Login
Call us FREE in NZ on 1855 638 2709
|

AAT KingsAAT Kings 10 Day Southern Spectacular

 Explore the Spectacular South Island on this fully escorted AAT Kings 10 day coach tour. Visit Christchurch, Mt. Cook and Dunedin before crossing Southland to Fiordland National Park, where a Milford Sound cruise and the stunning surrounding alpine regions will prove a trip highlight. Visit the West Coast glacier regions and board the TranzAlpine scenic train back across the Souhtern Alps to finish you tour back in Christchurch. Enjoy a great range of activities on this fantastic tour of the south including a cruise on the TSS Earnslaw steamship, a city sights tour around Dunedin, a visit to the famous Punakaiki rock formations and an incredible cruise on the Milford Sound with Real Journeys, plus much more!


Book your 2019/20 AAT Kings tour now and SAVE!

Looking at touring New Zealand in the 2019 /20 season? If so then check out our FANTASTIC earlybird deals below.

Valid on all AAT Kings tours departing from 1st October 2019. You just need to book and pay in full by 27 March 2019.
Prices displayed have the early booking discount already applied. If you would rather book now but pay closer to your departure date then that's no problem, please hit the enquire button below and we will get you the latest prices.

 

 New Zealand escorted tour
 Starts in Christchurch, finishes in Christchurch
 10 days/ 9 nights
 Hotel 4 star
  Pre and post tour options? YES Enquire Enquire
 Viewed 59 times in the last 7 days

Included in this tour package

Tour map
people walking by the water at Milford Sound harbour
View over Queenstown and the Remarkables

At a glance - AAT Kings 10 Day Southern Spectacular

Day 1: Arrive Christchurch. Accommodation: Distinction Hotel Christchurch

Day 2: Cross the Canterbury Plains and enjoy lunch in Morelea before continuing on to Twizel for the night. Accommodation: MacKenzie Country Hotel, Twizel

Day 3: Stop at the Benmore Dam and the coastal town of Oamaru before continuing on to Dunedin. Accommodation: Scenic Hotel Southern Cross

Day 4: Leaving the rugged hills of Dunedin travel through rolling green farmland to reach Te Anau. Accommodation: Distinction Te Anau Hotel & Villas

Day 5: Travel the magical Milford road into the heart of the sound. Cruise this spectacular fiord before traveling to Queenstown. Accommodation: Millennium Hotel Queenstown

Day 6: Experience the delights of this pristine alpine town on your free day. Accommodation: Millennium Hotel Queenstown

Day 7: You'll see Lakes Hawea, Wanaka and the Haast Pass, ending your drive in Franz Josef Glacier. Accommodation: Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier

Day 8: Travel up the wild West Coast to reach your destination, Punakaiki. Accommodation: Punakaiki Resort

Day 9: Travel up the West Coast then cross the spectacular Arthur's Pass via train to Christchurch. Accommodation: Distinction Hotel Christchurch

Day 10: Depart Christchurch today.

Back to top

AAT Kings 10 Day Southern Spectacular - Detailed Itinerary  

Day 1: Arrive Christchurch

AAT Kings 10 Day Southern Spectacular - Day 1

On arrival into Christchurch airport you will be transferred to your hotel.

Welcome to Christchurch, New Zealand's Garden City. Flights can arrive any time prior to 4.00pm and you will be transferred from the airport to your Christchurch hotel. After you check-in, you can head out and explore Christchurch. Step back in time to a grand era of transport and relax as the Christchurch Tram takes you around the 'must-see' central attractions. The tram drivers provide a live commentary throughout the loop, identifying points of interest, historic architecture and the changes the city is under-going since the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes. (Optional Experience - own expense).

Your Accommodation: Distinction Hotel Christchurch

This 4.5 star hotel is centrally located in the revitalised Cathedral Square. Ideally positioned, only a few minutes walk from the brand new Christchurch Convention Centre.

Distinction Hotel Christchurch

Day 2: Cross the Canterbury Plains and enjoy lunch in Morelea before continuing on to Twizel for the night

AAT Kings 10 Day Southern Spectacular - Day 2

Christchurch to Twizel

This morning enjoy a Christchurch city sights tour, see how Christchurch is rebuilding after the devastating earthquakes of 2010 and 2011, and pop into the Transitional Cathedral in Latimer Square, the temporary home of the Christchurch Cathedral. It is the world's only cathedral made substantially of cardboard! Next, you'll travel over the patchwork countryside of the Canterbury Plains to soak up some spectacular sightseeing. Visit Morelea, the home of Angie and Stan Taylor, for a "be my guest" barbecue lunch and hear about a lifetime spent farming in New Zealand. This afternoon view the little stone-hewn Church of the Good Shepherd, and the bronze statue of a collie dog, the touching tribute to the sheepdogs which helped develop the Mackenzie Country. You may want to take in Mount Cook National Park from the air this afternoon, on a scenic flight out over New Zealand's highest peak, the Southern Alps and on to Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers (Optional Experience - own expense). Your day finishes in the heart of the Mackenzie Country in Twizel. Tonight, enjoy dinner at your hotel.

Your Accommodation: MacKenzie Country Hotel, Twizel

Located in the heart of the Mackenzie region the hotel's natural stone architecture compliments the mountains and rivers of New Zealand's Southern Alps. With 108 well equipped rooms the hotel can offer every facility needed for a comfortable stay.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

MacKenzie Country Hotel, Twizel

Day 3: Stop at the Benmore Dam and the coastal town of Oamaru before continuing on to Dunedin

AAT Kings 10 Day Southern Spectacular - Day 3

Twizel to Dunedin

Your day starts with a journey along the Waitaki River, and a photo stop at the Waitaki Hydro Power Scheme and Benmore Dam. From the Waitaki Valley you will then travel through to the township of Oamaru, with its stately tree-lined streets and its famous white limestone buildings. This afternoon you will make your way down to the Southernmost New Zealand city, Dunedin. With the rest of your free afternoon you may wish to take part in an optional excursion to see more of the region. Take a Wildlife Cruise out to Otago Peninsula, visit the Speights Brewery – a New Zealand institution or ride the historic Taieri Gorge Railway. Tonight, enjoy dinner at your hotel.

Your Accommodation: Scenic Hotel Southern Cross

The Scenic Hotel Southern Cross provides stylish inner city accommodation and is the perfect location from which to explore Dunedin. Just a short walk to the Octagon, Railway Station, theatres, shops, and close to Otago University.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Scenic Hotel Southern Cross

Day 4: Leaving the rugged hills of Dunedin travel through rolling green farmland to reach Te Anau

AAT Kings 10 Day Southern Spectacular - Day 4

Dunedin to Te Anau

This morning you have some free time in Dunedin. You may want to journey out to the gorgeous Larnach Castle - New Zealand's only castle. Or you may just wish to roam around the beautiful grounds of New Zealand's first university, Otago University. Dunedin, also known as the Edinburgh of the South, has strong connections to its northern hemisphere sister city, even down to sharing many of the same street names - so take a wander down George Street, noting Dunedin's Scottish ancestry. This afternoon travel through lush green pastures, crossing sheep-filled farming land. New Zealand is internationally known for its sheep farming, and these are sights many visitors to this country recognise as typically New Zealand. You are sure to find the perfect sheep photo here! As your journey continues, the rolling, grassy hills once again turn back into heavily forested, rugged mountains, and you meander your way up into the Fiordland National Park to the South Island's biggest lake and the town of Te Anau. This evening you have the opportunity to head out across the lake to the Glow Worm Caves for a tour (Optional Experience, own expense). Tonight, enjoy dinner at your hotel.

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 the hotel is just a few minutes stroll for the shops. cafes and activities on offer.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Distinction Te Anau Hotel & Villas

Day 5: Travel the magical Milford road into the heart of the sound. Cruise this spectacular fiord before traveling to Queenstown

AAT Kings 10 Day Southern Spectacular - Day 5

Milford Sound cruise then to Queenstown

Today is one of those days where you will want to have your camera battery charged, and ready to go! After leaving Te Anau, you will journey through the Fiordland National Park and out to Milford Sound on one of the most scenic roads you could hope for. Travel through native rainforests, beech forests, alluvial flats and meadows. You will stop at Mirror Lakes where, as the name suggests, you can see the stunning mountain scenery perfectly reflected in the waters of the lakes. Then on to the Homer Tunnel, man's attempt to master the sheer rocky ranges, still left rough-hewn around the edges. As you emerge out the other side of the tunnel, you are presented with one of the world's most dramatic alpine drives, down through the Cleddau Valley. You will have a stop at the Chasm, where the roaring Cleddau River has carved its way through solid rock, and then it's on to Milford Sound, where you will cruise the waters of this natural wonder. Your cruise meanders down the sound, taking in the Bowen and Stirling Falls as these plummet from glacial hanging valleys sharply into the sea, and the sheer pinnacle of Mitre Peak, rising from the deep waters of the fiord. From the spectacular scenes of Milford Sound, you will travel on to the beautiful sights of Queenstown. An orientation tour skirting around the shores of Lake Wakatipu, takes you into the city centre before arriving at your hotel.

Your Accommodation: Millennium Hotel Queenstown

The 4 star deluxe Millennium Hotel Queenstown is located in the heart of Queenstown within minutes of the central shopping and entertainment area.

Meals included: Breakfast

Millennium Hotel Queenstown

Day 6: Experience the delights of this pristine alpine town on your free day

AAT Kings 10 Day Southern Spectacular - Day 6

Queenstown free day

Today choose one from a range of Included Choice sightseeing experiences. You have the option to ride the Shotover Jet, take the gondola and luge. Perhaps take a 4WD minibus through Skippers Canyon, or visit the 5 acre Kiwi Birdlife Park. This evening cruise across Lake Wakatipu aboard the TSS Earnslaw to Walter Peak High Country Farm for a gourmet barbecue ‘highlight dinner’ at the Colonel’s Homestead. An entertaining farm show provides a glimpse into high-country farm life. Why not join in a sing-a-long on your way back to Queenstown?

Your Accommodation: Millennium Hotel Queenstown

The 4 star deluxe Millennium Hotel Queenstown is located in the heart of Queenstown within minutes of the central shopping and entertainment area.

Meals included: Breakfast, Speciality Dinner

Millennium Hotel Queenstown

Day 7: You'll see Lakes Hawea, Wanaka and the Haast Pass, ending your drive in Franz Josef Glacier

AAT Kings 10 Day Southern Spectacular - Day 7

Queenstown to Franz Josef

This morning you will leave the alpine wonderland of Queenstown behind, and begin the passage through Central Otago and out to Westland. On the way out of the Queenstown region, you will stop and visit the faithfully restored gold mining settlement of Arrowtown. As you amble down the beautiful tree-lined avenues, past the 19th century wooden buildings, you will feel like you have stepped into a movie set. From here you will travel over to Cromwell, situated next to the sparkling pristine waters of Lake Dunstan, where you will stop in at a local orchard for a taste of some of the town's delicious stone fruit. It is a day of gorgeous lakes, as after Dunstan, you will travel further into Central Otago and view the vivid blue waters of Lake Hawea, followed by Lake Wanaka, where the shoreline is charmingly lined by poplars and willows. Following an ancient greenstone trail, you will travel over Haast Pass, marking a change from the alpine scenery of the Southern Lakes, to the rainforest marvel of the wild West Coast. View the sheer drop of Thunder Creek Falls and the grand sight of Mt Hooker, flanked on three sides by extensive glaciers. Your final destination for today is the extraordinary rivers of ice that make up Franz Josef Glacier. You may want to get up close and personal with the glaciers on a helicopter flight. Your flight will hover over the snow face, and may land high up in the valley so that you can walk across the ice fall - subject to weather conditions (Optional Experience, own expense). Tonight, enjoy dinner at your hotel.

Your Accommodation: Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier

Located in the heart of Franz Josef Village the hotel offers all the amenities you would expect and is close to the shops, restaurants and activities on offer.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier

Day 8: Travel up the wild West Coast to reach your destination, Punakaiki

AAT Kings 10 Day Southern Spectacular - Day 8

Franz Josef to Punakaiki

If weather conditions are unfavourable the previous day, you will get another chance to fly up to the glaciers this morning or you might want to take a stroll through the small but lively Franz Josef village. Then it's time for an exhilarating adventure among temperate rainforest giants on the West Coast Treetop Walkway, followed by a visit to Hokitika, home of the native greenstone (jade) for a factory visit and jewellery demonstration. Later, travel to Punakaiki to view the Pancake Rocks and Blowholes. You'll spend the night in an eco-friendly resort, right on the waterfront. This evening enjoy dinner with wine at your hotel, while watching the surf thundering at your doorstep!

Your Accommodation: Punakaiki Resort

The Punakaiki Resort is a modern, award-winning hotel complex, architecturally designed to harmonise with the local environment. Nestled in the foothills of Papaproa National Park the resort has spectacular views of the Wild West Coast beaches while all rooms have rainforest and/or ocean views.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Punakaiki Resort

Day 9: Travel up the West Coast then cross the spectacular Arthur's Pass via train to Christchurch

AAT Kings 10 Day Southern Spectacular - Day 9

Tranz Alpine Scenic Train to Christchurch

Enjoy a leisurely start this morning before you will travel inland to the small settlement of Arthur's Pass. Here you will board the TranzAlpine train to Christchurch city. This spectacular train journey dates back to 1914, and is rated as one of the world's most scenic train trips. The train forges through tunnels and over viaducts with panoramic views of snow-capped peaks, icy rivers, beech forests, gorges and river valleys. This evening join your AAT Kings Travel Director and Driver, and your new-found friends for a farewell dinner with wine.

Your Accommodation: Distinction Hotel Christchurch

This 4.5 star hotel is centrally located in the revitalised Cathedral Square. Ideally positioned, only a few minutes walk from the brand new Christchurch Convention Centre.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Distinction Hotel Christchurch

Day 10: Depart Christchurch today

Christchurch final day and transfer to airport

Your tour arrangements conclude after breakfast today. A transfer will deliver you to Christchurch airport for your onward journey.

Back to top

Departure Dates & Prices  

All prices are in
Back to top

Here are some similar NZ Coach tour packages

Back to top

Travel with our teammates

The original NZ self-drive touring company
Prefer to self-drive? Search over 200 NZ tours
nzsidekick - New Zealand's leading travel agent partner
Travel agents - book NZ itineraries here