South Island Tour
Home  >  New Zealand  >  South Island, New Zealand  >  21 Day Ultimate South Island Experience & Cruise


Christchurch, Franz Josef, Queenstown, Invercargill, Dunedin,...
Travel in a small group and enjoy a cruise on the Celebrity Eclipse on this 21 Day Ultimate South Island Experience & Cruise. Discover all the scenic magic of touring New Zealand including the breathtaking Milford Sound cruise and the world-famous TranzAlpine Rail journey.
Start Location: Christchurch End Location: Melbourne
  • TranzAlpine Rail Journey
  • Skyline Queenstown Gondola and Luge Ride
  • Cruise Lake Wakatipu on the TSS Earnslaw
  • Lakes District Museum
  • Bill Richardson Transport World Guided Tour
  • Burt Munro, World's Fastest Indian Memorabilia
  • Larnach Castle
  • Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre
  • International Antarctic Centre
  • City sights tour of Christchurch
Day 1: Arrive Christchurch

On arrival into Christchurch, you will be greeted by a Grand Pacific Tours representative and transferred to your hotel. Enjoy a complimentary pre-dinner drink as you meet your travelling companions.
Overnight: Christchurch
Meals: Dinner
Day 2: Christchurch - Arthurs Pass - Franz Josef

This morning board the TranzAlpine, renowned as one of the great train journeys of the world. Travel over massive viaducts, river valleys and spectacular gorges as you ascend to Arthur's Pass located in the centre of the Southern Alps. Board your coach and travel to Hokitika, famous for its Greenstone before continuing to Franz Josef where time is available to experience a scenic flight (optional, weather permitting) over the spectacular glaciers.
Overnight: Franz Josef
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Day 3: Franz Josef - Queenstown

See the snow-capped peaks of the Southern Alps as you travel south along the West Coast to the township of Fox Glacier. Continue via the Haast Pass, an area of stunning beauty before arriving into picturesque Queenstown, a year-round resort situated on the shores of Lake Wakatipu
Overnight: Queenstown
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Day 4: Queenstown Sightseeing

This morning board a scenic Gondola for a ride to the top of Bob's Peak to take in the panoramic views of Queenstown and surrounding mountains. There is even time for a thrilling luge ride! Enjoy some free time at leisure. This evening board the vintage steamship TSS Earnslaw and cruise across Lake Wakatipu to Walter Peak Station. Sit back, relax and enjoy a delicious gourmet barbecue dinner featuring a menu of seasonal, fresh and locally sourced food at the Colonel's Homestead. After dinner enjoys a short farm tour then reboard the TSS Earnslaw for a sing-along by the piano as you cruise back to Queenstown.
Overnight: Queenstown
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Day 5: Queenstown (Free Day)

Enjoy a day at leisure to soak in the atmosphere of one of New Zealand's most exciting and beautiful destinations. With many sightseeing options on offer, your Coach Captain is available to assist. Why not experience the thrill of a jet boat ride, a heritage tour to Skippers Canyon or get up close to a Kiwi bird. This evening is also free to dine at one of the many eateries found in town.
Overnight: Queenstown
Meals: Breakfast
Day 6: Queenstown - Invercargill

Farewell Queenstown and travel to Arrowtown, an old gold mining village where you can visit the Lakes District Museum. Continue to New Zealand's southernmost city, Invercargill. This afternoon a guided tour is included of the Bill Richardson Transport World, an amazing private collection housed in a purpose-built Art Deco building. Displays include vintage trucks, rare classic cars, petrol pumps as well as an evergrowing showcase of Wearable Arts.
Overnight: Invercargill
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Day 7: Invercargill - Dunedin

A trip to Invercargill wouldn't be complete without a visit to see some of the memorabilia of the legendary Burt Munro, Speed Bike Racer, as depicted in the movie 'The World's Fastest Indian'. Continue through the remarkable region of The Catlins, where lush rainforest spills onto brilliant beaches. Visit the spectacular triple tiered cascading waterfall at Purakauni and enjoy a picnic lunch. Travel to Nugget Point, where there are opportunities to see wildlife as you walk to the lighthouse with spectacular views. Arrive into Dunedin for your overnight stay.
Overnight: Dunedin
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Day 8: Dunedin - Mt Cook

Travel along the Otago Peninsula to Larnach Castle, hear the tragic and scandalous stories on a guided tour. There is time to wander around this Garden of International Significance followed by an Ultimate High Tea served in the Grand Ballroom. Farewell Dunedin and travel to Oamaru famous for its limestone. Follow the Waitaki River and see Lake Benmore as you travel to Mt Cook. There is time this afternoon to discover the history of this iconic region in The Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre.
Overnight: Aoraki Mount Cook Village
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Day 9: Mt Cook - Christchurch

This morning marvel at Mt Cook, New Zealand's highest peak. The opportunity is available to enjoy a scenic flight (optional, weather permitting) over the Southern Alps. Continue to Lake Tekapo and view the brilliant turquoise water, the Church of the Good Shepherd and the Sheep Dog Statue before arriving into Christchurch. Here you will visit the International Antarctic Centre, designed to provide an informative account of life in Antarctica. Feel the chill of the Antarctic storm room, take a ride on the Hagglund all-terrain vehicle, see the little blue penguins and be astonished within the immersive 4D theatre. Enjoy a city tour before arriving at your hotel.
Overnight: Christchurch
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Day 10: Christchurch - Auckland

Enjoy a leisurely start to your day before boarding a local flight to the 'City of Sails', Auckland located in the North Island. You will be transferred to the wharf to board the Celebrity Eclipse® to commence your 11 night cruise around New Zealand and back to Australia.
Overnight: Celebrity Eclipse
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Day 11: Tauranga

Located in the Bay of Plenty, Tauranga is situated at the entrance to one of the largest natural harbours in New Zealand. Port Times Arrive 07:45 Depart 18:30
Overnight: Celebrity Eclipse
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 12: Cruising

Relax and enjoy the comforts of this stunning superliner. While at sea enjoy the onboard facilities, world-class cuisine and the entertainment not to mention your AquaClass® stateroom.
Overnight: Celebrity Eclipse
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 13: Napier

The beautifully preserved 1930s Art Deco architecture is Napier's special point of difference. The best way to enjoy the streetscape is on a self-guided walk. Port Times Arrive 08:00 Depart 17:00
Overnight: Celebrity Eclipse
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 14: Wellington

Situated at the southern end of the North Island, Wellington was recently named the 'Coolest Little Capital'. On the waterfront is Te Papa, New Zealand's National Museum, one of the best interactive museums in the world. Port Times Arrive 08:00 Depart 17:00
Overnight: Celebrity Eclipse
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 15: Picton

Cruise through the many inlets and bays that make up the Marlborough Sounds to Picton, the gateway to the South Island. This small seaport is only a short distance from the Marlborough wine region, famous for its sauvignon blanc. Port Times Arrive 08:00 Depart 17:00
Overnight: Celebrity Eclipse
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 16: Christchurch

In Christchurch you will see state-of-the- art architecture, vibrant street art, bustling restaurants, laneways and green public spaces. Take time to explore the city by tram or Edwardian punt along the tranquil Avon River. Port Times Arrive 08:00 Depart 17:00
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 17: Dunedin

Situated on the magnificent Otago coastline, explore Dunedin's historic architecture and beautiful botanic gardens. Port Times Arrive 08:00 Depart 17:00
Overnight: Celebrity Eclipse
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 18: Dusky, Doubtful and Milford Sounds

Sail into the narrow fiords of Dusky, Doubtful and Milford Sounds. Your ship will seem to shrink in comparison to the towering cliffs topped by lush mountain terrain. Scenic cruising.
Overnight: Celebrity Eclipse
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 19 - 20: Cruising

Enjoy a quiet refuge by day, gazing over the sea with a cocktail in hand.
Overnight: Celebrity Eclipse
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 21: Melbourne

Time to say goodbye after a memorable New Zealand holiday.
Meals: Breakfast
We accept
Interested in this trip? Contact Us for 2023 dates and prices

Applicable taxes vary depending on travel destination and are not included. Please ask your sales agent what extra taxes will be payable for your tour.
  • Sightseeing and attractions as listed
  • 9 nights in a 4.5 star accommodation
  • 19 Meals: 9 Breakfast, 8 Dinners, 1 Picnic & 1 High Tea
  • Souvenir Group Photo
  • Professional Coach Captain
  • *BONUS: $US50 on-board credit per Stateroom
  • Internal flights from Christchurch to Auckland
  • Airport to hotel transfer in Christchurch
  • Port taxes
  • Airfare and transfer from Melbourne to your home port on the last day
  • Items (attractions and sightseeing & entrance fees) not listed as included in the itinerary
  • Credit card payment fees, where applicable
  • Meals not listed
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Gratuities to guide & driver
  • Travel insurance (Strongly recommended, ask us for a quote!)
Can't find what you're looking for? Our specialists can take away the stress and create a custom trip tailored to your exact interests and budget.
Get A Custom Quote
OR CALL 1.866.814.7378
Custom Trip Plans You can see what you want, when you want, how you want.
Unique Experiences Experiences that help you take in the region in a different way.
Freedom To Explore Time to take in each place with only the tours you want to do.
Ask A Question
Tour Questions

What is the maximum number of travellers in a group?

Anderson Vacations specializes in Small Group Fully Escorted tours. If the tour is classified as a ‘Classic Tour’ up to 24 persons may join the tour although tours commonly travel with anywhere between 18 to 24 travellers. If the tour is classified as a 'Tour of Distinction’ only up to 18 persons may join the tour and many 'Tours of Distinction' travel with 12 to 18 travellers.

What are Guaranteed Departures?

After dreaming about travel to an exciting destination, arranging for time off work, booking your flights the last thing you need is for your trip to be cancelled. Anderson vacation's pre-Guaranteed tours take the uncertainty away from planning your travel and give you peace of mind to book our tours. Pre-Guaranteed Tours are group tours that we have already confirmed as certain to travel on the specified date. All 'Guaranteed Tours' will travel except in the event of a natural disaster or a catastrophic event that is beyond our control. They may already have the minimum number of people booked or else are tours that are known to be popular. Only select departures of tours are 'pre-Guaranteed'.

What happens if I book on a tour that is not Guaranteed?

We pride ourselves on providing “a small shared group experience.” In the event that we have fewer than ten participants on a tour we will offer a “small-group surcharge” to ensure that the tour runs as scheduled. This fee, which is up to 15% of the “land” portion of the tour, will be offered to you as an option to continue with the trip. This fee will cover the costs associated with handling a smaller group.

What is the average age of passengers for this tour?

Our tours are suitable for all age demographics. The average age of travelers is typically 45+.

How physically demanding is this tour? Are you able to accommodate people with mobility restrictions/limitations?

Some tours are mainly coach based and may not be physically demanding while others may require walking inclines or on rough surfaces to access interesting locations. Please check with us and your booking agent carefully and discuss your mobility restrictions before completing any tour booking to ensure this style of travel is right for you.

Can you accommodate passengers with dietary restrictions (food allergies, vegan, vegetarian etc.)?

Yes, we do accommodate dietary restrictions (within reason) such as, food allergies, vegan, vegetarian, etc. There are many meals included on our fully escorted tours. Please inform us of any dietary restrictions at the time of booking so we can ensure there are alternative meal choices.
Booking & Flight Questions

Do you arrange airport transfers?

Yes, we can assist you with airport transfers for you in most locations at a reasonable extra cost. Several tours have airport transfers already included. Please contact us for more details.

Can you assist with booking additional accommodation?

Yes, we can certainly assist with booking additional nights of hotel accommodation for you before and after your fully escorted tour. This is available upon request and subject to availability. Please inquire for further information and prices.

How much luggage should I bring?

Each passenger may bring one large suitcase and one carry-on bag. The weight limit for baggage is 20 kilograms or about 40 pounds. Baggage handling is provided at the hotels in our tour packages but there may be places where you will be required to wheel in your bags for quicker access. Be sure to advise our reservations staff if you will be bringing additional items such as a cane, walker, or wheelchair. You may also bring one small soft-sided carry-on bag, which should easily fit into the overhead shelf of a coach. Each person is responsible for his/her own carryon luggage. Remember to check your airline baggage restrictions if you are flying, as they may differ from Anderson Vacations guidelines.

I am a solo traveller. Is there a single surcharge?

There are options for single travelers to join most tours. Solo travellers can choose to pay a Single Supplement and have their own room throughout the tour. For those willing to share with a co-traveller of the same gender, we have a Twin Share option that is offered for most tours where you share a hotel room with another same gender traveller. In this case, you will not be charged for Single Supplement.

Is it possible to book a triple share accommodation?

Yes, it is possible to book triple share accommodations on select trips. Please inquire or contact us regarding this option, as prices and availability vary from tour to tour.

Can we book this tour with our exclusive group?

Yes, you can! Anderson Vacations works with many private groups and helps to customize a tour to traveller’s needs. Please contact us for more details.

Are gratuities included in the tour cost?

For convenience, gratuities for local guides and meals that are specified in the itinerary are included in the tour price. For meals not included in your tour package please remember that it is customary to tip your server 10-20% in North America. Gratuities for your Coach Driver (where appropriate) and Tour Director are entirely at your discretion. We recommend about CDN $5.00 per person, per day, for your Driver and CDN$7.00 per person, per day for your Tour Leader.
Ready? Have More Questions? Over 25 years offering custom trips and small group tours.
OR CALL 1.866.814.7378

The style our travellers have enjoyed for over 20 years, these tours feature inclusive itineraries to popular destinations including the 'must see' sites and attractions. Led by an expert Tour Leader, you will enjoy comfortable accommodation, and coach transport throughout the journey.

Click Icon to Read More.

These tours are defined by their incomparably unique itineraries, featuring 'off the beaten path' destinations and immersive experiences. An intimate group size allows us to stay in smaller, centrally located, unique and boutique style inns, lodges and hotels, utilize traditional local transportation and dive deep into each destination's local culture and traditions.

Click Icon to Read More.

These tours are defined by their incomparably unique itineraries, featuring 'off the beaten path' destinations and immersive experiences. An intimate group size allows us to stay in smaller, centrally located, unique and boutique style inns, lodges and hotels, utilize traditional local transportation and dive deep into each destination's local culture and traditions.

Click Icon to Read More.

These tours are defined by their incomparably unique itineraries, featuring 'off the beaten path' destinations and immersive experiences. An intimate group size allows us to stay in smaller, centrally located, unique and boutique style inns, lodges and hotels, utilize traditional local transportation and dive deep into each destination's local culture and traditions.

Click Icon to Read More.