5-Day South Island Highlights Scenic Guided Tour from Christchurch

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

Check Availability

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


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 include Mount Cook, Queenstown, Milford Sound, Haast Past, Franz Joseph and the incredible TranzAlpine Rail Journey


  • 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


Day 1: Christchurch - Mount Cook - Queenstown

Stop At: Canterbury Region, Canterbury Region, South Island
Your five-day exploration of New Zealand's spectacular South Island begins with the stunning scenery of the foothills of the Southern Alps. Travel through the rich pastoral farm land of the Canterbury Plains and the ever-changing spectacular scenery 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.

Stop At: Burkes Pass, Burkes Pass, Mackenzie District, Canterbury Region, South Island
Burkes Pass is a mountain pass and at its base

Stop At: Lake Tekapo, Lake Tekapo, Mackenzie District, Canterbury Region, South Island
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.

Stop At: Lake Pukaki, New Zealand
From here you travel up the western side of Lake Pukaki to arrive at Mt Cook, New Zealand's highest mountain.

Stop At: Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu), Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu), Mackenzie District, Canterbury Region, South Island
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.

Stop At: South Island, South Island
Experience the south Island on this 5 day epic journey!

No meals included on this day.
Accommodation included: Heartland Hotel Queenstown (or Similar)

Day 2: Milford Sound Day Excursion

Stop At: Fiordland National Park, Fiordland National Park, Southland Region, South Island
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

Pass By: Mirror Lakes Walk, Milford Road,, Fiordland National Park New Zealand
See ancient beech forest, stunning waterfalls and the famous Mirror Lakes where you will pause for a photo stop.

Stop At: Hollyford Valley, Саутленд 9679, New Zealand
Continue through the upper Hollyford Valley, past the stunning Christie Falls.

Stop At: Homer Tunnel, 94 S.h., Milford Sound New Zealand
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

Stop At: Milford Sound, Milford Sound, Southland Region, South Island
On arrival, take an unforgettable cruise on the majestic Milford Sound

Stop At: Mitre Peak, Fiordland National Park New Zealand
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.

No meals included on this day.
Accommodation included: Overnight Accommodation: Heartland Hotel Queenstown (or similar).

Day 3: Queenstown

Stop At: Queenstown, Queenstown, Otago Region, South Island
A free day at leisure in Queenstown to either simply explore this most beautiful township nestled on the shores of Lake Wakatipu and surrounds by mountains which are snow-capped for much of the year or enjoy one of the many actives that are on offer.

No meals included on this day.
Accommodation included: Overnight Accommodation: Heartland Hotel Queenstown (or similar).

Day 4: Queenstown - Franz Joseph

Stop At: Lake Wanaka, Wanaka 9343 New Zealand
Travel along the shores of Lake Wanaka and Hawea.

Stop At: Haast Pass, New Zealand
Haast Pass is the most stunning stretch of highway in New Zealand.

Stop At: Westland National Park (Te Wahipounamu), Westland National Park (Te Wahipounamu), West Coast Region, South Island
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

Stop At: Fox Glacier, Fox Glacier, Westland National Park (Te Wahipounamu), West Coast Region, South Island
Continue to travel up the West Coast past spectacular mountain ranges, native forests and lakes to the Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers.

Stop At: Franz Josef Glacier, Glacier Access Road Westland Tai Poutini National Park, Franz Josef, Westland National Park (Te Wahipounamu) New Zealand
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.

No meals included on this day.
Accommodation included: Overnight Accommodation: Scenic Circle Hotel Franz Josef Glacier (or similar).

Day 5: Franz Joseph - Greymouth - Arthur's Pass - Christchurch

Stop At: Shantytown Heritage Park, Rutherglen Rd Paroa, Greymouth 7805 New Zealand
On the final day of your South Island tour, today you continue to travel along the rugged West Coast to Shantytown, a faithful reconstruction of a Westland Gold Rush town.

Stop At: Greymouth, Greymouth, West Coast Region, South Island
From Shantytown, travel to Greymouth, the center for thousands of diggers during the historic gold strikes of the 1860's.

Stop At: Southern Alps, Canterbury 7999, New Zealand
From Greymouth, journey over the Southern Alps, through Arthur's Pass.

Stop At: TranzAlpine & Coastal Pacific, Troup Drive, Addington, Addington, Christchurch 8011, New Zealand
Continue 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. In Christchurch you will be transferred to your accommodation or the airport where your tour concludes.

No meals included on this day.
No accommodation included on this day.

  • Accommodation included: 4 nights
  • 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
  • Entry/Admission - TranzAlpine & Coastal Pacific

  • 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
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 20 travelers
Departure Point

Traveler pickup is offered
Departure Point: Christchurch hotels
Dates: Daily
Return point: Returns to original departure point on day 5 at approximately 6:35pm

Departure Time

7:15 AM

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.


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 - 13 Nov 2019 -

Nick S

great trip. great accommodations. driver narrations were relevant. coaches we're spacious. magnificent countryside

Image - 06 Nov 2019 -

Dr. A.N. C

The superb organisation made this a memorable trip. The timetable was adhered to perfectly. At no point were we left wondering will someone come and pick us up!

Image - 22 Oct 2018 -


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.

User's Picture Gallery


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


Lake Wakotipu - Queenstown

very relaxing day along the lake


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