10 Day New Zealand Matai – Small Group Tour

Starting From NZD $6,792
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On this South Island focused small group tour you will enjoy some of New Zealand’s most spectacular highlights and attractions. Soak up the stunning scenery of the Southern Alps as you experience one of the world’s great train journeys; the TranzAlpine, and be ready for jaw-dropping views as you cruise on the mighty Milford Sound, one of New Zealand’s most treasured natural landmarks.

Tour Highlights

  • Relax as you’re guided along Christchurch’s Avon River on an authentic Edwardian punt
  • Journey onboard a beautifully restored heritage tram through Christchurch’s city centre
  • Journey on the famous TranzAlpine Train Journey from Christchurch to Greymouth
  • Join a local eco-guided tour – or – an authentic 4WD adventure
  • Explore the historic gold rush village of Arrowtown
  • Cruise, with a picnic lunch, on the breath-taking Milford Sound
  • Enjoy true kiwi hospitality with morning tea at a local home on the shores of Lake Tekapo

Tour Itinerary

(B) Breakfast (L) Lunch (D) Dinner (SD) Specialty Dinner

1
Christchurch
Day 1
Christchurch
Haere mai – welcome! Arrive in Christchurch where you will be met and transferred to your accommodation. This afternoon we join punting boatmen, resplendent with straw boaters and traditional Edwardian dress for a relaxing cruise in flat-bottomed punts along the River Avon through the Christchurch Botanic Gardens. Enjoy a journey in style onboard a beautifully restored heritage tram through the changing face of Christchurch’s city centre.
Distinction Christchurch Hotel
Situated right in the centre of Christchurch overlooking Cathedral Square.
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2
Christchurch - Fox Glacier (B)
Day 2
Christchurch - Fox Glacier (B)
From Christchurch traverse the Southern Alps aboard the famous Tranz-Alpine rail journey to Greymouth. From your carriage you’ll see the fields of the Canterbury Plains and farmland, followed by the spectacular gorges and river valleys of the Waimakariri River. Your train then climbs into the Southern Alps. Once you have crossed into the Southern Alps you descend into the lush rainforests of Westland, to conclude the rail journey at the town of Greymouth. Pass through historic towns reaching Hokitika and its galleries specialising in pounamu (greenstone) jewellery and art works. Stretch your legs at the dramatic Hokitika Gorge where the blue/green waters pass through the rugged rocks. Continue south through forests and farmland, with views of the Alps to the east and the Tasman Sea to the west, to Franz Josef then on to the small remote village of Fox. The huge rivers of snow and ice of the Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers flow from vast snowfields high in the Southern Alps, down almost to sea level. Weather permitting, an optional helicopter ride with a snow landing is a terrific way to experience the sheer grandeur of these West Coast glaciers (extra cost).
Distinction Fox Glacier Hotel
Set in Fox Glacier, only a short walk from the village.
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3
Fox Glacier - Wanaka (B)
Day 3
Fox Glacier - Wanaka (B)
Have your camera ready for your visit to nearby Lake Matheson for a morning stroll - when conditions are right the lake perfectly mirrors beautiful Mount Cook in its still waters. Head over the Haast Pass along the river road beside the icy river and deep into Mt. Aspiring National Park. The atmosphere lightens as we reach lovely Lake Wānaka, reflecting the mountain peaks that in winter offer superb skiing, and the pretty resort town of Wānaka.
Edgewater Resort Wanaka
Set in parklike grounds right on the edge of Lake Wanaka.
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4
Wanaka (B)
Day 4
Wanaka (B)
This morning you have the choice of two excursions: a) Today join a passionate local eco-guide - as you depart Wānaka by boat and quickly leave civilization behind as you cruise across the lake to a predator-free island. The walking track leads from the landing and climbs steadily through native vegetation - filled with very vocal birdlife - to the top to the “island’s secret”; a lake on top of the island with small islands in it! Unique and very photogenic, the echo of birdsong here is astounding. Carrying on a little further you come to the very top of the island and have a sweeping 360-degree view of Lake Wānaka, its surrounding mountains and valleys, and the Arethusa Pool below. This is the perfect spot to relax and enjoy the panorama. The flightless Buff Weka often join visitors on the island; this rare flightless bird has been extinct on Mainland NZ since 1920. b) Experience New Zealand's most authentic 4WD adventure - the perfect mix of incredible scenery, history, heritage and farming life. Explore remote and seldom travelled back roads of an authentic New Zealand High Country farm overlooking sparkling Lake Wānaka. Surrounded by snow-capped peaks, glaciers and wild river valleys you'll see farm animals including Red Deer, cattle and sheep up close and in their natural environment. Visit historical sites and experience what life was like for Wānaka's first farmers. With two optional walks, through pristine alpine meadows and ancient lakeside forests, this journey offers a unique insight into Wānaka’s rich history, heritage, modern-day farming life and breath-taking scenery. This afternoon is at your leisure to relax or enjoy your own choice of activities.
Edgewater Resort Wanaka
Set in parklike grounds right on the edge of Lake Wanaka.
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5
Wanaka - Te Anau (B)
Day 5
Wanaka - Te Anau (B)
Depart Wānaka with your first stop at the much photographed Cardrona Pub before traversing the Crown Range road to visit historic Arrowtown – a delightful gold rush village nestled below the beautiful peaks that surround the sparkling Arrow River. Continue your journey via the road pinned between the base of the Remarkables mountain range and spectacular Lake Wakatipu. Journey through a glacial formed valley that is now farmland, to reach Lake Te Anau, the largest (by volume) freshwater lake in the South Island and gateway to Fiordland National Park.
Distinction Luxmore Hotel Lake Te Anau
Located in the heart of Te Anau's town shopping centre and just a short stroll from Lake Te Anau.
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6
Te Anau - Milford Sound - Queenstown (B,L)
Day 6
Te Anau - Milford Sound - Queenstown (B,L)
The journey from Te Anau to Milford Sound is one of the most scenic experiences you can have on four wheels. Fiordland National Park, part of the Southwest New Zealand World Heritage Area is one of the great wilderness areas of the Southern Hemisphere. The scenery is spectacular with lofty mountains and deep valleys carved out by Ice Age glaciers. Described by Rudyard Kipling as the ‘eighth wonder of the world’, Milford Sound is breath-taking in any weather. Board a comfortable vessel for a cruise past towering Mitre Peak to the Tasman Sea. Keep an eye peeled for seals and dolphins which are often seen in the waters of the fiord. Following the cruise, retrace your journey back to Te Anau travelling via the Cleddeau Gorge, Homer Tunnel and the lovely Eglinton Valley then across the Southland farmlands and around spectacular Lake Wakatipu to Queenstown.
Scenic Suites Queenstown
Located only a 5 minute downhill walk from the heart of Queenstown.
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7
Queenstown (B)
Day 7
Queenstown (B)
Surrounded by majestic mountains and set on the shores of crystal-clear Lake Wakatipu, the natural beauty and the unique energy of Queenstown create the perfect backdrop for a visit full of adventure, exploration or relaxation. Today is free for you to do your own thing: thrill-seekers may choose to zip-line at Bob’s Peak, get drenched on a Shotover jet-boat ride or go white-water rafting. Other enjoyable but less hair-raising activities include the gondola ride up to Bob’s Peak, or a 4WD safari to Skippers Canyon. Boutique wineries and local gardens welcome visitors and the classic steamship TSS Earnslaw is an elegant way to discover Lake Wakatipu during a cruise to Walter Peak High Country Farm.
Scenic Suites Queenstown
Located only a 5 minute downhill walk from the heart of Queenstown.
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8
Queenstown - Mt Cook - Twizel (B)
Day 8
Queenstown - Mt Cook - Twizel (B)
Continue north through the rugged Kawarau Gorge, past pretty Lake Dunstan and across the distinctive Central Otago countryside to the Lindis Pass. Descend into the unique Mackenzie Basin where the Southern Alps dominate the horizon. Take a beautiful drive along Lake Pukaki to Mt. Cook Village, home to New Zealand’s tallest peak, Aoraki/Mt. Cook, then stay overnight in the small town of Twizel.
Distinction Mackenzie Country
Located in a beautiful garden setting in Twizel, the heart of the Mackenzie region.
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9
Twizel - Christchurch (B, D)
Day 9
Twizel - Christchurch (B, D)
Visit a local home set on the shores of Lake Tekapo and learn the secrets of making a Pavlova - a truly Kiwi dessert! For morning tea, enjoy the taste of your pavlova as you drink in the views of this beautiful lake. View the Church of the Good Shepherd, one of New Zealand’s most-photographed spots; a tiny church set against a majestic backdrop of the Southern Alps. Pass across the high country’s tussock plains, through the small rural towns of Fairlie and Geraldine and onto Ashburton. From here travel across the fertile Canterbury Plains to Christchurch. This most English of New Zealand cities suffered a succession of terrible earthquakes in 2010/11. Post-earthquake the city combines urban regeneration and innovation with heritage, culture and creativity.
Distinction Christchurch Hotel
Situated right in the centre of Christchurch overlooking Cathedral Square.
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10
Depart Christchurch
Day 10
Depart Christchurch
Haere rā – farewell from New Zealand. After breakfast you are transferred to the Christchurch Airport for your return home, taking with you your fond memories of your time in New Zealand. Alternatively, should you wish to extend your stay, we can assist you with additional travel arrangements.

Inclusions

INCLUSIONS

ATTRACTIONS INCLUDED

  • Relax as you’re guided along Christchurch’s Avon River on an authentic Edwardian punt
  • Journey onboard a beautifully restored heritage tram through Christchurch’s city centre
  • Journey on the famous TranzAlpine Train Journey from Christchurch to Greymouth
  • Join a local eco-guided tour – or – an authentic 4WD adventure
  • Explore the historic gold rush village of Arrowtown
  • Cruise, with a picnic lunch, on the breath-taking Milford Sound
  • Enjoy true kiwi hospitality with morning tea at a local home on the shores of Lake Tekapo

COACH FEATURES

  • Maximum group of 16 travellers in a small coach

MEALS INCLUDED

  • 9 breakfasts
  • 1 dinner
  • 1 lunch

Visited Locations

  • Fox Glacier
    Tucked into the forested foothills of the Southern Alps is the cosy township of Fox Glacier. Focused around a 13-kilometre-long temperate maritime glacier, 'Fox' is in Westland Tai Poutini National Park on the West Coast of New Zealand's South Island.
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  • Wanaka
    Wanaka is a lively resort town surrounded by some stunning alpine scenery. It offers a picture-perfect location and easy access to the outdoors. The town has the buzz of a genuine alpine town and is the ultimate hub for outdoor adventures. 
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  • Te Anau
    A two hour drive from Queenstown, Te Anau is a Southland town. A pretty lakeside town, it’s known as a gateway to Fiordland National Park.
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  • Milford Sound
    Famously described by Rudyard Kipling as the "eighth wonder of the world", Milford Sound is a stunning fiord in the southwest of New Zealand’s South Island.
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  • Queenstown
    Queenstown is a stunning resort town, renowned for its beauty and wealth of adventure activities, it sits on the shores of the South Island’s Lake Wakatipu. Set against the dramatic backdrop of the Southern Alps mountains, Queenstown is also a base for exploring the region’s vineyards and historic mining towns.
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  • Aoraki Mount Cook
    Aoraki / Mount Cook, standing at 3,724 metres, is the highest mountain in New Zealand. It is  located within Aoraki Mount Cook National Park.
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  • Twizel
    Twizel is the largest town in the South Island's Mackenzie District. It was purpose-built in the 1960s to provide a home for workers involved with the Upper Waitaki Power Scheme. And today's its location makes it great base of mountain climbing, kayaking, mountain biking, skiing, horse trekking and hiking.
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  • Christchurch
    Christchurch is an fascinating city to explore. It was once a historic garden city. Since the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes it has turned into a fascinating city of regeneration and growth.
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Attractions

  • Milford Sound Cruise & Lunch
    Cruise Milford Sound, the most well-known and accessible of all the fiords in New Zealand’s Fiordland National Park, a World Heritage Area. Its 16 kilometre (14 nautical miles) length is lined by sheer rock faces that soar 1,200 metres (3,900 ft) or more from the water. 
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  • Christchurch Tram
    The Christchurch Tram is a unique experience combining history and sightseeing. The beautifully restored heritage trams are one of the city’s best loved attractions.
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  • Punting on the Avon Tour
    Punting on the Avon is an eco-friendly way to relax and enjoy Christchurch from a different perspective. You'll be expertly guided along the Avon River through central Christchurch on this Edwardian-style punting tour. Take in the changing face of the city centre as you move through it at a gentle pace. 
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  • Tranzalpine Rail Journey
    Enjoy a very special view of the South Island’s striking natural landscape. Take the Tranz Alpine train between Christchurch and Greymouth. See epic vistas, travel the edges of the ice-fed Waimakariri River, traverse the Southern Alps, and see miles of native beech forest.
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Available Dates

Dates Price per person
On Request
29 Apr 2024 - 08 May 2024 Guaranteed Departure
$ 7350.00 - $ 9250.00
$ 6982.00 - $ 8787.00
On Request
04 Nov 2024 - 13 Nov 2024 Guaranteed Departure
$ 7650.00 - $ 9675.00
$ 7267.00 - $ 9191.00
On Request
02 Dec 2024 - 11 Dec 2024 Guaranteed Departure
$ 8150.00 - $ 10375.00
$ 7742.00 - $ 9856.00
On Request
27 Jan 2025 - 05 Feb 2025 Guaranteed Departure
$ 8150.00 - $ 10375.00
$ 7742.00 - $ 9856.00
On Request
03 Feb 2025 - 12 Feb 2025 Guaranteed Departure
$ 8150.00 - $ 10375.00
$ 7742.00 - $ 9856.00
On Request
24 Feb 2025 - 05 Mar 2025 Guaranteed Departure
$ 8150.00 - $ 10375.00
$ 7742.00 - $ 9856.00
On Request
03 Mar 2025 - 12 Mar 2025 Guaranteed Departure
$ 8150.00 - $ 10375.00
$ 7742.00 - $ 9856.00
On Request
17 Mar 2025 - 26 Mar 2025 Guaranteed Departure
$ 8150.00 - $ 10375.00
$ 7742.00 - $ 9856.00
On Request
31 Mar 2025 - 09 Apr 2025 Guaranteed Departure
$ 8150.00 - $ 10375.00
$ 7742.00 - $ 9856.00
On Request
28 Apr 2025 - 07 May 2025 Guaranteed Departure
$ 7650.00 - $ 9675.00
$ 7267.00 - $ 9191.00
On Request
19 May 2025 - 28 May 2025 Guaranteed Departure
$ 7150.00 - $ 9075.00
$ 6792.00 - $ 8621.00
10 Day New Zealand Matai – Small Group Tour
Days
10
Price from
NZD $6,792