9 Day New Zealand South Island Kea Small Group Tour

Starting From NZD $6,290
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We Tour NZ > Tours > 9 Day New Zealand South Island Kea Small Group Tour

Visit all the South Island of New Zealand’s iconic spots like Aoraki Mt Cook, Milford Sound, Queenstown, Wanaka & the West Coast Glaciers.  This Southern Beauty tour is the ultimate small group South Island 9 day itinerary, with all the world famous spots included in one very special tour itinerary.  As well as the stunning South Island scenery, you’ll meet the locals and hear their stories, see our unique native wildlife up close, get out on the water and up in the air, enjoy fresh food & wine, make new friends and at the end of each unforgettable day relax in 4-star comfort.

Tour Highlights

  • Overnight stay in Aoraki Mt Cook National Park
  • Three nights in Queenstown
  • Milford Sound Cruise & Scenic Flight
  • Lakeside accommodation in Wanaka
  • Franz Josef Glacier & Okarito Lagoon on the West Coast
  • Two nights in Punakaiki to end your tour
  • All meals and activities included

Tour Itinerary

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

1:
Christchurch - Akaunui Homestead - Aoraki / Mt Cook (L, D)
Day 1:
Christchurch - Akaunui Homestead - Aoraki / Mt Cook (L, D)
After meeting mid-morning in Christchurch, head south for a special lunch at Akaunui homestead south of Ashburton, a 100-year-old country home where you dine on wonderful fresh produce prepared by your hosts, Di and Ian Mackenzie. Continue through Burke's Pass to the spectacular Mackenzie Country for sweeping vistas of tussock lands, glacial lakes and the Southern Alps. On route to Mt Cook you can’t miss the Church at Lake Tekapo and the unreal turquoise blue Lake Pukaki before arrival at Mt Cook Village.
The Hermitage Hotel
A unique and breathtaking location right in the heart of Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park.
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2:
Aoraki/Mt Cook - Lindis Pass - Queenstown (B, L, D)
Day 2:
Aoraki/Mt Cook - Lindis Pass - Queenstown (B, L, D)
Always a memorable time on tour, your day in Mount Cook, New Zealand’s highest mountain and ‘home ground’ of the most famous Kiwi of all, Sir Edmund Hillary. Wake up to the beauty of this alpine wonderland and enjoy the fresh air and wide open spaces with a stroll in Aoraki National Park. Your adventure continues on to Omarama, over the Lindis Pass and through the rugged Kawarau Gorge and Gibbston Valley onto Queenstown - your home for three nights.
Scenic Suites Queenstown
Located only a 5 minute downhill walk from the heart of Queenstown.
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3:
Queenstown - Milford Sound (B, L, D)
Day 3:
Queenstown - Milford Sound (B, L, D)
Today is all about the one and only Milford Sound. From Queenstown, follow the shores of the great southern lakes Wakatipu and Te Anau before heading into the heart of Fiordland National Park on the spectacular Milford Road. On arrival at Milford cruise by launch out onto the sound dominated by iconic Mitre Peak and home to birdlife, seal colonies and pods of dolphins. A magical flight over the Southern Alps returns you to Queenstown at the end of a fantastic day of touring by land, sea and air.
Scenic Suites Queenstown
Located only a 5 minute downhill walk from the heart of Queenstown.
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4:
Queenstown Sightseeing - Glenorchy (B, L, D)
Day 4:
Queenstown Sightseeing - Glenorchy (B, L, D)
Today is your day to explore everything Queenstown has to offer, start by catching the Skyline Gondola for the best views of Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkables. Then you'll take the Glenorchy road to the stunning head of Lake Wakatipu for a lakeside lunch and the famous Lord of the Rings scenery. Once back in town, enjoy a cruise on Lake Wakatipu aboard the famous TSS Earnslaw before dinner.
Scenic Suites Queenstown
Located only a 5 minute downhill walk from the heart of Queenstown.
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5:
Queenstown - Cardrona - Wanaka (B, L, D)
Day 5:
Queenstown - Cardrona - Wanaka (B, L, D)
Your day starts with a short hop to leafy Arrowtown, where gold mining history comes alive. Then climb into the tussock country of the Crown Range for your last views of the beautiful Wakatipu. Picture perfect Cardrona Hotel is your lunch venue and stop in at the family owned distillery for a wee dram before carrying on to Wanaka. Arrive with plenty of time to explore the town centre, take a leisurely stroll along the lakefront or one of the many excellent local walks. Your accommodation this evening is right on the waterfront, it's a beautiful secluded setting for the evening.
Edgewater Resort Wanaka
Set in parklike grounds right on the edge of Lake Wanaka.
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6:
Wanaka - Haast Pass - Franz Josef Glacier (B, L, D)
Day 6:
Wanaka - Haast Pass - Franz Josef Glacier (B, L, D)
Today is a quintessential kiwi day, where else in the world can you visit the seaside, a rainforest and a glacier all in the same day? In New Zealand, no worries! Start off following the shores of Lakes Wanaka and Hawea before reaching the pristine mountain and river scenery of the Mount Aspiring National Park. Then it’s up and over the Haast Pass through beech forests, past cascading waterfalls and clear blue pools before following the Haast River out to the sea. There’s plenty of time for short walks and photo stops on the way. Head north through the lush, prehistoric Gondwanaland forest of the Southwest New Zealand World Heritage Area, stopping at Ship Creek to stroll the beach, keep your eye out for dolphins feeding in the shallows. Get your camera ready for Lake Matheson’s famous reflections and your first glimpse of Fox Glacier descending from Aoraki/Mt Cook. Your home for the night is Franz Josef.
Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier
Located in the heart of Franz Josef village and close to Franz Josef Glacier.
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7:
Franz Josef Glacier - Okarito Lagoon - Hokitika - Punakaiki (B, L, D)
Day 7:
Franz Josef Glacier - Okarito Lagoon - Hokitika - Punakaiki (B, L, D)
This morning explore the real heart of Te Waihpounamu World Heritage Area. Your day starts with a short walk in the Franz Josef Valley for views of the glacier and pristine rainforest. Continue to Okarito where you meet your local guides Swade and Paula for lunch. They share the colourful history and unique ecosystem on a short walk around the tiny settlement and a wildlife cruise out on the lagoon. Continue north to Hokitika, the Pounamu capital of the country and home to carvers, glass blowing and artisans. Arrive at your home for two nights in Punakaiki, right on the beach in the perfect spot to enjoy the sunsets.
Punakaiki Resort
Situated in Paparoa National Park just a short walk from the magnificent Pancake Rocks and Blowholes.
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8:
Punakaiki - Denniston - Cape Foulwind (B, L, D)
Day 8:
Punakaiki - Denniston - Cape Foulwind (B, L, D)
The surrounding Paparoa National Park is very different to any other area on the trip, towering limestone cliffs and karst rock formations with beautiful river valleys draped in subtropical forest. Start your day with a short walk at the famous Pancake Rocks and Blowholes. Then head north through Paparoa National Park, to the mining country of Westport and the famous Denniston Plateau, a spot where not many Kiwis ever get to. Round off your day with a short walk at the Cape Foulwind Seal Colony before returning to your beachside accommodation at Punakaiki for your final evening.
Punakaiki Resort
Situated in Paparoa National Park just a short walk from the magnificent Pancake Rocks and Blowholes.
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9:
Punakaiki - Arthur’s Pass - Christchurch (B)
Day 9:
Punakaiki - Arthur’s Pass - Christchurch (B)
Wake up to the sounds of the waves crashing on the beach, cross New Zealand’s main divide, traverse the stunning Canterbury High Country and cross the plains into the ‘Garden City’ of Christchurch. Highlights include the Otira Viaduct, a spectacular cantilevered road through towering mountains to Arthur’s Pass National Park one of the best places in the country to see the hilarious antics of the alpine parrot, the Kea. Stretch your legs in the beech forests at Arthur’s Pass National Park and again at the massive limestone rocks at Castle Hill before you reach Christchurch in the late afternoon. Say your goodbyes with drop offs at Christchurch Airport or your city accommodation.

Inclusions

Attractions Visited

  • Milford Sound Cruise
  • Milford Sound Flight
  • Queenstown Gondola
  • TSS Earnslaw
  • Cardrona Distillery Museum
  • Okarito Lagoon Wildlife Tour
  • Okarito History Walk

Coach Features

  • All transport by comfortable, air conditioned coach (maximum 18 travellers)
  • There are no on-board restrooms however frequent bathroom stops are made

Experiences Included

  • Services of your knowledgeable MoaTrek Kiwi guide
  • Lake Tekapo
  • Lake Pukaki
  • Mt Cook National Park
  • Lindis Pass
  • Kawerau Gorge
  • Queenstown
  • Lake Wakatipu
  • Milford Sound
  • Crown Range
  • Haast Pass
  • Franz Josef Glacier
  • Punakaiki Pancake Rocks

Meals Included

All meals are included in the tour cost, including:

  • A special lunches at Di and Ian Mackenzie’s Akaunui Farm homestead
  • Lunch and dinner in stunning scenic spots in Queenstown
  • Lunch at Cardrona Hotel
  • Hosted lunch with the locals in Okarito

Visited Locations

  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Haast Pass
    The drive north from Wanaka to the West Coast passes through the spectacular scenery of Haast Pass. Makarora, at the northern tip of Lake Wanaka, is a launching point for several multi-day walks in Mount Aspiring National Park. It also marks the start of the drive over the pass.
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  • Franz Josef
    Franz Josef is the name of both the glacier and the nearby village. The small but lively Franz Josef Waiau village is surrounded by lush rainforest with the high snow-capped Alps rising above it.
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  • Okarito Lagoon
    Ōkārito Lagoon is a coastal lagoon on the West Coast of New Zealand's South Island. Bounded by ocean, estuary, sea cliffs and lush forest, this small village offers unsurpassed views of the Southern Alps.
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  • Hokitika
    Hokitika is a historic town in the West Coast region of NZ's South Island. Close to the mouth of the Hokitika River, this character-filled town is 40 kilometres south of Greymouth.H
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  • Punakaiki Pancake Rocks & Blowholes
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  • Cape Foulwind Walkway
    With a seal colony, a lighthouse and panoramic views of mountains and coastline, the Cape Foulwind Walkway on the rugged West Coast of the South Island, is a great walk suitable for all abilities.
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  • Arthur’s Pass
    A small alpine village of Arthur's Pass is located between Canterbury and the West Coast of the South Island. Climbing to more than 900 metres through Arthur's Pass National Park, it is the highest and most spectacular pass across the Southern Alps.
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Attractions

  • Milford Sound Cruise
  • Milford Sound Scenic Flight
  • Okarito History Walk
  • Homestead Lunch
  • Skyline Gondola Queenstown
    The iconic Skyline Gondola gives you the opportunity to take in stunning views as you ride the steepest cable car lift in the Southern Hemisphere.  You’ll be carried 480 metres above Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu to the top of Bob's Peak to enjoy a spectacular 220 degree panorama.
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  • Cruise Lake Wakatipu on the TSS Earnslaw
    The TSS Earnslaw offers one of the best ways to see Queenstown’s surrounding landscape. Cruise across Lake Whakatipu aboard the iconic century-old coal-fired steamship taking in the views at a leisurely pace.
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  • Cardrona Distillery
    Cardrona Distillery makes exquisite handcrafted single malt whisky, gin, vodka and liqueurs in Central Otago’s stunning Cardrona valley. Located half-way between Wanaka and Queenstown and turning local ingredients into tasty spirits, it is an intriguing place to visit.
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  • Okarito Lagoon Cruise
    A great way to explore Okarito is on the Okarito Lagoon Cruise. The small village is home to New Zealand's largest unmodified wetlands covering over 3000 hectares. Experience the magic of this special place and the big landscapes that surround it on a memorable boat tour.
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“We both thoroughly enjoyed our Southern Beauty Tour. We had visited some parts of it previously, but having everything arranged for us, and listening to Tim’s commentary, made it a special time for us. Our guide Tim was remarkable. His local knowledge of each area was incredible, so much so it equalled the scenery in most cases. I took stacks of notes and learned so so much. He was also an excellent driver, and had a good sense of humour. Liked his knowledge of pre-European Maori life, and their legends too. Would be happy to be on another tour with him and MoaTrek.”
Tony & Toni (Aotearoa) – November, 2020

“I liked everything about this tour. The accommodation was good, meals were great and our guide Tim was fantastic. The small group was especially good as it was easy to get to know each other. This was my first group tour so I didn’t know what to expect but it went really well. Big thank you to all the staff and especially Tim.”
Julie-Ann (Aotearoa) – November, 2020

“I thoroughly enjoyed my trip, as I got to go to the scenic spots I have always wanted to visit, I don’t think you could improve this trip. Our guide was brilliant, he went over and above his duties. He had the perfect personality always calm and collected and an excellent driver. He was fun and we all enjoyed his company.”
Julie-Ann (Aotearoa) – November, 2020

Available Dates

Dates Price per person
On Request
14 Apr 2024 - 22 Apr 2024 Guaranteed Departure $6,290.00$7,090.00
On Request
12 May 2024 - 20 May 2024 Guaranteed Departure $6,290.00$7,090.00
On Request
08 Sep 2024 - 16 Sep 2024 Guaranteed Departure $6,290.00$7,090.00
On Request
13 Oct 2024 - 21 Oct 2024 Guaranteed Departure $6,290.00$7,090.00
On Request
10 Nov 2024 - 18 Nov 2024 Guaranteed Departure $6,290.00$7,090.00
On Request
08 Dec 2024 - 16 Dec 2024 Guaranteed Departure $6,290.00$7,090.00
On Request
12 Jan 2025 - 20 Jan 2025 Guaranteed Departure $6,290.00$7,090.00
On Request
09 Feb 2025 - 17 Feb 2025 Guaranteed Departure $6,290.00$7,090.00
On Request
09 Mar 2025 - 17 Mar 2025 Guaranteed Departure $6,290.00$7,090.00
On Request
13 Apr 2025 - 21 Apr 2025 Guaranteed Departure $6,290.00$7,090.00
On Request
11 May 2025 - 19 May 2025 Guaranteed Departure $6,290.00$7,090.00
9 Day New Zealand South Island Kea Small Group Tour
Days
9
Price from
NZD $6,290 per person twin share