14 Day AAT Kings Southern Spirit 24/25
Christchurch to Wellington
New Zealand tour itinerary name and information
AAT Kings

14 Day AAT Kings Southern Spirit 24/25

Discover the most pristine landscapes on the planet and gain an understanding of the rich Māori culture on this remarkable journey through New Zealand's South Island. From the drama of plunging glacial valleys and rugged snowcapped peaks to the serenity of silent, crystal-clear lakes, you'll be awed at every turn. The small but vibrant cosmopolitan cities studded throughout the Island are the human face of this natural wonderland.

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Tour summary and feature
Quick Itinerary Details

Guided Coach Touring

This suggested tour costs from NZD$6,144 per person (twin share, low season)

Starts in Christchurch, finishes in Wellington

13 days/12 nights

Hotel 3 star

 Pre and post tour options? YES

 Viewed 32 times in the last 7 days

Tour Inclusions

Christchurch City Tour
Cruise on the Interislander Ferry
Day trip to Stewart Island
Visit a Local Orchard
Visit a Pounamu Factory
Wellington City Tour
13 breakfasts, 4 dinners
Tour at a glance

Day 1: Welcome to Christchurch

Day 2: Christchurch - Omarama

Day 3: Omarama - Dunedin

Day 4: Dunedin - Invercargill

Day 5: Stewart Island

Day 6: Invercargill - Queenstown

Day 7: Queenstown

Day 8: Queenstown - Franz Josef/Waiau

Day 9: Franz Josef - Punakaiki

Day 10: Punakaiki - Nelson

Day 11: Neslon

Day 12: Nelson - Wellington

Day 13: Farewell from Wellington

Tour full itinerary
Detailed Itinerary
Christchurch City Tour

Arrive early to get your bearings on a self-guided Christchurch tour. The best way to do that? Aboard the Christchurch Tram. Your journey not only takes you past jaw-dropping attractions but also tells an inspiring story of community spirit in the rebuilding and reinvigoration of the city since the 2010/11 earthquakes. Explore at your leisure. We recommend jumping aboard the Christchurch Tram. This evening, it's time to meet your fellow travellers for a Welcome Reception.

Staying in:

  • Wyndham Garden (1 night)
Church of the Good Shepherd

Step out with your guide for a deeper dive into ‘The City of Gardens’ before traversing the colourful Canterbury Plains: the turquoise waters of Lake Tekapo and snow-capped mountains. Your Indoor Dark Sky Astronomy Experience at Tekapo, hosted by passionate guides, will forever change the way you see the night sky. You'll see for yourself it may be one of the quietest spots on the planet, yet it has one of the busiest skies in the universe.

Staying in:

  • Distinction Heritage Gateway Hotel (1 night)
Railway Station in Dunedin

Architectural drama awaits in Dunedin. While away the afternoon in atmospheric art-lined alleys or sipping a lager or two in Speight’s Brewery (a national institution). Or venture further afield to discover Larnach Castle, which nods to Dunedin’s Scottish link – it’s known as ‘Little Edinburgh’ for a reason.

Staying in:

  • Dunedin Leisure Lodge (1 night)
Aerial View of Otago Peninsula

If you’ve find yourself humming a Garth Brooks tune en route to Gore, you’re not alone; it's the country music capital of NZ. Invercargill is obsessed with something else: motor vehicles. Tributes to speed legends colour the city. So it's only fitting that you visit Classic Motorcycle Mecca for a tour and Highlight Dinner.

Staying in:

  • Kelvin Hotel (1 night)
Penguins on Stewart Island

Invercargill is the gateway to the southernmost community in the country. Welcome to Stewart Island, a wild and wonderful drop of land that is 97% national parkland. Naturally, it’s a magnet for endemic flora and fauna, as you’ll discover on a guided Village and Bays tour.

Staying in:

  • Kelvin Hotel (1 night)
View of Queenstown over Wakatipu Lake

You’ve probably already noticed that there’s a lot of farmland here in New Zealand. It’s fitting, then, that you meet southern girl Laura, who will introduce you to the sheep farm where she was born and raised. The Real Country Farm Show, a MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience, offers an authentic taste of what rural New Zealand is like. For every guest, we donate funds to The Fairlight Foundation, Advancing Women in Agriculture. Continue to Queenstown and take the afternoon at your own pace.

Staying in:

  • Copthorne Hotel and Resort (1 night)
Skyline Lookout Queenstown

We wouldn’t blame you for using today to linger by the banks of Lake Wakatipu, marvelling at sky-scraping Remarkables. But if you want to venture further afield, we have a few ideas. Top of our list today is an epic journey through Fiordland National Park to Milford Sound/Piopiotahi, carved by waterfalls and a playground for dolphins and seals. There’s a reason why this part of the island has World Heritage status.

Staying in:

  • Copthorne Hotel and Resort (1 night)
Street in Arrowtown

Atmospheric Arrowtown was born from gold, and its movie-set-like streets still shimmer today. It’s hard to tear yourself away, but the Alpine country of the Southern Lakes is calling, from Lake Dunstan – pause for juicy stone fruit picked fresh from the tree – to oh-so-blue Lake Hawea and lovely Lake Wanaka, with its shoreline of poplars and willows. Over the Haast Pass, the pretty town of Franz Josef/Waiau, awaits. Get some perspective on an optional Franz Josef Glacier/Ka Roimata o Hine Hukatere flight tour – if the weather behaves, you may even get to land on it. New Zealand tours don’t get much cooler than this.

Staying in:

  • Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier (1 night)
Franz Josef Glacier

On the wild West Coast, Hokitika may be small in size, but boy is it big in personality, not to mention natural attractions. Wander the windswept coast before discovering the town’s other beauty: pounamu (native greenstone or jade). Steel yourself for Punakaiki’s Pancake Rocks and blowholes; they owe their existence to the thundering surf that will lull you to sleep.

Staying in:

  • Scenic Hotel Punakaiki (1 night)
Pancake Rocks in Punakaiki

After action-packed days, all you need to do today is sit back and enjoy the drama of the Heritage Highway en route to Nelson. Gaze over Buller Gorge – a deep canyon home to New Zealand’s longest swingbridge – and Kahurangi National Park, a place of wild rivers, high plateaus, alpine herbfields and coastal forests.

Staying in:

  • The Rutherford Hotel (1 night)
Wooden Church in Founders Heritage Park in Nelson

The South Island’s oldest city, Nelson is the ideal starting point for outings through Abel Tasman National Park. This pocket in the north of the island is a beguiling union of golden beaches framed by sculpted granite cliffs. It’s home to one of the country’s most legendary coastal tracks, if you fancy stretching your legs on a hike. Otherwise, drift away on a cruise around the coast, revealing unpeopled bays and dreamy inlets. The choice is yours.

Staying in:

  • The Rutherford Hotel (1 night)
Interislander Cruise from Picton to Wellington

All aboard the Interislander for a cruise through Queen Charlotte Sound, up the Tory Channel and across Cook Strait, from the South Island to the North, navigating a maze of arms and inlets into New Zealand’s cool little capital of Wellington. End your tour on a high note at a Farewell Dinner with your Travel Director and travel companions.

Staying in:

  • Travelodge Wellington (1 night)
Wellington Cable Car

Wellington also knows a thing or two about good coffee, and you’ll need a strong one to get you through this morning's sightseeing. You may wish to linger in town, discovering Māori culture at Te Papa, the Museum of New Zealand. It's hard to say goodbye to your tour of the South Island of New Zealand. If you can't bear to leave, we have a few ideas up our sleeves to extend your holiday.

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Starts Status   Twin Share (2 people sharing) Single occupancy  
Oct 3, 2024
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was NZD$6,294
now NZD$6,144
was NZD$8,194
now NZD$8,044
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Jan 30, 2025
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was NZD$6,665
now NZD$6,230
was NZD$8,676
now NZD$8,241
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Feb 20, 2025
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was NZD$7,630
now NZD$7,240
was NZD$9,935
now NZD$9,545
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Mar 20, 2025
Sold out
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14 Day AAT Kings Southern Spirit 24/25

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