10 Day South Island New Zealand Educational Wonders
10 Day South Island New Zealand Educational Wonders
TranzAlpine Train – Greenstone Factory – Deer Museum – Airforce and Classic Cars Museum – Gondola – Boat Cruise – Orchard Visit
Welcome to New Zealand’s South Island dubbed a ‘Paradise on Earth’. The South Island is rich in a variety of fantastic scenery including rainforests, beaches, glaciers, fjords, mountains and lakes. On this 10 day adventure you will learn all about New Zealand’s native forests and wildlife with guided walks in our national parks, learn all about the gold mining industry in New Zealand and the early Chinese settlers, discover New Zealand’s garden city, one of the first to be settled by Europeans and its many charms and be blown way by our amazing ecosystems with a boat cruise in Milford Sound on our spectacular fjords. Welcome to The Road Trip, where your journey begins.
Day 1 – Christchurch Arrival Day
Today you will be met by one of our friendly staff and transferred to your inner city accommodation near the city’s Hagely Park. Your guide will meet you this evening at your accommodation and discuss your up and coming adventure.
Day 2 – Christchurch- Arthurs Pass via Tranz Alpine Train – Franz Josef Glacier (2.5 hour train + 3 hours driving) 450km
Today you will be taken to Christchurch train station for your journey through the Southern Alps to Arthurs Pass and Greymouth on the South Island’s west Coast. This was voted one of the most scenic train journeys in the world. Keep a look out for the Bealey River and lakes Pearson and Lyndon with the towering Alps above. You will disembark and be met by your guide in Arthurs Pass and we will take one of the many short nature walks in the national park Our favourite secret spot features stunning 150 metre waterfalls and spectacular views of the mountains as we peek through native beech forest and learn all about the ecosystem in the area and our native parrot, The Kea, which is found only in New Zealand’s Southern Alps. These birds are thought to have the intelligence of a 6 year old child. Driving further we will stop in Hokitika to have a look at the greenstone factory, we will view up close how the local people carve necklaces and sculptures from the precious stone. We will also visit a local museum and learn all about the deer industry of New Zealand and view animals such as wallabies, possums, eels and chamois. This afternoon or early tomorrow morning you will have the option of a flight over the majestic Franz Josef Glacier, one of the only glaciers in the world to be flanked by rainforest on both sides.
Day 3 – Franz Josef Glacier- Wanaka (4 hours driving) 250km
One of the prettiest and most dramatic journeys in the country is what you can experience on this tour over the Haast Pass through to Wanaka. En route we visit Lake Matheson, otherwise known as ‘Mirror Lakes’ where on a clear day it is possible to see the reflection of New Zealand’s highest mountain Mt Cook (3754m/12,316ft). The walking possibilities are endless today around Haast and Haast Pass and we can do one of or several walks, some of which feature spectacular waterfalls and deep blue coloured pools where it is possible to see trout swimming. One of our favourite hidden spots at The Road Trip is an isolated beach featuring native Totara trees hugging rugged coastline. Keep a look out for dolphins bobbing up and down on the shoreline. Tonight we stay in Wanaka, one of the most popular kiwi vacation hot spots situated on the shores of Lake Wanaka.
Day 4 – Wanaka – Te Anau (4 hours driving) 260km
This morning we will take a visit to the local Airforce Museum, Warbirds and wheels. Among other things we will see the Skyhawk. This was one of the key aircraft purchased by New Zealand’s government in the 1960’s. This afternoon our South Island tour takes us over The Crown Range, New Zealand’s highest highway to Arrowtown which was one of New Zealand’s most important towns in the gold rush to Central Otago in the 1860’s. We will visit a Chinese gold mining settlement and view their dwellings up close as well as learning all about the history of their settlement in New Zealand. This afternoon we drive a further 2 hours to Te Anau situated on the shores of New Zealand’s 2nd largest lake and the gateway to Fiordland National Park.
Day 5 – Te Anau – Milford Sound- Te Anau (240km 4 hours driving time)
Be prepared for one of the jewels of the New Zealand landscape. The spectacular drive from Te Anau- Milford Sound is one of the most spectacular in the world and certainly a highlight on any New Zealand tour. En route you will see spectacular valleys, breath taking mountains and waterfalls. We will take a 1 hr 40 minute boat cruise through the fjords and learn all about the ecosystem in the area and its wildlife. Keep a look out for dolphins, seals and penguins! This afternoon on the way back to Te Anau we will take a guided walk in New Zealand’s largest national park and look for our native woodpigeon.
Day 6 – Te Anau – Queenstown (180km 2 hours driving time)
Skirting our way today around the shores of Lake Wakitipu, New Zealand’s 3rd largest lake, keep a look out for scenic spots that put New Zealand on the film industry map with Lord of The Rings. This afternoon we will take a trip up to the top of Queenstown gondola to see its spectacular sights from above. You will see the Remarkables Mountains, Lake Wakitipu and the Crown Range with stunning 360 degree views. The rest of the evening is for leisure activities.
Day 7 – Queenstown
Today is free to explore Queenstown at leisure and take part in some of the fantastic activities that this ‘Adventure Capital of the World’ has to offer. Options for the adventurous include: Skydiving, Bungy Jumping, Jet Boating, White Water Rafting and Paragliding. If you feel like taking a more relaxed approach to the day, a cruise on the TSS Earnslaw 100 year old steam ship or a walk through Queenstown’s Botanic Gardens are not to be missed.
Day 8 – Queenstown – Tekapo via Mt Cook (4 hours driving) 280km
We leave Central Otago today through the Kawarau Gorge and Cromwell where we make a stop en route and visit a local fruit orchard and learn about the many fruits that are grown in the Central Otago region, we can also try ‘Real Fruit Ice cream’ and sample a few of the New Zealand famous manuka honey products. From there we cross the Lindis Pass (965m) to the Mackenzie Country, known for its Merino Sheep and wool industry. We will visit the ‘Shrek the Sheep exhibition in Tarras. Shrek was a merino sheep that went missing in our high country for 7 years and was later discovered unshorn and his fleece contained enough wool to make suits for 20 men, weighing 27 kg (60 lb) — an average Merino fleece weighs around 4.5 kg (9.9 lb ). Weather permitting we can take one of a short walk together at the foot of Mt Cook- New Zealand’s highest mountain and take in its blissful surrounds. We then head through to Lake Tekapo and our accommodation is situated on the waterfront.
Day 9 – Mt Cook – Christchurch plus city sightseeing (4 hours driving) 270km
Today we will drive through to Lake Tekapo and take a drive up Mt John to view its turquoise blue colour and surrounding mountain from this spectacular look-out point. At 1000m above sea level one really does have a feeling of being at the top of the world here. Also en route will be a stop at the historic Church of the Good Shepherd, featured on all New Zealand postcards. We arrive in Christchurch late afternoon and take a city tour together. We visit the Port Hills. These hills are a part of Banks Peninsula and part of our excursion will feature a visit to the port of Lyttelton. This was the first place settled by the Europeans in the South Island. Later on this afternoon we will have a stroll around Christchurch’s Botanic Gardens and learn about the many species of introduced plants, some planted by the first Europeans to settle Christchurch. Tonight we can enjoy a farewell dinner together in one of ‘The Garden City’s many restaurants.
Day 10 – Departure Day
Today you will be transferred to your onward travel connections. We trust that you have had a memorable Road Trip.