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14 Day Christchurch Return Southern Discovery - Stray Journeys

Guided Tours

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Enquire about 14 Day Christchurch Return Southern Discovery - Stray Journeys

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Description

Experience Marlborough, NZ’s famous wine region. Cruise Doubtful Sound. Speed through Mt Aspiring on a Jet Boat. Book now for a South Island adventure!

 


Details

Why You'll Love It

  • Wine tasting at a vineyard cellar door in Marlborough
  • Hike Abel Tasman National Park. You can choose to take a water taxi ride or hire a stand-up paddle board
  • Admire the stunning colours of the Blue Pools
  • Thrilling Jet Boat Ride in Mt Aspiring National Park
  • Overnight cruise on a custom-designed ship in the Doubtful Sound
  • Walk the Hooker Valley Track in the Mount Cook National Park

What’s Included

  • You'll travel in our comfortable mid-sized coaches around New Zealand
  • Expect entertaining commentary, insight into local secrets and extra support from your tour guide
  • 13 nights’ quad share accommodation in a variety of quality backpacker hostels, wilderness lodges and cabins
  • 10 breakfasts and 6 dinners

Itinerary

Day 1: Christchurch to Picton

Nau mai, haere mai (welcome)!  Your journey kicks off when we depart Christchurch in the morning to travel north on a scenic drive through Lewis Pass, heading to the coastal town of Picton. We arrive in the early evening, giving you time to go for a walk to get your bearings in this charming town or relax in the spa at your accommodation. Accommodation included: Cozy villa  

 

Day 2: Picton to Abel Tasman

Spend the morning exploring the stunning Marlborough Sounds by foot or bicycle. You’ll meet your coach at midday to cruise through the famous Marlborough wine region. We visit a local vineyard’s cellar door to sample New Zealand’s world famous Sauvignon Blanc, before heading to the spectacular Abel Tasman National Park. Tonight we enjoy some delicious seafood and a BBQ dinner at our exclusive campsite accommodation. Accommodation included: Beach accommodation in the national park Activities included: Winery cellar door visit Optional activities: Walk or hire a bicycle for sightseeing  

Meal(s) included: Dinner

 

Day 3: Full day in Abel Tasman

Today is a free day to experience the incredible Abel Tasman National Park. Explore this stunning, coastal area famous for being one of the sunniest spots in New Zealand. Walk the coastal track and discover some of New Zealand’s best natural golden beaches or choose an optional activity like sailing or sea kayaking (own expense). Tonight you can self-cater and use the BBQ facilities at our accommodation on the edge of the national park. Accommodation included: Beach accommodation in the national park Activities included: Abel Tasman Track and Aqua Taxi or paddle board hire  

Meal(s) included: Breakfast

 

Day 4: Abel Tasman to Hanmer Springs

Today you’ll travel through beautiful scenery in the Kahurangi and Nelson National Parks where we’ll stop for a picnic lunch, before heading to the peaceful town of Hanmer Springs. This afternoon you are free to enjoy this alpine setting. Spend the afternoon surrounded by mountains and forest as you relax in the thermal hot pools. Tonight is a group dinner. Accommodation included: Cozy alpine chalets Activities included: Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools and Spa  

Meal(s) included: Breakfast, Dinner

 

Day 5: Hanmer Springs to Christchurch

Today we head for the East Coast and the coastal village of Kaikoura, famous for a huge array of natural wonders from land to sea.  We arrive in Kaikoura early, so you are free to experience all this location has to offer.  Why not go out on the water and experience one of Kaikoura’s famous dolphin and whale spotting tours (own expense), see seals sitting right beside the road at Goose Bay or wander around the peninsula and check out the breathtaking views from the lookout. After the afternoon’s activities, we make our way to the city of Christchurch. Check out the city sights as you make your way to your accommodation in the city centre. Accommodation included: Central city hostel Activities included: Peninsula walk and seal colony visit Optional activities: Whale watching, swim with dolphins  

Meal(s) included: Breakfast

 

Day 6: Christchurch to Franz Josef

We depart Christchurch in the morning for a stunning journey across the Canterbury Plains and over the famous Arthur’s Pass to the West Coast. Around almost every corner there is a picturesque backdrop to enjoy so have your camera ready as we stop often for walks and photo opportunities. We visit Hokitika, famous for pounamu (jade), before our day ends in the quaint little West Coast town of Franz Josef, home to Franz Josef Glacier. Accommodation included: Hostel close to all attractions Activities included: Pounamu jade factory  

Meal(s) included: Dinner

 

Day 7: Full day at Franz Josef

Enjoy a free day to get out and explore the mighty Franz Josef Glacier. Navigate the maze of ice and explore the incredible landscape on a guided glacier tour, which we highly recommend (own expense). There are also many excellent bush hikes available in the region. Tonight you self-cater, giving you the opportunity to dine at one of the local cafes and restaurants in town or make use of the self-catering kitchen at our accommodation. Accommodation included: Hostel close to all attractions Optional activities: Glacier Ice Explorer, helicopter flight  

Meal(s) included: Breakfast

 

Day 8: Franz Josef to Makarora

Today we head down the West Coast towards Mount Aspiring National Park, stopping to take in some breathtaking scenery at the amazing mirror-like Lake Matheson, NZ’s most photographed lake.  See waterfalls as we travel through the mountainous Haast Pass towards Makarora then visit the stunning Blue Pools.  On arrival in Mount Aspiring National Park we go jet boating to experience the best in shallow water boating skimming just inches from the riverbed, see pristine waterways, snow-capped peaks and native bush. Accommodation included: Unique mountain chalets Activities included: Walk around Lake Matheson, walk through beech forest to the Blue Pools, jet boat in Mt Aspiring National Park  

Meal(s) included: Breakfast, Dinner

 

Day 9: Makarora to Doubtful Sound

Fiordland National Park is one of New Zealand’s most beautiful locations, with stunning ice-carved fiords, valleys, lakes and mountain scenery; it is our first port of call today. Within Fiordland we visit Doubtful Sound, the deepest of all the fiords, surrounded by towering peaks and huge waterfalls. We will board a purpose-built boat and enjoy complimentary afternoon tea while cruising past fur seals, penguins and dolphins. There are also sea kayaks available to paddle in the fiord. Accommodation included: Overnight on the boat, anchored within a secluded bay in a UNESCO World Heritage Site Activities included: Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise, sea kayaking, wildlife spotting  

Meal(s) included: Breakfast, Dinner

 

Day 10: Doubtful Sound to Queenstown

We depart Doubtful Sound around midday, leaving behind the stunning Fiordland to head for the ‘adventure capital of the world’ Queenstown. For your first evening here, Queenstown offers an optional big (make that huge!) night out with many excellent restaurants, pubs and live music. Accommodation included: Lodge located close to town with awesome views  

Meal(s) included: Breakfast

 

Day 11: Full day in Queenstown

You have two free days to fully explore everything on offer. Queenstown is a great place to spend a few days, no matter what your past-time of choice is. Options include: bungy jumping, zipline tours, canyoning, Shotover River jet boating, skiing, skydiving or walk Ben Lomond or Queenstown hill for amazing views, or just enjoy the stunning scenery and do nothing. Optional activities and meals not indicated are at your own expense. Accommodation included: Lodge located close to town with awesome views Optional activities: AJ Hackett Bungy, Canyon Swing, Skyline Gondola and Luging  

Meal(s) included: Breakfast

 

Day 12: Full day in Queenstown

You have two free days to fully explore everything on offer. Queenstown is a great place to spend a few days, no matter what your past-time of choice is. Options include: bungy jumping, zipline tours, canyoning, Shotover River jet boating, skiing, skydiving or walk Ben Lomond or Queenstown hill for amazing views, or just enjoy the stunning scenery and do nothing. Optional activities and meals not indicated are at your own expense. Accommodation included: Lodge located close to town with awesome views Optional activities: AJ Hackett Bungy, Canyon Swing, Skyline Gondola and Luging  

Meal(s) included: Breakfast

 

Day 13: Queenstown to Mt Cook

We’ll jump back on the bus for a short drive to Wanaka, where we’ll spend the morning biking some of New Zealand’s most scenic lakeside trails. After lunch, we head over the Lindis Pass through the picturesque Mackenzie region to the base of the country’s highest mountain, Aoraki/Mt Cook. There is time for a hike through the Hooker Valley for breathtaking views of the dramatic mountain landscape, or opt to take an alpine scenic flight (own expense). This is also one of the best places in New Zealand to join an evening stargazing tour. Accommodation included: Alpine lodge  Activities included: Mountain biking in Wanaka, scenic walk along the Hooker Valley track Optional activities: Big Sky Stargazing or scenic heli-flight  

Meal(s) included: Breakfast, Dinner

 

Day 14: Mt Cook to Christchurch

Today we make our way through a landscape made famous in the 'Lord of the Rings' films. We’ll take a break for a stroll around Lake Tekapo, iconic for its historic church and turquoise waters. Between Tekapo and Christchurch there is an option for thrill seekers to hop-off and join a top-notch Grade 5 whitewater adventure on the Rangitata River (own expense). Those not rafting will continue on to Christchurch, where your driver guide will point out the highlights of the South Island’s largest city. The rafters will rejoin the group in Christchurch this evening. This is where your tour comes to an end – we hope you had a blast on your New Zealand journey! Activities included: Explore Lake Tekapo area Optional activities: Rangitata white water rafting  

Meal(s) included: Breakfast


Pickups / Departures

20 October 2018 - 4 May 2019

Departs from: Christchurch
Day: Saturday
Time: 7:30am from All Stars Inn / 8am from Christchurch International Airport