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Dunedin and Southern Lakes South Island Family Tour 

6 days from Queenstown to Queenstown

Experience the mountains and alpine lakes of the South Island on this family tour, based from the Adventure Capital of Queenstown.  Highlights throughout include a close up encounter with the rare yellow eyed penguins in Dunedin. On reaching Queenstown you'll journey up the Skyline Gondola for a bird's eye view of the mountains and lake.  The next day you'll cruise across Lake Wakatipu to Walter Peak High Country Station for a kiwi style BBQ lunch and farm tour.

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 This suggested tour costs from per person (twin share, low season) (get instant quote here)
 6 days/5 nights from Queenstown to Queenstown
 Accommodation suggested on this tour is: Motels (Can be customised? YES )
 Rental car insurance included: Fully inclusive with variable excess/deductible
 Rental car inclusions: GPS navigation, unlimited kms, airport/ferry terminal fees, additional drivers
 Tour pack: Includes detailed driving instructions, maps, guide books and much more
 This tour can be customised to suit you precisely - just request here
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(twin share, low season)
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Larnach Castle, Dunedin, New Zealand
Yellow-eyed penguin, New Zealand
 

Dunedin and Southern Lakes South Island Family Tour - at a glance (See detailed itinerary)

Day 1: Welcome to Queenstown
Accommodation: Garden Court Suites and Apartments

Day 2: Today you'll cruise across Lake Wakatipu on the historic TSS Earnslaw steamship for a farm tour and BBQ lunch
Accommodation: Garden Court Suites and Apartments

Day 3: Explore more of Queenstown's scenery and activities
Accommodation: Garden Court Suites and Apartments

Day 4: Pass through historic gold mining towns and bountiful orchards to on your way to Dunedin
Accommodation: Motel on York
Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 274 kms / 170 miles : 3.3 hours

Day 5: Discover the unique wildlife of the Otago Peninsula
Accommodation: Motel on York

Day 6: Leaving Dunedin, head to Queenstown for your onward travel

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 278 kms / 172 miles : 3.5 hours

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Dunedin and Southern Lakes South Island Family Tour - Day 1

Day 1 - Welcome to Queenstown

Choose from our great range of late model rental cars for your driving holiday

Today you’ll take to the road for your New Zealand Self Drive holiday, so take a look through the great selection of late model vehicles available and take your pick.  To help you on your way GPS is included with all rentals.

GPS navigation system

Use the latest GPS technology as you tour New Zealand. Your portable GPS features a simple touch screen interface with automatic route calculation and turn-by-turn voice-prompted directions including street name announcement. The automotive-grade GPS unit is easy to use and has multiple language options.

Your tour documentation pack and support

Once you touch down in New Zealand your detailed tour pack will be hand delivered by one of our trusted representatives. The pack contains everything you need for the duration of your stay. It will include a comprehensive, printed and bound version of your itinerary as well as clear driving instructions and maps for each leg of your journey. It also contains all the reservation details for your accommodation and activities - along with relevant brochures and information. While in New Zealand we offer 24 hour support - details on how to contact us at any time will be well documented.

Your accommodation: Garden Court Suites and Apartments

The Garden Court Suites and Apartments are located just seven minutes walk from the heart of Queenstown. Self contained apartment rooms provide everything you need for your stay.
Garden Court Suites and Apartments

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Dunedin and Southern Lakes South Island Family Tour - Day 2

Day 2 - Today you'll cruise across Lake Wakatipu on the historic TSS Earnslaw steamship for a farm tour and BBQ lunch

TSS Earnslaw cruise and Walter Peak Farm tour including gourmet BBQ lunch

Enjoy a quintessential Kiwi experience - a delicious barbeque lunch and farm tour in a stunning lakeside setting. First take a scenic cruise from Queenstown to Walter Peak High Country Farm on board the vintage steamship TSS Earnslaw - one of the last remaining fully functional coal-fired passenger ships in the southern hemisphere. The vintage steamship was originally built in Dunedin and once completed it was dismantled, shipped by rail to Kingston and then reassembled before being launched onto the lake where it has been transporting goods and passengers since 1912.

Disembark and take in the picturesque shores of the Station. Relax on the lakeside terrace at the Colonel's Homestead Restaurant and savour the aromas of the best local produce being cooked the grill. The seasonal menu has plenty to choose from - salads, vegetables and succulent meat. If you're vegetarian, you will be well catered for also. Finish your meal with a scrumptious dessert before joining an entertaining farm demonstration or exploring the beautiful lakeside gardens.

Queenstown Skyline Gondola Ride

Hop aboard the Skyline Gondola - the steepest cable car lift in the Southern hemisphere - and take in the awe-inspiring views of this spectacular landscape. Sit back and relax as you enjoy panoramic views of The Remarkables, Walter Peak, Cecil Peak and Coronet Peak - one of Queenstown's Ski field.

Your accommodation: Garden Court Suites and Apartments

The Garden Court Suites and Apartments are located just seven minutes walk from the heart of Queenstown. Self contained apartment rooms provide everything you need for your stay.

Meals included: Lunch

Garden Court Suites and Apartments

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Dunedin and Southern Lakes South Island Family Tour - Day 3

Day 3 - Explore more of Queenstown's scenery and activities

Experience the wonders of Queenstown

Renowned as New Zealand's ‘adventure capital,’ Queenstown is not just an action destination. Settled on the shores of Lake Wakatipu beneath the (truly remarkable) Remarkables Mountain Range, this alpine town is a melting pot of historic, gastronomic and scenic wonders. Follow the vines through Gibbston Valley as you sample the region’s best wine. Stop at the Chard Farm cellar door, visit the award-winning Peregrine vineyard or take a cellar cave tour at Gibbston Valley Winery. Cruise to Walter Peak station for dinner on board a 100 year old steamship - the TSS Earnslaw. While you're there, a farm tour is a must do for those not familiar with rural living.

Take some time to wander the waterfront, and grab lunch at one of the many amazing cafes and restaurants on offer. Try Vudu’s Pantry and larder or for a holiday treat go to Michelin star chef Josh Emett's ‘Rata. Check out nearby historic Arrowtown and enhance your experience with a four wheel drive trip to Macetown - a disused gold mining settlement built in the 1800’s.Take a leisurely lakeside stroll or ride the gondola for breathtaking views. Venture further afield into the Fiordland National Park or head over the Crown Range to Wanaka. Drive through Lord Of The Rings country or for the really fanatic, jump aboard one of many dedicated LOTR tours. After all of that - if you do really want the adrenaline rush Queenstown is known for, take your pick from the Shotover Jet, Nevis Bungy, Canyon Swing, Zipline, Luge or White Water Rafting.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Jet Boat the Shotover River

Take a ride on ‘Big Red’ through the spectacular canyon walls of the upper Shotover River.  Shotover Jet Boat is the only company allowed to operate in this remarkable location and their skilled drivers will take you on a wet and wild ride you’ll never forget.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Adventure Quad Bike Tour

The Adventure Quad Bike Tour offers tailor made tours for families, beginner and experienced riders across 11,000 acres of New Zealand's best off-road terrain. The adventure tour is designed for those looking for excitement and a challenge. This tour gives you the most amount of ride time (1.5 hours) within the half day tour. You will begin your adventure at the gold workings on the Kawarau River and progresses up into the mountains. You will ride in small select groups according to ability, so whether you're a beginner or a professional you are guaranteed a challenging and exciting time.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Dart River Safaris Funyaks

The best way to see, touch and feel the breathtaking Dart River valley. Jet boat for 1¼ hours to the upper reaches of the Dart River, where visitors disembark and inflate their own canoe. After a full safety and paddling instruction, your Funyak journey begins. Paddle downstream on a glacier-fed river amidst rocky peaks and dense rainforests. Enjoy a wilderness buffet lunch and explore the Rock Burn Chasm and ancient beech forests. Paddle to Paradise then transfer to an awaiting back road coach for the return trip through Paradise. Funyaks is suitable for most ages with average fitness and no previous experience is required.

Your accommodation: Garden Court Suites and Apartments

The Garden Court Suites and Apartments are located just seven minutes walk from the heart of Queenstown. Self contained apartment rooms provide everything you need for your stay.
Garden Court Suites and Apartments

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Dunedin and Southern Lakes South Island Family Tour - Day 4

Day 4 - Pass through historic gold mining towns and bountiful orchards to on your way to Dunedin

Queenstown to Dunedin

Your route today is a historic one with many small towns along the way. Go through the Kawarau Gorge and stop at one of its renowned wineries. The gorge is also home to the world's first commercial bungy jumping operation and a viewing platform lets you watch others as you build the courage to try it yourself - or not! A little further you'll come to Cromwell, sitting beside the man-made Lake Dunstan - created when the valley was flooded in 1992 as part of the hydro electric scheme. As a result, much of the original town is now submerged, but several historic buildings were relocated to 'Old Cromwell Town'.

Continue on through the Otago Goldfields. Pass the townships of Alexandra, Lawrence and Roxburgh - once with booming populations three times their current at the height of the 1800's gold-rush. Many of the old settlements remain and are worth a look if you can spare the time. Alexandra in more recent times has become the 'stone fruit capital' of New Zealand - named for its ideal fruit growing climate.  As you drive further south the landscape changes to rolling hills and windswept farmland - melding fluidly with the rugged coast of Dunedin, your destination for the night.

Your accommodation: Motel on York

Motel on York is located in the heart of Dunedin city. It offers superior luxury accommodation only 300 metres away from cafes and restaurants. Qualmark 5 star rated.
Motel on York

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg is: 274 kms / 170 miles : 3.3 hours

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Dunedin and Southern Lakes South Island Family Tour - Day 5

Day 5 - Discover the unique wildlife of the Otago Peninsula

Explore Dunedin and the Otago Peninsula

Known as the Edinburgh of the South, Dunedin City has a heavy Scottish influence. Surrounded by rugged coastal plains and windswept beaches it’s home to an eclectic mix of historical and modern architecture as well as industrial technology. Renowned for its Flemish Baroque-inspired ‘gingerbread house’ Railway Station, this university town is bustling with life. Head to the Saturday farmers market held in the aforementioned railway grounds for a taste of organic produce, handmade crepes and local honey. Explore the many cafes and wine bars in The Octagon, then continue on a self-guided walking tour of the internationally acclaimed Street Art dotted around the city. Drive to the coast and watch the freighters passing in the distance while you sunbathe, or hire a mountain bike and test your legs on one of the many trails available in the area. For a more immersive historical experience, follow the coast to New Zealand's only castle, Larnach Castle. On your way back be sure to head to the Otago Peninsula to see the largest mainland Albatross colony in the world.

Penguin Place Yellow Eyed Penguin Conservation Reserve - Evening Tour

Learn about the endangered Yellow Eyed Penguin when you visit Penguin Place, a private conservation reserve dedicated to ensuring the survival of this unique species. The project is entirely funded by guided tours which allows the conservation team to engage in habitat restoration, predator control, a research program and on-site rehabilitation care for the sick starving and wounded birds.
When you take a tour, you will learn about the issues the Yellow Eyed Penguin faces , their life cycle and how the project is carried out. You'll take a short bus trip over the reserve and be led on foot by your guide through a system of covered trenches to viewing hides which allow access to the living and breeding grounds of this very shy bird without disturbing them.

Your accommodation: Motel on York

Motel on York is located in the heart of Dunedin city. It offers superior luxury accommodation only 300 metres away from cafes and restaurants. Qualmark 5 star rated.
Motel on York

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Dunedin and Southern Lakes South Island Family Tour - Day 6

Day 6 - Leaving Dunedin, head to Queenstown for your onward travel

Dunedin to Queenstown

This drive takes you through the heart of the historical Otago Goldfields . The townships of Lawrence, Roxburgh and Alexandra - once booming mining towns in the late 1800's gold rush - now sleepy sun-traps bearing the little resemblance to their bustling past. However, some buildings do remain as do the original shafts and workings. In more recent times Alexandra has become the 'stone fruit capital' of New Zealand -  with the ideal climate for the trees. It is also a great place to buy some of the local produce. The road follows the South Island's longest river, the Clutha River, and at Clyde you will see one of the largest hydro power stations harnessing its energy before passing through the Gibbston Wine Valley to arrive at your destination today, Queenstown.  
 

A final morning in the Adventure Capital before dropping your car at the airport

Explore more of Queenstown before dropping your rental car at the airport depot and continuing your onward journey.

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg is: 278 kms / 172 miles : 3.5 hours

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Suggested similar tours

- Queenstown and Central Otago Food and Wine Tour, Staying in Hotel 4 star

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