Midwinter White Christmas in the South

Easy Twin Share

From $3,690 per person

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Thursday 28 July – Tuesday 02 August 2022 (6 Days)

Celebrate a White Christmas in the heart of the South Island. Touring into the Mackenzie Basin and staying at Lake Tekapo we are treated to a scrumptious traditional Christmas dinner hosted by a local family, with all the Christmas trimmings. We visit the Church of the Good Shepherd and include Star Gazing with the Dark Sky Project. We then spend a night at the Hermitage Mount Cook Hotel before heading back to Christchurch for two nights.

Day 1              Thursday 28 July 2022
Our tour commences today with a flight from Auckland to Christchurch. On arrival, we are met at the Christchurch Airport, and we travel south across the vast patchwork plains of Canterbury - one of New Zealand's primary agricultural regions, over Burkes Pass into the vast Mackenzie Basin to the magnificent blue waters of Lake Tekapo – our base for the next few nights. Dinner tonight is at our accommodation.
Accommodation: Peppers Bluewater Resort, Lake Tekapo – 2 nights

Day 2              Friday 29 July 2022
After a leisurely breakfast this morning we take a walk along the quaint lakeside town of Lake Tekapo, then visit a local homestead for a wonderful traditional early afternoon Christmas lunch with all the trimmings hosted by a local family. What a wonderful way to spend the day!  Our host is also a local volunteer at the Church of the Good Shepherd so we are fortunate to have a closed-door tour today of this iconic landmark with our host. Mid-afternoon we’ll head back to our accommodation for a rest or nap after our hearty lunch!  This evening please avail yourself to the hotel bar for an early evening meal (own cost) before our special evening experience – The Dark Sky Experience! After wrapping up warm, we travel to the University of Canterbury Observatory at Mount John to enjoy the wonders of the southern night sky and experience the thrill of peering through powerful telescopes. Weather permitting, you will be able to view distant objects such as planets, star clusters, nebulae and distant galaxies. If weather conditions prevent stargazing outside, we’ll learn about the southern skies at a purpose-built technological and interactive venue.

Day 3              Saturday 30 July 2022
From the shores of Lake Tekapo we travel along the shores of glacial Lake Pukaki and into Mount Cook Village in the Mount Cook National Park.  At the heart of New Zealand’s most spectacular alpine region is Mount Cook, at 3754-metres the highest peak in Australasia.  The Mount Cook National Park comprises 70,013-hectares of ice, snow, rock, sub-alpine scrub, tussock and riverbeds.  Experience the wonder of the National Park, which features 15 peaks and 5 major glaciers.  Mount Cook is also known by the Maori name, Aoraki.   This afternoon there is time to enjoy a scenic flight over Mount Cook National Park (additional cost/weather permitting), or perhaps a nature walk – there are many walking options available from our hotel, or just relax taking in the majestic scenery from this iconic hotel.
Accommodation: Hermitage Hotel, Mount Cook –1 night

Day 4              Sunday 31 July 2022
Following breakfast this morning we retrace our journey back along the shores of Lake Pukaki and Lake Tekapo before travelling the vast Mackenzie Basin, over Burkes Pass, through Fairlie and Geraldine and onto Longbeach near Ashburton to visit Akaunui Historic House for lunch at the Akaunui Homestead, including an in-depth overview of the history by the current owners. The Akaunui garden was originally designed by Alfred Buxton, established over 100-years ago.  Under the stewardship of current owners Ian & Diana Mackenzie, extensive developments have taken place. 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. The garden has been developed for year-round interest so no matter which season you visit, there will be plenty to learn about and admire at Akaunui. From Akaunui we travel into Christchurch to our accommodation for the next two nights. We dine at our hotel this evening.
Accommodation: Heartland Hotel Cotswold, Christchurch – 2 nights

Day 5              Monday 01 August 2022
A relaxed start today departing our accommodation on a Christchurch tour. Learn about the effects of the February 2011 earthquakes and how the city has been rebuilding including a visit to Cathedral Square and the “Temporary”, Cardboard Cathedral.  We also enjoy a relaxing punt along the Avon River followed by some free time in the city centre to try out some of the new restaurants for lunch – we highly recommend a walk through the Riverside Market and try out one of the nearby restaurants. We will head back to our hotel to have time to freshen up before going back into town for our farewell dinner on board the Christchurch Tram onboard their colonial style dining tram while being treated to the finest service, cuisine and beverages Canterbury has to offer.

Day 6              Tuesday 02 August 2022
After breakfast at our accommodation, we are transferred to the Christchurch Airport to connect with our flight back to Auckland.

Please note: For the Dark Sky Experience you need to be confident walking 100-metres on a gravel incline and be able to climb a couple of steps in the dark.

Peppers Bluewater Hotel, Exterior

Peppers Bluewater Resort Lake Tekapo

Surrounded by spectacular landscapes and in the heart of the Mackenzie Basin, Peppers Bluewater Resort Lake Tekapo has views and access to the Southern Alps, Mt Cook and of course Lake Tekapo. Enjoy many activities within the area including kayaking, horse riding, trout fishing, ski fields, hot springs and star gazing or relax in your stylish and comfortable room taking in all the wonderful sights situated near the lake front.

Hermitage Hotel, Mount Cook Deck

Hermitage Hotel, Mount Cook

Located at the base of Mount Cook, the Hermitage Hotel has a rich history going back to the early 1880's and is a huge part of the local tourism, offering many activities to guests. The hotel has a range of modern hotel rooms to Chalets for guests to stay in. 

Heartland Hotel Cotswold Exterior

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.

Tour Inclusions

  • Door to door home collection & drop off service available from select areas – refer to flyer for further information
  • Auckland – Christchurch return flights with Air New Zealand - other ports on application / price on application
  • 5 nights accommodation - twin/double rooms, all with private facilities (single rooms available with surcharge)
  • Tour admissions as per itinerary
  • Touring in a modern air-conditioned vehicle
  • Breakfasts (B), Lunches (L), Dinners (D) where indicated on your daily itinerary
  • Roadside Morning Teas – where possible

Tour Payments Per Person ($NZD)

Club Member Guaranteed Share Twin Cost: $3,690.00
Non Member Share Twin Cost: $3,720.00
Single Supplement: $700.00
Non-refundable deposit due at time of booking $200.00

Full balance of tour payment due by Monday 16 June 2022

Early Bird Offer Book and pay in full by Wednesday 30 March 2022 and receive $100 discount per person!

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.

Mid-Winter Christmas

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