The Lovers Isle - Itinerary

 

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1

Welcome to Christchurch

After welcoming you at the airport and transferring you to your hotel, we will leave you to unwind: we have taken care of everything.

After checking in, why not step back to Edwardian times with a relaxing Private Punting Trip down the Avon River? It's a wonderful introduction to the "Garden City". Gliding gently along the river in a flat-bottomed boat, you will take in Christchurch's 'must-see' historic buildings and Botanic Gardens away from the hustle and bustle of the city streets.

Some other 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

Accommodation:
The George, a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, is located in the heart of Christchurch overlooking the picturesque Hagley Park and river Avon and just steps from the cultural precinct and key attractions. The George will offer you a supreme comfort, with personalised stay and attentive staff. The hotel is located in the heart of Christchurch, and its just steps away from cultural precinct and key attractions.
The George - Christchurch

2

Mount Cook National Park

Aoraki / Mount Cook National Park is part of UNESCO's Te Wāhipounamu (The Place of Greenstone) World Heritage region. Here in Mackenzie Country you'll find Australasia's highest mountain - Aoraki / Mount Cook (3,724m) - nestled in the splendid Southern Alps.

Known to Māori as Aoraki or Cloud Piercer, this magnificent mountain is surrounded by over 150 peaks along with countless glaciers, ice and snow fields, mountain lakes and ranges.

Today we recommend  a Mount Cook Helicopter Flight, affording you a spectacular bird's eye view of these natural wonders, with a landing on the Tasman Glacier to make you feel like you're on top of the world.

Approximate Distance: 311 kms | 193 miles  Total Driving Time: 4 hours 

Accommodation: Mount Cook - 1 Night

A stunning destination surrounded by the silent splendor of the Southern Alps and with spectacular views of Aoraki/Mount Cook and the surrounding National Park World Heritage area. There is a selection of properties within the Terrace Road campus from Hotel to Chalet and Mountainview Motels - all budgets and standards can be catered for.

Hermitage Hotel Mount Cook

3

Queenstown & Steamer to High Country Farm

Make the most of this morning to enjoy the beauty of Mount Cook National Park at your leisure. Take your time heading south this afternoon: you won't want to miss the spectacular scenery as it transforms from rugged ranges and mirror lakes to the winding Kawarau River Gorge. You will finally emerge into the lush green farmland surrounding Queenstown, your destination for tonight.

This Evening: Cruise across Lake Wakatipu to Walter Peak Station aboard the vintage steamship TSS Earnslaw. Sit back, relax and enjoy a gourmet barbecue dinner prepared in front of you at the Colonel’s Homestead. After dinner enjoy a short farm tour before reboarding the Earnslaw for a sing-along by the piano as you sail back to Queenstown.

Approximate Distance: 241 kms | 150 miles  Total Driving Time: 3 hours 

Accommodation: Queenstown - 2 Nights

Experience the sophistication of Queenstown Park Boutique Hotel, a haven of stylish, 5 star accommodation for all seasons. A boutique hotel with a modern romantic style and exclusive service awaits you in the heart of New Zealand’s adventure capital. Set in peaceful parkland, and savour views of Queenstown’s majestic mountains. Enjoy easy access to the vibrant town centre where shopping, cafes and nightlife are nestled on the shores of spectacular Lake Wakatipu.
Queenstown Park Boutique Hotel

4

Central Otago Wine Tour

It's time to get to know the world-class wines of the Central Otago region on a scenic Boutique Wine Tour. You will become acquainted with three of the region's finest wineries, and explore New Zealand's largest wine cave. With a knowledgeable guide and fascinating commentary, it's the perfect opportunity to start your wine cellar.

The tour will take you on a stunning drive through the rugged Kawarau Gorge: the historic suspension bridge here is home to the world's original commercial bungy jump site, and you may recognise the magnificent Kawarau River below as the River Anduin in the Lord of the Rings.


5

Spectacular Milford Sound Overnight Cruise

Enjoy astonishing views today as you travel along the winding Milford Road into the heart of Fiordland National Park. A location as beautiful as Milford Sound should never be rushed, so on arrival, you will board the purpose-built Milford Mariner for an unforgettable overnight cruise.

Milford Sound is nicknamed the ‘eighth natural wonder of the world and you’ll soon see why: when you are dwarfed by towering, rainforested cliffs, spectacular waterfalls and soaring mountain peaks, it's like walking through a world created for giants.

Look out for unique wildlife - you’re bound to spot seals and possibly dolphins or penguins while you swim, kayak or simply relax on deck. As evening falls enjoy a delicious buffet dinner before retiring to your private cabin and letting the world fall away.

Approximate Distance: 288 km | 179 miles  Total Driving Time: 3 hours 48 mins

Accommodation: Milford Sound - 1 Night

Accommodation:
For the ultimate Milford Sound experience, spend the night aboard the Mariner and wake up to the dawn of a new day in one of the most beautiful places on earth. The Milford Mariner then anchors in a sheltered cove, where you can join the nature guide and explore in the vessel’s tender craft (small boat) and kayaks. Or, if you prefer, you can simply relax on deck and soak in the beauty of this amazing place or go for a swim (if you’re brave enough). As evening falls, enjoy a delicious carvery buffet in the dining saloon, prepared freshly by our onboard chef. Then relax in the company of fellow travellers or indulge in some star-gazing before retiring to your private cabin 
Milford Sound Overnight Cruise

6

Milford Sound - Beautiful Lake Wanaka

Is there a more perfect way to start the day than watching the sun rise over Milford Sound? After a delicious onboard breakfast, soak up the more stunning scenery as you sail out to the Tasman Sea.

After returning to the wharf this afternoon you will journey to the peaceful lakeside township of Wanaka. It's another area of outstanding natural beauty, and several key Lord of The Rings movie scenes were filmed amid the unspoilt forests and lakes of this region. Even the short drive here is stunning, leading you over the rugged Crown Range on the highest main road in the country. Take your time and enjoy the scenic lookouts en route - your camera will get a workout.

Immerse yourselves in the gorgeous surroundings: try flightseeing, fly fishing, kayaking, sailing or horse riding. 

Approximate Distance: 343 km | 213 miles  Total Driving Time: 4 hours 40 mins

Accommodation: Lake Wanaka - 2 Nights

Tin Tub Luxury Lodge is situated on a stunning lake hosting mountain views in a simply spectacular Lake Wanaka location. The lodge gracefully sits in a garden setting on the hills overlooking the lake and mountains yet only a few minutes from Wanaka Township. Perfect for all seasons with its solar heated swimming pool, sauna, hot tubs (in the Lodge rooms), a gym and a drying room for the avid skier.
Tin Tub Luxury Lodge Lake Wanaka.

7

Relax on Lake Wanaka

On the shores of New Zealand's second largest lake, the town of Wanaka is often described as Queenstown's quieter little sister: the lake and mountain views are equally incredible, and many visitors count it as a favourite location on their New Zealand tour. 

This charming little township is easily explored on foot, and a stroll or bike ride around the picturesque shores of Lake Wanaka is a must. The mountain backdrop is perfect for a for a skydive or even a romantic flight in a vintage Tiger Moth plane.


8

Franz Josef Hot Pools

The drive from Wanaka to Franz Josef is one of the most scenic in New Zealand. Mountain passes give way to ancient rainforest and the windswept West Coast. There's beauty around every bend, with woodland walks and dramatic waterfalls along the way - perfect for picnic stops. Nestled in a rainforest clearing, Franz Josef Glacier Village lies at the heart of the Westland National Park. Welcome to one of the most diverse and beautiful areas of New Zealand.

In the evening, simply relax in your private Glacier Hot Pool and enjoy a rejuvenating soak under the stars.

Excursions available in and around the Franz Josef area:

Kayak Okarito Lagoon 

   Glacier Hot Pools       Glacier Scenic Flight

Horseback Riding  

   Walk to Glacier Face

   Glacier Heli-hike

 

Approximate Distance: 285 kms | 177 miles  Total Driving Time: 3 hours 36 mins

Accommodation: Franz Josef - 2 Nights

Te Waonui is the only luxury property of its kind in the area. The retreat is nestled in the lush bush with views of the natural environment at almost every turn. Located in Franz Josef, the retreat offers easy access to the many natural wonders of the South West World Heritage Area. Mountains, glaciers, rivers, lakes, coastline, and native flora and fauna all lie in wait at the doorstep for visitors to admire and explore.

Te Waonui Forest Retreat - Franz Josef

9

Franz Josef Glacier Flight and Walk

This is a fantastic introduction to an enthralling world of ice. The Franz Josef Heli Hike starts with a thrilling flight, high above the rugged terrain, you will land on the glacier, ready to undertake a three hour guided glacier hike.

Your friendly guide will lead you through some of the most pristine and awe-inspiring glacier scenery in the world. Your guide will choose your route carefully as you go and, with an eye for the most spectacular ice formations, you'll soon be making your way through an extraordinary land of towering peaks and glistening blue ice explaining the dramatic environmental changes over the last few years.

Time Walk: 3 Hours

Fitness Required: If you are moderately fit, you will enjoy this excursion. 

Equipment Supplied: We supply ankle supporting hiking boots with crampons. If it's looking like rain we provide the best in rain protection including Goretex Rain Jackets and waterproof over trousers.


10

TranzAlpine Train Journey to Christchurch

Begin your morning with a breathtaking coastal drive to Greymouth. You might like to pause in Hokitika for a spot of shopping - this town is home to many artisan carvers of the local pounamu (greenstone), which is sacred to Maori. A unique, locally carved greenstone pendant would be a special way to remember your trip.

Arriving in the town of Greymouth it's time to drop off your car and head to the station to begin the TranzAlpine Scenic Rail Journey.

Renowned as one of the great train journeys of the world, you will descend through spectacular gorges, river valleys and over massive viaducts before completing your journey at Christchurch.

Approximate Distance: 173 km | 107 miles  Total Driving Time: 2 hours 18 mins

Accommodation: Christchurch - 1 Night

Accommodation:
The George, a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, is located in the heart of Christchurch overlooking the picturesque Hagley Park and river Avon and just steps from the cultural precinct and key attractions. The George will offer you a supreme comfort, with personalised stay and attentive staff. The hotel is located in the heart of Christchurch, and its just steps away from cultural precinct and key attractions.
The George - Christchurch

11

Bon Voyage!

"Haere rā" Goodbye! and Bon Voyage! Today we say farewell. We take care of your transfer to Christchurch Airport where you will board your onward flight, taking with you the magical memories of a truly exceptional New Zealand holiday.


Profile picture for user Jess
What Jess says about this tour: "We just know you're going to fall for with New Zealand's South Island! Focusing on our spectacular lake and mountain regions, you'll never forget soaring over Mt Cook by helicopter together, traversing Lake Wakatipu on a vintage steamship, and cruising beneath the towering fiords of Milford Sound. Top it all off with one of the world's greatest railway journeys for a honeymoon experience you'll cherish forever."
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