Itinerary for New Zealand
Langkawi: Beautiful Island city.
Driving from Queenstown to the following places
Day 1 QUEENSTOWN – DUNEDIN– OAMARU
Day 2 OAMARU - CHRISTCHURCH (Via Timaru & Ashburton)
Day 3 CHRISTCHURCH - ARTHUR'S PASS - GREYMOUTH
Day 4 GREYMOUTH - HOKITIKA - FRANZ JOSEF
Day 5 FRANZ JOSEF - FOX GLACIER - HAAST – WANAKA
Day 6 WANAKA - MOUNT COOK VILLAGE (via Omarama and Twizel)
Day 7 MOUNT COOK VILLAGE - LAKE TEKAPO – CHRISTCHURCH
Day 8 CHRISTCHURCH TO QUEENSTOWN
Day 1: QUEENSTOWN - DUNEDIN (Via Alexandra) – OAMARU. Stay at Otago:
Travel distance is approximately 280kms (175 miles).Allow at least 3.5 hours drive time (not including stops) from Queenstown to Dunedin
Places to visit en-route
The Gibbston Valley is like no other wine region to be seen! Don't expect to see your usual view of acres and acres of flat land and vineyards as is typical of a working vineyard, instead expect to be met with vineyards squeezed precariously between a deep, rocky gorge and jagged mountains of schist! There are a number of award winning wineries open for tastings or even lunch and dinner.
Only 50 minutes from Queenstown, Cromwell is located beside Lake Dunstan and is a lovely place to stop and enjoy morning or afternoon tea. Visit the historic Old Cromwell Town that is now home to local craftspeople.
Located in the heart of Central Otago on the junction of SH 8 & SH 85, the town boasts a thriving community of fruit growers, viticulture and wine making. During summer the temperate can reach the high 30's so visitors can enjoy fresh fruit and balmy summer days. If you are travelling through in the winter then enjoy at stop at Manorburn Dam, which freezes to become a skating rink!
The city of Dunedin is situated at the head of the spectacular Otago Harbour and is the second largest city in the South Island. Along with the famous Otago University, the city is also considered New Zealand's architectural heritage capital, offering historic Victorian and Edwardian buildings lovingly restored to make this city truly unique.
40km's south of Oamaru you will discover the perfectly spherical Moeraki Boulders scattered along the beach. Believed to be at least 60 million years old, each boulder weighs several tonnes and can be up to two metres high
Nestled on the South Island's east coast, Oamaru has a population of around 12,000 and an impressive heritage. Boasting an impressive collection of grand neo-classical buildings that now house a range of businesses, galleries and eateries, there are plenty of unique heritage attractions within this large town.
Oamaru Public Gardens - This beautiful Victorian inspired garden is renowned for its beauty and encompasses 13 hectares of magnificent trees, shrubberies, and flower beds. Established in 1876, some unique features include the glass display house, Mirror Lake, Chinese Gardens, Craig Fountain and the famous Wonderland Statue. Grab a picnic and enjoy!
Oamaru Blue Penguin Colony - Only a couple of minutes from the centre of Oamaru is New Zealand’s largest scientifically monitored blue penguin colony. Daily tours take visitors into the heart of the penguin’s habitat.
OTAGO: STAY AT www.pukerangihomestead.co.nz (Stay for 2 nights)
Pukerangi means ‘hills of heaven’ and the name is well suited to the place. The best way to reach it is to ride the scenic Taieri Gorge train from Dunedin to Barewood Station, a vast high-country farm in the rolling hills of the iconic Otago Province. Ii is a villa-style stone farmhouse resting against the backdrop of an idyllic pastoral setting.
Sip a cool drink on the front porch, and admire the spectacular views of the Rock and Pillar mountain range.
Day 3: OAMARU - CHRISTCHURCH
(Via Timaru & Ashburton) Travel distance is approximately 246kms (154 miles). Allow at least 3.25 hours drive time (not including stops).
Places to visit enroute:
Located in the central South Island, the rural township enjoys an Edwardian ambience with vibrant plantings of flowers and trees throughout the main streets. Take a drive into the Piazza to enjoy stunning views of Caroline Bay while enjoying lunch in one of the lovely cafes or restaurants.
Ashburton Aquatic Park
A small detour in Ashburton will take you to Lake Hood where the lake, its park surroundings and Huntingdon Park form the Ashburton Aquatic Park. Catering for nearly every water sport imaginable, enjoy the 8 lane international specification rowing course, international water ski course, jet skiing area and plenty of room to either swim, leisure boat, windsurf, kayak or just sit by the lake and relax. Kayaks available for hire.
Overnight stay at Christchurch (Stay) www.ghihotels.com
Hotel Grand Chancellor Christchurch is conveniently located in the CBD, only 10 kilometers from the International Airport. It is within strolling distance to key attractions including Cathedral Square, Arts Centre, Museum, Botanical Gardens, Avon River, Cafes, Bars and Restaurants. The Hotel is the tallest building in Christchurch, and with 26 floors all rooms are quiet and spacious with sweeping views over the city and Canterbury plains to the distant snow capped Southern Alps.
Day 4: CHRISTCHURCH - ARTHUR'S PASS – GREYMOUTH
Travel distance is approximately 254kms (159 miles).
Allow at least 3 hours drive time (not including stops).
From gold mining on the wild West Coast to the wilderness wonderland of Arthur's Pass, the magic of walking on a glacier and enjoying the year round visual feast that is Lake Wanaka, there is plenty to see and do as you leave and come back across the stunning Canterbury Plains!
Cave stream scenic reserve
Located in the basis of Castle Hill, this photography friendly reserve is a truly awesome natural Canterbury feature. Enjoy an easy walk to the 594 metre cave as you meander past an impressive limestone landscape and sculptured rock formations. It takes approximately 1 hour to walk from one entrance of the cove through to the exit.
Popular with trampers and hunters, the alpine village of Arthur's Pass is famous for the surreal civil engineering that makes access safer and easier into the West Coast. The village is a favourite base for local tramping, hiking and hunting in the nearby national park. Great place to enjoy a coffee and a leg stretch! The Arthur’s Pass National Park offers the most popular short walk is the Punchbowl Falls Track. This one hour return walk provides stunning scenery and native wildlife.
Stay at GREYMOUTH: Stay at www.millenniumhotels.co.nz/kingsgategreymouth
Situated at the mouth of the Grey River, Greymouth is the largest town on the West Coast of the South Island. This is a popular coastal tourist stop.
Highly recommended Greymouth tourist attractions include.
Monteith’s Brewery Tour - Located in Greymouth, the brewery maintains the brewing traditions almost 150 years on from its inception. Tours are available daily and designed so you can experience the making of fine beer in open fermenters by coal-fired boilers, learn about a time-honoured tradition that lives on, learn about the origins of each beer and taste profiles plus enjoy formal tasting of each beer style.
Blackwater Glow-worm Cave Rafting - This Qualmark Endorsed Visitor Activity is a truly magical and fun way to enjoy some of the special natural beauty that is New Zealand! Float through a galaxy world of glow-worms on subterranean lakes, experience under-ground waterfalls and drift through tunnels on an inflatable tube.
On Yer Bike - Off road and 4WD adventures for all ages. From Quad bikes to the awesome 6-seater 8WD Amphibious Argo, Go-Karts, 4WD motorbikes and Mini bikes! Fun for all the family plus plenty of photo opportunities at beautiful spots throughout the forest on your tour.
Day 5: GREYMOUTH - HOKITIKA - FRANZ JOSEF
Travel distance is approximately 173kms (108 miles. It takes approximately 2 hours drive time without stops.
Boasting some of the most untamed and stunning scenery in the world, the coastal road between Greymouth and Hokitika provides great views of the genuine 'Wild West Coast'. Make sure you stop off along the route to enjoy the sharp tang of the sea air and enjoy a stroll along the beach while enjoying the entertaining shapes and sizes of the driftwood that adorns our West Coast beaches.
Only 10km's South of Greymouth, Shantytown is one of New Zealand’s premier cultural and heritage experiences and retells the inspirational stories of the challenges that faced gold seeking immigrants during the 9th century's great gold rushes. Take a ride on a real steam engine and explore the 'real-life' town, as it would've looked in the 'old times'.
Between Greymouth and Hokitika on one of the spectacular coastal drives in the world, this is a wonderful place to stop and enjoy the wonderful walks and coastal views. Located in the heart of the Paparoa National Park, the area is most famous for the internationally recognized Pancake Rocks and Blowholes.
Situated by the sea, the town and area is famous for local artists working in jade, gold, driftwood, timber, clay, shell, bone, fibres and paint! The area boasts talented craft artists; sculptors, jewellers, painters and poets that choose to make this inspirational area their home. Hokitika is also home to the famous Wild Foods Festival, which is held in March each year and attracts visitors from around New Zealand and the world.
Welcome to Glacier Country! Franz Josef is most famous for the Franz Josef Glacier that is located a short drive from the township, in the stunning unique World Heritage Area of Westland National Park.
Highly recommended Franz Josef tourist attractions include...
Guided Glacier Walk - Your chance to get up close and personal with a real glacier! Experienced guides offer a variety of walks and hikes onto the glacier, including easy level walks for a few hours to whole day hikes. This is a 'must do' when visiting Franz Josef. Don’t forget your camera for some truly exceptional photography opportunities.
Franz Josef Glacier Heli-Hike - The ultimate glacier experience that combines an exhilarating scenic helicopter flight up the glacier where you and your experienced guide will be dropped off for a 2 hour glacier walk amidst pristine ice caves and magnificent views.
Hukawai Glacier Centre - If the weather doesn't permit a walk on the glacier enjoy the next best thing! The modern glacier centre has the only indoor ice climbing wall in the Southern Hemisphere! Take a fascinating journey via a stimulating audio-visual exhibit as you learn more about the local flora, fauna, geology, glaciology, history and mythology.
Glacier Country Lake Tours - Enjoy a stunning 90-minute eco-cruise on Lake Mapourika. View native flora, fauna and bird life while enjoying a complimentary hot drink and light snack as you listen to an engaging commentary, pointing out scenic highlights and wildlife.
Day 6 and 7: Visit Mount Cook from Wanaka
Stay at Wanaka: 2 nights www.oakridge.co.nz/pages/accommodation.html
Spend the morning enjoying the rest of your Wanaka visit and a hearty brunch at one of the many cafes along the lake front before waving good bye to the picturesque lakeside resort town as you head past Wanaka airport and turn onto State Highway 8A to join with State Highway 8.
Mt. Cook Village
The village is located at the end of the valley and you will be hard pressed to find alpine scenery more amazing then what is on show here.
Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park boasts New Zealand's highest mountains and largest glaciers. With peaks towering over 3000 metres, Aoraki/Mount Cook still towers proud of place at whopping 3754 metres tall!
Day 8: Drive back from Wanaka to Queenstown.
* This is a tentative itinerary. The rates would be shared post your concurrence to the itinerary and finalization of the dates of travel.