11 Day Wild South

11 Day Wild South

A unique 11 day independent coach tour including a two-night stay on Stewart Island with a guided nature tour included. We have also included a day tour and cruise to theDoubtful Sound to complete your eco-experience of the South Island.

Tour Info

Tour Type: Independent Coach Tour
From: Christchurch to Christchurch
Departures: Jan 2020 - March 2021
Price: From (NZD) $2862 per person
Tour Operator: Relaxing Journeys
Duration: 11 Days
Tour Code: RJ222


10 nights accommodation
All coach, ferry and rail transport and transfers
Optional breakfasts
Daily departures
Tour operates from November to April only
Afternoon guided Ulva Island tour
Doubtful 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.

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Day by Day Tour Itinerary

Day 1
Arrive Christchurch

Welcome to Christchurch, the ‘Garden City’. Disembark, pass through customs and collect your luggage – it’s time to start your holiday. What should you do with the rest of the day? Bordered by hills and the Pacific Ocean, Christchurch 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. We suggest punting down the River Avon through the stunning Botanic Gardens.

Day 2
Christchurch - Dunedin

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

Day 3
Dunedin - Gore - Invercargill

This morning is yours to enjoy some free time. You might like to visit Larnach Castle – New Zealand’s only castle – or explore and enjoy the architecture of the city. Depart Dunedin early afternoon and head south, leaving the Otago region and entering Southland.

You will go through Balclutha and over the Clutha River, the South Island’s longest river, and from here travel inland towards Gore where you will have a coach change stop. Your journey will continue southwards as you travel towards Invercargill, the southernmost and westernmost city in New Zealand, and one of the southernmost cities in the world. Arrive in the early evening.

You may like to consider adding an extra day in Invercargill to explore the town and visit Bill Richardson Transport World. Reportedly the largest private collection of its type in the world, it includes over 300 trucks and 150 petrol bowsers, a significant Henry Ford Letter Car, as well as a V8 collection, VW Kombis, Wearable Arts and much more.

Day 4
Invercargill - Bluff - Stewart Island

Leave Invercargill this morning on a shuttle and head south towards Bluff. This beautiful seaside town is the southernmost point of the South Island and is also famous for the Bluff oysters found here. Experience Foveaux Strait in comfort and style on board an express catamaran.

During the one-hour crossing between Bluff and Stewart Island keep a lookout for wildlife, especially seabirds. Watching mollymawks (albatross) and tītī soaring behind the ferry is a fantastic sight. Comprehensive commentary provides information on the interesting landmarks. On arrival on Stewart Island you’ll be transferred to your accommodation with the remainder of the day at leisure.

With only 28km of road but an impressive 240km of walking tracks, the island is the perfect place to explore by foot. There are many short walks available – perfect for afternoon adventures. (2 nights)

Day 5
Stewart Island

This morning you have the opportunity to explore this unique southern isle famed for its clear, clean waters, lush rainforest, sweeping sands, flora and fauna, and unspoilt natural beauty. This afternoon, take a short water-taxi ride to Ulva Island Bird Sanctuary for your guided tour of the island.

It’s all about discovering the unique, rare and endangered birds and plants at close quarters. See exquisite seasonal orchids and friendly birdlife that will come too close for your camera lens whilst gently ambling amongst a beautiful botanical forested garden alive with birdsong.

Day 6
Stewart Island - Queenstown

It’s back to the mainland today. Cross the Foveaux Strait by ferry and then board your coach through to Queenstown arriving early afternoon. (3 nights)

Day 7

Today is completely at 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 or enjoy 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, and wine tasting tours. You can visit 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.

Day 8
Queenstown - Doubtful Sound Cruise - Queenstown

You will be collected from your accommodation this morning and travel by coach to Manapouri. Your Doubtful Sound wilderness excursion begins as you cruise the crystal clear waters of Lake Manapouri, a stunning lake renowned for its numerous islands and deserted beaches.

Then it’s over Wilmot Pass on one of New Zealand’s remotest and prettiest sub-alpine roads, stopping along the way to experience some of Fiordland’s densest rainforest as well as to view Doubtful Sound glistening far below. On reaching Deep Cove you will board your vessel for a cruise that takes in the most dramatic scenery of Doubtful Sound. Nature guides provide an engaging commentary and point out the highlights.

Keep a look out for wildlife as bottlenose dolphins frequently swim alongside the vessel, fur seals bask on the rocks around the fiord, and rare penguins can at times be observed. After your cruise, re-board your coach and travel back to Queenstown. (L)

Day 9
Queenstown - Aoraki Mount Cook

Leaving Queenstown you will soon reach picturesque Lake Hayes and travel through Kawarau Gorge, home of award-winning wineries as well as the famous Kawarau bungy bridge. You will travel past the township of Cromwell and its many orchards before crossing the Lindis Pass into the Mackenzie Basin. Hydro-electricity canals and glacier-fed lakes will guide you into Aoraki Mount Cook National Park. Here you will find Aoraki Mount Cook – New Zealand’s tallest mountain.

Day 10
Aoraki Mount Cook - Christchurch

This morning is at your leisure. Hike around one of the walking tracks, or take a scenic flight to get up close to Aoraki Mount Cook and the Southern Alps’ magnificent glaciers. You also have time to explore the Tasman Glacier via the terminal lake.

This afternoon you’ll travel down the Tasman Valley past Glentanner Park nd Lakes Pukaki and Tekapo, where you can view the Church of the Good Shepherd by the lakeshore. The altar window offers awe-inspiring views of the lake and mountains of. The coach then continues on towards Fairlie. Continue your journey through diverse farmland and descend to cross the Canterbury Plains before arriving back in Christchurch.

Day 11
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. Haere rā, farewell!


There are 5 reviews of this tour from past clients of Relaxing Journeys, averaging 4.4 out of 5.

Overall Tour Rating
Value For Money
Tour Pace
Relaxing Journeys Experience

Tour Reviews

We had a great time in New Zealand and our independent tour was good on the whole. We were not a fan of Intercity Coaches for a number of reasons but will provide them feedback separately. Probably would have not gone for premium accommodation - although it was great just not in room enough to justify $$. Places we would have stayed longer would be Mt Cook and Stewart Island. Wish we hadn't bothered with Invergargill or at least been placed closer to town given the short stay there. Mani was a great support.
Overall Tour Rating

Value For Money


Tour Pace

Relaxing Journeys Experience
The tour went extremely well with a special mention for the shuttle service that was organised for Invercargill as our coach from Dunedin arrived an hour late due to bad weather and they came back to pick us up. If you could please pass this on to the Shuttle service coordinators. (The phone number in our Itinerary did not match up for the shuttle service, we needed to add a 3?) All tour operators/ coach drivers /shuttle drivers/ accommodation were lovely. The extra days we added to our tour made it a good pace for us. We had the extra benefit of great weather for all our outings.
Overall Tour Rating

Value For Money


Tour Pace

Relaxing Journeys Experience
I thoroughly enjoyed this tour as it takes you all the way down South as far as Dunedin, Invercargill and Stewart Island. The highlight of my tour was beautiful Stewart Island and the amazing day spent at Doubtful Sound. I was very impressed with the friendliness and knowledge of our various coach drivers. The motel rooms where I stayed were all very clean and comfortable and all the arrangements as far as pick ups /transfer/day tour arrangements etc were spot on.
Overall Tour Rating

Value For Money


Tour Pace

Relaxing Journeys Experience
Everything went very smoothly! A few of the hotels wanted to charge me for the cost of the room, but that was always resolved after a bit of talking and research. The shuttle company in Invercargill lost our reservations and we had to call them, but other than that, all travel went really well. New Zealand is a beautiful country and I enjoyed getting off the beaten track a bit. Stewart Island was definitely one of the highlights of the journey, together with Doubtful Sound. Beautiful places both of them! Wish there were more tours like this!
Overall Tour Rating

Value For Money


Tour Pace

Relaxing Journeys Experience
Thanks to your organisation our tour went very smoothly, and we did not need to organise anything except a few extra activities on free days. Hotels were well located and we were able to walk easily to all city sights. Our only regret is that we did not request extra time on Stewart island, our favourite place and Ulvas Tour of Ulva - the highlight of our journey. We will definitely be returning with Relaxing Journeys. Thanks for assisting us.
Overall Tour Rating

Value For Money


Tour Pace

Relaxing Journeys Experience


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 11 Day Wild South

11 Day Wild South
Independent Coach Tour
Tour Code: RJ222
From (NZD) $2862 per person
Save (NZD) $286 per person
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5 reviews (4.4/5)

A unique 11 day independent coach tour including a two-night stay on Stewart Island with a guided nature tour included. We have also included a day to... Read More

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11 Day Wild South
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