Spectacular New Zealand - 12 day South Island Tour

This tour is available and flexible throughout the year for individuals or groups, but stated price may vary.

Day 1

I will be greeting you at Wellington airport. Wellington is a pleasant picturesque city perched on hills around a beautiful harbour. A scenic drive round the harbour, and check in to our accommodation.

Day 2

A trip up the cable car will take us just past lunchtime. A couple of pleasurable hours can be spent at TePapa our national museum, before we head to catch the ferry to the South Island. www.tepapa.govt.nz/ This is a real highlight, it takes around three hours from Wellington Harbour across Cook Straight between the North and South  Island, then through Tory Channel and the Marlborough Sounds to Picton. We stay one night here at your waterfront Motel  right on the picturesque waterfront. www.marlboroughsoundsnz.co.nz.  Dinner tonight is at the Jolly Roger a friendly little pub near our accommodation.

Day 3

9.30 check out then south through Blenheim and the district of Marlborough one of New Zealand's prime wine growing areas. We visit the Montana winery for morning tea then travel south following the thin strip of coastal land between the Kaikoura Mountain Range and the Pacific Ocean, we usually stop for another cuppa along the way as well as at a small seal colony just before arriving in Kaikoura where we will spend the night. (Three hours Driving)

Day 4

We have the opportunity of a Whale watching trip here. Either from the air or from the sea, www.whalewatch.co.nz/  (sea) www.whales.co.nz/  (air). We must book ahead so will make arrangements for these activities. (Both are reliant on the weather and neither are included in the tour cost). These activities are not wheelchair accessible, but with a little pushing and grunting we have always managed ok, and the experience is fantastic. After this we have a pleasant afternoon’s drive down to Christchurch stopping to sample some wine at the Mudhouse Winery. It was a beautiful city with many varied attractions. We called it our Garden City. Accommodation for the next two nights is in Christchurch . Dinner tonight is at the Casino Christchurch. (Three hours driving)

Day 5

Christchurch "A city still being rebuilt"

Today we visit the city Christchurch that was a city of contrasts located on the east coast of the South Island. It was a place where its residents continued to enjoy a healthy, active lifestyle amidst a natural environment world-renowned for its beauty.
Everywhere there was an understated elegance that spoke of times gone by and promised a future where anything was possible.

We see a city of hope and some of the devastation the communities have had to overcome when hit by a 6.3 earthquake in February 2011

A scenic drive over the Port Hills to Littleton and the Summit Road. 
www.christchurch.org.nz/ as well as a look at some local gardens. A visit to the markets and arts center.  Tonight is a must, we visit Tamaki Village www.maoriculture.co.nz  and take a Maori Cultural trip back to a time before the Pakeha (European) arrived. We attend a Maori Concert and dine on Hangi (Traditional Maori meal). 

Day 6

Today we have a reasonably early start (8:30 am) and head west. The first hour or so is flat farming country the Canterbury Plains New Zealand’s largest and flattest area. Then up over some scenic mountain passes through the Southern Alps and down to the West Coast to  Hokitika, an attractive sleepy little town. A hundred or so years ago miners fought over gold, today there is still gold around but Hokitika is New Zealand’s leading Green Stone (Jade) center.  Accommodation is right in the town centre. (Six hours driving).

Day 7

10 am. Start. We head south through farming country nestled between the Southern Alps and the Tasman Sea. Further South we drive past many small lakes and through some of our largest remaining stands of native New Zealand Rain Forest. Yes you guessed it, we get a lot of rain on the West Coast.  It is something over a two-hour’s drive to Franz Josef where we will stop for lunch. Here we also have the opportunity of viewing Franz Josef Glacier, unfortunately, the track to the glacier face is definitely not for wheelchairs. If you have a few spare dollars may be interested in a Glacier Helicopter flight. After our stop here we carry on past Fox Glacier and on to Haast where we will spend the night. (Five hours driving).

Day 8

A 9.30am start. First we backtrack just a few miles to the Ship Creek bush walk, it has been upgraded so wheelchairs are able to use it. We will spend an hour or so there, then head back through Haast, through the Haast Pass and on to Lake Hawea. We are now in Central Otago, a vastly different country than the West Coast.

Day 9

A 9 am start, just a few miles in to Wanaka where we will spend an hour  before heading to historic Cardrona, Arrowtown and the Shotover Jetboat ride (not included in price). Then over the Crown Range to Queenstown. www.queenstown-nz.co.nz Gold mining country, the Wild West of NZ. Here our home for two nights is at a hotel with it's million dollar views of Lake Wakatipu and the mountains of Middle Earth. Dinner at Walter Peak High Country Sheep Station. The trip on the Lady of the lake Steam Ship Earnslaw. You just can't help falling in love with her. www.fiordlandtravel.co.nz/

 

Day 10

Scenic flight into and boat trip on Milford Sound. (This cost is not included in package)  and is dependent on suitable weather conditions. http://www.fiordlandtravel.co.nz/  Tonight we go up on the gondola and dine at the Skyline Restaurant with its spectacular views. www.skyline.co.nz/

Day 11

Today sadly we say farewell to Queenstown and start our fantastic scenic journey North to Christchurch, up through Cromwell, over the Lindis Pass to Omarama. Through the Mackenzie Country to Lake Tekapo and on to Christchurch for your final night.

Day 12

A sad goodbye. Today I will escort you to the airport to catch your homeward flight.

Group Size
We limit our groups to five, plus driver. Per vehicle.

Tour package includes
Accommodation, Breakfasts, Some Evening Meals, Arranged Land Transport (Transport is complimentary as part of the tour package), Specified Attractions, Specified Sightseeing, a helping hand, a smiling face and a shoulder to lean on whenever you need it.

Tour package does not include
Drinks, Lunches, morning/afternoon teas, personal and sundry costs, laundry/dry-cleaning, personal care, medical costs, taxis, personal transport or trips, attractions arranged but not specified in cost.

Attractions Included
Tamaki Maori Concert and Hangi, Walter Peak trip. North to South Island Ferry crossing, Skyline Restaurant/Gondala, Queenstown. Earnslaw Steam cruise, dinner and farm show. Wellington Cable car.

Attractions arranged but not included
Whale Watching, Milford Scenic Flight and Cruise, Shotover Jet Boat. We are flexible and often able to arrange other activities in line with your personal interests.

Accommodation
We use high standard resort and hotel accommodation in the larger centres. In some of the more rural areas we use the best there is with suitable access facilities. In some cases those paying a single supplement may be asked to share a two-bedroom unit. They will have their own bedroom but share common shower, toilet and lounge facilities. In some instances we may not have sufficient fully accessible accommodation. The most accessible will be allocated on need, we apologize in advance if occasionally you may have to improvise somewhat, and ask for your understanding on such matters. We can assure you, we are there to help. You will manage just fine. Circumstances can occasionally mean changing accommodation for a variety of reasons.

Meals
There are a wide variety of meals provided with the itinerary, some in top hotels and restaurants. Some with a much more local flavour.

Who Can Come?
Anyone. Accommodation, transport and most attractions are wheelchair accessible. Behavioural problems that could cause embarrassment to others is one special need our company is not set up to cater for.

The itinerary
is at a real easy pace. Late check outs, help with your baggage, absolutely stress free, with several days suitable as rest days.

Our Vehicles <---Click Here
a  Wheelchair Hoist fitted 8 seater minibus.Approximate driving time total is mentioned in itinerary,  does not include rest time and stops.
We do our best to schedule stops at least every two hours driving.

An experienced Escort
will be along to assist in general terms. However, personal carers are not part of the package. We can provide personal care, this can save on airfares if you need to bring a caregiver along but would incur extra cost and need to be discussed with us personally before the tour starts. We can often arrange one attendant able to care for two or even three on tour, allowing them to split the cost. This is depending on individual needs. Some activities may not be suitable for the entire group.

Extra Costs
Tipping is not expected. There are no hidden tax costs indeed in some cases overseas visitors can get a tax refund on some products. Lunches and sundry expenses are not great, probably ten to twenty dollars (NZ) a day would be ample. Scenic flights and other attractions not included in price of tour can vary, we can give estimates if required. Any not wishing to take part in specific attractions can be discounted the appropriate amounts, provided that we are made aware prior to payment.  Ballpark, our dollar is just above half of an American Dollar and about a third of a pound.

Contact
On tour we can be contacted on our cell phone 02040127701 while it is in coverage, a message can be left if not. All hotel contact numbers are included in case any friends or relatives at home want to keep in touch. Numbers are given as if ringing from inside NZ, overseas caller use NZ code 64 and drop the first zero.

Medical Backup
Our staff is experienced in managing and looking after people with various special medical, mobility and other needs. Even though we complain about our Health System here in NZ we do have a good network of doctors, medical centres, and hospitals. As long as we are aware of your needs we can plan ahead to make sure they are fully met. We are the only company in New Zealand offering this depth of service. New Zealand does have some kind of a reciprocal arrangement with the UK in health care delivery.

Insurance
ACC (Accident Compensation Commission) provides cover for accident while in NZ, your safety and wellbeing are our prime concern but we insist you take out personal travel insurance even before putting a deposit down in case for reasons beyond your control you are unable to make the trip.

Conditions
We have an application form that we like everyone to fill in; the reasons are explained on the form. We do our very best, we go much further than "the extra mile" your safety and enjoyment are our main concern, so we need to know of any special needs. If for any reason an attraction included in tour cost does not go ahead, that portion will be refunded. (This does not include someone deciding they don't want to do it once the tour has started)  Tour is subject to minimum numbers. 

Liability
Your Safety, wellbeing and enjoyment are our prime responsibility and concern. New Zealand’s Accident Compensation Commission covers your personal medical needs in the event of accident. If however something spoils your trip. Accident, departure from itinerary, bad weather, or whatever. We want you to be assured we have done our very best, in no way can we personally or our company accept liability for anything beyond our control, or the result of a decision we or any of our staff made at the time believing it would be for the best.  Our vehicles are all in very good order and well serviced, however the nature of our tours means we may not quickly be able to have a fully suitable replacement vehicle available. Should a breakdown necessitate a hold up or departure from itinerary, we would do our very best for you but once again could not be expected to make refund or be liable.  Before tour starts we need your assurance you understand, and accept these conditions.

 

TOUR COST

“ Between” $7,500 To $10,480 NZ Total package. Based on Twin Share

OR

$8,500  to  $11,000 NZ Single supplements.

FLIGHTS NOT INCLUDED

 

To secure a booking we require $500 NZ per person.

Full payment to be made, two months prior to tour departure. 

Unless dealing through an agent we prefer payment in the form of Bank Draft or Telegraphic Transfer into our nominated account, and strongly urge travel insurance to be taken out before any money is paid.

All cancellations should be notified in writing and become effective only when received in this office.
Cancellation charges are as follows:-

 

PERIOD OF CANCELLATION AMOUNT OF LOSS IN RESPECT OF TOTAL COST
60 days (before commencement date) Loss of Deposit
30-16 days 50%
15-00 days 100%