9 Day Southern Spotlight

9 Day Southern Spotlight

Low cost AAT Kings escorted tour of the South Island of New Zealand. Explore Christchurch, Dunedin and Queenstown. Experience spectacular Fox Glacier, and awe-inspiring Milford Sound.

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Tour Info

Tour Type: Low Cost Coach Tour
From: Christchurch to Christchurch
Departures: Sep 2020 to Mar 2021
Price: From (NZD) $3015 per person
Tour Operator: AAT Kings Tours
Duration: 9 Days
Tour Code: LCQR

Inclusions

8 nights accommodation in comfortable hotels
8 fully cooked breakfasts (B) and 5 dinners (D)
Travel over the Canterbury Plains
Visit the Church of the Good Shepherd at Lake Tekapo
View mighty Aoraki Mount Cook, New Zealand's highest mountain
Tour the sights of Dunedin
Cruise on Milford Sound
See Mitre Peak and Bowen Falls
Full day at leisure in Queenstown, New Zealand's adventure capital
Cruise Lake Wakatipu aboard the TSS Earnslaw
Visit historic Arrowtown
Stay at spectacular Franz Josef Glacier
Journey on the TranzAlpine train

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Day by Day Tour Itinerary

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Day 1
Arrive Christchurch

On arrival in Christchurch you will be transferred to your hotel (flights to arrive prior to 4pm). Join your Tour Director and fellow travellers this evening for a welcome reception.

Stay: Ibis Hotel, Christchurch

Day 2
Christchurch - Ōmarama

See how Christchurch is has rebuilt itself after the devastating earthquakes of 2010 and 2011, and pop into the Transitional Cathedral, the temporary home of the Christchurch Cathedral, built almost entirely of cardboard. Later, travel over the fertile Canterbury Plains to soak up spectacular scenery. You’ll view the famous
Church of the Good Shepherd, and stop for a quick photo with the bronze statue of a collie dog. You may wish to view Mount Cook National Park from the air this afternoon on an optional experience scenic flight. Your day
finishes in the heart of the Mackenzie Country at Omarama.

Stay: Heritage Gateway Hotel, Ōmarama (B, D)

Day 3
Omarama - Dunedin

Visit to the Waitaki Hydro Power Scheme, an intricate series of interconnected lakes and canals, and the monumental spillway of the nearby Benmore Dam. Then travel to the historic town of Oamaru, with its elegant
tree-lined streets and celebrated white limestone buildings. Continue to Dunedin, New Zealand’s southernmost city, where your afternoon is at leisure. You may like to take a wildlife cruise, or ride the historic Taieri Gorge Railway.

Stay: Scenic Hotel Dunedin City, Dunedin (B)

Day 4
Dunedin - Te Anau

This morning you’re free to explore Dunedin at your own pace: you might like to visit stately Larnach Castle. This afternoon, travel through lush green sheep-grazing country on your way to Fiordland National Park and the town of Te Anau. Tonight, why not consider an optional experience and take a boat tour of the mysterious Te Anau
Glowworm Caves.

Stay: Distinction Luxmore Hotel, Te Anau (B, D)

Day 5
Te Anau - Milford Sound - Queenstown

Your experience in magnificent Milford Sound is sure to be one of the highlights of your trip. Travel through tall native rainforests and rugged mountains of Fiordland National Park, then cruise the serene waters of this natural wonder. On the way to Queenstown see Mirror Lake, Cleddau Valley, the Chasm, Mitre Peak and Bowen Falls, then travel along the Devil’s Staircase and the shores of Lake Wakatipu. Enjoy an informative orientation tour on arrival.

Stay: Copthorne Hotel and Resort, Queenstown (2 nights) (B)

Day 6
Queenstown at Leisure

Explore New Zealand’s adventure capital at your own pace today. There are jet boat rides and white water rafting for the thrill-seekers, and wine tours or intimate cafés for those who enjoy a more leisurely rhythm. You might like to visit the picturesque Queenstown Gardens and enjoy its beautiful tulips in spring or glorious roses
in summer. Take a peaceful cruise this evening across Lake Wakatipu aboard the century-old TSS Earnslaw, the only remaining commercial passenger-carrying coal-fired steamship in the Southern Hemisphere. Your destination is Walter Peak High Country Farm, where you’ll enjoy a gourmet barbecue Highlight Dinner and entertaining after-dinner show offering glimpses of high country farm life.(B, D)

Day 7
Queenstown - Franz Josef

Your destination today is the wild west coast of the South Island. Stop to visit the gold-mining settlement of Arrowtown, where more than 70 original buildings from the gold-rush era are faithfully preserved. Sample luscious stone fruit in Cromwell and enjoy the serenity of the region’s vivid blue lakes, the most famous
of which is tranquil Lake Wanaka. Drive over the spectacular Haast Pass, passing the 96-metre Thunder Creek Falls and stopping for a leisurely rainforest walk on your way to the extraordinary Franz Josef Glacier.

Stay: Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier (Graham Wing) (B, D)

Day 8
Franz Josef - Christchurch

Travel on this morning to Hokitika, home of New Zealand’s famous greenstone. Pounamu (its Māori name) is of great cultural significance in Māori culture and was prized for its strength, durability and beauty. It was used for weapons, tools and personal ornaments, and also denoted great status. Continue to Arthur’s Pass to board the iconic TranzAlpine train and embark on one of the world’s most renowned rail journeys. Pass through magnificent
landscapes ranging from the rugged gorges and pristine ice-fed streams and lakes of the Southern Alps, to the lush pasture-land of the Canterbury Plains. This evening in Christchurch, join your Travel Director and new-found friends for a Farewell Dinner.

Stay: Ibis Hotel, Christchurch (B, D)

Day 9
Depart Christchurch

Your holiday concludes this morning after breakfast. You will be transferred to Christchurch Airport for your onward flight. (B)

4.7/5.0

There are 66 reviews of this tour from past clients of Relaxing Journeys, averaging 4.7 out of 5.

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Tour Reviews

5
07/10/2018
Wonderfully planned with terrific tour guide and driver. Just the right pacing of riding, fun stops, extra excursions and interesting sights.
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4
04/02/2018
Very well organised - tour director Kevin was excellent.
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5
26/11/2017
Sarah our tour guide is a credit to your company and Mike our driver was excellent. Enjoyed the experience.
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5
17/09/2017
Excellent choice of places to visit. Lots of variety. Both Tour director and driver were excellent +++
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5
11/06/2017
I rate this tour 'excellent' because: it was very well organised at all times, the arrangements were very reliable, I felt safe and secure, plus the tour manager was very very good at his job. As a lone woman traveller, I felt included and welcome. I chose this tour because it went to all the places I wanted to go and fitted in with my travel dates - that all worked out very well. Lastly, my group of 30 was very friendly.
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5
12/02/2017
Great guide. Excellent bus & accommodations. Very well organized. Couldn't be more pleased.
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5
08/01/2017
Shame about the rain in Milford Sound and not seeing the Franz Josef glacier due to bad weather but the rest of the tour was very good. The drive into and out of Milford Sound and then on to Queenstown made for a rather long day sitting down all day. I would have liked to go back to Te Anau and spent another night there. The tour guide and driver were superb at their jobs. Very knowledgeable and organised.
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5
01/01/2017
Excellent tour director and driver. Itinerary well thought out. Would prefer less buffet meals, more fixed menu type meals. Optional extras were unexpectedly high and not accurate pricing on the handed out sheets. We would have liked to know these prices in advance but had a fabulous time anyway.
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5
27/11/2016
The tour was wonderful and staff very helpful and welcoming.
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5
23/10/2016
Thoroughly enjoyed every moment, but as with all tours would have loved to spend a bit longer in some places e.g. Arrowtown, including Manapouri and Doubtful Sound would have added to the experience but would require an extra day. Our tour guide, Lu, was excellent and as the only NZers we were impressed with the history, facts and figures she imparted about the countryside to our fellow travellers. Hotel accommodation was excellent and so were the breakfasts and buffet dinners, but the menu dinners left much to be desired especially the final dinner at the Ibis, Christchurch.
Overall Tour Rating

Value For Money

Accommodation

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Relaxing Journeys Experience

Enquire about our 9 Day Southern Spotlight

9 Day Southern Spotlight
Low Cost Coach Tour
Tour Code: LCQR
From (NZD) $3015 per person
Save (NZD) $160 per person
Enquire Now
Departures: Sep 2020 to Mar 2021
Rating:
66 reviews (4.7/5)

Low cost AAT Kings escorted tour of the South Island of New Zealand. Explore Christchurch, Dunedin and Queenstown. Experience spectacular Fox Glacier,... Read More

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9 Day Southern Spotlight
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