Grand Pacific Tours - 11 Day Ultimate Christmas Itinerary


Arriving Christchurch

On arrival into Christchurch you will be met by one of our representative who will transfer you to your hotel.

New Zealand’s second-largest city and the gateway to the South Island, Christchurch sits on the very edge of the Canterbury Plains and is bordered by the Pacific Ocean. The city itself has bounced back after a series of major earthquakes, and has shown its resilience with a number of new and exciting developments popping up everywhere.

Meet your travelling companions over a complimentary pre dinner drink. 

Meals: Dinner

Accommodation: Christchurch - 2 nights

Punting on Avon
Featuring an on-site restaurant and free high-speed WiFi, Sudima Christchurch City is situated in Christchurch, just 500 m from Hagley Park and less than 1 km from Victoria Street. At the hotel, every room is equipped with a fridge, wardrobe and a flat-screen TV. Complete with a private bathroom, all units at Sudima Christchurch City are fitted with air conditioning, and selected rooms will provide you with a seating area. You can also enjoy streaming movies.
Sudima Christchurch City


Exploring Christchurch

Today visit the International Antarctic Centre designed to provide an informative account of life in Antarctica. This is followed by an introductory city tour of Christchurch. This afternoon enjoy free time to explore. 

Some suggested activities to help you fill your free time this afternoon.

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

International Antartic Centre


Mt Cook National Park

Travel through the Southern Canterbury Plains to Lake Tekapo. See the Church of the Good Shepherd and the Sheep Dog Statue before arriving at Mt Cook, New Zealand’s highest peak. - This is a Fantasy Land of Ice and Rock. Mt Cook National Park, known for its exquisite alpine beauty is home to the highest mountain in New Zealand, Mt Cook. Its Maori name, ‘Aoraki’ means ‘cloud piercer’ and at 12,016ft (3,755m) it towers above the surrounding snow-covered peaks in the park. 

Enjoy a scenic flight (optional, time and weather permitting) over the Southern Alps.

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

Accommodation: Mt Cook Village - 1 night

Mt Cook

A stunning destination surrounded by the silent splendor of the Southern Alps and with spectacular views of Aoraki/Mount Cook and the surrounding National Park World Heritage area. There is a selection of properties within the Terrace Road campus from Hotel to Chalet and Mountainview Motels - all budgets and standards can be catered for.

Hermitage Hotel Mount Cook


Victorian Oamaru & Neo-Gothic Dunedin

Depart Mt Cook and see Lake Benmore, before following the Waitaki River to visit Oamaru. While its façade is strictly of the Victorian era with ornately decorated grand white stone buildings that once housed upstanding banks, hotels and restaurants - the locals are bohemian artisans, creative’s and antiquarians who run ‘out-there’ galleries, museums, shops and venues – it has to be seen to be believed and you'll love it.

Continue south to Dunedin - Scottish City of Grace and Grandeur It is for good reason that New Zealand's oldest city is known as the 'Edenborough of the South' - 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. Enjoy a city tour followed by some free time.

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

Accommodation: Dunedin - 1 night 

The former Dunedin Chief Post Office (1937), transformed the 1937 former Chief Post Office in Dunedin into an elegant 4 1/2 star luxury hotel. It occupies an entire city block in The Exchange, the historic business centre of Dunedin. The impressive building was considered a monument to the importance of the role of the state and also to Dunedin's preeminent position as the country's most prosperous city. The Distinction Dunedin Hotel offers a variety of brand new accommodation to suit everyone from the businesses traveller requiring spacious and modern facilities to those wanting a relaxing weekend away.
The Distinction Dunedin Hotel


Lake Te Anau

It’s a morning tour and 'High Tea' at New Zealand’s Larnach Castle. Built in 1871 by a merchant baron, over 200 Workers spent more than three years building the Larnach Castle main shell, while master European craftsmen spent a further 12 years embellishing the interior - Larnach spared no expense and the castle is built from the finest materials from around the world. This superbly crafted building with magnificent architecture, showcases a unique collection of New Zealand antiques, see spectacular tower views and beautiful gardens.

We say farewell to Dunedin and head inland, crossing rich farmlands to the agricultural towns of Gore and Lumsden, before arriving at the shores of Lake Te Anau, gateway to the Fiordland National Park.

Today you may like to visit the Te Anau Glowworm Caves (optional).

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

Accommodation: Te Anau - 1 night

Beautiful 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


Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise

A leisurely start today before travelling to Manapouri. Enjoy a picnic lunch as you cruise across this glacial lake. After a short ride over the Wilmot Pass, join the Fiordland Navigator for an amazing overnight experience. As you cruise through the pristine beauty of Doubtful Sound, naturalist guides will provide commentary and point out the resident wildlife. When evening falls enjoy a delicious carvery buffet prepared by the onboard chef.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accomodation: Doubtful Sound - 1 night

Milford Sound Cruise

The Fiordland Navigator is a purpose built vessel designed and perfectly suited to cruising and staying overnight in the remote Doubtful Sound. The Navigator has spacious viewing decks, dining saloon, licensed bar and observation lounge and also carries kayaks and a tender craft onboard - at your disposal. As well as having comfortable accommodation.

Fiordland Overnight Experience


Merry Christmas! - Queenstown

Merry Christmas! Start the day with a hearty breakfast before heading back to Deep Cove for the trip back to Manapouri. Return to the wharf and meet your Ultimate Coach for the journey to Queenstown, a year-round resort, situated on the shores of magical Lake Wakatipu. This evening dinner will be at your hotel.

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner 

Accommodation: Queenstown - 2 nights

Queenstown Christmas

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! Go wild with a jet boat ride or white water rafting. For those that want to take it easy there is a wine and garden tour, or play a round of golf. 

This evening cruise across Lake Wakatipu aboard New Zealand’s oldest steamship, the TSS Earnslaw, to Walter Peak High Country Farm for a delicious gourmet dinner in the Colonel’s Homestead. Reboard the TSS Earnslaw for a sing along by the piano on your return cruise.

Recommended Alternative Excursions are:

Routeburn Day WalkHighest Bungy JumpGibbston Valley Wine Trail

Wine Tasting Central Otago      

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


Meals: Breakfast and Specialty Dinner



Franz Josef Glacier

The adventure continues, and this morning Central Otago's rich pioneer gold rush history comes alive in the picturesque village of Arrowtown. Set beside a beautiful clear flowing river, this charming town has some great historical sites, boutique shops and delightful cafés - here we visit the Lakes District Museum. Following the road to Cromwell, the fabulous scenery keeps on coming and during the stone fruit season, you can pick up bags of delicious cherries, apricots and nectarines at any of the roadside stalls.

For a slice of paradise we drive past a trio of fantastic lakes including Lake Dunstan, Hawea and Wanaka before traversing the Haast Pass where the Thunder Creek Falls make for some more great photos and on to Franz Josef Glacier - the world's most accessible glacier.

Time is available to experience a scenic flight (optional, weather permitting) over the spectacular glaciers before arriving at your hotel for your overnight stay.

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner 

Accommodation: Franz Josef Glacier - 1 night

Fox Glacier

Te Waonui is the only luxury property of its kind in the area. The retreat is nestled in the lush bush with views of the natural environment at almost every turn. Located in Franz Josef, the retreat offers easy access to the many natural wonders of the South West World Heritage Area. Mountains, glaciers, rivers, lakes, coastline, and native flora and fauna all lie in wait at the doorstep for visitors to admire and explore.

Te Waonui Forest Retreat - Franz Josef


Franz Josef - Christchurch

Travel to Hokitika and visit the Greenstone Factory. Continue to Arthur’s Pass and board The TranzAlpine Train, renowned as one of the great train journeys of the world. View rivers and valleys as you travel through the Waimakariri Basin, over massive viaducts and through the patchwork farmlands of the Canterbury Plains to the elegant city of Christchurch.

On arrival, your Ultimate Coach will be waiting to transfer you to your hotel. This evening enjoy a farewell dinner including selected beverages with your new friends. 

Meals: Breakfast and Specialty Dinner

Accommodation: Christchurch - 1 night

TranzAlpine Train Journey
Featuring an on-site restaurant and free high-speed WiFi, Sudima Christchurch City is situated in Christchurch, just 500 m from Hagley Park and less than 1 km from Victoria Street. At the hotel, every room is equipped with a fridge, wardrobe and a flat-screen TV. Complete with a private bathroom, all units at Sudima Christchurch City are fitted with air conditioning, and selected rooms will provide you with a seating area. You can also enjoy streaming movies.
Sudima Christchurch City


Bon Voyage!

"Haere rā" Goodbye! and Bon Voyage!

We know you will enjoy our tour and our promise is to make your travels through New Zealand as hassle-free and hospitable as possible - ensuring that today you leave with a memory card full of photos, and huge smiles on your faces when recalling your time in New Zealand! Have a great homeward journey, farewell and hope to see you again soon in Aotearoa, New Zealand. 

Meals: Breakfast

Bon Voyage from New Zealand




  • International Antarctic Centre
  • Larnach Castle*
  • Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise
  • Cruise Lake Wakatipu on the TSS Earnslaw
  • Lakes District Museum
  • TranzAlpine Rail Journey
  • City Sights tour of Christchurch & Dunedin

*Guided tour.


  • Cruise on a traditionally designed vessel
  • Cabins with private ensuite
  • Superb evening carvery buffet prepared freshly by an onboard chef
  • Cooked breakfast
  • Tender craft and kayaking activities
  • Knowledgeable nature guide
  • Relaxation time allowing you to view the fiords spectacular waterfalls, rainforest, mountains and wildlife


  • Personalised meet & greet on arrival
  • Return airport transfers in New Zealand
  • Ultimate Small Group Tour Coach with 20 luxury leather reclining seats on a full size vehicle, 2  door access and panoramic windows
  • Professional Coach Captain
  • 9 nights 4.5 star hotel accommodation
  • Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise
  • 2 two night stays
  • Hotel porterage
  • 1 rail journey
  • 1 cruise
  • All sightseeing and pre paid attractions
  • Ultimate documentation pack


  • 10 cooked breakfasts
  • 9 sumptuous dinners including complimentary pre-dinner drink at the Welcome Dinner and 2 specialty dinners: Walter Peak, Queenstown; Farewell Dinner, selected beverages, Christchurch
  • 1 picnic Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise
  • 1 Ultimate HIgh Tea, Larnach Castle
  • Enjoy GPT Hotel Wine Time (discounted drinks)

Note: Dinner on Day 1 not included for anyone arriving later than 8pm.

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What Daniel says about this tour: The ultimate Christmas South Island tour of New Zealand. Christmas day you will wake up to the Sounds of Silence on Doubtful Sound before travelling to Queenstown. Enjoy the endless sunshine and long summers evenings on this ultimate small group touring experience.
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