South Island: NEW ZEALAND

Tour duration: 15 days
Tour Rate: $9,700
The package rate applies for the duration of the tour (based on 1 person in a travel party), and include eco-lodges, attraction sites' fees, boat/ferry, meals and house beverages at the accommodations, naturalist guides, and 24-hour concierge at L' EcoResorts.

New Zealand Nature Tour focuses on the South Island (the Southeastern section of New Zealand). This pure and natural side of the country allow travelers to explore in–depth “New Zealand off the beaten paths”.

You will see a land of varied ecological features, including wild species, copses, glacier (including soaring Alps) and lake lands, forests, and coastlines. New Zealand Nature Tour encompasses every aspect of this ecoregion.

The larger of the two key islands belonging to New Zealand, South Island from sea to land is home to dolphins, whales, seals, kiwi birds, and penguins.

You can spot wildlife during nature walks and hiking through national parks, forests, and along seashores. Fiordland is a dramatic and scenic treasure of New Zealand. The Fiordland can also be explored from the air or on/under the water; to really appreciate the sites here, it is advisable to take an aerial tour in addition to diving and boating expeditions. Some features to see while flying over the fjords include, Fiordland National Park, picturesque glaciated valleys and peaks. Take a peek at Fiordland in the film Ata Whenua. Cruising the fjords of Milford Sound is a stimulating experience, and is included in the New Zealand Nature Tour package. We can help you arranged for flightseeing the Fiordland’s outstanding mountains, fjords, and waterfalls.

New Zealand Nature Tour also takes you to the country’s third largest island, Stewart Island. It is sited 30 kilometers south off of the South Island. This island is so natural and wild that nearly 90 percent of it consists of national park. It is a favorite place for hikers and bird watchers. Here, brown kiwi birds are greater in numbers than the human’s residents. Other types of birds on Stewart Island include blue penguins and the uncommon yellow-eyed penguins.

Staying on the wild and isolated Stewart Island is a part of the New Zealand Nature Tour. You will vacation in eco lodges and be up and close with nature at all times.

Tour’s Program

  • You'll arrive in Christchurch, South Island at Christchurch International Airport (CHC), where you'll be greeted by your naturalist guide, and transported to your eco-lodge.
CHRISTCHURCH

Straddling River Avon, Christchurch is South Island’s largest city. It has nature parks, gardens, and a vibrant town. Additionally, Christchurch Botanic Gardens have multiple conservatories including the Garrick House, the Cuningham House, the Fern House, the Foweraker House, and the Gilpin House.

  • On day 1, depending on your arrival time and once you have settled in at your lodge, you can explore the surrounding countryside and its natural attractions with your guide.
HANMER FOREST

A village renowned for its natural hot springs and forest woodlands, Hanmer Springs is just 90 minutes' drive from Christchurch. The forest has a variety of plant species; the oldest section of the forest is home to plants that are 100+ year old.

  • In the event that all is cleared by Hanmer Springs i-SITE Visitor Centre - noting that there are no tracks closures on the scheduled tour date(s), you will hike the Hanmer Forest.
LAKE PEARSON/ARTHUR'S PASS NATIONAL PARK

A scenic lakescape with limestone rock formations that reflect into the water, Lake Pearson, Castle Hill Basin, is a mere 20 minutes' drive from Arthur's Pass.

Sited in the center of Southern Alps/Kā Tiritiri o te Moana, Arthur’s Pass National Park depict distinctive landscapes, ranging from pebble-stream and interlaced rivers to tracks of woodlands and dense rainforests to deep gorges and towering mountains. These features embody notable attractions of the South Island.

  • In Arthur's Pass, you'll arrive at your wilderness lodge. Here, you will explore wild and natural New Zealand by hiking and kayaking, and see wildlife such as penguins, seals, parrots, and uncommon birds.
LAKE MOERAKI/MOUNT ASPIRING NATIONAL PARK

Lake Moeraki and its surrounding site comprise an unspoiled landscape of rainforests, beaches, lakes and rivers. Sited in the midst of South West World Heritage Area, Te Wahipounamu, Lake Moeraki will satisfied nature devotees and enthusiasts.

Towering 3,027m, Mt Aspiring has glaciers, waterfalls, rivers, and flora and fauna. This massif suits everyone from mountaineers to moderate walkers. Just seeing Mt Aspiring National Park, a part of a World Heritage Area, is sure to appease anyone who visit.

  • At Lake Moeraki, you'll check into you wilderness lodge. Once here, you will hike the rainforest trails, traverse the seacoast, kayak the lake .... all while learning about New Zealand's natural history and wildlife species.
  • You'll visit Mt Aspiring National Park (Te Wahipounamu World Heritage Area) and trek to its alps.
LAKE WANAKA/GLENORCHY

Straddling Lake Wanaka is a landscape that depicts scenic natural beauty of contrasts, which range from arid topography to rainforests. Haast Pass was traditionally a gateway for the Maoris (indigenous people) during their voyages west in search of jade and other ornaments. The bowls fed by Lake Hawea and Lake Wanaka were sculpted by the Hawea and Wanaka Glaciers.

Sited just 45-minute drive west of Queenstown, Glenorchy is embraced by snow-covered Alps, glistering lakes, rivers, ancient forests, nature parks, and reserves. Glenorchy is the site of numerous photography and film productions including Lord of the Rings.

  • Your Lake Wanaka accommodation lodge is located to maximize view of the mountain range. You’ll embark on nature tour of the Southern Lakes, day trekking, and sailing on Lake Wanaka Lake. Sites to explore include lake excursions to deserted islands, which is home to a variety of wildlife species. The trip will traverse sanctuaries, alpine glaciers, and waterfalls.
  • In Glenorchy, you will journey into the heart of glacier country via canoe or kayak.
TE ANAU/MANAPOURI

Fiordland embraces Manapouri, creating a scenic lake environment. It sits at the edge of Fiordland National Park and is an ideal entry point into the wilderness of Doubtful Sound, and is the second biggest fiord in Fiordland National Park. The area is home to wildlife including bottlenose dolphins, fur seals, and the Fiordland Crested Penguin.

Dubbed the "Gateway to Fiordland", Te Anau a picturesque town. It sits at the edge of Lake Te Anau, the largest lake in the South Island and the second largest in all of New Zealand.

  • You'll arrive at your lodge in Te Anau, and visit the glowworm caves.
MILFORD SOUND/FIORDLAND NATIONAL PARK

Milford Sound is grand, an area of magnetism that was sculpted by glaciers during the ice ages. With peaks that emerge from the lake’s floor and tower over the waterscape. Milford Sound is so spectacular; it is ranked among the most naturally beautiful landscapes favored by photographers. Mitre Peak, in particular, appeals to many renowned nature photographers.

In the book "Mountains of Water - The Story of Fiordland National Park", the writer referred to Fiordland National Park as "A cherished corner of the world where mountains and valleys compete with each other for room, where scale is almost beyond comprehension, rainfall is measured in metres and scenery encompasses the broadest width of emotions."

The park is also a wildlife preserve and comprises 1.2 million hectares. It has mountain, lake, fiord, and rainforest features….a diversified array of flora strive here. Some species is unique to the park, including the flightless Takahe and Kakapo. In order to preserve this place human activity is limited.

  • You'll embark on a nature cruise of Milford and get up close and personal with its innate features, and see the wildlife.
  • You’ll trek New Zealand's most famous trail, the Milford Track. It is being trekked for 150 years. With alpine and fiord landscape, the track has glistering lakes, peaks that seem to reach into the sky, and vast valley with views. New Zealand’s tallest waterfall Sutherland Falls is located here.
STEWART ISLAND (ULVA ISLAND)

A notable birding and hiking area, Stewart Island is New Zealand’s third largest island and boasts bays, inlets, beaches, and forests. It is home to native and endangered species such as the kiwi – this bird number 50 to 1 people on the island. Blue penguins and yellow-eyed penguins are among the bird species here. Eighty-five percent of Stewart Island comprises national park with numerous trails; including Rakiura Track that remains unchanged for centuries.

Just offshore Stewart Island is Ulva Island/Te Wharawhara Marine Reserve. It has rare wildlife and plant species that have gone extinct in other places. Kiwi, saddleback, and yellowhead bird strive on the island but their population struggles elsewhere.

  • From Bluff, you will take a ferry to Stewart Island, where you will be transported to your eco-lodge. On the island, you will explore the network of walking and hiking trails, and look for the five penguin types that are found on Stewart Island, these are yellow-eyed, southern blue, rockhopper, Fiordland crested, and Snares crested.
  • By a short boat ride, you will visit Ulva Island in search of its protected and endangered wildlife species that are only found here.
  • You'll enjoy the final morning hours at your lodge before checking out.

On this day, the tour ends.

You'll be transported to the port to take the ferry back to Bluff. From there, you will be shuttled to Invercargill Airport (IVC) for your flight home.
INCLUDED
  • Eco-lodges
  • Naturalist guides
  • Attractions/caves entry fees
  • Ferry rides
  • Cruise/boat trips
  • All meals and house beverages at the lodges/accommodations
  • 24-hour concierges at L' EcoResorts
NOT INCLUDED (separate vacation services and products)
  • Air flights (international)
  • Hotels (eco-lodges), service taxes/fees plus gratuity at an additional 15%
Since New Zealand sits in the Southern Hemisphere, its seasons are the reverse of the Northern hemisphere (including that of Canada, U.S.A, and the U.K).
  • December through to February is summer months and the busiest period. It is best to book your accommodation and activities far in advance to reserve spaces. On North Island the temperatures average the 90’s during the day and 50’s at night. On South Island the temperatures average mid 90’s during the day and mid 30’s at night.
  • June through to August can be a great time to visit New Zealand and snow-capped mountains create for a picturesque landscape. Frosty winter nights can be frequent inland in the central North Island and throughout the South Island. Temperature averages the high 40’s. The following months may experience snow in April/May, which may continue falling throughout the winter period of June through to August into the spring months of September and October.
  • September through to November is spring and this period tends to be somewhat busy due to school holidays and the temperature average the mid 60’s.
  • March through to May is when most of the summer tourists have come and gone and the area is quiet and serene. The period may experience some rain and a dip in temperature. Both the temperature and daylight hours drop/lessen – days in March can have 13 hours of daylight, April 11 hours, and May 10 hours. Daytime temperate can dip to the 20’s and below zero at night – more so as it relates to South Island.
  • The price includes eco-lodges, ferry/boat, road transportation (incl. airport transfers), meals and house beverages at the accommodations, naturalist guides, 24-hours customer services by L' EcoResorts.
  • Ninety or more days prior to your arrival, 30% of the rate is required to confirm your reservation.
  • Thirty days or less and prior to your arrival, the full reservation amount is required. In the event of changes to the lodge reservation or the dates of your flights, by you, such a cancellation is subjected to 10% cancellation fee. Note: this refers to changes in your reservation only [see additional cancellation policy below].
  • The tour price is based on the number of persons indicated. For personalized group rates, please make inquiry with us regarding the package cost.
  • Participants shall have the ability to hike some easy and advance nature trails.
When you book your nature tour online through our website (lecoresorts.com), your reservation will be processed through our secure online payment system. When you first submit a "BOOK NOW" request, one of our agents will contact you to confirm your details. Once your reservation is confirmed, by you, you will receive a notification from us.

GENERAL TERMS & CONDITIONS

  • The tours by L' EcoResorts are nature based, guided, and include walking through rainforests, mountain hiking, cycling, cruising and water rafting, and preserves/safari jaunts.
  • On rainforest tours, you can observe rare and weird species. The Amazon, for example, contains the world’s largest range of wildlife species. Living in the Amazon rainforest are over 40, 000 species of plants, 427 types of mammals (incl. jaguar, anteater, and giant otter), 1,300 varieties of birds, 378 breeds of reptiles (incl. boa), in excess of 400 classes of amphibians (incl. dart poison frogs) and roughly 3,000 categories of freshwater fish. Due to its vastness and some unreachable areas, many species in the Amazon remain undiscovered by scientists. Depending on where in the world your eco resort is located, the nature tour you booked will take you on an intriguing path within that region.
  • On safari tours in Africa, you will observe animals in their natural habitats such as giraffes, lions, elephants, rhinos, leopards, zebras, gorillas, panthers, birds, and reptiles. [At L' EcoResorts, we do not offer or support sports hunting or trophy hunting, which is not the same as survival hunting by the native people or any persons who depends on this tradition/method for their food source].
  • On mountain tours, you will hike up some of the most spectacular mountains in the world, these include the Swiss and French Alps, the Andes, the Himalaya mountains, Blue Mountain Peaks (Jamaica), and the Rocky Mountains in Canada and the United States.
  • British Columbia, Canada, and Alaska, United States allow travelers to traverse some of the most spectacular natural land in North America. These sites include the Great Bear Forest, Denali National Park and Preserve (and mountain), Kenai Fjords, and Brooks Falls. The regions are notable for bear viewing, whale watching, and their remote wildernesses, icy seas, and glacial landscapes.
  • Most of the nature tours by L’ EcoResorts are available off-the-beaten paths, in the wild. But in some cases, some tours may be available on land governed by the state or other bodies. Travelers are responsible to pay any entrance fees or additional transportation fees for themselves and their groups in order to access such sites, unless otherwise stated. Additional transportation may include boat, train, and float plane. All information regarding your tour will be provided to you.
CANCELLATION POLICY

  • Cancellations made 91 days or more prior to travel, 90% refund will be granted, unless otherwise stated.
  • Cancellations made 90 to 31 days prior to travel, 50% refund will be granted, unless otherwise stated.
  • Cancellations made 30 days or less prior to travel no refunds will be granted.
Due the complexities of the various policies by international operators and other third parties in the regions where the nature tours are available, the "CANCELLATION POLICY" by L’ EcoResorts is structured to apply to all reservations.

  • We highly strongly recommend that you purchase travel insurance prior to your tour.

DISCLAIMER

L' EcoResorts, its employees, its affiliates and their employees accept no responsibility, whatsoever, for travelers’ health and safety while they partake in a nature tour. While participating in the tours booked through L' EcoResorts, it is the sole responsibility of the traveler to secure their health and safety. It is further the responsibility of travelers to do health checkups and acquire a clean bill of health from a professional health care provider before embarking on any physical activities, therefore relieving L' EcoResorts, its partners, and its staffs from any blame as it relates to the health and safety of travelers.

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OUR COMMITMENT

  • The lodges and nature tours are selected based on their commitment to the care and preservation of the environment, the land, the wildlife, and the local peoples’ cultures.
  • With L’ EcoResorts, you will receive optimum care and attention from the initial stage to the zenith of your vacation, and even after you returned home.
  • As our client, we will be accessible to you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • We will work with you to personalize every facet of your holiday, crafting a trip itinerary together that best suits your needs and requirements.

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