14 Day Southern Spirit

14 Day Southern Spirit

Experience the southern spirit on a 14 day AAT Kings Best Buys guided expedition. Explore Christchurch, Te Anau, Milford Sound, Franz Josef Glacier, Nelson, Wellington, and more.

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Tour Info

Tour Type: Low Cost Coach Tour
From: Christchurch to Wellington
Departures: Oct 2020 to Mar 2021
Price: From (NZD) $4605 per person
Tour Operator: AAT Kings Tours
Duration: 14 Days
Tour Code: lcqw


12 nights accommodation in superior hotels and 1 night on an overnight cruise
13 fully cooked breakfasts (B) and 7 dinners (D)
See mighty Aoraki Mount Cook, New Zealand's highest mountain
Visit the Church of the Good Shepherd at Lake Tekapo
Tour the sights of Dunedin
Explore New Zealand's only castle – Larnach Castle
Overnight cruise on the Milford Mariner
Explore the Te Anau Glowworm Caves
Two days at leisure in Queenstown, the 'adventure capital of New Zealand'
Skyline Gondola ride and dinner at Stratosfare Restaurant on Bob's Peak with spectacular views of Lake Wakatipu
Visit historic Arrowtown
Stay at spectacular Franz Josef Glacier
View the Pancake Rocks and Blowholes at Punakaiki
Watch artisans carving native pounamu (jade) in Hokitika
Free time in Nelson and Abel Tasman National Park
Cruise through Queen Charlotte Sound from Picton to Wellington
Visit Te Papa, Museum of New Zealand

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Day by Day Tour Itinerary

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Day 1
Arrive Christchurch

You’ll have time at leisure this afternoon; you may like to take a stroll along the banks of the Avon River before a Welcome Reception with your Travel Director and fellow travellers.

Stay: Ibis Hotel, Christchurch

Day 2
Christchurch - Ōmarama

Board your coach to see the extensive work carried out to rebuild Christchurch after the devastating earthquake of February 2011. Later, see Lake Tekapo and Lake Pukaki and visit the Church of the Good Shepherd before soaking up the sensational alpine landscape of Aoraki Mount Cook National Park.

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

Day 3
Ōmarama - Dunedin

Your day begins with a visit to the Waitaki Hydro Power Scheme, an intricate series of lakes and canals on the mighty Waitaki River, and the monumental spillway of the Benmore Dam. Next, travel to the historic town of Oamaru, with its tree-lined streets and celebrated white limestone buildings. Continue to Dunedin, New Zealand’s
southernmost city.

Stay: Kingsgate Hotel, Dunedin (B)

Day 4
Dunedin - Overnight Cruise on Milford Sound

Today is a feast for the senses. Travel along the Devil’s Staircase and the shores of Lake Wakatipu to Te Anau. You’ll be awestruck by the World Heritage Fiordland National Park, New Zealand’s largest national park. See rainforest, ancient glaciers, mountain ranges, and drive through the Homer Tunnel. Pass Lake Matheson, Pop’s Lookout, Cleddau Valley and The Chasm, before arriving in Milford Sound for your overnight cruise on the Milford Mariner.

Overnight Cruise: Milford Mariner, Milford Sound (B, D)

Note: Milford Mariner does not operate 21 May – 15 September. During this period there will be a day cruise on Milford Sound and accommodation in Queenstown.

Day 5
Milford Sound - Queenstown

Depart this morning for the town of Te Anau. Cruise to the western shores of Lake Te Anau to the entry of the famous Glowworm Caves to meet your guide. Deep inside you’ll be taken by small boat into a silent hidden grotto inhabited by thousands of glowworms. Later, travel on to New Zealand’s adventure capital, Queenstown.

Stay: Copthorne Hotel and Resort, Queenstown (3 nights) (B)

Day 6
Queenstown - Free Time

Today is free for you to explore exciting Queenstown at your own pace. Plan your own day or you may like to choose one of our optional experiences, including riding the Shotover Jet boat, joining a tour of the region’s
popular wineries, or enjoying a popular minibus excursion through rugged Skippers Canyon. This evening, consider a cruise across Lake Wakatipu aboard the iconic vintage steamship TSS Earnslaw for a gourmet barbecue dinner
at Walter Peak High Country Farm. (B)

Day 7
Queenstown - Free Time

Another action-packed day or time to relax. (B)

Day 8
Queenstown - Franz Josef Glacier

First stop this morning is the gold mining village of Arrowtown, a colourful township steeped in local history. Next is Cromwell and its sensational stone fruit. Then it’s a trio of lakes – Dunstan, Hawea and Wanaka. Travel through Haast Pass which winds its way through Mount Aspiring National Park and dramatic mountain and forest scenery. View the amazing Thunder Creek Falls and continue north along the coastal road to Franz Josef Glacier – a rare, still advancing glacier.

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

Day 9
Franz Josef - Punakaiki

You can see Franz Josef Glacier from the air or take a glacier hike (both optional). Depart for Hokitika, home of the native pounamu (jade), for a studio visit and demonstration. Later travel to Punakaiki to view the Pancake Rocks and Blowholes. You’ll stay in an eco-friendly resort right on the waterfront. Enjoy dinner while watching the thundering surf at your doorstep!

Stay: Punakaiki Resort (B, D)

Day 10
Punakaiki - Nelson

The Heritage Highway leads you through scenic wilderness to the plunging Buller Gorge and pristine Kahurangi National Park.

Stay: Rutherford Hotel, Nelson (2 nights) (B)

Day 11
Nelson - Free Time

You’ll have the option to journey to the top of the South Island and enjoy a relaxing cruise in the Abel Tasman National Park or perhaps take a short bush walk, relax in sunny Nelson, or explore the many arts and craft shops. (B)

Day 12
Nelson - Wellington

Visit the seaside village of Picton with free time to explore and purchase lunch. Cruise on tranquil Queen Charlotte Sound before heading across Cook Strait to Wellington, New Zealand’s capital. Enjoy a city sights tour, then visit the Maori cultural icon Te Papa Museum of New Zealand, where you’ll explore New Zealand’s nature, art, history and cultural heritage.

Stay: Travelodge, Wellington (2 nights) (B)

Day 13
Wellington - Free Time

Celebrated as the country’s creative and culinary capital, Wellington is nestled between two of New Zealands finest wine regions. Today is yours to explore the city at your own pace. You might like to take an optional experience tour of Parliament or the Weta Workshop, where the special effects for The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit films were created. Celebrate your holiday at a Farewell Dinner with your new-found friends. (B, D)

Day 14
Depart Wellington

Your tour concludes this morning after breakfast. You’ll be transferred to Wellington Airport for your onward flight. (B)


There are 4 reviews of this tour from past clients of Relaxing Journeys, averaging 4.8 out of 5.

Overall Tour Rating
Value For Money
Tour Pace
Relaxing Journeys Experience

Tour Reviews

Our tour guide Isobel and driver Craig were very competent, friendly, funny and knowledgeable. Hotels and included meals were very good.
Overall Tour Rating

Value For Money


Tour Pace

Relaxing Journeys Experience
Tour Director, Tania Simpson, was great - knowledgeable, efficient and very caring. Several members of the tour, including my wife, had some physical disabilities and Tania was very patient and helped them through all of the activities. Everything was arranged and on time, such as the shuttles to and from the airports. Our driver, Nathan, was really expert at driving the bus, as well as very knowledgeable about the places visited. Everyone in our group, which included residents of England, Australia, South Africa and the USA, became good friends. The facilities and meals were generally very good, and the tour of the AAT Kings tour of the South Island and Wellington was awesome!
Overall Tour Rating

Value For Money


Tour Pace

Relaxing Journeys Experience
Everything went really well, my parents thoroughly enjoyed the whole tour and most praise went to the coach driver! Also the very personal service, their suitcases were carried into their hotel rooms for them as they are in their late 70's. The only thing they found a little bit disappointing was the fact that their tour guide spoke very fast New Zealand English and they understood hardly anything of what she said. Their English is not perfect but they do understand clear, normal speed English. (Ed. That's a Kiwi thing, unfortunately, we are known for fast talking and mumbling! Not a good combination :)
Overall Tour Rating

Value For Money


Tour Pace

Relaxing Journeys Experience
We did have good weather and luck on our side, but what we saw and visited on South Island was beyond expectations. Beautiful scenery and wildlife, some thrills too, glad we did it.
Overall Tour Rating

Value For Money


Tour Pace

Relaxing Journeys Experience

Enquire about our 14 Day Southern Spirit

14 Day Southern Spirit
Low Cost Coach Tour
Tour Code: lcqw
From (NZD) $4605 per person
Save (NZD) $245 per person
Enquire Now
Departures: Oct 2020 to Mar 2021
4 reviews (4.8/5)

Experience the southern spirit on a 14 day AAT Kings Best Buys guided expedition. Explore Christchurch, Te Anau, Milford Sound, Franz Josef Glacier, N... Read More

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14 Day Southern Spirit
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