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10 Day Inspiring South Island

This package includes return airfares

Flights
Flight Inclusive

This tour is fully escorted by an expert English-speaking guide who will accompany you throughout the tour.

Escorted Type
Fully Escorted

This tour is conducted at a medium-fast pace. Some long travel days may be required to complete this itinerary and you will typically spend two nights at each destination, with some one night stays required. This trip includes a mix of sightseeing and free time to explore at your own pace. You will be required to move about unassisted, including getting on and off vehicles, walking up and down stairs and some activities will be conducted on uneven or steep terrain. You will be required to handle your own luggage.

Pace
Moderate Pace

These tours are our proudest creations. They have been crafted for Inspiring Vacations travellers exclusively, with personal and unique experiences in mind. Please see the Important Information on your selected tour for exact group size. Enjoy features such as hand-picked accommodation, a sampling of the region’s best culinary delights, and a range of optional activities to choose from to best suit your travel style.

Group Size
Small Group

Take advantage of our 7 day cooling-off period. 

Cooling Off Period
7 Days
759 people have travelled to this destination

✓ Return International Airfares Included
✓ Small group tour, with no more than 16 travellers
✓ Incredible sightseeing including an orientation tour of each location, a scenic e-bike experience in Wanaka, carve your own jade pendant in Franz Josef, learn about Māori culture
✓ 9 nights in central 3-4 star accommodation 
✓ 6 Breakfasts and 2 dinners
✓ Take in the stunning Southern Alps and the vast Canterbury Plains aboard the TranzAlpine, New Zealand’s finest inland rail journey
✓ Fully escorted by a professional English-speaking tour guide
✓ Comfortable, dedicated transportation throughout
✓ In-depth sightseeing and entrance fees as per the itinerary

What we love about this tour

Travel with the experts for a carefully curated, value-packed discovery of the world's most iconic destinations. Our tours are bursting with must-see sights, rich experiences and quality inclusions, all at an unbeatable price. Bucket list dreams are ticked off on these all-encompassing journeys.

Itinerary

Hotel
Bealey Quarter or Similar

Kia ora (hello!) and welcome to Aotearoa (New Zealand).

On arrival, please make your way to your hotel for check-in. The rest of the day is at leisure to get acquainted with this vibrant city.

A taxi or Uber from the airport costs approximately NZD 45-50.

Settle into your accommodation and be ready for a 6pm pre-tour meeting. Here you will get to know your Tour Manager and be introduced to your travel companions.

Hotel
Lake Ohau Lodge or Similar
Meals
Breakfast, Dinner

This morning we’ll explore downtown Christchurch. Discover the  creative ways the city is being rebuilt after the 2011 earthquake. Mid-morning head for Lake Tekapo. The lake’s breathtaking turquoise colour and mountain backdrop is a photographer’s dream. The tiny Church of the Good Shepherd stands right at the water’s edge, proving that small is bold and definitely beautiful.

Hotel
Blue Peaks Lodge or Similar
Meals
Breakfast

From the golden tussocklands of Mackenzie country – famous for epic battles of Return of the King – to the dramatic peaks of the Southern Alps, today we’re driving into a postcard. Make several stops en route for some incredible photos, including a stop at the spectacular Kawarau Gorge - home of the bungee. 

Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie, an avid hiker, wine taster or scenery lover, Queenstown has something for absolutely everyone.

Hotel
Blue Peaks Lodge or Similar
Meals
Breakfast

Today, get ready to enjoy a full day of optional activities in stunning Queenstown. There are plenty of  options to choose from: extreme jet boat rides, river kayaking, horseback riding through Lord of the Rings scenery, and the skyline gondola are just a few favourites. For scenery lovers, Milford Sound is a must-see. Whether you fly or drive, the scenery en route is as awesome as the destination.

Once on the Sound, as you sail beneath thundering waterfalls and towering cliff faces, you’ll understand why kiwi’s call it the “8th Wonder of the World”. All optionals can be booked locally with your guide.

Optional Tour - Milford Sound Nature Cruise

Travel from Queenstown via a luxury coach before enjoying a 2 hour boat cruise of this world-famous natural phenomenon. As you cruise the length of the fiord, learn about the history of the region and benefit from the knowledge of your specialist nature guide. Experience the spray of a waterfall as you cruise close to sheer rock faces or watch out for dolphins, seals and in season, the rare Fiordland crested penguins.

What to bring:

  • Lunch
  • Snacks
  • Waterproof clothes

Hotel
Oasis Yurts or Similar

Enjoy another free morning in Queenstown, with more chances to tick off your bucket list today. This afternoon we jump back onto the road and head off to Wanaka. It's a quick one hour drive, and what a drive it is. En route, stop in charming Arrowtown, a historic gold rush village with plenty of old-world character. This afternoon is your chance to relax in stunning Wanaka, known as Queenstown’s slightly quieter little sister. Blessed with towering peaks and a glacial blue lake, you’ll soon see why Wanaka’s considered to be one of New Zealand’s most beautiful mountain towns. 

We mix things up tonight by heading to the stunning Oasis Yurts for an Inspiring stay. A night of glamping. Relax, unwind and reconnect at this fantastic location – with comfortable beds, hot tub and the great outdoors right on your doorstep.

Optional Tour - Shotover Jet Boat

Celebrated as ‘The World’s Most Exciting Jet Boat Ride’, the world-famous Shotover Jet has thrilled over 3 million people since 1965.

You’ll blast over 10cm deep water, doing 360-degree spins along the famous Shotover River and deep into the stunning Shotover River Canyons. At 85km an hour, your driver will skillfully glide the powerful boat past rocky cliffs, crags and boulders, and speed through the dramatic and narrow canyons.

Each ride lasts for about 25 minutes and lifejackets are provided.

Hotel
Oasis Yurts or Similar
Meals
Dinner

Today, explore one of the most beautiful towns in the southern lakes region on a guided scenic e-bike tour. 

One optional activity today – a visit to Mou Waho Island. Accessible only by boat from Wanaka and famous for being home to an (unnamed) island, in a lake (Arethusa Pool), on an island (Mou Waho), in a lake (Lake Wanaka), on an island (the South Island) 

In Wanaka there are many walks, hikes and biking trails to choose from – check out the famous “Wanaka Tree” while making your way around the lake! Or, if you feel like relaxing, ask your guide to recommend their favourite secret spots to enjoy the surrounding scenery.

One of the best ways to admire Wanaka is from the air. Treat yourself to a skydive or a scenic flight in a vintage plane – you can even take a flying lesson. As always, it’s your trip and your choice: you do you!  Enjoy a shared meal tonight, prepared by your tour guide.

Optional Tour - Mou Waho Island Cruise and Nature Walk

Enjoy a luxury boat cruise on Lake Wanaka to the remote Mou Waho Island nature reserve, home of the lake, on an island, in a lake! Mou Waho Island is a predator-free reserve with a natural glacial-formed lake at its summit. On Mou Waho you can see the rare flightless Buff Weka (extinct on New Zealand’s mainland since 1920) and the Mountain Stone Weta.

A one hour guided bush walk is included taking you up to the lake right on top of the island and panoramic views of majestic mountain and lake scenery. This is rated as one of the top activities in Wanaka and not to be missed.

Includes morning or afternoon tea.

Hotel
Rainforest Retreat or Similar
Meals
Breakfast

After a relaxing morning in Wanaka, the journey to Franz is another stunning drive.  Stop at one of our most popular lakeside lookout points at Lake Hawea or Lake Wanaka. Your guide will have some epic surprise photo stops and short walks along the way. Between September and December it’s whitebait season (and the perfect time to try an Inspiring Taste).

Whitebait is a small fish that’s a delicacy fried up with eggs and served on toast, it’s a local treat and shouldn’t be missed. We’ll stop at one of the local spots for a taste during the season. Franz Josef , a UNESCO World Heritage area, is famous for its spectacular glacier, just 5 km from town.

Hotel
Rainforest Retreat or Similar
Meals
Breakfast

With Aoraki/Mount Cook (New Zealand’s highest mountain) twinkling behind the glaciers, Franz Josef is about as beautiful a setting as you can find in New Zealand.

Te Wahi Pounamu ( ‘the place of greenstone’ in Māori) is the name given to this part of the West Coast because of the abundance of pounamu (greenstone/jade) to be found here. Included in your tour today is a special opportunity to carve your very own pounamu pendant at a local gallery. There are heaps of ways to enjoy Franz Josef Glacier; weather permitting, to get up onto the bluest ice you can take an optional scenic helicopter flight and hike onto the glaciers. Maybe you’d prefer to kayak on a glacial lake; or just relax in the steamy hot springs down below. As well as the awesome glacier activities, you could also try out quad biking or horseback riding.

Hotel
Bealey Quarter or Similar
Meals
Breakfast

After breakfast, drive further along the beautiful west coast on another spectacular drive. Enjoy scenery of a rugged, primeval landscape of luxuriant rainforest juxtaposed against breathtaking beach and ocean waves. Stop at Hokitika to visit a greenstone factory, a great place to stock up on souvenirs. Time permitting, we may also visit the National Kiwi Centre, where there is guaranteed viewing of rare kiwi birds in their nocturnal house. On the way back to Christchurch, traverse the South Island on the stunning TranzAlpine train crossing.

Travelling across the Southern Alps through Arthur’s Pass, this is considered as one of the world’s most scenic train journeys. Along the way you’ll see epic vistas, travel the edges of the ice-fed Waimakariri River and see kilometres of native beech forest. Arrive in Christchurch around 6.30pm before transferring to your accommodation.

Meals
Breakfast

Today is the final day of your tour. At the appropriate time today make your way to the airport or continue your onward journey.

Check out & departure information.

A taxi or Uber from your hotel to Christchurch airport costs approximately NZD 45-50 per car. Hotel check out is at 11am. You are welcome to leave your luggage in storage and explore the surrounding area if departing later.

Inclusions

  • Return International Airfares Included
    Small group tour, with no more than 16 travellers
  • Incredible sightseeing including an orientation tour of each location, a scenic e-bike experience in Wanaka, carve your own jade pendant in Franz Josef, learn about Māori culture
  • 9 nights in central 3-4 star accommodation 
  • 6 Breakfasts and 2 dinners
  • Take in the stunning Southern Alps and the vast Canterbury Plains aboard the TranzAlpine, New Zealand’s finest inland rail journey
  • Fully escorted by a professional English-speaking tour guide
  • Comfortable, dedicated transportation throughout
  • In-depth sightseeing and entrance fees as per the itinerary

  • Explore downtown Christchurch, rebuilt after the 2011 earthquake
  • Stunning Lake Tekapo is a photographers dream
  • Stop at the spectacular Kawarau Gorge - home of bungee
  • Relax (or otherwise) in lakeside Queenstown
  • Learn about traditional Māori culture
  • Enjoy a scenic e-bike experience in Wanaka 
  • Chill in Wanaka - New Zealands most beautiful mountain town
  • Carve your own jade pendant in Franz Josef
  • Take in the stunning Southern Alps and the vast Canterbury Plains aboard the TranzAlpine, New Zealand’s finest inland rail journey
  • Enjoy plenty of free time for a range of optional excursions and experiences

To enhance your journey, we're offering guests 1 bonus sightseeing experiences out of a choice of the below options (options listed under 'Optional Tours').
  • MILFORD SOUND NATURE CRUISE
  • MOU WAHO ISLAND CRUISE & NATURE WALK
  • SHOTOVER JET BOAT

Enjoy delicious whitebait (in season Sep-Dec) a delicacy fried up with eggs and served on toast, It's the taste of New Zealand

A night of glamping at Oasis Yurts - Wanaka, relax, unwind and reconnect at this fantastic location – with comfortable beds, hot tub and the great outdoors right on your doorstep.

Fine Print

Secure your trip with a $99.00 deposit per person.

Once we receive your deposit, we will send you an invoice with your remaining balance and payment options.

Instalment Schedule:

  1. At the time of booking pay a $99.00 deposit per person.
  2. Pay a 1st installment of $1,685.00 per person within 28 days.
  3. Pay a 2nd installment of $1,170.00 per person within 90 days.
  4. You will then be invoiced for final payment 120 days prior to departure.

This package includes international airfares or has the option of adding international airfares to your booking when selecting your departure city.

If international airfares are included this will be stated in the ‘Inclusions’ section

Alternatively, if international airfares can be added to your booking you will be able to select your departure city after clicking ‘Book Now’ and a cost will be stated next to your selected departure city. This cost will then be added to your booking and flights will be added to your booking.

Conditions of flights for this package bookable by Inspiring Vacations:

  • Flight Offer valid from select departure cities within the purchase path only
  • Flights will be booked with the best available airline/s with luggage included. Low-cost carriers may be booked in conjunction with a full-service airline. Depending on the carrier, entertainment and meals may not be included but payable at an extra cost on-board. We cannot specify or guarantee the airline booked. If you would like a specific airline, please request this at the time of purchase. To make a flight request, please click ‘Book Now’ and select Would you like us to contact you around our flight service?  By selecting this option you will be sent a request form after completing your purchases to make your request. 
  • Flights may not be direct and may include multiple connections
  • Due to disrupted airline schedules globally with the pandemic, stopovers/transit times may be longer than usual (up to 12 hours in duration in some circumstances).
  • Once ticketed, flights are non-refundable; any changes will be subject to the airline rules, Airline change fees and an Inspiring Vacations change fee of $250 per person.
  • Full names as per passport (including all middle names) are required at the time of submitting your traveller booking form. Any error in the names submitted will be subject to an Inspiring Vacations name change fee of $150 plus any applicable fees charged by the airline, or the ticket may be non-refundable with the purchase of a new ticket required. 
  • If the required booking class is unavailable at time of booking, surcharges may apply. Total cost is final only at time of ticketing. Once issued, air tickets are subject to amendment and cancellation fees or may be non-refundable
  • Any airline schedule changes or cancellations are outside of our control. It is important that you, as the customer, stay up-to-date with the latest airline schedule information prior to your departure. If a schedule change results in extended transits or an earlier/later departure from your destination, any additional accommodation or alternative arrangements will be at the traveler's expense.
  • After booking, the price payable may be subject to change as a result of factors beyond the control of Inspiring Vacations. Inspiring Vacations reserves the right to increase the price payable and this will be reflected on the customer's invoice. Increases may be in relation to, but not limited to, currency fluctuations, airline taxes, airfare increases and fuel surcharges.
  • Internal airfares (where applicable and included in the itinerary) will be using a local carrier and may include low-cost carriers without meals or entertainment. Checked baggage will still be included for each passenger. Any additional baggage required is payable at time of check-in. 
  • If you are travelling with another party on a separate booking, we cannot guarantee that the same flights will be booked for all parties, as this strictly depends on availability. 
  • You will be responsible for handling your luggage at all times as the services of porters are not included. If travelling over the recommended amount, you will be liable for any excess baggage fees enforced by the airline, payable directly.
  • In the event of that you no-show on your scheduled flight, please be aware the airline will require you to pay a no show fee, Airline reissue fee plus any additional airfare and taxes. Inspiring Vacations will also charge a $250 admin fee to assist re accommodating you on the next available flight. Please note that depending on the airline's policy, purchasing a new ticket may be required.

Baggage

Included baggage differs based on your country of origin. Included baggage will be as per the following:

Country of Origin

Carry-on Baggage

Checked Baggage

Australia

7kgs

20kgs

New Zealand

7kgs

20kgs

United States of America

15lbs

45lbs

Canada

15lbs

45lbs

India

7kgs

20kgs

United Kingdom

7kgs

20kgs


Baggage allowances provided by the airline might differ to the values stated above. However limitations are required due to transport storage restrictions on your selected tour or package.

Flight requests, amendments or preferences

We understand customers may wish to request changes to their included airfares. If you wish to fly with a certain airline, land at a certain time or change your flight in other ways we will gladly provide you with a personalised quote tailored to your specific requirements.

To make a flight request, please click ‘Book Now’ and select Would you like us to contact you around our flight service?  By selecting this option you will be sent a request form after completing your purchase to make your request.

We would be more than happy to provide you with a quote for the following requests:

  • Airline Preferences - You may wish to fly with a particular airline
  • Cabin Preferences - These include upgrading to premium economy or business class
  • Extensions (start and end cities must remain the same) - You may request to extend your stay pre or post tour.
  • Meal Requests - You may request a specific meal for dietary requirements.
  • Seat Requests - If you would like to request particular seating. However please note, not all airlines allow the selection of pre-purchased seat arrangements.

We are currently unable to provide a quote for the following requests:

  • Stopovers - Is where you might want to stop in transit for a certain amount of days prior to your tour or after your tour.
  • One way flights
  • Different start or end city to the tour - you may not amend the arrival or departure city of your itinerary. 
  • Around the world tickets  - Is when a ticket includes multiple stops in different continents.
  • Return home to a different city from the one you departed.
  • Frequent Flyer point redemption - Is when an airline allows you to redeem points to pay for your flights or upgrade your ticket.  

If we can’t fulfill your request and you still wish to proceed with the booking, please select Land Only (excluding UK customers). This will allow you to travel on the land portion of the package without the included airfares. You will then be able to arrange your own flights separately.

FAQs

For more frequently asked questions please view our FAQs  section. 

Online check-in 

Some airlines may not permit online check-in where flights have been booked by a travel company. Where unavailable to do so online, you will be required to check-in at the airport. Inspiring Vacations cannot check-in online on behalf of our customers.

Fitness Requirements
While the tour itinerary should give you some guidance and overview to the expected requirements, to determine if this tour is right for you we categorise each of our tours in terms of their intensity. These guidelines are to ensure that each tour group is conducted as expected and to ensure the overall satisfaction of all Inspiring Vacations customers.

As a general rule, porterage is not included, therefore at all times you are expected to handle your own luggage where help may not be available.

This particular tour is categorised as a”3”

Moderate Tour: A good level of fitness and mobility is required, as this tour includes a moderate level of physical activity and is considered a medium-fast paced tour. You should be able to walk up and down stairs, get on and off the coach and able to walk reasonable distances of approximately 2 kilometres per day or more with ease. Any physical ailments you may have must be disclosed at the time of booking to determine your suitability. If you have any form of walking aids, other than a walking stick or hiking poles, then this tour is not suitable.

Tipping
A friendly reminder that tipping is not included in your package. While tipping is not customary, it's of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many destinations.

You may also consider tipping your tour leader and driver for outstanding service throughout your trip. Suggested amount for your guide, 500Y per person per day. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.

Accommodation
The accommodation listed is subject to change. Any changes will be of an equal or higher standard. Bedding configurations (double or twin) are requests only. All efforts will be made to meet your preferences, however, any changes are beyond our control.

Single Supplement
Single supplement is $1,489.00 per person, in addition to the twin-share price.

Triple Share
Not available.

Tour Length
The total length of the tour in days includes time spent in flight and is subject to change depending on the flight schedule, please refer to the day by day itinerary for the time spent on land.

Travel Insurance
Travel insurance is recommended to protect yourself against the unexpected. In addition to the support that a policy may provide, you may be asked to present a copy of your travel insurance documentation while traveling.

We have partnered with nib to offer our customers competitive rates for their travel insurance. You can book Comprehensive or Essentials cover for your domestic, international or multi-trip journeys simply by clicking HERE.

Note that Inspiring Vacations cannot provide advice with regards to any insurance product.

Visa & Passport information
It is the traveller's responsibility to ensure they have a valid passport. The passport must be valid for a minimum of six months from the intended date of return.

Visas may be required.

Please note that these details are subject to change without notice. We recommend visiting https://smartraveller.gov.au for up to date information in terms of entry requirements.

Group Size
2-16 people

Children
Children must be 5 years old or above and share a room with parents at all times. Children are charged the same price as adults.

Tour Style
To meet the needs of various types of travelers, we choose to operate various types of tours, and depending on your selected package will mean different services are provided throughout your trip. The following descriptions of each tour style we hope will ensure that each traveller has appropriate expectations before they start their travels:

  • Fully Escorted - This tour is fully escorted by an expert English-speaking guide who will accompany you throughout the tour.

To enhance your journey, we are offering guests a choice of the following optional activities (prices are per person):

  • Milford Sound Nature Cruise (Day 4) - $219 per person
  • Shotover Jet Boat (Day 5) - $159 per person
  • Mou Waho Island Cruise and Nature Walk (Day 6) - $159 per person

Optional tours can be selected once you have finalised your tour purchase and paid your deposit. When completing your Passenger Booking Form, you will be asked if you would like to add Optional Tours, where any applicable cost will be added to your final balance. If you choose not to select them at this time, you can choose to add them later by logging in to your Account online.

Please note that you must select your Optional Tours no later than 70 days before departure, after which you will be required to purchase them on tour. Please keep in mind that anything purchased on-tour is subject to availability and prices may vary as you will be paying in local currency. We appreciate your understanding.

  • Airport Transfer
  • Visas
  • Travel insurance (compulsory)
  • Tipping
  • Optional activities
  • Personal expenses
  • Anything not mentioned in the itinerary
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