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

  • Day 1 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 2 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
  • Day 3 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.
  • Day 4 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 Queenstown
    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.
  • Day 8 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.
  • Day 9 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
  • Day 10 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
Real Adventure Group Real People
Real Kiwi Says:
During the winter our Real Kiwi Adventures tours are operated with our partners on the hop on hop off network, so you can guarantee we depart with a good group of travelers every week. There is plenty to see in New Zealand in the winter, with some saying its even better at that time of year!

10 Day Best of South Island Christchurch to Christchurch Winter Tour Price information
NZD per person



Tour code: SH10W
Secure your seat today with only a 10% deposit!
Multi-share (Shared facilities) May 2020 to October 2020
Twin/double May 2020 to October 2020
Single Sole Use May 2020 to October 2020

Departure information


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


More information

Important Notes

Things 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. 

Similar Tours to 10 Day Best of South Island Christchurch to Christchurch Winter Tour

Visit Lake Tekapo on tour

10 Day Christchurch to Christchurch Comfort Tour

The perfect summer comfort adventure around the South Island

Our 10 Day Christchurch to Christchurch Comfort Tour is one of the best loops around! Hit the road in style and get to know Te Wai Pounamu – the South Island of Aotearoa New Zealand. Soak up scenery that you have to see to believe, from the wide plains of Canterbury to the mountains of Central Otago, to the glaciers and rainforest of the West Coast.

Fiordland National Park

12 Day Christchurch to Wellington Comfort Tour

Stay each night in twin-share 3–4 star accommodation on this South Island adventure

From Christchurch to Wellington. Over the course of your week and a half in Aotearoa New Zealand, you’ll travel through some of the most magical scenery you could hope to see in your lifetime. National Parks, rainforests, mountain ranges, UNESCO World Heritage Areas… everywhere you turn, there’s something different to behold.

Enjoy the Coromandel on tour

12 Day Christchurch to Auckland Comfort Tour

Get to know some of the most stunning parts of the North Island – and get a peek at some of the perks of the South Island too on this 12-day tour.

Kicking off in Auckland, New Zealand’s biggest city, and wrapping up in Christchurch on Day 12, this the experience of a lifetime. From cultural activities to adrenaline-pumping adventures to sights you’ll have to see to believe, Haka Plus Tours are the way to see Aotearoa New Zealand.

Hike the captivating Abel Tasman National Park

14 Day Full South Island Christchurch to Christchurch Winter Tour

If you're into nature, spectacular views and more fresh air then you know what to do with this tour is for you!

Keen for some spectacular snow-capped scenery mixed in with some adrenalin, marine wildlife and a bit of culture along the way? Then the South Island of New Zealand is your oyster on this 15 day Winter. Visit all of the main sites you have ever desired including Franz Josef, Queenstown, Abel Tasman, Kaikoura, Doubtful Sound and Wanaka and even some you may not have heard of!

Plenty of activities to do in New Zealand

20 Day Christchurch to Auckland Comfort Tour

Take our comfort adventure from the South to North Island immerse yourself in culture and adrenalin activities.

Passionate and knowledgeable local Kiwi guides on this 20 day Christchurch to Auckland comfort tour. Comfortable and air-conditioned bus transport, orientation tour of each and every location plus our small groups of maximum 16 people

Jump on the orange bus and discover the real New Zealand

26 Day North and South Christchurch to Christchurch Winter Tour

Visit both the North and South Island of New Zealand on this great value tour.

This tour starts in Christchurch and finishes in Christchurch and allows you to see the highlights New Zealand has to offer including Rotorua maori culture, Abel Tasman National Park, Doubtful Sound, Kaikoura, Queenstown and much, much more. You'll be able to conquer your fair share of the New Zealand terrain. Hike the volcanic craters of middle earth and traverse icy glaciers as you take in all the highlights of the North Island and South Islands.