March 1st – March 8th
South Island Extension
Post-Tour Extension – England Tour of New Zealand 2023
- 7 nights’ accommodation on a B&B basis in Nelson, Hokitika, Fox Glacier and Queenstown.
- All overland domestic transfers in New Zealand.
- Admission fees for the Interislander Ferry, Abel Tasman Scenic Cruise, Westcoast Treetop Walk, Milford Sound Scenic Cruise.
- Dinner in Fox Glacier.
- Not Out Travel Tour Manager.
Time Until Tour
South Island Extension Itinerary
Wednesday 1st March
Wellington to Nelson
This morning, following breakfast at your Test tour hotel, depart Wellington and board the Interislander Ferry for the 3-hour cruise to Picton. This narrow stretch of water named after the explorer Captain James Cook can be extremely turbulent due to the high winds that are funnelled between the South and North Islands. The ferry is only in the Strait for a short time before entering Queen Charlotte Sound through Tory Channel.
After a stop in Picton for lunch (own cost), continue through the vineyards of the Marlborough Wine Country surrounding the town of Blenheim then across the top of the South Island through the Rai Valley, forestry plantations and farmland to the Nelson region.
The top of the north-west corner on the South Island is the sunniest region of New Zealand. Nelson is a truly beautiful region that should not be missed by the visitor who loves nature, adventure, art, crafts, wineries and good food. Situated close to several national parks, including the Abel Tasman, Nelson Lakes and Kahurangi, the region offers great hiking trails, beaches and rivers for kayaking and swimming.
Tonight, enjoy an evening at leisure.
Thursday 2nd March
Abel Tasman National Park
Today drive out through Richmond and Motueka to Kaiteriteri, the gateway to the Abel Tasman National Park. See Kaiteriteri Beach on a scenic cruise right into the bays, islands and beaches of the majestic Abel Tasman National Park. You’ll get a chance to see and photograph the world-famous Split Apple Rock from close up, see native Fur Seals (Kekeno) in their natural habitat, marvel at the golden sands and the turquoise waters of the Astrolabe Roadstead, Anchorage, Bark Bay and Medlands beach and as far north as Totaranui. Picnic Lunch included.
After the cruise head back to Nelson for an afternoon at leisure, time to explore this lovely area – you may wish to enjoy a glass of excellent New Zealand wine at one of Nelson’s beautiful restaurants, a hokey-pokey ice-cream (a favourite New Zealand flavour!) on the wharf or just wander amongst the galleries.
Friday 3rd March
Nelson to Hokitika
Continue south through the townships of Greymouth before we reach Hokitika. The West Coast town of Hokitika is home to a wide variety of artists, sculptors, jade carvers, craft artists, jewellers and painters – many of whom are inspired by local landscapes and the raw materials available in the area (jade, gold and other minerals, driftwood, timber, clay, shell, bone and fibres).
Saturday 4th March
Hokitika to Fox Glacier
This morning, depart Hokitika and make a stop at the Treetops Walk – Experience life with the birds, high up in the ancient Rimu and Kamahi treetop canopy as you take a walk along a steel platform 20-metres high and over 450-metres long. This 45 to 60-minute walk meanders through the beautiful West Coast rainforest treetops giving a unique vista of the West Coast’s untouched forests.
Continue further into the Westland National Park, the home of the Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers.
Fox Glacier is a small, isolated village nestled amidst rainforest on the edge of Westland National Park, part of the UNESCO South West New Zealand World Heritage Area. The huge rivers of snow and ice of the Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers flow from vast snowfields high in the Southern Alps almost to sea level which is unusual in a temperate climate.
Opportunity for optional helicopter flights upon onto the snow and ice of Franz Josef Glacier (extra cost – please contact us for pricing).
Tonight, dinner is included at a local restaurant.
Sunday 5th March
Fox Glacier to Queenstown
Drive south through the dense South Westland forests crossing fast running streams and pretty bush fringed lakes. At Haast, turn inland and continue through the Haast Pass and cross the Southern Alps.
The road skirts glacial Lake Wanaka then Lake Hawea to Wanaka township. On a clear day there are splendid views across the lake to Mt Aspiring. Travel through Central Otago – a sheep, cattle and fruit growing area, and scene of a major gold rush last century. Continue past stone fruit orchards and drive through the rock hewn Kawarau Gorge to Queenstown.
Surrounded by majestic mountains and nestled on the shores of crystal-clear Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown offers world-class experiences and a cosmopolitan vibe. Whether you are exploring trails, indulging in food and wine, discovering stunning fairways or seeking adrenaline thrills, Queenstown sets the stage for adventure.
Monday 6th March
At Milford Sound board a comfortable vessel for a scenic cruise down Milford Sound past towering Mitre Peak to the Tasman Sea. The Sound is dominated by the grandeur of Mitre Peak and the Bowen Falls and seals and dolphins are often seen in the clear waters of the fiord. Picnic lunch served on board.
At the conclusion of your cruise, reboard the coach and retrace your journey back to Queenstown.
Tuesday 7th March
Excursions are available to pre-book through Not Out Travel, options will be communicated at a later date.
Wednesday 8th March
The Hotel Nelson, Nelson
1st – 3rd Mar (2 nights)
Beachfront Hotel, Hokitika
Range of Room types
3rd – 4th March (1 night)
Heartland Hotel, Fox Glacier
Range of Room types
4th – 5th March (1 night)
The Copthorne Hotel, Queenstown
5th – 8th March (3 nights)