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3-Day South Island Circle Tour from Christchurch

star-3.58 Reviews
Christchurch, New Zealand

From $1,041.81

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Number of travelers
1 Adult2 Adults3 Adults
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Safety measures
icon3 days  (Approx.)
Hotel pickup offered
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English


See the highlights of New Zealand's scenic South Island on this 3-day semi-independent tour, round-trip from Christchurch. Traveling by coach and train, you’ll stop in UNESCO-listed Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park and Queenstown, travel up the west coast to Franz Josef Glacier, and visit the Gold Rush town of Greymouth, then board the homeward-bound TranzAlpine train across the Southern Alps and past the Canterbury Plains. Listen to informative onboard commentary and enjoy two nights’ accommodation as you explore the sights independently.
  • 3-day tour of New Zealand's South Island
  • Visit the South Island's must-see sights on narrated coach tours, with time to explore more at your leisure
  • Travel through the mighty Southern Alps and visit Mt Cook, the tallest mountain in the country
  • Explore the rugged West Coast, with its glacial lakes and historic Gold Rush towns
  • See the impressive Franz Josef Glacier
  • Ride on the famous TranzAlpine Train from Greymouth back to Christchurch
  • Overnight hotel accommodation included
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2 nights of accommodation in 3-star hotels
Air-conditioned vehicle
Hotel pickup and drop-off
Live commentary on board
Food and drinks, unless specified

Departure Point

Traveler pickup is offered
Pickup from most Hotel, Motels & Backpackers

Departure Time

7:15 AM
  • Confirmation will be received within 48 hours of booking, subject to availability
  • Child rate applies only when sharing with 2 paying adults
  • Please note that this tour is an independent tour and you may be traveling with a different driver/guide and group each day
  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Stroller accessible
  • Service animals allowed
  • Near public transportation
  • Infants must sit on laps
  • Transportation is wheelchair accessible
  • Most travelers can participate
  • Collapsible wheelchairs with removable wheels can be accommodated providing the passenger is accompanied by someone who can assist them board and disembark
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 20 travelers
  • OPERATED BY Leisure Tours

If you cancel at least 7 day(s) in advance of the scheduled departure, there is no cancellation fee.

If you cancel between 3 and 6 day(s) in advance of the scheduled departure, there is a 50 percent cancellation fee.

If you cancel within 2 day(s) of the scheduled departure, there is a 100 percent cancellation fee.

  • This experience requires a minimum number of travelers. If it’s canceled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund.

Learn more about cancellations.

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
What is the maximum group size during 3-Day South Island Circle Tour from Christchurch?
This activity will have a maximum of 20 travelers.

See all safety measures taken by 3-Day South Island Circle Tour from Christchurch.


8 Reviews
2 stars

Reviews by Viator travelers

Showing 1-8 of 8 reviews
Nice trip
, Jan 2020
While a long trip, the visit to Mt Cook was fantastic, the train excursion from Dunedin fun and the local tour very good. Please note that the Queenstown part is late arrival, and only one night which really didn’t allow for any experience of Queenstown. Overall nice summary trip of South Island.
icon Response from Host , Jan 2020
Thanks for the great review of your 3 Day South Island Circle Tour, Michael. Though this tour is only 3 days long, it does pack in a lot of activities and I'm glad you were able to get a taste of what the South Island can offer. I'm pleased you had an overall nice trip and got to enjoy some wonderful scenery on your tour. Thanks again for the review and I hope you get to visit New Zealand again soon!
Its a great cliff notes tour of the...
Joline B
, Mar 2018
Its a great cliff notes tour of the Northern and Central part of the South Island. Especially if limited on time and not sure what to see. The Franz Josef Glacier was amazing, though one may consider trying to book an early evening helicopter ride onto the glacier as you cant otherwise actually get on the glacier. Would have loved more time in Queenstown - in hindsight would skip Christchurch and start in Queenstown as its a gorgeous city and not much to see in Christchurch. In Queenstown, we were booked at the Highview Apartments, which I would not recommend. The studio apartment was a bit of a walk from town and barely large enough for the bed. The office was closed when we arrived and departed had an envelope taped to office door with our room key and our view was of a parking structure. The alpine train was fun and osme of the scenery beautiful, but looked quite similar to the scenery on the hours of bus ride. The train was over an hour late, so we barely made our flight out of Christchurch - definitely stressful and worth noting if needing to catch a flight that evening.
The trip was truly enjoyable and...
Peter T
, Jan 2018
The trip was truly enjoyable and very well organized. At no point did I feel confused as to what to expect. Everything was as advertised and the bus drivers really friendly and helpful. I even learned about the sheep called SHREK. The scenery is really incredible and the hotels we stayed in very nice. Next time I will book for longer. Well done for giving me a stress free holiday,
This tour was a perfect survey...
Susan P
, Mar 2017
This tour was a perfect survey introduction to New Zealand's stunningly beautiful South Island. Canterbury Leisure Tours did a wonderful job with all the arrangements everything worked exactly as promised. I appreciate as well that they delivered final vouchers and itinerary to my hotel the day of my arrival. This tour allows you to see a lot of lovely scenery, and the coach drivers who also act as guide were all knowledgeable and friendly. The coaches have complimentary WiFi great for quickly sharing trip photos on social media, and the tour is organized with plenty of comfort stops. I would change only one thing. While there was plenty of time after arrival in Franz Josef to go see the glacier, the early evening arrival in Queenstown left very little time for exploring. I will take that as a good reason to visit New Zealand again, but those looking for more time at the overnight stops especially this one should be aware of the timing. Overall, though, kudos to Canterbury Leisure Tours for a most enjoyable tour.
First day bus had a very annoying...
kevin s
, Jan 2012
First day bus had a very annoying electrical fault with the intercom.Second day second bus a/c was broken.If all day on a bus is ok then you might like this tour.
This tour was great and we did get to...
Susan S
, May 2010
This tour was great and we did get to see a lot of great countryside - however I feel this tour wasn't timed very well. We got into Queenstown after dark, then left at 7:15am so had no time at all to explore the city properly which was extremely disappointing. Would have rather fewer pit stops or missing some other things on the way to get a few hours of light in Queenstown. The lunch stop on this day was at Mt Cook for 1hr 40mins. Too long. Can't do anything in the museum for lack of time, so would be better to have lunch and get back on the road for gain of sunlight hours in Queenstown. Again, there was the same problem in Franz Josef Glacier although we did have an hour of sunlight - would have been nice to have a bit more exploring time. On the third day - the timings were too rushed. We stopped for lunch at 2pm at a Salmon farm, though only had a 30 minute stop! They couldn't make us anything in that time frame so we had to have a pre- made sandwhich. All in all it was a very lovely and enjoyable tour. The tour guides were great and extremely informative. The only issue was had we known we would have had so little time in the Queenstown, we would have stayed an extra night as there are no timings etc. given when you book, you have no idea when you get where.
If you don't have a car this is the way...
Sara Christine M
, Dec 2009
If you don't have a car this is the way to go. Enjoyed my 3 day South Island Circle Tour from Christchurch. The bus drivers provided commentary on all sights we visited without being overbearing. I felt completely safe at all times. Saw enough to make me want to go back to the South Island and see more for a longer period, which means I can stop and see what really interests me.
Best trip ever, the guide was a wonder...
Jenny S
, Sep 2009
Best trip ever, the guide was a wonder, absolutely above all expectations.

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