9 Day Taste of the South Island

9 Day Taste of the South Island

Join the new Taste of the South Island coach tour with Grand Pacific and discover delights including Dunedin, Milford Sound, Queenstown and the rugged West Coast, before finishing your holiday crossing the Southern Alps on the TranzAlpine train journey.

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Tour Info

Tour Type: Low Cost Coach Tour
From: Christchurch to Christchurch
Departures: Sep 2018 to May 2019
Price:
From (NZD) $2874 per person
Tour Operator: Grand Pacific Tours
Pace: Comfortable
Duration: 9 Days
Tour Code: GPSI09

Inclusions

8 nights quality hotel accommodation
8 cooked breakfasts (B)
7 sumptuous dinners (D) including 2 specialty dinners (SD): Haggis Ceremony - Dunedin, Walter Peak Homestead - Queenstown
Guided tour of Larnach Castle
Milford Sound Cruise and Lunch
Cruise Lake Wakatipu on the TSS Earnslaw
Coast-to-coast TranzAlpine train journey through the Southern Alps
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

Fly from your homeport to Christchurch, where you will be met by a tour representative and transferred to your hotel (flight not included).

Stay: Heartland Hotel Cotswold (D)

Day 2
Christchurch - Ōmarama

After a city tour, depart Christchurch and travel through the southern Canterbury Plains to Lake Tekapo. See the brilliant turquoise water, visit the Church of the Good Shepherd, and view the sheepdog memorial. Marvel at the spectacular mountain ranges including Aoraki Mt Cook, New Zealand’s highest peak. The opportunity is available (time and weather permitting) to enjoy a scenic flight (optional) over the Southern Alps before travelling to Ōmarama.

Stay: Heritage Gateway Hotel (B, D)

Day 3
Ōmarama - Dunedin

Depart Ōmarama and see Lake Benmore before following the Waitaki River to Ōamaru, famous for its limestone. Continue south to Dunedin and enjoy a city sights tour followed by some free time. Tonight a Scottish evening will be presented, comprising bagpipes, great food, special Haggis Ceremony and gift.

Stay: Mercure Leisure Lodge (B, SD)

Day 4
Dunedin - Te Anau

This morning travel out along the Otago Peninsula to Larnach Castle where you will hear of the tragic and scandalous history on a guided tour. Enjoy time to wander around this Garden of International Significance followed by a delicious Devonshire Tea. Farewell Dunedin and travel to Te Anau, gateway to Fiordland and your overnight stay.

Stay: Distinction Luxmore Hotel (Superior Rooms) (B, D)

Day 5
Te Anau - Milford Sound - Queenstown

Depart Te Anau for a fascinating drive to Milford Sound where you board your launch for a cruise on this magnificent fiord. See the spectacular Bowen Falls and towering Mitre Peak as you enjoy a picnic lunch. This afternoon travel to Queenstown, overlooking magical Lake Wakatipu. Spend the next two nights at this year-round resort town which offers a wide range of activities and attractions. This evening is free and you may choose to dine at one of the many fine restaurants.

Stay: Mercure Queenstown Resort (2 nights) (B, L)

Day 6
Queenstown at Leisure

Today is a free day for you to explore Queenstown at leisure. Your Coach Captain is available to assist with the many sightseeing options available, whether it be the thrill of a jet boat ride, a heritage tour to Skippers Canyon, or the helicopter flight of a lifetime. This evening board the vintage steamship TSS Earnslaw and cruise across Lake Wakatipu to Walter Peak Station. Sit back, relax, and enjoy a gourmet barbecue dinner which the chef will prepare in front of you at the Colonel’s Homestead. (B, SD)

Day 7
Queenstown - Arrowntown - Fox Glacier

Travel to Arrowtown, an old gold mining village, and visit the Lakes District Museum. Continue via the Haast Pass to the mighty West Coast, an area of stunning beauty. See the snow-capped peaks of the Southern Alps as you travel to Fox Glacier. Continue to Franz Josef where time is available (weather permitting) to experience a scenic flight (optional) over the spectacular glaciers.

Stay: Hearland Hotel Glacier Country (B, D)

Day 8
Fox Glacier - Arthur's Pass - Christchurch

Travel to Hokitika and visit a pounamu (jade) studio. Continue into Arthur’s Pass and board the TranzAlpine, renowned as one of the great train journeys of the world. View rivers and valleys as you travel through the Waimakariri Basin, over massive viaducts and through the patchwork farmlands of the Canterbury Plains to the elegant city of Christchurch. On arrival your coach will be waiting to transfer you to your hotel.

Stay: Heartland Hotel Cotswold (B, D)

Day 9
Depart Christchurch

Time to say goodbye. You’ll be transferred to the airport for your flight home after a memorable New Zealand holiday. (B)

4.6/5.0

There are 25 reviews of this tour from past clients of Relaxing Journeys, averaging 4.6 out of 5.

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Tour Reviews

5
16/03/2018
Loved the tour. Everything was so well organized and we really did not have to worry about a thing. The days were full but at the same time we never felt rushed or under pressure. John Taylor our tour guide/driver was such a gentleman, he was so informative and told some lovely stories. Each evening John ensured he spent time with each of us and was keen to hear about our day and how we were all going. He really made us feel very special. We had such a great time that we are looking forward to planning our next tour. We would totally recommend this tour.
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4
13/03/2018
In most cases the hotels were too far out of the city centre. Queenstown in particular was most inconvenient because of the hilly situation and the lack of easy public transport.
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4
10/03/2018
We had a great time. Andrew Brown our tour driver was a very knowledgeable,funny and safe driver. Hotels were all clean and comfortable, some verging on 'tired'. Overall I'd rate them a 3*. Food was very good, no complaints there. Sorry when we had to leave the tour in Christchurch.
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4
10/03/2018
We had a great time. Andrew Brown our tour driver was a very knowledgeable,funny and safe driver. Hotels were all clean and comfortable, some verging on 'tired'. Overall I'd rate them a 3*. Food was very good, no complaints there. Sorry when we had to leave the tour in Christchurch.
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5
05/10/2017
Our driver was excellent. The group we traveled with were lots of fun. We had a wonderful trip and very luckily had great weather.
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4
26/03/2017
We really enjoyed our tour, the organisation was excellent and we were very pleased with the accommodation and the food quality. The coach captain was well informed and our contact with the company, Toni Harris was extremely helpful and kept us well informed.
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4
16/03/2017
I enjoyed the tour very much. However, it seemed very rushed and we didn't get enough time to enjoy some places. I realise that this is due to the long distances we covered and it gives one an opportunity to decide whether to return to certain areas.
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4
06/02/2017
Long hours in the coach, but I guess that is to be expected in a tour that covers so much ground. It might be sensible/helpful to give daily mileages and/or travel hours in the tour description/itinerary. Overall, a good and interesting introduction to South Island.
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5
06/02/2017
We had excellent weather, loads to eat, lovely good sized (mostly) twin rooms, and a fun guide. I would recommend it. The last couple of days was rather too much travelling and unfortunately Franz Joseph tour was cancelled due to railway destruction. However we all received a refund for that.
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4
18/10/2016
I enjoyed the tour very much. Our tour guide, Ricky was organised, punctual, caring & humorous! Would certainly recommend the tour to friends & family. Cheers
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4
13/04/2016
Thanks, Mani, for helping me organize this trip from the other side of the world. To start, we took an extra night in Heartland Hotel at the beginning of the tour so we could get adjusted to the time change (coming from Toronto, Canada). We were not happy with the accommodation there (room 906 - no storage in bathroom, very low shower head, too far from downtown Christchurch) and the first official dinner, also there, was pretty awful. Other than that, the tour was wonderful. Our coach driver, Chris, was quite good and I loved the spots we visited. I appreciated the frequent stops to allow us to stretch our legs and freshen up but I do think some of the cafes jack up their prices for the coach tours.
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5
22/03/2016
The tour was great value for money. We thought it would be an escorted tour like our ones in Europe but the driver was the person for everything. He was excellent and came out of retirement to do this trip as a fill in. The itinerary was very good and all the places you wanted to visit we did. The hotels for the most were very good and the food provided by them in most instances was excellent.
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4
16/03/2016
Good tour but made even better by the excellent coach captain who was a very safe driver and full of really interesting local information.
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5
14/02/2016
Only slight criticism was that most of the hotels used were a bit out of the town centres but very high standard throughout. Tour was excellent. Amazing how much was crammed in to such a short time. Highlights for me were Queenstown, Milford Sound, and the helicopter flight to Franz Josef Glacier (not to be missed and worth every penny).
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5
12/02/2016
We had a very enjoyable tour with a excellent coach captain, Andrew Brown. We would certainly recommend Relaxing Journeys to friends and also Grand Pacific Tours. One slight thing we would have liked to see arranged was collection from the railway station in Christchurch at the beginning of the tour. Other than that we were completely satisfied.
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4
05/02/2016
The coach travel, hotel program and optional excursions were all excellent. The only really bad aspect which would put me off doing a tour like this again was having to get up so early; we had to get up in the dark in summertime-often at 6am which does not make for a relaxing holiday! Time could have been saved by having 20-30 minutes for the morning coffee break instead of 1 hour and arriving later at the hotel.
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5
05/11/2015
We have thoroughly enjoyed our week on the South Island tour. We had to get up early most mornings but you saw so much more for that effort. The tour centered around our fabulous guide and driver Alec. A faultless driver, he is very funny and incredibly well informed about anything to do with his country. He never let us down once. We will be recommending Grand Pacific tours to our friends and family. It is our first and not our last tour.
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5
07/10/2015
Loved the whole tour, excellent driver. Think would be good if older people could have ground floor accommodation where possible. Overall wonderful tour & excellent service from Relaxing Journeys - thank you I will be recommending you to others.
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5
30/09/2015
The trip was really great - hotels all very nice nothing lacking. We can't speak highly enough of our driver Alex nothing was too much trouble for him. An extremely careful considerate driver. We seemed to have priority wherever we went. Only thing we had against it was as it was our first trip like this, it spoilt us for any other trips as we think any other company would have a lot to live up to in our minds.
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5
26/03/2015
We were so glad that we chose your tour instead of using other options we had considered. The tour exceeded our expectations in every way. Thank you soo much!
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5
02/02/2015
Dexter our coach captain was knowledgeable, entertaining, an excellent driver and a really genuine nice guy. We loved the tour and think New Zealand is a really beautiful, friendly and welcoming country. We took several of the optional tours which were all good value and enjoyable. We particularly recommend Unforgettable Skippers Canyon and the Albatross Centre.
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5
18/01/2015
My wife and I were satisfied with every aspect of the tour, especially with the guide, food and accommodation. Our only moan was that our rooms were the furthest away from reception every time, but that was minor.
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5
18/01/2015
Riki our tour coach captain absolutely brilliant. All of the buffet meals were excellent. Table d ote could offer more choice. A little disappointed at the Heritage Gateway Hotel Omarama, the hotel is a bit dated & to charge for wifi these days is unheard of. All round a very good package we would recommend.
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5
17/11/2014
We are so happy that we chose this tour! Right from the word go, our Tour Consultant Toni was so helpful and understanding - we felt at ease and comfortable with the arrangements we made online. Any questions we asked were answered promptly and in a friendly manner. Paul, our driver was a fountain of knowledge, expert driver, friendly and helpful - fazed by nothing. Such a nice guy! All of the hotels, without exception, were first class and the meals excellent. We found the total experience very rewarding and have made lots of new friends as a bonus. We have toured with other companies in Europe, USA and China over the years but Grand Pacific Tours is, without a doubt, number one in our eyes.
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5
07/10/2014
The driver was excellent, very careful and great information. The tour although was not a tour for 9 days, we actually only toured for 7. Although the itinerary explains that. I also thought that for the cost of my room for the extra night I was a little surprised I had to pay for the breakfast that day. Overall it was fun and very enjoyable. Thanks a lot.
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Enquire about our 9 Day Taste of the South Island

9 Day Taste of the South Island
Low Cost Coach Tour
Tour Code: GPSI09
From (NZD) $2874 per person
Save (NZD) $475 per person
Enquire Now
Departures: Sep 2018 to May 2019
Rating:
25 reviews (4.6/5)

Join the new Taste of the South Island coach tour with Grand Pacific and discover delights including Dunedin, Milford Sound, Queenstown and the rugged... Read More

Itinerary Map

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9 Day Taste of the South Island
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