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Suggested Itineraries
12 days Chauffeured
       

12 Days Chauffeur-driven tour

This routing is similar to the 12-day self-drive tour. However, this is a great example of what the difference is between a self-drive and a chauffuer driven-tour. The price starts from NZD $750 per day, depending on the size of vehicle required. This includes, fuel, vehicle hire, full insurance, Department of Conservation concessions & entry fees and the chauffeur's daily expenses & accommodation. Your chosen accommodations, meals and excursions are of course extra. 
                                                                                   

  

CHARMING NEW ZEALAND

3 days/2 nights North Island chauffeur-driven tour &

9 days/8 nights South Island chauffeur-driven tour of New Zealand

Day 1 Auckland 

All travellers using Amazing New Zealand services are personally met at the airport by your personal chauffeur-guide. You will receive at the airport a comprehensive Deluxe Travel Pack. The pack contains the prepaid service vouchers plus daily maps and brochures to local attractions, plus a detailed daily explanation of driving routes, including suggested stops en route.

You will then be transferred to your accommodation in Auckland with a brief city tour en route. 

This afternoon you have free, attractions worth considering are: 

  • Visit the Sealife Aquarium on Tamaki Drive - Kelly Tarlton was the inventor of the undersea walkway where you can view the fish from below without getting wet - the Antarctic Encounter and Penguin Encounter are worth stopping here on their own. There is a free shuttle departing from 172 Quay Street (opposite the ferry terminal) every hour, on the half hour (last pickup 3.30pm).
  • Hire a bike and peddle along the waterfront bicycle path to Mission Bay and Kelly Tarlton’s and check out the Wynyard Quarter towards the Harbour Bridge.
  • Begin with the extremely informative Voyager Maritime Museum is located on the Viaduct, this is New Zealand’s maritime museum. Begin with the Maori migration across the seas, step back in time on board a European immigrant's ship, then appreciate New Zealand's proud yachting history including the Whitbread Round the World race and of course the America's Cup.
  • Ascend the Sky Tower - admire the view, do the Skywalk, bungee jump from the tower or just have a meal in the revolving restaurant.

Day 2 Auckland - Rotorua                                                                          

Transport is in a modern medium sized SUV (Hyundai ix35) with plenty of luggage space for 2 suitcases. Please note that the guides’ working day generally ends around 6pm unless pre-arranged to drop you at a restaurant for example as legally he is required to have a minimum amount of hours rest before driving again. Usually the return trip evenings will be at your own expense by taxi for example.

Please be at reception checked-out and ready to depart at 9am - this morning your driver will pick you for the start of your private guided/chauffeured tour in the North Island.

Today’s drive takes you south to Rotorua via the fertile farmland of the Waikato. First stop will be a visit to the Hobbiton Movie Set at 12.30pm. Lunch in the Shires Rest is recommended before the excursion.

The tour of the Hobbiton village is based on the various scenes in the Lord of the Rings trilogy and the Hobbit trilogy so you have the unique opportunity of touring the set as it is seen in the films. The 2 hour tour also offers a wonderful insight into the logistics involved in creating a movie and building various film-sets with all the supporting personnel required to go with it, from vets to cooks to gardeners and even road builders!

The set is located on a real farm with restricted access. The Alexander family has lived on the 1250 acre (approx 500 hectares) property since 1978. The land supports a thriving sheep and beef cattle business. The Alexander farm runs 300 beef cattle and more than 13,000 of New Zealand’s famous sheep on the lush, rolling hills. Afterwards, enjoy a drink in the Green Dragon Tavern!

Afterwards, we then head east to Rotorua. The city lies on a beautiful lake, actually a flooded volcanic crater - the surrounding hills are the remains of the rim of the giant volcano. Rotorua sits squarely on the Pacific Ring of Fire, so volcanic activity is part of the city’s past and present.

You may smell Rotorua before seeing it, as the area is still very active with sulphur escaping from the earth’s crust (think rotten eggs). Don’t worry, you will get used to the smell.

This evening, you are booked in for the excellent Mitai Maori Cultural Experience. First the performers arrive in a Waka (war canoe), then you will be entertained with a cultural performance, followed by a traditional Hangi (earthen cooked meal) and a bush walk to the glow-worm grotto and Fairy Springs. You also have the option of adding a guided night walk through Rainbow Springs to see the trout and Kiwi by night (extra charge). You will be picked up from your accommodation around 4.45pm and returned around 9pm.

Day 3 Rotorua                                                                                         

First up we will head south to the Mud Pools and Wai-o-tapu Thermal Wonderland, the best thermal reserve in the area. It really is a wonderland of orange, green, yellow, blue, white and black pools, the highlights being the exquisitely coloured Champagne Pool, Oyster Pool and the Devil’s Bath - you’ll be amazed how nature can conjure up such colours. The track is uneven at times so you need walking shoes.

We then continue south to Taupo. Next we will visit the Huka Falls – they are not very high, but are certainly spectacular. Here the sedate Waikato River is forced between a 15 metre gap before roaring over a 7 metre drop.

Lake Taupo is the world’s largest volcanic crater, created in one giant explosion. The ash cloud floated all over the world - ice samples from as far apart as Antarctica and Alaska have determined the explosion to have occurred in 186AD. The effects of the ash were even recorded in China and Rome. You can gather your own free volcanic souvenir from the shoreline in the form of very light pumice stones (great for cleaning off rough skin) which were spewed out in that eruption. Just about everywhere you look in the Lake Taupo region, you'll see a volcano.

We then return to Rotorua where you have some free time - possible stops this afternoon/evening are (if there is time):

  • The tranquil Hamurana Springs are well worth a visit! A short peaceful 15-minute loop track will take you via a beautiful clear fresh water spring that attracts abundant birdlife. The spring is 15 metres deep and produces 4 million litres of fresh water per hour!
  • Kuirau Park has the largest display of steam and mud pools….and it’s free! An eruption took place here as recently as 2001 when mud, steam and debris were thrown 200m into the air. Springs regularly just appear, resulting in families being forced to move and the land having to be given back to nature.
  • Visit the beautiful (and steaming) Edwardian styled Government Gardens and the Rotorua Museum
  •  Wander around the original Maori settlement at Ohinemutu. The church is worth a look at, as is the Marae (Maori meeting house) across the courtyard. Wander the tiny streets where everyone has their own private hot-water bore to fill their bath in the out-shed….just follow the steam and stay on the paths!
  • Visit Hells Gate. Here you can enjoy a unique New Zealand experience by taking a mud bath, they say its like playing in silk! The Twilight Spa in the evening is a great option. They also offer special Mud Therapy packages, such as the UltiMUD with entry to the Hells Gate Geothermal Reserve, a private MUD bath and Spa and a 1 hour massage.
  • Walk from the Polynesian Spa to the town on the Lakeside Walk via the bird sanctuary at Sulphur Bay. You will also see the remains of the first ever public bath – here Hydrogen Sulphide mixes with Carbon Dioxide to create a mixture similar to the dentist’s laughing gas! 
  •  This evening, check out the Redwoods Treewalk – the half kilometer long walkway consists of 21 suspension bridges traversing the gaps between the majestic 110 year old Redwood trees. There are no set time slots for the treewalk and tickets do not need to be purchased in advance as tickets are always available onsite from the Redwoods i-Site. They are open 9am to 11pm (last entry 10.30pm, call to check winter times). The best time to go is evenings to see the romantic Nightlights.

Day 4 Rotorua - Queenstown   

Your driver guide will deliver you to the airport around in time for your flight to Queenstown. Say good-bye to your North Island guide, this ends his services.

The flight can be described as a scenic flight, with spectacular views of the North Island volcanoes of
Tongariro, Ruapehu, Ngauruhoe (Mount Doom in the LOTR Trilogy) and Taranaki (Mt Fujiyama in the Last Samurai) before crossing to the South Island and following the Southern Alps down to Queenstown. 

On arrival in Queenstown, look for your new driver when you arrive into the Welcome Hall, he will have a sign with your name on it. He will then transfer you to your accommodation for the night.

Queenstown is the Adventure Capital of the World! The beautiful resort was originally named as 'fit for a Queen'. It lies on Lake Wakatipu where you can observe the strange seiches phenomenon - this is an unusual rhythmic rise and fall of 12cm in its water level every five minutes due to variations in atmospheric pressure. A Maori myth says it is the beating of a monster's heart lying in the depths of Lake Wakatipu! The sheer breadth of tourist activities available here is impossible to list, however the ' in-thing' at the moment are tours that have anything to do with the numerous Lord of the Rings and Hobbit filming locations.

For drinks, McNeill’s Cottage Brewery where there is a nice mix of heritage and atmosphere, plus fine home brewed ales; or The Sundeck Rooftop Lounge Bar on top of The Bunker at 14 Cow Lane is the newest bar in town and has incredible views!

For dining, the Madam Woo (Asian Restaurant) on Mall Street has funky décor and funky food; or Rata Restaurant is located in Te Nuku at 43 Ballarat Street and is Josh Emett’s (Michelin star chef and Masterchef judge) latest Queenstown venture; for a special dinner treat, try the Prime Restaurant & Bar on the waterfront of Queenstown Bay (the entrance is #2 Rees Street, above Sunglass Hut)…..if it is stunning weather then ask for a table on the upstairs balcony overlooking the lake.

Day 5 Queenstown                                                                        

This morning you have some free time in Queenstown for a leisurely lie-in or to go shopping. Or you could:

  • Visit the Underwater World Observatory on the pier, where trout and eels are visible in the clear waters of the lake; they live freely in the lake however as they are fed they like to hang out here. The cutest part is seeing the ducks diving for the food. Beside the pier are marks showing the level to which the lake rose in the floods of 1878 and 1983.
  • Take the Skyline Gondola for awesome views! There are various activities you can do up here such as riding the down-hill Luge, descending to the bottom by Zip-lines, mountain-biking or Bungy-jumping!
  • Visit the Kiwi Birdlife Park near the gondola, the park spreads for over 2 acres and you need to allow about 2.5 hours to see everything!
  • Head to the Onsen Hot Pools at Arthurs Point. Each booking receives a private cedar-lined private pool, each with push-button retractable walls and ceiling so you can enjoy the dramatic scenery as you soak on the edge of the cliff overlooking the spectacular Shotover River – worth the 10 minute drive on its own! Call 0508 869463 to book.

Later, we will head out to Glenorchy at the far end of Lake Wakatipu (allow 1 hour for the drive)

This afternoon you are booked onto the most scenic jet-boat ride in the world (another New Zealand invention). This thrilling ride up the Dart River takes you into the very heart of the Mt Aspiring National Park - dress warmly, put on sunglasses (for the wind) and wear comfortable walking shoes! The trip involves a 4WD trip to Paradise (yes it does exist), a walk through the beech forest then jet-boat back out. Your driver will weave through the braided glacial river and rock gardens, stopping to tell stories of Maori legends and yarns of local pioneers. 

Before returning to your B&B, your driver will drop you off so that you can ride the Skyline Gondola to take in the awesome views - best viewed at sunset when the Remarkables Range on the other side of Lake Wakatipu glow in golden light. The excellent & extensive buffet dinner is also included at 6pm (table to be vacated by 7.45pm). OK, admitted, they do push the tourists through by the bus load – but it’s worth it for the view!

Day 6 Queenstown – Arrowtown – Te Anau               

Today we will take the alternative route to Arrowtown via Arthurs Point. En route I recommend a short diversion up the Coronet Peak Ski-field access road for stunning views of the Shotover River and Wakatipu Basin.

The pretty tree-lined town of Arrowtown is known for it’s early gold-mining history. Two years after the first European settlers established high country farms in the Wakatipu area, gold was discovered in the Arrow River and news soon spread. Within weeks 1500 people arrived as the news of gold spread and people in search of the alluvial treasure arrived in droves. At the height of the gold rush, Arrowtown's population grew to over 7000. In 1865 many of the miners started to leave for other gold-mining areas and the local government invited Chinese miners to the area. Most worked in the Shotover and Arrow Gorges, although wherever Chinese stores opened communities began to develop. Wander amongst the historic cottages, visit the reconstructed Chinese Settlement (the Chinese were subjected to many prejudices so had their own settlement) and wander along the path by the gold-laden river (you can hire gold-pans at the Lakes District Museum). The main shopping street is a particular shopper’s delight!

We will then head back to the multi award winning Amisfield Restaurant & Winery, where you have a table booked at 12pm (own expense) to try some wines and have some lunch!

After lunch there is a 2.5 hour drive south to Te Anau. This is the gateway to the Fiordland National Park - 1,250,000 uninhabited hectares of stunning wilderness. Fiordland has a primeval rugged landscape, largely untouched by humans apart from incursions by tourists at Milford and Doubtful Sounds and a few fishermen in other fiords. It was declared a World Heritage Area on account of the outstanding geological features and exceptional beauty, the jewel in the crown being Mitre Peak in Milford Sound.

If there is time you could check-out the Wildlife Centre (a 10 minute walk from the Visitor Centre/DoC) for a view of the near extinct pre-historic looking flightless Takahe as well as many other NZ native birds. It is run by DoC so donations are gladly accepted!

Another great option is to see the Ata Whenua – Shadowland movie at the Fiordland Cinema. It is a 30 minute film show cases the unique beauty and remote wilderness of Fiordland from the air to the screen for all to enjoy! No reservations are necessary, there is a screening every hour, on the hour between 3pm and 6pm.

Later, join the 5.45pm cruise to the Te Anau Glow-worm Caves. Te Anau means rushing water in Maori – so both the lake and the town derived their names from the caves. Spectacular rock formations, fossils, whirlpools, waterfalls and glow-worms lie half an hour away by launch.

Day 7 Te Anau – Milford Sound – Te Anau                                 

This morning, your driver will pick you up around 8.30am to drive you to Milford Sound in time for your cruise. Don't forget the insect repellent as the sand-flies are not only a menace, but practically man-eating! Plus a rain coat - the area receives 12,000mm of rain per year per square metre - so chances are high that you will see rain today!

The drive towards Milford Sound is quite stunning to say the least. Possible stops en route or on the way back include Eglington River Valley, Mirror Lake and Knobs Flat before reaching the Divide – the lowest pass over these mountains. Continuing along the road you next have the Falls Creek Lookout down to the Hollyford Valley.

Once through the 1.2km long Homer Tunnel you will see the spectacular Cleddau Canyon and the incredibly precipitous walls on which the road slowly winds its way down.

The 2-hour cruise departs at 10.45am. Check-in 20 minutes before departure at the Cruise Milford office at Milford wharf. A deluxe picnic lunch is also included today, you could safe that for a picnic after the cruise, for example at the top of Key Summit!

Milford Sound is quite simply unparalleled to anything in this world - wet or fine Milford is incredibly grand. This small boat is able to get up close to the countless waterfalls that tumble hundreds of metres down sheer cliffs and up to the mountains rising straight out of the sea, fur seals on the rocks and (usually) dolphins. Mitre Peak magnetises photographers, as does the cascading Bowen and Stirling Falls.  A 'Sound' is a flooded river valley, but these are flooded glacial valleys with sheer sided walls that plunge hundreds of metres under water as well as above - so they are misnamed. The Maori believe the fiords were created by the titanic mason Tute Rakiwhanoa, who used an adze to cut out the steep sided walls and gullies.

After the cruise, we will return to Te Anau the way we came. Along the way you could stop for a hike on the renowned Routeburn Track which starts from the Main Divide Shelter.  Allow 2.5 hours for the walk to Key Summit and back. This is the best easily accessible view point of Fiordland - sit among the alpine plants and gaze down three valleys from which water flows to three different coasts! From there the view makes you feel like you are on top of the world.

Alternatively if the weather is not suitable then the Nature Walk at the southern end of Lake Gunn is another recommendation (it starts from the Cascade Creek parking)…..it is like walking through a fairy tale!    

Day 8 Te Anau – Wanaka                                               

Today we return north the way you came on SH6 towards Queenstown then head east through the dramatic Kawarau Gorge.

The Kawarau River Bridge is home to A.J. Hackett's very first bungee jumping platform - this is where you tie a huge elastic band to your ankles and jump out into space over the river… if you dare? Or just have fun watching the others.

A few more kilometers further along the valley you will find the excellent winery (220 awards to date) and restaurant at Gibbston Valley Wines…..tours depart on the hour every hour, telephone 03 442 6910 to make a reservation. The guided tour takes you amongst the vines, through the winery and then deep into the hillside where you can sample the wines in a surreal atmosphere. The rocky schist walls within the cave are lined with barrels of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, still reaching their prime. You may also like to explore the Gibbston Valley Cheesery next door!

Once through the gorge, ask your driver to stop at the large fresh fruit shop on the right (Jones Fruit Stall), it is well worth a stop at as they have all sorts of seasonal fruit that you can try and their real fruit ice-creams are amazing!

Cromwell is another gold mining centre and it is one of the sunniest, warmest places in the South Island (in the summer that is), making it ideal for growing fruit trees and the region is fast becoming renowned for fine Pinot Noir wines. Old Cromwell Town is also worth exploring.

Wanaka is our destination this evening, it lies on a tranquil lake with picture-perfect mountains as a backdrop and it is one of my favourite places in New Zealand.

Day 9 Wanaka

Today you have a free day. Some attractions worth considering are: 

  • Visit the Rippon Winery….probably the prettiest winery in the world (OK….I’m biased)
  • Cycle along the Outlet Track along the banks of the mighty Clutha River, a favourite spot for trout fishing.
  • Watch out for “The Leaning Tower of Wanaka”, the centerpiece of Stuart Landsborough’s Puzzling World. Only one of the world’s most interesting and eccentric visitor attractions!
  • Pop out to the end of the Wanaka Wharf to see the big fat trout (no fishing permitted from the wharf, sorry)
  • Visit Cinema Paradiso for an old-fashioned movie experience where you get to lounge around on huge sofas or enjoy a meal or drink before, during or after the movie!
  • For the best views in town wander along the lakes edge to the Edgewater Resort for freshly baked scones or pre-dinner drinks on the lawn on the lake’s edge.
One of the best short walks in this country is to the Rob Roy Glacierand its FREE. The walk will take you up through beautiful rain forest to a hidden valley, right up to the face of the glacier. Wanaka is also the best place to try tandem sky-diving! Or how about a 4x4 quadbike tour on a sheep farm with great views. The local ski field at Cardrona has a chair lift open in summer - take a leisurely walk in the mountains, or take the fast route down on a mountain bike. Trout fishing and skiing are the locals other favourites. Glendhu Bay is a sheltered and picturesque bay, particularly in autumn when the exotic trees provide rich colour for your postcard perfect photo of the mountains behind. Just beyond is a road leading to a popular swimming area in the spectacular Motatapu Gorge. At the northern reaches of Lake Wanaka in a little place called Makaroa you can try the Siberia Experience of 3 thrills in one day – fly into the Mt Aspiring National Park (the Misty Mountains in LOTR), hike/tramp over the hill to the river and jet-boat back out. Wow!

Day 10 Wanaka – Mount Cook                                         

Today’s drive takes us north along the northern banks of the Clutha River – New Zealand’s largest by volume of water! Then up the eastern side of the Main Divide and over the scenic Lindis Pass to the Mackenzie Basin, a flat expanse of tussock grasslands and home to New Zealand’s highest mountain Aoraki (or Mt Cook as it is known) plus the longest glacier Tasman and sparkling turquoise glacial lakes below the Southern Alps - and it bears little resemblance to anywhere else in New Zealand.

Just before Twizel, ask your driver to stop at the Salmon Farm – here you can feed the fish for free and/or try it sashimi style or smoked!

Soon after we then turn left and drive towards the mountains - the 55 kilometer scenic drive to Mount Cook Village at the base of Aoraki / Mt Cook (our highest mountain) and the Tasman and Hooker Glaciers encompasses world-class scenery at its best where your excitement grows in parallel with the vista before you as you enter this world heritage site known as the Mount Cook National Park.

En route a stop at Peter’s Lookout is recommended - on the other side of the lake you are looking at Braemer Station where they filmed the escape from inside the Misty Mountains (1st Hobbit movie) and the Warg chase. The farm next door is called Tasman Downs Station – site of the Lake Town set! The whimsical lakeside village set sat over the water and incorporated clusters of two-storey wooden dwellings arranged around connecting walkways, waterways and wharves. Filming at this location was one of the largest operational periods in the shooting schedule with around 700 people on set.

If you feel like a walk this afternoon, I can recommend the Hooker Valley Track - this is one of the most popular short walks in the Mount Cook National Park. Start at the White Horse Hill camping and follow the Hooker River. There are massive views of Mt Sefton and the shrunken Mueller Glacier, past an Alpine Memorial and over two swing-bridges until the final destination of the terminal lake at the bottom of the Hooker Glacier. Here Mt Aoraki looms ahead with great walls of ice up on the left and buttresses of rock tower over the foaming river to the right. The walk takes approximately 2 hours one way – so walk as far as you like. This is New Zealand at its very best! 

Day 11 Mt Cook – Christchurch                                        

Head to Mt Cook Airport. Today you are booked on The Adventurer – Tasman Glacier Heli-hike (included) with Mount Cook Guides (which is part of the very experienced Fox Glacier Guiding company). Please check-in at the Mount Cook Ski-planes/Inflight desk at 9.15am to be kitted out with boots, woolen socks, crampons, walking poles, etc. They also have gloves, water-proof jackets and over-trousers available. 

This excursion involves flying high up onto the glacier by helicopter for awesome views of the glacier from above then landing and exploring the spectacular ice-caves, arches and cracks with your guide. This is an amazing experience where you could descend into crevices and ice-caves to witness the beautiful blue colour of the ice and hear the creaks of the living glacier. Every journey is different. Because the glacier is changing all the time, it is ‘alive’. Weather permitting, ice walking is about 2 hours. 

The Tasman Glacier (New Zealand’s longest) winds its way down the Southern Alps for nearly 30 kilometres before culminating in the 18-square km terminal lake. The transition from glacier to lake produces impressive icebergs on a regular basis - this truly is ‘Big Iceberg Country’. There are plenty of commentary to learn about the plants, glacial shrinkage and other interesting details about the area, flora and fauna along the way, including the most distinctive Kea, our mountain parrot well known for its mischievous antics. At over 750 metres above sea level you can become part of the environment

The return trip is also by helicopter, arriving back about 12.30pm
.

We will then depart for Christchurch. The Lake Pukaki Lookout is a great spot to stop for photos of Mt Cook being reflected in the lake - the gorgeous turquoise-blue lake derives its colour from fine glacial particles suspended in the water.

A few kilometers further north you will cross another huge man-made Tekapo Canal constructed for the Upper Waitake hydroelectric scheme, a significant source of our country’s electricity.

Just before Lake Tekapo we will drive up to the summit of Mount John and enjoy spectacular 360° views.

The village at Lake Tekapo is small - their claim to fame being that it has the cleanest and clearest air in New Zealand….the skies above have recently become the world’s first ever Night Sky Reserve. Of course we will visit the much-photographed Church of the Good Shepherd and the Sheepdog.

We then continue north, you could consider stopping off at the Fairlie Bakehouse to try one of their famous freshly baked pies!

From Geraldine it is literally a straight line all the way to Christchurch across the fertile Canterbury Plains.

Christchurch is New Zealand's second largest city which sprawls across the Canterbury Plains towards the Southern Alps. The main attractions here are the 748 English style gardens and parks, the city even has its very own Avon River on which one can punt. It has an English colonial feel to the city with school children in formal blazers and straw hats, with fine architecture and heritage sites evident everywhere ……however, on February 22nd 2011 the city suffered a devastating earthquake that has unfortunately destroyed many of those heritage buildings, including the iconic Christchurch Cathedral! The city is now going through a major rebuild. A brief city tour is included today before checking-in to your hotel (if there is time).

Say good-bye to your driver when he drops you off at your hotel as this marks the end of his services. 

Day 12 Christchurch - internal or international flight home    

If your flight back to Auckland or to Australia is in the afternoon or this evening then you will have time to enjoy a bit more of Christchurch. Attractions worth considering are:

  • Head to Antigua Boatshed and hire your very own gondolier to punt you through the city.
  • Or wander through the Botanical Gardens along the picturesque Avon River.
  • The Grand Café at the Casino is a great option ….open for breakfast, lunch and dinner 7 days a week.
  • Visit the Canterbury Museum (free) for their informative Earthquake exhibition as well as the Antarctic section and impressive Maori collection
  • Or visit Quake City which is a unique multi-sensory attraction, where you can learn about all there is to know about earthquakes and view photographs of the aftermath and iconic objects such as the Cathedral Spire.
  • The newly re-opened Christchurch Art Gallery is a must see
  • The excellent International Antarctic Centre near the airport is where you can experience all there is to know about the icy continent.
  • The Tram is up and running again, it is a wonderful way to see the city.
  • Or the Red Bus Rebuild Tour is another great way to see the city and learn about the rebuild. It departs from outside of the Museum.
  • Mona Vale is a beautiful Edwardian-style homestead set amongst 5½ ha. of beautiful gardens…..the gardens are still worth the visit! The homestead was near destroyed in the earthquake but has now been restored.
  • The nearby Dean’s Bush at Riccarton is home to the only surviving stand of wetlands podocarp forest
  • Join the Christchurch Bike Tour…..they ride along the bike paths and through parks and there is not a hill in sight! Stops include both Mona Vale and Deans Bush, as well as Hagley Park and the attractions in the central city.
  • Or the same tour by Segway sounds like fun!
  • The Willowbank Wildlife Reserve is a zoo with a difference with plenty of opportunities to get up close and touch the animals.....be sure to check out the massive eels! And buy a bag of food to feed the various animals as you walk around the well marked bush lined paths. Time your visit to include the 4.30pm guided tour (no extra charge) through the Natural New Zealand section showcasing our rare native birds, including the kiwi of course. Other highlights here are close encounters of the wildlife kind with various and the farmyard animals that clamber for your attention to be fed and stroked!

 
  

 

 



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