South to North – Ultimate Tour (8 days / 7 nights) LT43E


(per adult)

This eight day independent tour departs Queenstown daily with seven nights 4 - 4.5 star accommodation in Franz Josef, Christchurch ( 2 nights ), Kaikoura, Wellington and Rotorua ( 2 nights ). The tour includes, the Franz Josef Glacier, a Christchurch sightseeing tour, whale watching in Kaikoura, Rotorua's key attractions namely Te Puia, Rainbow Springs and Agrodome as well as a guided tour of the Waitomo Glowworm caves. Transport is by coach, however, the tour also includes travel on both the TranzAlpine and Coastal Pacific Train as well as the Inter Island Ferry.


  • Wanaka, Haast Pass & World Heritage National Park
  • Franz Josef Glacier
  • TranzAlpine Train
  • Christchurch
  • Whale Watching Kaikoura
  • Coastal Pacific Train & Inter Islander Ferry
  • Wellington
  • Rotorua
  • Rotorua Attractions – Te Puia, Rainbow Springs, Agrodome
  • Waitomo Caves


Day One: Queenstown – Wanaka – Franz Josef

Day one travel by road along the shores of Lake Wanaka and Hawea to the Haast Pass, the most stunning highway in New Zealand and gateway to World Heritage Westland National Park. We continue to travel up the West Coast past spectacular mountain ranges, native forests and lakes to the Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers. The Franz Josef Glacier is 11 km in length and more than 7,000 years old. This living “river of ice” is a must see for any visitor to New Zealand.

Evening Accommodation: Franz Josef Scenic Circle Glacier Hotel (or similar)


Day Two: Franz Josef – Greymouth – Christchurch

Today we continue to travel along the rugged West Coast to Greymouth, the centre for thousands of diggers during the historic gold strikes of the 1860s.  At 1.45 pm board the famous Tranzalpine train from Greymouth bound to Christchurch. This trip takes you across the Southern Alps, which divide the South Island, along the banks of the Waimakiriri River Gorge to the Canterbury Plains.  The train journey is renowned as one of the top ten train journeys in the world.

Evening Accommodation: Chateau on the Park Hotel Christchurch (or similar)


Day Three: Christchurch

This morning you will be collected from your hotel for a morning sightseeing tour of this most beautiful and interesting city, severely damaged by a series of earthquakes in 2011 the city center was almost completely destroyed.  The morning tour will show you much of the remaining earthquake damage to the city, and the rebuild that is taking place. The tour will also highlight some of the most beautiful features of this charming city, known as ‘the garden city’. The remainder of the day is at leisure to continue your exploration of this beautiful city.

Evening Accommodation: Chateau on the Park Hotel Christchurch (or similar)


Day Four: Christchurch – Kaikoura

You will spend today getting close to nature. Traveling by road through the rolling hill country of North Canterbury, enjoying the beauty of its rural pastoral scenes, to Kaikoura where mountains meet sea. Kaikoura is world renowned for the variety of marine mammals which can be seen, not least of all the giant sperm whales and the acrobatic Dusky Dolphins. On arriving in Kaikoura you will be transferred to a whale watch tour. You will see the giant sperm whales, which reside in the deep waters just off the coast of Kaikoura year round.

Evening Accommodation: White Morph Kaikoura (or similar)


Day Five: Kaikoura – Picton – Wellington

This morning you will board the Coastal Pacific train for your onward journey to Picton. On route through the rolling hills of Marlborough you will see many vineyards growing New Zealand’s world famous Sauvignon Blanc grape for which the region is renowned. On your arrival in Picton, in the heart of the Marlborough Sounds, you will board the Inter-Islander ferry for your journey through to Wellington. The ferry travels through the picturesque Marlborough Sounds before crossing Cooks Straight and entering Wellington Harbour on the lower tip of the North Island of New Zealand. On arrival in Wellington you will be transferred to your Wellington hotel.

Evening Accommodation: James Cook Hotel (or similar)


Day Six: Wellington – Rotorua

The morning you will depart Wellington by coach and travel north to Rotorua by road. Your journey will initially take you through the northern suburbs of Wellington to the beautiful Kapiti Coast which on a clear day will provide you with views of Kapiti Island and across Cooks Straight to the South Island of New Zealand. From the Kapiti coast you will travel onto Palmerston North and then up through the central plateau of the North Island of New Zealand. The central plateau is also the home of several active volcanoes, which are snow capped in the winter months and maybe seen in the distance on a clear day. From the central plateau the coach travels onto Lake Taupo, New Zealand’s largest lake. Then onto Rotorua, New Zealand’s geothermal wonderland. On arrival in Rotorua you will be transferred to you accommodation.

Evening Accommodation: Millennium Hotel Lake Rotorua (or similar)


Day Seven: Rotorua

This morning you will experience the best attractions this geothermal wonderland, known as Rotorua, has to offer. Your first stop is at Te Puia where you will enjoy a Maori Cultural Tour.  Adjoining Te Puia is Whakarewarewa Thermal Reserve and Maori Arts and Craft Institute, one of Rotorua’s most famous attractions. See woodcarving, weaving displays, Maori village and the thermal valley with the famous Pohutu Geyser, fumaroles, colourful silica deposits and boiling mud pools. The tour then moves onto to Rainbow Springs where you will see the famous New Zealand kiwi bird and other native birds, animals and wildlife. The final stop in Rotorua is the Agrodome, this attraction provides an introduction to New Zealand farming, with a tour of an authentic working farm in all-weather, all-terrain vehicles. Watch a sheep being shorn, hand-feed the animals and finishing with a sheep dog trial.

Evening Accommodation: Millenium Hotel Lake Rotorua (or similar)


Day Eight: Rotorua – Waitomo – Auckland

On this final day travel through the lush Waikato Plains, the Fitzgerald Glade and Mamaku Hills to Waitomo.  At Waitomo you will enjoy a guided tour of the Waitomo Caves which includes a boat ride through the caves into the famous Glowworm Grotto. Wander through subterranean caverns and learn how the stalagmites, stalactites and other spectacular limestone rock formations were formed over millions of years. From Waitomo the coach continues through the beautiful Waikato region, the dairy farming capital of New Zealand and onward to Auckland for a mid afternoon arrival.

You will be dropped at your Auckland accommodation where you tour concludes


Note: This tour can be operated in reverse starting in Auckland( LT43D). When booking this tour for 3 people, please select the 2 persons option and add the Triple Room supplement before proceeding. Quad room types and pricing are also available on request –  email:

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Tour type: Daily Tour
Duration: 8 days/ 7 nights
Maximum number of people: Unlimited
Location: New Zealand – Both Islands