Come celebrate Christmas with us down South! This year we are spending Christmas day in Queenstown, and we will enjoy a festive lunch from the top of Bob’s Peak with expansive views of Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu. We stay overnight in Twizel, visit Mount Cook Village and enjoy a pavlova demonstration at Lake Tekapo, before making our way to Christchurch.
Day 1 Wednesday 23 December 2020 ARRIVE QUEENSTOWN (D)
Today you will make your own arrangements to Queenstown. Tonight we will convene as a group in the hotel restaurant for dinner.
Accommodation: Copthorne Lakefront Hotel – 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. Dinner tonight will be at our hotel.
Accommodation: Quality Elms Hotel, Christchurch
Day 6 Monday 28 December 2020 CHRISTCHURCH TO HOME CITIES (B)
After breakfast this morning we say farewell to Christchurch you fly home to your home cities (own arranagements for flights).