Breadcrumb
New Zealand tour itinerary name and information
Thrifty Tours

Alps and Lakes of the South Island

Your journey begins in the largest city in the South Island, Christchurch. Arrive, and spend the remainder of the day exploring all the city has to offer (speak with one of our travel specialists to book additional experiences!) The following morning, a private transfer brings you to the train station, where you'll board the TranzAlpine Scenic Train, considered one of the world's great train journeys. From your comfortable carriage, watch the scenery of the Canterbury Plains before climbing into the Southern Alps, through Arthurs Pass, and descending into the lush rainforests to the West Coast town of Greymouth. From Greymouth, board a luxury coach and travel south to Franz Josef, where you'll have the evening and the following day to explore the town and the famous Franz Josef Glacier. Consider booking a scenic flight (at additional cost) to land on the glacier for a truly unforgettable experience. Day four, you depart Franz Josef, again on a comfortable coach and travel south through the West Coast, across the Haast Pass, past Lakes Hawea, Wanaka, and Dunstan before arriving in scenic Queenstown. Here, you'll have the evening and the following day free to explore, opt for an adrenaline-packed activity (bungee jumping, anybody?) or take it a bit more leisurely. Speak to one of our specialists to learn about the multitude of ways to spend this free day! Day 6, you'll depart Queenstown via coach, travelling along Lake Wakatipu, through Te Anau, onto the Milford Road before arriving in spectacular Milford Sound. Here, board a cruising vessel for your Milford Sound Cruise, enjoying the rushing waterfalls, staggering peaks, lush rainforest, and playful wildlife before eventually beginning the return journey to Queenstown for your final night. The next morning, a private transfer transports you to the airport for departure.

Currency selector
All prices are in
Tour summary and feature

Quick Itinerary Details

New Zealand Independent Tour

This suggested tour costs from NZD$2,025 per person (twin share, low season)

Starts in Christchurch, finishes in Queenstown

7 days/6 nights

Motels

 Customisable? YES

 Viewed 162 times in the last 7 days

This tour also includes
- Private transfer accommodation to Christchurch Train Station
- Private Transfer Queenstown Accommodation to Airport (LSQ)
- Private transfer Christchurch International Airport to your accommodation
1 lunch
Tour full itinerary
Detailed Itinerary
Alps and Lakes of the South Island - Day 1
Private transfer Christchurch International Airport to your accommodation

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

Welcome to Christchurch City

Christchurch New Zealand's garden city is steadily being transformed into a vibrant urban destination. Encompassing a large green belt, it is known for its wide tree lined avenues and lush gardens. A great way to explore the city or easy way to see the sights or ride the historic trams across town to the renowned botanic gardens and the unique cardboard Transitional Cathedral, that's right it is built of cardboard!

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Discover Christchurch Afternoon Tour

A half day sightseeing tour of Christchurch highlighting both the damage to the city inflicted by several large earthquakes in 2010 and 2011 and the rebuild which is currently in progress, together with the surviving beauty of the city and the historical landmarks. Experience the grand architecture, beautiful gardens and scenic viewpoints on a half-day city tour of Christchurch.
The tour commences in the central city of Christchurch and covers the area which was completely devastated by the Christchurch earthquakes in February 2011. The guide will explain both the history of the city and the effects of the earthquake. On leaving the inner city, the tour travels to Mona Vale a historic homestead and gardens. Then you will travel to the Sign of the Takahe, a historic building with a lookout providing spectacular views over the city, Canterbury Plains and to the Southern Alps. The tour then travels via the Port Hills and Lyttleton Harbour by way of the Sign of the Kiwi and Governors Bay to the Port of Lyttleton. The tour proceeds through the Lyttleton harbour tunnel to the seaside suburb of Sumner and cave rock before returning to the central city where the tour will conclude.

Your accommodation: Bella Vista Christchurch

Bella Vista Motel Christchurch offers a great range of comfortable modern units with excellent facilities. Enjoy the convenience of being located in close proximity to the Christchurch CBD, shops, entertainment and other activities.

Back to top

Alps and Lakes of the South Island - Day 2
Private transfer accommodation to Christchurch Train Station with Christchurch Touring

A private driver will collect you from your accommodation and transfer you to the Christchurch train station in time for your train journey.

TranzAlpine Scenic Train Christchurch to Greymouth

Your early morning departure is rewarded with incredible scenery today onboard the TranzAlpine Scenic Train, considered one of the world's great train journeys. It travels between Christchurch and Greymouth, from one coast of New Zealand to the other. From your carriage you'll see the fields of the Canterbury Plains and farmland, followed by the spectacular gorges and river valleys of the Waimakariri River. Your train then climbs into the Southern Alps before descending through the lush beech rain forest to the West Coast town of Greymouth, a great base for visits to Punakaiki and the West Coast glaciers.

Greymouth Train Station to Franz Josef with Gray Line

Your coach to Franz Josef Glacier departs from the Greymouth Railway Station. The journey to the Glaciers is southward through the lush bush covered landscape at the base of the Southern Alps. A refreshment stop in Hokitika allows you to stretch your legs around the town centre. Further south you pass through the township of Ross which was the centre of one of New Zealand's richest alluvial goldfields in the late 1800s. Further along, travelling down the West Coast enjoy the beautiful landscape of vast rainforests, gushing waterfalls and snow-capped mountains before arriving into the small village of Franz Josef. From here you can explore the world famous Franz Josef Glacier.

Your accommodation: Punga Grove Motel & Suites

Punga Grove is right in the heart of Franz Josef Glacier village and offers affordable and stylish accommodation in a beautiful rainforest setting.

Back to top

Alps and Lakes of the South Island - Day 3
Explore Franz Josef

Franz Josef is a small but lively town in the heart of the West Coast, known for its 12 km long glacier. Surrounded by lush rainforest-clad mountains the township has a vibrant and bustling atmosphere. To see the ice from a viewpoint you can walk along the valley floor to the viewpoint below the terminal face. However, to go on the glacier itself you must take a licensed helicopter tour.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Franz Josef Nature Tour with Glacier Valley Eco Tours

Nestled in thick historic West Coast forest and a stone's throw from wild black sand beaches, this is one of the world's most unusual glaciers. Beautiful blue skies or magical misty rain, whatever the weather - you will feel like you are in Narnia or LOTR.
With easy walking at your pace, information on glaciology, geology, geomorphology, flora and fauna, local legends, history, and small guided groups with fantastic guides, you will experience this glacier in style and in the best hands with the only local company. Wander past glacier rivers and streams and through beautiful podocarp forest; discover hidden natural treasures such as native snails, wild native mushrooms, and dozens of species of native orchids; listen to native bird song and waterfalls; see if you can spot a Chamois or a Tahr on the huge snow-capped mountains above while drinking a cup of tea and talking one-on-one with your guide. This tour will be a highlight of your travels in New Zealand.

Your accommodation: Punga Grove Motel & Suites

Punga Grove is right in the heart of Franz Josef Glacier village and offers affordable and stylish accommodation in a beautiful rainforest setting.

Back to top

Alps and Lakes of the South Island - Day 4
Franz Josef to Queenstown Day Tour with Gray Line

Travel from the isolated beauty of Franz Josef to the exciting resort town of Queenstown.
Leave the small village of Franz Josef, access point to the world famous Franz Josef Glacier, and journey through the remote and rugged landscape of the West Coast. This is New Zealand at its purest and most untamed, see moody mountain ranges, thick native rainforest and wild rocky shores as you travel in comfort. Cross over to the East Coast through the Haast Pass, the southernmost pass in the Southern Alps. On the other side, enjoy picture-postcard views of vibrant blue lakes like Lake Hawea, Lake Wanaka and Lake Dunstan as you make your way into scenic Queenstown, arriving in the late afternoon.

Your accommodation: Blue Peaks Lodge

Blue Peaks Lodge offers well equipped self contained rooms with a fantastic location overlooking Queenstown and is just an easy five minutes walk to the Queenstown lakefront.

Back to top

Alps and Lakes of the South Island - Day 5
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. Whether you are looking for a scenic short walk or a longer one, you will find the perfect hike or bike trail in Queenstown. Explore Queenstown Gardens, or try out more challenging trails up to Ben Lomond Walkaway or Queenstown Hill Walking Track. Enjoy iconic views and take Queenstown Gondola up 450 metres to Bob's Peak, or 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 al fresco restaurants, try out the famous Fergburger, or grab a dessert at Patagonia Chocolates.

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.

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.

Your accommodation: Blue Peaks Lodge

Blue Peaks Lodge offers well equipped self contained rooms with a fantastic location overlooking Queenstown and is just an easy five minutes walk to the Queenstown lakefront.

Back to top

Alps and Lakes of the South Island - Day 6
Milford Sound Cruise and coach tour from Queenstown

Return luxury coach transport from Queenstown to Milford Sound, with a 1 hour 40 minute Cruise along the full length of the fiord. On boarding a Real Journeys luxury glass-roofed coach in Queenstown or Te Anau, you will enjoy a relaxing trip along the shores of Lake Wakatipu and through the rolling countryside to Te Anau. The coach driver provides an informative commentary. After a morning tea break in Te Anau, where you have the option of purchasing refreshments, the coach continues along the spectacular Milford Road. There is time for photo stops and short walks along the way. On reaching Milford Sound, you board the modern, spacious vessel for a leisurely cruise in the fiord. The cruise provides excellent viewing opportunities and plenty of time is available to enjoy waterfalls, rainforest, mountains and the wildlife. During the cruise your friendly crew provide commentaries in several languages and point out the sights such as Mitre Peak and the Pembroke Glacier.

Your accommodation: Blue Peaks Lodge

Blue Peaks Lodge offers well equipped self contained rooms with a fantastic location overlooking Queenstown and is just an easy five minutes walk to the Queenstown lakefront.
Meals included: Lunch

Back to top

Alps and Lakes of the South Island - Day 7
Private transfer from your accommodation to Queenstown Airport

You will be met at your accommodation by your private driver and transferred to Queenstown Airport for your onward journey.

Back to top

Tour quick quote rework
Get an Instant Quote or Book this Tour
Alps and Lakes of the South Island
Step 1:
Step 2: Select number of passengers and room configuration

Enter phone number to get a call from a travel planning expert within 24 hours

Enter email address to receive your instant quote

Tick this box if you do not wish to receive emails about special offers
No pricing loaded - please choose another date or contact us
Your quote for this tour:
Start date:
End date:
Guests:
Rooms:
Total cost for ALL guests on this tour package is:
NZD$0
or
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.
The package cost above excludes rental vehicle hire as you are requesting a price for a vehicle outside of our designated season. Please reach out direct for rental vehicle rates.

 

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 timeframe. Just contact us here.

Tour departure list
Departure dates & prices
See all dates & prices for: Alps and Lakes of the South Island
This tour has 577 departure dates.
All prices are in
Go to dates in
Starts Status Double (2 people sharing) Single occupancy You save  
Mar 3, 2024
(Sunday)
NZD$2,025 NZD$3,150 Enquire Book
Mar 4, 2024
(Monday)
NZD$2,025 NZD$3,150 Enquire Book
Mar 5, 2024
(Tuesday)
NZD$2,025 NZD$3,150 Enquire Book
Mar 6, 2024
(Wednesday)
NZD$2,025 NZD$3,150 Enquire Book
Mar 7, 2024
(Thursday)
NZD$2,025 NZD$3,150 Enquire Book
Mar 8, 2024
(Friday)
NZD$2,025 NZD$3,150 Enquire Book
Mar 9, 2024
(Saturday)
NZD$2,025 NZD$3,150 Enquire Book
Mar 10, 2024
(Sunday)
NZD$2,025 NZD$3,150 Enquire Book
Mar 11, 2024
(Monday)
NZD$2,025 NZD$3,150 Enquire Book
Mar 12, 2024
(Tuesday)
NZD$2,025 NZD$3,150 Enquire Book
Mar 13, 2024
(Wednesday)
NZD$2,025 NZD$3,150 Enquire Book
Mar 14, 2024
(Thursday)
NZD$2,025 NZD$3,150 Enquire Book
Mar 15, 2024
(Friday)
NZD$2,025 NZD$3,150 Enquire Book
Mar 16, 2024
(Saturday)
NZD$2,025 NZD$3,150 Enquire Book
Mar 17, 2024
(Sunday)
NZD$2,025 NZD$3,150 Enquire Book
Mar 18, 2024
(Monday)
NZD$2,025 NZD$3,150 Enquire Book
Mar 19, 2024
(Tuesday)
NZD$2,025 NZD$3,150 Enquire Book
Mar 20, 2024
(Wednesday)
NZD$2,025 NZD$3,150 Enquire Book
Mar 21, 2024
(Thursday)
NZD$2,025 NZD$3,150 Enquire Book
Mar 22, 2024
(Friday)
NZD$2,025 NZD$3,150 Enquire Book
Mar 23, 2024
(Saturday)
NZD$2,025 NZD$3,150 Enquire Book
Mar 24, 2024
(Sunday)
NZD$2,025 NZD$3,150 Enquire Book
Mar 25, 2024
(Monday)
NZD$2,025 NZD$3,150 Enquire Book
Mar 26, 2024
(Tuesday)
NZD$2,025 NZD$3,150 Enquire Book
Mar 27, 2024
(Wednesday)
NZD$2,025 NZD$3,150 Enquire Book
Mar 28, 2024
(Thursday)
NZD$2,025 NZD$3,150 Enquire Book
Mar 29, 2024
(Friday)
NZD$2,025 NZD$3,150 Enquire Book
Mar 30, 2024
(Saturday)
NZD$2,025 NZD$3,150 Enquire Book
Mar 31, 2024
(Sunday)
NZD$2,025 NZD$3,150 Enquire Book
Apr 1, 2024
(Monday)
NZD$2,025 NZD$3,150 Enquire Book
Apr 2, 2024
(Tuesday)
NZD$2,025 NZD$3,150 Enquire Book
All prices are in
Go to dates in
Contact form
Send us an enquiry about this tour

Fields marked * are mandatory

Subscribe to our Regular Newsletter for Inspiring Holiday Ideas
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.
  • We have the first-hand experience of the tours we sell.
  • We have quality, long standing relationships with many touring partners, accommodation and activity suppliers
  • Legendary dedication to service excellence.
  • Secure payment options for your peace of mind.
  • Operating since 2004 and our guests love us.
  • Because your visit to New Zealand deserves to be the best.
  • We represent only the best-escorted coach touring brands — Grand Pacific Tours, Grand Pacific Ultimate Small Group Tours, Intrepid Travel and AAT Kings.
  • Talk to one of our team today to find and book the New Zealand coach tour that's right for you.