- Our 10 Day Christchurch to Christchurch Haka Plus Tour is one of the best loops around!
- Hit the road in style and get to know Te Wai Pounamu – the South Island of Aotearoa New Zealand.
- Soak up the scenery that you have to see to believe, from the wide plains of Canterbury to the mountains of Central Otago, to the glaciers and rainforest of the West Coast.
- You’ll have the opportunity to swim, kayak, surf, jet boat, Bungy jump, quad bike, skydive, canyon swing, hike, heli hike, bike, luge, horse ride, see kiwis, relax in hot pools, play golf, hot air balloon, eat and drink like a local, and more.
- But only if you want to; this is your trip, and it’s designed to be flexible.
- We include some of the things that we reckon are absolute essentials, but rather than force you into activities you’re not so sure of, we leave the choice up to you.
- You can pre-book activities that you definitely want to do before the trip starts, and then add more while you’re on tour.
- Stay each night in twin-share 3–4-star accommodation: a mix of hotels, motels, lodges, and rainforest retreats.
- Feast on daily continental breakfasts and 2 dinners.
- Take in the stunning Southern Alps and the vast Canterbury Plains aboard the TranzAlpine, New Zealand’s finest inland rail journey.
- Enjoy a boat cruise on Lake Wanaka to the remote Mou Waho Island nature reserve.
- Carve your own pounamu (jade) pendant in Franz Josef.
- Plus, many more surprise stops along the way!
- Passionate and knowledgeable local Kiwi guides.
- Comfortable and air-conditioned bus transport.
- Orientation tour of each and every location.
- Small groups of a maximum of 16 people.
Day 1 : Christchurch
Welcome to Christchurch! Today is yours to explore Christchurch’s attractions independently before checking-in to your accommodation in the afternoon. We recommend checking out the Christchurch Art Gallery, located in the heart of the city in a landmark building featuring flowing glass. Or how about heading to New Regent’s Street for an ice cream where you will find vintage buildings painted in pastel colours. Get a good night’s rest ready for tomorrow’s adventure where you’ll meet your Tour Manager and group for breakfast.
Day 2 : Christchurch to Ohau (via Lake Tekapo)
Rise and shine! During a continental breakfast, you will meet your tour manager who will give you an overall briefing of the tour. Afterwards, it's time to explore iconic downtown Christchurch. Your guide will show you the cool and creative ways the city is being rebuilt after the life-changing 2011 earthquake here. Christchurch folk are an innovative and creative bunch – the Transitional Cathedral, created from cardboard, is totally inspirational. Mid-morning we head for Lake Tekapo. Ready your camera – the lake’s breathtaking turquoise colour and mountain backdrop is a photographer’s dream come true. The tiny Church of the Good Shepherd stands right at the water’s edge, proving that small is bold and definitely beautiful. Grab some confetti and congratulate any passing brides – couples travel from all over the world for wedding shots in front of the chapel!
Day 3 : Ohau to Queenstown
From the golden tussocklands of Mackenzie country – where epic battles of Return of the King were filmed – to the dramatic peaks of the Southern Alps, it’s like you’re driving into a postcard. We’ll pause for lots of photo stops en route to give your camera a workout, including a stop at the spectacular Kawarau Gorge. This also happens to be the world home of bungy! Give it a go or enjoy watching the jumpers scream their way into the gorge. Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie, an avid hiker, wine taster or scenery lover, Queenstown has something for absolutely everyone. With 2 nights and plenty of daylight hours here, get ready – this town certainly knows how to live life to the max.
Day 4 : Queenstown
With a full day in Queenstown, let’s work on that bucket list! There are heaps of options to choose from: paragliding over the lake, hiking trails to die for, bungy jumping while your Haka friends cheer you on, horse riding through Lord of the Rings scenery, and swinging through a canyon are just a few of our favourites. For scenery lovers, Milford Sound is a must-see. Whether you fly or drive, the scenery en route is as awesome as the destination. Once on the Sound, as you sail beneath thundering waterfalls and towering cliff faces you’ll understand why we call it the “8th Wonder of the World”.
Day 5 : Queenstown to Wanaka
With the morning in Queenstown, you have another chance to tick off your bucket list today. What will it be? A trip to the top of the Skyline Gondola, or perhaps an adrenaline-pumping jet boat ride through the Shotover Canyon? You decide! This afternoon we jump back onto the road and head off to Wanaka, a quick one hour drive away. The drive is a scenic highlight in itself, so make sure your camera is fully charged and ready to go. En route we’ll stop in charming Arrowtown, a historic gold rush village with heaps of old-world character. This afternoon is your chance to relax in stunning Wanaka, known as Queenstown’s slightly quieter little sister Blessed with towering peaks and a glacial blue lake, you’ll soon see why Wanaka’s considered to be one of New Zealand’s most beautiful mountain towns. There are breathtaking hikes and easy bike rides for a welcome chance to relax.
Day 6 : Wanaka
Today is your chance to explore one of the most beautiful towns in the southern lakes region with plenty of activities to tempt every lover of the outdoors. Included today - a visit to Mou Waho Island. Accessible only by boat from Wanaka and famous for being home to an (unnamed) island, in a lake (Arethusa Pool), on an island (Mou Waho), in a lake (Lake Wanaka), on an island (the South Island) in the ocean (the Pacific!). Sounds complicated, but once you are there it will all make sense! Mou Waho Island is also a predator-free reserve with a natural glacial-formed lake at its summit. On Mou Waho you can see the rare flightless Buff Weka (extinct on New Zealand’s mainland since 1920) and the Mountain Stone Weta. In Wanaka there are many walks, hikes and biking trails to choose from – check out the famous “Wanaka Tree” while making your way around the lake! Or, if you feel like relaxing, ask your guide to recommend their favourite secret spots to enjoy the surrounding scenery. After a busy day checking out Wanaka, head back to the hotel and rest up for another day of exploring the sites en route to Franz Josef.
Day 7 : Wanaka to Franz Josef
After a relaxing morning in Wanaka, the journey to Franz is an another stunner – many of our Haka Guides rate it as their most favourite drive in New Zealand. As we hit the road, we’ll stop at one of our most popular lakeside lookout points at Lake Hawea or Lake Wanaka. Your guide will keep an eye on the weather and pick the best option. From the cascading waterfalls of Haast Pass to classic Kiwi coastal views, you won’t want to nap on the bus in case you miss anything. Your guide will have some epic surprise photo stops and short walks along the way. Between September and December it’s whitebait season (a small fish that’s a delicacy in New Zealand). Fried up with eggs and served on toast, it’s a local treat and shouldn’t be missed. We’ll stop at one of the local spots for a taste during the season. We roll into Franz Josef around late afternoon/early evening. This UNESCO World Heritage area is famous for its spectacular glacier, just 5km from town, which is begging to be explored tomorrow.
Day 8 : Franz Josef
With Aoraki/Mount Cook (New Zealand’s highest mountain) twinkling behind the glaciers, Franz Josef is about as beautiful a setting as you can find in New Zealand. Te Wāhi Pounamu (which means ‘the place of greenstone’ in Māori) is the name given to the this part of the West Coast because of the abundance of pounamu (greenstone/jade) to be found here. Included in your tour today is a special opportunity to carve your very own pounamu pendant at a local gallery. There are heaps of ways to enjoy Franz Josef Glacier; weather permitting, to get up onto the bluest ice you can take a scenic helicopter flight and hike onto the glaciers. Or maybe you’d prefer to kayak on a glacial lake. As well as the awesome glacier activities, you could also try out skydiving or even a bit of group karaoke tonight in Franz Josef!
Day 9 : Franz Josef to Christchurch
Before you know it, it’s your last full day! After breakfast we head further along the beautiful west coast on another of the most spectacular drives in the country (and, some would say, the world): a rugged, primeval landscape of luxuriant rainforest juxtaposed against breathtaking beach and ocean waves. We stop at Hokitika and visit a greenstone factory, a great place to stock up on souvenirs for your friends and family back home. Time permitting, we may also visit the National Kiwi Centre, where there is guaranteed viewing of rare kiwi birds in their nocturnal house. On the way back to Christchurch, you'll traverse the South Island on the stunning TranzAlpine train crossing. Travelling across the Southern Alps through Arthur’s Pass, you'll arrive in Christchurch around 6.30pm before transferring to your accommodation.
Day 10 : Christchurch
Today is the final day of tour, where we exchange photos and stories over breakfast before saying our goodbyes and parting ways.
Pickup: 6.00pm at 24 Seven Travellers Inn, 247 Bealeys Ave, Christchurch Central.
Return: 9.00am at 24 Seven Travellers Inn, 247 Bealeys Ave, Christchurch Central.
What to Bring:
Hat & Sunscreen
Togs - swimwear
Sneakers - walking shoes
23kg suitcase plus carry on
Please advise at time of booking
Upgrade your accommodation to a private room, for $1,099NZD.