• 7 fabulous ‘low and slow’ flights in a classic DC-3 airliner
• Air Safaris Grand Traverse flight to Aoraki Mt Cook, the glaciers and more
• Taupo, West Coast, Mt Cook, Wanaka, Queenstown and more – from above
• Exceptional flightseeing and prepaid ground attractions
• One ‘yesteryear’ grass runway landing and take off
• Two 2-night stopovers (Franz Josef Glacier and lakeside in Queenstown)
• Earnslaw Steamship Gourmet BBQ Dinner Cruise
• Taste of Taupo Lake Cruise
• Jet boat ride (Haast River)
• Pukaha Mt Bruce Wildlife Centre
• Wine tasting (Martinborough), beer tasting (Nelson)
• Two premier Aviation Museums (Ashburton & Christchurch)
• International Antarctic Centre
• Quality 4 star hotels (and 5-star lakeside in Queenstown)
• Meals every day: Full breakfast (9), Dinner (9)
• Air NZ flight to home airport (within New Zealand)
• Luxury coach for sightseeing
• Tour transfers (Day-1 in Auckland & Day-10 to home – conditions apply)
• Fully hosted tour (Tour Director/ Host)
Click on a day to expand
DC3 Flight - AUCKLAND to TAUPO
Step aboard your classic DC-3 airliner for an exclusive adventure! Take off from Auckland’s Ardmore Airport and fly above the Bombay Hills to the pleasant farmland of the North Island’s Waikato region. Fly south to reach the pine forests of the Tokoroa district then climb a little to fly above the dramatic Central Volcanic Plateau. Meet Lake Taupo (New Zealand’s largest lake by far) and turn to land at Taupo Airport.
Lake Taupo lies in a huge volcanic caldera. A colossal ‘super’ volcanic eruption occurred here back around 186 AD, darkening ancient skies as far away as China and Rome. Today Lake Taupo is a popular and scenic recreational area offering a range of aquatic sports, fishing options and pursuits.
A coach will meet you at Taupo Airport for the transfer to Taupo town where there will be time to explore and have lunch. Board the local ‘Taste of Taupo’ scenic lake cruise early this afternoon for a 90 minute trip that will include the famous Maori Rock Carvings, followed by a trout fishing demonstration and hopefully a chance to taste some pre-prepared smoked trout along the way. Return to Taupo and drive to the nearby Huka Falls to see the Waikato River squeeze thunderously through a narrow gorge. Call into the Huka Honey Hive Centre afterwards for honey, mead and liqueur tastings. Transfer to your resort hotel later on this afternoon.
Board your DC-3 again this morning and take off from Taupo to fly south east, leaving the Volcanic Plateau behind. Catch sight of three volcanic mountains in the distance if the weather is clear – Tongariro (1,978 metres), Ngaurahoe (2,291 metres) and Ruapehu (2,797 metres). Symmetrical Mt Ngaurahoe starred in the Lord of the Rings movies as the imposing ‘Mt Doom’. Track further south to reach Southern Hawkes Bay then fly on to the Wairarapa region to land at Masterton Airport.
Transfer to a waiting coach and drive north to ‘Pukaha Mt Bruce Wildlife Centre’. Walk through the free flight aviary to experience the enchanting life, sights and sounds of the New Zealand bush as it was several hundred years ago. Look for rare native birds including the stitchbird, kaka (native parrot), kokako and takahe. Kiwi birds occupy the nocturnal enclosure and you may see longfin eels in the stream. See the rare tuatara too – last survivors of an order of reptiles from the age of the dinosaurs.
Drive south to leafy Martinborough later. Visit a significant local vineyard for a wine tasting interlude then return to Masterton later this afternoon.
Transfer to Masterton Airport to board your DC-3 this morning. Take off and wing your way south towards Wellington then head out over Cook Strait towards the South Island. Before long the pretty, winding waterways of the scenic Marlborough Sounds will come into view below – a captivating sight. Land in Nelson, the city frequently identified as the nation’s ‘sunshine capital’. Nelson rightfully claims to be the country’s geographical centre and in 1870 the first game of rugby ever played in New Zealand was hosted here.
Enjoy a tour of Nelson City today. Call into the quirky World of Wearable Arts & Classic Car Museum and view the beaches, waterfront, Cathedral and more. We will also try to squeeze in a craft beer tasting opportunity in nearby Stoke before arriving at your hotel this afternoon.
DC3 Flight - NELSON to HOKITIKA by DC-3, then coach to FRANZ JOSEF GLACIER
Climb aboard your DC-3 at Nelson Airport this morning. Take off and fly southwest towards the Nelson Lakes then onto Murchison before reaching the West Coast region. View stunning, rugged Tasman Sea beaches from lower altitude then fly past Greymouth to land at Hokitika.
A coach will be waiting for you at Hokitika Airport. Visit the nearby Westland Industrial Heritage Museum then drive into Hokitika town to see a jade gallery with artisans at work. Stop awhile in Hokitika then drive south along the ever more scenic West Coast to reach the settlement of Franz Josef for your first two night stay.
FRANZ JOSEF GLACIER – AIR SAFARIS GRAND TRAVERSE FLIGHT
Today may well be an unforgettable tour highlight. Board an Air Safaris aircraft at Franz Josef this morning for the magnificent 50 minute ‘Grand Traverse’ scenic flight Explore breath-taking Mount Cook National Park and Westland National Park from above to see New Zealand’s most impressive scenery by far! View the nation’s highest mountains and largest glaciers including mighty Aoraki Mount Cook (3,724 metres), the Tasman Glacier, Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers plus beautiful turquoise glacial lakes, golden tussock lands, the Mackenzie basin’s braided river systems and so much more.
Return to Franz Josef village later for a free afternoon and a chance to enjoy optional activities at your leisure. Visit a café, check out the Wildlife Centre, take a walk, go horseback riding, try kayaking or relax for an hour or two in the nearby Glacier Hot Pools. You choose!
Board your luxury coach and drive south to Fox Glacier. Continue past lakes Paringa and Moeraki then pause at the settlement of Haast to enjoy a unique New Zealand ‘back country’ experience. Step onto the Haast River Safari jet boat for a thrilling 30 minute cruise along the river from Haast Bridge to ‘Roaring Billy’. Ride into the heart of Te Wahipounamu, South Westland’s beautiful World Heritage Area. This is a fabulous opportunity to participate in a real kiwi experience and enjoy a close up encounter with a pristine New Zealand landscape.
Return to your coach and head to the scenic Haast Pass to cross ‘The Divide’. Continue to Makarora then see beautiful Lake Wanaka and Lake Hawea during the drive eastwards to the alpine resort town of Wanaka. Arrive into Wanaka by mid-afternoon and visit the National Transport and Toy Museum to see one of the largest private collections in the world! See rare and unusual aircraft, cars, motorcycles, military vehicles and more. Meanwhile the nostalgic toy collection has something to fascinate everyone. Settle into tonight’s accommodation afterwards, beside lovely Lake Wanaka. We recommend a very pleasant lakefront walk this evening, if you wish!
Meet your DC-3 again this morning. Take off from Wanaka Airport to enjoy impressive lake and mountain views during the climb out then turn to follow the Kawarau River Gorge or fly ‘over the hill’ to land in Queenstown. Transfer to a waiting coach on arrival.
Drive past delightful Lake Hayes (often featured on scenic calendars) and soon you will be in picturesque Arrowtown – a quaint little village with a big history including gold mining. Stop here for a while then complete the loop to Queenstown via Arthur’s Point.
Take a ride on the Skyline Gondola for an iconic view of Queenstown then enjoy some time exploring the centre of Queenstown. Return to your coach afterwards and transfer to tonight’s lakeside accommodation for your second two night stay.
QUEENSTOWN AT LEISURE then EVENING DINNER CRUISE - No flights today
Today is free to explore as you wish! Breakfast is included this morning and there will be a fabulous dinner cruise to enjoy this evening.
Shuttle transfers are available from your hotel during the day so if this is your first visit to Queenstown you may prefer to try some of the iconic, optional visitor activities. Relax or be as energetic as you want! Explore Queenstown Gardens and the galleries, bars and cafés if you like. Or go rafting, sailing, parachuting or even bungy jumping if you dare! It’s your choice today!
Depart from Queenstown Wharf this evening to cruise across the lake to Walter Peak Station (farm). The Edwardian era ‘TSS Earnslaw’ is a twin screw, coal fired steamship built in 1912; the last in the Southern Hemisphere. Arrive at Walter Peak Station Wharf and make your way to the stately homestead nearby. Relax in the genteel ambience and enjoy a gourmet dinner with a New Zealand focussed menu.
An entertaining farm demonstration follows. During the magical return cruise, enjoy the fresh night air on the deck or join in a piano sing-a-long. Return to Queenstown Wharf for the return transfer to your hotel.
Two DC3 Flights - QUEENSTOWN to ASHBURTON, then to CHRISTCHURCH
Drive to Queenstown Airport this morning to meet your waiting DC-3. Take off and head northeast above the Clutha River (New Zealand’s largest river by volume). Fly over the Lindis Pass to see Lake Benmore and cross from the Otago region into Canterbury.
Land on the grass runway at Ashburton Airport and walk over to the impressive Ashburton Aviation Museum. Over 20 rare or significant aircraft are housed here, including a ‘sister’ DC-3 and a Harrier Jump Jet. Museum members will show you the exhibits and relate their intriguing stories.
Take off from Ashburton Airport around noon for the final DC-3 flight of your tour – a short sector northwards across the colourful Canterbury Plains. Land at Christchurch and visit the nearby International Antarctic Centre for a range of fascinating encounters giving insights into the astounding southernmost continent. Enjoy a ride on the unique Hagglund all-terrain vehicle during your visit! Your next stop is the National Air Force Museum of NZ. Explore the historic training, transport and fighter service aircraft in the museum’s collection, from a tiny Bleriot to a C47.
Drive into central Christchurch to see the city’s rebuild progress (since the 6.3 magnitude earthquake of February 2011) then continue to your hotel located near the Cathedral. Enjoy a special final night dinner at your hotel this evening.
CHRISTCHURCH DEPARTURE – to home airport (NZ Only) Scheduled Air NZ flight
Relax with breakfast then transfer to Christchurch Airport this morning. Farewell your new found friends then board a scheduled Air New Zealand service to fly to your home (or preferred) New Zealand destination to complete your exciting DC-3 Southern Highlights Air Tour adventure.
T & Cs
Terms and Conditions
Tour prices are in New Zealand dollars and include GST. Prices are per person, twin share basis. An additional price applies to guarantee single person room occupancy.
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 and a contract has been formed. Full payment can be made at any time but is required no later than 90 days prior to departure (full payment is required for bookings made less than 90 days from tour departure).
Deposit and Full Payment Options: CHEQUE – Payable please to Pacific Trailways Ltd. INTERNET BANKING – Pacific Trailways Ltd. BNZ Account number 02-0400-0116109-001. CREDIT CARD – Visa and Mastercard only.
Cancellation Charges and Refunds for client cancellation:
All cancellation charges apply ‘per person’. For cancellation 90 days or more prior to tour start date, loss of deposit applies. For cancellation:
89 – 61 days prior to tour start date: cancellation fee is 40% of the tour price
60 – 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.
Travel Insurance. Comprehensive travel insurance is strongly recommended from time of booking. Cancellation fees will not be waived in any circumstances where travel insurance may have covered you.
Cancellation by Pacific Trailways:
1. Tour Operation. If the tour cannot operate due to insufficient numbers, Pacific Trailways reserves the right to offer an alternative departure, or a full refund. 2. Aircraft Operation (prior to tour departure). If the featured DC3 aircraft is rendered unable to operate before the tour starts, Pacific Trailways will make every effort to arrange a similar aircraft. If another aircraft cannot be chartered, Pacific Trailways will refund all monies paid. In the cancellation circumstances above (1. & 2.), a full refund of tour price paid will be the full extent of our responsibility to you the client. 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.
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 DC3 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.
Aircraft Operation (during the tour). In the event the chartered DC3 aircraft is rendered unserviceable or unable to operate for any reason during the tour, Pacific Trailways will make every effort to use suitable chartered aircraft and/or scheduled air services to complete the affected tour sectors. If suitable chartered and/or scheduled 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 DC3 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.
Luggage on tour – limits per passenger.
(1.) One small to medium soft-sided cabin/overnight bag weighing no more than 10 kg (22 pounds) that can be stowed in the DC3’s forward hold each day to meet NZCAA safety regulations (the DC3 has no overhead lockers). (2.) 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 DC3 aircraft has no onboard space for large luggage. Ground crew will transfer your large luggage items from hotel to hotel by van, each day of the tour. On occasions when same-day connections are not possible we will advise you (ahead of time) to take an overnight bag on the aircraft to carry your next day’s clothing and personal items with you.
Seat change daily. To provide a fair and equitable viewing experience for all tour participants a daily seat change policy applies aboard the DC3 aircraft (and in tour coaches). The process will be explained during the tour and all tour party members are expected to participate.
Hotels. Four star hotel accommodation is the tour standard. In overnight locations without four star accommodation we have secured the best available hotels. In such locations, 3.5 star standard applies as ‘best available’. Tour accommodation is on the basis of standard ‘twin or double’ rooms that may not include lake or scenic views.
Guaranteed Single tour members. Limited single occupancy rooms may be available at the time of booking. To secure a guaranteed single occupancy room, the Single Room Supplement price must be added to the per person share twin price.
Twin share rooming for single tour members. Single travellers may book ‘twin share’ basis and Pacific Trailways will make every effort to select appropriate same gender roommate pairings. Single 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Passport & Visa Requirements. 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.
Air New Zealand flight, last day of tour. The DC-3 Southern Highlights Air Tour includes a scheduled domestic Air NZ service from Christchurch to your home (or preferred) New Zealand destination on the final day of the tour (Tour Day 10). Destinations outside New Zealand are not included. The domestic flight will occur on Tour Day 10, from Christchurch only, and is not transferable in any way. If the Air NZ network is disrupted on Tour Day 10, Pacific Trailways reserves the right to amend flight bookings or to substitute alternative air or ground transport to complete the Tour Day 10 sector. If air or ground transport is substituted, no refund or reimbursement applies and the air or ground transport substitution is the full extent of our responsibility to you.
Tour Day 10 transfer (final day of tour). At New Zealand destination airports serviced by the Super Shuttle network, a transfer is included (applies for urban area transfers only).
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 DC3 Air Tour to the stated itinerary schedule but is not responsible for any missed connections before or after your tour.
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.
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.
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, 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.
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) strikes, industrial action, weather or any other man-made or natural occurrence.
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.
9 Breakfasts, 9 Dinners
Wairakei Resort, Taupo (4-Star)
Copthorne Solway Resort, Masterton (4-Star)
Rutherford Hotel, Nelson (4.5-Star)
Scenic Hotel, Franz Josef Glacier (4-Star)
Edgewater Resort, Wanaka (4-Star)
The Rees Hotel, Queenstown (5 star)
Distinction Hotel Christchurch (4.5 star)
Classic DC-3 Airliner
Air New Zealand flight (last day of tour)
Luxury coach for ground sightseeing
Transfer to Ardmore Airport (Day 1. Auckland area only)
Transfer from home NZ airport (Day 10. Super Shuttle network & urban area only)
Itinerary Visits and Activities
Air Safaris Grand Traverse flight
Earnslaw Steamship Gourmet BBQ Dinner Cruise
Taste of Taupo Lake Cruise
Jet boat ride (Haast River)
Pukaha Mt Bruce Wildlife Centre
Wine tasting (Martinborough)
Beer tasting (Nelson)
Two premier Aviation Museums (Ashburton & Christchurch)
International Antarctic Centre
And much more…