Special Tour of South Island
ITINERARY AND MEALS
B Breakfast (Continental) – D Dinner (2 course)
DAY 1 - Palmerston North – Nelson (D)
Eager to get on the road and begin our Special South Island tour, we wave goodbye to Palmerston North with an early bird departure of 5.00am arriving in Wellington for a morning ferry. Crossing the Cook Strait, through the Tory Channel we reach the harbour town of Picton at 11.30am. A bite to eat at Havelock or Pelorus Bridge, followed by a relaxing drive will see us arriving in Nelson at approx 5.00pm
DAY 2 - Nelson-Cape Farewell –Return (B + D)
Today we head to the most Northern point of the South Island as we travel up the coast of the Tasman Sea to this glorious cliffed cape. Our guided sightseeing tour from Takaka to the end of the road at Cape Farewell is a great way to appreciate the Golden Bay area. Reflect on the rugged beauty of this isolated splendour as the day draws to a close in Nelson.
DAY 3 - Nelson-Reefton-Greymouth (B + D)
Leaving sunny Nelson we head inland over the Spooner Range and follow the Buller River to Murchison. With time to explore the historic gold mining town of Lyell in the Buller gorge before we arrive at Reefton for lunch. Blackball is our last stop before arriving in Greymouth.
DAY 4 - Greymouth-Arthurs Pass-Harihari (B + D)
Wave goodbye to the heart of the West Coast as we journey back inland to Arthur’s Pass enjoying the spectacular lake views of Lake Brunner. Driving over the Otira Gorge road viaduct—a triumph of engineering. Hokitika is our lunch destination followed by a short stop at New Zealand’s richest town Ross making our way to Harihari for our overnight stay.
DAY 5 - Harihari-Glaciers-Haast (B + D)
We journey to Franz Josef this morning where an exciting optional excursion is available. Obtain a birds-eye view of Franz Josef Glacier with a spectacular scenic helicopter flight landing on the crisp snowfields. Take a short walk to a viewpoint for a closer look of the Glacier. Travelling on SH 6 we stop for lunch at Fox Glacier and a stroll around Lake Matheson before we head down to Haast for the night.
DAY 6 - Haast-Wanaka-Queenstown (B + D)
With a final farewell of the West Coast we travel along the Haast River and Traverse the scenic Haast Pass. Morning tea at Makarora before travelling along the shore of Lake Wanaka through The Neck and along the shore of Lake Hawea to Wanaka. Our afternoon’s spent travelling the rugged Kawarau Gorge to New Zealand’s home of adventure tourism Queenstown.
DAY 7 - Queenstown (B + D)
Free day or optional excursions (Hotel Dinner)
DAY 8 - Queenstown-TeAnau (B + D)
Set against the tranquil Lake Wakatipu is the historic and beautiful ‘Middle Earth’ town of Glenorchy where we enjoy morning tea. In the afternoon we travel through Kingston and Mossburn on the way to retire for the evening in Te Anau—the gateway to Fiordland.
DAY 9 - Te Anau-Milford Sound-Return (B + D)
Enjoy a scenic drive through Fiordland National Park—the largest national park in New Zealand. With a visit to Gunn’s Camp Museum will take you back in time.(Hollyford Valley).
Day 10, - Te Anau-Invercargill (B + D)
Travel to Invercargill this morning through Lumsden, we stop for morning tea in the quaint town of Winton. Arriving in Invercargill in time for lunch and a free afternoon to explore the culture or enjoy an optional excursion to Stewart Island.
DAY 11 - Invercargill-Catlins-Alexandra (B + D)
Enjoy the costal journey through the Catlins. A short stop at Owaka, then we continue on to Balclutha for lunch. Next stop, Alexandra through Lawrence, Raes Junction and Roxburgh; one of New Zealand’s most historic areas.
DAY 12 - Alexandra (B + D)
We take a lovely journey this morning from Alexandra visiting the historic town of Ophir then onto Clyde to view the township and dam. Have the afternoon to yourself and enjoy the sights and sounds of Alexandra.
DAY 13 - Alexandra-Central Otago-Dunedin (B + D)
Get ready to breathe the sea air again as we head east towards Dunedin, passing through St Bathans, stopping at the famous Vulcan Hotel for morning tea before venturing into the gold mining area of Kyeburn. Relax in Central Otago with lunch in Ranfurly before making our way to Dunedin.
DAY 14 - Dunedin (B + D)
Otago is home to breath taking sights and landscapes, enjoy a sightseeing tour of the beautiful Otago Peninsula this morning. Enjoy a free afternoon exploring Dunedin at your leisure.
DAY 15 - Dunedin (B + D)
Free day – optional excursion Taieri Gorge train trip.
DAY 16 - Dunedin – Christchurch (B + D)
Marvel at the views of the Pacific Ocean as we travel north towards Christchurch. Travel to Oamaru for morning tea and a look around Timaru before arriving at Geraldine for lunch. Arriving in Christchurch for a two night stay around 5.00 pm.
DAY 17 - Christchurch (B + D)
Free Day—optional excursion to International Antarctic Centre.
DAY 18 - Christchurch–Hanmer Springs (B + D)
As we leave the city of Christchurch we make our way slightly inland to Hanmer Springs. Familiarise yourself and take in the surroundings as we pause for morning tea at Hurunui Hotel arriving at Hanmer Springs for lunch. Afternoon is free. This evening we enjoy an “end of tour” group get together, first drink is ‘Unique’ shout followed by dinner.
DAY 19 - Hanmer Springs (B)
Free day. An optional day excursion of Molesworth Heritage Day Tour departing at 8am returning at 5pm.
DAY 20 - Hanmer-Lewis Pass-Picton (B + D)
On the home stretch as we make our way to Picton, via LewisPass. The Pass is home to gorgeous views of the Southern Alps and forestry. The journey onto Picton leads us through Kawatiri to Lake Rotoiti and onward to the spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean, something to treasure as our time together draws to a close.
DAY 21 - Picton–Wellington–Palmerston North (B)
Board the ferry in Picton as we bid farewell to the stunning south. Disembark in Wellington at 1.00pm, returning to Palmerston North with memories, photographs and new friends to treasure.