Introduction
We have four words for you: Lord of the Rings. The movies were shot on New Zealand’s spectacular South Island. While you won’t spot any Hobbits, our local guides will lead the whole family to plenty of miraculous discoveries. We'll walk on amazing beaches and explore a parrot-filled jungle with its own glacier. At a high country sheep station, you’ll spend the day checking on baby lambs and watching the sheepdogs do their work. There’s even a jet boat ride on the Dart River. The adults will enjoy sipping their way through award-winning wineries as well as some of the most scenic walks on earth and fine shopping in Queenstown. New Zealand is a friendly country that captures the imaginations of all ages.
The kids will love...
  • Walking from a rain forest on to Fox Glacier
  • Panning for gold
  • Cruising though spectacular Fiordland National Park
Itinerary at a glance
DAYS 1-2 - CHRISTCHURCH / ARTHUR'S PASS
We meet in Christchurch. If you’re an early riser and a train-lover, consider boarding the TranzAlpine Express for the scenic ride to Arthur’s Pass. Or join our guide for the equally spectacular drive to Arthur’s Pass. Either way, you’ll cross the lovely Canterbury Plains—featured in the film The Lord of the Rings.

Into the Southern Alps, we spend a day on a working merino sheep station near Arthur’s Pass (2 nights). Kids have been known to feed and name the baby lambs. Adults like birding in wildflower meadows. Everyone enjoys watching our hosts put the sheepdogs through their paces.

DAY 3 - FOX GLACIER
The next day, grab your ice pick! It’s on to dramatic Fox Glacier (1 night) for a walk that starts, of all places, in a parrot-bedecked rain forest.

DAYS 4-5 - LAKE MOERAKI
At our lodge at Lake Moeraki (2 nights) we have canoes to paddle, fishing gear and great guide-led walks on an easy rainforest track to wide and beautiful Munro Beach. Kids love exploring and gold panning in the historic gold mining village of Arrowtown. Adults enjoy even more the walk through the vineyards to an acclaimed winery for a tasting.

DAYS 6-7 - QUEENSTOWN
We settle in to our lakeside hotel in Queenstown (2 nights). If you must, today is the day to bungy jump. A more “reserved” activity finds us on a jet boat ride on the Dart River, followed by a walk in Fiordland National Park and a guide-led talk about the original Maori settlers.

DAYS 8-9 - MILFORD SOUND / QUEENSTOWN
Our grand finale is Milford Sound (1 night), the gateway to the World Heritage Fiordland National Park. It’s a true natural wonder, and we’ll see it in the very best way – from the decks of the Milford Mariner. It’s not just a ship. It’s what some travelers call the ultimate bed and breakfast. From the observation lounge and the large open deck, you’ll have a front-row seat for the waterfalls, rainforests, mountains and wildlife. Experienced onboard naturalists offer commentary and answer your questions. We’ll cruise the entire length of the sound, all the way to the Tasman Sea, and enjoy some of the best stargazing you’ve ever experienced. Our final day we return to Queenstown where we part company.
New Zealand's South Island
Family Journey
9 Days / 8 Nights
Starting Point: Christchurch–10:00 AM or 7:30 AM hotel pick-up if you are taking the TranzAlpine Express train to Arthur's Pass

Ending Point: Queenstown Airport–3:00 PM and Queenstown–3:30 PM

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Let us create a special departure or itinerary just for you.
Guest Reviews
“We loved that we didn't have to plan anything and our days were filled with fun activities, opportunities for learning and quality time spent together everyday.”
Leslie N.

“I have never been disappointed with the Classic Journeys guides. I continue to be impressed.”
Susan L., Mystic, CT

“Classic Journeys has turned out to be a fantastic company to travel with - one I highly recommend. I truly feel as if I have been on vacation this past week.”
Marcia B.

“Classic Journeys provides unbeatable access to experiences around the globe.”
Travel + Leisure Magazine

“Traveling with Classic Journeys is the ideal way to see and immerse oneself in the local atmosphere.”
Nancy R.

New Zealand's South Island
Family Journey
9 Days / 8 Nights

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You can start any of our tours on any day of the year
Let us adapt any Classic Journeys itinerary as a private, custom tour to fit your schedule and special interests.
Travel solo in the best of company
We welcome solo travel on our walking and culinary tours with single supplements that are the lowest you’re likely to find anywhere. 
Tour Dates & Prices
Tour prices are per person based on double occupancy. Single supplement is only applicable if you are traveling solo and/or have a room to yourself.
TOUR DATES
TOUR PRICES
SINGLE SUPPLEMENT
Nov 27-Dec 5, 2016$5095.00$895.00
Mar 26-Apr 3, 2017$4995.00$895.00
November 19-27, 2017$5095.00$895.00
  • Full time experienced guide(s) who are with you throughout the trip, handle behind-the-scenes logistics and are there to help with anything from haggling for a rug to buying a tube of toothpaste
  • Support vehicle(s)
  • Admissions to tastings, historic sites and other scheduled events as noted in the detailed daily itinerary.
  • Gratuities for hotels, meals and baggage
  • Trip literature
  • All land transportation during the trip
• All breakfasts, 4 lunches and 7 dinners
New Zealand's South Island
Family Journey
9 Days / 8 Nights
New Zealand’s seasons are the reverse of the Northern Hemisphere. The South Island normally has a temperate climate. The temperature is generally very comfortable. In the summer (our winter) during our trips, the region does not have very significant temperature extremes. However it can be cool in the morning as well as the evening. Rain is always a possibility. It is a good idea to prepare for the chance of chilly weather by packing some warm layers.

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when sharing a room with two full-paying guests
Kids ages 11-16 receive a $500 discount; ages 7-10 receive a $750 discount; ages 3-6 receive a $1250 discount; ages 2 and younger receive a $1750 discount. When sharing a room with one full-paying guest, kids receive a $250 discount.
Hotels
Wilderness Lodge Arthur's Pass

Nestled beneath a beech forest in the heart of the Southern Alps, this wilderness lodge is on its own 3,000 hectare nature reserve/merino sheep farm dating to 1860. The spacious guestrooms offer superb views of the Southern Alps and the river below.

Distinction Te Weheka Hotel

Situated beneath the Southern Alps, this beautifully appointed inn is located within Fox Glacier Village and is the perfect place from which to explore Fox and Franz Joseph Glaciers. Each guestroom boasts a balcony to take in the spectacular landscape.

Wilderness Lodge Lake Moeraki

This lodge is set in a lakeside clearing surrounded by 1000 year-old rainforest trees overlooking the Moeraki rapids. An array of trails from the lodge offers access to abundant birdlife and a nearby coastline of wild beaches and wildlife.

St Moritz Queenstown

Crafted from stone and cedar, this European-style resort hotel is on the shore of Lake Wakatipu. It offers breathtaking views of the Remarkables Mountain Range. The décor in each room reflects Queenstown's unique high country heritage.

Fiordland Navigator

The Fiordland Navigator cruises the Doubtful Sound past cascading waterfalls, sheer cliffs, dense rainforests, and towering mountains. It has a spacious dining saloon, observation lounge, and open deck areas. The private cabins have ensuite bathrooms.

New Zealand's South Island
Family Journey
9 Days / 8 Nights

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You can start any of our tours on any day of the year
Let us adapt any Classic Journeys itinerary as a private, custom tour to fit your schedule and special interests.
Travel solo in the best of company
We welcome solo travel on our walking and culinary tours with single supplements that are the lowest you’re likely to find anywhere. 
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