All about the 9 Day Christchurch to Queenstown Tour

What an adventure of the South Island this tour is, from Christchurch to Queenstown you will get the highlights of the South Island and also some unexplored wonders.

This 9-day South Island New Zealand tour includes your accommodation either camping or upgrades to cabins as well as an expert guide, meals and plenty more.

If its hikes and bike rides you’re looking for, then you won't be disappointed as we have a heap of superb options.

From Christchurch to Queenstown, this trip takes you to a huge range of natural wonders from glaciers and mountains to beautiful beaches and wild coastlines. There are plenty of wildlife encounters along the way and of course the aforementioned great selection of hikes and bike rides! 

The Southern Light tour will give you a very good introduction of why we love New Zealand - this destination also offers some very special camp spots that we have strategically placed so we can bring you much closer to nature than you’d ever have expected.

9 Day Christchurch to Queenstown Tour Itinerary - 9 days

  • Day 1 Christchurch to Rangitata
    You’ll have time to explore Christchurch city and buy your lunch from one of the many quirky container cafes at the ‘Restart Mall’. At 2:30pm we travel towards the Southern Alps with fantastic views across the Canterbury Plains – real Lord of the Rings country!
    Tonight’s unique camp is at the Shearer’s Headquarters (an actual operating farm) located at the foot of the Southern Alps.
    Walks: take an early walk around our coastal camp, evening walk in Peel Forest
    Bike rides: 18km country road, 9km country road cycling around camp
    Activities (own cost): highly recommended dolphin swim, dolphin viewing
    Cabin upgrades: basic single or double room from $15pp
    Meals: breakfast & dinner
  • Day 2 Rangitata to Lake Pukaki
    Wake up to mountain views and refresh yourself even more white water rafting on the mighty Rangitata River! If rafting isn’t for you then no problem - soak it all in with a morning cycle or walk through the Peel Forest. We then continue through more jaw dropping landscapes (they don’t stop in the South Island) to the picture postcard, Lake Tekapo. Here you will view the most spectacular turquoise waters which get their colour from the glacial flour brought down from the rivers flowing from glaciers high up in the mountains. Leaving Tekapo we head to
    one of our best wilderness camps – sitting on the shores of Lake Pukaki you can set up your tent and take in the views of the lake with New Zealand’s highest peak Aoraki/Mt Cook visible in the distance.
    Walks: Peel Forest walks, lakeside walks around camp
    Bike rides: Tekapo Canal Alps to Ocean 30km, edge of Lake Pukaki trail riding
    Activities (own cost): white water rafting (grade 5 rapids!)
    Cabin upgrades: no – wilderness camp no upgrade options
    Meals: breakfast, lunch & dinner
  • Day 3 Lake Pukaki to Moeraki
    Immerse yourself in the snow-capped mountain scenery that New Zealand is famous for and explore Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park. Hike to the base of NZ’s highest mountain following a trail up the Hooker valley where you’ll cross swing bridges and get stunning
    views of the mountains before finishing up at a glacial lake with views of the Hooker Valley glacier. We then travel back towards the Pacific coast for a quick stop in the historic town of Oamaru before continuing onwards to the small village of Moeraki. Walk to a
    great view point offering expansive views of the Pacific Ocean and try to spot a little Blue Penguin along the shore. If you have a bike it’s possible to visit a colony of extremely rare Yellow-eyed Penguins near to camp.
    Walks: to the base of Mount Cook and Hooker Valley, the Moeraki heritage Trail and viewpoint
    Bike rides: 15km road ride to Peter’s lookout, Alps2Ocean Omarama trail ride 13km, Yellow-eyed Penguin colony
    Cabin upgrades: basic single from $58, basic double from $23pp - (limited rooms available!)
    Meals: breakfast, lunch & dinner
  • Day 4 Moeraki to Dunedin
    Before travelling south, we make a stop at the nearby Moeraki Boulders and then it’s onto the historic Scottish city of Dunedin, the South Island's second-largest city. This southern city is home to the world’s steepest residential street and the coastline is home to
    some fantastic and rare wildlife. It’s possible to take a tour onto the Otago Peninsula to view some of this diverse wildlife which includes Albatross and Fur Seals. For the adventurous why not try surfing at one of Dunedin’s best breaks! Our camp is a short
    distance from the beach with a variety of restaurants close by to choose from.
    Walks: tide permitting - walk to the Moeraki Boulders, walk the World’s steepest street
    Bike rides: 6km downhill ride into Dunedin, explore Dunedin by bike, ride to camp or along the waterfront
    Activities (own cost): Speight's brewery tour, surfing, Otago Peninsula wildlife tour
    Cabin upgrades: basic single from $40, basic double from $12pp
    Meals: breakfast
  • Day 5 Dunedin to Hollyford
    Today is one of our longer travel days as we drive through some of New Zealand’s most dramatic natural scenery on our way to Fiordland. Large parts of the landscape have been carved out over thousands of years to leave stunning paths that weave through
    snow-capped mountains. We stop briefly in Te Anau, the hub and gateway town for Fiordland National Park and Milford Sound and your last chance to get supplies for those doing the Routeburn Track tomorrow. From Te Anau we make our way into the gigantic
    Fiordland National Park, encompassing some 12,500km2 it is New Zealand’s largest National Park. Tonight’s camp is a pretty special place in the heart of the Hollyford Valley, established in the 1930s. You can learn more about the history of the camp at the onsite
    museum. Cyclists have the chance to cycle to camp through some great native bush and walkers can do some nice short walks from camp (ask your guide about the secret glow worm trails).
    Walks: plenty of short walks from camp
    Bike rides: 8km road cycle to camp
    Cabin upgrades: basic single from $45, basic double from $15pp - (limited rooms available!)
    Meals: breakfast & dinner
  • Day 6 Hollyford to Te Anau
    Travel one of the world’s most scenic routes into Milford Sound! Described as the 'eighth wonder of the world', Milford Sound was carved by glaciers during the ice ages. We highly recommend taking in the boat trip on Milford Sound with dramatic waterfalls, snow-capped peaks and possible wildlife spotting of dolphins, penguins and seals! As it’s just the one road in and out, we head back along the same breath-taking route to our lakeside camp in Te Anau. Along the way, we drop off those doing the 3-day Routeburn
    Track, one of New Zealand’s 9 Great Walks. This 3-day hike passes through two National Parks and is a haven for native birdlife. sheer rock faces, pristine lakes, cascading waterfalls and dense, luxuriant forest.
    Walks: 3-day Routeburn Track (re-join group in Queenstown on day 14) – pre-book as
    soon as possible as this activity can book out months in advance!
    Bike rides: 10.5km Te Anau loop, Ivan Wilson Park mountain bike trail
    Activities (own cost): highly recommend Milford boat cruise, Routeburn Track, Te Anau glow worm caves & boat ride
    Cabin upgrades: basic single from $25, basic double from $25pp
    Meals: breakfast & lunch
  • Day 7 Te Anau to Queenstown
    Today we journey to Queenstown along the shores of the photogenic Lake Wakatipu. Once we arrive at the adventure capital of New Zealand you can enjoy spectacular views, a free Gondola ride and a huge selection of activities to choose from. There is
    everything here, from adrenalin pumping bungy, canyon swing and skydiving to a relaxing horse trek or boat cruise – this place has it all. There are great tracks around the lake ideal for bikers and hikers and all with wonderful views of this alpine region. walks: Queenstown lakefront or hill walks
    Bike rides: Lake Wakatipu trail 16km
    Activities (own cost): too many to list – something for everyone (see our website or ask us for details)
    Cabin upgrades: single en-suite from $135, double en-suite from $58pp - (limited rooms available!)
    Meals: breakfast
  • Day 8 Queenstown
    With so much to do we spend the full day in fantastic Queenstown with the opportunity to enjoy those once in a lifetime experiences (don’t forget to try the legendary and very tasty Fergburger!). Routeburn Track walkers re-join the group here at midday with time to
    try some of the many exciting activities this vibrant city has to offer. Tonight, we dine out at one of Queenstown’s many delicious eateries - a great chance for your group to enjoy a true kiwi feast (own cost).
    Walks: Queenstown walks, Ben Lomond
    Bike rides: Lake Wakatipu trail, Queenstown trail 48km
    Activities (own cost): too many to list – something for everyone (see our website or ask us for details)
    Cabin upgrades: single en-suite from $135, double en-suite from $58pp - (limited rooms available!)
    Meals: breakfast
  • Day 9 Queenstown
    A last chance to indulge in the Queenstown action before finishing your tour with us here and saying farewell to your fellow Flying Kiwi travellers by 2:30pm.
    walks: multiple walking options
    Bike rides: road cycling around town
    Activities (own cost): too many to list – something for everyone (see our website or ask us for details)
    Meals: breakfast
Real Adventure Group Real People
Real Kiwi Says:
The perfect whistle stop south Island tour, an excellent way to see and experience some of the most beautiful and diverse scenery on the planet.

9 Day Christchurch to Queenstown Tour Price information
NZD per person



Tour code: SL9
Secure your seat today with only a 10% deposit!
Camping (Twin-Share) September 2020 to March 2021
Local fees payable
Supplement for Single Tent September 2020 to March 2021
Supplement for Single Tent September 2019 to March 2020

Departure information




October 25
November 3, 12, 21, 30
December 9, 18, 27

January 5, 14, 23
February 1, 10, 19, 28
March 9, 18, 27


More information

Important Notes

Things you need to know about this tour

Departs: Christchurch, 2:30 pm outside the Canterbury Museum, Rolleston Avenue, Christchurch central city.

How the Trip Works: Our tours are designed to immerse you in the most stunning areas of the country - part of this experience is participatory with regards to accommodation and mealtimes.   

Accommodation Style: Shared tent accommodation, 2 people per tent. If travelling alone you will be sharing with someone of similar age and gender. Upgrade to your own tent for an additional cost. 

Optional Extras: If you are interested in bike to hire a single tent upgrade or sleeping bag hire contact us prior to travel.  Pre-booking Activities: Each day we offer optional activities that you are able to book with your guides once you join the tour.  However, due to the popularity of The Routeburn Track and Milford Sound Cruise, it is advisable to contact us in advance to pre-book your space.

Once you are booked you are going! ALL our summer tours (Oct-Apr) are guaranteed departures.

This tour is recommended for persons 18 years and older, however, requests for younger participants will be considered on a case by case basis.

Similar Tours to 9 Day Christchurch to Queenstown Tour

Visit 4 Ski fields

6 Day Ski and Snow from Christchurch to Queenstown tour

Perfect one week South Island trip skiing up to 4 different fields while showing you winter highlights that you don’t want to miss!

Jump aboard and take off with us as we take you to the must-see highlights of South Island on this epic snow adventure. We offer the best of both worlds giving you the opportunity to ski or snowboard at up to 4 different fields while showing you the best winter locations in New Zealand.

Half day ski on The Remarkables or Coronet Peak ski fields.

9 Day Alpine Explorer from Christchurch to Christchurch

Our Alpine Explorer 9 day trip not only gives you the opportunity to ski 4 different mountains combined with the best hikes, bike rides and adrenalin activities New Zealand has to offer.

9-day winter New Zealand tour, either heading South first toward the ritz and glamour of Queenstown or heading West and down the rugged and pristine West Coast of the South Island. This tour not only gives you the opportunity to ski 4 different mountains but also takes you to the base of Mt Cook; NZ’s highest peak, over the Southern Alps on one of world’s most famous train journeys, through 3 alpine passes and close to two different ice glaciers.... wow what more can you ask for within an action packed 9 days of showcasing NZ’s best winter wonderland!

Incredible daily bikes rides

15 Day Christchurch to Auckland Tour

Enjoy both islands from the bottom of the South to the tip of the North. If you're starting South and want to see it all from the wild West coast to the Bay of Islands then this is the one for you.

A great way to see most of New Zealand by starting in Auckland in the North Island and finishing in Queenstown in the South Island. You can also spend some time exploring Queenstown pre-trip.

Travel one of the world’s most scenic routes into Milford Sound

28 Day Ultimate Explorer Christchurch to Christchurch Tour

From mountains and glaciers to beaches & rainforests this is the ultimate experience for those who love the outdoors. Stay in scenic locations, hike the best one-day alpine walk in the World and try once in a lifetime activities.

Quite possibly the best thing you can do in New Zealand. Grab life with both hands on this in-depth, all-points covered action and adventure wilderness experience. This trip guarantees to show you the best of the South and North Island and the experience of a lifetime.