Only a few spots left!

Southern Lakes and Canterbury High Country 2020

8 - 16 December 2020

Download PDF Itinerary

Double or Twin Share $3,975.00

No. of people

Single Accommodation $4,690.00

No. of people
Book Now

Southern Lakes and Canterbury High Country 2020

Join us as we discover more special and remote areas of the South Island. We do stress though that this is another of our back-country adventures, so expect to really get in touch with nature. A level of basic fitness and mobility, together with a flexible attitude, is strongly recommended.

Day 1

Tuesday 08 December - Travelling to Cromwell

An early start from all destinations this morning as we are transferred to Wellington Airport where our adventure begins with a morning flight to Queenstown.

Flying into Frankton Airport is an incredible experience as the aircraft drops in over the tops of Coronet Peak and the craggy Remarkable Ranges. Our coach and driver await us at the airport to whisk us off to Arrowtown for lunch (at our own cost) and a chance to explore, before we make our way down the scenic Gibbston Valley to our hotel in Cromwell, the Harvest Hotel, where we stay for the next two nights. We enjoy relaxed dining in house this evening.

Day 2

Wednesday 09 December - Mavora Lakes High Country Tour

A memorable excursion awaits us today, as we make our way back to Queenstown to join Nomad Safaris, for their unique Mavora Lakes High Country Tour.

Our tour starts with a journey across Lake Wakatipu on the TSS Earnslaw. Known as the “lady of the lake”, the Earnslaw has been plying these waters since 1912. Disembarking at Walter Peak Station, we meet our Nomad driver and board their vehicle. Taking a scenic back country road through Walter Peak and Mount Nicholas Stations, our guide will acquaint us with the history of the pioneering high-country farming of this tussock covered landscape.
The scenery changes as we near Mavora Lakes where we stop to enjoy a picnic lunch (included) and have time to stroll along the lake’s edge and in the surrounding beech forest. Continuing our journey this afternoon we complete a circuit, as we travel through rolling green northern
Southland countryside, predominantly dotted with sheep and deer. We pass the settlements of
Mossburn and Fiver Rivers, Garston and Kingston, before following the eastern shoreline of Lake
Wakatipu back to Queenstown, and then returning to Cromwell.

Day 3

Thursday 10 December - Glen Dene and Criffel Stations

A leisurely start today, as we travel the short distance to a property on the shores of Lake Hawea.

Glen Dene Station is owned by the Burdon family, and is flanked by Lake Hawea on its eastern
boundary and Lake Wanaka on its western side. With magnificent views of mountain and lake, we
enjoy morning tea here and an introduction to station life, learning about the diversification this
property has undergone to incorporate trophy hunting.
We then make our way to Lake Wanaka, where we visit Criffel Station. After a delicious lunch
catered in the wool shed (converted into a rustic venue), we enjoy a tour of this historic
2000-hectare deer farm, providing expansive views of the surrounding mountain ranges and an
insight into the management of the property, their focus on providing a balanced and healthy
environment for their land and animals. After our tour if time permits, we take a drive around to
Glendhu Bay, which provides great views of the Southern Alps and Mt Aspiring. Returning to
the village, we check in to our accommodation at Oakridge Resort, and have time to relax and
unwind before we dine in the hotel restaurant this evening.

Day 4

Friday 11 December - Braemar Station

Our meandering travels today take us over the Lindis Pass and into the vast Mackenzie Basin.

We stop for a Tranzit style cuppa, before travelling through the changing landscapes of the Mackenzie, to a farming property on the shores of Lake Pukaki. Braemar Station is a 15,000-hectare traditional high country station and has been run by the Mackenzie family since 1969. We will be hosted for lunch here today and learn about the station as we enjoy great views looking across the lake to Mt Cook and the Ben Ohau Range.
Departing Braemar we travel over Burkes Pass, the terrain changing to typically rolling and much lusher South Canterbury countryside, while our destination of Methven is on the edge of the expansive Canterbury Plains, the largest area of flat arable land in NZ. We check in to our accommodation at Ski Time Resort, with time to settle in before we dine in tonight.

Day 5

Saturday 12 December - Mesopotamia Station

We make our way up into the headwaters of the Rangitata River today to an iconic Canterbury High Country property, Mesopotamia Station.

Nestled amongst the Southern Alps, Mesopotamia was named by Samuel Butler in 1860, who, made famous for his novel “Erewhon”, also farmed on Mesopotamia. Today it is run by the Prouting family, a 25,000 acre traditionally farmed, merino, deer and cattle farm surrounded by the majestic Two Thumbs mountain range and the huge braided Rangitata River.
There is much to see in this area; on our way up this scenic valley we stop at Peel Forest where
we take a short walk through a fine stand of Totara, one almost three metres across, and thought
to be about 1,000 years old. We enjoy our morning cup of tea here before continuing up the gorge,
stopping again to view the tiny Mt Peel Church built out of greywacke stone from the Rangitata
River. As we approach Mesopotamia this massive river valley opens out before us. Four-wheel
drive vehicles will meet us at the station to take us on a tour over part of the property, including
the game park where you are likely to see Himalayan tahr, chamois and red deer, while lunch today
will be in the shearers quarters and catered locally (included). We will also see the Mesopotamia
School – closed in 2000 - and the historic station graveyard. After a full day of discovery, we
make our way back to our hotel, where we dine in again this evening.

Day 6

Sunday 13 December - Mt Torlesse Station and Waimakariri Gorge

Another high-country adventure awaits us today, as we travel into country near Arthurs Pass and the Mid Canterbury foothills.

Travelling to the Waimakariri Gorge, we switch modes of transport to off-road vehicles for a scenic four-wheel drive adventure across Mt Torlesse Station. This station is a 10,000 acre working sheep and cattle farm and you will get to
experience the thrill and excitement of off-roading while taking in the spectacular alpine scenery and learning about
the farm. After an interesting morning we enjoy a delicious lunch at a rustic country café, after which we board a Hamilton jet boat – to take us on a spectacular river journey into the heart of the Waimakariri Gorge. Finally, we return to Methven where we have a little bit of free time to relax, before we head out to dine at a popular village restaurant this evening.

Day 7

Monday 14 December - Akaroa and Paua Bay Station

Departing Methven this morning our travels today take us to Akaroa on the Banks Peninsula.

Akaroa is a charming French and Victorian Village, set around a harbour formed by an extinct volcanic crater, and we have the chance to explore and enjoy lunch here (own choice and cost) before we meet our hosts for this afternoon who will transfer us out to their property.
Murray and Sue Johns farm Paua Bay, a coastal hill country property with bush running down to the rugged coast. Their family arrived in the area in 1837, and we will hear the tale of the family’s endeavours and their place in Banks Peninsula’s history. We hear about farm management practices and enjoy a shearing and dog display, with an afternoon cuppa provided.
Our stay is in Christchurch tonight, and we make our way into the city to check in to our accommodation at Pavillions Hotel, where we dine in this evening.

Day 8

Tuesday 15 December - Travelling to St Arnaud

It’s a day of travel today as we make our way north.

Our lunch stop is in the village of Hanmer Spring, with our travels this afternoon taking us through the beech forested landscapes of the Lewis Pass. A stop near the summit of the pass provides the opportunity to enjoy a short walk to a beautiful mountain tarn. Our destination today is St Arnaud, where we enjoy our final night at Alpine Lodge appreciating the peace and solitude of the Nelson Lakes area.

Day 9

Wednesday 16 December - Travelling Home

A leisurely breakfast this morning is followed by a short sight-seeing tour of St Arnaud Village and tranquil Lake Rotoiti.

We travel down the Wairau Valley to Blenheim and on to Picton. Lunch today is in Picton (own choice and expense) prior to departing on our afternoon sailing returning us to Wellington. Finally we bid our fellow travellers goodbye before being transferred to our home locations.

The cost of the tour includes

  • Air New Zealand one-way flight to Queenstown
  • All coach travel
  • Interislander one-way ferry journey
  • Accommodation
  • 2 course dinners
  • All breakfasts
  • Morning teas on most travelling days
  • Real Journeys TSS Earnslaw journey
  • Mavora Lakes High Country Tour
  • Glen Dene Station: tour and morning tea
  • Criffel Station: tour and lunch
  • Braemar Station: tour and lunch
  • Mesopotamia Station: tour and lunch
  • Mt Torlesse Station: 4WD tour, Waimakariri River jet boat ride and lunch
  • Paua Bay Station: tour and afternoon tea

Departure Detail

Before you book a tour with Tranzit Tours, please take the time to read and understand these Terms and Conditions below.

These Terms and Conditions apply to bookings made from 12 October 2020 onwards, including new bookings made with credit vouchers issued following tour cancellations or postponements.
If you booked your tour prior to 12 October 2020, your original Terms and Conditions still apply.
Pricing Validity
All costs associated with each tour are outlined in full within each tour itinerary. All pricing quoted is valid for the dates of tour when booked.
Reservations and Payments
Bookings for all Tranzit tours can be made through any Tranzit Coachlines Reservations Centre or an approved Travel Agent. Any person making a booking for others shall be deemed to have accepted these Terms and Conditions on behalf of all individuals they are booking on a tour and it is the responsibility of the person making the booking to bring these Terms and conditions to the attention of those individuals booked.
A deposit as stated in the Tour Itinerary is payable to secure the booking.
The balance must be paid in full by the date stated in the Tour Itinerary.
Any reservation made within fourteen (14) days of the tour departure must be paid in full at the time of booking.
Cancellations, Postponements and Alterations
Cancellations by the Customer
 Cancellations 45+ days before tour departure date – a cancellation fee valued at 15% of your deposit, plus any other fees charged by other providers such as accommodation, ferry, activities etc.Cancellations 44 – 8 days before tour departure date – a cancellation fee valued at 15% of the total tour cost, plus any other fees charged by other providers such as accommodation, ferry, activities etc.
Cancellations within 7 days before tour departure date – a cancellation fee valued at 25% of the total tour cost, plus any other fees charged by other providers such as accommodation, ferry, activities etc.No refunds will be made for cancellations made within one day of departure or once travel has commenced. Refunds will not be provided for unused portions of a tour, unless the Customer can provide genuine reason and documentary evidence that services were unable to be utilised (and a refund if applicable is available from the other provider) in which case the company will review each request and may provide a partial refund at the sole discretion of the company.
Cancellations of one half of a twin share booking will result in the Customer cancelling being charged the cost of a single booking, if the Company is unable to match the twin share booking with another Customer.
Alterations by the Customer
The Customer may transfer their booking to another person for the same tour and commencement date, but only if the other person satisfies all of Tranzit Tours requirements in relation to the tour and provides us a completed Booking Form. The Customer must notify Tranzit Tours in writing of the intended transfer at least 30 days prior to the commencement date of the tour. A $60 transfer fee per person/per transfer will apply (in addition to any supplier change fees).
Cancellations or Postponements by the Company
Tranzit Tours reserves the right to cancel, reschedule or postpone a tour. With the exception of the Force Majeure section below, Tranzit Tours will:In the event of a tour being cancelled by the company prior to departure and not postponed – refund the total amount paid in respect of that tour or provide a credit, but will have no further liability to the Customer.
In the event of a tour being postponed – rebook the Customer for the new departure date or provide a credit, but will have no further liability to the Customer.
In the event of a Force Majeure event that occurs prior to, or during, a tour such as but not limited to fire, flood, volcanic eruption, earthquake, avalanche, severe weather, power outages, labour disruptions, pandemic, government controls or other events outside Tranzit Tours control that interrupts the ability to operate the tour in full or in part, or if Tranzit Tours determines that the quality of the tour or the health and safety of the Customer would be compromised, Tranzit Tours reserves the right to cancel, postpone, or shorten the tour and will be excused and released from its obligations without liability of any kind. Customers will receive a credit for postponed tours. For cancelled or shortened tours, refunds in these circumstances will be in full less any unrecoverable costs (i.e. expenses already incurred or fees charged by other providers).
The Customer will be advised of any increased tour costs as a result of the postponement. Credits will be equal to the value of the payment made and must be used within 12 months. Customers are strongly advised to take out travel insurance.
In the event of cancellation or postponement by the company, Tranzit Tours is not responsible for any consequential loss incurred by the Customer. Customers are again advised to take out travel insurance.
Alterations by the Company
Before Tour Commencement: If a major change to the tour needs to be made before departure, we will inform the Customer of the change as soon as practicable and will advise of any consequential price increase or decrease.Tranzit Tours reserves the right to alter a tour (including the itinerary) and substitute accommodation facilities should unforeseen circumstances beyond our control make changes necessary. Whilst every effort is made to adhere to the itinerary as provided, the company reserves the right to alter the touring and attractions as dictated by circumstances and conditions outside the company’s control.  Alterations may be made to ensure the smooth running of the tour.  Every attempt will be made to ensure alterations do not adversely affect the operation of the tour.  The company will not be held responsible for weather-based cancellations, or those closures made at the tour provider’s discretion.
Tranzit Tours will inform the customer as soon as practicable and will advise of any consequential price increase or decrease.
Insurance
Tranzit Tours recommend that you purchase comprehensive travel insurance to cover against things like lost or damaged luggage, accident or sickness, loss or theft of personal belongings and documents, or the need to cancel or shorten your tour.  Please note that special conditions will apply for pre-existing medical conditions with all travel insurance policies.
Health and Fitness
Tranzit Tours are generally able to accommodate most fitness abilities; however, some tours may require a certain level of physical fitness for full enjoyment of tour activities. The Customer must inform Tranzit Tours, at the time of booking, of any health or fitness restrictions that may limit participation of tour activities or put the Customer, tour staff or other customers at risk. The Customer acknowledges that their suitability for a tour, or any activity within a tour, is wholly the Customer’s responsibility.
Payment of a deposit by the Customer to secure a Tranzit Tour acts as a warranty that:
o   the Customer is reasonably healthy and/or fit to participate in the tour, and
o   the Customer does not have a health, physical condition or disability that would create risk to themselves, tour staff or other customers, and
o   the Customer indemnifies Tranzit Tours from all actions, claims and demands arising out of any want of health or fitness.
Tranzit Tours reserves the right to decline a booking on medical, health or fitness grounds at its sole discretion.
Tranzit Tours reserves the right to remove a Customer from a tour, or quarantine a Customer on tour, if their health and/or fitness interferes with the tour or staff safety or other Customers safety or tour experience in any way. Any additional costs associated with a Customer’s removal from tour or placement into quarantine, shall be borne by the Customer. Refunds will be made in accordance with these Terms and Conditions. 
Authority on Tour
Tranzit Tours are operated by staff with decision making authority while on tour. By travelling with Tranzit Tours, you agree to accept the authority of the driver/guide and their decisions are final in all matters likely to affect the wellbeing, safety or experience of any customer or staff member on board. Failure to adhere to reasonable requests or any inappropriate behaviour that is degrading the experience of other customers, may result in the Customer being removed from the tour. If a Customer is asked to leave a tour, any costs associated with returning home will be borne by the Customer and any unused portion of the tour will not be refunded.
Responsibilities
Tranzit Tours include goods and services provided by other operators such as hotels, attractions and transportation companies. Customers are advised to familiarise themselves with the terms and conditions on which these services are supplied. Accordingly, Tranzit Tours will not be responsible and will be excluded from liability for any loss, damage, omission or acts being negligent or otherwise, committed by other goods and service providers used in connection with the tour.
Tranzit Tours is not liable for any loss, damage, delay, or injury caused to the traveller or their baggage whilst under the care or control of a third-party provider. A Customer’s baggage and personal effects shall be carried at the owner’s risk as provided for under the Carriage of Goods Act.
Tranzit Tours is not responsible for any losses or additional expenses to the Customer due to tours impacted by Force Majeure events that occur prior to, or during, a tour such as but not limited to fire, flood, volcanic eruption, earthquake, avalanche, severe weather, power outages, labour disruptions, pandemic, government controls or other events outside Tranzit Tours control that interrupts the ability to operate the tour in full or in part, or if Tranzit Tours determines that the quality of the tour or the health and safety of the Customer would be compromised.
Acceptance of Risk
The Customer acknowledges that all Tranzit Tours may be subject to risks and dangers beyond that which might be experienced by the Customer at home. Except as provided in law, the Customer acknowledges that they assume all risk and Tranzit Tours is not liable for misadventure, death, injury, delay or loss which occurs during the tour.
Seat Rotation
For the enjoyment of all travellers Tranzit Tours operates a seat rotation system which all travellers must participate in as a condition of booking.
Photographs
Photographs used to market any Tranzit Tour depict typical scenes experienced, but the subject matter may not necessarily be seen or experienced whilst visiting a destination within a tour.
Whilst on tour, the Customer may be included in photographs and/or film taken by the guide or driver. These photographs may be used for future promotional advertising purposes and by booking on a Tranzit Tour the Customer authorises the use of any images they are captured in to be used without further consent or any payment of any kind. If the Customer does not authorise the use of their image for promotional purposes, they must make this known at the time of booking.
Privacy Policy
Any personal information that Tranzit Tours collects about the Customer may be used for any purpose associated with the operation of a tour or to send the Customer marketing material in relation to Tranzit Tour products. The information may be disclosed to our agents, service providers or other suppliers to enable Tranzit Tours to operate the tour. Tranzit Tours will otherwise treat your details in accordance with our privacy policy (available on our website).
Applicable Law
The laws of New Zealand govern these Terms and Conditions to the fullest extent allowable.

I bought our Tranzit tour to the West Coast as a birthday present for Mum. We loved travelling together and made so many memories. I have travelled this coast before and never seen the views I saw from the coach - just amazing! - Meg453, Trip Advisor