Fiordland and the South - a  7  day New Zealand Tour

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Fiordland and the South

Our new tour features 2 of the great sights of New Zealand - Milford Sound and Doubtful Sound, plus much more.... 

Flying into Queenstown (the adventure capital of New Zealand) we have 2 nights to enjoy the more leisurely activities. A cruise on the TSS-Earnslaw across Lake Wakatipu to Walter Peak Station is on most peoples bucket list - enjoy lunch at this stunning location. Ride the Skyline Gondola to see views over Queenstown, this is about as adventurous as we get. Next to Te Anau for for 3 nights. A drive to Milford Sound to join our cruise through jaw dropping scenery will leave you speechless. Next day we try and top that with a cruise across Lake Manapouri, a drive over the saddle for a cruise along the magnificent Doubtful Sound. Plenty still to see on our way to final destination of Invercargill. 

18th April 2022 - $2950 pp twin share

DAY 1 - After picking you up from home (all part of the Hinterland service) we arrive at Tauranga Airport to check in for our flights to Queenstown where its just a short transfer to our city/central lakefront hotel, a perfect location for you to explore this vibrant tourism destination. This evening we will dine at the hotel.

DAY 2 - Following a late start and hearty breakfast, we first ride the Skyline Gondola up to Bob's Peak. At over 450 metres above Queenstown, this must do attraction affords stunning views over the city, The Remarkables and Lake Wakatipu far below. Chance here for you to try your skill on the luge track (extra cost).

We return back down to the lakefront in time to board Queenstown’s most iconic attraction – the TSS Earnslaw. As we cruise across Lake Wakatipu to Walter Peak Station, this 107-year-old steamship provides us with a taste of yesteryear. You can even view the engine room as she chugs across the lake. Our visit to Walter Peak Station begins with a sumptuous BBQ style buffet lunch, after which you can explore the gardens and grounds or join the resident shepherd for a sheep farming demonstration. On return to Queenstown the rest of the afternoon and evening is yours to plan as you wish, you may not even need dinner tonight. 

Day 3 - After a leisurely breakfast, we make a late checkout and leave Queenstown. Our first stop this morning is at the historic mining settlement of Arrowtown where you can explore the historic main street, the Chinese Village or just browse the interesting boutique shops for a while.​ ​Departing Arrowtown, we make a quick stop at the AJ Hackett bungy jump at Kawarau Bridge, to watch the intrepid adventurers as they plunge head first towards the river 43 metres below. Fancy a go yourself - maybe not!

It's then just a few minutes drive along the valley to an award winning restaurant at the Gibbston Valley Winery for our included lunch. On arrival we will enjoy wine tasting and a visit to the largest wine cave in New Zealand - this must-do activity includes 4 great wines to taste. The winery restaurant combines stunning surrounds with the elegant beauty of Gibbston Valley wine and food, with plenty of time to enjoy this very popular venue. ​Following lunch we then head south along the shores of Lake Wakatipu, past Kingston (once the railhead of the railway from Invercargill) to Te Anau, our location for the next three nights. Our route makes the most of the stunning landscapes.

After checking in at our lakefront motel, your evening is free for you to relax as you wish. There are many restaurants within a few minutes walk if you fancy a meal this evening.

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DAY 4 - Today its time for another of New Zealand's must see destinations - the majestic Milford Sound. Departing our hotel, the journey begins as we follow the shore line of Lake Te Anau offering amazing views across to Mount Lyall and other snow capped peaks. We then head into the mountains, through the beech forest of the Eglington Valley. We stop at the Mirror Lakes which offer stunning views of the Earl Mountains, a short walk to the viewpoint allows us to stretch our legs.

What's Included:

  • 7 days of touring

  • 6 nights quality accommodation

  • Door to door service (Tauranga area)

  • Air NZ flights to Queenstown

  • Quality air-conditioned vehicle

  • Full commentary from your guide

  • All breakfasts and most dinners*

  • Cruise on the historic TSS Earnslaw

  • BBQ lunch at Walter Peak Station

  • Sheep Show at Walter Peak Station

  • Ride the Skyline Gondola Queenstown

  • Special Winery lunch in Gibbston Valley

  • Milford Sound cruise

  • Doubtful Sound full day experience

  • Croydon Heritage Aviation Centre

  • Hokonui Moonshine Museum

  • E Hayes Burt Munro Exhibtion

  • Bill Richardson Transport World

  • Air NZ flights back from Invercargill

You will see:

  • Queenstown and Arrowtown​

  • Lake Wakatipu & Walter Peak Station

  • Gibbston Valley Wine Cave

  • Te Anau and Milford Sound

  • Lake Manapouri and Doubtful Sound

  • Croydon Aviation Centre

  • Gore and Invercargill

  • Southland

Our journey continues as we travel ever higher to cross the central divide again. The road offers views of the dramatic landscape as we head into the Hollyford Valley, crossing river after river, past lakes formed in deep glacial valleys until we reach the Homer Tunnel. Completed in 1953, the 1.2kms long tunnel made the once impossible route to Milford Sound possible for all.

​Arriving at Milford Sound there will be time to have lunch at a riverside lodge (at your cost) before we board our cruise vessel for a truly memorable experience. Our cruise will take us out into the sound where towering waterfalls cascade thousands of feet into the water and the majestic and aptly named Mitre Peak rises almost 6000 feet out of the deep blue waters.

On our route back to Te Anau after our cruise we will stop at Te Anau Downs on the lake shore where remnants remain of an early hydro-power scheme to supply power to a large sheep station. Returning to Te Anau, there's time to relax before we dine out at a top local restaurant. .

DAY 5 - Today we will experience one of the South Island's most unique experiences - the Doubtful Sound Wilderness Cruise. After a short drive from Te Anau we will check in for the first part of this full day adventure at Manapouri.  We begin with a cruise across Lake Manapouri, then over the breathtaking Wilmot Pass - New Zealand's most expensive (and majestic) road by coach and into the heart of Fiordland National Park. We’ll pause along the way to experience the dense Fiordland rainforest and view Doubtful Sound glistening below. This isolation makes this fiord a very special place, only those in the know get to see. This is a must-do for nature lovers and explorers alike.  

​​​​​​Once you arrive in Doubtful Sound, you will board the Patea Explorer for a 3 hour cruise along the spectacular pristine fiord. During the cruise nature guides will share with you their passion for the region, answer any questions, point out landmarks and provide all the information about the varied wildlife you may see - including dolphins, fur seals and the rare Fiordland crested penguin. A limited selection of snacks are available on board to purchase (cash only) and complimentary tea and coffee are available throughout the cruise, as well as a licensed bar. ​At the end of this amazing adventure we return to Te Anau where we will dine out together at another top local restaurant.

​DAY 6 - After a relaxing start to the day we depart for Invercargill, travelling across the extensive Southland region, to our first destination - the Croydon Aviation Heritage Centre. This nationally significant museum is dedicated to preserving and celebrating New Zealand’s light civil aviation heritage. On display is the largest collection of historic De Havilland aircraft in the southern hemisphere. ​Fancy a flight in a Tiger Moth biplane? it can be arranged! - (but at an additional cost) a chance to tick off another bucket list item perhaps. This will also be our lunch stop today with time to browse the interesting gifts, homeware and clothing in the on-site shop (something for those not as interested in the behind the scenes workshop tour). 

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After lunch we continue on to Gore, the self styled capital of the brown trout and a chance for a photo of the towns iconic fish statue. It is also the location of another of New Zealand's unusual museums - The Hokonui Moonshine Museum. This will be a trip back in time - Gore being a centre for illicit whisky distilling and bootlegging. ​The adventures of the Scottish settlers and their exploits to avoid run-ins with the law are kept alive through dioramas, audio-visuals and artefacts. You can taste 'Old Hokonui' whisky - made to the original recipe, at the end of your visit, or even take a bottle or two home with you from a range of merchandise available to buy.

Suitably enlightened - and maybe even replenished - an hours drive will take us to New Zealand's most southerly city - Invercargill, which was immortalised in the movie "The World's Fastest Indian". Our visit to the city would not be complete without calling in at the mecca of all things Burt Munro - the iconic E. Hayes Store, where you will find many of Burt's record breaking motorcycles and other interesting things. ​After checking into our hotel we dine together at one of Invercargill's top restaurants. 

Day 7 - Our final day. After checking out of our hotel we head to the amazing Bill Richardson Transport World, which has become a real Southland icon. Their Grille Cafe is our breakfast venue today - great food in a truly unique ambience. This is the largest private automotive museum of its type in the world - with more than 300 vintage vehicles, with something of interest for everyone. From one man’s passion, what began in a humble back shed has been transformed into a truly spectacular family legacy. This world-class experience has become Invercargill’s leading visitor attraction - with collections including Henry Ford letter cars, 1930's V8's, Volkswagen Kombis, vintage trucks of all makes and models, including a show stopping 1940 Dodge Airflow Texaco tanker. Bill Richardson Transport World is a petrol head’s heaven. With a movie theatre, wearable arts displays and more, here you can expect the unexpected.

Just a short drive brings us to the airport to check in for our mid-day flights back to Tauranga, where the Hinterland drivers will be waiting to transfer you back to your home.

All Hinterland multi-day tours can be taken by clients from any region of New Zealand or Australia. Please contact us for details. Additional charges may apply.

​Not included:

  • Any lunches unless specified* 

  • Morning/afternoon tea stops*

  • Any alcoholic beverages with meals

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* Please note, that unless specified in the itinerary we do not usually include the cost of lunches or morning and afternoon tea stops in the tour cost, but we always make stops where there are a range of options available so you can choose what you want, and have flexibility to do things on your own if you wish.