Spring is an awesome season. In New Zealand it is a very green time. The trees bud up, the foliage re appears, the pastures are lush, and then the flowers burst forth with a myriad of colour. The baby animals appear and the cycle of life has begun again after a dormant, restful period called winter. But we are about to cross over to the next season. Summer is on its way right now and we can feel it in the warmth of the sun. The skies are clearer and the sun stays higher. This is another great month to visit New Zealand as you will catch the end of the lush season and you will beat the rush of summer tourists. You will experience the best of both right now, so come along, indulge yourself and enjoy.
Arrive Christchurch Airport.
Due to the earthquakes that have devastated Christchurch
Central, we will pick you up from the airport, do a quick
circuit of the damaged area and then travel out to Akaroa, which is approximately 1 hour from the City Centre. (Accommodation venue to be advised)
On arrival at Akaroa we meet other guests who may have
arrived earlier – and share light refreshments
Remainder of the day and evening is free for you to explore this area which is renowned for its early NZ history with a French influence. Akaroa is quaint, it’s gorgeous, its friendly and the food is divine.
Light refreshment supplied.
Explore fascinating Akaroa – this often bypassed piece of New Zealand paradise has much to offer. Canterbury’s oldest town is a historic French and British settlement and its charm is evident in the colonial architecture, galleries, craft stores and café’s.
Gardens, wineries and cruises provide more to see and do than there will be time available.
Depart Akaroa, cross the Canterbury plains into vast
MacKenzie country via Burkes Pass. Visit the Church of the Good Shepherd; hear the story about Mackenzie’s dog then on to Mt Cook National Park. Enjoy the grandeur of New Zealand’s highest mountain – Aorangi Mt Cook and surrounding park. Travel back around the shores of Lake Pukaki through Twizel and on to Omarama.
Travel south through Cromwell and Alexandra, home of the Apricots and stone fruit of New Zealand. As we travel this route you will experience wide undulating valleys, rugged beauty and landscapes turned mythical by “Lord of the Rings” filmmakers, before arriving at Dunedin (Edinburgh of the South).
A guided city tour of Dunedin city highlights inclusive.
Dunedin is a University City, rich in historical architecture, boutique shops, and great surf, amazing wildlife, great gardens and renowned for its rhododendrons. A must see in Dunedin is Lanarch Castle – a magnificent structure, Built in the late 1800’s, set in 35 acres of gardens and grounds.
We then travel further south en-route to Invercargill (New Zealand’s Southernmost city). A short visit to Bluff – the Uttermost part of the earth. This is where the journey begins.
Entry to Lanarch’s Castle inclusive.
Leave Invercargill, for Te Anau travelling through the rich Otago pastureland to reach the beautiful glacier formed Lake Manapouri. Weather permitting we travel on to Milford Sound. 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, 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 have the option to 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 1hrs 45mins. Again there is a full commentary on board. We return to Te Anau for the evening.
Boat cruise on Milford Sound & lunch supplied.
We leave Te Anau and back track to the Lumsden – Queenstown highway, heading north we pass through Five Rivers junction, skirt the southern arm of Lake Wakatipu to
arrive at Queenstown.The “Jewel in the crown” of the South Island. This afternoon we take you to visit Arrowtown where you can experience the gold mining era, then stop off at the Shotover Jet for those who wish to ride the jet boat up the Shotover River, before arriving at your accommodation place. The remainder of the day is for you to explore this unique destination.
Queenstown is situated on the shores of Lake Wakatipu and overlooked by the majestic Remarkables. A perfect holiday destination all year round. There is plenty to do in every season. Today is free for you to discover Queenstown at your leisure. Take a scenic flight, play golf, take a wine trail, a garden tour, ride the jet boat in Skippers Canyon, go shopping or just relax and enjoy the sights. And this evening we will indulge you to a nostalgic cruise on the TSS Earnslaw to the Colonel’s Homestead at Walter Peak for a delicious carvery style buffet meal, featuring New Zealand’s finest meats and seafood, coupled with fresh grown vegetables and garden salads. This is followed by an after dinner show, providing a glimpse of farming life. We will return you safely back to your accommodation via the Earnslaw again. Simply indulge yourselves in this majestic part of New Zealand.
Dinner, cruise, & entertainment are inclusive.
Today we travel north passing through Wanaka, Haast Pass, skirting some of the beautiful Southern Lakes en-route to Fox Glacier. This afternoon we discover the Franz Josef and the Fox Glaciers. Two of the world’s most accessible glaciers, the Franz Josef and the Fox Glacier, create their grinding pathways on the West Coast of the South Island. Huge, ancient ice rivers creak and creep their way all the way 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, land on the snow via a sightseeing plane or helicopter or simply gaze at their cold, blue white wonders.
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.
Today we travel north to Greymouth, where we visit the Jade factory, you will then board the world famous Tranzalpine train where you will then meander over the awesome Southern Alps via Arthur’s Pass back to Christchurch. This train journey is rated within the top 6 train trips in the entire world. Truly awesome
Tranzalpine train trip inclusive.
Today you will bid your farewells to your new found friends, maybe exchange address’s and then sadly
Depart Christchurch for travel homeward.
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.