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Exploring The South

Enjoy touring the South Island the ‘Unique’ way, relax and enjoy our stunning country. Our spacious and comfortable coach crosses the wild Cook Strait, creeps into ancient gullies, and even conquers the indomitable Southern Alps… twice. Enjoy the luxury of adventuring the South Island in a unique way, with like-minded people, in a completely hassle free fashion where everything is preplanned and stress free.

From $4,365 NZD Per Person

Tour Details

Tour Exploring The South
Days 21
Meals Breakfast 20, Dinner 19


Tour: Exploring The South
Days: 21
Meals: Breakfast 20, Dinner 19

DAY  1 – Palmerston North – Wellington – Nelson D

Eager to get on the road and begin our South Island adventure, we wave goodbye to Palmerston North with an early bird departure of 5am, arriving in Wellington for a morning ferry. Crossing the Cook Strait, through the Tory Channel and Queen Charlotte Sound, we reach the harbour town of Picton. We continue on to Nelson for a city tour and arrival at our hotel at approx. 4:30pm.

DAY 2 – Nelson – Westport – Greymouth B + D

Touring along SH 6 to the historic Kawatiri Junction we break for morning tea in the town of Murchison. As we travel through Upper and Lower Buller Gorge the natural beauty of the South Island abounds. Refuelled with lunch in Westport we make our way along the West Coast road to Punakaiki to the intriguing Pancake Rock formations and blow hole. Greymouth is our final stop for the day, arriving at approx. 5pm.

DAY 3 – Greymouth – Arthur’s Pass – Franz Josef B + D

Enjoying the gorgeous views of Lake Brunner we travel to Arthur’s Pass to observe the Otira Gorge Road Viaduct. After marvelling at this engineering feat we continue to the village of Arthur’s Pass for morning tea. Returning to the dramatic beauty of the West Coast, Hokitika welcomes us for lunch. Later in the day, optional excursion canopy walkway over mature rimu trees on the Hokitika Treetop walk before we make our way to Glacier country in the afternoon.

DAY 4 – Franz Josef – Glaciers – Haast B  +  D

After viewing Lake Wahapo and Lake Mapourika, you have the chance to experience a scenic helicopter flight exploring the glacial icefalls of Franz Josef Glacier and after lunch a visit to Fox Glacier.

DAY 5 – Haast-Wanaka-Queenstown B  +  D

After the excitement of the previous day, we leave the West Coast and take a relaxed drive along the Haast River and over one of the most spectacular scenic roads ever built; the Haast Pass. After a leisurely morning tea at Makarora, more stunning scenery awaits along the shores of Lake Wanaka, through the “Neck” as well as the shore of Lake Hawea to Wanaka. The interesting town of Cromwell on the shore of Lake Dunstan, beckons us for lunch. The afternoon sees us travelling the rugged Kawarau Gorge to the scenic beauty and bright lights of Queenstown.

DAY 6 – Queenstown-Arrowtown-Return B  +  D

We start the day with a visit to the beautiful and historic Arrowtown, then the world is your oyster with all that Queenstown has to offer. With free time allocated for the afternoon as well as tomorrow, our Optional Excursions are highly recommended.

DAY 7 – Queenstown B  +  D

Free Day or Optional Excursions.

DAY 8 – Queenstown-Te Anau D

We travel to Te Anau today with a stop in Kingston viewing the TSS Earnslaw Steamboat Jetty and look out over Lake Wakatipu and Kingston Town. Before we arrive for lunch in Te Anau we take advantage of a superb look out spot for stunning views overlooking Te Anau, Lake Te Anau and Lake Manapouri.

Day 9 – Te Anau-Milford Sound-Return B  +  D

Prepare to be mesmerised as today we travel to the majestic Milford Sound—a true jewel in nature’s crown. Geographically awe inspiring , nowhere else in Fiordland can compare.

Day 10 – Te Anau B  +  D

Free day or Optional Excursions.

DAY 11 – Te Anau-Invercargill D

Off the beaten track we travel through picturesque Riverton arriving in Invercargill in time for lunch. The afternoon finds us at the town of Bluff and visiting the end of SH1 at Stirling Point. Returning to Invercargill we visit the Information Centre Complex, home to the Museum, Art Gallery, the Roaring 40’s and the breeding centre of the Tuatara.

DAY 12 – Invercargill D

Free day or Optional Excursions.

DAY 13 –  Invercargill-Dunedin D

We enjoy a short stop in the prosperous rural town of Gore and after morning tea in Balclutha, we’re on the road again, heading to the city of Dunedin. After allowing time for lunch, a conducted sightseeing tour of this city rich in heritage, architecture and culture, the Edinburgh of the South will leave lasting memories for years to come.

DAY 14 – Dunedin B  +  D

Free day or Optional Excursions.

DAY 15 – Dunedin D

Free Day or Optional Excursions.

DAY 16 – Dunedin-Mount Cook-Twizel D

Leaving Dunedin behind, we marvel at the natural phenomenon that is the Moeraki Boulders before stopping for morning tea in Oamaru. We then travel up the Waitaki Valley, viewing the massive hydro-electric power projects on the Waitaki River before stopping for lunch in Omarama. The afternoon sees us skirting the shores of Lake Pukaki on our way to the Hermitage for our close encounter with the formidable Mount Cook/Aoraki, returning to Twizel for our overnight stop.

DAY 17 – Twizel-Timaru—Christchurch B  +  D

We travel through the Mackenzie Country this morning with a short stop at Tekapo visiting the world famous Church of the Good Shepherd and statue of the Sheepdog. We go through Burke’s Pass and Fairlie before arriving in Timaru for a sightseeing tour of the Inner City and a morning tea stop. Lunch is at Geraldine before we move on to the city of Christchurch arriving at the hotel at approx. 5pm.

DAY 18 – Christchurch-Akaroa-Return B + D

We have a great scenic trip to the picturesque town of Akaroa this morning where we spend a couple of hours exploring this beautiful town. The early afternoon sends us on a sightseeing tour of the city, including the Sign of the Takahe, Lyttleton and Christchurch inner city before returning to our hotel around 4.30pm.

DAY 19 – Christchurch B

Free day or Optional Excursions.

DAY 20 – Christchurch-Blenheim-Picton D

Heading north today we stop at Cheviot for morning tea before reaching the coastal town of Kaikoura for lunch. The seals along this beautiful coast line are true entertainers and a delight to watch. We enjoy afternoon tea in Blenheim before travelling further north to our overnight stop in Picton.

DAY 21 – Picton-Wellington-Palmerston North B

Board the ferry in Picton as we bid farewell to the stunning south. Disembark in Wellington and return to Palmerston North with memories, photographs and new friends to treasure.

  • All coach travel
  • Accommodation (max 2 share, upgrades available)
  • All dinners are 2 courses or buffet
  • All breakfasts included 
  • Good quality hotel accommodation
  • Expert and friendly tour manager with local knowledge
  • Tour Commentary
  • Plus many surprise stops on the way.
  • Upgrade your accommodation to a private room
  • Many exciting optional excursions, contact us for the list
  • Car Storage  – Palmerston North
  • Book accommodation before and after your tour

 All accommodation is selected for comfort, convenience and value for money. If you require accommodation before and after the tour in Palmerston North, please contact the Unique Holiday Tours office. All rooms twin share with private facilities.


Nelson Beachcomber Motor Inn 1 night
Greymouth Kingsgate Hotel 1 night
Franz Josef Scenic Hotel 1 night
Hasst Haast World Heritage Hotel 1 night
Queenstown Copthorne Hotel 3 nights
Te Anau Kingsgate Hotel 3 nights
Invercargill Kelvin Hotel 2 nights
Dunedin The Victoria Hotel 3 nights
Twizel MacKenzie Country Inn 1 night
Christchurch The Garden Hotel 3 nights
Picton Beachcomber Motel 1 night


South Island Tour Map

New Zealand Owned & Operated

Unique Holiday Tours is 100% New Zealand owned and operated. We are a small team that loves this country and loves what we do.

Great value for money

When choosing a Unique Holiday Tour you can be assured that you are getting great value for money.

Peace of Mind

Unique Holiday Tours has been assessed as a “Qualmark Endorsed Visitor Service”. Qualmark® is New Zealand tourism’s official mark of quality.

Travel with like-minded people

With the majority of Unique Holiday Tours travellers aged 55 plus you are sure to meet like-minded people and make new friends.

Activities and Excursions

Enjoy many extra optional activities and excursions on our tours.

Unique Itineraries

Our independent coach tours are unique to Unique Holiday Tours. They have been thoroughly researched by us to ensure your tour runs smoothly and they are updated regularly to include new accommodation, attractions and travel ideas and to reflect our customer feedback.
South Island Coach Tour South Island Coach Tour
Fox Glacier Helicopter Ride Fox Glacier Helicopter Ride
Hokitika, New Zealand Hokitika, New Zealand
manapouri-hydroelectric-power-station-new-zealand manapouri-hydroelectric-power-station-new-zealand
franz-josef-glacier-in-new-zealand franz-josef-glacier-in-new-zealand
signpost-in-the-stirling-point-world-distances-measured-from-the-worlds-southernmost-signpost-in-bluff-of-new-zealand signpost-in-the-stirling-point-world-distances-measured-from-the-worlds-southernmost-signpost-in-bluff-of-new-zealand
Queenstown, New Zealand Queenstown, New Zealand
christchurch-botanic-gardens-new-zealand-rose-garden christchurch-botanic-gardens-new-zealand-rose-garden
Picton, New Zealand Picton, New Zealand
milford-sound-south-island-new-zealand milford-sound-south-island-new-zealand
lake-pukaki-and-the-road-leading-to-mount-cook-village-in-new-zealand lake-pukaki-and-the-road-leading-to-mount-cook-village-in-new-zealand
Arthur's Pass, New Zealand Arthur's Pass, New Zealand
Lake-pukaki-view-from-glentanner-park-centre-near-mount-cook Lake-pukaki-view-from-glentanner-park-centre-near-mount-cook
franz-josef-glacier-in-new-zealand franz-josef-glacier-in-new-zealand
kaikoura-highway-kaikouras-coastal-highway-is-an-iconic-new-zealand kaikoura-highway-kaikouras-coastal-highway-is-an-iconic-new-zealand


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