Tour # SWTA – Starts Aug 6th – Ends Aug 16th 2016
Winter in the south – New Zealand goes into overdrive during winter as crisp blue skies, steaming geothermal pools and vibrant festivals enliven the country from north to south. The New Zealand ski season runs from June to August.
The North and South islands both have world-class ski fields set in spectacular scenery, and there’s just as much excitement off the slopes with weekend breaks for designer shopping and world-class dining experiences. Running the length of the South Island, the Southern Alps have many public and numerous private ski fields. Coronet Peak in Queenstown is New Zealand’s most popular ski field. By end of August the snow is beginning to melt as the weather warms and spring pokes its head upwards toward the sunshine. This is truly the most beautiful time to visit the south of this wonderful country. You will never again see scenery as beautiful. New Zealand truly is the world in miniature. Come, see for yourself.
Saturday 6th August
Welcome to Christchurch, where your next journey begins. Let us know your flight details and we will meet and greet you at the airport, transport you to your accommodation, where you will have time to rest awhile before you meet with your fellow travellers and tour guides. We share afternoon refreshments and become acquainted.
Due to earthquake damage to Christchurch Central – our accommodation venue will be in the outer suburbs of the Canterbury region. This venue will be advised when you book your tour.
Light refreshments are inclusive of tour cost.
Depart Christchurch 8.15am via the world famous Tranzalpine train journey. This train trip is classified as one of the top six train trips in the world. At this time of year you are likely to experience snow right down on the tracks, not to mention on all the surrounding hills. As you cross over Arthurs Pass National Park, you will experience massive viaducts, fertile farmland and the Waimakiriri Gorge. You will arrive in Greymouth at approx. 12.45. We will meet you again with the coach and escort you to your accommodation after we experience Punakaiki or Pancake Rocks as they are commonly referred to. You have now crossed over the South island from east coast in Christchurch to west coast in Greymouth where you will now experience the remoteness of the west coast as we drive.
Tranzalpine Train Trip inclusive of tour cost.
This morning we discover the Franz Josef and the Fox Glaciers.
Two of the world’s most accessible glaciers, which, create their grinding pathways on the West Coast of the South Island. Huge, ancient ice rivers creak and creep their way all the way from the mountain top to the rain forests and visitors can step on to the ice just minutes from the towns that take the glacier’s names.
Walk to the terminal face, take a half day glacier walk and explore ice caves, heli-hike their heights, land on the snow by sightseeing plane, or helicopter or simply gaze at their cold, blue white wonders. This is an opportunity of a lifetime. Don’t miss it.
For the not so fit or keen, we can walk around Lake Matheison – approx 1 hour leisurely, easy walk, and enjoy the perfect reflection of New Zealands highest peak – Mt Cook, or simply take a well earned rest from yesterday. This afternoon we travel to Wanaka, and again you will experience the West Coast at its best full of bountiful rivers, lakes, and enchanting forests.
This morning we stop at the Puzzling World in Wanaka which is one of New Zealand’s most interesting and eccentric attractions. We continue en route to Queenstown taking in some of the most amazing scenery as we drive. We take a lunch break in Arrowtown , a former gold mining town built on rich history and an ambience not found anywhere else. Very soon we are in Queenstown. which is regarded by many as the “Jewel in the Crown” of the South Island. It has much to offer, picturesque setting on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, restaurants, Café’s, arts, crafts, souvenirs, shops plus many scenic attractions – including the Earnslaw boat trip, the Gondola and Luge, local tours and activities, jetboating, bungy jumping or maybe just rest. This is a great place to rest and relax awhile. At this time of year some of you may wish to indulge yourself on the ski fields over the next 2 days. We will assist you with booking anything you may choose to do .
Today is a free day in Queenstown to rest & rejuvenate, or explore the unknown.
Queenstown is adventure tourism at its best.
Queenstown is shopping at its best.
Queenstown is golf at its best.
Queenstown is dining at its best.
Queenstown is truly unique.
Queenstown to Milford. Today is an early start and a big travel day, if you want to take a boat cruise out onto the sounds. The drive alone is an absolutely awesome experience, one not to be missed in New Zealand. The Fiordland National Park is a World Heritage Protected area. The scenery is unforgettable, even if it happens to be raining. You will pass through golden tussock pastures, beech forests, tranquil crystal clear lakes and rivers, climbing up through the mountains and mist and snow, through the Homer tunnel and into the gateway to Milford Sound. There will be plenty of photo stops enroute, along with being fully narrated. At Milford you will board a large comfortable cruising vessel and you will cruise the Milford Sounds taking in the awesomeness of Mitre Peak, Bowen Falls, Cheddau Valley and the natural animal life. Cruise time is 2hrs 15mins.
We will return to Queenstown for the evening.
Cruise & lunch are inclusive of tour package.
Optional extra is to fly via helicopter or fixed wing plane back to Queenstown.
Today we travel to Pukerangi & embark on yet another train excursion. This time we board & traverse the Taieri Gorge on a historic journey through central Otago. This is an awesome experience of some 60kms of rail track, amazing viaducts and incredible scenery which brings history back to life. We will meet you at the station in Dunedin and transport you to your accommodation for this evening and next. Dunedin which is commonly known as the Edinburgh of the south, for obvious reasons. Yes it has a very strong Scottish influence and for those who are willing you can experience a Haggis dinner ceremony,
Taieri Train trip is inclusive to tour package.
Today is a free day in Dunedin. There is just so much to see & do.
You get to ride the Double Decker bus on a sightseeing tour of the city highlights. Then you can choose to visit the Cadbury Chocolate factory, or the Speights Brewery for a tour & tasting.
Later in the day we will take you to the outer areas to see the Albatross Centre and for those who wish we can visit Larnach Castle. There is just so much to see & do in this lovely old city.
Double Decker Bus tour is inclusive to tour package.
This morning we depart Dunedin along the coast to Oamaru. Your journey north is flavoured with history. The town of Palmerston has a museum devoted to the region’s Scottish past. After visiting the mysterious spherical boulders at Moeraki, you could pick up some interesting, ancient stones on the beach at Hampden. Oamaru has a population of around 12,000 and an impressive heritage. Many of the elegant historic buildings were made from the local sandstone. Visit the Harbour-Tyne area – the best-preserved collection of historic commercial buildings in New Zealand. Time permitting we could check out the penguin colony, the museum and the pretty public gardens. We will continue onto Omarama, this area’s unique geography has made it a magnet for gliding enthusiasts. The north westerly wind blows steadily to form the famous Northwest Arch, a thermal that can take the glider pilots to 10,000 metres. From her we travel on to Mt Cook – Aorangi as it’s known in Maori. Our majestic mountain which stands large & tall in the Southern Alps is so commanding of its presence.
The rest of the afternoon is free to explore this region. Weather permitting, take a walk on some of the short tracks or relax in the bar by the fire, or take in a 3D movie. This is an experience not to be missed.
Today we take a leisurely drive back to Christchurch, passing beautiful turquoise of lakes Pukakai & Tekapo. We will take a trip up Mt John, then stop off at the Church of Good shepherd before indulging ourselves in the hot pools at Tekapo .Sit back and relax in one of the three large outdoor hot pools at Alpine Springs, heated to between 36 – 40 degrees, boasting amazing views of Lake Tekapo and the Southern Alps! Indulge in a massage or spa treatment at the Alpine Springs Day Spa, but if you wish you can choose to try your feet at ice skating. Today is all about relaxing & enjoying all which is around us.
Hot swim inclusive to tour package price.
We will share a leisurely final morning breakfast together before delivering you back to Christchurch airport, where you will bid your new found friends farewell.
NB: All Zealandier Tours prices include vehicle, fuel costs, accommodation and all breakfasts. Some evening meals where indicated only and some attractions which are also indicated.
Air fares are NOT included (unless stated) but we can arrange all these for you, should you require.
Zealandier tours are subject to change should the weather or unforeseen circumstances occur.