Kirra Tours 9 Day Southern Dream South Island Tour
Christchurch to Christchurch
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New Zealand tour itinerary name and information
Kirra Tours

Kirra Tours 9 Day Southern Dream South Island Tour

This 9-day Southern dream tour will show you the very best of the South Island. Explore destinations such as Queenstown, Dunedin and the spectacular Doubtful Sound on this small-group tour which combines the NZ highlights with incredible lesser-known destinations.

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Quick Itinerary Details

Escorted coach tour

This suggested tour costs from NZD$3,799 per person (twin share, low season)

Starts in Christchurch, finishes in Christchurch

9 days/8 nights

Hotel 4 star

 Pre and post tour options? YES

 Viewed 34 times in the last 7 days

Tour Inclusions

Hokonui Moonshine Museum
Larnach Castle
Doubtful Sound Wilderness Cruise
Greenstone and glass blowing factory visit
TranzAlpine Rail Journey
8 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 3 dinners
Tour at a glance

Day 1: Arrival into Christchurch
Accommodation: Rydges Latimer Christchurch (or similar)

Day 2: Visit the Moeraki Boulders as you head toward Dunedin
Accommodation: Scenic Hotel Dunedin City (or similar)

Day 3: Travel North to Te Anau, the gateway to Fiordland
Accommodation: Distinction Luxmore Hotel (or similar)

Day 4: Explore Fiordland aboard the Doubtful Sound Wilderness Cruise
Accommodation: Heritage Hotel Queenstown (or similar)

Day 5: Spend a day at leisure in Queenstown
Accommodation: Heritage Hotel Queenstown (or similar)

Day 6: Pass through Wanaka as you head to Haast
Accommodation: Heartland Hotel Haast (or similar)

Day 7: Explore the West Coast as you travel to Franz Josef
Accommodation: Beachfront Hotel Hokitika (or similar)

Day 8: Hop aboard the Tranzalpine train and journey east to Christchurch
Accommodation: Rydges Latimer Christchurch (or similar)

Day 9: Your journey finishes today

Tour full itinerary

Detailed itinerary: 9 day tour starting in Christchurch

Day 1 - Arrival into Christchurch
Kirra Tours 9 Day Southern Dream South Island Tour - Day 1
Arrival day to Christchurch

Haere Mai (Welcome) to your New Zealand adventure starting in Christchurch known as the Garden City, a city where old meets new. Spend your afternoon wandering the city streets and laneways to discover creative street art and hidden eateries. See how Christchurch earned its nickname as the Garden City by visiting the Botanic Gardens. Take a walk down Hereford St to see the ‘Cardboard’ Cathedral and the earthquake memorial of 185 White Chairs.
This evening you’ll have dinner at the hotel and meet your Guide and the group you’ll be travelling with.

Your accommodation: Rydges Latimer Christchurch (or similar)

Rydges Latimer Christchurch is located just 2 minutes walking distance from the city’s CBD and overlooks scenic Latimer Square, an iconic New Zealand green space with ample room for travellers to enjoy.

Meals included: Dinner

Day 2 - Visit the Moeraki Boulders as you head toward Dunedin
Kirra Tours 9 Day Southern Dream South Island Tour - Day 2
Christchurch to Dunedin via the Moeraki Boulders

After breakfast this morning, journey south down the coast and across the Canterbury Plains; pass through the township of Oamaru, home to some of the best-preserved heritage buildings in New Zealand before heading onto the mystical Moeraki Boulders, geological marvels that began to form about 60 million years ago and were exposed by the erosion of sedimentary rocks over time. You’ll arrive in Dunedin with plenty of time to make the most of this Scottish City.

Your accommodation: Scenic Hotel Dunedin City (or similar)

Just two blocks from the Octagon in the heart of the city, Scenic Hotel Dunedin City is close to shops, parks and the best city attractions and services. The hotel provides excellent 4-star accommodation to Dunedin's visitors.

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 3 - Travel North to Te Anau, the gateway to Fiordland
Kirra Tours 9 Day Southern Dream South Island Tour - Day 3
Dunedin to Te Anau

Visit the iconic Larnach Castle of Dunedin this morning for a stroll through the magnificent gardens before departing for Te Anau. First, you’ll make a stop in Gore for a trip to the Illicit Past... Gore’s colourful past as a centre for illicit whisky distilling and bootlegging is brought to life at the Hokonui Moonshine Museum. The adventures of the Scottish settlers and their exploits to avoid run-ins with the law are kept alive through dioramas, audio-visuals and artefacts. You can taste Old Hokonui made from the original recipe at the end of your visit, or even take a bottle home with you. Afterwards continue to Te Anau, the gateway to Fiordland, where you’ll spend the evening.

Your accommodation: Distinction Luxmore Hotel (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 4 - Explore Fiordland aboard the Doubtful Sound Wilderness Cruise
Kirra Tours 9 Day Southern Dream South Island Tour - Day 4
Te Anau via Doubtful Sound to Queenstown

Depart from Te Anau this morning to Manapouri, where you’ll enjoy a leisurely cruise across the lake to West Arm. This is followed by a short coach trip on New Zealand's most expensive road, travelling over Wilmot Pass and pausing along the way to experience the dense Fiordland rainforest and view Doubtful Sound glistening far below. At Deep Cove, board a modern catamaran and allow the majesty and vastness of the fiord to take your breath away. Enjoy the on-board commentary that provides insight into the region’s history, flora and fauna as you view spectacular towering mountains and wildlife. Later you’ll travel to Queenstown, skirting through lush farmland and around Lake Wakatipu to the picturesque alpine resort of Queenstown.

Your accommodation: Heritage Hotel Queenstown (or similar)

At Heritage 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 the rippled waters of Lake Wakatipu.

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 5 - Spend a day at leisure in Queenstown
Kirra Tours 9 Day Southern Dream South Island Tour - Day 5
Day at leisure in Queenstown

Today is yours to experience New Zealand’s adventure capital for yourself. Queenstown boasts an incredible array of activities and your Coach Captain can assist with booking any optional extras you’d like to do. Take a ride on the world-famous Shotover Jet Boat, travel to the top of Bob’s Peak by gondola for spectacular views, take a tour to the gold mining area of Skippers Canyon, or for the adventurous, try white water rafting or bungy jumping. Alternatively, browse in the many shops and galleries in town or relax at one of the many cafes or bars along the lakefront.

Your accommodation: Heritage Hotel Queenstown (or similar)

At Heritage 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 the rippled waters of Lake Wakatipu.

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 6 - Pass through Wanaka as you head to Haast
Kirra Tours 9 Day Southern Dream South Island Tour - Day 6
Queenstown to Haast

View incredible scenery as you travel through Arrowtown, an area steeped in fascinating history relating to early settlement and the gold mining era. Next you visit Wanaka, a popular township on the lakes edge with a spectacular mountain backdrop. Then you'll enter Jackson Bay, a spectacular place and one not many people will be able to say they've done! Jackson Bay marks the farthest point of the West Coast's road network. You'll have an amazing West Coast lunch at The Craypot - a quirky, little caravan style restaurant situated on the esplanade before heading towards Haast, our destination for the evening. Tonight you stay at the Heartland Hotel, a popular local establishment where the locals come to mix and mingle at the Frontier Bar.

Your accommodation: Heartland Hotel Haast (or similar)

In a location so special, it was named a World Heritage Area, sits the Heartland Hotel. Just 4 kilometres from the township of Haast it's the ideal place to discover this incredible area of New Zealand. Warm and comfortable accommodation will ensure a welcoming stay after a day exploring the natural wilderness surrounds between the West Coast and Southern Lakes.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 7 - Explore the West Coast as you travel to Franz Josef
Kirra Tours 9 Day Southern Dream South Island Tour - Day 7
Haast to Franz Josef

Travel north along the coast of the Westland National Park, home of the Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers. This remarkable part of the country was shaped by the dynamic glaciers and boasts lush temperate rainforest growing beneath towering mountains.
You’ll stop in Fox Glacier with the option to walk the gentle 2.6km track around Lake Matheson. Nestled amongst ancient forests and famous for mirror views of Aoraki/Mount Cook and Mount Tasman, Lake Matheson is a serene and beautiful place to spend time.
This evening you're spending the night in the Franz Josef township, surrounded by lush rainforest and impressive mountains. You’ll enjoy a delicious group dinner at the hotel’s restaurant, Canavans.

Your accommodation: Beachfront Hotel Hokitika (or similar)

The unique location of the Beachfront Hotel Hokitika on the shores of the Tasman Sea and in the heart of Hokitika allows you to beachcomb and shop local artisans' galleries right from your doorstep.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 8 - Hop aboard the Tranzalpine train and journey east to Christchurch
Kirra Tours 9 Day Southern Dream South Island Tour - Day 8
Franz Josef to Christchurch

Today you'll travel to the vibrant, artistic town of Hokitika where you'll visit the amazing Greenstone and Glass blowing factories and watch some talented artists at work. Next, continue on to Greymouth, a historic town known for jade hunting, gold mining, and dramatic river floods.
Once there, you'll make your way to the Greymouth Train Station, where you'll board the Tranzalpine train. Considered to be one of the world's greatest train journeys, prepare to be blown away by these epic vistas of forests, plains and mountains. Upon arrival in Christchurch, you'll be collected by your Guide and transferred to the hotel.

Your accommodation: Rydges Latimer Christchurch (or similar)

Rydges Latimer Christchurch is located just 2 minutes walking distance from the city’s CBD and overlooks scenic Latimer Square, an iconic New Zealand green space with ample room for travellers to enjoy.

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 9 - Your journey finishes today
Kirra Tours 9 Day Southern Dream South Island Tour - Day 9
Depart Christchurch

The final day is today and as your trip comes to an end, you will say goodbye to your group and leader. Whether you decide to head home today or to stay in Christchurch for a few extra days, we hope you leave with many happy memories of your trip.

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Kirra Tours 9 Day Southern Dream South Island Tour

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Oct 29, 2022
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Nov 19, 2022
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Feb 4, 2023
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Mar 4, 2023
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Mar 18, 2023
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Apr 15, 2023
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