9 Day Southern Trail

9 Day Southern Trail

A comfortable nine day train and coach tour from Wellington, southbound through to Christchurch, Queenstown, Milford Sound and the west coast glaciers.

Book your independent coach tour this month and receive a discount of 7.5%. If you pay by 30 September 2018.

Tour Info

Tour Type: Coach & Fly Tour
From: Wellington to Christchurch
Departures: Feb 2018 to May 2019
Price:
From (NZD) $2297 per person
Tour Operator: Relaxing Journeys
Duration: 9 Days
Tour Code: RJ210

Inclusions

8 nights accommodation
All Coach, Ferry & Rail Transport & Transfers
Internal flight from Wellington to Christchurch
Optional Breakfasts
Daily Departures
Milford Sound Day Tour & Cruise (including lunch)
TranzAlpine Train Journey

Book your independent coach tour this month and receive a discount of 7.5%. If you pay by 30 September 2018.

* 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 Wellington

Welcome to Wellington. Nestled in green hills and within a protective harbour, the capital city of Wellington 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, the remainder of the day at leisure to explore.

Day 2
Wellington - Internal Flight - Christchurch

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 in Christchurch you’ll be transferred to your accommodation.

Day 3
Christchurch - Mt Cook - Queenstown

This morning you will depart Christchurch and travel over the vast patchwork of the Canterbury Plains to the awe – inspiring Lake Tekapo, 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 Country before arriving at Aoraki/Mt 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. (3 nights)

Day 4
Milford Sound Day Tour

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 cascading from rugged mountain peaks. 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)

Day UP
Milford Sound Return Flight Upgrade (From 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 5
Queenstown

Today is at your leisure to enjoy the many sights & activites in and around Queenstown. You can enjoy the quiet beauty and tranquillity 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, and offroad 4WD tours with plenty of river crossings. There are cruises on the lake and the opportunity to visit to a high country sheep station, wine tasting tours and you could take the short visit to 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. (2 nights)

Day 7
Franz Josef

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 12 kms from the high snow fields of the Southern Alps. The terminal face of the Franz Josef glacier is just 5 kms from the Franz Josef township.

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 8
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 9
Depart Christchurch

“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 that you will visit us again.

4.8/5.0

There are 8 reviews of this tour from past clients of Relaxing Journeys, averaging 4.8 out of 5.

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Tour Reviews

5
10/04/2018
I'm not a big fan of bus tours, have had some bad experiences in the past. I was not very convinced about this but me and my wife decided to take a tour over the South Island for a couple of reasons, one the time we had and two, we drive on a different side. What a nice surprise it turn out to be. The hotels they choose for us were nice and relaxing, the bus drivers were friendly and very informative and knowledgeable of every stop we were heading to. They were always right on time. The place we visited were amazing, Queensland, Christchurch, Milford Sounds were just breath taking. We which we had more time in New Zealand, but with the amount of day we had we are sure we took advantage of all that these places had to offer.
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5
22/02/2013
I had a marvellous time. Everything you organized for me went off like clockwork and I was thankful for that, as I was travelling alone. My 'Bronze' accommodations exceeded expectations in that more amenities were provided than expected (bar fridges in the rooms, etc.). North American travellers may appreciate knowing that coaches are not all equipped with toilets but that drivers stop frequently. Their commentary was very helpful as well. The included excursions (Milford Sound and the Queenstown Gondola) were apprecatied and worthwhile, as were the extra days at the Fox Glacier and in Queenstown. Breakfasts provided a nice variety of food and there was no problem eating and then getting to the coach on time. Thanks for making my tour so enjoyable.
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5
12/10/2011
All the arrangements went well. We enjoyed the the South Island. Saw a lot in a short time. Maybe one extra day Christchurch would have been nice. Weather OK. The coach divers were good and infomtative.
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5
19/09/2011
Hi to everyone, especially Georgie and Frances who were so helpful in organising the tour. For feedback concerning the 'Relaxing Journeys' team, I could not have found you more helpful, organised, professional and I sincerely thank you for all the organisation and expert advice that you gave me. You truly have a spectacular country and people and I was hugely touched by the outstanding beauty of your country and the sincere and genuine kindness of the New Zealand people. Regarding the tour: - all the coach drivers were extremely helpful, knowledgeable, punctual and carried out their duties with true energy and professionalism. They provided such great added value to the experience and did NZ proud with all their knowledge of the surrounding area and history. When I went to Milford Sound, I had no idea how long the journey there and back would be. I took a flight back. I was wondering....is it noted on the website that you can take a flight back and the price? It would be helpful to then budget etc the cost of all you wanted to do for that day. One day of the tour that I would not do again would be the day from Queenstown to Christchurch via Mount Aoraki/Cook. To be honest, I did find that day a bit of a waste as it was a very long day on the bus and the stop at Mount Cook too long. If the option had been there to fly back to Auckland from Queenstown I would have taken it and spend an extra day in Queenstown. When I think of it, at Mount Aoraki, we had over two hours, which was not really needed. This meant an extra night hotel in Christchurch, taxi, meals etc. Just a thought..how about an iPhone or Android application for your company? Then we could download itinerary and other information about the tour :-) Very much liked having the choice of a range of hotels before booking, and being able to know what hotels I booked. Thank you. - It was SUCH a help to be allowed to pay off the tour in installments prior to travelling. Great service and I thank you again. I sincerely hope to be back in your country again soon. Last but not least.....HUGE HUGE CONGRATULATIONS on the All Blacks win. Thoroughly deserved. Wishing you all a happy, warm, summer!
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5
24/04/2011
The tour was fantastic and worked very well. Please take the following suggestions in the spirit of constructive criticism - I had a great time!! One suggestion was that the toilet stops etc were often a bit long (and designed to make us spend money on tat in the tourist shops and cafes) but I suspect this is the policy of the coach companies & drivers, and not yours. Also, perhaps you would consider another option, less expensive than the motel. At times the accomodation was very good, but perhaps excessive for my budget (for instance I often had a double bed plus a single bed in my room and I was on my own, kicthenettes which I rarely used, small living areas etc).
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4
23/04/2010
Toni, thank you, thank you, thank you, so very much for everything you did for us....we had an absolute ball! I'll be recommending this way of travelling to everyone I know. It was so easy! The hotels, breakfasts, shuttle bus drivers and tour drivers were brilliant, so friendly and on time. Dion, the bus driver who took us to Milford Sound was just brilliant and so enthusiastic!! You guys must never want to leave New Zealand....what a place!!! We'll be back for a North Island tour!
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5
24/01/2010
This was a wonderful tour! The tour was very well arranged, we had wonderful accomodations and drivers there to pick us up on arrival at the different centres. Our drivers and tour guides were most accomodating and courtious. They were very knowledgeable supplying us with information on the history and geography of the many sights we visited and passed through. They were always cheerful and helpful in every way, just a great bunch. We would reccommend the tour to anyone visiting New Zealand. Toni Harris did a wonderful job in arranging our tour and our special request getting to and from Auckland for the tour. Thank you for a wonderful holiday.
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4
06/01/2010
Thank you for organising our relaxing holiday. Everything went like clockwork and all the accommodations and transport was well organised. The sights were of course amazing and as a New Zealander we were proud of our country especially the people who hosted us during this trip. The only thing that let us down was the weather - but you can't control that! Thanks again.
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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 9 Day Southern Trail

9 Day Southern Trail
Coach & Fly Tour
Tour Code: RJ210
From (NZD) $2297 per person
Enquire Now
Departures: Feb 2018 to May 2019
Rating:
8 reviews (4.8/5)

A comfortable nine 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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9 Day Southern Trail
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