South Island Tour

Coast to Coast Highlights

Day 1 - Christchurch

Kia Ora - Welcome to New Zealand

Kia Ora - Welcome to New Zealand

Welcome to Christchurch city

Personal airport meet and greet, and private transfer to your accommodation.

On arrival, you will be met by one of our team and driven to your Christchurch accommodation. We will discuss your itinerary and provide you with maps and detailed information to help you with your Real New Zealand Tour.

Christchurch, New Zealand's garden city is steadily being transformed into a vibrant urban destination. Encompassing a large green belt, it is known for its wide tree-lined avenues and lush gardens. Take the double decker hop on/hop off bus for an easy way to see the sights - or ride a historic tram across town to the renowned botanic gardens and the unique cardboard Transitional Cathedral. Geoff & Libby, owners of Real New Zeland Tours live in this vibrant city and will include a free city tour sharing all their favourite spots.

Day 2

Explore Christchurch

Explore Christchurch

Explore Christchurch

Today you have time to explore Christchurch or maybe take a day trip to Akaroa.

Following the 2011 earthquake that razed its centre and much of the outlying suburbs, Christchurch is well into a billion-dollar makeover. In the middle of the Canterbury Plains, bordering the Pacific Ocean, New Zealand’s newest city is an ideal gateway to exploring the middle of the South.

Go punting on the Avon River, take a historic tram ride, catch the gondola to the rim of an extinct volcano or do all three! See the world's only Cardboard Cathedral and for nature enthusiasts - wander the renowned Christchurch Botanic Gardens. 

Drive an hour in any direction to ski, mountain bike, wine taste, whale-watch, bungy jump or play golf. Visit the International Antarctic Centre or take a day to go on safari at Orana Wildlife Park. Take the winding Port Hills road to the French settlement of Akaroa and tour the vines in Waipara for an authentic New Zealand wine-tasting experience.


  • INCLUDED - Christchurch Gondola   
    In the Heathcote Valley, just fifteen minutes from the heart of Christchurch city, ride the Christchurch Gondola for nearly a kilometre to the collapsed rim of an extinct volcano - which exploded six million years ago.  Take in the panoramic 360-degree views of the central city, Lyttelton Harbour, Banks Peninsula, Canterbury Plains and the distant peaks of the Southern Alps.  Wander the summit complex and choose one of many nature walks or visit the Time Tunnel - a dramatic reconstruction of the history of the Port Hills and Christchurch.

Day 3

Explore Canterbury & MacKenzie Country

Explore Canterbury & MacKenzie Country

Exploring Canterbury & MacKenzie Country

Today we will enjoy a scenic drive through Canterbury and the MacKenzie Country

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this driving leg is: 350 km / 217 miles: 4.1 hour

Today we will drive through the heart of the South Island, crossing the vast Canterbury Plains. Catch your breath in Geraldine before continuing through Fairlie. Ascending Burkes pass you'll come to the picturesque lakeside town of Tekapo.
Follow the road and take in the view of Aoraki Mt Cook (New Zealand's tallest mountain) from the shores of Lake Pukaki, known for its glacier-fed turquoise blue colour. Continue along the lake to your final destination Mt Cook Village. 

  • INCLUDED -  Glacier Explorers Mt. Cook
    Experience 500-year-old icebergs up-close on the Mt Cook terminal lake. The Glacier Explorers tour is the only one of its kind in New Zealand - and one of only three in the world! Very few glaciers terminate into lakes and even fewer of them are accessible. See towering ice cliffs and floating icebergs from the safety of a specially designed boat.  These boats provide a safe way to view unseen and inaccessible areas of New Zealand's largest glacier - The Tasma

Day 4

Waitaki River to the coast to Dunedin

Waitaki River to the coast to Dunedin

 MacKenzie Country, Waitaki River to the coast to Dunedin

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this driving leg is: 318 km / 197 miles: 3.7 hours

Today you'll leave Mt Cook National Park and travel past Twizel, one of the locations for the Lord of the Rings films. Go through Omarama - the gliding capital of New Zealand - but be sure to stop at The Wrinkly Ram, a great local cafe also offering sheep shearing demonstrations. Driving through the Waitaki Valley follow the hydropower generating system towards the east coast.

Stretch your legs in Oamaru, known for its white stone buildings constructed with the local Oamaru Stone. If you were a little late off the mark this morning you may get the chance to see the blue penguins come ashore at dusk.

Continue south down the coast to Moeraki, and take a detour towards the beach to see the Moeraki Boulders, a unique geological feature well worth a look. As you arrive in Dunedin, take in the city’s Edwardian and Scottish heritage reflected in the buildings around the city centre - The Octagon.