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NEW ZEALAND SOUTH ISLAND TOURS

Tour Code : ITTNZ-08, Duration : 14 Days

Highlights Itinerary at a Glance
- Christchurch - exploring the Garden City
- High Country Adventure
- Arthur's Pass National Park
- Kaikoura
- Lake Wanaka
- West Coast glacier town of Franz Josef
- River rafting
- Queenstown
- Walter's Peak High country farm
- Milford Sound
Day 1 : Christchurch
Day 2 : Garden City
Day 3 : Country Adventure
Day 4 : Whales & Dolphins
Day 5 : Lake District
Day 6 : Wanaka
Day 7 : Glacier Exploration
Day 8 : River Rafting
Day 9 : Queenstown
Day 10 : Jet Boats & Canoes
Day 11 : Queenstown
Day 12 : All Aboard
Day 13 : Milford Sound
Day 14 : International departure

Detailed Itinerary
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Day 1 : Arrival Christchurch
Christchurch - New Zealand

Upon arrival at Christchurch airport you will be met by a driver who will take you on a city highlights tour on the way to your accommodation. It is the perfect way to get a feel for Christchurch preparing you for your free day on Day two. Depending on your time of arrival you may or may not have time to begin exploring the Christchurch. A family punt on the Avon River through the city is a great introduction to the Garden City.
Read more about Christchurch
Day 2 : Exploring the Garden City
A full day to adjust to time down under and explore Christchurch. Your automatic transmission, family size rental car will be delivered to your accommodation should you wish to drive to Willowbank Animal Reserve, the beach or drive around the city. Click below on Christchurch Activities to see the various options for your day.

Day 3 : High Country Adventure
A full day of changing landscape, changing transport and great fun. First you are picked up from your accommodation and enjoy a scenic one-hour drive across the patchwork of the Canterbury Plains. Morning tea is at a riverside lodge. Then you board a jet boat. Your journey takes you on the 15 km river cruise up stream into the heart of the spectacular Waimakariri river gorge, making stops along the way at historic riverside locations and secluded fishing spots before arriving at Pig Gully on the river boundary of Flock Hill sheep station. At the river's edge, climb aboard your next mode of transport, a specially modified four-wheel drive. You travel in air-conditioned comfort on a 65km safari that provides access to this remote and isolated part of New Zealand. From the river you travel through the bush-clad slopes that edge the Waimakariri River before climbing several hundred meters up into the tussock covered high country of Flock Hill sheep station. Your journey takes you across mountain streams and along some of the original stagecoach roads hand built by the early pioneers to gain access to the gold fields on the West Coast. After stopping off at the historic abandoned coal mining settlement of Avoca you arrive at Flock Hill Lodge for lunch and time to relax in picturesque surroundings. Then continue on past lakes, sparkling rivers and waterfalls into the Arthur's Pass National Park. Visit a lookout over 800 meters above sea level in the heart of the Southern Alps with a chance to meet some Keas, the world's only alpine parrots. At Arthur's Pass village, board your final mode of transport, the world famous Tranz Alpine® Train, one of the six best train journeys in the world. Sit back and relax on a two hour train journey as you retrace the first parts of your adventure, traveling down out of the Southern Alps, through tussock covered high country, across rivers, through tunnels, along river gorges and out across the Canterbury plains to Christchurch and home to your country accommodation.

Day 4 : Whales, Dolphins & More
Yesterday you travelled inland, today's day trip takes you to the Coast! You will be picked up fro your accommodation by mini coach. The two hour journey crosses the northern plains then travels along the coastline. Once the main whaling station in the country, Kaikoura is now the mammal conservation centre of the South Pacific. Kaikoura has a very unique feature; a cold north moving coastal current is met by a warm offshore southward moving current, and a fairly constant up welling is maintained from the convergence of these currents. Deep underwater canyons run through the Kaikoura area with depths of 870 metres occurring only a kilometre off shore. A little further out the depths are 1600 metres and they contain the deepwater fish and squid that Sperm Whales love. The huge canyon so close to shore creates an all you can eat buffet for shellfish, fish, birds, seals, dolphins and whales! Upon arrival at Kaikoura you may join a whale watch cruise or a dolphin watch cruise. On the dolphin trip you also have the option to get in the water and swim with them! After your cruise, you enjoy lunch at one of the waterfront cafes. Kaikoura means lobster in the native Maori so lobster is abundant and eaten like peanut butter! To walk off your lunch, a short hike through the seal colony is enjoyed before heading on a drive back to Christchurch. Arrival back to Christchurch around 5:30pm. NOTE: This tour can include a short Cessna flight one way to save time and offer a scenic journey. Additional $200NZD per person.

Day 5 : Heading for the Lake DistrictQueenstown - New Zealand
A morning flight will transport the family from Christchurch to Queenstown. The one hour flight on a clear day offers simply stunning scenery. Upon arrival at Queenstown you pick up your last rental car and drive one hour to near by Lake Wanaka. There are some special stops along the way that we will outline in your daily planner. Wanaka is a picturesque lakeside resort town that is very popular with outdoor enthusiasts especially fisherman, hikers and skiers. Wanaka is your home for the next four nights. With the balance of your day we suggest a visit to Puzzlingly World - a great fun and laughs for the whole family and the one hour Mt Iron Walk is a lovely way to end the day.

Day 6 : Wanaka FreeTime
Wanaka is nestled next to the Mt Aspiring National Park so you may choose to hike one of the many trails offered I and around the Park or you may choose to enjoy a boat ride to the very unique island. Mou Waho Island is a truly intriguing and unusual island - geographically rare worldwide. You are cruise to an island on a lake then hiking to a lake on the island that has islands in the lake! Click on Wanaka Activities below to learn of more options.

Day 7 : Glacier Exploration Trip
A very special day! Your morning begins with a Cessna flight from Wanaka past Mt Aspiring and the National Park and up to the West Coast glacier town of Franz Josef. There you disembark from the plane, and switch to a helicopter which takes you right onto the glacier! Enjoy a walk around the million-year-old river of ice before heading back to Wanaka via Mt Cook (our tallest mountain). It is truly a humbling and exhilarating feeling!

Day 8 : River Rafting
Today you will enjoy a full day of family river rafting, swimming on the river, gold mining on the river and lunch by the river (key word: river). The Clutha River is the largest river in New Zealand. By using a 10-man raft and large paddles, it becomes a safe family experience with the only rafting company in the country allowed to bring children under 10! Lewis your guide will stop at the best swimming holes, show the children how to pan for gold and spread out a "kasual kiwi" lunch by the river.

Day 9 : Heading for Queenstown
Your drive back to Queenstown is via a different route today. The Cadronna Pass offers some back country beauty and usually a New Zealand traffic jam (sheep on the road!). The views as you descend into Queenstown are spectacular. The road will drop you at the historic and fun Arrowtown. Enjoy panning for gold, the great shops in the old store fronts and old gold miner's village that has been restored. We also recommend a ride on the gondola to the top of Bob's Peak for panoramic views of Lake Wakitipu and The Remarkables Mountain Range. Don't' forget to go for a luge while at the top - big fun for all ages!
Read more about Queenstown
Day 10 : Jet Boats & Canoes
After breakfast, it is time for some jet boating and canoeing fun! You will enjoy your special day trip into Middle Earth where much of The Lord of the Rings was filmed. This is a true wilderness experience. A journey of discovery, ancient forests, cascading waterfalls, New Zealand wilderness at it's best. A drive from Queenstown along the lake front to Glenorchy. Then Jet boat up the Dart River. You then enjoy a riverside lunch before boarding your fun yak! These inflatable canoes allow you to paddle and drift down the Dart River, through the chasms and take in the stunning scenery deep in the Mount Aspiring National Park. Back at your accommodation around 5pm.

Day 11 : Queenstown Free Day
A full day in this beautiful play land! There are so many options to choose from! We suggest you don't miss the drive through Animal Park - amazing location and great fun. Click below on Queenstown activities for more ideas.

Day 12 : All Aboard!
Scottish Highland CattleAll Aboard! When the steam whistle blows, you know its time to board your steam ship across Lake Wakitipu to the Walter's Peak High country farm. Watch the stokers fuelling the fireboxes and hear the sound of the steam engines working as you cruise. When you reach the farm, experience rural New Zealand as they take you on a walking tour of the farmyard. They will explain traditional farming practices and the significance of the various animals. You can help feed the sheep and get close to the deer and Scottish Highland cattle. Watch the sheep dogs in action, see the shearing and maybe try your hand at spinning wool. Then stroll through the lakeside gardens to the charming Colonel's Homestead for a traditional BBQ farm lunch. Back at your accommodation around 3pm.

Day 13 : Free day or optional Milford Sound
Your last full day in Paradise! With so much to do here, we just could not choose how you should spend your last day. So this is a free day. Time for one last adventure, a bit of last minute shopping or soaking up the sun by the pool. A recommended option is a 90 minute helicopter trip to Milford Sound. Fly over Lake Wakitipu, over the braided Dart River then over the pass. Attempt to fathom the vastness of the Sound and the mountains and many lakes that feed the waterfalls that plummet into the Sound. Land at Milford Sound where you can enjoy a bit of a walk around perhaps to the bottom of Bowen's Falls. Then fly out the Sound to the Tasman Sea then back to Queenstown. A simply stunning flight that leaves you breathless.

Day 14 : International departure
Today you catch a flight back to Christchurch to connect wit your International flight home.
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