Private South Island Tour
South Island with Private Guide/Driver
10 Days – South Islands
*From $4,150 per person (land only)
*Pricing is based on 6 adults, see below for pricing based on 2 or 4 adults.
Experience New Zealand intimately with your own private driver and guide. This itinerary does not involve any driving - just time to relax and soak up the scenery - and let your experienced guide worry about the transportation. Five days will be spent on the South Island in the company of a private driver/guide, while the remaining five days are in locations on both North and South Islands where you will not require a car and can explore independently. This is a relaxed and affordable option for those who do not wish to drive, but would like to experience some of the most beautiful parts of the South Island and a taste of Wellington on the North Island.
- 9 nights 4 & 5 star hotel accommodation;
- 5 days with private driver on South Island, 2 nights spent independently in Queenstown & 2 nights in Wellington & 1 night on Overnight Cruise (listed below);
- Private transfer to accommodation upon arrival in Queenstown;
- 3 hours privately guided sightseeing in Queenstown;
- Overnight Cruise on the fiords of Doubtful or Milford Sound;
- Abel Tasman Day Cruise;
- Interislander Ferry from South Island to North Island;
- Private 90 minute tour at Te Papa (New Zealand's National Museum);
- All breakfasts, 1 lunch, 2 dinners
- Airfares - contact us for a quote;
- Optional sightseeing experiences;
- Meals (unless specified);
- Travel Insurance
From $4,150 per person (based on 6 passengers traveling with Private Driver in Van)
From $4,800 per person (based on 4 passengers traveling with Private Driver in Van)
From $6,650 per person (based on 2 passengers traveling with Private Driver in Sedan)
Day 1: Arrival in Queenstown
Upon arrival in Queenstown, you will enjoy three hours of privately guided sightseeing in Queenstown, and then a private transfer to your hotel where you can get settled in and spend the rest of the day at your leisure.
Day 2: Doubtful or Milford Sound Overnight Cruise
This morning you will begin your journey by luxury coach to Milford or Doubtful Sound where you will board your overnight cruise ship for the experience of a lifetime. The breathtaking views, amazing wildlife and intimate surroundings will provide a very special afternoon and night. After the day's activities, you'll enjoy a delicious buffet meal in the dining saloon, and then fall asleep in your cabin, right in the middle of the stillness of nature. You'll return to Queenstown by coach the next day. Note: the reason we have listed either Milford or Doubtful Sound is these cruises are subject to availability, they are very popular and book up well in advance.
Day 3: Queenstown
You'll enjoy a day at your leisure today in Queenstown.
Suggested sightseeing experiences in Queenstown (additional cost)
Day 4: Queenstown - Franz Josef Glacier
This morning you will be met by your private guide/driver. You will have the opportunity to visit picturesque and historic Arrowtown and Gibbston Valley before crossing the Crown Range to Wanaka, where a short stop to admire the views of Lake Wanaka and the surrounding mountains can be enjoyed. From Wanaka head north-west through the Haast Pass and Mt Aspiring National Park, where there are short walks to the Blue Pools, Fantail Falls and Thunder Falls. Continuing up the West Coast, the highway hugs the dramatic coastline affording spectacular views of the Tasman Sea at Knight's Point and Bruce Bay, before arriving in Fox Glacier village. Time and weather allowing there is a short side-trip to Lake Matheson where on a good day there are spectacular views of Mt Cook. Finally, arrive at Franz Josef village and check into your hotel. A visit to the thermal pools (optional extra) would be an excellent way to unwind before enjoying dinner (included in your stay) at your hotel.
Suggested sightseeing excursions in Franz Josef (additional cost)
Day 5: Franz Josef Glacier - Punakaiki
The morning is free to enjoy a visit to the Franz Josef Glacier. Your driver is available to drive you to the glacier car park where a short walk to Sentinel Hill will provide a great view of Franz Josef Glacier in the valley ahead. For a more exhilarating experience take a guided heli-hike on the glacier (optional extra). After a short lunch break continue north arriving in the small town of Hokitika, famous for its jade carving, before continuing to Punakaiki in time to check into your hotel and view the sunset over the Tasman Sea.
Day 6: Punakaiki - Nelson
This morning, you'll visit the famous and curious Pancake Rocks, stopping to walk along the 45 minute pathway for great views of these unusual rock formations and the Paparoa National Park to the interior. Keen walkers may also enjoy a short forested walk along the Truman Track nearby. Continue north with your driver to the seal colony near Westport before turning inland towards the small farming community of Murchison. After lunch when you arrive in Nelson, there may be time to visit a local winery and take a short sightseeing tour of the city before checking into your accommodation.
Day 7: Abel Tasman Day Cruise
The Abel Tasman National Park is New Zealand's smallest national park but one of its most beautiful. Stunning golden beaches abound and dense forests hide shallow creeks and wide tidal bays. Today your driver will drop you off to meet your small group scenic cruise. This day cruise includes a visit to Tonga Island Marine Reserve and seal colony. Further along the Abel Tasman you may choose to paddle complimentary sea kayaks in a tranquil lagoon, snorkel, take a bush walk, or just sit back and enjoy the sights and tranquil surroundings of New Zealand's most enchanting national park, all in one day! Onboard this comfortable power catamaran are kayaks, snorkeling/fishing gear and towels. A gourmet lunch, snacks and refreshments are included. On return from this relaxed cruise, your driver will be waiting to return you to Nelson.
Day 8: Nelson - Picton / Interislander Ferry to Wellington
Depart Nelson for the two hour journey to the port of Picton. There may be time en route for winery visits or other sightseeing if you desire. On arrival in Picton your driver will bid farewell as you board your Interislander ferry to Wellington, New Zealand's capital city. The ferry crossing takes approximately three hours and offers breathtaking scenery along the way. Upon arrival in Wellington it's a short taxi ride to your hotel.
Day 9: Wellington
This morning after breakfast at your hotel you will be enjoy a 90 minute private tour of the highlights at New Zealand's National Museum, Te Papa. The musuem sits on Wellington's vibrant waterfront and is loved by all who visit.
Wellington, the capital of New Zealand, is a compact city known for its vibrant arts and cultural scene and rich heritage. It is very walkable and easy to get around. Spend the rest of your day at your leisure, discovering all that Wellington has to offer. Ride the Cable Car, stroll in the beautiful botanical gardens, take a Middle Earth filming locations tour, wander around Oriental Bay, take an eBike Tour of the city, shop in fabulous boutique designer stores and dine in some of New Zealand's best restaurants. Visit the Saturdy market below Frank Kitts Park, the Waitangi food market on Sunday or wander up Cuba Street lively with cafes, restauants and boutiques. There is always plenty happening in this vibrant city.
Suggested sightseeing experiences in Wellington (additional cost)
Day 10: Depart Wellington
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