The Southern Drift

Uncover unique locations, secret trails, striking landscapes, natural treasures and roads less travelled on this true exploration of New Zealand's South Island.

Discover New Zealand on this Inspiring Journey through the natural treasures of the South Island. From the still waters of Milford Sound and snow-capped peaks of the Southern Alps to the rolling hills of Central Otago, delve into the beauty of landscapes that have remained unchanged for millennia.

  • Single

  • Adult Twin

Prices from:

Per person, in AUD

Journey Overview

  • Start
  • End
  • Overnight Stays
  • Sightseeing

Your Journey Itinerary

Day Activity
1 Welcome to Christchurch

On arrival at Christchurch 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 Christchurch Botanical Garden or take a ride on the Christchurch Tram. In the evening meet your Journey Director for a Welcome Reception.

  • HOTEL - Hotel Montreal, Christchurch
2 Christchurch – 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 to the Southern Alps. From Arthur's Pass, visit the small town of Hokitika, the heritage and cultural centre of the West Coast, to learn about the importance of Pounamu, better known as jade or greenstone. Later we continue to Franz Josef. Your eco-friendly accommodation is set amid native bush, with an emphasis on relaxation and rejuvenation. This evening, why not enjoy Franz Josef's local geothermal hot pools or perhaps a massage.

  • MEALS - Breakfast, Dinner with wine
  • HOTEL - Te Waonui Forest Retreat, Franz Josef, 2 nights
3 Franz Josef 'Relaxed Start'

After a relaxed start we explore this area, where a local guide explains the history behind the mighty Franz Josef Glacier. 

  • MEALS - Breakfast
4 Franz Josef – Arrowtown - Queenstown

This morning it’s time for an adventure as we journey down the Haast River in a purpose built, fully enclosed river jet boat. After a lunch stop at Makarora then travel on to Arrowtown where there is time to explore this historic gold-mining village on the Arrow River.  Continue to Queenstown for an orientation tour. Tonight, dinner is included at your hotel.

  • MEALS - Breakfast, Dinner with wine
  • HOTEL - Hotel St Moritz Queenstown, 3 nights
5 Queenstown at Leisure

Enjoy Queenstown your way! Perhaps join a wine tour and taste some of Central Otago’s world-renowned Pinot Noir or view The Lord of the Rings film locations on a scenic tour of Queenstown and Glenorchy.  Tonight, you can dine at one of the local restaurants along the waterfront in town or simply relax at your hotel. 

  • MEALS - Breakfast
6 Queenstown at Leisure

Make the most of your extended stay in Queenstown. Why not sit back and enjoy a peaceful cruise across Lake Wakatipu aboard New Zealand’s oldest steamship, the TSS Earnslaw to Walter Peak Station, take a jet boat ride down the mighty Shotover River.  Or simply relax, shop or enjoy time at one of the many cafés and restaurants while soaking up the alpine views. Tonight, enjoy a highlight dinner at one of Queenstown’s exclusive restaurants.

  • MEALS - Breakfast, Local Dining Experience
7 Queenstown – Te Anau - Milford Sound

Travel south along the shores of Lake Wakatipu to Te Anau on the shores of the South Island’s largest lake. Later you’ll travel through the rainforest of the UNESCO-listed World Heritage site of Fiordland National Park, sighting glaciers and mountain ranges onto the amazing Mirror Lake before driving through the hand-hewn Homer Tunnel.  Tonight, stay at the magical Milford Sound Lodge, with views of the Cleddau Valley.

  • MEALS - Breakfast, Dinner with wine
  • HOTEL - Milford Sound Lodge, Fiordland National Park, 2 nights
8 Milford Track Walk & Milford Sound Cruise

Wake up to the startling beauty of Milford Sound.  This morning, explore a section of the famous Milford Track on an easy going half day guided walk.  This place is steeped in rich history and stories, the flora and fauna are unique and special.  This afternoon aboard the Southern Discoveries vessel sit back and relax as a specialist nature guide introduces you to the natural wonders of Milford Sound often called the ‘eighth natural wonder of the world’.

  • MEALS - Breakfast, Dinner with wine
9 Milford Sound – Gore - Dunedin

We leave the majestic Fiordland National Park for the fertile sheep-dotted pastures of South Otago. Travel through Te Anau known for its beautiful lake and on to the country musical town of Gore for lunchtime, before arriving in Dunedin, New Zealand’s southernmost city. Enjoy dinner tonight at Parcels Restaurant at your hotel.

  • MEALS - Breakfast, Dinner with wine
  • HOTEL - Distinction Dunedin Hotel, 2 nights
10 Dunedin 'Relaxed Start'

Enjoy a relaxed start this morning, before taking a guided tour oat Emerson’s Brewery, sample the tasty craft beer before an afternoon at leisure.  Relax or continue exploring Dunedin as you wish. Perhaps ride the historic Tairei Gorge Railway or take a wildlife cruise of the Otago Pennisula.

  • MEALS - Breakfast
11 Dunedin – Christchurch

Travel up the east coast of the South Island via Oamaru and Timaru. On arrival in Christchurch embark on a sightseeing tour of the city to learn about its rebirth after the devastating 2011 earthquake.

  • MEALS - Breakfast, Dinner with wine
  • HOTEL - Hotel Montreal, Christchurch
12 Farewell from Christchurch

Say farewell to your fellow travellers as your Inspiring Journey comes to an end and we transfer you to Christchurch Airport for your onward flight.

  • MEALS - Breakfast

Unique Highlights

Authentic and Engaging Experiences

  • Immerse
    3 Immerse Milford Sound Cruise GettyImages 1200 800


    Delve deep into the natural wonders of Milford Sound, with specialist nature guides sharing their knowledge of this mystical landscape.

  • Indulge
    4 Indulge generic GettyImages 1200 800


    Join a behind-the-scenes tour and tasting at Emerson’s, a state of the art craft brewery, and embark on a culinary discovery of Queenstown.

  • Explore
    5 Explore Tranz AlpineOn River Bend 1200 800


    Journey down the Haast River in a fully enclosed jet boat, and discover the remarkable glacial valley where temperate rainforest thrives.

  • Relax
    6 Relax milfordlodge 1200 800


    Take a dip in Franz Josef’s local geothermal hot pools and relax and rejuvenate after a day of discovering the South’s natural wonders.

The Southern Drift

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Additional Information

What's Included
  • 18 meals including 11 breakfasts, 7 dinners, Welcome Drinks
  • Specialist team of two highly experienced Journey Director and Driver Guide
  • Local Specialists (Guides)
  • Mixture of boutique, unique and 5-star hotels
What to Bring
  •  Comfortable walking shoes
  •  Sunglasses, sunscreen and hat
  •  Warm layers in cooler months, and a waterproof
  • Camera
  • A sense of adventure
Fitness Requirements
  •  Low level of fitness required
  •  11 Full buffet breakfasts
  •  7 Dinners with wine
Flight Information

Flights are not included in holiday price.

  • Day 1: Flights to arrive prior to 4.00pm into Christchurch Airport
  • Day 12: Flights to depart anytime from Christchurch Airport

Enjoy Your Stay

Explore the South Island of New Zealand

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