New Year Tour
Why not celebrate the New Year exploring the Canterbury region? Staying at the one hotel for the duration of the tour we explore differing destinations each day. Explore the new rebuild of Christchurch, visit the popular Hanmer Springs, Akaroa and enjoy a ride on the famous Tranz Alpine and much more…
Day 1 Monday 28 December 2020 HOME CITIES TO CHRISTCHURCH (D)
Today you make your way to our Christchurch accommodation. Tonight we’ll enjoy a group dinner at our hotel where you will meet your fellow travellers.
Accommodation: Quality Hotel Elms, Christchurch – 6 nights
Day 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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 will enjoy a farewell dinner at the hotel.
Day 7 Sunday 3 January 2021 CHRISTCHURCH TO HOME CITIES (B)
After breakfast this morning we say farewell to Christchurch as you fly home (own arrangements for flights).