Southern Spectacular

12 Days from $2,940 per person

Style: First Class | Pace:

The sights and sounds of the South take center stage on this sojourn through the Pancake Rocks and Blow Holes of Punakaiki and on to the picture-perfect Tasman Sea. Tuck into a taste of country life with the Taylors, board the TranzAlpine train and cruise the tranquil waters of the Milford Sound.

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Overview

The sights and sounds of the South take center stage on this sojourn through the Pancake Rocks and Blow Holes of Punakaiki and on to the picture-perfect Tasman Sea. Tuck into a taste of country life with the Taylors, board the TranzAlpine train and cruise the tranquil waters of the Milford Sound.

  1. Board your overnight flight to New Zealand (not included).

  2. Cross the international date-line.

  3. Welcome to Christchurch! On arrival you will be transferred to your hotel (flights to arrive prior to 4pm). You'll have free time to relax and unwind after your journey before you meet your Travel Director and fellow travelers this evening for a Welcome Reception.

    meal(s):WR
    hotel:Distinction
  4. Join us for a taste of country life at a Be My Guest barbecue lunch on Morelea Farm, a typical working sheep farm. You'll be welcomed into the home of your hosts Angie and Stan Taylor and their 600 acre garden. Hear their stories and sample delicious food prepared just for you. Later see Lakes Tekapo and Pukaki, visit the Church of the Good Shepherd and soak up the alpine scenery of Mount Cook National Park. There's time for an optional scenic flight over Mt. Cook (weather permitting).
    meal(s):BB, BG, DW
    hotel:MacKenzie Country Inn
  5. Your day starts with a journey along the Waitaki River, and a photo stop at the Waitaki Hydro Power Scheme and Benmore Dam. Travel through to the township of Oamaru with its famous white limestone buildings and then on to Dunedin. This afternoon your choice of sightseeing: tour Larnach Castle; ride the Taieri Gorge Railway; take the Monarch Wildlife Cruise to see the Penguins and the Royal Albatross or experience an interactive tour of Speight's Brewery.
    meal(s):BB, DW
    hotel:Scenic Southern Cross
  6. This morning enjoy a chance to explore Dunedin. In the afternoon travel through lush green pastures, crossing sheep-filled farming land to the village of Te Anau, on the shores of Lake Te Anau, the South Island's largest lake. Tonight consider an Optional Experience out across the lake to the Te Anau Glow Worm Caves.
    meal(s):BB, DW
    hotel:Distinction
  7. You'll be awe-struck by the magnificence of the World Heritage listed Fiordland National Park. Amazing photo opportunities await you as you see rainforest, ancient glaciers and mountain ranges before driving through the hand-hewn Homer Tunnel. Pass the Mirror Lake, Pop's Lookout, Cleddau Valley and the Chasm. Your nature cruise on Milford Sound will take you past Bowen Falls and Mitre Peak. Afterwards, travel over the Devil's Staircase, along the shore of Lake Wakatipu to Queenstown. An orientation tour of New Zealand's adventure capital finishes this highlight day.

    meal(s):BB
    hotel:Millennium
  8. Today your choice of sightseeing: ride the Shotover Jet boat; take a gondola to Bob's Peak for thrilling luge rides; visit the Skyline Restaurant for dinner; take a 4WD minibus excursion through Skippers Canyon; visit Kiwi Birdlife Park or journey deep into the mountains to Mt. Nicholas High Country Farm for lunch. This evening cruise across Lake Wakatipu aboard New Zealand's oldest steamship, the TSS Earnslaw, to Walter Peak High Country Farm for a gourmet barbecue Regional Meal at the Colonel's Homestead. An entertaining farm show provides a glimpse into high-country farm life.
    meal(s):BB, RM
  9. Visit the historic gold mining village of Arrowtown on the Arrow River, previously one of the world's richest rivers. Enjoy the tastes of delicious stone fruit at Cromwell, the stone fruit capital. See a trio of lakes, Dunstan, Hawea and Wanaka. Travel over the Haast Pass, view amazing Thunder Creek Falls and take a small rainforest walk. Then it's on to Franz Josef Glacier, the world's most accessible glacier.
    meal(s):BB, DW
    hotel:Scenic Franz Josef Glacier
  10. There is time this morning to explore Franz Josef Glacier. Later, take a walk among rainforest giants on the West Coast Treetop Walkway. Depart for Hokitika, home of the native greenstone (jade), for a factory visit and jewelry demonstration with a Local Specialist. Later, travel to Punakaiki to view the Pancake Rocks and Blowholes. Spend the night at your eco-friendly resort right on the waterfront. Enjoy dinner while watching the thundering surf at your doorstep!
    meal(s):BB, DW
    hotel:Punakaiki Resort Authentic Accommodation
  11. There's time to relax before traveling to Arthur's Pass where you'll board the TranzAlpine train, rated as one of the world's great scenic railways journeys, to travel across the Canterbury Plains through the Southern Alps to Christchurch. Celebrate your trip this evening at a Farewell Dinner with your Travel Director and new-found friends.
    meal(s):BB, FD
    hotel:Novotel
  12. Your vacation concludes this morning after breakfast. You will be transferred to Christchurch Airport for your onward flight (flights anytime).
    meal(s):BB
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  • 30 Day Refund Guarantee

    We promise you’ll enjoy a stress-free travel experience from the minute you start your vacation planning or we’ll refund your deposit. Make your reservation with a $350 deposit. If you change your mind for any reason within 30 days of booking, we’ll offer you a full refund.

  • Add air to your reservation

    Let our Air Specialists handle your air reservations. We have direct access to the most current airfare routes and prices, so you’ll get the best value available when we book your flights. We never charge a booking fee and you’ll enjoy the flexibility to pay for air 60-90 days prior to departure.

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  • Definite Departure
  • Important Note
Depart Date Return Date Price Discount Availability Price
8 Jun 18 19 Jun 18 checkmark $3,095$2,940pp Early PaymentPay by Apr 26 Request Quote
Important Note
5 Oct 18 16 Oct 18 checkmark $3,450$3,278pp Early PaymentPay by Apr 26 Request Quote
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12 Oct 18 23 Oct 18 $3,450$3,278pp Early PaymentPay by Apr 26 Request Quote
Important Note
19 Oct 18 30 Oct 18 checkmark $3,450$3,278pp Early PaymentPay by Apr 26 Request Quote
Important Note
26 Oct 18 6 Nov 18 checkmark $3,450$3,278pp Early PaymentPay by Apr 26 Request Quote
Important Note
2 Nov 18 13 Nov 18 $3,450$3,278pp Early PaymentPay by Apr 26 Request Quote
Important Note
9 Nov 18 20 Nov 18 checkmark $3,450$3,278pp Early PaymentPay by Apr 26 Request Quote
Important Note
16 Nov 18 27 Nov 18 $3,450$3,278pp Early PaymentPay by Apr 26 Request Quote
Important Note
23 Nov 18 4 Dec 18 checkmark $3,450$3,278pp Early PaymentPay by Apr 26 Request Quote
Important Note
30 Nov 18 11 Dec 18 $3,450$3,278pp Early PaymentPay by Apr 26 Request Quote
Important Note
7 Dec 18 18 Dec 18 checkmark $3,450$3,278pp Early PaymentPay by Apr 26 Request Quote
Important Note
14 Dec 18 25 Dec 18 $3,450$3,278pp Early PaymentPay by Apr 26 Request Quote
Important Note
21 Dec 18 1 Jan 19 checkmark $3,450pp Request Quote
Important Note
28 Dec 18 8 Jan 19 $3,450$3,278pp Early PaymentPay by Apr 26 Request Quote
Important Note
4 Jan 19 15 Jan 19 $3,450$3,278pp Early PaymentPay by Apr 26 Request Quote
Important Note
11 Jan 19 22 Jan 19 checkmark $3,450$3,278pp Early PaymentPay by Apr 26 Request Quote
Important Note
18 Jan 19 29 Jan 19 $3,450$3,278pp Early PaymentPay by Apr 26 Request Quote
Important Note
25 Jan 19 5 Feb 19 checkmark $3,450$3,278pp Early PaymentPay by Apr 26 Request Quote
Important Note
1 Feb 19 12 Feb 19 checkmark $3,450$3,278pp Early PaymentPay by Apr 26 Request Quote
Important Note
8 Feb 19 19 Feb 19 checkmark $3,450$3,278pp Early PaymentPay by Apr 26 Request Quote
Important Note
15 Feb 19 26 Feb 19 checkmark $3,450$3,278pp Early PaymentPay by Apr 26 Request Quote
Important Note
22 Feb 19 5 Mar 19 checkmark $3,450$3,278pp Early PaymentPay by Apr 26 Request Quote
Important Note
1 Mar 19 12 Mar 19 $3,450$3,278pp Early PaymentPay by Apr 26 Request Quote
Important Note
8 Mar 19 19 Mar 19 checkmark $3,450$3,278pp Early PaymentPay by Apr 26 Request Quote
Important Note
15 Mar 19 26 Mar 19 checkmark $3,450$3,278pp Early PaymentPay by Apr 26 Request Quote
Important Note
22 Mar 19 2 Apr 19 checkmark $3,450$3,278pp Early PaymentPay by Apr 26 Request Quote
Important Note
29 Mar 19 9 Apr 19 checkmark $3,450$3,278pp Early PaymentPay by Apr 26 Request Quote
Important Note
5 Apr 19 16 Apr 19 $3,450$3,278pp Early PaymentPay by Apr 26 Request Quote
  • Important Note: This departure is subject to price, itinerary and hotel modification.

Price is per person and is based on two people sharing a twin bedded room. Single rooms are available at a supplement.

Single Room Supplement: from $950.

Air: Please note that airfares are not included in the prices above. Land Only price requires the following intratrip flights to be purchased separately in order to fulfill the trip itinerary: Grand European Tours guarantees to quote you the lowest possible airfare available to us on the day that you book.

AARP Members are entitled to an exclusive Member Benefit Discount on all Grand European Travel vacations. Plus receive a free travel gift! Call Toll Free: 1-866-847-3858 for details.

Frequent Travelers: Save an additional 5% off the price of the vacation.

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  • Professional Travel Director Professional Travel Director
  • Sightseeing with Local Experts Sightseeing with Local Experts
  • VIP Access VIP Access
  • WIFI on Coach and in Hotels WIFI on Coach and in Hotels
  • Personal Flight Options Personal Flight Options
  • Most Meals Most Meals
  • Hotel Tips Hotel Tips
  • Expertly Selected Hotels Expertly Selected Hotels
  • Cultural Enrichment Cultural Enrichment

Meal Summary

9 nights, 9 hot buffet breakfasts, 1 lunch, 7 dinners, On-trip transport, .

Included Highlights

Hidden Treasures

  • Enjoy at least one surprise Hidden Treasure

Authentic Accommodations

  • Stay on South Island's wild west coast at Punakaiki Resort near the famous Pancake Rocks

Be My Guest

  • Join Angie and Stan Taylor in their 600-acre garden at Morelea Farm in the Canterbury region

Local Specialist

  • For included sightseeing in Hokitika

Sightseeing Highlights

  • City tour in Dunedin
  • Visit Franz Josef Glacier, historic Arrowtown, the Pancake Rocks and Blowholes at Punakaiki
  • Cruise on Milford Sound
  • View the Southern Alps from the TranzAlpine train
  • See spectacular sights in Fiordland National Park en route to Milford Sound
Request a Quote
  • 30 Day Refund Guarantee

    We promise you’ll enjoy a stress-free travel experience from the minute you start your vacation planning or we’ll refund your deposit. Make your reservation with a $350 deposit. If you change your mind for any reason within 30 days of booking, we’ll offer you a full refund.

  • Add air to your reservation

    Let our Air Specialists handle your air reservations. We have direct access to the most current airfare routes and prices, so you’ll get the best value available when we book your flights. We never charge a booking fee and you’ll enjoy the flexibility to pay for air 60-90 days prior to departure.

Print Itinerary

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Request a Quote
  • 30 Day Refund Guarantee

    We promise you’ll enjoy a stress-free travel experience from the minute you start your vacation planning or we’ll refund your deposit. Make your reservation with a $350 deposit. If you change your mind for any reason within 30 days of booking, we’ll offer you a full refund.

  • Add air to your reservation

    Let our Air Specialists handle your air reservations. We have direct access to the most current airfare routes and prices, so you’ll get the best value available when we book your flights. We never charge a booking fee and you’ll enjoy the flexibility to pay for air 60-90 days prior to departure.

Print Itinerary

Optional Experiences are subject to change. Your Travel Director will supply you with a final list of Optional Experiences available on your trip. Optional Experiences cannot be booked online; they can be purchased during your trip through your Travel Director.

Franz Josef Glacier

Haast River Safari

Adult Price: $NZ 109 | Child Price: $NZ 59

Travel on a purpose built fully enclosed river jet boat with front-loading access. Great visibility is ensured, yet you remain warm, dry and comfortable, making this a unique and safe experience suitable for anyone of any age to participate in and enjoy.

Franz Josef Glacier

The Helicopter Line - Mountain Scenic Spectacular Flight 40Mins

Adult Price: $NZ 460 | Child Price: $NZ 322

Discover the gigantic expanse of the Franz Josef and Fox snowfields on this 40-minute scenic flight. Cross the main divide for breathtaking views of Mt Cook, New Zealand’s highest peak. Highlights include a snow landing, Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers and Mt Cook.

Franz Josef Glacier

The Helicopter Line - Twin Glacier Flight 30Mins

Adult Price: $NZ 315 | Child Price: $NZ 220.50

From a mantle of pure white snow, massive rivers of ice wind their way down glacier valleys. Explore the glaciers, an incredible natural phenomenon on this 30-minute scenic flight. Highlights include a snow landing at the head of the Franz Josef or Fox Glacier.

Franz Josef Glacier

The Helicopter Line - Neve Discoverer Flight 20Mins

Adult Price: $NZ 245 | Child Price: $NZ 171.50

Lift off and fly up over the Franz Josef or Fox Glacier to land amongst this alpine wonderland on a 20-minute scenic flight. Highlights include landing at the head of the Franz Josef or Fox Glacier and a snow or icefall landing.

Mt Cook

Air Safaris

Adult Price: $NZ 370 | Child Price: $NZ 250

Explore the alpine wonderland of the Southern Alps’ highest peaks and glacial lakes on this 45-minute scenic flight, including Murchison Glacier, Tasman Glacier, Main Divide, Franz Josef Glacier, Fox Glacier, westland coastal rainforests and Mount Cook.

Queenstown

Kiwi Birdlife Park

Adult Price: $NZ 48 | Child Price: $NZ 23

The Kiwi Birdlife Park is a wildlife sanctuary found in the heart of Queenstown. They hold and display over 20 species of native NZ wildlife in our 5 acre Park, all of which are part of nationally managed programmes. Your entry fee supports their conservation work. They offer guaranteed kiwi viewing in our specially constructed nocturnal houses, audio tours (available in English and Japanese; allow 45min), Conservation Shows (11am, 3pm; allow 30min) and Kiwi Feedings (10am, 12pm, 1.30pm, 4.30pm; allow 15min). They offer an all-day pass and the park can be enjoyed in all weather. Experience conservation in action!

Queenstown

Shotover Jet

Adult Price: $NZ 149 | Child Price: $NZ 79

Enjoy a 30-minute jet boat ride down the mighty Shotover River and through Shotover Canyon with the only company permitted to operate in this area. A major highlight is experiencing the famous “Shotover Jet Turn” where your boat spins through a full 360 degrees turn. Includes return transfers from Queenstown. (Duration: 1.5 hours in total)

Queenstown

Appellation Central Wine Tours - Boutique Wine Tour

Adult Price: $NZ 199 | Child Price: $NZ 139

An afternoon amongst the boutique vineyards and splendid alpine scenery of Central Otago. Taste wines at 4 premium vineyards over two contrasting wine regions, learn about the wine and pioneering history and visit the Historic Precinct of Old Cromwell. Includes a delightful platter lunch and a glass of wine with lunch.

Queenstown

Skippers Canyon Scenic Tour & Jet Boat

Adult Price: $NZ 195 | Child Price: $NZ 115

Skippers Canyon Jet are the only company to offer a complete 4WD tour of Skippers Canyon and access to the unique mining relics available in the Sainsbury gold claim museum. Following the winding, yet majestic Skippers road, which carves its way down from the Coronet Peak ski road, over the saddle and down “Long gully” through to Skippers Canyon; your guide will detail the history of the road, hardships of the miners and how many miners were killed building the road over a century ago.

Queenstown

Lakeshore, Forest And Bird Guided Walk

Adult Price: $NZ 109 | Child Price: $NZ 69

"The 'Lakeshore Forest and Bird' guided walk is a unique nature interpretative experience. Taken at a leisurely pace through native beech forest, with morning or afternoon tea/coffee on the lake-shore where you stop and enjoy views across the lake to The Remarkables and Cecil Peak. The walk begins in native shrub and beech forest, and the track leads down through the forest to the edge Lake Wakatipu. Great views can be had looking out through the trees and over the water to the mountains beyond. Return transfers from your Queenstown accommodation are included. "

Request a Quote
  • 30 Day Refund Guarantee

    We promise you’ll enjoy a stress-free travel experience from the minute you start your vacation planning or we’ll refund your deposit. Make your reservation with a $350 deposit. If you change your mind for any reason within 30 days of booking, we’ll offer you a full refund.

  • Add air to your reservation

    Let our Air Specialists handle your air reservations. We have direct access to the most current airfare routes and prices, so you’ll get the best value available when we book your flights. We never charge a booking fee and you’ll enjoy the flexibility to pay for air 60-90 days prior to departure.

Print Itinerary
  • U.S. citizens traveling to New Zealand must have a current passport that is valid for six months beyond the conclusion of their trip. You can find information on how to apply for a passport here, and how to renew a passport here. No visa is required for U.S. citizens to enter New Zealand.

  • You will be using the New Zealand dollar on your trip. You can use your debit or credit card for purchases. The most convenient way to obtain cash is to use your ATM card at local banks. We recommend you also bring a valid credit card for purchases while you are traveling.  It is important that you inform your financial institutions of your travel plans before you leave home so they don’t flag your purchases as potentially fraudulent charges.

  • Food in New Zealand is innovative and diverse. As island nations with strong agricultural traditions, culinary traditions here are guided by local ingredients and seasonal variations, as well as international influences. You’ll find a variety of seafood including fresh oysters and crab, grilled steaks and lamb chops, meat pies, and fish and chips.

  • We suggest bringing a variety of comfortable, lightweight clothing that can be layered to save space in your suitcase and give you more options for how to dress. Sturdy walking shoes are important. Insect repellent and sunscreen may come in handy, as well as a light jacket and reusable water bottle. For more helpful information please refer to our Packing Tips & Packing List.

  • It is not customary to tip at restaurants in New Zealand. If you would like to reward good service when dining out it’s appropriate to leave 10 percent gratuity for your waiter.

    At the end of your guided vacation, it’s customary to offer your motor coach driver and Travel Director a gratuity.  We recommend the equivalent of $4 per person/per day for your driver and $6 per person/per day for your Travel Director.  Recommended gratuity for a Local Host and Local Specialist is the equivalent of 1-2 dollars per person, paid at the conclusion of each guided visit.  A convenient option is to prepay your tips before your departure.

  • Baggage on our trips is restricted to one large suitcase per person with dimensions not exceeding 30x19x10 inches and a maximum weight of 50 pounds. You are also permitted one piece of hand luggage, which should be small enough to fit under your coach seat or on the small overhead shelf compartment. Please note that luggage with an adjustable handle and wheels will not fit in the overhead compartment of the coach. Hotel porterage is included in your vacation.

  • You will need to be comfortable on your feet, walking and standing for up to three hours in various weather conditions.  All of our vacations involve walking, often on cobblestone and uneven surfaces in historic city centers.  In order to get the most out of your vacation you need to be able to comfortably walk 1-3 miles unassisted in one day, be in good condition and be able to keep pace with the group.

    If you need any medications, it is important that you bring enough to last you the whole trip and keep them in your carry-on bag while you travel.

  • We highly recommend our optional Travel Protection Plan, which allows you to cancel for any reason up to 24 hours before departure. The plan also includes trip interruption, baggage loss or delay, and medical and emergency assistance. Click here for a summary of coverage details, terms and conditions.

Request a Quote
  • 30 Day Refund Guarantee

    We promise you’ll enjoy a stress-free travel experience from the minute you start your vacation planning or we’ll refund your deposit. Make your reservation with a $350 deposit. If you change your mind for any reason within 30 days of booking, we’ll offer you a full refund.

  • Add air to your reservation

    Let our Air Specialists handle your air reservations. We have direct access to the most current airfare routes and prices, so you’ll get the best value available when we book your flights. We never charge a booking fee and you’ll enjoy the flexibility to pay for air 60-90 days prior to departure.

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