Southern Stories


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    There’s never been a more important time to discover New Zealand, and we’re here to reconnect you to the joy of travel and give you a new appreciation for your own backyard.

    HIGHLIGHT EXPERIENCES THAT WILL DELIGHT YOU

    We’ve gone out of our way to connect you to New Zealand like never before. Here are just a few of our favourites:
    • Learn about ‘scarfie’ life while strolling the historic grounds of New Zealand’s first university.
    • Discover New Zealand’s farming traditions by trying your hand at sheep mustering and whip-cracking with an unforgettable experience hosted by Laura Douglas of Real Country.
    • Meet the owners of a local hazelnut orchard and discover what it takes to sustainably produce tree nuts which are used by some of New Zealand’s best food producers.

    Itinerary

    Day 1: Arrive Christchurch
    Welcome to Christchurch, New Zealand’s Garden City and your gateway to the South Island. Roll up your sleeves and ‘Make A Difference’ by contributing to Trafalgar’s Sustainable Tourism Commitment to planting native trees in the Port Hills of Christchurch, which were badly damaged in the wildfires of 2017. This afternoon, journey with a ‘Local Specialist’ to see how the city is rebuilding itself after its devastating earthquakes and visit the Transitional Cathedral, the world’s only cathedral made substantially of cardboard. This evening, join your Travel Director and fellow travellers for a Welcome Reception. (Welcome reception)

    Day 2: Christchurch – Dunedin
    Travel over the patchwork countryside of the Canterbury Plains bound for the East Coast township of Oamaru, famous for its white limestone buildings. Wander down the stately tree-lined streets with some free time to enjoy lunch in one of the cafés nestled in the Victorian district, or explore Steampunk HQ, a unique museum of art, sound and light showing an altered universe set within an 1880’s Grain Elevator building. This afternoon, we continue our journey and meet Kerry and Peter, owners of the Newlands Hazelnut Farm. Hear their story of rural life in North Otago and discover what it takes to sustainably produce Hazelnuts which are used by some of New Zealand’s best food producers. We continue on to the soaring spires and Victorian façades of Dunedin where this evening you’ll join your fellow travellers for dinner. (B, D)

    Day 3: Dunedin
    Your day begins by roaming the lush grounds of New Zealand’s first university, Otago University. Guided by a ‘Local Specialist’, you’ll get a look into ‘scarfie’ life by exploring the well-known locations of the infamous student flats. Discover Dunedin’s enduring Scottish connection, evident in its architecture, shops and street signs. Then satisfy your palette by enjoying a tour and pub-style lunch at Emerson’s – one of New Zealand’s first craft breweries. With the rest of your day free, you may wish to explore more of the region with an optional activity that includes a wildlife cruise out to Otago Peninsula. (B, L)

    Day 4: Dunedin – Te Anau
    This morning, cross sheep-filled farmland that is so characteristically ‘Pure New Zealand’. Wind your way into Fiordland National Park and South Island’s largest lake to Te Anau. No trip down south is complete without a stop in Gore to indulge in an ‘only famous in New Zealand’ cheese roll. Vast tussock-covered ridgelines and spectacular alpine vistas fill your afternoon with as you explore Fiordland National Park via the Kepler Track before returning to Te Anau by water. (B, D)

    Day 5: Te Anau – Queenstown
    Savour a day filled with pinch-me moments exploring the extraordinary natural splendour of the UNESCO listed Fiordland National Park. Keep your camera glued to your hand as you journey through rainforest, ancient glaciers and mountain ranges before driving through the hand-hewn Homer Tunnel. Pass the ethereal Mirror Lake, Pop’s Lookout, Cleddau Valley and the Chasm. Take to the still waters of Milford Sound, cruising past highlights such as Bowen Falls and Mitre Peak. Later, journey over the Devil’s Staircase, along the shores of Lake Wakatipu bound for Queenstown, New Zealand’s adventure capital. Enjoy an orientation tour around the shores of Lake Wakatipu, before arriving into the city centre and your hotel. (B)

    Day 6: Queenstown
    Your Highlight today is a visit to Laura Douglas’s country farm where you’ll ‘Connect with Locals’ and discover New Zealand’s farming traditions by trying your hand at sheep mustering and whip-cracking. Born and raised on a sheep and deer farm in the deep south, Laura will share her story of rescuing animals and establishing Real Country, after leaving the corporate world behind. Visit the beautiful goldmining village of Arrowtown before heading back to the city where the afternoon is yours. Your final day in Queenstown could see you take an Optional Experience on the jetboat and tempt your tastebuds on a local wine tour, or journey through Skippers Canyon in a minibus. (B)

    Day 7: Queenstown – Christchurch
    Today, we’ll leave the alpine wonderland of Queenstown behind and journey through Central Otago to the Mackenzie Region. We’ll enjoy a stop in Cromwell, perched next to pristine Lake Dunstan where you’ll have an opportunity to savour the juicy flavours of local stone fruit. Our journey continues through the dramatic Lindis Pass and along the famed Starlight Highway before arriving at breath-taking Lake Tekapo. This afternoon, enjoy views of Mount Cook, the highest mountain in Australasia, on our way to the little stone-hewn Church of the Good Shepherd with its bronzed collie dog statue, the touching tribute to the sheepdogs who helped develop the Mackenzie Country. Continue to Barker’s Foodstore & Eatery, located in the former grounds of St Mary’s Vicarage in Geraldine for product tasting of this iconic New Zealand artisan brand. From here, we’ll head across the Canterbury Plains to Christchurch where your holiday concludes. (B)

    TTC-TTSI

    Images courtesy of The Travel Corp