Guests will be greeted at Christchurch International Airport by Koru Enterprises local adventure tour guides. They will embark on their special journey into Christchurch and the wider Canterbury region, by hopping onto Canterbury owned Redbus Coachlines, who will transport them to their first destination, Methven, an hour 20min drive, and settle into their accommodation for the evening at Ski Time Lodge. This boutique accommodation is conveniently located near Mt Hutt Ski field which boasts one of New Zealand’s biggest ski areas and some of the longest vertical drops in the South Island. After light refreshments, the group will enjoy world renowned horse riding treks inside spectacular Cantabrian surroundings. In the evening, they will be transported to the Topp Lodge for a relaxed dinner setting. The Topp Lodge is uniquely nestled in nearby Staveley, surrounded by several acres of garden and is hosted by Donna & Lynda Topp (from Topp Twins fame). Here the guests will be treated to a 3 course meal, showcasing New Zealand venison, lamb and salmon, accompanied by fine Waipara wines, plus legendary Kiwi hospitality and entertainment.
Guests will wake up and enjoy the uninterrupted mountain views from lodge accommodation, after enjoying a hearty cooked breakfast, and dressed in walking shoes, it’s a day to experience Canterbury by foot! Back on the bus they head off to the Rakaia Gorge walkway. The walkway is 10.4km track, roughly 3-4 hours return (with an option of taking the Discovery Jet Boat back). The walkway is an easy walk that follows the rim of the gorge through spectacular geological areas, showing lava flows of rhyolite, pitchstone and andesite. It then descends into a gully under a canopy of montane forest and shrub, to the site of the Snowdon coal mine. Next, it’s a 20-minute drive to Ashburton to visit some local art galleries and shops, and enjoy a light lunch with New Zealand artisan refreshments.
Continuing onwards to beautiful Christchurch city to stay at Peppers Clearwater Resort. The resort is set on a lake and golf course, boasting views from each room to create a relaxing and private atmosphere. The award winning Lakes Restaurant is also onsite overlooking the Kaikainui Lake and 18th hole green and is where guests will enjoy another dinner than embraces New Zealand cuisine and award-winning wine.
Another active fun-filled day as guests experience Christchurch city and its surrounds. The day begins with a visit to Cathedral Square, the cultural heart of the city. The square is a very important place to the people of Christchurch and after visiting everyone will understand the significance of 2010 earthquake. A short walk down the road is Christchurch’s Transitional Cathedral, the spectacular 21-metre-high “cardboard Cathedral”. Guests will take a moment to appreciate the design and craftsmanship that has gone into this special creation, and then back on the road on route to Lyttelton. A quick stop up Summit Road where guests will be treated to exceptional views of Christchurch city and the surrounding areas. A definite photo opportunity not to be missed!
Once arrived at Lyttelton, they will find themselves immersed in its offbeat harbour-side character. Lyttelton has a rich maritime history and showcases its colonial heritage character in the many carefully restored buildings. A visit to the Lyttelton Timeball Station is worth every step up the hill for the Neo-Gothic architecture, views and the fascinating Victorian-era history of the Timeball keeping Greenwich time. Onwards now to something a little special, visiting Rapaki Marae, 15 mins drive from Lyttleton, where guests will be welcomed by local kaumatua and Port Hills MP, Nuk Korako and fellow Ngai Tahu iwi to take visitors on a discovery of cultural history and significant Maori knowledge pertaining to this very spiritual part of Canterbury. After the tour, the day ends with a delightful lunch at Governors Bay to return early evening back to accommodation.