Excursions in South Island

Excursions perfectly enhance your holiday and offer excellent value. Prices are per person.

TranzAlpine Train excursion
TranzAlpine Train

Step aboard the TranzAlpine and experience the South island’s striking natural landscape on a journey between Christchurch and Greymouth. Along the way you’ll see epic vistas, travel the edges of the ice-fed Waimakariri River, traverse the Southern Alps and see miles of native beech forest.Your comfortable reclining seat has panoramic views through large windows which bathe the carriage in light. On board also is a licensed cafe and fantastic open-air carriage. Journey also available in reverse. The one way journey takes just under 5 hours, while the full day trip includes an hour in Greymouth before you rebound the train back to Christchurch. Available daily from Christchurch.

FROM £145 (one way) or 249 (return day trip)
Discover Christchurch excursion
Discover Christchurch

Board a coach for a fun and informative 3 hour tour of Christchurch, which covers the central city highlights including the botanical gardens, Museum and Art Centre, the Avon River and the city’s transitional cardboard cathedral as well. Continue to Mona Vale, a historic homestead and gardens, soak up the views across the Canterbury Plains through the Southern Alps, then over the Port Hills to Lyttleton and the seaside suburb of Sumner. Available daily from Christchurch (excluding 25 Dec).

FROM £42
Interislander Ferry excursion
Interislander Ferry

The Interislander ferry is one of the unmissable great journeys of New Zealand, as it sails between Wellington and Picton. It’s a truly iconic experience. There is the option to travel as a foot passenger, with upgrades available to the Plus Lounge for a more refined journey. There is also the option to travel with your car (some car rental companies require you to drop your vehicle off and pick up another on arrival). Each vessel has stacks to keep you busy with a family lounge, a cafe and bar. Journey is available in reverse. Wellington (North Island) to Picton (South Island) takes around 3½ hours. Three ferries depart daily from both Wellington and Picton with departures throughout the day.

FROM £47 (Wellington to Picton one way)
Glacier Valley Walk excursion
Glacier Valley Walk

The three hour Franz Josef Glacier Valley Walk will take you at a leisurely pace up alongside the mighty Waiho riverbed, following the glacier’s path as it winds its way through remarkable landscape. Here, you will learn about the glacier’s history and see what this majestic giant leaves behind. After a brief climb you will be rewarded with spectacular views of the glacier’s rapidly changing terminal face. Available daily from Franz Josef (excluding 25 Dec). Please ask for details of other restrictions.

FROM £52
Coastal Pacific Train excursion
Coastal Pacific Train

With the Pacific Ocean lapping at its wheels on one side and the Kaikoura ranges rising majestically on the other, the Coastal Pacific is undoubtedly one of the most astonishingly beautiful journeys in New Zealand. Your comfortable reclining seat has ample leg room and the carriage has panoramic windows for soaking up the views. Otherwise, head to the open-air carriage to step outside and feel the ocean breeze brush your skin, or sit back with a refreshing drink in the licensed cafe. All journeys are available in reverse. Christchurch to Picton takes just over 7 hours; Christchurch to Kaikoura is around 3½ hours; Kaikoura to Picton is just under 4 hours. Departures available daily between late Sep-late Apr.

FROM £59 (Christchurch to Kaikoura or Kaikoura to Picton one way) or £99 (Christchurch to Picton one way)
Standard Peninsula Tour excursion
Standard Peninsula Tour

This 6 hour tour is a memorable wildlife experience with a unique insight into some of the world’s rarest wildlife. Travel the length and breadth of the Otago Peninsula, one of the world’s few untouched areas, with amazing wildlife and spectacular scenery. The trek enables close secluded viewing of up to 25-30 species of marine and wading birds as well as penguins and New Zealand fur seals. Available daily from Dunedin (excluding 25 & 31 Dec)

FROM £75
Marlborough Wine Tour excursion
Marlborough Wine Tour

Immerse yourself in the heart of the vineyards on this half day tour. You will be collected and taken on a tour through Marlborough wine country to visit four wineries. Sample the best the wineries have to offer and learn some of the secrets of fine wine appreciation, with ample time to wander in the vines. Available daily from Blenheim (excluding selected dates). Luxury and Private Marlborough Wine Tours are also available. Please ask for details.

FROM £79
Skyline Gondola Dinner & Stargazing excursion
Skyline Gondola Dinner & Stargazing

Take a scenic gondola ride for quick and easy access to Queenstown’s most amazing views as you ascend to the Skyline complex on Bob’s Peak. Here, you’ll enjoy a tempting New Zealand buffet in a relaxed atmosphere. The restaurant has tiered seating and floor to ceiling windows guaranteeing views from every table. Finally, explore the Milky Way and neighbouring stars, nebulae and clusters. Available every evening from Queenstown.

FROM £95
Kaikoura Whale Watch excursion
Kaikoura Whale Watch

Every whale watch tour is unique and sightings vary.  Giant sperm whales are the stars of the show and year round residents. A typical tour may also see New Zealand fur seals, pods of dusky dolphins and the endangered wandering albatross. Depending on the season you may also see migrating humpback whales, pilot whales, blue whales, southern right whales and orcas. There is also a large concentration and variety of seabirds. Available daily from Kaikoura (excluding 25 Dec).

FROM £96
Milford Sound Nature Cruise excursion
Milford Sound Nature Cruise

Travel by coach through impressive alpine scenery to Milford Sound. Board the nature cruise vessel for a leisurely cruise the full length of the fiord to the Tasman Sea. Explore points of interest and view the spectacular alpine scenery including waterfalls, rainforest and the towering peaks whilst keeping a lookout for wildlife including seals, dolphins and penguins. Available daily from Te Anau or Queenstown.

FROM £99
Doubtful Sound Wilderness Tour excursion
Doubtful Sound Wilderness Tour

This full day tour starts with a trip along the shores of Lake Wakatipu to Manapouri. Cruise across Lake Manapouri to West Arm, then travel by coach over Wilmot Pass through some of Fiordland’s most dense rainforest. At Doubtful Sound, enjoy a three hour cruise on the serene and isolated Doubtful Sound. See waterfalls, rainforest, mountains and wildlife, such as fur seals and bottlenose dolphins. On the return journey, the engines are turned off and you are treated to the ‘Sound of Silence’. Available daily from Queenstown.

FROM £199
Twin Glacier Helicopter excursion
Twin Glacier Helicopter

This 30 minute helicopter tour gives you the opportunity to fly over two of New Zealand’s most famous glaciers and marvel at the mantle of pure white snow as you land at the head of either the Franz Josef Glacier or Fox Glacier. The landing site is the perfect place to view the incredible natural phenomenon of the glaciers as they wind slowly down the carved valley. Experience incredible close up views exposing the extraordinary colours of the ice flow, ice caves and pinnacles in this largely inaccessible alpine region. Available daily from Franz Josef and subject to weather conditions.

FROM £228


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