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10 Day Southern Panorama

Kirra Premium Coach Tour starting in Christchurch and finishing in Christchurch

Tour Description

Discover the spectacular South Island of New Zealand taking in the southern loop from Christchurch down the central spine of the Southern Alps onto the East and West Coasts of the South Island. Choose an optional TranzAlpine train journey from Greymouth to Christchurch to strengthen your holiday experience.

During the course of the South Island coach tour you will also have free time in Dunedin, Queenstown and Fox Glacier to experience some of the unique and regional optional sightseeing activities including Taieri Gorge Railway or Cadbury World in Dunedin, Nomad Safaris 4WD safari in Queenstown and a Terminal Face Walk in Fox Glacier plus many more options for those wishing to explore further.

Tour Info
Regions Visited
Tour Inclusions
  • 9 nights accommodation in superior hotels
  • 9 fully cooked breakfasts (B) & 7 dinners (D)
  • Travel by luxury touring coach
  • Services of a professional Coach Captain
  • View All Tour InclusionsTotal 6 Items
  • Hotel porterage
  • Complimentary private airport transfers
Tour Highlights
Iconic Sightseeing
Trip Notes
  • Itinerary and inclusions shown apply to departures from September 2017 onwards.
  • Accommodation, itinerary and inclusions subject to change.
  • Disruptions to itinerary may occur

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Tour Itinerary - Day by Day
  • Day1

    Arrive Christchurch

    On arrival in Christchurch, a Kirra Holidays representative will greet you at the airport with transport waiting to take you to your hotel.

    Stay: Rendezvous Hotel Christchurch

  • Day2

    Christchurch – Mt Cook – Omarama

    Cross the broad Canterbury Plains with the Southern Alps to the west. View the Church of the Good Shepherd and the Collie Dog Memorial overlooking Lake Tekapo. Visit Mt Cook National Park, with time to enjoy the scenic majesty of New Zealand's highest snow capped peaks and a visit to the Sir Edmund Hilary Alpine Centre before travelling around Lake Pukaki to Twizel and Omarama.

    Stay: Heritage Gateway Hotel (B, D)

  • Day3

    Omarama - Moeraki Boulders - Dunedin

    Travel down the Waitaki Valley to Oamaru. Stop to view the mystical Moeraki Boulders, then on to Dunedin, the Edinburgh of the South. An early arrival allows you time to enjoy the choice of some excellent optional activities. Prior to dinner this evening you will be treated to a traditional Scottish Haggis Ceremony complete with piper, address to the Haggis and gift.

    Stay: Scenic Dunedin City Hotel (B, D)

  • Day4

    Dunedin - Central Otago - Te Anau

    Enjoy spectacular views across the Otago Peninsula as you travel to Larnach Castle. On your guided tour, learn about its tragic and mysterious history. Depart Dunedin and head inland, crossing rich farmlands to the agricultural towns of Gore and Lumsden, before arriving at the shores of Lake Te Anau, gateway to the Fiordland National Park.

    Stay: Distinction Luxmore Hotel (2 nights) (B, D)

  • Day5

    Spectacular Milford Sound Cruise

    Drive through the Homer Tunnel into spectacular Milford Sound, the world renowned natural wonder dominated by Mitre Peak. Cruise the entire length of the fiord and enjoy the on-board commentary that gives you detailed information on the region’s history, flora and fauna as you view spectacular waterfalls, towering mountains and wildlife. (B/D)

    Please Note: Overnight cruises on Milford Sound or Doubtful Sound are also available. Subject to availability. Select option when requesting your quote.

  • View Full ItineraryTotal 10 Days
  • Day6

    Te Anau – Queenstown

    Continue north to Kingston, then skirt around the shores of Lake Wakatipu to the picturesque alpine resort of Queenstown. This evening, cruise across the lake aboard the vintage steamship TSS Earnslaw before reaching the Colonel’s Homestead at Walter Peak High Country Farm for a gourmet barbecue dinner.

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

  • Day7

    At leisure in Queenstown

    Today is a free day to experience this magnificent resort. Queenstown boasts an incredible array of adventure and leisure activities and your Coach Captain can assist with any optional activities you would like to do. Take a ride on the world famous Shotover Jet Boat ride, travel to the top of Bob’s Peak by Gondola for spectacular views, take a tour to the gold mining area of Skippers Canyon or for the adventurous, try white water rafting. Alternatively, browse in the many shops and galleries. (B)

  • Day8

    Queenstown – Haast Pass - Franz Josef

    Pass picturesque Lake Hayes then on to Arrowtown, an area steeped in fascinating history relating to early settlement and the gold mining era. Stop at Wanaka, a picture postcard resort on the lakes edge with a spectacular mountain backdrop.View the untouched wilderness and pristine lakes of the Mt Aspiring and Westland National Parks before arriving on the West Coast, home to the twin glaciers of Fox and Franz Josef.

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

  • Day9

    Franz Josef - TranzAlpine - Christchurch

    At Hokitika, stop to visit a Pounamu, (also known as Greenstone or Jade) factory. Pounamu is considered a treasure in Maori culture and is seen as a sign of status and power. At Greymouth, board the famous TranzAlpine Train. Renowned as one of the most scenic train journeys in the world, this coast to coast rail adventure will take you though the Southern Alps, over massive viaducts, river valleys and gorges.

    Stay: Sudima Christchurch (B, D)

  • Day10

    Depart Christchurch

    Sadly, it’s time to say goodbye to all your new friends. You will be transferred to the airport to join your flight home. (B)

  • Click here to download the 10 Day Southern Panorama (2017/2018) PDF

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Tour Reviews

View all 20 reviews of this tour from past clients of Relaxing Journeys, averaging 4.6 out of 5.

  • 3The connection to the tour in Christchurch was very disappointing. Linda was happy & fine. We expected to have our backpacks early to divide our baggage. Eventually discovered ours behind the reception desk. All very awkward on the first morning with driver Ross trying to sort some missing baggage .
    Ross is a very safe & knowledgeable driver. We didn't enjoy the train trip in Dunedin very ordinary. Would have preferred walking around to view the architecture.

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    - 28/02/2018
  • 5Ross our coach driver was fantastic very informative and really made the trip so enjoyable. His local knowledge and funny stories were great. We only did a tour of the South Island this time but will definitely be back to do the North Island also. We had a great mix of like minded people which was really good as we haven't done a group tour before. All in all a very memorable holiday that we would recommend to anyone. We were greeted at the airport and made to feel very welcome from the first minute. Kirra transfers were great. The gift also came in very handy as we didn't have a backpack or umbrella - you guys thought of everything. Thanks again Marie and Kirra.

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    - 10/05/2017
  • 4The tour was very enjoyable and educational. I liked the places we visited and most of the activities, especially the Christmas dinner at Walter Peak.

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    - 19/12/2016
  • 5We so enjoyed our tour, the scenery was stunning, every day a new experience, on the whole the accommodation was very good, our driver was informative which enhanced the enjoyment of the scenery. The highlights would be Milford Sound, Queenstown and so much more, everywhere we went the people were friendly and helpful. My only problem was the early rising but understand the need for this so we could pack in so much. The motel in Omarama tired and in need of modernisation.

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    - 27/01/2016
  • 4A great holiday, enabling us to see the sights of South Island, without having to drive ourselves over a vaste area. The coach driver's skills were excellent I thought, as I can suffer from travel sickness, particularly towards the back of a coach, but I had no problems whatsoever. Suitcases were collected/delivered without trouble. It would have been nice to have had more time in the various locations, to look about us more, but I suppose the number of kilometres to be covered preclude this. South Island is such a big area to cover.

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    - 11/02/2015
  • 5Dennis was an excellent driver/tour guide. He had obviously researched many locations along our tour and was able to tell us so much about the territory we were passing through. He went over and above what one would expect. He also handled an emergency health issue experienced by one of our travellers exceptionally well. I believe that all were more than happy with his efforts. Some accommodation was a little lower standard than others. The room my cousin and I occupied at Rydges Hotel, Queenstown was close to some equipment that sounded during the night so we had disturbed sleep. It sounded like the TSS Earnslaw! (RJ. Maybe it was! :)

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    - 15/10/2014
  • 5Thanks to relaxing Journeys and Kirra tours for a thoroughly enjoyable and well organised tour. Our brilliant coach captain Ross who is one of Kirra's gems kept us entertained and well informed. If there was any question he could not answer he did his best to find out. My wife and I would definitely use Relaxing Journeys and Kirra again.

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    - 06/11/2013
  • View All ReviewsTotal 20 Items
  • 4This was my first coach tour. Kirby was really helpful and patient overcoming any difficulties and answering any of my questions. The Coach Driver/Captain Trevor was great - also helpful and patient. The quality of hotels in some places was very disappointing given the cost of the tour - of the hotels, 50% were disappointing, 50% were great. The tour pace was fine - although at times too many stops at cafes/gift shops and not enough time at other scenic places during the day (I felt a bit exploited money-wise in that sense) As for the tour itself - South Island is spectacular; it's definitely long enough; there are heaps of things to see; it really is a breathtaking country. Overall, Kirra did a good job, and Relaxing Journeys were good, too. We had a great group of people to tour round with which also made for a great trip. Unfortunately my schedule did not allow time to have done the North Island trip beforehand - which most of our party had undertaken - but in retrospect it didn't matter as South Island was enough - still processing all that beauty! I have seen the NI before (independently) and would have been happy to see it again but just the SI certainly sufficed. If you're looking to book a trip you could do a lot worse than book with Kirra/Relaxing Journeys and overall our party deemed it a successful trip and I would consider using Kirra/Relaxing Journeys again. It's good if you're single or a couple, too.

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    - 27/02/2012
  • 4This was the most incredible trip I have ever been on! Accomodation was excellent throughout our time. Trevor our coach driver was brilliant - extremely informative, good sense of humour but had a real thing about 'yet another squashed possum'! I met some lovely people, saw amazing, breathtaking scenery and even got the chance to fly up to a glacier in a helicopter! The service from the moment I first found the Relaxing Journeys' website was second to none and Kirby my tour consultant left me feeling like a personal friend by the time everything was sorted. I'm not normally easily satisfied but I seriously can't fault a single thing to do with this trip - even the weather behaved itself :-) Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    - 23/11/2011
  • 5We found the tour really great. Made many new friends. Coach Captain (Reece) was very informative giving running commentaries and assistance. This was a first for us and are willing to do again. Kind of felt that because the group was small, it made the trip even more memerable.

    - 22/05/2011
  • 4Thank you Georgie - you are amazing - you performed a miracle getting Tony and I on that tour at a days notice - haven't stopped telling people how you managed. We paid for the trip on Monday afternoon, our plane was leaving first thing Tuesday! Thank you, thank you. Our trip was just great - we had lots of fun and the people on the tour were most congenial.

    - 21/04/2010
  • 5What a great trip - hotels, staff and all the places we stopped at were of great interest. Rhys the coach driver was informative funny and very efficient. It was a most enjoyable 6 day journey with lots of good people, good food, fantastic scenery & good fun. Thank you to all concerned.

    - 29/03/2010
  • 5Overall a reasonably good tour. However we wish the optional excursions had been better explained byt he driver/guide, as some proved to be costly and with hindsight we would not have taken up. For example we paid for the TranzAlpine train journey but having also been persuaded to take the Taiperi Gorge train trip too - felt it was inappropriate. They were similar and expensive in our opinion. Most people were keen to take a longer time at some places and perhaps include some guided walking. The trip was too sedentary; some walking with guides could have been included instead of the 'optional trips'. The driver Trevor was careful and drove well. The hotels were good as were the meals.

    - 24/09/2009
  • 5I have been planning to visit New Zealand ever since my migration to Sydney. And my dream was to bring along my parents as part of our family reunion after being separated from them for some time (because they are still residing in Indonesia). Relaxing Journeys and Kirra Tours have definitely fulfilled my dream. The staff were professional, their choice of hotels were excellent, and the coach driver was very experienced & made the whole journey and our family reunion nothing but memorable.

    - 25/05/2009
  • 5I am finally home and thought I would send an email to say how much I enjoyed the trip to the South Island of New Zealand. The driver - Trevor ? was excellent. I think he definitely added to the enjoyment as his knowledge of the area and people was outstanding, not to mention his driving skills on the narrow winding roads. (Particularly near Milford Sound) Everything was well organised and the timings were perfect, it could not have been better. If possible will you let Trevor know how much I enjoyed it, even though I was on my own and a little apprehensive at first, to say the least.

    - 27/02/2009
  • 5I just want to say thank you. The trip was wonderful, all the transfers went easily and I was amazed when they had the car ready for me to take from the train station. The trip was spectacular and the coach driver great at what he did during the tour. It was a very relaxing holiday and I have you to say thank you for that. So again thank you.

    - 12/12/2008
  • 4The tour was well planned, seat rotation very good as I get to see the scenery on both sides of the bus. John, our tour driver was very humorous and experienced and it was very enjoyable having him! There was enough time for us to visit the places and Kirra tours was great with the planning and package of pamphlets etc. Great lodgings and food too. Thanks!

    - 01/12/2008
  • 5Had a wonderful holiday saw everything I wanted to apart from Milford Sound due to bad weather. Great views spectacular. Gordon Purvis our driver and his accomplice Graeme were full of good humour and worked very hard. Made the trip for me as Gordon would point out amazing bits of interesting info as we were going along.

    - 18/09/2008
  • 4I just wanted to say a big thank you for all your help in finding us a really enjoyable tour with Kirra. We had a great time and the whole visit was unforgettable.

    - 02/05/2007
  • 5Just to let you know that our holiday went extremely well. The Southern Highlights tour that you had arranged for us was excellent and all the arrangements fell into place. We would certainly recommend your services to anyone we know who intends to visit. Thank you.

    - 21/02/2007

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