On arrival at Christchurch airport, meet our local representative and transfer to your Christchurch hotel. Rest of the day free at leisure. We suggest to take a hop-on-hop-off tour and join friendly local guides as they take you on a journey of discovery through Christchurch. Listen to “live” entertaining and informative commentary and learn about the fascinating history, from pioneering days to modern times.
Overnight at hotel.
Today morning after early breakfast transfer to Christchurch train station to board TranzAlpine scenic train to Greymouth. On arrival we will handover your late model rental cars for your driving holiday.
Leaving Greymouth (167 kms / 2 hrs) and you will head south to Franz Josef and Glacier Country. Pass through Hokitika and be sure to take a detour to the spectacular Hokitika Gorge, a turquoise coloured river surrounded by native bush-clad cliffs. Arrive Franz Josef and check in at your pre booked hotel.
Enjoy breakfast at hotel. Today The Franz Josef Glacier Valley Walk will take you up alongside the mighty Waiho River bed, following the glacier’s path as it winds its way through the remarkable landscape. After a brief climb you will be rewarded with spectacular views of the glacier’s rapidly changing terminal face.
Following on from your scenic walk enjoy access to the Franz Josef Glacier Hot Pools, the perfect end to an unforgettable day.
Today heading south you pass through the second glacier town of Fox Glacier. The Haast Valley offers a spectacular view of the river and its enormous power. The Blue Pools near Makarora are a great 30 minute walk. Lakes Wanaka and Hawea guide you into the township of Wanaka before you head over New Zealand’s highest sealed road, Crown Range Road before dropping into Queenstown. Arrive Queenstown and check in at hotel for your overnight stay.
Today we will fly to Milford Sound for a remarkable cruise on the fiord, then return for a thrilling Dart River Jet Boat Ride. Home to some of the most dramatic scenery in the world, these striking views can only truly be appreciated from above. Upon landing in Milford Sound, you’ll connect to your Mitre Peak Cruises vessel and travel the full length of the fiord out into the Tasman Sea. After your cruise, you will fly over two spectacular national parks; Fiordland and Mt Aspiring as you make your way to Glenorchy. The adventure continues with a thrilling jet boat ride through the heart of Real Middle Earth, offering a combination of magic views in an untouched wilderness as well as an exciting adrenaline rush to finish off the day.
Today after breakfast, visit Lake Wakatipu beneath the (truly remarkable). Follow the vines through Gibbston Valley as you sample the region’s best wine. Stop at the Chard Farm cellar door, visit the award-winning Peregrine vineyard or take a cellar cave tour at Gibbston Valley Winery. Cruise to Walter Peak station for dinner on board a 100 year old steamship – the TSS Earnslaw. While you’re there, a farm tour is a must do for those not familiar with rural living.
Take a leisurely lakeside stroll or ride the gondola for breathtaking views. Venture further afield into the Fiordland National Park or head over the Crown Range to Wanaka. Drive through Lord Of The Rings country or for the really fanatic, jump aboard one of many dedicated LOTR tours. After all of that – if you do really want the adrenaline rush Queenstown is known for, take your pick from the Shotover Jet, Nevis Bungy, Canyon Swing, Zipline, Luge or White Water Rafting.
Check out from Queenstown and you will head through the Kawarau Gorge and across the Kawarau Bridge – a popular bungy jumping location. Continue through the Gibbston Valley. Once you exit the gorge you’ll arrive in the orchard town of Cromwell, known for its abundance of fruit growers. If you’re a foodie at heart, we recommend taking a side trip to Bannockburn for a complete food and wine experience at one its many award-winning wineries and restaurants.
Head over through the Lindis Pass, one of New Zealand’s highest roads, with the summit reaching 971 metres. It’s tussock covered hills are a barren but beautiful sight as you descend into the Mackenzie Basin. You’ll go through the towns of Omarama and Twizel – the last stops before you arrive at Lake Pukaki and take the Mount. Cook Highway to arrive in the small village.
After breakfast, leave Mount Cook national park, travel a short distance before stopping at the visitor centre on the southern shores of Lake Pukaki. You’ll go through the small town of Tekapo. From here you travel through Burkes Pass and into the rich farming valley that surrounds Geraldine. Continue on across the vast Canterbury Plains to arrive in Christchurch City, your destination for the night.
Today we will drive north from Christchurch to Kaikoura. The drive takes you through the rolling hills of North Canterbury’s major wine region, the Waipara Valley. One can detour and visit Hanmer Springs for a dip in the mineral hot pools. Later continue on and cross the Hawkswood Range before descending to the spectacular Kaikoura coastline – where the road hugs the ocean for the last leg of the drive. Arrive Kailoura and check into hotel. Rest of the free at leisure.
Leaving Kaikoura today you’ll follow the coast to the top of the North Island. As you continue on you’ll have the ocean on one side and the Kaikoura ranges on the other, before traversing the dry hillls of Marlborough, New Zealands largest wine producing region. Stop in at one of Blenheim’s vineyards for a taste of the local produce before beggining the final leg of your journey to Picton.
While arriving Picton board ferry to Wellington
Described as ‘one of the most beautiful ferry rides in the world,’ the 92 km journey between Picton and Wellington takes around 3 hours. On arrival we will hand over yourself drive vehicle to you.
Today drive from Wellington to Taupo takes you via the Kapiti Coast and the seaside towns of Plimmerton, Paekakariki and Paraparaumu are worth a short detour. The township of Taupo sits on the shores of New Zealand’s largest lake, Lake Taupo – a gigantic volcanic caldera formed during one of the world’s largest ever eruptions. Continuing on to Rotorua you pass the volcanic valley, visit either Wai O Tapu or the Waimangu Valley for a closer look. Arriving into Rotorua the city’s geothermal activity is evident with steam rising from the roadside and hills.
Breakfast at hotel. Later proceed for short hop from the Rotorua township you’ll find Te Puia, known as New Zealand’s living Maori cultural experience. Sprawling across 60 hectares of volcanic land, it’s home to the world renowned Pohutu Geyser, a live kiwi enclosure and more than 500 geothermal wonders. Shrouded in a continuous haze of steam, Te Puia has a dramatic and ethereal air.
Rotorua Canopy Tours – The Original Canopy Tour
Embark on a three hour adventure through native New Zealand forest. Journey through the beautiful forest canopy via an incredible network of trails, tree platforms, Ziplines and swing bridges. See breathtaking views of the woodland valleys and hills as you fly through tight openings in the trees.
Today after breakfast leave to Matamata. Take in the emerald green landscapes most famous for their role in the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit films. Arrive into the small town of Matamata, for a visit to the fully intact set of Hobbiton movie Set Tour.
Visit the actual Hobbiton movie set and immerse yourself in The Lord of the Rings and Hobbit films. Set in the heart the Waikato farming region your two hour tour will begin with a drive through a picturesque Matamata sheep farm. Later drive from Matamata to Auckland. On arrival check in at hotel for overnight stay.
Breakfast at hotel. Later check out and explore more of vibrant Auckland city. Later timewhile drop your rental car at the airport depot and board your homebound flight
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