9 Day AAT Kings Southern Wonders 24/25
Christchurch to Christchurch
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New Zealand tour itinerary name and information
AAT Kings

9 Day AAT Kings Southern Wonders 24/25

A little bit city, a little bit country. A whole lot of nature, and just as much culture. Oh, and plenty of opportunities to indulge in food and wine. This tour of the South Island of New Zealand delivers the perfect recipe for a taste of the country. Look forward to Franz Josef Glacier tours, Milford Sound cruises and glimpses into cosmopolitan life on Christchurch and Queenstown tours.

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Quick Itinerary Details

Guided Coach Touring

This suggested tour costs from NZD$4,233 per person (twin share, low season)

Starts in Christchurch, finishes in Christchurch

9 days/8 nights

Hotel 3 star

 Pre and post tour options? YES

 Viewed 63 times in the last 7 days

Tour Inclusions

Franz Josef Glacier Valley Walk
Milford Sound Cruise
TranzAlpine Train from Christchurch to Arthur's Pass
TSS Earnslaw cruise and dinner at Walter Peak high country farm, Queenstown
8 breakfasts, 4 dinners, 1 special dinner
Tour at a glance

Day 1: Welcome to Christchurch

Day 2: Christchurch - Franz Josef

Day 3: Franz Josef - Queenstown

Day 4: Queenstown Free Time

Day 5: Queenstown - Te Anau

Day 6: Te Anau - Dunedin

Day 7: Dunedin - Omarama

Day 8: Omarama - Christchurch

Day 9: Farewell from Christchurch

Tour full itinerary
Detailed Itinerary
Christchurch City Tour Tram

You don’t have to arrive in Christchurch early, but we recommend you do – this South Island city has some of New Zealand’s most innovative architecture, not to mention forward-thinking restaurants and bars. Tonight, it's time to meet your Travel Director and travelling companions for a Welcome Reception.��

Staying in:

  • Ibis Hotel Christchurch (1 night)
Franz Josef Glacier

Your South Island New Zealand Tour starts on a literal high as you jump aboard the TranzAlpine train, crossing the Canterbury Plains towards the Southern Alps and Arthur’s Pass. This is one of the world’s most scenic rail experiences, through tunnels and over viaducts with panoramic views of snow-capped peaks, icy rivers, beech forests, gorges and river valleys. At the other end of the line is Hokitika, the home of pounamu (native greenstone or jade). Just when you thought your day couldn't get any better, Franz Josef town twinkles on the horizon. This afternoon, you may choose to fly over Franz Josef Glacier/Kā Roimata o Hine Hukatere.

Staying in:

  • Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier (1 night)
View of Queenstown

Over the Haast Pass, alpine drama awaits. The Southern Lakes deserve their name: there are almost more waterways here than you can count. First up there’s lovely Lake Wanaka, with its Instagrammable shoreline of poplars and willows. Followed by oh-so-blue Lake Hawea and Lake Dunstan, where you’ll pause to refuel on flavour-packed stone fruit. As tempting as it is to linger in Arrowtown’s movie-set-like streets, lined with trees and character-filled boutiques, Lake Wakatipu and The Remarkables await in Queenstown.

Staying in:

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

The adventure capital of New Zealand doesn’t disappoint when it comes to activities that are fast and furious. Take your pick, you could explore the natural drama of Skippers Canyon. Prefer life at a more leisurely pace? Opt to step onto a Lord of the Rings movie set or sip your way through surrounding vineyards. Wherever you wander, make sure you’re back in time to glide across Lake Wakatipu aboard the historic TSS Earnslaw to Walter Peak High Country Farm for a gourmet barbecue Highlight Dinner.

Staying in:

  • Copthorne Hotel and Resort (1 night)
Milford Sound

Nature rules today as you motor from the Mirror Lakes through the Cleddau Valley. But this is just a teaser of what’s to come: World Heritage listed Milford Sound. A Milford Sound cruise across this dreamy expanse will give you goosebumps, its string of waterfalls creating a misty curtain across sheer escarpments. Look out for fur seals – they’re a common sight here. The road back through Fiordland National Park is an intoxicating union of beech forests, alluvial flats, meadows and gin-clear rivers, carving up the countryside en route to Te Anau. And just when you thought things couldn’t get any more magical, nestled on the edge of the South Island's largest lake, Te Anau is the perfect place to savour some peace and relaxation after the spectacle of the day.

Staying in:

  • Distinction Luxmore Hotel (1 night)
View of Lake Te Anau

The South Island’s biggest lake is a blissful place for an invigorating morning walk. If it doesn’t set your pulse racing, than your outlook of rolling green hills dotted with doe-eyed sheep surely will. This pastoral countryside surrounds the city of Dunedin. While away the afternoon in atmospheric art-lined alleys or sipping a lager or two in Speight’s Brewery (a national institution), or visit grand Larnach Castle. You could venture further afield to discover the wildlife that thrives in this pretty pocket of the country – fur seals among them.

Staying in:

  • Scenic Hotel Dunedin City (1 night)
Larnach Castle

Time is on your side this morning. Sleep in or take a stroll. Visit Oamaru, known for its Victorian heritage buildings.

Staying in:

  • Distinction Heritage Gateway Hotel (1 night)
View of Lake Tekapo

If there’s a lake with a more vivid turquoise colour than Tekapo, we’re yet to see it. It’s made even more dramatic by snow-capped mountains, the quaint Church of the Good Shepherd and atmospheric towns that surround. 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. Back on earth, you’re becoming reacquainted with Christchurch, your in-the-know Travel Director pointing out the city’s miraculous transformation over the last decade. Local spirit is strong here.

Staying in:

  • Ibis Hotel Christchurch (1 night)
AAT Kings Coach on the Road

If you feel like you’ve only seen the tip of the South Island’s iceberg, you’d be correct. This beguiling part of the country could keep travel enthusiasts entertained for eons. Thankfully, we have more itineraries – ask your Travel Director and start planning your next trip to New Zealand.

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Sep 30, 2024
(Monday)
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was NZD$5,185
now NZD$4,885
was NZD$6,820
now NZD$6,520
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Oct 28, 2024
(Monday)
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was NZD$4,667
now NZD$4,467
was NZD$6,138
now NZD$5,938
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Nov 18, 2024
(Monday)
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was NZD$4,667
now NZD$4,467
was NZD$6,138
now NZD$5,938
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Dec 9, 2024
(Monday)
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was NZD$4,926
now NZD$4,826
was NZD$6,479
now NZD$6,379
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Dec 30, 2024
(Monday)
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limited space left
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was NZD$5,185
now NZD$4,885
was NZD$6,820
now NZD$6,520
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Jan 13, 2025
(Monday)
Sold out
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was NZD$5,345
now NZD$5,060
was NZD$7,030
now NZD$6,745
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Jan 27, 2025
(Monday)
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was NZD$4,811
now NZD$4,501
was NZD$6,327
now NZD$6,017
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Feb 10, 2025
(Monday)
Sold out
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was NZD$5,345
now NZD$5,060
was NZD$7,030
now NZD$6,745
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Feb 24, 2025
(Monday)
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departure date
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was NZD$4,543
now NZD$4,233
was NZD$5,976
now NZD$5,666
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Mar 10, 2025
(Monday)
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departure date
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was NZD$4,543
now NZD$4,233
was NZD$5,976
now NZD$5,666
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Mar 24, 2025
(Monday)
Sold out
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was NZD$5,345
now NZD$5,060
was NZD$7,030
now NZD$6,745
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9 Day AAT Kings Southern Wonders 24/25

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