• Location: Christchurch, New Zealand
  • Duration: 5 days (approx.)
From USD $ 1,269.84 View price calendar

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See the top sights of the spectacular South Island on a 5-day guided coach tour, round-trip from Christchurch. Stop at Mt Cook, New Zealand’s tallest mountain; enjoy free time to explore the adventure capital of Queenstown; take a boat cruise on Milford Sound, surrounded by steep rock walls; view Fox and Franz Josef glaciers; and travel by rail through the Southern Alps aboard the scenic TranzAlpine Express. Includes hotel pickup and drop-off, and four nights’ accommodation in Queenstown and Franz Josef.


  • Five-day coach tour of New Zealand's scenic South Island
  • Lunch at Mt Cook, New Zealand's highest mountain
  • Cruise on Milford Sound
  • Free leisure day in Queenstown
  • Spectacular Franz Josef Glacier
  • Trip aboard the famous TranzAlpine Express train
  • Fully guided tour and commentary
  • Pickup and drop-off from centrally located Christchurch hotels

What You Can Expect

5-Day South Island Tour from Christchurch

Franz Joseph Glacier

Begin your 5-day exploration of New Zealand's South Island with hotel pickup in Christchurch. Peer through the windows of your comfortable coach at the vivid scenery while you journey through the foothills of the Southern Alps. Your guide makes a stop at Mt Cook for lunch (own expense) before your first night in Queenstown, including free time to explore at your leisure.

After a memorable cruise on Milford Sound, nestled in the UNESCO-listed Fiordland National Park, you’ll drive along Haast Pass to Westland National Park, another World Heritage site. The rugged West Coast route takes you past soaring mountain ranges, native forests and lakes to the must-see Franz Josef Glacier, where you’ll spend the night with scenic views.

On the final day, you’ll travel to the reconstructed gold-rush town of Shantytown. Conclude your South Island tour with a train trip from Greymouth aboard the TranzAlpine Express. The route takes you over the Southern Alps through Arthur's Pass to Christchurch, renowned as one of the world’s top 10 train journeys.


Customer Reviews

Peter W

5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 2018

A good way to see many sights in South Island, in comfort with someone else driving! The coaches are comfortable but be prepared for the long distances covered. There are regular stops but they are usually very brief time for a quick coffee and visit to the toilet and little more. This is not a conventional coach tour. Each day is a different bus, different driver, different passengers, but the whole package was very well-organised and operated efficiently. The drivers all provide commentaries each has his own style but they are always informative and often very amusing. And the scenery, wow! Things are very much weather-dependent though. Franz Josef Glacier and the Trans-Alpine train journey were spoilt by heavy rain and poor visibility, and were it not for fine weather at Mount Cook, Milford Sound and in Queenstown my impressions might have been less favourable. It's a lot of money to spend and not see anything! The hotels were superb - the Millenium in Queenstown is very plush and the Scenic in Franz Josef more than adequate, with the unexpected bonus of a superb breakfast included.
I felt some frustration at not being able to explore some of the sights more fully, but overall felt that this was the best way to cover a huge area and visit many spectacular locations in a degree of comfort.


5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 2018

Great trip, well planned and executed


5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2018

This is an excellent tour for a family who wants to see most of the South Island in a short time with less or no stress. You get the value for money and the tour was very well coordinated by the tour operator.


5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2017

This was a great way to experience a lot in a limited time frame. From the first pickup in Christchurch to final drop-off at our hotel, the tour was handled with expert precision. The coach drivers/tour guides were very informative and kept up a lively conversation throughout the trips. Tom was especially entertaining with his stories and songs. The days are long but there are plenty of stops along the way. I would recommend having breakfast snacks because the days often start before cafes open and there is not enough time for a leisure breakfast.

I would not hesitate to book another tour in the future and highly recommend this tour in particular if you want to experience the south island of New Zealand.


5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2017

We loved our 5 day south Island Tour! It was perfect for the amount of time we had there! We enjoyed each stop along the way and Milford Sound boat ride was totally awesome!!!


5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2017

This tour was the ideal way to see all the highlights on the South Island. Everything went perfectly--every pickup, every coach ride, every hotel. Even the booking was easy. I highly recommend this tour!

Trinidad L

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2017

Amazing experience, the sites were spectacular. My favorite part was Milford Sound.
The hotel in Queenstown was very nice and close to the park and gondola. The staff was very nice and helped make last minute arrangements to use the gondola facilities. The views at top are extraordinary


5 star rating: Highly Recommended May 2017

A well-planned trip covering major sights of South Island. It is a 'customised' tour for every one, and you will be with different groups of people each day. Details of your full itinerary is provided to you before the start of the trip. Mine was sent to my hotel at Christchurch the day I arrived. You will need to be mindful of the pick-up time it's a different timing each day and is all stated in the itinerary. Pick-ups arrived on time every single day of my trip! Amazing!

Take note that meals are not included in this package.

The coach ride from point to point is long. There are rest stops toilet break, coffee, lunch, photo-taking, etc in between. There's no tour guide, but the coach driver provides commentary along the way. Sceneries are absolutely breath-taking. Despite not having good night sleeps, I stayed wide awake throughout the journey. Every sight in this itinerary is simply amazing. There is a free leisure day in Queenstown where you can explore this beautiful town, or make arrangements for other activities through viator or one of the many I-sites in Queesntown. I was there in early April and the weather was fabulous for most part of the trip.

The TranzAlpine train ride wasn't exactly what I had expected due to the rainy weather. However, I still enjoyed the ride with a totally different experience. Be sure to go out to the open viewing area at the last carriage of the train. It gives you a different view from what you would see through the windows of the train.

Overall, this is an amazing tour which is all worth it! Highly recommended!

Catherine L

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2017

Viator set up a five day tour of the South Island of New Zealand for us with less than 24 hour notice! Had a wonderful time . Itinerary was planned for us including transportation , hotels, tickets to sights, and meals. We were given a daily schedule of various activities . Easy to follow and all events went off without problem s. Viator makes traveling hassle free! Would definitely use this service again.


5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2016

Amazing experience while covering major spots on the South Island of New Zealand. The natural beauty in the country is breath taking. Great experience. Everything was well planned and went as planned.

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