Mackenzie Country – Lakes Tekapo, Lake Ohau Lodge, Mount Cook National Park and More
Flights, Door to Door pickups, Transport, Local Guided Tours and entries, Meals as listed.
DAY ONE D
From Tauranga, we fly into the Garden City, we then start our journey across the alluvial plains of the Rakaia and Rangitata Rivers making our way closer to the russet brown hills of the “Mackenzie Country” while passing through the rural towns of Geraldine and Fairlie. This country has been the inspiration of many New Zealand landscape artists and we will be arriving in time to see the beautiful colour display of the lakeside Lupins, who's wonderful, pinks, purples and whites all mixed together will provide a special memory. After the wonderful scenic drive, we arrive at the luxurious Star Peppers Bluewater Resort our home for five glorious evenings. This high-end Luxury resort is set at the heart of New Zealand's Mackenzie Country overlooking stunning Lake Tekapo and surrounded by the Southern Alps and Two Thumb Ranges, you won’t want to leave. Tonight, we will gather for a pre-dinner social then dine in the onsite Rakinui Restaurant overlooking the beautiful Tekapo.
DAY TWO B, MT,D
This morning we will head out of town a few kilometres and drive up Godley Peaks road to a couple of hotspots for Lupin spotting great opportunities for photos amongst the vibrant colours and with the turquoise Lake Tekapo and whitecapped mountains as possible backgrounds. We will visit the hidden lake of Alexandria with its variety of lakeside character cribs. Then continue our scenic drive up the valley taking in the great scenery until we reach the Cass River were, we will turn around. We drive up to the Mount John Observatory taking in the panoramic views and stopping to enjoy morning tea on the mountain top Astro Café. We then make our way back to town and visit to a few of the “Mackenzie Country” Icons, including the lakeside Church of the Good Shepherd, the Sheep Dog Statue and Lake Tekapo Canals; We will take a stroll around the village shops, have lunch in a local cafe. After lunch, we will drive out of town to Burkes Corner to check out the vintage shops then return to Tekapo for the night.
DAY THREE B, MT, D
On our journey to Mount Cook Alpine Village, we will make a stop at the Lake Pukaki Information Centre, taking time for a photo alongside the Bronze Himalayan Thar statue. On we head through to Glentanner Station Park Centre, stopping here for morning tea and a look through the Merino Retail shop. Glentanner Station’s 9000 merinos are contracted to supply the world-renowned Ice Breaker brand. The drive to Mount Cook is spectacular with views across Lake Pukaki, eventually we travel parallel to the vast braided Tasman River and up into the Mountains. Arriving in the small Alpine village we arrive at the Mount Cook Visitor Centre for an Introduction talk, a fantastic venue to get an insight into the National Park, it is our intentions to have an officer provide a talk for us. We will enjoy lunch at the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre, a tribute to Sir Edmund Hillary, humanitarian, ambassador and one of the world's greatest explorers. The centre showcases the Aoraki Mount Cook region, its people and its place in the universe. We will enjoy some fantastic short films on the man himself, the park and a stunning planetarium display. There is an option to relax and enjoy the surroundings or join me on a wee sightseeing tiki tour up to the start of the Hooker & Tasman Glaciers, maybe we can find some Mount Cook Lillie’s in our travels. Returning back to Lake Ohau this afternoon.
DAY FOUR B, MT, D
Bring a warm jacket and gloves. Today’s adventure sees us travelling the beautiful alpine Lindis Pass, hopefully there will still be a little snow about for us to view, this truly is an artist’s inspiration. Climbing the 971m meters to the pass and down to Lake Wanaka. Stopping for morning tea along the way. The township of Wanaka is a picture-perfect gem with a pristine alpine lake at its doorstep and surrounded by the spectacular backdrop of the South Island's Southern Alps. It’s the gateway to Mt Aspiring National Park - a World Heritage Area – an alpine paradise of towering peaks, thundering waterfalls, spectacular glaciers, rainforest, rivers and valleys. Enjoy some free time, have lunch in one of the many cafes then wonder the boutique shops or take a stroll along the lake front. After lunch, we are off for a scenic lake cruise to Mou Waho Island. On our return we take a drive through the Wanaka developments then make our way back to Lake Ohau.
DAY FIVE B, MT,D
Our second to last day will see us heading to historic Duntroon. Our first stop will be the impressive and largest of the South Island's manmade lakes Lake Benmore Dam. The color of the lakes in the Waitaki Valley (Lake Benmore and Lake Aviemore) alone are worth the visit. We make our way around the Northern shores of Benmore to arrive at the second dam Aviemore. Morning tea in Kurow then onto St Albans Chapel and Vicarage built in 1893 listed as category one with the New Zealand Historic Places Trust, meaning it is a place of "special or outstanding historical or cultural heritage significance or value". Down the road we continue to recently restored Nichols Blacksmith. Another category one historic building. It was named after the last working Duntroon blacksmith, Nicol Muirden. The Blacksmiths is restored as if the founders had walked out and left it as it. The Nicol Blacksmith trust fire up the forge as often as possible for demonstrations. We will then continue onto the famous Elephant Rocks for a wander around these amazing limestone formations. By now we are sure to have an appetite so we will return to Omarama and the one and only Wrinkly Ram for a bite to eat and look at the merino garments on offer. After our lunch we will take a drive to the shores of Lake Ohau for some free time to wander around this special area.
DAY SIX B
Alas this morning we head home, taking in the scenery and stopping for morning tea and look around Geraldine, then travelling to Christchurch for our flight home.
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Next Tour Date
Fri, 13th of Nov 2020