1 Welcome to Christchurch
Your New Zealand adventure begins in Christchurch, the ‘Garden City’. Spend the afternoon at leisure before joining your Journey Director and fellow travellers for a Welcome Reception. Stay: Hotel Montreal, Christchurch
2 Christchurch – Franz Josef Glacier
Traverse the verdant Canterbury Plains and snow-capped Southern Alps on board the TranzAlpine, renowned as one of the world’s most scenic rail journeys. Witness more epic scenery as you board your coach at Arthur’s Pass. Later, admire the vivid hues of greenstone (jade) on a visit to Hokitika for demonstration by a local carver. Today’s final stop is the extraordinary Franz Josef Glacier, where you’ll spend the night in an eco-friendly retreat in the pristine wilderness. (D) Stay: Te Waonui Forest Retreat, 2 nights
3 Franz Josef Glacier
Spend the morning relaxing and then explore the area with a local guide, who’ll explain the history behind Franz Josef Glacier. Later, why not take to the air on an optional experience scenic flight over this spectacular glacier? (D)
4 Franz Josef Glacier – Queenstown
It’s time for adventure as you board a purpose-built fully enclosed jet boat for a journey down the Haast River. Stop in Makarora at lunchtime and later the historic gold-mining village of Arrowtown. The adventure-capital of Queenstown awaits and you’ll have the opportunity to explore it during an orientation tour when you arrive. (D) Stay: Crowne Plaza Queenstown, 3 nights
5 Queenstown Journey Select
Today, select your choice of sightseeing: consider a day indulging in the region’s vintages on a wine tour. View the Lord of the Rings film locations and scenery of Queenstown and Glenorchy on a scenic tour or spend time in the spa indulging in a relaxing massage.
6 Queenstown Free Time
Calling all thrill-seekers! Today’s the day to earn your stripes tackling some of Queenstown’s most adventurous activities. This evening, enjoy a memorable dinner at one of Queenstown’s fine restaurants.
7 Queenstown – Milford Sound
Skirting the shores of Lake Wakatipu southwards, venture to Te Anau and then deep into the Fiordland National Park Driving through the hand-hewn Homer Tunnel, you’ll emerge into a photographer’s paradise where glaciers and peaks give way to the unexpected serenity of Mirror Lake. Stop to explore the wonder of the Chasm Walk before arriving at Milford Sound Lodge, with its exquisite views of the Cleddau Valley. (D) Stay: Milford Sound Lodge, 2 nights
8 Milford Sound Cruise
Wake up to the startling beauty of your surrounds. Learn more about Fiordland National Park during an informative talk by a specialist Nature Guide and board the Southern Discoveries vessel for a half-day exploration of magnificent Milford Sound. Cruise out to the Tasman Sea looking for wildlife along the way, and take the opportunity to go sea-kayaking in Harrison Cove. (L/D)
9 Milford Sound – Dunedin
Embark on a journey from the rainforests of Fiordland to the rolling hills of Central Otago, travelling through Te Anau, known for its beautiful lake. Stop in the country musical town of Gore at lunchtime, before arriving in Dunedin, New Zealand’s southernmost city. (D) Stay: Distinction Dunedin Hotel, 2 nights
This morning, join an exclusive tour of Larnach Castle. Your afternoon is at leisure. Perhaps ride the historic Taireri Gorge Railway or take a wildlife cruise.
11 Dunedin – Christchurch
Discover the shores of Lake Tekapo and the Church of the Good Shepherd today before crossing the Canterbury Plains and arriving in Christchurch for an in-depth sightseeing tour on arrival. This evening, join your Journey Director for a memorable Celebration Dinner. (D) Stay: Hotel Montreal, Christchurch
12 Christchurch – Wellington
It’s time to say a fond farewell to your fellow travellers this morning as your Inspiring Journey comes to an end.