Hidden Gold of the South Island
|Resort:||Hidden Gold of the South Island|
|Operator:||Wendy Wu Tours|
Discover the hidden gold of New Zealand’s South Island on an exciting new Wendy Wu tour. Our New Zealand staff have carefully selected their idea of ‘gold’ in the South Island, but always with a traditional Wendy Wu Asian flair! Journey from the spectacular Otago Peninsula to Fiordland National Park for a breath-taking overnight cruise. Explore charming Arrowtown with its gold rush history, and tranquil Lake Wanaka. Head up to Mt Cook for a Big Sky Experience and a visit to the glacier terminus, and finish the tour with Hector’s dolphins and eclectic art in Akaroa. Everything’s included transport, accommodation, meals and a fun sociable group of like-minded travellers, all keen to experience the hidden gold of New Zealand’s South Island.
Day 1-3: Fly to Dunedin
On arrival on Day 3, transfer to your hotel followed by a welcome briefing and dinner at the iconic Larnach Castle.
Day 4: Dunedin Otago Peninsula
This morning take a scenic drive along the Otago Peninsula to ‘Penguin Place’ to view the endangered yellow-eyed penguins, both in the rehabilitation facility and in the reserve itself. Drive to St Clair Beach for lunch at The Esplanade on the waterfront. After lunch return to Dunedin’s centre for some free time to explore the iconic train station, numerous museums or perhaps some shopping. Later this afternoon enjoy a guided garden tour of the Chinese Public Gardens followed by dinner in their lovely themed surrounds.
Day 5: Dunedin Fiordland National Park
Rise early to drive to Manapouri, stopping briefly in Gore along the way. After grabbing our pre-ordered picnic lunches, begin our adventure in Fiordland National Park by crossing the waters of Lake Manapouri. A coach will take us up and over the Wilmot Pass to Deep Cove where we’ll board our overnight vessel, The Navigator. In the afternoon, there are plenty of water activities, as well as wildlife sightings, to keep us busy. In the evening, a 3-course buffet dinner will be a served onboard.
Day 6: Fiordland National Park – Arrowtown
After breakfast, enjoy the rest of the morning exploring other parts of the fiord before returning to Deep Cove, and arriving back at Manapouri late morning. We drive to the delightful village of Arrowtown for lunch at the Five Rivers Caf & Art Gallery, before checking in at our accommodation at the luxury Millbrook Resort. This evening well enjoy an Asian-fusion dinner in Arrowtown.
Day 7: Arrowtown Skippers Canyon & Queenstown
This morning take an exciting 4WD safari tour through Skippers Canyon, visiting the famous suspension bridge, the original Skippers Township and a chance to try your luck panning for gold! Lunch will be at Provisions of Arrowtown, a pretty caf set in an historic miner’s cottage, and then there’s some free time to relax or explore Arrowtown’s quaint shops and scenic walking trails. This evening drive to Queenstown for a stroll along the stunning waterfront, and enjoy an Asian-fusion style dinner at Blue Kanu, before returning to Arrowtown for the night.
Day 8: Arrowtown – Bannockburn – Wanaka
Take a fascinating guided tour of Lakes District Museum & Chinese Settlement in Arrowtown, before driving to Bannockburn for lunch and wine tasting at stunning Mt Difficulty Vineyard. After a further wine tasting visit to Felton Road Winery, continue driving to Lake Wanaka in time for dinner at Little India.
Day 9: Wanaka Mount Cook
This morning visit Warbirds & Wheels Museum with lunch at their retro 50s Diner. After lunch drive to Mount Cook with a brief stop en route in Omarama. Check in to the famous Hermitage Hotel and enjoy dinner in their Panorama Room restaurant, with stunning views of the mountains. After dinner join the Big Sky Stargazing Experience to view the wonders above.
Day 10: Mount Cook Glacier Tour & Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre
Join the Glacier Explorers tour to Mt Cook terminal lake – a lovely half hour alpine walk through the National Park plus a short boat ride amongst icebergs of all shapes and sizes, to view the glacier ice face. Enjoy lunch at the Old Mountaineer’s Caf which enjoys stunning views of Mt Cook. After lunch visit the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre, Museum and Digital Dome Planetarium. Dinner will be in the Panorama Room at the Hermitage.
Day 11: Mount Cook- Lake Tekapo – Christchurch
Drive to Lake Tekapo for a stop at the iconic Church of the Good Shepherd and a visit to Tekapo Springs Hot Pools for a relaxing soak (towels will be provided). Lunch will be at the stunning Rakinui Restaurant at Peppers Bluewater Resort, overlooking Lake Tekapo. This afternoon enjoy the scenic drive to Christchurch, our final destination, for a short post-earthquake city tour. Dinner will be around the teppan-yaki table at Yamagen Japanese Restaurant.
Day 12: Christchurch Akaroa Christchurch
Drive to pretty Akaroa, stopping at Little River Caf & Gallery on the way. At Akaroa, join a harbour tour (choose from 3hr Swimming with Dolphins or 2hr Dolphin & Nature Cruise). Enjoy lunch and a tour at The Giant’s House, with its quirky mosaic gardens, before returning to Christchurch via a delicious stop at the Barry Bay Cheese Factory. Dinner this evening will be at Asian-fusion restaurant, King of Snake.
Day 13: Depart Christchurch
After breakfast, your tour ends. Transfer to Christchurch Airport for onward flights.