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Southern Experience - 10 days Christchurch to Christchurch
Escorted holidays with passengers accommodated at superior, first class properties comprise First Light Travel flagship products and range in length from shorter duration tours starting at three days up to comprehensive tours of 31 days.
Tour Directors rich in cultural and historical knowledge. Experienced drivers focused on getting you where you’re going safely. Quality accommodation. Hearty breakfasts, delicious three course dinners and delectable buffets. The opportunity to strike up friendships with like-minded holiday makers from New Zealand, Australia and overseas. A flexible itinerary that ensures you see all the sights, as well as providing you with all the free time you need to make your holiday yours alone. That’s the First Light Travel difference.
- Airport transfers∗
- Welcome drink
- Travel in luxury air-conditioned coach with 2-door access, restroom, seatbelts, reclining seats, panoramic windows
- Experienced, professional Tour Director and Tour Driver
- 9 nights in rooms with private facilities in centrally located hotels
- 9 Breakfasts (B)
- 1 Lunch (L)
- 7 Dinners (D)
- View mighty Mt. Cook
- Church of the Good Shepherd
- Larnach Castle Dunedin
- Cruise on Milford Sound
- Day at leisure in Queenstown
- Bowen Falls and Mitre Peak
- View Franz Josef Glacier
- Punakaiki Pancake Rocks
- Cruise on the TSS Earnslaw
- TranzAlpine Train Journey
∗ Day 1: Flights to arrive prior to 4pm into Christchurch
Please contact us or complete our online enquiry form to receive further information on this tour or to check availability on your preferred date of travel.
YOUR TOUR ITINERARY
‘Haere Mai’ … welcome to New Zealand
Transfer from the airport to your hotel. Check in, then explore Christchurch for yourself. An evening welcome drink offers the chance to meet your Tour Director.
ACCOMMODATION: Terrace Downs Resort, Darfield.
Begin with a ride on the Christchurch Tram and enjoy a taste of country life with a barbecue lunch on Stan and Angie’s working farm. We’ll travel over the Canterbury Plains to See Lake Tekapo, Lake Pukaki, visit the Church of the Good Shepherd and soak up the spectacular alpine scenery of Mt. Cook National Park. You can also take an optional scenic flight over Mt. Cook (weather permitting).
ACCOMMODATION: MacKenzie Country Inn, Deluxe Rooms, Twizel. (B,L,D)
On your way to Dunedin you see the Waitaki Hydro Power Scheme, Benmore Dam and the famous white limestone buildings of Oamaru. At Dunedin you’ll tour the city, then you’ve got the afternoon to yourself – take a Wildlife Cruise, visit the Cadbury Chocolate Factory or ride the Taieri Gorge Railway, it’s your choice.
ACCOMMODATION: Scenic Hotel Southern Cross, Dunedin. (B,D)
Dunedin - Te Anau
A guided tour of New Zealand’s only castle - Larnach Castle and its gardens starts the day with your own time in town. Then you’ll head to Te Anau across fertile farming land to the shores of Lake Te Anau, the largest lake in the South Island. Tonight, if you choose to, you can see the Te Anau Glow Worm Caves.
ACCOMMODATION: Distinction Hotel, Te Anau. (B,D)
Today is a feast for the senses. Be wowed and awe-struck by the beauty of the World Heritage Fiordland National Park, New Zealand’s largest. Keep your camera close by as you’ll see Mirror Lakes, Pop’s Lookout, Cleddau Valley, the Chasm, the hand-made Homer Tunnel, Mitre Peak, Bowen Falls and stunningly photogenic Milford Sound, where you will cruise on the waters of this natural wonder. The Devil’s Staircase and Lake Wakatipu pass you by. Arrive at Queenstown for an orientation tour. The dinner option tonight is the Skyline Restaurant on Bob’s Peak - sensational views over Queenstown and a bonus Kiwi Haka Maori Show, plus you’ll ride the steepest Gondola in the Southern Hemisphere just to get there!
ACCOMMODATION: Millennium Hotel, Queenstown, 2 nights. (B)
Queenstown ‘Free Time’
Explore Queenstown your way. Go wild with jet boat rides or white water rafting. For the less adventurous there are wine and garden tours. For dinner you’ll travel across Lake Wakatipu and back on the TSS Earnslaw, New Zealand’s oldest steam ship, to Walter Peak Sheep Station for a carvery meal and sheep shearing demonstration. (B,D)
Queenstown - Franz Josef
The historic gold mining town of Arrowtown is our first stop today. The second stop is Cromwell and its sensational stone fruit. We’ll see a trio of lakes - Wanaka, Hawea and Dunstan. Travel over the Haast Pass, view the amazing Thunder Creek Falls, take a small rainforest walk, then it’s on to the spectacular Franz Josef Glacier - the world’s most accessible glacier.
ACCOMMODATION: Te Waonui Forest Retreat, Franz Josef. (B,D)
Franz Josef - Punakaiki
Explore Franz Josef Glacier - take an optional flight (weather permitting) or a glacier hike! Then you depart for Hokitika, home of the native greenstone (jade) for a factory visit and jewellery demonstration. It’s on to Punakaiki where we’ll view the Pancake Rocks and Blowholes. You’ll stay overnight at your eco-friendly resort right on the waterfront.
ACCOMMODATION: Punakaiki Resort, Punakaiki. (B,D)
TranzAlpine - Christchurch
Enjoy time at leisure before travelling via Greymouth to Arthur’s Pass where you’ll board the TranzAlpine, one of the top 6 train journeys in the world, which travels through the Southern Alps to Christchurch.
ACCOMMODATION: Terrace Downs Resort, Darfield. (B,D)
Today is yours; take your time exploring Christchurch, famous for being the most English city outside of England. It’s your last chance to experience New Zealand before you are transferred to Christchurch Airport for your onward flight. (B)
9th, 23rd, 30th
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