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The Southern Drift

Expedition

Experience the best of New Zealand on this 12-day guided tour.

The Southern Drift

EXPERIENCE OVERVIEW

Experience the best of New Zealand on this 12-day guided tour. Journey along the Haast River in an enclosed jet boat, then travel to the picturesque mining village of Arrowhead: here, you can choose to ride a bike along the Arrow River or join a boutique wine tour. Take time to explore the charming city of Queenstown, then dine on exceptional fare at one of its most exclusive restaurants. Journey through Fiordland National Park to Milford Sound, where you’ll enjoy a half-day guided walk along the famous Milford Track — the finest walk in the world. Travel to the country’s most southern city, Dunedin, for dinner at Parcels Restaurant, then sample craft beers at Emerson’s Brewery. Embark on an in-depth sightseeing adventure in Christchurch, and toast to your travels during a celebration dinner.

highlights

Choice Highlights
  • Queenstown: Take part in a scenic bike ride on the Arrow River Trail and cross the famous Kawarau suspension bridge, home of the the worlds first Bungy jump.
  • Queenstown: Embark on a boutique wine tasting tour in the heart of the Central Otago wine region.
Well-being
  • Our customized luxury coaches are sanitized before the start of your tour and are maintained to very high standards. Physical distancing measures have been implemented on our customized luxury coaches.
  • Experience enhanced hygiene protocols to align with the latest guidance following COVID-19. All Travel Directors and Drivers have completed training in enhanced well-being and hygiene protocols.
  • We only work with establishments we are confident will consistently adhere to our high well-being standards, which include hotels, restaurants and sight-seeing venues.
  • Hand sanitizer is freely available on board for you to use throughout the day.
Journey Highlights
  • Christchurch: Experience the striking natural landscape of the South Island as you travel on the TranzAlpine. Famous as one of the world’s great train journeys, you can enjoy the remarkable scenery from the ice-fed Waimakariri River to the magnificent Canterbury Plains.
  • Hokitika: Visit the coastal town of Hokitika, where you’ll find stunning scenery and a cool, arty vibe. Hear about its rich history, from the discovery of New Zealand jade through the many tales from the gold rush in the 1860s.
  • Franz Josef: Experience the mighty natural wonder of the Franz Josef Glacier and what the ice age must have felt like. The sheer enormity of these giant ice puzzles will leave you spellbound as you explore the area with your Local Expert.
  • Makarora: Visit Makarora, a great base point to explore the beauty of the Southern Alps. Your Travelling Concierge will take you on an orientation of the town where you can admire remarkable scenery and hear more about its history.
  • Haast River: Enjoy the unique blend of thrilling speed and calm comfort on a Haast River jet boat safari. Zip past untouched forests and snow-capped mountains in your fully enclosed cabin while you hear beguiling tales of the wilderness communities of the valley.
  • Queenstown: Take part in a scenic bike ride on the Arrow River Trail and cross the famous Kawarau suspension bridge, home of the the worlds first Bungy jump.
  • Fiordland National Park: Embark on a serene cruise on Lake Manapouri where you can marvel at plummeting waterfalls and see countless coves and beaches dotted along its shore. See the magnificent scenery of the Fiordland National Park with its forest-clad mountains and islands.
  • Milford Sound: Immerse yourself in nature with a guided walk along a stunning section of Milford Track, one of the most breathtaking walks in the world. Learn about its wildlife and heritage while you traverse beach forest and bubbling rivers as you pass along its route.
  • Dunedin: Sample some of Dunedin’s best local brews on a tour and tasting session at Emerson’s brewery. Witness each stage of the process as you’re guided behind the scenes from malt room to bottling at this award-winning microbrewery.
  • Christchurch: Explore the dynamic city of Christchurch and learn how the city has reinvented itself in the past decade. See how the unique Cardboard Cathedral and Container Mall juxtapose with the older landmarks of Canterbury Museum and New Regent Street.
Exceptional Dining
  • Queenstown: Embark on a boutique wine tasting tour in the heart of the Central Otago wine region.
  • Dunedin: Step into Parcels Restaurant at the Distinction Dunedin and taste their exquisite modern twist on traditional local dishes. Sip delicious wines as you look across to the First Church of Otago from the old post office building which houses the hotel.
  • Christchurch: Say farewell to Christchurch with a final Celebration Dinner at 50 Bistro, an award-winning restaurant serving modern New Zealand cuisine. Let your tastebuds be delighted with a delicious meal and raise a glass to the health of your companions and your unforgettable journey.
  • Dining Summary: 11 Breakfast (B), 7 Dinner (D), and 2 Lunch (L)

Highlights

Choice Highlights
  • Queenstown: Take part in a scenic bike ride on the Arrow River Trail and cross the famous Kawarau suspension bridge, home of the the worlds first Bungy jump.
  • Queenstown: Embark on a boutique wine tasting tour in the heart of the Central Otago wine region.
Well-being
  • Our customized luxury coaches are sanitized before the start of your tour and are maintained to very high standards. Physical distancing measures have been implemented on our customized luxury coaches.
  • Experience enhanced hygiene protocols to align with the latest guidance following COVID-19. All Travel Directors and Drivers have completed training in enhanced well-being and hygiene protocols.
  • We only work with establishments we are confident will consistently adhere to our high well-being standards, which include hotels, restaurants and sight-seeing venues.
  • Hand sanitizer is freely available on board for you to use throughout the day.
Journey Highlights
  • Christchurch: Experience the striking natural landscape of the South Island as you travel on the TranzAlpine. Famous as one of the world’s great train journeys, you can enjoy the remarkable scenery from the ice-fed Waimakariri River to the magnificent Canterbury Plains.
  • Hokitika: Visit the coastal town of Hokitika, where you’ll find stunning scenery and a cool, arty vibe. Hear about its rich history, from the discovery of New Zealand jade through the many tales from the gold rush in the 1860s.
  • Franz Josef: Experience the mighty natural wonder of the Franz Josef Glacier and what the ice age must have felt like. The sheer enormity of these giant ice puzzles will leave you spellbound as you explore the area with your Local Expert.
  • Makarora: Visit Makarora, a great base point to explore the beauty of the Southern Alps. Your Travelling Concierge will take you on an orientation of the town where you can admire remarkable scenery and hear more about its history.
  • Haast River: Enjoy the unique blend of thrilling speed and calm comfort on a Haast River jet boat safari. Zip past untouched forests and snow-capped mountains in your fully enclosed cabin while you hear beguiling tales of the wilderness communities of the valley.
  • Queenstown: Take part in a scenic bike ride on the Arrow River Trail and cross the famous Kawarau suspension bridge, home of the the worlds first Bungy jump.
  • Fiordland National Park: Embark on a serene cruise on Lake Manapouri where you can marvel at plummeting waterfalls and see countless coves and beaches dotted along its shore. See the magnificent scenery of the Fiordland National Park with its forest-clad mountains and islands.
  • Milford Sound: Immerse yourself in nature with a guided walk along a stunning section of Milford Track, one of the most breathtaking walks in the world. Learn about its wildlife and heritage while you traverse beach forest and bubbling rivers as you pass along its route.
  • Dunedin: Sample some of Dunedin’s best local brews on a tour and tasting session at Emerson’s brewery. Witness each stage of the process as you’re guided behind the scenes from malt room to bottling at this award-winning microbrewery.
  • Christchurch: Explore the dynamic city of Christchurch and learn how the city has reinvented itself in the past decade. See how the unique Cardboard Cathedral and Container Mall juxtapose with the older landmarks of Canterbury Museum and New Regent Street.
Exceptional Dining
  • Queenstown: Embark on a boutique wine tasting tour in the heart of the Central Otago wine region.
  • Dunedin: Step into Parcels Restaurant at the Distinction Dunedin and taste their exquisite modern twist on traditional local dishes. Sip delicious wines as you look across to the First Church of Otago from the old post office building which houses the hotel.
  • Christchurch: Say farewell to Christchurch with a final Celebration Dinner at 50 Bistro, an award-winning restaurant serving modern New Zealand cuisine. Let your tastebuds be delighted with a delicious meal and raise a glass to the health of your companions and your unforgettable journey.
  • Dining Summary: 11 Breakfast (B), 7 Dinner (D), and 2 Lunch (L)
Experience the best of New Zealand on this 12-day guided tour. Journey along the Haast River in an enclosed jet boat, then travel to the picturesque mining village of Arrowhead: here, you can choose to ride a bike along the Arrow River or join a boutique wine tour. Take time to explore the charming city of Queenstown, then dine on exceptional fare at one of its most exclusive restaurants. Journey through Fiordland National Park to Milford Sound, where you’ll enjoy a half-day guided walk along the famous Milford Track — the finest walk in the world. Travel to the country’s most southern city, Dunedin, for dinner at Parcels Restaurant, then sample craft beers at Emerson’s Brewery. Embark on an in-depth sightseeing adventure in Christchurch, and toast to your travels during a celebration dinner.

Trip details

Trip Type: Group Tour

Comfort: Deluxe

Travel Styles: Family, 55+, Luxury

Starts: Christchurch (Nz), New Zealand

Finishes: Christchurch (Nz), New Zealand

Duration: 12 days

Includes

ADDITIONAL INCLUDED HIGHLIGHTS

Additional Included Highlights
  • Personal radio headsets give you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert's fascinating commentary, available on departures with 15 or more guests.
  • At every hotel, you'll be treated to seamless baggage handling, with prompt delivery inside your room.
  • Hotel and restaurant tips are included - you'll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency. We also include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.
  • Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi (where available).
  • Complimentary, private airport transfers are included on start and end dates and when additional accommodation has been booked through Luxury Gold. Guests will be transferred with fellow Luxury Gold Travellers that arrive on the same flight.
  • You will be escorted by one of our fine Travelling Concierges, handpicked to serve as your expert guide, consummate organiser, and friend overseas.

ITINERARY

1Day 1: Welcome to Christchurch

On arrival at Christchurch Airport you'll be driven by private car to your hotel. Spend some time at leisure to relax or explore on your own. Perhaps visit the Christchurch Botanic Gardens or take a ride on the Christchurch Tram. In the evening meet your Travelling Concierge for a Welcome Reception.

Accommodation: Hotel Montreal, Christchurch.

2Day 2: Christchurch to Franz Josef

It's all aboard the TranzAlpine train. Rated as one of the world's great scenic railway journeys, you'll travel in comfort across the Canterbury Plains through the Southern Alps. From Arthur's Pass, visit the small town of Hokitika, the heritage and cultural centre of the West Coast, to learn the importance of Pounamu, better known as jade or greenstone. Continue to Franz Josef where your eco-friendly accommodation is set amid native bush and has an emphasis on relaxation and rejuvenation. This evening, why not enjoy Franz Josef's local geothermal hot pools or perhaps a massage?

Accommodation: Te Waonui Forest Retreat, Franz Josef.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

3Day 3: The Mighty Franz Josef Glacier Relaxed Start

Join a Local Expert for a Franz Josef Glacier valley walk taking in the brilliant blue ice and deep crevasses. Explore Franz Josef village’s panoramic viewpoints, enjoy leisurely bike ride to the nearby beach or luxuriate in your hotel’s on-site spa.

Accommodation: Te Waonui Forest Retreat, Franz Josef.
Meals: Breakfast

4Day 4: Romantic Arrowtown and on to Queenstown Relaxed Start

This morning it’s time for an adventure as you journey down the Haast River in a purpose-built, fully enclosed, river jet boat. After a lunch stop at Makarora travel to Arrowtown where there is time to stop and explore this historic gold-mining village on the Arrow River. Continue to Queenstown for an orientation tour.

Accommodation: Hotel St. Moritz, Queenstown.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

5Day 5: Explore Queenstown Relaxed Start

Personalize your day in Queenstown on a scenic bike ride on the Arrow River Trail crossing multiple suspension bridges past quaint cottages. Or, join a boutique wine tour and sample the Central Otago region's best Pinot Noir, aromatic Riesling, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay and crisp Sauvignon Blanc.

Accommodation: Hotel St. Moritz, Queenstown.
Meals: Breakfast

6Day 6: Queenstown at Leisure Relaxed Start

Make the most of your extended stay in Queenstown. Why not take an optional jet boat ride down the mighty Shotover River or get wet white water rafting down the Kawarau River? In the evening, enjoy a Highlight Dinner at one of Queenstown’s exclusive restaurants.

Accommodation: Hotel St. Moritz, Queenstown.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

7Day 7: Queenstown to Milford Sound

Take the scenic journey through rainforests, flats and meadows of Fiordland National Park to Milford Sound. Stop at Mirror Lakes, where the stunning mountain scenery is perfectly reflected in the waters, then on to the hand-hewn Homer Tunnel. Then it's off to one of the world's most dramatic alpine drives, taking you down through the Cleddau Valley to its impressive Chasm.

Accommodation: Milford Sound Lodge.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

8Day 8: Milford Track Walk and Milford Sound Cruise Relaxed Start

Explore the famous Milford Track on an easy-going half-day guided walk. This is a place steeped in rich history and stories; and the flora and fauna are unique and special. Enjoy the best of both worlds as you listen to a Specialist Nature Guide while relaxing on board a modern catamaran. Your guide will introduce you to the natural wonders of Milford Sound.

Accommodation: Milford Sound Lodge.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

9Day 9: Milford Sound to Dunedin

We leave the majestic Fiordland National Park for the fertile sheep-dotted pastures of South Otago. Travel through Te Anau and on to the country music town of Gore before continuing to Dunedin, New Zealand’s southernmost city. Enjoy dinner and wine at Parcels Restaurant.

Accommodation: Distinction Dunedin Hotel.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

10Day 10: Brewery Tour and Dunedin at Leisure Relaxed Start

Take a guided tour and sample the tasty craft beer at Emerson’s Brewery before an afternoon at your leisure - relax or continue exploring as you wish. Perhaps take a train ride or wildlife cruise?

Accommodation: Distinction Dunedin Hotel.
Meals: Breakfast

11Day 11: Dunedin to Christchurch

Travel up the East Coast of the South Island via Oamaru and Timaru. On arrival in Christchurch embark on an in-depth sightseeing tour of the city. Learn how the city has reinvented itself in the past decade. See how the unique Cardboard Cathedral and Container Mall juxtapose with the older landmarks of Canterbury Museum and New Regent Street. In the evening join your Travelling Concierge and travel companions for a Celebration Dinner of seasonal produce at 50 Bistro, an award-winning restaurant serving modern New Zealand cuisine.

Accommodation: Hotel Montreal, Christchurch.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

12Day 12: Farewell from Christchurch

Bid farewell to your fellow travelers after breakfast, as your journey comes to an end with a transfer to Christchurch International Airport for your onward flight.

Meals: Breakfast
Day 1: Welcome to Christchurch
On arrival at Christchurch Airport you'll be driven by private car to your hotel. Spend some time at leisure to relax or explore on your own. Perhaps visit the Christchurch Botanic Gardens or take a ride on the Christchurch Tram. In the evening meet your Travelling Concierge for a Welcome Reception.

Accommodation: Hotel Montreal, Christchurch.
Day 2: Christchurch to Franz Josef
It's all aboard the TranzAlpine train. Rated as one of the world's great scenic railway journeys, you'll travel in comfort across the Canterbury Plains through the Southern Alps. From Arthur's Pass, visit the small town of Hokitika, the heritage and cultural centre of the West Coast, to learn the importance of Pounamu, better known as jade or greenstone. Continue to Franz Josef where your eco-friendly accommodation is set amid native bush and has an emphasis on relaxation and rejuvenation. This evening, why not enjoy Franz Josef's local geothermal hot pools or perhaps a massage?

Accommodation: Te Waonui Forest Retreat, Franz Josef.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Day 3: The Mighty Franz Josef Glacier Relaxed Start
Join a Local Expert for a Franz Josef Glacier valley walk taking in the brilliant blue ice and deep crevasses. Explore Franz Josef village’s panoramic viewpoints, enjoy leisurely bike ride to the nearby beach or luxuriate in your hotel’s on-site spa.

Accommodation: Te Waonui Forest Retreat, Franz Josef.
Meals: Breakfast
Day 4: Romantic Arrowtown and on to Queenstown Relaxed Start
This morning it’s time for an adventure as you journey down the Haast River in a purpose-built, fully enclosed, river jet boat. After a lunch stop at Makarora travel to Arrowtown where there is time to stop and explore this historic gold-mining village on the Arrow River. Continue to Queenstown for an orientation tour.

Accommodation: Hotel St. Moritz, Queenstown.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Day 5: Explore Queenstown Relaxed Start
Personalize your day in Queenstown on a scenic bike ride on the Arrow River Trail crossing multiple suspension bridges past quaint cottages. Or, join a boutique wine tour and sample the Central Otago region's best Pinot Noir, aromatic Riesling, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay and crisp Sauvignon Blanc.

Accommodation: Hotel St. Moritz, Queenstown.
Meals: Breakfast
Day 6: Queenstown at Leisure Relaxed Start
Make the most of your extended stay in Queenstown. Why not take an optional jet boat ride down the mighty Shotover River or get wet white water rafting down the Kawarau River? In the evening, enjoy a Highlight Dinner at one of Queenstown’s exclusive restaurants.

Accommodation: Hotel St. Moritz, Queenstown.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Day 7: Queenstown to Milford Sound
Take the scenic journey through rainforests, flats and meadows of Fiordland National Park to Milford Sound. Stop at Mirror Lakes, where the stunning mountain scenery is perfectly reflected in the waters, then on to the hand-hewn Homer Tunnel. Then it's off to one of the world's most dramatic alpine drives, taking you down through the Cleddau Valley to its impressive Chasm.

Accommodation: Milford Sound Lodge.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Day 8: Milford Track Walk and Milford Sound Cruise Relaxed Start
Explore the famous Milford Track on an easy-going half-day guided walk. This is a place steeped in rich history and stories; and the flora and fauna are unique and special. Enjoy the best of both worlds as you listen to a Specialist Nature Guide while relaxing on board a modern catamaran. Your guide will introduce you to the natural wonders of Milford Sound.

Accommodation: Milford Sound Lodge.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 9: Milford Sound to Dunedin
We leave the majestic Fiordland National Park for the fertile sheep-dotted pastures of South Otago. Travel through Te Anau and on to the country music town of Gore before continuing to Dunedin, New Zealand’s southernmost city. Enjoy dinner and wine at Parcels Restaurant.

Accommodation: Distinction Dunedin Hotel.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 10: Brewery Tour and Dunedin at Leisure Relaxed Start
Take a guided tour and sample the tasty craft beer at Emerson’s Brewery before an afternoon at your leisure - relax or continue exploring as you wish. Perhaps take a train ride or wildlife cruise?

Accommodation: Distinction Dunedin Hotel.
Meals: Breakfast
Day 11: Dunedin to Christchurch
Travel up the East Coast of the South Island via Oamaru and Timaru. On arrival in Christchurch embark on an in-depth sightseeing tour of the city. Learn how the city has reinvented itself in the past decade. See how the unique Cardboard Cathedral and Container Mall juxtapose with the older landmarks of Canterbury Museum and New Regent Street. In the evening join your Travelling Concierge and travel companions for a Celebration Dinner of seasonal produce at 50 Bistro, an award-winning restaurant serving modern New Zealand cuisine.

Accommodation: Hotel Montreal, Christchurch.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Day 12: Farewell from Christchurch
Bid farewell to your fellow travelers after breakfast, as your journey comes to an end with a transfer to Christchurch International Airport for your onward flight.

Meals: Breakfast

WHAT’S INCLUDED

Additional Included Highlights
  • Personal radio headsets give you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert's fascinating commentary, available on departures with 15 or more guests.
  • At every hotel, you'll be treated to seamless baggage handling, with prompt delivery inside your room.
  • Hotel and restaurant tips are included - you'll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency. We also include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.
  • Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi (where available).
  • Complimentary, private airport transfers are included on start and end dates and when additional accommodation has been booked through Luxury Gold. Guests will be transferred with fellow Luxury Gold Travellers that arrive on the same flight.
  • You will be escorted by one of our fine Travelling Concierges, handpicked to serve as your expert guide, consummate organiser, and friend overseas.

Partner Details

Luxury Gold

In Business Since 1978

A world of immersive journeys awaits you, each with VIP experiences, exceptional dining, magnificent hotels and a Travelling Concierge who’s there to tailor everything to your desires.

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Save 5%

From $7,101 pp

was $7,475 pp

Subject to availability Twin occupancy

Flexible Dates

Jan 23 - Feb 03, 2023 (12 days)

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