ARRIVE IN CHRISTCHURCH
‘Haere Mai’ and welcome to New Zealand!
Welcome to Christchurch, New Zealand’s Garden City. Flights can arrive any time prior to 4.00pm and you will be transferred from the airport to your Christchurch hotel. After you check-in, you can head out and explore Christchurch. Step back in time to a grand era of transport and relax as the Christchurch Tram takes you around the 'must-see' central attractions. The tram drivers provide a live commentary throughout the loop, identifying points of interest, historic architecture and the changes the city is under-going since the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes. This evening, you will meet everyone at a welcome reception.
Some Suggested Activities Options for Christchurch
|Easygoing Cycling Tour||Punting the Avon River||Lyttelton Harbour Wildlife Cruise|
|Māori Cultural Evening||French Akaroa Tour||Southern Alps Ballooning|
|Christchurch Gondola||Clearwater Golf||Arthur's Pass TranzAlpine Hike|
Accommodation Christchurch - 1 night
TRANZALPINE TRAIN INTO GLACIER COUNTRY
It’s ‘all aboard’ this morning as we begin our adventure on the renowned Tranz Alpine Railway, rated as one of the top 6 rail journeys in the world. Be entranced by the spectacular panorama that unfolds outside your window – the tracks wind through the very heart of the Southern Alps, a mighty mountain landscape that’s home to craggy gorges, soaring peaks and ribbons of crystal-clear rivers. We disembark at Arthur’s Pass National Park.
This afternoon, we drive to Hokitika, where a nearby river is famous for being a traditional source of pounamu (greenstone). We stop in at a pounamu jewellery factory for a close-up look at this special native gem. Journeying onwards, we reach our final destination of Franz Josef Village – and here, you’re in for a real treat. The Franz Josef Glacier tumbles down from the Southern Alps almost to the sea, its ancient icy faces contrasting spectacularly with the surrounding rainforests.
Meals: Full Buffet Breakfast and Dinner
Accommodation Franz Josef - 1 night
FRANZ JOSEF - QUEENSTOWN
Today we venture across the mountains, driving up and over the Haast Pass and travelling past dramatic rivers, forests and mountains. We stop to stretch our legs on an easy forest track that leads to dazzling blue pools and the amazing Thunder Creek Falls. We journey along the shores of the turquoise-blue lakes of Wanaka, Hawea and Dunstan, and make our way through the rugged cliffs of the Kawarau Gorge and onwards to Cromwell. This is the stone fruit capital of New Zealand, so we stop to pick up a bag or two of delicious cherries, nectarines or apricots. In the afternoon we make our way to the charming village of Arrowtown, located on the banks of the Arrow River and steeped in gold mining heritage.
The adventure capital of New Zealand, Queenstown, is our final destination for today. Enjoy an evening of free time in this stunningly picturesque place.
Meals: Full buffet breakfast
Accommodation: Queenstown - 2 nights
QUEENSTOWN AT LEISURE
The alpine grandeur, adventure activities and relaxing pursuits of Queenstown are all yours to enjoy as you see fit. If you’re after excitement, choose from activities like a thrilling wilderness jet boat ride or an adventurous white water rafting trip. For something more relaxing, wine tours in the Gibbston Valley or a stroll around the Botanic Gardens are both highly enjoyable. This evening a special experience awaits across the other side of Lake Wakatipu this evening. We cruise the pristine waters aboard New Zealand’s oldest steamship – the TSS Earnslaw – to our destination of Walter Peak Station. Here, we enjoy a delicious carvery dinner and a farm show at the Colonel’s Homestead.
Recommended Queenstown Excursions:
|Routeburn Day Walk||Highest Bungey Jump||Explore Arrowtown|
|Biking Skippers Canyon||Round at Millbrook Golf Resort|
|Earnslaw Steamboat Cruise||Dart River Jetboat Safari|
Meals: Breakfast and highlight dinner
CRUISE ON THE MAJESTIC MILFORD SOUND
Today promises to be one of the major highlights of your time in New Zealand. We journey to Te Anau, the gateway to the stunning Fiordland National Park, before driving the spectacular Milford Road. Lush forests, glacier-carved valleys, snowy peaks and mirror-like lakes dot this very special driving experience into a renowned World Heritage Site. Continuing through the hand-carved Homer Tunnel and on to Milford Sound itself, the views of this grand fiord are breath taking. We explore its inky waters on a boat cruise, soaking up the surroundings of granite cliffs, tumbling waterfalls and unique wildlife before journeying back to Te Anau for the night.
Meals: Full buffet breakfast, dinner
Accommodation Te Anau - 1 night
TE ANAU - DUNEDIN
Venturing south, we journey through the rich, fertile farming landscapes of South Otago before arriving in the distinctly Scottish city of Dunedin. Majestic Victorian architecture dots the city centre, but one of the main attractions is the rare wildlife that lives here. Dunedin is home to rare yellow-eyed penguins as well as the world’s only accessible mainland colony of Northern Royal Albatross. These princely ocean adventurers are thrilling to see up-close. Experience Dunedin your way with an afternoon of free time. Take a wildlife cruise, visit the Cadbury Chocolate Factory or enjoy a historic rail experience on the Taieri Gorge Railway.
Meals: Full Buffet Breakfast
Accommodation Dunedin - 1 night
DUNEDIN - OMARAMA
This morning you have some free time in Dunedin. You may want to visit the Cadbury Chocolate Factory, or journey out to the gorgeous Larnach Castle – New Zealand’s only castle. Or you may just wish to roam around the beautiful grounds of New Zealand’s first university, Otago University. Bidding a fond farewell to Dunedin, we drive north to Oamaru and see the stunning 19th - century architecture the town is famous for. Following the banks of the Waitaki River we pass the huge hydro-electric dams of Waitaki, making our way to Omarama – our destination for tonight.
Meals: Full Buffet Breakfast and Dinner
Accommodation: Omarama - 1 night
OMARAMA - CHRISTCHURCH
Today we traverse the stunning landscape of the central South Island. Cloaked in golden tussock and decorated with mighty rivers and bright blue alpine lakes, this is a very special part of New Zealand. We journey past Mount Cook National Park, home to the country’s highest peak. For spectacular views and a different perspective, choose to take an optional scenic flight if the weather permits.
Afterwards we continue towards the coast, stopping at the jewel-coloured lakes of Pukaki and Tekapo. Here we visit the charming Church of the Good Shepherd– located right on the banks of the lake, it offers spectacular photo opportunities. Leaving the alpine scenery behind, we drive through the patchwork of the Canterbury Plains, arriving in Christchurch for our final night. Enjoy a city sights tour and see how Christchurch is rebuilding after the devastating earthquakes of 2010 and 2011.
Meals: Full Buffet Breakfast & Final Dinner
Accommodation Christchurch - 1 night
Homeward Bound"Haere rā" Goodbye! and Bon Voyage!
Today it’s time to bid farewell to New Zealand. Enjoy breakfast in your hotel before being transferred to the airport to begin your homeward journey.
Some suggested activities if you have time.
|Punting the Avon River||Lyttelton Harbour Wildlife Cruise|
|French Akaroa Tour||Southern Alps Ballooning|
|Clearwater Golf||Arthur's Pass TranzAlpine Hike|
- Journey over the Southern Alps on the TranzAlpine Train
- Visit a green stone factory & watch the jade artists at work
- Discover fascinating Franz Josef Glacier
- Travel through the magnificent rainforest of Haast Pass
- Taste Central Otago’s famous stone fruit at an orchard
- Visit the old gold mining village of Arrowtown
- Indulge in a unique dinner experience in Colonel’s Homestead at Walter Peak
- Sail on Lake Wakatipu aboard steamship TSS Earnslaw
- Let loose in the adventure capital Queenstown
- Cruise on mystical Milford Sound
- Travel past ancient glaciers, spectacular mountains and magical rainforest en route to Milford Sound
- Stay on the shores of Lake Te Anau
- Visit Church of the Good Shepherd on the shores of Lake Tekapo
- Journey through spectacular Mt. Cook National Park
- Comfortable accommodation
- Travel by luxury coach
- Airport transfers
- Experienced Travel Director and Driver Guide
- Full buffet breakfasts (8)
- Highlight dinner (1)
- Dinners (5)