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|Dedicated Travel Consultant||Detailed Daily Itinerary and Vouchers|
|Full 24 Hour Support||50 Page Essential New Zealand Guide|
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
MOUNT COOK National Park
Aoraki / Mount Cook National Park is part of UNESCO's Te Wāhipounamu (The Place of Greenstone) World Heritage region. Here is 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 snowfields, 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 km | 193 miles Total Driving Time: 4 hours
Accommodation: Mount Cook - 2 Nights
Tasman Glacier Explorer Cruise
Experience the Tasman Glacier Terminal Lake and its icebergs, in Aoraki Mount Cook National Park. A unique guided experience departing Aoraki/Mount Cook village by bus to the beautiful Tasman Valley followed by a 1/2hr gentle alpine walk. Board our MAC boat, and explore the Tasman Glacier Terminal Lake, where you will discover the ever-changing ice face of the Glacier and icebergs, making each trip different from the last due to changing winds and currents.
Knowledgeable guides, enhance your experience with their expertise and passion for this amazing alpine environment. Have you ever been alongside, discovered, or touched an iceberg?
DUNEDIN - SCOTTISH CITY OF GRACE AND GRANDEUR
En route to Dunedin today, be sure to stop at Koekohe Beach to view the Moeraki Boulders. There are over 50 of these 65-million-year-old natural wonders strewn along the sands. They are up to 2 metres wide and the largest weight of around 7 tonnes!
The name "Dunedin" comes from the Scots-Gaelic name for Edinburgh: "Dun Eideann" and you won't have to look hard to see the Scottish influence in this lovely old university town.
A popular attraction here is Larnach Castle, built-in 1871. It took 200 workers three years to build, and twelve years to decorate! Housing a unique New Zealand antique collection and beautiful gardens, it's a relaxing place to meander.
Approximate Distance: 317 km | 226 miles Total Driving Time: 3 hours 50 Min
Accommodation: Dunedin - 2 Nights
Otago Peninsula Wildlife Cruise
This morning you'll hop on board a fascinating Wildlife Cruise around Taiaroa Head and its dramatic cliffs. Later, you'll encounter another rare New Zealand native: the shy Hoiho (Yellow-Eyed Penguin)
Otago Peninsula Wildlife Cruise
The Otago Peninsula was described by the internationally-acclaimed environmentalist Dr. David Bellamy as “the finest example of eco-tourism in the world." As you cruise around Taiaroa Head, watch for New Zealand Fur Seals playing near their breeding colonies. Out at sea, you may also come across albatross and petrels as well as penguins, dolphins, and other marine mammals.
The Otago Peninsula was described by the internationally-acclaimed environmentalist Dr.David Bellamy as “the finest example of eco-tourism in the world."
Te Anau - Gateway to Fiordland - Glowworm Caves
Te Anau is another area of breathtaking natural beauty, and several key Lord of The Rings movie scenes were filmed amid the unspoiled forests and lakes of this region. Immerse yourselves in the gorgeous surroundings: flight-seeing, fly fishing, kayaking, sailing and horse riding are all on offer and are great ways to get up close to nature.
The excursion begins with a cruise across spectacular Lake Te Anau to a remote section of the lake with the entrance to the caves hidden by a large and beautiful native forest. By geological standards, the caves are young (12,000 years) and are still being carved by the river that flows through them. The system is a twisting network of limestone passages filled with beautifully sculpted rock, underground waterfalls complete with whirlpools.
The quite top section of the system houses a series of small lakes, here you will be taken by small boat pulled along by rope into a silent hidden grotto’s inhabited by thousands of small glow-worms. In the subterranean darkness, they produce a magical display almost like you are staring up at the Milky Way that is nothing short of extraordinary.
Approximate Distance: 290 km | 207 miles Total Driving Time: 3 hours 29 minutes
Accommodation: Te Anau - 2 Nights
Spectacular Doubtful SOUND CRUISE
Transfer to Manapouri this morning for a very special cruise in one of New Zealand's most remote and beautiful wilderness areas: Doubtful Sound.
Larger and deeper than better-known Milford Sound, Doubtful is by far the quieter of the two. A visit to its isolated splendor is a peaceful, almost religious experience. Being so remote, getting here is half of the fun!
After a leisurely cruise across picturesque Lake Manapouri you'll travel by road over the Wilmot Pass to Deep Cove, where you will board your trusty cruise vessel, The Patea Explorer. You'll find spacious deck areas perfect for viewing the cascading waterfalls, abundant wildlife, rainforest, and mountains of Doubtful Sound.
An onboard nature guide will answer questions, point out landmarks, and provide you with information about the varied wildlife you may encounter. Dolphins, fur seals, and the rare Fiordland crested penguin are among the many non-human visitors to this impossibly vast, secluded wilderness paradise.
Let the majesty of Doubtful Sound unfold before you and take your breath away.
QUEENSTOWN & Steamer to High Country Farm
Take your time heading to Queenstown today: 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.
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: 173 km | 107 miles Total Driving Time: 2 hours 8 minutes
Accommodation: Queenstown - 2 Nights
Jetboat into Mount Aspiring National Park
Journey deep into the heart of the world-renowned Mt Aspiring National Park, where myth, heritage, and fantasy come to life. As one of Queenstown’s most exhilarating activities, our Wilderness Jet, half-day adventure takes you on a spectacular journey deep into the heart of the world-renowned Mount Aspiring National Park.
You’ll experience a unique combination of breath-taking scenery and an exhilarating ride as we follow the braided, glacier-fed rivers by jet boat with exciting 360 degree spins along the way. Your guides give you their authentic touch, talking about the area’s rich history, the Greenstone trail and countless Maori legends. We’ll also take the chance to tie up the boat and let you walk amongst the ancient beech tree forests – an atmosphere you may recognize from The Lord of the Rings films. It’s a complete Queenstown to Glenorchy experience in an untouched natural wonderland.
Lake Wanaka Cruise & Island Wildlife Walk
The picture-postcard scenery of Lake Wanaka is our stage today, this afternoon you're heading out onto the lake with a short cruise to one of five small islands on the lake and a very special place indeed - Mou Waho Island.
With a history of boat building, Mou Waho is now a predator-free bird sanctuary, home to endangered native species including the comically curious Weka. Your guide today is a local conservation stalwart and he will enlighten us all on the efforts going in to protect our native species on a hiking/nature walk. Aside from the insights into conservation and ecology, the views from the top of the island will make your photo highlights reel for sure - from the high point of the island looking north, there is no evidence of human habitation as far as the eye can see.
Approximate Distance: 70 km | 44 miles Total Driving Time: 1 hour 10 mins
Accommodation: Wanaka - 1 night
FRANZ JOSEF Glacier
The drive from Wanaka to Franz Josef is one of the most scenic in New Zealand. Mountain passes give way to the 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, you can simply relax in a private Glacier Hot Pool and enjoy a rejuvenating soak under the stars.
Excursions available in and around the Franz Josef area:
|Glacier Hot Pools||Glacier Scenic Flight|
|Walk to Glacier Face|
Approximate Distance: 285 km | 177 miles Total Driving Time: 3 hours 36 mins
Accommodation: Franz Josef - 2 Nights
Kayaking Okarito Lagoon Nature Reserve
The expansive shallow waters of Okarito Lagoon form New Zealand’s largest unmodified wetland. Surrounded by Kahikatea and Rimu rainforests, this special place provides an isolated, unspoiled habitat for a host of unique and rare birdlife.
Here, shallow waters extend into rainforest river deltas, making kayaking the best way to explore this natural wonderland. As you paddle, look out for the White Heron (Kotuku) as well as Shags and Royal Spoon Bills.
The rarest of New Zealand’s five kiwi species, the Okarito Kiwi, also lives in the area. More than 70 other bird species have been recorded here – the lagoon is a birdwatcher’s paradise. On a clear day, you’ll also be able to enjoy stunning views of Mount Cook, Mount Tasman and the Southern Alps standing sentinel in the distance.
Tranzalpine Rail 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