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Explore the South Island with a private guided New Zealand tour package 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 New Zealand 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 1-40 people.
This private guided New Zealand tour package is flexible and will be booked to suit your group’s travel dates and interests.
Read on for the full details of the 14 Day 100% Pure South Island Private Guided Tour.
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.
Christchurch is a vibrant, energetic city where urban regeneration, creativity, and innovation thrive. Picture amazing street art, innovative projects, a booming hospitality scene and state-of-the-art architecture that is changing the way the city looks, feels and functions – all the while staying true to its heritage and traditional English feel.
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.
Travel time Christchurch to Lake Tekapo – 3 hours
Depart Christchurch and travel south across the Canterbury Plains. After that, head inland towards the Southern Alps to reach Lake Tekapo, an amazing turquoise lake. Tekapo presents many world class attractions, from the famous Church of the Good Shepherd to the luxurious spa complex Tekapo Springs. Most famous of all is the 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.
Travel time Lake Tekapo to Queenstown – 3 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.
Tour Queenstown with your guide in the afternoon. You have the option to visit a winery or two in the Gibbston Valley of Vines. In addition, you could ride the Skyline Gondola to the top of Bob’s Peak for panoramic views over Lake Wakatipu.
In the evening, relive the elegance of turn-of-the-century travel with a cruise aboard the vintage steamship TSS Earnslaw. This is 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. The TSS Earnslaw takes you on a nostalgic cruise over beautiful Lake Wakatipu to Walter Peak High Country Farm. Here you will enjoy a stunning evening meal. After that, an entertaining after dinner farm show provides a glimpse into high country farming life. 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.
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. Secondly, enjoy a coach trip across New Zealand’s most expensive road, Wilmot Pass. Pause 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 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. For example, you might see 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.
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.
In the afternoon, you have the option to add on an unforgettable helicopter ride to see a number of remote filming location tucked in spectacular mountain valleys and ridges throughout the region.
Travel time Queenstown to Wanaka – 1 hour
Travel over the beautiful Crown Range, one of New Zealand’s highest alpine roads, 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.
In the afternoon you have many options, you may want to visit Rippon Winery, Wanaka’s local boutique winery overlooking the lake with stunning views of the surrounding mountains. You may also want to take a look around Wanaka’s shops, stroll around the lake’s edge, or indulge in one of the many activities on offer.
Stay 2 nights in Wanaka.
Enjoy Wanaka with your tour guide today. You may like to visit the National Toy and Transport Museum, the Warbirds and Wheels Museum or wander through 10 acres of beautiful lavender fields at the Lavender Farm.
The crystal-clear water of the lakes and rivers are ideal for kayaking, fishing, lake cruises, and jet-boating, or to get an aerial perspective of the region, take a scenic flight. It is not just the outdoor enthusiasts who have plenty to do—stroll the streets and be inspired by galleries and stylish shops, or indulge in a delicious meal from the excellent selection of cafés and restaurants.
In the evening you might like to catch a film at Cinema Paradiso, Wanaka’s quirky local theatre.
Travel time Wanaka to Franz Josef – 4 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.
Travel time Franz Josef to Hokitika – 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.
While in Hokitika, you may wish to make the scenic drive to Hokitika Gorge, where an impressive turquoise river flows through a narrow canyon, or Lake Kaniere, a beautiful lake nestled beneath the mountains.
You could also visit the National Kiwi Centre, where you will be able to see a rare kiwi; view New Zealand’s living dinosaur, the Tuatara; and participate in feeding the giant eels. Or make a drive north to Shantytown, where you can explore the heritage village, ride the steam train, try your hand at panning for gold, and take old-time styled photos.
Stay 1 night in Hokitika.
Travel time Hokitika to Abel Tasman – 5 hours
This afternoon make the most of the Abel Tasman with your guide, boasting golden beaches, alpine valleys and tranquil fishing rivers that share a close proximity with the sea. Soak up the breath-taking scenery, arts and crafts, and walking tracks.
Stay 2 nights in Abel Tasman.
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.
Travel time Abel Tasman to Nelson – 1 hour
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.
You can walk the sun-drenched sands or take a sea kayaking tour around the coast and see a seal colony and little blue penguins bobbing in the water. Taste your way around the region by bicycle on Tasman’s Great Taste Trail or get your daily dose of adrenaline with a visit to one of the region’s world-class mountain bike parks.
Stay 1 night in Nelson.
Travel time Nelson to Hanmer Springs – 4 hours
Travel on to Hanmer Springs, a
In the evening enjoy a meal in Hanmer Springs or relax in your accommodation.
Stay 2 nights in Hanmer Springs.
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.
Enjoy your last evening in Hanmer Springs and raise a glass to a fantastic New Zealand guided tour!
Travel time Hanmer Springs to Christchurch – 2 hours
Depart Christchurch. Your guide will personally deliver you to the airport ready for your departing flight.
As we find each traveller is different, each New Zealand tour package that we plan and book is different. Our team will work with you to design the perfect itinerary to suit your interests.
Our privately guided tours include all transportation, from airport to airport, as well as the services of your guide throughout your holiday. In addition, we include excellent accommodation plus a range of fantastic activities to help you experience the best of our country.
As you begin planning your privately guided New Zealand tour package, you may wish to explore our New Zealand Guided Tours brand. We offer a wide range of itineraries of all lengths to serve as inspiration.
Contact New Zealand Travel Organiser today to begin planning your bespoke privately guided tour.
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