Glaciers & Mountain Passes of the South

From $4,650 per person

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Wednesday 16 – Wednesday 23 March 2022 (8 Days)

Commencing with a welcome dinner onboard the Christchurch Tram we then travel over Arthurs Pass by rail on the TranzAlpine train. See the West Coast Glaciers by helicopter, tour through the Haast Pass and over the Lindis Pass by coach, experience a 4WD mountain excursion in Wanaka, and visit Mt Cook National Park for an up-close encounter with the Tasman Glacier and marvel at the towering peaks of the Southern Alps.

Day 1           Wednesday 16 March 2022
Our tour commences today with our flight from Auckland to. We are met on arrival by our tour driver and begin with an orientation tour around Christchurch. Highlights include the River Avon; the Canterbury Museum; 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. From here we are transferred to our accommodation. Tonight we dine aboard the Christchurch Tramway Restaurant.  Sit back and enjoy a delicious dinner in the luxury of an air-conditioned colonial style tramcar while taking in some of Christchurch’s most interesting sights.
Accommodation:  Heartland Hotel Cotswold, Christchurch – 1 night

Day 2          Thursday 17 March 2022
Departing Christchurch this morning, we board the TranzAlpine rail service for a scenic rail journey across the fertile Canterbury Plains and into the heart of the mighty Southern Alps.  Travel across towering viaducts, through spectacular gorges and river valleys and into the lush forest of Arthurs Pass National Park. We disembark the train in Arthurs Pass village and continue our journey to the West Coast by coach. From the valleys of the snow-capped mountains, we descend into the lush rainforests of Westland and travel south along the West Coast. ‘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 breathtaking coast. Five of our national parks are here, and South West New Zealand has been declared a World Heritage Area.  In the afternoon we travel to Hokitika and visit Hokitika Gorge to admire its unbelievably turquoise waters, enjoying views of farmland, rivers and the mountains along the way. We then check in at our accommodation in Hokitika. Dinner tonight will be at our hotel.
Accommodation: Beachfront Hotel, Hokitika – 1 night

Day 3          Friday 18 March 2022
This morning we travel to the West Coast Treetops Walk, and enjoy a leisurely 45-minute to one hour stroll through the beautiful West Coast rainforest tree tops viewing the exquisite Lake Mahinapua through the richly diverse forest foliage. From here, we travel south further into Westland National Park, the home of Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers. On arrival into Franz Josef, we depart on a tour 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! Returning to Franz Josef, we check into our accommodation for the evening. We dine tonight at the hotel.
Accommodation: Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier, Franz Josef – 1 night

Day 4           Saturday 19 March 2022
From Franz Josef we visit Lake Matheson where nature has combined exactly the right ingredients to create stunning reflections of New Zealand’s tallest peak (Aoraki) Mt Cook and Mt Tasman. The waters of Lake Matheson are dark brown so on a clear day they create the ideal reflective surface. An easy walk passes over the Clearwater River by suspension bridge, just a few minutes from the car park. Departing Lake Matheson we drive through the ever-changing scenery of native rainforest, bush-fringed lakes, crystal clear mountain streams and wild beaches into the rugged beauty of the Haast Pass as we cross the Southern Alps mountain range once more.  Travel around the shores of glacial Lakes Hawea and Wanaka into the charming township of Wanaka. On arrival in Wanaka we check into our home for the next two nights. Dinner tonight is at our hotel.
Accommodation: Edgewater, Wanaka – 2 nights

Day 5          Sunday 20 March 2022
WANAKA          (B)
Today we join local guides and experience an authentic 4WD adventure with a mix of incredible scenery, history, heritage and farming life. Explore remote and seldom travelled back roads of a New Zealand high country farm overlooking sparkling Lake Wanaka.  Surrounded by snow-capped peaks, glaciers and wild river valleys we'll see farm animals including Red Deer, cattle and sheep up close and in their natural environment.  Visit historical sites and experience what life was like for Wanaka's first farmers.  During our half day experience enjoy two optional walks through pristine alpine meadows and ancient lakeside forests (20-minutes each).  This journey offers a unique insight into Wanaka’s rich history, heritage, modern-day farming life and breath-taking scenery. A picnic lunch is included to enjoy on our adventure. On arrival back into Wanaka, the remainder of the afternoon is at leisure. Dinner tonight will be at leisure, giving you the perfect opportunity to explore the local restaurants and cafes that Wanaka has to offer.

Day 6          Monday 21 March 2022
We depart Wanaka this morning and drive through the barren terrain of the Lindis Pass then alongside the shores of Lake Pukaki, which owes its vibrant colour to the minerals suspended in the waters as they melt off the glaciers.  Continue on into Mount Cook National Park to Mount Cook Village where we can view Aoraki/Mount Cook itself, New Zealand’s highest mountain peak (conditions permitting). On arrival in Mount Cook Village, there will be time to purchase lunch (own cost) at the Hermitage. This afternoon we have another 2½ hour Glacier Explorer excursion, will transfer us into the Tasman Valley before we take a 30-minute uphill walk (1.5km walk) to the Tasman Glacier lake learning about the flora along the way as well as the features and behaviour of the glacier.  On reaching the lake itself we are taken by boat with an experienced guide to explore icebergs and the terminal face of this glacier itself.  From the custom built MAC boat view the ice face from a safe distance and see icebergs of all shapes and sizes with the opportunity to touch and taste the 300-500 year old ice crystals.  This will give a true perspective of how awesome the glacier is.  At the conclusion of our excursion we retrace our steps to Twizel, where we stay overnight. Dinner tonight is at our hotel.
Accommodation: Mackenzie Country Hotel, Twizel – 1 night

Day 7          Tuesday 22 March 2022
Travelling to Tekapo we witness the magnificent blue waters of Lake Tekapo. Here we visit 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, and Ashburton and across the Canterbury Plains into Christchurch. On arrival in Christchurch there will be time at leisure to explore the garden city. Tonight we’ll enjoy a farewell dinner at our hotel.
Accommodation: Heartland Hotel Cotswold, Christchurch – 1 night

Day 8          Wednesday 23 March 2022
Today our tour concludes with our flight from Christchurch to Auckland.


Please note  A moderate level of fitness is required to enjoy activities as part of this tour. You need to be able to walk 1.5km in 25 minutes to enjoy the Glacier Explorer tour, and be agile to board and disembark the boat.  Not suitable for those with limited mobility.



Heartland Hotel Cotswold

The Heartland Hotel Cotswold is situated on the edge of Christchurch's CBD, an easy stroll to shops, restaurants, bars and attractions the area has to offer. The Tudor-style architecture and classic charm are carried throughout the hotel with understated style, onsite facilities including an outdoor swimming pool, gym, sauna, award-winning gardens and the Earl of Essex Bar. With 77 guest rooms all well equipped with the modern amenities a guest needs and access to the hotel's facilities.

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.

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.

Mackenzie Country Hotel

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.

Tour Inclusions

  • Door to door home collection & drop off service available from select areas - refer to further information available here
  • 7 nights accommodation - twin/double rooms, all with private facilities (single rooms available with surcharge)
  • Auckland - Christchurch return flights with Air New Zealand - other ports on application/price on application
  • Touring in modern air conditioned vehicle
  • 7 breakfasts and 6 dinners included
  • Dinner onboard the Christchurch Tramway Restaurant
  • TranzAlpine train from Christchurch to Arthurs Pass
  • Admission to West Coast Treetops Walks
  • Scenic helicopter flight over Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers with a snow landing
  • Authentic 4WD adventure with Ridgeline Adventures
  • 2.5 hour Glacier Explorer excursion
  • Roadside morning teas from the coach where possible

Tour Payments Per Person ($NZD)

Club Member Guaranteed Share Twin Cost:$4,650.00
Non Member Guaranteed Share Twin Cost:$4,685.00
Single Supplement:$860.00
Non-refundable deposit due at time of booking$200.00

Full balance of tour payment due by Wednesday 02 February 2022

Book and pay in full by Tuesday 16 November 2021 and receive $150.00 discount per person!


Are door to door collections included on this tour? YES

Yes. Leisure Time Travel 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? MODERATE

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

Level 1 – Easy

  • Relaxed paced tour
  • Be able to participate in small walks at a relaxed pace for 10-15 minutes
  • Walk on mostly level ground
  • Tackle an occasional flight of stairs
  • Occasionally need to stand for up to 15 minutes
  • Able to get on and off transportation unaided

Level 2 – Moderate

  • Be able to participate in walks with time to rest at least every 20-30 minutes
  • Stand for 30 minutes without needing to sit down
  • Tackle a flight of stairs or incline
  • Walk confidently on uneven and undulating surfaces
  • Able to get on and off transportation unaided

 Level 3 – Active

  • Participate in walks for 45-60 minutes at a time without having to rest
  • Walk up an incline equal to a flight of stairs without stopping
  • Stand for 60 minutes without needing to sit down
  • Walk confidently over uneven ground or undulating surfaces
  • Able to get on and off transportation unaided
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.

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.

Is this tour a guaranteed departure? NO

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

Are roadside morning teas included on our tours? 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.

Interislander ferry sailing between North and South Island New Zealand
Leisure Time Tours visits Pelorus Bridge on their Christmas Tour
Hokitika Gorge near Hokitika
people looking at rock formation on a beach
people looking at rock formation on a beach
Queenstown aerial view new
Queenstown aerial view new
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