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9 day Coast to Coast

This is one of our most popular 9 day South Island touring itineraries. Travel the coastline from Christchurch to Dunedin with an afternoon to explore the 'Edinburgh of the South'. Cross the rich farmland of Southland to Te Anau, gateway to Fiordland National Park. Then visit Milford Sound and a 2 1/2 hour nature cruise. Return to Queenstown for 2 nights and a full day to explore at your leisure. Your journey continues north to the rugged West Coast and the unique Franz Josef region. A full day to fully enjoy the regions walks and unique activities. Then its onto Greymouth where you board the world famous Tranz Alpine Scenic Train for your return across the Southern Alps to Christchurch.

 Independent (daily departures)
 Starts in Christchurch, finishes in Christchurch
 9 days/ 8 nights
 Motels
  Customisable? YES Enquire Enquire
 Viewed 129 times in the last 7 days

Included in this tour package

Fiordland National Park, New Zealand
Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown, New Zealand

At a glance - 9 day Coast to Coast

Day 1: Welcome to Christchurch. Accommodation: Bella Vista Christchurch

Day 2: Christchurch to Dunedin by Intercity coach.. Accommodation: Cable Court Motel

Day 3: Dunedin to Te Anau.. Accommodation: Edgewater Motel

Day 4: Te Anau to Milford Sound including a 2 1/2 hour nature cruise (with picnic lunch), then back to Queenstown. Accommodation: Blue Peaks Lodge

Day 5: Free day to enjoy Queenstown. Accommodation: Blue Peaks Lodge

Day 6: Queenstown to Franz Josef Glacier. Accommodation: Bella Vista Franz Josef

Day 7: Free day to explore Franz Josef and the Glaciers. Accommodation: Bella Vista Franz Josef

Day 8: Franz Josef to Greymouth train station, Tranz Alpine train to Christchurch. Accommodation: Bella Vista Christchurch

Day 9: Depart Christchurch.

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9 day Coast to Coast - Detailed Itinerary  

Day 1: Welcome to Christchurch

Private transfer Christchurch airport to your accommodation

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

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - International Antarctic Centre General Admission

The International Antarctic Centre aims to recreate the atmosphere and environment of Antarctica providing visitors with an interactive, fun and educational experience. Feel the full four seasons of Antarctica, where you’ll experience real snow and ice as well as battle a storm. Learn about life in modern day Antarctica, view real little blue penguins and experience a thrilling Hagglund Ride.

Your Accommodation: Bella Vista Christchurch

The Bella Vista Motel and Apartments, Christchurch, offer accommodation in a great range of comfortable modern units with excellent facilities.

Bella Vista Christchurch

Day 2: Christchurch to Dunedin by Intercity coach.

Private transfer accommodation to Intercity coach stop

A private transfer will collect you from your accommodation and transfer you to the coach stop.

Christchurch to Dunedin by Intercity Coach

Crossing the vast Canterbury Plains as you head South, State Highway 1 crosses many braided rivers that start their life as glacial melt water high in the Southern Alps. New Zealand's longest bridge at Rakaia crosses such an example. Pass through the towns of Timaru followed by Oamaru, most famous for its buildings constructed with the unique locally quarried white stone. Continue along te coast and into the city of Dunedin, 

Dunedin coach stop to accommodation transfer

On arrival into Dunedin you will be met from your coach and transferred to your accommodation.

Your Accommodation: Cable Court Motel

Situated in the heart of Dunedin, Cable Court Motel offers quality self contained accommodation close to the city centre. Only a ten minute walk to the Octagon, restaurants, cafes and bars.

Cable Court Motel

Day 3: Dunedin to Te Anau.

Dunedin accommodation to coach stop transfer

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 min 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: Edgewater Motel

Edgewater Motel is a locally owned motel with a great range of room types and all well equipped. Situated just 5 minutes walk from the Te Anau town centre.

Edgewater Motel

Day 4: Te Anau to Milford Sound including a 2 1/2 hour nature cruise (with picnic lunch), then back to Queenstown

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. Lunch options and complimentary tea and coffee are available on board the vessel.

Milford Sound

Milford Sound is the best known of the sounds that lie throughout Fiordland National Park and is also the only fiord accessible by road. Sheer cliffs starting hundreds of metres below the waters surface rise spectacularly to the sky. It is 16 kilometres from the head of the fiord to the open sea and Real Journeys cruise ships will take you there and back comfortably in around 2 hours. Dolphins and seals can often be seen, and following a large downpour the waterfalls that line the fiords are magnificent, particularly the 146 metre high Stirling Falls.

The cruise

An extended and leisurely cruise of Milford Sound on board a modern vessel, purpose built for operating in a fiord environment. Designed along the lines of a traditional trading scow, they have real character. These relaxing cruises have special appeal for the independent traveller and an on board nature guide provides detailed interpretation and commentary. There is plenty of time available to explore points of interest and to view the stunning scenery, including waterfalls, rainforest and the towering peaks. Keep a lookout for dolphins, seals and penguins. Includes picnic boxed lunch.

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

Blue Peaks Lodge

Day 5: Free day to enjoy Queenstown

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 valley 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.’ Check out nearby historic Arrowtown and enhance your experience with a four wheel drive trip to Macetown. Take a leisurely lakeside stroll or ride the gondola for breathtaking views. Venture further afield into the Fiordland National Park or head over the Crown Range to Wanaka. Drive through Lord Of The Rings country - or for the really fanatic, jump aboard one of many dedicated LOTR tours. And after all of that - if you do really want the adrenaline rush Queenstown is known for, take your pick from the Shotover Jet, Nevis Bungy, Canyon Swing, Zipline, Luge or White Water rafting.
 

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 - Skyline Gondola

Hop aboard the Skyline Gondola - the steepest cable car lift in the Southern hemisphere - and 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 and Coronet Peak - one of Queenstown’s Ski field.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Appellation Central Boutique Wine Tour

Go off-the-beaten-track with this unique Central Otago wine tour. Taste wines at four of the best vineyards in the Gibbston, Bannockburn and Cromwell regions. The wineries you’ll visit  are selected from the following: Peregrine, Chard Farm, Carrick, Mt Difficulty, Felton Road, Akarua and Olssens vineyards. This tour also includes a delightful gourmet platter lunch at the award winning Carrick Winery Restaurant.

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.

Blue Peaks Lodge

Day 6: Queenstown to Franz Josef Glacier

Queenstown to Franz Josef Glacier

Depart Queenstown by coach passing through Cromwell, Wanaka and Hawea before travelling over the magnificent Haast Pass into Westland. On arrival transfer to your accommodation. A local shuttle is available to take you to the glacier base where you can enjoy some short walks and magnificent views. Perhaps take a scenic helicopter flight for the ultimate view. Spectacular photo opportunities abound of these huge ice masses. Watch out for keas (native parrots) and their inquisitive cheeky play.

Glacier Valley shuttle

You will be met at your accommodation by a representative from Glacier Valley Eco Tours 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 Eco Tours shuttle.

Your Accommodation: Bella Vista Franz Josef

Bella Vista Franz Josef is located right in the heart of the village close to shops, cafes and restaurants and offers excellent facilities.

Bella Vista Franz Josef

Day 7: Free day to explore Franz Josef and the Glaciers

Explore Franz Josef Glacier

Franz Josef is 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 up close walk along the valley floor to the terminal face without a guide. However, to go on the glacier itself or get within 100m you must take a licensed tour. Strap on some crampons and give it a go with Franz Josef Glacier Guides or take the easier option and book in a helicopter landing instead. Whichever way you choose to ascend, once on top you’ll have the chance to explore the crevasses, caves and ice flows.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Twin Glaciers Scenic Helicopter Flight

Take a spectacular scenic flight over two of New Zealand's most famous glaciers. Land at the head of one and view the incredible sight of this frozen river as it winds its way through ancient carved valleys.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Glacier Hot Pools

Nestled within the lush rainforest surrounds, the Glacier Hot Pools is a haven of tranquility. Unwind in one of the three main pools or relax in a secluded private oasis. Temperatures range from 36 to 40 degrees and the water comes directly from a glacial stream. Wash off the day and rejuvenate in this unique forest paradise.

Your Accommodation: Bella Vista Franz Josef

Bella Vista Franz Josef is located right in the heart of the village close to shops, cafes and restaurants and offers excellent facilities.

Bella Vista Franz Josef

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

Franz Josef to Greymouth Train Station by Intercity Coach

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 into Hokitika there is time to purchase lunch, walk around the town centre, to view the greenstone factories, visit the woodworking studio, or just relax and enjoy the windswept coast. 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 Tranz Alpine train across the Southern Alps to Christchurch.

Tranz Alpine 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: Bella Vista Christchurch

The Bella Vista Motel and Apartments, Christchurch, offer accommodation in a great range of comfortable modern units with excellent facilities.

Bella Vista Christchurch

Day 9: Depart Christchurch

Private transfer to Christchurch airport

You will be collected from your accommodation and a private transfer will deliver you to Christchurch airport in time for your departing flight.

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