Southern Explorer

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From $2250.00 per person

Join us on our Southern Explorer Tour as we explore the beautiful lake and alpine areas around Queenstown. We will make several day trips over the 6 days visiting highlights such as Arrowtown, Glenorchy, Fiordland National Park, enjoying attractions such as a Milford Sound Cruise, Gibbston Valley wine tasting, the TSS Earnslaw and Walter Peak Station and much more. This is a tour you do not want to miss out on!

Monday 17 September – Saturday 22 September 2018  (6 Days)

Day 1 – Monday 17th September 2018 HOME CITIES TO QUEENSTOWN (D)
You are met on arrival at Queenstown Airport before being transferred to your hotel. Copthorne Lakefront Hotel – Queenstown – 5 nights 

Day 2 – Tuesday 18th September 2018 QUEENSTOWN LOCAL SIGHTS (BD)
Today we take you on a tour of the outlying areas of Queenstown. Our first stop is to view the Shotover Jet: No visit to Queenstown is complete without riding ‘the World’s most exciting Jet Boat ride’, so today you can view or as an optional extra choose to experience this internationally famous attraction first hand. We then travel to the quaint village of Arrowtown: There’s gold in them hills! Rich in colonial architecture but with modern boutiques and quirky shopping – Arrowtown is a real treat. While here why not visit the Lakes District Museum or Chinese Miners’ Settlement? Time out at the village allows for lunch and shopping. Next we visit the AJ Hackett Bungy Bridge: Experience the thrill of bungy either as a watcher or maybe even a jumper (at additional cost). Our final visit today is to Gibbston Valley Winery. Join a guided tour of the vineyard and winery, completing the experience with a tasting in the caves. Travel 76 metres underground into the Gibbston Valley Wine Cave. The rocky schist walls within the cave are lined with barrels of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay still reaching their prime. With constant humidity and a temperature of around 14 degrees Celsius, the cave provides a perfect haven for the maturation of these wines as well as providing a unique atmosphere for wine tasting. After our visit at the winery we return to Queenstown enjoying the spectacular scenery en-route including the lovely Lake Hayes. This evening we ride the aerial gondola to Bob’s Peak and enjoy a delicious six-course buffet dinner while admiring the panoramic views of Queenstown, Lake Wakatipu and the surrounding mountain ranges including The Remarkables.

Day 3 – Wednesday 19th September 2018 LOCAL TOURING – GLENORCHY (BD)
This morning we travel to the small settlement of Glenorchy at the head of Lake Wakatipu. Glenorchy’s claim to fame is its association to the ‘Lord of the Rings’ movie trilogy, being the gateway to farmland and forests around the area that were used as film location for a number of scenes in these movies. Time here allows you to join Dart River Jet Safari’s for a Wilderness Safari into the Mt Aspiring National Park (own cost). Your journey takes you on a jet boat on crystal clear water in a wild and picturesque landscape, amidst the towering peaks, glaciers and ancient forests of Mt. Aspiring National Park. If you choose this option you will be transported back to Queenstown by the Jet Boat Company. This afternoon for those not wanting to do the jet boat journey we retrace our steps back to Queenstown for the rest of the afternoon at leisure. Dinner tonight is included at the hotel.

Day 4 – Thursday 20th September 2018 MILFORD SOUND DAY TOUR (BLD)
Today will be one of your trip highlights! An early start this morning for this full day excursion, as we travel around Lake Wakatipu and through Te Anau and the Fiordland National Park to Milford Sound. Fiordland National Park, part of the UNESCO Southwest New Zealand World Heritage Area is one of the great wilderness areas of the Southern Hemisphere. The scenery is spectacular with lofty mountains and deep valleys carved out by Ice Age glaciers. There are clear rushing streams and leaping waterfalls set in magnificent native rainforest. We arrive in Milford Sound to board our scenic cruise down Milford Sound past towering Mitre Peak to the Tasman Sea. Seals and dolphins are often seen in the clear waters of the fiord. On board a picnic lunch included. At the end of the cruise the boat returns to Milford Wharf where we board our coach and drive back to Te Anau travelling via the Cleddeau Gorge, Homer Tunnel and the lovely Eglinton Valley. From Te Anau we retrace our steps beneath the towering Remarkable Ranges around the shores of Lake Wakatipu back into Queenstown.

Day 5 – Friday 21st September 2018 QUEENSTOWN LOCAL TOURING (BD)
This morning we travel to Wanaka – a pretty all-year resort town set on the shores of Lake Wanaka. It is particularly popular with New Zealander’s vacationing in the summer months. Every two years Wanaka Airport is the base for the world famous ‘Warbirds over Wanaka’ Air-show when the skies are filled with vintage aircraft. Down time allows for those who wish to visit the local Warbirds Museum (at own cost). From Wanaka we travel to Cromwell – a nearby town on the shores of Lake Dunstan. Here we wander along the street of Old Cromwell Town – a project that initially, involved eight buildings chosen from the old commercial area due to be submerged by the advent of the new hydro lake. These buildings were relocated further up the main street to a site above the new lake level – and so began ‘Old Cromwell Town’. From Cromwell we drive further down the road following the Clutha River to view Clyde Dam – the dam was constructed between 1982 and 1992 and filling it was done in stages over the following 18 months and once completed created Lake Dunstan. This afternoon we return to Queenstown in time for you to freshen up at our accommodation before departing the hotel for an evening cruise across Lake Wakatipu on board the coal fired vintage steamer TSS Earnslaw to Walter Peak High Country Station for a brief entertaining farm show and a delicious buffet dinner in the elegant dining room of the Colonel’s Homestead. On the return journey join a sing-a-long with the ship’s pianist then return to Steamer Wharf.

Day 6 – Saturday 22nd September 2018 QUEENSTOWN TO HOME CITIES (B)
Today you are transferred from the hotel to Queenstown Airport for your flight back to Auckland.