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5 Day South Island Sampler

Relaxing Journeys Independent Coach Tour starting in Christchurch and finishing in Queenstown

Tour Description

Fly into Christchurch and head south through the Mt Cook National Park into Queenstown for your three night stopover. We've included a Milford Sound tour & cruise as well as four nights self catering or hotel accommodation.

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Tour Info
Regions Visited
Tour Inclusions

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Tour Optionals

Prices are per adult (we'll adjust your quote for any children)

Day 1: Afternoon at Leisure in Christchurch
Day 3: Full Day at Leisure in Queenstown

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  • Note: Prices shown are per person (based on two people travelling). Prices are valid for travel until September 2018
Independent Tour Information
  • Independent New Zealand Tours

    Independent tours are an ideal way to explore New Zealand if you don't wish to drive. We pre-book all your travel arrangements including coach, rail and ferry transport, accommodation, transfers between your transport and key sightseeing activities. We can add and take off days in the middle, start or end of your tour and you can choose whether to add breakfasts. While the coaches do not have dedicated tour guides, the multi-talented coach drivers provide excellent onboard commentary.

  • Accommodation Levels

    Your tour accommodation is in specially chosen properties, centrally located and of a high standard. Choose from 3 levels of accommodation on every itinerary! Motels & Apartments, Mid Range Hotels & Premium Hotels. All accommodation is subject to availability at the time of booking so get in early!

  • Daily Departures

    Our independent coach tours operate every day, using regular coach, train, airline and ferry services. This provides you with excellent flexibility when planning your tour to fit in with your flights and any other holiday arrangements.

  • Coastal Pacific Train Journey

    If your itinerary includes the Coastal Pacific train, then please be aware it does not operate from May to September and will be replaced by a coach journey during this period. This amendment to the itinerary is factored into our winter pricing.

  • Coach Commentary

    Coaches do not have dedicated tour guides, however the multi-talented coach drivers provide excellent onboard commentary on most routes. There are a few of routes between cities in NZ where no commentary is provided. See FAQ's below for a list of routes without commentary.

  • Transfers

    We organise all your transfers and these are are by shuttle service. If you'd prefer to be picked up by a private driver service please request this at time of booking as prices are not too much more in most cases.

  • General Information

    Frequently Asked Questions | Accommodation | Tour Transport

Tour Itinerary - Day by Day
  • Day1

    Arrive in Christchurch

    Welcome to Christchurch, gateway to the South Island. Christchurch’s rebuild is underway after the earthquake in 2011 and visitors are welcome to experience the new ‘Transitional City’ to its fullest. Stroll along the Avon River and enjoy the new cafes and bars that have reopened recently. Cathedral Square is open & the fresh Transitional Square has been fitted out with large colourful artworks, plants, interpretation panels, theatre space and seating as well as an information booth for residents and visitors.

    Motels & Apartments: Quest Christchurch
    Mid Range: Rendezvous Hotel
    Premium: Heritage Hotel Christchurch

  • Day2

    Christchurch - Mt Cook - Queenstown (3 nights)

    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.

    Motels & Apartments: Blue Peaks Lodge
    Mid Range: Novotel Lakeside Queenstown
    Premium: Hotel St Moritz

  • Day3

    Queenstown at Leisure

    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.

  • Day4

    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. An optional return scenic flight to Queenstown is available (own expense). (L)

  • Up

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

    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.

  • Day5

    Depart Queenstown

    Your quick visit to New Zealand's South Island regrettably comes to an end today and so with fond memories of mountains and fiords, glaciers and sparkling braided rivers drifting in your memory, we will transfer you to nearby Queenstown airport for a safe and pleasant journey home. Haere ra, Ka hoki mai ano (Farewell, but return again).

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Tour Reviews

View all 4 reviews of this tour from past clients of Relaxing Journeys, averaging 4.5 out of 5.

  • 4New Zealand is nice place, I am also planning to come again next year. Thank you for your help.

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    - 05/12/2017
  • 5Our trip began in Christchurch. The motor driver was awesome, knowledgeable, courteous and witty. He was also a very good driver. He was filled with knowledge and talked often about historical, geographical, etc. info. He gave us enough time to stretch out and take brakes while keeping up the pace of the trip. We saw Lake Tekapo and Mt. Cook National Park and then headed to Queenstown with him. On a separate day our driver Jaimie took us to Milford Sound. He was also courteous, witty and knowledgeable. He was a fast driver but we needed that pace to keep to the tour schedule. We also stopped often. The sites at both tours were awesome. We felt the value was excellent and would not hesitate to refer anyone we know to these tours. Marie was very patient in planning with us. New Zealand is beautiful and with these two tours we got to experience first hand some of the beauty in the South Island.

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    - 07/11/2015
  • 5Excellent tour with beautiful scenery, pleasant coach drivers, and good accommodations.

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    • Relaxing Journeys Experience
    - 20/04/2014
  • 4Thank you for making our short trip hassle free and relaxing. Accommodation in Christchurch was excellent, hotel in Dunedin was not as good. Accommodation in Queenstown was good however we were dropped at the wrong hotel. There are 2 hotels with same chain about 400m apart. Suggest you make it clear to transfer driver of this confusion. Thank you again for excellent planning.

    • Overall Tour Rating
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    - 19/03/2014

Like this Tour?

Upgrade this tour by adding one of or carefully selected optional tours & activities or go ahead and request a quote to guarantee your spot.

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