You will be met at the airport by one of our friendly guides who will transfer you to your hotel. In the afternoon you could take a Christchurch city tour. Christchurch is known throughout New Zealand as ‘The Garden City’. This city tour could include a visit to ‘The Sign of the Kiwi’, the most panoramic of Christchurch’s viewpoints, a stroll in the botanic gardens and drive around the bays of Christchurch taking in Lyttelton which was the gateway for many of Christchurch and the Canterbury region’s first settlers.
Today you farewell the ‘Garden City’ and head South through the Canterbury Plains to the town of Oamaru, famous for its Oamaru Stone heritage buildings. You could visit the Blue Penguin colony in Oamaru to learn about one of New Zealand’s rarest species (optional – extra cost). Heading further South you can make a stop at the legendary Moeraki Boulders. These boulders are concretions that have been exposed through shoreline erosion from coastal cliffs that back the beach, some of which weigh several tonnes and are up to 3 metres in diameter. Your final stop is Dunedin, known as ‘The Scotland of The Southern Hemisphere’. Upon arrival you can see sights such as the steepest street in the world and the Historic Railway Building as featured on many NZ postcards.
In and around Dunedin there is much to see and explore. In the morning your Dunedin city tour could include sights such as Baldwin Street, ‘The Steepest Street in the World’ with gradients reaching up to 35%! Other sights include the historic railway building, university campus buildings and the Otago Museum butterfly experience. In the afternoon you will take a tour out to the penguin colony to view yellow eyed penguins, the world’s rarest (included activity). Following this, you have the option of visiting New Zealand’s only castle or venturing to an albatross colony on the peninsula to view these magnificent huge birds up close (optional – extra cost). In the evening you may wish to visit to the historic Speights Brewery for some sampling of one of New Zealand’s most iconic beers (optional – extra cost).
Today your South Island tour takes you inland to Te Anau – known as the gateway to Fiordland National Park which covers approximately 1.2 million hectares. In the afternoon there is the possibility to take one of the many short walks in the area. This evening in Te Anau you will take a tour by boat across Lake Te Anau to the glow worm caves to view the shimmering light of thousands of luminous glow-worms in a 12,000 year old grotto (included activity).
Be prepared for one of the jewels of the New Zealand landscape. The spectacular drive from Te Anau to 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 hopefully spot the cheeky Kea (New Zealand’s mountain parrot). Tonight you will get the opportunity to really experience what Milford Sound has to offer with an overnight stay in the fiord and an optional kayaking excursion (included in cost). 3 course dinner and breakfast included on board.
Today you will head back up the Milford Highway and through Te Anau to Queenstown, ‘The adventure capital of the world’. Skirting your way around Lake Wakatipu makes for some stunning photography and you will be amazed by the Remarkables Mountain Range, one of the most famous back drops for Lord of the Rings.
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, Canyon Swings, White Water Rafting, Flyboarding 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. Perhaps drive out to the head of Lake Wakatipu and experience the breath-taking scenery of the Glenorchy area. A popular option with our clients is a helicopter flight to the top of Coronet Peak, where passengers are able to get out on the snow 365 days a year! (Weather permitting). In the evening, take a trip to the top of the Skyline Gondola to view Queenstown from a 360 degree panoramic viewpoint and enjoy a delicious buffet dinner at Stratosfare Restaurant (included).
Today you will drive over the Crown Range to the picturesque lakeside town of Wanaka. En route you could visit Arrowtown, one of the key towns in the Central Otago Gold Rush of the 1860s. You can visit the historic Arrowtown Chinese Settlement and wander around the many boutique shops that the village has to offer. In Wanaka this afternoon there is a possibility to walk up Mt Iron and get a 360 degree view of Lake Wanaka and Mt Aspiring. Other options include a visit to Stuart Landsborough’s Puzzling World, a kayak tour on the lake, a visit to a winery, a visit to the Warbirds and Classic cars Museum or even fishing on the lake to take a chance at catching fresh trout (all activities optional – extra cost).
You leave the world of open valleys, lakes and barren mountains to discover Westland National Park, 131,600 hectares of lush native rainforest and its multitude of waterfalls. The walking possibilities are endless today around Haast, some of which feature spectacular waterfalls and deep blue coloured pools where it is possible to see trout swimming. One of our favourite spots at The Road Trip is Ship Creek, an isolated beach featuring native Totara trees hugging rugged coastline. This afternoon there is the possibility of a scenic flight over or a heli-hike on the stunning Franz Josef Glacier, one of the only places in the world where you can experience a Glacier surrounded by rainforest (optional – extra cost). Tonight you will have the chance to relax and unwind with a soak in the Glacier Hot Pools, each filled with pure water from the Glaciers (optional – extra cost).
Today your South Island Tour takes you north up the west coast to Hokitika, a town renowned for its extensive range of greenstone, gold and glassblowing shops. You can visit a small greenstone factory so that you get the opportunity to see how things like necklaces and sculptures are carved from the precious stone. Heading north through Greymouth you will follow ‘ The Coast Road,’ voted New Zealand’s most spectacular coastal road, to arrive at your destination in Punakaiki; home to the world famous Pancake Rocks and blowholes. This afternoon or tomorrow morning, you can take a 20 minute walk to view this amazing limestone landscape of Pancake shaped rock formations, surge pools and blowholes.
Today you will head north along ‘The Coast Road’ to reach the Buller Gorge and enjoy its spectacular canyons along the Buller River. The last part of your tour for the day heads through Murchison and up the orchard lined Motueka Valley Road to your destination in the Abel Tasman National Park region.
Today you will have the opportunity to explore the best that the National Park has to offer with a full day kayak trip round the coastline, half day kayak trip or sailing trip. Discover seals in their natural environment and learn all about New Zealand’s smallest but certainly one of its most spectacular National Parks. There is also the option for walking in the national park and catching a water taxi from different pick up points. In the evening you may wish to enjoy the sunset from one of the area’s picturesque beaches (all activities mentioned are optional and at an extra cost).
From one area of stunning beauty to the next. Driving through Nelson, you head over the Whangamoa Ranges and through Havelock, a major gateway to the Marlborough Sounds also known as ‘The Green Lipped Mussel Capital of the World’. Your tour then heads into the famous Kenepuru Sound. For those feeling energised in the afternoon it is possible to talk a walk up a section of the Queen Charlotte Track to reach a saddle where the views of both Kenepuru and Queen Charlotte Sound surround you in true panoramic fashion.
Today you can take a wine tour through the largest and one of the most prestigious wine growing regions in New Zealand, the Marlborough Wine Region. There is the possibility of visiting one, a few or several wineries to sample the legendary sauvignon blanc among other varieties (optional – extra cost). Your destination tonight is Kaikoura, a whale watching hotspot with some 17 species of whale located within 8km of the shoreline! Kaikoura is also home to a seal colony and is a seafood-lovers paradise with fresh crayfish one of the many delicacies on the menu.
This morning you will take a whale watching tour of 3 hours (included activity). Keep a look out for Killer Whales and orcas as well as many species of Dolphin. Other options this morning include a dolphin swimming tour to get up close and personal with our dusky dolphins (optional – extra cost). Your drive this afternoon takes you south towards Christchurch. Tonight perhaps enjoy a toast to the road trip of a lifetime at one of the many great Christchurch dining spots.
After a hearty breakfast you will be transferred to your onward travel arrangements. We hope that you enjoyed ‘The Road Trip’ through our stunning back yard!
“The Road Trip really allowed us to leave the planning in their capable hands and just truly relax.”
Cathy Karunaratne – USA, April 2017