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AAT Kings

9 Day AAT Kings Southern Wonders 24/25

Explore the dramatic South Island on this 9 day escorted coach tour. Cross the Southern Alps to the wild West Coast and Franz Josef Glacier. Travel through Mt. Aspiring National Park to Queenstown, known for its exciting activities and spectacular scenery. Enjoy a cruise on the beautiful Milford Sound before crossing the rolling hills of Southland towards the quirky and architecturally exciting city of Dunedin. Through the Waitaki region and on to Mt. Cook National Park, you will see the magical high country of the Mackenzie region before returning to the garden city of Christchurch.

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Tour summary and feature

Quick Itinerary Details

New Zealand Guided Tour

This suggested tour costs from NZD$4,233 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 70 times in the last 7 days

This tour also includes
Franz Josef Glacier Valley Walk
Milford Sound Cruise
TranzAlpine Train from Christchurch to Arthur's Pass
TSS Earnslaw cruise and dinner at Walter Peak high country farm, Queenstown
8 breakfasts, 4 dinners, 1 special dinner
Tour full itinerary
Detailed Itinerary
Christchurch City Tour Tram

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. 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 of Queenstown

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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Skyline Lookout over Queenstown

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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Milford Sound

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 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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View of Lake Te Anau

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 among them.

Staying in:

  • Scenic Hotel Dunedin City (1 night)

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Larnach Castle

Time is on your side this morning. Sleep in or take a stroll. Visit Oamaru, known for its Victorian heritage buildings.

Staying in:

  • Distinction 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 Kings Coach on the Road

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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Sep 30, 2024
(Monday)
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was NZD$5,185
now NZD$4,885
was NZD$6,820
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Oct 28, 2024
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was NZD$4,667
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was NZD$6,138
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Nov 18, 2024
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was NZD$4,667
now NZD$4,467
was NZD$6,138
now NZD$5,938
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Dec 9, 2024
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was NZD$4,926
now NZD$4,826
was NZD$6,479
now NZD$6,379
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Dec 30, 2024
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was NZD$5,185
now NZD$4,885
was NZD$6,820
now NZD$6,520
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Jan 13, 2025
(Monday)
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was NZD$5,345
now NZD$5,060
was NZD$7,030
now NZD$6,745
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Jan 27, 2025
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was NZD$4,811
now NZD$4,501
was NZD$6,327
now NZD$6,017
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Feb 10, 2025
(Monday)
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was NZD$5,345
now NZD$5,060
was NZD$7,030
now NZD$6,745
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Feb 24, 2025
(Monday)
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was NZD$4,543
now NZD$4,233
was NZD$5,976
now NZD$5,666
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Mar 10, 2025
(Monday)
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departure date
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was NZD$4,543
now NZD$4,233
was NZD$5,976
now NZD$5,666
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Mar 24, 2025
(Monday)
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was NZD$5,345
now NZD$5,060
was NZD$7,030
now NZD$6,745
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Remember - we can create this itinerary with any style of accommodation or customise to suit your interests and timeframe. Just contact us here.

Why book with New Zealand Coach Tours?

At NZ Coach Tours we choose only the best coach tours out there. We have up to date knowledge and experience, so we can give you the best advice on which tour is right for you. We can combine tours, maybe one tour that offers the best in the North Island and one that offers something different for the South Island. Our range of independent tours depart daily and can be custom designed to suit you perfectly. We have loads of accommodation options, activity ideas, and sell a beautiful destination that is guaranteed to blow you away!
Put simply - we have something for everyone and we are confident you will not be left disappointed.

In summary

  • We specialise in New Zealand. Nothing else. 100% New Zealand.
  • You get the best price for your tour and we guarantee it.
  • Our experienced team is based right here in New Zealand, and we're ready to help you with every step of your personalised journey.
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  • We have quality, long standing relationships with many touring partners, accommodation and activity suppliers
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  • Operating since 2004 and our guests love us.
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  • Talk to one of our team today to find and book the New Zealand coach tour that's right for you.