Central South Island Wanderer

Tour Difficulty is ModerateTwin ShareSmall Group
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From $3,990 per person

Thursday 22 Feb 2024 - Thursday 29 Feb 2024 (8 Days)

This walking tour incorporates some of the wonderful short walks you will find in the heart of the South Island. This includes the Devils Punchbowl at Arthurs Pass, Pancake Rocks and Truman Track at Punakaiki, Lake Matheson, Clutha River Track, Mt Iron, and a spectacular walk along the Hooker Valley at Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park just to name a few.

Day 1              Thursday 22 February 2024

ARRIVE CHRISTCHURCH                                                                                           (D)

Our tour commences today with our flight from Auckland to Christchurch. On arrival in Christchurch, we enjoy a sightseeing tour of the garden city including the Avon River, the Canterbury Earthquake National Memorial, Hagley Park, and the Botanic Gardens. The remainder of our day is at leisure to relax or stroll around Christchurch.  Tonight, we will enjoy a welcome dinner at the hotel to meet our fellow travellers.

Accommodation: Quality Hotel Elms, Christchurch – 1 night


Day 2              Friday 23 February 2024

CHRISTCHURCH – PUNAKAIKI                                                                                 (BD)

Leaving Christchurch this morning, we travel over the alluvial Canterbury Plains towards the magnificent Southern Alps. We make a stop in at Castle Hill/Kura Tawhiti to take a gentle uphill stroll around the spectacular limestone rock formations, some of which are up to 30-metres high. The area holds cultural significance for local Māori, who used to grow kūmara here. There are also stunning views of the surrounding countryside. Continuing our journey, we’ll stop in at Arthurs Pass Village. Here we take a short walk through beautiful native forest to stand at the base of the spectacular 131m Devil’s Punchbowl Falls (1 hour walk, 2km return). This walk crosses the Bealey River via a footbridge and features several good viewpoints of the fall.  There will be time available to eat lunch (we will allow time to purchase your lunch in Christchurch prior to departure). Departing Arthurs Pass Village, we follow the Taramakau River to the coast, and then travel north through Greymouth, the largest urban area on the West Coast, to the small settlement of Punakaiki on the edge of the Paparoa National Park.  Punakaiki is renowned for its wild, rugged coastline and the famous ‘Pancake Rocks’ and blowholes.  These stratified limestone stacks are an extraordinary monument of nature.  Dinner tonight will be at the hotel.

Accommodation: Scenic Hotel, Punakaiki – 1 night


Day 3              Saturday 24 February 2024

PUNAKAIKI – FOX GLACIER                                                                                     (BD)

This morning we visit the famous ‘Pancake Rocks’ & Blowholes. These sedimentary rocks have been hammered by the sea, and wind erosion forming layered rocks giving the look of a large stack of pancakes. There is a 30-minute loop walk here for those wishing to view these fascinating rocks. From the Pancake Rocks, we then travel up the road to walk the Truman Track. The track begins in a beautiful sub-tropical rainforest of ferns, nīkau palms, rimu, etc. Nearing the coast, it passes through typical West Coast coastal flax flats before emerging onto a coastal headland with stunning views up and down the local coastline. A stairway leads down on the north side of the headland to a fine gravel beach featuring cliffs, caves, a waterfall, and amazing rock formations. The beach is accessible at low tide where you can walk north and further explore the rugged coastline. From here we travel south through the townships of Greymouth and Hokitika, where we will stop for lunch (own cost) before reaching the small, isolated villages of Franz Josef then Fox Glacier.  Fox Glacier Village is nestled on the edge of Westland National Park, part of the UNESCO South West New Zealand World Heritage Area.  Tonight, we’ll enjoy dinner at the hotel.

Accommodation: Heartland Hotel Glacier Country, Fox Glacier – 1 night


Day 4              Sunday 25 February 2024

FOX GLACIER – WĀNAKA                                                                                       (BD)

Ensure you have your camera for our visit to nearby Lake Matheson for a morning stroll and where, when conditions are right, the beautiful Mount Cook is mirrored in its still waters. This land is the heart of Te Wahipounamu – the place of the greenstone – explored by generations of Māori but penetrated by Europeans only 150 years ago.  Driving towards the southern end of the West Coast Road, there is a strong sense of entering a primeval land, and a feeling of total isolation. From Lake Matheson we travel to Haast where you are surrounded by a landscape of rainforest, wetlands, sand dunes and surf-pounded shingle beaches. This wilderness forms part of the South West New Zealand World Heritage Area, so designated because South Westland and Fiordland have some of the most dramatic forest and mountain scenery and natural resources in the world.  Time in Haast for you to purchase lunch (own cost). Our next stop will be at the start of the Blue Pools Walk (1 hour, 3km walk). Wander through beautiful native forests and over a swing bridge to experience the pristine waters of Makarora River’s Blue Pools. Travel through open flats for spectacular mountain views and enjoy the coolness of the beech forest to a swing bridge over the Makarora River. Continue on a boardwalk to the second swing bridge, which is the viewing platform over the Blue Pools. Cross this bridge for great views up the river gorge. After our walk we reboard the coach and continue our travels to Wānaka.  Travelling past Lake Hāwea we reach the popular Lake Wānaka, the starting point of the mighty Clutha River.  Dinner tonight will be at the hotel.

Accommodation: Edgewater Resort, Wānaka – 2 nights


Day 5              Monday 26 February 2024

WĀNAKA                                                                                                                   (B)

Today we walk part of the Clutha River Track (1 hour, 3km walk). Commence walking in Albert Town and walk along the Clutha as far as Lake Wānaka. The walk along the riverbank offers views of the Clutha’s emerald-green water – watch for trout lurking in the shadows. Another option is to climb Mt Iron (2 hours, 6.5km walk, steep in places) for fantastic views of the lake and surrounding mountains. Time this afternoon to explore the lakeside village of Wānaka and its many cafes and boutique shops or take a walk further around the lakeshore. Dinner tonight is at leisure.


Day 6              Tuesday 27 February 2024

WĀNAKA – TWIZEL                                                                                                    (BD)

This morning we travel over the Lindis Pass which links the Mackenzie Basin with Central Otago. We then drive along the shores of Lake Pukaki into Mount Cook National Park and Mount Cook village where on a fine day the views of Mount Cook are sensational. At the heart of New Zealand’s most spectacular alpine region is Mount Cook, at 3743 metres, it is the highest mountain in New Zealand. The Mount Cook National Park comprises 70,013 hectares of ice, snow, rock, sub-alpine scrub, tussock, and riverbeds. On arrival there will be time to purchase lunch (own cost) at The Hermitage. This afternoon we walk the spectacular route along the Hooker Valley (3 hours,10km walk) with views to Mount Wakefield, Footstool, and the south face of Mount Cook.  This popular route leads towards Mount Cook, crossing two swing bridges and continues to the terminal of the Hooker Glacier.  At the conclusion of our walk, we retrace our journey back to Twizel where we will stay overnight. We dine tonight at our hotel.

Accommodation: Mackenzie Country Inn, Twizel – 1 night


Day 7              Wednesday 28 February 2024

TWIZEL – CHRISTCHURCH                                                                                         (BD)

We have a leisurely start at the hotel this morning before we commence our drive alongside Lake Pukaki on our journey to Christchurch. We’ll stop in at the Church of the Good Shepherd and the statue of the Collie dog, before travelling the vast Mackenzie Basin, over Burke’s Pass through Fairlie, Geraldine, Ashburton and across the Canterbury Plains into Christchurch. We will stop somewhere for you to purchase lunch today (own cost). Dinner tonight will be at our hotel.

Accommodation: Quality Hotel Elms, Christchurch – 1 night


Day 8              Thursday 29 February 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.




Scenic Hotel, Punakaiki

Accommodation - scenic hotel, PunakaikiLocated on right on the stunning beach in Puankaiki, the Scenic Hotel Punakaiki offers spectacular accommodation and views. Relax and take in the wilderness and tranquillity of this area from the deck onsite. There are plenty of walks and stretches of beach to wander, and the retreat is close to the famous Pancake Rocks.




Heartland Hotel Glacier Country, Fox Glacier

Heartland Hotel Fox GlacierHeartland Hotel Fox Glacier sits in the heart of the old gold rush township of Fox Glacier village, close to many of the attractions and activities this adventurer’s paradise has to offer. All 51 guest rooms offer a comfortable and relaxing stay after a long day exploring the area with all the in-room amenities a guest could need.

Edgewater Resort, Wānaka

The hotel is in a fantastic location, just a short walk from town, and directly on the shores of the beautiful Lake Wanaka. The hotel enjoys amazing views of the lake’s clear blue waters and with the backdrop of the Mt. Aspiring National Park it’s no surprise the area is a focal point for keen photographers.




Mackenzie Country Inn, Twizel

Mackenzie Country InnLocated in the heart of the Mackenzie region, a unique area of New Zealand’s South Island. Featuring natural stonework, the architecture beautifully reflects and compliments the mountains and riverbeds of the surrounding landscape. There are 108 comfortably furnished guest rooms, all with shower over bath ensuites and private balconies/patios from which to admire the glorious mountain views. The hotel also features its own restaurant, bar, and modern conference facilities.

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
  • 7 nights accommodation – twin/double rooms, all with private facilities (single rooms available with surcharge)
  • Tour admissions as per itinerary
  • Touring in modern air-conditioned vehicle
  • Breakfasts (B), Lunches (L), Dinners (D) where indicated on your daily itinerary
  • Roadside Morning Teas – where possible

Tour Payments Per Person ($NZD)

Guaranteed Twin/Double Share: $3,990.00
Single Supplement: $910.00
Travel Club Member Discount: $40.00
Non-refundable deposit due at time of booking: $200.00

Balance of tour payment due Wednesday 03 January 2024

Early Bird Offer

Book and pay in full by Wednesday 25 October 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.