Discover the hidden gold of New Zealand’s spectacular South Island. Journey from the Otago Peninsula where wildlife abounds, to moody Fiordland National Park for a breathtaking cruise. Explore adrenaline seeking Queenstown, charming Arrowtown with its gold rush history, and picturesque Lake Wanaka. Head to Aoraki Mt Cook National Park for a visit to the Tasman Glacier terminus, and finish the tour near Christchurch with Hector’s dolphins and ecclectic art in French-inspired Akaroa…plus so much more!
Our Hidden Gold of the South tour will see you exploring the most iconic sites, delving into deep-rooted culture and dining on delicious cuisine.
Take a trip to another era
Spot penguins in the beautiful surroundings
Test your courage at this adventure wonderland
Stand in awe at New Zealand's tallest mountain.
Our Hidden Gold of The South Tour has been thoughtfully designed and thoroughly researched to bring you a range of once-in-a-lifetime experiences, many of which are entirely exclusive to us.
In the heart of the CBD, our guide of this celebrated sister city Garden will take you on a unique journey through local Chinese history, culture, heritage and tradition.
There's nothing more special then tasting local wines, while eating a platter style lunch on a terrace overlooking the vast Central Otago vineyards.
Gaze across this remarkable turquoise coloured lake to the dramatic mountains of the Southern Alps. Walk across the township's new bridge and see the Church of the Good Shepherd and the Sheepdog Monument.
Queenstown is known as the adventure capital of the world. It's not all about adrenaline junkies though. Queenstown has a cruisy side that's never hard to find, full of leisurely experiences packed to the max with wow-factor and fun.
This adventure is ideal for traveller's with less time to spend and who want to see the very best bits of the South Island. We have designed the tour to make the most of the time available to showcase the key highlights and cities.
On arrival at Dunedin Airport, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Once checked-in, take the time to wander around the city visiting its iconic train station, numerous museums and art galleries - or perhaps you are keen for some shopping! Later, we’ll meet in the hotel’s restaurant for dinner.
This morning walk to the Lan Yuan Chinese Gardens for a guided tour of this culturally unique facility. Afterwards, we head out to Larnach Castle for a guided tour followed by lunch in the castle’s Ballroom Cafe. Tonight, on the Peninsula at dusk, we will bear witness to the brave little blue penguins coming ashore to find their nests - but not before an early dinner in a Dunedin favourite!
Rise early, pack your overnight bag and drive towards Fiordland National Park, stopping briefly in Gore along the way. Depending on availability, our overnight cruise will either be in Doubtful Sound or Milford Sound. Both just as magnificent as the other! If Doubtful Sound, we will grab our picnic lunches before boarding a smaller boat which crosses the waters of Lake Manapouri. A coach will then take us up and over the Wilmot Pass to Deep Cove where we will board our small ship. If Milford Sound, we will lunch in the small lakeside village of Te Anau before driving further into the National Park to meet our overnight vessel. This evening after our activities on-board, a buffet dinner will be a served.
After breakfast on the ship, enjoy the rest of the morning exploring other parts of either Doubtful Sound or Milford Sound before returning to our respective starting point - and then driving to our lunch spot at the Five Rivers Café & Art Gallery. Later, we will continue the scenic journey along Lake Wakatipu to our luxury accommodation for the next two nights. This evening, we will have an authentic dining experience in our hotel.
This morning, take an exciting 4WD safari tour through Skippers Canyon, visiting the famous suspension bridge, the original Skippers Township and a chance to try your luck panning for gold. No doubt this will be a huge highlight! Lunch today will be in Arrowtown at a café set in historic stables on the Village Green. You will also enjoy some free time to relax or explore Arrowtown’s quaint shops and scenic walking trails. This evening, we drive to Queenstown for a stroll along the stunning waterfront and have dinner in our favourite Asian-fusion restaurant.
After breakfast this morning, re-live the Gold Rush and take a fascinating guided tour of the Lakes District Museum & Chinese Settlement in Arrowtown. We will then drive the scenic country roads, passing many vineyards along the way, to Bannockburn for a platter style lunch and wine tastings at dramatic Mt Difficulty. Later, we will continue driving to Lake Wanaka in time to check-in to our hotel. Enjoy dinner tonight in the Township and consider walking back to the hotel afterward along the serene lakefront.
This morning we will meet our vessel on the Wanaka waterfront and cruise to Mou Waho Island for a challenging and guided nature walk. Here you can see first-hand results of conservation efforts including the rare flightless Buff Weka (extinct on the mainland since 1920) and the Mountain Stone Weta. After lunch back in Wanaka, we will drive to Mount Cook with a brief stop en-route at Omarama. Check-in to the famous Hermitage Hotel, located within the National Park itself, and enjoy a buffet dinner in one of their exclusive restaurants tonight.
After a hearty breakfast, join the Glacier Explorers tour which includes a moderate 40 minute alpine walk through the National Park, plus a boat ride amongst icebergs of all shapes and sizes, to view the Tasman Glacier ice face. Enjoy lunch back at the Hermitage, and afterward use your free time to visit the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre Museum and Digital Dome Planetarium within the hotel’s complex. Dinner tonight will again be a buffet at the Hermitage.
After breakfast and a last glimpse of Mt Cook, drive to Lake Tekapo for a stop at the iconic Church of the Good Shepherd, Sheep Dog Memorial and the new suspension bridge over the glacier fed turquoise waters. Lunch will be a bit further down the road in Geraldine. Once arriving in our final destination of the tour, Christchurch, we will have a short whip around the CBD and its iconic places both pre and post earthquake. Dinner will be on trendy Victoria Street this evening.
Enjoy an early breakfast before driving along picturesque Banks Peninsula to the French colonial township of Akaroa, stopping briefly at Little River Café & Gallery on the way if possible. In Akaroa, we will embark on a Dolphin & Nature Cruise like no other and hopefully see the world’s smallest (and friendliest) Hector's dolphins. Lunch is on the waterfront, followed by a walk through the quirky mosaic gardens at The Giant’s House before returning to Christchurch. Tonight, enjoy a farewell dinner.
Any time before your flight home today is free at leisure. You will be transferred from your Hotel to Christchurch Airport according to the departure time of your onward flight.
Places Visited: Dunedin (2N), Fiordland (1N), Arrowtown (2N), Lake Wanaka (1N), Mt Cook (2N), Christchurch (2N)
If the dates we have available for this tour don't suit your needs or you prefer travelling with your own personal guide, contact us to arrange this as a Private Tour.
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There are no dedicated Solo departures for this year. You can enjoy any of our tours with no Single Supplement on our Happy to Share option or explore the solo departures in other years.
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