South Island Discovery - 10 days

South Island Discovery - 10 days

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10 Days From

$4645

$4291

South Island Discovery - 10 days

10 Days Starting and ending in Christchurch

Visiting: Christchurch, Fox Glacier, Wānaka, Te Anau, Queenstown, Aoraki / Mount Cook, Twizel

Tour operator:

On The Go Tours

Group size:

2 - 16

Age range:

18+The average age of passengers on these tours is between 55-75yrs. Pure Discoveries do not permit children.

Trip Styles:

Small Group

From:
$4645
$4291 Operator discount: -$232 Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$121

NB: Prices correct on 19-May-2024 but subject to change.

This tour is no longer available, please see similar tours below or send an enquiry

Tour Overview

This 10-day tour beginning and ending in Christchurch explores the beauty of New Zealand's South Island. Discover the cities of Christchurch and Queenstown, ride the iconic Tranz-Alpine railway to Greymouth and explore the historic gold rush village of Arrowtown. Escape to the countryside for an optional helicopter ride over Fox Glacier, to explore Mt. Aspiring National Park and marvel at Mt. Cook in addition to cruising the clear waters of Milford Sound, keeping your eyes peeled for dolphins!

Highlights

  • Christchurch – Explore the city with included punting and a delightful ride on a heritage tram

  • Tranz-Alpine Rail Journey - Cross the Southern Alps on this famous rail journey, taking in some of the South Island's fastest scenery

  • Wanaka - Choose from an ecological tour to a serene island on Lake Wanaka or a 4X4 excursion into the surrounding countryside

  • Te Anau - Stay beside the largest lake on the South Island and the gateway to Fiordland National Park

  • Milford Sound - Pass through incredible Fiordland National Park and enjoy a cruise on Milford Sound - look out for dolphins!

  • Queenstown – End your adventure in this city on the picturesque Lake Wakatipu

Itinerary

Expand All

Day 1: Christchurch

Location: Christchurch

Arriving in Christchurch you will be met and transferred to your accommodation. This afternoon we will join punting boatmen in traditional Edwardian dress for a leisurely River Avon cruise through the Christchurch Botanic Gardens. We then enjoy a stylish journey on a heritage tram through the ever-changing city centre.



Please note: The included activities for this tour begin in the early afternoon on day 1. Please ensure you arrive in Christchurch in time to begin the tour.

Day 2: Christchurch

Location: Christchurch, Fox Glacier

Meals Included: Breakfast

Christchurch – Fox Glacier. Today we embark on the renowned Tranz-Alpine rail journey through the Southern Alps to Greymouth. We'll see the vast Canterbury Plains and farmland which is followed by the breathtaking gorges and valleys of the Waimakariri River. We then ascend into the Southern Alps which we then cross to reach the lush rainforests of Westland before concluding the journey at the town of Greymouth.



Driving further south we visit the town of Hokitika and its galleries of greenstone jewellery and artwork. Continuing to Hokitika Gorge we stretch our legs and discover the blue/green waters that pass through the rugged rocks. Following the road south we reach Franz Josef and then on to the Village of Fox which is where the huge rivers of snow and ice of the Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers flow from vast snowfields high in the Southern Alps, down almost to sea level. If the weather allows there is the option of a helicopter ride over the glaciers at an extra cost.

Day 3: Fox Glacier

Location: Fox Glacier, Wānaka

Meals Included: Breakfast

Fox Glacier – Wanaka. First thing today we visit nearby Lake Matheson which, when weather conditions are just right, perfectly mirrors Mount Cook in its waters creating a stunning visual effect. From here we head up over the Haast Past along the river road, which took more than 40 years to complete, travelling deep into Mt Aspiring National Park to Lake Wanaka and the picturesque resort town of Wanaka.

Day 4: Wanaka

Location: Wānaka

Meals Included: Breakfast

Your choice of activity today must be made at the time of booking. Please let our Reservations team know which included activity you would like to partake in.



Today we have a choice of two included excursions. Option 1 sees you join an eco tour. Depart Wanaka by boat and escape civilisation as we cruise to an island where we hike through vibrant native vegetation to find a hidden mountaintop lake surrounded by small islands. We trek on to reach the island's summit for a 360-degree view of Lake Wanaka, its mountains and valleys, and the Arethusa Pool. Look out for the rare Buff Weka, a flightless bird extinct on Mainland NZ since 1920, which often joins visitors.



Option 2 is a 4WD adventure. We will explore a perfect mix of stunning scenery, history, and farm life in New Zealand's High Country. We will traverse remote back roads on an authentic farm with Lake Wanaka as our backdrop, surrounded by nature's beauty. We get up close to farm animals and visit historical sites, all while enjoying optional hikes through alpine meadows and lakeside forests, offering a unique insight into Wanaka's history, heritage, modern farming, and breathtaking landscapes.



When we return to Wanaka we have the afternoon at leisure to relax or enjoy the town.

Day 5: Wanaka

Location: Wānaka, Te Anau

Meals Included: Breakfast

Wanaka – Te Anau. We begin our day from Wanaka, stopping at the iconic Cardrona Pub. Then we venture through the Crown Range road to explore historic Arrowtown, a charming gold rush village nestled beneath majestic peaks near the Arrow River. We carry on along the scenic road between the Remarkables mountain range and stunning Lake Wakatipu before traversing a glacial valley turned farmland to reach Lake Te Anau, the South Island's largest freshwater lake and the entry point to Fiordland National Park.

Day 6: Te Anau

Location: Te Anau, Queenstown

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Te Anau – Queenstown. The journey from Te Anau to Milford Sound is one of the most scenic drives you can experience. Fiordland National Park, part of the Southwest New Zealand World Heritage Area is awe-inspiring, and features towering mountains and deep valleys sculpted by ancient glaciers. Milford Sound, famously dubbed the 'eighth wonder of the world' by Rudyard Kipling, is a breathtaking destination in any weather.



Following this we embark on a comfortable cruise, passing the iconic Mitre Peak to reach the Tasman Sea. Keep a lookout for seals and dolphins, which often grace the fiord's waters. After the cruise we retrace our route back to Te Anau and then journey through the Southland farmlands and circle the stunning Lake Wakatipu to reach Queenstown.

Day 7: Queenstown

Location: Queenstown

Meals Included: Breakfast

Nestled amid majestic mountains and on the pristine shores of Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown's natural beauty and unique ambiance provide an ideal setting for a visit filled with adventure, exploration, or relaxation. Today, we have the freedom to choose our own activities: thrill-seekers might opt for activities like zip-lining at Bob's Peak, a heart-pounding Shotover jet-boat ride, or white-water rafting. For those of us seeking a more leisurely experience, we can enjoy a gondola ride to Bob's Peak or embark on a 4WD safari to Skippers Canyon. Queenstown also offers boutique wineries, local gardens, and a chance to cruise Lake Wakatipu on the elegant steamship TSS Earnslaw for a visit to Walter Peak High Country Farm.

Day 8: Queenstown

Location: Queenstown, Aoraki / Mount Cook

Meals Included: Breakfast

Queenstown – Twizel. This morning we head north through Kawarau Gorge and past the scenic Lake Dunstan. We cross the Central Otago Countryside to the Lindis Pass where we descend into the Mackenzie Basin where the Southern Alps dominate the horizon. We enjoy a picturesque drive along Lake Pukaki to arrive at Mt. Cook Village, nestled at the base of New Zealand's highest peak, Aoraki/Mt. Cook. Our overnight stay awaits in the charming town of Twizel.

Day 9: Twizel

Location: Twizel, Christchurch

Meals Included: Breakfast

Twizel – Christchurch. Today we get to experience Kiwi culture by visiting a local home on Lake Tekapo's shores to learn the art of making Pavlova, a beloved New Zealand dessert. We enjoy our Pavlova during morning tea, taking in the stunning lake views. We admire the iconic Church of the Good Shepherd, beautifully situated against the backdrop of the Southern Alps. Continuing our journey through the high country's tussock plains, passing through charming towns like Fairlie and Geraldine, en route to Ashburton we then travel across the fertile Canterbury Plains to reach Christchurch, a city that combines post-earthquake regeneration with a rich blend of heritage, culture, and innovation.

Day 10: Christchurch

Location: Christchurch

Meals Included: Breakfast

Today our adventure in New Zealand comes to an end. A transfer takes you to Christchurch Airport for your flight home.

What's Included

  • Accommodation
    4-star hotels

  • 9 breakfasts & 1 lunch

  • 9 nights 4 star hotels

  • Airport arrival and departure transfers on day 1 and day 10

  • Escorted by an expert local guide/driver with specialist local guides at some sites

  • All relevant transfers and transportation in modern air-conditioned vehicle

  • Tranz-Alpine rail journey from Christchurch - Greymouth

  • Christchurch Edwardian punt & heritage tram experience

  • Local eco-guided tour or an authentic 4WD adventure at Wanaka

  • Tour historic gold rush village of Arrowtown

  • Milford Sound cruise & lunch

show more

What's Not Included

  • International flights and visas

  • Items of a personal nature (telephone calls, laundry, travel insurance etc)

  • Tip for your tour guide driver. We recommend you allow $4 - 7 USD per day per traveller. Tipping your tour guide is an entirely personal gesture.

  • Optional activities

Accommodation

Distinction Christchurch Hotel



The Distinction Christchurch Hotel stands in the heart of Christchurch. Located in the city centre, the hotel offers a convenient base for exploring the city's vibrant culture, shopping precincts, and iconic landmarks. The Distinction Christchurch Hotel is modern and stylish, and rooms provide modern amenities and chic decor, creating a comfortable retreat for all guests. The hotel's facilities include a sophisticated restaurant and bar, serving fresh and locally sourced cuisine and refreshing drinks in a refined atmosphere. With its central location, the hotel is within easy reach of Christchurch's attractions, including the Botanic Gardens and the Canterbury Museum.





Distinction Fox Glacier Hotel



Situated in the charming township of Fox Glacier, the Distinction Fox Glacier Hotel provides a perfect base for exploring the awe-inspiring Fox Glacier and nearby attractions. Rooms are designed for comfort and relaxation, many with stunning mountain or rainforest views. Paired with its modern amenities and cosy furnishings ensure a pleasant stay. The hotel offers excellent facilities, including a welcoming bar and restaurant serving delectable cuisine, perfect for refuelling after a day of adventure in the surrounding wilderness.





Edgewater Hotel



The Edgewater Hotel in Wanaka offers a spectacular retreat set against the backdrop of the Southern Alps and the pristine waters of Lake Wanaka. This idyllic location provides guests with a serene and picturesque escape in the South Island. Many rooms offer breathtaking lake or mountain views and feature modern amenities such as ensuites, A/C, and TV’s, ensuring a comfortable and relaxing stay. The hotel's amenities include a restaurant serving delicious local cuisine and a bar for unwinding with a drink. Edgewater Hotel also features a heated pool, spa pools, tennis courts, and a fitness centre, offering opportunities for recreation and relaxation.





Distinction Luxmore Hotel



The Distinction Luxmore Hotel in Te Anau is a gateway to the stunning Fiordland region, nestled on the shores of Lake Te Anau. The hotel provides a comfortable and welcoming retreat after a day of adventure. Rooms are thoughtfully designed and equipped with modern amenities such as an ensuite, WiFi, and a TV, ensuring a restful stay. Many rooms offer scenic views of Lake Te Anau or the surrounding mountains. The hotel features an on-site restaurant and a cosy bar where guests can savour local and international cuisine while taking in the picturesque surroundings. Other amenities include a fitness centre and a guest lounge.





Scenic Suites Queenstown



Scenic Suites Queenstown offers a luxurious escape in the heart of New Zealand's adventure capital. Ideally located just a short walk from the vibrant town centre, the hotel enjoys a prime position for exploring the stunning landscapes, adrenaline-pumping activities, and the thriving dining and entertainment scene that Queenstown is famous for. Accommodation at Scenic Suites Queenstown is stylish and designed for comfort. Many rooms offer breathtaking views of Lake Wakatipu and the surrounding mountains, creating a tranquil and scenic backdrop for your stay. The hotel's amenities include a restaurant and bar serving delicious local and international cuisine and a modern fitness centre, ensuring that guests can unwind and rejuvenate after a day of adventure. The hotel's location is also convenient for exploring Queenstown's attractions, such as the Skyline Gondola and the waterfront.





Distinction Mackenzie Country Hotel



The Distinction Mackenzie Country Hotel in Twizel offers a peaceful retreat amidst the stunning landscapes of the Mackenzie Basin. Located at the gateway to Aoraki Mount Cook National Park, this hotel provides a picturesque setting for nature enthusiasts and those seeking outdoor adventures. Rooms at the Distinction Mackenzie Country Hotel are a cozy haven after a day of exploration where guests can enjoy comfortable furnishings and contemporary amenities such as an en-suite, TV, WiFi, and large windows offering panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes. The hotel features excellent facilities, including an on-site restaurant serving delectable cuisine, a bar for relaxing with a drink, and sunny gardens offering panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and a peaceful place for a stroll.

Check out our Q&As

  • What Ethical Travel credentials does the tour company have?

    Ensuring our footprint is light and that the benefits of travelling reach the local communities you visit is paramount to us. We’re proud to say that when travelling with us, the large majority of your holiday funds remain within the countries you visit, supporting local economies at a grass roots level.

  • How long has the tour company been trading?

    Since 1998

  • Who will be my travelling companions on the tour?

    With English-speaking tours, it's not a huge surprise that most on our travellers are from English-speaking countries or have English as their second language. Our group tours cater for everyone from 18 years old to 70+

  • Will the accommodation included meet local health and safety regulations?

    Yes

Reviews of this operator

Nicola Hodgkinson (Google Reviewer)  

Recently returned from Greece, a...

07-May-2024

Recently returned from Greece, a 5 day tour with OTG. Unfortunately, I had a negative experience on day 2 where I needed local support to get me out of a tricky situation. Thank you to Alexandra Z from Hetco Tours in Athens for helping me continue on with the trip, to the Hotel Zafolia staffing team and to Danielle and team here in the UK for supporting me with the aftermath. Your kindness will not be forgotten and I will pay it forward. I've now booked 3 trips with yourselves and will continue to go back. Thank you all. Honestly, I am SO grateful. Blessings to you all. Nicola

Calvin  

Wonderful experience

05-Jan-2023

Jamal is our tour guide. Right from the start, he created a group chat in whatsapp and if any issues to make sure we contact him. He was on the ball with every issue thrown at him. Luggage being left behind, stragglers wondered off in a different path, hotel room etc. He explains the various site along our route to give us a better understanding of the local cultures. We had a great time, thanks to Jamal.

Trustpilot
Norma Sullivan  

Land of the Northern Lights 5 day tour of Iceland

10-Sep-2021

The Land of Northern Lights tour was a triumph! My tour of Southern Iceland was absolutely wonderful. The venues chosen, the timing allotted at each venue and the variety of things to experience was nearly perfect. Our guide, "Thor", was smart, amusing, full of history and anecdotal stories as well as being incredibly hospitable and helpful. This small group experience was my first, but not my last thanks to On the Go.

Trawls (Google Reviewer)  

On The Go Tours Sri...

05-Feb-2024

On The Go Tours Sri Lanka was an incredible experience that was made even better by our tour guide Akthar. He was incredibly knowledgeable about his country and he loved sharing it with us. The tour covers a wide range of activities so you can truly experience what Sri Lanka is all about. The beautiful 4-5 star hotels at the end of every day was an absolute bonus. Thanks for a great trip OTGT I’m sure this won’t be my last

Xtreme Floor Care (Google Reviewer)  

Traveled through Egypt with On...

30-Nov-2023

Traveled through Egypt with On the Go Tours, professional service, very informative and helpful tour guides. The choice of hotels was excellent... Definitely recommend this company

Gavin Harrigan  

King Tutankhamun 10 day tour of Egypt

16-Sep-2021

I have just returned from my tour with On The Go and it was an amazing trip! From arriving at the airport and meeting the OTG representative, everything was well organised and hassle free.  Our tour guide was Amir. He is awesome!! From the beginning he was so friendly and enthusiastic about showing us around Egypt, giving us loads of information at each place and time to explore ourselves. Learnt so much from him about this fascinating place, and he was always happy to answer more questions.   The trip itself was amazing. There's lots of travelling on this trip, but it's really not too bad, and the sights you see when you get to where you are going are worth it. I'm not a big fan of boats, but the Felluca ride across the Nile was pretty fun too.  On the first day I also did the optional tour of Cairo with Ahmed Helal - another excellent guide from OTG. It's worth doing this add on as you don't spend much time in Cairo, and you go to three very different places.  I'm so glad that I decided to do this trip. It was just ace.  If you're thinking about it too, you should probably just book it. And hopefully you get Amir as your guide.

Paul Kelly (Google Reviewer)  

TOTALLY MOROCCO We booked a 9...

26-Feb-2023

TOTALLY MOROCCO We booked a 9 day tour of Morocco visiting many main cities and places of interest. The coach was very comfortable and we felt safe with the driver Suliman. The guide was Hicham Touraouine and he was fantastic. He spoke perfect English as well as French, Arabic and Berber. He was so kind and considerate and made a good tour great. We particularly enjoyed ‘glamming in the Sahara Desert. So much to see and do and great food and company. We would definitely use On The Go Tours again, especially if Hicham was the guide. Paul & Penny

Joyce Heitler (Google Reviewer)  

I would give this tour...

09-May-2024

I would give this tour group no stars if possible. The tour was not guaranteed but they did not inform me when I booked and they did not have enough people. Way after I booked they said I needed a doctors letter because I was over 70. Also way after booking I was informed I needed travel insurance. They knew my age when I booked. They would not refund my tour even though it was 4 months away.

Sarah Paterson (Google Reviewer)  

Terrible tour of India. For...

27-Dec-2023

Terrible tour of India. For some reason On the Go hadn't realised that my room mate had booked her own room for the first night of tour. So the hotel in Delhi had tried to put me in her room after midnight, by wheeling in an extra bed. She went Crazy!! I then had to sit in hotel reception for hours. While the tour guide said he couldn't find me a room. Throughout the tour the guide consistently ask me and my room mate for money for my room, causing more friction between us. Don't book with this company had the worst experience ever. Go with Intrepid or G Adventure

brandy hoffman (Google Reviewer)  

I had used them once...

09-Aug-2023

I had used them once before and loved them. I decided to try them again for a Baltic tour not knowing that they put me on another Tour group- Baltic vision. Loved that tour but was not impressed they marked up the cost for me over 100%. I understand taking some for yourself because of paperwork, but over double the cost everyone else paid on the tour. Just double check before you book with them that you’re not over paying.

1 Dates & Availability

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Monday - Wednesday

Jan 20, 2025 - Jan 29, 2025
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Operator discount: -$265

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Feb 03, 2025 - Feb 12, 2025
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Operator discount: -$265

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Monday - Wednesday

Feb 24, 2025 - Mar 05, 2025
$5295 $4892

Operator discount: -$265

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$138

Instant Booking Available

Monday - Wednesday

Mar 03, 2025 - Mar 12, 2025
$5295 $4892

Operator discount: -$265

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$138

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Monday - Wednesday

Mar 17, 2025 - Mar 26, 2025
$5295 $4892

Operator discount: -$265

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$138

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Monday - Wednesday

Mar 31, 2025 - Apr 09, 2025
$5295 $4892

Operator discount: -$265

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$138

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Monday - Wednesday

Apr 28, 2025 - May 07, 2025
$4975 $4596

Operator discount: -$249

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$130

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Monday - Wednesday

May 19, 2025 - May 28, 2025
$4645 $4291

Operator discount: -$232

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$121

Book with Confidence

  • Transfer as credit to Future Tours

    On The Go Tours allows you to transfer existing payments to a future tour to avoid cancellation fees if you can't travel and inform on the go tours, 60 days before departure.

  • Low Deposit

    On The Go Tours requires a minimum deposit of 300 GBP per person or the full booking value, whichever is less, with the final balance not due until 60 days before departure.

  • Cancellation Policy

    We don't charge a cancellation fee, here is a summary of on the go tours charges.

    Up to 60 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of deposit.

    At 59 days before tour starts: Forfeit 50% of booking price.

    At 30 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of booking price.

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