South Island Autumn Tour

From $5000 per person

Wednesday 21 April – ​Tuesday 4 May 2021 (14 days)

The South Island or the ‘Mainland’ boasts beautiful beaches, spectacular mountain ranges, stunning scenery, and of course the ‘salt of the earth’ & friendly locals that you’ll meet along the way. The South Island is a spectacular land, which has been uplifted by extraordinary earth forces. The landscape is so different from the rolling green hills of the North Islands that it is akin to travelling to another country.

Day 1          Wednesday 21 April 2021
ARRIVE CHRISTCHURCH         (D)
Departing from Auckland (other locations on application) we fly to Christchurch Airport.   Welcome to the South Island!  Today we are met at Christchurch Airport and following an orientation tour of Christchurch city, we will be taken to our hotel.  The remainder of day at leisure to relax or stroll around Christchurch.  Dinner tonight is included at our hotel.
Accommodation: Quality Elms Hotel, Christchurch

Day 2          Thursday 22 April 2021
CHRISTCHURCH – GREYMOUTH          (BD)
From Christchurch you have the opportunity (at additional cost) to traverse the Southern Alps aboard the famous Tranz-Alpine rail journey to Arthur’s Pass.  From your carriage you’ll see the fields of the Canterbury Plains and farmland, followed by the spectacular gorges and river valleys of the Waimakariri River. The train then climbs into the Southern Alps.  Once we have crossed into the Southern Alps we are met at the village of Arthur’s Pass by our coach for us to continue our journey to the West Coast via the Otira Viaduct opened in 1999.  ‘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.  We continue northward along the Coast to visit the pancake rocks at Punakaiki – these sedimentary rocks have been hammered by the sea, and wind erosion forming layered rocks giving a look of a large stack of pancakes, then return to our overnight accommodation in Greymouth.
Accommodation: The Ashley Hotel, Greymouth

Day 3          Friday 23 April 2021
GREYMOUTH – HAAST          (BD)
Our first stop this morning is at Hokitika where a visit is made to the Greenstone and Glass Blowing factories before continuing further south into the Westland National Park, the home of Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers. On arrival, time is available for optional scenic flights. Driving towards the southern end of the South Island’s West Coast Road, there is a strong sense of entering a primeval land, and a feeling of total isolation. Arriving at Haast, you are surrounded by a landscape of rainforest, wetlands, sand dunes and surf-pounded shingle beaches. This wilderness forms part of the South West New Zealand World Heritage Area, so designated because South Westland and Fiordland have some of the most dramatic forest and mountain scenery and natural resources in the world.
Accommodation: Heartland Hotel, Haast

Day 4          Saturday 24 April 2021
HAAST – QUEENSTOWN          (BD)
From the Westland National Park we travel through the Haast River valleys and over the Haast Pass to Makarora and onto the upper reaches of Lake Wanaka.  Travelling past Lake Hawea we reach the popular Lake Wanaka, the starting point of the mighty Clutha River.  This afternoon we travel via Cromwell following the Kawarau Gorge Road Queenstown. Once in Queenstown we enjoy an orientation tour of ‘the town fit for a Queen’ – Queenstown.
Accommodation: Heartland Hotel, Queenstown – 2 nights

Day 5          Sunday 25 April 2021
QUEENSTOWN          (B)
Today is at leisure.  Queenstown, nestled among glacier-rounded hills and dramatic rugged mountain peaks, is New Zealand’s premier year-round alpine resort.  It offers a host of holiday attractions for the visitor from helicopter flights and trips on jet-boats, to walks and tramps.  The town is steeped in the history of the goldmining days, evident from the many relics scattered in and among the surrounding hills. Queenstown has a plethora of optional sightseeing activities available from jet-boating on the thrilling Shotover Jet; a jet-boat excursion along the scenic and remote Dart River; winery tours to the premier Central Otago wineries; 4WD tours into unforgettable Skippers Canyon; scenic flights; fly-fishing or if you dare – bungy jumping or tandem sky-diving!  Extra cost for optional sightseeing excursions.  Tonight is free for you to explore the local restaurants, cafes and bars or you may choose to take a cruise across Lake Wakatipu on the steamer TSS Earnslaw to Walter Peak Station to dine at the Colonel’s Homestead.

Day 6           Monday 26 April 2021                      
QUEENSTOWN – MILFORD SOUND – TE ANAU          (BLD)
Leaving Queenstown we skirt the shores of Lake Wakatipu, New Zealand’s third largest lake, alongside the towering Remarkables Ranges.  We then travel via the beautiful Eglinton Valley climbing to the Homer Tunnel before descending through to the spectacular Cleddau Canyon to reach Milford Sound where we enjoy a cruise of the Sound. The Sound is dominated by the grandeur of Mitre Peak and the Bowen Falls.  Returning to Te Anau, to our overnight accommodation. Dinner tonight will be at our hotel.
Accommodation: Distinction Luxmore, Te Anau

Day 7          Tuesday 27 April 2021
TE ANAU – INVERCARGILL          (BD)
Travelling the Southern Scenic Route to Invercargill, we travel through Riverton on the shores of the Aparima River. Now a sea side resort and farming town, the former whaling station maintains its links with the sea.  Scores of fishing boats and pleasure craft string along the jetties lining the South Bank. Continuing on to Invercargill, we visit the Bill Richardson Transport World.  This is the largest private collection of its type in the world. Designed to have something for everyone and, not just for vehicle enthusiasts, Transport World is proving popular with guests from all walks of life. Housed in over 15,000sqm of exquisite ‘sheds’ are over 300 vehicles including retro Kombi’s, Henry Ford Letter Cars, Model T’s, stunning 1930’s V8’s and over 200 vintage petrol pumps. We then travel to our accommodation in Invercargill where we stay for the next two nights.
Accommodation: Kelvin Hotel, Invercargill – 2 nights

Day 8          Wednesday 28 April 2021
INVERCARGILL          (B)
This morning we travel to Bluff.  As an option we board the catamaran to Stewart Island.  On arrival we have an escorted tour of the main island with one of the local identities.  After the tour we visit the local D.O.C. Office. Those not choosing the Stewart Island option, today is at leisure in Invercargill.

Day 9          Thursday 29 April 2021
INVERCARGILL - DUNEDIN VIA CATLINS          (BD)
Depart and travel across flat farmland towards the east coast and the Southern Scenic Route through the Catlins to Dunedin.  The Catlins is a place of awesome natural beauty with dense forest, farmland, towering cliffs, rocky coastal bays.  There are wonderful views of this rugged coastline as the road winds north.  En route stops can be made to see many of the interesting places the Catlins offers the visitor.  This wild coast claimed many ships and as a result two lighthouses are features.  The first of these at Waipapa Point was the scene of New Zealand’s worst civilian shipping disaster.  At Curio Bay see one of the worlds most extensive and least disturbed examples of a Jurassic fossilised forest.  Further north a visit to view the McLean Falls is well worth the 15 minute walk through native bush.  There are other interesting points of interest that are well signposted.  One of these is the spectacular Nugget Point lighthouse.  The walking path to the lighthouse offers panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean and the coast.  It is also an exceptional viewing point for wildlife such as the NZ Fur Seal, NZ Sea Lion and occasional Elephant Seal. Continuing north the road turns inland through the small town of Balclutha on the banks of the Clutha River then travels through rolling sheep country to Dunedin.
Accommodation: The Victoria Hotel, Dunedin – 2 nights

Day 10          Friday 30 April 2021
DUNEDIN          (B)
Today is at leisure.  Choose from the many optional activities that Dunedin has to offer.  Perhaps a visit to Olveston House, a Jacobean style home filled with early New Zealand paintings and antiques, or Cadbury World - a sensation in sight, smell and sound.  Experience the mystique of a working chocolate factory, sample and purchase Cadbury products and much more, or perhaps this afternoon join the Taieri Gorge Train excursion to the extremities of Dunedin City some sixty kilometres from the station, your coach captain will be happy to assist you with your choices.

Day 11         Saturday 01 May 2021
DUNEDIN – OMARAMA          (BD)                 
Departing Dunedin we travel north to view the extraordinary spherical Moeraki Boulders, shaped rather like giant marbles.  Then onto Oamaru - here we have time to look at the White Stone City’. The old buildings have been constructed with local limestone. It was from Oamaru that New Zealand’s first frozen meat was shipped in 1882 taking over three months to reach England, and thus began New Zealand’s most important export industry.  Travelling inland through Benmore and Otematata through sailors cutting we arrive at Omarama.
Accommodation: Heritage Gateway Hotel, Omarama

Day 12          Sunday 02 May 2021
OMARAMA – CHRISTCHURCH          (BD)
A day for spectacular sights. We head north to skirt the shore of Lake Pukaki to Mount Cook, New Zealand’s highest mountain. Time is available to enjoy an optional scenic flight over the ancient rivers of ice and the West Coast Glaciers (weather permitting – a highly recommended option).  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.
Accommodation: Quality Elms Hotel, Christchurch – 2 nights

Day 13          Monday 03 May 2021
CHRISTCHURCH          (BD)
Today we get the feel of this ‘English City’ with a sightseeing tour of Christchurch City.  Our first visit being to the Canterbury Museum, where we learn about the history and geography of the area. Other sights include Christ College, Hagley Park, and the Art Centre, with a stop at Sumner for a walk along the beach. This afternoon is free for you to enjoy the Garden City.

Day 14          Tuesday 04 May 2021
DEPART CHRISTCHURCH          (B)
Farewell from the South Island!  This morning we are transferred to the Christchurch Airport to connect with our flight home.

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.

Ashley Hotel Greymouth

The Ashley Hotel offers quality hotel accommodation on the beautiful West Coast, surrounded by rainforest and the Southern Alps, only five minutes from the town centre. All 60 guest rooms offer a warm, personable stay with all the in-room amenities a guest could need as well as access to the hotel's facilities.

​Heartland Hotel Haast

The Heartland Hotel Haast is situated four kilometres from Haast township on the doorstep of the South Westland World Heritage Area. Haast offers a place of tranquillity, with untouched beaches and rugged glacial valleys en route to the West Coast and Southern Lakes. The hotel offers a range of room types and is a perfect rest stop for all travellers and adventurers. Hotel facilities include a ‘country pub’ style café and bar, warm and comfortable accommodation with modern amenities including wifi.

Heartland Hotel Queenstown

Heartland Hotel has a distinctive design and is close to all the action in the bustling resort town. With amazing views to the mountain and Lake Wakatipu you can still feel cozy and tucked away in the A-Line style chalets in the hills. There are a total of 81 rooms at Heartland Hotel , comprising of Chalet Rooms, Family Rooms, Standard Rooms and Superior rooms. The Hillside Brasserie is open for buffet breakfast and is open for an a la carte dinner from 5pm until 10pm every day.

Distinction Luxmore

Distinction Luxmore hotel, conveniently located in the town centre and close to many attractions and activities the area has to offer. With 180 guest rooms all offering comfortable and luxurious stays, complete with all the in-room amenities a guest could need and access to the hotel's wider facilities. 

Kelvin Hotel

Kelvin Hotel is situated in the city centre, only a short walk to major attractions and a 10-minute drive to the Invercargill Airport. The hotel offers rooms with a flat-screen TV, mini bar and free Wi-Fi access. There is an on-site bar and restaurant.

The Victoria Hotel

This small hotel is located close to the Octagon, which is the heart of Dunedin City, and just minutes walk away from the city's attractions, shops and historic Dunedin Railway Station.

Heritage Gateway Omarama

Set amongst landscaped gardens with views of the surrounding mountains, the Heritage Gateway Hotel is a peaceful place to stay. Featuring 98 comfortably furnished guest rooms, restaurant & bar.

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 - further information available here
  • 13 nights accommodation with private en suite
  • Touring in modern air conditioned tour coach
  • 13 breakfasts, 1 lunch and 11 dinners included
  • Milford Sound Cruise
  • Admission to Bill Richardson Transport World
  • Scenic Drive through the Catlins with multiple stops along the way

Tour Payments Per Person ($NZD)

Club Member Guaranteed Share Twin Cost: $4,950.00
Non Member Guaranteed Share Twin Cost: $5,000.00
Single Supplement: $1,250.00
Non-refundable deposit due at time of booking $200.00

Full balance of tour payment due by Wednesday  10 March 2021

Book and pay in full by Tuesday 22 December 2020 and receive a $150 discount per person!

 

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.

Moeraki Boulders
Lake Wanaka with green yellow and orange trees surrounding it
Driving on Arthurs Pass
Driving on Arthurs Pass
rugged Mitre Peak reflected in the lake
Couple walking at Nugget Point with path to lighthouse, Catlins Otago New Zealand