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07 Day South Island Luxury Itinerary

Escape Highlights

Relax and enjoy the stunning scenery of the South Island.
Stay at exclusive lodges & experience unforgettable excursions.
*Includes a complimentary New Zealand gift basket on arrival worth $100

When planning luxury escapes New Zealand South Island, our team will help craft an unforgettable holiday. Choose one of our sample luxury itineraries or work with your personal travel consultant to design a bespoke tour.

Our recommended South Island New Zealand itinerary for 7 days is as follows:

Read on for the full details of this 7 day New Zealand luxury itinerary.

7 Day Luxury Escapes New Zealand South Island

Day 1 Arrive in Christchurch

Your exclusive New Zealand experience begins in Christchurch, the perfect gateway to the South Island. Spend the afternoon relaxing in the city and sampling the exciting culinary scene, or venture to Akaroa to visit wineries and the Barry’s Bay Cheesery.

Stay 1 night in Christchurch.

Accommodation: The George Hotel

The George Christchurch

Day 2 Lake Tekapo + Mackenzie Basin

Driving time Christchurch to Lakestone Lodge – 4 hours 

The Mackenzie Basin is home to some of New Zealand’s most sublime scenery. From towering peaks (including New Zealand’s tallest, Aoraki/Mt Cook) to brilliant turquoise lakes and shimmering glaciers, the Southern Alps are an awe-inspiring destination. Your first glimpse of the glacial lakes is at Lake Tekapo, a picturesque settlement surrounded by mountains.

Continuing south, you will pass by the breathtaking southern shores of Lake Pukaki before arriving at Lakestone Lodge, a purpose built, six bedroom, off grid, luxury lodge positioned in a spectacular location on the shores of Lake Pukaki. Your stay includes a three-course dinner and cooked breakfast.

In the evening, enjoy a unique stargazing experience that will treat you to the best of the Mackenzie Dark Sky Reserve. Your guide will prepare a perfectly positioned hammock so you are looking directly at the wonders above and makes you snug with a warm woollen blanket and complimentary mulled wine or hot drink. Your guide will point out all the highlights of the southern sky with a high powered laser pointer and explain some Maori legends about the sky as well as other interesting theories.

Stay 2 nights in Lake Pukaki.

Accommodation: Lakestone Lodge

Tekapo-Star-Gazing-Mt-John-Observatory

Day 3 Mackenzie Basin + Mount Cook Picnic in Paradise

Enjoy a relaxing morning after your late night of stargazing. In the late morning, make the scenic drive to Mount Cook Village, where you will venture deep into the wilderness on an exclusive helicopter excursion.

Your experience begins with a stunning scenic flight to a secluded location in paradise, where you will relax and savour a gourmet picnic with the finest New Zealand produce. Round off your picnic in paradise with a glass of wine or bubbles while taking in the sublime beauty of Aoraki Mt Cook National Park.

Once your helicopter lands back in Mount Cook Village, you have the opportunity to stroll along one of the walking trails leaving from the village, or else return to your retreat to unwind.

Queenstown helicopter tours scenic flights New Zealand glacier

Day 4 Queenstown

Driving time Lakestone Lodge to Queenstown – 3 hours 

Today your journey takes you to Queenstown, the ultimate luxury destination on New Zealand’s South Island. From world-class luxury lodges to indulgent spa experiences, superb cuisine and exclusive tours, Queenstown is a delight to experience.

The journey to Queenstown deserves to be savoured as well – stop and take in the views from the top of Lindis Pass, sample fresh fruit in Cromwell, and perhaps stop for a picturesque vineyard lunch as you pass through the Gibbston Valley.

Your accommodation in Queenstown is at Matakauri Lodge, spectacularly situated on the shores of Lake Wakatipu. Matakauri’s take on luxury is understated and welcoming, with the stunning mountain landscape taking the place of honour. Voted one of the top five lodges in New Zealand and Australia, Matakauri is the ultimate sanctuary as well as a convenient base for exploring the wonders of southern New Zealand. Your stay includes pre-dinner drinks and canapés, a multi-course dinner, and daily breakfast.

Stay 4 nights in Queenstown.

Accommodation: Matakauri Lodge

Day 5 Queenstown + Milford Sound Experience

Enjoy a scenic flight over Fiordland to reach Milford Sound. Upon reaching Milford Sound, you will enjoy a 2.5 hour Milford Sound Nature Cruise.

With specialist nature guides on board, Real Journeys Nature Cruises offer a close-up experience of Milford Sound’s rainforest, soaring rock walls, towering snow-capped mountains, cascading waterfalls, hanging valleys and wildlife… words just don’t do it justice, you have to see it for yourself! Throughout the cruise, the guides share stories of the fiord’s history and are happy to answer your questions.

After your cruise, relax on the flight while your pilot delivers you back to Queenstown.

Milford Sound Fiordland luxury escapes New Zealand South Island

Day 6 Queenstown + Gourmet Wine Tour

Explore the Queenstown area today on a private gourmet wine tour that visits some of New Zealand’s most memorable vineyards. This intimate experience will showcase the best of Central Otago, with tastings at 4 vineyards and a gourmet lunch with five stunning dishes cooked in wine barrels and paired with matching wines. Other highlights include a tour through New Zealand’s largest underground wine cave and a cheese and wine presentation at one of the wineries.

Queenstown vineyard wine tasting

Day 7 Queenstown

Today is spent at your leisure, either relaxing at Matakauri Lodge and perhaps indulging in one of the spa treatments on offer, or adding another activity from the wide array on offer in Queenstown. Options range from guided nature walks and private cruises on Lake Wakatipu to more adrenaline-fuelled activities such as jet-boating and rafting.

Queenstown luxury escapes New Zealand south island

Day 8 Depart Queenstown

As your unforgettable holiday draws to a close, soak in the views one last time before departing Queenstown at your leisure.

Designing Luxury Escapes New Zealand South Island

Every traveler is unique. Therefore, we rarely book set luxury holiday packages. Instead, we work with our clients to design a bespoke holiday that matches exactly what they are hoping for.

You have many choices when we begin creating your luxury holiday. For example:

  • What level of luxury accommodation South Island NZ would you prefer? 5-star hotels? All-inclusive luxury lodges?
  • Would you prefer to rent your own luxury vehicle or travel with a private guide?
  • Do you want to add or remove activities?
  • Does the pacing and length of stay suit your schedule? Or would you prefer to modify this?
  • Are there any destinations you wish to add or remove?

The above itinerary follows a relaxing schedule, with plenty of time to unwind and indulge in the best the South Island has to offer.

We also offer a 10 Day South Island Luxury Itinerary and a 14 Day South Island Luxury Itinerary. In addition, you can choose from our range of special interest South Island itineraries. These include honeymoon and elopement packages, ski tour itineraries, adventure holidays, wellness retreats, wilderness experiences, and more.

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