Day 1 : Arrival
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.
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 District
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
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
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
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!
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
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!
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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