Small Group Discoveries for our World Travelers

+ Embark on a thrilling jetboat adventure on the Shotover River.
+ Journey by 4WD into Middle Earth, the inspiring setting for the Lord of the Rings films.
+ Cruise Lake Wakatipu on a turn-of-the-century steamer to spend time on an authentic sheep station homestead.
+ Sample world-class wines, enjoy lunch on a farm, visit a bountiful fruit orchard and sit down to a convivial dinner with a family in Christchurch.
+ Wake up to some of the most magnificent scenery on Earth on our overnight cruise through Milford Sound.
  • Day 1 - Welcome to Queenstown

    Upon arrival, you’ll be warmly greeted and escorted to the 5-star St. Moritz Hotel. This evening, join your guide and fellow guests for a welcome drink and dinner at the hotel. Meals D

  • Day 2 - Discover Middle Earth

    This morning’s excursion to Glenorchy finds you on the northern end of Lake Wakatipu in a region of towering mountain ranges and old beech forests. Setting out in comfortable and maneuverable 4WD vehicles with skilled professional drivers, you’ll have ample time to take in these magnificent landscapes, including several sites that were featured in the Lord of the Rings film trilogy.
     
    Next up is historic Arrowtown. Founded in the heady days of the Gold Rush, this charming leafy town is nestled below the beautiful peaks that surround the sparkling Arrow River. Take some time to stroll along Buckingham Street with its heritage buildings and old miners’ cottages – many of them now home to inviting galleries, shops and cafes. Before returning to Queenstown, a thrilling jetboat ride through the picturesque canyons of the Shotover River promises an unforgettable afternoon adventure.  Meals B

  • Day 3 - Queenstown

    After breakfast, you’ll spend this day exploring Queenstown and its surrounding countryside. At the Kiwi Bird Park, you’ll have a chance to observe and learn about some of New Zealand’s indigenous wildlife including the Brown Kiwi, Tuatara Lizard, and the colorfully plumed Rainbow Lorikeet.
     
    Then learn about the winemaking traditions of the South Island at a local boutique winery and sample some of their fine vintages. From the heart of town, the Skyline Gondola will take you to the top of Bob’s Peak, nearly 1,500 feet above Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu. This is the steepest cable car ascent in the Southern Hemisphere and offers breathtaking views of Coronet Peak, The Remarkables, Walter and Cecil Peaks and, of course, Queenstown.
     
    Later this afternoon, you’ll board the TSS Earnslaw, a turn-of-the-century steamer, for a cruise across beautiful Lake Wakatipu. Step off at a working high-country homestead where you’ll see highly trained sheep dogs in action and enjoy a delightful lakeside dinner with fine New Zealand wine. Meals B+L+D

  • Day 4 – Cruise through Milford Sound

    This morning’s drive begins along the shores of Lake Wakatipu and takes you through the amazing Homer Tunnel that opened in 1953. Continue through the spectacular glacier-carved Eglington Valley into Fiordland National Park to embark your overnight cruise aboard the comfortable Milford Mariner.
     
    Settle in to your private outside cabin and get set for the adventure of a lifetime! As you journey the full length of Milford Sound, our ship’s expert naturalists are on hand to explain the history and geology of the region and to answer your questions. You’ll have plenty of time to take in the fjord’s pristine waterfalls, rainforests and soaring mountain peaks - and with sharp eyes, you might observe seals and possibly even dolphins and penguins. Anchoring in a sheltered cover, you’ll be able to join our naturalist guides to explore in the Mariner’s tender or by kayak. This evening after a delicious carvery buffet, you can relax in the company of your fellow passengers or hit the deck to observe the constellations of the Southern Sky.  Meals B+D

  • Day 5 - Te Anau to Clyde

    After a hearty breakfast onboard the Mariner, we’ll step off ship and travel to the Punanga Manu o Te Anau Bird Sanctuary set on the shores of Lake Te Anau to view a variety of indigenous bird species, including the rare flightless Takahe, once thought to be extinct here on the South Island. After a leisurely visit, enjoy a hearty lunch downtown at the Fat Duck Café, serving fresh, locally sourced fare and modern New Zealand flavors.
     
    In the afternoon, continue into the spectacular Kawarau Valley, home to the famous Bungy Bridge where two daring adventurers launched the worldwide bungee jumping craze in 1988. The day’s journey ends at Oliver’s Hotel, set on an authentic 19th-century homestead in historic Clyde.  Meals B+L

  • Day 6 - Exploring Central Otago

    With fruit orchards, waterways and rolling hills, Central Otago is one of New Zealand’s loveliest and most bountiful agricultural areas. After breakfast, you’ll begin your exploration at a lively farmers market in Cromwell, a charming and historic town founded during the Gold Rush days of the 1800’s. At one of the area’s local orchards, you’ll have a chance to sample some of the region’s bounty. Then enjoy a guided tour, wine tasting and lunch at a nearby vineyard estate.
     
    In the mid 1800’s, this region also witnessed New Zealand’s first major gold rush and fortune seekers and adventurers poured into the region to dig for gold. This afternoon’s tour at the Goldfields Mining Center immerses you in this colorful chapter of the island’s history. You can follow paths along the Kawarau Gorge to the mine shafts that were excavated more than a century ago and see the land laid bare by ground sluicing. Gold nuggets can still be found in the soil and you might even try our luck as you try your hand at gold panning! Enjoy a congenial dinner and another tranquil night in Clyde.  Meals B+L+D

  • Day 7 - Onward to Mt. Cook

    Leaving behind Clyde and Central Otago, this morning’s scenic journey takes you through the dramatic Lindis Pass at an altitude of 3,800. Traveling through the Mackenzie Basin that lies roughly in the center of the South Island, you’ll discover a picturesque region of powder blue lakes and wide-open grasslands set against an impressive backdrop of snow-capped mountains.
     
    Arriving in the beautiful Aoraki Mt. Cook National Park, you’ll check in to the comfortable Hermitage Hotel in time for dinner. Tonight, the absence of ambient light makes the Aoraki MacKenzie International Dark Sky Reserve one of the best places to view the Southern Constellations.  Meals B+D

  • Day 8 - Canterbury Plains to the Garden City

    Embark on an available flightseeing adventure over Mt. Cook or take this morning to relax.  A pleasant stroll on the landscaped grounds of the hotel or through the surrounding alpine meadows would offer a chance to take in the fresh mountain air and marvelous views of the soaring terrain. Later, you’ll depart the National Park to journey over the Canterbury Plains to Christchurch.
     
    With its lovely parks and handsome Gothic buildings, there's a delightful, very English ambience to Christchurch. In contrast, the Cardboard Cathedral designed by Shigeru Ban in 2011 is a marvel of 21st-century architectural design and ingenuity, constructed of paper tubes, re-purposed shipping containers and a lightweight outer skin. Upon arrival, you'll set out to see the town's architectural landmarks and the Botanic Gardens - founded in 1863 with the planting of a single English oak tree. From this humble beginning, the garden has grown to encompass mature trees, expansive lawns and 10 different gardens set within a loop of the gently flowing Avon River. This evening, you’ll be the guests of a Christchurch family in their lovely home. Congenial conversation with your hosts and perhaps a few of their friends will accompany a wonderful home-cooked meal of traditional New Zealand fare.
     
    Overnight at The George, a luxury boutique hotel on the Avon River.  Meals B+D

  • Day 9 - Depart Christchurch

    Transfer to the airport for your homeward flight. Or continue your adventure with our 12-day Small Group Journey to Australia. Meals B

Extend Your Trip

  • Explore the North Island...

    4 days for $2699

    Add the wonders of the North Island to your adventures through New Zealand with this 4-day extension including Auckland and Rotorua.

    View Day by Day »

  • Australia Explorer

    10 Day Post-Tour Extension from $6,499

    In an intimate group with never more than 16 like-minded travelers, our expert Down Under guides will show you the amazing diversity of their native land – from the rainforest and Great Barrier Reef to its iconic landmarks, cuisine and wine!

    View Day by Day »

Similar Trips

Check In!

  • Hotel St Moritz - Queenstown, New Zealand

    Our stylish boutique hotel offers stunning views of Lake Wakatipu and the mountains.

  • Oliver's Hotel - Clyde, New Zealand

    Set on an authentic 19th-century homestead, our charming lodge blends modern comfort and the region's history.

  • The Hermitage - Mount Cook, New Zealand

    Terrific dining and great views over the region’s valleys and towering peaks distinguish our warm and inviting hotel.  From an intrepid journey through glacial valleys to a mouth-watering culinary dining adventure, The Hermitage Hotel is the perfect place to base your adventure and discover why this region has endeared itself to Kiwi adventure seekers for so long.

  • The George - Christchurch, New Zealand

    Our luxury boutique hotel offers an enviable location in the "Garden City" overlooking Hagley Park and the River Avon.

Welcome Aboard!Standard Accommodations

  • Milford Mariner - Private Cabin

    Milford Mariner - Private Cabin

    Unforgettable adventure awaits with spacious viewing decks, hearty meals, expert onboard naturalist and the Sound’s amazing scenery!

    Ship Preview

Our Small Group Journey Value

+ Comprehensive expertly guided sightseeing across the South Island with never more than 16 guests including all entry fees
+ 17 meals: 8 breakfasts, 3 lunches, and 6 dinners with fine New Zealand wines
+ 7 nights in our wonderful boutique hotels
+ 1 night in a private outside cabin aboard the Milford Mariner
+ All on-tour transportation including airport transfers
+ Luggage handling and all hotel taxes

Trip Pricing

  • Traveling as a single?

Arrive Queenstown - Per Person Double

Dates   Standard Accommodations
Departure Return   Regular Deal
1/14/2019
Sold Out
1/22/2019 $5999 $5499
 
2/11/2019
Guaranteed
2/19/2019 $5999 $5499
 
3/4/2019
Guaranteed
3/12/2019 $6199 $5699
 
3/19/2019
Guaranteed
3/27/2019 $6199 $5699
 
4/22/2019 4/30/2019 $6199 $5699
 
10/7/2019 10/15/2019 $6199 $5699
 
1/13/2020 1/21/2020 $6199 $5699
 
1/27/2020 2/4/2020 $6199 $5699
 
2/10/2020 2/18/2020 $6499 $5999
 
2/24/2020 3/3/2020 $6499 $5999
 
3/9/2020 3/17/2020 $6499 $5999
 
3/23/2020 3/31/2020 $6499 $5999
 

Select all Deals that apply for best available price.

  • Save $1,000 per couple + $500 solo on all of our Small Group, Small Ship and Private Journeys when you pay-in-full at time of booking until 12/31/2018.
  • Travel is one of life's most rewarding experiences, perhaps even more so when it's shared with those you love! Combine our limited-time pay-in-full discount with our Family & Friends offers and save even more:
    • Save $50 more per person when 3 guests go
    • Save $100 more per person with 4 people
    • Save $150 more per person with 5 people
    • Save $200 more per person with 6 or more people!
    For Groups of 8 or more please call 800.221.2216

Prices are per person, double occupancy, and may vary during holidays and trade shows. Additional surcharges and blackout dates may apply.

Extend Your Trip

  • Explore the North Island...

    4 days for $2699

    Add the wonders of the North Island to your adventures through New Zealand with this 4-day extension including Auckland and Rotorua.

    View Day by Day »

  • Australia Explorer

    10 Day Post-Tour Extension from $6,499

    In an intimate group with never more than 16 like-minded travelers, our expert Down Under guides will show you the amazing diversity of their native land – from the rainforest and Great Barrier Reef to its iconic landmarks, cuisine and wine!

    View Day by Day »

Our Private Journey Value

Comprehensive expertly guided sightseeing across the South Island with never more than 16 guests including all entry fees
17 meals: 8 breakfasts, 3 lunches and 6 dinners
7 nights in our wonderful boutique hotels
1 night in a private outside cabin aboard the Milford Mariner
All on-tour transportation including airport transfers
Luggage handling and all hotel taxes

Trip Pricing

  • Traveling as a single?

Arrive Any Tuesday - Per Person Double

Dates   Standard Accommodations
Departure Return   Regular Deal
1/10/2018 12/31/2018 $10599 $10099
 
1/1/2019 2/4/2019 $10199 $9699
 
2/5/2019 4/22/2019 $10199 $9699
 
4/23/2019 9/30/2019 $9399 $8899
 
10/1/2019 12/31/2019 $9899 $9399
 
1/1/2020 1/6/2020 $9899 $9399
 
1/7/2020 4/14/2020 $10199 $9699
 

Select all Deals that apply for best available price.

  • Save $1,000 per couple + $500 solo on all of our Small Group, Small Ship and Private Journeys when you pay-in-full at time of booking until 12/31/2018.
  • Travel is one of life's most rewarding experiences, perhaps even more so when it's shared with those you love! Combine our limited-time pay-in-full discount with our Family & Friends offers and save even more:
    • Save $50 more per person when 3 guests go
    • Save $100 more per person with 4 people
    • Save $150 more per person with 5 people
    • Save $200 more per person with 6 or more people!
    For Groups of 8 or more please call 800.221.2216

Extend Your Trip

  • Explore the North Island...

    4 days for $2699

    Add the wonders of the North Island to your adventures through New Zealand with this 4-day extension including Auckland and Rotorua.

    View Day by Day »

  • Australia Explorer

    10 Day Post-Tour Extension from $6,499

    In an intimate group with never more than 16 like-minded travelers, our expert Down Under guides will show you the amazing diversity of their native land – from the rainforest and Great Barrier Reef to its iconic landmarks, cuisine and wine!

    View Day by Day »

Private Tour Add-Ons

  • Singapore In-Depth

    4 Day FreeStyle Travel

    Our 4-day FreeStyle Travel package features a luxury hotel, 4 meals, chauffeured airport transfers and city sightseeing with your own personal car, driver and guide, and our exclusive, uniquely-designed cultural excursions

  • Bali

    4-Day Freestyle Tour

    Our leisurely stay on this idyllic island gives you enough time to explore its temples and oft-photographed terraced landscapes on a private tour as well as a full day to relax and enjoy as you wish.

Trip Reviews

Average Traveler Rating:  Review This Trip »

(19 Traveler Reviews)

  • Franklin from WA gives this tour 

    Delighted by the beauty of the country especially the night on the boat in Milford Sound (New Zealand) and the friendliness of the people. Accommodations and guides/driver were fantastic.


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    Date Traveled: 1/16/2024

  • Carl from NY gives this tour 

    We went on the Spectacular New Zealand journey and it was fantastic. The lodgings and planned meals were all superb with outstanding views wherever we stayed. Our guide (Stephen) and our driver (Cliff) were wonderful, friendly, and helpful. We look forward to many more journeys with Alexander and Roberts in the future.


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    Date Traveled: 11/21/2018

  • Irene from CT gives this tour 

    Delighted by the small group, excellent accommodations, knowledgeable guide.


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    Date Traveled: 11/21/2018

  • John from CT gives this tour 

    Enjoyed the small group personal feeling, farm visit and lunch-relaxing afternoon and delicious food! Accommodations were excellent.


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    Date Traveled: 11/21/2018

  • Helen from AZ gives this tour 

    The whole trip was wonderful. We experienced many interesting things and our guide, Stephen was very knowledgeable. A great country!


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    Date Traveled: 9/25/2018



Save $1,000 Per Couple
+ $500 Solo

Pay in full at time of booking until 12/31/2018.

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