Southern Spotlight - 9 days

9 day Southern Spotlight - from £1650


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


  • Free time in Christchurch
  • Mt Cook National Park
  • Lake Tekapo
  • Dunedin city tour
  • Milford Sound cruise
  • Explore Queenstown
  • Franz Josef
  • Punakaiki Blowholes
  • Tranz Alpine Train option


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: Christchurch – 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 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
Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 3: Omarama – Dunedin

Your day begins on the Waitaki River with a visit to the Waitaki Hydro Power Scheme. See the monumental spillway of nearby Benmore Dam. Then travel to the historic town of Oamaru, with its celebrated white limestone buildings. Continue to Dunedin and enjoy an orientation tour. New Zealand’s southernmost city, Dunedin is known for its Scottish and Māori heritage, Victorian and Edwardian architecture, and large student population. The afternoon is free for you to relax or explore independently. You might like to take a wildlife cruise, or a ride on the historic Taieri Gorge Railway. The train negotiates the deep, narrow gorge with ease as it travels through ten tunnels and over countless bridges and viaducts.

Hotel: Scenic Hotel Dunedin City
Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day4: Dunedin – Te Anau

Enjoy some free time here this morning, during which you might like to visit the lovely stately home known as Larnach Castle. A walk in the lovely grounds of the University of Otago, New Zealand’s oldest university, is another option. Then travel across the fertile sheep-dotted pastures of South Otago en route to Lake Te Anau, the largest in the South Island. Tonight you may choose to travel by flat-bottomed boat through the mysterious Te Anau Glowworm Caves (own expense). The Te Anau Caves are a culturally and ecologically important system of limestone caves on the western shore of Lake Te Anau, with some of the caves nearest to the shore providing a habitat for the bioluminescent insect larvae known as glowworms.

Hotel: Distinction Luxmore Hotel
Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 5: Te Anau – Queenstown

Your experience in magnificent Milford Sound today is sure to be one of the highlights of your journey. Travel first through the tall native rainforests and rugged mountains of Fiordland National Park, traversing the hand-hewn Homer Tunnel. Milford Sound, named after Milford Haven in Wales, is a fiord that runs 15 Kilometres inland from the Tasman Sea and is home to fur seal colonies, penguins and dolphins. Your unforgettable cruise takes in cascading waterfalls, hanging glacial valleys, and the sheer pinnacle of Mitre Peak, which rises 5,560 feet from the water. After disembarking, travel on to beautiful Queenstown via the breathtaking stretch of highway called the Devil’s Staircase, and Lake Wakatipu. Enjoy an informative orientation tour of the city before settling in for your two-night stay.

Day 6: Queenstown Free Time

Explore New Zealand’s adventure capital at your own pace today. There are jet boat rides and 4WD safaris for the thrill-seekers, and wine tours or intimate cafés for those who enjoy a more leisurely rhythm. Later this afternoon, enjoy a cruise across peaceful Lake Wakatipu aboard the TSS Earnslaw to Walter Peak High Country Farm for a gourmet barbecue Highlight Dinner. An entertaining after-dinner farm show completes your evening.

Hotel: Copthorne Hotel and Resort Queenstown , 2 nights
Included Meals: Day 5: Breakfast. Day 6: Breakfast, Highlight Dinner

Day 7: Queenstown – 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)
Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 8: Franz Josef – 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
Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 9: Farewell from Christchurch

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

Included Meals: Breakfast


9 day escorted tour - NOW from £1650

All prices are per person, based on 2 sharing a double or twin room, and include meals where shown - (B)reakfast, (L)unch (D)inner. Call Freedom New Zealand for departure dates and availability. Itinerary based on travel October 2018 onwards. Itinerary may vary for travel prior to October 2018 - ask your consultant for details. A non-refundable deposit of £100 per person is required

Escorted Tour

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
  • En suite hotel accommodation
  • Daily breakfast and meals shown
  • Extra night options
  • Return airport transfers


More escorted tours

For help and advice or to start planning your New Zealand holiday

call 0333 234 3209 or enquire online