South Island Self-Drive Highlights

Highlights of New Zealand’s  South Island including one of the world’s great train  journeys

9 days

 

Overview

Overview

This vacation includes:
  • Accommodation in 3.5 star hotels for 8 nights in Nelson (2), Kaikoura (1), Christchurch (1), Franz Josef (1), Queenstown (3)
  • Guided kayak tour of Abel Tasman National Park
  • Whale watch experience
  • World famous TranzAlpine Train from Christchurch  to Greymouth
  • Guided half day glacier walk on Franz Josef  Glacier
  • Scenic cruise of the beautiful Milford Sound
  • Funyak safari and jetboat adventure
  • Compact car rental for 6 days
  • Airport transfers in Queenstown
  • New Zealand GST (15%)
  • Springboard Vacations’ 24/7 local travel assistance  and support

Land only – does not include airfares

Itinerary

Itinerary

kayakDAY ONE – PICTON, WELCOME TO THE SOUTH ISLAND!
You’ll pick up your rental car from either the Picton Airport or the Ferry Terminal. Enjoy a leisurely, scenic drive to Nelson.

DAY TWO – ABEL TASMAN NATIONAL PARK GUIDED SEA KAYAKING
Discover the beautiful beaches, tidal estuaries and rivers of the most scenic kayaking area of the Abel Tasman National Park. Cruise the forest-fringed bays and granite archways of the unique coastline, explore the wondrous headlands, coves and islands of the coast. Stop at at a sheltered cove for lunch then relax on the beach, swim or or explore the native forest.

DAY THREE - KAIKOURA
Wake up and take a scenic drive to Kaikoura – famous for whale watching, dolphin swimming and spectacular scenery.

DAY FOUR – WHALE WATCHING
Every Whale Watch tour is a unique experience and the sightings vary. Giant Sperm Whales are the stars of the show and year-round residents. A typical whale watch tour may encounter New Zealand Fur Seals, pods of Dusky Dolphins and the endangered Wandering Albatross. Depending on the season you may also see migrating Humpback Whales, Pilot Whales, Blue Whales and Southern Right Whales.

This afternoon drive to Christchurch. The largest city in the South Island offers fresh and exciting attractions, a lively café scene, lots of Victorian architecture, and many beautiful parks and gardens.

DAY FIVE - TRANZ ALPINE TRAIN
The TranzAlpine scenic train journey travels between Christchurch and Greymouth, from one coast of New Zealand to the other. You’ll see the fields of the Canterbury Plains and farmland, spectacular gorges and river valleys, and the Southern Alps before descending through lush rainforest to the West Coast town of Greymouth. Drive to Franz Josef.

DAY SIX - FRANZ JOSEF GLACIER
Today you will have a fantastic introduction to an enthralling world of ice, traversing the impressive terrain on the lower reaches of Franz Josef Glacier. After a short walk through regenerating rainforest, the trip continues along the glacier valley with your guide calling stops to explain the unique features of the Franz Josef Glacier and its surroundings. This afternoon, drive to Queenstown

Milford SoundDAY SEVEN - MILFORD SOUND NATURE CRUISE
Milford Sound is a world-renowned natural wonder where mountains stand tall, straight out of the sea. Luxuriant rainforest clings to sheer rock walls and waterfalls tumble hundreds of meters to the sea below. Whatever the fiord’s mood – brooding and wet, or tranquil in the sunshine – it will inspire you. The cruise provides excellent viewing opportunities and plenty of time is available to enjoy waterfalls, rainforest, mountains and wildlife.

DAY EIGHT - DART RIVER FUNYAK SAFARI
Today enjoy a truly unique outdoor adventure safari. The journey begins with an exciting jetboat ride up the Dart River. You will then be introduced to your Funyak - a unique inflatable canoe. You’ll paddle and drift downstream, taking in all the awe-inspiring sights amidst the Dart River channels. You will stop amongst the ancient beech forest for buffet lunch and explore hidden side streams, rock stream, rock pools before continuing downstream to Paradise. Take a 4WD coach to Glenorchy, stopping to view the stunning scenery that has inspired films like Lord of the Rings.

DAY NINE – HEAD HOME
Transfer from your hotel to Queenstown Airport.

Dates & Conditions

Dates & Conditions

Call Springboard Vacations today for current pricing

Subject to availability

Departs Daily

Prices based on 2 adults traveling together

Priced in USD at today’s exchange rate

Land only – does not include airfares

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Vacation package code: 10926NZ01