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13 Day Ultimate Southern Highlights – Superior Coach Tour

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Soak in the sight of the towering Southern Alps whilst travelling on the world-famous Tranz Alpine train and take in the soaring walls of mysterious Milford Sound from the deck of your overnight cruise, both experiences being true holiday highlights.Enjoy a traditional Haggis Ceremony in Scottish influenced Dunedin and a restful 3 night stop in New Zealand’s adventure capital, Queenstown.

For the more intrepid traveller there is the 3 day Hollyford Track Guided Walk option (dependant on dates) and plenty of free time in Fox Glacier, Queenstown and Dunedin so you can take advantage of the many optional activities available.


  • Dining inclusions – 11 breakfasts and 10 dinners
  • Cruise to Stevensons Island on Lake Wanaka
  • Skyline Gondola & Dinner, Queenstown
  • Milford Mariner Overnight Cruise
  • Scottish Haggis Ceremony
  • Entry to Olveston House
  • Christchurch Tour
  • Visit to Greenstone (Jade) Gallery
  • Franz Josef Glacier
  • Explore Lake Wakatipu
  • Brief tour of Dunedin
  • Visit Moeraki Boulders
  • Church of the Good Shepherd

Other Information

Optional Extras

  • Single Room Supplement
  • Hollyford Track Walk
  • Hollyford Single Supplement 

​13 Days / 12 Nights – Departing Christchurch finishing in Christchurch 

​Please click on the Price & Date Tab for departure dates.

  • All must see sightseeing activities
  • Personalised airport transfers
  • Hotel porterage
  • Dedicated Coach Captains sharing local knowledge and personal experiences
  • Travel in premium, well appointed and fully airconditioned 5 star coaches
  • Full buffet breakfast daily
  • Panoramic windows and dual entry
  • Restroom on board
  • Travel kit including bag, ticket wallet, umbrella, diary, local travel information & more
  • The finest centrally located hotels available in each destination

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.

Smoking policy
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.

Travelling Alone 
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.

Triple discount
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 Christchurch - Christchurch / Hokitika - Hokitika / Franz Josef - Franz Josef / Wanaka - Wanaka / Queenstown - Queenstown - Queenstown - Queenstown / Milford Sound - Milford Sound / Dunedin - Dunedin - Dunedin / Mt Cook - Mt Cook / Christchurch - Christchurch / Home


Arrive Christchurch

Welcome to New Zealand. A Kirra Tours representative will greet you at the airport with transport waiting to take you to your hotel. If you arrive early today, we recommend that you take some time to explore Christchurch – the city now showcases some of the most innovative structures in the world. A visit to the Cardboard Cathedral designed by Japanese architect Shigeru Ban is a must.


Quest, Christchurch

Christchurch / Hokitika

At 7.30am this morning you will be picked up from your hotel and transferred to the Christchurch Railway Station for an 8.15am departure on the famous TranzAlpine train. Cross the broad Canterbury Plains then follow the Waimakariri River to Arthur’s Pass and through the snowcapped Southern Alps to Otira, descending past Lake Brunner and through rainforest to Greymouth. Upon arrival at the Greymouth Train Station (approximately 12.45pm) you will be met by a Greymouth Taxis Representative who will be holding a Kirra Holidays sign board. They will take your luggage and store it in their depot while you enjoy some free time in Greymouth. At 1.45pm sharp you will meet back at the Greymouth Taxis Depot (please make your own way here) for your transfer to your accommodation in Hokitika which is approximately a 40 minute drive. The remainder of the day is at leisure before joining the tour group for dinner, please be sure to check with reception as to what time dinner is booked so that you are back in time. (B, D)
Please note: After enjoying some free time in Hokitika, tonight, you will be introduced to your Coach Captain and other travelling companions at dinner.


Beachfront Hotel, Hokitika

Hokitika / Franz Josef

This morning you will visit a local Greenstone (Jade) factory. Here witness expert craftsmen at work cutting and polishing giant boulders to create fine jewellery. This jade, or as the Maori people named it, Pounamu, can only be found on the South Island of New Zealand. It is culturally important and considered to be a taonga (treasure) that greatly increases prestige, and thus were prized possessions to be handed down between generations. Later snow-capped Southern Alps dominate the skyline as you pass glades of dense bush, tiny landlocked lakes and small pockets of farmland, heading south along the coast to reach the Glacier Region. Upon arrival into Franz Josef Glacier, there is plenty of time to enjoy a guided walk to the glacier’s terminal face this afternoon, take a scenic flight or alternatively, you may prefer to take a relaxing soak in the indulgent Glacier Hot Pools. (B, D)


Scenic Hotel Franz Josef

Franz Josef / Wanaka

Today enjoy the wild coastal scenery as you pass windswept isolated beaches and drive south along this spectacular stretch of coastline to reach the Mt Aspiring National Park. Enter the dense bush and winding mountain roads of the Haast Pass and Westland National Park before finally descending out of the mountain ranges to pass the upper reaches of Lake Wanaka and Lake Hawea. Tonight you will stay in the picture postcard resort, Wanaka, located on the lakes edge with a spectacular mountain backdrop. This quiet lovely town is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike, yet still retains a sense of small town serenity with its natural beauty and vast reaching lake. On arrival a launch cruise will take you across the lake to Stevensons Island, a nature reserve where you will experience an informative bush walk with refreshments. Keep an eye out for the native Buff Weka, a small, flightless bird with boundless curiosity! (B, D)


Edgewater Resort, Lake Wanaka

Wanaka / Queenstown

This morning you will leave Wanaka behind, travelling through an area steeped in fascinating history relating to early settlement and the goldmining era. After this scenic drive you will arrive into Queenstown, a popular resort nestled in a magnificent location beside Lake Wakatipu, with mountain ranges rising on every side. Tonight enjoy spectacular views across this bustling town as you ride the scenic Skyline Gondola to the summit of Bob’s Peak for a delicious fresh New Zealand buffet dinner like no other. Take in the absolutely breathtaking panoramic views from the Skyline Restaurant and enjoy a unique night out. (B, D)


Rydges Queenstown


The next two days are at your leisure whilst in the adventure capital. You can either sit back and relax or your Coach Captain is available to assist with any optional activities you would like to do. We highly recommend that whilst in the region, you experience the Central Otago wines, you can do this as a half or full day tour.


Rydges Queenstown


A great way to see Queenstown is from Lake Wakatipu on the TSS Earnslaw Steamship, otherwise known as the ‘Lady of the Lake’, which has the option of joining an engaging and informative Farm tour of the historic Walter Peak High Country Farm. You may even like to try something a little more daring – such as a ride on the Shotover Jet Boat or maybe even a bungy jump! (B, D – Dinner on Day 7 is not included allowing the opportunity to dine at a restaurant of your choice.)


Rydges Queenstown

Queenstown / Milford Sound

Travel via the winding shores of Lake Wakatipu today as you head towards the isolated Fiordland National Park region and the shores of Lake Te Anau, a moody lake which marks the entry to the untouched forests and mountains beyond. Venture deep into the vast wilderness of Fiordland, discovering its dense forest, deep lakes and ocean flooded valleys. Follow the Eglinton and Hollyford Valleys where the beech forests reach right to the roads edge and mighty snow capped peaks tower above. Descend into the Cleddau Canyon to reach majestic Milford Sound dominated by Mitre Peak, a fjord once described by Rudyard Kipling as the ‘Eighth wonder of the world’. Here you will board the Milford Mariner for an overnight cruise which will astound you, showcasing the awe-inspiring Sound and highlighting the colossal walls which rise in sheer cliffs to dwarf your tiny vessel – an extraordinary highlight of any New Zealand journey! (B, D)


Milford Sound Overnight Cruise Milford Mariner

Milford Sound / Dunedin

Wake to absolute silence in a pristine world this morning, surrounded by isolated wilderness and spectacular vistas of extraordinary Milford Sound. If you’re lucky you may even glimpse a seal or penguin as you cruise back to shore, ready to reboard your coach and travel back along the winding Milford Road to Te Anau. Next watch as the rugged and remote mountains slowly make way to rolling lush green hills and idyllic countryside scenery as you approach the east coast of New Zealand and the “Edinburgh of the South”, Dunedin. This historic city is known for its vibrant university community as well as being home to the world’s steepest street! This evening prior to dinner, you will be treated to a traditional Scottish Haggis Ceremony, complete with piper, address to the Haggis and gift! (B, D)


Scenic Hotel Dunedin City


Today is at your leisure. Choose to explore the Scottish Capital of Dunedin by leisurely strolling the streets, or enjoy one of the many optional activities available to you, such as a highly recommended journey down the beautiful Otago Peninsula for spectacular views of the coastline. If you decide to explore this quaint little city in your own time, make sure you check out the Chinese Gardens. Your Coach Captain is available to assist with any particular requests. (B, D)


Scenic Hotel Dunedin City

Dunedin / Mt Cook

This morning enjoy a visit to the fascinating Olveston Historic Home for a tour of discovery, the interior being very little changed since the early 1900s. Within the house and grounds is a wealth of rare and extraordinary collections and paintings, which provides a rare insight into the life of a rich Dunedin merchant and his family during the early part of the 20th century. Next you will travel north along the coast, pausing at the unusual Moeraki Boulders and historic Oamaru with its collection of limestone heritage buildings and beautifully preserved Victorian Precinct. Head inland as you follow the Waitaki Valley, passing several hydro lakes and small villages before you enter the Mt Cook National Park, a region of alpine lakes and majestic soaring peaks. Travel deep into the heart of the Southern Alps to visit Mt Cook, New Zealand’s highest mountain which towers above the Mt Cook Village where you will be staying the night. (B, D)


Hermitage Hotel, Mt Cook

Mt Cook / Christchurch

This morning visit the Tasman Glacier where you will have an amazing up-close encounter with New Zealand’s largest glacier, taking a cruise across the milky terminal lake and enjoying an awe-inspiring backdrop of alpine scenery. The lake is dotted with icebergs of every size and the boat passes by so close you can almost touch them! Continue on your journey and arrive into stunning Tekapo to view the iconic Church of the Good Shepherd, built in 1935, and the Collie Dog statue that both overlook the powder blue waters of Lake Tekapo itself, allowing for some spectacular photo opportunities. Travel through the MacKenzie Country, an area famed for its history of sheep farming and its sparsely populated beauty, before descending onto the vast patchwork of Canterbury Plains to reach Christchurch. Upon arrival enjoy a brief city and surrounds tour, allowing a deeper insight into the hardships this city has faced in recent times, but also showcasing the vibrant new sense of community spirit and hope that has emerged as Christchurch is rebuilt anew. (B, D)


Quest, Christchurch

Christchurch / Home

Today is goodbye to all your new found friends before you make your homeward journey. You will be transferred to Christchurch Airport to join your flight home. (B)

Tour Starts Tour Ends Tour Status Normal Rate Acrossnz Discount Rate
Mon 09 Mar 2015 Sat 21 Mar 2015 FULLY BOOKEDNZ $4,642.00NZ $4,410.00
Mon 06 Apr 2015 Sat 18 Apr 2015 GUARANTEEDNZ $4,642.00NZ $4,410.00
Mon 26 Oct 2015 Sat 07 Nov 2015 OPENNZ $4,642.00NZ $4,410.00
Mon 23 Nov 2015 Sat 05 Dec 2015 GUARANTEEDNZ $4,642.00NZ $4,410.00
Mon 21 Dec 2015 Sat 02 Jan 2016 GUARANTEEDNZ $4,642.00NZ $4,410.00
Mon 04 Jan 2016 Sat 16 Jan 2016 GUARANTEEDNZ $4,642.00NZ $4,410.00
Mon 18 Jan 2016 Sat 30 Jan 2016 GUARANTEEDNZ $4,642.00NZ $4,410.00
Mon 25 Jan 2016 Sat 06 Feb 2016 OPENNZ $4,642.00NZ $4,410.00
Mon 08 Feb 2016 Sat 20 Feb 2016 GUARANTEEDNZ $4,642.00NZ $4,410.00
Mon 22 Feb 2016 Sat 05 Mar 2016 GUARANTEEDNZ $4,642.00NZ $4,410.00
Mon 07 Mar 2016 Sat 19 Mar 2016 GUARANTEEDNZ $4,642.00NZ $4,410.00
Mon 04 Apr 2016 Sat 16 Apr 2016 GUARANTEEDNZ $4,642.00NZ $4,410.00

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