In Biblical times animal skins were cured and made into wine containers. At first they were flexible and easy to work with, but over time they hardened and became rigid. If you poured the new wine each year into old wineskins they would burst and the wine would be lost. Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do, than the things you have done. Expand your mind and let your new wine flow freely into a new wine skin.
Day 1, Saturday: Arrive Christchurch – the garden city. We all meet at accommodation venue at 3pm. (accommodation venue to be advised). Introductions to your tour party and hosts. Accommodation and light refreshment supplied.
Day 2, Sunday: Summer in Christchurch – so much to see and do. In the morning we take a trip to Akaroa (French settlement on Banks Peninsula) to enjoy a harbor cruise, and/or swimming with the endangered Hectors Dolphins. Spend the afternoon for seeking in the craft shops or enjoy a visit to the local winery or lavender farm. If the weather is not kind to us we have an alternative pleasurable day planned. This long summer evening can be enjoyed in the City square or at the Sunday evening service in the Christchurch Cathedral. Choices are unlimited at this time of year. Breakfast, accommodation, and trip to Akaroa supplied.
Day 3, Monday: Depart Christchurch, cross the Canterbury plains into vast Mackenzie country via Burkes Pass. Visit the Church of the Good Shepherd; hear the story behind the statue of Mackenzie’s dog then on to Mt Cook. Enjoy the grandeur of New Zealand’s highest mountain and surrounding park. Travel back around the shores of Lake Pukaki through Twizel and on to Omarama. Breakfast and accommodation supplied
Day 4, Tuesday: We travel today to what is often affectionately referred to as the Deep South. This area is known particular for its hydro lakes, salmon runs, beautiful stonefruits and spring blossoms not to forget the amazing vineyards. We pass through Cromwell & Alexandra while enjoying the rugged beauty of this area before arriving at Dunedin (Edinburgh of the South). Breakfast, and accommodation supplied.
Day 5, Wednesday: Indulge yourself today in a little bit of Scottish ancestry. As you take in the sights and wonders of Dunedin you will detect a distinct dialect of the locals. They roll their R's -which reflects the Scottish influence on this city. The morning is free for you to enjoy the shopping, visit the central city, The Octagon, the Gothic spire of the First Presbyterian church, Speights Brewery and Museum (a passionate part of the South's culture) Larnach Castle or take a train trip on the Taieri Gorge Railway. No trip to New Zealand is complete without visiting Bluff. Bluff is the Uttermost part of the earth. Has a compass reading of 46deg South and its "Where the journey begins". We stay tonight in Invercargill (New Zealand’s southernmost city). Breakfast, accommodation supplied.
Day 6, Thursday: This morning we leave Invercargill, heading to Te Anau, traveling through the rich Otago pastureland to reach the beautiful glacier formed Lake Manapouri This drive is undoubtedly one of the most rewarding in New Zealand. Spectacular mountain and forest scenery, which finally gives way to the magnificent Milford Sound after passing through the Homer tunnel. There will be plenty of photo stops en route. At Milford you will be able to board a lage cruising vessel where you will cruise around the Milford Sounds taking in the awesomeness of Mitre Peak, Bowen Falls, Cheddaur Valley and the amazing natural animal life. There is a full commentary on board and food and beverage is available. Breakfast, accommodation and boat trip supplied
Day 7, Friday: We leave Milford Sound and back track to the Lumsden–Queenstown highway, heading north we pass through Five Rivers junction, skirt the Southern arm of Lake Wakatipu to arrive at Queenstown. The Jewel in the Crown of the South. Breakfast and accommodation supplied.
Day 8, Saturday: Queenstown is situated on the shores of Lake Wakatipu and overlooked by the majestic Remarkables. A perfect holiday destination all year round. There is plenty to do in every season. Today is free for you to discover Queenstown at your leisure. Take a scenic flight, play golf, take a wine trail, a garden tour, ride the jet boat in Skippers Canyon, go shopping or just relax and enjoy the sights. And this evening we will indulge you to a nostalgic cruise on the TSS Earnslaw to the Colonel's Homestead at Walter Peak for a delicious carvery style buffet meal, featuring New Zealand's finest meats and seafood. Coupled with fresh grown vegetables and garden salads. This is followed by an after dinner show, providing a glimpse of farming life. We will return you safely back to your accommodation via the Earnslaw again. Simply indulge yourselves in this majestic part of New Zealand. Breakfast, dinner, cruise, entertainment & accommodation supplied.
Day 9: Sunday: We travel North passing through Wanaka, Haast Pass, skirting some of the beautiful Southern Lakes en-route to Fox Glacier. You are now experiencing West Coast community spirit and hospitality , combined with ancient glaciers, primeval rainforest, untamed and accessible wilderness. You can view the glaciers from a distance, or walk for 4 hours on the glacier, or take a helicopter and land on the glacier. An experience you will never regret. We guarantee to immerse you in Glacier country, glacier beauty and glacier knowledge. Alternatively, if you are looking for peace and relaxation amongst our native bush, take a leisurely stroll around Lake Matheison. Breakfast and accommodation supplied.
Day 10, Monday: Travel North to Greymouth, en route we stop at Hokitika andd visit the Jade factory. The Jade Factory specializes in Nephrite Jade products, ranging from hand-carved pendants, jade jewellery combined with gold or sterling silver fittings, beads, sculptures, ornaments and tumbled stone. We leave our coach at Greymouth and board the Tranz-Alpine scenic train. This journey winds its way through the awesome Southern Alps, from coast to coast back to Christchurch. This is rated as one of the world's greatest scenic railway journey's. Breakfast, accommodation, Tranz-Alpine fare supplied.
Day 11, Tuesday: Depart Christchurch for travel home.
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