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Travel dates: 1 February 2022
New Zealand tour itinerary name and information
8 Day South Island Snow & Soak Package

Starting in Christchurch you will experience the serenity of the Mackenzie District and Aoraki/Mt Cook before heading into Wanaka for some time on the slopes at Cardrona Alpine Resort. Finish your escape in Queenstown with time in the iconic Central Otago wine region and of course, more opportunities to soak your stress away.

Tour full itinerary
Day 1 - Welcome to Christchurch
8 Day South Island Snow & Soak Package - Day 1
Welcome to Christchurch City

Collect your rental car on arrival into the airport and then spend the rest of the day exploring the city of Christchurch.

See here for the full range of rental cars available for this tour.

Tour documents and itinerary

Once you touch down in New Zealand your detailed tour pack will be hand delivered by one of our trusted representatives. The pack contains everything you need for the duration of your stay. It will include a comprehensive, printed and bound version of your itinerary as well as clear driving instructions and maps for each leg of your journey. It also contains all the reservation details for your accommodation and activities - along with relevant brochures and information. While in New Zealand we offer 24 hour support - details on how to contact us at any time will be well documented.

Collect your rental car

This tour can be priced with any of the rental cars available in our fantastic range, from economy hatchbacks to prestige saloons and SUV's.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Wine Matched Dinner Onboard the Christchurch Restaurant Tram

A truly unique dining experience in the heart of Christchurch. You'll board a historic colonial-style dining tram for an unforgettable moving four-course restaurant experience with wine matching. Journey along the inner city tram loop taking in the regenerating central business district as you enjoy gourmet cuisine and a complimentary drink. Lasting two and a half hours, you'll take three laps of the tram line passing New Regent street, The Avon River, High Street and Victoria Square.

Your accommodation: The Muse Christchurch

The Muse is a place where culture, business, and art come together. The hotel boasts a fusion of designer chic surroundings, expressive local art and luxurious comforts to provide each guest with a unique and exceptional experience during their stay. This is the ideal hotel for any purpose of visit and will pleasantly surprise even the most seasoned guest in Christchurch.
The Muse Christchurch

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 1 kms / 1 miles : 0.0 hours

Day 2 - Head into the Mackenzie region and relax at Lake Tekapo
8 Day South Island Snow & Soak Package - Day 2
Christchurch to Lake Tekapo

Today you head into the heart of the South Island. Crossing the vast Canterbury Plains along the inland scenic route the first township of Geraldine offers an ideal refreshment stop before you head into Mackenzie country.
Passing through places such as Beautiful Valley it's not hard to understand where the names originate. Ascending Burkes Pass and onto the high country plateau and the picturesque town of Lake Tekapo, the first of the large Southern Lakes. It's a great place to take a scenic flight, enjoy a guided horse trek, a boat trip on the pristine lake or just enjoy the magnificent views.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Dark Sky Project Summit Experience

Earth and Sky Stargazing tour departs nightly from the office in the Lake Tekapo township. Travel to the Mt John observatory high above the village where you will explore features of the majestic Southern Sky. Earth and Sky provide the equipment and the guidance, all you need to bring are keen eyes, warm clothes and a desire to see, learn, and experience.
Navigating your way through the Southern Sky using various telescopes and the naked eye, you will see amazing sights such as our own Milky Way Galaxy, the Southern Cross, Alpha-Centauri - our closest neighbouring star at only 4.3 light years away, and Sirius - the brightest star in our sky.
Behold and learn about our closest neighbouring galaxies, the Magellanic Clouds, which grace our night sky along with constellations such as Orion the Hunter and Scorpius.
You may also have the opportunity to see star clusters like the beautiful Jewel Box; awe inspiring planets; nebulae, immense clouds of gas and dust; and distant galaxies which test the limits of human imagination.

Tekapo Springs Hot Pools

Tekapo Springs offers three adjoining main Hot Pools for you to sit back, relax and enjoy yourself while looking out to the beautiful Two Thumb range and stunning Lake Tekapo. Pool temperatures range from forty degrees celsius to thirty-six degrees celsius and each pool offers something different - massage jets to assist in taking away any aches and pains and fountains to splash under.

Your accommodation: Peppers Bluewater Resort, Lake Tekapo

Peppers Bluewater sits overlooking stunning Lake Tekapo and the Southern Alps and is just a short walk to the small towns facilities. Also close by is the Tekapo Springs Day Spa, a great place to relax after a day exploring. Facilities include an on site restaurant and bar.

Meals included: Breakfast

Peppers Bluewater Resort, Lake Tekapo

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 247 kms / 153 miles : 2.9 hours

Day 3 - Explore Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park then head to Twizel for a unique view of the Southern Sky
8 Day South Island Snow & Soak Package - Day 3
Lake Tekapo to Mt. Cook National Park

Lake Pukaki is just another 30 minutes from Lake Tekapo and its from here you can be rewarded with spectacular views the full length of the lake and into Mt. Cook National Park. In Mt. Cook Village a myriad of activities are available from glacier landings by ski plane or helicopter, kayaking on a glacial lake and a host of walks to suit all abilities and time frames. At The Hermitage Hotel the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre is a must see. Please note there are no food or shops at Mount Cook you will need to stock up prior to arriving in Mount Cook if you wish to self cater.

Walking tracks in and around Aoraki / Mt. Cook National Park

There are many short scenic walks beginning in and around the Mt. Cook Village, suitable for all ages and abilities. Located within the Mount Cook Village is the Department of Conservation information centre, where updates on the track conditions and suitability is available as well as information on the history of the area and its wildlife.

Mt. Cook National Park to Twizel

A short drive south along the spectacular Mt Cook Highway to join the main road south and onto Twizel. Twizel occupies a central location in the Mt. Cook/ Mackenzie region, with the Southern Alps as a backdrop, the town is close to five picturesque lakes, including a world-standard rowing course and Formula One class boating area at Lake Ruataniwha. It’s a fishing mecca so if catching salmon, brown or rainbow trout is what you dream of then don’t go past any of Twizel's rivers, lakes or canals. For the adventurous Twizel's terrain is ideal for skydiving, rock and mountain climbing and close by is Ohau Ski Field and in Tekapo, Round Hill ski field is ideal for families. Twizel has a rich but brief history linked to the development of the massive Waitaki Valley hydroelectric scheme. The town started life as a temporary place for the workers on the scheme and when completed the land and buildings were sold off in government lotteries. Now it’s a holiday home paradise.

Your accommodation: Skyscape

Experience the wild beauty of New Zealand’s Mackenzie Country. This distinctive accommodation is designed to maximise the extraordinary views of the Mackenzie Country both day and night, with your bedroom built predominantly of glass.

Meals included: Breakfast

Skyscape

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 166 kms / 103 miles : 1.8 hours

Day 4 - Make your way to Wanaka, and relax by the lake
8 Day South Island Snow & Soak Package - Day 4
Twizel to Wanaka

Just south of Twizel is Omarama, the gliding capital of New Zealand. Wrinkly Rams is a local café and also offers an informative sheep shearing demonstration. The Lindis Pass is one of New Zealand’s highest roads with the summit reaching 971 metres. The tussock covered hills offer an unusual contrast as you pass from the Mackenzie Basin and into Central Otago.  The first Central Otago settlement you reach is the quaint village of Tarras, which has a number of boutique stores and a lovely café.  Approaching Wanaka the wonderful alpine lake welcomes you to the town. Despite its size, Wanaka has a wide variety of activities available. In winter it is, without doubt, New Zealand's premier ski destination with its very close proximity to Treble Cone and Cardrona ski fields. Mt Aspiring National Park sits to the western edge of the lake and offers wonderful walking tracks for all abilities; the Rob Roy Track is a great introduction to this spectacular park. Fishing, sailing and water skiing are popular pastimes on the lake and the many beach access points provide great spots for picnics and relaxing.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Lake Wanaka Happy Hour Cruise

Leaving from the Wanaka lakefront, take a gentle cruise around picturesque Lake Wanaka while relaxing with a glass of local wine or beer and a selection of cheeses. The cruise is fully licensed so further drinks can be purchased on board.
The cruise takes you toward the 'Wanaka Tree' before tracking up to Waterfall Creek and Ruby Island. You then head across to Stevensons Peninsula before returning via Beacon Point and Eely Point.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Stevenson Island Cruise & Nature Walk

Take a leisurely 40 minute cruise out to Stevensons Peninsula and then into Stevensons Arm, home to Mount Burke high country sheep station. Rolling green pastures precede Mount Gold and Mount Burke which rise majestically into the Eastern skyline. Relax in comfort as you cruise up the arm to Stevensons Island where Dual Image will make a beach landing. Your guide will take you ashore via the front loading ramp for a short hike to the summit of the Island and some excellent photo opportunities. Stevensons Island is an inspiration for photographers - shaped by winds that funnel down the arm, rock and twisted trunks meld into nature's finest backdrop. Your experience is complete with afternoon tea on return to Dual Image and another 40 minute scenic cruise back to the Wanaka waterfront.

Your accommodation: Edgewater

Edgewater is Wanaka's leading hotel located right on the edge of Lake Wanaka. A short stroll to the town centres shops, cafes and restaurants and close to many walking trails the resort is ideal to explore this wonderful Alpine setting.

Meals included: Breakfast

Edgewater

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 139 kms / 86 miles : 1.6 hours

Day 5 - Today you will hit the slopes at Cardrona or Treble Cone
8 Day South Island Snow & Soak Package - Day 5
Wanaka

The alpine village of Wanaka sits on the shores of the third largest lake in the Queenstown Lakes District and is surrounded by the southern alps. Wanaka draws those seeking adventure, spectacular scenery and a relaxed atmosphere.
During winter the town's population more than triples as snow sports enthusiasts flock to the local ski fields of Treble Cone and Cardrona. Known as the gateway to the Mt Aspiring National Park, Wanaka is a walker's paradise of remote wilderness, high mountains and beautiful river valleys. For those seeking an adrenaline rush try skydiving, rock-climbing, jet boating or choose a scenic flight over Wanaka in a historic Tiger Moth aeroplane.

Cardrona & Treble Cone ski field 1 Day Lift Pass and Rental Package

Lift and Rental packages include a full mountain day pass and skis/boots/poles or snowboard/boots. This can be used at either Cardrona or Treble Cone ski field.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Cardrona Distillery Classic Tour

The tour includes a journey through the working distillery and barrelhouse and finishes with a tutored tasting of Cardrona Distillery's artisan spirits.

Your accommodation: Edgewater

Edgewater is Wanaka's leading hotel located right on the edge of Lake Wanaka. A short stroll to the town centres shops, cafes and restaurants and close to many walking trails the resort is ideal to explore this wonderful Alpine setting.

Meals included: Breakfast

Edgewater
Day 6 - Head over the Crown Range to Queenstown and treat yourself to a tasting or lunch in Gibbston Valley
8 Day South Island Snow & Soak Package - Day 6
Wanaka to Queenstown

Leaving Wanaka you head over New Zealand's highest sealed road, Crown Range Road before dropping into Queenstown.

Gibbston

To the east of Queenstown, tucked inside the Kawarau Gorge is the Gibbston. Stretching to Lake Hayes in Arrowtown, Gibbston is known for its wineries.

Bordering the road on both sides the land is extensively planted with grapes, and there are many opportunities to taste the pinot noir, a variety the region is famous for. Some of its notable wineries include Peregrine, Chard Farm, Gibbston Valley and Two Paddocks.

An ideal spot for lunch is Amisfield Winery and Bistro - a must for any foodie - located at Lake Hayes, just a 10 minute drive from central Queenstown, or, for a more family-friendly option there is the Fume restaurant at Gibbston Valley Wines.

The Gibbston isn't just about wine, opposite Chard Farm is the Kawarau Suspension Bridge built in 1880 to provide access to the goldfields in the region. 108 years later it became the location of the world’s first commercial bungy jumping operation and you can still take the 43 metre leap today.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - The Original Onsen Evening Session

Enjoy the most memorable experience in Queenstown and surround yourself with a sky of stars and 14 Japanese lanterns as you soak up the warm waters of the Onsen Hot Pools. Nestled high into a cliff-side overlooking the magnificent Shotover River canyon, the experience is all about unwinding and soaking-up Queenstown's spectacular scenery, enjoying the pure waters and the fresh mountain air as your mind and body surrenders to the deep penetrating warmth and gentle massage of the private pools. Water temperature is set according to the day - generally between 37.8C on a hot day, to 39.8C during a snow-storm and in the summer one of the pools is kept cold for those who relish the thought of a cold plunge!

Your accommodation: Sherwood Queenstown

Sherwood is an eco-friendly hotel with an on-site restaurant and bar. The property is set on a hillside overlooking the picturesque Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkables Mountain Range. Located just 5 minutes drive from Queenstown City Centre, and 8 minutes drive from Queenstown Airport. Coronet Peak and The Remarkables ski areas are a 30 minute drive away.

Meals included: Breakfast

Sherwood Queenstown

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 58 kms / 36 miles : 0.9 hours

Day 7 - Explore Queenstown
8 Day South Island Snow & Soak Package - Day 7
Explore Queenstown and surrounds

Although celebrated as New Zealand's ‘adventure capital’ Queenstown offers far more than a fast paced action-packed holiday. Settled on the shores of Lake Wakatipu beneath a soaring panorama of the Remarkables Mountain Range, this alpine town is surrounded by a plethora of historic, gastronomic and scenic wonders.
Head down the Gibbston wine trail to sample some of the region’s best Pinot or catch a ride on the 100 year old Steamship - the TSS Earnslaw -  to Walter Peak Station for dinner and a farm tour. Browse the waterfront cafes and have lunch at Michelin star chef Josh Emett's ‘Rata.’ Check out nearby historic Arrowtown and enhance your experience with a four wheel drive trip to Macetown.
Take a leisurely lakeside stroll or ride the gondola for breathtaking views. Venture further afield into the Fiordland National Park or head over the Crown Range to Wanaka. Drive through Lord Of The Rings country - or for the really fanatic, jump aboard one of many dedicated LOTR tours. And after all of that - if you do really want the adrenaline rush Queenstown is known for, take your pick from the Shotover Jet, Canyon Swing, Zipline, Luge or Heli-ski.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - NZSki New Zealand Superpass: 1 Day Lift Pass

The New Zealand Superpass is the most flexible lift pass in New Zealand, giving you access to ski and ride Queenstown’s closest mountains – Coronet Peak and The Remarkables or Methven's Mt Hutt. Get more choice, more fun and more snow time with your New Zealand Superpass and make the most of your New Zealand holiday!
The New Zealand 1 Day Superpass is your ticket to fun both on or off the mountains. The New Zealand Superpass can also be used as a Twilight Pass on applicable days at Coronet Peak (visit the Guest Services Desk to swap to a Twilight Pass). If you decide not to ski you can also swap your New Zealand Superpass for credit towards a selection of off-mountain activities, retail stores, bars and restaurants in Queenstown and Methven.
Want to ski a little longer, don't own your own gear or snow clothing, or not sure if your skills are up to scratch?
No worries, chat to us about adding additional days, rentals, or lessons.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Appellation Boutique Wine Tour

Experience a tasting journey through three of Central Otago’s incredibly scenic and varying wine sub-regions; Gibbston, Bannockburn and Cromwell. Visit three boutique vineyards, tasting their unique cool climate wines and discover why the Central Otago region has become world-renowned in its own right.
Indulge at a fourth vineyard restaurant for a platter-style lunch, savouring the finest and freshest produce, accompanied with a wine flight.
There will also be an opportunity to retrace history when you stroll through the charming historical settlement of Old Cromwell.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Twilight Wine & Craft Beer Tour with Altitude Tours

Visit three unique locations around Queenstown and Gibbston with a minimum of 12 tastings of some of the finest drops in the region. If beer is more your thing then bounce from vines to hops and taste some local craft beers instead. Better yet, it departs at 3.45pm meaning you can still go out paddle-boarding or bungy jumping in the morning, or even fly in from out of town. Shared antipasto platters are also included at the final stop, a perfect starter for once you finish the tour and head into town for a meal (or more wine).

Your accommodation: Sherwood Queenstown

Sherwood is an eco-friendly hotel with an on-site restaurant and bar. The property is set on a hillside overlooking the picturesque Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkables Mountain Range. Located just 5 minutes drive from Queenstown City Centre, and 8 minutes drive from Queenstown Airport. Coronet Peak and The Remarkables ski areas are a 30 minute drive away.

Meals included: Breakfast

Sherwood Queenstown
Day 8 - Time to go home feeling relaxed and rejuvinated
Depart Queenstown today

Drop your rental car at the Queenstown airport today and farewell New Zealand.

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 1 kms / 1 miles : 0.0 hours