Milford Sound cruise
Christchurch
Dunedin
Franz Josef Glacier
Pancake Rocks, Punakaiki
Christchurch
TranzAlpine

Southern Spectacular

10 day Escorted Tour - from £3062

With flights from £4012

Discover New Zealand’s stunning South Island on this expedition to Arthur’s Pass, Punakaiki, Mt. Cook, Franz Josef Glacier, Milford Sound and Queenstown.

Highlights:

  • Visit a working New Zealand sheep farm
  • Cruise the serenely beautiful Milford Sound
  • Walk around Punakaiki’s Pancake Rocks
  • Gaze upon the breathtaking Franz Josef Glacier
  • Journey over the Southern Alps on the TranzAlpine Train
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Your Itinerary

Day 1 - Welcome to Christchurch

Welcome to Christchurch, New Zealand’s Garden City. Flights can arrive any time prior to 4.00pm and you will be transferred from the airport to your Christchurch hotel. Take some time to relax or explore independently. You may like to step back in time to a grand era of transport and relax on the Christchurch Tram as it takes you around the ‘must-see’ central attractions. The tram drivers provide a live commentary throughout the loop, identifying points of interest, historic architecture and the changes the city is under-going since the 2011 earthquake (optional experience – own expense).

This evening, meet your fellow travelling companions and your Travel Director for a welcome reception at your hotel.

Hotel: Distinction Hotel Christchurch

Day 2 - Twizel

First up this morning you will get to partake in our Sustainable Tourism Commitment by planting a New Zealand native tree in the Port Hills of Christchurch. The Port Hills of Christchurch were hit with two separate wildfires on the 13th of February 2017 damaging a total of 5130 acres of land. Next, travel over the patchwork countryside of the Canterbury Plains to soak up some spectacular sightseeing. Visit Morelea, the home of Angie and Stan Taylor, for a be my guest afternoon tea and hear about a lifetime spent farming in New Zealand. Later, view the little stone-hewn Church of the Good Shepherd, and the bronze statue of a collie dog, the touching tribute to the sheepdogs which helped develop the Mackenzie Country. Your day finishes in the heart of the Mackenzie Country in Twizel. Tonight, enjoy dinner at your hotel.

Hotel: MacKenzie Country Hotel
Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 3 - Dunedin

Your day starts with a journey along the Waitaki River, which marks the boundary between the regions of Canterbury and Otago, and with its large catchment it is an ideal source of hydro-electric power. The Benmore Dam holds back New Zealand’s largest artificial lake, and when the Benmore Power Station was opened in 1965 it was the largest power station in New Zealand. Even today, it is still the second largest, and generates enough electricity each year for about 298,000 average New Zealand homes.

From the Waitaki Valley you will then travel through to the township of Oamaru, with its stately tree-lined streets and its famous white limestone buildings. As well as shipping limestone to the bigger cities of Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin for construction of their Town Halls and various churches, Oamaru locals made sure that their own town represented the best in limestone building the mid-late 1800’s had to offer.

This afternoon you will make your way down to the Southernmost New Zealand city, Dunedin. With the rest of your free afternoon you may wish to see more of the region with an Optional Experience. Perhaps take a Wildlife Cruise out to Otago Peninsula, visit the Speights Brewery – a New Zealand institution or ride the historic Taieri Gorge Railway. Tonight, enjoy dinner at your hotel.

Hotel: Scenic Hotel Southern Cross
Meals: Breakfast and dinner

Day 4 - Te Anau

This morning you have some free time in Dunedin. You may want to journey out to the gorgeous Larnach Castle – New Zealand’s only castle. Or you may just wish to roam around the beautiful grounds of New Zealand’s first university, Otago University. Dunedin, also known as the Edinburgh of the South, has strong connections to its northern hemisphere sister city, even down to sharing many of the same street names – so take a wander down George Street, noting Dunedin’s Scottish ancestry.

This afternoon travel through lush green pastures, crossing sheep-filled farming land. New Zealand is internationally known for its sheep farming, 41 and these are sights many visitors to this country recognise as typically ‘New Zealand’. You are sure to find the perfect sheep photo here! As your journey continues, the rolling, grassy hills once again turn back into heavily forested, rugged mountains, and you meander your way up into the Fiordland National Park to the South Island’s biggest lake and the town of Te Anau. This evening you have the opportunity to head out across the lake to the Glow Worm Caves for a tour (optional – at own expense).

Tonight, enjoy dinner at your hotel.

Hotel: Distinction Te Anau Hotel
Meals: Breakfast and dinner

Day 5 - Queenstown

Today is one of those days where you will want to have your camera battery charged, and ready to go! After leaving Te Anau, you will journey through the Fiordland National Park and out to Milford Sound on one of the most scenic roads you could hope for. Travel through native rainforests, beech forests, alluvial flats and meadows.

You will stop at Mirror Lakes where, as the name suggests, you can see the stunning mountain scenery perfectly reflected in the waters of the lakes. Then on to the Homer Tunnel, man’s attempt to master the sheer rocky ranges, still left rough-hewn around the edges. As you emerge out the other side of the tunnel, you are presented with one of the world’s most dramatic alpine drives, down through the Cleddau Valley. You will have a stop at the Chasm, where the roaring Cleddau River has carved its way through solid rock, and then it’s on to Milford Sound, where you will cruise the waters of this natural wonder. Your cruise meanders down the sound, taking in the Bowen and Stirling Falls as they plummet from glacial hanging valleys sharply into the sea, and the sheer pinnacle of Mitre Peak, rising from the deep waters of the fiord.

From the spectacular scenes of Milford Sound, you will travel on to the beautiful sights of Queenstown. An orientation tour skirting around the shores of Lake Wakatipu, takes you into the city centre.

Hotel: Millennium Hotel Queenstown
Meals: Breakfast

Day 6 - Queenstown

Explore Queenstown your way, choose from a range of optional sightseeing experiences. You could choose to ride the Shotover Jet, take a gondola to Bob’s Peak. Perhaps take a minibus tour through spectacular Skippers Canyon or immerse yourself among the boutique vineyards and spectacular scenery of Central Otago on a Boutique Wine tour. After a day of activity, enjoy a peaceful evening cruise across Lake Wakatipu aboard the TSS Earnslaw to Walter Peak High Country Farm for a gourmet barbecue highlight dinner at the Colonel’s Homestead. Then enjoy an entertaining after-dinner farm show providing a glimpse into high-country farm life. On the cruise back to Queenstown, join a sing-along or a dance across the polished wooden floors of the Earnslaw.

Hotel: Millennium Hotel Queenstown
Meals: Breakfast and Highlight Dinner

Day 7 - Franz Josef

Your destination today is the wild west coast of the South Island. Stop to visit the faithfully-restored gold mining settlement of Arrowtown, where more than 70 original buildings from the gold-rush era are still preserved, and enjoy the serenity of the region’s vivid blue lakes, the most famous of which is pristine Lake Wanaka. Drive over the spectacular Haast Pass, passing the 96-metre Thunder Creek Falls on your way to the extraordinary Franz Josef Glacier.

Hotel: Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier
Meals: Breakfast and dinner

Day 8 - Punakaiki

Explore the glacier this morning, then spend some time amongst temperate rainforest giants on the West Coast Treetop Walkway. Travel on to Hokitika, home of New Zealand’s famous greenstone. Pounamu (its Māori name) is of great cultural significance in Māori culture and was prized for its strength, durability and beauty. It was used for weapons, tools and personal ornaments, and also denoted great status. Continue to Punakaiki to view the intriguing Pancake Rocks and Blowholes. You’ll spend the night in an eco-friendly resort right on the waterfront.

Hotel: Punakaiki Resort
Meals: Breakfast and dinner

Day 9 - Christchurch

Board the iconic TranzAlpine train in Greymouth this morning and embark on one of the world’s great train journeys, passing through magnificent landscapes ranging from the fertile farmlands of the Canterbury Plains to rugged gorges and pristine ice-fed streams and lakes. The train forges through tunnels and over viaducts with panoramic views of snow-capped peaks, towering beech forests and lush river valleys. Back in Christchurch, join your Travel Director for a Farewell Dinner.

Hotel: Distinction Hotel Christchurch
Meals: Breakfast, lunch & farewell dinner

Day 10 - Farewell from Christchurch

Say farewell to your fellow travellers when your holiday comes to an end this morning after breakfast.

Meals: Breakfast

10 day Escorted Tour - from £3062

With flights from £4012

OPTIONS

  • Add extra nights in Christchurch before or after your tour
  • Choose to fly Economy, Premium, Business or First Class
  • Add a stopover to New Zealand in Singapore, Dubai or another destination

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All prices are per person, based on 2 sharing a twin room, and include meals where shown. Please call Freedom Destinations to confirm departure dates and availability. Itinerary may vary for departures post 1 April 2023.

Southern Spectacular Map

Your Touring Experience

Enjoy first class touring with like minded travellers. Our experienced guides will make sure you don’t miss a thing.

Your premium escorted tour includes:

  • Sightseeing, walks and activities
  • Luxury, air-conditioned coach travel
  • 9 nights hotel accommodation
  • 9 breakfasts, 1 afternoon tea, 1 lunch and 7 dinners
  • Expert tour director
  • Airport transfers and extra night options

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Departure Dates

Check for departure dates that suit you:

2021-11-02

2021-11-09

2021-11-16

2021-11-23

2021-11-30

2021-12-07

2021-12-14

2021-12-21

2021-12-28

2022-01-04

2022-01-11

2022-01-18

2022-01-25

2022-02-08

2022-02-15

2022-02-22

2022-03-01

2022-03-08

2022-03-15

2022-03-22

2022-03-29

2022-04-05

2022-04-12

2022-04-19

2022-04-26

2022-05-03

2022-06-14

2022-07-05

2022-09-13

2022-09-20

2022-09-27

2022-10-11

2022-10-18

2022-10-25

2022-11-01

2022-11-08

2022-11-15

2022-11-22

2022-11-29

2022-12-06

2022-12-13

2022-12-20

2022-12-27

2023-01-03

2023-01-10

2023-01-17

2023-01-24

2023-01-31

2023-02-07

2023-02-14

2023-02-21

2023-02-28

2023-03-07

2023-03-14

2023-03-21

2023-03-28

2023-04-04

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