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South Island Bus Pass from Christchurch

This bus pass from Christchurch allows you to explore the South Island with limited time. Most bus passes require at least 12 days to comfortably travel the South Island, but this pass gets you around the South Island in as little as one week.

You journey starts with a trip across the Southern Alps. The base price includes a bus, however you can choose to upgrade and take the incredibly scenic TranzAlpine train to Greymouth for only $99. You’ll then catch the main hop on hop off bus in Greymouth where you will travel down the West Coast to Franz Josef to experience the Franz Josef Glacier Hike (extra and optional, but highly recommended). 

Highlights

  • ON SALE! Book this pass and get a FREE TranzAlpine Scenic Train Upgrade! Must commence travel before 31 October 2018.
  • Experience crossing over New Zealand’s Southern Alps – either by bus or train
  • Explore the Adventure Capital of Queenstown
  • Choose to spend an extra day in Queenstown for a day trip to Milford Sound
  • Go for a hike in Aoraki Mt Cook National Park
  • Travel the South Island in only a week

What's Included

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PRICE: $695 NZD

Number of Days 8

Starts: Christchurch Finishes: Christchurch

Tour Type: Hop on Hop Off Bus Pass

DEPARTS FROM Christchurch ON

March 01, 2018 - April 30, 2018: Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday
May 01, 2018 - September 30, 2018: Tuesday, Friday and Sunday
Tour Itinerary EXPAND ALL

You’ll leave Christchurch first thing this morning, so will need to arrive the morning before your planned departure. It’s across the incredibly scenic Southern Alps – watch the landscape change from rolling farmland to snow capped mountains to West Coast bush. It’s an incredible way to start your travels around the South Island.

Once you reach Greymouth, you’ll hop on the main hop on hop off bus and head down the West Coast to Franz Josef. Spend the night in a backpackers lodge in the rainforest before your highly recommended glacier hike the next day. 

For only $99 you can upgrade to take the famous TranzAlpine Railway from Christchurch to Greymouth, whereas the base price includes a shuttle bus. $99 for the train journey is great value and highly recommended. 

ACCOMODATION

Lodge surrounded by the rainforest. 

SIGHTS

Free Activities: Explore the village, go for a hike. Paid Activities: Guided hike on the Franz Josef Glacier, go quad biking, go horse riding, scenic flights. 

Today is yours to explore Franz Josef. Most choose to go on a guided trip of the EPIC Franz Josef Glacier. 

ACCOMODATION

Lodge surrounded by the rainforest. 

SIGHTS

Free Activities: Explore the village, go for a hike.

Paid Activities: Franz Josef Glacier Hike, quad biking, scenic flights. 

We depart in the morning stopping for hostel pick-ups at Fox Glacier before heading for the amazing mirror Lake Matheson. Today we cross the mountainous Haast Pass and Makarora towards Wanaka. We’ll pass by the beautiful Lake Hawea and arrive in Wanaka late-afternoon in time to enjoy this picturesque lakeside town.  

ACCOMODATION

Central hostel.

SIGHTS

Free Activities: Stunning views on the way to Wanaka, Blue Pools walk, Thundercreek Falls walk, explore Wanaka.

We depart around mid-morning, giving you time to check out amazing views of the lake either by skydiving or taking a walk up Mt Iron! Then we’re off to Queenstown – the Adventure Capital of the World. 

ACCOMODATION

Central Hostel. 

SIGHTS

Free Activities: Watch people bungy jump, go for a hike.

Paid Activities: Bungy jump, skydiving, jet boat tour. 

Today is yours to explore Queenstown, or partake in one of dozens of adventure activities. Stick around Queenstown for as long as you like, there’s plenty to do. 

ACCOMODATION

Central Hostel. 

SIGHTS

Free Activities: Walk up Queenstown Hill, check out the Resort Town’s great views.

Paid Activities: Too many too list! Adventure activities galore, Lord of the Rings Tours, Wine tastings. 

Today it’s off over the Lindis Pass en route for New Zealand’s highest peak. We arrive in the early afternoon with time to do a Mt. Cook 4WD and Argo Tour, check out the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine centre or do one of the many great short walks in the park. 

ACCOMODATION

Stunning alpine lodge inside the National Park. 

SIGHTS

Free Activities: Take photos of stunning scenery.

Paid Activities: Cruise on a lake filled with iceburgs. Scenic flights. 

Leaving Mt Cook we make our way through a landscape made famous in the 'Lord of the Rings' films. We make a stop at turquoise Lake Tekapo before heading on to Geraldine, where we will drop off   the thrill seekers wanting to raft the top notch Grade 5 white water on the Rangitata River. Those not rafting will continue on to Christchurch for a mid-afternoon arrival, giving you time to explore parts of the South Island’s largest city. 

ACCOMODATION

Purpose built backpackers near the city centre

SIGHTS

Free activities: Take photos of stunning scenery, go for a walk around central Christchurch

Paid activities: Rangitata River rafting (late September – late March only).

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Reviews

2 reviews
Tony
February 2016

Amazing trip, was well good!

I was travelling solo and this trip was the perfect way to see the South Island. The group on the bus was heaps of fun. Would do it again if I could! The TranzAlpine trip from Christchurch to Greymouth was incredible

Too many highlights to list them all, but thanks heaps to Planit and Mat for helping organise.

Trip Date: December 2015

  • Overall Rating
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Mary
August 2016

I cannot recommend this bus pass highly enough for the solo traveler to New Zealand! Fantastically knowledgeable, fun, and friendly drivers, adventurous and welcoming fellow travelers, and excellent itineraries for seeing the best this gorgeous country has to offer. If you're traveling alone or with a partner or small group, you couldn't find a better traveling family! Booking through Planit NZ is definitely the way to go, as Matt and his team are extremely knowledgeable, very quick to respond to messages, and absolute pros at taking care of every last detail so you can relax and enjoy your holiday, confident that everything from your transportation to your accommodation is well in order. Huge thanks to Matt and the Planit NZ team for introducing me to New Zealand; I'll be back soon!

Trip Date: July 2016

  • Overall Rating
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