ACCOMMODATION & MEALS
Dinner on Day 1 not included for anyone arriving later than 8pm.
SIGHTSEEING & GUIDES
PRE TOUR STAY
Consider arriving a day before the tour starting date. The cost of the additional night/s of stay applies. If you arrive after 8PM on first day of the tour dinner is not included. Ask our travel team about this option, and the additional costs.
Itineraries may be subject to change, due to circumstances outside of our control. If there is any itinerary change prior to departure of significance we aim to inform you prior to travel. Itinerary changes while on tour will be informed by your tour leader/guide while on tour.
On arrival into Christchurch you will be met and transferred to your hotel. This evening, meet your travelling companions over a complimentary pre-dinner drink.
This morning visit the International Antarctic Centre, designed to provide an informative account of life in Antarctica. Feel the chill of the Antarctic storm room, take a ride on the Hagglund all-terrain vehicle, see the little blue penguins and be astonished within the immersive 4D theatre. This is followed by a city tour of Christchurch. The remainder of the afternoon and evening is at leisure to explore further.
This morning board the TranzAlpine, renowned as one of the great train journeys of the world. Travel over massive viaducts, river valleys and spectacular gorges as you ascend to Arthur’s Pass located in the centre of the Southern Alps. Board your Ultimate Coach and travel to Hokitika, famous for its Greenstone before continuing to the township of Franz Josef where time is available to experience a scenic flight (optional, weather permitting) over the spectacular glaciers.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
See the snow-capped peaks of the Southern Alps as you travel south along the West Coast. Continue via the Haast Pass, an area of stunning beauty before arriving into picturesque Queenstown, a year-round resort situated on the shores of magical Lake Wakatipu. This evening is free and you may choose to dine out at one of the many fine restaurants.
Today is a free day with plenty of optional activities to choose from. You may wish to enjoy the thrill of a jet boat ride, a heritage tour of the scenic Skippers Canyon or to get up close to a Kiwi bird. This evening board the vintage steamship TSS Earnslaw and cruise across Lake Wakatipu to Walter Peak Station. Sit back, relax and enjoy a delicious gourmet barbecue dinner featuring a menu of seasonal, fresh and locally sourced food at the Colonel’s Homestead. After dinner enjoy a short farm tour then reboard the TSS Earnslaw for a sing along by the piano as you cruise back to Queenstown.
Meals: Breakfast, Specialty Dinner
Enjoy a leisurely start this morning before travelling to Arrowtown, an old gold mining village where you visit the Lakes District Museum. This innovative museum is heavily involved in the protection of the historic buildings scattered around town. Continue to Te Anau, the gateway to Fiordland. Today you may like to visit the Te Anau Glowworm Caves (optional).
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Depart Te Anau for a fascinating drive to Milford Sound where you board your launch for a nature cruise on this magnificent fiord. See the spectacular Bowen Falls and towering Mitre Peak as you enjoy a picnic lunch onboard. This afternoon return to Te Anau where some free time is available. You may like to visit the Fiordland Cinema, specially constructed to screen the locally filmed movie Ata Whenua - Shadowland which will take you on an unforgettable journey (optional).
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Travel via Gore and Balclutha to Dunedin known as the ‘Edinburgh of the South’. Enjoy a city tour followed by some free time to explore at leisure. Optional activities include a tour of the Speight’s Brewery, which produces New Zealand’s most popular beer, see wildlife in their natural habitat or take a tour of Olveston Historic Home, containing many treasures of a bygone era.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Travel along the Otago Peninsula to Larnach Castle, hear the tragic and scandalous stories on a guided tour. There is time to wander around this Garden of International Significance followed by an Ultimate High Tea served in the Grand Ballroom. Farewell Dunedin and travel to Oamaru famous for its limestone. Follow the Waitaki River and see Lake Benmore as you travel to Mt Cook.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
This morning marvel at Mt Cook, New Zealand’s highest peak. The opportunity is available to enjoy a scenic flight (optional, weather permitting) over the Southern Alps. Continue to Lake Tekapo and view the brilliant turquoise water, the Church of the Good Shepherd and the Sheep Dog Statue before arriving into Christchurch for an introductory city sights tour. This evening enjoy a farewell dinner including selected beverages with your new found friends.
Meals: Breakfast, Specialty Dinner
Time to say goodbye. You will be transferred to the airport for your flight home after a memorable New Zealand holiday.
This tour is operated by Grand Pacific Tours. Book with Encounter Travel for your Return Traveller Reward (conditions apply) or earn your status as a Return Traveller for future saving
The Hermitage Hotel (Aoraki Wing)
Hotels may be subject to change, due to circumstances outside of our control. Should this occur, a hotel of a similar standard will be provided.
SUDIMA CHRISTCHURCH CITY
This brand new 5 star boutique hotel is ideally located on Victoria Street amidst an array of cafes, restaurants and bars, and is only a martini olive pips’ throw from beautiful Hagley Park and Christchurch’s CBD. Experience the ‘garden city’ in style with Sudima Christchurch City.
TE WAIONUI FOREST RETREAT, FRANZ JOSEF GLACIER
A haven from the city rush, a foray into New Zealand’s pristine wilderness – Te Waonui Forest Retreat is truly a place to relax and refresh.
All focus has been on creating a healthy, environmentally safe habitat to maximise guests’ wellbeing. With a natural, earthy ambience and attentive service, there’s no better place to take a deep breath and simply unwind.
Every aspect of the 5 star Qualmark rated Te Waonui Forest Retreat has been crafted to an impeccable standard. A truly innovative retreat, Te Waonui Forest Retreat raises the bar in unique luxury hotel accommodation in New Zealand.
MILLENNIUM HOTEL, QUEENSTOWN
At the Millennium Hotel Queenstown, you will always find spellbinding luxury and it is easy to relax in the air of timeless elegance. This welcoming Queenstown hotel captures the essence of a truly unique region and is perfect for either an international conference venue or as a restful haven from the rigours of Queenstown's many outdoor adventure pursuits..
DISTINCTION TE ANAU HOTEL & VILLAS
Get away from it all, and escape into the serene surroundings of Distinction Luxmore Hotel, Lake Te Anau before heading out to explore the world famous beauty of Fiordland including Milford Sound and Doubtful Sound. With its range of modern accommodation options, 2 on-site restaurants, FREE unlimited WiFi and excellent standard of service, the team at Distinction Luxmore Hotel will make your stay in Te Anau comfortable and enjoyable.
DISTINCTION HOTEL, DUNEDIN
The Distinction Hotels Group has transformed the 1937 former Chief Post Office in Dunedin into an elegant 4 1/2 star luxury hotel, located in the rejuvenated and vibrant exchange area in the heart of the city. The hotel consists of 121 elegant suites and studio rooms, Parcels Restaurant, Post Bar and an on-site gym.
FREE high speed WiFi is available to all hotel guests with no time limits or data cap.
Distinction Dunedin offers a variety of brand new accommodation to suit everyone. Enjoy the spacious and modern facilities.
THE HERMITAGE, MT COOK
Nestled in the beautiful Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park, The Hermitage Hotel is the perfect base for your next adventure. Recognised as part of the Te Wahipounamu UNESCO World Heritage Area, the National Park is a breath-taking environment of glaciers, terminal lakes, turbulent rivers and Australasia's tallest peak, the mighty Aoraki Mt Cook soaring above at 3,724 metres.
The iconic Hermitage Hotel is home to a selection of restaurants and bars as well as a range of activities to entertain and delight.
Explore the wonders of the Tasman Glacier with Glacier Explorers, experience the unique Tasman Valley 4WD Tours or view some of the world's darkest skies with Big Sky Stargazing. Aoraki/Mt Cook is famed for its range of walks and hikes, where you can be guided into the heart of the national park with Ultimate Hikes Day Walks or relax and enjoy the visual extravaganza of the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre.
Note: Some twin share rooms may have single beds.
Hotel descriptions are taken from the hotel website and edited to suit our page.
Starts In: Christchurch, New Zealand
Ends In: Christchurch, New Zealand
You must hold a valid passport with a minimum of six 6 months validity from your return date to your home country. A visa is not required for Australian passport holders.
When the tour and airfare package ex Australia is selected, the carrier is mostly commonly Air New Zealand. You may request another carrier (a surcharge may apply).
A flight itinerary is provided with your booking confirmation. You are required to check the itinerary and confirm in writing that the detail are correct, including that your reservation is in your name as per your passport, prior to ticket issue. Any error on your part will incur ticket amendment fees.
AIRPORT TO HOTEL TRANSFERS
Airport to hotel transfers on arrival and departure in New Zealand are included as part of the tour package and also if you arrive pre tour or extend your stay at the group hotel, booked as part of your package.
The flight itinerary is provided with your quote.
Arrival and departure airport transfers are provided for nominated tour flight, booked with us as part of your package.
Read on for other key trip information that you should know before you decide on joining the group.
If this trip seems right for you then we encourage you to book early and secure your place with a deposit. This is generally a very popular tour and can sell out well in advance of the booking close date. Also, many services on this tour must be booked well in advance, such as the TranzAlpine train journey. To ensure your place, please check trip availability at your earliest convenience
This tour is exclusively for single/solo travellers. As an Ultimate Coach experience, there’s a maximum of 32 travellers on a full sized coach, on this trip.
Travel is on the Ultimate Coach.
For the discerning traveller who appreciates the highest quality. Limited to only 20 travellers, you will travel on the Ultimate Coach, a vehicle designed especially by our tour operator, Grand Pacific Tours.
THE PACE [2 out of 5]
An easy pace tour or mix of easy paced with some more moderately paced touring. This pace requires at least average fitness levels. See TRAVEL FITNESS.
All travellers should have a good level of fitness and health to cope with full days of travel which may include walking and climbing stairs. We recommend travellers visit their doctor and dentist before travelling. To ensure you see the best New Zealand has to offer, most touring days depart following breakfast and arrive at the new destination just prior to dinner.
Please ensure you feel comfortable with this level of fitness before making a booking.
ABOUT THE MEALS
It’s regular that our trips include welcome dinners and farewell dinners for our groups. In addition, we include other group dining experiences to ensure that everyone can enjoy the benefit of travelling and dining as a group. There’s nothing better than to share a meal with new friends and discuss the day’s adventures.
Note: Dinner on Day 1 not included for anyone arriving later than 8pm.
Please be sure to advise us at the time of booking of any special dietary requirements. We always do our best to accommodate special diet needs and in most cases, special dietary needs can be met. However, in some destinations the variety of choice for certain special diets may be limited. If you are concerned please check with us before you book.
This is a private group tour with one driver-guide, leading the group. The trip suits an independent style traveller, content with travelling without the additional services of a tour escort. Your coach captain escort is there to assist with group arrangements and to act as the liaison for all tour services.
THE ULTIMATE COACH
Be dazzled by the purpose-built Ultimate Coach featuring 20 luxury leather seats, panoramic viewing and a level of comfort unparalleled by any other vehicle. The design is state-of-the art and complete with extensive onboard features and the latest finishes and technology including:
For the enjoyment and fairness of all travellers, a daily seat rotation system is implement which all travellers must participate in as a condition of booking. There is no exception to this policy and special consideration to an individual’s specific needs cannot be accommodated. The coach seat plan is displayed inside the coach for your reference.
LUGGAGE INFORMATION AND RESTRICTIONS
Luggage measuring (length + width + depth) no more than 150cm (59”).
Ultimate Small Group Touring travellers may bring up to TWO suitcases if airline ticket permits. Weight limits also apply to luggage due to Occupational Health and Safety issues. The maximum suitcase weight allowed is 23kg (50lbs). If a traveller brings more than the allocated limit of luggage, any additional arrangements made to get their luggage to the final destination, will be at their own expense. Please be aware that oversized or overweight luggage may be refused to be carried by coach companies.
Each traveller is supplied with a Travel Bag for personal and small items which can be carried on the coach when travelling. The travel bag is designed to carry a maximum of 6kg (13lbs). Due to limited space on board the coach, please ensure carry-on bags are approximately (length + width + depth) 81cm (32”) with a maximum weight restriction of 6kg (13lbs).
ABOUT MOBILE PHONE USE / INTERNET
Wifi is readily available at most of the hotels. Some hotels do charge for this service.
TRAVEL GUIDE QUICK FACTS
Visit our Travel Guide page on our website for destination information.