Boutique 11 Day South Island Tour

Boutique walking tours Abel Tasman New Zealand

Specifically designed for groups of up to 6 people, our Boutique New Zealand South Island Tours are the ultimate way to explore and enjoy all that our South Island has to offer. Our Private Luxury Tours are based on escorting small groups throughout New Zealand and include elite on-land, water and air activities, along with distinctive cultural experiences, all complimented by 5 star Boutique Accommodation.

We provide the most comfortable transport in the market so for groups of friends or family who determine they want to be escorted throughout their tour of the South Island, these private tours are ideal

Day 1 - Arrival into Christchurch (D)

“Kia Ora” and Welcome to New Zealand!

After Immigration and Customs formalities, you will be met and assisted with your private transfer to your exclusive accommodation.

Christchurch. “The Garden City”, has many well-tended parks, reserves and squares but the civic love of beauty is often more apparent in the fresh lawns and burgeoning gardens of the suburban streets. Residents and visitors alike love the city's vibrant nightlife, award-winning restaurants and cafes, fashion precincts, heritage architecture and of course its gardens and wide open spaces for which the city is internationally renowned. This is a city of contrasts, a place where its residents continue to enjoy a healthy, active lifestyle amidst a natural environment it is world-renowned for. It really is the 'city that shines'.

Some sightseeing and activity options available are:

One Nights Accommodation at Huntley Lodge in Christchurch. Relax in this beautiful setting. Enjoy parklike gardens and the luxurious accommodation. Huntley Lodge is a lavish blend of antiques with all the modern luxuries. Built in 1876, Huntley House has kept its unique architecture and design.

Day 2 - Christchurch – Kaikoura (B/D)

Travelling north, via the Waipara wine district, we visit award winning wineries such as Waipara Springs, Muddy Water, Sherwood and Canterbury House. The Waipara Valley in north Canterbury is one of the fastest growing wine producing regions in New Zealand, currently boasting over 80 vineyards and wineries. The region is an ideal cool-climate grape growing area, with Pinot Noir, Riesling, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc dominating local plantings.

Today’s destination town of Kaikoura. The seaside settlement of Kaikoura, situated midway between Christchurch and Picton  is overlooked by majestic mountains, which are snow-capped for many months of the year.

Marine Mammal encounters available are:

One Nights Accommodation at Hapuku Lodge near Kaikoura. This unique accommodation experience of sleeping amongst the branches is matched with the luxury of our custom-crafted and ultra-comfy king bed, large spa bath and efficient Danish log-burning fireplaces.

Day 3 - Kaikoura – Blenheim – Havelock – Marlborough Sounds (B/L/D)

This morning we join the world renowned Whale Watch cruise. Upon completion of the Whale Watch experience you will depart Kaikoura and travel north to the Winery district of Marlborough. On arrival you will be taken to the Alan Scott’s vineyard, here you will taste wines before enjoying a sumptuous 2 course set luncheon. Allan Scott Wines & Estates Ltd is a family owned and operated vineyard and winery group. The winery facility was architecturally designed and built in 1990, from rammed earth and rough sawn timber for a sophisticated yet rustic appearance.  An ongoing desire to create aromatic estate grown and produced wines is reflected in the expansive range of wines produced at the winery. This international reputation and is consistently regarded as one of the region's finest.

After lunch you will continue North travelling through the town of Blenheim to Picton, where you will board your private water taxi for transfer across the Queen Charlotte Sound to your accommodation. The Sounds are a series of drowned valleys formed millions of years ago. There are islands, big bays and tiny inlets, narrow points of land, steep hill sides, and some flat areas. Dinner will be served at your accommodation this evening.

One Nights Accommodation Bay of Many Coves in the Marlborough Sounds. Bay of Many Coves is a beautiful and comfortable Marlborough Sounds Hideaway, perfect to escape and relax.

Day 4 - Marlborough Sounds – Nelson (B)

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before re-boarding the private water taxi, for the return trip to Havelock. You will then travel onwards to today’s destination Nelson; the region, which is the sunniest in New Zealand, has for many years attracted residents who love to use their imaginations.

There are more than 350 working artists and craftspeople living in Nelson, including traditional and contemporary Maori artists. Their work is often inspired by the region’s exceptionally beautiful geography – coastal, forest and valley landscapes provide places to wander and dream. You will visit the renowned World of Wearable Arts & Classic Cars Museum. Here you will find a collection of eclectic outfits specifically designed for past Wearable Arts Fashion shows, as well as a collection of vintage cars that will make any enthusiast green with envy! Lunch at the WOW café, then a Nelson city sights tour before being transferred to your accommodation for the night. Dinner this evening will be at renowned local sea-front restaurant.

Two Nights Accommodation at Bronte Lodge in Nelson. The stylish villas at Bronte Country Estate are so luxuriously comfortable you will be reluctant to leave. Each elevated apartment-style villa is set amidst its own mature stand of New Zealand native trees, allowing for complete privacy.

Day 5 - Abel Tasman National Park (B/D)

The Abel Tasman is New Zealand's smallest national park at 225sq km. Small in size but big on beauty. Golden beaches border the translucent turquoise sea, and sandy estuaries fringed by natural forests. The walking tracks here, both in land and coastal are world famous for there out standing beauty. You can walk the coastal track from top to bottom in 3 - 4 days total. Or enjoy one of the many shorter, day walk options using a cruise boat, sailing catamaran, water taxi or sea kayak to enter into the Abel Tasman.

Sightseeing and activity options include:

Day 6 - Nelson – Punakaiki – Franz Josef (B)

This morning you will begin the journey to the West Coast of the South Island. Travelling along the scenic coastal road to Punakaiki. Here the rocks take on the extraordinary appearance of a pile of pancakes. The ‘Pancake Rocks’ and their associated blowholes consist of eroded limestone. Reached by a short walk from the main road, the rocks are best visited during an incoming tide and brisk westerly, when the sea surges through the chasms.

Continue your journey south to Greymouth and from there over swiftly flowing rivers and through virgin stands of native forest. En route to Fox Glacier, you pass Hokitika, which is a major centre for the working of Greenstone. Hokitika is also the centre of a region that is rich in history and nearby is a wealth of native forests, lakes and rivers. You will continue onwards to your day’s destination Franz Josef. Upon arrival you will be transferred to your accommodation for the night. Dinner will be at a local restaurant this evening.

One Nights Accommodation at Westwood Lodge Franz Josef Glacier - Set in a beautiful bush garden, Westwood Lodge offers well-appointed bed and breakfast accommodation with views of the West Coast’s rainforests and the mountains of the Southern Alps.

Day 7 - Fox Glacier – Wanaka (B/D)

This morning you will have an informative and leisurely trip to the dynamic face of Fox Glacier. Although you will not walk on the glacier your guide will take you to the final resting place of the ice that has travelled 13 kilometres from the base of the Southern Alps, all the way to the river valley floor. Your guide may take you closer to the ice than the unguided public (if it is safe to do so at the time) and you will have the opportunity to learn the role of the Fox Glacier in shaping its environment. This two hour trip is reasonably easy going; about one and a half hours is spent walking over gentle terrain, over a river valley floor.

Upon completion, depart the glacier area in your luxury coach and travel further south along the rugged West Coast to the tiny community of Haast, located on the coast where the wide Haast River meets the sea. After lunch you will embark on a Haast River Safari. Their purpose built fully enclosed river boats with front-loading access guarantee great visibility yet you will remain warm and dry. Their driver/guides will provide full commentary about the physical attributes of this remarkable glacial valley, where temperate rainforest thrives.

From Haast, you will turn inland and travel over the Haast Pass, linking Westland with the Southern Lakes District of Central Otago is dramatic, providing sudden contrast between the lush vegetation of the west and dry tussocked Otago landscape. Then descend to Wanaka, where you will be taken directly to your accommodation for the night. This evening you will dine at Minaret Lodge.

Accommodation: Minaret Lodge - Minaret Lodge is a sanctuary, set in a 2 acre park-like setting, providing Wanaka luxury accommodation in New Zealand Southern Lakes region. Named after the spectacular Minaret Mountains (visible from the grounds), the lodge is just a short stroll to the lake, and a 10 minute walk from the Wanaka town centre. With a backdrop of spectacular mountain scenery, this luxury 5 star Wanaka bed and breakfast lodge is a haven of tranquillity. The environmentally friendly Wanaka boutique accommodation lodge reflects the style of the Central Otago region with a feel of casual elegance. The separate guest chalets provide boutique accommodation in a private tranquil setting.

Day 8 - Wanaka – Queenstown (B,L,D)

A leisurely breakfast with your hosts before departing Wanaka and follow the Clutha River, via Mount Pisa and the shores of Lake Dunstan before entering the Kawarau Gorge, where you will embark on a wine trail of cellar door tasting at some of the most well known vineyards in Central Otago. Lunch will follow at The Winehouse & Kitchen, a great venue to enjoy the region’s fantastic wine and food. With unobstructed views of the rugged Kawarau Gorge hillsides and the spectacular Bridal Veil Waterfall, the location will ensure a lasting impression.

After lunch you will travel into the Wakatipu Valley, stroll through the picturesque township of Arrowtown, followed by an afternoon tea stop at Millbrook Resort before continuing onto today’s destination; Queenstown and your accommodation for the evening.  Queenstown: a region of exceptional and diverse beauty, is a leading resort in the South Island, with inveterate world travellers regarding it as one of the premier scenic areas in the world. Backed by steep mountains, Queenstown lies in the curve of Lake Wakatipu at the head of its own small horse-shoe shaped bay. This evening stroll through the village and dine at a well known Queenstown restaurant before returning to your hotel is at your own leisure.

Accommodation: The Dairy - This boutique hotel is in the centre of Queenstown and yet private and quiet.  Not just a Bed and Breakfast, the property is renowned for its excellent service from the minute that you walk through the door. The hotel has historic significance and dates back to the 1920’s when it was a corner store.  This store is now the hub from where breakfasts are served and still has the original floorboards. A perfect place to explore the village.

Day 9 - Queenstown – Open Day (B)

We've all heard the endless hype about it being the adventure capital of the world, and there are certainly enough crazy activities here to challenge the strongest, but Queenstown offers much more. Queenstown is a brilliant spring, summer, and fall destination. This is when you get the best of its scenic beauty, easy walks, and endless opportunities to relax. Thrill seeking may be touted as the major attraction, but you can just as easily go fishing, golfing, gold panning, wine tasting, or boating. One thing is certain: You won't run out of things to do.

Here is a selection of the many options available:

Accommodation: The Dairy

Day 10 - Queenstown – Doubtful or Milford Sound day trip (B)

Enjoy your hearty cooked breakfast before departing Queenstown for a day of unsurpassed scenery. Beginning with a drive along the shores of Lake Wakatipu, through the townships of Kingston, Five Rivers, Mossburn to Manapouri. At Manapouri you will be at the doorstep to the Doubtful Sound. Your adventure begins as you cruise the crystal clear waters of Lake Manapouri – a stunning lake renowned for its numerous islands and deserted beaches. Next it’s over Wilmot Pass, on one of New Zealand’s remotest and prettiest sub-alpine roads, stopping along the way to experience some of Fiordland’s densest rainforest and to view Doubtful Sound glistening far below. On reaching Deep Cove, you will board a boat and cruise Doubtful Sound - an unspoilt wilderness of many moods; one minute clear blue and sun-drenched, the next mysterious and mist-cloaked. Your return trip will be just as memorable as you trace your steps back to Queenstown.

Or travel through the beech forests of the Eglinton Valley before entering the Hollyford Valley, and descending through the Homer Tunnel into Milford Sound.  Embark on a cruise of Milford Sound, including the hidden mouth of the Sound, towering Mitre Peak and the cascading Stirling Falls. An informative commentary is provided throughout the cruise along with a gourmet picnic style lunch. At the end of the cruise you have the opportunity to fly out of Milford Sound on a fixed wing aircraft to Queenstown. This will be one of the most memorable experiences of your life as you fly over the Fiords and marvel at the suspended lakes and waterfalls as well as the world famous Milford Track. You will be met off your aircraft and transferred to your hotel. Dinner this evening will be your final dinner on tour. Return to your accommodation is at your own leisure.

Accommodation: The Dairy

Day 11 - Queenstown (B)

This morning you will be transferred to Queenstown Airport by private transport.


Please take the time to view our “Virtual Tour” for the 10 Day Boutique South Island Tour or download/print the detailed “Tour Dossier”. Both can be found on the right hand column of this page. Alternatively you can simply contact us.

For a comprehensive list of all activities available in each location featured in this tour, please refer to the "Destination Guide" found at the top of this page.

"Experience the best of the south with our luxury New Zealand South Island tours."

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