10 Day Southern Spectacular

10 Day Southern Spectacular

Enjoy New Zealand's South Island on AAT Kings' brand new 10 day Southern Spectacular itinerary. Based on their most popular tour, it's been tweaked to include a premium level of accommodation. See the mighty Mt. Cook, Queenstown and Franz Josef Glacier & cruise on the TSS Earnslaw with a day at leisure in Queenstown.

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Tour Info

Tour Type: Premium Coach Tour
From: Christchurch to Christchurch
Departures: Jun 2018 to Dec 2019
Price:
From (NZD) $3825 per person
Tour Operator: AAT Kings Tours
Pace: Relaxing
Duration: 10 Days
Tour Code: ZCQR

Inclusions

9 nights accommodation in superior hotels
9 fully cooked breakfasts (B), 1 lunch (L) & 7 dinners (D)
View Mt Cook National Park
Visit the Church of the Good Shepherd at Lake Tekapo
Tour the sights of Dunedin
Take your pick of a selection of included experiences in Dunedin & Queenstown
Cruise on Milford Sound
Full day at leisure in Queenstown, New Zealand's adventure capital
Cruise on the TSS Earnslaw, to Walter Peak Station
Visit historic Arrowtown
Discover fascinating Franz Josef Glacier
Stay at Punakaiki and discover the Pancake Rocks and Blowholes
Journey over the Southern Alps on the TranzAlpine Train
Travel wallet, comprehensive customised itinerary, bound map book, accommodation & activity vouchers and local travel guides

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Day by Day Tour Itinerary

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Day 1
Arrive Christchurch

Christchurch’s energy is evident wherever you go. The city has bounced back after the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 and is now thriving once again. Contemporary art galleries, boutiques and open-air markets add to the city’s creative vibe. Meet your Travel Director and fellow travellers this evening for a Welcome Reception.

Stay: Distinction Hotel, Christchurch

Day 2
Christchurch - Twizel

Visit the Morelea Farm, a typical working sheep farm, where you’ll get a taste of traditional New Zealand country life. You’ll be welcomed into the home of Angie and Stan Taylor and their 240 hectare garden. You’ll have the chance to experience sheep shearing and farming demonstrations before enjoying a BBQ lunch, and wait until you try Angie’s famous pavlova dessert! Listen to the family’s story of growing up in rural New Zealand and their challenges of farming in the foothills of New Zealand’s Southern Alps. Later see Lake Tekapo and Lake Pukaki & visit the Church of the Good Shepherd. Continue to Twizel, a base for mountain climbing, kayaking, mountain biking, skiing, horse trekking and hiking.

Stay: Mackenzie Country Inn, Twizel (B, L, D)

Day 3
Twizel - Dunedin (Included Choice)

View the Waitaki Hydro Power Scheme and Benmore Dam. Travel through Oamaru, with its limestone buildings, to Dunedin. Choose one from a range of Included Choice sightseeing experiences. Tour stately Larnach Castle, ride the historic Taieri Gorge Railway, take a wildlife cruise or an interactive tour of Speight’s Brewery. This evening enjoy dinner with wine at your hotel.

Stay: Scenic Hotel Southern Cross, Dunedin (B, D)

Day 4
Dunedin - Te Anau

Today, travel across farming land to the village of Te Anau, on the shores of Lake Te Anau, the South Island’s largest lake. This evening enjoy dinner with wine at your hotel.

Stay: Distinction Te Anau Hotel and Villas (B, D)

Day 5
Te Anau - Milford Sound - Queenstown

You’ll be awestruck by the magnificence of the World Heritage listed Fiordland National Park. Amazing photo opportunities await you today as you see rainforest, ancient glaciers, mountain ranges and the hand-made Homer Tunnel. Pass the Mirror Lake, Pop’s Lookout, Cleddau Valley and the Chasm. Your cruise on Milford Sound will take you past Bowen Falls and Mitre Peak. Afterwards, travel along the shores of Lake Wakatipu on your way to Queenstown, where an orientation tour finishes this highlight day.

Stay: Millennium Hotel, Queenstown (2 nights) (B)

Day 6
Queenstown (Included Choice)

Today choose one from a range of Included Choice sightseeing experiences. You have the option to ride the Shotover Jet. Experience farm life in the High Country or take the gondola to the Skyline Restaurant for dinner. Perhaps take a 4WD minibus through Skippers Canyon or go to a wildlife park and see NZ’s own kiwi bird. This evening cruise across Lake Wakatipu aboard the TSS Earnslaw to Walter Peak High Country Farm for a gourmet barbecue ‘highlight dinner’ at the Colonel’s Homestead. An entertaining farm show provides a glimpse into high-country farm life. (B, D)

Day 7
Queenstown - Franz Josef Glacier

Visit the historic gold mining village of Arrowtown, on the Arrow River, previously one of the world’s richest rivers. Enjoy the tastes of delicious stone fruit at Cromwell, the stone fruit capital. See a trio of lakes, Dunstan, Hawea and Wanaka. Travel over the Haast Pass, view amazing Thunder Creek Falls and take a small rainforest walk. Then it’s on to Franz Josef Glacier, the world’s most accessible glacier.

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

Day 8
Franz Josef - Punakaiki

There is time this morning to explore Franz Josef Glacier. You can see it from the air on an optional flight (weather permitting) or take a glacier hike! (Both optional). It’s time for an exhilarating adventure among temperate rainforest giants on the West Coast Treetop Walk. Then depart for Hokitika, home of the native greenstone (jade), for a factory visit and jewellery demonstration. Later, travel to Punakaiki to view the Pancake Rocks and Blowholes. You’ll stay in an eco-friendly resort right on the waterfront.

Stay: Punakaiki Resort (B, D)

Day 9
Punakaiki - TranzAlpine - Christchurch

Travel to the alpine village of Arthur’s Pass and board the TranzAlpine. This spectacular train journey dates back to 1914, and is rated as one of the word’s most scenic train trips. The train forges through tunnels and over viaducts with panoramic views of snow-capped peaks, icy rivers, beech forests, gorges and river valleys. Join your Tour Director this evening for a farewell dinner with wine.

Stay: Distinction Hotel, Christchurch (B, D)

Day 10
Depart Christchurch

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

4.8/5.0

There are 32 reviews of this tour from past clients of Relaxing Journeys, averaging 4.8 out of 5.

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Tour Reviews

5
07/02/2016
JP the tour guide and Stu the expert bus driver only enhanced this awesome itinerary. They have amazing personalities and made sure everyone was having a great experience. We were a group of six ( two sisters plus four aunts ) and our vacation was even better than we imagined that it would be. The food and the accommodations were top notch.
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5
17/01/2016
On a tour it all boils down to, once you've chosen your route/days to your guide and driver who are with you on the daily go! Both in my case were excellent, as was the coach! They were so organised, so informative and funny. The hotels were very well chosen, wines and food a pleasure to eat and drink! Thank you Mani, my consultant, for arranging it all for me and making my trip really memorable!
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4
27/12/2015
Thoroughly enjoyed my first ever coach tour. Saw many beautiful & interesting parts of the South Island. Everything was well organised by not only Mani, our Tour Consultant, but also by Sarah & Mark who were our Tour Director & Driver. A few dislikes I might mention though. Firstly, I would have liked all the 'included choices' to be 'optional choices'. The Queenstown 'included choices', my husband and I decided to forefeit because we were so tired from the days travel that we opted to use the 'day of leisure' exactly that, day of leisure! Passengers should be given all the options of extra activities. Secondly, the Punakaiki Resorts buffet dinner & breakfast was a joke! Hardly any variety in food and very small quantities also. All other hotels meals offered was excellent. Lastly, Dunedin was a city I felt that needed 'a day at leisure'. Not enough time to fully enjoy this city. Larnach Castle & Milford Sound were my highlights. All in all, a great holiday with spectacular scenery. Definitely worth the trip!
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5
27/12/2015
I really recommend this tour and we enjoyed every bit of it. It was a great experience as Marie, our tour consultant provided a lot of insights before our trip. We travelled with a small kid and we were completely at ease as everything was so smooth. Sarah, our tour director (AAT Kings) was very informative and she planned day to day activities to perfection. We all were greatly impressed by Mark's driving skill. Although this was a big group from as many as 12 countries, we all became one family for ten days. We made some great friends in the tour. The recommended itinerary suited my family and we definitely have a fabulous vacation in NZ. Looking forward to using Relaxing Journeys for our next trip to NZ.
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5
01/11/2015
It was a great tour. Enjoyed it everyday. Met lots of nice people. I have already recommended this tour to family and friends already. 1 negative is that there was no Wifi on the coach.
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5
20/09/2015
The tour was excellent - a great range of activities and the pace was good. The tour director and driver were an excellent team and extremely knowledgeable and informative. All accommodation and food was excellent, and I look forward to a return trip one day
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5
20/09/2015
Had a great holiday travelling the south island of New Zealand. Would recommend this holiday to everyone!
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5
05/04/2015
We have nothing to compare this tour with, so objective scales are difficult. We did thoroughly enjoy it and have nothing but praise for the Guide and Driver, who were very flexible and people-centred, as well as being competent. A good range of activities, with the correct pace for a mixed clientele. We are treating this visit as once in a lifetime, so when we say we will not use your services again, it is solely due to age and finance! We would happily travel with you again.
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5
01/02/2015
Once again AAT Kings excel. Our tour director Cam and driver Trent could not have done more for us. Two excellent guys.
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5
18/01/2015
Excellent tour. Guide and driver very informative and friendly. Hotels and meals provided were excellent. Great choice of excursions.
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5
28/12/2014
Overall the tour was excellent. Tania and Mark were fantastic and really took time to look after the passengers on the tour. At one point my mother (Norma Parry) was not well and Tania went out of her way to make sure she was looked after. The included choice of excursions are a great idea giving everyone the opportunity to have the choice of what they would prefer. Our highlight was the optional helicopter flight on Franz Josef - spectacular! Only two things which I think could have been better were food at the hotel at Franz Josef and Punakaiki was not very good and the rooms at Punakaiki did not have fly screens despite the sand flies and the staff were very rude when we asked for a screen (which they did not have as they were all being replaced!) and when we asked for a fan they were very reluctant to provide one. Most people on the tour shared the same view of the hotel at Punakaiki.
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5
14/12/2014
Had a most enjoyable time. Ted, the tour guide's humor kept us entertained and the sights were spectacular!
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5
07/12/2014
Excellent tour with a great group of people, looked after by our excellent guide and driver Sarah and Trent. We loved the seamless way that our days were planned, the places we visited and arriving and leaving our destinations could not have been better. We have been in contact with our fellow travellers by e mail and all agree 'how do we top it' and 'I want to be back in New Zealand'.
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5
05/10/2014
The tour was well organised and although at times could be tiring due to early starts and long days to fit everything in it was great that it went the extra bit of journey up the west coast to see the beach with the Pancake Rock formation and to stay near the sea. The only hotel which wasn't so good was the one in Christchurch although perfectly clean the lay out of the bedrooms and the food was very average and the feedback was the same for others on the trip. I would have loved to have stayed an extra couple of days in Queenstown and one more night in the Punakaiki Resort. However the tour guide was excellent and went the extra bit to fit everyones choice of optional or extra excursions in (I went horse riding as an extra and I was the only one who went but the tour guide made sure I was able to fit it in) we did a huge amount in a short time but it was excellent I would have no problem recommending this tour. My husband has difficulty in walking but was able to participate in most things and the tour driver was very helpful to him and drove the coach to a very high standard, excellent holiday!
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5
04/05/2014
The Southern Spectacular tour with AAT Kings Tours in the South Island, New Zealand was amazing! From the expert help and guidance by Mani at Relaxing Journeys together with the organisation by AAT Kings Tours coupled with the expertise knowledge and rapport of Tour Director Ted Ratahi and driver Trent Johnson helped make this the holiday of a lifetime! We saw some many wonderful sights and met so many wonderful people during our incredible journey. We would recommend the Premier tour which provides a very high standard of accommodation and food. The prepaid excursions we selected were also very good value. Very highly recommended.
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5
09/02/2014
A wonderful tour with a very entertaining tour guide and friendly coach driver. The coach was very comfortable and the idea of rotating the seating worked really well. There were lots of additional excursions to choose from and advice on which were the best according to the weather conditions and what people were and were not capable of. The flexibility in the tour was very much appreciated as well in that we did have some 'late' mornings to make up for the very early ones and scenic stops were made according to the weather. The tour never felt rushed even although we took in so many sights, which I believe was to do with the fact it was so well organised and executed.
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4
09/02/2014
Our Tour Guide - John Paul - known as JP was excellent! His knowledge and ability to deal with concerns were well judged and thoughtful. The hotels were often well chosen. Some beds were more comfortable than others. Some staff were more helpful/ knowledgeable than others but overall good. My real disappointment was the food. I had informed Mani that we did not eat meat. We had paid the same amount as the meat eaters and so expected something of a similar value. When the meat eaters were offered Duck and Venison we were offered 6 pieces of tofu and some boiled parsnips!! (Te Annau hotel). At our Franz Joseph 5* hotel the meat eaters could have lamb or chicken - we were given 3 small fried mushrooms!! Is this the best that these highly experienced chefs could do?? Or is it just mean spiritedness?? It certainly felt like being punished for not eating meat. We do eat fish and endeavoured to eat this whenever it was offered. This is why I could not give the value for money rating any higher than fair.
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5
26/01/2014
My wife and I had a fantastic holiday, everything was planned to perfection. The tour guide was so good and so helpful, also the coach driver was excellent, especially on some of the very narrow roads of the South Island. We were so lucky with 9 days of beautiful weather and New Zeland is such a beautiful country. We will certainly recommend Relaxing Journeys to all our friends and look forward to visiting your beautiful country some time soon. Thank you for all your help.
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5
29/12/2013
Was great fun. Got to see and do so many things and met plenty of nice people. I was honestly sad when it came to an end. Everything was well organised and we were very well looked after. Thanks!
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5
01/12/2013
We had an excellent time with our tour with AATKings. We want to express our heartfelt thanks to Toni Harris for her excellent service and patience in helping us find a suitable tour.
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5
20/02/2013
We thoroughly enjoyed our trip and were particularly impressed with the safe and skilful driving of John Lancaster.
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5
20/02/2013
Excellent tour overall. The coach could do with improvements. Not enough leg room and the head rest was too small. The accommodation was very good. The optional tour of the yellow eyed penguins was a waste of time as we only saw a few in the hospital. Also the boat tour was overcrowded and the 'skipper' did not announce a proper safety briefing with regard to the location of life vests and evacuation procedures. I would not recommended this side tour. I would certainly recomend your company as the itinerary was excellent and very friendly staff. We will be booking with you again when we tour the North Island. Thanks again Helen.
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4
10/02/2013
The tour comprehensively covered many of the South Island's places of interest but, due to the islands's sheer size, some visits were necessarily short. Overall, the trip offered a good compromise. The comfortable coach and the professionalism of both the Tour Guide and the Coach Driver significantly enhanced our enjoyment of the tour. A good selection of 'Optional' tours were offered but, due to the low cloud-base (outside of AAT King's control!) we were unable to experience any of the fixed-wing flights on offer. In the main, all hotels offered were of a high standard (as were their meals); the exception was on the tour's final night, at the Chateau-on-the-Park (Christchurch). This was undergoing some (earthquake) repair work and our bedroom was on the small size and looked out over a building-contractor's area. Also, the restaurant did not appear to be able to deal with the simultaneous influx of our fifty tour members - it took over an hour from placing our orders for the first-course to appear!
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4
29/01/2013
We enjoyed the tour very much . We were particularly impressed with the quality of the coach, the novel seat rotation which worked particularly well and the knowledge, experience & humour of the tour guide. We saw what we wanted to see and whilst frenetic at times it was necessary to ensure we saw everything. Most of the hotels were very good but there was one occasion when we were rushed out of the dining room before we had finished and there was insufficient food available.
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5
24/10/2012
Fantastic scenery, effortless journeying on a very comfortable coach with one of the best tour guides and coach drivers I've had. The diversity of landscape and feel of different towns really surprised me. I often felt as though I was in a European town. We had a smaller group, so there were plenty of seats and an amazing group that became very close in a short time. The view of Mt Hutt from my room was a perfect way to start! It is great to have all the breakfasts and dinners included. Occassionally it might be worth reducing the price by removing some breakfasts and dinners, so you have the choice to eat away from the hotel and enjoy the local environments.
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5
14/10/2012
It was truely a wonderful trip. AAT Kings in co-ordination with you had organised it beautifully. Special thanks to you and Marty our tour manager. Wisihing you the very best!
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5
09/10/2012
From go to whoa, the entire experience has been pleasurable. The professionalism of the staff at Relaxing Journeys made choosing and booking a holiday to suit my needs a breeze. Nothing was too much trouble and a fix was always available if needed. Not bad considering I did it all online! The staff at AAT Kings were superb! The tour director was a barrel of laughs and kept us informed the whole way, the coach driver was professional and courteous, making everyone on the tour feel safe and at ease. The local knowledge of the tour director was amazing and I'm sure I was not the only one to learn many things about both Maori and Pakeha history in New Zealand. I would recommend this tour, and any of the many others available through Relaxing Journeys, to all and sundry - you will not regret one second of it! Pack your smiles, leave your troubles at home and go visit New Zealand - I did, and what's more, I'll be back!
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5
29/01/2012
We had to cancel the same tour two years ago due to a last minute problem. However having then to wait a further two years did not detract from a wonderful tour. We were told the South Island was a fantastic place to visit and we were not disappointed. Canada was the most scenic country we had visited prior to this holiday but the South Island is more beautiful we think. The tour leader was excellent. His knowledge and helpfulness really made the tour along with a very good driver. The standard of the hotels was extremely high and the food excellent. We have no big criticisms of the tour. It is always easy to nit pick but we cant think of anything to complain about. Shame it took us 38 hours from leaving the hotel to walking through our front door but if we want to see New Zealand then that is the downside of this type of holiday.
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5
13/02/2011
Excellent tour with very nice accommodations, food and included tours. We did optional tours nearly every day and they were always fun and worth doing. The South Island is gorgeous and the Kiwis as friendly and welcoming as ever. Highly recommend this trip.
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4
26/09/2010
Everything was great. The tour leaders were very professional and both Jenny and I had a wonderful time.
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4
05/09/2010
It was great. Had a good time, but wished that we had more time at Milford Sound. Perhaps a good idea would be to arrange for an overnight stay at that place? (RJ - Unfortunatly there are no accommodation options in Milford Sound - unless you overnight onboard the Milford Mariner ship. This is possible on a couple of our escorted & independent coach tours and also on our self drive tours.)
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4
20/12/2009
The only complaint was the weather in Dunedin, could you please fix it for next tour ?! I cant find any other fault, the tour director Marty Paranihi was excellent, the destinations were well selected and the group was made of very compatible people, so I am very happy about everything John.
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Enquire about our 10 Day Southern Spectacular

10 Day Southern Spectacular
Premium Coach Tour
Tour Code: ZCQR
From (NZD) $3825 per person
Save (NZD) $485 per person
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Departures: Jun 2018 to Dec 2019
Rating:
32 reviews (4.8/5)

Enjoy New Zealand's South Island on AAT Kings' brand new 10 day Southern Spectacular itinerary. Based on their most popular tour, it's been tweaked to... Read More

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10 Day Southern Spectacular
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