details-flight-infoFlight Information

  • NZSI: CHRISTCHURCH RETURNFlights are not included in holiday price.Flight Information:Day 1 – flights to arrive prior to 4.00pm into Christchurch AirportDay 12 – flights to depart anytime from Christchurch Airport
    Return airport to hotel transfers are included in the holiday price

trip-details-what-to-bringWhat to Bring

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

trip-details-fitness-level-requirementsFitness Requirements

    Low level of fitness required.

Itinerary

image map

On arrival in Christchurch you will be transferred by private car to your hotel. Spend some time at leisure to relax or explore on your own. Perhaps visit the International Antarctic Centre or the Christchurch Botanic Gardens. This evening, join your Journey Director for a Welcome Reception.

  Hotel: Hotel Montreal Christchurch

  Included Meals: Welcome Reception

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 the Southern Alps. From Arthur’s Pass, visit the small town of Hokitika, the heritage and cultural centre of the West Coast well-known for its Pounamu (jade). Later we continue to Franz Josef/Waiau. Your eco-friendly accommodation is set amid native bush, with an emphasis on relaxation and rejuvenation. This evening, why not enjoy Franz Josef’s/Waiau local geothermal hot pools?

  Hotel: Te Waonui Forest Retreat

  Included Meals: Dinner with Wine, Breakfast

We explore this area on a walk with a local guide, who will take you up alongside the Waiho River bed following the glacier’s path of retreat, and will explain the history behind mighty Franz Josef Glacier/Kā Roimata o Hine Hukatere. Later, you may want to get up close to the glaciers on an optional helicopter flight. Your flight will hover over the snow face and may land high up in the valley so that you can walk across the ice fall – subject to weather conditions.

  Hotel: Te Waonui Forest Retreat

  Included Meals: Breakfast

This morning it’s time for an adventure as we travel in a purpose-built fully enclosed river jet boat and journey down the Haast River. After a lunch stop at Makarora we head to Queenstown, taking time to stop to explore the historic gold-mining village of Arrowtown. The adventure-capital awaits you for your extended 3 night stay, and you’ll have the opportunity to explore it during an orientation tour when you arrive.

  Hotel: Hotel St Moritz Queenstown

  Included Meals: Dinner with Wine, Breakfast

Enjoy Queenstown your way! Perhaps view The Lord of the Rings film locations on a scenic tour of Queenstown and Glenorchy or spend time having a relaxing massage in the spa. 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, for a gourmet BBQ dinner?

  Hotel: Hotel St Moritz Queenstown

  Included Meals: Breakfast

Make the most of your extended stay in Queenstown. Perhaps join a wine tour and taste some of Central Otago’s world-renowned Pinot Noir. Or simply relax, shop or enjoy time at one of the many cafés and restaurants while soaking up the alpine views. Tonight, enjoy a Local Dining Experience at one of Queenstown’s exclusive restaurants.

  Hotel: Hotel St Moritz Queenstown

  Included Meals: Local Dining Experience, Breakfast

Travel south along the shores of Lake Wakatipu to Te Anau. Stop for lunch at a local farm, where you will hear stories of life on the land and meet a cuddly animal or two. Continue through the rainforest of World Heritage Fiordland National Park, sighting glaciers and mountain ranges before driving through the hand-hewn Homer Tunnel. Spend the night aboard the iconic Milford Mariner and wake up in one of the most beautiful places on earth. The cruise style is relaxed, allowing plenty of time to view the fiord’s spectacular waterfalls, rainforest, mountains and wildlife such as seals, penguins and dolphins. Hear from the specialist nature guide on board or choose to explore the shoreline by kayak or small boat. Enjoy exclusive access to the Fiord once the day trippers depart the sound.

  Hotel: Milford Mariner

  Included Meals: Lunch, Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

We leave the majestic Fiordland National Park for the fertile sheep-dotted pastures of South Otago through to Gore, the country music capital of New Zealand, for a lunch stop. Journey to Invercargill, New Zealand's southernmost city. This commercial hub is full of grand architecture and gardens. A city obsessed with motoring history, there are tributes to speed legends across town, from the famous Burt Munro to Bill Richardson and his shed full of classic vehicles. Enjoy a tour of the largest private collection of its type in the world. Later this afternoon you will have some free time to explore this city, and an evening free to seek out local hot spots.

  Hotel: The Langlands Hotel

  Included Meals: Breakfast

Board a ferry at Bluff and cruise to Stewart Island, known by locals as Rakiura the Maori reference to Glowing Skies. It has been described as rugged, pristine and tranquil – and rightly so as 97% of the island is designated National Park and Conservation Estate. This means the birdlife, native flora & fauna and other natural environmental features have been able to thrive. Once you arrive, you will gain an entertaining insight into New Zealand's southernmost community and learn about the history and environment of Stewart Island on a Village and Bays tour. Later you will join a leisurely cruise, including a picnic lunch, around Paterson Inlet that will take you past unique places including Acker's Cottage before docking at Ulva Island to admire the bird life and native flora. Back to Invercargill for a relaxed dinner.

  Hotel: The Langlands Hotel

  Included Meals: Lunch, Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

Enjoy a relaxed start before departing for Dunedin. On a MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience visit Dunedin Craft Distillers, who produce botanical spirits from surplus bread and bakery products that would otherwise go to landfill. Venture just next door for a special chocolate tasting journey at OCHO Chocolate.

  Hotel: Distinction Dunedin Hotel

  Included Meals: Dinner with Wine, Breakfast

Travel up the east coast of the South Island via Omarau and Timaru. Once back in Christchurch embark on a sightseeing tour of the city to learn about its rebirth after the devastating 2011 earthquake. This evening, toast your tour at a Celebration Dinner with your new-found friends and Journey Director.

  Hotel: Hotel Montreal Christchurch

  Included Meals: Celebration Dinner, Breakfast

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

  Included Meals: Breakfast

Please note: This itinerary may be subject to change.


The Southern Drift

Inspiring Journeys

12 Day

Christchurch Return

Discover New Zealand on this Inspiring Journey through the natural treasures of the South Island. From the still waters of Milford Sound/Piopiotahi 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/Piopiotahi, 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/Waiau local geothermal hot pools and relax and rejuvenate after a day of discovering the South's natural wonders.

Immerse

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

Indulge

Join a behind-the-scenes tour at Dunedin Craft Distillers. OCHO Chocolate, 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 the Franz Josef/Waiau local geothermal hot pools and relax and rejuvenate after a day of discovering the South’s natural wonders.

Accommodation

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

Optional Experiences

Please note, prices for Optional Experiences are subject to change.

To ensure your holiday is filled with memorable experiences, we have included a range of quality Optional Experiences for you to choose from and partake in, if you wish, during your holiday. The experiences can be booked on tour through your Travel Director.

Bread to Bottle Tour MTM Experience (Dunedin)

Adult: $30.00 NZD

Visit Dunedin Craft Distillers, the first distillery in Aotearoa New Zealand and one of only a handful worldwide, to produce botanical spirits from surplus bread and bakery products that would otherwise go to landfill. Discover on this Make Travel Matter Experience, how owners, Jenny McDonald and Sue Stockwell do it in a ‘Bread to Bottle Tour’ which takes you through the process used to turn bread into spirits.

Bread to Bottle Tour MTM Experience

The Helicopter Line - Neve Discoverer Flight 20mins (Franz Josef Glacier)

Adult: $330.00 NZD

Lift off and fly up over the Franz Josef or Fox Glacier to land amongst this alpine wonderland on a 20-minute scenic flight. Highlights include landing at the head of the Franz Josef or Fox Glacier and a snow or icefall landing.

The Helicopter Line - Neve Discoverer Flight 20mins

The Helicopter Line - Twin Glacier Flight 30mins (Franz Josef Glacier)

Adult: $425.00 NZD

From a mantle of pure white snow, massive rivers of ice wind their way down glacier valleys. Explore the glaciers, an incredible natural phenomenon on this 30-minute scenic flight. Highlights include a snow landing at the head of the Franz Josef or Fox Glacier.

The Helicopter Line - Twin Glacier Flight 30mins

Altitude Wine Tours - Twilight Wine & Craft Beer Experience (Queenstown)

Adult: $209.00 NZD

It’s always 5 o’clock at Altitude Tours. Join our Twilight Wine and Craft Beer experience for a fun and entertaining late afternoon tastebud tingling adventure! Visit three unique locations around Queenstown and Gibbston with a minimum of 12 tastings of some of the finest drops in the region. Now, here’s the twist, if beer is more your thing then bounce from vines to hops and taste some local craft beers instead.

Altitude Wine Tours - Twilight Wine & Craft Beer Experience

Pure Glenorchy - Lord of the Rings Scenic Tour (road-Queenstown)

NZ$189 Adult NZ$99 Child

Lord of The Rings Scenic Tour: Visit the stunning locations from Lord of The Rings. Encounter lsengard, Lothlorien Forest, The Misty Mountains, Ithilien and many more. Experience the absolute beauty of the Dart River Valley and our closest world heritage area. Learn about the remarkable history and unique culture of Glenorchy. Our tour feature’s some of the world’s most spectacular scenery visiting Mt Aspiring World Heritage Area, Glenorchy, The Dart River Valley and Paradise. Encounter ancient beech forest, braided rivers and glacier carved valleys.

Pure Glenorchy - Lord of the Rings Scenic Tour

Real Journeys - Walter Peak BBQ Dinner and Earnslaw (Queenstown)

NZ$189 Adult NZ$85 Child

Relive the elegance of turn-of-the-century travel with a cruise on Queenstown’s iconic vintage steamship TSS Earnslaw. Launched in 1912, the TSS Earnslaw is the largest and grandest vessel ever to ply Lake Wakatipu. The TSS Earnslaw makes several trips daily across Lake Wakatipu to Walter Peak High Country Farm on the western shores. A cruise on this gracious heritage vessel is the perfect way to experience Queenstown’s magnificent alpine scenery. Upon reaching Walter Peak High Country Farm, you can disembark for an insight into New Zealand’s farming lifestyle. Enjoy an evening dining at the Colonel’s Homestead followed by an entertaining Sheep Show!

Real Journeys - Walter Peak BBQ Dinner and Earnslaw

Monarch Wildlife Cruise & Larnach Castle Tour (Dunedin)

NZ$160 Adult NZ$80 Child

Let your local driver take you on an exciting Otago Peninsula drive to New Zealand’s only castle. Your guided tour of the Larnach family home will give you insight into not only the architecture and style of the stately building, but also into William Larnach’s family life and the restoration done by the current owners during the past three decades. Enjoy views from the tower and marvel at the immaculate gardens before your return to Dunedin. Join our invigorating Wildlife Cruise around Taiaroa Head, home to the world's only mainland nesting place of royal albatross. Watch as these huge birds glide in from the ocean and soar high above their hillside nests.

Monarch Wildlife Cruise & Larnach Castle Tour
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