This itinerary is ideal for those with a love of the outdoors and nature and showcases what we believe are the true highlights of the spectacular South Island. Get ready to sail or kayak and hike in the Abel Tasman National Park, take a helicopter flight over New Zealand's glaciers, experience a thrilling jetboat trip, visit a sheep farm, enjoy horse trekking and biking, hike on the famous Routeburn or Milford Track, cruise or kayak the majestic fiords of Milford Sound, see glowworms, indulge in fantastic food and wine and enjoy the friendly New Zealand people. Whether your're active or interested in simply relaxing amongst a backdrop of stunning scenery, this itinerary offers some great tour options.
• 10 nights 4 star hotel & B&B accommodation (based on double occupancy)
• 11 Days Compact size auto rental car, including unlimited km's and daily insurance
• Breakfast daily
• Choose 1 tour for each area (total 4 tours included in package price):
Abel Tasman National Park
- Kayak, Seals, Cruise & Walk
- Full Day Sailing
Fox or Franz Josef Glacier
- Fox or Franz Josef Glacier Heli Hike
- Mountain Scenic Helicopter flight at Fox or Franz Josef Glacier
- Dart River Jetboat
- Routeburn Track Guided Day Hike
- Walter Peak Sheep Farm incl. BBQ lunch
- Queenstown Trails Full Day Self Guided Bike Tour
- The River Wild Horse Trekking
- Milford Sound Must Do: Guided Kayaking
- Milford Sound Coach and Nature Cruise
- Milford Sound Coach, Nature Cruise & 2.5 hr Walk
For detailed descriptions of these tours, click on the links located throughout the itinerary and locate the tour name (listed above). This itinerary can be customized to suit.
• Airfares - contact us for a quote;
• Optional sightseeing experiences;
• Meals (unless specified);
• Travel Insurance
Day 1: Nelson
Today you will arrive in Nelson. After collecting your rental car, you have a short drive to your centrally located accommodaton. You will have the afternoon at leisure.
Accommodation: Rutherford Hotel or Shelbourne Villa B&B - 2 nights
Day 2: Nelson / Abel Tasman National Park
This morning you will drive via the orchards, vineyards and tidal beaches of Tasman Bays to Kaiteriteri, the gateway to the stunning Abel Tasman National Park.
Today enjoy either a Full Day Sailing on a catamaran including a beach stop with time for lunch, swimming and a walk. Alternatively as part of a full day tour enjoy a visit to a Fur Seal Colony, guided kayaking and a two hour hike. No previous experience required for kayaking and walk is suitable for all fitness levels.
Day 3: Nelson - Punakaiki
Today you will depart Nelson and begin your travel down the West Coast - Lonely Planet Blue List says, "A drive along the West Coast of the South Island rates in the top 10 best road trips in the world". The West Coast is a stretch of wild and rugged coastline with crashing waves and smooth, sandy shores. Where the curving road hugs the sea you will find Punakaiki, set between exquisite beaches and the lush rainforest of Paparoa National Park. Punakaiki offers beach and forest walks galore, crafts, horse trekking, and the famous Pancake Rocks and Blowholes which are columns of limestone carved by the ocean to resemble giant stacks of pancakes. Walk the short Truman Track at sunset to watch the sun descend in a honey-glow over the dramatic and untouched West Coast sea.
Accommodation: Punakaiki Resort or Breakers B&B - 1 night
Day 4: Punakaiki - Fox or Franz Josef Glacier
Today is another scenic travel day to reach the glaciers of Fox or Franz Josef. Along the way you may like to take a side-trip to visit the peaceful seaside village of Okarito, with New Zealand's largest natural lagoon and home to over 70 species of birds. Eco-enthusiasts can enjoy tremendous diversity of wild Tasman Sea beaches and the bird paradise of the lagoon and surrounding rainforest. Walk, kayak or take an open boat tour to explore this amazing sanctuary of wildlife.
Accommodation: Distinction Te Weheka Inn or Scenic Hotel Franz Josef - 2 nights
Day 5: Fox or Franz Josef Glacier
The rugged West Coast of the South Island is an untamed beauty where the mountains meet the Tasman Sea and where rainforests give way to Glaciers. Nowhere else in the world can glaciers be found in such a dramatic setting, in such close proximity to the Sea, making Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers truly unique. and two of New Zealand's most accessible glaciers. Today you can enjoy either a Heli-Hike or Mountain Spectacular Scenic Helicopter Flight.
Franz Josef Tour Descriptions
Other activities in the area inlcude a walk along Gillespies Beach or a stroll around NZ's most photographed lake, Lake Matheson, known for it's stunning reflections.
Day 6: Fox or Franz Josef Glacier - Queenstown
Today you will travel further down the West Coast to the Southern Lakes region. There are many wonderful short bush and beach walks along the way with photo op's galore! As you climb the Crown Range you will be rewarded with views of Arrowtown, Kawarau Gorge and in the distance, the majestic alpine resort town of Queenstown, also known as the 'adventure capital of New Zealand'.
Accommodation: Heritage Queenstown or Queenstown House - 3 nights
Day 7: Queenstown
Today you have a choice of activities from thriling jetboating, horse trekking amongst a backdrop of stunning scenery, a guided hike on the famous Routeburn Track in the Mt Aspiring National Park, off-road self guide (but supported) bike tour on Queenstown Trails with stops in Arrowtown, Bungy Bridge, Wineries and a cheesery or Walter Peak High Country Farm Tour incl. cruise across Lake Wakatipu and BBQ lunch.
Queenstown Tour Descriptions
Day 8: Queenstown
Free day to explore
Day 9: Queenstown - Te Anau
Today you may like to enjoy more activities in Queenstown before your drive to the pretty lakeside town of Te Anau, located just 2+hrs drive away in the Fiordland region of New Zealand. Alternatively, you could leave early and spend some of the day hiking on the Kepler Track or visiting the Te Anau Glow Worm Caves. Note: A very early departure from Queenstown would allow you to experience the Milford Track Guided Day Hike (avail. 1 Nov - mid April - additional cost).
Fiordland has achieved World Heritage status and is renowned as the home of Mitre Peak, Milford and Doubtful Sounds, and for the many Great Walks (the Milford, Routeburn, and Kepler Tracks), within the Fiordland and Mount Aspiring National Parks.
Accommodation: Distinction Te Anau Hotel & Villas or Dunluce B&B- 2 nights
Day 10: Te Anau / Milford Sound
Today you will journey along NZ's most spectacular alpine road, the Milford Road, a World Heritage highway with highlights such as the famous Homer Tunnel wedged into a world of slab-sided mountainous rock faces, icy-clear streams, avalanche scars plus the Cleddau Valley, and the rocky gorge of the chasm.
Your of choice of ways to experience Milford Sound include the Milford Must Do: Guided Kayaking amongst the waterfalls, glacial fiords which are home to dolphins, fur seals and crested penguins or Milford Coach, Walk & Cruise incl. a 2.5hr unguided walk followed by a Milford Sound Nature Cruise to take in the magnificent scenery and wildlife and learn about the area from your nature guide or if you're not up for walking, sit back and enjoy a Milford Sound Nature Cruise and picnic lunch.
Note: kayaking on Milford Sound does not operate during May, June, July and August.
Milford Tour Descriptions
Day 11: Te Anau - Queenstown
Today your New Zealand adventure ends. You will travel back to Queenstown airport to return your rental car.
Nelson & Abel Tasman National Park,
Fox or Franz Josef Glacier,
Queenstown & Milford Sound
11 Days – South Islands
October & April departures: $2,400 per person (land only)
May departures $2,300 per person (land only)
Itinerary is strictly subject to availability at time of booking.
This itinerary can be customized to fit your needs. Activities can be added, accommodations and car hire upgraded (additional cost) etc.
Itinerary is subject to our
Glaciers, Beaches, Rainforests & Fiords
To inquire or book this trip, please complete our
'Glaciers, Beaches, Rainforests & Fiords' booking form.