Our South Island CENTRAL Scenic Tour features the snow capped Southern Alps, turquoise glacial lakes, and the immense dark sky of Mackenzie Country, as well as Central Otago’s raw tussock and schist landscapes and pioneering history.
The hallmark of PureTrails New Zealand’s tours continues with our South Island Scenic Tour series, with small group travel (up to 14 people); off the beaten track locations; very well organised meals and logistics; interaction with local communities; and perhaps most importantly, one of our fantastic friendly guides to look after you on the tour and make sure you have the best experience ever!
Our scenic tours feature a combination of travel to beautifully scenic locations, visiting local sights of interest and museums, short (10-20min unguided) walks, wine tasting and other fun activities such as visiting hot pools. There is no cycling on our scenic tours.
South Island ‘CENTRAL: alps, tussock & schist’ Scenic Tour Highlights
- Journey through the magical South Island landscapes of Mackenzie Country and Central Otago
- Absorb the stunning Lake Tekapo scenery while soaking in the hot pools or walking up Mt John
- Visit Aoraki Mt Cook, explore the Sir Edmund Hillary Museum, and take in the majestic peaks on a short walk or optional scenic flight
- Explore buildings and villages of the gold-mining pioneers in Central Otago as well as the modern day galleries and boutiques
- Try your hand at the ancient sport of curling at Naseby
- Taste local Central Otago wines
- Opt to do a high speed lap at the internationally renowned Highlands Motorsport Facility
Day 1 Christchurch – Twizel
We depart Christchurch for the drive south through the Mackenzie Country, stopping off to explore the small towns of Fairlie and Burkes Pass along the way. At Lake Tekapo absorb the brilliant turquoise coloured glacial lake and snow covered Southern Alps while soaking in the hot pools, or perhaps on a walk to Mt John. Or you may wish to have a go at ice skating! We then head across the Mackenzie Basin to the town of Twizel and our accommodation for the next two evenings.
Day 2 Twizel (Aoraki/Mt Cook)
Today we head to the Mt Cook village at the base of the magnificent Aoraki Mt Cook. Explore the history of the region at the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre. Take in the grandeur of the majestic peaks of the Aoraki Mt Cook National Park on a walk, or perhaps on an optional scenic flight. We then return to our Twizel accommodation. In the evening there is the opportunity to take a night time star tour to fully appreciate the clarity of the amazing southern night sky.
Day 3 Twizel – Wedderburn
We travel over the Lindis Pass and into Central Otago. Explore the small towns of our pioneering forebears, who came to this area in the 1860’s in search for gold, and later to farm. We visit a number sites of historical interest including Ophir Post Office and Hayes Engineering Works. Stay in cosy cottages nestled beneath the Ida Range at the wee settlement of Wedderburn in the Maniototo.
Day 4 Wedderburn – Clyde
This morning we visit the historic gold-mining town of Naseby where you can have a go at curling, the ancient Scottish sport. Walk around the amazing white clay sluicings and Blue Lake at St Bathan’s. We head to Alexandra where there is the opportunity to visit the Central Stories Museum and walk up the famed ‘Alexandra Clock’ on the hillside overlooking the town. In Clyde browse the many art galleries and boutiques before settling into our accommodation in the Historic Precinct of Clyde.
Day 5 Clyde – Queenstown
We head to Cromwell where you have the opportunity to visit Highlands Motorsport Park and partake in a range of adrenalin charged motoring experiences! Alternatively you may wish spend some time exploring the gold mining sluicings on a scenic walk and the Cromwell Historic Precinct. We then head through the Kawarau Gorge, visiting a few vineyards and cellar doors on our way to Arrowtown. Explore the quaint village of Arrowtown before we head to Queenstown and the end of the tour.
10 Jul 2021
What’s included in the tour package?
- 4 nights double/twin share ensuite accommodation
- 4 evening meals; 4 continental breakfasts (indicated by B/L/D in the itinerary)
- the services of a tour leader
- all transport from Christchurch to Queenstown
- Goods & Services Tax of 15%
Not included in the tour package:
- lunches unless otherwise stated
- wine; beer; espresso coffees
- single accommodation supplement ($300)
- Mt Cook scenic flights (from $250 – $500)
Tekapo Hot Pools entry (from $22) or ice skating (from $17)
- Sir Edmund Hillary Museum entry (from $20)
- Curling have a go session (from $35)
- Highlands Motorsport (ride from $180)
- optional wine tasting