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Christchurch: South Island Adventure Premier Escorted Vacation

Duration
12 Days
Prices From:
US$ 8,264

Immerse yourself in the breathtaking landscape of New Zealand’s South Island and enjoy premier accommodations on this escorted vacation starting in Christchurch. As you explore the island, you’ll cruise across Milford Sound, hike in the shadow of Aoraki/Mt. Cook, and indulge your adrenaline junkie in Queenstown.


This 12-day New Zealand vacation takes you on a premiere escorted tour from Christchurch across the most picturesque spots on the South Island, including Queenstown, Milford Sound, Dunedin, and Aoraki/Mt. Cook.

Your New Zealand tour begins in Christchurch, the largest city on the South Island with a popular just under 400,000. Known as the Garden City, Christchurch has the most distinctly English atmosphere of any city in the country. Although the city remains in the process of recovery and redevelopment after the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011, it’s still a beautiful city. Spend the rest of your day exploring some of its most popular sites, such as the Botanical Gardens. The next day, begin your premier tour across the South Island. Cross the Canterbury Plains and stop off at Hokitka, which is famous for its jade greenstone. You can ride the famous TranzAlpine Train through the mountains before heading west to Franz Josef to admire the alpine lakes and countryside.

Continue your New Zealand vacation to Queenstown, passing through the Haast Pass and visiting the mining towns before reaching the picturesque lake country. Located on the shores of Lake Wakatipu in the Southern Alps, Queenstown is the Adventure Capital of the World and the place where you can satisfy your wildest outdoor ambitions. Spend a few days in Queenstown taking advantage of its many attractions. You can visit some filming locations from The Lord of the Rings or hike through the forest to see a variety of local birds. You can also get your adrenaline fix by sky diving from airplanes, bungie jumping from bridges, or jet-skiing across the waters of Lake Wakatipu. You can also tee up for 18 holes of golf at one of the many golf courses or visit a winery to taste some of New Zealand’s famous vintages.

From Queenstown, drive along the Milford Road to the Eglinton and Hollyford Valleys. Pass on to Milford Sound, the most popular sight in the country. Take a cruise along the gorgeous waters of Milford Sound and peer up at Mitre Peak, the fjord’s crowning achievement. Then continue to Te Anau, a town sitting at the gateway of Fiordland National Park. Based in Te Anau, head to nearby caves to delve underground and explore a world illuminated by glowworms. You can also take a cruise along Doubtful Sound or visit one of the local wineries to relax with a glass of wine.

Continue south to Dunedin, a city known as the Edinburgh of the South. Admire the city’s Victorian and Edwardian architecture on a guided tour, heading to Larnach Castle and Olveston House. You can also visit the famous railway station or enjoy a pint at Speight’s Brewery, which has been brewing beer since 1876. Head north through the Waitaki Valley and see the Moerake Boulders along Koekohe Beach, which were formed along the sea floor over 60 million years ago. Reach the foot of Aoraki/Mt. Cook, the highest mountain in New Zealand. Hike along the foothills at the base of the mountain to see the gorgeous scenery. In the summer, you can even ride a boat out onto the water to see the icebergs of Tasman Glacier Terminal Lake.

Close out your New Zealand tour by heading back to Christchurch, stopping off at Lake Tekapo where you’ll see the Church of the Good Shepherd, a small church built of local stone and oak in tribute to the early pioneers. After soaking up the serenity of the area, return to Christchurch to continue your onward journey.


 

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Duration
12 Days
Prices From:
US$ 8,264

Itinerary View Trip Map

Day 1

Arrive in Christchurch

Arrive in Christchurch where you will be transferred to your hotel. After settling in, enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure.

Meal Plan Dinner
Duration1 Night
Accommodation

Rydges Latimer Christchurch

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    Rydges Latimer Christchurch



    Rydges Latimer Christchurch is located just 2 minutes walking distance from the city's CBD, is within easy driving distance of a stunning collection of local attractions and activities and only a 15 minute drive from Christchurch International Airport and features 138 guest rooms and extensive ...

    Rydges Latimer Christchurch is located just 2 minutes walking distance from the city's CBD, is within easy driving distance of a stunning collection of local attractions and activities and only a 15 minute drive from Christchurch International Airport and features 138 guest rooms and extensive banquet facilities with a capacity to cater for up to 360 people, making it the largest hotel function space in Christchurch.

    Facilities

    • Bar(s)
    • Conference Facilities
    • Restaurant

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Day 2

Christchurch, TranzAlpine train, Franz Josef

Today you'll venture through the striking farmlands of the Canterbury Plains before travelling within Arthur's Pass National Park. Here, you'll set out for Hokitika, a town famous for its jade greenstone. Watch in wonder as the pounamu is carved into impressive jewelry. Check in to your luxury Eco-resort and savor a four-course degustation dinner this evening.

Signature Experience
Join New Zealand's famous TranzAlpine train for a picturesque journey.

Signature Experience
Continue along the west coast into Westland Tai Poutini National Park, and admire the sublime surrounds of Franz Josef. Take in the stunning alpine scenery, pristine lakes and lush forests.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Duration1 Night
Accommodation

Te Waonui Forest Retreat

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    Te Waonui Forest Retreat



    A haven from the city rush, a foray into New Zealand's pristine wilderness - Te Waonui Forest Retreat is truly a place to relax and refresh. All focus has been on creating a healthy, environmentally safe habitat to maximise guests' wellbeing. With a natural, earthy ...

    A haven from the city rush, a foray into New Zealand's pristine wilderness - Te Waonui Forest Retreat is truly a place to relax and refresh. All focus has been on creating a healthy, environmentally safe habitat to maximise guests' wellbeing. With a natural, earthy ambience and attentive service, there's no better place to take a deep breath and simply unwind.

    Facilities

    • Bar
    • Concierge
    • Laundry facilities
    • Reception (24 hrs)
    • Restaurant
    • Room Service
    • Valet Parking

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Day 3

Franz Josef, Wanaka, Queenstown

Enjoy a day of breathtaking scenery as you travel to Queenstown. This morning, cross the spectacular Haast Pass and skirt around the shores of lakes Wanaka and Hawea. View historic mining sites as we travel through the beautiful Kawarau Gorge and meander through Cromwell. Pass the incredible orchards and vineyards that have been inspiring artists for decades before arriving in Queenstown where you'll stay for three nights in stylish accommodation.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Duration3 Nights
Accommodation

Millennium Hotel Queenstown

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    Millennium Hotel Queenstown



    Whether staying for business or pleasure this hotel has something for everyone to enjoy. The Millennium Hotel Queenstown is located in the heart of Queenstown close to the central shopping, entertainment areas and minutes from various other outdoors activities such as bungee jumping, white water ...

    Whether staying for business or pleasure this hotel has something for everyone to enjoy. The Millennium Hotel Queenstown is located in the heart of Queenstown close to the central shopping, entertainment areas and minutes from various other outdoors activities such as bungee jumping, white water rafting and jet boating. All of the 220 rooms and suites have been created with touches of luxury and have an atmosphere of relaxation.

    Facilities

    • Bar(s)
    • Concierge
    • Conference Facilities
    • Currency Exchange
    • Daycare/Babysitting Service
    • Express Check In/Out
    • Gym/Fitness Centre
    • Internet Access
    • Massage Treatments
    • Parking
    • Restaurant(s)
    • Room Service
    • Sauna
    • Spa
    • Wheelchair Accessible Rooms

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Day 4

Freedom of Choice

Personalise your holiday experience today, as you enjoy your chosen Freedom of Choice activity. This evening, enjoy even more variety as you select from a range of Freedom of Choice Dining Inclusions.

Freedom of Choice Sightseeing
The Lord of the Rings fans will jump at the chance to visit key filming locations, while thrill-seekers will find the exhilarating Shotover Jet Boat ride tough to resist. Or, get back to nature with an enthralling lakeshore forest and bird watching walk complete with a delicious morning tea. Others may enjoy exploring the country's premier wine region - the choice is all yours.

Freedom of Choice Dining
Perhaps sample the fresh produce at Finz seafood restaurant located on Steamer Wharf. Alternatively, you might like to take a gondola ride to the Skyline Restaurant. Another option is to cruise to Walter Peak High Country Farm aboard the TSS Earnslaw, a vintage steamboat, and enjoy dinner at The Great Kiwi Carvery; or you may choose to dine amid the stylish surrounds of your hotel restaurant.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Day 5

Queenstown

Immerse yourself in beautiful Queenstown as you enjoy a full day at leisure in this exciting city which is surrounded by majestic mountains. You may like to use this time to take a relaxing stroll along the tranquil shores of Lake Wakatipu, browse through stores in the bustling central shopping district, or see the arts and crafts on display in the city's many galleries. Spend the day rejuvenating your mind and body at a spa or wellness centre, enjoying some well-deserved rest and relaxation. Perhaps you'd prefer to take advantage of being in the Adventure Capital of the World and indulge in the thrill of a lifetime such as an exhilarating white-water rafting adventure or a helicopter flight, gaining a birds eye view of this picturesque city, a truly exciting way to experience the sights (all own expense).

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 6

Queenstown, Milford Sound, Te Anau

Embark on one of the most scenic drives today as you journey along the Milford Road. Wind down the Eglinton and Hollyford valleys, then drive through the Homer Tunnel to be met by the majestic sight of Mitre Peak. Within Milford Sound, you'll see towering mountains climb straight out of the sea, be entranced by the verdant rainforest as it clings to sheer rock walls and watch in awe as cascading waterfalls tumble hundreds of metres into the sea below. It's a true joy to be able to experience a part of the world that maintains such a pristine atmosphere. After exploring the fiord, enjoy a drive through picturesque countryside to the lakeside settlement of Te Anau set against the stunning backdrop of Mt Luxmore and the Murchison mountains.

Signature Experience
Journey to the spectacular Milford Sound, where you'll enjoy a cruise that explores the full length of this untouched fiord.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

Distinction Hotel and Villas Te Anau

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    Distinction Hotel and Villas Te Anau



    Distinction Hotel and Villas is situated on Lakefront Drive facing Lake Te Anau, the South Island's largest lake. The expansive well maintained gardens and grounds surrounding the hotel provide the perfect complement to the attractive lake and mountain views. This hotel is very centrally located, ...

    Distinction Hotel and Villas is situated on Lakefront Drive facing Lake Te Anau, the South Island's largest lake. The expansive well maintained gardens and grounds surrounding the hotel provide the perfect complement to the attractive lake and mountain views. This hotel is very centrally located, with just a short walk to a well-equipped shopping centre (open seven days a week), where you'll find retail outlets, restaurants and cafes. The hotel's 112 rooms are comprised of 4 Deluxe Suites, 80 Hotel Rooms, 13 Villa Suites and 15 Villa Rooms.

    Facilities

    • Barbeques (BBQ)
    • Bellman/Porters
    • Business Centre
    • Currency Exchange
    • Internet Access
    • Laundry facilities
    • Lounge(s)
    • Pool (s)
    • Restaurant(s)
    • Room Service
    • Sauna
    • Spa
    • Wheelchair Accessible Rooms

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    Preferred Hotel
Day 7

Te Anau

Today, choose from a range of exciting Freedom of Choice Sightseeing activities that are available to you. The rest of the day is yours at leisure to explore this magical region.

Freedom of Choice Sightseeing
Perhaps explore an underground network of limestone caves lit by tiny glow worms. Or perhaps embark on a Doubtful Sound wilderness cruise and explore the beauty of the vast fiord. For the more adventurous, you could try a jet boat ride through panoramic scenery. Equally tempting is the option to sit back and relax with a glass of wine as you enjoy a film featuring Fiordland's breathtaking landscapes.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 8

Te Anau, Dunedin

Today, travel from Southland to Dunedin. Known as the Edinburgh of the South, this former gold-mining town was once New Zealand's largest city thanks to an influx of miners during the gold rush. This afternoon, choose from our range of Freedom of Choice Sightseeing Inclusions.

Freedom of Choice Sightseeing
Perhaps tour Larnach Castle, New Zealand's only castle, and Olveston House as you learn about their intriguing histories. You may choose to visit Dunedin's beautiful railway station and board the Taieri Gorge Railway. Those who enjoy a beer might like to tour Speight's Brewery and taste the local brew that has been produced on this site since 1876. Alternatively, nature lovers can either visit an albatross colony, or take an off-road tour of the rugged Otago Peninsula.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Duration1 Night
Accommodation

Distinction Dunedin

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    Distinction Dunedin



    One of Dunedin's oldest heritage buildings has been lovingly transformed into Dunedin's newest hotel. This iconic 121 room property is the ideal base for business or leisure. It is conveniently located in the rejuvenated and vibrant exchange area in the heart of Dunedin city. Each ...

    One of Dunedin's oldest heritage buildings has been lovingly transformed into Dunedin's newest hotel. This iconic 121 room property is the ideal base for business or leisure. It is conveniently located in the rejuvenated and vibrant exchange area in the heart of Dunedin city. Each elegant studio and suite boasts stylish contemporary design and functionality.

    Facilities

    • Bar
    • Conference Facilities
    • Free WiFi
    • Gym/Fitness Centre
    • Laundry facilities
    • Restaurant
    • Room Service
    • Tour Desk

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    Preferred Hotel
Day 9

Dunedin, Mt Cook

Today, travel north via the Waitaki Valley and Oamaru. See the unique collection of elegant Victorian-style architecture here, as we follow the coast to view the mysterious Moeraki Boulders along Koekohe Beach. These unique formations are concretions that formed in ancient sea floor sediments around 60 million years ago. Some of these incredible boulders are up to three metres in diameter and along the rugged shoreline, the smooth erosion of the near perfect spheres is breathtaking. According to Maori legend, the boulders are gourds, kumaras and eel baskets that washed ashore after the legendary voyaging canoe, Araiteuru, was wrecked upon landing in New Zealand hundreds of years ago. Follow the shores of blue Lake Pukaki before entering spectacular Aoraki Mt Cook National Park.
Signature Experience
Appreciate the sheer magnitude of Australasia's highest mountain, Mt Cook. A favourite challenge for mountain climbers, the sight of it is truly awe-inspiring.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

The Hermitage Aoraki Mount Cook

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    The Hermitage Aoraki Mount Cook



    Discover the spectacle and drama of New Zealand's Aoraki Mount Cook National Park from the splendour and comfort of The Hermitage Aoraki Mount Cook. The Hermitage, located within Aoraki Mt Cook National Park, has a range of accommodation types available. The main hotel complex contains ...

    Discover the spectacle and drama of New Zealand's Aoraki Mount Cook National Park from the splendour and comfort of The Hermitage Aoraki Mount Cook. The Hermitage, located within Aoraki Mt Cook National Park, has a range of accommodation types available. The main hotel complex contains 164 rooms, while 32 Motel and 20 Chalet self-contained units are located 200-800m away in the village. From an intrepid journey through glacial valleys to a mouth-watering culinary dining adventure, The Hermitage Hotel is the perfect place to base your adventure and discover why this region has endeared itself to Kiwi adventure seekers for so long.

    Facilities

    • Bar(s)
    • Conference Facilities
    • Currency Exchange
    • Lounge(s)
    • Parking
    • Restaurant(s)
    • Wheelchair Accessible Rooms

    More Details

Day 10

Mt Cook

Today offers you the chance to explore Mt Cook through one of the Freedom of Choice Sightseeing options available to you. This evening, enjoy a Farewell Dinner.

Freedom of Choice Sightseeing
Immerse yourself in the region's incredible native flora and splendid surrounds on a guided nature walk. Alternatively, during the summer months, board a MAC boat and get up close to icebergs on the Tasman Glacier Terminal Lake. Perhaps visit the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre and enjoy a stargazing session with an astronomer.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Day 11

Mt Cook, Christchurch

This morning travel to beautiful Lake Tekapo and visit the tiny Church of the Good Shepherd, perched on its shores. Built of locally gathered stone and oak, this charming church was erected as a tribute to the early pioneers of the region. Absorb the serenity of this magical area before continuing to Christchurch, the South Island's largest city, for the final night of your luxury holiday.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Duration1 Night
Accommodation

Rydges Latimer Christchurch

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    Rydges Latimer Christchurch



    Rydges Latimer Christchurch is located just 2 minutes walking distance from the city's CBD, is within easy driving distance of a stunning collection of local attractions and activities and only a 15 minute drive from Christchurch International Airport and features 138 guest rooms and extensive ...

    Rydges Latimer Christchurch is located just 2 minutes walking distance from the city's CBD, is within easy driving distance of a stunning collection of local attractions and activities and only a 15 minute drive from Christchurch International Airport and features 138 guest rooms and extensive banquet facilities with a capacity to cater for up to 360 people, making it the largest hotel function space in Christchurch.

    Facilities

    • Bar(s)
    • Conference Facilities
    • Restaurant

    More Details

Day 12

Depart Christchurch

Your journey ends today. After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight.

Meal Plan Breakfast

Other Information

DEPARTURES:

2018: Oct 28; Nov 112; Dec 23
2019: Jan 27; Feb 17; Mar 3, 19, 26; May 14

PRICE INCLUDES:

  • 11 nights accommodation
  • Sightseeing in up to 12 locations
  • Services of an APT Tour Director and Driver
  • The finest dining - a total of 19 meals
  • Return airport transfers and porterage
  • APT Signature Experiences
  • Freedom of Choice Sightseeing
  • Freedom of Choice Dining.

PRICE EXCLUDES:

  • Travel insurance
  • International and domestic airfare & airfare taxes
  • Visa fees if applicable
  • Meals and beverages not specifically indicated
  • Optional excursions
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Airport transfers
  • Gratuities

TERMS AND CONDITIONS:

Prices are "from" per person based on twin/double share accommodation and for travel in low season. Seasonal surcharges and blackout dates may apply. Limited seat/spaces and all pricing is subject to change and availability. Rates for single or triple travellers are available on request - please inquire.

TB AUSTRALCHI18SG: NZCCS12
14 May 2019
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