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5 Day South Island Circut: Trains, Glaciers and Milford Sound from Christchurch

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Discover the highlights of New Zealand's South Island, from stunning glaciers to vast National Parks there's plenty to explore! Tour highlights include the world-famous TranzAlpine Scenic Train, a glacier Heli Hike, Glacier Hot Pools and an unforgettable day trip to Fiordland for a Milford Sound Nature Cruise. The perfect way to fit the best of the South Island into five day!

This is an Independent coach tour, where you travel on a combination of touring coaches and sightseeing services with commentary and/or point to point coaches which may not have commentary. You will be with different people on each part of the tour and different drivers. You have free time to explore on your own and are free to choose where and when to eat, meals are not included unless specified.

What You'll Get


Day 1: TranzAlpine Scenic Train from Christchurch to Greymouth and continue on to Franz Josef

Stop At: TranzAlpine & Coastal Pacific, Troup Drive, Addington, Addington, Christchurch 8011, New Zealand
Considered one of the world's great train journeys, the TranzAlpine Scenic Train travels between Christchurch and Greymouth, from one coast of New Zealand to the other. From your carriage you'll see the fields of the Canterbury Plains and farmland, followed by the spectacular gorges and river valleys of the Waimakariri River. Your train then climbs into the Southern Alps before descending through the lush beech rain forest to the West Coast town of Greymouth.
Duration: 5 hours

Stop At: Greymouth, Greymouth, West Coast Region, South Island
On arrival into Greymouth, it’s a short walk to the bus stop, where you’ll board your coach to Franz Josef. Travel down the West Coast, enjoy the beautiful landscape of vast rain forests, gushing waterfalls and snow-capped mountains before arriving into the small village of Franz Josef. From here you can explore the world-famous Franz Josef Glacier.
Duration: 3 hours

Pass By: Franz Josef, Franz Josef, Westland National Park (Te Wahipounamu), West Coast Region, South Island
Franz Josef has plenty to offer visitors, including an abundance of forest and alpine walking tracks. The main attraction in Franz Josef is, of course, the glacier. Very few places in the world have such large glaciers almost at sea level and even more unusual is that the lower slopes are among the rainforest.

No meals included on this day.
Accommodation included: Choice of standard Premium Motel or superior 4-Star Hotel

Day 2: Experience an awe-inspiring Heli Hike and the Glacier Hot Pools

Stop At: Franz Josef Glacier, Glacier Access Road Westland Tai Poutini National Park, Franz Josef, Westland National Park (Te Wahipounamu) New Zealand
Experience a thrilling Heli Hike today! After an exhilarating scenic flight, high above the rugged terrain, you will land on the glacier, ready to undertake a 2.25 hour guided glacier hike. Your guide will choose your route carefully as you go and, with an eye for the most spectacular ice formations, you’ll soon be making your way through an extraordinary landscape of towering peaks and glistening blue ice.

Duration: 4 hours

Stop At: Glacier Hot Pools, 63 Cron Street Glacier Base, Franz Josef, Westland National Park (Te Wahipounamu) 7886 New Zealand
Following your Heli Hike, unwind in one of the three main hot pools. Temperatures range from 36 to 40 degrees and the water comes directly from a glacial stream. Nestled within the lush rainforest surrounds, the Glacier Hot Pools is a haven of tranquility.
Duration: 3 hours

No meals included on this day.
Accommodation included: Choice of standard Premium Motel or superior 4-Star Hotel

Day 3: Franz Josef Glacier to New Zealand's Adventure Capital of Queenstown

Stop At: Queenstown, Queenstown, Otago Region, South Island
Leave the small village of Franz Josef and journey through the remote and rugged landscape of the West Coast. Cross over to the east through Haast Pass, the southernmost pass in the Southern Alps. On the other side, enjoy picture-postcard views of vibrant blue lakes like Lake Hawea, Lake Wanaka and Lake Dunstan as you make your way into scenic Queenstown, arriving in the late afternoon.
Duration: 8 hours

No meals included on this day.
Accommodation included: Choice of standard Premium Motel or superior 4-Star Hotel

Day 4: Enjoy a Milford Sound Nature Cruise and Coach from Queenstown

Stop At: Milford Sound, Te Anau, Fiordland National Park 9679 New Zealand
Hop on board a Real Journeys luxury glass-roofed coach in Queenstown, you will enjoy a relaxing trip along the shores of Lake Wakatipu and through the rolling countryside to Te Anau while the coach driver provides an informative commentary. After a morning tea break in Te Anau (own expense), the coach continues along the spectacular Milford Road where there is time for photo stops and short walks along the way. On reaching Milford Sound, you board your Milford cruise for a leisurely extended cruise of the fiord. The cruise provides excellent viewing opportunities and plenty of time is available to enjoy waterfalls, rain forest, mountains and wildlife with extensive commentary by the onboard nature guide.
Duration: 12 hours

Meals included:
• Lunch: Picnic boxed lunch aboard the Milford Sound Nature Cruise. Please advise any dietary requirements.
Accommodation included: Choice of standard Premium Motel or superior 4-Star Hotel

Day 5: Queenstown to Christchurch via stunning Mt Cook National Park

Stop At: Mt. Cook Village, Mt. Cook Village, Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu), Mackenzie District, Canterbury Region, South Island
Travel to the foothills of New Zealand's highest mountain, Aoraki / Mount Cook on your way to Christchurch. Travel through ruggedly beautiful landscape and over the Lindis Pass into the Mackenzie Country. Enter the amazing Aoraki / Mt Cook National Park, home to New Zealand's highest mountain and stop at Mount Cook Village, where you will enjoy a delicious lunch at the famous Hermitage Hotel.
Duration: 5 hours

Stop At: Christchurch Bus Interchange, Corner of Lichfield St and, Colombo Street, Christchurch Central City, Christchurch 8011, New Zealand
In the afternoon, travel past Lake Pukaki to Lake Tekapo, where you can view the solitary Church of the Good Shepherd. Then continue through the diverse farmland of the Canterbury Plains to Christchurch, where your tour concludes.
Duration: 5 hours

Meals included:
• Lunch: Buffet lunch at the Hermitage Hotel Mt Cook
No accommodation included on this day.

Additional Information

  • Confirmation will be received within 48 hours of booking, subject to availability
  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Near public transportation
  • Infants must sit on laps
  • Most travelers can participate
  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 20 travelers
  • 2x Lunch
  • Accommodation included: 4 nights
  • Air-conditioned vehicles
  • Return coach transport from Christchurch
  • Breif commentary on board coaches and tours
  • 4 nights accommodation
  • TranzApline Scenic Train
  • Franz Josef Heli Hike
  • Glacier Hot Pools
  • Milford Sound Nature Cruise
  • Entry/Admission - TranzAlpine & Coastal Pacific
  • Entry/Admission - Franz Josef Glacier
  • Entry/Admission - Glacier Hot Pools
  • Entry/Admission - Milford Sound
  • Entry/Admission - Christchurch Bus Interchange

  • Meals unless specified
  • Pre and post tour accommodation
  • Gratuities
  • Travel insurance. We recommend travel insurance for all tours

Departure Point
TranzAlpine & Coastal Pacific, Troup Drive, Addington, Addington, Christchurch 8011, New Zealand

Departure Time
8:15 AM

5 days

Return Details
76 Lichfield Street, Christchurch Central City, Christchurch 8011, New Zealand

Voucher Info
You can present either a paper or an electronic voucher for this activity.

The tour identified in this promotion is made available through Viator. Groupon is not affiliated with or sponsored by the Discover New Zealand in connection with this deal. Please contact Groupon customer service for all inquiries related to this offer. Inquiries placed to Viator will be directed back to Groupon.

This offer is not eligible for promo codes.

The Fine Print

7-day cancellation rights do not apply; no refunds or exchanges permitted. Voucher valid only for date and time listed; may not be exchanged or redeemed for other dates. Purchaser name and phone number must be provided at checkout; this information will be shared with Viator and the tour operator for purposes of order fulfillment. Groupon promo codes may not be used for this offer. Groupon voucher Terms of Sale do not apply. See the tour operators terms and conditions for this offer here. Merchant is solely responsible to purchasers for the care and quality of the advertised Goods and services.