Grand Pacific Tours 11 Day Ultimate South Island Christmas
Christchurch to Christchurch
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Grand Pacific Ultimate

Grand Pacific Tours 11 Day Ultimate South Island Christmas

Celebrate Christmas with a difference with Grand Pacific's 11-day Ultimate South Island Christmas tour. Travel in an intimate group of just 20, with a special Christmas-themed New Zealand adventure. Christmas will be celebrated in Queenstown after returning from a wonderful Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise. Also included is a comprehensive range of prepaid attractions.  So go ahead, spoil yourself and let Santa come early this year.

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Quick Itinerary Details

Small group tour escorted

This suggested tour costs from NZD$6,599 per person (twin share, low season)

Starts in Christchurch, finishes in Christchurch

11 days/10 nights

Hotel 4 star

 Pre and post tour options? YES

 Viewed 29 times in the last 7 days

Tour Inclusions

Complimentary pre-dinner welcome drink
Lakes District Museum
10 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 9 dinners, 2 special dinners
Tour at a glance

Day 1: Arrive into Christchurch
Accommodation: The George (or similar)

Day 2: Explore Christchurch including the International Antarctic Centre
Accommodation: The George (or similar)

Day 3: Christchurch to Mt Cook via the picturesque Lake Tekapo
Accommodation: The Hermitage Hotel (or similar)

Day 4: Head to the coast today and enjoy adventuring in Dunedin
Accommodation: Distinction Dunedin Hotel (or similar)

Day 5: Dunedin to Te Anau the entrance to Fiordland
Accommodation: Distinction Te Anau Hotel & Villas (or similar)

Day 6: From Te Anau to Doubtful for your overnight cruise
Accommodation: Fiordland Navigator, Doubtful Sound

Day 7: Christmas Day
Accommodation: Millennium Hotel Queenstown (or similar)

Day 8: Queenstown free day in the adventure capital
Accommodation: Millennium Hotel Queenstown (or similar)

Day 9: Queenstown up the wild west coast to Franz Josef
Accommodation: Te Waonui Forest Retreat (or similar)

Day 10: Franz Josef inland to Christchurch
Accommodation: The George (or similar)

Day 11: Depart Christchurch

Tour full itinerary

Detailed itinerary: 11 day tour starting in Christchurch

Day 1 - Arrive into Christchurch
Grand Pacific Tours 11 Day Ultimate South Island Christmas - Day 1
Arrive Christchurch City

On arrival into Christchurch you will be met by a Grand Pacific Tours representative and transferred to your hotel. This evening enjoy a complimentary pre-dinner drink when you meet your Tour Leader and travelling companions for dinner.

Grand Pacific 11 Day Ultimate Christmas Tour

Celebrate Christmas with a difference on the Ultimate Coach. Grand Pacific Tours is delighted to offer only 20 travellers this exclusive opportunity to travel on board our Ultimate Coach during the festive season. Travel in style as you witness the spectacular South Island and enjoy the festive season Kiwi style. Christmas will be celebrated with a traditional Christmas dinner at Walter Peak Station, a high country sheep station near Queenstown. Also included is a comprehensive range of prepaid attractions. So go ahead spoil yourself and let Santa come early this year.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Grand Pacific Merchandise

Quality merchandise is great value for money and will provide a special memento of your holiday for years to come. Tour jackets and tour caps are avai...

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Quality merchandise is great value for money and will provide a special memento of your holiday for years to come. Tour jackets and tour caps are available for purchase. Merchandise items must be ordered at the time of booking and are not available for purchase in New Zealand

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Your accommodation: The George (or similar)

The George is the essence of supreme comfort. The award winning 5 star hotel is opposite Hagley Park and just a few minutes stroll from the Botanic Gardens. Two superb award winning on site restaurants also feature.
Meals included: Dinner
Day 2 - Explore Christchurch including the International Antarctic Centre
Grand Pacific Tours 11 Day Ultimate South Island Christmas - Day 2
Christchurch

This morning visit the International Antarctic Centre, designed to provide an informative account of life in Antarctica. Feel the chill of the Antarctic storm room, take a ride on the Hagglund all-terrain vehicle, see the little blue penguins, and be astonished within the immersive 4D theatre. This is followed by a city tour of Christchurch. The remainder of the afternoon and evening is at leisure to explore further.

International Antarctic Centre General Admission

The International Antarctic Centre aims to recreate the atmosphere and environment of Antarctica, providing visitors with an interactive, fun and educational experience. Feel the full Four Seasons of Antarctica, where you'll experience a custom-built snow and ice experience, then warm up in the Scott Base interior exhibit, a replica Antarctic field camp or other informative displays in the gallery. You'll also learn about life in modern day Antarctica, view real little blue penguins and experience a thrilling ride in a Hagglund all terrain vehicle.

Your accommodation: The George (or similar)

The George is the essence of supreme comfort. The award winning 5 star hotel is opposite Hagley Park and just a few minutes stroll from the Botanic Gardens. Two superb award winning on site restaurants also feature.
Meals included: Breakfast
Day 3 - Christchurch to Mt Cook via the picturesque Lake Tekapo
Grand Pacific Tours 11 Day Ultimate South Island Christmas - Day 3
Christchurch to Mt. Cook

Travel through the southern Canterbury Plains to Lake Tekapo. See the brilliant turquoise water, the Church of the Good Shepherd and the Sheep Dog Statue. Marvel at the spectacular mountain ranges including Aoraki/Mt Cook, New Zealand’s highest peak. The opportunity is available to enjoy a scenic flight (optional, weather permitting) over the Southern Alps.

Your accommodation: The Hermitage Hotel (or similar)

The Hermitage Hotel ringed by magnificent snow-capped peaks of the Southern Alps, is a world-renowned tourist destination and has been an icon of superior accommodation and dining since 1884.
Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner
Day 4 - Head to the coast today and enjoy adventuring in Dunedin
Grand Pacific Tours 11 Day Ultimate South Island Christmas - Day 4
Mt Cook to Dunedin via Oamaru

Depart Mt Cook and see Lake Benmore, before following the Waitaki River to Oamaru, famous for its limestone. Continue south to Dunedin and enjoy a city tour followed by some free time to explore at leisure. You might be interested in a tour of the Speight's Brewery (optional) or the chance to see local wildlife in their natural habitat (optional).

Your accommodation: Distinction Dunedin Hotel (or similar)

Distinction Dunedin Hotel occupies the grand Chief Post Office built in the 1930’s. This art deco inspired building has recently been transformed into a 4 star hotel with elegant décor, set in the heart of the city.
Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner
Day 5 - Dunedin to Te Anau the entrance to Fiordland
Grand Pacific Tours 11 Day Ultimate South Island Christmas - Day 5
Dunedin to Te Anau

This morning, 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 around this Garden of International Significance followed by an Ultimate High Tea in the Grand Ballroom. Farewell Dunedin and travel through Balclutha and Gore to Te Anau, the gateway to Fiordland and your overnight stay. Today you may like to visit the Te Anau Glowworm Caves (optional) or the Fiordland Cinema, specially constructed to screen the locally filmed movie Ata Whenua - Shadowland which will take you on an unforgettable journey (optional).

Larnach Castle and Gardens

Larnach is New Zealand's only Castle, built in 1871 by politician and merchant, William Larnach, a man of great vision who helped shape New Zealand's early history. It was built for William's beloved first wife Eliza; it took 200 workmen three years to build the shell and a further twelve years were spent by master craftsmen to embellish the interior. The Castle is located high up on the Otago Peninsula and looks down on Dunedin city giving beautiful views. The gardens have an International Garden of Significance status and have a unique collection of specialised areas for you to explore. The Ballroom cafe is a fantastic place to rest and reflect on all you have seen while enjoying a delicious range of refreshments. As with the entire castle, the ballroom had an interesting and varied history prior to its beautiful restoration, uses ranged from a lunatic asylum, antique sales room to the penning of sheep.

Your accommodation: Distinction Te Anau Hotel & Villas (or similar)

The Te Anau Hotel and Villas offers a range of accommodation from hotel rooms and suites to villas. Ideally located on the lake front the hotel is just a few minutes stroll for the shops, cafes and activities on offer.
Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner
Day 6 - From Te Anau to Doubtful for your overnight cruise
Grand Pacific Tours 11 Day Ultimate South Island Christmas - Day 6
Te Anau to Doubtful

A leisurely start today before travelling to Manapouri. Enjoy lunch as you cruise across this glacial lake. After a short ride over the Wilmot Pass, join the Fiordland Navigator for an amazing overnight experience. As you cruise through the pristine beauty of Doubtful Sound, naturalist guides will provide commentary and point out the resident wildlife. When evening falls enjoy a delicious carvery buffet prepared by the onboard chef.

Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise

Take in the tranquillity of remote Doubtful Sound on this unique overnight wilderness cruise. Beginning in Manapouri with a short boat ride across the lake, you'll be taken by coach over the Wilmot Pass to Deep Cove, Doubtful Sound. Board the Fiordland Navigator, a purpose-built vessel designed like a traditional coastal trading scow. Be accommodated in a private cabin with an ensuite bathroom or a quad-share bunk room with shared bathroom facilities. The Navigator has a large spacious deck for viewing the scenery and wildlife as well as a dining saloon, bar and observation lounge. As you take in the stunning scenery of the Fiord, you'll be provided with a running commentary of the area and its history, points of interest and wildlife. You'll have the opportunity to see dolphins, fur seals and, if you're lucky rare Fiordland penguins. After anchoring in a sheltered cove, choose to explore the shoreline by kayak or stabicraft, or if you're really brave take a dip in the water. In the evening enjoy a three-course buffet dinner prepared on board and served in the dining saloon. Enjoy beer and fine wines from the licensed bar, and spend time star gazing on the upper deck. Following hearty cooked breakfast the next morning you will spend your remaining time exploring other parts of the fiord before returning to Deep Cove for the trip back to Manapouri.

Your accommodation: Fiordland Navigator, Doubtful Sound

The Fiordland Navigator is purpose built for cruising in the fiords. The vessel offers spacious viewing decks, a comfortable dining saloon and observation lounge.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 7 - Christmas Day
Grand Pacific Tours 11 Day Ultimate South Island Christmas - Day 7
Te Anau to Queenstown - Christmas Day

Merry Christmas! Start the day with a hearty breakfast before heading back to Deep Cove for the trip back to Manapouri. Return to the wharf and meet your Ultimate Coach for the journey to Queenstown, a year-round resort, situated on the shores of magical Lake Wakatipu. This evening dinner will be at your hotel.

Your accommodation: Millennium Hotel Queenstown (or similar)

The 4 star deluxe Millennium Queenstown is located in the heart of Queenstown within minutes of the central shopping and entertainment area.
Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner
Day 8 - Queenstown free day in the adventure capital
Grand Pacific Tours 11 Day Ultimate South Island Christmas - Day 8
Queenstown free day with TSS Earnslaw Cruise and Dinner

Today is a free day for you to explore Queenstown with many optional activities available. You may wish to enjoy the thrill of a jet boat ride or a heritage tour of the scenic Skippers Canyon. This evening board the vintage steamship TSS Earnslaw and cruise across Lake Wakatipu to Walter Peak Station. Sit back, relax and enjoy a delicious gourmet barbecue dinner featuring a menu of seasonal, fresh and locally sourced food at the Colonel’s Homestead. After dinner enjoy a short farm tour then reboard the TSS Earnslaw for a sing along by the piano as you cruise back to Queenstown.

TSS Earnslaw cruise to Walter Peak including gourmet BBQ dinner and a farm tour

Enjoy a quintessential Kiwi experience – a delicious gourmet BBQ buffet meal and a farm demonstration in a stunning lakeside setting.
Take in the stunning views of Lake Wakatipu and its surroundings as you cruise across the lake to the historic Walter Peak high country farm aboard the TSS Earnslaw Steamship.
Enjoy the ambiance of the heart of the stately homestead while your Colonel’s Homestead Restaurant chef prepares a gourmet BBQ dinner. Your seasonal menu includes an extensive selection of local New Zealand produce, including succulent meats and a selection of delicious vegetables and salads. Complete your meal with your choice of delicious desserts, New Zealand cheeses, tea and coffee.
After dinner, watch the farm dogs in action with a sheep-herding demonstration and say hello to the other farm animals. Finally, cruise home under the southern stars and enjoy the fresh night air as the lights of Queenstown draw ever closer.

Your accommodation: Millennium Hotel Queenstown (or similar)

The 4 star deluxe Millennium Queenstown is located in the heart of Queenstown within minutes of the central shopping and entertainment area.
Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner, Speciality Dinner
Day 9 - Queenstown up the wild west coast to Franz Josef
Grand Pacific Tours 11 Day Ultimate South Island Christmas - Day 9
Queenstown to Arrowtown to Franz Josef Glacier

Travel to Arrowtown, an old goldmining village where you visit the Lakes District Museum. Continue via the Haast Pass to the West Coast, an area of stunning beauty. See the snow-capped peaks of the Southern Alps as you travel north to the township of Franz Josef, where time is available to experience a scenic flight (optional, weather permitting) over the spectacular glaciers before arriving at your hotel for your overnight stay.

Your accommodation: Te Waonui Forest Retreat (or similar)

Nestled amongst native West Coast rainforest at Franz Josef is a very special five-star retreat. Designed with utmost care of its precious environment, guests at Te Waonui Forest Retreat will find themselves encircled by rainforest and accommodated in natural and sustainable luxury.
Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner
Day 10 - Franz Josef inland to Christchurch
Grand Pacific Tours 11 Day Ultimate South Island Christmas - Day 10
Fox to Arthur's Pass, TranzAlpine train to Christchurch

Travel to Hokitika and visit the Greenstone Factory before arriving at Arthur’s Pass where you board the TranzAlpine, renowned as one of the great train journeys of the world. View rivers and valleys as you travel through the Waimakariri Basin, over massive viaducts and through the patchwork farmlands of the Canterbury Plains. On arrival into the elegant city of Christchurch, your Ultimate Coach will be waiting to transfer you to your hotel. This evening reminisce on the memories shared with your new friends at the farewell dinner which includes selected beverages.

TranzAlpine Scenic Train: Arthur's Pass to Christchurch

From Arthur's Pass, the train slowly descends through spectacular gorges and river valleys of the Waimakariri River. It then crosses the Canterbury Plains to Christchurch, the South Island's largest city which is also known as the Garden City. Enjoy the Garden City's many attractions which include Ferrymead Heritage Park, the International Antarctic Centre, Ko Tane Maori and Cultural experience, Christchurch Casino, punting on the Avon River, the Willowbank Wildlife Reserve, and so much more.

Your accommodation: The George (or similar)

The George is the essence of supreme comfort. The award winning 5 star hotel is opposite Hagley Park and just a few minutes stroll from the Botanic Gardens. Two superb award winning on site restaurants also feature.
Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner, Speciality Dinner
Day 11 - Depart Christchurch
Depart Christchurch

Time to say goodbye. You will be transferred to the airport for your flight home after a memorable New Zealand holiday.

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Grand Pacific Tours 11 Day Ultimate South Island Christmas

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Remember - we can create this itinerary with any style of accommodation or customise to suit your interests and timeframe. Just contact us here.

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