The Southern Drift

The Southern Drift (Summer 2019)

Duration: 12 days Visiting: New Zealand

Prices from {{lowPrice}}

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  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • Highlights
  • Accommodation
  • Dates & prices

No stone is left unturned as you venture into parts of the South Island less travelled. From the wild and pristine natural wonderland of Stewart Island, to the spectacular vistas of Mount Cook, through to Milford Sound, where you will fall asleep under a blanket of mist and shadows on the still waters of the fiord. Enjoy travelling with no more than 20 like-minded guests.

  1. Day 1

    Welcome to Christchurch.

    On arrival at Christchurch International 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 International Antarctic Centre or Orana Wildlife Park, New Zealand's only open range zoo? In the evening meet your Travelling Concierge for a Welcome Reception.

  2. 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. 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?

  3. Day 3 - Relaxed Start

    The Mighty Franz Josef Glacier.

    During a Glacier Valley Walk, explore the area with a local guide who will explain the history behind the surrounding fascinating landscape and the importance of Pounamu, better known as jade or greenstone.

  4. Day 4

    Romantic Arrowtown and on to Queenstown.

    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.

  5. Day 5 - Relaxed Start

    Queenstown Your Way.

    Experience Queenstown Your Way with an included choice of sightseeing. You could join a wine tour, view The Lord of the Rings film locations and scenery of Queenstown and Glenorchy on a scenic tour, or spend time having a relaxing massage in the spa. Tonight you can dine at one of the local restaurants along the waterfront in town or simply relax at your hotel.

  6. Day 6 - Relaxed Start

    Queenstown at leisure.

    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.

  7. Day 7

    Queenstown to Milford Sound.

    Travel south along the shores of Lake Wakatipu, the South Island's largest lake, to reach Te Anau. Continue through the rainforest of the UNESCO-listed World Heritage Sit of Fiordland National Park, sighting glaciers and mountain ranges before driving through the hand-hewn Homer Tunnel to reach the amazing Mirror Lake. Walk to see the Chasm on your way into Milford Sound, considered to be the Eighth Wonder of the World. Enjoy a two-night stay at the magical Milford Sound Lodge, with views of the Cleddau Valley.

  8. Day 8 - Relaxed Start

    Milford Sound Cruise and Kayaking.

    Wake up to the startling beauty of Milford Sound. Board the Southern Discoveries vessel for a half day cruise of Milford Sound. Sail out to the Tasman Sea looking for wildlife, and return to go sea kayaking in Harrison Cove.

  9. 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.

  10. Day 10

    Larnach Castle and Dunedin at Leisure.

    You are treated to an exclusive tour of Larnach Castle before an afternoon at your leisure - relax or continue exploring as you wish. Perhaps take a train ride or wildlife cruise?

  11. Day 11

    Dunedin to Christchurch.

    See Lakes Pukaki and Tekapo, and stop to view the Church of the Good Shepherd. Travel along the Canterbury Plains to the Garden City of Christchurch. On a sightseeing tour see how Christchurch is being rebuilt after the earthquake of 2011.

  12. Day 12

    Farewell from Christchurch.

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

Highlights

 

JOURNEY HIGHLIGHTS

  • Christchurch: Journey on the iconic TranzAlpine Train.
  • Christchurch: Visit the coastal town of Hokitika and find out about its local history.
  • Franz Josef Glacier: Experience the impressiveness of this mighty natural wonder and meet a local jade carver.
  • Haast River: Enjoy a fully enclosed jet boat ride down the Haast River.
  • Makarora: Take part in an orientation in Makarora and hear about the beauty of this town.
  • Queenstown: Experience Queenstown Your Way with a choice of joining a wine tour, viewing The Lord of the Rings film locations and scenery of Queenstown and Glenorchy on a scenic tour, or a relaxing massage in the spa.
  • Queenstown: Take a walk in the Fiordland National Park to view the Chasm.
  • Milford Sound: Sea kayaking is by far the best way to discover Milford Sound. Look out for the New Zealand fur seals, Fiordland crested penguins, famous blue penguins and even bottlenose dolphins.
  • Tasman Sea: Board a cruise vessel and set sail out to the Tasman Sea.
  • Dunedin: Take part in an exclusive tour of Larnach Castle.
  • Christchurch: Stare in awe as you see Lake Pukaki and Tekapo, two of New Zealand's most beautiful lakes.
  • Christchurch: Enjoy a day of sightseeing in the vibrant city of Christchurch.

EXCEPTIONAL DINING

  • Queenstown: Experience a first-class dining experience in one of Queenstown’s most popular and exclusive restaurants.
  • Dunedin: Set in an old post office, this dinner is in a private room at Parcels Restaurant.
  • Dining Summary: 11 Breakfasts (B), 1 Lunch (L) and 7 Dinners with Wine (DW).

LUXURY HOTELS

  • Franz Josef: Surrounded by natural rainforest on New Zealand's West Coast, Te Waonui Forest Retreat is a short drive from Franz Josef Glacier. This five-star retreat offers luxuriously appointed rooms which include organic cotton bed sheets, pillow menu and large private bathrooms.

INCLUSIVE LUXURY GOLD SERVICES

  • You will be escorted by one of our fine Travelling Concierges, handpicked to serve as your expert guide, consummate organiser, and friend overseas.
  • Luxury Gold is proud to offer various modes of transportation, from luxury coach to safari jeep and more, so that you always travel in comfort and experience your journey and destination in the best possible and most appropriate way.
  • 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).
  • From time to time, your Travelling Concierge will enchant you with a Luxury Gold Flourish, which is a local speciality representing the destination.
  • Complimentary, private airport transfers are included on start and end dates and when additional accommodation has been booked through Luxury Gold.

Accommodation

 

Hotel Montreal

Christchurch (Traditional) - New Zealand

Te Waonui Forest Retreat

Franz Josef (Boutique) - New Zealand

Surrounded by natural rainforest on New Zealand's West Coast, Te Waonui Forest Retreat is a short drive from Franz Josef Glacier. This five-star retreat offers luxuriously appointed rooms which include organic cotton bed sheets, pillow menu and large private bathrooms.

Crowne Plaza Queenstown.

Crowne Plaza Queenstown.

Milford Sound Lodge.

Milford Sound (Traditional) - New Zealand

Distinction Dunedin Hotel.

Dunedin (Historic) - New Zealand

NB: Trip prices and dates are correct at the time of the website going live, however are subject to confirmation at the time of booking.
Prices displayed reflect available discounted rates such Early Payment Discount or Red Hot Deal (discounts are not combinable).
Discounts may be withdrawn at anytime, book early to confirm space.
All trip information is correct at time of trips going live, however is subject to change, please confirm all details at time of booking. For full terms and conditions, please refer to our Booking Conditions page.