Discover the highlights of the South Island on a 3-day semi-independent tour, round-trip from Queenstown. Travel by glass-roof coach to Te Anau, gateway to the UNESCO-listed Fiordland, where you’ll take a 2-hour boat cruise on Milford Sound — surrounded by rainforest, waterfalls and glacier-carved valleys. Enjoy a full day at your leisure in charming Dunedin, followed by a train journey by Taieri Gorge Railway to Pukerangi. You’ll have your choice of standard or superior accommodation, including breakfast, in Te Anau and Dunedin.
- 3-day South Island tour to Milford Sound, Te Anau, Dunedin, Taieri Gorge and Pukerangi, from Queenstown
- Take a boat cruise through Milford Sound, part of the World Heritage Area-listed Fiordland National Park
- Recharge in Te Anau, located on the shores of New Zealand’s second largest lake
- Enjoy free time to explore vibrant Dunedin, known as the ‘Edinburgh of the South’
- Travel through spectacular gorges on the Taieri Gorge Railway
- Choice of either standard or superior accommodation
On this 3-day semi-independent tour, round-trip from Queenstown, combine a Milford Sound cruise through the stunning fiord with free time to explore the pretty lakeside town of Te Anau and Dunedin’s historic downtown, plus scenic Taieri Gorge. Choose from standard or superior accommodation in Te Anau and Dunedin; two breakfasts, one lunch and transportation are included. Coach and train service deliver you to some of the natural wonders and other highlights of the South Island.
Day 1: Queenstown – Milford Sound – Te Anau (L)
Get an early start leaving Queenstown as you travel through Te Anau to the Southern Alps. Your coach ride continues along the picturesque Eglinton Valley, one of New Zealand’s few glacier valleys that is accessible by road, as you enjoy great views from the vehicle's glass roof. Stop to snap photos of the Mirror Lakes, then drive to The Chasm, where you take a short walk over footbridges that span several powerful waterfalls and rapids. The 3.5-hour drive by comfortable coach includes plenty of stops for photos and rest breaks.
Continue to Milford Sound, the region that Rudyard Kipling referred to as the 'Eighth Wonder of the World.' Carved by an enormous glacier in the last ice age, Milford Sound shimmers with towering mountains, rushing waterfalls and rich marine and bird life. Enjoy your 2-hour boat cruise aboard a modern catamaran with large viewing windows, outdoor decks, and warm indoor seating. Listen to informative commentary from your captain as you glide through the incredible scenery; keep an eye out for the seals, penguins, and dolphins that inhabit the icy waters. At the pinnacle of the sound, marvel at Mitre Peak, which rises to a height of 5,550 feet (1,692 meters) above sea level. After your cruise, return to Te Anau where you have the remainder of the day to spend at your leisure.
Overnight: Your choice of standard (Kingsgate Hotel) or superior (Te Anau Hotel and Villas or Distinction Luxmore) accommodation in Te Anau
Day 2: Te Anau– Dunedin (B)
After breakfast at your hotel, travel by coach from Te Anau to Dunedin, soaking up views of the South Island’s scenic countryside. Upon arrival in the historic town of Dunedin, check into your hotel and have the rest of the day free to explore at your leisure. Enjoy the laid-back charm of the city center as you take in art galleries, cafes, and shops. You can also make your way to visit the Olveston Historic House, join a guided tour of Larnach Castle (own expense), or stroll around Glenfalloch Gardens.
Overnight: Your choice of standard (Kingsgate Hotel or Park Regis) or superior (Scenic Hotel Southern Cross or Scenic Hotel Dunedin City) accommodation in Dunedin
Day 3: Dunedin – Taieri Gorge – Queenstown (B)
Depart early morning from the Dunedin train station on the Taieri Gorge Railway to begin your journey to Pukerangi. Enjoy the breathtaking scenery of the Taieri Plains and Taieri Gorge as the train snakes its way through numerous tunnels, bridges, and viaducts. Ponder the amazing engineering feats that it took to build the route as you admire spectacular views from your seat or the open-air platforms.
Stretch your legs and snap photos at scenic stops along the 4-hour journey. Hear fascinating live commentary about the history and nature of the area as you travel. Food and drinks are available for purchase from the onboard cafe. In Pukerangi, your coach picks you up for transport back to Queenstown where your tour ends upon arrival in the early evening.
Please note: Hotels are subject to change by the tour operator without notice; if changes are made, a similar hotel option will be provided. This tour operates in reverse on some days over winter, but all inclusions will be the same.
Please Note: This itinerary may be reversed during the months of May to September. All inclusions will remain the same.