Tour 304. MAGNIFICENT SOUTH ISLAND
Unsolicited comments from past passengers:
I speak for J and myself in praising Roy, our driver. He was an exceptional courier with his vast knowledge of the South Island. His expertise helps makes dreams come true. My son and myself are starting to save for a further trip to New Zealand. (J.D. England).
Just a note to say a big THANK YOU for a superb tour in the South Island, all the better for having Roy in command. (R.W. England)
We have just returned to England after a memorable and very enjoyable six weeks holiday in New Zealand. we booked a tour for 11 days to visit the South Island with your company and both P and I want to thank very much for making it such a wonderful unforgettable experience. All your drivers were very professional and knowledgeable and with a friendliness rarely encountered in other parts of the world. I would certainly have no hesitation whatsoever in recommending you and your company to any of my friends wanting to visit New Zealand. (B.D. and P.M. England)
Day 1. Sunday. ARRIVE CHRISTCHURCH
Arrive Christchurch. You will be met and transferred to your accommodation.
Day 2. Monday. CHRISTCHURCH - MOUNT COOK (B)
Pickup from your hotel or home anywhere in metro Christchurch. Drive across the fertile Canterbury Plains and over Burke's Pass to Lake Tekapo. See the sheep dog monument and Church of the Good Shepherd. Travel along the shores of Lake Pukaki to Mt Cook, New Zealand's highest mountain. Free time for alpine walks, visit the National Park headquarters, or take a ski plane or helicopter flight to land on the snows of the glaciers - extra expense and weather permitting. Accommodation at the Hermitage in Mt Cook view rooms. Admission to the Sir Edmund Hillary centre is included.
Day 3. Tuesday. MOUNT COOK - OAMARU - DUNEDIN (B)
We highly recommend the cruise among the icebergs on the lake at the base of the Tasman Glacier in summer - extra expense.
Drive down the Waitaki River Valley with a visit to the Benmore Hydro dam, the historic centre of Oamaru, and enjoy some beach time to explore the unique Moeraki Boulders. Accommodation in Dunedin for 2 nights.
Day 4. Wednesday. DUNEDIN (B)
Visit historic "Olveston House", Dunedin Chinese Garden, Knox Church, The Octagon, and the world's steepest street. This afternoon tour the Otago Peninsula including Larnachs Castle, Royal Albatross Centre, and see the local wildlife including seals, and Yellow Eyed penguins.
Day 5. Thursday. DUNEDIN - CATLINS - INVERCARGILL (B)
Enjoy a scenic drive through the Catlins. one of New Zealand's most beautiful and unspoiled wilderness areas. See the wildlife, waterfalls,and beautiful coastal scenery and visit Nugget Point lighthouse and the petrified forest (available low tide only). Continue to Invercargill for 2 nights.
Day 6. Friday. INVERCARGILL. (Stewart Island option) (B)
Visit Bluff this morning for a photo stop at the famous signpost, Invercargill city gardens, and Oreti Beach, home of exploits of Burt Munro, Optional visit to the Transport Museum and to Croydon Aviation, home of the Tiger Moth reconstruction factory at Mandeville with the opportunity for a flight if you wish - extra expense.
STEWART ISLAND OPTIONS
Option 1. Cruise and tour
Cruise from Bluff to Stewart Island and enjoy a guided one hour tour of Oban before cruising Patterson Inlet for a guided walk through the Ulva island wildlife sanctuary. Cruise back to Bluff and return to Invercargill - extra cost $390
Option 2. Fly and tour
Fly from Invercargill to Stewart Island and join a 3.5 hour cruise to discover more history of Stewart Island. See Harold's Bay stone cottage, Ackers point, Ulva Island, wildlife, Marine Farms, The Neck and the historic Whalers Base. Return to Oban for an hour tour to catch up on the local people! Time to visit the excellent museum if you wish (extra expense) before flying back to Invercargill. $420.
Day 7. Saturday. INVERCARGILL - TE ANAU. (B)
We take the scenic back roads via Riverton and Tuatapere with a visit to Lake Hauroko, and optional 30 minute round trip walk to The Peninsula lookout overlooking Lake Monowai. Continue to Te Anau for 2 nights at Luxmore Hotel.
Day 8. Sunday. MILFORD SOUND EXCURSION (B)
Enjoy the magnificent scenery as we drive through the Eglinton and Hollyford Valleys. Visit the Mirror Lakes and Roaring Chasm and drive through the Homer tunnel before arriving in Milford Sound. Board your cruise to travel the length of Milford Sound under majestic Mitre Peak. See the seal colony and Bowen Falls before visiting the underwater aquarium and retracing our steps to Te Anau.
Optional cruise across the lake to the Te Anau glowworm caves ($99) or a scenic flight by floatplane over magnificent Fiordland.
Day 9. Monday. TE ANAU - DOUBTFUL SOUND (BD)
Late morning drive to Manapouri to join your scenic cruise across bush clad Lake Manapouri to West Arm. Join your coach to drive across Wilmot Pass through the lush rainforest to Doubtful Sound and join your overnight cruise exploring Doubtful Sound to the Tasman Sea. Anchor overnight in a quiet bay and you have the opportunity to kayak up to the massive cliffs or take a cruise in the ships tender. A picnic lunch is included as you cross Lake Manapouri and dinner on board.
Day 10. Tuesday. DOUBTFUL SOUND - QUEENSTOWN. (B)
Disembark after breakfast and retrace your steps across Wilmot Pass and Lake Manapouri and drive to Queenstown arriving mid afternoon. A visit to historic Arrowtown will be made en route.
Day 11. Wednesday. QUEENSTOWN (B)
Free day with many optional activities available. We strongly recommend the exhilirating Shotover jet boat ride and more placid cruise across the lake on the historic steamer "Earnslaw" to Walter Peak for a barbecue lunch at the Colonels homestead..(Please note your driver is not available today).
Day 12. Thursday. QUEENSTOWN - WANAKA - FRANZ JOSEF GLACIER (B)
Continue through the Kawarau Gorge or over the Crown Range to Wanaka for a brief stop with admission to amazing Puzzling World included. Continue through Makarora and over the Haast Pass into the rainforest and spectacular coastline of the West Coast. Visit Shipwreck Beach, and beautiful Lake Matheson. Overnight Scenic Franz Josef Hotel.
Day 13. Friday. FRANZ JOSEF - HOKITIKA (B)
Visit the Franz Josef Glacier lookout with time for a helicopter or ski plane flight or heli hike on the glacier (extra expense and weather permitting) or bush walk. Drive north to enjoy the Treetops walk overlooking Lake Mahinapua. Enjoy the wetlands eco cruise and see jade carvers at work. Overnight Beachfront Hotel, Hokitika
Optional fabulous White Heron tour November to early March including a 20 minute jetboat cruise on the Lake Okarito lagoon and a walk through the rainforest to the bird hide. We have 30-40 minutes here to see the White Heron, Royal Spoonbill, Little Shag and other birdlife. Extra cost $145
Day 14. Saturday. HOKITIKA - PUNAKAIKI - CHRISTCHURCH (B)
Visit the recreated gold mining village of Shantytown to pan for gold and ride the train into the forest and the site of an old saw mill. After a short tour of Greymouth continue to the Punakaiki Pancake Rocks in the Paparoa National Park. Explore the area before driving over spectacular Arthurs Pass and the Canterbury Plains arriving Christchurch late afternoon. You will be taken to any address in Metro Christchurch or the airport
Day 15. CHRISTCHURCH DEPART (B)
You will be transferred to the airport for departure.
12 days. Christchurch to Queenstown. Days 1-13
2 per room $4,300. Single room $5,500
10 days. Dunedin to Queenstown Day 3 - 12
2 per room $3,970. Single Room $4,700
We are flexible!!
You are welcome to join us for part of the tour provided a minimum of 4 consecutive nights are on tour with us. For any combination not listed above please ask us.