Tour in New Zeland land of contrasts
- New Zealand
Join us on this tour of New Zealand, land of contrasts and enchanting landscapes! During this trip you will discover New Zealand's South visiting its most interesting attractions, traveling through panoramic views, wild environments and unforgettable flora and fauna.
Welcome to New Zealand! Meeting at Christchurch Airport with private guide and transfer bu SUV to your accommodation. We begin with a tour around the city: Botanic Garden and Museum, Start Mall, Cathedral Square and Transitional Cathedral (known as Cardboard Cathedral). Transfer to your accommodation. Lunch and dinner are not included.
After breakfast, your private guide will pick you up and take you to Akaroa, a village with a French touch from the early settlers' arrival (the only one in New Zealand). We will travel along the Summit Road with stops to take photographs and at the scenic spots of Diamond Harbor, Sign of the Takahe and Governors Bay.
The road crosses two extinct craters forming Banks Peninsula. You can try the cruise to admire the coast and fauna that live on the coast of Akaroa Peninsula or swim with the world's smallest and rarest dolphins (Hector's Dolphins). In this case you should book the day before (not included in the price).
Another option may be to visit Okains Bay with the museum of the first settlers and the Maori village (not included). Transfer and return to your accommodation in Christchurch. Lunch and dinner are not included.
After breakfast we will leave for Kaikoura for whale watching. You can stay here for a maximum of two nights in order to be able to take this tour (the tour can be canceled for sea conditions by postponing the activity to the next day). You can choose to do whale watching with a 2 hour cruise or in a specially equipped aircraft to see them from above for about 30 minutes.
The extra activity offered on the way to / from Kaikoura is wine tasting in Waipara Valley wines around up to 3 renowned vineyards chosen for you: Pegasus, Terrace Edge and Mt. Beautiful. Lunch not included. Transfer to your accommodation with breakfast included in Kaikoura. Dinner not included.
Second day in Kaikoura if the whale watching was canceled the day before. Depending on the timetable, you will continue on to Motueka and Abel Tasman National Park. This journey will be the longest of the itinerary. After the earthquake of November 2016, the main road leading north from Kaikoura to Picton (State Highway 1) is not accessible so you will have to make a detour for the interior of about 7-8 hours to get to Nelson with stops.
Transfer to your accommodation in Motueka with breakfast included. Lunch and dinner are not included.
After breakfast, head for Abel Tasman National Park where you can book activities like cruising around the National Park, kayaking with or without a specialized guide, or taking a small trail in the forest before returning on the boat. Lunch and dinner are not included. Transfer to your accommodation in Motueka.
Today you will visit Punakaiki and the Pancake Rocks. Your guide will take you after breakfast to the West Coast with its cliffs and wild beaches. Punakaiki is renowned for the rocks formed horizontally, placed over each other and with holes where the sea seeks blowholes. Lunch and dinner not included.
Short trekking around forests and dunes for about 30 minutes (low difficulty) in addition to the Pancake Rocks. Transfer to Greymouth or Hokitika depending on availability. Lunch and dinner are not included.
On the third day you will reach Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers, the glaciers that reach the coast. We will go to Hokitika, a village that was the center of gold hunting and where we will see the processing of Pounamu "Green Stone", a very precious local stone. You can also see bone processing.
After lunch (not included) you will walk a 20-minute trail between dunes, forest and beach, then continue for Franz Josef. Transfer to your accommodation in Franz Josef. Dinner not included. Here you will spend two nights so you can book and go on glaciers for about 3 hours with special guides (extra) or land on the glacier (extra) by helicopter and take photos (about 30 minutes).
Or else, you can book a kayak excursion on the Okarito Lagoon with a specialized guides that will show you the flora and fauna.
The whole day is spent at Franz Josef, a World Heritage area. Apart from the stunning glacier, this area is famous for its excellent walking trails. There are many great options here but a highly recommended guided trip will enable you to get closer to the glacier.
Tonight dinner is self-catering; there are plenty of local cafes and restaurants for you enjoy or you can make use of the self-catering kitchen. Breakfast is included.
Fox Glacier - Haast and Wanaka. After breakfast you'll have the last chance to enjoy Heli Hike or Scenic Flight (about 40 minutes flying over the 2 - 3 glaciers if possible) over the glaciers with landing and photos. Otherwise you will drive along a path that leads you around Lake Matheson where Mount Tasman and the glaciers are reflected. Lunch not included.
Continuation for Haast passing through the Gates of Haast and two waterfalls (Fantail Falls and Thundercreek Falls). Weather and time permitting, you'll also a 40 minute walk. Another photo stop at Lake Hawea. Transfer to your accommodation in Wanaka with breakfast. Lunch and dinner not included.
After breakfast the guide will take you over the Crown Range. The trip offers panoramic views of the Gibbston and Kawarau Gorge valleys to the best place to ski in Wanaka, Cadrona. As you descend past Gibbston Valley (Valley of Vines) we will stop at Arrowtown, a characteristic village built in the golden age with a museum that explains through photographs the history of the era.
Short break for lunch (extra) then continue for Queenstown passing the Shotover River where you can book a jet boat (extra) tour. Transfer to your accommodation in Queenstown. Before leaving, the guide will inform you about the time of departure for Te Anau and Milford Sound. Dinner not included.
Free day in Queenstown. Your guide will advise you on tours or excursions and if necessary make reservations for you. Suggested excursions include the Skyline Gondola on Bob's Peak or the TSS Earnslaw (old steam boat with sheep show and trained dogs) or the Million Dollar Cruise around Lake Wakatipu.
For a bit of adrenaline try the shot over jet boat ride! Lunch and dinner not included. Before leaving your guide will give you the departure time for Te Anau and the South Fjords. Breakfast included at your accommodation.
Te Anau and the Fjords. After breakfast set off for Te Anau, the gate to the Fjords, UNESCO heritage and national park. By car you will be traveling for about 3 hours from Queenstown with views of Lake Wakatipu and small villages hidden within the hills of the Remarkables mountain range. Arrival at Te Anau. Lunch not included.
Transfer to your accommodation. Dinner not included. Recommended activity is the visit to the Glow Worm Caves with small bugs hanging in the grotto (about 2 hours and 30 minutes).
Visit Milford or Doubtful Sound. Doubtful Sound is less known by tourists as it is placed in a quieter area. Lunch included during the cruise of approximately 1 hour 45 minutes to Milford, while at Doubtful the cruise is about 3 hours.
After breakfast reach Milford Sound (or Doubtful). If you have chosen Milford the stops include Eglington Valley, Monkey Creek, Mirror Lakes and the Chasm. After your cruise your guide will take you back to Queenstown to your accommodation. Dinner not included.
After breakfast we reach Glenorchy - just 45 minutes away from Queenstown with the opportunity to walk along small trails to see quiet lagoons and lakes, hidden to less experienced tourists but offering picnic opportunities. Or there's the Dart River Jet to try, like in Queenstown but on a different river and not within a gorge (reservation is recommended, not included).
After breakfast your guide will take you to Dunedin- a Scottish university town. You will pass Clyde and Alexandra, Roxburgh and Milton with photo stops. Dunedin tour includes the train station, Octagon and Baldwin Street, the steepest road across New Zealand. Transfer to your accommodation in Dunedin. Lunch and dinner are not included.
After breakfast your guide will take you to Otago Peninsula to see albatros and penguins (extra cost). Lunch and dinner are not included. Transfer to your accommodation in Dunedin.
Another optional excursion to book is the visit of the Lanarch Castle with or without "high noon tea".
From Dunedin continue north towards Moeraki and the perfectly round rocks with photo and coffee stops. Continue for Oamaru and the old Victorian area. Small stop to visit the village and then continue for Omarama for lunch (not included). Possibility to attend a sheep shearing show with training dogs (extra).
Continue for Mt.Cook (Aoraki). Photographic stop at Peter's Lookout and Hooker Valley. Extra activities offered by Glentanner- Heli Scenic Alpine Explorer of about 35 minutes for views of Mount Aoraki with landing and views of the Ben Ohau mountain range with valleys. Transfer to your accommodation with breakfast included. Dinner not included.
Free morning. After lunch, the following tours will be taken (mandatory bookings): Tasman Valley 4WD & Argo Tours departing from the Hermitage Hotel (duration of about 2 hours) with photographic stops over the valley, Tasman Glacier and its lake. Lunch not included.
The other activity offered is the 7 km trekking (back and forth with a specialized guide between valleys and hills or a full day with 14 kilometers of paths over the hills to the lake of the Hooker Glacier). Dinner not included. Transfer to your accommodation in Mt Cook.
Mt Cook and Lake Tekapo. Free morning. Travel to Tekapo. You will pass Pukaki Lake with its turquoise waters and the reflection of Mount Cook. Travel 35 minutes from Pukaki by car to Tekapo Lake. Visit the little Good Sheppard church and the dog monument (your guide will explain the story). Lunch not included.
Transfer to your accommodation. Possibility to book a visit to Mount John's observatory for the International Dark Sky Reserve (night tour to see the Southern Hemisphere in all its splendor) from 1 hour to 15 minutes up to 2 hours. Transfer to your accommodation in Tekapo. Dinner not included.
Return to Christchurch after breakfast, passing Geraldine with a stop at Tin Shed. Lunch and dinner are not included. Transfer to your accommodation in Christchurch with breakfast. Remind your hotel manager to prepare the next day's breakfast this evening because the train for next morning tour leaves early.
After an early morning breakfast your guide will take you to Christchurch Railway Station where you will board the TranzAlpine (extra) for Arthur's Pass, a journey of approximately 2 hours 30 minutes. The guide awaits you at Arthur's Pass to walk on the various National Park trails. Lunch not included. Tea / coffee biscuits offered during the trail with waterfall views, Otira Gorge and Bealey.
During the return journey to Christchurch stop at Castle Hill with limestone formations and, if there is time, also at the Cave Stream Reserve. You can also skip the train journey: after breakfast your driver will pick you up and you will reach Arthur's Pass in SUV with all the steps mentioned above. Transfer to your accommodation in Christchurch. Dinner not included.
Departure from Christchurch. Breakfast included. Your guide will take you to the airport in time for your flight.
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