5-Day South Island Tour from Christchurch

Duration: 5 days
Destination: New Zealand, South Island, Christchurch
from
83816

Check Availability

  • 5 days
  • Christchurch
  • E-Voucher
  • Lowest Price
  • Cancellable

Overview

See all the highlights of New Zealand's scenic South Island on this five-day guided sightseeing tour. Travel by coach from Christchurch to Queenstown, experience the majesty of Milford Sound, view the glacier at Franz Josef and travel aboard the famous TranzAlpine Express train.

Highlights

  • Instant Confirmation
  • Multi-Day Trip
  • Rail Tour
  • Travel by boat and see the sights from the water
  • Informative, friendly and professional guide
  • Free hotel pickup and drop-off included

Your five-day exploration of New Zealand's spectacular South Island begins with the stunning scenery of the foothills of the Southern Alps and a lunchtime visit to Mt Cook, New Zealand's highest mountain. After spending the night in Queenstown, you'll take an unforgettable cruise on majestic Milford Sound, surrounded by rock walls scarred by glaciers rising vertically from the sea.

You'll have a day free to explore Queenstown on your own, then travel along New Zealand's most stunning highway to the World Heritage Westland National Park. The route up the West Coast takes you past soaring mountain ranges, native forests and lakes to the Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers. A "living river of ice", the Franz Josef Glacier is more than 7,000 years old and a must-see for any visitor to New Zealand.

On the final day of your South Island tour you'll travel along the rugged West Coast to Shantytown, a faithful reconstruction of a Westland gold-rush town. You'll also stop at Greymouth, the center for thousands of diggers during the historic gold strikes of the 1860s. Your five-day tour concludes with a trip to Christchurch aboard the famous TranzAlpine Express, one of the top 10 train journeys in the world.

Day 1: Christchurch / Mt Cook / Queenstown

Travel through the rich pastoral farm land of the Canterbury Plains and the ever-changing spectacular scenery of the foothills of the Southern Alps. Continue traveling across Burkes Pass before descending to the stunning glacial fed Lake Tekapo and visiting the Church of the Good Shepherd which stands on the foreshore. From here you travel up the western side of Lake Pukaki to arrive at Mt Cook, New Zealand's highest mountain. Stop at Mt Cook for lunch (additional at own expense) where you will be mesmerized by the surroundings of this truly unique region. Cross the Lindis Pass, leaving the MacKenzie Country and travel along the Kawerau Gorge before arriving in Queenstown.

Overnight Accommodation: Heartland Hotel Queenstown (or similar).

Day 2: Milford Sound Day Excursion

Travel along the edge of Lake Wakatipu beneath the rugged Remarkables to Te Anau, the 'Gateway to Fiordland National Park'. On entering the Fiordland National Park you pass through the Eglinton Valley. See ancient beech forest, stunning waterfalls and the famous Mirror Lakes where you will pause for a photo stop. Continue through the upper Hollyford Valley, past the stunning Christie Falls and enter the 1.2 km Homer Tunnel, drilled through the solid rock of a mountain. On exiting the Homer Tunnel prepare for the breathtaking impact of the Cleddau Valley and the descent into Milford Sound. On arrival, take an unforgettable cruise on the majestic Milford Sound where you will see the wonders of Mitre Peak and rock walls scarred by glaciers which rise to 1200m vertically from the sea. Then reboard the coach for the return journey to Queenstown. Optional lunches onboard the cruise are available.

Overnight Accommodation: Heartland Hotel Queenstown (or similar).

Day 3: At Queenstown

Enjoy a free day in Queenstown.

Overnight Accommodation: Heartland Hotel Queenstown (or similar).

Day 4: Queenstown / Franz Josef Glacier

Travel along the shores of Lake Wanaka and Hawea to the Haast Pass, the most stunning highway in New Zealand and gateway to World Heritage Westland National Park. Initially the pass travels through the treeless grasslands of Central Otago, then at the highest point, the majestic peaks of the Southern Alps and the rivers and rainforests of Westland dominate the landscape. Continue to travel up the West Coast past spectacular mountain ranges, native forests and lakes to the Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers. The Franz Josef Glacier is 11 kilometers in length and more than 7,000 years old. Its terminal face creaks and arches over the cave from which the river emerges, pale with powdered rock and can advance or retreat at over a meter per day. This living 'river of ice' is a must see for any visitor to New Zealand.

Overnight Accommodation: Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier (or similar).

Day 5: Franz Josef / Greymouth / Arthur's Pass / Christchurch

Today you continue to travel along the rugged West Coast to Shantytown, a faithful reconstruction of a Westland Gold Rush town. From Shantytown, travel to Greymouth, the center for thousands of diggers during the historic gold strikes of the 1860's. From Greymouth, journey over the Southern Alps, through Arthur's Pass and onto Christchurch by the famous TranzAlpine Express. This journey is renowned as one of the top ten train journeys in the world.
Inclusions
  • Air-conditioned vehicle
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off
  • Live commentary on board
  • Accommodation as per itinerary
  • Milford Sound Cruise
  • Tranz Alpine from Greymouth to Christchurch

Exclusions
  • Food and drinks, unless specified
  • Gratuities
  • Confirmation will be received within 48 hours of booking, subject to availability
  • Child rate applies only when sharing with 2 paying adults
  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Stroller accessible
  • Near public transportation
  • Infants must sit on laps
  • Surfaces are wheelchair accessible
  • Most travelers can participate
Departure Point

Christchurch hotels


Departure Time

7:15 AM

Hotel pickups commence prior to this time, you must contact the local service provider to verify your exact pickup time.


Return Details

Returns to original departure point at approximately on Day 5 at 6:35pm

Voucher info

You can present either a paper or an electronic voucher for this activity.

Duration

5 days

If you cancel at least 7 day(s) in advance of the scheduled departure, there is no cancellation fee.
If you cancel between 3 and 6 day(s) in advance of the scheduled departure, there is a 50 percent cancellation fee.
If you cancel within 2 day(s) of the scheduled departure, there is a 100 percent cancellation fee.

User's Reviews

Image - 22 Oct 2018 -

cdnwombat

We thoroughly enjoyed this 5 day tour of the South Island. It is the best way to take in all the spectacular scenery of this special part of the world. The distances involved were long but the buses we rode in were comfortable. All of the drivers were professional and also made great guides as they provided commentary throughout the journey. The hotels we stayed in were all excellent. The best part was the trip through the Southern Alps on the TranzAlpine train. This is really one of the best rail journeys in the world.

Image - 02 Aug 2018 -

Robert M

Our South Island itinerary was perfect.We saw snow capped mountains,fiords,rain forests,glaciers and the sea-all in 5 days.Whether traveling by coach,train or taxi/shuttle,because La Vacanza Travel was so organized,we were always on time.Coach drivers,Stuart and Peter, were outstanding with their commentary.

Image - 29 Mar 2018 -

Peter W

A good way to see many sights in South Island, in comfort with someone else driving! The coaches are comfortable but be prepared for the long distances covered. There are regular stops but they are usually very brief time for a quick coffee and visit to the toilet and little more. This is not a conventional coach tour. Each day is a different bus, different driver, different passengers, but the whole package was very well-organised and operated efficiently. The drivers all provide commentaries each has his own style but they are always informative and often very amusing. And the scenery, wow! Things are very much weather-dependent though. Franz Josef Glacier and the Trans-Alpine train journey were spoilt by heavy rain and poor visibility, and were it not for fine weather at Mount Cook, Milford Sound and in Queenstown my impressions might have been less favourable. It's a lot of money to spend and not see anything! The hotels were superb - the Millenium in Queenstown is very plush and the Scenic in Franz Josef more than adequate, with the unexpected bonus of a superb breakfast included.
I felt some frustration at not being able to explore some of the sights more fully, but overall felt that this was the best way to cover a huge area and visit many spectacular locations in a degree of comfort.

Image - 07 Mar 2018 -

moe

Great trip, well planned and executed

Image - 21 Jan 2018 -

NADARAJAH J

This is an excellent tour for a family who wants to see most of the South Island in a short time with less or no stress. You get the value for money and the tour was very well coordinated by the tour operator.

User's Picture Gallery

Image

Franz Josef Glacier

very nice and good walks possible there, Glacier can only be visited by helicopter, but on lower level walks can be done

Image

Lake Wakotipu - Queenstown

very relaxing day along the lake

ImageImage

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