Situated on the eastern coast of New Zealand’s South Island, the vibrant city of Christchurch is the largest city on the island. Dubbed the 'Garden City', it is known for its many lush green spaces and possesses a multicultural charm with an added dash of Victorian flair. The city offers a fabulous array of activities, including punting down the Avon River, helicopter tours, hot air ballooning and whale and dolphin watching. Visitors can enjoy a stroll around the beautifully sculptured parks, visit the Christchurch Botanic Gardens and browse numerous art galleries, followed by a visit to Pomeroy’s for a craft beer and the adjoining Victoria’s Kitchen for a pub-style lunch.Day 1
Hokitika, or ‘Hoki’, as locals have affectionately named this little town, is located on a stunning, driftwood-strewn beach on the West Coast of New Zealand's South Island. Presided over by the towering Mount Cook and the Southern Alps, this idyllic little town functions primarily as a gateway to the South Westland World Heritage National Park. However, the town itself offers plenty to keep visitors engaged. Hokitika is well-known for its excellent local crafts and has developed a prolific artistic community with an array of open studios and galleries, where visitors can watch skilful artisans in the process of weaving, greenstone carving and glass blowing. Enjoy the fabulously fresh local seafood, or have a picnic on the banks of the picturesque Lake Kaniere, surrounded exquisite snow-capped mountains.Day 2
The quaint west coast town of Franz Josef has a few hundred permanent residents, but numbers swell during the holidays to around 2000 visitors per day. This is glacier country, and Franz Josef glacier (after which the town is named) and Fox Glacier, some 23km further south, are the main attractions. The town offers myriad options for cosy accommodation, especially after the snow and ice activities on offer – combine a helicopter tour with a guided walk on the glacial terrain to view ice caves, and spectacular crevisses and pinnacles. Helicopter tours over the two glaciers are also available, with a stop off at the head of either glacier so you can experience the frozen landscape up close.Days 3 & 4
Wanaka is a town located on the southern bank of Lake Wanaka on the South Island of New Zealand. This resort is known for being a prime access-point to the unique Southern Alps’ Mount Aspiring National Park - featuring rich bird life, enormous mountains and many astounding glaciers - and which forms part of the UNESCO World Heritage Area of Te Wahipounamu. However, besides being near the famous park, Wanaka also offers an abundance of outdoor activities. When it’s warm, enjoy water sports like kayaking and canoeing on Lake Wanaka, as well as hiking, rock climbing and 4x4 routes; while, in winter, you can go skiing and snowboarding on the white peaks of Snow Farm, Treble Cone or Cardonia (all within a 40-minute drive from Wanaka), and extreme sport enthusiasts even have the opportunity to heli-ski.Days 5 & 6
Queenstown is situated on the shores of Lake Wakatipu and has stunning views of the surrounding alpine peaks. Considered by many as one of the world’s adventure capitals, it offers visitors a wide selection of adrenaline-boosting activities to choose from, such as bungee jumping, white water rafting, zip lining, skiing and skydiving. Queenstown also has a lively bar and restaurant scene, and for those who prefer the quieter things in life there are vineyards, golf courses, spas and wellness centres.Day 7
Milford sound, New Zealand’s most well-known tourist destination, is not really a sound at all but a fjord as it was created by a succession of glaciers which carved through the rocks as they gouged a track to the sea leaving in their wake the impressive rock formations visible today. Home to some diverse and particularly unusual wildlife including fur seals and crested penguins, as well as bottlenose and dusky dolphins, this geographical gem is a must-see for nature lovers. With the striking Mitre Peak towering over head, sheer rocky cliffs rise vertically out of the calm dark waters while nearby, the waters of the exquisite Bowen Falls plunge down a 520-foot drop before crashing dramatically into the fjord below. With its remarkable geographical setting and its unbelievable abundance of wildlife, it is easy to see why writer Rudyard Kipling once called Milford Sound the “eighth natural wonder of the world.”Day 8
As previously described.Day 9
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