10 Day Southern Circuit

10 Day Southern Circuit

Enjoy the finest mountain scenery in New Zealand on the southern circuit of the South Island. Join the TranzAlpine train to cross the Southern Alps and head south to Franz Josef Glacier with plenty of time for an optional heli-hike! Continue south through the Haast Pass and into Queenstown. We've included a Milford Sound Day Tour & Cruise (including lunch). Next head east to Dunedin and north up to Christchurch along the coast.

Tour Info

Tour Type: Independent Coach Tour
From: Christchurch to Christchurch
Departures: Feb 2018 to May 2019
Price:
From (NZD) $2098 per person
Tour Operator: Relaxing Journeys
Pace: Comfortable
Duration: 10 Days
Tour Code: RJ205

Inclusions

9 nights accommodation
All Coach, Ferry & Rail Transport & Transfers
Optional Breakfasts
Daily Departures
Milford Sound Day Tour & Cruise (including lunch)
TranzAlpine Train Journey

* Note: Prices shown are per person (based on two people travelling). Prices are valid for travel until September 2018

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Day by Day Tour Itinerary

Day 1
Arrive Christchurch

Welcome to Christchurch, gateway to the South Island. Bordered by hills and the Pacific Ocean, it is situated on the edge of the Canterbury Plains that stretch to the Southern Alps. Despite suffering earthquake damage there is plenty to see and do. World – renowned for its beauty the gently winding Avon River is a stunning feature of the city centre.

Day 2
Christchurch - TranzAlpine Alpine - Franz Josef

This morning you will board the TranzAlpine Train for one of the world’s great scenic train trips that will take you across the patchwork farmland of the Canterbury Plains before a slow climb into the Southern Alps. From here you will marvel at views of the stunning Waimakiriri River gorge and alpine scenery on a series of breathtaking viaducts. After a brief stop at Arthur’s Pass you will enter one of New Zealand’s longest tunnels, the Otira Tunnel and subsequently descend through a deep valley of sub tropical rainforest over a broad shallow river into the small town of Greymouth. Join your coach in Greymouth and travel through Hokitika to the glacier region. Stay 2 nights at Franz Josef Glacier. (2 nights)

Day 3
Franz Josef

Today you have a whole day at leisure at Franz Josef. Perhaps enjoy a guided walk, a heli-hike or a scenic flight from the Franz Josef township. If you’d prefer a relaxing day, head to the Franz Josef Glacier Hot Pools that are nestled amongst the lush rainforest of the glacier country or meander through the village where you will find a wonderful selection of gifts, artwork, merchandise and cafes.

Day UP
Glaciers Upgrade Package

Treat yourself and upgrade your accommodation in Franz Josef to the 5 star Te Waonui Forest Retreat, a luxury lodge hotel nestled amongst native West Coast rainforest. Our upgrade package includes luxurious accommodation, dinner on the first night – an indulgent 5 course degustation menu in The Canopy Restaurant, and a la carte breakfast both mornings. We’ve also included a stunning Franz Josef Heli Hike to help you make the most of your time in the region. Ask us for a price!

Day 4
Franz Josef - Queenstown

Travelling south your journey will take you through coastal forest and windswept sand dunes, crossing Haast Pass on New Zealand’s longest single lane bridge. Travelling through Wanaka sitting at the foot of the Southern Alps your next stop is Queenstown, which is the Southern Hemisphere’s premiere four season alpine lake resort. (3 nights)

Day 5
Queenstown

The day is completely at your leisure to enjoy the many sights of this alpine resort situated on the shores of Lake Wakatipu. Queenstown offers something for everyone – you can enjoy the quiet beauty and tranquility of this mountain retreat and enjoy several walking trails in the town area. For sheer excitement there is white-water rafting, helicopter rides, the famous jet boats, bungy jumping to pump your adrenalin, and offroad 4WD tours with plenty of river crossings. There are cruises on the lake and a visit to a high country sheep station, and wine tasting tours. You can visit nearby Arrowtown where the main street has been preserved since the 1860’s gold rush days and you can try your luck and pan for gold in the adjacent Shotover River.

Day 6
Queenstown

The day is completely at your leisure to enjoy the many sights of this alpine resort situated on the shores of Lake Wakatipu. Queenstown offers something for everyone – you can enjoy the quiet beauty and tranquility of this mountain retreat and enjoy several walking trails in the town area. For sheer excitement there is white-water rafting, helicopter rides, the famous jet boats, bungy jumping to pump your adrenalin, and offroad 4WD tours with plenty of river crossings. There are cruises on the lake and a visit to a high country sheep station, and wine tasting tours. You can visit nearby Arrowtown where the main street has been preserved since the 1860’s gold rush days and you can try your luck and pan for gold in the adjacent Shotover River.

Day 7
Queenstown - Milford Sound - Te Anau

An early departure this morning from Queenstown to Milford Sound, the most accessible of Fiordland’s magnificent glacier-carved fiords. Witness the beauty of the Fiordland National Park on board an unforgettable cruise, viewing incredible wonders including the spectacular Bowen Falls and towering Mitre Peak. Board the coach to Te Anau for an evening arrival. (L)

Day 8
Te Anau - Dunedin

Leaving the stunning region of Te Anau, your journey today will showcase more of the South Island’s scenery. Pass through the town of Gore, the country music capital of New Zealand and continue on to Balclutha over the Clutha River before arriving into the city of Dunedin in the early afternoon.

Day 9
Dunedin - Christchurch

Leaving Dunedin behind you, keep your eyes peeled for the perfectly rounded boulders which are embedded in the sand at Moeraki beach as you make your way north to Oamaru (the boulders are a natural phenomenon that started forming 60 million years ago on the ocean floor). Oamaru has the country’s largest collection of protected heritage buildings, neoclassical buildings made from the local limestone. Pass through the vibrant seaside town of Timaru and cross over the Rakaia River on New Zealand’s longest bridge arriving into Christchurch.

Day 10
Depart Christchurch

Sadly your trip has come to an end. We hope that you have thoroughly enjoyed your experiences in New Zealand. Today you will be met at your accommodation and transferred to the airport for your onward journey. Have a safe trip home.

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
27/02/2018
Mani's advice not to try to visit too many places in the limited time was most helpful. even then, another 5 days or so for an extra night in each place would have been even better - but given the limited time, we thought the balance was just right. I can't imagine how it could have been done any better. The shuttle transfers were excellent, the east to west train journey and Milford Sound both magnificent. My only complaint - not a complaint about your service at all - was the prices in Queenstown. As one local resident observed in a newspaper letter, those prices really are an immense rip-off that could harm tourism in the long run. That said, we came home with a very high regard for the hoteliers and transport services, and for New Zealanders. Also, I was most impressed with the quality of the newspapers - they seem to have maintained quality better than Australian publishers. We would like to come again some day - particularly to the South Island; if we do we will certainly be contacting you again. We could not speak too highly of Mani.
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4
06/01/2018
Thank you Marie for putting this tour together for us. We had an amazing time with lots to see and do. The independent tour worked well for us as less restrictive. All transfers and coach pickups ran smoothly. The only downside of an independent tour being that other travellers are picked up and set down en route which was particularly noticeable travelling between Dunedin and Christchurch causing us to arrive over an hour later than expected. Hotels were clean with friendly and helpful staff. The optionals that we booked we thoroughly enjoyed and were good value for money. A great way to see the South Island in a short time and would definitely recommend.
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5
12/11/2017
Very well organised and managed to see lots over a short time :)
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4
01/03/2017
In general it was a very nice tour. All the transportation from place to place and between bus station and hotel were well organized. All the accommodation were clean and comfortable, however, sometime need 10~20min walk to reach city/visit center, still doable, preferably closer. The travel information was nicely shared and we really enjoy our time in NZ. I would like to recommend this tour to my friends.
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5
27/02/2017
An excellent trip. Relaxing Journey's (Toni) did a great job in customizing a trip for us that covered what we wanted to see and experience, and at a pace we wanted. Both Mani and Christine were very prompt in answering the few questions that came up. A great job by everyone.
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4
19/11/2016
We certainly saw and experienced a lot on our tour of the South Island. As we were travelling on an Independent Coach Tour, we were slightly concerned that all transfers and coach pickups might not go smoothly - but they all did! The accommodation was good overall, with 3 excellent hotels and 2 slightly disappointing motels. Milford Sound was the highlight - the coach trip and boat cruise on a rainy day felt like a real adventure, and the hundreds of waterfalls streaming down from the mountains created amazing scenes to photograph and remember. The west coast was wet and cold, with fresh snow on the peaks adding interest to the scenery. However, the rain and cold of the last few days left us coming home with bad coughs and colds!
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5
11/07/2016
Very well organized. Timing was perfect.
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5
07/02/2016
We thoroughly enjoyed the independent coach style of traveling. The hotels were all great & were all centrally located so that getting around was very easy when we reached our destinations. Some hotels were quite new & ultra modern. Others were quite unique and quirky. Common features were the cleanliness and very obliging staff at all hotels. We can't commend highly enough the inter-city coach trips and ultra efficient shuttle services ( split second timing)! Brilliant! An example of the great organisation was when our coach arrived about 10 minutes late into Dunedin and rather than the shuttle we were expecting, after a few minutes, a taxi arrived to transfer us to our hotel. This was our first visit to New Zealand we were overwhelmed by the breathtaking scenery and beautiful cities in the South Island. We would definitely recommend an extra night in Dunedin . It gave us an opportunity to spend a lovely morning in Portobello and see more of the city surrounds. We really appreciate your professional organisation of our trip ..... the itinerary, accommodation and transport. Thank you so much.
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5
17/01/2016
We had an awesome time on this tour. It was so well organized so a big thank you. We are considering doing the lower South Island this December or January if you wanted to throw possible itineraries our way please!! The only thing I would say was that the hotel in Te Anau (Distinction Luxmore) and the one in Dunedin (Kingsgate) were both a bit tired. The Te Anau one was in a good location, just a bit worn and tired although clean. The Kingsgate in Dunedin was again in a great location and the staff were friendly and helpful but the rooms were not only tired but unclean. It was only for one night but I wouldn't stay or recommend the Dunedin one. Again, a big thank you for making our trip run so smoothly and yes, we definitely want to look at that Southern tour for December/ January please. Would like to include a few days in Oamaru maybe using the train to Dunedin and the Tairere train trip and perhaps Stuart Island?
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5
29/10/2015
Excellent service from all parties concerned. The coach drivers and hotel staff were knowledgeable, courteous, warm, friendly and professional. The schedule of the entire tour was kept to the last 3-5 minutes. Everything went smoothly with the transfers, tours and accommodation.
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5
23/07/2015
The tour is fantastic. The logistic of all the coach arrangements and transfers are excellent. We just enjoyed ourselves during the trip. Thanks to the arrangements from Toni. In addition to these, I would suggest to stay at least 2 nights at Dunedin as one may want have a close encounter with penguins or seals at Otago Peninsula.
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4
02/12/2013
The itinerary wasn't too taxing although you are moving hotels almost every day. We suggest packing light. Queenstown and Franz Josef Glacier were the best stops and we had just enough time to do what we wanted. Hotels were all very spacious and friendly. We especially enjoyed Anchorage Motel in Te Anau. The only slightly disappointing side trip was the Milford Sound cruise, although the drive up was beautiful. Most bus drivers were knowledgable and the shuttle services were very prompt. Overall, New Zealand would be hard to see without the services Relaxing Journeys provides.
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4
01/11/2013
We has a wonderful time, and loved how simple it was to use the voucher system. with everything pre-planned for us. Of course NZ is beautiful...but you already know that! We had a couple of minor issues with times on vouchers not quite matching the bus companies, but were quickly rectified. Hotels were comfy & clean. Thanks again.
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5
15/03/2013
So well organised, a real taster of Glacierland and the South Island. Independent coach tour was seamless and efficient. Thanks Mani - great job!
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5
19/01/2012
We saw so much in such short time - great way to make the best out of it. Of course needed to get up early each morning, which we usually don't do on holiday, but that was part of the plan. Especially enjoyed the hiking trips on Routeburn and Milford track which we added to the package. Fjordland is very beautiful! Most impresssive was our heli flight up to the glacier, which we luckily did spontanously on the free day at Fox Glacier.
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5
19/11/2011
We'd just like to say thank you to Toni and everyone else for organizing a great holiday for us. We saw so many beautiful places and enjoyed travelling the independent way using the intercity buses. The shuttle services arrived promptly whenever needed. The train trips were simply amazing. The commentary was great along the way and people (drivers, motel staff) were very helpful and friendly, with good natured ribbing about being Aussies. We had a great mix of activity and relaxation. Every day was an exciting adventure. Everything went off without a hitch. We'd definitely travel this way again and recommend it to others.
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4
04/08/2011
The tour was absolutely fantastic! The accommodations booked were comfortable and unique with character, locations were centralized and convenient within each city near restaurants, bars, supermarkets & even a little shopping. Especially our hotel in Queenstown, our room had an awesome view of the remarkables and lake. We really appreciated that the itinerary was relaxed and the bus guides were warm, entertaining, informative and helpful. We loved that they routed the journey along scenic views. We kept thinking postcard pictures!! Trying to fit the view into our cameras. Despite the need to constantly be on the road to travel from city to city, everything was organized flawlessly ensuring that our days were maximized, hotels were expecting us and transfers from airport/ bus depot to hotel and back was smooth and punctual. We felt so comfortable traveling independently even though it was our first time to New Zealand. Thank you for sharing beautiful New Zealand with us!
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5
23/03/2011
We thoroughly enjoyed our tour of the high spots of the South Island with Relaxing Journeys and would highly recommend them. The pre tour service is excellent and the hotels are of a good standard.
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5
07/03/2011
Thank you for the personalized vacation! It was fantastic and we so enjoyed learning, seeing and exploring your beautiful country. The people were so friendly, helpful and informative. Thanks for making our holiday memorable.
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4
22/02/2010
The trip was wonderful. I thank you for planning such a great trip, the hotels, bus tours and excursions were perfect. We enjoyed every minute of the trip. I will definitely recommend you to any one thinking of going to New Zealand. We arrived home yesterday, we traveled the North Island with our friends had a great time, but I think we would have seen more if we would have had you plan the North Island for us also. That is how highly I recommend you. The trip to Queenstown, may I suggest that you have your clients include the buffet at the top of the gondola ride, we took the ride at 5:00 p.m saw the show at 5:15 had the buffet at 6:00 ( which was excellent by the way) the buffet sounded expensive but it was very good well worth the money. Again, thank you for planning the trip of a life time for us.
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5
19/12/2009
Thank you for arranging our tour. Everything went smoothly, all shuttles , buses and accomodation were excellent. We were especially impressed with Dion, the coach driver and guide who took us to see wonderful Milford Sound. Thank you and we hope to return, with more of our family.
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4
13/05/2009
To start the train trip over the alps from Christchurch to Greymouth was excellent-- Bus services and drivers also good. Hotels a little up and down, some very good some ok!. The idea on an independent holiday to have an extra day at every overnight stop was the very bestest!! idea, just that little bit extra time for sight seeing and relaxing. Overall the tour was most enjoyable and thanks for all your help.
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4
12/05/2009
I undertook the Glacierland tour with my parents and I must say, we all had a very good time. Everything was well-organised and instructions were clear, from the accommodation to the transportation. The people we met along our travels were so friendly and helpful. However, I do like to comment on the accommodation in Te Anau where we were booked for a night there. We stayed in Aden Motel and it was quite a distance (by foot) from town. By the time we arrived in Te Anau, it was late and dark and we still had to make our way to town for dinner. Although it was a 10-15 minute walk to town, it was very unpleasant and unsafe as there were minimal street lights and the area was extremely quiet. No people, no traffic. Only the freezing wind and some showers. We did fear for our safety and hoped that no mishap would befall us en route to and from town. Aden Motel itself was very cold too. They only had a small oil-filled column heater in the bedroom and a small heat pump in the common room. Plus, the warm water in shower ran out quickly. The last person showering had only cold water to use. The temperature that night was 4 degrees. All in all, the trip went very well and all the other accommodation were comfortable. I just wished our Te Anau accommodation was nearer to town and more comfortable.
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5
28/02/2009
I have only just returned from my 3 weeks in New Zealand and I immediately wanted to thank you for putting such a fantastic 6-day tour together for me. Everything worked out just as planned and everyone I met was so courteous and helpful - especially those bus drivers with their impressive knowledge about the area and the delightful personal anecdotes they shared with us - only one driver was the silent, solemn type! Anyway, it was so well organized - I have been recommending your company to everyone I meet, including my son who is a Flight Centre Travel Agent! Many, many thanks ... and I don't hold you personally responsible for the two very wet days I encountered!! Also, I have to add that the Punga Grove Motor Inn was the best accommodation ever! All the best.
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4
25/03/2008
I should have sent this sooner but I thought you would appreciate some feedback from Marlene and I re our 'Glaciers Tour' March 4-14. In short, it was great and essentially a day by day visual feast. I was very glad I created some time at either end of the tour in Christchurch with an extra day and a late plane out as the city is extremely interesting. The TranzAlpine train trip was a super finish as well and we were very glad we included that and a trip on the S S Earnslaw at Queenstown. Your arrangement to have us picked up at the station and motel to complete our trip was super - saved a lot of mucking around and worrying - particularly at that end of the trip. Highlights for us were Te Anau, Glenorchy, Milford Sound (though a small boat tour would be better) and Franz Josef.
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Optionals

New Zealand has a great deal of things to see and do, why not add one of our optional sightseeing activities to your trip. Prices are per adult (we'll adjust your quote for any children).

Enquire about our 10 Day Southern Circuit

10 Day Southern Circuit
Independent Coach Tour
Tour Code: RJ205
From (NZD) $2098 per person
Enquire Now
Departures: Feb 2018 to May 2019
Rating:
25 reviews (4.6/5)

Enjoy the finest mountain scenery in New Zealand on the southern circuit of the South Island. Join the TranzAlpine train to cross the Southern Alps an... Read More

Itinerary Map

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10 Day Southern Circuit
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