New Zealand has long been famous for its stunning scenery, and now its award winning wine industry has earned it a place as one of the world’s leading wine and food destinations. On a gourmet adventure or a guided wine and food tour, there are plenty of options to tempt your tastebuds. We will expose you to fantastic scenery, natural attractions and local gourmet treats, a multitude of accommodation and dining styles while you sit back, relax, and take time to enjoy the culture and hospitality of the Kiwis you meet along the way.
Arrive in Christchurch.
We will collect you from the airport if requires, then we all meet at our accommodation venue at 3pm.
Accommodation venue will be advised – this will be in the outer suburbs area of Christchurch due to recent earthquake damage to many hotels and other accommodation providers in the Centre City.
We will all get to meet and greet over nibbles and refreshments A grand introduction to NZ’s fine foods and wine.
Light refreshment & nibbles supplied.
Today is an early start for those wishing to Hot Air Balloon over the Canterbury Plains. You will be collected and taken to Methven where your ride begins. On completion you will be given champagne and a light breakfast .For those who do not wish to fly today, you can sleep in, then leisurely wander through Hagley Park, or we can arrange a visit to the Antarctic Centre, punting on the Avon.
Following this leisurely start to the day, we are going to travel to Methven, collect those who have been ballooning and transport you all to a little country town called Oxford. In Oxford, Jo Seager is going to give us a cooking demonstration and then we are invited to dine with her. Jo is a kiwi cooking icon. Her philosophy is to create great meals with maximum effect and minimum effort Her dream is to share her passion of food with as many people as possible She will also entertain you well. The last leg of your day is to return back to our accommodation venue – the rest of the day / evening are yours to do whatever you wish.
Jo Seager Demo & Meal inclusive to tour package cost.
Departing Christchurch, we cross the Canterbury plains through Ashburton, Geraldine into vast MacKenzie country via Burkes Pass onto Tekapo. Visit the Church of the Good Shepherd; hear the story behind the statue of Mackenzie’s dog, stopping off at Alpine Springs & Spa. Here you can have a leisurely break and may indulge not only in food at the cafe but a hot swim, while looking out over the lake, alternately you may desire a full spa treatment, and again for the more energetic or those who wish to have some fun, try ice skating and or curling. We continue our journey toward Mt Cook but with another excursion up Mt John where you can enjoy the panoramic vista and take a short time to examine the stars at the observatory.
At last we reach Mt Cook, where you can stand back and enjoy the grandeur of New Zealand’s highest mountain, and surrounding National park.
We visit the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre and if time permits after this we can offer a Wine Tasting session before we travel back around the shores of Lake Pukaki through Twizel, and on to Omarama.
Entry Sir Edmund Hilary Alpine Centre inclusive to tour package cost.
We leave the Mt Cook area and travel back to the coast of the Pacific Ocean. Stopping at Oamaru. A sleepy little town steeped in early 19th century street scapes and an eco tourism facility for the little blue penguin.
We continue down the coast to Dunedin.-our Edinburgh of the South. We stop to check out the Moeraki Boulders on the way. These distinctly round (spherical) boulders appear to fall out of the earth and are disappearing into the sea. They are a mystery to most scientists and geologists. There are several Maori legends which surround these mysterious balls of rock.
No visit to Moeraki is complete until you have dined at Fleurs Place. Fleur is famous for naturally good food – namely fish. We arrive in Dunedin in time for you to climb aboard the Double Decker bus and visit numerous iconic sites, or you may wish to visit the Speight’s Brewery and or the Cadbury Chocolate factory before settling down for the evening Dunedin has some wonderful restaurants and old pubs where you can enjoy a lovely meal or you can check out the Haggis ceremony.
Moeraki Boulders & Double Decker bus tour are inclusive of tour package.
Visit Larnach Castle – a magnificent structure, built in the late 1800’s, set in 35 acres of gardens and grounds. We then travel south en-route to Invercargill (New Zealand’s southernmost city).We visit the Moonshine Museum in Gore, Visit Bluff – Uttermost part of the earth. Walk along Oreti beach where Burt Munroe filmed the “Fastest Indian “before settling back in our accommodation for the evening. Tonight you can indulge on Bluff oysters at the fantastic in house restaurant, finishing your evening with a spa before retiring to bed.
Entry to Lanarch’s Castle & Moonshine Museum inclusive to tour cost.
This morning we drive to Milford. 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 board a large and 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 2.5hrs with a full commentary on board. This evening you are back in Te Anau.
Milford Sound cruise is inclusive to your tour cost.
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.
Lunch and shopping in Arrowtown, Shotover jet ride for those who are keen and the rest of the day is free to choose.
Today is your free day to do as much or as little as you wish. .
Queenstown is regarded by many as the “Jewel in the Crown” of the South Island. It has so much to offer.
Choices are unlimited, but at 6pm we will be boarding the TSS Earnslaw and cruising on out to Walter Peak station where we will wine & dine in style with a traditional kiwi meal.
Earnslaw Cruise & meal inclusive to tour costs.
Today we have an early start. We have a long drive, through the lakes district and to the rain forest on the West Coast. We follow the coast until we reach glacier country. 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. You can walk to the terminal face, alternatively, weather permitting we advise a helicopter flight and landing on top of Fox Glacier. This is truly an amazing experience. As the helicopter pilot takes you all the way up the side of Mt Cook you feel like you can reach out and touch it, then to step out onto the glacier and simply gaze at the cold, blue white wonders. For those who prefer some exercise a walk around Lake Matheison (approx 1.5 hour leisurely), is very pleasing. If you get the weather and timing right it is a photographers dream to capture the perfect reflection of New Zealands highest peak – Mt Cook. Fox is a quaint, sleepy little West Coast town where you get to enjoy small town southern hospitality.
This morning we depart Fox and travel north. We will spend some time in Hokitika and experience a Jade factory tour. Jade (Pomamu) is found on the riverbeds all around this wonderful remote area. Once cut and polished this stone makes wonderful jewellery. You will get the opportunity to taste some wild foods of the West Coast before we transport onto your last leg of the journey. There’s nothing nicer than Pete’s Possum Pies.
In Greymouth we bid you farewell as we put you onto the world famous Tranzalpine train journey which takes you over Arthur’s pass back to Christchurch. Do not fret; we will meet you at the railway station in Christchurch at 6.05pm.
This evening we will all share a farewell dinner. Jade factory tour, Tranzalpine train trip and farewell dinner are all inclusive to tour package cost.
Bid farewell to the South as we transport you to the airport for your departure
NB: All Zealandier Tours prices include vehicle, fuel costs, accommodation and all breakfasts. Some evening meals where indicated only and some attractions where indicated.
Airfares are NOT inclusive to price (unless stated) but these can be arranged for you should you require.
Zealandier tours are subject to change should the weather or unforeseen circumstances occur.