9 Day Southern Spotlight
Christchurch to Christchurch
Breadcrumb
New Zealand tour itinerary name and information
Thrifty Tours

9 Day Southern Spotlight

Explore the South Island on this popular 9 day itinerary. Highlights include a night in Mt Cook National Park, Dunedin, Te Anau including a Milford Sound cruise, free time in Queenstown, an evening cruise on the TSS Earnslaw to Walter Peak station for dinner, the West Coast and Franz Josef Glacier plus the Tranz Alpine Train journey from Greymouth to Christchurch.

Currency selector
All prices are in
Tour summary and feature
Quick Itinerary Details

Independent tour (bus & coach)

This suggested tour costs from NZD$5,125 per person (twin share, low season)

Starts in Christchurch, finishes in Christchurch

9 days/8 nights

Hotel 3 star

 Customisable? YES

 Viewed 319 times in the last 7 days

Tour Inclusions

- Private transfer accommodation to Christchurch Airport
- Private transfer Christchurch Airport to your accommodation
- Private Transfer Christchurch Train Station to your accommodation
8 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 1 special dinner
Tour at a glance

Day 1: Arrive Christchurch
Accommodation: Fable Christchurch

Day 2: Christchurch to Aoraki-Mt Cook National Park
Accommodation: Hermitage Hotel Room Mount Cook View

Day 3: Aoraki-Mt Cook National Park to Dunedin
Accommodation: Distinction Dunedin Hotel

Day 4: Dunedin to Te Anau
Accommodation: Distinction Luxmore Hotel

Day 5: Te Anau to Milford Sound then onto Queenstown
Accommodation: Heritage Hotel Queenstown

Day 6: Queenstown free day to explore, TSS Earnslaw cruise and dinner at Walter Peak Station
Accommodation: Heritage Hotel Queenstown

Day 7: Queenstown to Franz Josef Glacier
Accommodation: Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier

Day 8: Franz Josef to Greymouth train station, Tranz Alpine train to Christchurch
Accommodation: Fable Christchurch

Day 9: Depart Christchurch today

Tour full itinerary

Detailed itinerary: 9 day tour starting in Christchurch

Day 1 - Arrive Christchurch
9 Day Southern Spotlight - Day 1
Private transfer Christchurch Airport to your accommodation

On arrival, you will be met by a private driver and transferred to your Christchurch accommodation.

Welcome to Christchurch City

Christchurch New Zealand's garden city is steadily being transformed into a vibrant urban destination. Encompassing a large green belt, it is known for its wide tree lined avenues and lush gardens. A great way to explore is to take the double decker hop on/hop off bus for an easy way to see the sights or ride the historic trams across town to the renowned botanic gardens and the unique cardboard Transitional Cathedral, that's right it is built of cardboard!

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Discover Christchurch Afternoon Tour

A half day sightseeing tour of Christchurch highlighting both the damage to the city inflicted by several large earthquakes in 2010 and 2011 and the r...

Read more

A half day sightseeing tour of Christchurch highlighting both the damage to the city inflicted by several large earthquakes in 2010 and 2011 and the rebuild which is currently in progress, together with the surviving beauty of the city and the historical landmarks. Experience the grand architecture, beautiful gardens and scenic viewpoints on a half-day city tour of Christchurch.
The tour commences in the central city of Christchurch and covers the area which was completely devastated by the Christchurch earthquakes in February 2011. The guide will explain both the history of the city and the effects of the earthquake. On leaving the inner city, the tour travels to Mona Vale a historic homestead and gardens. Then you will travel to the Sign of the Takahe, a historic building with a lookout providing spectacular views over the city, Canterbury Plains and to the Southern Alps. The tour then travels via the Port Hills and Lyttleton Harbour by way of the Sign of the Kiwi and Governors Bay to the Port of Lyttleton. The tour proceeds through the Lyttleton harbour tunnel to the seaside suburb of Sumner and cave rock before returning to the central city where the tour will conclude.

Hide

Your accommodation: Fable Christchurch

Occupying a central location the Fable Hotel has been voted as one of the trendiest hotels in the South Pacific. Recently refurbished modern rooms and suites provide all the facilities you would expect from a fine hotel
Day 2 - Christchurch to Aoraki-Mt Cook National Park
9 Day Southern Spotlight - Day 2
Christchurch to Aoraki/Mount Cook Small Group Tour

This small group, fully-guided day trip combines all of the key highlights in the area with the famous Lake Tekapo, Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park and Tasman Glacier. The ultimate way to get from Christchurch to Aoraki/Mount Cook. Led by famously passionate tour guides, notorious for bringing your journey to life by sharing their stories and rich background knowledge and run in modern, comfortable minibuses packed with extras ensuring your comfort and safety.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Glacier Explorers Mt. Cook

Experience 500 year old icebergs up-close on the Mt Cook terminal lake. The Glacier Explorers tour is the only one of its kind in New Zealand and one ...

Read more

Experience 500 year old icebergs up-close on the Mt Cook terminal lake. The Glacier Explorers tour is the only one of its kind in New Zealand and one of only three in the world! Very few glaciers terminate into lakes and even fewer of them are accessible. See towering ice cliffs and floating icebergs from the safety of a specially designed boat. These boats provide a safe way to view unseen and inaccessible areas of New Zealand's largest glacier The Tasman.

Hide

Your accommodation: Hermitage Hotel Room Mount Cook View

The Hermitage Hotel ringed by magnificent snow-capped peaks of the Southern Alps, is a world-renowned tourist destination and has been an icon of superior accommodation and dining since 1884.

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 3 - Aoraki-Mt Cook National Park to Dunedin
9 Day Southern Spotlight - Day 3
Mount Cook to Dunedin with Iconic

In the afternoon you will be picked up from your accommodation in Mt Cook Village for the journey through to Dunedin. Along the way you stop for a short break in Omarama, then onto Oamaru for a scenic tour of the historic Whitestone Prectinct. You will then enjoy a guided walk along Koekohe Beach at Moeraki Boulders before reaching Dunedin, where you will be dropped off at your accommodation.

Your accommodation: Distinction Dunedin Hotel

Distinction Dunedin Hotel occupies the grand Chief Post Office built in the 1930’s. This art deco inspired building has recently been transformed into a 4 star hotel with elegant décor, set in the heart of the city.

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 4 - Dunedin to Te Anau
9 Day Southern Spotlight - Day 4
Dunedin to Te Anau Transfer

The drive to Te Anau takes you through classic Southland farmland scenery. Pass through the tranquil river town of Balclutha, the largest town in South Otago, which hosts a range of shops and services. Balclutha is memorable for its arched concrete bridge, under which flows the mighty Clutha River. The river is open for salmon and trout fishing all year round.
As you head inland, you will pass through the small rural town of Clinton before reaching Gore, the official home of country music. It's also known for great fly fishing, with the Mataura River and many other productive streams close by. Take time to enjoy the lush farmland scenery as you journey east towards your lakeside destination of Te Anau, the gateway to Fiordland National Park and Milford Sound.

Your accommodation: Distinction Luxmore Hotel

The perfect base for all your Fiordland travel, Distinction Luxmore Hotel provides comfortable accommodation right in the heart of Te Anau.

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 5 - Te Anau to Milford Sound then onto Queenstown
9 Day Southern Spotlight - Day 5
Milford Sound Cruise with return luxury coach transfers from Te Anau, and onto Queenstown

From Te Anau, you travel by coach along the spectacular Milford Road. Photo stops are made on the way into Milford, with additional photo stops and a short walk on the return journey. RealNZ experienced drivers enjoy sharing their knowledge of the area. On reaching Milford Sound, you join a Cruise for a leisurely cruise the full-length of Milford Sound to the Tasman Sea. The cruise provides excellent viewing opportunities and plenty of time is available to enjoy waterfalls, rainforest, mountains and the wildlife. During the cruise your friendly crew provide commentaries in several languages and point out the sights such as Mitre Peak and the Pembroke Glacier.

Your accommodation: Heritage Hotel Queenstown

At the Heritage Hotel Queenstown, you could be forgiven for thinking you were in a postcard. Soak in the amazing view of the towering Remarkables mountain range rising from Lake Wakatipu from the comfort of the hotel. Crafted from centuries-old schist stone and cedar, this sophisticated Queenstown hotel is the perfect base to explore the adventure capital.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 6 - Queenstown free day to explore, TSS Earnslaw cruise and dinner at Walter Peak Station
9 Day Southern Spotlight - Day 6
Free day in Queenstown

Although celebrated as New Zealand's ‘adventure capital’ Queenstown offers far more than a fast paced action-packed holiday. Settled on the shores of Lake Wakatipu beneath a soaring panorama of the Remarkables Mountain Range, this alpine town is surrounded by a plethora of historic, gastronomic, and scenic wonders.
Head down the Gibbston wine trail to sample some of the region’s best Pinot or catch a ride on the 100 year old Steamship - the TSS Earnslaw -  to Walter Peak Station for dinner and a farm tour.
Browse the waterfront cafes and have lunch at Michelin star chef Josh Emett's ‘Rata' or simply take a leisurely lakeside stroll or ride the gondola for breathtaking views.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Shotover Jet Canyon Jet Boat Ride

Shotover Jet is the only company permitted to operate in the Shotover River Canyons. It's a thrilling ride! Skim past rocky outcrops at close range in...

Read more

Shotover Jet is the only company permitted to operate in the Shotover River Canyons. It's a thrilling ride! Skim past rocky outcrops at close range in your Shotover Jet 'Big Red', as you twist and turn through the narrow canyons at breathtaking speeds. And a major highlight - hold tight for the world-famous Shotover Jet full 360-degree spins!

Hide
SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Queenstown Skyline Gondola Ride

Hop aboard the Skyline Gondola - the steepest cable car lift in the Southern hemisphere! From which you can take in the awe-inspiring views of this sp...

Read more

Hop aboard the Skyline Gondola - the steepest cable car lift in the Southern hemisphere! From which you can take in the awe-inspiring views of this spectacular landscape. Sit back and relax as you enjoy panoramic views of The Remarkables, Walter Peak, Cecil Peak, Coronet Peak and the magnificent Lake Wakatipu.

Hide
TSS Earnslaw cruise to Walter Peak including gourmet BBQ dinner and a farm tour

Enjoy a quintessential Kiwi experience – a delicious gourmet BBQ buffet meal and a farm demonstration in a stunning lakeside setting.
Take in the stunning views of Lake Wakatipu and its surroundings as you cruise across the lake to the historic Walter Peak high country farm aboard the TSS Earnslaw Steamship.
Enjoy the ambiance of the heart of the stately homestead while your Colonel’s Homestead Restaurant chef prepares a gourmet BBQ dinner. Your seasonal menu includes an extensive selection of local New Zealand produce, including succulent meats and a selection of delicious vegetables and salads. Complete your meal with your choice of delicious desserts, New Zealand cheeses, tea and coffee.
After dinner, watch the farm dogs in action with a sheep-herding demonstration and say hello to the other farm animals. Finally, cruise home under the southern stars and enjoy the fresh night air as the lights of Queenstown draw ever closer.

Your accommodation: Heritage Hotel Queenstown

At the Heritage Hotel Queenstown, you could be forgiven for thinking you were in a postcard. Soak in the amazing view of the towering Remarkables mountain range rising from Lake Wakatipu from the comfort of the hotel. Crafted from centuries-old schist stone and cedar, this sophisticated Queenstown hotel is the perfect base to explore the adventure capital.

Meals included: Breakfast, Speciality Dinner

Day 7 - Queenstown to Franz Josef Glacier
9 Day Southern Spotlight - Day 7
Queenstown to Franz Josef with Glacier Shuttles

Leaving Queenstown, travel past picturesque scenery of massive mountain peaks and crystal-clear blue lakes. Travel across the Haast Pass to the other side of the Southern Alps, the landscape changes dramatically. Welcome to the wild and wonderful West Coast, a remote and unspoiled region. Wind your way past native rainforest, rocky coastlines and powerful waterfalls. Your journey concludes in the village of Franz Josef, your base for exploration of the area.

Glacier Valley Shuttle

You will be met at your accommodation by a representative from Glacier Shuttles and taken on a short tour to view the glacier. Your shuttle vehicle will transfer you up the Franz Josef valley to the road end. Here you will have the opportunity to walk to view the glacier from a viewing platform. Or enjoy one of the short walks available in this area. You will be returned to your accommodation by the Glacier Valley Shuttles.

Your accommodation: Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier

Only a breath away from the Franz Josef Glacier, Scenic Hotel is located in the heart of Franz Josef Village. Here you will find all of the amenities you would expect, as well as being close to the shops, restaurants and activities on offer in the beautiful Westland region.

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 8 - Franz Josef to Greymouth train station, Tranz Alpine train to Christchurch
9 Day Southern Spotlight - Day 8
Franz Josef to Greymouth Train Station with Hokitika Scenic Tours

Today you’ll head north through the historic gold mining region of Hokitika. Known for its Greenstone (Pounamu) this seaside town has a rich history dating back to the 1860’s. Continue on to Greymouth, the largest town on the West Coast and the starting point for the next leg of your journey - the TranzAlpine Scenic Train.

TranzAlpine Scenic Train: Greymouth to Christchurch

Considered one of the world's great train journeys, the TranzAlpine Scenic Train takes you from Greymouth to Christchurch. You'll travel across the South Island from the west to the east coast through Arthur's Pass National Park. From the comfort of your carriage see lush beech forest, deep river valleys and the spectacular peaks of the Southern Alps. Descend to the windswept Canterbury Plains before arriving in the city of Christchurch.

Private Transfer Christchurch Train Station to your accommodation

On arrival at the Christchurch train station, you will be met by a private driver and transferred to your accommodation.

Your accommodation: Fable Christchurch

Occupying a central location the Fable Hotel has been voted as one of the trendiest hotels in the South Pacific. Recently refurbished modern rooms and suites provide all the facilities you would expect from a fine hotel

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 9 - Depart Christchurch today
9 Day Southern Spotlight - Day 9
Private transfer accommodation to Christchurch Airport

A private transfer will collect you from your accommodation and transfer you to Christchurch Airport in time for your departing flight.

Tour quick quote
Instant quote or Book this tour

9 Day Southern Spotlight

Step 1: Choose a preferred start date here
Step 2: Select number of guests and room configuration
Select number of adult per room type
Single occupancy (based on 1 adult in one room)
Triple share (based on 3 adults sharing 1 room)
Double room (based on 2 adults in 1 room, 1 bed)
Twin room (based on 2 adults sharing 1 room with 2 beds)
Select number of child per room type
Child (5-14yrs inclusive) Child cost when sharing with at least one adult
Child (0-4yrs inclusive) Child cost when sharing with at least one adult
No pricing loaded - please choose another date or contact us
Your quote for this tour:
Start date:
End date:
Guests:
Rooms:
Total cost for ALL guests is:
0
This quote is based on vehicles to accommodate your party in the vehicle type. We suggest changing the car type or contacting us for the best options.
Save and send a copy of this quote to
or

NOTE: Instant quotes are subject to availability of specific accommodation and other inclusions. Our NZ touring experts will be in touch with you regarding this. Costs quoted in currencies other than New Zealand dollars (NZ$) are based on todays exchange rate and are  subject to change. Refer to our terms and conditions.

Remember - we can create this itinerary with any style of accommodation or customise to suit your interests and timeframe. Just contact us here.

Tour departure list
See all departure dates & prices
Departure dates and prices
This tour has 730 departure dates.
All prices are in
Go to dates in
Starts Status Twin/Double (2 people sharing) Single occupancy You save  
Oct 2, 2022
(Sunday)
Check with us
NZD$5,125
NZD$9,020
Enquire Book
Oct 3, 2022
(Monday)
Check with us
NZD$5,125
NZD$9,020
Enquire Book
Oct 4, 2022
(Tuesday)
Check with us
NZD$5,125
NZD$9,020
Enquire Book
Oct 5, 2022
(Wednesday)
Check with us
NZD$5,125
NZD$9,020
Enquire Book
Oct 6, 2022
(Thursday)
Check with us
NZD$5,125
NZD$9,020
Enquire Book
Oct 7, 2022
(Friday)
Check with us
NZD$5,125
NZD$9,020
Enquire Book
Oct 8, 2022
(Saturday)
Check with us
NZD$5,125
NZD$9,020
Enquire Book
Oct 9, 2022
(Sunday)
Check with us
NZD$5,125
NZD$9,020
Enquire Book
Oct 10, 2022
(Monday)
Check with us
NZD$5,125
NZD$9,020
Enquire Book
Oct 11, 2022
(Tuesday)
Check with us
NZD$5,125
NZD$9,020
Enquire Book
Oct 12, 2022
(Wednesday)
Check with us
NZD$5,125
NZD$9,020
Enquire Book
Oct 13, 2022
(Thursday)
Check with us
NZD$5,125
NZD$9,020
Enquire Book
Oct 14, 2022
(Friday)
Check with us
NZD$5,125
NZD$9,020
Enquire Book
Oct 15, 2022
(Saturday)
Check with us
NZD$5,125
NZD$9,020
Enquire Book
Oct 16, 2022
(Sunday)
Check with us
NZD$5,125
NZD$9,020
Enquire Book
Oct 17, 2022
(Monday)
Check with us
NZD$5,125
NZD$9,020
Enquire Book
Oct 18, 2022
(Tuesday)
Check with us
NZD$5,125
NZD$9,020
Enquire Book
Oct 19, 2022
(Wednesday)
Check with us
NZD$5,125
NZD$9,020
Enquire Book
Oct 20, 2022
(Thursday)
Check with us
NZD$5,125
NZD$9,020
Enquire Book
Oct 21, 2022
(Friday)
Check with us
NZD$5,125
NZD$9,020
Enquire Book
Oct 22, 2022
(Saturday)
Check with us
NZD$5,125
NZD$9,020
Enquire Book
Oct 23, 2022
(Sunday)
Check with us
NZD$5,125
NZD$9,020
Enquire Book
Oct 24, 2022
(Monday)
Check with us
NZD$5,125
NZD$9,020
Enquire Book
Oct 25, 2022
(Tuesday)
Check with us
NZD$5,125
NZD$9,020
Enquire Book
Oct 26, 2022
(Wednesday)
Check with us
NZD$5,125
NZD$9,020
Enquire Book
Oct 27, 2022
(Thursday)
Check with us
NZD$5,125
NZD$9,020
Enquire Book
Oct 28, 2022
(Friday)
Check with us
NZD$5,125
NZD$9,020
Enquire Book
Oct 29, 2022
(Saturday)
Check with us
NZD$5,125
NZD$9,020
Enquire Book
Oct 30, 2022
(Sunday)
Check with us
NZD$5,125
NZD$9,020
Enquire Book
Oct 31, 2022
(Monday)
Check with us
NZD$5,125
NZD$9,020
Enquire Book
Nov 1, 2022
(Tuesday)
Check with us
NZD$5,125
NZD$9,020
Enquire Book
All prices are in
Go to dates in
Contact form
Send enquiry about this tour
Your contact information

See our privacy policy here

Tour recommendation

Some similar tours to this one

9 days Map
9 day Southern Scenic Wonders
View Tour
 
9 days Map
9 day Southern Scenic Wonders
View Tour
 
9 days Map
Land of the Rings
View Tour