Join us on our journey to Queenstown and Surrounds
Day 1 – Saturday 06 April 2019 (D)
Depart Australia – Arrive Queenstown
Welcome to New Zealand. You are met on arrival at the Queenstown Airport before being transferred to your hotel. Dinner is served in Impressions Restaurant at your hotel this evening. The Copthorne Resort Lakefront is situated within walking distance of Queenstown’s central shopping and entertainment area. The hotel has a tranquil garden setting and has a private spa pool for guest use.
Day 2 – Sunday 07 April 2019 (B, D)
Queenstown Local Sights
Buffet breakfast at your hotel. Today you are taken on a tour of the outlying areas of Queenstown. Departing the hotel your first stop is to Arthurs Point to view the Shotover Jet. No visit to Queenstown is complete without riding ‘the world’s most exciting Jet Boat ride’, so today you can view or as an optional extra choose to experience this internationally famous attraction first hand. You then travel past Millbrook Resort to the quaint village of Arrowtown: there’s gold in them hills! Rich in colonial architecture but with modern boutiques and quirky shopping - Arrowtown is a real treat. While here why not visit the Lakes District Museum or Chinese Miners’ Settlement? Time out at the village allows for lunch and shopping. Next you visit the AJ Hackett Bungy Bridge: experience the thrill of bungy either as a watcher or maybe even a jumper! (At additional cost). Your final visit today is to Gibbston Valley Winery. Here join a guided tour of the vineyard and winery, completing the experience with wine-tasting in the caves. Travel 76 metres underground into the Gibbston Valley Wine Cave. The rocky schist walls within the cave are lined with barrels of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay still reaching their prime. With constant humidity and a temperature of around 14 degrees Celsius, the cave provides a perfect haven for the maturation of these wines as well as providing a unique atmosphere for wine tasting. After your visit at the winery we return to Queenstown enjoying the spectacular scenery en-route including the lovely local Lake Hayes. This evening you will ride the aerial gondola to Bob’s Peak and enjoy a delicious six-course buffet dinner at the Skyline Restaurant while admiring the panoramic views of Queenstown, Lake Wakatipu and the surrounding mountain ranges including The Remarkables.
Day 3 – Monday 08 April 2019 (B, D)
Glenorchy Local Touring
Today is Easter Monday – a public holiday in New Zealand.
Buffet breakfast at your hotel. This morning you travel to the small settlement of Glenorchy at the head of Lake Wakatipu. Glenorchy’s most recent claim to fame is its association with the ‘Lord of the Rings’ movie trilogy, being the gateway to farmland and forests around the area that were used as film location for a number of scenes in these movies. Time here allows you to join Dart River Jet Safari’s for a Wilderness Safari into the Mt Aspiring National Park. Your journey takes you on a 1½-hour jet boat journey on crystal clear water in a wild and picturesque landscape, amidst the towering peaks, glaciers and ancient forests of Mt. Aspiring National Park. Also enjoy a 30-40-minute guided walk through ancient native beech forest and learn about the flora and fauna, history, and geology of this World Heritage Area from experienced guides before travelling by 4WD coach through the high country farmland and forests around Paradise. This afternoon you retrace your steps back to Queenstown for the rest of the afternoon at leisure. Dinner in the hotel restaurant tonight.
Day 4 – Tuesday 09 April 2019 (B, L)
Queenstown – TSS Earnslaw & Walter Peak
Buffet breakfast at your hotel. Mid-morning you will cruise across Lake Wakatipu on board the 1912 coal fired vintage steamer TSS Earnslaw to Walter Peak High Country Farm. During the cruise the captain provides a commentary as you enjoy spectacular views of Cecil and Walter Peaks and the western shores of Lake Wakatipu. Upon arrival at Walter Peak disembark and then you can wander amongst the farm animals and join in the farmyard walking tour which includes sheep dog handling and a sheep shearing demonstration. Your BBQ lunch is cooked on the terrace in front of the Colonel’s Homestead overlooking Lake Wakatipu and is then served either on the terrace or if weather is not suitable, inside the Colonel’s Homestead. Time also to relax in the lakeside gardens. On the return journey join a sing-a-long with the ship’s pianist then return to Steamer Wharf early afternoon. Remainder of day at leisure for your choice of sightseeing activities, shopping in some of Queenstown’s excellent boutique or you may wish to just relax, breathe in the clear alpine air and enjoy the spectacular scenery of Queenstown and the Remarkables. Evening at leisure for you to sample some of the excellent restaurants, bars and cafés that Queenstown offers.
Day 5 – Wednesday 10 April 2019 (B, D)
Milford Overnight Cruise
Pack a light overnight bag to take on the boat overnight – large suitcases are not suitable for safety reasons. Wear/take a change of clothes; comfortable shoes; warm/waterproof jacket; warm clothes; swimwear (optional); toiletries; insect repellent and medication. The remainder of your luggage will either be stored at the hotel or locked on board the coach.
Today will be one of your trip highlights. Travel around Lake Wakatipu and through Te Anau and the Fiordland National Park to Milford Sound. Fiordland National Park, part of the UNESCO Southwest New Zealand World Heritage Area is one of the great wilderness areas of the Southern Hemisphere. The scenery is spectacular with lofty mountains and deep valleys carved out by Ice Age glaciers. There are clear rushing streams and leaping waterfalls set in magnificent native rainforest. We arrive in Milford Sound to board our boat the Milford Mariner, for our overnight cruise in Milford Sound. You will cruise down Milford Sound past towering Mitre Peak to the Tasman Sea. Seals and dolphins are often seen in the clear waters of the fiord. Dinner tonight will be served onboard your boat.
Accommodation: Milford Mariner Milford Sound Overnight Cruise
Day 6 – Thursday 11 April 2019 (B)
Milford Sound - Queenstown
At the end of the cruise the boat returns to Milford Wharf where you board your coach and drive back to Te Anau travelling via the Cleddeau Gorge, Homer Tunnel and the lovely Eglinton Valley. From Te Anau you retrace your steps beneath the towering Remarkable Ranges around the shores of Lake Wakatipu back into Queenstown. Tonight is free for you to explore the local restaurants, cafes and bars.
Accommodation: Copthorne Resort Lakefront – 2 nights or similar
Day 7 – Friday 12 April 2019 (B, D)
Queenstown Local Touring
Buffet breakfast at your hotel. This morning you travel to Wanaka – a pretty all-year resort town set on the shores of Lake Wanaka. It is particularly popular with New Zealander’s vacationing in the summer months. Every two years Wanaka Airport is the base for the world famous ‘Warbirds over Wanaka’ Airshow when the skies are filled with vintage aircraft. Down time allows for those who wish to visit the local Warbirds Museum (at own cost). From Wanaka you travel to Cromwell – a nearby town on the shores of Lake Dunstan. Here you can wander along the street of Old Cromwell Town - a project that initially, involved eight buildings chosen from the old commercial area due to be submerged by the advent of the new hydro lake. These buildings were relocated further up the main street to a site above the new lake level – and so began ‘Old Cromwell Town’. From Cromwell you drive further down the road following the Clutha River to view Clyde Dam - the dam was constructed between 1982 and 1992 and filling it was done in stages over the following 18-months and once completed created Lake Dunstan.
This afternoon you return to Queenstown via the rugged Kawarau Gorge to your hotel. This evening you will enjoy your farewell dinner at the Botswana Butchery. Located in Queenstown’s historic precinct with spectacular lake views and signature roaring log fires inside and out, Botswana Butchery is one of Queenstown’s most stylish restaurants.
Day 8 – Saturday 13 April 2019 (B)
Buffet breakfast at your hotel. Standard checkout time applies today. Farewell from New Zealand. Today you will be transferred from the hotel to Queenstown Airport for your flight home.