Fiji & New Zealand South Island Express Tour: Tropical Island, Majestic Glaciers & More

A 9 day trip to Fiji & New Zealand 
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Soft sand sifts between your toes at the edge of gentle turquoise waters. Powdery snow shifts to iridescent blue underneath the afternoon sun. Penguins surf the waves and waddle along the shore, and tropical fish glide beneath the Pacific near colorful coral. Your custom-tailored express tour of Fiji and New Zealand South Island takes you around both tropical islands and majestic glaciers. From relaxing next to temperate South Pacific waters to hiking up a mountain in view of the Southern Alps, you will have the sand and the snow at your fingertips, offering a unique panorama of the Southern Hemisphere.

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General Information

Detailed Itinerary

Places Visited 

Fiji – Denarau Island, Nadi

New Zealand – Queenstown, Fox Glacier, Franz Josef Glacier, Wanaka, Haast, Greymouth, Christchurch

Departure Dates 

Dates are flexible and customizable for private departure.

Detailed Itinerary 

Day 1: First Sands

Fiji is an archipelago made as much from idyllic dreams as from the natural splendor of a mixture of tropical rainforest and opulent South Pacific waters. Arrive at the Nadi International Airport on the large island of Viti Levu. Your private transfer is waiting for you and quickly takes you to your resort located on the nearby islet of Denarau Island. The breeze blows softly carrying the aroma of fresh coconut. The tall grasses sway across the hillsides into the distance, until fern trees and dense rainforest overtake the grassland.

Sugar cane plantations date back to the British colonial days and spread across the island’s northern rim, past Mount Koroyanitu, standing at 3,943 feet above sea level and draped in lush jungle. You hear the waters of the Pacific lap at the shores of Denarau Island. Your hotel contains a serene mixture of traditional style décor and contemporary luxuries to make you sink into comfort. Palm trees line the beach, adding shade to the poolside cabanas. Dip your toes into the ocean to feel the refreshingly temperate waters brushing against the silky sand. Traditional music filters through the lobby. People greet you with large, pearly smiles. There is no easier place to put up your feet and relax.

What’s Included: transfer, accommodation

Day 2: Cruising the Sea

You wake up to the sound of waves breaking against the shore and it reminds you that you have arrived in paradise. At breakfast, you find the bright yellow of a pineapple staring back at you. You bite into a piece that fills your mouth with sweet succulent juice. After breakfast, your guide escorts you to Port Denarau where you board a fast catamaran to Mana Island and find your 83-foot yacht. The boat weighs anchor and you find yourself along the stunning South Pacific.


The water turns to a crystal azure. Mist splashes upwards. The sea breeze has a sweet and salty aroma that you find refreshing. You pass numerous islands in the distance finally anchoring at the island of Modriki. The beach has powdery white sand interspersed amongst lush trees and bushes. Natural reefs linger near the beach and venture out to sea. You can don some snorkel equipment and dip your body into the cool water in search of local, vibrant fish.

 The reefs around Fiji maintain over 1,200 separate fish species and around 300 soft and hard coral. The warm sand give way to energizing ocean and you wade in the gentle current easily finding the vivacious colors of the reef. The uninhabited island was home to Tom Hanks in the film Castaway. You can even hike to the highest point of the island at 584 feet above sea level, offering you an unparalleled view of the sand, trees, and surrounding waters.

What’s Included: breakfast, accommodation

Day 3: Beautiful Beaches to Magnificent Mountains

In the morning, you find the sounds of the water as tranquil as when you arrived. You stroll along the sand once more before breakfast to feel the soft grains sifting between your toes. After breakfast, a private transfer takes you to the airport for your flight to begin your New Zealand vacation. Soon the turquoise waters fade to royal blue. The tropical rainforest becomes rugged mountains and you land in the alpine resort city of Queenstown. The small alpine town is nestled between Queenstown Hill and Ben Lomond Mountain, edging against the reflective waters of Lake Wakatipu.

The Remarkables Mountain Range rolls across the horizon on the far side of the water. The refreshing crisp air carries the energetic pulse of a city known as the Adventure Capital of the World. Your private transfer waits for you at the airport and takes you to a stunning hotel located near the lake shores. Outside of town, vineyards produce award-winning wines taking flavor from the characteristics of the landscape. Inside town you can sit at Roaring Megs Restaurant, serving rustic dishes in view of the Remarkables, filled with a quiet but welcoming atmosphere.  

What’s Included: breakfast, transfer, accommodation

Day 4: A Day in the Alpines

The day takes on a casual comfort. When you look at the surrounding mountaintops, you want to curl up by a fire with a fresh cup of coffee. At breakfast, you can do exactly that, indulging in the hearty flavors of the mountains with a rich, freshly brewed coffee to warm your hands. The day is yours to enjoy the cityscape and its surroundings at your leisure, discovering the inherent beauty and possible adrenaline-filled activities around the alpines. Take the skyline gondola up to Bob’s Peak, standing 5,735 feet above sea level. From the city, you can often see where the Douglas firs stop rising up the foothills, laying bare the rugged ribbed edges of the summit, often topped with snow.

Aboard the gondola you have a 220-degree panorama as you travel 1,485 feet upwards. The piney aroma of Douglas fir adds to the pure air. You can see the exceptional size of Lake Wakatipu, with a shoreline encompassing 131 miles of land and an average depth of 1,056 feet. The placid water carries a mirror image of the scenery. You can take the manicured trails around the peak winding around mountain beech trees and herb fields. You can hear bellbirds twittering in the canopy, their olive green and purple plumage barely standing out against the emerald forest. 

What’s Included: breakfast, accommodation

Day 5: Witnessing Sound

Wake up early with the sun barely peeking over the Remarkables. Your guide meets you at the hotel, and you make your way out of the city for the day, en route to the majestic waters of Milford Sound. Pass the Mirror Lakes and picturesque Eglinton Valley. When you arrive at the edge of the sound you find unforgettable beauty in every direction. There is a slight chill in the air, stemming from the breeze that ripples the water. You board the boat and set sail into a world once dubbed the “Eighth Wonder of the World,” by Rudyard Kipling.

The mountain landscape rises upwards from the pure seawater shaping into rugged and lush cliffs. Mitre Peak stands firm in the background at 5,583 feet above sea level. Your captain offers helpful information along the way as you scour the waters in search of tremendous wildlife. Nearby, seals poke up from the sea and stare at the passing boat. Stirling Falls splashes down disrupting the serene water from 511 feet in high. The charm of the fjord lies in its virtue as thriving unhindered nature. After your tour, you return to Queenstown ready to explore more of New Zealand’s breathtaking natural wonder.

What’s Included: breakfast, tour, accommodation

Day 6: Edging on the Glacier

After breakfast you leave behind the waters of Lake Wakatipu and lingering presence of the Remarkables. You venture westbound passing through Wanaka and find Lake Hawea. The glacial lake stands at an altitude of 1,148 feet with a depth of 1,293. The water looks more like a mirror, capturing the still image of the bordering mountains and trees. You continue through Haast Pass, winding along the dramatic turns and tremendous surprise waterfalls of on the edge of the rainforest. At the pass’s northern edge is Monro Beach.

In early afternoon Fiordland Crested Penguins tend to waddle up from the crashing waves and crowd the pebbled beach. They sunbathe on the rocks and squawk jovially against the iridescent indigo waters. They can grow up to 24 inches in length with dark, bluish back and white stomach. They are known for yellow striping eyebrow that drapes down their neck. You take your leave of the penguins and continue your journey northbound to Fox Glacier and soon arrive at the comforts of Franz Josef, a charming town situated near the picturesque icy expanse.

What’s Included: breakfast, tour, transfer, accommodation

Day 7: Walking on Ice

Wake up to a morning of ice and snow on the horizon. After breakfast, you meet your guide and venture out to the edges of Franz Josef Glacier. The ice slides between the mountain pass like a flood frozen in motion. Small crevices shimmer in the morning like giving the ice motion. The entirety of the glacier is seven and a half miles long located in Westland Tai Poutini National Park. You fill the walking shoes, complete with thick spikes for a firm grip, and step out onto the ice face. The cold air surrounds you beneath a perfect blue sky. The snow contains a glimmer of light blue in its purest form.

Your guide navigates you through a labyrinth made of ice, crafted by time and the elements. You reach an elevation of 1,980 feet above the surrounding landscape. You touch the glacier to feel its powdery frozen form on your fingertips. The crevices carved into the ice form unique patterns that twist and turn at a fast pace. The beauty is unparalleled, providing a unique mountain experience in the depths of New Zealand’s South Island.  Upon returning to your hotel, you can get cozy with a hot cup of coffee, watching the fire crackle in the luxuries of the fireplace.

What’s Included: breakfast, tour, accommodation

Day 8: Mountain Trains

In the morning, you sit at breakfast reeling from the previous day’s experience; there is nothing quite like walking across a glacier. You didn’t just watch the moving frozen landscape from a distance; you strolled across it and held a piece of it in your hand. After breakfast, you make your way to the train station at Greymouth to step aboard the most scenic train ride in New Zealand known as the TranzAlpine. The comfortable seats offer a view from anywhere. Look out the window to watch the majestic scenery pass the moment you disembark the station, beginning with verdant beech rainforest. The train meanders through the Southern Alps where you notice the spectacular gorges cradling the Waimakariri River.

The train travels 139 miles and began service in 1987. The aroma of mint and chocolate emanates from the café carriage. When the marvelous greens, pancake rocks of Punakaiki, and craggy peaks of the Alps fade, the rich plains and farmland of Canterbury replaces them. The landscape looks quartered off separating fertile farmland. The train arrives in Christchurch, known as the Garden City, and the largest city on the South Island. You will soon arrive at your luxurious hotel in the heart of downtown, where cobblestone streets continue to wind around Victorian architecture, and the Avon River meanders through the gardens and heart of Christchurch.

What’s Included: breakfast, transfer, tour, accommodation

Day 9: Island Goodbyes

The flowers in the Christchurch Botanic Garden provide an herbaceous fragrance to the morning. The graceful fountain trickles around the lush trees with coy fish etched into the fountain’s base to support the tiers. After breakfast, your transfer meets you at the hotel ready to take you to the airport for your flight home. You pass the Victorian designs and décor, reminiscent of the British colonial days. You have spent time on both sand and snow, traversing tropical and alpine forests. The splendor of Fiji and New Zealand are unique and incomparable to one another. However your time in both countries has given you memorable insights.

What’s Included: breakfast, transfer


Starting Price 

This trip is customizable for your private travel.

What's Included 

  • Accommodations
  • In-country transportation
  • Some or all guided tours and activities (dependent on season)
  • Expert trip planning
  • 24x7 support during your trip
The starting price is based on travel during the low season for a minimum of two travelers staying in shared 3-star accommodations. Please inquire for a custom trip quote based on your travel preferences and travel dates.