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This amazing journey through the heart of the South Island includes two unique rail journeys; the spectacular TranzAlpine and Taieri Gorge Trains. With plenty of leisure time in some of the most amazing settings this is the perfect South Island tour.
Day 1 – Arrive Christchurch
Arrive into Christchurch and transfer independently to your hotel. The remainder of the day is free to explore. Christchurch is one of the worlds most unique destinations, combining urban regeneration and innovation with heritage, culture and exhilarating activity. Perhaps youll visit one of the citys new restaurants, see vibrant street art or check out the amazing retail areas. Overnight in Christchurch.
Day 2 – Christchurch & West Coast Glaciers
Board the TranzAlpine train at 8.15am and journey across the Canterbury Plains, wind up the dramatic gorges of the Waimakariri River to Arthurs Pass. After exiting the Otira Tunnel and the forests of the West Coast reach Greymouth and board your coach to Franz Josef Glacier.
Day 3 – West Coast Glaciers & Wanaka
Travel south with a backdrop of towering peaks to the top of Haast Pass before exiting the West Coast Rain Forest for the semi arid landscape of Central Otago.
Day 4 – Wanaka
Today is free to explore this unique alpine village, its lake and its region. Nestled below towering mountains, Wanaka is the most tranquilly set of the South Island lakes.
Day 5 – Wanaka to Dunedin
Transfer to Cromwell and join your scenic coach service through to Dunedin. Travel through the real outback high country, view the impressive hydro electric Clyde Dam before arriving into Dunedin with its Scottish links and Gold Mining history. Enjoy lunch at your own leisure before connecting this afternoon with the Taieri Gorge Train which takes you through tunnels and spectacular gorges to Pukerangi, before returning to Dunedin.
Day 6 – Dunedin & Te Anau
This morning is free to explore Dunedin. Dunedin is a region of unique landscapes and fascinating cultural history. Enjoy getting close to rare wildlife and soaking up the quirky city vibe. Early afternoon depart Dunedin to climb over Saddle Hill before descending to the Taieri Plains. Skirting Lake Waihola over the South Otago farmlands before crossing the Clutha River and passing through Gore and Lumsden on the way to Te Anau – the Gateway to Fiordland.
Day 7 – Te Anau, Milford Sound & Queenstown
Today travel through the remote wilderness of Eglington Valley, part of the world Heritage Area, to finally emerge from the Homer Tunnel on the way to Milford Sound. Join a cruise along this magnificent fiord. Marvel at the waterfalls tumbling thousands of feet down sheer rock faces to the sea below, at the bird and marine life that is so prevalent and at the sheer primeval beauty of the region. Return to Te Anau, crossing the tussock country of Northern Southland, to reach Lake Wakatipu and Queenstown.
Day 8 – Queenstown
Today is free to explore Queenstown. We have included a ride on the Skyline Gondola high atop the Queenstown basin.