8 Day Southern Highlights

8 Day Southern Highlights

Experience the highlights of the South Island on this train lovers independent tour. Eight days in the southern wilderness travelling through New Zealand's sightseeing hotspots including Queenstown, Dunedin, Milford Sound and the West Coast.

Tour Info

Tour Type: Independent Coach Tour
From: Christchurch to Christchurch
Departures: Jan 2020 - March 2021
Price: From (NZD) $2264 per person
Tour Operator: Relaxing Journeys
Duration: 8 Days
Tour Code: RJ208i


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


Prices are per person based on twin-share, and are subject to availability. Prices are correct at the time of submission but are subject to change without notice. Valid for travel January 2020 – March 2021. Blackout periods may apply. A non-refundable deposit of $250 per person is required at time of booking.

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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 - Dunedin

Depart Christchurch and head south through the vibrant seaside town of Timaru and onto Oamaru known for their creamy limestone buildings. Pass Moeraki Beach where perfectly rounded boulders are embedded in the sand. Arrive early afternoon in Dunedin with time for an optional sightseeing tour of the wildlife of the Otago Peninsula.

Day 3
Dunedin - Taieri Gorge Train & Coach - Queenstown

Board the Taieri Gorge Train at Dunedin’s historic railway station. Journey through the rugged and spectacular Taieri River Gorge, across wrought iron viaducts and through tunnels carved by hand more than 100 years ago. A full commentary is provided and there are plenty of stops for photo opportunities. On arrival into Pukerangi, board your coach and continue the onwards journey to the alpine resort of Queenstown – exciting, sophisticated and fantastically scenic. (3 nights)

Day 4
Milford Sound Day Tour & Cruise

Your day tour coach follows the southern arm of Lake Wakitipu to Lumsden, and onward to Lake Te Anau. The scenery changes dramatically from tussock covered grasslands to glacier hewn valleys as you enter the Eglington Valley and travel through the breath taking man made Homer Tunnel to reach Milford Sound. Enjoy a cruise on this world famous fiord, dominated by Mitre Peak and the cascading Bowen Falls. On completion you will return to Queenstown by coach. (L)

Day UP
Milford Sound Return Flight Upgrade Package (NZ $395pp)

Return to Queenstown on a scenic flight taking in magnificent views of the alps, glaciers, lakes and forests of Fiordland National Park – a quick and convenient way to return to Queenstown. (Duration 35mins) The flight shaves off approximately 4 hours off a return by coach. It is however very weather dependent, so if the weather doesn’t play ball, then you will need to return by coach and we will refund the upgrade price.

Day Day 5

Today 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 - Franz Josef

Depart Queenstown this morning, travel along the shores of Wanaka and Lake Hawea to the Haast Pass, gateway to World Heritage Westland National Park. Then continue up the West Coast past spectacular mountain ranges, native forests and lakes to Franz Josef Glacier arriving in the early evening. If you have a spare day we’d recommend an extra night at Franz to allow time to fully experience the region.

Day 7
Franz Josef - TranzAlpine Train - Christchurch

Board your coach and head north through Hokitika and into the small town of Greymouth where you will stop to stretch your legs before boarding the renowned TranzAlpine Train for one of the world’s great scenic train trips to Christchurch. Experience the beautiful Lake Brunner, spectacular viaducts, 8.6kms in the lengthy Otira Tunnel, ice – fed rivers, patchwork farmland and the tussock landscape of the Canterbury Plains. Arrive at approximately 6:05pm in our most ‘English’ of cities, Christchurch.

Day 8
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.



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 8 Day Southern Highlights

8 Day Southern Highlights
Independent Coach Tour
Tour Code: RJ208i
From (NZD) $2264 per person
Save (NZD) $226 per person
Enquire Now

Terms and conditions apply. Please see tour overview for more information.

Experience the highlights of the South Island on this train lovers independent tour. Eight days in the southern wilderness travelling through New Zeal... Read More

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8 Day Southern Highlights
Regions Visited

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