Journey Snapshot

Uncover unique locations, secret trails, striking landscapes, natural treasures and roads less travelled on this true exploration of New Zealand's South Island.

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.

  • The Southern Drift
  • New Zealand
  • 12 Days

Prices from:

Per person, in USD

  • Adult Twin $5,660

  • Single $7,610

Journey Overview

  • Start
  • End
  • Overnight Stays
  • Sightseeing

Your Journey Itinerary

Day Activity
1 Welcome to Christchurch

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 Orana Wildlife Park, New Zealand’s only open-range zoo. This evening, join your Journey Director for Welcome Reception.

  • Hotel Montreal, Christchurch
2 Christchurch – TranzAlpine – Franz Josef

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, and meet a local greenstone (jade) carver for a jewellery demonstration. 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?

  • Breakfast, dinner with wine
  • Te Waonui Forest Retreat
3 Franz Josef (Relaxed Start)

After a relaxed start we explore this area, where a local guide explains the history behind the mighty Franz Josef Glacier. Later, you may want to get up close and personal with 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.

  • Breakfast
  • Te Waonui Forest Retreat
4 Franz Josef – Arrowtown – Queenstown

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 on the Arrow River. 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.

  • Breakfast, dinner with wine
  • Hotel St Moritz Queenstown
5 Queenstown at Leisure

Today is your choice of sightseeing, you could join a wine tour, view The Lord of the Rings film locations and scenery of Queenstown and Glenorchy on a scenic tour or spend time having a relaxing massage in the spa.

  • Breakfast
  • Hotel St Moritz Queenstown
6 Queenstown at Leisure

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. Otherwise, you could 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.

  • Breakfast, Local Dining Experience
  • Hotel St Moritz Queenstown
7 Queenstown – Te Anau – Milford Sound

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 World Heritage Fiordland National Park, sighting glaciers and mountain ranges before driving through the hand-hewn Homer Tunnel to the amazing Mirror Lake. Afterwards, walk to see the Chasm on your way into Milford Sound. Tonight, stay at the magical Milford Sound Lodge, with views of the Cleddau Valley.

  • Breakfast, dinner with wine
  • Milford Sound Lodge
8 Milford Sound

Wake up to the breathtaking beauty of Milford Sound. Learn more about breathtaking Fiordland National Park with an informative talk by a local expert. Later, board the Southern Discoveries vessel for a half day exploration of Milford Sound, often called the ‘eighth natural wonder of the world’. Sail out to the Tasman Sea, looking for wildlife along the way, for a visit to the Underwater Observatory and the opportunity to go sea kayaking in Harrison Cove.

  • Breakfast, lunch, dinner with wine
  • Milford Sound Lodge
9 Milford Sound – Gore – Dunedin

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 at lunchtime, before arriving in Dunedin, New Zealand’s southernmost city. Enjoy dinner tonight at Parcels Restaurant at your hotel.

  • Breakfast, dinner with wine
  • Distinction Dunedin Hotel
10 Dunedin

This morning, join an exclusive tour of Larnach Castle. Your afternoon is at leisure. Perhaps ride the historic Taieri Gorge Railway or take a wildlife cruise of the Otago Peninsula.

  • Breakfast
  • Distinction Dunedin Hotel
11 Dunedin – Christchurch

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 trip at a Celebration Dinner with your new-found friends and Journey Director.

  • Breakfast, Celebration Dinner
  • Hotel Montreal, Christchurch
12 Farewell from Christchurch

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.

  • Breakfast

Unique Highlights

Authentic and Engaging Experiences

  • Discover
    5552 Dunedin Otago MilesHolden DISCOVER


    • The magnificent icy landscape of Franz Josef Glacier
    • Dunedin’s Scottish influence
  • Explore
    milford sound shutterstock EXPLORE


    • Kayak across the waters of magical Milford Sound
    • Listen to the stories and explore the grounds of Larnach Castle
    • Vibrant Queenstown, nestled at the foot of the Remarkables
  • Immerse
    haast river shutterstock 561781132 IMMERSE


    • With an adventure on the Haast River
    • Uncover Arrowtown’s gold mining heritage
  • Relax
    milfordlodge16 033 CMYK RELAX


    • Stay in a luxury eco-lodge in Fiordland National Park
    • Indulge in a spa treatment in Queenstown
    • With view of mountains and rivers on the TranzAlpine Train

Explore the South Island of New Zealand

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Additional Information

What's Included
  • Hand-picked accommodation, selected to immerse you in your destination
  • Most meals, including Local Dining Experiences. See Dining tab below
  • Complimentary refreshments throughout the journey
  • Travel by bespoke vehicle with reclining seats, WiFi and air-conditioning
  • A maximum of 20 guests to share your journey
  • Expert Driver Guide escorts
  • All entrance and National Park fees
  • Sustainable Travel Kit, including refillable water bottle and backpack
  • Exclusive immersive activities and interaction with local communities
  • Built-in leisure time, to explore destinations as you wish
  • Airport transfers (see Flight Information below)
What to Bring
  •  Comfortable walking shoes
  •  Sunglasses, sunscreen and hat
  •  Warm layers in cooler months, and a waterproof
  • Camera
  • A sense of adventure
Fitness Requirements
  •  Low level of fitness required
  •  11 Full buffet breakfasts
  •  1 Lunch
  •  5 Dinners with wine
  • 1 Local Dining Experience
  •  1 Celebration Dinner
Flight Information
  •  Day 1: Flights to arrive prior to 4.00pm into Christchurch Airport
  •  Day 12: Flights to depart anytime from Christchurch Airport

Enjoy Your Stay

Explore the South Island of New Zealand

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