14 Day 100% Pure South Island Private Guided Tour
Explore the South Island with a private guided tour personalised to suit your group. Our private guided tours are hosted by one of New Zealand’s leading tour guides. Your guide will meet your group at the airport and chauffeur your group to explore the destinations and activities included in your personalised tour package. They will tend to your needs and share valuable local knowledge with your group to enhance your holiday experience. We can cater for groups between 1-20 people.
Our private guided tour packages are flexible and are booked to suit your group’s travel dates and interests.
Private Guided Tour Package Includes:
- Private tour guide / driver
- Private vehicle (0-18 months old) including fuel
- Airport transfers
- 14 Nights in 4 Star Accommodation
- Christchurch Gondola, Tramway, Punting and Botanical Gardens Tour
- TSS Earnslaw Vintage Steamship Cruise & Walter Peak High Country Farm Evening Dining
- Doubtful Sound Wilderness Cruise ex Queenstown by Scenic Coach
- The Safaris of the Scenes – Lord of Rings 4WD Tour
- Scenic Helicopter Flight over Franz Josef Glacier with snow landing
- Abel Tasman Boat Cruise
- Thrillseekers Jet Hanmer Springs
Day 1 Arrive Christchurch
Arrive in Christchurch, New Zealand’s Garden City. Your tour guide will meet you at the airport and take you to your Christchurch City accommodation.
In the afternoon explore Christchurch City with your tour guide and experience all four of Christchurch’s must do activities! Christchurch Gondola, Tramway, Punting on the Avon River and Botanical Gardens Tour.
Stay 1 night in Christchurch.
Day 2 Lake Tekapo
Travel time Christchurch to Lake Tekapo 230 km / 143 miles, 3.5 hours
Depart Christchurch and travel south across the Canterbury Plains and inland towards the Southern Alps to reach Lake Tekapo an amazing turquoise blue lake. Tekapo presents many world class attractions from the famous Church of the Good Shepherd, to the luxurious spa complex Tekapo Springs and of course Mt John Observatory.
Activity Option: In the afternoon enjoy a spectacular scenic flightseeing tour of Mount Cook and Westland World Heritage National Parks. Explore the alpine wonderland of New Zealand’s highest mountains, mighty alpine glaciers and lush coastal rain forests. View turquoise glacial lakes, golden tussock lands & braided rivers of the Mackenzie basin plus remote High Country Sheep Stations. Highlights include Mount Cook, Tasman Glacier, Franz Josef Glacier & Fox Glacier! Every passenger has a window seat, all aircraft have wings-above for optimum viewing.
Stay 1 night in Lake Tekapo.
Day 3 Queenstown + Lake Cruise with High Country Farm Dinner
Travel time Lake Tekapo to Queenstown 254 km / 158 miles, 3.5 hours
Travel through the dramatic Lindis Pass, which links the Mackenzie Basin to Central Otago. Arrive in Queenstown, New Zealand’s adventure capital of the world.
In the evening relive the elegance of turn-of-the-century travel with a cruise aboard the vintage steamship TSS Earnslaw, the only coal fired passenger carrying vessel still operating in the southern hemisphere. Step aboard – watch the stokers fueling the fireboxes and hear the hiss of the steam engines working as the TSS Earnslaw takes you on a nostalgic cruise over beautiful Lake Wakatipu to Walter Peak High Country Farm where you will enjoy a stunning evening meal. An entertaining after dinner farm show provides a glimpse into high country farming life. Then on your return cruise, relax with a drink from the bar or join a fun sing-along with the ship’s pianist.
Stay 3 nights in Queenstown.
Day 4 Queenstown > Doubtful Sound
Doubtful Sound is the next step up from Milford Sound! Enjoy a scenic coach journey through heartland New Zealand to reach Manapouri. In Manapouri board your luxury catamaran and cruise across picturesque Lake Manapouri followed by a trip across New Zealand’s most expensive road Wilmot Pass, pausing along the way to experience the dense Fiordland rainforest and view Doubtful Sound glistening far below. In Doubtful Sound, you will board another catamaran for a three hour cruise through this pristine fiord. During the cruise your knowledgeable and friendly nature guides will share with you their passion for the region through their commentary. They will answer questions, point out landmarks and provide you with information about the varied wildlife you may encounter like dolphins, fur seals and the rare Fiordland crested penguin. After your cruise relax while your coach drives through stunning scenery delivering you back to your Queenstown accommodation.
Day 5 Queenstown 4WD Safari
Today explore the Lord of the Rings film locations around Queenstown on a spectacular half day 4WD adventure! This scenic safari offers breathtaking mountain and forest views along the shore of Lake Wakatipu towards Glenorchy and the Paradise Valley. Beyond Glenorchy travel up the Dart Valley to the filming location for Isengard, set amongst snow-capped mountains beside the turquoise waters of the Dart River. This setting offers views of Mt Earnslaw and it’s hanging glacier, used in the first instalment of The Hobbit trilogy. Explore the Paradise Forest, the location for the Forest of Lothlorien. Leaving Glenorchy and returning towards Queenstown top at 12 Mile Delta to explore the location of the Ithilien Camp.
Day 6 Wanaka
Travel time Queenstown to Wanaka 70 km / 43 miles, 1 hour
Travel over the beautiful Crown Range, New Zealand’s highest State Highway and admire the vistas from fantastic viewing points. Be sure to stop at the historic Cardrona Hotel for a refreshment before your arrival into Wanaka boasting panoramic views, a relaxed atmosphere and a myriad of walking tracks.
Stay 2 nights in Wanaka.
Day 7 Wanaka
Relax in Wanaka, exploring attractions with your guide such as Puzzling World, the National Toy and Transport Museum, the Warbirds and Wheels Museum, Have a Shot, Rippon Vineyard and Tasting Room and Paradiso Cinema.
Day 8 Franz Josef + Scenic Helicopter Flight
Travel time Wanaka to Franz Josef 285 km / 177 miles, 3.5 hours
Discover the Haast Pass Highway where there are many short walks and natural attractions to view along the way. Continue north, through dense rain forest broken by rugged coastal vistas, towards New Zealand’s glaciers.
In the afternoon enjoy a 20 minute scenic helicopter flight sweeping above Westland National Park as you explore Franz Josef Glacier before landing in the snow to enjoy exceptional views of the majestic Southern Alps.
In the evening, you have the option to visit Glacier Hot Pools for a rejuvenating hot spa under the stars.
Stay 1 night in Franz Josef.
Day 9 Hokitika
Travel time Franz Josef to Hokitika 134 km / 82 miles, 2 hours
Enjoy your journey along the West Coast, stopping at towns of interest such as Franz Josef, before continuing on to Hokitika, famous for its arts and crafts. Watch a masterpiece being crafted from gold, molten glass, paua or bone, or carve your own creation from wood or jade “pounamu.” Take in Hokitika’s natural beauty, enjoy its expansive beach or one of the many walking and mountain bike tracks.
Stay 1 night in Hokitika.
Day 10 Abel Tasman
Travel time Hokitika to Abel Tasman 359 km / 223 miles, 5 hours
Journey towards the Abel Tasman, an area renowned for its golden beaches, sculptured granite cliffs, unmodified estuaries, long sunshine hours and the world-famous Abel Tasman Coast Track. In the afternoon relax on one of the many golden beaches and explore the area with your guide.
Stay 2 nights in Abel Tasman.
Day 11 Abel Tasman Boat Cruise
Enjoy a boat cruise into the Abel Tasman National Park where you can relax on the hot golden sand, enjoy a day walk or simply enjoy a return boat cruise without having to leave the boat. There are various options as to where you may want to get off in the National Park. You may wish to get off at one point and do a walk within the park to another point on the track where the boat will pick you up. Or you may just want to pack a picnic lunch, beach towels and laze on the beach for the day.
Day 12 Nelson
Travel time Abel Tasman to Nelson 65 km / 40 miles, 1.5 hours
Journey to Nelson, which enjoys New Zealand’s highest sunshine hours and discover the creative paradise that is Nelson, with artists, galleries, local markets and gourmet cafés. Explore Nelson with your tour guide.
Stay 1 night in Nelson.
Day 13 Hanmer Springs
Travel time Nelson to Hanmer Springs 308 km / 191 miles, 4 hours
Travel on to Hanmer Springs, a year round holiday destination offering a variety of outdoor activities, great cafes and of course the Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools & Spa. As a natural spa destination, visitors have been travelling to bathe in the rejuvenating hot mineral pools for over 120 years! Relax in open-air thermal public and private pools and de-stress with spa therapies.
Stay 2 nights in Hanmer Springs.
Day 14 Hanmer Springs + Jet Boat
Today relax in Hanmer Springs plus experience the adrenaline rush of going 80km per hour, skimming the river below with Thrillseekers Jet! Cut corners as turquoise snow melt churns out behind you and experience 360° spins while you travel up the stunning Waiau Gorge.
Day 15 Depart Christchurch
Travel time Hanmer Springs to Christchurch 145 km / 90 miles, 2 hours
Depart Christchurch. Your guide will personally deliver you to the airport ready for your departing flight.