8 Day Head South
8 Day Head South
A lively eight-day tour from Wellington through the South Island to Christchurch, Dunedin, Queenstown and Milford Sound. You will be delighted, excited and stimulated by the vast array of things to do and see.
|Tour Type:||Independent Coach Tour|
|From:||Wellington to Christchurch|
|Departures:||Jan 2020 - March 2021|
|Price:||From (NZD) $1994 per person|
|Tour Operator:||Relaxing Journeys|
|7 nights accommodation|
|All coach transport and transfers|
|Interislander ferry crossing|
|TranzCoastal Train journey from Picton to Christchurch|
|Milford Sound day tour and cruise (including lunch)|
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.
Click here for our full terms and conditions.
Day by Day Tour Itinerary
Welcome to Wellington. Pass through customs, collect any baggage, and be met by one of our friendly representatives, ready to whisk you away to your city accommodation. After checking in and getting yourself settled, turn your roving eye outside and enjoy a free afternoon in New Zealand’s capital.
Wellington is compact, cultured, and full of character. Nestled between the harbour and the hills, the downtown area is ideal for exploration on foot. Enjoy cafés, restaurants, museums, and all kinds of shops. Dance, theatre and musical performances are a Wellington specialty.
This morning you will be transferred to the Wellington ferry terminal prior to boarding the Interislander ferry and crossing the Cook Strait to Picton. Where will you sit – inside or outside? Try to vary your experience if you can, as some of the sights are better seen without the barrier of a window; watch as boats bob on Wellington Harbour, disappearing in the distance as you head into the majestic Marlborough Sounds, chugging away to Picton.
On arrival in Picton, walk from the ferry terminal to the railway station to travel on the Coastal Pacific train to Christchurch.
Following the 2011 earthquake, Christchurch has re-emerged as a vibrant, ever-changing city. The remainder of the day is yours to enjoy – use the time to get a taste of what the city has to offer.
This morning you will depart Christchurch and travel over the vast patchwork of the Canterbury Plains to the awe-inspiring Lake Tekapo, and here your coach will take a short break. This is a great opportunity for you to take in the extreme beauty of this area – from the Southern Alps mountain range, the iconic Church of the Good Shepherd (one of New Zealand’s most photographed monuments), to the picturesque lupins that border the turquoise glacial-fed lake.
Continue through the Mackenzie Basin before arriving at Aoraki Mount Cook Village. Take advantage of your time here and enjoy a delicious three-course lunch at the famous Hermitage Hotel (not included), or perhaps an optional scenic helicopter or ski-plane flight (weather permitting).
You will then follow the Southern Alps south to the tussock covered hills of the Lindis Pass, through the rugged Kawarau Gorge and into Queenstown. (2 nights)
Today is completely at your leisure to enjoy the many sights of this alpine resort town situated on the shores of Lake Wakatipu. Queenstown offers something for everyone – you can enjoy the quiet beauty and tranquility of this mountain retreat as well as enjoying several walking trails in the town area.
For sheer excitement there is white-water rafting, helicopter rides, the famous jetboats, bungy jumping to pump your adrenalin, and off-road 4WD tours with plenty of river crossings. There are cruises on the lake and a visit to a high country sheep station, or you can book a spot on a variety of wine tasting tours.
You can visit nearby Arrowtown where the main street has been preserved since the 1860s gold rush days, and you can try your luck panning for gold in the adjacent Shotover River.
An early start takes you alongside the lake to Kingston, then to Mossburn and Lake Te Anau. Soon you plunge into the beech forests of the beautiful Eglinton Valley then it’s on through the Homer Tunnel to the awesome Cleddau Canyon and the steep descent to Milford Sound.
On arrival at Milford Sound, board either the Milford Mariner or Milford Wanderer – specifically designed fiord explorers – and settle in for a 2.5-hour cruise. Milford Sound is nothing short of heart-stopping, inducing subconscious smiles in the hard to please and easily bored almost instantly; it’s simply magnificent. Keep an eye out for dolphins, seals and penguins!
Later today your coach climbs back over the divide and returns you to Te Anau. Overnight in Te Anau. (L)
This morning cross the Waimea Plains towards the farming community of Gore, then continue across the rolling hill country of Southland and South Otago to Dunedin. Second largest city in the South Island, the cityscape glitters with gems of Victorian and Edwardian architecture – the legacy of the city’s gold rush affluence – First Church, Otago Boys’ High School and Larnach Castle.
Other prominent buildings include Olveston and Dunedin Railway Station. Dunedin is also notable now as a centre for ecotourism. Uniquely, the world’s only mainland royal albatross colony and several penguin and seal colonies lie within the city boundaries on Otago Peninsula. Arrive early afternoon.
Leaving Dunedin behind you, keep your eyes peeled for the perfectly rounded boulders which are embedded in the sand at Moeraki as you make your way north to Ōamaru – the boulders are a natural phenomenon that started forming 60 million years ago on the ocean floor.
Ōamaru 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.
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.
There are 6 reviews of this tour from past clients of Relaxing Journeys, averaging 4.7 out of 5.
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).
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A lively eight-day tour from Wellington through the South Island to Christchurch, Dunedin, Queenstown and Milford Sound. You will be delighted, excite... Read More
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