9 Day Central South Island Coach Tour NZ

$4,388.00

Explore the central South Island on this small group tour. Travelling through New Zealand’s famous gold mine region in Central Otago before embarking on to the adventure capital – Queenstown. This tour is a perfect way to explore the region in depth.

 Koru Enterprises
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Product Description

 

Tour Inclusions & Attractions:

  • Transportation throughout in a 20 seater vehicle with local driver/ guide
  • Fully hosted
  • Maximum 18 clients in each group
  • 8 night’s accommodation – 3 ½ – 4* properties
  • 8 dinners │ 6 breakfasts/brunches │ 2 lunches – all meals in local and iconic eateries
  • Airport arrival & departure transfers
  • ReBuild City Walking Tour, Christchurch
  • Quake City Exhibit, Christchurch
  • Grand Traverse – Air Safaris Scenic Flight
  • Tasman Glacier Explorers Walk & Cruise
  • Steampunk HQ
  • Guided Heritage Walk including a dram of whisky and taste of Haggis
  • Monarch Sundowner Tour
  • Taieri Gorge Railway – Dunedin to Pukerangi
  • Wine-tasting with Wooing Tree Vineyard
  • Highlands National Motorsport Museum and Sculpture Park
  • TSS Earnslaw Cruise to Walter Peak High Country Farm
  • Scenic Tour & Jetboat Adventure into Skippers Canyon

Price per person:

NZ$4358 Price Per Person Twin Share

* Single rate available

Departure Dates:

Christchurch to Queenstown
Depart: 24th February 2017         Return: 4th March 2017
Depart: 24th March 2017              Return: 1st April 2017

Itinerary – Day by Day

Day 1: Arrive Christchurch

Transfer from the airport to your Christchurch city hotel.

This evening at your hotel take the opportunity to meet your host and fellow travellers over an informal welcome drink followed by dinner in the hotel restaurant.

Christchurch Overnight: Quality Hotel The Elms

Day 2: Christchurch │ Omarama

Depart hotel for breakfast at C1 Espresso an iconic central city café in Christchurch, renowned for their pioneering espresso, big breakfasts and vibrant atmosphere.  Meet your local guide for a personal tour around Christchurch city.  The Rebuild Tour offers a unique guided experience through the past, present & future of Christchurch city. Your city tour concludes at the Re:Start Container Mall where you will visit Quake City; Christchurch Earthquake Exhibit a unique multi-sensory attraction aimed at informing, engaging and educating New Zealanders and international tourists about the Canterbury earthquakes.

Depart Christchurch and head to Ashburton in the Canterbury Region for a light lunch at Nosh Café which sources all the ingredients they can from local suppliers, and make almost everything on-site.  This multi award winning eatery closed due to earthquake damage on, 31 May 2011 but now reopened in Ashford’s Village Ashburton, in the majestic Mill House.  After lunch continue west to stunning Lake Tekapo located in the Mackenzie Basin. The township overlooks the remarkable turquoise coloured lake to the mountainous drama of the Southern Alps. The famous sheep dog statue on the lake’s edge is in memory of the hardy mustering dogs “.The nearby picturesque Church of the Good Shepherd was built in 1935 as a memorial to the pioneers of the Mackenzie Country. Congregations of three faiths worship regularly in the Church.

Continue to Omarama and transfer to your accommodation.  Dinner this evening is at Ladybird Hill Winery, Restaurant & Salmon Farm just a short walk from the hotel.

For those interested there may be time for a relaxing outdoor Hot Tub at the local Hot Pools [not included]

Omarama Overnight: Heritage Gateway Hotel

Day 3: Omarama │ Aoraki [Mt Cook] │ Omarama

Breakfast this morning at Kahu Café in the village before returning to Tekapo and checking in with Air Safaris Tekapo for the Grand Traverse Mt Cook Scenic Flight. Highlights of this ‘flight of a lifetime’ include beautiful turquoise glacial lakes, New Zealand’s highest mountains and largest glaciers – including Aoraki Mount Cook and the Tasman Glacier and the Westland Tai Poutini National Park encompassing the magnificent Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers spilling down to the rainforests of the west coast.

After your flight it’s a short drive to Aoraki Mt Cook Village with time to explore and for a quick lunch. This afternoon Tasman Glacier Explorers bus will drive you into the Tasman Valley where you will take 30 minute alpine walk through the moraine and National Park. Board your custom built MAC boat, and enjoy the ever changing scenery of icebergs of all shapes and sizes with the opportunity to touch and taste the 300-500 year old ice crystals.  Your cruise also allows views of the Tasman Glacier ice face from a safe distance.

After your ‘big glacier day out’ you will return to your hotel to refresh before heading over to Dunstan Downs High Country Sheep Station for dinner in the woolshed, a unique and authentic local farm experience.

Omarama Overnight: Heritage Gateway Hotel

Day 4: Omarama │ Oamaru │ Dunedin

Breakfast this morning at Wrinkly Rams Cafe, accompanied by more stunning views of the Southern Alps.

Drive south from Omarama through the Waitaki Valley to view Benmore Dam before continuing through the wine-growing area of Kurow to Oamaru on the east coast.  Steampunk HQ. A fascinating art collaboration located in the historic Victorian precinct, featuring retro-futuristic sci-fi art, movies, sculpture, immersive light and sound experiences.. After visiting the gallery enjoy some free time to explore the Victorian Precinct and pick up something for your lunch [own cost]

On the drive south to Dunedin stop to marvel at the Moeraki Boulders a collection of unusually large and spherical boulders lying along a stretch of Koekohe Beach on the wave-cut Otago coast. Some of the boulders weigh several tonnes and are up to 3 metres in diameter.

This afternoon in Dunedin a fascinating guided heritage walk will introduce key city sites and buildings including the Octagon, First Church and Dunedin Railway Station and will describe the challenges and opportunities Dunedin faces today. The walk is followed by whisky and haggis at Albar, a former butchers and now a bohemian little bar just 5 minutes’ walk from the hotel.

Dinner this evening is at Scotia Restaurant & Whisky Bar a short walk from the hotel.  Celebrating Dunedin’s cultural heritage, it is a ‘wee slice of Edinburgh’ in the heart of Dunedin. Offering a relaxed but premium dining experience with a strong Scottish influence.

Dunedin Overnight: The Victoria Hotel

Day 5: Dunedin

Breakfast at leisure [not included] and free time today to explore

Later this afternoon a very special late afternoon tour out to the Otago Peninsula.  Join the world renowned oceanic Monarch Wildlife Cruise around the rugged coastline cliffs. The possibility of seeing Royal Northern Albatross soaring above their hillside nesting spots and fur-seals on rocky outcrops basking in the afternoon sun. You may also see other species of albatross and large ocean birds and on special occasions maybe sea-lions, dolphins or blue penguins swimming on the sea’s surface.  After the cruise you will head up to Royal Albatross Centre where you will learn more about these magnificent birds and have the opportunity to view their nest sites and behaviour from above the world’s only mainland colony.  A traditional hangi-style dinner will be served at the Albatross Café along with views of the setting sun over the Otago Harbour.  After dinner the opportunity to watch Blue Penguins return to their burrows after a long day fishing out at sea. They will arrive at shore just after dusk in groups of 5 to 20+ which allows close-up views from a specially designed platform. Your long southern summer afternoon is ended by taking our bus back to your accommodation. [Duration approx. 7 hours]

Dunedin Overnight: The Victoria Hotel

Day 6: Dunedin / Cromwell

Breakfast this morning at The Good Oil Café on George St located around the corner from the hotel then head back to the hotel to meet your coach.

You will head off to Dunedin Railway Station for a spectacular train journey on the Taieri Gorge Railway.  Offering views of Dunedin City, Taieri Plain and the Taieri River Gorge that you can only see by train and described on the Emmy Award-winning television series Great Scenic Railway Journeys described it as “one of the world’s great train trips”. The Taieri River Gorge is dramatic in all seasons and all weathers with dark peaty pools, white water rapids, sheer cliffs, towering viaducts and ten tunnels.

Your coach will be waiting for you at Pukerangi for a picturesque drive through the Central Otago Region for a late lunch at the Historic Chatto Creek Tavern. A shaded beer garden extends to the Rail Trail and to the smallest operating Post Office in New Zealand. Spend time reading its interesting history and enjoying the old photos; imagine being the Post Mistress in this small tin shed for 42 years without heating or running water.

It’s a short drive to Cromwell where you will check into your accommodation for tonight where you will enjoy wine-tasting courtesy of Wooing Tree Vineyard an award winning, family owned single vineyard site in the heart of Central Otago.  Dinner this evening is at Pisa Restaurant in your hotel, Black Panther Stone Oven Pizza where the pizza base dough is made daily onsite.

Cromwell Overnight: Golden Gate Lodge

Day 7: Cromwell │ Queenstown

Depart hotel and drive down to Highlands Motorsport Park for breakfast and a morning of fun, action and adventure. Everyone will get the opportunity to experience the fast paced action of the Subaru WRX 30 minute teaser and a visit to the Highlands National Motorsport Museum and Sculpture Park. Discover all there is to know about New Zealand’s motor racing history, see rare and special race cars and visit the hall of fame. The Sculpture Park is something quite unique so take time to wander and enjoy these clever car sculptures.

So then we slow things down a little on a visit to Arrowtown, one of the most picturesque settlements in New Zealand, Arrowtown sits alongside the gold-bearing Arrow River. The town was established in 1862, during the height of the Otago gold rush. The settlement grew quickly as pioneers constructed cottages, shops, hotels and churches, more than 60 of which can still be seen today.  A special highlight is the Chinese settlement at the edge of the river. Built by Chinese miners from 1868, this area of restored shelters and buildings paints a picture of earlier times.  Free time for lunch [own expense].

Your choice of pre-booked activities this afternoon:

A guided leisurely guided walk around Arrowtown highlights the rich and intriguing history of the real Arrowtown. Learn about the early days of Arrowtown from the discovery of gold in the river through to Arrowtown today and how it has managed to become such a thriving town. After your walk hop back on the coach and drive down to Gibbston Valley to meet up with the rest of the group.

OR

Bicycle Hire – Arrow River Bridges Track. A spectacular self-guided cycle ride on the Queenstown Trail. Departing from Arrowtown you start this beautiful riverside ride under a canopy of spectacular Willow trees.  Crossing purpose built suspension bridges [these are awesome] you ride through open farmland with stunning mountain and river views while passing breathtaking canyons until you reach the historic Kawarau Bridge, home to AJ Hackett Bungy.  A short ride further takes you into the heartland of Central Otago wine making county. Cycle distance: 16 km │ Ride time: approx. 2 hours │ Grade: Easy/intermediate

Everyone re-joins the coach for the drive to the resort town of Queenstown, surrounded by majestic mountains and nestled on the shores of crystal clear Lake Wakatipu.

This evening cruise across the lake aboard the vintage steamship TSS Earnslaw to Walter Peak High Country Farm where you will enjoy a gourmet BBQ buffet dinner with expansive array of New Zealand and local produce.

Queenstown Overnight: Rydges Lakeland Resort

Day 8: Queenstown

This morning we head to Boatshed Cafe & Bistro for a delicious leisurely brunch accompanied by a stunning backdrop with spectacular views of Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkables mountain range

This afternoon a Scenic Tour & Jetboat Adventure into Skippers Canyon. A guided drive into historic Skippers Canyon via the infamous Skippers Canyon Road which was carved out of the vertical rock face by miners over 120yrs ago. Learn of the history of the area including the hardships endured by the miners who battled the harsh New Zealand conditions to extract gold from the richest gold bearing river in the world. You will also experience Lord of the Rings locations first hand. Jet boat through the dramatic canyons of the Shotover River. After the jet boat ride you will be given an exclusive tour of Winky’s Museum set in the scenic surrounds of the Sainsbury Gold Claim, giving you an insight into the many techniques and types of equipment used by the miners as the area plays host to a vast array of relics that were used during the gold rush itself. Then after some complimentary refreshments it’s your chance to strike it rich by panning for your own gold.

A suggestion for this evening prior to dinner is a visit to The Winery – The World’s Largest Tasting of New Zealand Wine.  Enjoy cheese platters and taste award winning, single vineyard and reserve wines from boutique wineries that often don’t have cellar doors.

A farewell dinner tonight is a local restaurant

Overnight: Rydges Lakeland Resort, Queenstown

Day 9: Depart Queenstown

Transfer Queenstown Hotel to Airport

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