Day 1: Leave the U.S. on a flight bound for New Zealand. Lose a day on the calendar as you cross the International Dateline.
Day 2: Arrive in Auckland and transfer to a flight that will take you to Christchurch, the beginning of this amazing adventure. Your first evening will be spent at the exclusive Willowbank Wildlife Reserve where you will enjoy a formal greeting by a group of native performers. After traditional Maori entertainment and buffet dinner, tour the Reserve and see the wildlife both native and introduced to New Zealand. On the way back to the city you’ll be treated to a guided nighttime tour of Christchurch.
Days 3 & 4: Christchurch — Explore this beautiful city, known for its amazing gardens. Hagley Park, the Botanic Gardens, Victoria Square, and the spectacular Mona Vale on the banks of the River Avon, all help give Christchurch the nickname, The Garden City. Optional excursions will be available.
Day 5: Christchurch/Mt. Cook/Queensland — Travel south today via Lake Tekapo where you can view the solitary Church of the Good Shepherd. Continue alongside the Tasman River to Mt. Cook National Park. Enjoy a hosted lunch as you enjoy the spectacular scenery of this beautiful park. Continue southward through the beautiful countryside as you make your way to Queenstown.
Day 6: Queenstown — Spend a free day enjoying all New Zealand’s adventure capital has to offer, from the incredible beauty to extreme adventures. Optional excursions will be available.
Day 7: Queenstown — Continue your exploration of this fun four-season city from its majestic mountains to its crystal clear lakes and glacial fjords with the many available optional excursions. Join your friends on a scenic gondola ride to the breathtaking vistas of the Skyline complex high above Queenstown for a special farewell dinner as you prepare to leave this exotic land.
Day 8: Board a return flight to Auckland with onward connections to the U.S. and Canada.
- Alpine Safari by Road, Train and Boat Drive by road through the Canterbury Plains to the Waimakariri Canyon in the foothills of the rugged Southern Alps. Travel by jet boat into the canyon past train viaducts, waterfalls and thick beech forest. Travel in a 4×4 vehicle across Torlesse Station while viewing the spectacular alpine scenery. Following lunch at Te Kowhai Cafe, travel on the historic state highway to Arthurs Pass National Park and join the TranzAlpine train for the return journey to Christchurch.
- Akaroa Day Tour Depart Christchurch and drive to Akaroa via Sign of the Takahe and Little River. Stop at the hill-top on the volcanic rim for panoramic views of Akaroa Village, harbor and surrounding areas. Stop at the Barrys Bay Cheese Factory to taste New Zealand cheeses. Continue to Akaroa and explore the craft shops and old French colonial buildings. Enjoy lunch in Akaroa and join the Canterbury Cat for an Akaroa Harbour cruise to see dolphins, penguins and seals before returning to Christchurch.
- Kaikoura Discover the Whales This full-day tour travels north from Christchurch through North Canterbury to the township of Kaikoura. Here, the ocean's continental shelf is very close to the shore—with over 200 species of marine life. See hundreds of fur seals, spectacular leaping dolphins and sperm whales. Kaikoura is also on the migratory route for pods of orca ("killer") whales, pilot whales and the rare blue whale. View whales in their natural environment (weather permitting). Departs daily at 7:45 AM and returns approximately 6:30 PM.
- Hammer Springs Tour Just north of Christchurch is the small alpine destination of Hanmer Springs—perfect for rest, relaxation or adventure. Sit back and relax in natural outdoor thermal waters or opt for a thrill-seeking adventure of an exhilarating jetboat ride or breathtaking bungy jump (own expense)!
- Tramway Restaurant A truly unique experience in restaurant dining! Relax in the luxury of a colonial style dining tram and be treated to superb service and cuisine, breathtaking scenery and cultural heritage. The 36-seat tram departs daily at 7:30PM from the Train Station tram stop in Cathedral Junction.
This would be so totally amazing to go on!! I have not yet earned a trip with CTMH but am going to try my hardest to earn this one. I will be using my blog to keep you all updated on my progress for earning this incentive trip. It's not til January 2010, but all the hard work will obviously be well worth it!