First Choice

Southern Spectacular

10 Day Guided Vacation | Christchurch Return

Travel Period

If you arrive on the South Island and never want to leave, we can’t blame you. From soul-reviving scenery – Milford Sound, Franz Josef Glacier, The Remarkables, Mount Cook – to forward-thinking cities, this pocket of NZ trips the light fantastic. On this South Island tour, you’ll absorb nature’s drama on scenic trains, sip away the afternoon in vineyards and discover life on the land with local kiwi farmers.

Prices From Code: ZCQR

$3996

Adult Twin i A person 16 years and over (note a person 16–17 years must be accompanied by a person 18 years and over). All prices are per person, land only.

$4685

Single i A person, who must be 18 years and over, travelling alone, must pay the single room price. All prices are per person, land only.

$3601

Child i A child must be accompanied by a person 18 years+. Some tours have minimum age requirements.
Prices above are per person in USD

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Southern Spectacular

First Choice

10 Day Guided Vacation

Christchurch Return

If you arrive on the South Island and never want to leave, we can’t blame you. From soul-reviving scenery – Milford Sound, Franz Josef Glacier, The Remarkables, Mount Cook – to forward-thinking cities, this pocket of NZ trips the light fantastic. On this South Island tour, you’ll absorb nature’s drama on scenic trains, sip away the afternoon in vineyards and discover life on the land with local kiwi farmers.

Highlights

Local Connection

Ever wondered about Southern Alps life on the land? Enjoy afternoon tea with farmers Angie and Stan to go behind the scenes.

Insider Knowledge

Your guide on a cruise around Milford Sound knows the best waterfalls, where to spot dolphins and which rare flora is in season.

Cultural Immersion

If the setting of 1860 Walter Peak Station doesn’t wow you, then the BBQ dinner and farming demonstration will.

Sustainable Footprints

The Pomona Island Charitable Trust’s mission is to restore NZ’s largest inland island. Help by contributing to AAT Kings’ Sustainable Tourism Commitment.

Itinerary

image map

Welcome to Christchurch, New Zealand’s Garden City. Flights can arrive any time prior to 4.00pm and you will be transferred from the airport to your Christchurch hotel. Take some time to relax or explore independently. You may like to step back in time to a grand era of transport and relax on the Christchurch Tram as it takes you around the 'must-see' central attractions. The tram drivers provide a live commentary throughout the loop, identifying points of interest, historic architecture and the changes the city is under-going since the 2011 earthquake (optional experience – own expense). This evening, meet your fellow travelling companions and your AAT Kings Travel Director for a welcome reception at your hotel.

 

Please note: For departure between 12-Apr-2022 to 05-Jul-2022, you will be staying at Novotel Christchurch Cathedral Square.

 

  Hotel: Distinction Christchurch Hotel

This morning enjoy a Christchurch city sights tour, see how Christchurch is rebuilding after the devastating earthquakes of 2010 and 2011, and pop into the Transitional Cathedral in Latimer Square, the temporary home of the ChristChurch Cathedral. It is the world's only cathedral made substantially of cardboard! Next, travel over the patchwork countryside of the Canterbury Plains to soak up some spectacular sightseeing. Visit Morelea, the home of Angie and Stan Taylor, for a be my guest afternoon tea and hear about a lifetime spent farming in New Zealand. Later, view the little stone-hewn Church of the Good Shepherd, and the bronze statue of a collie dog, the touching tribute to the sheepdogs which helped develop the Mackenzie Country. Your day finishes in the heart of the Mackenzie Country in Twizel. Tonight, enjoy dinner at your hotel.

  Hotel: MacKenzie Country Hotel

  Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine, Be My Guest Afternoon Tea

Your day starts with a journey along the Waitaki River, which marks the boundary between the regions of Canterbury and Otago, and with its large catchment it is an ideal source of hydro-electric power. The Benmore Dam holds back New Zealand’s largest artificial lake, and when the Benmore Power Station was opened in 1965 it was the largest power station in New Zealand. Even today, it is still the second largest, and generates enough electricity each year for about 298,000 average New Zealand homes. From the Waitaki Valley you will then travel through to the township of Oamaru, with its stately tree-lined streets and its famous white limestone buildings. As well as shipping limestone to the bigger cities of Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin for construction of their Town Halls and various churches, Oamaru locals made sure that their own town represented the best in limestone building the mid-late 1800’s had to offer. This afternoon you will make your way down to the Southernmost New Zealand city, Dunedin also known as the Edinburgh of the South. With the rest of your free afternoon you may wish to see more of the region with an Optional Experience. Perhaps take a Wildlife Cruise out to Otago Peninsula, visit the Speights Brewery – a New Zealand institution or journey out to the gorgeous Larnach Castle – New Zealand’s only castle. Tonight, enjoy dinner at your hotel.

  Hotel: Scenic Hotel Southern Cross

  Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

This morning, travel through lush green pastures, crossing sheep-filled farming land. New Zealand is internationally known for its sheep farming, and these are sights many visitors to this country recognise as typically ‘New Zealand’. You are sure to find the perfect sheep photo here! As your journey continues, the rolling, grassy hills once again turn back into heavily forested, rugged mountains, and you meander your way up into the Fiordland National Park to the South Island’s biggest lake and the town of Te Anau. This afternoon, you will hear and learn about the conservation efforts of the Pomona Island Charitable Trust which aims to restore the largest inland island in New Zealand to its natural state. Get up close to the islands on a boat ride on Lake Manapouri. Stop in some quiet and tranquil spots, to soak up the amazing surrounds, spot a few trout, and learn about the unique environment and fascinating history. This evening you have the opportunity to head out across the lake to the Glow Worm Caves for a tour (optional – at own expense). Tonight, enjoy dinner at your hotel.

  Hotel: Distinction Luxmore Hotel

  Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

Today is one of those days where you will want to have your camera battery charged, and ready to go! After leaving Te Anau, you will journey through the Fiordland National Park and out to Milford Sound on one of the most scenic roads you could hope for. Travel through native rainforests, beech forests, alluvial flats and meadows. You will stop at Mirror Lakes where, as the name suggests, you can see the stunning mountain scenery perfectly reflected in the waters of the lakes. Then on to the Homer Tunnel, man’s attempt to master the sheer rocky ranges, still left rough-hewn around the edges. As you emerge out the other side of the tunnel, you are presented with one of the world’s most dramatic alpine drives, down through the Cleddau Valley. You will have a stop at the Chasm, where the roaring Cleddau River has carved its way through solid rock, and then it’s on to Milford Sound, where you will cruise the waters of this natural wonder. Your cruise meanders down the sound, taking in the Bowen and Stirling Falls as they plummet from glacial hanging valleys sharply into the sea, and the sheer pinnacle of Mitre Peak, rising from the deep waters of the fiord. From the spectacular scenes of Milford Sound, you will travel on to the beautiful sights of Queenstown. An orientation tour skirting around the shores of Lake Wakatipu, takes you into the city centre.

  Hotel: Millennium Hotel, Queenstown, 2 nights

  Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Explore Queenstown your way, choose from a range of optional sightseeing experiences. You could choose to ride the Shotover Jet, take a gondola to Bob’s Peak. Perhaps take a minibus tour through spectacular Skippers Canyon or immerse yourself among the boutique vineyards and spectacular scenery of Central Otago on a Boutique Wine tour. After a day of activity, enjoy a peaceful evening cruise across Lake Wakatipu aboard the TSS Earnslaw to Walter Peak High Country Farm for a gourmet barbecue highlight dinner at the Colonel’s Homestead. Then enjoy an entertaining after-dinner farm show providing a glimpse into high-country farm life. On the cruise back to Queenstown, join a sing-along or a dance across the polished wooden floors of the Earnslaw.

  Included Meals: Breakfast, Highlight Dinner

This morning you will leave the alpine wonderland of Queenstown behind, and begin the passage through Central Otago and out to Westland. On the way out of the Queenstown region, you will stop and visit the faithfully restored gold mining settlement of Arrowtown. As you amble down the beautiful tree-lined avenues, past the 19th century wooden buildings, you will feel like you have stepped into a movie set. From here you will travel over to Cromwell, situated next to the sparkling pristine waters of Lake Dunstan, where you will stop in at a local orchard for a taste of some of the town’s delicious stone fruit. It is a day of gorgeous lakes, as after Dunstan, you will travel further into Central Otago and view the vivid blue waters of Lake Hawea, followed by Lake Wanaka, where the shoreline is charmingly lined by poplars and willows. Following an ancient greenstone trail, you will travel over Haast Pass, marking a change from the alpine scenery of the Southern Lakes, to the rainforest marvel of the wild West Coast. View the sheer drop of Thunder Creek Falls and the grand sight of Mt Hooker, flanked on three sides by extensive glaciers. Our final destination for today is the extraordinary rivers of ice that make up Franz Josef Glacier. You may want to get up close and personal with the glaciers on a helicopter flight. Your flight will hover over the snow face and may land high up in the valley so that you can walk across the ice fall – subject to weather conditions (Optional Experience, own expense). Tonight, enjoy dinner with wine at your hotel.

  Hotel: Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier (Douglas Wing)

  Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

If weather conditions are unfavourable on Day 12, you will get another chance to fly up to the glaciers this morning or you might want to take a stroll through the small but lively Franz Josef village. Then it’s time for an exhilarating adventure among temperate rainforest giants on the West Coast Treetop Walkway, followed by a visit to Hokitika, home of the native greenstone (jade) for a factory visit and jewellery demonstration. Later, travel to Punakaiki to view the Pancake Rocks and Blowholes. You’ll spend the night in an eco-friendly resort, right on the waterfront. This evening enjoy dinner with wine at your hotel, while watching the surf thundering at your doorstep!

  Hotel: Ocean View Retreat Punakaiki

  Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

Enjoy a leisurely start this morning before you travel to Greymouth, here you will join a brewery experience at Monteith’s Brewery where you will be guided through the traditions and heritage of this national icon. You will get to experience and taste ever changing and innovative brews before enjoying a pub style lunch. Later you will board the TranzAlpine train to Christchurch city. This spectacular train journey dates back to 1914 and is rated as one of the world’s most scenic train trips. The train forges through tunnels and over viaducts with panoramic views of snow-capped peaks, icy rivers, beech forests, gorges and river valleys. This evening join your AAT Kings Travel Director and Driver, and your new-found friends for a farewell dinner with wine.

 

Please note: For departure between 12-Apr-2022 to 05-Jul-2022, you will be staying at Novotel Christchurch Cathedral Square.

 

  Hotel: Distinction Christchurch Hotel

  Included Meals: Breakfast, Farewell Dinner, Lunch

Your AAT Kings New Zealand holiday concludes this morning after breakfast. Your flights can depart any time today, and you will be transferred by private car to Christchurch Airport.

  Included Meals: Breakfast

Please note: This itinerary may be subject to change.


Accommodation

Your Guided Holiday includes a range of quality accommodation for your comfort.
The accommodation you will enjoy on this tour includes:

 Accommodation Hotel
 Accommodation Hotel

The newly renovated Distinction Christchurch Hotel is an urban escape combining sophisticated smarts and familiar warmth whilst standing proud amongst the buzz of the rejuvenation of Cathedral Square.

Ideally positioned in the heart of the city only a few minutes' walk from the Avon River, Botanical Gardens, Christchurch Casino, Cashel Mall and future Christchurch Convention Centre.

    Features

  • Wi-Fi
  • Sauna
  • Gym facilities
  • TV
 Accommodation Hotel
 Accommodation Hotel

The MacKenzie Country Hotel is located in the heart of the Mackenzie region, a unique area of New Zealand's South Island. Featuring natural stonework, the architecture beautifully reflects and compliments the mountains and riverbeds of the surrounding landscape.

    Features

  • Private balcony
  • Wireless Internet access
  • Refrigerator
  • Electric blankets
  • Flat Screen TV
  • Iron / Ironing Board
  • Hairdryer
  • Tea & Coffee Facilities
  • Ensuite
  • Phone
 Accommodation Hotel
 Accommodation Hotel

The Scenic Hotel Southern Cross is Dunedin's largest and most established hotel. Located in the heart of Dunedin, this hotel has been extensively refurbished and now provides guests with modern style, exquisite quality, convenience and exceptional service. The Scenic Hotel Southern Cross provides stylish inner city accommodation, giving the convenience of having entertainment, shopping and restaurants close at hand. Just a short walk from the Octagon, railway station, theatres, shops, and close to Otago university, it is the perfect location from which to explore Dunedin. Whether you are staying for business or pleasure, it is hard to go past the Scenic Hotel Southern Cross.

    Features

  • TV
  • Mini Bar
  • Hair Dryer
  • Refrigerator
  • Wireless Internet access
  • Guest Laundry
  • Dry cleaning service
  • Gym facilities
  • 24 hour room service
 Accommodation Hotel
 Accommodation Hotel

Escape to the serene surroundings of Lake Te Anau before heading out to explore the world-famous beauty of Fiordland National Park. The hotel is located in the heart of the visitor-friendly township of Te Anau, in the stunning and world-famous region of Fiordland.

    Features

  • Ensuite
  • Heater
  • Phone
  • TV
  • Refrigerator
  • Bathroom Amenities
 Accommodation Hotel
 Accommodation Hotel

Millennium Hotel Queenstown is only minutes from Queenstown shopping, entertainment and outdoor activities such as bungee jumping, white water rafting and jet boating.

    Features

  • Air Conditioning
  • Colour TV
  • Refrigerator
  • Mini Bar
  • Phone
  • In-room safe
  • Iron / Ironing Board
  • Hair Dryer
  • Electric blankets
  • Broadband Internet access
 Accommodation Hotel
 Accommodation Hotel

Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier sits at the edge of the Westland World Heritage Park, and is just moments from one of New Zealand’s most spectacular natural attractions, the Franz Josef Glacier. Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier makes the most of its alpine location and offers quality accommodation in two separate hotel ‘wings’. Stay in either the Douglas or Graham wing, and enjoy the beautiful surroundings within Franz Josef village. Our hotel is in a premium location, making it the perfect place to base yourself while exploring the magnificent Westland region.

    Features

  • Hair Dryer
  • Work Desk
  • Mini Bar
  • Wireless Internet access
  • Tea & Coffee Facilities
  • Four Spa Pools
  • Iron / Ironing Board
  • Refrigerator
 Accommodation Hotel
 Accommodation Hotel

Situated on New Zealand's wild West Coast, the Punakaiki Resort is surrounded by the Paparoa National Park and is only a stone's throw from the beach. The hotel rooms are designed in harmony with the local environment to maintain a sense of privacy and seclusion and have either ocean or rainforest views.

    Features

  • Ensuite
  • Shower and toilet facilities
  • Refrigerator
  • Tea & Coffee Facilities
  • Phone
  • Hairdryer
  • Wireless Internet access
  • TV
  • Satellite/cable colour TV
 Accommodation Hotel
 Accommodation Hotel

The newly renovated Distinction Christchurch Hotel is an urban escape combining sophisticated smarts and familiar warmth whilst standing proud amongst the buzz of the rejuvenation of Cathedral Square.

Ideally positioned in the heart of the city only a few minutes' walk from the Avon River, Botanical Gardens, Christchurch Casino, Cashel Mall and future Christchurch Convention Centre.

    Features

  • Wi-Fi
  • Sauna
  • Gym facilities
  • TV
Need accommodation before or after your tour?

Our special discounted rates make booking accommodation with us during your holiday both easy and affordable at selected AAT Kings hotels and resorts. Ask our friendly reservations at the time of booking.

Trip Details

What's included

  • • Specialist team of two highly experienced Travel Director and Driver Guide
  • • Be My Guest Experience with Angie and Stan Taylor at thier property in Tekapo
  • • Centrally located premium 4- & 5-star hotels

What to Bring

  • • Comfortable walking shoes
  • • Sunglasses, sunscreen and hat
  • • Water bottle
  • • Warm layers in cooler months
  • • Camera

Fitness Requirements

  • • Low level of fitness required

Dining

  • • 9 Full Breakfasts
  • • 1 Lunch
  • • 1 Be My Guest Afternoon Tea
  • • 5 Dinners with Wine
  • • 1 Highlight Dinner
  • • 1 Farewell Dinner

Flight Information

  • • Day 1 – flights to arrive prior to 4.00pm into Christchurch Airport
  • • Day 10 – flights to depart anytime from Christchurch Airport

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