Looking for incredible scenery, adrenalin fixes and a chance to try some of New Zealand's best restaurants, bars and nightlife? Then the south of New Zealand's South Island is for you! Spend nine nights visiting places in the Deep South
All about the 10 Day Best of South Island Christchurch to Christchurch Winter Tour
The South Island of New Zealand is among the most stunning places on earth. Nestled between snow-capped mountains are deep glacier valleys, pristine lakes, quaint villages and some bustling party hubs. Real Kiwi Adventures are taking you through the amazing natural beauty and excitement of this corner of the world with this 10 day South Island tour which includes a visit to Franz Josef Glacier, Doubtful Sound, Queenstown and so much more.
This New Zealand tour is an off the beaten track adventure. You will find some other travel options are just transport companies and will take you straight from A to B with barely a toilet break in between. On tour with us, you will experience uniques stops and inclusions en route to each of our destinations. A typical travel day can see you stopping off for a short walk to a waterfall, climbing to a lookout for a photo opportunity, pausing at an unusual piece of New Zealand art along the roadside, or stopping to check out a wild fur seal colony. You’ll fit so much more into your NZ adventure this way.
On this 10 Best of South tour you will travel in small groups with all transport included by mini-bus or coach. Your accommodation will be in quad share style rooms or upgraded if requested. You will be fully guided on tour with entertaining commentary by an expert including a few local secrets and plenty of support as you travel our wonderful country. You will stay with the same group on tour, meaning you will make lifelong friends while ticking off those bucket list destinations!
Travel the New Zealand South Island this winter with Real Kiwi Adventures.
10 Day Best of South Island Christchurch to Christchurch Winter Tour Itinerary - 10 days
Christchurch to Franz Josef
Nau mai, haere mai (welcome)! Your adventure begins with one of the world’s greatest train journeys, a ride on the TranzAlpine train. Check-in at the Christchurch Railway Station, then sit back to watch the South Island’s most stunning scenery roll by just outside your window. You’ll travel across the vast Canterbury Plains, cross winding ice-fed rivers and traverse the majestic Southern Alps via Arthur’s Pass. Your train journey ends on the West Coast in the historic gold mining town of Greymouth, where you will meet your driver guide and coach. From there, we carry on to our overnight stop in the quaint little town of Franz Josef, home to the mighty Franz Josef.
Accommodation included: Lodge in the middle of the rainforest
Activities included: TranzAlpine scenic train journey from Christchurch to Greymouth
Day in Franz Josef
Enjoy a full free day to explore the glacier. Live your glacier walking dream with a guided tour on the glacier or hike to view it from below, then unwind in the spa pools afterwards.
Accommodation: Lodge in the middle of the rainforest
Optional Activities: Ice Explorer Trip (short helicopter flight onto the glacier), Glacier Valley Walk
Free Activities: Many bush walks in the area
Franz Josef to Wanaka
Depart at 8am. We head to Lake Matheson for a walk at the amazing mirror lake, stop at Fox Glacier for pickups, and then travel through the mountainous Haast Pass and Makarora. We pass by the beautiful Lake Hawea and arrive in Wanaka late afternoon.
Accommodation: Central hostel
Free Activities: Lake Matheson walk, Ship Creek walk, Blue Pools walk, Thundercreek Falls walk, explore Wanaka.
Wanaka to Queenstown
This morning, head out on a guided bike tour around the lake before we depart Wanaka at 10.30am and cruise down to the famous A.J. Hackett bungy site, where you can take the plunge - if you dare! Then, it’s on to the ‘Adventure Capital of the World!’ Queenstown offers an optional big (make that huge) night out with excellent restaurants, pubs and live music.
Accommodation: Central hostel
Included Activities: Guided Bike Tour
Days 5, 6 and 7
With so much to see and do in and around Queenstown, you need three full days to take it all in! To get you started, a couple highlight activities are included – an exhilarating Shotover Jet Boat ride in the morning on Day 5 and a full day trip to jaw dropping Doubtful Sound on Day 6. Day 7 is free for you to do as you please.
Accommodation: Central hostel
Included Activities: Shotover Jet (Day 5) and Doubtful Sound day trip (Day 6)
Optional Activities: Any adventure activity that we mad Kiwis can dream up (bungy, swing, jetboating, skydiving, mountain biking, zipline, horse riding…), trip to Milford Sound.
Free Activities: Sleep in, great walks, take in beautiful views from this cool resort town.
Queenstown to Aoraki/Mt Cook
Depart from 8.40am. We head over the Lindis Pass through the beautiful Mackenzie Country and past Lake Pukaki, then head north to our amazing stop at the base of New Zealand’s highest mountain Aoraki/Mt Cook, arriving in the early afternoon.
Accommodation: Stunning alpine lodge
Optional Activities: Visit the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre
Free Activities: Take photos of awe-inspiring scenery, do one of the many great short walks to the Hooker Glacial Lake.
Mt Cook to Rangitata
Leaving Mt Cook, we make our way through a landscape made famous in the Lord of the Rings films. We’ll stop to admire the turquoise waters of Lake Tekapo and the Church of the Good Shepherd – a famous photo stop. Relax in the Tekapo hot pools, go snow tubing or ice skating or hike up to the Mt John observatory where you’ll witness stunning views of the lake from above. After lunch, we will continue to our overnight stop in Rangitata Peel Forest. Tonight, we’ll stay in one of Canterbury’s original sheep stations.
Accommodation included: One of Canterbury’s original sheep stations
Optional activities: Tekapo Hot Springs, Ice skating (April-Sept), Snow tubing (June-Sept) Free activities: Visit Lake Tekapo, Mt John walk, Rangitata forest walks
Rangitata to Christchurch
This morning, you will have the opportunity to sign up to a Lord of the Rings tour or to explore the stunning Peel Forest scenery on horseback. We’ll arrive in Christchurch late afternoon, where your tour comes to an end - we hope you had a blast on your New Zealand journey!
￼￼￼￼￼￼￼Optional paid activities: LOTR tour, horse trekking
Free activities: Explore Christchurch by foot, check out the Re-Start Mall, Cardboard Cathedral and inner-city street art
Saturdays from Christchurch from 11 May to 12 October 2019
Saturdays from Christchurch from 2 May to 10 October 2020
Traveling from October to March? Check out our 9 Day Best of the South Christchurch to Christchurch Summer Tour
Important NotesThings you need to know about this tour
During the winter months, tours will operate in conjunction with the Stray travel network allowing all Real Kiwi winter departures to be 100% guaranteed. Travellers will still have a set itinerary with included accommodation and activities however meals are not included and the guide and group may change during the tour.
We know we live in an incredible country, and we are committed to playing our part, as an environmentally sustainable tourism operator, to keep it that way! We have been awarded the Enviro-Gold accreditation from Qualmark which is the highest accolade for quality, sustainably operated tourism operators in New Zealand. Qualmark recognizes businesses that a focused on protecting what makes New Zealand unique and special and at Stray, protecting our beautiful natural environment, enhancing local communities and delivering a high quality, safe experience for our passengers are things we feel extremely passionate about!
Luggage: Luggage must be limited to one backpack, bag or case per person with a maximum weight of 15kgs as our buses have limited storage space. You may also travel with a daypack for cameras, valuables, raincoats and items you will need to access throughout the day.
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