The Southern Circuit and Westland Mountain Country
Door to Door pickups, Flights, Transport, Accommodation, All Tours, Meals as listed (B breakfast, MT Morning tea, L lunch, D dinner)
Tuesday 22nd October DAY ONE D
This morning we fly high above the Southern Alps all the way to the deep south, landing at Queenstown Airport nestled amongst the snow-capped mountains. From here we will take the scenic lakeside drive through the hustle and bustle of Queenstown, along the edge of Lake Wakatipu to Glenorchy Village. Along the way, we will enjoy the 10min Beech Forest Walk to Bob’s Cove and a photo stop at Bennett’s Bluff. While at Glenorchy we will walk the jetty and nearby Wetlands Board Walk, we will also take a drive down Paradise Valley. On our return to Queenstown, we will check into our hotel and enjoy a lovely meal at the onsite restaurant.
Wednesday 23rd October DAY TWO B, D
With our cooked breakfast energising us for the day we set sail. A scenic drive up onto the alpine landscape of Coronet Peak offers superb views. We spend the rest of our morning exploring the magical Arrowtown streets and historical Chinese gold mining camps. Have lunch at a café of your fancy. After lunch, we will continue through the tussock clad mountains, stopping in at the Historic Cardrona Hotel before arriving at Lake Wanaka and our accommodation. Time permitting a drive around to view some of the many new building developments taking shape. There will be plenty to discuss as we gather for a social evening and dinner.
Thursday 24th October DAY THREE B, D
By now we will be getting quite used to these cooked breakfasts. Today we plan to take our morning tea with us and travel up the famous Matukituki Valley. Spectacular mountain and lake vistas are at every turn as we make our way to Raspberry Flat, our turnaround point. Alternatively, some may choose to visit the fascinating Warbirds and Wheels Museum. Lunch will be taken at a café of your choosing on our return to Wanaka. Time for a stroll around the lovely shops before we meet again and travel to Puzzling World, whereas a group we can come away discombobulated entirely. After a lot of fun, it will be time for us to head back to our accommodation.
Friday 25th October DAY FOUR B, D
This morning, pointing the compass west we head back into the mountains. Driving alongside the many spectacular kilometres of Lakes Hawea and Wanaka to arrive at Makarora Tourist Centre, an excellent place for a cuppa and very informative stop covering this awe-inspiring landscape. After lunch, we continue up the Makarora Valley to Haast, passing along and over famous rivers Makarora, Haast and Landsborough. As an option, we will enjoy some lovely 5 minute short walks, through beech forest (please note they are optional). These short walks will visit the Fantail and Thunder Falls along the way as we drive our way to the West Coast. Arriving at Haast, we will book into our accommodation. Before dinner, we meet once again around the crackling fire to relive the highlights from the day.
Saturday 26th October DAY FIVE B, L, D
Sleeping in a little longer today. We have a bit of South Westland to explore. The plan will be hatched over breakfast, and at a civilised time, we will depart for our destination of Jackson Bay and a date with the “Best Fish ‘N’ Chips” in the South Island. This rugged coastline, which is covered in driftwood, lined with flaxy swamps and backed up against rain forest clad mountains certainly makes for a spectacular setting and lives up to the name of the “Wild West Coast.”
After a bit of beach combing and lunch, we will be qualified to post judgement on Jackson Bay’s iconic cuisine. We will then head back to Haast paying a visit to the Department of Conservation Visitor Centre before returning to our Hotel for the evening.
Sunday 27th October DAY SIX B, D
Today we start our journey up the West Coast, stopping in at Ship Creek Lookout, taking a lovely short walk through wetlands, moving onto Knights Point and then to the shores of the inky black waters of Lake Paringa. We will enjoy lunch at South Westland Salmon, and Café nestled up against podocarp forest and offering great views of the deck across the salmon ponds and mountains in the distance. After lunch, we travel onto Fox Glacier Village, with a drive-up Glacier View Road, for a peak of the Fox Glacier. Time permitting, we will move to the Fox Glacier carpark, and for those wanting a little exercise, they can take a walk to the base lookout. We will then book into our lodgings for the evening and enjoy another lovely meal together.
Monday 28th October DAY SEVEN B, D
Hokitika is the destination today, but first, we stop in Whataroa, where we will take a tour of the only known nesting site for White Herons in New Zealand. Situated along the banks of the Waitangiroto River. It’s thought the first White Herons were windblown across the Tasman Sea from Australia and why the White Herons have only one nesting site or why in this location, remains a mystery of nature. We will experience the untouched beauty of the prehistoric Kahikatea Rainforest and the natural Flora in one of our country’s special places. Our afternoon will see us visiting the new Treetop Walk. A safe, exhilarating treetop adventure among temperate rainforest giants. Life with the birds, high in the ancient Rimu and Kamahi tree canopy. Easy access for all to enjoy along with a steel platform 20 metres high and over 450 metres long. We will enjoy a leisurely 45 minute to one hour stroll through the beautiful rainforest treetops. Walk complete we travel through to Hokitika for the night.
Tuesday 29th October DAY EIGHT B, D
This morning will see us travelling to the beautiful Hokitika Gorge, an excellent example of nature’s power in water. We will then make our way by road back to the East Coast traversing the Southern Alps mountain road up and over Arthur’s Pass, stopping for lunch in the past. We will wind our way back down to the flat green plains of Canterbury and on to our hotel in Christchurch. Tonight, our last night together, we will meet before dinner and relive the great few days away and celebrate the new friendships formed.
Wednesday 30th November DAY NINE B
After breakfast, we will make our way to the Airport and catch our flight home, say our farewells and be delivered home, another adventure complete and lots of new experiences to share with friends and family.
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