10 Day AAT Kings Southern Spectacular 24/25
Christchurch to Christchurch
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AAT Kings

10 Day AAT Kings Southern Spectacular 24/25

Southern calling? This trip to New Zealand unites some of the country’s most fabled playgrounds – think adventure-filled Queenstown tours, a World Heritage listed Milford Sound/Piopiotahi tour and possible gem-like Franz Josef Glacier/Kā Roimata o Hine Hukatere tours – with some of its must off-the-radar pockets. Have you heard of the Punakaiki Pancake Rocks, or glimpsed the turquoise lakes outside Twizel?

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Tour summary and feature
Quick Itinerary Details

Guided Coach Touring

This suggested tour costs from NZD$6,052 per person (twin share, low season)

Starts in Christchurch, finishes in Christchurch

10 days/9 nights

Hotel 4 star

 Pre and post tour options? YES

 Viewed 172 times in the last 7 days

Tour Inclusions

Be My Guest Afternoon Tea
Boat ride on Lake Manapouri
Christchurch City Tour
Franz Josef Glacier
Milford Sound Cruise
Monteith's Brewery Experience
Punakaiki Rocks
TranzAlpine Rail Journey
TSS Earnslaw cruise and dinner at Walter Peak high country farm, Queenstown
Visit a Local Orchard
9 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 6 dinners, 1 special dinner
Tour at a glance

Day 1: Welcome to Christchurch

Day 2: Christchurch - Twizel

Day 3: Twizel - Dunedin

Day 4: Dunedin - Te Anau

Day 5: Te Anau - Queenstown

Day 6: Queenstown Free Time

Day 7: Queenstown - Franz Josef/Waiau

Day 8: Franz Josef/Waiau - Punakaiki

Day 9: Punakaiki - Christchurch

Day 10: Farewell from Christchurch

Tour full itinerary
Detailed Itinerary
Christchurch Tram

At once forward-thinking and fun, Christchurch is the kind of city you could lose yourself in for a week – or more. You have this afternoon, so make the most of it. We recommend riding the rails on the vintage Christchurch Tram, a narrated hop-on, hop-off experience that loops around town, your energetic host pointing out historic architecture and new developments that have popped up since the 2010/2011 earthquakes. Freshen up because it’s time to meet your fellow adventure-seekers over a couple of wines at a Welcome Reception.

Staying in:

  • Distinction Christchurch Hotel (1 night)
Church od the Good Shepherd

If you didn’t get your bearings yesterday, you certainly will on today’s Christchurch tour, taking in the city’s record-breaking Transitional Cathedral – who knew you could build a church from cardboard and not much else? – as well as past the gilded library, gleaming like an architectural beacon. The buildings of the city fade into a patchwork of farms as you ease across the Canterbury Plains toward Morelea. Here, Angie and Stan Taylor welcome you to their home with a slap-up Be My Guest afternoon tea and tales about life on the land. And this land is truly dramatic, backdropped by powdery mountains and cut with turquoise lakes, none quite as pretty as Lake Tekapo, on its banks the stone-hewn Church of the Good Shepherd. It’s like someone has taken the glasses off your nose and cleaned them for the first time.

Staying in:

  • MacKenzie Country Hotel (1 night)
Dunedin Railway Station

More water awaits on day three, your journey following the Waitaki River to mighty Benmore Dam; it powers 300,000 New Zealand homes. You’re en route to the city of Dunedin, replete with rolling green meadows and grand stone castles. It kind of feels like you’ve been transported to Scotland – small wonder it’s known as the ‘Edinburgh of the South’. With this afternoon at your leisure, we recommend a cruise to spot penguins and fur seals along the Otago Peninsula, or perhaps a visit to Speight’s Brewery – a New Zealand institution that makes everything from a fragrant Old Dark to a crisp Apple Cider. And pretty much everything in between. There’s always that castle to explore… Larnach may not have the history of Scotland’s grand estates, but it’s just as pretty in our humble opinion. A NZ holiday must.

Staying in:

  • Scenic Hotel Southern Cross (1 night)
Te Anau Sign

Leave Dunedin’s bucolic sheep-farming countryside behind as you venture into World Heritage listed Fiordland National Park, a place of yawning gorges and gem-like glaciers, and azure lakes so large they have their own islands. Case in point Pomona Island, where a charitable trust of passionate volunteers works to restore flora and fauna. With your help. Your cruise across Lake Manapouri is remote and ravishing during the day – it’s even prettier at night, when glowworms fill caves. Can we tempt you?

Staying in:

  • Distinction Te Anau Hotel and Villas (1 night)
Milford Sound Cruise

Nature rules again today, from the moment you depart Te Anau and begin your journey deep into the heart of Fiordland National Park. Think native rainforests, beech forests, alluvial flats and meadows; Mirror Lakes perfectly reflecting mountain scenery; and precipitous lookouts holding guard over alpine rivers. And this is just the entrée. The main course is your Milford Sound/Piopiotahi tour, where you cruise in the company of dolphins that frolic under the torrent of mighty Bowen and Stirling Falls, and gaze at misty escarpments so sheer they appear to cleave off the edge of the Earth. You’re in the company of a naturalist who knows every nook and cranny of this mighty cavern and will point out flora and fauna you would have never spotted on your own.

Staying in:

  • Millennium Hotel, Queenstown (1 night)
Walter Peak High Country Farm in Queenstown

Take today at your own pace. Like things fast and furious? Feel the wind in your hair on the high-octane Shotover Jet, perhaps. Prefer wine to get your heart started? See why Central Otago makes some of the world’s most raved about cool-climate pinots on a cellar door tour. Wherever your Queenstown New Zealand tour wanderings take you, reunite with your companions come dusk to glide across Lake Wakatipu aboard the historic TSS Earnslaw, your barbecue Highlight Dinner served on the grounds of Walter Peak High Country Farm. Trips to New Zealand don’t get much tastier than this.

Staying in:

  • Millennium Hotel, Queenstown (1 night)
Franz Josef Glacier

In the shadow of the Remarkables, Queenstown is pretty spectacular. But it has some stiff good-looks competition from neighbouring Arrowtown, with its movie-set tree-lined avenues and 19th-century buildings that once housed gold-rush fortune-seekers. Things grow well in this verdant countryside, from cherries to pinot grapes and all manner of stone fruit. Have you ever eaten a freshly-plucked peach handed to you by a farmer? Prepare for a flavour explosion. The next explosion is a visual one as you arrive at Franz Josef Glacier/Kā Roimata o Hine Hukatere. Get some perspective of this immense ice fall on an optional helicopter flight – you may even get to land on it.

Staying in:

  • Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier (1 night)
Pancake Rocks in Punakaiki

Emerald hues are reflected in the greenstone (jade) mined in Hokitika, where artisans show you just how talented they are at carving jewellery and mementos. Just try and keep your purse closed here. Nature carved Punakaiki’s Pancake Rocks and blowholes, where waves thunder through cracks in the Earth. This is the soundtrack that lulls you to sleep at tonight’s eco-resort.

TranzAlpine Train at the Station

Wine may steal the scene across much of New Zealand, but at legendary Monteith’s Brewery, beer rules. Sip your way through a tasting paddle of XPA, IPA, lager and pale ale because you’re not driving to the station where your TranzAlpine for your train trip across New Zealand’s South Island. This is one of those NZ holiday experiences where the journey matters just as much as the destination, as you sweep through tunnels and over viaducts with panoramic views of snow-capped peaks, icy rivers, beech forests, gorges and river valleys. What a way to end a day.

Staying in:

  • Distinction Christchurch Hotel (1 night)
Cardboard Cathedral in Christchurch

The last 10 days of your NZ holiday flew by. Return home with new friends, a full SD card on your camera – and even more memories.

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10 Day AAT Kings Southern Spectacular 24/25

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Sep 24, 2024
(Tuesday)
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Oct 15, 2024
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Oct 22, 2024
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Oct 29, 2024
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Nov 12, 2024
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Dec 10, 2024
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Dec 24, 2024
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was NZD$8,785
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Jan 14, 2025
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Jan 28, 2025
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Feb 11, 2025
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Feb 18, 2025
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