South Island Festive Highlights
Celebrate Christmas like never before in New Zealand's South Island as you spend the festive season celebrating Christmas Day on the TSS Earnslaw with a gourmet lunch. This journey allows you to marvel at the spectacular Mt Cook, enjoy panoramic views of the Southern Alps on the TranzAlpine rail journey and cruise the fascinating Milford Sound.
- Spend Christmas cruising across Lake Wakatipu on the TSS Earnslaw accompanied by a gourmet Christmas lunch.
- Enjoy a city sights tour of both Christchurch and Dunedin.
- Take the iconic TranzAlpine rail journey through the Southern Alps to Arthur's Pass.
South Island Festive Highlights
Day 1 : Arrive Christchurch
On arrival into Christchurch you will be met by a Grand Pacific Tours representative and transferred to your hotel. This evening meet your travelling companions.
Hotel Quality Hotel Elms (2 nights)
Day 2 : Christchurch (Free Day)
Today is a free day to explore Christchurch. Enjoy a journey on board the Christchurch Tram at leisure, one of Christchurch’s leading attractions.
Day 3 : Christchurch - Arthur’s Pass – Fox Glacier
This morning board the TranzAlpine, renowned as one of the great train journeys of the world. Travel over massive viaducts, river valleys and spectacular gorges as you ascend to Arthur’s Pass located in the centre of the Southern Alps. Board your coach and travel to Hokitika, famous for its Greenstone before continuing to Fox Glacier where time is available to experience a scenic flight (optional, weather permitting) over the spectacular glaciers.
Hotel Heartland Hotel Fox Glacier
Day 4 : Fox Glacier - Queenstown
See the snow-capped peaks of the Southern Alps as you travel south via the Haast Pass, an area of stunning beauty. At Arrowtown, an old gold mining village, visit the Lakes District Museum. Continue to picturesque Queenstown, situated on the shores of magical Lake Wakatipu. Spend the next two nights at this year-round resort which offers a wide range of activities and attractions.
Hotel Copthorne Hotel and Resort Lakefront or similar (2 nights)
Day 5 : Queenstown - Christmas Day
Merry Christmas! Today board the vintage steamship TSS Earnslaw and cruise across Lake Wakatipu to Walter Peak Station. Enjoy a gourmet Christmas lunch and the best of NZ’s high-country cuisine in the Colonel’s Homestead. Reboard the TSS Earnslaw and enjoy a sing along by the piano on your return cruise to Queenstown. This evening is free to dine at leisure.
Day 6 : Queenstown - Te Anau
This morning travel to Te Anau, the gateway to Fiordland. Enjoy a fascinating drive to Milford Sound where you board your launch for a cruise on this magnificent fiord. See the spectacular Bowen Falls and towering Mitre Peak as you enjoy a picnic lunch onboard. This afternoon return to Te Anau where some free time is available. You might like to cap off your Fiordland experience by watching the breathtaking film, Ata Whenua - Shadowland, which screens at the Fiordland Cinema (optional).
Hotel Distinction Luxmore Hotel (Superior Room)
Day 7 : Te Anau - Dunedin
Travel via Gore and Balclutha to Dunedin known as the ‘Edinburgh of the South’ and enjoy a city tour. Tonight a Scottish evening will be presented comprising of bagpipes, great food, special Haggis Ceremony and gift.
Hotel Heritage Dunedin Leisure Lodge
Day 8 : Dunedin – Mt Cook - Omarama
Travel along the Otago Peninsula to Larnach Castle where you will hear of the tragic and scandalous history on a guided tour. Enjoy time to wander this Garden of International Significance followed by a delicious Devonshire Tea. Travel to Oamaru famous for its limestone, then follow the Waitaki River and see Lake Benmore as you continue to marvel at Mt Cook, New Zealand’s highest peak. The opportunity is available to enjoy a scenic flight (optional, weather permitting) over the Southern Alps. Travel to Omarama for your overnight stay.
Hotel Heritage Gateway Hotel
Day 9 : Omarama - Christchurch
Continue to Lake Tekapo and view the brilliant turquoise water, the Church of the Good Shepherd and the Sheep Dog Statue before arriving into Christchurch for a city tour.
Hotel Quality Hotel Elms
Day 10 : Christchurch
Time to say goodbye. You will be transferred to the airport for your flight home after a memorable New Zealand holiday.