Start your adventure in Queenstown, awe-inspiring fiords, lakes, and thrill-inducing jetboats. Travel by small group tour to Mount Cook – New Zealand’s highest Mountain and base for glacier experiences and breathtaking walking trails. Next, continue through the Canterbury Plains to Christchurch, the capital of the South Island, before venturing to the Central North Island, experiencing bubbling mud pools, shooting geysers, natural hot springs, and the fascinating Maori culture in Rotorua. North to Hobbiton & the Waitomo Caves and two nights in the beautiful harbour city of Auckland. Finish with a Fijian stopover at Likuliku Lagoon Resort a haven of subtle luxury for adults only and reserved exclusively for guests in residence.
- Roundtrip International Economy Class flights from Los Angeles, New York JFK, Chicago, Houston, San Francisco with Air New Zealand (add on flights available)
- Internal New Zealand flights
- 2 night Christchurch 4* accommodation
- Christchurch transfers
- TranzAlpine train Christchurch to Greymouth
- 6 days car rental
- 1 night Fox Glacier 4* accommodation
- 3 nights Queenstown 4* accommodation
- 2 night Mount Cook 4* accommodation
- ** New Zealand sightseeing options and packages available **
- Internal Fiji flights from Nadi to Savusavu round trip
- 5 nights Savasi Private Island in a Serenity Stateroom
- Breakfast, lunch & dinner daily incorporating bespoke private dining experiences
- Transfers to/from Savusavu Airport
- Welcome arrival cocktail per adult
- Non-motorized Island activities - Snorkeling, kayaking, and paddle-boarding including gear
- Cultural demonstrations, entertainment, and cooking classes
- Bottled water, all-day tea, and coffee selection
- Daily housekeeping and nightly turndown
- All airport taxes & fuel surcharges
- All hotel, local and VAT (Goods & services taxes)
Day 1 - Depart New York JFK, Chicago, Houston,
San Francisco, or Los Angeles with Air New Zealand non-stop to
Ask about our options with Skycouch, Premium Economy and Business Class airfares.
Day 2 - Cross International
Day 3 -
Arrive Auckland & continue to
Welcome to New Zealand! On arrival in Auckaldn connect with your short flight to Christchurch to commence your journey of New Zealand in the South Island.
On arrival into Christchurch, you will be transferred to your accommodation. Explore Christchurch at your leisure or consider adding one of our tour options, speak with an Aspire expert.
Day 4 -
TranzAlpine Train - Greymouth - Fox Glacier
Depart Christchurch at 815am. The TranzAlpine is world renowned as 'The Great New Zealand Rail Adventure'. Crossing the huge and fertile patchwork farmlands of the Canterbury Plains, 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. Collect rental vehicle and begin driving south to Fox Glacier.
Greymouth to Hokitika 40 km (25 miles) Approximately 0.5 hour
Greymouth has a long gold mining history. It’s the largest town on the west coast and is known for its awesome seascapes. The local brewery runs tours or you can catch up with west coast history at the museum. The road between Greymouth and Hokitika 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 to Franz Josef 133 km (83 miles) Approximately 1.75 hours
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. The road to the glaciers 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.
Franz Josef to Fox Glacier 23 km (14 miles) Approximately 0.25 hour
The Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers are unique relics of the last ice age. Mighty rivers of solid white, tumbling down ice-hewn rock valleys, they are classically beautiful in the glacial sense. Nowhere else in the world have glaciers advanced so close to the sea at this latitude. While in the area, you can choose from a wide range of adventure activities.
Day 5 -
Consider adding one of our tour options (additional cost):
- Flying Fox Helihike
The fly-in, fly-out helihike combines the excitement of walking on the Fox Glacier with the thrill of helicopter flights. By flying in you are able to access and explore a part of the glacier where its forces work hardest and often create spectacular ice caves and arches. Equipped with leather boots and other equipment, you board the helicopter for your first flight over the pinnacles of the lower icefall. Here, the ice is in constant motion. Take in views of the dramatic upper icefall and Victoria Falls, which is the melt river of the hidden Victoria glacier, before landing. Your landing site on the ice is a remote and exceptionally beautiful part of the glacier. At this stage, your guide outfits you with crampons, specially designed for these ice conditions and you follow the ice steps cut by your guide as you explore the amazing formations and ice caves which are only seen here
- Fox Trail Terminal Face Walk
This is an informative and leisurely trip to the dynamic face of the glacier. It is here that the Fox River emerges from the ice and where ice collapses are often heard and seen. This trip is for people with limited time or for those who would find the walks onto the glacier too strenuous. Although you will not walk on the glacier your guide will take you to the final resting place of the ice that has travelled 12 kilometres from the base of the Southern Alps, all the way to the river valley floor.
Fox Glacier to Haast 122 km (76 miles) Approximately 1.75 hours
Just north of Haast is Lake Moeraki, a peaceful forest lake with good fishing – a 40 minute walk takes you to the penguin colony at Monro Beach. Next is pretty Lake Paringa, where you can enjoy a delicious meal of salmon at the salmon farm.
Haast to Wanaka 139 km (87 miles) Approximately 1.75 hours
The settlement of Haast was 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. Lake Hawea is the first scenic highlight of your journey, followed closely by the northern end of Lake Wanaka. At the wilderness town of Makarora you can fuel up and refresh before you take on the dramatic twists and turns of the Haast Pass. Enjoy waterfalls and river scenery as you arrive in rainforest country.
Wanaka to Queenstown 103 km (64 miles) Approximately 1.25 hours
The lakeside resort 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. The shortest route to Wanaka 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 Shotover River, Lake Dunstan and the Clutha River.
The alpine resort of Queenstown is exciting and fantastically attractive. It’s the place to source almost any kind of adventure, including bungy, jet boating, horse trekking, rafting and river surfing. It’s also a destination for luxury experiences – gourmet food and wine, spa treatments and leisurely games of golf.
& 7 - Queenstown
Explore Queenstown at your leisure or consider adding one of our tour options (additional cost) - Some of our favorites:
- Milford Sound Nature Cruise
An on board nature guide with specialist knowledge of the region's history, flora and fauna provides detailed interpretation in English with a roving microphone. There is plenty of time available to explore points of interest and view the spectacular alpine scenery including waterfalls, rainforest and the towering peaks; and keep a lookout for wildlife including seals, dolphins and penguins when in season. Coach or flight transfers available.
- Appellation Central Wine Tours
Appellation Central offers guided tours showcasing Central Otago's fine wine and cuisine. These tours venture into the heartland of Central Otago visiting vineyards in Gibbston, Bannockburn and Cromwell. Small groups and custom fit minibuses ensure a relaxed and interactive day out from Queenstown and a great way to experience Central Otago.
- Nomad Safari - Skippers Canyon
A half-day heritage tour that follows the rugged and once treacherous Skippers Road. Hacked by hand into the sheer cliff sides of the Shotover River Valley. Navigate this awe-inspiring canyon and visit many historic sites such as the Skippers Suspension Bridge, township of Skippers, and the restored school house - gain a real insight into the local heritage through photos and histories of life in this tough environment.
- Zipline Ecotour
Commence an ecotour on Queenstown's original zipline course and the perfect starter to your adventure experience. Comprised of four ziplines, starting and finishing at the top of the Skyline gondola, the tour is designed to start low and slow and gradually build your confidence as it gets progressively longer, higher and faster. All ages love the interaction this guided aerial tour has to offer.
Day 8 - Queenstown - Mount
Self Drive to Mount Cook.
Queenstown to Omarama 164 km (103 miles) Approximately 2 hours
You’ll know you’re in Omarama when you see the giant merino sheep statue. This area’s unique geography has made it a magnet for gliding enthusiasts. 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 Twizal 30 km (19 miles) Approximately 0.5 hours
The easy drive from Omarama takes you through picturesque sheep farming country fringed with mountain ranges. Twizel is a well-placed base for mountain climbing, kayaking, mountain biking, skiing, horse trekking and hiking. It’s also a place to spy on the rarest wading bird in the world – the Black Stilt. If you don’t have the time to catch your own salmon, the local salmon farm sells it – fresh or smoked.
Twizel to Mount Cook 64 km (40 miles) Approximately 2.25 hours
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.
Day 9 -
Mount Cook National Park
Relax or activity - there are 10 short walks beginning near the village. All tracks are formed and well marked. The Red Tarns Track, Kea Point and the Hooker Valley Track each take around two hours return.
- Mount Cook - Christchurch & Depart for
Drive to Christchurch.
Mount Cook to Lake Tekapo 104 km (65 miles) Approximately 1.25 hours
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. Fishing, kayaking, bike riding, horse trekking and skiing are some of the things you can do. The Church of the Good Shepherd and the sheepdog statue are great photo opportunities.
Lake Tekapo to Christchurch 230 km (144 miles) Approximately 3 hours
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.
Return your rental car and overight at Christchurch airport accommodation
Day 11 - Christchurch to Nadi, Fiji
On arrival in Nadi, connect with your flight to Savusavu in Fiji's unspoiled North. Upon arrival into Savusavu, you will be met and transferred to Savasi Private Island.
Experience the ultimate island retreat at Savasi Island Resort, a boutique island resort located just 10 minutes from Savusavu airport on Vanua Levu, accommodating 48 guests. This secluded paradise is set on a private 52-acre island, with pristine coral reefs, abundant with sea life waiting to be explored, giant banyan trees to inspire, private beaches to call your own, panoramic views to gaze upon, and extraordinary walking paths through spectacular coral ravines.
On arrival at the resort enjoy a traditional Fijian welcome and a refreshing arrival beverage before being transferred to your suite.
Why settle for ordinary? Experience a truly unique holiday adventure at Savasi by staying aboard Serenity – a 140 ft three masted schooner, moored permanently ashore and beside the turquoise blue waters of Savasi Island’s marina.
While her sailing days are over, this vessel is far from a shipwreck. A treasured piece of Fijian history, Serenity – previously known as the Tui Tai – has been lovingly restored with 5 luxurious staterooms spanning 2 levels. Take in the tropical jungle surrounds and otherworldly blue hues of the lagoon from the expansive decks – or comfort of your air conditioned suite. Original features of the vessel have been carefully incorporated into the suite decor (take the literal wheel by booking the ‘Captains room’, Bridge Deck Penthouse) all offering a one-of-a-kind experience that will be hard to match.
Image: Savasi Private Island
If you prefer to sleep on terra firma, consider upgrading to one of Savasi's luxury bures or villas from $1,099 additional per person for an Oceanfront Villa or $1,999 additional per person for a Beachfront villa.
Image: Savasi Private Island
Days 12-15 - Savasi
Relax and enjoy Savasi and all it has to offer
Salt Lake River
Float down the peaceful Qaloqalo River, past dense mangrove forests, to the remote Salt Lake. Here you’ll experience the pure tranquility and silence of Savusavu’s untouched hinterland. Fed by the ocean tides, this pristine lake covers 100 acres, creating an inland sea perfect for kayaking. Ancient Fijians used the river as a short cut to the beautiful Natewa Bay.
Vuadomo waterfall is about 30 kilometers from Savusavu on the west side of Vanua Levu. Experience the life of local villagers, before taking a light walk to the main attraction. An excellent trip for photographs and seeing Fiji’s beautiful natural rainforest.
Fiji has an abundance of beautiful plants and herbs. During this informative and hands-on tour you’ll discover some of the natural medicinal qualities they possess, and the practical ways in which they’ve been used by the Fijian people for hundreds of years. This tour takes place right at Savasi Island.
One of the first things you’ll notice at Savasi are the stunning volcanic outcrops on which the villas are built. The majority of Fiji’s islands were in fact formed through volcanic activity starting around 150 million years ago, and geothermal activity still occurs on the islands of Vanua Levu and Taveuni. Today you can still witness this unique topography.
Mud crabs hide in estuaries and mangroves during the day and come out after dark. At the right time of year, you’ll be able to learn traditional hunting methods before enjoying a taste of your freshly caught seafood.
Take a gentle walk or a more serious hike through the thick Fijian jungle and energise your senses. There are a range of rainforest experiences awaiting you all within an hour of Savasi Island.
Experience the magic of the reef with Korosun Dive, located right at Savasi Island’s marina. Known for some of the best diving in the world, you’re sure to be inspired by Fiji’s underwater paradise. Grey sharks, Hawksbills turtles, Spotted Eagle rays, Barracuda, Hammerhead sharks and dramatic cavern swim-throughs are just some of things you can expect.
Stand Up Paddle
Stand up paddle surfing is a fun water activity suitable for everyone – and there’s no need to schedule around high or low tides. Just grab a board and go.
Test your skill aboard Savasi’s 28ft fishing boat. Sailfish, mahi mahi, Spanish mackeral or walu are just a few of the local species. We also arrange game or sport fishing tours for the more adventurous!
When the tide is coming in, these spectacular blowholes spout streams of water high into the air. You can enjoy the majestic sight right from our restaurant – or get up close and personal, by kayaking across the canal to the coral flat. This natural phenomena is formed when shafts in the coral grow landwards and upwards, exposing themselves at the surface and creating a shaft in which incoming water becomes pressurised.
An experience not easily forgotten. Spend the morning spotting dolphins at Natewa Bay, the South Pacific’s largest bay and home to two pods of spinner dolphins. Please note this activity is subject to minimum booking numbers and must be arranged in advance.
Let our experienced chefs guide you through the preparation of a dish like banilolo (steamed coconut bread) or kokoda (fresh walu in coconut cream), a refreshing Fijian specialty. You’ll learn about some staple local ingredients and how to weave them into tantalising Fijian cuisine.
If you wish to experience a Fijian church service at a nearby village, you will be very welcome on any given Sunday. Enjoy the soulful harmonies of the choir and hear a pastors address his congregation.
Learn about the amazing coconut tree and its many uses in Fiji which give it the name ‘Tree of Life’. You’ll learn the history of weaving palm fronds and can try making your own Fijian crafts.
Black J. Hunter pearls are one of the prides of Fiji, and sought after internationally for their unique, non-traditional colours. Located just 10 minutes away in Savusavu Bay, this makes an excellent excursion and snorkelling trip.
Music is woven into the fabric of Fiji and the ‘Meke’ embraces traditional song and dance to tell of legends, love stories, and spirits of the islands. Dances can vary from a hair-raising warriors spear dance, to a gentle and graceful fan dance.
A traditional lovo feast at Savasi is a wonderful way to experience the real Fiji. An array of meats and vegetables are placed in an earth oven, lined with palms and hot coals, and left to cook over a number of hours. The resulting flavours are deliciously earthy and smokey.
Guests can experience life in a local village first hand. Learn about the culture and traditions, attend a church service, or practice a little Fijian with the people widely considered the friendliest in the world!
During this annual event, many types of coral will simultaneously release their spawn in the form of ‘balolo’ worms. Occurring during November, the spectacle is unique to Fiji and Samoa. The annual arrival of ‘balolo’ is signalled by the excited shouting of villagers everywhere, who will rush to collect the moss green or reddish-brown worms. They are considered a Pacific delicacy, not unlike caviar.
Savusavu market boasts a myriad of fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as unique local foods like cassia bark (cinnamon), bush dhaniya (coriander), wild honey, avocado, cabacaba lobster, fresh mullet and sici shells. It is best visited on a Saturday.
Image: Savasi Private Island
Day 16 - Depart Savasi
Time to reluctantly bid farewell to Fiji. Board your flight to Nadi airport and your Fiji Airways International non-stop evening flight to Los Angeles. Cross the International Dateline and arrive back in Los Angeles the same day.
- Note: Daily departures, this package is an independent itinerary with flexible departures (not a group tour)
Before committing to a trip, US travelers need an approved Electronic Travel Authority (NZeTA), pay an International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy, and your passport should have at least six months validity from your planned return date to the USA. For more information about travel to New Zealand please click here
Before your Fiji adventure, US travelers passports should have at least six months validity from your planned return date to the USA. For more information about travel to Fiji please click here
Add on airfares are available from most major airports – please ask an Aspire consultant for a quote
- Upgrade to premium economy from $1,100 per person each way*
- Upgrade to business class from $4,000 per person each way* Can take the upgrade one way or round trip and combine premium/business classes on same ticket
* Upgrade from pricing based on Sunday through Wednesday departures from Los Angeles - ask an Aspire consultant for the upgrade fee from other departure points and travel Thursday through Saturday.
Terms & Conditions:
The package from pricing is based on double occupancy (2 people sharing a room) for low-season stays for travel Sundays through Wednesdays from Los Angeles. A $50 air supplement applies each way for international travel from Thursday to Saturday. A $75 per person supplement applies for a Saturday night stay in Melbourne. Add-on fares are available from other cities. Specific blackout dates apply to the accommodation and tour value add offers. Seats are limited and may only be available on some flights. Hotels are subject to availability. All prices reflect discounts for purchases made by check/wire; please see the terms and conditions for credit card payments. Cancellation penalties and other restrictions apply.
To guarantee the package price & purchase the airline tickets, full payment is due at the time of booking. The purchase of travel Insurance is highly recommended for travel to Australia. Aspire Down Under partners with CSA Travel Protection. Travel insurance covers cancellation penalties under the cancellation benefit should you test positive for COVID-19 immediately before traveling to Australia. In the unlikely event your scheduled travel date is impacted by Australian government entry restrictions, Aspire Down Under will permit a change of travel dates within 12 months from your original booking date without any fees or penalties (the applicable price of the new trip itinerary will apply).