Lake Wakatipu Queenstown
Franz Josef Glacier
Milford Sound, New Zealand

Southern Spotlight

9 day Escorted Tour - from £2321

An unforgettable journey around New Zealand’s remote and mountainous South Island, with magnificent scenery throughout.


  • Cruise on the mystical Milford Sound
  • Visit Christchurch, Queenstown, Dunedin and Omarama
  • Sail on Lake Wakatipu aboard TSS Earnslaw
  • Gaze upon the breathtaking Franz Josef Glacier
  • Journey over the Southern Alps on the TranzAlpine Train

You can include this escorted tour in a longer New Zealand holiday.

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Your Itinerary

Day 1 - Welcome to Christchurch

An eclectic mix of historic elegance and contemporary culture, Christchurch’s art galleries, boutiques and open-air markets add to the city’s creative vibe. Meet your Travel Director this evening for a Welcome Reception.

Hotel: Ibis Hotel Christchurch

Day 2 - Omarama

See how Christchurch is rebuilding after the devastating earthquakes of 2010 and 2011, and pop into the Transitional Cathedral, the temporary home of the Christchurch Cathedral built almost entirely of cardboard! Later, travel over the fertile Canterbury Plains to soak up the spectacular scenery.

You’ll view the famous Church of the Good Shepherd, and stop for a quick photo with the bronze statue of a collie dog. You may wish to view Mount Cook National Park from the air this afternoon on a scenic flight (own expense). Your day finishes in the heart of the Mackenzie Country at Omarama.

Hotel: Heritage Gateway Hotel
Meals: Breakfast and dinner

Day 3 - Dunedin

Visit to the Waitaki Hydro Power Scheme, an intricate series of interconnected lakes and canals, and the monumental spillway of the nearby Benmore Dam. Then travel to the historic town of Oamaru, with its elegant tree-lined streets and celebrated white limestone buildings. Continue to Dunedin, New Zealand’s southernmost city, where your afternoon is at leisure. You may like to take a wildlife cruise, or ride the historic Taieri Gorge Railway.

Hotel: Scenic Hotel Dunedin City
Meals: Breakfast

Day 4 - Te Anau

This morning you’re free to explore Dunedin at your own pace: you might like to visit stately Larnach Castle. This afternoon, travel through lush green sheep-grazing country on your way to Fiordland National Park and the town of Te Anau. Tonight, why not consider an optional experience and take a boat tour of the mysterious Te Anau Glowworm Caves.

Hotel: Luxmore Hotel
Meals: Breakfast and dinner

Day 5 - Queenstown

Your experience in magnificent Milford Sound is sure to be one of the highlights of your trip. Travel through tall native rainforests and rugged mountains of Fiordland National Park, then cruise the serene waters of this natural wonder. On the way to Queenstown see Mirror Lake, Cleddau Valley, the Chasm, Mitre Peak and Bowen Falls, then travel along the Devil’s Staircase and the shores of Lake Wakatipu. Enjoy an informative orientation tour on arrival.

Hotel: Copthorne Hotel and Resort, Queenstown
Meals: Breakfast

Day 6 - Queenstown

Explore New Zealand’s adventure capital at your own pace today. There are jet boat rides and white water rafting for the thrill-seekers, and wine tours or intimate cafés for those who enjoy a more leisurely rhythm. You might like to visit the picturesque Queenstown Gardens and enjoy its beautiful tulips in spring or glorious roses in summer. Take a peaceful cruise this evening across Lake Wakatipu aboard the century-old TSS Earnslaw, the only remaining commercial passenger-carrying coal-fired steamship in the Southern Hemisphere. Your destination is Walter Peak High Country Farm, where you’ll enjoy a gourmet barbecue Highlight Dinner and entertaining after-dinner show offering glimpses of high country farm life.

Hotel: Copthorne Hotel and Resort Queenstown
Meals: Breakfast and dinner

Day 7 - Franz Josef

Your first destination today is the faithfully-restored gold mining settlement of Arrowtown, where more than 70 original buildings from the gold-rush era are still beautifully preserved. Sample luscious stone fruit in Cromwell and enjoy the serenity of the region’s vivid blue lakes, the most famous of which is pristine Lake Wanaka. Drive over spectacular Haast Pass, passing the 96 metre Thunder Creek Falls and stopping for a tranquil rainforest walk on your way to the extraordinary Franz Josef Glacier. An optional scenic flight over the glacier is available.

Hotel: Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier (Graham Wing)
Meals: Breakfast and dinner

Day 8 - Christchurch

Travel to Hokitika, home of New Zealand’s famous greenstone. Pounamu (its Māori name) is of great cultural significance in Māori culture and was prized for its strength, durability and beauty. It was used for weapons, tools and personal ornaments, and also denoted great status.

Continue to Arthur’s Pass to board the iconic TranzAlpine train and embark on one of the world’s most renowned rail journeys. Pass through magnificent landscapes ranging from the rugged gorges and pristine ice-fed streams and lakes of the Southern Alps to the lush pastureland of the Canterbury Plains. This evening in Christchurch, join your Travel Director and fellow travellers for a Farewell Dinner.

Hotel: Ibis Hotel Christchurch
Meals: Breakfast and dinner

Day 9 - Farewell from Christchurch

Say farewell to your fellow travellers when your holiday comes to an end this morning after breakfast.

Meals: Breakfast

9 day Escorted Tour - from £2321

With flights from £3466


  • Add extra nights in Christchurch before or after your tour
  • Choose to fly Economy, Premium, Business or First Class
  • Add a stopover in Singapore, Dubai or other destination

Include this Escorted Tour in a New Zealand holiday
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All prices are per person, based on 2 sharing a twin room, and include meals where shown. Please call Freedom Destinations to confirm departure dates and availability. Itineraries outlined are for departures from 1 April 2023.

Southern Spotlight Map

Your Touring Experience

Enjoy first class touring with like minded travellers. Our experienced guides will make sure you don’t miss a thing.

Your escorted tour includes:

  • Sightseeing, walks and activities
  • Luxury, air conditioned coach travel
  • 8 nights hotel accommodation
  • 8 breakfasts and 5 dinners
  • Expert tour director
  • Airport transfers and extra night options

See more New Zealand escorted tours…

Departure Dates

Check for departure dates that suit you:

To confirm availability please call 0333 234 3209.

This tour is runs in the reverse direction. Please contact us for departure dates.

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For advice or to start planning your holiday

talk to a New Zealand Expert on 0333 234 3209