• Escorted Tour

South Island Autumn Grand Tour

Featuring Franz Josef, Milford Sound, The Catlins & Mount Cook

The Scenic South Island. Autumn provides a stunning panorama of magnificent southern mountain scenery, meandering rivers and coastal plains. We take the time to explore the City of Christchurch and the Akaroa Peninsula. The West Coast, Queenstown, Te Anau and Milford Sound are all included before a special day in The Catlins. We take time in the Edinburgh of the South – Dunedin, before the tour concludes with two special nights at Mt Cook surrounded by some of the most spectacular mountain scenery in the world. Our tour escort ensures your 14-day tour is relaxing, fun and memorable.


Your travel itinerary

Saturday 08 May

Auckland – Christchurch

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Departing from Auckland on Air New Zealand to arrive Christchurch before lunch. Experience an orientation tour of the city before time to enjoy lunch in the heart of the city. Check into hotel with the remainder of the day free. Enjoy a welcome dinner tonight.


Sunday 09 May


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Depart by coach for a day on Banks Peninsula. The drive through natural beauty has spectacular views overlooking bays and beaches before arriving in Akaroa. Time to enjoy the history, shops, harbour and French character. Lunch at own expense before returning to Christchurch.


Monday 10 May

Christchurch – Franz Josef

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This morning we travel via Springfield for a home baked morning tea, before travelling via Arthurs Pass, the Otira Viaduct Lookout and onto Franz Joseph. A special stop along the way at the West Coast Treetop Walkway and café completes the day.


Tuesday 11 May

Franz Josef

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A sightseeing day to this unique part of New Zealand, passing through typical west coast bush and rain forests we explore both Fox and Franz Josef. If you prefer an optional helicopter ride from Franz Josef Glacier is available. Return to Franz Josef for dinner and a relaxing evening.


Wednesday 12 May

Franz Josef - Queenstown

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Today our journey continues south past Fox Glacier  winding through lush forests and eventually back to the coast line before catapulting you into the mountains and over one of the most spectacular mountain passes, the Haast Pass. The road then continues alongside the two mountain fed lakes of Wanaka and Hawea before entering the wine country at Cromwell and on into the Kawarau Gorge arriving into Queenstown late afternoon for a two night stay.



Thursday 13 May


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Today is at leisure to enjoy ‘The Jewel of the South’. Maybe take the gondola to admire the panoramic views of Lake Wakatipu or for the more adventurous a helicopter ride above Lake Wakatipu. The choices are extensive. 


Friday 14 May

Queenstown – Te Anau

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After breakfast we follow the Lake Wakatipu shoreline through farmland to the beautiful Lake Te Anau for a two night stay. An afternoon optional tour is available to the Te Anau Glow Worm Caves.  


Saturday 15 May

Milford Sound Cruise

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Drive through mountain beech forests framed by spectacular snow-capped mountains and the Homer Tunnel before emerging at Milford Sound for your lunch time cruise.


Sunday 16 May

Te Anau – Invercargill

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After breakfast we drive along the scenic southern route and rich Southland countryside to Invercargill. After lunch the afternoon is free. 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. 



Monday 17 May

Invercargill – The Catlins - Dunedin

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After breakfast we drive into the Catlins. Highlights include podocarp forests, rugged coastlines, hidden lakes and stunning waterfalls. The natural landscapes are enthralling.


Tuesday 18 May


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This morning enjoy a sightseeing tour of the ‘Edinburgh of the South’ including Olveston House, Signal Hill, the world’s steepest street, Botanical Gardens, University and the Forsyth Barr sports stadium. The afternoon is free.


Wednesday 19 May

Dunedin – Mt Cook

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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.


Thursday 20 May

Mt Cook

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A day to participate in optional activities and / or simply enjoying the area at your leisure. The Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre is included in your stay. Tonight enjoy a farewell dinner.

 Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre Your included Explorer pass will enable you to visit the centre which features a 3D movie theatre, planetarium and museum – valid for the duration of your stay. In the foyer of the theatre you’ll find the museum showcasing the history of the Mount Cook region through transport, climbing, and pioneer extraordinaire, Sir Edmund Hillary himself.


Friday 21 May

Mt Cook – Christchurch – home

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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. Arrive in time to fly home late this afternoon.



  • 13 nights hotel accommodation 
  • Cooked breakfasts daily
  • Five lunches and 11 dinners
  • All sightseeing and entrance fees as specified
  • Commentaries provided by your drivers and guides
  • Comfortable air-conditioned coaches with panoramic windows
  • Return airfares from Auckland to Christchurch (other destinations please ask)
  • All gratuities are included
  • Lunchtime scenic cruise of Milford Sound 
  • Olveston House Tour Dunedin 
  • Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre at Mt Cook


Cost Per Person *
Auckland - Auckland
Twin ShareSingle 
   $ 4,395  $ 5,598

*This is a cash or cheque price. Credit cards will incur a 2% fee
*Itinerary and costs subject to change, airline and fuel charges and currency fluctuations prior to final payment


  • Domestic travel insurance – please ask us for a quote
  • Items of a personal nature

Booking Conditions

  • A non-refundable deposit of $500 per person will secure a place on the tour  
  • FULL PAYMENT is due no later than 01 April 2021  
  • Bookings made after 01 April 2021 must be paid in full at time of booking



  • Deposit – non refundable
  • After 01 April 2021 – the tour is non refundable


Travel Insurance

We strongly advise all participants to take out suitable domestic travel insurance to cover cancellation costs. Please ask us for a quote


Advantages of joining our South Island Autumn Tour

Hassle Free

Our experienced tour escort allows you to sit back and relax. Our family friendly manner makes this a tour to remember.

Our Accommodation 

Accommodation has been carefully selected on location, a high standard of comfort and friendly, helpful service. Rooms have single, twin or double beds, en-suite bathroom, television, radio, telephone and generally have tea and coffee making facilities.

Travelling alone

We will do our utmost to match suitable participants in share accommodation to avoid the single room supplement.  For those who prefer, we have rooms for sole use.

Extend my holiday please

Yes, it is possible to extend your holiday at the end of the tour.

Health and Fitness

  • To ensure the tour is enjoyable for the whole group, a good standard of fitness is required with the ability to walk 400 metres unaided
  • Mobility frames are not practical or permitted

Optional Tours

The optional tours have always proved popular


May 2021

Tuesday 11 Fox Glacier to Mt Cook Helicopter Ride via Franz Josef $360 per person

Imagine flying the entire length of the Fox Glacier. There’s time for a glacier snow landing before descending the Glacier Valley, with the mountains behind.


Thursday 13 Queenstown Helicopter Flight $485 per person

Look down on spectacular scenery as you cross Lake Wakatipu with a special landing during the flight. Continue over Ben Lomond and the famous historic Skippers Canyon. See the renowned steep canyon walls of the Shotover River and fly past Coronet Peak and the Wakatipu Basin. 


Friday 14 Te Anau Glow Worm Caves $99 per person

Described by the Sydney Morning Herald as “one of the most unusual limestone cave experiences on the planet’, the Te Anau Glow Worm Caves is a must-do for anyone visiting Fiordland.

These optional tours attract a separate charge and can be included at time of final payment (see booking form)


Note: Pukekohe Travel reserves the right to correct errors and omissions on our website without recourse.
* Itinerary subject to change