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12 Days NZ South Island Highlights package: Flights, 4wd car hire, 4 to 4.5-star accommodation (inc. Lake views), 2 breakfasts, Queenstown Skyline Gondola, Akaroa nature cruise, dinner at a French-themed restaurant and a lot more...

Akaroa - beautiful French village near Christchurch
Akaroa - beautiful French village near Christchurch
 
  • Akaroa - beautiful French village near Christchurch
  • Aoraki Mount Cook
  • Dunedin railway station
  • Helicopter to Franz Josef glacier
    This is an optional tour
  • Lake Matheson
  • Lake view apartment
  • Milford Sound
  • Queenstown

YOU PAY FROM $4,740pp $2,999 AFTER GCASH TRAVEL CREDITS & FFV

The South Island of New Zealand is picturesque to say the least. It’s about the many contrasts between oceans, rivers, gorges, mountains, glaciers, towns and lakes. As you drive this trip you’ll be able to indulge just about any area of interest from wineries to fly fishing, hiking to relaxing. You can do as much or as little as you want on this flexible trip that takes in many of the South Island’s favourite places.

View Itinerary & Inclusions | Quick Guide for New Members | Not Yet a Member

In the style of most Global Escapes Independent Traveler itineraries, this is a perfect blend of self-guided adventure and forward-planning to ensure that the main elements are organised in advance allowing for plenty of time to relax and take in each place you visit.

RETAIL VALUE

$4,740pp

GCASH CREDITS APPLIED

$1,741

YOU PAY

$3,199

DISCOUNT OFF RETAIL VALUE: 33%
FFV Valid AUSTRALIAN ESCAPES FREE FLIGHTS VOUCHER (FFV) PACKAGES
USE FREE FLIGHTS VOUCHERS TO SAVE AN EXTRA $200 PER PERSON (YOU PAY $2,999)
ONLY 2 FFV PACKAGES ARE AVAILABLE AS AT 22/09/2018... REQUEST PRICING FOR YOUR TRAVEL DATES TODAY

Request itinerary and pricing for your travel dates.

BOOKING ENQUIRY

Inclusions

"From turquoise lakes and lush peninsulas to snowcapped mountains and sparkling glaciers, the South Island's majestic landscapes offer awe and adventure in equal measure."

Two package options are available. You have the choice of the Standard or “All-in” package (see below) both of which offer excellent value and inclusions. You’ll stay in New Zealand’s versions of a French country village and a Scottish heritage town and on a couple of magnificent lakes. If you are adventurous you'll never forget the thrill of viewing Franz Josef and Fox glaciers from the air and landing on a snowfield. The scenery around Milford Sound as you cruise Fiordland National Park is magnificent to say the least.

This is a first-class, self-drive travel itinerary with hand-picked accommodation and activities that will ensure you really enjoy your NZ experience. The car is an important component as well and we know a standard small car will not do the job as effectively as a 4WD that gives you more space, a bit more height off the road and enables you to navigate the occasional muddy detour with ease. This is the ultimate self-drive itinerary. Want fewer days or you want to include a special activity? No problem, we’ll price it for you.

New Zealand's South Island offer some spectacular scenery. Here's just a taste. Watch through to part two to see Fiordland and Milford Sound...

Video link

Click/tap the player above to watch this short video about some of the highlights of NZ South Island. Opens in a new browser tab.

BONUS: Add comprehensive, best-in-class, travel insurance for just $99 per person* valued at over $200 per couple. Enquire today to find out if your travel dates are available. Prices and deposit amount vary according to travel date. Package prices valid to 31/03/2019. [GENUINE ENQUIRIES ONLY PLEASE]

Standard package inclusions:

  • Return flights from Australia to Christchurch
  • 12 days car hire (Subaru 4WD, Toyota Rav 4 or similar)
  • Zero excess on damage or theft, unlimited kilometers, extra driver
  • GPS hire
  • Lonely Planet Guide
  • New Zealand Touring Atlas
  • 12 nights staying at hand-picked 4 to 4.5-star B&B and apartment accommodation
  • Two breakfasts
  • No fees to alter the itinerary (you just pay for the adjusted itinerary)
  • Printed itinerary
  • Franz Josef Wildlife Centre admission
  • Queenstown Skyline Gondola with lunch or dinner
  • Olveston House tour (Dunedin)
  • Akaroa nature cruise
  • Dinner for two at a favourite Akaroa restaurant
  • Personal travel consultant

"All-in" package includes these extra activities (valued at over $1,200) for only $790 more:

  • Franz Josef Glacier and Fox Glacier helicopter tour with snowfield landing
  • Mou Waho Island cruise and nature walk from Wanaka
  • Milford Sound tour and cruise with lunch
  • Dunedin town and wildlife day tour

This itinerary is fully customisable to suit your requirements. See more detailed inclusions list below.

Special value:

Lonely Planet Logo

Lonely Planet is renowned for its first-hand approach, up-to-date maps and commitment to providing the best information for travelers. Lonely Planet authors are experienced, insightful travel experts. They personally research the places they write about - both in the first and in subsequent editions - and provide essential travel details along with a wealth of insider information and first-hand tips.

Spain
Touring Atlas

You will receive these guides to to help you gain the most out of your holiday. Recommendation: Take the time to read suggestions for things to see and do before you leave Australia. Take your Lonely Planet guides with you in your luggage. The New Zealand Touring Atlas is packed with information on highways and byways of the land of the long white cloud, all presented in the easy to read, easy to store format. This edition also features updated and improved NZ mapping.


* All prices are per-person on a twin-share basis and all bookings are subject to availability. Price and deposit amount varies according to travel date. A flight cost provision (allowance) applies. Total price after Getaway Cash credits and Australian Escapes Free Flights Vouchers is generally payable as follows: Deposit on booking, balance 120 days prior to departure. Packages can be priced for families and groups on request. All prices are estimates only. A firm quote (travel plan) with payment terms will be submitted for consideration prior to booking. Standard prices are for non-members for the same or similar package. Flight pricing included in packages or other estimates is based on travel from Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane. Travel can be arranged from any other major centre and for any number of people. Travel insurance pricing is based on two travellers aged 69 years or less as at the date of departure from Australia. Surcharge applies for travellers aged 70 years and over. Full booking terms and conditions are available here.

Your Itinerary

Itinerary Map

“Our happiest moments as tourists always seem to come when we stumble upon one thing while in pursuit of something else.” — Lawrence Block

Day 1: Arrive Christchurch

Arrive in Christchurch and be picked up by the car rental company’s driver who will take you to the depot where you will collect your car. If you arrive around the middle of the day you can set off for the west coast, or we can arrange a night’s accommodation for you in Christchurch with car parking. Stay an extra night if you’d like to include some sight-seeing around this interesting city.

Christchurch – Awatuna (1 night)

If you’re not staying in Christchurch, then on Day 1, you’ll cross the Canterbury Plains to Awatuna, just north of Hokatika. For a late lunch, stop off at the Original Sheffield Pie Shop on the road before you get to Arthur’s Pass. The scenery changes as you cross the plain then constantly as you drive around hills, over mountain passes, across rivers and past lakes and gorges.

Day 1 Map

Recommended activity: Stop at Arthur’s Pass and take one of the short nature walks.

Your first night will be at Awatuna Homestead where you’ll experience wonderful hospitality and home-style cooking staying at this B&B as guests of Paul and Lynley. Make sure you accept their invitation to dine-in that night (set menu with wine options, charges apply). Lynley is an exceptional cook. If this is your first B&B experience you will be spoilt for life.

Day 2: Franz Josef (2 nights)

Day 2: Drive to Franz Josef Glacier, local activities, free time
Day 3: Helicopter flight over Fox Glacier and Franz Josef Glacier, local activities, free time

Today you’ll head off to visit the town of Hokatika, the home of hand-carved jade jewelry. If you like the look and feel of jade, this is the pace to get it. Find your way to Hokatika Gorge as well to see the blue pools.

Day 2 Map

Recommended activity: Visit Hokatika Gorge.

Franz Josef Glacier was first explored in 1865 by geologist Julius von Haast, who named it after the Austrian emperor. The glacier is five kilometres from the town of the same name, and a 1.5 hour walk will take you to within 750m of its face. If you want to actually make contact with the glacier, take a guided ice walk or a heli-hike. Aerial sightseeing is included

There's a range of natural attractions in close proximity to Franz Josef Glacier Village. Lose yourself in the rainforests, waterfalls, and lakes. In the town you’ll find plenty of places to stay and eat, or relax at the Glacier Hot Pools.

Inclusions:

  • Franz Josef Wildlife Centre admission
  • (“All-in” package) Franz Josef Glacier and Fox Glacier helicopter tour with snowfield landing

Day 4-5: Franz Josef Glacier – Wanaka (2 nights)

Day 4: Drive to Wanaka taking in the scenery and nature stops along the way; enjoy the scenery; dine out at (recommended) “Trout” restaurant.
Day 5: Half-day cruise and nature walk

Day 4 Map

Take your time to have a leisurely breakfast at one of the local cafés before heading off towards Wanaka. Visit the town of Fox Glacier on your way and take a detour to Lake Matheson where you might be lucky to see the famous reflection of snow-capped Mount Cook in the dark waters. There are small towns to visit and the unmissable Southwest salmon farm and café is recommended for lunch (if not too busy).

Nestled below towering mountains, Wanaka is the most tranquilly set of the South Island lakes. In winter, skiers flock here from all over the world for superb skiing and snowboarding at Cardrona and Treble Cone. But Wanaka is much more than a winter destination offering year-round activities include fishing and hiking.

Nature Walk

Inclusions:

  • ("All-in" package) Mou Waho Island Cruise and Nature Walk

Days 6-8: Queenstown (3 nights)

Queenstown

Day 6: Drive the short distance to Queenstown; check-in to the resort (after 2pm) then drive or walk into town; enjoy the lake-front wharf area and shopping; Skyline Gondola with lunch or dinner.
Day 7: Milford Sound tour and cruise.
Day 8: Flexible time. Refer to your Lonely Planet guide for ideas.

Day 6 Map

Feel inspired by Queenstown’s stunning scenery, huge range of activities and renowned warm welcome. Surrounded by majestic mountains and set on the shores of crystal clear Lake Wakatipu, the natural beauty and the unique energy of the region create the perfect backdrop for a holiday full of adventure, discovery and rejuvenation.

Queenstown Aerial

There’s so much to see and do here. Simply refer to your Lonely Planet guide for extra ideas.

Inclusions:

  • Skyline Gondola with Lunch or Dinner
  • (“All-in” package) Milford Sound Tour & Cruise

Recommended activity: Book the 11.00am lake cruise from the booth located at Queenstown steamer wharf.

Days 9-10: Dunedin (2 nights)

Day 9: Drive to Dunedin. Enjoy the scenery and stops along the way. Visit Olveston House and the town.
Day 10: Dunedin town and wildlife day tour

Day 9 Map

Known as the Edinburgh of New Zealand, Dunedin is the country's city of the south, wearing its Scottish heritage with pride. Surrounded by dramatic hills and at the foot of a long, picturesque harbour, Dunedin is one of the best-preserved Victorian and Edwardian cities in the Southern Hemisphere. The accommodation is good and plentiful; the nightlife buzzes with funky bars and delicious restaurants and the natural attractions are unique and fascinating.

Dunedin

Inclusions:

  • Olveston House tour
  • (“All-in package”) Dunedin town and wildlife day tour

Days 11-12: Akaroa (2 nights)

Day 11: Drive to Akaroa.
Day 12: Akaroa nature cruise.

Day 11 Map

Today is a long driving day so an early start is recommended. You ideally want to arrive in Akaroa by mid-afternoon to make the most of this idyllic town.

Akaroa

The most French town in New Zealand, Akaroa will have you entranced with its historic buildings, magnificent harbour and passion for fine food. The best way to explore Akaroa is on foot. Begin at the information centre, which is on the corner of Rue Lavaud and Rue Balguerie. You'll find brochures and maps that will help you to decide where to walk. Enjoy dinner at one of the best local French-themed restaurants and the wonderful nature cruise.

Inclusions:

  • Akaroa nature cruise
  • Dinner for two at one of our favourite restaurants

Day 17: Return to Australia

It’s time to drive back to Christchurch and say farewell to New Zealand remembering the fun times you’ve had, interesting people you’ve encountered and the beautiful scenery you’ve experienced.

Thank you for joining Australian Escapes Holiday & Travel Club

As a member of Australian Escapes Holiday & Travel Club and Global Escapes Travel you get the lowest possible prices on holiday accommodation and travel giving you more holiday for your travel dollar. Plus you get expert advice and help to plan the perfect holiday.

Enquire about promoted packages (we show just a few examples on the website) or simply tell us where you would like to travel to and we'll put together a travel plan or package for you using maximum GCash credits.

In a nutshell:

Getaway Cash travel credits:

  • GCash is used towards the price of Australian and overseas holidays to reduce the price from retail to wholesale.
  • Each credit is worth 1 dollar. On this package you will use the specified amount of credits to reduce the price to wholesale making it exceptional value.

Free Flights Vouchers:

  • Each Australian Escapes Free Flights Voucher (FFV) is worth $100.
  • If you have been issued with one or more FFV you might be able to some or all to reduce the price of flights in this package. (On some domestic travel packages you can get 100% free flights.)

For full details visit our FAQ's page

To submit a general booking enquiry... Booking enquiry

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"Hi, have finally returned. Wonderful, wonderful trip. We think we loved Paris and its age/artworks but all was full of laughter fun and learning. Paris apartment was beautiful, & quiet when windows were closed, which wasn't bad anyway. The street is full of lots of restaurants and cafe's. (we also loved Shakespeare & co bookshop.) Fruit and chocolates in most rooms and champagne which I think we only drank in Brussels. we were ready for bed everywhere else though we almost had it for morning tea at Amsterdam on check in. Magnificent. Cheers." Val C.

"Have just returned from our wonderful trip to the UK. Just wanted to say a huge thanks for your organisation, we had the best holiday ever, an absolutely marvellous time, the tour was magnificent. We would recommend the Trafalgar Britain and Ireland Winter delights tour to anyone who wants to do adventurous travel, learning about other countries, and making friends. The coach was actually over half full of Aussies! Thanks so much for organising such a memorable holiday for us." Lee D.

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"My life has been like a whirlwind since I got back. I am now on holidays and catching up with people that I have not had time to contact since coming back. Thank you so much for organising my trip to The States and Canada for me. I had a great time and everything went really well. All flights went well. The hotel you booked me into in Champaign was a really old home with beautiful gardens, all done up and run by two gay guys. It was really quaint and I loved it. I had a great time, everything went without a hitch, I loved all the accommodation that you organized for me and I would like to wish you a happy Christmas and all the best." Marlene S.

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