Experience the best of New Zealand’s South Island on this guided tour. Your private guide will meet your group at the airport and take you on an insider’s tour of New Zealand, visiting iconic landmarks and local secrets alike.

Offering New Zealand’s top escorted tour operators and highly experienced tour guides, we cater for groups between 1-20 people. With no date or itinerary restrictions, your New Zealand tour can be completely customised.

7 Day South Island Guided Tour Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive Christchurch

Your fantastic guided holiday begins in Christchurch, New Zealand’s “Garden City.” With a thriving restaurant scene, a string of beautiful parks, and a historic town centre, Christchurch is an excellent holiday destination.

Explore Christchurch with your guide, visiting the botanic gardens, the Christchurch Cathedral, the RE:Start Container Mall, and the Canterbury Museum.

Stay 1 night in Christchurch.

Day 2 Mount Cook + Tasman Glacier

Travel time Christchurch to Mt Cook Village – 4 hours 

Your scenic journey through the Mackenzie Basin begins today as you cross over Burkes Pass. As the Southern Alps loom before you, there will be photo opportunities around every corner.

Continue past Lake Pukaki on your way to Mt Cook Village, nestled at the foot of New Zealand’s highest mountain. Your guide will take you to a viewpoint over Tasman Glacier, lying at the base of the spectacular Tasman Valley.

In the evening, visit the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre to view the displays and watch any of a wide offering of films and planetarium shows on New Zealand.

Stay 1 night in Mt Cook Village.

Day 3 Queenstown + Steamship Cruise + High Country Dinner

Travel time Mt Cook Village to Queenstown – 3 hours 

Continue south to Queenstown, the adventure capital of New Zealand. Along the way, your guide will take you to sample the fresh fruit from the orchards of Cromwell. You also have the option to visit several top wineries on the drive through the Kawarau Gorge.

Visit Arrowtown with your guide in the afternoon, and explore the quaint historic mining settlement. If there are any Lord of the Rings fans in the group, your guide will show you the filming locations for Minas Tirith, Argonath, the Misty Mountains, and the Ford of Bruinen.

In the evening, relive the elegance of turn-of-the-century travel with a cruise aboard the vintage steamship TSS Earnslaw. Disembark at Walter Peak High Country Farm for a stunning gourmet BBQ meal and farm tour.

Stay 2 nights in Queenstown.

Day 4 Milford Sound Tour

Embark on a scenic coach journey to Milford Sound, known as the “eighth wonder of the world.” As you venture deep into the heart of Fiordland National Park, you will get the chance to stop and view a number of must-see destinations along the way.

At Milford Sound, witness the grandeur of this mighty fiord up close on a 2.5-hour nature cruise.

Day 5 Wanaka

Travel time Queenstown to Wanaka – 1 hour 

Enjoy the scenic drive over the Crown Range to Wanaka – your guide will stop along the way for photos at fantastic viewing points.

Explore the alpine town of Wanaka in the afternoon. Your guide could take you to Puzzling World or Rippon Winery, or you could simply relax on the lakefront and do a bit of boutique shopping.

Stay 1 night in Wanaka.

Day 6 Franz Josef Glacier + Heli Flight with Snow Landing

Travel time Wanaka to Franz Josef – 4 hours 

After the Milford Highway, the Haast Pass Highway is one of the most scenic alpine routes in New Zealand. Explore the pass with your guide, stopping to view cascading waterfalls, broad alpine meadows, craggy snowcapped mountains, and the turquoise depths of the Blue Pools.

Continuing along the West Coast, your guide will take you to the base of Fox Glacier, where you have the option to enjoy a 1-hour return walk to a viewing point over the mighty glacier.

In the afternoon, take an unforgettable helicopter flight over Franz Josef Glacier, where you will land in the snow to enjoy incredible views of the majestic Southern Alps.

Stay 1 night in Franz Josef.

Day 7 TranzAlpine Train Journey

Travel time Franz Josef to Greymouth – 2.5 hours 

Train travel time Greymouth to Christchurch – 4.5 hours 

Leave the rugged West Coast behind today as you board the TranzAlpine Train for a fantastic journey through Arthurs Pass. Travel past the soaring peaks and braided rivers of the Southern Alps, through the gorges of the Waimakariri River, and past the rolling Canterbury Plains.

Your guide will meet you at the train station and bring you to your accommodation.

Stay 1 night in Christchurch.

Day 8 Depart Christchurch

Your guide will deliver you to Christchurch Airport for your departing flight.

 

Highlights Include: 

  • Driving through the Mackenzie Basin, with countless photo opportunities along the way – see the craggy, snow-capped Mt Cook (New Zealand’s highest mountain), drive past two stunning turquoise lakes, and witness the grandeur of the Southern Alps.

Lake Pukaki, Mackenzie Basin, South Island, New Zealand guided tours

  • Viewing the spectacular Tasman Glacier.

Tasman Glacier, Mount Cook, New Zealand guided tours

  • Learning the incredible stories of New Zealand at the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre planetarium and theatre.
  • Reliving the elegance of turn-of-the-century travel with a steamship cruise across Lake Wakatipu.

TSS Earnslaw Cruise Queenstown

  • Experiencing farm life and enjoying a gourmet dinner at Walter Peak High Country Station.

TSS Earnslaw Walter Peak Farm Queenstown

  • Exploring the quaint historic mining settlement of Arrowtown.

Arrowtown, Queenstown

  • Journeying down the incredible Milford Highway and experiencing the grandeur of Milford Sound on an unforgettable nature cruise.

  • Driving over the lofty Crown Range and stopping for sweeping views of the valley below.
  • Travelling through Haast Pass, past hanging glaciers and pounding waterfalls and turquoise rivers.
  • Flying over the magnificent Franz Josef Glacier on a helicopter tour, and landing in the pristine snow!

Glacier helicopter guided tour New Zealand with snow landing

  • Riding the TranzAlpine Train through the spectacular Arthurs Pass.

TranzAlpine Train New Zealand

Your privately guided tour includes:

  • All transportation within New Zealand – you will be collected at the arrivals hall of the Christchurch, and dropped off at the departures hall of the Christchurch Airport
  • Excellent 4-star accommodation
  • Private tour guide
  • Sightseeing and Photo Stops En Route
  • Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre Explorers Pass
  • TSS Earnslaw Steamship Cruise and High Country Farm Dinner
  • Milford Sound Nature Cruise ex Queenstown by Scenic Coach
  • Scenic Heli Flight over Franz Josef Glacier with Snow Landing
  • TranzAlpine Train Journey

** Your privately guided tour does NOT include flights, food (except where included in activities) or travel insurance.

 

 

Pricing

As guide prices are split between travellers, the pricing will vary depending on the number of travellers on your tour.

1 Traveller:    NZD$13,349

2 Travellers:  NZD$7249 per adult | NZD$6849 per child

3 Travellers:  NZD$5499 per adult | NZD$5049 per child

4 Travellers:  NZD$4599 per adult | NZD$4149 per child

5 Travellers:  NZD$4099 per adult | NZD$3649 per child

6 Travellers:  NZD$3749 per adult | NZD$3299 per child

7 Travellers:  NZD$3499 per adult | NZD$3049 per child

8 Travellers:  NZD$3299 per adult | NZD$2849 per child

9 Travellers:  NZD$3249 per adult | NZD$2849 per child

10 Travellers: NZD$3149 per adult | NZD$2699 per child

11 + Travellers:  Please enquire for your custom quote