• Save $150 per person on select 2019 departures - Ends July 31

    Save $150 on select 2019 departures - Ends July 31
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    AARP Members SAVE an additional $100
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Southern Spectacular

Operated by: Trafalgar

10 Days from $3,236 per person
Aoraki Mount Cook National Park

Countries Visited

New Zealand

Locations Visited

Christchurch, Twizel, Dunedin, Queenstown, Punakaiki, Franz Josef Glacier
  1. Day 1 Arrive Christchurch

    Discover the delightful fusion of modern design and the elegance of yesteryear in Christchurch, your gateway to South Island. Transfer to your hotel (flights to arrive prior to 4pm), then spend time at leisure before meeting your Travel Director and fellow travelers for an evening Welcome Reception.

    meals Welcome Reception
    hotel Distinction
  2. Day 2 Christchurch - Twizel

    Connect with locals and immerse yourself in New Zealand country life at Morelea, joining Angie and Stan Taylor in their home for a Be My Guest barbecue lunch, complete with Angie's famous pavlova. Leave their home-grown Kiwi hospitality behind bound for Lake Pukaki and the Church of the Good Shepherd on the shores of Lake Tekapo. Continue your journey to Mount Cook National Park and soak up the alpine scenery. There's even time for an Optional Experience scenic flight over Mt. Cook (weather permitting).

    meals Buffet Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner with Wine
    hotel MacKenzie Country Inn
  3. Day 3 Twizel - Dunedin Sightseeing

    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 on to the soaring spires and Victorian façades of 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.

    meals Buffet Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
    hotel Scenic Southern Cross
  4. Day 4 Dunedin - Te Anau

    Spend the morning connecting with the Scottish heritage of Dunedin, departing this southern city in the afternoon bound for Te Anau, the gateway to Milford Sound. Journey through lush pastoral lands dotted with sheep farms, arriving on the shores of Lake Te Anau for an evening at leisure. Consider a highlight this evening, joining an Optional Experience to the Te Anau Glow Worm Caves.

    meals Buffet Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
    hotel Distinction
  5. Day 5 Te Anau - Queenstown (2 Nights)

    Savor a day filled with pinch-me moments as you explore the extraordinary natural splendor of the UNESCO-listed Fiordland National Park. Keep your camera close at hand as you journey through 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. Take to the still waters of Milford Sound, cruising past such highlights as Bowen Falls and Mitre Peak. Later, journey over the Devil's Staircase, along the shores of Lake Wakatipu bound for Queenstown, New Zealand's adventure capital. Enjoy an evening at leisure after an orientation tour.

    meals Buffet Breakfast
    hotel Millennium
  6. Day 6 Queenstown Sightseeing

    Expect a thrill a minute on your choice of sightseeing today. Ride the Shotover Jet boat; take a gondola to Bob's Peak for thrilling luge rides; embark on a minibus excursion through Skippers Canyon or visit Kiwi Birdlife Park. This evening, you'll board the TSS Earnslaw, New Zealand's oldest steamship, cruising across Lake to Walter Peak High Country Farm for a gourmet barbecue Regional Meal at the Colonel's Homestead. Gain a deeper understanding of high-country farm life during an entertaining farm show, then return to Queenstown to sample the festive nightlife.

    meals Buffet Breakfast, Regional Meal
  7. Day 7 Queenstown - Franz Josef

    A morning visit to Arrowtown reveals its rich gold mining heritage before your journey continues to Cromwell, where you'll have an opportunity to savor the juicy flavors of local stone fruit. See a trio of lakes, Dunstan, Hawea and Wanaka, then cross Haast Pass to Thunder Creek Falls in Mt. Aspiring National Park. Here you'll stretch your legs and embark on a short rainforest walk before continuing to the luminescence of the Franz Josef Glacier, the world's most accessible glacier.

    meals Buffet Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
    hotel Scenic Franz Josef Glacier (Douglas Wing)
  8. Day 8 Franz Josef - Punakaiki

    Take some time this morning to explore the icy depths of this white wilderness that has retreated from the sea over millennia. Later, journey to Hokitika. Here, you will delve into the delicate craft of greenstone carvery during a visit to a factory and jewelry demonstration by a Local Specialist master carver. Punakaiki's Pancake Rocks and Blowholes is your destination today. Spend the night at one the eco-friendly Punakaiki Resort located right on the waterfront. Dinner is served against the backdrop of the thundering Tasman surf.

    meals Buffet Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
    hotel Punakaiki Resort
  9. Day 9 Punakaiki - Christchurch

    A leisurely start to your day will see you journey across Arthur's Pass where you'll board the TranzAlpine train for one of the world's most scenic rail journeys across the snow-capped Southern Alps and Canterbury Plains. Arrive in Christchurch and admire the city's efforts to rebuild itself after a devastating earthquake. Later this evening, you'll join newfound friends for a Farewell Dinner to toast to your trip.

    meals Buffet Breakfast, Farewell Dinner
    hotel Distinction
  10. Day 10 Depart Christchurch

    Your vacation concludes this morning after breakfast. You will be transferred to Christchurch Airport for your onward flight (flights anytime).

    meals Buffet Breakfast
ZCQR-southern-spectacular-map-tt-19.jpg

Meal Summary

9 hot buffet breakfasts, 1 lunch, 7 dinners.

Included Highlights

Connect with Locals

  • Join your hosts Angie and Stan Taylor in their home for a barbecue lunch and hear about a lifetime spent farming in New Zealand.

Stays with Stories

  • Stay on the South Island's wild west coast at eco-friendly Punakaiki Resort. Designed in harmony with the environment, your stay gives you a unique insight into local ecology and nature.

Local Specialist

  • with a jade (greenstone) master carver at a jewelry demonstration in Hokitika.

Sightseeing Highlights

  • City tour in Dunedin, Christchurch
  • Visit Franz Josef Glacier, historic Arrowtown, the Pancake Rocks, Blowholes at Punakaiki
  • Cruise on Milford Sound, Lake Wakatipu
  • View the Southern Alps from the TranzAlpine train
  • See spectacular sights in Fiordland National Park en route to Milford Sound
Dates & Prices
Airfare is not included, but can be added to quote upon request
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  • Important Note: This departure is subject to price, itinerary and hotel modification.
Optional Add-Ons

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.

Dunedin

Grand Traverse Scenic Flight

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.
Adult Price: $395.00

Te Anau

Monarch Wildlife Cruise

Cruise the length of the beautiful Otago Harbour, passing by the historic fishing village of Careys Bay and the working port of Port Chalmers. Then continue your tour out to the tip of the Otago Peninsula, enjoying unrivaled wildlife viewing. See what cannot be seen from land – Albatross, New Zealand Fur Seals and up to 20 species of bird and marine life in their undisturbed and otherwise inaccessible environment.
Adult Price: $150.00

Taieri Gorge Railway

Taieri Gorge Railway is one of the world’s great train trips, taking passengers from the hustle and bustle of Dunedin’s city center to the rugged mountain interior of Central Otago, and back. Travel in comfort, cross magnificent stone and wrought iron viaducts, travel through a series of tunnels with rock walls only inches from the side of the train.
Adult Price: $105.00

Larnarch Castle Tour

Let your local driver take you on an exciting Otago Peninsula drive to New Zealand’s only castle. Your guided tour of the Larnach family home will give you insight into not only the architecture and style of the stately building but also into William Larnach’s family life and the restoration done by the current owners during the past three decades. Enjoy views from the tower and marvel at the immaculate gardens before your return to Dunedin.
Adult Price: $76.00

Queenstown

Te Anau Glow Worm Caves

2.5-hour tour incorporating a cruise across Lake Te Anau to Cavern House. Enjoy a guided tour (in small groups) through the limestone caverns, waterfalls, and the glow worm grotto. Complimentary tea & coffee is available at Cavern House
Adult Price: $98.00

Punakaiki

Kiwi Birdlife Park

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 (11 am, 3 pm; allow 30min) and Kiwi Feedings (10 am, 12 pm, 1.30 pm, 4.30 pm; allow 15 min). They offer an all-day pass and the park can be enjoyed in all weather. Experience conservation in action!
Adult Price: $48.00

Shotover Jet

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)

Boutique Wine Tour

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.
Adult Price: $199.00

Skippers Canyon Scenic Tour and Jet Boat Ride

Skippers Canyon Jet is 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.
Adult Price: $195.00

Christchurch

Mountain Scenic Spectacular Flight

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.
Adult Price: $460.00

Haast River Safari

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.
Adult Price: $109.00

Twin Glacier Flight

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.
Adult Price: $320.00

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