9 Day Queenstown Loop

9 Day Queenstown Loop

Nine days independent touring, four nights in Queenstown, Doubtful Sound day tour & cruise, two night stay on the west coast at Franz Josef, TranzAlpine train journey and a night at the Hermitage in Mt Cook National Park. What else do you need?

Tour Info

Tour Type: Independent Coach Tour
From: Queenstown to Queenstown
Departures: Jan 2020 - March 2021
Price: From (NZD) $2627 per person
Tour Operator: Relaxing Journeys
Duration: 9 Days
Tour Code: RJ229


8 nights accommodation
All Coach, Ferry & Rail Transport & Transfers
Optional Breakfasts
Daily Departures
Doubtful Sound Day Tour & 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.

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Day by Day Tour Itinerary

Day 1
Arrive Queenstown

Welcome to Queenstown, a region renowned for its incredible adventure activities and spectacular outdoor terrain. Queenstown is a four season resort with distinct and beautiful seasons that can be enjoyed all year round. On arrival today you’ll be transferred to your accommodation and the rest of the day is at leisure. (3 nights)

Day 2

Today is at leisure to explore this picture postcard town. Queenstown has a unique and inspirational range of activities to suit everyone. Families have lots to choose from on land, lake or in the air, and if you love golf, biking, walking, sailing and fishing then perhaps you need to consider staying a few more days!. We recommend the world famous Shotover Jet boat ride or perhaps explore landscapes only accessible by 4WD vehicles while discovering exciting Lord of the Rings film locations. If you’re looking for a more relaxing experience then enjoy being pampered at one of Queenstown’s luxurious day spas or sink into a therapeutic hot pool. Finish your day with dinner at one of more than 150 restaurants that Queenstown has to offer and then settle in for the evening at a cosy wine bar or friendly pub. Whatever your interests are, Queenstown is sure to deliver.

Day 3
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 and 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 reboard your coach and travel back to Queenstown. (L)

Day 4
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. (2 nights)

Day Day 5

Today you have a whole day at leisure. Perhaps enjoy a guided walk, a heli-hike or a scenic flight from the Franz Josef township. If you’d prefer a relaxing day, head to the Franz Josef Glacier Hot Pools that are nestled amongst the lush rainforest of the glacier country or meander through the village where you will find a wonderful selection of gifts, artwork, merchandise and cafes.

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 6
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 7
Christchurch - Mount Cook

This morning you head south to Lake Tekapo. Here your coach will take a short break and 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.

Day 8
Mount Cook - Queenstown

This morning is completely at your leisure. Hike around one of the walking tracks; take one of the scenic flights to get up close to Mount Cook and Southern Alps’ magnificent glaciers. You also have time to join a tour to explore the Tasman Glacier by the terminal lake. This afternoon you will travel back down the Tasman Valley and Lake Pukaki with its beautifully unique turquoise colour. Head towards Twizel and onto Omarama before going over Lindis Pass. Follow the shores of Lake Dunstan to Cromwell and into the Kawarau Gorge to arrive in Queenstown in the early evening.

Day 9

Sadly your trip is at an end. Today you will be picked up from your accommodation and transferred to the airport for your journey home. “Kia tuupato te haere!” – Have a safe journey home!


There are 3 reviews of this tour from past clients of Relaxing Journeys, averaging 5 out of 5.

Overall Tour Rating
Value For Money
Tour Pace
Relaxing Journeys Experience

Tour Reviews

We booked this tour because we wanted to start and end in Queenstown as we then wanted to spend a few days in Wanaka. The trip was well organized and the motel rooms were all above expectations. The coaches were very comfortable with plenty of comfort stops along the way. There was one hiccup with the shuttle collecting us from the railway station in Christchurch but this was through no fault of Relaxing Journeys. We also booked a few optional excursions through them and these all went beautifully except for bad weather in Mt Cook which meant the Glacier adventure had to be cancelled. Looking back we should have arranged to spend more time in Christchurch as we arrived at 7pm and left at 7am the next morning. I would certainly recommend this company for any sort of tours you may wish to do in beautiful New Zealand.
Overall Tour Rating

Value For Money


Tour Pace

Relaxing Journeys Experience
This tour had the right balance of convenient transportation and lodging along with giving us the independence we desired at each location.
Overall Tour Rating

Value For Money


Tour Pace

Relaxing Journeys Experience
Everything was carefully planned according to our requests. All went very smoothly, & we had a wonderful time - thank you Marie.
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 9 Day Queenstown Loop

9 Day Queenstown Loop
Independent Coach Tour
Tour Code: RJ229
From (NZD) $2627 per person
Save (NZD) $262 per person
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3 reviews (5/5)

Nine days independent touring, four nights in Queenstown, Doubtful Sound day tour & cruise, two night stay on the west coast at Franz Josef, TranzAlpi... Read More

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9 Day Queenstown Loop
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