South Island Christmas & New Year

From $5,640 per person

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Thursday 23 December 2021 – Monday 03 January 2022 (12 Days).

Add some new and unforgettable traditions to your festive holiday this year with this escorted tour that packs in some wonderful South Island sights and activities. We enjoy a Tranz-Alpine rail journey and spend Christmas Day on the West Coast with lunch then a scenic helicopter flight and glacier landing. More adventures await in Wanaka before we arrive in Dunedin for the New Year. Unpack and relax with five nights in Dunedin to fit in plenty of local sightseeing before journeying north to Oamaru and Christchurch.



Day 1          Thursday 23 December 2021         
Our tour commences with our flight from Auckland to Christchurch. On arrival in Christchurch, enjoy an orientation tour of the garden city before we are transferred to our accommodation.  The remainder of day 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 Elms Hotel, Christchurch

Day 2          Friday 24 December 2021
Depart Christchurch to traverse the Southern Alps aboard the famous Tranz-Alpine rail journey to Arthur’s Pass.  From the carriage we’ll see the fields of the Canterbury Plains and farmland, followed by the spectacular gorges and river valleys of the Waimakariri River. The train then climbs into the Southern Alps.  Once we have crossed into the Southern Alps we are met at the village of Arthur’s Pass by our coach for us to continue our journey to the West Coast via the Otira Viaduct opened in 1999.  ‘The Coast’ as locals call it, is one of the world’s special places, with mind-blowing topography. Ancient uplifts of the earth’s crust created the impressive vertical ramparts of the main divide of the Southern Alps. These cloud-piercing mountains rise within 30km of a breath-taking coast. From Greymouth we head south to Hokitika and check in to our overnight accommodation. Enjoy a dinner in the ocean view hotel restaurant.
Accommodation: Beachfront Hotel, Hokitika

Day 3          Saturday 25 December 2021                     
Merry Christmas! This morning we wake up on the west coast and enjoy a leisurely start to the day. Before we leave Hokitika, enjoy a delicious Christmas Lunch in the hotel restaurant. This afternoon we depart Hokitika and travel south further into the Westland National Park, the home of Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers. On arrival into Franz Josef, we depart on the Christmas Day highlight – a 30-minute Helicopter flight. Enjoy a scenic flight over both Franz Josef and Fox Glacier and admire the views of the Southern Alps and Mt Cook before landing on the snow plain of a glacier! This evening enjoy supper in the hotel restaurant.
Accommodation: Scenic Hotel, Franz Josef

Day 4          Sunday 26 December 2021            
Today we depart the West Coast and travel south to picturesque town of Wanaka. Driving towards the southern end of the South Island’s West Coast Road, there is a strong sense of entering a primeval land, and a feeling of total isolation. Arriving at Haast, we 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. From the Westland National Park we travel through the Haast River valleys and over the Haast Pass to Makarora and onto the upper reaches of Lake Wanaka.  On arrival into Wanaka, enjoy a leisurely afternoon in town. Tonight we dine in the hotel restaurant.
Accommodation: Edgewater Resort, Wanaka

Day 5          Monday 27 December 2021           
WANAKA – DUNEDIN          (BD)
We experience a 2 ½ hour adventure by 4WD which offers Wanaka’s finest lakeside scenery plus an exciting and fun journey through a real alpine, mountain farm.  Enjoy up-close encounters with Alpaca, Red-Deer, Angus Cattle, sheep and horses. We’ll be provided with refreshments while enjoying mountain-top viewpoints for breath-taking panoramic views of snow-capped peaks, glaciers and Lake Wanaka far below. At the conclusion of our tour we depart Wanaka and travel south stopping in Cromwell – the fruit bowl of NZ for lunch (own cost). Travel alongside Lake Dunstan which was formed when New Zealand’s latest hydro dam was built at Clyde which was once the scene of a major gold rush.  We pass through Alexandra and Roxburgh which is famous for its stone fruit orchards especially peaches and apricots grown successfully on the stony river-flats between the mountains and the fast flowing Clutha River.  Travel south to the small country town of Milton then head north across the fertile Taieri Plains to Dunedin.  On arrival into Dunedin enjoy a brief orientation tour before checking into our accommodation.  Tonight we will be treated to a very Scottish tradition – a haggis ceremony accompanied by the bagpipes before enjoying a group dinner in the hotel restaurant.
Accommodation: Distinction Hotel, Dunedin – 5 nights

Day 6          Tuesday 28 December 2021
DUNEDIN           (BD)
This morning is at leisure for you to explore the Dunedin CBD. This afternoon visit historic Olveston House which was completed in 1907 and was a masterpiece of modernity in the Edwardian era, featuring central heating, an in house telephone system and even heated towel rails.  Olveston has been carefully preserved and now offers a glimpse into the lifestyle of a privileged family in the early 1900’s and the rich historical heritage of Dunedin.  Explore the local sights of Dunedin including Baldwin Street – the steepest street in the world – where thousands of Cadbury Jaffa’s are let loose in the annual Jaffa race.  We also visit Signal Hill – the best lookout over the city and First Church – regarded as the most impressive of New Zealand’s nineteenth century churches. This evening we visit the Speights Brewery House for a guided tour.  Since 1876 the brewery has been producing legendary ales and here we will learn about the process and the history of this brewery.  On conclusion we enjoy a two-course dinner in the Ale House with an ale of your choice.

Day 7          Wednesday 29 December 2021
Today we’ll spend the day visiting some of the best gardens in the region starting with the Dunedin Chinese Gardens. Built to celebrate the city’s Chinese heritage this garden is a perfect miniature of a traditional Chinese landscape painting.  Next we travel out along the Otago Peninsula to visit Glenfalloch Gardens – situated in peaceful and relaxing surroundings with lovely harbour views.  On arrival enjoy a tasty lunch in their restaurant before joining a guided tour of the grounds and gardens – home to beautiful flowers, native ferns, exotic imports, and indigenous New Zealand trees.  This afternoon we make our way back into our city centre where the remainder of the evening is at leisure.

Day 8          Thursday 30 December 2021
Today we explore the heritage and culture of this interesting city.  One of the stops on our list is the Toitu Otago Settlers Museum.  It is one of New Zealand’s newest and most innovative museums.  Here we learn all about the people of Dunedin and their stories from the earliest settlers through to those who have more recently arrived.  Another interesting stop of ours today is the Dunedin Gasworks Museum which is part of the first and last operating gasworks in New Zealand – a significant local heritage site.  We will also visit the New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame – housing some of New Zealand’s greatest sports moments and trophies.  See the uniforms, trophies, equipment and medals of some of New Zealand’s greatest sport champions.  Then we have a favourite stop of ours at the Otago Museum – filled with the most impressive collection of moa skeletons, exotic items and time worn artefacts from ancient civilisations including a real Mummy.  Tonight, enjoy a dinner at a local restaurant.

Day 9          Friday 31 December 2021
Today we board the coach and travel out to the Otago Peninsula for a wildlife adventure and a look into one of Dunedin’s most interesting landmarks.  Upon arrival to Wellers Rock; we depart on a one-hour cruise aboard the Monarch vessel to cruise the sparkling waters around the Taiaroa Heads.  We see an interesting variety of sea birds which nest along the cliff face and if the weather is favourable you may see majestic Royal Albatross flying overhead to their nesting sites.  Upon return to shore we visit Natures Wonders at the tip of the Otago Peninsula.  Here we board an 8-wheel all-terrain vehicle for an exhilarating one-hour cross country tour and enjoy a very close encounter with a breeding colony of New Zealand fur seals and their pups basking on the rocks and swimming in natural pools in front of us.  To conclude we walk down to a purpose built hide on Penguin Beach to view little blue penguins in their nests (in season) and spot the rare and shy yellow eyed penguin.  Returning to the highest point of the farm, 201 meters above sea level you have spectacular 360-degree views of the beautiful Otago Peninsula. This afternoon we visit a very important and interesting landmark on the Otago Peninsula – Larnach Castle. Learn about the tragic and scandalous history of this superbly crafted building which was built in 1871 and see the unique collection of New Zealand antiques and furniture.  Enjoy a stroll around the beautiful gardens and climb the tower for panoramic views over Otago Harbour, Dunedin City and Taiaroa Heads. Tonight we enjoy a New Year’s Eve dinner in the hotel restaurant.

Day 10          Saturday 01 January 2022
DUNEDIN – OAMARU          (BD)
Before departing Dunedin today we visit Orokonui Eco Sanctuary for a one-hour guided tour of the forest.  Our tour guide will take us through grassland, regenerating forest, and the start of an ancient forest habitat. This cross section of habitats is commonly home to a range of native fauna including tuatara, Otago Skinks, korimako, tūī, and kākā. Our guide will share their knowledge of Orokonui's history, its conservation stories, and discuss any taoka (treasured) native species we encounter along the way. The tour finishes at theviewing platform, amongst 600 year old podocarp/broadleaf forest. Departing Orokonui we continue our travels north. Stop at Moeraki and see the unusually large and spherical boulders lying along a stretch of Koekohe Beach then continue to the coastal town of Oamaru, where you will have time to look at the ‘White Stone City’. This evening dine in the hotel restaurant before our evening tour.  Discover kororā, the Little Blue Penguin, the world’s smallest penguin in its natural habitat on the picturesque Otago Peninsula. Each evening, rafts of Little Blue Penguins arrive at the beach and scurry home to their cliff-side burrows. We will be located in the premium viewing area, the perfect place to watch the penguins as they cross the parade area and head towards their nest sites. Non flash photos are permitted.
Accommodation: Heritage Court Motor Lodge, Oamaru

Day 11          Sunday 02 January 2022
This morning after breakfast we depart Oamaru and continue travelling north to Timaru which boasts one of the largest man-made harbours in the world.  Continue north across the sheep and cropping areas of the Canterbury Plains. On arrival in Christchurch we get the feel of this ‘English City’ with a sightseeing tour of Christchurch City.  Our first visit being to the Canterbury Museum, where we learn about the history and geography of the area. Other sights include Christ College, Hagley Park, and the Art Centre, with a stop at Brighton Beach for a walk along the pier.   This evening enjoy a farewell dinner at a local restaurant.
Accommodation: Quality Hotel Elms, Christchurch

Day 12          Monday 03 January 2022
Our tour concludes today with our flight from Christchurch to Auckland.

Quality Hotel Elms

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.

Beachfront Hotel Hokitika

The Beachfront Hotel offers guests a high standard of accommodation steps away from the beach and the centre of town. Located in Hokitika on the beautiful West Coast of New Zealand they are surrounded by views of the ocean, rainforest and Southern Alps. They are conveniently located for travel to major attractions on the Coast, being one hour south of Punakaiki’s Pancake Rocks and one and a half hours north of Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers. Numerous artisans and craftspeople live in Hokitika. Their workshops and displays featuring jade, wood, gold, paintings and metals create the market atmosphere in this seaside town.

Hotel Room at Scenic Hotel Franz Josef

Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier

The Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier is situated in the village of Franz Josef on the edge of the Westland World Heritage Park, making its location just moments from one of New Zealand’s most visited natural attractions, the Franz Josef Glacier. Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier offers quality accommodation in well-presented guest rooms, located in two separate hotel ‘wings’ within Franz Josef village. The hotel is close to all visitor amenities in the village and close to local attractions.

Edgewater Wanaka

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.

Distinction Hotel Dunedin

Distinction Dunedin Hotel is located in the heart of the city, formerly Chief Post Office built in 1937 this hotel combines the historic charm with modern amenities and finishings to create a unique stay for guests whilst being close to many of the attractions and activities the area has to offer. All 121 elegant guest suites and studios are spacious and modern with all of the facilities and furnishings a guest could need.

Hotel Room at Scenic Hotel Franz Josef

Heritage Court Motor Lodge

Heritage Court Motor Lodge offer a friendly, personal service. Guests have a choice of 34 rooms which range from budget to luxury, the units are spacious and set back from the road in a quiet location only two minutes’ drive to the centre of town, and four minutes to the Little Blue Penguin Colony.

Tour Inclusions

  • Door to door home collection & drop off service available from select areas - refer to further information available here
  • 11 nights accommodation with private en suite
  • Auckland to Christchurch return airfares with Air New Zealand - other ports on application
  • Touring in modern air conditioned tour coach
  • 11 breakfasts, 2 lunches and 10 dinners included
  • Tranz Alpine train from Christchurch to Arthurs Pass
  • Christmas Day Lunch in Hokitika
  • Scenic Helicopter flight over Franz Josef and Fox Glacier
  • 4WD adventure around Wanaka
  • Sightseeing tour of Dunedin
  • Haggis ceremony
  • Guided tour of Olveston House
  • Guided tour of Speights Brewery
  • Visit Dunedin Chinese Gardens
  • Guided tour of Glenfalloch Gardens
  • Visit Toitu Otago Settlers Museum
  • Guided tour of Dunedin Gasworks Museum
  • Visit New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame
  • Visit Otago Museum
  • One hour nature cruise with Monarch Wildlife Cruises
  • Argo 8 wheel drive wildlife adventure
  • Visit Larnach Castle
  • Guided tour of Orokonui Eco Sanctuary
  • Premium evening viewing at Oamaru Blue Penguin Colony
  • Roadside morning teas from the coach where possible

Tour Payments Per Person ($NZD)

Club Member Guaranteed Share Twin Cost:$5,590.00
Non Member Share Twin Cost:$5,640.00
Single Supplement:$990.00
Non-refundable deposit due at time of booking$200.00

Full balance of tour payment due by Thursday 11 November 2021

Book and pay in full by Wednesday 25 August 2021 and receive $150.00 per person discount!

Are door to door collections included on this tour? YES

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.

Is the Guaranteed twin Share Price available on this tour? YES

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.

What fitness level is required for this tour? EASY LEVEL

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
Is this tour a guaranteed departure? NO

This tour will be guaranteed once there are 10 passengers booked on the tour.

Can you assist with pre & post tour accommodation? YES

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.

Will there be a daily seat rotation on this tour? YES

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.

Are roadside morning teas included on this tour? YES

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.

Do I need travel insurance?

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.

How much luggage can I bring?

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.

What clothing should I pack?

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.

Terms & Conditions….
Valid from 1 October 2021

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 booked your Packaged Tour with us 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 it is subject to change without notice.  Your itinerary could change due to road or weather conditions, changes imposed by other tour operators or a range of other factors outside our control.  You agree that we have no liability to you for changes to your itinerary.

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 drinks, telephone calls, travel insurance and items of a personal nature. Leisure Time Travel also reserves the right to cancel the tour due to low numbers and in this instance a full refund will be provided.

*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 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.

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.

Health and Safety Information Including COVID-19
For the health and safety of all passengers on tour any illness (such as fever, coughing or difficulty breathing) will not be accepted onboard the coach unless they can provide us with a negative Covid19 test result received within the past 72 hours.  Should any passenger start to feel unwell on arrival or while on tour, they must immediately advise their tour manager and contact Healthline then visit a medical practitioner/medical centre/hospital.  To return to the tour the passenger must be deemed fit and well to participate fully on a coach tour, obtaining and providing us with a written medical clearance – not just a negative Covid19 test.  Any costs incurred will be at the passenger’s own expense.

Payments, Cancellations and Refunds
A non-refundable deposit per person is required at time of booking to confirm your seat. 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, Cheque, Direct Credit or EFTPOS only –  Credit Card payments are not available without an additional surcharge.  Leisure Time Travel reserves the right to amend or reschedule 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. Tour Price excludes drinks, telephone calls, travel insurance and items of a personal nature.

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 are agents for Cover More Travel Insurance. Cover More now provide insurance cover for a number of COVID-19 related medical, cancellation and amendments costs, giving you confidence to book your trip.  Ask us for a no obligation insurance quote today or further information about travel insurance for your upcoming tour.

New Zealand Cancellation Policy
If you cancel your booking:

  • 42+ days prior to tour commencement, loss of non-refundable deposit
  • 30-41 days prior to tour commencement your cancellation charge will be 50% of the holiday price (50% refund) plus any applicable supplier cancellation fees
  • 30 days prior to tour commencement your cancellation charge will be 100% of the holiday price (no refund)

No refunds on any unused portions of any itinerary.  The exception is if a sightseeing service is cancelled by operator due to weather conditions/safety concerns etc and the operator authorises a refund.  Any such refunds will be processed through agent.
Please note that any applicable airline content does not apply to the above refunds – see your airline for their specific cancellation/refund policies.


COVID-19 Cancellation and Refund Policy
COVID-19 has created uncertainty for us all, therefore for cancellations directly related to COVID-19, we have negotiated special terms with our suppliers which would override ‘normal cancellation’ terms as outlined above;

If the New Zealand Government imposes travel restrictions that would impact our ability to deliver your travel package prior to commencing travel, passengers will receive a full credit, less any applicable airline cancellation fees.  If travel restrictions are imposed while on tour, we will seek credits on any unused portions of the itinerary from all suppliers.  Any applicable credits will first be applied to any additional costs that our company may have incurred on the passenger’s behalf e.g. if alternative accommodation or transportation to repatriate the passenger to their home city or nearest airport etc is required.  Any remaining refunds will be credited to the booking agent to enable them to pass onto their passenger.

Tranz Alpine scenic train in South Island New Zealand
Hokitika Gorge near Hokitika
dunedin railway station
Speights Brewery in Dunedin
Larnach Castle Dunedin Otago
Blue Penguin
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