9 Day Southern Trail
9 Day Southern Trail
A comfortable 9 day train and coach tour from Wellington, southbound through to Christchurch, Queenstown, Milford Sound and the West Coast glaciers.
|Tour Type:||Coach & Fly Tour|
|From:||Wellington to Christchurch|
|Departures:||Jan 2020 - March 2021|
|Price:||From (NZD) $2397 per person|
|Tour Operator:||Relaxing Journeys|
|8 nights accommodation|
|All coach, ferry and rail transport and transfers|
|Internal flight from Wellington to Christchurch|
|Milford Sound day tour and 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.
Click here for our full terms and conditions.
Day by Day Tour Itinerary
Welcome to Wellington. Nestled in green hills and within a protective harbour, the capital city has a laid-back vibe yet offers some of the best shopping, arts and nightlife in the country. On arrival you will be met and transferred to your accommodation, and the remainder of the day at leisure to explore.
This morning you’ll be transferred to the airport to board your domestic flight (included in your tour cost), which will take you across the Cook Strait and down the east coast of the South Island to Christchurch. On arrival, you will be transferred to your accommodation.
This morning you will depart Christchurch and travel over the vast patchwork of the Canterbury Plains to awe-inspiring Lake Tekapo, where 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 alps south to the tussock-covered hills of the Lindis Pass, through the rugged Kawarau Gorge and into Queenstown. (3 nights)
It’s an early start. Head off around the southern shores of Lake Wakatipu to Lake Te Anau then into the World Heritage Fiordland National Park, a region rich with dense rainforest, lakes, and waterfalls. Journey through the Southern Alps via the Homer Tunnel, a 1.2km tunnel drilled through a solid mountain of rock. Upon arrival at Milford Sound, board your vessel for a spectacular cruise where you will see the wonders of Mitre Peak, glacier-scarred rock walls that rise 1,200m vertically from the sea, and waterfalls that tumble from hanging valleys and crash into the sound far below. Board the coach for Queenstown, arriving in the evening. (L)
Return to Queenstown on a scenic flight taking in magnificent views of the alps, glaciers, lakes and forests of Fiordland National Park. (Duration 35 mins.) The flight shaves approximately 4 hours off a return by coach. It is, however, very weather dependent, so if the weather doesn’t play ball you will need to return by coach and we will refund the upgrade price.
Today is at leisure to enjoy the many sights and activities in and around Queenstown. You can enjoy the quiet beauty and tranquillity of this mountain retreat and walk one (or some!) of the several trails in the town area. For sheer excitement there is white-water rafting, helicopter rides, the famous jetboats, bungy jumping, and off-road 4WD tours with plenty of river crossings. There are cruises on the lake with the opportunity to visit to a high country sheep station, and wine tasting tours. You could take the short drive to nearby Arrowtown, where the main street has been preserved since the 1860s gold rush days, and try your luck panning for gold in the adjacent Shotover River.
Depart Queenstown this morning, travelling along the shores of Lakes Wanaka and Hawea to the Haast Pass, gateway to World Heritage-listed Westland Tai Poutini 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. (2 nights)
Today you have a whole day at leisure. Perhaps enjoy an optional guided walk on the glacier, a heli-hike or a scenic flight, or an unguided walk to the terminal face. Franz Josef Glacier extends 12km from the high snow fields of the Southern Alps, and the terminal face is just 5km from the Franz Josef township.
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!
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 beautiful Lake Brunner, spectacular viaducts, 8.6km in the lengthy Otira Tunnel, ice-fed rivers, and the patchwork farmland of the Canterbury Plains. Arrive in Christchurch, the ‘Garden City’, at approximately 6:05pm.
Haere rā! Farewell from Aotearoa. We hope that you have had a memorable journey in New Zealand. Today is at your leisure until you are transferred from your accommodation to the airport for your departure home. We hope you will visit us again.
There are 8 reviews of this tour from past clients of Relaxing Journeys, averaging 4.8 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 comfortable 9 day train and coach tour from Wellington, southbound through to Christchurch, Queenstown, Milford Sound and the West Coast glaciers.... Read More
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