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Lower South Island in Winter

Duration: 11 Days

Price: $4,197 NZD

Departure From: Auckland

Departure Date: 22 August 2022

Tour Type: Escorted Tour

Meal Plan: B&B and selected meals

Physical Grading: 2


New Zealand has its own magical winter wonderland deep in the Lower South Island.

For this lower South Island tour, we have combined a coach trip into the Hermitage at Mt Cook with a chartered private train that will give you the opportunity to experience the lower South Island at this special time of year. 

Travelling on train lines that passengers no longer get to experience, your journey starts by exclusive private train down the coast from Christchurch, pauses for two nights in Oamaru to explore this delightful Victorian town. You will enjoy sightseeing in the area before rejoining the train and travel on to Invercargill for a further two nights before returning to Dunedin. 

From Dunedin travel continues by is by coach as we travel up alongisde the Waitaki River via Lake Aviemore and Omarama to Mt Cook and the iconic Hermitage Hotel for two nights which promises to be a winter highlight.

You will have a day of leisure in Mount Cook where you can enjoy the alpine setting, either from the warmth of your accommodation, or by venturing out on a walk or even a glacial lake boat trip.

Your journey is complete upon your return to Christchurch. Should you wish to add a TranzAlpine return train journey at the end of the tour, please let us know at the time of booking.

Lower South Island in Winter Highlights

  • Travel by exclusive charter train
  • Christchurch walking tour
  • Walking tour of the Oamaru Victorian Precinct
  • Take in the delights of the Steampunk movement
  • Duntroon Vanished World fossil centre
  • Dunedin city tour
  • Discover the Catlins Coast
  • Visit Mount Cook and stay at the famous Hermitage Hotel
  • Enjoy time at the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre
dunedin railway station
The ‘most photographed building in NZ’ – Dunedin Railway Station

TranzAlpine Tour Extension

Add an extra day to your tour and board the TranzAlpine train to traverse the spectacular Southern Alps to the West Coast. Cross the Canterbury Plains through Darfield and climb the mountain range including a stop at Arthurs Pass. Our descent takes us through Otira and the renowned rain forests and wetlands to Greymouth. After a short time to explore this West Coast town rejoin the train for your return journey to Christchurch.

Ask at the time of booking for costing including TranzAlpine train, transfers and additional nights accommodation.

TranzAlpine Travelling through the snow
Add an extra nights accommodation and return journey on the TranzAlpine at the end of your tour..

For a detailed itinerary, departure details, and booking conditions, please see below.

Click here for alternate South Island tours featuring the TranzAlpine train.

Tour Inclusions

  • Return flights Auckland – Christchurch
  • Nine nights accommodation
  • Travel by comfortable coach with panoramic windows
  • Travel on an exclusive charter train
  • Meals as indicated within the itinerary; 9 breakfasts (B), 3 lunches (L) and 7 dinners (D)
  • Sightseeing and entrance fees as specified in the itinerary.
  • Travel escorts
  • Additional nights accommodation, transfers and TranzAlpine rail journey are at an additional cost.

Pricing Notes

  • Advertised price based on per person, twin share
  • Pricing is for departure on 22 August 2021
  • Non-refundable deposit of $500 per person is due at time of booking
  • Full non-refundable balance of tour payment is due 24 June 2022
  • Bookings made after 24 June 2022, full payment is required
  • A single supplement is available for $949 NZD,
  • Price is subject to change unless paid in full
  • Costings for additional night including TranzAlpine rail journey will be quoted at the time of booking.

Tour Itinerary

Day 1: Auckland to Christchurch
Depart mid-morning from Auckland on Air New Zealand to arrive Christchurch at midday. This afternoon enjoy walking tour of rebuilt Christchurch, with the balance of the day free. Welcome Dinner tonight. (D)
We join our exclusive chartered train and travel south through rolling farmland and coastal inlets via Timaru to arrive in Oamaru for a two night stay. This evening join an optional tour to visit the Blue Penguin Colony of Oamaru. Optional Tour Blue Penguin Colony visit (Oamaru) $32 per person The birds return from their days fishing, make their way across the beach, up a stony ramp and cross to the colony. The colony began when a small number of blue penguins began nesting in a rock quarry area at the edge of Oamaru Harbour in the early 1990s. Today it is Oamaru’s largest tourist attraction.
After breakfast join our local guide for a fascinating walking tour of Oamaru with its Victorian Precinct built of Oamaru stone. Steampunk has grown rapidly over the past 10 years to make Oamaru the “capital of Steampunk” in the world. Free time to enjoy lunch. Continue onto Duntroon to visit the Vanished World Centre and learn about the unique fossil history of this area.
After breakfast, board our train and travel through Dunedin, Gore and Balclutha before arriving in Invercargill, to enjoy one of the southernmost cities in the world.
This morning we will have an excursion to Bluff before a free afternoon to explore the city. Why not discover the world class vintage truck collection at Bill Richardson Transport World, or learn about the legend of speed - Burt Munro at E Hayes Motorworks. Or simply take a stroll through the botanical gardens.
Rejoin our train and travel to Balclutha where we will join our coach and have short visit into the Catlin’s to Nugget Point lighthouse before continuing onto Dunedin for a two night stay.
This morning enjoy a sightseeing tour of the ‘Edinburgh of the South’ including Signal Hill, the world’s steepest street, Botanical Gardens, University and the Forsyth Barr sports stadium. The afternoon is free. An optional tour to the Dunedin Royal Albatross Centre is available this Afternoon Optional Tour Royal Albatross Centre $60 per person Albatrosses are the world’s largest seabirds. They normally breed on remote islands and spend at least 85 percent of their lives at sea, well away from land and human view. Dunedin’s Taiaroa Head is the only mainland Royal Albatross breeding colony in the world and is a great day out from Dunedin (group numbers are limited).
After breakfast we travel north to Oamaru and then inland alongside the Waitaki river passing through Duntroon, Kurow, the Benmore Dam, Omarama, the gliding Capital of New Zealand before arriving at Mt Cook for our two night stay.
A day to participate in optional activities and / or simply enjoying the area at your leisure. The Sir Edmond Hilary Alpine Centre is included in your stay.
We depart Mt Cook National Park after breakfast returning again past the azure waters of Lake Pukaki, through Tekapo, Fairlie and Geraldine across the Canterbury Plains to Christchurch. Farewell dinner tonight.
Transfer to the airport for return flights to Auckland or other destinations. If you would like to add a return journey on the TranzAlpine please let us know at the time of enquiry.

For more information about this tour, price queries and updates on specials, please Enquire Now.