Breadcrumb
New Zealand tour itinerary name and information
Thrifty Tours

10 day Southern National Parks

This 10 day tour follows the classic route around the South Island but with an extended stay in Mt Cook National Park. Includes Queenstown. Fiordland, Milford Sound and the West Coast Glaciers as well as a journey on the TranzAlpine Scenic Train across the Southern Alps.

Tour summary and feature

This tour features

Departs every day - flexible independent travel

This suggested tour costs from NZD$2,295 per person (twin share, low season)

Starts in Christchurch, finishes in Christchurch

10 days/9 nights

Motels

 Customisable? YES

 Viewed 144 times in the last 7 days

This tour departs every day and also includes

All coach tour transport as specified in this tour package

Private airport transfers

Private train station transfers

Text basic
Detailed itinerary
Tour full itinerary

Day 1 - Welcome to Christchurch, transfer to accommodation, rest of day at leisure

Private transfer Christchurch Airport to your accommodation

On arrival, you will be met by a private driver and transferred to your Christchurch accommodation.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Christchurch Hop On Hop Off City Tour - 24 Hour Pass

Discover the true magic of city sightseeing on-board this city tour bus. With a mix of open and closed top buses, you will ride in comfort and style, enjoying spectacular views. Join friendly local guides as they take you on a journey of discovery through Christchurch. Listen to "live" entertaining and informative commentary and learn about the fascinating history, from pioneering days to modern times.

Your accommodation: Bella Vista Christchurch

Bella Vista Motel Christchurch offers a great range of comfortable modern units with excellent facilities. Enjoy the convenience of being located in close proximity to the Christchurch CBD, shops, entertainment and other activities.

Back to top

Day 2 - Christchurch to Mt Cook National Park

Christchurch to Mount Cook with GreatSights

Depart Christchurch in the morning and travel through the Canterbury Plains to Lake Tekapo, where you can see the iconic Church of the Good Shepherd as it stands in solitude next to the vibrant blue waters. Leaving Tekapo, continue into the Southern Alps towards Aoraki / Mount Cook National Park, home to New Zealand's tallest mountain.
The tour concludes on arrival at Mount Cook Village, where you can explore and soak up the views of Aoraki / Mount Cook.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Glacier Explorers Mt. Cook

Experience 500 year old icebergs up-close on the Mt Cook terminal lake. The Glacier Explorers tour is the only one of its kind in New Zealand - and one of only three in the world! Very few glaciers terminate into lakes and even fewer of them are accessible. See towering ice cliffs and floating icebergs from the safety of a specially designed boat.  These boats provide a safe way to view unseen and inaccessible areas of New Zealand's largest glacier - The Tasman.

Your accommodation: Mt Cook Lodge & Motels

Mt Cook Lodge and Motel is located in the centre of Mt. Cook village. The self-contained units are spacious and all are surrounded by alpine mountain views. If you don’t feel like cooking either visit the Chamois Bar and Grill onsite or take the courtesy shuttle to Hermitage Hotel.

Back to top

Day 3 - Explore the World Heritage area that is Mt. Cook National Park

Aoraki-Mt. Cook National Park

At 3754 metres Aoraki-Mt. Cook is New Zealand's highest mountain, located deep in the heart of the Southern Alps. From the Visitor Centre at the southern end of Lake Pukaki, you will be rewarded with magnificent views of this immense peak. As well as its impressive beauty, Mt. Cook National Park is also home to a huge range of awe-inspiring sights and activities. Take to the air with Mt. Cook Ski Planes for a scenic flight that includes a glacier landing. At around 27 kilometres long the Tasman Glacier is New Zealand's longest and a Glacier Explorers tour will give you the opportunity to see its unique features.

There are many short hikes in and around the park and these are well signposted. For a fascinating guided tour the Mt. Cook Encounter Guided Walk is a must-do and those with an interest in the night sky should take a stargazing tour of the Mt. John Observatory. The region is considered to have one of the clearest night skies in the world and is one of the few gold-rated dark sky reserves worldwide.

The Hermitage Hotel complex offers fine dining, multiple cafes and a bar. Due to the remote location of the property, there are no shops and limited supplies at Mt Cook Village. Visit the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre for insight into this region's mountain climbing history. You'll also learn of Sir Ed's incredible achievements and his dedication to helping others around the world.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Mount Cook Encounter Guided Walk of the Hooker Valley Track

The Mount Cook Encounter Walk is an 8km guided tour of the Hooker Valley, providing breath-taking views of some of New Zealand's highest and most enthralling peaks. Your knowledgeable and enthusiastic guide will talk about the unique flora and fauna of the region and the local history as you trek through this amazing landscape.  From The Hermitage Hotel, head to the White Horse Hill camping ground. The journey takes in the poignant Alpine Memorial and passes over the turbulent Hooker River twice by swing bridge to unsurpassed vistas of Aoraki Mount Cook's south face and the surrounding glaciers and mountains, then continue to the terminal lake of the Hooker Glacier.  A Packed lunch is included on this full day walk.

Your accommodation: Mt Cook Lodge & Motels

Mt Cook Lodge and Motel is located in the centre of Mt. Cook village. The self-contained units are spacious and all are surrounded by alpine mountain views. If you don’t feel like cooking either visit the Chamois Bar and Grill onsite or take the courtesy shuttle to Hermitage Hotel.

Back to top

Day 4 - Mt Cook National Park to Queenstown

Mount Cook to Queenstown with GreatSights

Depart Aoraki / Mount Cook National Park in the afternoon and head south through the Mackenzie Country. You pass the Mackenzie Basin and head into Central Otago before approaching Queenstown, where the impressive Remarkables mountain range and beautiful Lake Wakatipu come into view.
Tour concludes this evening on arrival into Queenstown.

Your accommodation: Blue Peaks Lodge

Blue Peaks Lodge offers well equipped self contained rooms with a fantastic location overlooking Queenstown and is just an easy five minutes walk to the Queenstown lakefront.

Back to top

Day 5 - Free day to explore Queenstown

Free day in Queenstown

Although celebrated as New Zealand's ‘adventure capital’ Queenstown offers far more than a fast paced action-packed holiday. Settled on the shores of Lake Wakatipu beneath a soaring panorama of the Remarkables Mountain Range, this alpine town is surrounded by a plethora of historic, gastronomic and scenic wonders. Head down the Gibbston valley wine trail to sample some of the region’s best Pinot or catch a ride on the 100 year old Steamship - the TSS Earnslaw -  to Walter Peak Station for dinner and a farm tour. Browse the waterfront cafes and have lunch at Michelin star chef Josh Emett's ‘Rata.’ Check out nearby historic Arrowtown and enhance your experience with a four wheel drive trip to Macetown. Take a leisurely lakeside stroll or ride the gondola for breathtaking views. Venture further afield into the Fiordland National Park or head over the Crown Range to Wanaka. Drive through Lord Of The Rings country - or for the really fanatic, jump aboard one of many dedicated LOTR tours. And after all of that - if you do really want the adrenaline rush Queenstown is known for, take your pick from the Shotover Jet, Nevis Bungy, Canyon Swing, Zipline, Luge or White Water rafting.
 

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Dart River Wilderness Jet

An hour and a half of thrilling high-speed wilderness jet boating skimming across the clear waters of the Dart River into the Te Waipounamu World Heritage Area. Hear about flora, fauna and history on a 30-minute rolling forest walk with your friendly guide. On a backroad tour of Paradise immerse yourself in scenes and backdrops from The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movies. Learn about the Pounamu (Greenstone) that made the Dart River a key trading route for early Māori. Tales of early settlers who carved rich farms from the rugged landscape.

Your accommodation: Blue Peaks Lodge

Blue Peaks Lodge offers well equipped self contained rooms with a fantastic location overlooking Queenstown and is just an easy five minutes walk to the Queenstown lakefront.

Back to top

Day 6 - Milford Sound day tour with Real Journeys

Milford Sound Nature Cruise with return luxury coach transfers from Queenstown

Return luxury coach transport from Queenstown to Milford Sound, with an extended two hour Nature Cruise along the full length of the fiord. On board a Real Journeys luxury glass-roofed coach in Queenstown, you will enjoy a relaxing trip along the shores of Lake Wakatipu and through the rolling countryside to Te Anau. The coach driver provides an informative commentary. After a morning tea break in Te Anau, where you have the option of purchasing refreshments, the coach continues along the spectacular Milford Road. There is time for photo stops and short walks along the way. On reaching Milford Sound, you board the Milford Mariner for a leisurely extended cruise of the fiord. The cruise provides excellent viewing opportunities and plenty of time is available to enjoy waterfalls, rain forest, mountains and wildlife with extensive commentary by the onboard nature guide. Includes picnic boxed lunch.

Your accommodation: Blue Peaks Lodge

Blue Peaks Lodge offers well equipped self contained rooms with a fantastic location overlooking Queenstown and is just an easy five minutes walk to the Queenstown lakefront.

Meals included: Lunch

Back to top

Day 7 - Queenstown to Franz Josef Glacier by Newmans coach

Queenstown to Franz Josef with GreatSights

Leaving Queenstown, travel by luxury coach through the stunning scenery of the South Island. Your driver guide will provide entertaining commentary and point out sites of interest as you pass by the crystal-clear waters of Lake Dunstan, Lake Wanaka and Lake Hawea. After a morning tea break in Makarora on the border of Mount Aspiring World Heritage Park, you'll travel through the Haast Pass, journeying through native beech forest and over the Southern Alps, before emerging on the West Coast, arriving in the afternoon at the small village of Franz Josef.
From here you can explore the world famous Franz Josef Glacier.

Your accommodation: Punga Grove Motel & Suites

Punga Grove is right in the heart of Franz Josef Glacier village and offers affordable and stylish accommodation in a beautiful rainforest setting.

Back to top

Day 8 - Explore Franz Josef and the Glacier region

Explore Franz Josef Glacier

Franz Josef is a small but lively town in the heart of the West Coast, known for its 12 km long glacier. Surrounded by lush rainforest-clad mountains the township has a vibrant and bustling atmosphere. To see the ice from a viewpoint you can walk along the valley floor to the terminal face without a guide. However, to go on the glacier itself you must take a licensed helicopter tour.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Franz Josef Glacier Helihike with The Helicopter Line

Take a scenic flight over all three Franz Josef glacier icefalls. Landing high on the glacier take a two hour guided trip through some of the most beautiful terrain in the country. Your guide will choose the route as you go through a wonderland of blue ice and frozen pinnacles. You'll have endless views of the surrounding mountains and rainforest as well as plenty of opportunities to take photographs. Sure to be one of the most memorable experiences you have while you are in New Zealand. Should weather not be suitable to take this flight you are able to transfer your booking onto a similar tour on any of the Helicopter Line operations in Queenstown or Mt Cook.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Glacier Hot Pools

Nestled within the lush rainforest surrounds, the Glacier Hot Pools is a haven of tranquility. Unwind in one of the three main pools. Temperatures range from 36 to 40 degrees and the water comes directly from a glacial stream. Wash off the day and rejuvenate in this unique forest paradise.

Your accommodation: Punga Grove Motel & Suites

Punga Grove is right in the heart of Franz Josef Glacier village and offers affordable and stylish accommodation in a beautiful rainforest setting.

Back to top

Day 9 - Franz Josef to Greymouth train station, Tranz Alpine train to Christchurch

Franz Josef to Greymouth Train Station with GreatSights

This morning travel north through the small townships of Whataroa and Harihari. Stop at the Bushman's Centre for refreshments and a chance to experience a bit of West Coast humour. Continue through the township of Ross, which in the late 1800s was the centre of one of New Zealand's richest alluvial goldfields. On arrival in Hokitika there is time to purchase lunch and explore the town centre.
Continue onto Greymouth Railway Station from where you catch the world famous TranzAlpine train across the Southern Alps to Christchurch.

TranzAlpine Scenic Train: Greymouth to Christchurch

Considered one of the world's great train journeys, the TranzAlpine Scenic Train takes you from Greymouth to Christchurch. You'll travel across the South Island from the west to the east coast through Arthur's Pass National Park. From the comfort of your carriage see lush beech forest, deep river valleys and the spectacular peaks of the Southern Alps. Descend to the windswept Canterbury Plains before arriving in the city of Christchurch.

Private Transfer Christchurch Train Station to your accommodation

On arrival at the Christchurch train station, you will be met by a private driver and transferred to your accommodation.

Your accommodation: Bella Vista Christchurch

Bella Vista Motel Christchurch offers a great range of comfortable modern units with excellent facilities. Enjoy the convenience of being located in close proximity to the Christchurch CBD, shops, entertainment and other activities.

Back to top

Day 10 - Depart Christchurch today

Private transfer accommodation to Christchurch Airport

A private transfer will collect you from your accommodation and transfer you to Christchurch Airport in time for your departing flight.

Back to top

Tour quick quote
INSTANT QUOTE or BOOK - 10 day Southern National Parks
Step 1: Select start date for this tour here
Step 2: Select number of passengers and room configuration
Select number of adult per room type
Single occupancy (based on 1 adult in one room)
Double room (based on 2 adults sharing one room, one bed)
Twin room (based on 2 adults sharing one room with two beds)
Your quote for this tour:
Start date:
End date:
Guests:
Rooms:
Total cost for this tour package is:
0
This quote is based on vehicles to accommodate your party in the vehicle type. We suggest changing the car type or contacting us for the best options.
Save and send a copy of this quote to
or

NOTE: Quotes are subject to availability of specific accommodation and other inclusions. Our NZ touring experts will be in touch with you regarding this. Costs quoted in currencies other than New Zealand dollars (NZ$) are based on todays exchange rate and is subject to change. Terms and Conditions apply.
Remember - we can create this itinerary with any style of accommodation or customise to suit your interests and timeframe. Just contact us here.

Tour departure list
See all departures and prices (per person)
This tour has 304 departure dates.
All prices are in
Go to dates in
Starts Status Twin/Double (2 people sharing) Single occupancy You save  
Jul 1, 2020
(Wednesday)
Guaranteed
departure date
was NZD$2,585
now NZD$2,295
was NZD$4,063
now NZD$3,773
save
NZD$290pp
Enquire Book
Jul 2, 2020
(Thursday)
Guaranteed
departure date
was NZD$2,585
now NZD$2,295
was NZD$4,063
now NZD$3,773
save
NZD$290pp
Enquire Book
Jul 3, 2020
(Friday)
Guaranteed
departure date
was NZD$2,585
now NZD$2,295
was NZD$4,063
now NZD$3,773
save
NZD$290pp
Enquire Book
Jul 4, 2020
(Saturday)
Guaranteed
departure date
was NZD$2,585
now NZD$2,295
was NZD$4,063
now NZD$3,773
save
NZD$290pp
Enquire Book
Jul 5, 2020
(Sunday)
Guaranteed
departure date
was NZD$2,585
now NZD$2,295
was NZD$4,063
now NZD$3,773
save
NZD$290pp
Enquire Book
Jul 6, 2020
(Monday)
Guaranteed
departure date
was NZD$2,585
now NZD$2,295
was NZD$4,063
now NZD$3,773
save
NZD$290pp
Enquire Book
Jul 7, 2020
(Tuesday)
Guaranteed
departure date
was NZD$2,585
now NZD$2,295
was NZD$4,063
now NZD$3,773
save
NZD$290pp
Enquire Book
Jul 8, 2020
(Wednesday)
Guaranteed
departure date
was NZD$2,585
now NZD$2,295
was NZD$4,063
now NZD$3,773
save
NZD$290pp
Enquire Book
Jul 9, 2020
(Thursday)
Guaranteed
departure date
was NZD$2,585
now NZD$2,295
was NZD$4,063
now NZD$3,773
save
NZD$290pp
Enquire Book
Jul 10, 2020
(Friday)
Guaranteed
departure date
was NZD$2,585
now NZD$2,295
was NZD$4,063
now NZD$3,773
save
NZD$290pp
Enquire Book
Jul 11, 2020
(Saturday)
Guaranteed
departure date
was NZD$2,585
now NZD$2,295
was NZD$4,063
now NZD$3,773
save
NZD$290pp
Enquire Book
Jul 12, 2020
(Sunday)
Guaranteed
departure date
was NZD$2,585
now NZD$2,295
was NZD$4,063
now NZD$3,773
save
NZD$290pp
Enquire Book
Jul 13, 2020
(Monday)
Guaranteed
departure date
was NZD$2,585
now NZD$2,295
was NZD$4,063
now NZD$3,773
save
NZD$290pp
Enquire Book
Jul 14, 2020
(Tuesday)
Guaranteed
departure date
was NZD$2,585
now NZD$2,295
was NZD$4,063
now NZD$3,773
save
NZD$290pp
Enquire Book
Jul 15, 2020
(Wednesday)
Guaranteed
departure date
was NZD$2,585
now NZD$2,295
was NZD$4,063
now NZD$3,773
save
NZD$290pp
Enquire Book
Jul 16, 2020
(Thursday)
Guaranteed
departure date
was NZD$2,585
now NZD$2,295
was NZD$4,063
now NZD$3,773
save
NZD$290pp
Enquire Book
Jul 17, 2020
(Friday)
Guaranteed
departure date
was NZD$2,585
now NZD$2,295
was NZD$4,063
now NZD$3,773
save
NZD$290pp
Enquire Book
Jul 18, 2020
(Saturday)
Guaranteed
departure date
was NZD$2,585
now NZD$2,295
was NZD$4,063
now NZD$3,773
save
NZD$290pp
Enquire Book
Jul 19, 2020
(Sunday)
Guaranteed
departure date
was NZD$2,585
now NZD$2,295
was NZD$4,063
now NZD$3,773
save
NZD$290pp
Enquire Book
Jul 20, 2020
(Monday)
Guaranteed
departure date
was NZD$2,585
now NZD$2,295
was NZD$4,063
now NZD$3,773
save
NZD$290pp
Enquire Book
Jul 21, 2020
(Tuesday)
Guaranteed
departure date
was NZD$2,585
now NZD$2,295
was NZD$4,063
now NZD$3,773
save
NZD$290pp
Enquire Book
Jul 22, 2020
(Wednesday)
Guaranteed
departure date
was NZD$2,585
now NZD$2,295
was NZD$4,063
now NZD$3,773
save
NZD$290pp
Enquire Book
Jul 23, 2020
(Thursday)
Guaranteed
departure date
was NZD$2,585
now NZD$2,295
was NZD$4,063
now NZD$3,773
save
NZD$290pp
Enquire Book
Jul 24, 2020
(Friday)
Guaranteed
departure date
was NZD$2,585
now NZD$2,295
was NZD$4,063
now NZD$3,773
save
NZD$290pp
Enquire Book
Jul 25, 2020
(Saturday)
Guaranteed
departure date
was NZD$2,585
now NZD$2,295
was NZD$4,063
now NZD$3,773
save
NZD$290pp
Enquire Book
Jul 26, 2020
(Sunday)
Guaranteed
departure date
was NZD$2,585
now NZD$2,295
was NZD$4,063
now NZD$3,773
save
NZD$290pp
Enquire Book
Jul 27, 2020
(Monday)
Guaranteed
departure date
was NZD$2,585
now NZD$2,295
was NZD$4,063
now NZD$3,773
save
NZD$290pp
Enquire Book
Jul 28, 2020
(Tuesday)
Guaranteed
departure date
was NZD$2,585
now NZD$2,295
was NZD$4,063
now NZD$3,773
save
NZD$290pp
Enquire Book
Jul 29, 2020
(Wednesday)
Guaranteed
departure date
was NZD$2,585
now NZD$2,295
was NZD$4,063
now NZD$3,773
save
NZD$290pp
Enquire Book
Jul 30, 2020
(Thursday)
Guaranteed
departure date
was NZD$2,585
now NZD$2,295
was NZD$4,063
now NZD$3,773
save
NZD$290pp
Enquire Book
Jul 31, 2020
(Friday)
Guaranteed
departure date
was NZD$2,585
now NZD$2,295
was NZD$4,063
now NZD$3,773
save
NZD$290pp
Enquire Book
All prices are in
Go to dates in
Contact form
Send us an enquiry about this tour here
Your contact information

See our privacy policy here