8 Day Southern Traverse Tour

You'll experience a fantastic mix of exciting activities, stunning scenery and unique wildlife while you traverse the South Island on this 8 day tour.

This tour can be customized for you with extra days and activities. Or ask us to build your perfect tour.

Tour Type: Independent Tour
Starts: Christchurch     Ends: Christchurch
Duration: 8 Days
Departs Daily Except 25 December

New Zealand tour map

Extra days and activities can be added at time of booking

Book today for FREE pre tour
accommodation on this tour.
Click here for details.

Day 1 Christchurch - Franz Josef
Board the TranzAlpine Train and cross the Canterbury Plains into the Arthur's Pass National Park. Once on the West Coast we follow a narrow coastal strip of beech forest with a spectacular mountain back drop south to the glaciers.
Stay: Franz Josef Glacier

Day 2 Franz Josef Glacier Heli Hike
After a thrilling flight, high above the rugged terrain, you will land on the glacier, ready to undertake a three hour guided glacier hike. You'll be lead you through some of the most pristine and awe-inspiring glacier scenery in the world. Your guide has an eye for the most spectacular ice formations and you'll soon be making your way through an extraordinary land of towering peaks and glistening blue ice. Entry to the Glacier Hot Pools is included.
Stay: Franz Josef Glacier

Day 3 Franz Josef - Queenstown
Travel deeper into South Westland taking in the spectacle of Haast Pass. Admire the views of many beautiful lakes including Wanaka, Hawea, Dunstan and Wakatipu before arriving in Queenstown.
Stay: Queenstown

Day 4 Free Day in Queenstown
A free day for you to enjoy this fabulous resort town. We have included the Skyline Gondola in your tour. There are dozens of activities available. Something for everyone.
Stay: Queenstown
Day 5 Queenstown - Milford - Te Anau
A full day tour to the World Heritage listed, Fiordland National Park. Enjoy cruising Milford Sound and viewing the spectacular waterfalls and towering Mitre Peak.
Stay: Te Anau

Day 6 Te Anau - Dunedin
High country tussock soon gives way to the lush pastures of Southland and Otago as you travel through Gore and Balclutha arriving in Dunedin. This afternoon is at leisure.
Accommodation: Dunedin

Day 7 Otago Peninsula
Morning at leisure in Dunedin for you to view some of the many sights.  This afternoon enjoy an Otago Peninsula Tour. Cruise the length of the harbour and watch as fur seals swim and play, view ocean birds including albatross and enjoy a guided tour of Penguin Place.
Stay: Dunedin

Day 8 Dunedin - Christchurch
This morning travel north through the undulating hill country of Otago and through the cities of Oamaru and Timaru before arriving in the "Garden City" of Christchurch.

This tour departs daily

As this is an 'independent' styled tour, you can depart whatever day you like! (subject to availability)

Tourist (Motel) Quality (Hotel)
Single NZ$3,515 per person NZ$4,790 per person
Double NZ$2,625 per person NZ$3,310 per person
Triple NZ$2,445 per person NZ$2,960 per person

Prices are per person and in New Zealand Dollars.

Prices valid for travel before 30 September 2018

Expenses of a personal nature such as meals (except where stated in the itinerary), beverages, travel insurance, laundry and optional sightseeing are not included in the tour cost.


Independent tours are not escorted group tours - they are for independent travellers. What this means is that it is not the same group of people travelling on their own coach with a tour leader/escort looking after you. You are travelling independently. However, you are picked up and dropped off at your accommodation each morning and evening and interesting commentary is provided on many sectors.
Frequently Asked Questions about our Independent Tours

Overall, our trip was AMAZING!! We had SO much fun. Unfortunately the Heli Hike was cancelled due to weather :( but we still hiked to the bottom of the glacier on our own and had a fun day in Franz Josef. Bungy jumping was TERRIFYING!!!! I’m glad I did it, but I think it will be my first and last jump :) I still don’t know how they convinced me to jump off on the count of 3!! I also couldn’t get my feet unhooked so I still got pulled up feet first. The Milford Sound tour was definitely as a highlight - and we were nervous because the day before we were supposed to go we heard the road was closed, but luckily it all worked out for us. The penguin tour was also really fun! All of our accommodations were very conveniently located and everything ran smoothly from start to finish - thank you so much for your help! I don’t think we would have been able to pack as much into our trip without your help!


I wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed my New Zealand tour. I was blessed with fine weather for all the week on the West Coast including glorious sunshine and blue skies on the Franz Josef Glacier. All the arrangements worked perfectly and the hotels were very comfortable and I enjoyed seeing so much of New Zealand from the coaches. I was a little worried because the coaches didn’t generally have lavatories on them, but we made regular rest stop and so this didn’t turn out to be a problem. It was only when I read the itinerary in details that I realised that I was actually going to fly up to the Franz Josef Glacier by helicopter and walk on the ice – this was quite a challenge for someone who is basically unfit and in his sixties, but thanks to the guide I was able to manage the rather strenuous glacier walk. This was probably the highlight of the tour, though I enjoyed the cruise around Milford Sound, the day in Queenstown (as well as the Gondola, I visited the Kiwi Birdlife Park and saw some Kiwi as well as other interesting birds and I also went on a lake cruise on the steamship TSS Earnslaw). The weekend in Dunedin (I saw a Yellowed Eyed penguin in the wild as well as a Little Blue penguin in Dunedin Harbour on the Otago Peninsula Tour and also had time to visit the Otago Museum, the Settler’s Museum, Olveston House, the University of Otago and various other places), and finally the TranzAlpine Train which certainly exceeded its reputation.

Kind regards, C Napier

Thank you for a well organised trip to the South Island, NZ. It was a memorable journey of amazing wonders and till today I can picture the breathtaking scenery of Milford Sound, Lake Tekapo and many more. Cheers for making the effort to assure us when we faced the transport challenge at Haast. It is very comforting to know that our modified travel plans were checked thoroughly in therms of timing, availability, safety and our needs. Your professionalism at handling the unexpected change of plans is most appreciated.

Beat wishes, M Yap & party

Just wanted to thank you for organizing my tour. Everything so far has gone like clockwork, with everyone being there when the itinerary said they would be. Made it so easy and stress free. The choice of activities was phenomenal. Varied, and all interesting, giving me a great overview of the South Island. I'm so glad that I decided to take your tour.

Cheers and thanks again, D Swan

Just to let you know that our trip went incredibly well from beginning to end. Everything clicked smoothly into place allowing us to enjoy the scenery and activities. All the hotels were excellent, especially the Distinction Fox Glacier. We would recommend the trip unreservedly.

Helen & Keith Fowler


  1. Click on the 'Book This Tour' button and complete the Booking form. If you prefer to book via phone, fax or mail, please use the contact details on our Contact Us page.

  2. Our staff will receive your booking request, arrange your booking, and contact you to confirm the booking and arrange payment. If your requested Tour is not available on that date staff will contact you to discuss alternatives.

  3. A credit card (Visa or Mastercard) is then required to secure the booking. This can be provided using our secure online web form, or by providing the details over the phone.
Need Help? Email or Phone
We are New Zealand's Coach Tour experts - Call us for Quotes, Custom Tours or just General Questions
"Our award winning travel team are waiting for your call"