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South Island Sensation

Duration
12 Days
Prices From:
US$ 6,312

On this luxurious small group journey, board the Interislander ferry across Cook Strait to New Zealand's South Island, where you will immerse yourself in the Marlborough wine region, spot unique marine life off the coast of Kaikoura and Akaroa, explore Franz Josef, and embrace the thrills of Queenstown.


This 12-day small-group trip from Wellington to Queenstown takes you through New Zealand’s most dramatic landscapes, enjoying luxury accommodation and a range of signature experiences en route.

Fly into Wellington, one of the ‘coolest’ small capital cities in the world. In fact, Wellington boasts more bars and cafes per capita than New York City! Spend the afternoon visiting New Zealand’s national museum, Te Papa Tongarewa, visit the Weta Workshop and uncover the secrets behind the Lord of the Rings and Avatar films, and sit down for a welcome dinner with your trip leader and group. The following day, transfer to Blenheim, gateway to Malborough wine country, but not before a ferry trip across Cook Strait, taking in the beauty of Marlborough and Queen Charlotte Sounds.

Explore the Blenheim region with the option of a winery tour, or visit the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre. Your next stop is Kaikoura, famous for its sightings of whales, seals, dolphins, and other creatures. Of course, you’ll have the option of a whale-watching cruise before driving on to Christchurch. Despite the earthquakes of the past decade, Christchurch remains the cultural heart of the South Island, boasting Canterbury Museum, the river Avon, beautiful botanic gardens, and a wide range of innovative pop up art and retail projects, put in place while the city rebuilds. You’ll also visit the nearby town of Akaroa for a dolphin spotting cruise.

From Christchurch, board one of the most scenic train rides in the Southern Hemisphere, the TranzAlpine, bound for Franz Josef. Here, you’ll stay at an eco-friendly forest retreat with New Zealand’s dramatic West Coast scenery at your fingertips, most notably the Franz Josef Glacier. Hike the natural path once cut by the glacier, or embark on a heli-hike at additional cost. A soak in the area’s natural hot springs will soothe your muscles after either adventure.

Follow the Haast River Valley to Arrowtown and Queenstown, New Zealand’s adventure capital and one of the most beautiful natural settings for a city in the world. Try some of the local craft beer, embark on a steamboat cruise, or take a gondola ride up to dinner for unbeatable views. The following day, you can try some of Central Otago’s wines, or take a bike ride around the region. You’ll then have one more day to enjoy totally at your leisure, so consider a visit to awe-inspiring Milford Sound, or an exhilarating jet boat ride on the Shotover River.


 

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Duration
12 Days
Prices From:
US$ 6,312

Itinerary View Trip Map

Day 1

Arrive Wellington

Arrive in Wellington and transfer to your hotel. Visit New Zealand's national museum, Te Papa Tongarewa, then visit the Weta Workshop and gain a glimpse into the design studio behind The Lord of the Rings trilogy and Avatar. This evening, savour a Welcome Dinner.

Meal Plan Dinner
Duration1 Night
Accommodation

QT Museum Wellington

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    QT Museum Wellington



    Immerse yourself in a fascinating fusion of high and low-brow art as you explore the creative depths of one of New Zealand's most eccentric art collections set in the country's Coolest Little Capital.QT Museum Wellington is both a backdrop and an active muse. This hotel ...

    Immerse yourself in a fascinating fusion of high and low-brow art as you explore the creative depths of one of New Zealand's most eccentric art collections set in the country's Coolest Little Capital.QT Museum Wellington is both a backdrop and an active muse. This hotel is where those in the know come to create and hunt for a taste of the avant-garde, all while indulging in their most creative selves. Sitting harbourside in the heart of Wellington's cultural hub this creative haven and design driven hotel indulges you in cool luxury, including acclaimed French inspired dining at Hippopotamus. Art, design, curiosities and a dash of the absurd -- QT Museum Wellington

    Facilities

    • Bar(s)
    • Concierge
    • Currency Exchange
    • Gym/Fitness Centre
    • Laundry/Dry Cleaning Service
    • Pool (s)
    • Reception (24 hrs)
    • Restaurant(s)
    • Room Service
    • Sauna
    • Spa(Hot-tub)/Jacuzzi
    • Wheelchair Accessible Rooms

    More Details

Day 2

Wellington, Picton, Blenheimn

This morning, take in a unique Signature Experience. Afterwards, travel to Blenheim and arrive at your hotel.

Signature Experience
Cruise across Cook Strait aboard the Interislander ferry, traversing Marlborough and Queen Charlotte sounds.

Signature Experience
Savour a degustation dinner paired with local wines.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

Marlborough Vintners Hotel

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    Marlborough Vintners Hotel



    Surrounded by vineyards in the heart of Sauvignon Blanc country, Marlborough Vintners Hotel is your cuisine and wine destination when travelling to Marlborough. This boutique vineyard accommodation and restaurant is set in 6 acres of grounds showcasing the tranquility of the vines. This stunning property ...

    Surrounded by vineyards in the heart of Sauvignon Blanc country, Marlborough Vintners Hotel is your cuisine and wine destination when travelling to Marlborough. This boutique vineyard accommodation and restaurant is set in 6 acres of grounds showcasing the tranquility of the vines. This stunning property is also located in an area where cruising the Marlborough Sounds, biking, hiking, walking and fishing are fabulous alternative activities.

    Facilities

    • Babysitting Service
    • Internet Access
    • Laundry/Dry Cleaning Service
    • Mail and Postal Facilities
    • Restaurant

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Day 3

Blenheim

Spend the day exploring Blenheim with your selected sightseeing experience.

Freedom of Choice Sightseeing
Perhaps immerse yourself in this world-renowned wine region with a winery tour, or visit the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Day 4

Blenheim, Kaikoura

Travel to Kaikoura today, which presents the opportunity for marine spotting. You may glimpse whales, fur seals, dolphins and albatross.

Signature Experience
Embark on an enthralling whale-watching cruise.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Duration1 Night
Accommodation

White Morph Inn Kaikoura

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    White Morph Inn Kaikoura



    White Morph Motor Inn is an ideal place to stay for both leisure and business travellers. This waterfront accommodation is close to shops, the cinema, and various marine activities. The rooms are fully equipped to meet your every need.

    White Morph Motor Inn is an ideal place to stay for both leisure and business travellers. This waterfront accommodation is close to shops, the cinema, and various marine activities. The rooms are fully equipped to meet your every need.

    Facilities

    • Bar(s)
    • Conference Facilities
    • Internet Access
    • Laundry facilities
    • Lounge(s)
    • Parking
    • Restaurant(s)
    • Wheelchair Accessible Rooms

    More Details

    Preferred Hotel
Day 5

Kaikoura, Christchurch

Travel towards Christchurch, proudly holding the colloquial title of the Garden City. Christchurch is well known for its English heritage and botanic attractions.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

Rydges Latimer Christchurch

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    Rydges Latimer Christchurch



    Rydges Latimer Christchurch is located just 2 minutes walking distance from the city's CBD, is within easy driving distance of a stunning collection of local attractions and activities and only a 15 minute drive from Christchurch International Airport and features 138 guest rooms and extensive ...

    Rydges Latimer Christchurch is located just 2 minutes walking distance from the city's CBD, is within easy driving distance of a stunning collection of local attractions and activities and only a 15 minute drive from Christchurch International Airport and features 138 guest rooms and extensive banquet facilities with a capacity to cater for up to 360 people, making it the largest hotel function space in Christchurch.

    Facilities

    • Bar(s)
    • Conference Facilities
    • Restaurant

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Day 6

Christchurch, Akaroa

Embark on a city sights tour of Christchurch, where you will see the Canterbury Museum, Cathedral Square and Riccarton House and Bush. Afterwards, travel to Akaroa.

Signature Experience
In Akaroa, board a cruise to get up close to friendly dolphins.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 7

Christchurch, TranzAlpine Train, Franz Josef

Journey through the striking patchwork farmlands of the Canterbury Plains before travelling across the Southern Alps within Arthur's Pass National Park. Disembark and travel by coach to Hokitika, a town teeming with history. Here, you'll enjoy the chance to see pounamu (jade) being skilfully carved into pieces of jewellery. After, continue along the west coast to Franz Josef, where you'll take in the dramatic terrain. Arrive later at your eco-resort in time for dinner.

Signature Experience
Board the TranzAlpine train for one of the world's greatest rail adventures.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

Te Waonui Forest Retreat

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    Te Waonui Forest Retreat



    A haven from the city rush, a foray into New Zealand's pristine wilderness - Te Waonui Forest Retreat is truly a place to relax and refresh. All focus has been on creating a healthy, environmentally safe habitat to maximise guests' wellbeing. With a natural, earthy ...

    A haven from the city rush, a foray into New Zealand's pristine wilderness - Te Waonui Forest Retreat is truly a place to relax and refresh. All focus has been on creating a healthy, environmentally safe habitat to maximise guests' wellbeing. With a natural, earthy ambience and attentive service, there's no better place to take a deep breath and simply unwind.

    Facilities

    • Bar
    • Concierge
    • Laundry facilities
    • Reception (24 hrs)
    • Restaurant
    • Room Service
    • Valet Parking

    More Details

Day 8

Franz Josef

With a range of included sightseeing activities to choose from, discover Franz Josef your own way.

Freedom of Choice Sightseeing
Perhaps embark on a hike along an ancient path where a glacier once stood. You also have the option to upgrade to a heli-hike, which includes a helicopter flight over Franz Josef Glacier (additional cost and subject to weather, availability and minimum numbers). Alternatively, immerse yourself in the Glacier Hot Pools, plus visit the West Coast Wildlife Centre to get up close to New Zealand's unique wildlife.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Day 9

Franz Josef, Arrowtown, Queenstown

Enjoy a day of breathtaking scenery travelling along the Haast River Valley as you venture into the Central Otago region. You will enjoy a stop in the historic gold mining destination of Arrowtown on your way to the fairytale setting of Queenstown, your home for the next three nights. This evening, you will have a choice of dining at some of Queenstown's best restaurants.

Freedom of Choice Dining
Perhaps sample quality crafted beer at Canyon Food & Brew Co. Alternatively, take a scenic gondola ride to the Skyline Restaurant where you can enjoy your meal with stunning panoramic views of the city. You may prefer a cruise aboard the TSS Earnslaw, a vintage steamboat, or dine amid the stylish surrounds of the Elements Restaurant.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

Peppers Beacon - Queenstown

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    Peppers Beacon - Queenstown



    Peppers Beacon, Queenstown is situated on pristine Lake Wakatipu, an easy five-minute level walk (no hills) from the centre of town. Many of Peppers Beacon's hotel rooms, and two- and three-bedroom suites offer superb views of the stunning lake and picturesque Remarkables mountains. Peppers Beacon ...

    Peppers Beacon, Queenstown is situated on pristine Lake Wakatipu, an easy five-minute level walk (no hills) from the centre of town.

    Many of Peppers Beacon's hotel rooms, and two- and three-bedroom suites offer superb views of the stunning lake and picturesque Remarkables mountains. Peppers Beacon offers family friendly accommodation near the heart of Queenstown, with great onsite facilities including a breakfast lounge, outdoor barbeque area, sauna and gymnasium.

    Facilities

    • Barbeques (BBQ)
    • Conference Facilities
    • Gym/Fitness Centre
    • Laundry/Dry Cleaning Service
    • Massage Treatments
    • Parking
    • Sauna
    • Spa

    More Details

Day 10

Queenstown

Spend the morning on your Freedom of Choice activity.

Freedom of Choice Sightseeing
Today you have the option to sample beautiful Central Otago wines, as you hear the stories and history of these very special labels from the local region. Alternatively, enjoy a guided leisurely bike ride through the surrounding countryside.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 11

Queenstown

Enjoy a day at leisure to explore Queenstown your way. Tonight, enjoy a Farewell Dinner with your fellow travellers.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Day 12

Depart Queenstown

Be transferred to the airport for your onward flight.

Meal Plan Breakfast

Other Information

DEPARTURES:

2019: Oct 31; Nov 21; Dec 12
2020: Jan 2, 23; Feb 13; Mar 5, 26

PRICE INCLUDES:

  • Arrival and departure airport transfers in New Zealand
  • 11 nights' accommodations
  • Breakfast daily
  • All-inclusive sightseeing and Signature Experiences
  • APT's Freedom of Choice Inclusions in three locations
  • Food and drinks as per itinerary

PRICE EXCLUDES:

  • Travel insurance
  • International and domestic airfare & airfare taxes
  • Visa fees if applicable
  • Meals and beverages not mentioned
  • Gratuities
  • Items of a personal nature

TERMS AND CONDITIONS:

Prices are "from" per person based on twin/double share accommodation and for travel in low season. Seasonal surcharges and blackout dates may apply. Limited seat/spaces and all pricing is subject to change and availability. Rates for single or triple travellers are available on request - please inquire.

TB AUSTRALWEL19SG: NSGS12
21 Nov 2019
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