Canterbury High Country Stations

Tour Difficulty is ModerateTwin ShareSmall Group
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From $3,995 per person

Saturday 9 Mar 2024 - Thursday 14 Mar 2024 (6 Days)

Join us on a tour exploring remote High-Country Stations in the Canterbury region. We discover and enjoy some of Christchurch’s sights and delights before going deep into Canterbury’s tussock-clad landscapes to explore gorges, rugged mountain passes, lakes and working farms. This tour includes visits to Mount Torlesse and Rubicon Station, Erewhon Station and Lake Heron Station.

Day 1              Saturday 09 March 2024

ARRIVE CHRISTCHURCH                                                                                                       (D)

Today, our tour commences with a flight from Auckland to Christchurch.  On arrival in Christchurch, we are met by our South Island driver/guide and transferred to our accommodation. The remainder of the day is at leisure to relax or stroll around Christchurch. This evening experience the luxury of the Christchurch Tramway Restaurant. This 36-seater air-conditioned, colonial-style dining tram offers the finest service, cuisine, and beverages. Your time aboard incorporates fabulous dining with a sightseeing tour showcasing Christchurch’s inner-city vibrancy and heritage –an impressive mix of the old and the new.

Accommodation:    Quality Hotel Elms, Christchurch – 2 nights


Day 2              Sunday 10 March 2024

CHRISTCHURCH                                                                                                                    (BD)

This morning we depart on a sightseeing tour of the city.  Highlights of the tour include the River Avon, the Canterbury Museum, the Christchurch Art Gallery, the ‘Cardboard Cathedral’, Bridge of Remembrance, the Canterbury Earthquake National Memorial, and the Spanish Mission inspired New Regent Street. Afterwards, we will arrive at The Tannery which has a range of exciting and unique shops. There will be time available here to purchase lunch (own cost). This afternoon we will take a ride up the Christchurch Gondola. Take in the spectacular 360° views and see Christchurch from a different perspective: Gaze at the snow-capped Southern Alps, sprawling Canterbury Plains and the sparkling waters of Pegasus Bay and the Pacific Ocean. On return to the hotel, the remainder of the day is at leisure until dinner tonight in the hotel restaurant.


Day 3             Monday 11 March 2024


Today, we are met by a local guide and driver as we depart Christchurch to explore the first of the South Island’s High-Country Stations. The first part of our journey takes us to some impressive viewing locations with stunning views over the Waimakariri Gorge, the Canterbury Plains, and on a clear day all the way back to Christchurch and the Port Hills. We stop at the Rubicon Valley Tourist Centre to experience the world-famous jet spin as our jet boat takes us deep into the mighty Waimakariri Canyon through the foothills of the Southern Alps, the ultimate Canterbury jet boat experience! Speed through the crystal-clear waters and enjoy the views of the great Southern Alps from where waterfalls drop to splash into the river. This jetboat experience offers a superb combination of scenery and excitement. Enjoy the breathtaking alpine scenery surrounding the Waimakariri River and hold on as the jetboat takes off on an exciting journey passing through shallow water and over rapids, passing cliff faces and shingle banks. After the exciting thrills of our jetboat excursion, we venture over two private high-country stations, Rubicon Station and Mount Torlesse Station. A picnic lunch is included today. In the afternoon we head over Porter’s Pass and take the Lindon Road through the scenic Rakaia Gorge before arriving in Methven. Tonight, we dine at a local restaurant.

Accommodation:  Methven Resort, Methven – 2 nights


Day 4              Tuesday 12 March 2024

METHVEN – EREWHON STATION – METHVEN                                                                      (BLD)

Ahead of us today, we have an unforgettable journey travelling by 4×4 vehicle to visit one of New Zealand’s most famous and stunning high-country stations, Erewhon Station. Erewhon Station is a 35,000-acre property situated at the foothills of the Southern Alps at the headwaters of the Rangitata River. From Methven, we head into the stunning high-country with its awesome rugged mountain ranges, crystal blue lakes and fresh crisp mountain air. We stop at Lake Clearwater to take in the beautiful views across the lake to the mountains in the distance before we continue towards the mountains and past the site of the ‘Lord of the Rings’ filming location of ‘Edoras’ on Mount Sunday where we stop for a photo opportunity. We then continue to the end of the road and onto Erewhon Station itself. During our time at Erewhon, we will see aspects of how this working high-country station farms Merino sheep, Hereford cattle, and deer, as well as learning about the large Clydesdale horse stud. A lot of the work on the property is still undertaken using Clydesdale horses such as towing wagons and working the fields with ploughs. Our time here will be spent enjoying a unique Clydesdale horse wagon ride experience and enjoying a tasty picnic lunch in a spectacular setting, while we soak in the amazing views. In the afternoon we return to Methven for the overnight. We dine at a local restaurant this evening.


Day 5              Wednesday 13 March 2024

METHVEN – LAKE HERON STATION – CHRISTCHURCH                                                       (BLD)

Today we visit another private high-country station, Lake Heron Station situated at the top of Lake Heron. From Methven we travel to the small village of Mount Somers, then head further inland where the scenery starts to change from the lush green fields of the Canterbury plains to the rugged tussock and snow-covered mountains of the Canterbury high-country. As we venture deeper into this mountainous area, the scenery becomes even more breathtaking and dramatic. After a stop on the shores of Lake Heron, we continue on to arrive at Lake Heron Station. Here the paved road ends and our 4×4 adventure of the spectacular private high-country station commences. We enjoy a tour through with the station with the station owner joining us on-board. As we travel to the woolshed, he’ll talk about the farming operation and show us the wool. We’ll also enjoy a delicious lunch at the homestead situated on the banks of Lake Heron.  We’ll commence our journey home down the south bank of the Rakaia River to the Rakaia Gorge, before returning to Christchurch. Tonight we’ll enjoy a farewell dinner in the hotel restaurant.

Accommodation:  Quality Hotel Elms, Christchurch – 1 night


Day 6              Thursday 14 March 2024  

DEPART CHRISTCHURCH                                                                                                       (B)

Today, our tour concludes with our flight from Christchurch to Auckland.

Quality Hotel Elms, Christchurch

The Quality Hotel Elms is situated in a quiet suburban area yet accessible to many of the attractions and activities the area has to offer, surrounded by award-winning gardens, and is ideally situated midway between the airport and central city. All 97 guest rooms are well appointed and equipped with all the amenities a guest could need, offering luxurious accommodation in an ideal location for those wanting to explore the area.


Methven Resort, Methven

Methven Resort, MethvenSituated in the popular Mount Hutt ski-resort town of Methven in central Canterbury, with spectacular, panoramic views of the distant mountains. Only a two-minute walk from the centre of Methven town it’s a perfect location to explore all that central Canterbury has to offer. The Resort has Spa pools to relax after your journey or activities, and a Churrascaria (Brazilian BBQ) restaurant as part of the tasteful surroundings.

Tour Inclusions

  • Door to door home collection & drop off service available from select areas – refer to further information available here
  • Auckland – Christchurch return flights with Air New Zealand – other ports on application/price on application
  • 5 nights’ accommodation – twin/double rooms, all with private facilities (single rooms available with surcharge)
  • Tour admissions as per itinerary
  • Touring in a modern air-conditioned vehicle
  • Breakfasts (B), Lunches (L), Dinners (D) as indicated on your daily itinerary
  • Roadside Morning Teas – where practicable
  • Christchurch Gondola
  • 3 days of Canterbury High Country Stations Touring
  • Christchurch Tramway Restaurant
  • Jet Boat Ride on the Waimakariri River with Alpine Jet Thrills

Tour Payments Per Person ($NZD)

Guaranteed Twin/Double Share: $3,995.00
Single Supplement: $490.00
Travel Club Member Discount: $30.00
Non-refundable deposit due at time of booking: $200.00

Balance of tour payment due Friday 19 January 2023

Early Bird Offer

Book and pay in full by Friday 10 November 2023 and receive $125.00 discount per person!

Yes. Leisure Time Tours offers a free home collection and drop off service from selected Hamilton, Tauranga, Rotorua and most Auckland City areas. Our complimentary collections are based on your individual post code, other home collection locations available at an additional cost. Alternatively you may wish to meet us at our Hamilton depot in which case you can park your car in our secure yard free of charge for the duration of your holiday. For all tours that have a flight component, we can also offer door to door collections from Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin city areas.

Please refer to our Home Collection flyer for further information about this service.

Yes. Our Guaranteed Twin Share price is available for those passengers willing to share with another single traveller of the same gender. If there isn’t another passenger of the same gender to share with we GUARANTEE our twin share price. Leisure Times Tours accepts no responsibility for the compatibility of passengers travelling under this arrangement. If someone is not compatible with the person they have been matched up with, all additional costs incurred to assist with changing their shared room type to two single rooms will be at the expense of both travellers and will be subject to availability. Acceptance of a guaranteed twin share room is subject to the individual’s medical condition being suitable for this type of arrangement.

Please note that the guaranteed twin share pricing is not available to pre & post tour accommodation arrangements.

To ensure that you select the right tour for you, we’ve developed a very clear set of fitness recommendations for our tours. These physical ratings clearly explain how much physical exertion is required to participate on each tour. 

Level 1 – Easy

  • Relaxed paced tour
  • Be able to participate in guided or unguided small walking tours at a relaxed pace.
  • Walk on mostly level ground
  • Tackle an occasional flight of stairs
  • Occasionally need to stand for up to 10 minutes
  • Able to get on and off transportation unaided

Level 2 – Moderate

  • Be able to participate in walking tours with time to rest at least every 10 minutes
  • Stand for 15 minutes without needing to sit down
  • Tackle a flight of stairs or incline
  • Able to get on and off transportation unaided
  • Walk confidently on bush tracks

 Level 3 – Active

  • Participate in walking tours without having to rest for up to 20 minutes
  • Walk up an incline equal to a flight of stairs without stopping
  • Stand for 30 minutes without needing to sit down
  • Walk over uneven ground and walk through soft sand
  • Able to get on and off transportation unaided

Yes we can. Should you wish to arrive earlier or stay longer we can book in some pre and post tour accommodation for you. Please ask at the time of booking if you require this.

This tour will be guaranteed once the minimum number of passengers have been booked on the tour.

Passengers rotate seats in the coach daily so that all passengers have the opportunity to enjoy forward and window seating. All passengers are expected to participate as a booking condition.

Yes. A point of difference is that wherever possible we offer our passengers roadside refreshments served from the coach. This gives all passengers the chance to mix and mingle over a hot cuppa allowing us to share our experiences as we journey together.

Leisure Time Tours strongly advises all passengers to purchase a travel insurance policy. A comprehensive travel insurance policy may prevent you from spending extra money in case of an emergency and will help you feel protected during your holiday. We are agents for Cover More Travel Insurance. Ask us for a no obligation insurance quote today.

Luggage is restricted to one suitcase and one small item of hand luggage per person. Baggage handling of one suitcase per person, at each hotel, is included in the trip price. Carry-on/hand luggage handling is the responsibility of each guest and all personal items must be taken off the coach by you each day of the trip.

When on tour, dress is generally relaxed and casual with an informal dress standard on most occasions. Casual wear is recommended for travelling with something a little more formal for evening dining. If taking part in outdoor activities, make sure you have a waterproof coat, comfortable footwear and dress in layers to help you adjust to any sudden changes in climate. Be prepared for New Zealand’s powerful sun, even on cold windy days, bringing a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen.

Booking Terms & Conditions

Terms & Conditions….
Valid from 01 October 2023

Acceptance of Terms and Conditions 

If you book a Packaged Tour with us and pay your deposit, you are deemed to have accepted these terms. If you book a Leisure Time Travel tour through an agent, the agent is deemed to have accepted these terms on your behalf.  We may ask you to sign a copy of these terms when you join your Packaged Tour to provide a record of your acceptance of these terms and you agree to sign these terms on our request. 


The itinerary for your Packaged Tour was correct at the time of printing but is subject to change without notice. This could come about due to road or weather conditions, or any changes imposed by other tour operators and carriers included in the itinerary. Such changes may occur prior to travel, or whilst on tour. You agree that we have no liability to you for changes to your itinerary. If a passenger amends their itinerary by starting or concluding the itinerary earlier or later, then it becomes their responsibility to arrange tour or flight connections as necessary.  


*Guaranteed Twin Share Prices 
Our Guaranteed Twin Share price is available for those passengers willing to share with another single traveller of the same gender. If there isn’t another passenger of the same gender to share with, we GUARANTEE our twin share price. Leisure Time Travel accepts no responsibility for the compatibility of passengers travelling under this arrangement. If someone is not compatible with the person they have been matched up with, all additional costs incurred to assist with changing their shared room type to two single rooms will be at the expense of both travellers and will be subject to availability. Acceptance of a guaranteed twin share room is subject to the individual’s medical condition being suitable for this type of accommodation arrangement. 
*NOT applicable to all tours, please refer to the individual tour brochure to confirm whether this arrangement is available. 


Travel Insurance 
Leisure Time Travel strongly advises all passengers to purchase a travel insurance policy when booking a tour. A comprehensive travel insurance policy gives peace of mind for unexpected issues or emergencies that may arise prior to or during a tour. We can assist with a no-obligation insurance quotation – ask us for a quote today, or you may opt to arrange your own travel insurance. 


Health and Fitness 
Passengers should be in good health and able to walk moderate distances to fully participate and experience the sightseeing opportunities within the enclosed itinerary. All passengers are required to acknowledge that they are of reasonable health and are considered to be fit to travel and are not travelling contrary to any medical advice. By acknowledging their health and fitness to participate, passengers are indemnifying us from all actions, claims and demands arising out of any lack of health and fitness. We reserve the right to remove a passenger from a tour if their health or fitness interferes with any other passenger’s experiences or the day to day running of the tour. In this instance our normal cancellation terms and conditions will apply. You agree that we have no liability to you for any loss, damage, costs or other effects of health problems you may encounter on your Packaged Tour. 


Travellers Who Require Assistance  

It is a requirement of joining your Packaged Tour that you disclose to us at time of booking, any disability requiring special attentionThis includes physical disability, difficulty walking, hearing or eyesight impairment, or any neurological disordersShould your health circumstances change between time of booking and travel date, we require you to disclose if you now have any disability requiring special attention.    While every effort is made to accommodate such difficulties, we are not responsible in the event we are unable to do so, and are not responsible for any denial of services by third party operators including airlines, accommodation providers and tour operatorsOur concern must always be for the enjoyment and welfare of the group as a whole, and we regret that we cannot provide individual assistance to participants for walking, getting on and off motor coaches or vessels, or other personal needs. A physically and mentally able companion must accompany travellers who need such assistance. 


Seat Changes 
Passengers rotate seats in the coach daily so that all passengers have the opportunity to enjoy forward and window seating. All passengers are expected to participate as a booking condition. 


Luggage is restricted to one item of ‘checked in’ luggage and one smaller item of ‘underseat’ or hand luggage per person. Due to limited storage capacity in the motorcoaches used on tour, each ‘check in’ luggage item should have dimensions not exceeding 30” x 20” x 12” (76x51x30cm) and weight not exceeding 50lbs (23kg).  

Underseat’ or hand luggage is restricted to one piece per person, not exceeding 17” x 13” x 8.7” (43x33x22cm). ‘Underseat’ or hand luggage handling is the responsibility of each guest and must be taken on and off the motorcoach by you each day of the trip. Although every effort is made to handle guests’ luggage carefully, we cannot be responsible, assume liability or accept claims for loss or damage to luggage and personal effects due to breakage, theft, or fair wear and tear through hotel, airline and group carrier handling. Therefore, it is important for protection that passengers make certain they have adequate travel insurance to cover these eventualities.  


Car Parking at Leisure Time Tours Yard 

The car parking facility (“Facility”) offered for passengers is provided for the convenience of our patrons only. The use of this Facility is entirely at the risk of the vehicle owner. Leisure Time Tours Ltd(“Company”) shall not be responsible for any loss, theft, damage, or vandalism to vehicles or their contents while parked in the Facility.The Company disclaims all liability for any accidents, injuries, or damages that may occur within the Facility, including, but not limited to, collisions between vehicles, slips, falls, or any other accidents.All vehicles parked in the Facility must be properly insured. Vehicle owners are responsible for ensuring that their insurance covers any damage or loss that may occur while their vehicle is in the Facility.By using the Facility, the vehicle owner or operator agrees to indemnify and hold harmless the Company, its employees, agents, and affiliates from any claims, liabilities, losses, costs, or expenses arising out of or in connection with the use of the Facility.The Company reserves the right to refuse entry to or eject any vehicle or individual from the Facility at its discretion.The Company does not guarantee the security or surveillance of the Facility, and patrons are encouraged to take appropriate precautions to safeguard their vehicles and possessions.The terms and conditions of this disclaimer are subject to change without notice.  

Price Amendments 
Prices were correct at the time and date of printing; however, Leisure Time Travel reserves the right to amend the price subject to any changes in price imposed by other tour operators and carriers included in the itinerary or major fluctuation in the exchange rates, or increases in government or other levies. The final tour cost will be guaranteed not to change once the full and final payment has been received.  



Tour price excludes airport departure taxes, drinks, telephone calls, gratuities, any passport or visa costs, travel insurance, items of a personal nature, optional sightseeing activities, and costs for variations made outside the group travel arrangements.  


Payments, Cancellations and Refunds 
A non-refundable deposit is required when booking to confirm your place on a tour.   Registrations will be accepted in order of receipt of deposits. 

All balance payments must be received by Leisure Time Travel prior to the date specified as per itinerary or your booking confirmation. Payments are available to be made by Cash, Direct Credit or EFTPOS – Credit Card payments will incur an additional surcharge. Leisure Time Travel reserves the right to amend, reschedule or cancel the tour due the result of circumstances outside the company’s control. Leisure Time Travel also reserves the right to cancel the tour due to insufficient numbers and in this instance a substitute date will be offered, or a full refund will be made available.  


New Zealand Domestic Cancellation Policy 
Note – These cancellation terms are for standard domestic tours which excludes overnight boat stays 
If you cancel your booking: 
· 50+ days prior to tour commencement, loss of the non-refundable deposit 
· 30 to 49 days prior to tour commencement; your cancellation charge is 50% of the full Package Tour price (50% refund); plus, any applicable supplier cancellation fees 
· 30 days prior to tour commencement your cancellation charge will be 100% of the full Package Tour price (no refund) 
No refunds will be given on any unused portions of any itinerary. The exception is when a sightseeing service has been cancelled by the service operator due to weather conditions/safety concerns etc. and only when the operator authorises a refund. Any such refunds will be processed through your travel agent at the conclusion of the tour. 

Please Note: Any applicable airline content does not apply to the above refunds – Please refer to your airline for their specific cancellation/refund policies. 


Our Responsibilities 
We are responsible for booking and packaging goods and services provided by other operators such as hotels, attractions, and transportation companies to create your Packaged Tour. We recommend that you familiarise yourself with the terms that will apply to those goods and services. We are not responsible and have no liability to you for the terms of other operators or for any loss, damage, omission or acts, negligent or otherwise, committed by those other operators. 


Your Responsibilities 
You agree to behave reasonably throughout your Packaged Tour and not to be a nuisance to other passengers. You agree to comply with these terms and the terms that apply to any goods or services supplied to you by other operators. You also agree to comply with our reasonable requests and the requests of other operators. You indemnify us for any liability, costs, damages or other expenses we suffer or incur as a direct or indirect consequence of your behaviour while part of your Packaged Tour. 


Removal from Tour 
For the wellbeing of all passengers on your Packaged Tour, we reserve the right to remove you from your Packaged Tour and cancel your booking with us if you breach any of your obligations under these terms provided that, except in the case of a serious breach (as determined by us) we will give you notice of the breach and a reasonable opportunity (which will be no more than two days) to remedy the breach before exercising our cancellation right. In the case of a serious breach, we can exclude you from your Packaged Tour and cancel your booking by immediate verbal or written notice to you. In the event of such cancellation, you will be responsible, at your cost, for arranging any accommodation, travel costs and other matters required as a direct or indirect consequence of the cancellation.  


Force Majeure 
You agree that we have no liability to you and will not pay any compensation to you where the performance of our contractual obligations is prevented or affected by circumstances amounting to “force majeure”. In these terms, ‘force majeure’ means any event that has an impact on your Packaged Tour which we or the other operator (where relevant) could not, even with all due care, foresee or avoid. Such events may include war or threat of war, riots, civil strife, terrorist activity, industrial dispute, natural or nuclear disaster, pilferage, epidemics, pandemics, forced quarantine, medical or customs regulations, riot, fire, storm, flood, explosion, compliance with any law or government restraint order, rule regulation, strikes, lock outs, or any other cause not reasonably within the control of our control. We reserve the right to cancel, amend or reschedule your Packaged Tour during or following any force majeure and if we do so you agree that we will have no liability to you for any direct or indirect consequences of the cancellation, amendment or rescheduling. 


Privacy Act Waiver 

Travellers joining our tours automatically give consent for us to pass essential personal information to our suppliers on the tour as necessary.   This information may include full name; address; passport number; travel details; contact details; dietary requirements and health information.  


Limitation of Liability 
The Consumer Guarantees Act 1993, the Fair Trading Act 1986, and other statutes in New Zealand may impose warranties, conditions or obligations upon us which cannot by law (or which can only to a limited extent by law) be excluded. We exclude all such imposed warranties, conditions or obligations to the extent permitted by law and exclude any warranty, condition or obligation imposed or implied under common law, equity or otherwise. Except to the extent that the law prevents us from excluding liability and as expressly provided for in these terms, we shall not be liable for any loss or damage or liability of any kind whatsoever (including consequential loss or lost profit or business) whether suffered or incurred by you or another person and whether in contract, or tort (including in negligence), or otherwise and whether such loss or damage arises directly or indirectly from Work or Goods provided by us to you. To the extent that we are liable for any reason for any loss suffered or liability incurred by you arising from any breach of these terms or for any other reason, such liability is limited to the price of your Packaged Tour.