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New Zealand | Nature & Wildlife Discovery in Christchurch & Queenstown

Sample Itinerary


New Zealand, Christchurch, Queenstown

Trip Duration

8 nights / 9 Days

Vaunting magnificent natural wonders and fascinating wildlife, discover New Zealand. From native forests and coastal trails, snowcapped mountains and icy fiords to wild dolphins and penguins, sheep and birds, experience the vivacious grandeur of this South Pacific island nation.

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 Chateau on the Park - Christchurch, a DoubleTree by Hilton for a stay of four nights in a one-bedroom suite. A five-acre property boasting a moat, a vineyard and elegant rose garden, this contemporary hotel is minutes from Christchurch Botanic Gardens, Hagley Golf Club and the railway station, plus family-friendly attractions including the International Antarctic Centre, with penguins and snow and Orana Wildlife Park. Savor modern amenities, a heated outdoor pool, afternoon tea and daily complimentary breakfast. Spend the rest of your day exploring this English-inspired city the country's South Island.

Day 2: Christchurch

For a remarkable day of South Island discovery, embark on the guided Akaroa & Banks Peninsula Eco Cruise, experience. Travel to the volcanic Banks Peninsula, reveling in picturesque vistas at every turn as you head to charming French-flavored Akaroa. Stop for a delicious cafe lunch, with time to wander the harbor side village before engaging in an informative nature cruise. Keep your cameras perched for sightings of dolphins, fur seals and blue penguins frolicking in the waters, along with the variety of birdlife.

Days 3 - 4: Christchurch

Grab your jacket and hiking shoes as you travel across the verdant Canterbury Plains into the high country on the full day Arthur Pass National Park & TranzAlpine Journey. Climb aboard the world famous TranzAlpine train for an once-in-a-lifetime expedition through the Waimakariri Gorge and into the Southern Alps at Arthur's Pass, capturing inspiring photos of the majestic mountains and beyond. Your guide will greet you at Arthur's Pass village for a hike through the spectacular landscapes of the national park, with a stop for lunch at a country pub before your return drive via Castle Hill and Cave Stream. Enjoy the following day at your leisure exploring the vibrant city.

Day 5: Christchurch/Queenstown

Depart Christchurch this morning for a spectacular journey to Queenstown on the Christchurch to Queenstown Experience. Travel through diverse farmland to Lake Tekapo and the solitary Church of the Good Shepard, then marvel at the sights of the Southern Alps and the tallest mountain in New Zealand, Aoraki/Mount Cook. Enjoy a stop for lunch while taking in the majestic scenery at Mount Cook Village before continuing south toward Mackenzie Region and its beautiful wilderness. Upon arrival in Queenstown, check into the Hotel St Moritz, MGallery by Sofitel where you will stay for the next four nights in a stylish St Moritz guestroom. Sip a refreshing drink in the Lombardi bar while gazing at Lake Wakatipu and The Remarkables Mountain Range as you relax and unwind.

Day 6: Queenstown

A snowy dreamland wilderness, explore ancient glaciers and snowcapped mountain peaks of Mount Aspiring National Park from a scenic helicopter flight on the informative Southern Glacier Experience. Delight in untouched native forests and glacial icefalls before an exciting alpine snow landing amid the spectacular, pristine peaks. Uncover Lake Wakatipu's mysterious northern shores and bush covered valleys, with breathtaking views of Mount Aspiring and the mighty Rees and Dart River valleys for an unforgettable adventure.

Day 7: Queenstown

Hark back to an era in the history of Queenstown as you ride aboard a coal-fired vintage steamship on the TSS Earnslaw Walter Peak Farm & BBQ excursion. Chat with the skipper in the open wheelhouse of TSS Earnslaw as you cruise Lake Wakatipu to the high country, disembarking for a delightful barbecued farm lunch. Wander amid the sheep, red deer, alpacas, goats and cattle before joining in the farmyard walking tour, including dog handling and sheep shearing demonstrations before your return cruise to Queenstown.

Days 8 - 9: Queenstown

Say goodbye to Queenstown as you travel to Milford Sound where you will spend one night aboard the all-inclusive Milford Sound Nature Cruise. Voyage through the heart of Fiordland accompanied by a nature guide, viewing a fusion of natural splendors such as spectacular peaks and cliffs, cascading waterfalls, emerald rainforests and endless wildlife including seals, dolphins and penguins. Then, relax in style on spacious viewing decks and a dining saloon where you can indulge in a chef-prepared four-course dinner, followed by star-gazing and story-sharing before retiring to your private stateroom. The next day, savor a hearty breakfast before heading back out to the Tasman Sea for final exploration of the fiord. In the afternoon, depart for the airport on your private transfers and begin planning your next New Zealand escape.

Distinguished Recognitions, Pleasant Holidays Family of Brands