New Zealand: Alpine Winter Wonderland – A Small Group Journey (2022)

New Zealand’s South Island is home to breathtaking landscapes, adrenalin pumping adventure and world-famous wines dominated by the rugged beauty of the Southern Alps.

Journey Overview

Experience the beauty of winter on New Zealand’s South Island as it transforms into a snowy wonderland, home to breathtaking landscapes, adrenalin pumping winter-activities and world-famous wines, dominated by the rugged beauty of the snow-covered Southern Alps. Over eight days journey from the “Garden City” of Christchurch to the adventurer’s paradise of Queenstown. Explore the captivating Aoraki/Mt Cook region and admire magnificent Milford Sound by air and water, as the sprinkling of snow accentuates the majesty of its peaks. Witness nature at its most resplendent in the scenic Mt Aspiring National Park and the ruggedly beautiful Remarkables mountain range on this winter wonderland adventure.

Journey Highlights

  • Enjoy a breathtaking helicopter ride over Aoraki/Mt Cook and Franz Josef and Tasman glaciers, and some high-altitude champagne during an ice landing.
  • Be mesmerised by the incredible night sky in the Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve
  • Take a scenic flight to Milford Sound then cruise its pristine waterways
  • Relax in a Japanese inspired onsen flanked by the soaring snow-capped peaks of the Remarkables
  • Spend a day indulging in food and wine at some of Central Otago’s top vineyards
  • Witness the untouched wilderness of the Dart River on an exhilarating jet boat ride
  • Helicopter to a private plateau to try your hand at snowmobiling
  • Typically features a small group size of 8-10 guests
Itinerary

Journey Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive Christchurch, New Zealand

Arrive into Christchurch, known as the “Garden City” for its many parks and the tree-lined Avon River that runs through its centre. You’ll be privately transferred to your luxurious boutique hotel, The George where you’ll then have time to explore the city at leisure.

In the evening, join your fellow travellers and local guide for a tour briefing and welcome drink followed by dinner at The George’s award-winning restaurant, 50 Bistro.

The George | D

Day 2: Christchurch – Lake Tekapo – Aoraki/Mt Cook | Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre

Depart for a leisurely scenic journey through the picturesque Canterbury Plains and foothills of the Southern Alps to the Church of the Good Shepherd. Situated on the edge of Lake Tekapo set against the pristine natural beauty of the surrounding mountains, it’s considered to be the most photographed church in New Zealand.

Enjoy lunch at Astro café, set high on the summit of Mt John then continue with a spectacular drive along the shores of Lake Pukaki to Aoraki/Mt Cook Village.

Check in to the iconic Hermitage Hotel, nestled in the beautiful Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park amidst a breathtaking environment of glaciers, lakes, turbulent rivers and the mighty Aoraki/Mt Cook. Visit the Edmund Hillary Museum to learn about the life of New Zealand’s most distinguished mountaineer. Hillary perfected his craft in the nearby peaks before famously conquering Mount Everest in 1953.

In the early evening, join the group for an A&K signature cocktail and dinner at Panorama Restaurant before concluding the day with the Big Sky Stargazing Experience - a fascinating exploration of the Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve under light-pollution-free-skies.

The Hermitage Hotel | BLD

Day 3: Aoraki/Mt Cook | Heli-flight over Glaciers, Lakes and Snowfields

This morning, enjoy a spectacular helicopter flight over the breathtakingly beautiful Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park with its vast glaciers and snowfields. See the ancient waters of the Tasman Glacier Lake before flying the length of the Tasman Glacier, New Zealand’s longest. After a snow landing, soak up the majestic views, champagne in hand, of New Zealand's highest peak, Aoraki/Mt Cook. Continue to the West Coast and view the formidable Franz Josef and Fox glaciers before completing your journey with uninterrupted views of the summit ridge of Aoraki/Mt Cook.

Return to The Hermitage for lunch then enjoy an afternoon at leisure where you can take a guided walk of the picturesque Hooker Valley – a winter wonderland at this time of year - or watch alpine adventure movies in the hotel’s impressive 3D theatre.

The Hermitage Hotel | BLD

Day 4: Aoraki/Mt Cook – Omarama – Arrowtown – Queenstown | Gold Rush History in Arrowtown

Today your scenic journey takes you south to Queenstown via the dramatic Lindis Pass and the gold rush town of Cromwell. Stop for lunch at the historic Bendix Stables, a charming local eatery converted from the original stable block which dated to 1873. Just a short drive onwards and you arrive at the sophisticated Rees Hotel in the adventure playground of Queenstown, a picturesque resort-town located on the shores of beautiful Lake Wakatipu and your home for the next four nights.

In the late afternoon, delight in a welcome drink and canapés in the hotel’s Bordeau Lounge while taking in the impressive views of the lake and the jagged peaks of the Remarkables mountain range.

Your evening is at leisure to explore Queenstown’s eclectic mix of shops and diverse range of dining options.

The Rees | BL

Day 5: Queenstown – Milford Sound – Queenstown | Milford Sound by Air and Water

Today’s adventure begins after breakfast when you depart Queenstown Airport for a magnificent scenic flight to Milford Sound. Take in expansive views of the golden-tussocked high country and the upper reaches of Lake Wakatipu as you fly over the snow-capped Southern Alps. A hidden landscape unfolds below revealing glacial lakes, waterfalls, densely forested valleys, and cloud-piercing summits. On landing at Milford Sound, explore the famous fiord on a cruise, discovering playful wildlife, cascading waterfalls and highlights such as Mitre Peak and Pembroke Glacier.

Your flight back to Queenstown takes a different route ensuring you experience even more of the dramatic scenery.

Back in Queenstown, enjoy a soak in your own idyllic cedar-lined hot tub overlooking the Shotover River and the picturesque mountains at the Onsen Hot Pools, filled with pure water from the nearby mountains which is heated to approximately 38.3°C.

This evening, a seafood inspired dinner awaits at the iconic waterfront Boardwalk Restaurant, where the impressive views over Lake Wakatipu will dazzle as you dine.

The Rees | BLD

Day 6: Queenstown | Central Otago Wine and Food Immersion

Today is an indulgent full-day gourmet food and wine tour, showcasing the very best sights and tastes from the Central Otago region. Your experienced local guide will lead you on a tasting journey through three contrasting Central Otago wine sub-regions - Gibbston, Bannockburn and Cromwell.

Enjoy a guided tour through New Zealand’s largest wine cave including wine tastings at four premium vineyards, a cheese tasting and a gourmet barrel-cooked lunch paired with matching wines. You will also have an opportunity to retrace history with a visit to the historical settlements of Old Cromwell and quaint Arrowtown.

Learn about the early pioneering history and how this wine region was formed from your knowledgeable wine guide. For the day’s final indulgence, savour the tastes of locally made artisan chocolates.

The Rees | BL

Day 7: Queenstown | Jetboating and Snowmobiling

Following an early breakfast, depart for an action-packed Dart River Wilderness Jetboat tour deep into the heart of world-renowned Mt Aspiring National Park. Skim across the glacier-fed waters of the Dart River, witnessing the breathtaking scenery as you go. Back on land, learn about the area's history, the Greenstone trail and countless Maori legends from your highly informative guide as you walk amongst an ancient beech forest, unchanged for 80 million years, and view the epic scenery – a backdrop for many Middle Earth scenes in the Lord of the Rings movies.

After lunch, return to Queenstown Airport for a scenic helicopter flight to the undulating Garvie Plateau for an exclusive snowmobiling experience. Following a comprehensive briefing, the fully guided snowmobile tour will move at a comfortable pace to suit all using modern, easy-to-operate Polaris machines. On a clear day, you can enjoy views to Mt Aspiring and beyond. Return to Queenstown by helicopter before an evening farewell dinner at of inspired Kiwi cuisine at Queenstown’s premier restaurant, Rata.

The Rees | BLD

Day 8: Depart Queenstown

After breakfast, transfer to Queenstown Airport where your adventure-filled journey comes to an end.

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Journey Details

This journey contains some active elements including walking on uneven ground and snow. Activities are subject to weather conditions and flight paths may vary depending on cloud coverage.

Inclusions

All accommodation as detailed on a double/ twin share basis with private facilities; Meals as specified; Bottled water during transfers and touring; Wine and beer with all included dinners; Airport welcome; Assistance with luggage and group transportation by private air-conditioned vehicle; Services of a Driver/Guide and Local Guide(s) in select locations; All entrance fees, planning, handling, operational and communication charges.

Note: Proof of COVID-19 full vaccination is required for this program.

Tailor-Made Travel with A&K

If scheduled departure dates don’t work for you, or you would prefer to travel privately, please talk to one of our expert Journey Designers or your travel agent about creating the perfect bespoke tailor-made journey for you, or your own small group with family or friends.

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Preferred Accommodation

Preferred Accommodation

This journey features the following Preferred Accommodations:

The George, Christchurch

New Zealand: Alpine Winter Wonderland – A Small Group Journey (2022)

Located in the heart of Christchurch, The George Hotel is a small luxury boutique hotel just minutes from the city centre and main attrac ... Read more

Hermitage Hotel, Mount Cook

New Zealand: Alpine Winter Wonderland – A Small Group Journey (2022)

A haven for adventurous travellers since 1884, the world-renowned Hermitage Hotel is nestled among stunning scenery within the Aoraki ... Read more

The Rees, Queenstown

New Zealand: Alpine Winter Wonderland – A Small Group Journey (2022)

Quiet, private and sophisticated, The Rees Hotel Queenstown epitomises southern hospitality at its finest and an authentic New Zealand ex ... Read more

Dates & Prices

Journey Dates & Prices

Prices are per person, based on double occupancy

Jul 25, 2022 - Aug 1, 2022
Price AU$7,995pp Single Supplement AU$1,780 Internal Air (From) AU$0 Availability Available Book
Aug 22, 2022 - Aug 29, 2022
Price AU$7,995pp Single Supplement AU$1,780 Internal Air (From) AU$0 Availability Available Book
Aug 30, 2022 - Sep 6, 2022
Price AU$7,995pp Single Supplement AU$1,780 Internal Air (From) AU$0 Availability Available Book
Notes:

Availability shown here is updated weekly and indicative only. Availability on any product or journey shown here is not specific to a category of travel and may not denote availability at the cheapest ‘From’ price. For real time availability, talk to your travel agent or call Abercrombie & Kent on 1300 851 800.

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