Enjoy a remote highland adventure right here in New Zealand
Many know New Zealand’s highlands for their majestically beautiful scenery – the snow-capped mountains, braided rivers, and tufts of grass formed by millions of years of natural events and centuries of exploration.
It is a romantic idea to travel to the New Zealand highlands – that great blue southern sky, the wild landscape and the dramatic alpine landscape that varies from lush and pristine to windswept and barren. And there is more than just the breathtaking landscape, there is also the opportunity to look into the past and catch a glimpse of the pioneering life inland. The very idea feels like stepping onto a film set.
But how do you get access to these unique New Zealand experiences when you have no connections to the rural South Islands? The Remote High Country Adventure Tour is a simple answer – it offers you everything from highland railroad action to coastal train rides to mountain panoramas, hot pools to historic cottages, and everything in between for six glorious days of adventure. All the fun without any organizational headaches, the perfect vacation for anyone looking for something different this summer. This is what awaits you – day after day.
The first day is all about Christchurch. Stroll through the streets and alleys or visit the incredible Riverside Market, the jewel in the culinary crown of the city. Lose yourself in the street art and fabulous new retail space, or stroll through the Botanical Gardens or Hagley Park. Take in the city’s wonderful art offerings and pay tribute to the Earthquake Monument, where all New Zealanders can commemorate the 185 lives lost in one of our country’s greatest natural disasters. End a lively day with a delicious three-course meal at your hotel (Rydges Latimer), followed by a luxurious night’s sleep.
The early start on day two is well worth it for a morning aboard the beautiful Coastal Pacific Train and the breathtaking views of the east coast of the South Island. Upon arrival in Blenheim, take a 4×4 over the historic Taylors Pass, into the breathtaking Awatere Valley and then on to Middlehurst Station, one of New Zealand’s original High Country Stations. Middlehurst Station has everything you’d expect with a few things you might not have. The unbelievable quality merino wool produced there is spun into unique wedding dresses with the help of Italian designers, who would have thought that? There is a delicious plate action, then you go on a tour of the train station before you end the evening with a three-course menu. You will be accommodated directly at the train station – a very special experience.
The third day begins with a visit to Molesworth Station, the largest and most famous station in the country. Morning tea is in one of the fascinating historic Cob Cottages; and after refueling, the trip stops at places of interest like the beautiful Kaikoura Mountains before arriving in Hanmer Springs for a lazy afternoon. Spend your free time – soak in the hot pools, stroll through the shops, and soak up the alpine atmosphere before falling to bed for an incredible sleep at the Hanmer Springs Hotel.
On the fourth day, head back to the High Country next to Molesworth Station and St. James Conservation Area, stopping at Lake Tennyson, a stunning glacial lake for morning tea, before heading over Island Pass, the highest in the country. Lake Sedgemere is the place for lunch and the drive back from there to Hanmer Springs (in the same hotel) is exquisite – seemingly endless mountain ranges, crystal clear rivers, and flowing waterfalls will all zip by as you stare out the window in mesmerized form. New Zealand at its best.
After all this time exploring the highlands, the fifth day is for something completely different. Iron Ridge Quarry Sculpture Park, nestled in the dramatic landscape of the Waipara Valley wine region, was once an abandoned lime factory but was redesigned by Raymond Herbr. After morning tea with the man himself, there will be time to explore the incredible sculptures. The big horse is the star of the park, it is 2.5 meters high and made of polished steel. Other towering kinetic pieces use steel and recycled materials and contrast perfectly with the lush landscape. End the day with lunch and a tasting at one of the many incredible cellars in the North Canterbury Wine Country before heading back to Christchurch and back to the Rydges.
Day six is all about you and however you choose to spend your last day in the Garden City before heading home with a heart full of highland memories.
For more information and bookings, please visit the Stuff Travel booking website.