This itinerary is part of the Town & Country Grand Tour, which takes you around the world in 170 days. Each leg of the trip was organized and written by a different travel specialist. The following guide was created by Tom Ricketts of Southern Crossings. For more information on how to book, contact [email protected], 011-61-2-9657-2088.
Set in the azure seas of the South Pacific Ocean, New Zealand is renowned for its clean green environment and remarkable scenic beauty from rugged mountains and ancient glaciers to beaches, bays and bush. Discerning travellers from all over the world rate New Zealand a destination not to be missed.
New Zealand is more than magnificent landscapes, it is about a people and a society that has a vibrant and rich culture; a melding of a proud Maori heritage and modern European and Polynesian influences. New Zealanders themselves – friendly and open are proud of their country and its achievements. They have an egalitarian approach to life that visitors find refreshingly calming and welcoming.
New Zealand offers outstanding experiences – including wilderness fly fishing and deep-sea game fishing, hiking and helicopter adventures, diving, hiking, hot air ballooning, skiing and golfing tours, gourmet cuisine, wine trails, house and garden tours as well as sports, cultural and artistic activities. New Zealand is also known for its fine foods and wines. Seafood and top quality agricultural produce form the basis of the exciting and innovative Pacific Rim cuisine.
Upon arrival at Queenstown International Airport you will be met by a representative of Southern Crossings who will hand over your New Zealand documentation. From there, you will be transferred by helicopter to your accommodation, only accessible by helicopter. En route you will explore some of the most remote and untouched parts of New Zealand.
During your stay at Minaret Station enjoy the fabulous on-site facilities including the 'Mountain Kitchen' with its well-stocked library, dining room, living area, open fires, first class chef and on-site private guides.
Activities include hiking the many trails; experiencing the life of high country farming; spotting for wild game animals on the adjacent slopes; taking a helicopter to explore the rugged Fiordland West Coast, accessing incredible fly-fishing rivers; or simply relaxing with a book on your private deck. Whatever you decide, the experience of staying at Minaret Station will be inspiring (helicopter use during stay at additional charge).
Accommodation for two nights in a luxury tented lodge including breakfast, lunch, pre dinner drinks, dinner and all beverages at Minaret Station Luxury Tented Lodge, near Wanaka.
The Fiordland Heli Traverse is the pinnacle of all heli-adventures and comes highly recommended for guests who have an entire day to explore Fiordland and Aspiring National Parks as well as Milford Sound and the Southern Alps.
Fly under 2,000-ft waterfalls, through the fjords and land amongst the fur seals. Stop for a picnic lunch up on the mountain tops, climbing up underneath glaciers and landing in the snow for photos against the Mt Aspiring backdrop. In Fiordland, harvest crayfish (lobster) to feast on later tonight.
Today transfer from Minaret Station to Banks Peninsula, immediately south of the city of Christchurch either by private helicopter or from Queenstown on a commercial flight.
The city has a proud history as the largest city and the unofficial capital of the South Island. The wonderful gardens, public parks and awe inspiring architecture of Christchurch have welcomed visitors since being established as a formal city in 1856. However the events of February 22, 2011 changed the city of Christchurch forever. On this day, an earthquake destroyed many of the wonderful buildings, but what has always been evident in Canterbury, is the spirit of the people. Share a half day with your guide and view some of the destruction, but more-so, to visit the wonderful sites that remain and to see first-hand the rebuild in progress.
This flight offers a completely tailored experience and will undoubtedly be the highlight of any trip to New Zealand.
Afterwards, continue on south over the beautiful Banks Peninsula where you will be transferred to your accommodation.
Accommodation for two nights including 'we cater, you cook' (breakfast, picnic lunch and dinner provisions) at Seascape Annandale, Banks Peninsula
Enjoy a guided tour of the Annandale Farm. Taking you over rugged tracks while enjoying views on some of the higher, more scenic locations on the farm, your tour will incorporate the historic woolshed, seeing livestock up close and experiencing some of the practical sides of a working farm.
Today transfer from Banks Peninsula to the Hawkes Bay either by private helicopter or via Napier on a commercial flight.
This evening, experience visiting the treasured native bird, the kiwi, in the wild. There are five species of kiwi in New Zealand and they are all endangered. At a sanctuary to these precious birds, we can offer you the opportunity to see a kiwi in its very own, natural habitat. Tours are arranged with experienced guides who work within the sanctuary. They carry out essential monitoring of the kiwi chicks after they have been released on to the property and you can join them as they check the radio transmitters and weigh and measure the birds to monitor their well-being. You will be collected from the lodge and transferred to a site close to where a chick has been located. Walks may be catered to guests' ability but are dependent on the location of the kiwi. A portion of the price charged is transferred directly to the Cape Kidnappers' Sanctuary to help them continue their work of preserving our native species.
Accommodation for two nights in ridge suite including breakfast pre dinner drinks and dinner at The Farm at Cape Kidnappers, Hawkes Bay.
This morning you will be met at your accommodation by your private car and driver for a half day excursion including a visit to a country or urban Marae (meeting house), experience a Powhiri (Maori welcome) and understand the basic concepts of the Marae, its people and culture. Spend time talking with the local Maori iwi (tribe), the Ngati Kahungunu, and share experiences. Walk and/or visit Maori artists. Enjoy a drive to the summit of the legendary Te Mata Peak (named after a Maori chief) for stunning views of the region. You will be returned to your accommodation this afternoon after experiencing a rare opportunity to visit scenic Maori historic and spiritual sites with the people who own the land and hold it dear.
Today transfer from Hawkes Bay either by private helicopter or via Napier on a commercial flight, to Auckland prior to your onward flight.
For travel in low season (New Zealand winter, generally June-August) the price for the New Zealand itinerary is from NZD $12,593.00 per person, for a total of NZD $25,186.00 for two in double/twin configuration.
This cost includes:
- Meet and greet on arrival
- Private transfers as noted
- Accommodation and meals as specified
- Private guided Fiordland Traverse helicopter tour
- Private guided half day tour of Christchurch
- Farm tour at Annandale
- Kiwi Discovery tour
- Half-day Maori cultural experience
- New Zealand Goods and Services Tax (GST) at 15%
The above cost does not include the following domestic flights:
- Queenstown to Christchurch
- Christchurch to Napier
- Napier to Auckland
Prices are subject to change at any time without notice.
For more information on how to book, contact Tom Ricketts of Southern Crossings at [email protected], 011-61-2-9657-2088.
*This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com
*Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors