10 Day Southern Spectacular
Christchurch was founded in 1850 by members of the Church of England, who wanted a little bit of heaven on earth. They succeeded, and today the city takes great pride in its spacious layout and distinctive English-style buildings in elegant grey stone. The River Avon winds through Christchurch, along parks and gardens that cover one-third of the city.
Queenstown hosts an outstanding collection of adrenaline inducing activities and spectacular scenery. From jumping from tall bridges or quiet fishing, this is New Zealand's number one adventure destination. Lake and river join towering mountain ranges to make Queenstown as popular in the winter as it is in the summer.
At the heart of the action are cafes, the entire spectrum of accommodation, boutique shopping, restaurants and the visitor services expected in a small town with a big reputation.
Franz Josef Glacier
The South Island's most renowned explorer and geologist, Julius von Haast, named Franz Josef Glacier after the Emperor of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Franz Josef Glacier is a remnant of a much older, larger glacier which flowed from the alpine snowfields right to the sea. The glacier is over 7.5 miles long extending into the rainforest just 3 miles from the Franz Josef township, making it easy to visit. Walk to viewpoints and the terminal face or, for a close-up view of the spectacular ice formations, take a guided glacier walk, helihike or scenic flight.
Te Anau is known as the "sightseeing and walking capital of the world". Fiordland National Park is one of the few areas in the world with World Heritage status. Attractions include scenic boat cruises, scenic flights, sea kayaking, diving, fishing, coach tours, golf, four wheel driving, hunting and more. Te Anau Glow Worm Cave is a rare example of a living cave still under formation. Te Anau is in the hub of the great southern rugged and splendid walking tracks. Lake Te Anau encourages water skiing, swimming, fishing and kayaking on the lake during the summer. During the winter, days are crisp and clear with frosty mornings and sunny days. Te Anau's Wildlife Park is 10 minutes walking distance from the Department of Conservation Visitor Centre on the Lakefront.
One of New Zealand’s loveliest harbors is gracious, dignified Dunedin. The city boasts fine Victorian and Edwardian buildings complete with spires, gables and gargoyles. Its Scottish heritage is present in street names and the appeal of its handsome stone buildings. One of Dunedin’s most famous visitors, Mark Twain, wrote "The…Scots…stopped here on their way to heaven, thinking they had arrived." Dunedin boasts the country’s only kilt maker and whisky distillery as well as a statue of Scottish poet Robert Burns in the heart of the city. Dunedin’s surroundings are renowned for their magnificent scenery and wildlife. The nearby beautiful Otago Peninsula provides a breeding habitat for such rare birds as the royal albatross and yellow-eyed penguin. The biggest attraction is probably the albatross colony at Taiaroa Head – which can only be visited as part of pre-arranged guided tour. Nowhere else on the globe do these birds breed so close to humans. Other sights to visit include Octagon Park, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Edwardian Railway Station, and Otago Museum.
Punakaiki is best known for its Pancake Rocks and Blowholes. It is also the center for Paparoa National Park - about 74,000 acres of varied landscape from mountain tops to sea level. Punakaiki is one of the major tourist attractions on the West Coast of the South Island of New Zealand. Activities include: Horse Trekking, Canoe Hire, Caving, Guided walks, Westland black Petrel tours, rafting, and a variety of short walks. Day walks and overnight tramps are some options available to visitors wishing to spend some time in Punakaiki.
Twizel is located in the Mackenzie Basin and is surrounded by breathtaking lakes and towering mountains. Twizel is a stop for tourists in the region eager to explore the high country. There is no shortage of activities in Twizel. One can cruise around Lake Tekapo on a guided tour or take a flight over the Southern Alps, Mount Cook and even the Tasman Glacier. If more physical activities suit your taste, there is skiing, hiking, mountain climbing, kayaking and canoeing.
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