Grand Pacific Tours 11 Day Signature South Island Christmas
Christchurch to Christchurch
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Grand Pacific Tours

Grand Pacific Tours 11 Day Signature South Island Christmas

Enjoy Christmas this year with like-minded travellers as you explore New Zealand's beautiful South Island. Starting in Christchurch you will travel on the famous TranzAlpine Scenic railway before settling in Queenstown for a Christmas celebration like no other, onboard the TSS Earnslaw. Finish your 10-day tour with a cruise on Milford and a night in the enchanting Mt Cook National Park.

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Quick Itinerary Details

Escorted coach tour

This suggested tour costs from NZD$5,275 per person (twin share, low season)

Starts in Christchurch, finishes in Christchurch

11 days/10 nights

Hotel 4 star

 Pre and post tour options? YES

 Viewed 19 times in the last 7 days

Tour Inclusions

Complimentary pre-dinner welcome drink
Lakes District Museum
10 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 7 dinners, 1 special dinner
Tour at a glance

Day 1: Arrive into Christchurch to meet your fellow travellers
Accommodation: Distinction Christchurch Hotel

Day 2: Free day to explore Christchurch
Accommodation: Distinction Christchurch Hotel

Day 3: Enjoy a trip on the TranzAlpine Scenic Train
Accommodation: Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier (or similar)

Day 4: Franz Josef to Queenstown
Accommodation: Millennium Hotel Queenstown (or similar)

Day 5: Christmas Day
Accommodation: Millennium Hotel Queenstown (or similar)

Day 6: Queenstown to Te Anau
Accommodation: Distinction Luxmore Lake Te Anau (or similar)

Day 7: Head to Fiordland National Park and see the stunning Milford Sound
Accommodation: Distinction Luxmore Lake Te Anau (or similar)

Day 8: Te Anau to Dunedin
Accommodation: Scenic Hotel Southern Cross (or similar)

Day 9: Head up past Mt Cook on your way to Twizel
Accommodation: MacKenzie Country Hotel (or similar)

Day 10: Reach your final destination, Christchurch
Accommodation: Distinction Christchurch Hotel

Day 11: Bid farewell to your travel companions

Tour full itinerary

Detailed itinerary: 11 day tour starting in Christchurch

Day 1 - Arrive into Christchurch to meet your fellow travellers
Grand Pacific Tours 11 Day Signature South Island Christmas - Day 1
SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Grand Pacific Merchandise

Quality merchandise is great value for money and will provide a special memento of your holiday for years to come. Tour jackets and tour caps are avai...

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Quality merchandise is great value for money and will provide a special memento of your holiday for years to come. Tour jackets and tour caps are available for purchase. Merchandise items must be ordered at the time of booking and are not available for purchase in New Zealand

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Arrive into Christchurch

On arrival into Christchurch you will be met by a Grand Pacific Tours representative and transferred to your hotel. This evening enjoy a complimentary pre-dinner drink as you meet your Tour Leader and travelling companions for dinner.

Your accommodation: Distinction Christchurch Hotel

This 4.5 star hotel is centrally located in the revitalised Cathedral Square and ideally positioned only a few minutes' walk from the brand new Christchurch Convention Centre.

Meals included: Dinner

Day 2 - Free day to explore Christchurch
Grand Pacific Tours 11 Day Signature South Island Christmas - Day 2
Christchurch

Today is a free day to explore Christchurch. Enjoy a journey on board the Christchurch Tram at leisure, one of Christchurch's leading attractions.

Christchurch Trams

Trams played an important role in transporting the people of Christchurch until 1954 when they were phased out.  In 1995 the Tramway historical society brought the beautiful trams back to the city centre for the public to enjoy.  Take the delightful journey from the top of New Regent Street near the junction with Armagh Street, through the quaint pedestrian-only arcade with it's Spanish style buildings and sunny cafes, and then through Cathedral Junction which is home to several of the city's restored hotels. Turning right at Worcester Street it then heads west through Cathedral Square, across the Avon River, past the Art Gallery and into Worcester Boulevard at the end of which the Arts centre and Botanic Gardens await. A commentary is given by the tram driver and you can hop on and off at the stops as you please throughout the day. It's a great way to explore the main city centre attractions.

Your accommodation: Distinction Christchurch Hotel

This 4.5 star hotel is centrally located in the revitalised Cathedral Square and ideally positioned only a few minutes' walk from the brand new Christchurch Convention Centre.

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 3 - Enjoy a trip on the TranzAlpine Scenic Train
Grand Pacific Tours 11 Day Signature South Island Christmas - Day 3
Christchurch to Franz Josef Glacier

This morning board the TranzAlpine, one of the great train journeys of the world. Travel over massive viaducts, river valleys and spectacular gorges as you ascend to Arthur’s Pass located in the centre of the Southern Alps. Board your coach and travel to Hokitika, famous for its Greenstone before arriving at Franz Josef where time is  available to experience a scenic flight (optional, weather permitting) over the spectacular glaciers.
*Please be aware, there are some departure dates where the train may not be available due to covid-related schedule changes outside of Grand Pacific's control. If this occurs, your journey through the incredible Arthur's Pass will continue onboard your coach. Chat to a consultant to check the current schedule for your preferred departure.

TranzAlpine Scenic Train: Christchurch to Arthur's Pass

As you leave Christchurch, you will cross the fertile farmlands of the Canterbury Plains, and enjoy thrilling vistas over deep gorges as you travel alongside the ice-fed Waimakariri River. Arthur's Pass is a mecca for trampers, snow boarders, mountain climbers and nature lovers.  There are many short and long walks in the area including some that start near the comfortable accommodation found in Arthur's Pass village.
Arthur's Pass National Park itself is a landscape of two halves. On the eastern side you'll see wide, shingle-filled riverbeds and vast swathes of beech forest. Descend the western side and you venture through dense rainforest alongside and over deeply gorged rivers. You'll probably spot New Zealand's inquisitive and comical alpine parrot, the kea. And during winter you can join the skiers and snowboarders enjoying spectacular runs in the Temple Basin Ski Area.

Your accommodation: Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier (or similar)

Located in the heart of Franz Josef Village the hotel offers all the amenities you would expect and is close to the shops, restaurants and activities on offer.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 4 - Franz Josef to Queenstown
Grand Pacific Tours 11 Day Signature South Island Christmas - Day 4
Franz Josef Glacier to Queenstown

See the snow-capped peaks of the Southern Alps as you travel south via the Haast Pass, an area of stunning beauty. Continue to picturesque Queenstown, situated on the shores of magical Lake Wakatipu. Spend the next two nights at this year-round resort which offers a wide range of activities and attractions.

Your accommodation: Millennium Hotel Queenstown (or similar)

The 4 star deluxe Millennium Queenstown is located in the heart of Queenstown within minutes of the central shopping and entertainment area.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 5 - Christmas Day
Grand Pacific Tours 11 Day Signature South Island Christmas - Day 5
Christmas Day in Queenstown

Merry Christmas! Today board the vintage steamship TSS Earnslaw and cruise across Lake Wakatipu to Walter Peak Station. Enjoy a gourmet Christmas lunch and the best of NZ's high-country cuisine at the Colonel's Homestead. Reboard the TSS Earnslaw and enjoy a sing-along by the piano on your return cruise to Queenstown. This evening is free to dine at leisure.

TSS Earnslaw Christmas cruise to Walter Peak with lunch

Enjoy a quintessential Kiwi Christmas experience - a delicious gourmet Christmas lunch in a stunning lakeside setting. First, you'll take a scenic cruise from Queenstown to Walter Peak High Country Farm on board the vintage steamship TSS Earnslaw, one of the last remaining coal-fired passenger ships operating in the southern hemisphere. The vintage steamship was originally built in Dunedin and once completed it was dismantled, shipped by rail to Kingston and then reassembled before being launched onto the lake where it has been transporting goods and passengers since 1912. Following the 40-minute outward voyage from Queenstown, you disembark at Walter Peak High Country Farm. Once there, you can sit back on the lakeside terrace of the Colonel's Homestead Restaurant and savour the delicious aromas as your chef takes the best local produce and turns it into a magnificent Christmas lunch including all the trimmings and a glass of champagne.

Your accommodation: Millennium Hotel Queenstown (or similar)

The 4 star deluxe Millennium Queenstown is located in the heart of Queenstown within minutes of the central shopping and entertainment area.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 6 - Queenstown to Te Anau
Grand Pacific Tours 11 Day Signature South Island Christmas - Day 6
Queenstown to Te Anau

Enjoy a leisurely start this morning before travelling to Arrowtown, an old gold mining village where you visit the Lakes District Museum. This innovative museum is heavily involved in the protection of the historic buildings scattered around town. Continue to Te Anau, the gateway to Fiordland. Today you may like to visit the Te Anau Glowworm Caves (optional).

Your accommodation: Distinction Luxmore Lake Te Anau (or similar)

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

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 7 - Head to Fiordland National Park and see the stunning Milford Sound
Grand Pacific Tours 11 Day Signature South Island Christmas - Day 7
Te Anau to Milford Sound to Te Anau

Depart Te Anau for a fascinating drive to Milford Sound where you board your launch for a cruise on this magnificent fiord. See the spectacular Bowen Falls and towering Mitre Peak as you enjoy lunch on board. This afternoon return to Te Anau where some free time is available. You might like to cap off your Fiordland experience by watching the breathtaking film, Ata Whenua - Shadowland, which screens at the Fiordland Cinema (optional).

Milford Sound Cruise from Te Anau

Return luxury coach transport from Te Anau to Milford Sound, with a 1 hour 40 minute cruise along the full length of the fiord. On boarding a ReaNZ luxury glass-roofed coach in Te Anau, you will enjoy a relaxing trip along the spectacular Milford Road through impressive, awe-inspiring scenery. There is time for photo stops and short walks along the way. Friendly coach drivers provide detailed commentary throughout the trip. On reaching Milford Sound, you board the modern, spacious vessel for a leisurely cruise in the fiord. 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 provides commentary and will point out the sights such as Mitre Peak and the Pembroke Glacier.

Your accommodation: Distinction Luxmore Lake Te Anau (or similar)

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

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8 - Te Anau to Dunedin
Grand Pacific Tours 11 Day Signature South Island Christmas - Day 8
Te Anau to Dunedin

Travel via Gore and Balclutha to Dunedin, famous for its stunning Edwardian and Victorian architecture dating back to the gold rush of the 1800s. Today Dunedin is New Zealand's oldest university city. Enjoy a free afternoon at leisure.

Your accommodation: Scenic Hotel Southern Cross (or similar)

The Scenic Hotel Southern Cross provides stylish inner city accommodation and is the perfect location from which to explore Dunedin. Just a short walk to the Octagon, Railway Station, theatres, shops, and close to Otago University.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 9 - Head up past Mt Cook on your way to Twizel
Grand Pacific Tours 11 Day Signature South Island Christmas - Day 9
Dunedin to Twizel

Travel along the Otago Peninsula to Larnach Castle where you will hear of the tragic and scandalous history on a guided tour. Enjoy time to wander this Garden of International Significance followed by a delicious Devonshire Tea. Travel to Oamaru famous for its limestone, then follow the Waitaki River and see Lake Benmore as you continue to marvel at Mt Cook, New Zealand’s highest peak. The opportunity is available to enjoy a scenic flight (optional, weather permitting) over the Southern Alps. Travel to Twizel for your overnight stay.

Larnach Castle and Gardens

Larnach is New Zealand's only Castle, built in 1871 by politician and merchant, William Larnach, a man of great vision who helped shape New Zealand's early history. It was built for William's beloved first wife Eliza; it took 200 workmen three years to build the shell and a further twelve years were spent by master craftsmen to embellish the interior. The Castle is located high up on the Otago Peninsula and looks down on Dunedin city giving beautiful views. The gardens have an International Garden of Significance status and have a unique collection of specialised areas for you to explore. The Ballroom cafe is a fantastic place to rest and reflect on all you have seen while enjoying a delicious range of refreshments. As with the entire castle, the ballroom had an interesting and varied history prior to its beautiful restoration, uses ranged from a lunatic asylum, antique sales room to the penning of sheep.

Your accommodation: MacKenzie Country Hotel (or similar)

Located in the heart of the Mackenzie region the hotel's natural stone architecture complements the mountains and rivers of New Zealand's Southern Alps.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 10 - Reach your final destination, Christchurch
Grand Pacific Tours 11 Day Signature South Island Christmas - Day 10
Twizel to Lake Tekapo to Christchurch

This morning continue to Lake Tekapo and view the brilliant turquoise water, the Church of the Good Shepherd and see the Sheep Dog Statue before arriving into Christchurch for a city tour. This evening, reminisce on memories shared with your new friends at the farewell dinner.

Your accommodation: Distinction Christchurch Hotel

This 4.5 star hotel is centrally located in the revitalised Cathedral Square and ideally positioned only a few minutes' walk from the brand new Christchurch Convention Centre.

Meals included: Breakfast, Speciality Dinner

Day 11 - Bid farewell to your travel companions
Grand Pacific Tours 11 Day Signature South Island Christmas - Day 11
Depart Christchurch

Time to say goodbye. You will be transferred to the airport for your flight home after a memorable New Zealand holiday.

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Grand Pacific Tours 11 Day Signature South Island Christmas

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Dec 21, 2022
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Dec 21, 2023
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