This is a 10 day mid-size group tour that travels the South Island of New Zealand, starting and finishing in Christchurch.
This morning board the TranzAlpine, renowned as one of the great train journeys of the world. Travel over massive viaducts, river valleys and spectacular gorges as you ascend to Arthur’s Pass located in the centre of the Southern Alps. Board your coach and travel to Hokitika, famous for its Greenstone before continuing to the township of Franz Josef where time is available to experience a scenic flight (optional, weather permitting) over the spectacular glaciers.
See the snow-capped peaks of the Southern Alps as you travel south along the West Coast to Fox Glacier township. Continue via the Haast Pass, an area of stunning beauty before arriving into picturesque Queenstown, a year-round resort situated on the shores of magical Lake Wakatipu. This evening is free to dine out at one of the many fine restaurants.
Today is a free day to explore Queenstown. Your Coach Captain and Tour Leader will assist with the many optional activities available. You may wish to enjoy the thrill of a jet boat ride, a heritage tour of the scenic Skippers Canyon or to get up close to a Kiwi bird. This evening board the vintage steamship TSS Earnslaw and cruise across Lake Wakatipu to Walter Peak Station. Sit back, relax and enjoy a delicious gourmet barbecue dinner featuring a menu of seasonal, fresh and locally sourced food at the Colonel’s Homestead. After dinner enjoy a short farm tour then reboard the TSS Earnslaw for a sing along by the piano as you cruise back to Queenstown.
Enjoy a leisurely start this morning before travelling to Arrowtown, an old gold mining village where you visit the Lakes District Museum. This innovative museum is heavily involved in the protection of the historic buildings scattered around town. Continue to Te Anau, the gateway to Fiordland. Today you may like to visit the Te Anau Glowworm Caves (optional).
Depart Te Anau for a fascinating drive to Milford Sound where you board your launch for a cruise on this magnificent fiord. See the spectacular Bowen Falls and towering Mitre Peak as you enjoy lunch onboard. This afternoon return to Te Anau where some free time is available. You might like to cap off your Fiordland experience by watching the breathtaking film, Ata Whenua – Shadowland, which screens at the Fiordland Cinema (optional).
Travel via Gore and Balclutha to Dunedin known as the ‘Edinburgh of the South’ and enjoy city tour. Travel along the Otago Peninsula to Larnach Castle where you will hear of the tragic and scandalous history on a guided tour. Enjoy time to wander around this Garden of International Significance followed by a delicious Devonshire Tea.
Farewell Dunedin and travel to Oamaru famous for its limestone. Follow the Waitaki River and see Lake Benmore as you continue to marvel at Mt Cook, New Zealand’s highest peak. The opportunity is available to enjoy a scenic flight (optional, weather permitting) over the Southern Alps. Travel to Twizel for your overnight stay.
Continue to Lake Tekapo and view the brilliant turquoise water, the Church of the Good Shepherd and the Sheep Dog Statue before arriving in Christchurch for a city tour. This evening enjoy a pre-dinner drink and reminisce on memories shared with your new friends at the farewell dinner.