Breadcrumb
New Zealand tour itinerary name and information
Thrifty Tours

9 Day Southern Spotlight

Explore the South Island on this popular 9 day itinerary. Highlights include a night in Mt Cook National Park, Dunedin, Te Anau including a Milford Sound cruise, free time in Queenstown, an evening cruise on the TSS Earnslaw to Walter Peak station for dinner, the West Coast and Franz Josef Glacier plus the Tranz Alpine Train journey from Greymouth to Christchurch.

Quick itinerary details
Currency selector
All prices are in
Tour summary and feature

New Zealand independent tour

This suggested tour costs from NZD$3,298 per person (twin share, low season)

Starts in Christchurch, finishes in Christchurch

9 days/8 nights

Hotel 4 star

 Customisable? YES

 Viewed 119 times in the last 7 days

This tour also includes

Private transfer Christchurch Airport to your accommodation

Dunedin Accommodation to Coach Stop Transfer with Iconic

Private Transfer - Te Anau Coach Depot to Accommodation

Intercity Coach Travel

Private Transfer Christchurch Train Station to your accommodation

Private transfer accommodation to Christchurch Airport

Meals included: 8 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 1 special dinner

Tour at a glance
Brief itinerary - 9 Day Southern Spotlight

Day 1: Arrive Christchurch. Accommodation: Distinction Hotel Christchurch

Day 2: Christchurch to Mt Cook Natonal Park. Accommodation: Hermitage Hotel, Wakefield Wing Superior Room

Day 3: Mt. Cook National Park to Dunedin. Accommodation: Distinction Dunedin Hotel

Day 4: Dunedin to Te Anau. Accommodation: Distinction Te Anau Hotel & Villas

Day 5: Te Anau to Milford Sound then onto Queenstown. Accommodation: Millennium Hotel Queenstown

Day 6: Queenstown free day to explore, TSS Earnslaw cruise and dinner at Walter Peak Station. Accommodation: Millennium Hotel Queenstown

Day 7: Queenstown to Franz Josef Glacier. Accommodation: Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier

Day 8: Franz Josef to Greymouth train station, Tranz Alpine train to Christchurch. Accommodation: Distinction Hotel Christchurch

Day 9: Depart Christchurch today.

Detailed itinerary

Tour full itinerary

Day 1 - Arrive Christchurch

9 Day Southern Spotlight - Day 1
Private transfer Christchurch Airport to your accommodation

On arrival, you will be met by a private driver and transferred to your Christchurch accommodation.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Christchurch Hop On Hop Off City Tour - 24 Hour Pass

Discover the true magic of city sightseeing on-board this city tour bus. With a mix of open and closed top buses, you will ride in comfort and style, enjoying spectacular views. Join friendly local guides as they take you on a journey of discovery through Christchurch. Listen to "live" entertaining and informative commentary and learn about the fascinating history, from pioneering days to modern times.

Your accommodation: Distinction Hotel Christchurch

This luxury hotel is centrally located in the revitalised Cathedral Square in the heart of the city, a short stroll from the Avon River, Botanical Gardens, Christchurch Casino, Cashel Mall and new Christchurch Convention Centre.

Back to top

Day 2 - Christchurch to Mt Cook Natonal Park

9 Day Southern Spotlight - Day 2
Christchurch to Mount Cook with GreatSights

Depart Christchurch in the morning and travel through the lush farmland of the Canterbury Plains to Lake Tekapo, where you can see the iconic Church of the Good Shepherd as it stands in solitude next to the vibrant blue waters. Leaving Tekapo, continue into the Southern Alps towards Aoraki / Mount Cook National Park, home to New Zealand's tallest mountain. Along the way your driver guide will keep you entertained and informed with commentary on the area's history and sites of interest. The tour concludes on arrival at Mount Cook Village, where you can explore and soak up the views of Aoraki / Mount Cook as it towers above. Please be aware, due to the remote location of the property there are no shops at Mt Cook Village. We recommend you stock up on any supplies you may want before leaving Christchurch.

Your accommodation: Hermitage Hotel, Wakefield Wing Superior Room

The Hermitage Hotel ringed by magnificent snow-capped peaks of the Southern Alps, is a world-renowned tourist destination and has been an icon of superior accommodation and dining since 1884. Room type - Wakefield Wing Superior room facing Aoraki/Mt. Cook.

Meals included: Breakfast

Back to top

Day 3 - Mt. Cook National Park to Dunedin

9 Day Southern Spotlight - Day 3
SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Glacier Explorers Mt. Cook

Enjoy a glacier experience that is unique in New Zealand and one of only three in the world. Get up and close and personal with icebergs, on a glacial terminal lake.

It is extremely rare for a glacier to terminate into a lake and rarer still to find one that is accessible to visitors. Join your group on our boat for an intimate encounter with a glacier -- see massive icebergs and soaring ice cliffs. You'll experience seldom seen and inaccessible parts of New Zealand's largest glacier in a safe way aboard your boat. Few people can say they have seen, touched and tasted 500 year old ice. Now you will be one of them!

Tours depart from Mount Cook Village outside The Hermitage Hotel, where you'll board a small bus for an enjoyable trip to the Tasman Valley. This is followed by a relaxing 30 minute stroll through the National Park to your waiting MAC boat. Now it’s time to witness the changing ice face of the Tasman Glacier and the icebergs it spawns on the Tasman Glacier Lake. Throughout your 2.5 hour trip (45 min to 1 hour on the lake) your experienced guide offers an informative and entertaining commentary that ensures you don't miss a thing.

Mount Cook to Dunedin with Iconic

In the afternoon you will be picked up from your accommodation in Mt Cook Village for the journey through to Dunedin. Along the way you stop for a short break in Omarama, then onto Oamaru for a scenic tour of the historic Whitestone Prectinct. You will then enjoy a guided walk along Koekohe Beach at Moeraki Boulders before reaching Dunedin, where you will be dropped off at your accommodation.

Your accommodation: Distinction Dunedin Hotel

Distinction Dunedin Hotel occupies the grand Chief Post Office built in the 1930’s. This art deco inspired building has recently been transformed into a 4 star hotel with elegant décor, set in the heart of the city.

Meals included: Breakfast

Back to top

Day 4 - Dunedin to Te Anau

9 Day Southern Spotlight - Day 4
SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Larnach Castle and Gardens

Larnach is New Zealand's only Castle, built in 1871 by politician and merchant, William Larnach, a man of great vision who helped shape New Zealand's early history. It was built for William's beloved first wife Eliza; it took 200 workmen three years to build the shell and a further twelve years were spent by master craftsmen to embellish the interior. The Castle is located high up on the Otago Peninsula and looks down on Dunedin city giving beautiful views. The gardens have an International Garden of Significance status and have a unique collection of specialised areas for you to explore. The Ballroom cafe is a fantastic place to rest and reflect on all you have seen while enjoying a delicious range of refreshments. As with the entire castle, the ballroom had an interesting and varied history prior to its beautiful restoration, uses ranged from a lunatic asylum, antique sales room to the penning of sheep.

Dunedin Accommodation to Coach Stop Transfer with Iconic

You will be collected from your accommodation and transferred to the coach stop in time for your departure.

Dunedin to Te Anau by InterCity Coach

Enjoy this scenic coach trip across the magnificent Southland Countryside from the Edinburgh of the South, Dunedin, to Te Anau, gateway to Fiordland National Park.

Private Transfer - Te Anau Coach Depot to Accommodation

On arrival into Te Anau, you will be met by a representative from Trips and Tramps and transferred to your Te Anau accommodation. Please advise your driver your transfer is pre-paid.

Your accommodation: Distinction Te Anau Hotel & Villas

The Te Anau Hotel and Villas offers a range of accommodation from hotel rooms and suites to villas. Ideally located on the lake front this hotel is just a few minutes stroll from the shops, cafes and many activities Te Anau has to offer.

Meals included: Breakfast

Back to top

Day 5 - Te Anau to Milford Sound then onto Queenstown

9 Day Southern Spotlight - Day 5
Milford Sound Nature Cruise with return luxury coach transfers from Te Anau, and onto Queenstown

From Te Anau, you travel by coach along the spectacular Milford Road. Photo stops are made on the way into Milford, with additional photo stops and a short walk on the return journey. Real Journeys experienced drivers enjoy sharing their knowledge of the area. On reaching Milford Sound, you join a Nature Cruise for a leisurely cruise the full-length of Milford Sound to the Tasman Sea. The cruise provides excellent viewing opportunities and plenty of time is available to enjoy waterfalls, rainforest, mountains and wildlife. A nature guide provides fascinating interpretation throughout the cruise. Includes picnic boxed lunch.

Your accommodation: Millennium Hotel Queenstown

Right in the heart of the action, the Millennium Hotel is just minutes from Queenstown's central shopping and entertainment district. Outdoor activities such as bungy jumping, white water rafting and jet boating are just some of the easily accessible activities nearby in New Zealand's adventure capital.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Back to top

Day 6 - Queenstown free day to explore, TSS Earnslaw cruise and dinner at Walter Peak Station

9 Day Southern Spotlight - Day 6
Free day in Queenstown

Although celebrated as New Zealand's ‘adventure capital’ Queenstown offers far more than a fast paced action-packed holiday. Settled on the shores of Lake Wakatipu beneath a soaring panorama of the Remarkables Mountain Range, this alpine town is surrounded by a plethora of historic, gastronomic, and scenic wonders.
Head down the Gibbston wine trail to sample some of the region’s best Pinot or catch a ride on the 100 year old Steamship - the TSS Earnslaw -  to Walter Peak Station for dinner and a farm tour.
Browse the waterfront cafes and have lunch at Michelin star chef Josh Emett's ‘Rata' or simply take a leisurely lakeside stroll or ride the gondola for breathtaking views.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Jet Boat the Shotover Canyon

Jet boating on the Shotover River is one of the must do Queenstown activities, even the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge climbed aboard ‘Big Red’.  During this unforgettable ride you’ll skim across shallow water, past rocky outcrops as you hurtle through the narrow chasm of the Shotover Canyon before your skilled driver takes you into a scream worth 360 degree spin.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Queenstown Skyline Gondola Ride

Hop aboard the Skyline Gondola - the steepest cable car lift in the Southern hemisphere! From which you can take in the awe-inspiring views of this spectacular landscape. Sit back and relax as you enjoy panoramic views of The Remarkables, Walter Peak, Cecil Peak, Coronet Peak and the magnificent Lake Wakatipu.

TSS Earnslaw cruise to Walter Peak including gourmet BBQ dinner and a farm tour

Enjoy a dinner cruise from downtown Queenstown to Walter Peak High Country Farm aboard the vintage steamship TSS Earnslaw – an iconic Queenstown experience. Take in the stunning views of Lake Wakatipu and surrounds as you cruise across the lake to historic Walter Peak high country farm. You’ll be greeted of the boat and guided through beautiful lakeside gardens to the charming homestead. Enjoy the ambience of the heart of the stately homestead while your Colonel’s Homestead Restaurant chef prepares a gourmet BBQ dinner. Your seasonal menu includes an extensive selection of local New Zealand produce, including succulent meats and a selection of delicious vegetables and salads. Complete your meal with your choice of delicious desserts, New Zealand cheeses and tea & coffee. After dinner, you’ll enjoy a short demonstration of life in the high country. Now it’s time to cruise home under the southern stars. Join a sing-a-long with the on board pianist or simply enjoy the fresh night air as the lights of Queenstown draw ever closer.

Your accommodation: Millennium Hotel Queenstown

Right in the heart of the action, the Millennium Hotel is just minutes from Queenstown's central shopping and entertainment district. Outdoor activities such as bungy jumping, white water rafting and jet boating are just some of the easily accessible activities nearby in New Zealand's adventure capital.

Meals included: Breakfast, Speciality Dinner

Back to top

Day 7 - Queenstown to Franz Josef Glacier

9 Day Southern Spotlight - Day 7
Queenstown to Franz Josef with Intercity

Leaving Queenstown early, travel by coach through the stunning scenery of the South Island. You will pass by the crystal-clear waters of Lake Dunstan, Lake Wanaka and Lake Hawea. After a morning tea break in Makarora on the border of Mount Aspiring World Heritage Park, you'll travel through the Haast Pass, journeying through native beech forest and over the Southern Alps, before emerging on the West Coast. This remote area has a ruggedly beautiful landscape of vast rainforests, gushing waterfalls and snow-capped mountains. Skirt the coast and see waves crashing on rocky beaches before returning inland. Before arriving in the afternoon at the small village of Franz Josef. From here you can explore the world famous Franz Josef Glacier.

Glacier Valley Shuttle

You will be met at your accommodation by a representative from Glacier Shuttles and taken on a short tour to view the glacier. Your shuttle vehicle will transfer you up the Franz Josef valley to the road end. Here you will have the opportunity to walk to view the glacier from a viewing platform. Or enjoy one of the short walks available in this area. You will be returned to your accommodation by the Glacier Valley Shuttles.

Your accommodation: Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier

Only a breath away from the Franz Josef Glacier, Scenic Hotel is located in the heart of Franz Josef Village. Here you will find all of the amenities you would expect, as well as being close to the shops, restaurants and activities on offer in the beautiful Westland region.

Meals included: Breakfast

Back to top

Day 8 - Franz Josef to Greymouth train station, Tranz Alpine train to Christchurch

9 Day Southern Spotlight - Day 8
Franz Josef to Greymouth Train Station with Intercity

This morning travel north through the small townships of Whataroa and Harihari. Stop at the Bushman's Centre for refreshments and a chance to experience a bit of West Coast humour. Continue through the township of Ross, which in the late 1800s was the centre of one of New Zealand's richest alluvial goldfields. In 1903 the largest gold nugget ever found in New Zealand was discovered at Jones Creek, not far from the town centre. It weighed 2807 grams. The New Zealand Government later purchased the nugget and presented it as a coronation gift to King George V. On arrival in Hokitika there is time to purchase lunch and explore the town centre. Hokitika is the administrative and commercial centre for this part of Westland. The major primary industry is timber milling. Dairy and sheep farming, commercial fishing, white baiting and eel processing being the other major industries. Continue onto Greymouth Railway Station from where you catch the world famous TranzAlpine train across the Southern Alps to Christchurch.

TranzAlpine Scenic Train: Greymouth to Christchurch

Your transport from Greymouth to Christchurch, the Tranz Alpine scenic train, offers a chance to take in one of the world's great train journeys. The train -- with carriages specially designed to allow you to take in all the amazing views on offer -- will carry you from the Tasman Sea up into the Southern Alps and through Arthur's Pass National Park to the Pacific Ocean.

The train offers a comfortable and relaxing way to cross Arthurs Pass from the South Island's wild West Coast to the more tamed east coast and its biggest city. Leaving Greymouth Station, you will travel through lush West Coast rain forest before climbing into to the spectacular mountains of the Southern Alps. And, after a stop in Arthur's Pass for a breath of mountain air, you'll travel dramatic gorges and the beautiful Waimakariri river valley to emerge on the farmland of the Canterbury Plains. From here the train crosses the plains for an early evening arrival in Christchurch city.

Private Transfer Christchurch Train Station to your accommodation

You will be met by a private transfer driver at Christchurch train station who will take you to your Christchurch accommodation. (Look for a driver holding a board displaying your name after arriving into the station.)

Your accommodation: Distinction Hotel Christchurch

This luxury hotel is centrally located in the revitalised Cathedral Square in the heart of the city, a short stroll from the Avon River, Botanical Gardens, Christchurch Casino, Cashel Mall and new Christchurch Convention Centre.

Meals included: Breakfast

Back to top

Day 9 - Depart Christchurch today

9 Day Southern Spotlight - Day 9
Private transfer accommodation to Christchurch Airport

A private transfer will collect you from your accommodation and transfer you to Christchurch Airport in time for your departing flight.

Back to top

Get an instant quote for this tour
Tour quick quote
You are quoting for the - 9 Day Southern Spotlight
Step 1: Choose start date for your tour here
Step 2: Select number of guests and room configuration
Select number of adult per room type
Single occupancy (based on 1 adult in one room)
Triple share (based on 3 adults sharing 1 room)
Double room (based on 2 adults in 1 room, 1 bed)
Twin room (based on 2 adults sharing 1 room with 2 beds)
Select number of child per room type
Child (5-14yrs inclusive) Child cost when sharing with at least one adult
Child (0-4yrs inclusive) Child cost when sharing with at least one adult
No pricing loaded - please choose another date or contact us
Your quote for this tour:
Start date:
End date:
Guests:
Rooms:
Total cost for this tour package is:
0
This quote is based on vehicles to accommodate your party in the vehicle type. We suggest changing the car type or contacting us for the best options.
Save and send a copy of this quote to
or

NOTE: Quotes are subject to availability of specific accommodation and other inclusions. Our NZ touring experts will be in touch with you regarding this. Costs quoted in currencies other than New Zealand dollars (NZ$) are based on todays exchange rate and is subject to change.Terms and Conditions apply.
Remember - we can create this itinerary with any style of accommodation or customise to suit your interests and time frame. Just get in touch with us today.

Departure dates & prices
Tour departure list
All scheduled departure dates & prices for this tour : 9 Day Southern Spotlight
This tour has 269 departure dates.
All prices are in
Go to dates in
Starts Status Twin/Double (2 people sharing) Single occupancy You save  
Aug 5, 2021
(Thursday)
Check with us
NZD$3,298
NZD$5,311
save
NZD$0pp
Enquire Book
Aug 6, 2021
(Friday)
Check with us
NZD$3,298
NZD$5,311
save
NZD$0pp
Enquire Book
Aug 7, 2021
(Saturday)
Check with us
NZD$3,298
NZD$5,311
save
NZD$0pp
Enquire Book
Aug 8, 2021
(Sunday)
Check with us
NZD$3,298
NZD$5,311
save
NZD$0pp
Enquire Book
Aug 9, 2021
(Monday)
Check with us
NZD$3,298
NZD$5,311
save
NZD$0pp
Enquire Book
Aug 10, 2021
(Tuesday)
Check with us
NZD$3,298
NZD$5,311
save
NZD$0pp
Enquire Book
Aug 11, 2021
(Wednesday)
Check with us
NZD$3,298
NZD$5,311
save
NZD$0pp
Enquire Book
Aug 12, 2021
(Thursday)
Check with us
NZD$3,298
NZD$5,311
save
NZD$0pp
Enquire Book
Aug 13, 2021
(Friday)
Check with us
NZD$3,298
NZD$5,311
save
NZD$0pp
Enquire Book
Aug 14, 2021
(Saturday)
Check with us
NZD$3,298
NZD$5,311
save
NZD$0pp
Enquire Book
Aug 15, 2021
(Sunday)
Check with us
NZD$3,298
NZD$5,311
save
NZD$0pp
Enquire Book
Aug 16, 2021
(Monday)
Check with us
NZD$3,298
NZD$5,311
save
NZD$0pp
Enquire Book
Aug 17, 2021
(Tuesday)
Check with us
NZD$3,298
NZD$5,311
save
NZD$0pp
Enquire Book
Aug 18, 2021
(Wednesday)
Check with us
NZD$3,298
NZD$5,311
save
NZD$0pp
Enquire Book
Aug 19, 2021
(Thursday)
Check with us
NZD$3,298
NZD$5,311
save
NZD$0pp
Enquire Book
Aug 20, 2021
(Friday)
Check with us
NZD$3,298
NZD$5,311
save
NZD$0pp
Enquire Book
Aug 21, 2021
(Saturday)
Check with us
NZD$3,298
NZD$5,311
save
NZD$0pp
Enquire Book
Aug 22, 2021
(Sunday)
Check with us
NZD$3,298
NZD$5,311
save
NZD$0pp
Enquire Book
Aug 23, 2021
(Monday)
Check with us
NZD$3,298
NZD$5,311
save
NZD$0pp
Enquire Book
Aug 24, 2021
(Tuesday)
Check with us
NZD$3,298
NZD$5,311
save
NZD$0pp
Enquire Book
Aug 25, 2021
(Wednesday)
Check with us
NZD$3,298
NZD$5,311
save
NZD$0pp
Enquire Book
Aug 26, 2021
(Thursday)
Check with us
NZD$3,298
NZD$5,311
save
NZD$0pp
Enquire Book
Aug 27, 2021
(Friday)
Check with us
NZD$3,298
NZD$5,311
save
NZD$0pp
Enquire Book
Aug 28, 2021
(Saturday)
Check with us
NZD$3,298
NZD$5,311
save
NZD$0pp
Enquire Book
Aug 29, 2021
(Sunday)
Check with us
NZD$3,298
NZD$5,311
save
NZD$0pp
Enquire Book
Aug 30, 2021
(Monday)
Check with us
NZD$3,298
NZD$5,311
save
NZD$0pp
Enquire Book
Aug 31, 2021
(Tuesday)
Check with us
NZD$3,298
NZD$5,311
save
NZD$0pp
Enquire Book
Sep 1, 2021
(Wednesday)
Check with us
NZD$3,298
NZD$5,311
save
NZD$0pp
Enquire Book
Sep 2, 2021
(Thursday)
Check with us
NZD$3,298
NZD$5,311
save
NZD$0pp
Enquire Book
Sep 3, 2021
(Friday)
Check with us
NZD$3,298
NZD$5,311
save
NZD$0pp
Enquire Book
Sep 4, 2021
(Saturday)
Check with us
NZD$3,298
NZD$5,311
save
NZD$0pp
Enquire Book
All prices are in
Go to dates in
Send us an enquiry about this tour
Contact form

Fields marked * are mandatory

See some tours similar to this one