[10D9N] Winter in New Zealand - South Island (Southern Light Alert!)

New Zealand

Changi Airport

This adventure is: #far far away, #scenic, #suitable for children

New Zealand: [10D9N] Winter in New Zealand - South Island...

Your Organizer

“Hi, I am Tracy! I am a full-time Travel Blogger, Planner & Organizer. I am Indonesian and I stayed in Singapore for about 11 years before I moved back for good in 2016. I love nature - I hike and I dive. I support coral conservation. When I am not doing either one, I write and I plan. And yes, also meeting friends for a cuppa tea or coffee, too! :) Hope to see you around one day!”

43 Adventures organized
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Highlights

The cost shown is for 2019. So, expect that there will be some adjustment for next year 2020.

On this 10 day best of the South Island privately guided tour, you can expect to see mountains, glaciers, turquoise coloured lakes, waterfalls, beaches and stunning native rain forests. Highlights on this adventure include beautiful Lake Tekapo and its turquoise colour, Queenstown; ‘The Adventure Capital of the World and Franz Josef Glacier - one of the only glaciers in the world to be surrounded by rainforest. Sit back relax and experience the real New Zealand with your expert driver guide and explore New Zealand’s majestic beauty.

This trip will start from Christchurch all the way to Queenstown. As it is during the winter season in New Zealand, expect to see snow. The activities will be around sightseeing, a little hiking, plus many other optional activities of your choice. :)

This trip is suitable for anyone including children. There are days that we are fully-guided and there are free times where we can spend to do optional activities or just have a slow day as we wish to be. 

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ITINERARY

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450 km, 5 hours driving, 2 hours and 15 minutes driving

Today our 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 lookout for the Bealey River and lakes Pearson and Lyndon with the towering Alps above.

Arrive in Greymouth (named so for the Grey River flowing through the town), and head south to Hokitika where we can have a look at the greenstone factory. We will view up close how the local people carve necklaces and sculptures from the precious stone (also a great souvenir or gift for loved ones back home!).

Late afternoon arrives in the beautiful Franz Josef township, where we will stay tonight surrounded by nature and with the snow-capped Alps above. This evening we will also have the chance to visit the relaxing Franz Josef Hot Pools for a soak surrounded by lush rainforest (optional activity).


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DAY 3: FRANZ JOSEF GLACIER – WANAKA (B)

250 km, 4 hours driving

This morning we have the option of taking a scenic flight over or a heli-hike on the stunning Franz Josef Glacier, one of the only places in the world where we can experience a Glacier surrounded by rainforest (optional – extra cost).  One of the prettiest and most dramatic journeys in the country is what we can experience on this tour over the Haast Pass through to Wanaka.

En route we will 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 the local’s favourite spots is Ship Creek, an isolated beach featuring native totara trees hugging rugged coastline. Tonight we will stay in Wanaka, one of the most popular kiwi vacation hot spots situated on the shores of Lake Wanaka.


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DAY 4: WANAKA – TE ANAU (B)

260 km, 4 hours driving

This morning after further exploring Wanaka, our South Island tour takes us over The Crown Range, New Zealand’s highest highway to Arrowtown, an important location in the gold rush of Central Otago in the 1860s. Perhaps browse the preserved Chinese gold mining village or wander the boutique shops the town has on offer.

Our next stop is Amisfield Winery where we will enjoy a 3-course‘ trust the chef’ lunch with a wine tasting, including the trademark Pinot Noir which this region is famous for (lunch and wine tasting included). This afternoon we will drive a further 2.5 hours to Te Anau. This evening in Te Anau we will take a tour by boat across Lake Te Anau to the glowworm caves to view the shimmering light of thousands of luminous glow-worms in a 12,000-year-old grotto (included).

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DAY 5: DOUBTFUL SOUND DAY TRIP (B)

40 minutes driving

Today take the 20-minute drive to Manapouri Harbour for our day cruise through Doubtful Sound (or we can arrange bus transfers). This spectacular journey starts with a cruise to the other side of Lake Manapouri, followed by a bus trip over a pass to the fjords followed by a magical afternoon cruising through the towering peaks and stunning waterfalls of Doubtful Sound. The trip also passes by the famous Manapouri power station. The boat returns to Manapouri at 4:45. In the afternoon, take the 20-minute drive back to Te Anau and enjoy a further night on the shores of Lake Te Anau.

Note: Today is a legally required day off for our guide. Any transport will be provided by a 3rd party operator.

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DAY 6: TE ANAU – QUEENSTOWN (B,D)

184 km, 3 hours driving

This morning we will head to Queenstown, ‘New Zealand’s adventure capital of the world’. Skirting our way around Lake Wakatipu makes for some stunning photography and we will be amazed by the Remarkables Mountain Range, one of the most famous backdrops for Lord of the Rings. The afternoon is free to spend as our wish in Queenstown, and there is plenty to see and do! 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).

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DAY 7: QUEENSTOWN (B)

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 steamship or a walk through Queenstown’s Botanic Gardens is 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 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).

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DAY 8: QUEENSTOWN – AORAKI MOUNT COOK (B,D)

263 km, 3 hours and 15 minutes driving

We leave Central Otago today through the Kawarau Gorge and Cromwell where we can make a stop en route and visit a local fruit shop for a chance to try real fruit ice cream and perhaps sample New Zealand famous manuka honey products. From there, cross the Lindis Pass (965m) to the Mackenzie Country, known for its Merino Sheep and wool industry.

Weather permitting we can take a short walk at the foot of Mt Cook – New Zealand’s highest mountain. This afternoon take a hike in the Tasman Valley with our guide. Stay in the alpine village tonight where we will do a stargazing tour and marvel at the beautiful skies about Aoraki Mount Cook. If we are lucky and the sky is clear enough, we might be able to see the southern light, too!

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DAY 9: AORAKI MOUNT COOK – CHRISTCHURCH VIA LAKE TEKAPO (B)

332 km, 4 hours and 15 minutes driving

This morning we will skirt around beautiful lakes Pukaki and Tekapo and discover one of the local’s favourite lookout spots with 360-degree views of the lake and mountains; Mt. John. Stop at Lake Tekapo Village for lunch and see the iconic Church of the Good Shepherd on the shores of the turquoise lake. Following this, we will drive through to Christchurch where the rest of the day is free to explore the city. Tonight we will enjoy a delicious restaurant dinner with our guide to farewell our tour.

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DAY 10: CHRISTCHURCH (B)

This morning, after further exploring Christchurch, we are transferred to our onward travel arrangements. I believe we have had a memorable tour of the beautiful country.

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ACCOMMODATIONS
9 nights’ accommodation in 4 star and best available motel and/or hotel accommodation featuring mountain and lake views in locations that offer this (views subject to availability)
– 2 nights in Christchurch (Colombo in the City Motel or similar)
– 1 night in Franz Josef (Aspen Court Motel or similar)
– 1 night in Wanaka (Manuka Crescent Motel or similar)
– 2 nights in Te Anau (Bella Vista Te Anau motel or similar)
– 2 nights in Queenstown (Alexis Motel or similar)
– 1 night in Alpine Village (Hermitage Hotel or similar)

[10D9N] Winter in New Zealand - South Island (Southern Light Alert!) starting at New Zealand

IMPORTANT NOTE:

Please read through the following terms of participation before RSVP: http://www.threeplaygrounds.com/pages/champion-terms-of-participation
 
DISCLAIMER: Your safety and well-being during the trip are your sole responsibility. By RSVP for this event, you have confirmed that you have read, acknowledged, agreed and accepted the terms and conditions of participating on this trip.

Itinerary

DAY 1: WELLINGTON – CHRISTCHURCH (B)
DAY 2: 
CHRISTCHURCH – FRANZ JOSEF GLACIER via TRANZ ALPINE (B)
DAY 3: 
FRANZ JOSEF GLACIER – WANAKA (B)
DAY 4: 
WANAKA – TE ANAU (B)
DAY 5: 
DOUBTFUL SOUND DAY TRIP (B)
DAY 6:
 TE ANAU – QUEENSTOWN (B,D)
DAY 7: 
QUEENSTOWN (B)
DAY 8: 
QUEENSTOWN – AORAKI MOUNT COOK (B,D)
DAY 9: 
AORAKI MOUNT COOK – CHRISTCHURCH VIA LAKE TEKAPO (B)
DAY 10: 
CHRISTCHURCH (B)

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