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, some bus companies will take you straight from A to B with barely a toilet break in between but, with us, you will experience great stops and inclusions en route to your next destination. 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 road trip!

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!

Travel in a small group with all transport by mini-bus or coach. We include all accommodation 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
    Take the ’Atomic Shuttle’ over the stunning Arthur’s Pass to the historic gold mining town of Greymouth, where you have 30mins free before meeting up with the Stray bus. This afternoon we’ll make a stop in Hokitika then head to Franz Josef, a quaint little town squashed between the Tasman Sea and the mighty Franz Josef Glacier.
    Accommodation: Lodge in the middle of the rainforest.
  • 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 Christchurch
    Today we make our way through a landscape made famous by the ‘Lord of the Rings’ films. We head past turquoise Lake Tekapo, where we stop for ice-skating, snow tubing or a swim at the hot springs. We arrive in Christchurch later in the afternoon, giving you time to explore parts of the South Island’s largest city.
    Accommodation: Purpose built backpackers near the city centre
    Optional Activities: Ice skating, snow tubing or soak in the hot springs
    Free Activities: Take photos of stunning scenery, go for a walk around central Christchurch
  • Day 10 Day in Christchurch
    Christchurch is where your journey ends - if you are catching a flight today, you can be dropped off at the International Airport at 8:00am. Otherwise, you can take an optional free day to spend more time exploring the South Island's largest city. We especially recommend checking out the Re:Start Mall, Quake City exhibition, Canterbury Museum or the gorgeous Botanical Gardens.
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 travellers 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
AUD per person



Tour code: SH10W
Dorm share
Twin/ double share
Single share

Departure information


Tuesdays and Sundays from Christchurch from 11 May to 17 October 2018

Travelling from October  2018 to March 31, 2019? 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

Luggage should be restricted to 15kg per person in a single bag, plus a small day pack.
Tours should be reconfirmed at least 48 hours in advance by calling +64 9 526 2140.
During the winter months, tours will operate in conjunction with the Stray travel network allowing all Real Kiwi winter departures to be 100% guaranteed. Clients 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.

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