A classic New Zealand South Island self drive itinerary combining breathtaking scenery, world class golf, adventure and relaxation whilst staying at unique accommodations offering superb Kiwi hospitality. Highlights include golf at Clearwater Resort, the alpine resort town of Queenstown with a choice of two renowned golf courses, the Tranz Alpine Express rail journey, Franz Josef Glacier and golf at Terrace Downs High country experience.
- Round-trip International Economy airfare from Los Angeles
- Add-on airfares available from other cities
- Domestic New Zealand flights
- Private car service transfer Christchurch
- TranzAlpine Train journey Christchurch to Greymouth
- 9 days car medium automatic car rental
- 10 nights unique/boutique accommodation
- Green fees (18 holes) and cart hire at Clearwater Golf Course, Christchurch; Millbrook Golf Course, Queenstown; Queenstown Golf Course OR Jacks Point Golf Course Queenstown and Terrace Downs Golf Course Canterbury.
- ** Sightseeing options and packages are available **
Day 1 - Depart US
Ask about our options with Premium Economy and Business class airfare.
Day 2 - Cross International Date line
Day 3 - Arrive Christchurch
Meet & Greet on arrival at Christchurch International Airport and private transfer to your hotel. Spend the remainder of the day at leisure.
ACCOMMODATION - Peppers Clearwater Resort. The resort offers comfortable accommodation and breathtaking views. Guests enjoy an 18-hole championship golf course, which is home to the New Zealand PGA. The resort offers a range of modern accommodation including spacious guest rooms, suites and villas, many with kitchen facilities. All of the accommodation options overlook the lake and the golf course. Leisure facilities at Peppers Clearwater Resort include tennis courts and bicycle hire. Fly-fishing can also be arranged.
Day 4 - Christchurch
Today a round of golf included at Clearwater Golf Course. This par 72 championship course is home to the NZ PGA Championship. Designed by John Darby in consultation with New Zealand golfing legend, Sir Bob Charles, the course combines elements of links golf inspired by the great Scottish courses with parkland golf, more reminiscent of Florida. Playable year-round, the course at Clearwater is aptly named. Its fifteen hectares of lakes are fed by an abundance of natural springs and crystal clear streams, teeming with trout.
Overnight: Peppers Clearwater Resort – Breakfast Included
Day 5 - Christchurch / Greymouth / Franz Josef
This morning you will be collected from your hotel and transferred by private vehicle to the Christchurch Rail Station for your journey on the TranzAlpine Train to Greymouth. The TranzAlpine winds its way over massive viaducts, through spectacular gorges and river valleys, before tracking slowly across the country’s greatest mountain range, the Southern Alps. Following rivers and skirting lakes, it descends through lush beech forest to the Tasman Sea and the town of Greymouth. On arrival in Greymouth, collect your rental car from the Rail Station Depot
Greymouth to Hokitika
The road between Hokitika and Greymouth provides great views of the wild west coast. Detour to the beach and breathe the salt spray air. Driftwood is the ornamentation of choice for west coast beaches – every shape, size and colour. Hokitika was first settled in 1860, after the discovery of gold on the west coast. It still has the feel of a ‘frontier town’, and there are some lovely old buildings to admire. Greenstone (NZ jade) is the town’s treasure these days – you can see it being polished and sculpted. You might also want to pan for gold, investigate the museum and do the historical walk.
Hokitika to Franz Josef
The road to Franz Josef is rural, but with a wild streak. The farmland is trying to turn back into forest, and the beauty of the rivers is raw and primeval. First explored in 1865, the Franz Josef Glacier has been moving forward at a rate of about 1 metre a day since 1985.
ACCOMMODATION - Westwood Lodge – Breakfast Included. Set in a beautiful bush garden, Westwood Lodge offers well-appointed bed and breakfast accommodation with stunning views of the West Coast's rainforests, mountains of the Southern Alps & the Franz Josef Glacier.
Day 6 - Franz Josef to Wanaka
Franz Josef to Fox Glacier
After a short drive south, you’ll arrive at Fox Glacier. The glacier’s terminal face is just 5 kilometers from the township, and the road to the walking track crosses ancient moraine from earlier advances and retreats. Fed by four alpine glaciers, Fox Glacier was named after an early New Zealand Prime Minister, William Fox.
Fox Glacier to Haast
The long one-lane bridge over the Haast River leads you into the settlement of Haast, once a construction camp for the Ministry of Works (the government department responsible for road and bridge building). It’s a town with a touch of the wild west – helicopters fly deer hunters into the rugged ranges and local pubs make a feature of stuffed animal trophies.
Haast to Wanaka
Enjoy waterfalls and river scenery as you leave the coast and climb up the Haast river valley to Haast Pass. The road snakes through the Aspiring National Park, and the vegetation becomes more sparse as you travel inland. The lakeside town of Wanaka can provide you with an appealing mix of fine living, family fun and adventure. It has a high concentration of cafes, restaurants and interesting shops.
ACCOMMODATION - Wanaka Springs Lodge – Breakfast Included. Nestled in a beautifully landscaped garden, Wanaka Springs Lodge is less than 5 minutes' walk from Wanaka's town centre. Guests enjoy free WiFi and free on-site parking. Facilities include a spa pool, a guest lounge and a large patio deck overlooking the mountains. Located at the end of a quiet street, Wanaka Springs maintains an intimate atmosphere. Relax in front of the log fire in the lounge area or choose a book from the library and enjoy afternoon tea in the sunny dining room. Handmade wooden furniture and rich colourful dcor make all accommodation a special place. Guests enjoy views of the mountains, lake or gardens from each room.
Day 7 Wanaka to Queenstown
Wanaka to Queenstown
The shortest route to Queenstown is over the Crown Range Road. It’s a challenging drive, but the views are amazing and you’ll probably encounter friendly keas (mountain parrots). More conservative drivers can take the route that runs beside the Clutha River, Lake Dunstan and the Shotover River. The alpine resort of Queenstown is exciting, sophisticated and fantastically scenic. It’s a destination for luxury experiences – gourmet food and wine, spa treatments and leisurely games of golf.
ACCOMMODATION - Millbrook Resort – Breakfast Included. nestled within the Southern Alps and framed by the aptly named Remarkables Mountain Range, are the 500 acres of lush green fairways, rolling hills and gentle babbling streams of Millbrook Resort. With 160 rooms, 27-hole golf course, award-winning day spa, conference facilities and everything from a Japanese restaurant with a Teppanyaki grill to contemporary cuisine, to casual dining. Co-host to the BMW ISPS Handa New Zealand Open, this golf course is a must for your bucket list. It's a place to relax for a few days, it's a place to revive the spirit amidst the mountain air and open space
Day 8 Queenstown
ACCOMMODATION - Millbrook Resort- Breakfast Included
Day 9 Queenstown
ACCOMMODATION - Millbrook Resort – Breakfast Included
Day 10 Queenstown
With a backdrop of 2300 vertical metres of the razorback Remarkables mountain range and an armchair view of an outstanding lake and mountain panorama, Jack's Point Golf Course is not only one of the most spectacular in the world, but as an 18 hole par 72 championship course it offers golfers of any calibre a challenging and unforgettable experience.
ACCOMMODATION - Millbrook Resort- Breakfast Included
Day 11 Queenstown / Methven (427km)
Queenstown to Omarama
Your trip to Queenstown begins with the beautiful Lindis Pass – just magic when there’s snow around. Lake Dunstan is a fine place for a picnic before you explore the restored heart of Cromwell. Take a detour to Bannockburn if you’re interested in old gold workings. You’ll know you’re in Omarama when you see the giant merino sheep statue. The northwesterly wind blows steadily to form the famous Northwest Arch, a thermal that can take the glider pilots to 10,000 metres. Scenic soaring can be arranged.
Omarama to Twizel
The easy drive from Omarama takes you through picturesque sheep farming country fringed with mountain ranges. You’ll have the chance to detour to the fascinating Paritea cliffs, which are constantly being exposed by the active Osler fault line.
Twizel to Mount Cook
The Aoraki Mount Cook National Park includes the highest peak in Australasia (Mt Cook - 3755m). The region attracts mountain climbers, hikers and scenery fanatics. Heli skiing, heli hiking and aerial sightseeing provide visitors with amazing memories. A variety of walking trails begin in or near Mount Cook Village – most take only a couple of hours. In the bar of the local hotel, huge windows provide a perfect view of Mt Cook.
Mount Cook to Lake Tekapo
The road to Mt Cook takes you through high country tussock to beautiful Lake Pukaki. You’ll hug the edge of the lake for most of the way up the Tasman Valley to Mount Cook Village.The settlement of Lake Tekapo is at the southern end of the lake. The opaque turquoise colour of this lake and others in the area is caused by fine, glacier-ground rock particles held in suspension.
ACCOMMODATION - Terrace Downs – Breakfast Included. Terrace Downs Resort features 2 restaurants, a golf course and a day spa. The villas have open-plan living spaces with gas fires. Guests enjoy free on-site parking. Hunter's serves a menu of local produce and offers panoramic views of the mountains. The Cafe serves brasserie-style cuisine on the terrace.
Day 12 Methven
ACCOMMODATION - Terrace Downs – Breakfast Included
Day 13 Methven to Christchurch & depart for US
Lake Tekapo to Christchurch
Small towns appear regularly as you travel across the Canterbury Plains through fields and farms. Explore the old coal mining settlement of Glentunnel before the road climbs over the braided Rakaia River and up to Mount Hutt. There are historic lime kilns at Staveley and Mt Somers, and the pretty town of Geraldine has an interesting car museum. After Fairlie you’ll ascend to the region known as the Mackenzie Country, named after the legendary Scottish sheep rustler who once roamed the area.
* Peak Season 1Dec17-28Feb18 pricing - Availability very restricted, package pricing may be higher Dec-Feb period, depending on availability
Daily departures, this package is an independent itinerary with flexible departures (not a group tour), the above costs apply for travel within each date band when you depart & return within these dates, ask an Aspire Down Under consultant for a quote when your travel dates cross over the date bands.
Additional departure gateways & pricing
- Add on airfare is available from most major airports - ask an Aspire consultant for a quote from your local airport.
- Houston - $220 additional
- Seattle - $300 additional
- Denver - $300 additional
- Portland, OR - $300 additionall
- Dallas - $350 additional
- Chicago - $400 additional
- New York - $450 additional
- Boston - $450 additional
- Washington, DC - $450 additional
Optional Activities, Extensions or Add-Ons & pricing:
- Upgrade to premium economy from $750 per person each way
- Upgrade to business class from $1,950 per person each way
- Can take the upgrade one way or round trip and combine premium/business classes on same ticket
All upgrades are subject to availability, upgrade cost may be higher depending on availability
*Package from pricing is based on double occupancy (2 people sharing a room) from Los Angeles or San Francisco for purchase by 31 December, 2017. Ask an Aspire consultant for pricing for other travel dates. Add-on fares are available from other cities. Certain blackout dates apply on the accommodation and tour value add offers - check with your Aspire consultant. Seats are limited and may not be available on every flight. Hotels are subject to availability. All prices reflect a discount for purchases made by cash/wire transfer/check, please see terms and conditions for credit card payments. There are no discounts for payment made by credit cards. Cancellation penalties and other restrictions apply. Free Fiji offer only applies when package is for 2 people, not valid for single travelers..