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SOUTHERN Vista

8 Days

$3480 pp
5 Seats Left!

SOUTHERN Vista

Departures

  • February 14, 2023

Prices

  • From $4099 per person Twin share from Auckland/Wellington/Tauranga
  • From $3480 per person Twin share from Christchurch

What's included?

  • Return airfares from Auckland / Tauranga/Wellington
  • (one way from Queenstown to Christchurch) Christchurch passengers)
  • Quality accommodation in twin or single rooms with private facilities
  • Breakfast each morning
  • Dinner each evening
  • Dinner on board the Tramcar Restaurant Christchurch
  • Akaroa Day Trip
  • Lunch & entry to Giants Garden – Akaroa
  • 3D Dome Planetarium feature
  • DARK SKY including snacks/hot chocolate.
  • Special Gourmet BBQ Dinner at Walter Peak and TSS Earnslaw Cruise
  • Lunch in Glenorchy
  • Visit & afternoon tea at Little Paradise Gardens
  • Sightseeing as detailed on the itinerary
  • Services of a Tour Manager from Auckland back to Auckland (FREE home pick up and return in the
    greater Auckland/Wellington/ Christchurch or Tauranga area (within 25k radius of the city centre)
    This tour is limited to 24 passengers

B – Breakfast     L – Lunch     LL – Light Lunch     D – Dinner     SD – Special Dinner

Day 1: Auckland-Christchurch (D)

Today we join our flight to the ‘garden city’ of Christchurch. On arrival we are met by our driver and coach and transferred to our hotel where we stay for 2 nights. Join our Tour Manager for dinner at the hotel.

Day 2: Akaroa (B LL SD)

After breakfast we join our coach for the scenic trip to Akaroa. We stop at the Port Hills to enjoy a view of the bays of Lyttelton Harbour, the Canterbury Plains. Akaroa, meaning “Long Harbour” in Maori, is an old whaling township situated on the Banks Peninsula, south-east of Christchurch. It was founded by the French in 1840 and today it still has a distinctly French flavour with its quaint architecture. We head to the Sculpture, Mosaic Garden, Contemporary Art Gallery which has been named as a Garden of National Significance. “the Giants house” was named by a small girl looking up at it from the valley below who said it was so big it must be the house of a Giant. The house was built in 1880 by the first BNZ bank Manager in Akaroa who came from Linton in England. Josie Martin is an established modern artist, painter and Sculptor. We enjoy a light café style lunch and time to look around and these whimsical and flamboyant artworks. We return to Christchurch late afternoon. Early evening we’ll experience a unique dinner onboard the Christchurch Tramcar Restaurant.

Day 3: Christchurch – Aoraki/Mt Cook Dark Sky/ 3D Observatory (B D)

A day to remember for its stunning scenery. We travel to Aoraki/Mt Cook through the rich pastoral farmlands of the Canterbury Plains, the foothills of the Southern Alps through Geraldine to Fairlie where we stop for some lunch (own expense).

We travel on to Lake Tekapo. Visit the iconic Church of the Good Shepherd where the turquoise-blue waters contrasted by the snow-capped peaks of the Southern Alps and the surrounding yellow-tussock farmland, so have your camera on overdrive! We drive past the Mt St John Observatory, then on to Lake Pukaki, where the Tasman Valley opens into the MacKenzie Basin with Mount Cook and the surrounding snow covered peaks in the background. We reach Mount Cook village, and our home for the next two nights—The Hermitage Hotel. We join our Tour Manager tonight for dinner in a dining room with the most magnificent view of Aoraki Mt Cook. After dinner we are treated to a spectacular cinematic experience at the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre Digital Dome. As one of only six planetariums in New Zealand and the first full dome, digital planetarium we journey through the history of Aoraki/Mt Cook and the universe. See the night sky as never before – Leave earth and fly to the edge of the Galaxy. 10.30 p.m. Part of our group will be taken from the hotel to the DARK SKY experience where we join our Astronomy guide on a one hour guided journey of the night sky through high powered telescopes. Wrap up warm and enjoy a hot chocolate and some treats as we are held enthralled by this incredible experience. You can see why it was voted the worlds largest International Dark Sky Reserve. (please note: This is obviously weather dependent.)

Day 4: Aoraki/Mt Cook (B D)

Enjoy breakfast at your leisure this morning after your late night last night.

We will go into the Village of Mt cook and visit the National Park Visitor centre run by DOC. This is packed with interested displays on a wide array of fascinating subjects. An artwork collection, mountaineering history and display. We enter underneath a beautiful Maori Carving representing Aoraki (Cloud Piercer) and his brother Mountains. Your Tour Manager will be on hand in case you would like any extra activities booked. This evening we enjoy dinner at our iconic hotel. Later tonight the remainder of our passengers join the Dark Sky presentation.

Day 5: Mount Cook /Wanaka/Queenstown (B D)

We say farewell to the beautiful Hermitage after breakfast and head on down through Twizel to Omarama where we enjoy a morning tea stop. (own expense). The scenery today will hold you spell bound once again and there will be ample time to take photos. We drop into Wanaka in time for a wander and some lunch (own expense) before on to the “fruit bowl” of New Zealand—Cromwell. Here we visit the Heritage Precinct. When the Clyde Dam was completed in 1990 Cromwell’s main street disappeared under Lake Dunstan. Some of the historic buildings dating back to the Gold rush of the 1860’s were saved or lovingly rebuilt on higher ground. We then travel on into Queenstown, surrounded by incredible mountains and situated on the edge of crystal clear Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown is New Zealand’s leading visitor destination.

Day 6: Glenorchy (B LL D)

After breakfast we will join our coach and travel through to Glenorchy— nestled on the northern shores of Lake Wakatipu & the gateway to hiking trails and Middle-earth. This rustic town is a true outdoor enthusiast’s paradise. & towering mountain ranges, Glenorchy’s surrounds are nothing short of awe-inspiring.

Glenorchy’s landscapes have become a prime location for film scouts, depicting many scenes from The Lord of the Rings trilogy as well as featuring in the Narnia movie. Enroute we’ll make a stop at an incredible garden for a visit and morning tea. Little Paradise— full of flowers, sculptures (the yoga ones are such fun!!) and water features. With over 40,000 daffodils, 3,000 roses and thousands of lilies (some stand over 4 metres tall!). There are mature native and exotic trees as well as a wide variety of fruits, nuts, berries and ornamental trees that are well established. We have time to take in the magnificent scenery, and have lunch in the quaint township of Glenorchy before returning to hotel mid afternoon.

 

Day 7: Queenstown at Leisure (B SD)

Today is yours to enjoy as you wish. Your Tour Manager is available to offer any suggestions and sightseeing options available. You might like to do a wine tour or perhaps a scenic flight. A trip on the fabulous Gondola or just a relaxing walk along the waterfront. You could take the bus to Arrowtown to enjoy some time in this quaint township full of heritage. Your Tour Manager has timings and costs. The shops have much to offer and there are many cafes close to the hotel to have lunch. The beautiful Botanic gardens are a 3 minute walk from the hotel and well worth a visit. 5.15 p.m. We are transferred from the hotel to the steamer wharf to join the TSS Earnslaw. Steeped in Queenstown’s pioneering history, our experience starts with a cruise across Lake Wakatipu in the 103 year old steamship. Then disembark at Walter Peak and enjoy a gourmet BBQ dinner at the Colonel’s Homestead. After dinner, an entertaining and informative demonstration gives you a glimpse of life in the high country. On the magical night-time cruise home, you breathe in the fresh night air on the moonlit decks as you watch the lights of Queenstown draw nearer. A perfect end to our tour.

Day 8: Queenstown/Home (B)

Sadly, time to say goodbye to this beautiful place. We will long remember the stunning scenery we have taken in over the last week as we are taken back to the airport for our flight home.