Southern Spotlight

9 Day Guided Vacation | Christchurch Return

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$2650

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.

$3460

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.

$2385

Child i A child (5-15 years) must be accompanied by a person 18 years+. Some tours have min. age requirement
Prices above are per person, land only
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From 26 April 2020

$2650 Adult Twin
$3460 Single
$2385 Child

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From 21 September 2020

$2795 Adult Twin
$3640 Single
$2520 Child

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$2385 Child

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$2385 Child

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From 20 September 2021

$2795 Adult Twin
$3640 Single
$2520 Child

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Southern Spotlight

9 Day Guided Vacation | Christchurch Return

Southern Spotlight

9 Day Guided Vacation | Christchurch Return | Travel Period: 1 Apr 2020 – 31 Mar 2021

Southern Spotlight

9 Day Guided Vacation

Christchurch Return

Tick all the boxes of must-dos in the South Island. Journey through the Southern Alps on the TranzAlpine train, have a night out at a High Country Station in Central Otago, cruise down the still waters of Milford Sound, and roam through the stone-hewn campus of New Zealand’s oldest university in Dunedin.

Choose This Trip If You'd Love To:

  • Visit the iconic sights of the South Island
  • View the spectacular grandeur of the Franz Josef Glacier
  • Witness glacial waterfalls in stunning Milford Sound
  • Cruise on Milford Sound and journey on the TranzAlpine

image map

Flexible Vacations

With 150 bars and cafes in the Queenstown, you'll have plenty to choose from on your free evening in Queenstown.

Iconic Sites

No visit to the South Island is complete without a journey on the iconic TranzAlpine train.

Time For You

Enjoy free days and afternoons on this guided holiday, so there is plenty of down-time.

Sustainable Travel

Your visit to Fiordland National Park will contribute to protecting New Zealand wilderness and native birdlife in the area.

You’ll have time to relax before meeting your Travel Director and fellow travellers this evening for a Welcome Reception.

Hotel: Ibis Hotel Christchurch

See how Christchurch is has rebuilt itself after the devastating earthquakes of 2010 and 2011, and pop into the Transitional Cathedral, the temporary home of the Christchurch Cathedral, built almost entirely of cardboard. Later, travel over the fertile Canterbury Plains to soak up spectacular scenery. You’ll view the famous Church of the Good Shepherd, and stop for a quick photo with the bronze statue of a collie dog. You may wish to view Mount Cook National Park from the air this afternoon on an optional experience scenic flight. Your day finishes in the heart of the Mackenzie Country at Omarama.

Hotel: Heritage Gateway Hotel

Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Visit to the Waitaki Hydro Power Scheme, an intricate series of interconnected lakes and canals, and the monumental spillway of the nearby Benmore Dam. Then travel to the historic town of Oamaru, with its elegant tree-lined streets and celebrated white limestone buildings. Continue to Dunedin, New Zealand’s southernmost city, where your afternoon is at leisure. You may like to take a wildlife cruise, or ride the historic Taieri Gorge Railway.

Hotel: Scenic Hotel Dunedin City

Included Meals: Breakfast

This morning you’re free to explore Dunedin at your own pace: you might like to visit stately Larnach Castle. This afternoon, travel through lush green sheep-grazing country on your way to Fiordland National Park and the town of Te Anau. Tonight, why not consider an optional experience and take a boat tour of the mysterious Te Anau Glowworm Caves.

Hotel: Distinction Luxmore Hotel

Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Your experience in magnificent Milford Sound is sure to be one of the highlights of your trip. Travel through tall native rainforests and rugged mountains of Fiordland National Park, then cruise the serene waters of this natural wonder. On the way to Queenstown see Mirror Lake, Cleddau Valley, the Chasm, Mitre Peak and Bowen Falls, then travel along the Devil’s Staircase and the shores of Lake Wakatipu. Enjoy an informative orientation tour on arrival.

Hotel: Copthorne Hotel and Resort Queenstown , 2 nights

Included Meals: Breakfast

Explore New Zealand’s adventure capital at your own pace today. There are jet boat rides and white water rafting for the thrill-seekers, and wine tours or intimate cafés for those who enjoy a more leisurely rhythm. You might like to visit the picturesque Queenstown Gardens and enjoy its beautiful tulips in spring or glorious roses in summer. Take a peaceful cruise this evening across Lake Wakatipu aboard the century-old TSS Earnslaw, the only remaining commercial passenger-carrying coal-fired steamship in the Southern Hemisphere. Your destination is Walter Peak High Country Farm, where you’ll enjoy a gourmet barbecue Highlight Dinner and entertaining after-dinner show offering glimpses of high country farm life.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Highlight dinner

Your destination today is the wild west coast of the South Island. Stop to visit the gold-mining settlement of Arrowtown, where more than 70 original buildings from the gold-rush era are faithfully preserved. Sample luscious stone fruit in Cromwell and enjoy the serenity of the region’s vivid blue lakes, the most famous of which is tranquil Lake Wanaka. Drive over the spectacular Haast Pass, passing the 96-metre Thunder Creek Falls and stopping for a leisurely rainforest walk on your way to the extraordinary Franz Josef Glacier.

Hotel: Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier (Graham Wing)

Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Travel on this morning to Hokitika, home of New Zealand’s famous greenstone. Pounamu (its Māori name) is of great cultural significance in Māori culture and was prized for its strength, durability and beauty. It was used for weapons, tools and personal ornaments, and also denoted great status. Continue to Arthur’s Pass to board the iconic TranzAlpine train and embark on one of the world’s most renowned rail journeys. Pass through magnificent landscapes ranging from the rugged gorges and pristine ice-fed streams and lakes of the Southern Alps, to the lush pasture-land of the Canterbury Plains. This evening in Christchurch, join your Travel Director and new-found friends for a Farewell Dinner.

Hotel: Ibis Hotel Christchurch

Included Meals: Breakfast, Farewell Dinner

Say farewell to your fellow travellers when your holiday comes to an end this morning after breakfast.

Included Meals: Breakfast

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

Ibis Christchurch is ready to welcome you. Adjacent to the new shopping heart of Christchurch, Cashell Mall. The "pop up" shopping precinct is the new vibrant heart of the city, featuring many new designer shops and modern cafes. Ibis Hotel Christchurch is very close to the famous Cathedral Square, the historic heart of the city providing easy access to the outer lying attractions and the airport. The Ibis features 155 contemporary rooms, restaurant OOPEN, a bar and meeting room.

    Features

  • 220/240 V AC
  • Data port in room
  • Air-conditioning
  • Flat Screen TV
  • Satellite/cable colour TV
  • Work Desk
  • Direct Dial Telephone
  • Manual temperature control
  • Wi-Fi in room (Pay)
  • Mini-bar (surcharge)
  • Coffee/tea making facilities
  • Ensuite
  • Shower
  • Hairdryer
  • Iron
  • Security peephole
  • Automatic wake up call
  • Operator wake up call
  • Alarm Clock
 Accommodation Hotel
 Accommodation Hotel

Located in the heart of the Mackenzie/Waitaki region, a unique area of New Zealand's South Island. Set amongst landscaped gardens with views of the surrounding mountains, the Heritage Gateway Hotel is a peaceful place to stay.

    Features

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

This stylish hotel has a fresh contemporary design, with clean lines and dramatic features softened by natural elements such as timber and neutral tones. At once energetic, yet restful, Scenic Hotel Dunedin City is well in tune with the beat of this vibrant city. Located in the heart of the city and just blocks from the Octagon, Scenic Hotel Dunedin City is within walking distance of many of the city's main attractions, great restaurants and shopping centres. So whether you are visiting Dunedin for business or pleasure look no further than the exquisite Scenic Hotel Dunedin City for your accommodation choice!

    Features

  • Tea & Coffee Facilities
  • Mini Bar
  • Work Desk
  • Hair Dryer
  • Iron / Ironing Board
  • Wireless Internet access
  • Refrigerator
 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

Copthorne Hotel and Resort Queenstown Lakefront is located on Frankton Road, just five minutes stroll to the heart of Queenstown.

The hotel resort is close to many wonderful activities, from the town's world famous jet boat rides to radical white water rafting, bungee jumping, vineyards, international golf courses and ski fields.

    Features

  • Ensuite
  • TV
  • Tea & Coffee Facilities
  • Refrigerator
  • Mini-bar (surcharge)
  • Telephone - Voice Mail
  • Iron / Ironing Board
  • Hairdryer
 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
  • Wireless Internet access
  • Work Desk
  • Mini Bar
  • Iron / Ironing Board
  • Tea & Coffee Facilities
  • Refrigerator
  • Four Spa Pools
 Accommodation Hotel
 Accommodation Hotel

Ibis Christchurch is ready to welcome you. Adjacent to the new shopping heart of Christchurch, Cashell Mall. The "pop up" shopping precinct is the new vibrant heart of the city, featuring many new designer shops and modern cafes. Ibis Hotel Christchurch is very close to the famous Cathedral Square, the historic heart of the city providing easy access to the outer lying attractions and the airport. The Ibis features 155 contemporary rooms, restaurant OOPEN, a bar and meeting room.

    Features

  • 220/240 V AC
  • Data port in room
  • Air-conditioning
  • Flat Screen TV
  • Satellite/cable colour TV
  • Work Desk
  • Direct Dial Telephone
  • Manual temperature control
  • Wi-Fi in room (Pay)
  • Mini-bar (surcharge)
  • Coffee/tea making facilities
  • Ensuite
  • Shower
  • Hairdryer
  • Iron
  • Security peephole
  • Automatic wake up call
  • Operator wake up call
  • Alarm Clock
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. Find out more

  • Comfortable accommodation
  • Travel by luxury coach
  • Experienced Travel Director and Driver Guide
  • Airport transfers (see flight information below)

To ensure your holiday is filled with memorable experiences, we have included a range of quality Optional Excursions for you to choose from and partake in, if you wish, during your holiday. The excursions can be booked on tour through your Travel Director.

NZ$395 Adult NZ$295 Child

Air Safaris - Grand Traverse Scenic Flight

Explore the alpine wonderland of the Southern Alps’ highest peaks and glacial lakes on this 45-minute scenic flight, including Murchison Glacier, Tasman Glacier, Main Divide, Franz Josef Glacier, Fox Glacier, westland coastal rainforests and Mount Cook.

NZ$30 Adult NZ$14 Child

Speight's Brewery Tour

No visitor to Dunedin should leave without taking the Speight’s Brewery Tour. Since 1876 the brewery has been proudly producing Speight’s legendary ales from the same site in Rattray Street. On the Speight’s Brewery Tour you’ll see, smell, touch and taste the ingredients that go into making Speight’s beers – and of course, get to sample “The Pride of the South” for yourself!

NZ$154 Adult NZ$56 Child

Monarch Wildlife Cruise

Cruise the length of the beautiful Otago Harbour, passing by the historic fishing village of Careys Bay and the working port of Port Chalmers. Then continue your tour out to the tip of the Otago Peninsula, enjoying unrivalled wildlife viewing. See what cannot be seen from land – Albatross, New Zealand Fur Seals and up to 20 species of bird and marine life in their undisturbed and otherwise inaccessible environment.

NZ$109 Adult NZ$29 Child

Taieri Gorge Railway

Taieri Gorge Railway is one of the world’s great train trips, taking passengers from the hustle and bustle of Dunedin’s city centre to the rugged mountain interior of Central Otago, and back. Travel in comfort, cross magnificent stone and wrought iron viaducts, travel through a series of tunnels with rock walls only inches from the side of the train.

NZ$78 Adult NZ$39 Child

Larnach Castle

Let your local driver take you on an exciting Otago Peninsula drive to New Zealand’s only castle. Your guided tour of the Larnach family home will give you insight into not only the architecture and style of the stately building, but also into William Larnach’s family life and the restoration done by the current owners during the past three decades. Enjoy views from the tower and marvel at the immaculate gardens before your return to Dunedin.

NZ$101 Adult NZ$30 Child

Te Anau Glow Worm Caves Tour

2.5 hour tour incorporating a cruise across Lake Te Anau to Cavern House. Enjoy a guided tour (in small groups) through the limestone caverns, waterfalls and the glow worm grotto. Complimentary tea & coffee is available at Cavern House.

NZ$420 adult NZ$260 Child

Milford Sound flight back to Queenstown

A scenic flight from Milford Sound to return back to Queenstown. During the 35 minute flight take in panoramic views of spectacular scenery including glaciers, rivers, lakes and rainforest. Returrn transport to Queenstown accommodation is included.

NZ$55 Adult NZ$25 Child

Kiwi Birdlife Park

The Kiwi Birdlife Park is a wildlife sanctuary found in the heart of Queenstown. They hold and display over 20 species of native NZ wildlife in our 5 acre Park, all of which are part of nationally managed programmes. Your entry fee supports their conservation work. They offer guaranteed kiwi viewing in our specially constructed nocturnal houses, audio tours (available in English and Japanese; allow 45min), Conservation Shows (11am, 3pm; allow 30min) and Kiwi Feedings (10am, 12pm, 1.30pm, 4.30pm; allow 15min). They offer an all-day pass and the park can be enjoyed in all weather. Experience conservation in action!

NZ$159 Adult NZ$89 Child

Shotover Jet Boat Ride

Enjoy a 30-minute jet boat ride down the mighty Shotover River and through Shotover Canyon with the only company permitted to operate in this area. A major highlight is experiencing the famous “Shotover Jet Turn” where your boat spins through a full 360 degrees turn. Includes return transfers from Queenstown. (Duration: 1.5 hours in total)

Tour Only: NZ$155 Adult NZ$95 Child

Tour with Jet Boat: NZ$195 Adult NZ$115 Child

Skippers Canyon Scenic Tour

Skippers Canyon Jet are the only company to offer a complete 4WD tour of Skippers Canyon and access to the unique mining relics available in the Sainsbury gold claim museum. Following the winding, yet majestic Skippers road, which carves its way down from the Coronet Peak ski road, over the saddle and down “Long gully” through to Skippers Canyon; your guide will detail the history of the road, hardships of the miners and how many miners were killed building the road over a century ago.

NZ$95 Adult NZ$49 Child

Skyline Queenstown - Gondola and Dinner

Enjoy Queenstown’s most spectacular views while savouring the finest NZ flavours. Be tempted by a lavish six course “Taste of New Zealand” buffet whilst dining in the relaxed atmosphere.

NZ$109 Adult NZ$59 Child

Haast River Safari

Travel on a purpose built fully enclosed river jet boat with front-loading access. Great visibility is ensured, yet you remain warm, dry and comfortable, making this a unique and safe experience suitable for anyone of any age to participate in and enjoy.

Neve Discoverer Flight 20min - NZ$280 Adult NZ$196 Child

Twin Glacier Flight 30min - NZ$360 Adult NZ$252 Child

Mountain Scenic Spectacular Flight 40min - NZ$490 Adult NZ$343 Child

The Helicopter Line

Neve Discoverer Flight 20min - Lift off and fly up over the Franz Josef or Fox Glacier to land amongst this alpine wonderland on a 20-minute scenic flight. Highlights include landing at the head of the Franz Josef or Fox Glacier and a snow or icefall landing.

Twin Glacier Flight 30min - From a mantle of pure white snow, massive rivers of ice wind their way down glacier valleys. Explore the glaciers, an incredible natural phenomenon on this 30-minute scenic flight. Highlights include a snow landing at the head of the Franz Josef or Fox Glacier.

Mountain Scenic Spectacular Flight 40min - Discover the gigantic expanse of the Franz Josef and Fox snowfields on this 40-minute scenic flight. Cross the main divide for breathtaking views of Mt Cook, New Zealand’s highest peak. Highlights include a snow landing, Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers and Mt Cook.


Optional Experiences indicated are Australian or New Zealand dollars. Please note that occasionally weather or seasonal conditions may not permit their operation. Some also depend on a minimum number of participants and suitable time being available. Please see your Travel Director for a full list of experiences.

What to Bring

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

Fitness Requirements

  • Low level of fitness required

Dining

  • 8 Full buffet breakfasts
  • 1 Highlight Dinner
  • 3 Dinners
  • 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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