• Private charter flight-seeing on four tour days (5 remarkable private flights)
• Dolphin watch cruise, Akaroa
• Hot Springs at Tekapo
• Mt Cook night sky experience
• Tekapo salmon farm
• Air Safaris Grand Traverse alpine scenic flight
• Royal Albatross Colony at Taiaroa Head
• Larnach Castle tour and lunch
• Dunedin sights including Baldwin Street (world’s steepest)
• OCHO Chocolate Factory
• Toitu Settlers Museum
• Catlins scenic route to Invercargill, including renowned Nugget Point
• Lake Te Anau vintage yacht cruise
• Stewart Island & Oban, including predator-free Ulva Island guided tour
• Milford Sound Nature Cruise and lunch
• Historic Cardrona Pub
• Wanaka activities; Puzzling World, Transport & Toy Museum
• Quality ‘4-star plus’ *hotels, including one night at The Hermitage, Mt Cook (*Hotels not connected with the Gov’t border quarantine/isolation programme)
• Four 2-night stopovers (Christchurch, Dunedin, Te Anau and Wanaka)
• Meals every day: Full breakfast (11), Dinner (11), Lunch (4)
• Fully hosted tour (Tour Director/ Host)
• Modern, well-appointed, luxury coach with driver guide commentary
11 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 11 Dinners
Four 2-night stopovers
4-star plus Hotels
Cessna Caravan aircraft (or similar)
Itinerary Visits and Activities
Air Safaris ‘Grand Traverse’ alpine flight
Akaroa Dolphin Watch cruise
Milford Sound Nature Cruise
Royal Albatross Colony
The Catlins route
Stewart Island & Ulva Island
Lake Te Anau vintage yacht cruise
and much more...
Click on a day to expand
Arrive into the Garden City today where you will be met at the airport and transferred to your centrally located hotel. Your hotel is within comfortable walking distance of many new Christchurch City attractions and points of interest. Enjoy a welcome dinner this evening and meet your fellow travellers.
Drive southeast from Christchurch this morning to pass Lake Ellesmere and Little River. The road will climb high onto Banks Peninsula before Akaroa Harbour comes into view. Descend towards the upper harbour and continue on to Akaroa Village (population around 630). Akaroa is the oldest town in Canterbury and retains a distinct French ambience, dating from an 1840 French settlement initiative. Today, the town is a popular resort destination with plenty of character. Join a local Akaroa Dolphin cruise this morning to see spectacular harbour scenery, wildlife and hopefully the rare Hectors Dolphin. This cruise is unique – included in the ‘crew’ are specially trained listening dogs to help pinpoint dolphin activity. Expect a commentary covering local history and cultural highlights too. There’ll be time later to find lunch, relax and explore Akaroa. Sometime later this afternoon we’ll make our way back to Christchurch.
Coach CHRISTCHURCH to ASHBURTON. Private flight ALPINE TRAVERSE to TEKAPO. Coach TEKAPO to MT COOK
See the highlights of Christchurch this morning then drive an hour south to Ashburton Airport and the renowned Ashburton Aviation Museum. Relax, chat to your local hosts and view the museum’s rare aircraft displays. Meanwhile your specially chartered ‘Air Safaris’ aircraft will arrive and land beside the museum. Board your charter plane, take off and fly west across the Canterbury Plains. Fly above braided rivers and remote High Country sheep stations as you track towards the spectacular ‘Grand Traverse’ route to explore two World Heritage National Parks from above. Recognised as the premier Aoraki Mount Cook flight-seeing experience, this magnificent flight takes in some of the most memorable and breath-taking Southern Alps scenery. Beautiful turquoise glacial lakes, golden tussock lands, glacial valleys, the permanent ice and snow of our highest mountains and largest glaciers are all part of this amazing experience. Descend towards the Mackenzie Basin and land near Tekapo. Your coach will meet you for the drive to Mt Cook village. Anticipate a magical Night Sky experience this evening.
Enjoy a relaxing morning exploring Mt Cook Village and areas nearby. If you wish, take a stroll along part of the superb Hooker Track. Or consider the optional activities on offer, such as the ‘Glacier Explorer’ trip. Later this morning we’ll leave the village, passing alongside Lake Pukaki en route to Twizel. There’ll be a visit to a local salmon farm and a few more points of interest before we return to Tekapo, a scenic gem with plenty to see. The much photographed Church of the Good Shepherd is nearby – without the crowds of previous years. And there’ll be a chance to soak in the Tekapo Hot Pools too if you like.
Transfer to Tekapo Airfield this morning and board your private Air Safaris aircraft for today’s sector to Dunedin. Take off and turn south for views of Lake Pukaki before man-made Lake Benmore comes into view – the site of NZ’s largest earth dam and second largest hydro power station. Legendary All Black captain Richie McCaw’s birthplace of Kurow is below you too. Fly on over Dansey’s Pass to Otago and pass above ‘Macraes’ and NZ’s largest active gold mine. This is Otago Rail Trail country too. Descend towards Taieri and line up for a landing at Dunedin Airport. A coach will meet you for the short drive north and this afternoon there’ll be a chance to look around the Southern City. There’s chocolate tasting at OCHO, Toitu Settler’s Museum, the Octagon and Baldwin Street – and perhaps a beer tasting opportunity. Arrive at your hotel and settle in for your second 2-night stay.
Coach DUNEDIN to OTAGO PENINSULA & TAIAROA HEAD (Albatross Colony)
Drive to the picturesque Otago Peninsula today for two significant visits. Your first call is New Zealand’s only castle, dating back to 1871. Dunedin was then NZ’s largest and most prosperous city, built on the wealth of Otago gold. William Larnach was a successful Otago merchant and politician and spared no expense to build the castle, his dream home, from some of the Victorian world’s finest materials. However the castle was also the setting for some of the era’s major scandals. You’ll hear all the stories during a guided tour of Larnach’s masterpiece. Stay for lunch and enjoy the views from high above Otago’s beautiful Harbour.
Continue on to Taiaroa Head and the Royal Albatross Centre. Nowhere else in the world can you can see these majestic seabirds so easily in their natural habitat. Your guided tour will include a visit to the nesting albatross observatory. Take a short walk up the hill to see albatross adults and hopefully some in flight. You’ll be offered a chance to see the underground Fort tunnels of Taiaroa Head too and a fully restored Armstrong Disappearing Gun. Drive back to Dunedin later this afternoon.
Leave Dunedin, drive to Balclutha and join the Catlins route to Southland. This remote region hosts a wealth of natural wonders, spectacular coastal vistas, fairy tale waterfalls and abundant wildlife. This is home to the world’s rarest penguins, smallest dolphins and endangered sea lions. Stop at Nugget Point for a 30 minute return walk to the lighthouse and sensational sea views. You might see penguins, seals and sea lions here too. Onto Owaka, main settlement of the Catlins (population near 400) then stop for another leisurely 15 to 20 minute return walk. Wander through mature beech forest to the triple tiered and much photographed Purakaunui Falls. There’ll be a picnic lunch stop a little further on then it’s onto Curio Bay. The ebbing tide here reveals a 180 million year old petrified Jurassic forest, one of only three accessible fossil forests in the world. Nearby is Porpoise Bay where small Hectors dolphins often frolic in the surf close to shore. An hour away across the Mataura River is NZ’s southernmost city, and tonight’s stay.
Two private flights INVERCARGILL to STEWART ISLAND, then STEWART ISLAND to TE ANAU
Board a ‘Stewart Island Flights’ aircraft in Invercargill this morning for a 20 minute flight. See Oreti Beach, the ‘test track’ for motorbike world record holder Burt Munro – as seen in the 2005 movie ‘The World’s Fastest Indian’. Fly over Bluff then across Foveaux Strait, where Bluff Oysters are harvested. The rugged Stewart Island coastline will soon appear below. In Maori mythology, Stewart Island is the anchor stone of Maui’s canoe. Today this is conservation land with Rakiura National Park occupying some 85% of the island. You’ll land near the island’s only town – Oban, population around 400. See the beachfront setting then enjoy a water taxi ride to delightful Ulva Island for a guided walk. Predator-free Ulva Island’s super abundant bird life is inspiring – on the ground and in the forest canopy. The well maintained walking tracks weave through lush podocarp forest alive with birdsong and your relaxing walk includes plenty of photo stops. Return to some free time in Oban before joining your next private flight. Depart Oban aboard a chartered Air Milford aircraft for the return Foveaux Strait crossing. Meet the southern coastline to see Riverton, Southland’s oldest European settlement, then extensive Te Waewae Bay. Fly inland over Tuatapere, on the edge of Fiordland's scenic wilderness to reach Lake Manapouri – arguably NZ’s prettiest lake and the site of the country’s largest hydro-electric power station. A little further on is Te Anau Airport. Land here and transfer to your third 2-night stop, beside NZ’s second largest lake.
TE ANAU - LAKE CRUISE and optional local activities
A relaxing day to explore picturesque Te Anau. We’ll include one signature activity today – a superb Lake Te Anau cruise on a historic 20 metre (65 foot) wooden motor-sail boat called ‘Faith in Fiordland’ Built in Scotland in 1935 ‘Faith’ served in WW2, once hosted Sir Winston Churchill, and has sailed all over the world. Lake Te Anau is now her home. Enjoy the serenity of sailing across Lake Te Anau and into South Fiord. Breathe the pristine air and take a short, guided walk through an ancient forest to the Hidden Lakes. On board Faith you’ll be treated to drinks and canapés. Help to hoist the sails, visit the engine room and discover the remarkable history of this elegant ship.
Spend the rest of the day as you wish. Walk, relax, shop or try some optional activities!
Coach TE ANAU to MILFORD SOUND (& CRUISE). Private flight MILFORD SOUND to WANAKA
Step aboard your tour coach and drive along NZ’s most scenic mountain highway this morning. See the surreal Eglington Valley, a magical place where a glacier once stood. As conditions permit, your coach will stop for scenic viewpoints and photos along the way. Climb to the Homer Tunnel (945 metres altitude) then descend through the impressive Cleddau Valley to arrive at majestic Milford Sound, described by author Rudyard Kipling as the ‘8th Wonder of the World’. Meet your Southern Discoveries cruise boat to explore the grandeur – and intriguing peculiarities – of mighty Milford Sound. You may also see seals sunning on the rocks, dolphins or even an occasional whale today! Return to Milford Wharf and transfer to Milford Airport. Board your privately chartered Air Milford aircraft for a spectacular 45 minute flight across the Southern Alps. Your air route will depend upon the weather on the day however you are likely to climb out above Milford Sound to fly eastwards near the Routeburn Great Walk route, with Glenorchy to the south and the Dart Glacier and Mt Aspiring to the north. Soon Lake Wanaka will appear to signal your descent towards the beautiful alpine town of Wanaka. Land at Wanaka Airport and visit the superb Warbirds & Wheels Museum nearby. A coach will be waiting here to transfer you to your fourth 2-night stay, beside Lake Wanaka.
Enjoy a relaxing day in and around Wanaka. We’ll include a feature activity today – a ‘Forage & Feast’ food adventure to sample locally grown and produced food and award-winning Central Otago artisan products. We’ll also drive to Cardrona where you can visit the historic Cardrona Hotel or take an optional Whisky Distillery Tour. Other possibilities can be tailored to the interests of you and your group. We can include the extensive National Transport & Toy Museum or quirky Puzzling World
And there are some excellent options to consider too – a local vineyard for wine tasting, a round of golf, shopping, walking time or more. Perhaps a half day High Country four wheel drive experience, jet boating or maybe sailing on the lake. We’ll help you make the most of your Wanaka leisure day, in a way that suits you best. There are many quality choices and today is all yours to enjoy.
Board your coach this morning for the 90 minute drive from Wanaka to Queenstown Airport to meet your departing flight or ongoing arrangements. We’ll be on hand to assist with connections to ensure you are where you need to be, and that you are there in good time.
And if you would like to stay on to enjoy an extended stay in either Wanaka or Queenstown, we can make arrangements for this too, as you wish (additional cost applies).
Terms and Conditions
1. Covid-19: Tour hotel selection: Pacific Trailways selects quality 4-star (or 4-star plus) tour hotels that have not been included in the NZ Government’s returning traveller border quarantine / self-isolation programme. If a hotel selected for this tour is subsequently assigned to the border quarantine / self-isolation programme, the tour will be relocated to another equivalent hotel property that has not been part of the Government’s border quarantine / self-isolation programme. Pacific Trailways reserves the right to move the tour to another hotel property (or properties) in these circumstances.
2. Covid-19: Safety on tour. Pacific Trailways will always put the health and safety of our staff and guests first. Best practice Government authorised Covid-19 hygiene and safety practices will apply on every tour. Social distance measures will apply if/as required, appropriate to each Covid-19 safety level.
3. Tour prices: Tour prices are in New Zealand dollars and include GST. Prices are per person, twin share basis. An additional price applies for guaranteed single person room occupancy.
4. Deposit, Payment and Acceptance of Terms: A deposit of NZD$500 per person is required to confirm the booking. Payment of the deposit confirms the tour client has read and accepted the Tour Booking Terms & Conditions. Full payment can be made at any time but is required no later than 60 days prior to departure (full payment is required for bookings made less than 60 days from tour departure).
5. Deposit and Full Payment Options: INTERNET BANKING – Pacific Trailways Ltd. BNZ Account number 02-0400-0116109-001. CREDIT CARD – Visa and Mastercard only.
6. Minimum booking numbers required. This tour will be confirmed to operate once bookings have achieved the minimum numbers required. In the event that minimum booking numbers are not achieved, Pacific Trailways will fully refund all tour payments, this being the full extent of our responsibility. Any additional costs you may incur as a result of cancellation by Pacific Trailways will be your responsibility and we expect you to seek remedy via travel insurance cover.
7. Client Cancellations, not related to Covid-19: All cancellation charges apply ‘per person’.
For cancellation 60 days or more prior to tour start date a full refund applies, less $50 administration fee. For cancellation: 59 – 46 days prior to tour start date: cancellation fee is 50% of the tour price.
For cancellation: 45 – 00 days prior to tour start date: cancellation fee is 100% of the tour price.
No refund can be made once the tour is underway and there are no refunds for unused tour components.
8. Client Cancellations due to Covid-19: If client cancellation is a direct result of Covid-19 and a requirement for the client to self-isolate, enter quarantine or seek medical treatment, Pacific Trailways will, at its discretion, review cancellation charges applicable to that client’s booking. Pacific Trailways will consider each case on its merit, taking into account the medical situation, personal circumstances and time remaining before tour departure. To consider a review of cancellation charges, Pacific Trailways will require a formal, authorised Covid-19 test result supported by a medical professional or doctor’s letter or a Health Department letter. If the cancellation is due to contact with a suspected or confirmed Covid-19 case, a formal Health Department contact trace confirmation will be required. A $50 administration fee will apply to the cancellation charge review.
9. Covid-19: Lockdown tour cancellation. If the tour departure is cancelled due to a New Zealand Government Covid-19 lockdown order, Pacific Trailways will offer two options. 1. To transfer your deposit and/or tour payments to a later tour departure, or 2. Receive a full refund of your deposit and tour payment balance (whichever amount/s you have paid).
10. Travel Insurance. Pacific Trailways strongly recommends that ‘loss of deposit’ travel insurance is purchased at the time of booking. Cancellation fees will not be waived where travel insurance could have provided cover.
11. Itinerary amendments. Pacific Trailways reserves the right to amend the itinerary if/as necessary due to weather and/or operational requirements and to substitute accommodation, transport and sightseeing services if required. If weather conditions on a particular day (or days) prevent safe flying, Pacific Trailways accepts the professional decision of the aircraft captain (Pilot in Command) to determine whether or not the aircraft will fly on the day. If a ‘no-fly’ decision is made, ground transport will be substituted on the affected day/s to continue the tour and meet itinerary obligations.
12. Aircraft Operation (during the tour).In the event a chartered aircraft is rendered unserviceable or unable to operate for any reason during the tour, Pacific Trailways will make every effort to use suitable alternative chartered aircraft and/or air services to complete the affected tour sectors. If suitable chartered and/or air services are not available, Pacific Trailways reserves the right to substitute ground transport to complete the affected tour sectors. If air or ground transport is substituted for chartered flights for any reason above, no refund or reimbursement applies and the air or ground transport substitution is the full extent of our responsibility to you.
13. Luggage on tour – limits per passenger.
(i.) One small soft-sided cabin/day bag able to be stowed in an overhead locker or under a seat.
(ii.) One medium soft-sided overnight sports-style bag weighing no more than 10 kg (22 pounds) that can be stowed in a limited-space aircraft hold to meet NZCAA safety regulations.
(iii.) One piece of luggage with a total length, width and depth of no more than 140 cm (56 inches) and weighing no more than 20 kg (44 pounds). Note: Your chartered aircraft will not have onboard space for large luggage. Larger luggage items will be transferred from hotel to hotel by tour coach, each day of the tour. On occasions when coach connections may be delayed, we will advise you (ahead of time) to take your overnight bag on the aircraft to carry your clothing and personal items with you.
14. Seat change daily.To provide a fair and equitable viewing experience for all tour participants a daily seat change policy applies. The process will be explained during the tour and all tour party members are expected to participate.
15. Hotels. Tour accommodation is on the basis of standard ‘twin or double’ rooms that may not include lake, or scenic, or sea views.
16. Solo tour members – guaranteed single room preference.Limited single occupancy rooms may be available at the time of booking. To secure a guaranteed single occupancy room, the Guaranteed Single Room option must be purchased.
17. Solo tour members – twin share room preference.Solo travellers may book ‘twin share’ basis and Pacific Trailways will make every effort to select appropriate same gender roommate pairings. Solo travellers booking on this basis must accept that there is no guarantee of compatibility with your selected roommate and that smoking is not permitted in rooms at any time.
18. Smoking. New Zealand Government laws forbid smoking in public transport, tour coaches, aircraft, airport terminals, accommodation, restaurants, bars, cafes and other recognised public places. Opportunities to smoke will be made available as possible within these boundaries and in circumstances that do not cause discomfort to non-smoking tour members.
19. Personal expenses. Items and/or services not specified as included under ‘Highlights and Inclusions’ are deemed to be personal expenses and are not included in your tour price. Items considered to be personal expenses may include but are not limited to scheduled airfares and taxes, accommodation and meals and transport not included under ‘Highlights and Inclusions’, food not included on the regular tour menu, drinks, personal items, laundry, passport and visa fees, excess baggage, fuel surcharges, optional excursions and gratuities.
20. Personal belongings and lost items. Valuables on tour should be kept to a minimum and packed in your hand luggage along with personal items such as a camera, phone, small personal appliances, essential changes of clothing, toiletries and other personal items. You are responsible for your personal items at all times and must ensure you have adequate travel insurance cover in the event of any loss.
21. Health requirements.Payment of the deposit is a warranty by you that you or any persons covered by your booking are sufficiently fit and healthy to undertake this tour and associated travel arrangements. Pacific Trailways reserves the right, at its discretion, to remove tour participants who prove unable to meet these health requirements or who prove to be incapable of caring for themselves or who become a hazard to themselves or other tour members. No refund applies in such circumstances if the tour has commenced, and Pacific Trailways is not responsible for any associated travel arrangements or repatriation costs.
22. Pre and post tour connecting transfers, transport and air travel.Transport and travel before and after your tour are not included in your tour arrangements and these are your responsibility. Pacific Trailways will make every effort to keep your tour to the stated itinerary schedule but is not responsible for any missed connections before or after your tour.
23. Tour map.The tour map included on the website and in the brochure is not necessarily to scale. The map depicts an indication of the daily itinerary and route however the actual tour route may vary from the depicted tour route if operational or safety requirements make route changes necessary or desirable.
24. Illustrations.All photographs in this brochure, Pacific Trailways Facebook site/s and Pacific Trailways website illustrate and depict genuine events, places, occurrences and experiences. The use of these illustrations and images does not guarantee that such events, places, occurrences and experiences will necessarily be experienced or seen as depicted in the photograph or illustration.
25. Force Majeure.Force Majeure means an event or circumstance that is beyond the reasonable control of Pacific Trailways Ltd and that could not have been reasonably prevented by Pacific Trailways Ltd. It may include, but is not limited to, pandemic, war, armed conflict, criminal damage, riot, civil strife, industrial dispute, terrorist activity or the possibility or threat of any such activity, natural disaster including but not limited to earthquake, volcanic eruption, cyclone, hurricane, tornado, tsunami, flooding, high or low water levels, fire, landslide, adverse weather conditions, nuclear or other industrial accident causing environmental contamination, or any change of law. In the event that Pacific Trailways Ltd cancels or changes your tour arrangements in any way due to a Force Majeure event, Pacific Trailways Ltd will not be liable to refund any part of your tour deposit or tour purchase price paid by you if Pacific Trailways Ltd subsequently changes or cancels your tour arrangements in connection with a Force Majeure event. As such Force Majeure events cannot be predicted and are beyond the control of Pacific Trailways Ltd it is your responsibility to purchase travel insurance that will adequately cover you against these risks.
26. Additional costs. Pacific Trailways is not responsible for any additional costs which may be incurred by tour participants as a result of events beyond the company’s control. Examples may include (but are not limited to) pandemic, strikes, industrial action, weather or any other man-made or natural occurrence.
27. Passport & Visa Requirements (as applicable, if or when New Zealand’s borders re-open). It is the client/s total responsibility to meet passport and/or visa requirements for travel to and from New Zealand. Pacific Trailways is not responsible for, nor liable for, any loss or damage suffered by the client (or any person covered in the booking) resulting from client/s failure to meet required passport and visa conditions.
28. New Zealand law applies.All Pacific Trailways Booking Terms and Conditions and operations are governed by the laws of New Zealand and all parties submit to the jurisdiction of the New Zealand courts.