9 Day Southern Wonders

9 Day Southern Wonders

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

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Tour Info

Tour Type: Low Cost Coach Tour
From: Christchurch to Christchurch
Departures: Jun 2018 to Sep 2019
Price:
From (NZD) $2800 per person
Tour Operator: AAT Kings Tours
Duration: 9 Days
Tour Code: LRQC

Inclusions

8 nights accommodation in comfortable hotels
8 fully cooked breakfasts (B) and 6 dinners (D)
Journey across plains, through alps and gorges on the TranzAlpine train
Stay at spectacular Franz Josef Glacier
Visit historic Arrowtown
Cruise Lake Wakatipu aboard the TSS Earnslaw
Full day at leisure in Queenstown, New Zealand's adventure capital
Cruise on Milford Sound
Tour the sights of Dunedin
View mighty Aoraki Mount Cook, New Zealand's highest mountain
See the Church of the Good Shepherd at Lake Tekapo
Travel wallet, comprehensive customised itinerary, bound map book, accommodation and activity vouchers, and local travel guides

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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. The remainder of the day is at leisure to explore the city. This evening meet your Tour Director and fellow travellers for a welcome drink.

Stay: Ibis Hotel, Christchurch (D)

Day 2
Christchurch - TranzAlpine Train Journey - Franz Josef

First up this morning you’ll board the TranzAlpine, one of the top scenic train journeys in the world. This spectacular journey takes you across the Canterbury Plains and through the Southern Alps to Arthur’s Pass. Later visit Hokitika, home of pounamu (jade) for a studio visit and jewellery demonstration. Next stop is Franz Josef Glacier – a rare, still advancing glacier (optional scenic flight available).

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

Day 3
Franz Josef - Queenstown

Travel through the Haast Pass, view Thunder Creek Falls, take a rainforest walk. Then it’s a trio of lakes – Wanaka, Hawea, Dunstan. Next is Cromwell and its stone fruit and Arrowtown on the Arrow River. On arrival in Queenstown, the ‘adventure capital of New Zealand’, an orientation tour completes your day.

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

Day 4
Queenstown (Free Day)

Explore exciting Queenstown your way – from wine and garden tours to jetboat rides and white water rafting. This evening cruise across Lake Wakatipu aboard New Zealand’s oldest steamship, the TSS Earnslaw, to Walter Peak Station for a highlight dinner at the Colonel’s Homestead. An entertaining after-dinner show provides a glimpse into high country farm life. Why not join in a sing-along on your cruise back to Queenstown. (B, D)

Day 5
Queenstown - Milford Sound Cruise - Te Anau

Travel along the Devil’s Staircase and the shores of Lake Wakatipu to Te Anau. You’ll be awestruck by great sights from Fiordland National Park to Milford Sound, one of the world’s most amazing places, where you’ll cruise on the waters of this natural wonder. En route you’ll drive through the handmade Homer Tunnel to the abundant photo opportunities afforded by the Mirror Lakes, Pop’s Lookout, Cleddau Valley, The Chasm, Mitre Peak and Bowen Falls. Then return to Te Anau. Tonight you have the option to visit the Te Anau Glowworm Caves.

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

Day 6
Te Anau - Dunedin

We will cross sheep-filled farming land to Dunedin, founded by Scottish settlers, for a city tour. The afternoon is yours to explore Dunedin as you wish – take a wildlife cruise, visit Cadbury World, or ride the historic Taieri Gorge Railway.

Stay: Scenic Hotel Dunedin City (B, D)

Day 7
Dunedin - Ōmarama

Enjoy a morning of time to yourself and the opportunity to visit historic Larnach Castle, New Zealand’s only authentic castle. Travel through Ōamaru which is famous for its white limestone buildings. Follow the Waitaki River, passing hydro-electric dams at Waitaki and Aviemore, on to Ōmarama.

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

Day 8
Ōmarama - Christchurch

Soak up the alpine scenery of Aoraki Mount Cook National Park, home to New Zealand’s highest mountain. You may wish to take an optional scenic flight (weather permitting). This afternoon stop at Lake Tekapo and view the Church of the Good Shepherd, then continue over the colourful Canterbury Plains to Christchurch.

Stay: Ibis Hotel, Christchurch (B)

Day 9
Depart Christchurch

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

4.6/5.0

There are 53 reviews of this tour from past clients of Relaxing Journeys, averaging 4.6 out of 5.

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Value For Money
Accommodation
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Tour Reviews

4
26/02/2018
It was easy to arrange a tour for my mom. I am glad I contacted the right company. Having another stay in the same room for one day after the tour for free including breakfast was very comfortable for me as mom required some time to rest after the trip. Many thanks.
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4
06/02/2017
Over all this was a very good tour. There were times when we as, New Zealanders, felt a little more time in some places and less in others would have given more balance to the tour for the overseas visitors. However I realise this is very difficult as there is only so much one can show in a short time. Meals and hotels were excellent we've been on five bus tours before in Europe and UK and meals and hotels did not come up to the same standard of this New Zealand Tour.
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5
28/11/2016
Very enjoyable. Great Tour Director, Kevin, who was always helpful and a great deal of fun too!
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4
17/10/2016
South Island New Zealand is beautiful! The scenery was worth the trip in itself! We were a bit weary of riding so much in the bus the last two days. By that time I would have preferred traveling straight back to Christchurch instead of going inland again. We liked most of the accommodations but felt very cramped in our Ibis room as there were 3 of us and there was very little water pressure with the shower. We started and ended our trip in the same room at the Ibis, so this was unfortunate. Our tour guide, Isobel, was enthusiastic and offered good suggestions for places to eat when we were on our own. Food overall was very good. I would definitely travel with AATKings again.
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5
11/04/2016
Weather sunny on the important days in Queenstown and Milford. We could do everything we had planned. The triple share rooms worked out well. A bit of a squash at Ibis but rest very good. Mark was a knowledgeable tour guide and very helpful. Trent is an excellent driver. The itinerary was well planned giving us plenty of time to do extras. My two suggestions to improve the trip are (1) to have a set dinner on the night you arrive in Queenstown as it is a long day's drive from Franz Josef to Queenstown, and (2) for the last night in Christchurch to have a dinner together with the group to say goodbye to everyone.
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5
11/04/2016
We had a great holiday, Mark and Trent were fun and always helpful, all our travel companions enjoyed all the fun we had, a lovely group, will travel with you again.
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5
11/04/2016
Our coach tour of the South Island was a wonderful experience and we are so glad we chose this option instead of the self-drive holiday we had been considering. It was a holiday without stress, as we were able to enjoy the magnificent scenery without worrying about negotiating roads and routes, and everything was very well planned with good accommodation and delicious meals. The itinerary was excellent, with the inclusions we would have chosen ourselves, so we didn't feel we needed to do the optional activities, but fellow travelers who did choose the options were excited about their experiences. There was a good balance of active days experiencing spectacular scenery and more leisurely days of exploring the interesting towns of Queenstown and Dunedin. The cruise on Milford Sound was breathtaking and was the highlight of the trip for me. AAT Kings looked after us really well, as everyone had told us they would, and they did indeed exceed our expectations in the itinerary and their care of us. Mark's commentary was really clear and interesting and well chosen for each part of the trip, and Trent was an excellent driver, so we felt safe and comfortable at all times, and his navigation display that he and Mark had designed was really helpful in showing our location and estimated times. Relaxing Journeys was really good to deal with, and everything went smoothly with arrangements and payments. Thank you, Mani at Relaxing Journeys, for your help and cheerfulness, and thank you to the team at Relaxing Journeys for making this tour available for us to find online. We thoroughly recommend this tour and are telling our family and friends about it.
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5
14/03/2016
Overall, very satisfied. Tour leader, driver and accommodation all highly satisfactory. Only personal wish for anything to be different would be for less buffet dinners. These were the norm almost every evening and invariably were rushed affairs. I would gladly pay a bit extra for waiter service.
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5
29/02/2016
Toni (ahead of the tour) provided excellent and prompt support. I would recommend Relaxing Journeys to anyone. AAT Kings was also excellent. Kellie (the tour director) and Kerry (the driver) made a wonderful and very friendly team. They were both very knowledgeable about NZ. Neither had worked together before but were excellent together. They made themselves available to everyone at almost anytime. Well recommended to anyone. Two small \"niggles\". The coaches air conditioning didn't work for the first 3 days (when it was altogether too hot in the coach). This was fixed after those 3 days. To me, the hotel in the last tour stop (Oamoru) was not up to the standard of the other hotels (which were very good to excellent).
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5
18/02/2016
We enjoyed every minute of the tour and Dexter and Stu were great guide and driver respectively. The weather was brilliant and showed NZ at its very best. I would certainly recommend this to other people. Thank you Mani on behalf of Kim and I.
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Enquire about our 9 Day Southern Wonders

9 Day Southern Wonders
Low Cost Coach Tour
Tour Code: LRQC
From (NZD) $2800 per person
Save (NZD) $150 per person
Enquire Now
Departures: Jun 2018 to Sep 2019
Rating:
53 reviews (4.6/5)

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

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9 Day Southern Wonders
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