Southern Spotlight

9 Day Best Buys Tour from Christchurch to Christchurch with AAT Kings

Read 7 reviews and enjoy exclusive savings on AAT Kings 9 Day Southern Spotlight. Tick all the boxes of must-dos in the South Island. Journey through the Southern Alps on the TranzAlpine train, have a night out at a High Country Station in Central Otago, cruise down the...read more

Our Price From:
$ 2,845
Per Person ($AU)
Save This Month:
$ 161
Per Person ($AU)
Best Buys Tour Starts In
Starts In
Christchurch
Best Buys Tour Ends In
Ends In
Christchurch
Accomodation
Accomodation
3 - 4 Star
50
Max Group Size
50
Guided Tour
Trip Style
Guided Tour
Scenic / Cultural
Trip Style
Scenic / Cultural
Countries Explored:
New Zealand
Trip Operated By:
AAT Kings
AAT Kings
408 Reviews
Trip Reviews:
4.9 out of 5
7 Reviews
Trip Code:
LCQR

Itinerary

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1 Welcome to Christchurch
Welcome to Christchurch, New Zealand's Garden City. Flights can arrive any time prior to 4.00pm and you will be transferred from the airport to your Christchurch hotel. After you check in, you can head out and explore Christchurch. This evening, meet your fellow travellers and your Travel Director at a welcome reception at your hotel. Stay: Ibis Hotel Christchurch
2 Christchurch - Omarama
After a Christchurch city sights tour, you will head out over the patchwork Canterbury Plains for spectacular sightseeing across turquoise Lake Tekapo, rugged hills and snow-capped mountains. You will view the little stone-hewn Church of the Good Shepherd, and there is the chance to take a scenic flight out over New Zealand's highest peak, the Southern Alps and on to Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers (optional experience - at own expense). Your day finishes in the heart of the Mackenzie Country at Omarama. Tonight, enjoy dinner at your hotel. (B/D) Stay: Heritage Gateway Hotel
3 Omarama - Dunedin
Your day starts with a journey along the Waitaki River, and a photo stop at the Waitaki Hydro Power Scheme and Benmore Dam. The Waitaki River marks the boundary between the regions of Canterbury and Otago, and with its large catchment it is an ideal source of hydro-electric power. You will then travel through to Oamaru, with its stately tree-lined streets and famous white limestone buildings. This afternoon you will reach the country's southernmost city, Dunedin. With the rest of your free afternoon you may choose an optional excursion to see more of the region: take a wildlife cruise out to Otago Peninsula, visit the Speights Brewery - a New Zealand institution, or ride the historic Taieri Gorge Railway. (B) Stay: Scenic Hotel Dunedin City
4 Dunedin - Te Anau
The morning is free in Dunedin. This afternoon, you will travel through lush sheep-farming land. As your journey continues, the rolling, grassy hills turn back into forested, rugged mountains, and you meander your way up into Fiordland National Park to the South Island's biggest lake and the town of Te Anau. This evening you have the opportunity to head across the lake to tour the Glow Worm Caves (optional experience - at own expense). Tonight, enjoy dinner at your hotel. (B/D) Stay: Distinction Luxmore Hotel
5 Te Anau - Queenstown
Have your camera battery charged: today will be spectacular! You will take the scenic journey through the rainforests, beech forests and meadows of Fiordland National Park and out to Milford Sound. You will stop at Mirror Lakes, with stunning mountain scenery perfectly reflected in the waters, through rough-hewn Homer Tunnel, to be presented with one of the world's most dramatic alpine drives, down through the Cleddau Valley and its Chasm. Then it's on to cruise Milford Sound, taking in Bowen and Stirling Falls as these plummet from glacial hanging valleys sharply into the sea, and the sheer Mitre Peak, rising from the fiord. You will then travel on to beautiful Queenstown. An orientation tour skirting around Lake Wakatipu takes you into the city. (B) Stay Two Nights: Copthorne Hotel and Resort Queenstown
6 Queenstown at Leisure
Explore exciting Queenstown your way! Ride the Shotover Jet Boat or venture on a Skippers Canyon Scenic Tour; join a Central Otago wine tour, or visit Queenstown's Kiwi Birdlife Park. Your Travel Director will assist in booking your optional experiences. After a day of activity, enjoy a peaceful evening cruise across Lake Wakatipu aboard New Zealand's oldest steamship, TSS Earnslaw, to Walter Peak Station. Partake in a gourmet BBQ Highlight Dinner at Walter Peaks' Colonel's Homestead and then enjoy an entertaining after-dinner farm show. On the cruise back, join a vintage sing-a-long or grab your partner for a dance. (B/D)
7 Queenstown - Franz Josef
This morning you will begin the passage through Central Otago and out to Westland, stopping along the way to visit the faithfully restored gold mining settlement of Arrowtown. From here you will travel to Cromwell, alongside the sparkling waters of Lake Dunstan, to taste delicious stonefruit at a local orchard. It is a day of gorgeous lakes, as you travel further into Central Otago to view the vivid blue Lake Hawea, followed by charming Lake Wanaka. You will travel over Haast Pass, changing from alpine scenery to the rainforest marvels of the wild West Coast. View the sheer drop of Thunder Creek Falls and grand Mt Hooker, flanked on three sides by extensive glaciers. Our final destination today is the extraordinary Franz Josef Glacier. You may want to get up close to the icy glaciers on an optional helicopter flight. (weather permitting). Tonight, enjoy dinner at your hotel. (B/D) Stay: Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier (Graham Wing)
8 Franz Josef - Christchurch
If weather conditions are unfavourable on Day 7, you will get another chance to fly to the glaciers this morning. Then you head off to the drift-wood strewn beaches of Hokitika, to visit a pounamu factory (native greenstone or jade), to see master carvers at work. Maori tradition says it is bad luck to buy pounamu for yourself, so make sure you have someone there to purchase it for you. From Hokitika, you will travel inland to the small settlement of Arthur's Pass to board the TranzAlpine train back to the East Coast, to Christchurch city. This spectacular train journey is rated as one of the world's most scenic train trips. This evening join your Travel Director and Driver, and your newfound friends for a Farewell Dinner. (B/D) Stay: Ibis Hotel Christchurch
9 Farewell from Christchurch
Your holiday concludes this morning after breakfast. Your flights can depart any time today, and you will be transferred to Christchurch Airport. (B)

AAT Kings Inclusions

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Journey Highlights
  • With 150 bars and cafes in the Queenstown, you'll have plenty to choose from on your free evening in Queenstown
  • No visit to the South Island is complete without a journey on the iconic TranzAlpine train
  • Enjoy free days and afternoons on this guided holiday, so there is plenty of down-time
  • Your visit to Fiordland National Park will contribute to protecting New Zealand wilderness and native birdlife in the area
Trip Inclusions
  • 'Best Buys' Inclusions & Accommodation
  • Travel by luxury coach
  • Experienced Travel Director and Driver Guide
  • Airport transfers (see flight information below)
Included Meals
  • 8 Full buffet breakfasts
  • 1 Highlight Dinner
  • 3 Dinners
  • 1 Farewell Dinner
What To Bring
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Sunglasses, sunscreen and hat
  • Water bottle
  • Camera
  • Jacket in cooler months
Arrival & Departure
  • Day 1 - Flights to arrive prior to 4.00pm into Christchurch Airport
  • Day 10 - Flights to depart anytime from Christchurch Airport
Activity Level
  • Low level of fitness required
Trip Notes
  • Accommodation, itinerary and inclusions subject to change
  • Prices are for land/cruise and internal flights as specified only. Flights not specified are not included

Reviews (7)

9 Day Southern Spotlight reviews from past clients of Global Journeys.

Rating 4.9 out of 5
5 Star
86%
4 Star
14%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
“It was fantastic doing a coach tour”
- NSW, Australia Nov 2014 1 Helpful Vote

It was fantastic doing a coach tour. I got to see so much more while learning about the area and places of interest. Met some amazing prople on the tour also but still able to do your own thing if you choose..Was a great experience and would certainly do another tour and book with Global Journeys as they kept me informed all the way and took care of everything on my behalf. Would definitely recommend it.

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“Really enjoyed the trip”
- Australia Sep 2014

Really enjoyed the trip. Well organised from airport transfer to every day activities. Tour director Lu and driver Paul are very patient, knowledgeable and with sense of humour. Excellent experience with AAT Kings and Global Journeys.

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“Very happy with the coach tour experience in the South Island”
- Australia Dec 2013 1 Helpful Vote

Both Kerry and myself were very happy with the coach tour experience in the South Island of New Zealand. Everything was so well organised from the moment we stepped off the plane at Christchurch. We were met by an AAT Kings representative and driven to the hotel where we joined the other tourists for the induction meeting. There we met our Tour Guide, Ted, who proved to be a mine of information through the whole tour. We didn't have to look at Google because he new everything that was asked of...read more

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“A wonderful experience with a good group of people”
- Australia Oct 2012 1 Helpful Vote

There was some discussion amongst our tour group about the claim of a nine day tour. The first day we were picked up from the airport and taken to a hotel. We briefly met the tour guide and had a drink with others on the tour. On the ninth day we departed the hotel at 0900 for the airport. I feel it is stretching it a bit to claim both those days as tour days. Other than that, a wonderful experience with a good group of people. Our tour guide and driver were excellent and very knowledgeable....read more

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“Would definitely book through Global Journeys again”
- Australia May 2012 2 Helpful Votes

Great places to visit, accommodation and food very good. Tour guide and coach driver excellent. Pace of trip was very good and the coach was very clean and comfortable. Only criticism would be that 2 roadhouse stops were very rushed, would have worked much better to have stopped in nearby towns and not being advised that ATMs did not take all cards at Fox Glacier, which did cause some passengers concern. Our tour consultant Kirby was excellent and very helpful and efficient. Would definitely...read more

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Prices & Dates

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Trip Notes
Trip prices are per person, and reflect applicable discounts. Discounts are subject to availability, exclusive to Global Journeys and may be withdrawn at any time without notice. Trip prices are correct at the time of the products going live, however are subject to confirmation at the time of booking. All trip information is correct at time of trips going live, however are subject to change by AAT Kings. Full terms & conditions are available here.