Tour 301      SOUTH ISLAND ICONS. 5 days/4 nights 

Christchurch (1 night) - Tekapo  - Mount Cook - Queenstown (3 nights).  Milford Sound and/or Doubtful Sound options.

Commence Christchurch (Southbound) and Queenstown (Northbound)  DAILY  year round for minimum of 2.

Optional 4 day/3 night West Coast extension through Franz Josef Glacier, Hokitika, and "Tranz Alpine"  to Christchurch or vv OR Queenstown - Dunedin - Christchurch  

Please Note: To keep our costs and carbon footprint as low as possible while providing the best possible service for less than 6 passengers on any departure we will use the Great Sights tour coach which operates daily from Christchurch to Tekapo, Mt Cook, and Queenstown. This tour departs Christchurch at 7.30am and provides commentary  through headsets, and approximately 30 minutes at Tekapo to see the Church of the Good Shepherd, and one and a half hours at Mt Cook to enjoy the magnificent scenery - weather permitting! The tour crosses the Lindis Pass and is scheduled to arrive Queenstown 6.30pm. This service also makes the tour flexible. Stopover and  enjoy a night at Tekapo and the Dark Sky Experience, and/or a night or two at Mt Cook for scenic flights, alpine hikes, glacier lake cruise etc. You are welcome to extend or reduce the number of nights at any point.

For more extended small group driver escorted sightseeing see our BEST OF THE SOUTH ISLAND tour -  Combine our SOUTH ISLAND MINI TOUR and FABULOUS FIORDLAND tours including Milford Sound and Doubtful Sound cruises!)


Arrive Christchurch and you will be met and transferred to your accommodation.


Depart Christchurch 7.30am. Drive across the fertile Canterbury Plains and over Burke's Pass to Lake Tekapo. See the sheep dog monument and Church of the Good Shepherd. Continue along the shores of Lake Pukaki to Mt Cook, New Zealand's highest mountain. Free time for alpine walks, or visit the National Park headquarters. You have 1.5 hours at Mt Cook. We recommend departing Christchurch friday or saturday and enjoying a night at Tekapo and/or Mt Cook for glacier cruise, scenic ski plane flights to land on the glacier etc.

2.25pm. Depart Mount Cook and drive through the Mckenzie Country and over the Lindis Pass to Lake Dunstan and the fruit growing region of Cromwell and on through the Kawarau Gorge arriving Queenstown 6.30pm.

3 star. Heartland or similar

4 star. Millennium, Heritage, Rydges or similar

Day 3.                 QUEENSTOWN  -  options                            (B)

Day 4.                 QUEENSTOWN - options                              (B)

Two free days for you to plan and enjoy the beauty of Queenstown and the many activities available. We recommend a Shotover Jet boat ride, Skyline gondola and luge, and a cruise across Lake Wakatipu on the historic steamer "Earnslaw" to the Walter Peak sheep station. Maybe take a journey along the shores of Lake Wakatipu to beautiful Glenorchy.  All activities today are  extra expense.

"Earnslaw" cruise and barbecue at Walter Peak. Lunch cruise 12pm -   3.45pm.   $175............ Dinner cruise 5pm - 9pm , or 6pm-10pm.  $189

Milford Sound Option -  Drive to Te Anau and enjoy a day of magnificent scenery driving through the Eglinton and Hollyford Valleys and Homer Tunnel to Milford Sound. Visit the Mirror Lakes and Roaring chasm en route. Enjoy a leisurely cruise to the head of the Sound under majestic Mitre Peak and see the Bowen as well as many other waterfalls. Picnic lunch included. Return to Queenstown mid evening.  6.55am - 7.30pm $290.

Doubtful Sound option - Drive to Manapouri and cruise across the bush fringed Lake Manapouri to West Arm then drive over the Wilmot Pass to Doubtful Sound. Cruise the length of the Sound to the Tasman Sea and return to Manapouri and Queenstown.  Picnic lunch included. 6.55am - 7.30pm. $514

Overnight cruises: Summer depart Queenstown most days 9am  - return 3.30pm next day.  DOUBTFUL SOUND. $899 - $999 twin. $1299 - $1899 single. MILFORD SOUND. $809 - $859 twin. $2385 single.

May 2024 special with 2 night cruise on Doubtful Sound.  Depart Queenstown  May 03, 06, 10, 12, 19, 24, 26.      

These cruises are very heavily booked during summer. Early booking is esential. 

Day 5.          QUEENSTOWN DEPART   (B)



Great Sights coach arrives Tekapo 11am and departs at 11.30am. You are welcome to depart Christchurch earlier (Great Sights operate daily from 01 October, 2023 - April 2024), or shorten your stay in Queenstown, and stayover for a night or two however breaking the journey does increase travel costs by $120 per person. You can arrange your own accommodation through, or direct. We do recommend a visit to the Dark Skies project and Mt John observatory but unfortunately we cannot guarantee clear skies!! Book your experience at



Great Sights coach arrives Mt Cook at 12.50pm and departs at 2.25pm. You are welcome to stopover at Mt Cook as well as, or instead of, Tekapo. Extra travel cost is $120 if just stopping at Mt Cook or $150 if stopping at both Mt Cook and Tekapo. The Hermitage offers a variety of accommodation options including at the iconic Hermitage Mt Cook View standard rooms, Premium Rooms, and Lodge rooms (15 minutes walk from Hermitage) plus  motels, and chalets. Other options can be checked on Hermitage requires a minimum of 2 night stays 24 December - 06 January.

Optional activities if overnighting at Mt Cook 

Free time to enjoy the beauty of the mountains and optional activities. Maybe take a hike in the Hooker Valley or we recommend the following options (all options should be pre booked as space is limited).

Glacier cruise among the icebergs at the base of the Tasman Glacier $170 - summer only.

Ski plane or helicopter flight with glacier landing, 25 mins $299, 35 mins $359, 45 minutes $499,  Grand Circle 55 minutes - the ultimate sightseeing experience $599. Prices subject to confirmation.

Glacier helihike $585



These tours use Intercity coaches and "Tranz Alpine" which do not have daily departures and have limited photostops and commentary. Operating days


Queenstown - Franz Josef Glacier. Monday, tuesday, thursday, saturday. Depart 8.10am - arrive 4.28pm

Franz Josef - Glacier - Hokitika - Greymouth - "Tranz Alpine" to Christchurch OR Intercity to Nelson

Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday. Depart Franz Josef 9.15am, arrive Hokitika 11.45am - depart 12.20pm, arrive Greymouth 1.15pm. "Tranz Alpine" departs  2.05pm arrives Christchurch 7pm. Intercity departs Greymouth 1.30pm, stops at Punakaiki, and arrives Nelson at 7.15pm. 


'"Tranz Alpine" operates Christchurch - Greymouth - Christchurch Friday - Monday 07 May - 19 September and daily from 22 September during summer. (Occasionally closed for track maintenance).



Christchurch or Nelson to Franz Josef Glacier

Christchurch - Greymouth. "Tranz Alpine" departs 8.15am and arrives Greymouth 1.10pm. 

Nelson - Greymouth. Intercity departs Nelson 7.15am - arrives Greymouth 1.15pm Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, Friday..

Greymouth - Hokitika - Franz Josef Glacier

 Intercity coach departs Greymouth 1.30pm arriving Hokitika 2.10pm departing  at 3.00pm arriving Franz Josef at 5.05pm.Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, Friday.

Franz Josef Glacier - Queenstown. 

Intercity coach departs 7.35am arriving Queenstown at 4.30pm. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday.



Northbound:  Queenstown - Dunedin - Christchurch

Intercity departs Queenstown 7.45am arriving Dunedin at 12.45pm daily

Intercity departs Dunedin 7.30am arriving Christchurch 1.50pm daily and 1.15pm arriving Christchurch 7.40pm daily except saturday


Southbound: Christchurch - Dunedin - Queenstown

Intercity departs Christchurch 7.45am arriving  Dunedin 1.50pm daily and departs Christchurch 2.25pm arriivng Dunedin 8.20pm daily except 

Intercity departs Dunedin 2.30pm daily except saturday arriving  Queenstown 7.13pm.







WEST COAST SMALL GROUP DRIVER ESCORTED TOUR departs Queenstown every wednesday for minimum of 4.


Depart 9am to the historic gold mining centre of Arrowtown. Visit the remains of the Chinese village and you have time to visit the museum and shops before continuing  north to Lake Wanaka for a brief stop (optional admission to Puzzling World - own expense)  before heading over the Haast Pass to the rainforest of the West Coast. Continue north with  amazing vistas of the coastline and a photo stop at Knights Point. Continue to Fox Glacier and visit beautiful Lake Matheson then on  to  the Franz Josef Glacier lookout car park and it is about a 30 minute return hike to the glacier lookout (limited views). Shorter walks available.  Optional scenic helicopter flights whihc is now really the only way to see Franz Josef Glacier. Overnight Scenic Franz Josef Hotel.

3 Star. Scenic Franz Josef Hotel - Graham Wing

4 star. Scenic Franz Josef Hotel - Douglas Wing

Day 6.  Thursday.  FRANZ JOSEF GLACIER – HOKITIKA        (B)

Drive north to Treetops for an exciting walk above the forest canopy and enjoy an eco cruise on the Lake Mahinapua waterways. Continue to Hokitika. Usually jade carvers and maybe a glass blower will be at work. Optional scenic flights to land on the glacier if you were unable to do them at Mt Cook. (Accommodation Beachfront Hotel in Hokitika or some groups may stay at Punakaiki Resort)


Drive north to the beautiful Punakaiki Pancake Rocks. Explore the area before returning to Greymouth for a short tour and visit the recreated gold mining village of Shantytown to ride the steam train and pan for gold.  Drive over spectacular Arthurs and Porters Passes and the Canterbury Plains to Christchurch. Arrive Christchurch airport about 5.00pm and Christchurch city about 5.30pm with drop off at any city accommodation.  

Option to travel on the "Tranz Alpine"  train if you wish from Greymouth to Christchurch departing Greymouth 2.05pm and arriving Christchurch 7.00pm. For best fares book on www web site. 

Tour cost $1,690 2 per room, $1,950 single room.




Christchurch - Tekapo - Mt Cook - Queenstown.   

Operates daily in both directions year round by Great Sights tour coach. 

1 day. $350

Southbound: Depart Christchurch 7.30am, 30 minutes at Tekapo, arrive Hermitage Mt Cook 12.50pm departing 2.25pm. Arrive Queenstown 6.20pm.

Northbound: Depart Queenstown 7.30am. Arrive Hermitage, Mt Cook 12.15pm and depart 2.25pm, 30 minutes at Tekapo and arrive Christchurch 7.30pm.


Stopover for a night or two at Tekapo (Usually Peppers Bluewater Resort), and/or Mt Cook (Hermitage) if you wish. Cost per person per night including extra travel costs for breaking journey  and 1 night hotel and breakfast at either resort 2 per room $360, Single room $640. 







Tour 301.  SOUTH ISLAND MINI TOUR   7 days/6 nights.

Christchurch - Tekapo - Mt Cook (1 night) - Queenstown (3 nights) - Glaciers (1 night) - Hokitika (1 night) - Punakaiki - Christchurch

This tour can commence any day for minimum of 4 subject to availability of vehicle and driver/guide.

Stayover in Queenstown for a week between tours if you wish and relax or enjoy Fiordland,  Dunedin, Catlins, Stewart Island, etc.


Tour cost per person 

3 star hotels:    2 per room.... $2,990........Single room... $3,490

4 star hotels:   2 per room.... $3,390....... Single room... $4,150

Backpacker (breakfasts not included)   Dormitory $1,990. 2 per room with shower/toilet $2,400 - only available for 2 people reserving together. 

Tour cost Includes      

** Arrival transfer in Christchurch 

** 6 nights accommodation at grade chosen

** 6 breakfasts for 3 and 4 star hotel passengers - not backpackers

** All travel by people mover or mini bus.

** Treetops walk

** Shantytown

Doubtful Sound and Milford Sound day cruise options. See  details in the itinerary


For a more relaxed and inclusive experience enjoy our BEST OF THE SOUTH ISLAND  or MAGNIFICENT SOUTH ISLAND tours.

Travel for 4-5 passengers by Mercedes Valente or similar people mover,  6 plus by Mercedes Sprinter or similar. Maximum 8 passengers in our 12 seat mini bus or 14 in our 18 seat mini bus 


Tour cost per person one way... (minimum 4 required)

Christchurch - Tekapo/Mount Cook - Queenstown.   3 days/2 nights      

3. star. 2 per room.  $1,290. Single $1,430
4 star. 2 per room.  $1,450. Single $1,590

Queenstown - Franz Josef - Hokitika - Christchurch.  3 days/2 nights. Wednesday -Friday

2 per room   $1,990. Single room $2,390 



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