Southern Spectacular

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.

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10 Days from $5,685* per person, twin share

Guided Holidays - First Choice | Christchurch Return


  • Specialist team of two highly experienced Travel Director and Driver Guide
  • Be My Guest Experience with Angie and Stan Taylor at their property in Tekapo
  • Centrally located premium 4- & 5-star hotels
  • Meals:
    • 9 Full Breakfasts
    • 1 Lunch
    • 1 Be My Guest Afternoon Tea
    • 5 Dinners with Wine, 1 Highlight Dinner, 1 Farewell Dinner


  • Ever wondered about Southern Alps life on the land? Enjoy afternoon tea with farmers Angie and Stan to go behind the scenes.
  • Your guide on a cruise around Milford Sound knows the best waterfalls, where to spot dolphins and which rare flora is in season.
  • If the setting of 1860 Walter Peak Station doesn’t wow you, then the BBQ dinner and farming demonstration will.
  • The Pomona Island Charitable Trust’s mission is to restore NZ’s largest inland island. Help by contributing to AAT Kings’ Sustainable Tourism Commitment.

Travel Period: 01 April 2022 - 31 March 2023


Day 1: Welcome to Christchurch

Welcome to new Zealand’s Garden City. This afternoon you can relax or explore. 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. Meet your Travel Director and fellow travellers this evening for a Welcome Reception.

Hotel: Distinction Christchurch Hotel (for departures between 12 Apr - 5 Jul 2022 you will be staying at Novotel Christchurch Cathedral Square)

Day 2: Christchurch - Twizel

Enjoy a Christchurch city sights tour and see how Christchurch is rebuilding after the devastating earthquakes of 2010 and 2011. Later, travel over the patchwork countryside of the Canterbury Plains and soak up some spectacular views. Visit the home of Angie and Stan Taylor for a Be My Guest afternoon tea, and hear about a lifetime spent farming in the Southern Alps. See Lakes Tekapo and Pukaki, and view the famed Church of the Good Shepherd. Continue to the outdoor-adventure hub of Twizel.

Hotel: MacKenzie Country Hotel

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

Day 3: Twizel - Dunedin

Your day starts with a journey tracing the Waitaki River, which marks the boundary between the regions of Canterbury and Otago. Explore the historic town of Oamaru, with its stately tree-lined streets and celebrated limestone buildings, then make your way to Dunedin, home to many fine examples of Victorian and Edwardian architecture. This afternoon, spend your time at leisure or consider an optional experience. Tour imposing Larnach Castle, take a wildlife cruise out to the Otago Peninsula or experience an interactive tour of famous Speight’s Brewery.

Hotel: Scenic Hotel Southern Cross

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

Day 4: Dunedin - Te Anau 

Travel through lush green pastures, crossing sheep-filled farming land. As your journey continues, the rolling, grassy hills once again turn back into heavily forested, rugged mountains, and you’ll meander into Fiordland National Park to the South Island’s biggest lake and the town of Te Anau. This afternoon, learn about the conservation efforts of the Pomona Island Charitable Trust, which aims to restore New Zealand’s largest inland island to its natural state. Get up close to the island on a boat ride on Lake Manapouri. Soak up the amazing surrounds, spot a few trout, and learn about this unique environment and fascinating history. This evening consider an optional experience and cruise across the lake to the Te Anau Glowworm Caves.

Hotel: Distinction Te Anau Hotel and Villas

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

Day 5: Te Anau - Queenstown

Your experience in magnificent Milford Sound today is sure to be one of the highlights of your holiday. Travel first through native rainforests and lush meadows to Mirror Lakes and the hand-hewn Homer Tunnel, and marvel at the stunning Cleddau Valley. Your unforgettable Milford Sound cruise takes in cascading waterfalls, hanging glacial valleys, and the sheer pinnacle of Mitre Peak. After disembarking, travel on to beautiful Queenstown. 

Hotel: Millennium Hotel, Queenstown

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 6: Queenstown Free Time

You have a final day in New Zealand’s adventure capital to do as you choose. You could consider an optional experience. If you’re feeling energetic you have the option of riding the exhilarating Shotover Jet boat. For a more laid-back experience, a minibus excursion will take you through spectacular Skippers Canyon, or an Appellation Central Boutique Wine Tour with Lunch. This evening, settle into a peaceful cruise across Lake Wakatipu to Walter Peak High Country Farm, for a gourmet barbecue Highlight Dinner and an entertaining farm show.

Hotel: Millennium Hotel, Queenstown

Meals included: Breakfast, Highlight Dinner

Day 7: Queenstown - Franz Josef

Stop to visit the faithfully-restored gold-mining settlement of Arrowtown, and enjoy the serenity of the region’s vivid blue lakes. Drive over the spectacular Haast Pass, passing the 96-metre Thunder Creek Falls on your way to the extraordinary Franz Josef Glacier.

Hotel: Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier (Douglas Wing)

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

Day 8: Franz Josef – Punakaiki

Consider an optional experience helicopter flight over the glaciers, or you may wish to take a stroll through the small but lively Franz Josef village. Travel on to Hokitika, home of New Zealand’s famous greenstone. Continue to Punakaiki to view the intriguing Pancake Rocks and Blowholes. You’ll spend the night in an eco-friendly resort right on the waterfront.

Hotel: Punakaiki Resort

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

Day 9: Punakaiki - Christchurch

Join your personal guide for a tour of Monteith’s Brewing Company, including tastings at the brewers’ table, before sitting down to lunch. Afterwards, board the iconic TranzAlpine train in Greymouth and embark on one of the world’s great train journeys, passing through magnificent landscapes ranging from the fertile farmlands of the Canterbury Plains to rugged gorges and pristine ice-fed streams and lakes. Back in Christchurch, join your Travel Director for a Farewell Dinner.

Hotel: Distinction Christchurch Hotel (for departures between 12 Apr - 5 Jul 2022 you will be staying at Novotel Christchurch Cathedral Square)

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Farewell Dinner

Day 10: Farewell from Christchurch

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

Meals included: Breakfast

*Terms and Conditions: Price correct as of 18 May 2022. Prices are per person based on twin share accommodation. Dates and itineraries are valid until 31 March 2023. Beyond 31 March 2023 dates and itineraries are indicative only. Prices, itineraries and inclusions are subject to availability and can change at any time without notice. Booking, payment and cancellation conditions apply. Contact your travel agent for full details. SUPPLIER: AAT Kings