AAT Kings Southern Spectacular Itinerary

The incredable reflection of Lake Matheson on the West Coast.

Arrive Christchurch

‘Haere Mai’ ... Welcome to New Zealand

 On arrival at Christchurch Airport you will be met and transferred to your hotel by. After checking into your hotel its time to explore Christchurch. This evening welcome drink offers the chance to meet your Tour Director and fellow passengers.

Here are some suggested excursions If you land early and have time.

Easygoing Cycling Tour

   Punting the Avon River   Lyttelton Harbour Wildlife Cruise

Māori Cultural Evening

   French Akaroa Tour   Southern Alps Ballooning

Christchurch Gondola

   Clearwater Golf   Arthur's Pass TranzAlpine Hike

Meals: Welcome Reception

Accommodation: Christchurch - 1 night

The Distinction Hotel is a brand new hotel opening in 2019 in the revitalised heart of Christchurch and Cathedral Square. Centrally located and a short stroll to the Botanical Gardens, New Regent Street, the Arts Centre, and Avon River. This luxury Christchurch hotel offers 179 elegant, air-conditioned hotel rooms including 3 floors of brand new Superior Rooms and Suites.
Distinction Hotel Christchurch


Mount Cook National Park

This morning, join our Sustainable Tourism Commitment by planting a native tree in the Port Hills of Christchurch, an area recovering from wildfire. Visit the home of Angie and Stan Taylor for a Be My Guest afternoon tea, and hear about a lifetime spent farming in the Southern Alps. See Lakes Tekapo and Pukaki, and view the famed Church of the Good Shepherd. Continue to the outdoor-adventure hub of Twizel for some fantastic photo opportunities at the Church of the Good Shepherd and soak up the alpine scenery of Mount Cook National Park

Meals: Breakfast, Afternoon Tea, Dinner with Wine

Accommodation Twizel - 1 night

Mount Cook National Park
The MacKenzie Country Hotel, Twizel, is located very in the heart of the historic MacKenzie Basin. The hotel offers 108 spacious guestrooms including 80 standard rooms and 28 deluxe rooms; all offer shower over bath ensuites with surrounding views of the spectacular Ben Ohau Ranges and Mount Cook. Enjoy a meal in the restaurant or bar by choosing from the hearty menus revealing local cuisine accompanied by a range of New Zealand wines.
MacKenzie Country Hotel


Day at Leisure in Dunedin

Today is a free day to experience Dunedin and the greater Otago Peninsula. 'Dunedin' comes from Dun Eideann the Scots-Gaelic name for Edinburgh, founded largely by Scottish immigrants, who raised the impressive buildings which now add much to the city's charm. These buildings incorporate a diverse array of styles from Tudor, Jacobean, Georgian, Carpenter, Gothic and Arts and Crafts styles. 

For those seeking outdoor adventures, the dramatic Otago Peninsula offers opportunities to search for albatross, penguins, seals and sea lions as well as a variety of walking and biking trails. In the evening, embark on a walking tour to learn more about the history and culture of Dunedin and get up close and personal with the city’s vibrant street art scene. End your tour at one of the cool burger joints, bars or wine cellars on Vogel Street.

Some options available in and around Dunedin:

Speights Brewery Tour

   Cadbury Chocolate    Penguins and Albatross Tour

Taieri Rail Journey

   Peninsula Wildlife Cruise   Larnach Castle Tour


Meals: Breakfast 


A statue in the city centre of Dunedin.


Dunedin Sightseeing Experience - Te Anau (Gateway to Fiordland)

Today choose one from a range of Included Choice sightseeing experiences. You have the option to take a Wildlife Cruise, visit the Cadbury Chocolate Factory, or check out the famous Speights Brewery Tour. Perhaps ride the Taieri Gorge Railway or get on a guided tour of New Zealand’s only castle - Larnach Castle before heading to Te Anau.

We then travel across fertile farming land to the shores of Lake Te Anau, the largest lake in the South Island.

Meals: Breakfast, dinner with wine

Accommodation Te Anau - 1 night
*Guests will now stay at the Distinction Luxmore Te Anau in place of the
Distinction Hotel & Villas Te Anau which remains closed for the remainder of 22/23 season.

Lake Te Anau
Located on the Te Anau lake front, a short stroll from the Te Anau town centre, Distinction Te Anau Hotel and Villas is perfectly situated for you to make the most of this beautiful area. The rooms are very comfortable and the hotel has all the facilities you would expect from a property of this standard.Distinction Te Anua Hotel and Villas, offering chic, elegant accommodation. This 4 Star hotel is surrounded by extensive landscaped gardens where you can enjoy the spectacular view of Lake Te Anua and the Fiordland ranges.
Distinction Hotel Te Anau & Villas


A Cruise on Beautiful Milford Sound

Today is a feast for the senses. Be wowed and awe-struck by the beauty of the World Heritage Fiordland National Park, New Zealand’s largest. Keep your camera close by as you’ll see Mirror Lakes, Pop’s Lookout, Cleddau Valley, the Chasm, the hand-made Homer Tunnel, Mitre Peak, Bowen Falls and stunningly photogenic Milford Sound, where you will cruise on the waters of this natural wonder. The Devil’s Staircase and Lake Wakatipu pass you by. Arrive at Queenstown for an orientation tour. We suggest dinner tonight at the Skyline Restaurant on Bob’s Peak - sensational views over Queenstown and a bonus Kiwi Haka Maori Show, plus you’ll ride the steepest Gondola in the Southern Hemisphere just to get there!

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation Queenstown - 2 nights


The beautiful Milford Sound Fiordland.

Millennium Hotel Queenstown is only minutes from Queenstown central shopping, entertainment and outdoor activities and offers a peaceful haven from the variety of activities in this lively city. With many guest rooms and suites to choose from the centre boasts a gym, sauna, spa, bar and restaurant, feature contemporary city-inspired designed. Many of our rooms also offer scenic views of the city and mountains, providing the perfect backdrop to your journey.

Millennium Hotel Queenstown


Queenstown at Leisure

Explore Queenstown your way. You can choose from a range of included activities. Go wild with jet boat rides or white water rafting. For the less adventurous there are wine and garden tours. For dinner you’ll travel across Lake Wakatipu and back on the TSS Earnslaw, New Zealand’s oldest steam ship, to Walter Peak Sheep Station for a carvery meal and sheep shearing demonstration.

Recommended excursions around Queenstown:

Routeburn Day WalkHighest Bungey JumpExplore Arrowtown

Wine Tasting Central Otago      

Biking Skippers Canyon      Round at Millbrook Golf Resort
Earnslaw Steamboat Cruise  Dart River Jetboat Safari      

Gibbston Valley Wine Trail


Meals: Breakfast, Highlight Dinner

Queenstown Jet Boat Experience


Queenstown - Franz Josef

The historic gold mining town of Arrowtown is our first stop today. The second stop is Cromwell and its sensational stone fruit. We’ll see a trio of lakes - Wanaka, Hawea and Dunstan. Travel over the Haast Pass, view the amazing Thunder Creek Falls, take a small rainforest walk, then it’s on to the spectacular Franz Josef Glacier - the world’s most accessible glacier.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with wine

Accommodation Franz Josef - 1 night

The stunning Franz Josef glacier.
Situated on the very edge of the Westland World Heritage Park, the Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier will welcome you in true New Zealand style. The Hotel makes the most of its alpine location and is only moments from spectacular Franz Josef Glacier. The highly regarded Hot Pools are within walking distance. Featuring patios or balconies, the simple, warmly decorated rooms and suites include free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs and mini-fridges, plus tea and coffee making facilities. Suites add living areas. (formerly known as the Scenic Circle Franz Josef Glacier Hotel) has quality rooms with balcony views and special access.
Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier


Franz Josef - Punakaiki

It’s time for an exhilarating adventure among temperate rainforest giants on the West Coast Treetop Walkway. Explore Franz Josef Glacier - take an optional flight (weather permitting) or a glacier hike! Then you depart for Hokitika, home of the native greenstone (jade) for a factory visit and jewellery demonstration. It’s on to Punakaiki where we’ll view the Pancake Rocks and Blowholes. You’ll stay overnight at your eco-friendly resort right on the waterfront.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with wine

Accommodation Punakaiki - 1 night

The rough Pancake Rocks and Blowholes.
Surrounded by the Paparoa National Park and with stunning views of the Tasman Sea, Scenic Hotel Punakaiki is in a great location. The resort is situated only 300m from the famous Punakaiki Blowholes and has been designed in harmony with the local environment.  Evenings are spent relaxing in a standard resort room with views of the sea or an Eco Suite with rainforest and distant seaviews.

Scenic Hotel Punakaiki


TranzAlpine Train - Christchurch

Join your personal guide for a tour of Monteith’s Brewing Company, including tastings at the brewers’ table, before sitting down to lunch. Afterwards, you'll board the TranzAlpine train to travel from Greymouth to Arthur’s Pass - one of the top 6 train journeys in the world, which travels through the Southern Alps to Christchurch. Join your tour director tonight for a farewell dinner with wine.

Meals: Breakfast, Farewell Dinner

Accommodation Christchurch - 1 night 

TranzAlpine Scenic Train
The Distinction Hotel is a brand new hotel opening in 2019 in the revitalised heart of Christchurch and Cathedral Square. Centrally located and a short stroll to the Botanical Gardens, New Regent Street, the Arts Centre, and Avon River. This luxury Christchurch hotel offers 179 elegant, air-conditioned hotel rooms including 3 floors of brand new Superior Rooms and Suites.
Distinction Hotel Christchurch


Depart Christchurch

Today is yours; take your time exploring Christchurch, famous for being the most English city outside of England. It’s your last chance to experience New Zealand before you are transferred to Christchurch Airport for your onward flight.

Some Suggested Activities to Help you to get to Know the Region

Easygoing Cycling Tour    Punting the Avon River    Lyttelton Harbour Wildlife Cruise
Māori Cultural EveningFrench Akaroa TourSouthern Alps Ballooning
Christchurch GondolaClearwater GolfArthur's Pass TranzAlpine Hike

Meals: Breakfast


Punting on Avon River


Included Highlights 

  • Visit a working sheep farm
  • Experience warm Kiwi hospitality at Morelea Farm with a BBQ lunch
  • Visit Church of the Good Shepherd on Lake Tekapo
  • Take your pick of a selection of included local highlight experiences at Dunedin
  • Journey through spectacular Fiordland National Park with its magnificent scenery
  • Cruise on truly inspiring Milford Sound
  • Visit historic Arrowtown
  • See Franz Josef Glacier
  • Visit a green stone factory
  • Walk around Punakaiki’s Pancake Rocks
  • Journey over the Southern Alps on the TranzAlpine Train

Premium Inclusions

  • Private car airport transfers on arrival and departure 
  • Enjoy selected New Zealand wines with all hotel dinners


  • Experienced Travel Director and Driver Guide
  • Included Choice experiences Included Choice Icon
  • Quality accommodation
  • Travel by luxury coach


  •  9 Full Buffet Breakfasts
  •  1 Be My Guest Afternoon Tea
  •  5 Dinners with Wine
  •  1 Highlight Dinner
  •  1 Farewell Dinner

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Profile picture for user Judith
What Judith says about this tour: This tour stands out for the mixture of classic kiwi culture, such as farm visits, with history, stunning scenery and contrasting activities. A great itinerary for those who appreciate high quality 4 star accommodation and want the benefits of an expert travel director to smooth the journey.
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