This New Zealand Coach Tour is one of our most popular South Island tours, beginning in New Zealand’s capital city Wellington before crossing Cook Strait into the South Island. Visit the Marlborough Wine Region with a tasting at Brancott Estate Winery before continuing throughout the South Island. Visit Ashburton, Dunedin, Milford Sound, Queenstown and the West Coast Glaciers before returning to Christchurch. This tour also includes an option to join the famous TranzAlpine train journey from Greymouth to Christchurch.
During the course of the tour you will have free time in Dunedin, Queenstown and Fox Glacier to experience some of the unique and regional optional sightseeing activities.
12 Days / 11 Nights – Departing Wellington finishing Christchurch
Please click on the Price & Date Tab for departure dates.
Seat rotation plan
When you travel on a Kirra Coach Tour your Coach Captain maintains a daily seat rotation plan to ensure you get to know
all your travelling companions and enjoy the scenery from a different vantage point each day.
All our coach tours are smoke free and are restricted to smoking during the frequent sightseeing, photographic and comfort stops. We request non-smoking hotel rooms for the comfort of our entire tour group. Travellers who prefer accommodation without such limitations are asked to make their preference known when making reservations and again at the beginning of their tour.
As a single traveller we give you the option of a guaranteed single room when you purchase the single supplement. Alternatively, as a single traveller not paying the single supplement, we will match you with another traveller on a twin share basis of the same gender. There may be instances that there are no other single travellers on the tour and in these cases we will provide you with a single room at no extra cost.
When sharing a triple room a saving of 5% applies to your tour price. If you also require pre and post accommodation
we have prices available on request. Please note most room configurations are double or twin in which case the third bed is likely to be a rollaway. We are unable to cater for 4 adults wishing to share one room. A triple discount does not apply to tours including the Milford Sound or Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise
Arrive Wellington - Wellington / Picton / Blenheim - Blenheim / Kaikoura / Christchurch - Christchurch / Mt Cook / Omarama - Omarama / Dunedin - Dunedin / Lake Manapouri / Te Anau - Milford Sound Day Trip - Te Anau / Queenstown - Queenstown - Queenstown / Haast Pass/ Fox Glacier - Fox Glacier / Christchurch - Farewell
Welcome to New Zealand! You will be met with a smile and transferred to your hotel by a tour representative.
Today completes your North Island tour as you venture to the South Island onboard the Interislander Ferry a unique experience treasured by many. Enjoy the spectacular views of New Zealand’s Capital from Wellington Harbour; continue through the heads crossing Cook Strait into the secluded waters of Queen Charlotte Sound. Travel through the sheltered waterways, remote bays and pass many isolated holiday homes.
Disembark at Picton, a quaint village nestled on the shimmering shores of the Marlborough Sounds. Here you will be welcomed and met by your South Island Kirra Tours Coach Captain. Continue south from Picton travelling through dairy farms that merge with forestry producers. Enter the Marlborough wine country and the town of Blenheim, a region renowned for its viticulture. A brief tour of the area includes a visit to Brancott Estate Winery. Enjoy a hosted tour of the winery, learn about and taste a range of the famous local wines (purchase if you wish) followed by afternoon tea.
Leave the vineyards behind you and travel through the Awatere Valley to the Pacific Ocean Coast. You will be able to clearly spot Lake Grassmere by its mounds of sea salt drying. Follow the Pacific Coast to Kaikoura, simply translated means KAI = food & KOURA = crayfish (Lobster). Kaikoura is a small seaside settlement with an incredible backdrop of the rugged, often snow capped, Kaikoura mountain range that appears to ascend straight from the Pacific Ocean. This unique combination of ocean and mountains offers stunning coastal alpine scenery.
Continue south through the fertile North Canterbury farmlands and onto the arable Canterbury Plains and Christchurch “the gateway to Antarctica”. On arrival into Christchurch experience the International Antarctic Centre. This is located at Christchurch airport and if you look closely you may see some of the aircraft heading to Antarctica. From here you are taken into the city centre to board “The Tourist Tram”. This will highlight Christchurch’s gardens, the Avon River, Hagley Park and the impressive Gothic Architecture.
As you leave the most English city outside of England, your Kirra Tours coach captain will highlight the main attractions of the city of Christchurch. From the arable plains travel inland to the rolling green pastures of Geraldine and onto the semi barren land of MacKenzie Country. In the heart of the MacKenzie Basin Tekapo is nestled on shores of azure Lake Tekapo. You will visit The Church of the Good Shepherd, quite likely the most photographed church on your South Island Tour.
There is an opportunity to fly over the Southern Alps with Air Safaris (optional). From Tekapo continue on your New Zealand Coach Tour to Mt Cook National Park, home of the majestic Aoraki Mt Cook, New Zealand’s highest mountain. Here you have an opportunity (own cost) to visit the Sir Edmund Hillary Centre – a tribute to New Zealand’s greatest explorer and world renowned mountaineer. Travel back down the valley along the shores of Lake Pukaki, through Twizel (the town of trees) before arriving at your destination, Omarama, nestled in the velvet type tussock covered hills of the Lindis range.
As your New Zealand holiday continues, follow the beautiful braided Waitaki River east, passing Benmore and Avemore hydro lakes before reaching the Pacific Ocean at Historic Oamaru. En route visit Moeraki Boulders, marvelling at the huge spherical stones, found strewn along a stretch of Koekohe Beach near Moeraki. These boulders are grey-coloured concretions which have been exposed through shoreline erosion from black mud stone coastal cliffs that back the beach.
An early arrival into Dunedin, “The Edinburgh of the South” allows you plenty of time to explore this nature lover’s playground. Take the opportunity to experience at least one of these optional tours – combine a Monarch Harbour cruise with a Newton’s Citibus tour, and see penguins, albatross and seals.
Alternatively take a nostalgic trip on the Taieri Gorge Train, leaving from Dunedin’s historic Railway Station. Maybe you would rather visit Cadbury World and Speights brewery, both options filling you one way or the other. Your Kirra Tours coach captain will be more than happy to assist with any bookings. This evening prior to dinner, Kirra Tours are treating you to a traditional Scottish Haggis Ceremony complete with the address to the Haggis, bag pipes and a bonnie wee dram.
This morning visit the eloquent and historic Olveston House and feel like you have stepped back to the early 1900’s and experience the opulence of a by gone era. From here it is back to reality as you travel south west over rich fertile farmlands, through the agricultural service towns of Balclutha, Gore and other small villages. Between Clinton and Gore journey on the aptly named Presidential Highway.
As you proceed inland you will view the unusual combination of wind turbines and deer farms in the Mossburn area. If weather and time permits, visit the mysterious Lake Manapouri, (the Lake of many Islands), continue to Lake Te Anau the Gateway to Fiordland. To the west of Lake Te Anau view the Murchison Mountains, where Kirra Tours supports a programme that aims to ensure New Zealand’s iconic bird – the Kiwi, is able to flourish in its natural habitat.
Today your Kirra Tours coach will climb through the Southern Alps, travelling on one of the highest and most scenic state highways in New Zealand. Leave Te Anau and travel through Fiordland National Park, following the Eglington and Hollyford Valleys, passing through the Homer Tunnel to descend into the Cleddau Canyon to magnificent Milford Sound.
You will see for yourself why Rudyard Kipling described Milford Sound as the ‘eighth wonder of the world’. Experience Milford Sound from the water, a launch cruise will take you to the Tasman Sea and back, stopping at the raging Bowen Falls and Stirling Falls. A truly exhilarating experience, make sure your camera is fully charged. If time and weather permits your Kirra Tours Coach Captain will explore the lower Hollyford Valley before your return to Te Anau.
This morning travel by boat across Lake Te Anau to explore the fascinating Te Anau caves system on the western shore of the lake. This tour offers an underground adventure that charms visitors of all ages. The tour takes you to a mysterious underground world of rushing water before drifting in silent darkness beneath the luminous shimmer of thousands of glowworms. From Te Anau travel onto Kingston before hugging the shores of Lake Wakatipu to reach New Zealand’s adventure capital Queenstown.
This evening cruise across the lake aboard the steamship TSS Earnslaw for dinner in the Colonel’s Homestead at Walter Peak High Country Farm.
A day to explore the many delights of this stunning alpine resort. Try the world renowned Shotover Jet, an excursion to Skippers Canyon in search of gold or a steamer cruise aboard the historic TSS Earnslaw to Walter Peak Station. You may wish to travel by Double Decker coach to quaint Arrowtown, or even a bungy jump. Alternatively, explore Queenstown’s many boutiques and galleries – your Tour Coach Captain will be more than happy to assist with any optional sightseeing.
Pass picturesque Lake Hayes then on to an area steeped in fascinating history relating to early settlement and the gold mining era, to Lake Wanaka, a picture postcard resort on the lakes edge with a spectacular mountain backdrop. Pass Lake Hawea and the upper reaches of Lake Wanaka to Makarora, cross the Haast Pass into the Mt Aspiring and Westland National Parks.
Drive north along the coast through the flourishing rainforests of the West Coast and onto the glorious Glacier region. This is an ideal opportunity for you to experience small town New Zealand in the heart of Westland. The rainforest and surrounding area is so green it will hurt your eyes. (Upon arrival into Fox Glacier there is opportunity to either take an optional guided walk to the glacier’s terminal face or an optional exhilarating helicopter flight over the glacier) Both these options are at your own expense and are very weather dependant.
Time for an optional helicopter flight over the glacier then on to Franz Josef. Snow capped Southern Alps dominate the skyline as you pass dense bush, tiny landlocked lakes with and small pockets of farmland. Visit a Greenstone (Jade) factory. Here you will find many artisans carving Jade into contemporary carvings of traditional NZ designs or modern designs, and beautiful sculptures of whales, birds or just about anything that reflects the area where these carvers live. Greenstone or Pounamu has been recovered locally from the Westland or the South Westland area.
From Greymouth leave behind the lush beech rain forests through undulating farmlands, hugging the Taramakau River as it descends the valley. Travel over the Otira viaduct and into Arthurs Pass, traversing the main divide. As you leave Arthurs Pass follow the Waimakariri River, note it flows the opposite direction to the Taramakau as you have crossed the main divide, and the majestic Southern Alps. Head east through New Zealand’s wheat belt and the Canterbury plains into Christchurch.
It is farewell to your new found friends and traveling companions. This completes your New Zealand Holiday. We at Kirra Tours thank you for choosing us to show you New Zealand on your New Zealand Coach Tour and trust we will see you back here in the near future. You will be transferred to the Christchurch International Airport in ample time to join your flight home. Safe travels.
|Tour Starts||Tour Ends||Tour Status||Normal Rate||Acrossnz Discount Rate|
|Mon 23 Mar 2015||Fri 03 Apr 2015||GUARANTEED||NZ $3,895.00||NZ $3,700.00|
|Mon 06 Apr 2015||Fri 17 Apr 2015||GUARANTEED||NZ $3,895.00||NZ $3,700.00|
|Mon 20 Apr 2015||Fri 01 May 2015||OPEN||NZ $3,895.00||NZ $3,700.00|
|Mon 27 Apr 2015||Fri 08 May 2015||GUARANTEED||NZ $3,895.00||NZ $3,700.00|
|Mon 18 May 2015||Fri 29 May 2015||GUARANTEED||NZ $3,655.00||NZ $3,700.00|
|Mon 08 Jun 2015||Fri 19 Jun 2015||OPEN||NZ $3,655.00||NZ $3,700.00|
|Mon 27 Jul 2015||Fri 07 Aug 2015||OPEN||NZ $3,655.00||NZ $3,700.00|
|Mon 31 Aug 2015||Fri 11 Sep 2015||OPEN||NZ $3,655.00||NZ $3,700.00|
|Mon 14 Sep 2015||Fri 25 Sep 2015||OPEN||NZ $3,655.00||NZ $3,700.00|
|Mon 28 Sep 2015||Fri 09 Oct 2015||GUARANTEED||NZ $3,655.00||NZ $3,700.00|
|Mon 26 Oct 2015||Fri 06 Nov 2015||GUARANTEED||NZ $3,935.00||NZ $3,738.00|
|Mon 09 Nov 2015||Fri 20 Nov 2015||GUARANTEED||NZ $3,935.00||NZ $3,738.00|
|Mon 23 Nov 2015||Fri 04 Dec 2015||GUARANTEED||NZ $3,935.00||NZ $3,738.00|
|Mon 07 Dec 2015||Fri 18 Dec 2015||OPEN||NZ $3,935.00||NZ $3,738.00|
|Mon 21 Dec 2015||Fri 01 Jan 2016||GUARANTEED||NZ $3,935.00||NZ $3,738.00|
|Mon 28 Dec 2015||Fri 08 Jan 2016||GUARANTEED||NZ $3,935.00||NZ $3,738.00|
|Mon 04 Jan 2016||Fri 15 Jan 2016||OPEN||NZ $3,935.00||NZ $3,738.00|
|Mon 11 Jan 2016||Fri 22 Jan 2016||GUARANTEED||NZ $3,935.00||NZ $3,738.00|
|Mon 18 Jan 2016||Fri 29 Jan 2016||OPEN||NZ $3,935.00||NZ $3,738.00|
|Mon 25 Jan 2016||Fri 05 Feb 2016||GUARANTEED||NZ $3,935.00||NZ $3,738.00|
|Mon 08 Feb 2016||Fri 19 Feb 2016||GUARANTEED||NZ $3,935.00||NZ $3,738.00|
|Mon 22 Feb 2016||Fri 04 Mar 2016||GUARANTEED||NZ $3,935.00||NZ $3,738.00|
|Mon 29 Feb 2016||Fri 11 Mar 2016||GUARANTEED||NZ $3,935.00||NZ $3,738.00|
|Mon 07 Mar 2016||Fri 18 Mar 2016||GUARANTEED||NZ $3,935.00||NZ $3,738.00|
|Mon 21 Mar 2016||Fri 01 Apr 2016||GUARANTEED||NZ $3,935.00||NZ $3,738.00|
|Mon 04 Apr 2016||Fri 15 Apr 2016||GUARANTEED||NZ $3,935.00||NZ $3,738.00|
|Mon 18 Apr 2016||Fri 29 Apr 2016||OPEN||NZ $3,935.00||NZ $3,738.00|
|Mon 25 Apr 2016||Fri 06 May 2016||GUARANTEED||NZ $3,935.00||NZ $3,738.00|
|Mon 16 May 2016||Fri 27 May 2016||GUARANTEED||NZ $3,680.00||NZ $3,496.00|
|Mon 13 Jun 2016||Fri 24 Jun 2016||OPEN||NZ $3,680.00||NZ $3,496.00|
|Mon 25 Jul 2016||Fri 05 Aug 2016||OPEN||NZ $3,680.00||NZ $3,496.00|
|Mon 29 Aug 2016||Fri 09 Sep 2016||GUARANTEED||NZ $3,680.00||NZ $3,496.00|
|Mon 12 Sep 2016||Fri 23 Sep 2016||OPEN||NZ $3,680.00||NZ $3,496.00|
|Mon 26 Sep 2016||Fri 07 Oct 2016||GUARANTEED||NZ $3,680.00||NZ $3,496.00|
|Mon 10 Oct 2016||Fri 21 Oct 2016||GUARANTEED||NZ $3,680.00||NZ $3,496.00|