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Travel dates: 1 February 2022
New Zealand tour itinerary name and information
Kirra Tours
Kirra Tours 9 Day South Island Discovery

Learn more about New Zealand on this spectacular 9 day South Island Discover Tour. Beginning in Christchurch, you'll experience the remote Doubtful Sound Wilderness cruise, explore historic Arrowtown, marvel at the lush & rugged West Coast, sample local seafood and finish your adventure aboard the Tranzalpine Train back to Christchurch. This tour includes visiting museums, castles and local experiences as you go. A fabulous way to learn and discover more of what the South Island has to offer.

Tour full itinerary
Day 1 - Arrival into Christchurch
Kirra Tours 9 Day South Island Discovery - Day 1
Arrival day to Christchurch

Haere Mai (Welcome) to your New Zealand adventure starting in Christchurch known as the Garden City, a city where old meets new. Spend your afternoon wandering the city streets and laneways to discover creative street art and hidden eateries. See how Christchurch earned its nickname as the Garden City by visiting the Botanic Gardens. Take a walk down Hereford St to see the ‘Cardboard’ Cathedral and the earthquake memorial of 185 White Chairs.

Dinner will be served together depending on guest arrival time.

Your accommodation: Rydges Latimer Christchurch (or similar)

Rydges Latimer Christchurch is located just 2 minutes walking distance from the city’s CBD and overlooks scenic Latimer Square, an iconic New Zealand green space with ample room for travellers to enjoy.

Meals included: Dinner

Rydges Latimer Christchurch (or similar)
Day 2 - Visit the Moeraki Boulders as you head toward Dunedin
Kirra Tours 9 Day South Island Discovery - Day 2
Christchurch to Dunedin via the Moeraki Boulders

After breakfast this morning, journey south down the coast and across the Canterbury Plains; pass through the township of Oamaru, home to some of the best-preserved heritage buildings in New Zealand before heading onto the mystical Moeraki Boulders, geological marvels that began to form about 60 million years ago and were exposed by the erosion of sedimentary rocks over time. You’ll arrive in Dunedin with plenty of time to make the most of this Scottish City.

Your accommodation: Dunedin Leisure Lodge – A Distinction Hotel (or similar)

Nestled in landscaped gardens, the Heritage Dunedin Leisure Lodge is located within two acres of beautifully kept garden, and just a short drive to the city centre.

Meals included: Breakfast

Dunedin Leisure Lodge – A Distinction Hotel (or similar)
Day 3 - Travel North to Te Anau, the gateway to Fiordland
Kirra Tours 9 Day South Island Discovery - Day 3
Dunedin to Te Anau

Visit the iconic Larnach Castle of Dunedin this morning for a stroll through the magnificent gardens before departing for Te Anau. First, you’ll make a stop in Gore for a trip to the Illicit Past... Gore’s colourful past as a centre for illicit whisky distilling and bootlegging is brought to life at the Hokonui Moonshine Museum. The adventures of the Scottish settlers and their exploits to avoid run-ins with the law are kept alive through dioramas, audio-visuals and artefacts. You can taste Old Hokonui made from the original recipe at the end of your visit, or even take a bottle home with you. Afterwards continue to Te Anau, the gateway to Fiordland, where you’ll spend the evening.

Your accommodation: Distinction Luxmore Hotel (or similar)

The perfect base for all your Fiordland travel, Distinction Luxmore Hotel provides comfortable accommodation right in the heart of Te Anau.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Distinction Luxmore Hotel (or similar)
Day 4 - Explore Fiordland aboard the Doubtful Sound Wilderness Cruise
Kirra Tours 9 Day South Island Discovery - Day 4
Te Anau via Doubtful Sound to Queenstown

Depart from Te Anau this morning to Manapouri, where you’ll enjoy a leisurely cruise across the lake to West Arm. This is followed by a short coach trip on New Zealand's most expensive road, travelling over Wilmot Pass and pausing along the way to experience the dense Fiordland rainforest and view Doubtful Sound glistening far below. At Deep Cove, board a modern catamaran and allow the majesty and vastness of the fiord to take your breath away. Enjoy the on-board commentary that provides insight into the region’s history, flora and fauna as you view spectacular towering mountains and wildlife. Later you’ll travel to Queenstown, skirting through lush farmland and around Lake Wakatipu to the picturesque alpine resort of Queenstown.

Your accommodation: Heritage Hotel Queenstown (or similar)

At Heritage Queenstown you could be forgiven for thinking you were in a postcard. Soak in the amazing view of the towering Remarkables mountain range rising from the rippled waters of Lake Wakatipu.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Heritage Hotel Queenstown (or similar)
Day 5 - Spend a day at leisure in Queenstown
Kirra Tours 9 Day South Island Discovery - Day 5
Day Four

Today is yours to experience New Zealand’s adventure capital for yourself. Queenstown boasts an incredible array of activities and your Coach Captain can assist with booking any optional extras you’d like to do. Take a ride on the world-famous Shotover Jet Boat, travel to the top of Bob’s Peak by gondola for spectacular views, take a tour to the gold mining area of Skippers Canyon, or for the adventurous, try white water rafting or bungy jumping. Alternatively, browse in the many shops and galleries in town or relax at one of the many cafes or bars along the lakefront.

Your accommodation: Heritage Hotel Queenstown (or similar)

At Heritage Queenstown you could be forgiven for thinking you were in a postcard. Soak in the amazing view of the towering Remarkables mountain range rising from the rippled waters of Lake Wakatipu.

Meals included: Breakfast

Heritage Hotel Queenstown (or similar)
Day 6 - Pass through Wanaka as you head to Hasst
Kirra Tours 9 Day South Island Discovery - Day 6
Queenstown to Haast

View incredible scenery as you travel through Arrowtown, an area steeped in fascinating history relating to early settlement and the gold mining era. Next you visit Wanaka, a popular township on the lakes edge with a spectacular mountain backdrop. Then you'll enter Jackson Bay, a spectacular place and one not many people will be able to say they've done! Jackson Bay marks the farthest point of the West Coast's road network. You'll have an amazing West Coast lunch at The Craypot - a quirky, little caravan style restaurant situated on the esplanade before heading towards Haast, our destination for the evening. Tonight you stay at the Heartland Hotel, a popular local establishment where the locals come to mix and mingle at the Frontier Bar.

Your accommodation: Heartland Hotel Haast (or similar)

In a location so special, it was named a World Heritage Area, sits the Heartland Hotel. Just 4 kilometres from the township of Haast it's the ideal place to discover this incredible area of New Zealand. Warm and comfortable accommodation will ensure a welcoming stay after a day exploring the natural wilderness surrounds between the West Coast and Southern Lakes.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Heartland Hotel Haast (or similar)
Day 7 - Explore the West Coast as you travel North to Hokitika
Kirra Tours 9 Day South Island Discovery - Day 7
Haast via Jackson Bay to Hokitika

Travel north along the coast of the Westland National Park, home of the Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers. This remarkable part of the country was shaped by the dynamic glaciers and boasts lush temperate rainforest growing beneath towering mountains. Stop in Franz Josef township for morning tea and drive to the glacier viewpoint before arriving into the vibrant, artistic town of Hokitika. Visit the amazing Greenstone and Glass blowing factories and watch some talented artists at work before getting settled in at your hotel. You’ll have the option of visiting The National Kiwi Centre this afternoon before we meet for dinner this evening.

Your accommodation: Beachfront Hotel Hokitika (or similar)

The unique location of the Beachfront Hotel Hokitika on the shores of the Tasman Sea and in the heart of Hokitika allows you to beachcomb and shop local artisans' galleries right from your doorstep.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Beachfront Hotel Hokitika (or similar)
Day 8 - Hop aboard the Tranzalpine train and journey east to Christchurch
Kirra Tours 9 Day South Island Discovery - Day 8
Hokitika to Christchurch via Tranzalpine Train

Today you’ll travel to Greymouth, a historic town known for jade hunting, gold mining and dramatic river floods. Once there, you’ll make your way to the Greymouth Train Station, where you’ll board the Tranzalpine train. Considered to be one of the world’s greatest train journeys, prepare to be blown away by these epic vistas of forests, plains and mountains. Upon arrival in Christchurch, you’ll be collected by your guide and transferred to the hotel for the final night of your trip.

Day 9 - Day 9
Kirra Tours 9 Day South Island Discovery - Day 9
Depart Christchurch

 The final day is today and your trip comes to an end, enjoy a hearty breakfast and say goodbye to your group and leader. Whether you decide to head home today or to stay in Christchurch for a few extra days, we hope you leave with many happy memories of your trip.