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New Zealand | Explore the South Island

Sample Itinerary


Christchurch, Mount Cook, Queenstown

Trip Duration

8 nights / 9 days

From crisp alpine mountains and deep fjords to cosmopolitan cities and quaint towns, New Zealand's South Island is sure to delight.

Below is just a sample of the immersive itineraries our Destination Specialists can create. Click on the experiences links in the itinerary to see other curated excursion choices offered by Journese. Our Destination Specialists are happy to book our hotels and excursions highlighted in the itinerary below or let them know if you would like something customized. And, feel free to offer our non-hyperlinked suggestions to your clients to further explore the destination.


Day 1:  USA / Christchurch |

Board your overnight flight for your journey to Christchurch, New Zealand. While in transit, you will cross the International Date Line. Upon arrival, relax in your private transfer to The George, where you will enjoy three nights in an executive room. Adjacent to Hagley Park and Avon River, this boutique hotel offers stylish elegance, beautiful gardens and exquisite service with a one-to-one staff to guest ratio. Spend the afternoon enjoying this "English" city in the South Island.

Day 2:  Christchurch |

Film fans delight on an adventurous day on the Lord of the Rings Edoras Excursion. Journey to remote lands with this full-day experience which visits Mount Potts, home to Mount Sunday, known in The Lord of the Rings as capitol of the Rohan people. See firsthand the clear lake, glistening rivers and spectacular landscapes of the trilogy.

Days 3 - 4: Christchurch / Mount Cook |

Nature lovers will delights in the Kaikoura & Whale Watching Cruise, traveling through the Norther Canterbury pastoral scenes before arriving in Kaikoura. Board a comfortable vessel on a voyage in search of Sperm Whales and Dusky Dolphins. You may also see Southern Rights, Humpback Whales and Pilot Whales before a cafe lunch and drive to the peninsula. Your complete experience concludes with a local wine experience at either Kaikoura or Waipara Winery and a visit to Kaikoura Peninsula for sightings of the New Zealand fur seals. The following day, head to Mount Cook.

Days 5 - 6: Mount Cook / Queenstown

Arrive in Mount Cook and settle in to your Superior room at The Hermitage Hotel for two nights. An alpine hideaway with spectacular views of Mount Cook, glacial valleys and offering fusion cuisine. Experience an adrenaline pumping ride and hike on the Tasman Glacier Heli Hike. You'll enjoy the excitement of a helicopter ride to the peak of Aoraki/Mount Cook with the thrill of a guided glacier hike utilizing ice spikes and skills handed down from New Zealand's mountain pioneers, immerse in nature's beauty. The following day, depart for Queenstown.

Day 7:  Queenstown |

Nestled at the foot of the Remarkables Mountain Range, Queenstown attracts visitors all year round. Relax in your private transfer and check-in to the Hilton Queenstown Resort & Spa for three comfortable nights in a Deluxe lake view room. Outdoor adventure awaits on this excursion of the Triple Challenge, combining three awesome activities: an exhilarating jetboat ride on the world-famous Shotover Jet, an action package helicopter ride and an adrenalin fueled white water rafting adventure.

Days 8 - 9:  Queenstown / USA |

Relish your final day on a Discover Milford Sound Cruise, enjoying a full day on this world famous fjord, rich in dense rainforest, glacier carved valleys and beautiful waterfalls. Journey across the Southern Alps with photo stops for the Mirror Lakes, Eglinton Valley and Homer Tunnel. Then walk across The Chasm before boarding the Souther Discoveries Scenic Cruise to see Mitre Peak, glacier-scarred rock walls and waterfalls that tumble through valleys. The following day, depart for the airport on your private transfers and begin planning your next New Zealand escape.

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