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AAT Kings

9 Day AAT Kings Southern Wonders 25/26

Explore the dramatic South Island on this 9 day tour. Crossing the Southern Alps to the Wild West Coast and Franz Josef Glacier. Travel through Mt Aspiring National Park to Queenstown, the Alpine Resort town is renowned for its exciting activities and spectacular scenery. Enjoy a cruise on Milford Sound before crossing the rolling hills of Southland towards Dunedin, 'the Edinburgh of the South'. Through the Waitaki region and onto the magical high country of Mackenzie before returning to the garden city of Christchurch.
 

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Quick Itinerary Details

New Zealand Guided Tour

This suggested tour costs from NZD$5,385 per person (twin share, low season)

Starts in Christchurch, finishes in Christchurch

9 days/8 nights

Hotel 3 star

 Pre and post tour options? YES

 Viewed 141 times in the last 7 days

This tour also includes
Franz Josef Glacier Valley Walk
Milford Sound Cruise
TranzAlpine Rail Journey
TSS Earnslaw cruise and dinner at Walter Peak high country farm, Queenstown
Tour full itinerary
Detailed Itinerary
Christchurch Tramway

You don’t have to arrive in Christchurch early, but we recommend you do – this South Island city has some of New Zealand’s most innovative architecture, not to mention forward-thinking restaurants and bars. You may choose to spot them aboard the Christchurch Tram, linking some of the city’s most legendary attractions. Tonight, it's time to meet your Travel Director and travelling companions for a Welcome Reception.

Staying in:

  • Ibis Hotel Christchurch (1 night)

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Franz Josef Glacier

Your South Island New Zealand Tour starts on a literal high as you jump aboard the TranzAlpine train, crossing the Canterbury Plains towards the Southern Alps and Arthur’s Pass. This is one of the world’s most scenic rail experiences, through tunnels and over viaducts with panoramic views of snow-capped peaks, icy rivers, beech forests, gorges and river valleys. At the other end of the line is Hokitika, the home of pounamu (native greenstone or jade). Just when you thought your day couldn't get any better, Franz Josef town twinkles on the horizon. This afternoon, you may choose to fly over Franz Josef Glacier/Kā Roimata o Hine Hukatere.

Staying in:

  • Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier (1 night)

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View from Skyline Gondola

Over the Haast Pass, alpine drama awaits. The Southern Lakes deserve their name: there are almost more waterways here than you can count. First up there’s lovely Lake Wanaka, with its Instagrammable shoreline of poplars and willows. Followed by oh-so-blue Lake Hawea and Lake Dunstan, where you’ll pause to refuel on flavour-packed stone fruit. As tempting as it is to linger in Arrowtown’s movie-set-like streets, lined with trees and character-filled boutiques, Lake Wakatipu and The Remarkables await in Queenstown.

Staying in:

  • Copthorne Hotel and Resort (1 night)

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Walter Peak trip across Lake Wakatipu on the TSS Earnslaw

The adventure capital of New Zealand doesn’t disappoint when it comes to activities that are fast and furious. Take your pick, you could explore the natural drama of Skippers Canyon. Prefer life at a more leisurely pace? Opt to step onto a Lord of the Rings movie set or sip your way through surrounding vineyards. Wherever you wander, make sure you’re back in time to glide across Lake Wakatipu aboard the historic TSS Earnslaw to Walter Peak High Country Farm for a gourmet barbecue Highlight Dinner.

Staying in:

  • Copthorne Hotel and Resort (1 night)

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Sign to Te Anau

Nature rules today as you motor from the Mirror Lakes through the Cleddau Valley. But this is just a teaser of what’s to come: World Heritage listed Milford Sound. A Milford Sound cruise across this dreamy expanse will give you goosebumps, its string of waterfalls creating a misty curtain across sheer escarpments. Look out for dolphins and fur seals – they’re a common sight here. The road back through Fiordland National Park is an intoxicating union of beech forests, alluvial flats, meadows and gin-clear rivers, carving up the countryside en route to Te Anau. And just when you thought things couldn’t get any more magical, nestled on the edge of the South Island's largest lake, Te Anau is the perfect place to savour some peace and relaxation after the spectacle of the day.

Staying in:

  • Distinction Luxmore Hotel (1 night)

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Dunedin Railway Station

The South Island’s biggest lake is a blissful place for an invigorating morning walk. If it doesn’t set your pulse racing, than your outlook of rolling green hills dotted with doe-eyed sheep surely will. This pastoral countryside surrounds the city of Dunedin. While away the afternoon in atmospheric art-lined alleys or sipping a lager or two in Speight’s Brewery (a national institution), or visit grand Larnach Castle. You could venture further afield to discover the wildlife that thrives in this pretty pocket of the country – fur seals and penguins among them.

Staying in:

  • Scenic Hotel Dunedin City (1 night)

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Larnach Castle in the Summer Sun

Time is on your side this morning. Sleep in or take a stroll. Visit Oamaru, known for its stately tree-lined streets and limestone buildings.

Staying in:

  • Heritage Gateway Hotel (1 night)

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View of Lake Tekapo

If there’s a lake with a more vivid turquoise colour than Tekapo, we’re yet to see it. It’s made even more dramatic by snow-capped mountains, the quaint Church of the Good Shepherd and atmospheric towns that surround. Your Indoor Dark Sky Astronomy Experience at Tekapo, hosted by passionate guides, will forever change the way you see the night sky. You'll see for yourself it may be one of the quietest spots on the planet, yet it has one of the busiest skies in the universe. Back on earth, you’re becoming reacquainted with Christchurch, your in-the-know Travel Director pointing out the city’s miraculous transformation over the last decade. Local spirit is strong here.

Staying in:

  • Ibis Hotel Christchurch (1 night)

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AAT Coach Crew

If you feel like you’ve only seen the tip of the South Island’s iceberg, you’d be correct. This beguiling part of the country could keep travel enthusiasts entertained for eons. Thankfully, we have more itineraries – ask your Travel Director and start planning your next trip to New Zealand.

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9 Day AAT Kings Southern Wonders 25/26
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Departure dates & prices
See all dates & prices for: 9 Day AAT Kings Southern Wonders 25/26
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Starts Status Twin/Double Single occupancy  
Apr 7, 2025
(Monday)
was NZD$5,860
now NZD$5,540
was NZD$7,710
now NZD$7,390
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Sep 29, 2025
(Monday)
was NZD$5,705
now NZD$5,385
was NZD$7,504
now NZD$7,184
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Oct 27, 2025
(Monday)
was NZD$5,705
now NZD$5,385
was NZD$7,504
now NZD$7,184
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Nov 17, 2025
(Monday)
was NZD$5,705
now NZD$5,385
was NZD$7,504
now NZD$7,184
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Dec 8, 2025
(Monday)
was NZD$5,705
now NZD$5,385
was NZD$7,504
now NZD$7,184
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Dec 29, 2025
(Monday)
was NZD$5,705
now NZD$5,385
was NZD$7,504
now NZD$7,184
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Jan 26, 2026
(Monday)
was NZD$5,860
now NZD$5,540
was NZD$7,710
now NZD$7,390
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Feb 9, 2026
(Monday)
was NZD$5,860
now NZD$5,540
was NZD$7,710
now NZD$7,390
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Feb 23, 2026
(Monday)
was NZD$5,860
now NZD$5,540
was NZD$7,710
now NZD$7,390
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Mar 9, 2026
(Monday)
was NZD$5,860
now NZD$5,540
was NZD$7,710
now NZD$7,390
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Mar 23, 2026
(Monday)
was NZD$5,860
now NZD$5,540
was NZD$7,710
now NZD$7,390
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Mar 30, 2026
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was NZD$5,860
now NZD$5,540
was NZD$7,710
now NZD$7,390
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