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As Featured in The Times Travel 100 Ultimate Trips for 2022

As Featured in The Times Travel 100 Ultimate Trips for 2022

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Hidden Gold of the South Island

  • Duration
    13 days
  • Tour Type
    Group Tour
  • Tour Style
  • Price From

Discover the hidden gold of New Zealand's South Island on an exciting new Wendy Wu tour. Our New Zealand staff have carefully selected their idea of 'gold' in the South Island, but always with a traditional Wendy Wu Asian flair! Journey from the spectacular Otago Peninsula to Fiordland National Park for a breath-taking overnight cruise. Explore Queenstown, charming Arrowtown with its gold rush history, and tranquil Lake Wanaka. Head up to Aoraki Mt Cook National Park for a visit to the Tasman Glacier terminus, and finish the tour near Christchurch with Hector’s dolphins and ecclectic art in French-inspired Akaroa. Everything's included – transport, accommodation, meals and a fun sociable group of like-minded travellers, all keen to experience the hidden gold of New Zealand's South Island.

  • Fully Inclusive
    Touring with Guides and entrance fees
  • Flights
    International flights and current taxes
  • Group Tour
    Max Group Size: 18
  • Physical Rating 2Learn More
    X A reasonable level of fitness is required, as you'll be spending time on your feet and doing a bit of walking to cover short distances during your daily sightseeing. There will also be some climbing of steps and climbing on and off of coaches and boats. Download the detailed tour dossier for details of your chosen tour. Learn More
    Walking, some steps and extended time on your feet.
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Tour Itinerary

  • Days 1-3
    Fly to Dunedin
    Days 1-3 - Fly to Dunedin

    On arrival on Day 3, you will be met at the airport by your local guide and/or National Escort from Wendy Wu Tours. Together with all other group members who may be arriving at a similar time, you will transfer to your hotel for your two-night stay, followed by a welcome briefing and dinner.

  • Day 4
    Dunedin Larnach Castle & Otago Peninsula
    Day 4 - Dunedin: Larnach Castle & Otago Peninsula

    This morning, walk to the Lan Yuan Chinese Gardens for a guided tour of this culturally unique facility. Afterwards, head out to Larnach Castle to explore followed by lunch in the castle’s Ballroom Cafe. Tonight, on the Peninsula at dusk, you will bear witness to the brave little blue penguins coming ashore to find their nests - but not before a casual dinner along the dramatic waterfront of St Clair Beach.

  • Day 5
    – Dunedin – Fiordland National Park
    Day 5 – Dunedin – Fiordland National Park

    Rise early, pack your overnight bag and drive towards Fiordland National Park, stopping briefly in Gore along the way. Depending on availability, your overnight cruise will either be in Doubtful Sound or Milford Sound. Both just as magnificent as the other! If Doubtful Sound, you will grab your picnic lunch before boarding a smaller boat which crosses the waters of Lake Manapouri. A coach will then head up and over the Wilmot Pass to Deep Cove where you will board The Navigator. If Milford Sound, you will enjoy lunch in the small lakeside village of Te Anau before driving further into the National Park to meet your overnight vessel, the Milford Mariner. This evening after your activities on-board, a buffet dinner will be a served.

  • Day 6
    – Fiordland National Park to Gibbston Valley
    Day 6 – Fiordland National Park to Gibbston Valley

    After breakfast, enjoy the rest of the morning exploring other parts of either Doubtful Sound or Milford Sound before returning to your respective starting point and driving to your lunch spot at the Five Rivers Café & Art Gallery. Later, continue the scenic journey along Lake Wakatipu to your luxurious accommodation for the next two nights. This evening, you will enjoy a dinner and a glass of wine produced from the area.

  • Day 7
    – Arrowtown Skippers Canyon & Queenstown
    Day 7 – Arrowtown: Skippers Canyon & Queenstown

    This morning, take an exciting 4WD safari tour through Skippers Canyon, visiting the famous suspension bridge, the original Skippers Township and a chance to try your luck panning for gold! Lunch today will be in Arrowtown at a café set in historic stables on the Village Green. You will also enjoy some free time to relax or explore Arrowtown's quaint shops and scenic walking trails. This evening, drive to Queenstown for a stroll along the stunning waterfront and have dinner in a popular Asian-fusion restaurant.

  • Day 8
    – Arrowtown - Bannockburn - Wanaka
    Day 8 – Arrowtown - Bannockburn - Wanaka

    After breakfast this morning, re-live the Gold Rush and take a fascinating guided tour of the Lakes District Museum & Chinese Settlement in Arrowtown. You will then drive the scenic country roads, passing many vineyards along the way, to Bannockburn for a platter style lunch and wine tastings at dramatic Mt Difficulty. Later, continue driving to Lake Wanaka and check-in to your hotel. Enjoy dinner tonight in the Township and consider walking back to the hotel afterward along the serene lakefront.

  • Day 9
    – Wanaka – Mount Cook
    Day 9 – Wanaka – Mount Cook

    This morning, you will meet your vessel on the Wanaka waterfront and cruise to Mou Waho Island for a challenging and guided nature walk. Here you can see first-hand results of conservation efforts including the rare flightless Buff Weka (extinct on the mainland since 1920) and the Mountain Stone Weta. After lunch back in Wanaka, drive to Mount Cook with a brief stop en-route at Omarama. Check-in to the famous Hermitage Hotel, located within the National Park itself, and enjoy dinner in one of their exclusive restaurants tonight.

  • Day 10
    – Mount Cook Tasman Glacier Terminus
    Day 10 – Mount Cook: Tasman Glacier Terminus

    After a hearty breakfast, join the Glacier Explorers tour which includes a moderate 40-minute alpine walk through the National Park, plus a boat ride amongst icebergs of all shapes and sizes, to view the Tasman Glacier ice face. Enjoy lunch back at the Hermitage, and afterward use your free time to visit the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre Museum and Digital Dome Planetarium within the hotel’s complex. Dinner tonight will again be at the Hermitage.

  • Day 11
    – Mt Cook - Lake Tekapo to Christchurch
    Day 11 – Mt Cook - Lake Tekapo to Christchurch

    Drive to Lake Tekapo for a stop at the iconic Church of the Good Shepherd, Sheep Dog Memorial and the new suspension bridge over the glacier fed turquoise waters. Lunch will be a bit further down the road in Geraldine. Once arriving in your final destination of the tour, Christchurch, you will embark on a short city tour of the CBD and its iconic places both pre and post earthquake. Dinner will be on Victoria Street this evening.

  • Day 12
    Christchurch – Akaroa – Christchurch
    Day 12 - Christchurch – Akaroa – Christchurch

    Enjoy an early breakfast before driving along picturesque Banks Peninsula to the French colonial township of Akaroa, stopping briefly at Little River Café & Gallery on the way. In Akaroa, you will embark on a Dolphin & Nature Cruise like no other and hopefully see the world's smallest (and friendliest) Hector's dolphins. Lunch will be on the waterfront, followed by a walk through the quirky mosaic gardens at The Giant's House before returning to Christchurch. Tonight, enjoy a farewell dinner.

  • Day 13
    Depart Christchurch
    Day 13 - Depart Christchurch

    After breakfast, your tour ends. Transfer to Christchurch Airport for onward flights.

+ -
Hidden Gold of the South Island  map

Places Visited: UK - Dunedin (2N) - Fiordland National Park (1N) - Arrowtown (2N) - Wanaka (1N) - Mount Cook (2N) - Christchurch (2N) - UK

Download Detailed Itinerary

Tour Dates & Prices

All of our tour departures include international flights and taxes in the price. If the dates we have available for this tour don't suit your needs, or you are not sure travelling as part of a group is for you, maybe a Private Tour would be more ideal. If your tour departs in less than 30 days, please call our travel experts to book.

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Depart UK
Return Date
Booking Options

There are no dedicated Solo departures for this year. You can enjoy any of our tours with no Single Supplement on our Happy to Share option or explore the solo departures in other years.

Group Tour includes

Additional Price Information

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