Christmas & New Year Tour

From $4,740 per person

Wednesday 23 December 2020 – Sunday 3 January 2021 (12 Days).

Come celebrate Christmas with us down South! Starting in Queenstown we enjoy a delicious Christmas Lunch with a spectacular view of Queenstown and the surrounding mountains.  After spending a few days in Queenstown we travel to Twizel and across the Mackenzie Country to Christchurch. Here we will spend the remainder of our tour exploring the various areas of the Canterbury region including Hanmer Springs, Akaroa, Ashburton and a ride onboard the Tranz Alpine train.  There will also be plenty of time to explore Christchurch.

Day 1          Wednesday 23 December 2020
ARRIVE QUEENSTOWN      (D)
This morning we are transferred to Auckland Airport for our flight to Queenstown. On arrival in Queenstown we will enjoy a scenic drive out to Arrowtown, a living historic settlement with many stories to tell. One of the most picturesque settlements in New Zealand, Arrowtown sits alongside the gold-bearing Arrow River. Travelling back to Queenstown we will have an orientation tour before being transferred to our accommodation. Tonight we’ll enjoy a group dinner at our hotel.
Accommodation: Copthorne Lakefront Hotel, Queenstown – 3 nights

Day 2          Thursday 24 December 2020   
QUEENSTOWN SIGHTSEEING      (B)
After breakfast this morning we take to the waters for a cruise along Lake Wakatipu.  This 90 minute trip will take you across Lake Wakatipu right to the end of the lake, viewing stunning homes, rare birds and other birdlife, Historic Dam and Willow Islands and all the magnificent scenery of Queenstown from the water. After our cruise the remainder of your day is at leisure. Activities you may wish to do (at your own cost) are the Shotover Jet or enjoy a ride onboard the TSS Earnslaw to Walter Peak Station. Dinner tonight is at your leisure.

Day 3          Friday 25 December 2020   
CHRISTMAS LUNCH IN QUEENSTOWN      (BLD)
Merry Christmas! After enjoying a leisurely morning we ride the iconic Skyline Gondola to the top of Bob’s Peak to enjoy a one-of-a-kind, celebratory Christmas Day Lunch in a festive atmosphere complete with Christmas crackers, cheery decorations and an appearance from Santa! Relax, take in the live music and entertainment and enjoy Queenstown's most spectacular dining vista. After our delicious lunch the remainder of your day is to relax and enjoy the scenery. Dinner tonight will be at our hotel.

Day 4          Saturday 26 December 2020   
QUEENSTOWN TO TWIZEL (via Mount Cook)      (BD)
Today we depart Queenstown and travel north through the rugged Kawarau Gorge, past pretty Lake Dunstan and across the distinctive Central Otago countryside to the Lindis Pass.  Pass the small towns of Omarama and Twizel then see the canals that feed the huge Waitaki hydro electricity generation scheme.  Drive along the shores of Lake Pukaki into Mt Cook National Park. At the heart of New Zealand’s most spectacular alpine region is Mt Cook, at 3754 metres the highest peak in Australasia.  Time here for a short walk or helicopter flight high into the spectacular Southern Alps (not included – extra cost).   We leave Mount Cook Village and retrace our journey along the shores of Lake Pukaki with its shimmering turquoise waters before arriving in the small town of Twizel for the overnight stay.  Dinner tonight will be at our hotel.
Accommodation: Mackenzie Country Inn, Twizel – 1 night

Day 5          Sunday 27 December 2020   
TWIZEL TO CHRISTCHURCH      (BD)
This morning we enjoy a uniquely Kiwi experience – making a Pavlova!   We visit a local home set on the shores of Lake Tekapo and learn the secrets of this our Kiwi dessert.   We then view the Church of the Good Shepherd and the famous bronze sculpture of Collie Dog before continuing our journey through the vast MacKenzie Country over Burkes Pass and on to the fertile Canterbury Plains before arriving in Christchurch.  On arrival in Christchurch we enjoy a sightseeing tour of the city. Highlights include the River Avon, the Canterbury Museum, Christchurch Art Gallery; Bridge of Remembrance; the Canterbury Earthquake National Memorial and the Spanish Mission-inspired New Regent Street.  Learn about the effects of the 2011 Christchurch Earthquakes and how the city is rebuilding.  We then travel to our accommodation where we will stay for the next few nights. Dinner tonight will be at our hotel.
Accommodation: Quality Elms Hotel, Christchurch – 7 nights

Day 6          Monday 28 December 2020   
CHRISTCHURCH SIGHTS      (BD)
Following breakfast this morning we travel into Christchurch. We enjoy a journey in style through the changing face of Christchurch’s city centre on board a beautifully restored heritage tram. You can choose to disembark the tram at any stop throughout the day to explore the Christchurch CBD. Your driver will communicate with you what time he will meet you outside the Canterbury Museum to transfer you back to the hotel. Dinner tonight is in the hotel restaurant.

Day 7          Tuesday 29 December 2020   
TRANZALPINE TO ARTHURS PASS      (BD)
This morning will be an early start as we prepare for our TranzAlpine Train journey to Arthur’s Pass. Climb aboard one of the world’s most famous train journeys, between Christchurch and Arthurs Pass. Cross the fertile farmlands of the Canterbury Plains, and enjoy thrilling vistas over deep gorges as you travel alongside the ice-fed Waimakariri River. Traverse the mighty Southern Alps, where spectacular views of the chiselled alpine landscape will take your breath away at every turn. You will be met at Arthurs Pass train station, where we continue sightseeing by road to view the 440 metre Otira Viaduct - one of the most notable environmental engineering achievements in New Zealand. We then turn back to Arthurs Pass where we have lunch and you have time to explore the village. Leaving Arthurs Pass we drive through the high alpine Porters Pass, back to Springfield, and Christchurch. Travelling this time by road you have a totally different view of the area you travelled by train this morning. On arrival back into Christchurch, the remainder of the afternoon is at leisure. Dinner tonight will be at our hotel.

Day 8          Wednesday 30 December 2020   
HANMER SPRINGS      (BD)
Boarding the coach after a leisurely breakfast we will travel to Hanmer Springs. Surrounded by mountains and forests with crisp alpine air and award winning natural thermal pools, the village of Hanmer Springs is a simply magical place. With vibrant boutique shopping, and an exciting array of adventure activities, world class cafes and restaurants, there is literally something to entertain everyone. The most popular attraction is Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools and Spa - a stunning complex of natural thermal pools. Some of you may choose to have a relaxing soak in the thermal pools (at own cost).  This afternoon we retrace our steps back to Christchurch stopping at a local winery on the way home to sample some of their product. Tonight we will enjoy a unique dinner experience on board the Christchurch Tram. Tonight’s dinner includes a welcome drink, starter, entree, main, dessert and tea or coffee.

Day 9          Thursday 31 December 2020   
GARDEN VISITS      (BLD)
After breakfast today we enjoy a guided tour of Christchurch Botanic Gardens, where land was first set aside in 1849.  The first oak tree was planted in 1863 to mark the marriage of Edward VII and development has continued over the years, including a native New Zealand garden, the Cockayne garden of native alpine plants, the renowned central Rose Garden, extensive herbaceous borders, a floral conservatory and a fernery.  More recent additions include an alpine house and a house for bromeliads and orchids. Departing Christchurch our next garden visit is to Akaunui Historic House and Gardens.  The Akaunui garden was originally designed by Alfred Buxton, established over 100 years ago.  During the last 15 years major developments have taken place and the garden now covers 6 hectares and includes magnificent old trees (both native and exotic) and a wide variety of recently planted species.  There is a pond, a creek and a bog garden, a woodland garden with a large collection of rhododendrons and associated plants; formal and less formal gardens, many roses and a productive vegetable garden. The garden complements the imposing century old double storey brick homestead.  Today enjoy lunch at the Akaunui Homestead. On our return to Ashburton we visit Trott’s Gardens.  The woodland area was developed around a series of gently curving paths.  Later the water gardens were added and finally the English inspired formal gardens. We then retrace our steps back to Christchurch. Dinner tonight will be at a local restaurant.

Day 10          Friday 1 January 2021   
CHRISTCHURCH SIGHTSEEING      (BD)
Happy New Year!
After a leisurely breakfast this morning we visit the former RNZAF Base at Wigram, where the Air Force museum is now sited.  There are 28 fully restored aircraft on display including a Spitfire, flight  simulators for a Spitfire, Mosquito and a Skyhawk, and thousands of artefacts, photos and stories about famous aviators.  Here we will enjoy a guided tour of the museum. Discover their historic aircraft and hear captivating and moving stories of the men and women of the Air Force as we are guided through the Museum galleries. There will be time here for you to purchase your lunch from the on site café. This afternoon we will visit one of New Zealand's best tourist attractions, the International Antarctic Centre which provides visitors of all ages an interactive, fun and exciting experience of Antarctica. You'll experience snow and ice, a storm, learn about life in modern day Antarctica and Scott Base, and hang out with Little Blue Penguins!  Dinner tonight will be at our hotel.

Day 11           Saturday 2 January 2021   
AKAROA      (BD)
Today we have a later start and travel to the historical seaside village of Akaroa. Time will be available in Akaroa for you to wander through the main street of the village andd purchase your lunch. On our return journey we visit the Barry’s Bay Cheese Factory. Barry’s Bay Cheese has been made the traditional way since 1895 and they have persevered with the original methods. We then travel through Gebbies Pass before dropping into the seaside port of Lyttleton. The Port is the major trade gateway to the South Island. Every day goods are loaded and unloaded which keep Canterbury moving. We then return to Christchurch via the Road Tunnel.  The Road Tunnel Opened in 1964 and saves 8 kilometres in distance between Lyttleton and Christchurch and avoids the hill climb. The tunnel gives direct access to wharves enabling transport direct from the ships side to warehouse or factory or vice versa. Tonight we enjoy a farewell dinner at the hotel.

Day 12          Sunday 3 January 2021   
DEPART CHRISTCHURCH      (B)
After breakfast this morning we say farewell to Christchurch as we fly to Auckland.

Copthorne Hotel & Resort Lakefront

The Hotel blends superior facilities and comfort with friendly personal service. The property offers a relaxing atmosphere combined with stunning panoramic lake and mountain views, situated within a tranquil garden setting. With 240 guest rooms, including six suites and over 80 rooms that have views of Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkable mountain range. The hotel is within walking distance of Queenstown central shopping and entertainment area.

Mackenzie Country Inn

Located 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. 

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.

Tour Inclusions

  • Door to door home collection & drop off service available from select areas
  • 11 nights accommodation with private en suite
  • Auckland to Queenstown and Christchurch to Auckland airfares with Air New Zealand - other ports on application
  • Touring in modern air conditioned tour coach
  • 11 breakfasts, 2 lunches and 10 dinners included
  • Million dollar cruise on Lake Wakatipu
  • Ride up Skyline Gondola in Queenstown
  • Christmas lunch at Stratosphere Restaurant
  • Pavlova demonstration at Lake Tekapo
  • All day pass on Christchurch Tram
  • Tranz Alpine train from Christchurch to Arthurs Pass
  • Wine tasting at a local Canterbury winery
  • Dinner onboard the Christchurch Tramway Restaurant
  • Guided tour of Christchurch Botanic Gardens
  • Guided tour of Akaunui Homestead
  • Visit Trotts Garden
  • Admission to Air Force Museum of New Zealand
  • Admission to International Antarctic Centre
  • Day trip to Akaroa

Tour Payments Per Person ($NZD)

Club Member Guaranteed Share Twin Cost: $4,690.00
Non Member Share Twin Cost: $4,740.00
Single Supplement: $1,300.00
Non-refundable deposit due at time of booking $200.00

Full balance of tour payment due by Wednesday 11 November 2020

Book and pay in full by Tuesday 25 August 2020 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? YES

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.

Booking Terms & Conditions

Terms & Conditions….
(Applicable for New Zealand Tours from 01 May 2020 - 30 September 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.

Itineraries
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 Tours 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 Tours 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 Tours 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 Tours reserves the right to amend or reschedule the tour due the result of circumstances outside the company’s control. Leisure Time Tours 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 Tours strongly advises all passengers to purchase a travel insurance policy. An important part of planning the holiday is to purchase a comprehensive travel insurance policy as it may prevent passengers from spending extra money in case of an emergency and will help passengers feel protected during the holiday. We are agents for Cover More Travel Insurance. Ask us for a no obligation insurance quote today.

Land Component Cancellation Policy
By making a booking with us and paying your deposit you agree to pay us the full price for your booking.  If you cancel your booking:

  • 31+ days prior to tour commencement, loss of non-refundable deposit
  • 15-30 days prior to tour commencement your cancellation charge will be 60% of the holiday price (40% refund) plus any applicable supplier cancellation fees
  • 8-14 days prior to tour commencement your cancellation charge will be 80% of the holiday price (20% refund) plus any applicable supplier cancellation fees
  • 0-7 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.

If a passenger has been tested positive for COVID-19 directly prior to travel or while on holiday with us, then with supporting documentation provided to us (a positive COVID-19 test), 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.