(Queenstown, Franz Josef, Christchurch)
This is a wonderful stand alone tour of the South Island, but has been designed to work together with our North Island Explorer for a more complete exploration of New Zealand. Start in the ski and resort town of Queenstown, nestled amid the lakes and mountains of the South Island, with remarkable scenery and plenty of adventure activity to enjoy. Embark on a day tour to Milford Sound, where you will take a cruise through this important New Zealand landmark. The adventure capital of the country, you can enjoy a renowned hike at Routeburn track or why not try some bungee jumping. You will take a coach journey to the Franz Josef glacier where you can take part in the unique helicopter journey with a snow landing. You will make your way to the little town of Greymouth where you will board the TranzAlpine train, mentioned as one of the top ten train journeys in the world. Join us in this active tour and get ready for adventure.
This is a wonderful stand alone tour of the South Island, but has been designed to work together with our North Island Explorer for a more complete exploration of New Zealand.
A private vehicle will provide a transfer between the airport and your hotel.
Novotel Queenstown Lakeside is the most centrally located 4-star hotel on Queenstown's lakefront. Step outside your door and into the heart of Queenstown with easy access to all that this premier four season lake and alpine resort has to offer. The hoteloffers delicious New Zealand influenced dining options, WIFI access and complimentary Apple Mac stations, a spa pool as well as professional and friendly staff that make Novotel Queenstown Lakeside the perfect hotel for your Queenstown visit.
Travel by luxury coach on an unforgettable journey from Queenstown into Milford Sound. Travel from Queenstown along the shores of Lake Wakatipu, and through rolling countryside to Te Anau. After a short break at Te Anau, continue via the spectacular Milford Road, to Milford Sound. Board the Milford Mariner for a relaxing cruise of Milford Sound. The cruise provides excellent viewing opportunities and plenty of time is available to enjoy waterfalls, rainforest, mountains and wildlife. An on board nature guide provides interpretation in English only. Experience stunning surroundings at the heart of Te Wahipounamu World Heritage Area. In Maori legend, the fiords were created not by rivers of ice, but by Tu Te Raki Whanoa, a godly figure who came wielding a magical adze uttering incantations. Milford Sound (Piopiotahi) is without doubt his finest sculpture. Luxuriant rainforest clings to sheer rock walls washed with waterfalls. In the foreground stands Mitre Peak, dominating the skyline. Whatever the fiord’s mood, teeming with rain or with sun glistening on deep water, it will inspire you. A return transfer by luxury coach to Queenstown is provided.
This Funyak Safari is truly unique; begin by boarding the Dart River Jet boat for an exciting 75 minute ride along this beautiful braided shallow river. Disembark the Jet Boat and continue this aquatic adventure rafting in and inflatable canoe. After an instructional session, head out and be free to canoe and drift (under the watchful eye of the professional guide) for a spectacular 2 hours downstream, taking in all the awe-inspiring sights found amidst the Dart River’s shimmering channels. Stop amongst the ancient beech forest to enjoy a wilderness buffet lunch before exploring hidden side streams, rock pools and dramatic chasms including the beautiful Rockburn. Continue onward, canoeing downstream to what can only called, Paradise, where a 4WD coach will provide a transfer to Glenorchy, stopping to view the stunning scenery that has many inspired films worldwide. Upon completion of the tour, a return transfer to Queenstown is provided.
Prepare for a full day walk within the ancient Beech forest of the Mount Aspiring National Park. Start the tour with a scenic drive to the northern end of Lake Wakatipu and into the Routeburn Valley. The high snow capped mountains provide a magnificent backdrop for the walk up this beautiful river valley. A journey along the edge of the lake from Queenstown, to the head of Lake Wakatipu is the ideal preparation for the splendour of the world-famous Routeburn Track. The walk begins amongst the towering tree's of the ancient Beech forest, making route gradually through blankets of forest moss and ferns. The woodland eventually parts to reveal the rich grassland of Routeburn Flats, overlooked on all sides by cloud-scraping mountains, some so high they have permafrost and small glaciers. These flats provide the perfect location to enjoy a well earned lunch, before heading to the next stop at Routeburn Falls.
Depart Queenstown by coach at 7:40am passing through Cromwell, Wanaka and Hawea before travelling over the magnificent Haast Pass into Westland.
A local shuttle is available to take you to the glacier base (own arrangements, weather permitting). Spectacular photo opportunities abound of these huge ice masses. Watch out for Keas (native parrots) and their inquisitive cheeky play.
Welcome to Westwood Lodge. Nestled in the heart of New Zealand’s spectacular Glacier Country, seconds away from the majestic Southern Alps and the World Heritage Westland National Park; our luxurious bed and breakfast lodge is an ideal place to unwind and explore Franz Josef Glacier. Set in a beautiful bush garden, Westwood Lodge offers well-appointed bed and breakfast accommodation with views of the West Coast’s rainforests and the mountains of the Southern Alps.
Today's Heli-hike features a 10 minute helicopter flight to Franz Josef icefall Glacier landing and pickup, with a 2 hour hike amongst glacial ice formations accompanied entirely by professional and experienced guides. During this tour, all of the necessary equipment is provided including glacier boots, talonz, socks, an ice axe, and a waterproof jacket. Some other suggested personal bring alongs include a warm upper body clothing (preferably 3 to 4 layers), Leggings or light trousers, sunglasses, sunscreen, and a waterproof jacket (one will be provided if you don't have one).
Join your coach and continue to Greymouth, the largest township and port in the area, rich in gold and coal mining history.
The TranzAlpine scenic train journey travels between Greymouth and Christchurch, from one coast of New Zealand to the other. From your carriage you’ll see the spectacular gorges and river valleys of the Waimakariri River fields, followed by the Canterbury Plains and farmland . Your train climbs into the Southern Alps through lush beech rain forest from the West Coast town of Greymouth. Our train journey finishes in Christchurch - New Zealand's largest city on the South Island. The trip is 223.8 kilometres long and takes just four and a half hours. There are 16 tunnels, and 5 viaducts, the highest being the Staircase standing at 73 metres.
A private vehicle with driver will provide a transfer between the Train Station and Hotel.
Enjoy a day at leisure in Christchurch and Canterbury, renowned for natural beauty and a wealth of things to do. Christchurch has a lively entertainment scene, strong cultural heritage, gorgeous parks and gardens, lots of sports facilities and good shopping. Among the 'must sees' include the weekend Arts Centre market, Christchurch Cathedral, Botanic Gardens and International Antarctic Centre. The Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu exhibit's New Zealand and international art. The Canterbury Museum has fine cultural and natural collections as well as creative and imaginative displays. Orana Park is New Zealand's largest wildlife reserve and Willowbank Wildlife Reserve has among its displays New Zealand's largest daytime kiwi viewing area. Air Force World captures the adventure and history of flight in New Zealand and Christchurch Casino offers 24-hour gaming entertainment. Visitors can be introduced to Maori culture at Nga Hau E Wha Marae.
Heartland Hotel Cotswold is warm and welcoming, and the perfect place to relax during the visit to Christchurch. The spacious grounds feature award-winning gardens, and there is always a seat waiting for guests in the Earl of Essex Bar. The 3 star-plus Christchurch hotel is located on the edge of the CBD. It’s an easy stroll to boutique shopping at Merivale Mall, Christchurch Casino and the beautiful Hagley Park. Just 20 minutes drive from Christchurch airport, and very close to the CBD, Heartland Hotel Cotswold is well positioned for travellers here on business or for leisure.
A private vehicle with driver will provide a transfer between the airport and hotel.
VISA/PASSPORTU.S. and Canadian citizens eligible for a visa waiver do not need a visa for tourist stays of three months or less.
Please note obtaining a visa is your responsibility. These requirements change often and therefore it is best that you check with the Embassy of New Zealand for the most up to date visa information.
HEALTHHealth insurance is recommended. Medical facilities are good quality. We recommend that you see a health-care provider who specializes in Travel Medicine. The doctor or health-care provider will determine what vaccinations and medication you will need, depending on factors such as your health and immunization history, areas of the country you will be visiting, and planned activities. For more information on travel requirements, visit the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website: http://wwwn.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/new-zealand.aspx COUNTRY INFOCapital: Wellington. Government: Constitutional monarchy since 1907. Language: English is the common and everyday language, but other languages are also spoken, including Maori, which is New Zealand’s second official language (spoken by the indigenous Maori people who constitute approximately 15% of the population). Religion: 55% Christian: Anglican, Presbyterian, Roman Catholic and Methodist are all represented. Time: New Zealand: GMT + 12 (GMT + 13 from the last Sunday in September to the first Sunday in April). Chatham Island: GMT + 12.75 (GMT + 13.75 from the last Sunday in September to the first Sunday in April). Electricity: 230 volts AC, 50Hz. Most hotels provide 110-volt AC sockets (rated at 20 watts) for electric razors only. Telephone: Country code: 64. Most public phones take cards purchased from bookstalls; some also accept credit cards, but very few still accept coins. Mobile Telephone: Roaming agreements exist with most international mobile phone companies. Coverage is good. Internet: There are Internet cafes in cities and smaller town central business districts. Travelers may access the Internet at many hotels and youth hostels.
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