South island heritage journey

On this 5-day historical excursion from Christchurch to Dunedin via Mount Cook, learn about the amazing history and natural features of the South Island. In Mackenzie Country, you can see stunning turquoise lakes and majestic mountain ranges. Before travelling to the coast and the stunning history cities of Dunedin, Oamaru, and Christchurch, see exciting Queenstown and the gold-rush settlements of Central Otago.

Go New Zealand Go New Zealand 10 days ago
South island heritage journey

Day 1: Christchurch to Mount Cook via Lake Tekapo

The picturesque journey to Lake Tekapo passes across the Canterbury Plains and into Mackenzie country. Take some time to see some of the tiny places you'll pass through on your journey. There's a magnificent opaque turquoise-colored lake and a plethora of outdoor activities to enjoy at Tekapo. Fishing, kayaking, biking, horseback riding, and skiing are just a few of the activities available. The sheepdog statue and the Church of the Good Shepherd provide excellent photo options. Continue past magnificent Lake Pukaki to Mount Cook town, passing through high country tussock. Mountain climbers, hikers, and stargazers go to the neighboring National Park, which is home to Australasia's highest peak.

Lake Tekapo
Lake Tekapo
Lake Tekapo, New Zealand

Day 2: Aoraki Mount Cook to Queenstown

Today, you'll pass via the towns of Twizel and Omarama on your journey to Queenstown. Mountain climbing, kayaking, mountain biking, skiing, horseback riding, fishing, and hiking are all popular activities in Twizel. It's also an excellent site to see the world's most endangered wading bird, the Black Stilt. The spectacular Paritea cliffs, which are continually being exposed by the active Osler fault line, may be visited in Omarama. A bungy jump, jet boat ride, horse trip, or rafting excursion are just a few of the adrenaline-pumping activities available in Queenstown. Relax with a spa treatment, exquisite food and wine, or a leisurely round of golf while taking in the breathtaking scenery.

Lake Pukaki
Lake Pukaki
Lake Pukaki, Canterbury, New Zealand

Day 3: Queenstown to Dunedin via Alexandra

Today you'll journey to Central Otago's heartland. Visit the wineries of Gibbston Valley, medieval Cromwell, and Bannockburn to learn about old gold mining. There are three ways to go to Dunedin from Alexandra. The bus takes the fruit route via Roxburgh's orchards. If you're self-driving, you can also go north to Ranfurly, where you can journey via the Rock and Pillar Range via Dunback or Middlemarch. Since the 1870s, when Otago University first opened, Dunedin has been a student town. It now houses a stunning collection of antique structures, imposing churches, magnificent mansions, and New Zealand's lone castle.

Gibbston Valley
Gibbston Valley
Gibbston Valley, Gibbston, New Zealand

Day 4: Dunedin to Oamaru

Today's travel north will be flavored by history and interesting geology. Make a point of visiting Moeraki's enigmatic spherical boulders. According to Maori folklore, these stones are gourds swept ashore hundreds of years ago from the wreck of a large voyaging canoe. Totara Estate Centennial Park is where the frozen meat industry in New Zealand began. The reconstructed farm buildings depict the workings of a New Zealand farm in the nineteenth century. The exquisite historic structures of Oamaru are made of native sandstone. Visit the Harbour-Tyne region to see some of New Zealand's best-preserved old commercial structures. A visit to the Steampunk Museum and the town's lovely public gardens is also recommended.

Moeraki
Moeraki
Moeraki, New Zealand

Day 5: Oamaru to Christchurch

As you travel north to Christchurch today, there are some intriguing places to see. A thatched home from 1854 makes a wonderful rest break in Waimate. The cabin, which was built from a single totara tree, has been renovated and is now open to the public. Several examples of Maori rock art can also be seen in the area. Ashburton, to the north, contains a slew of interesting local museums and craft galleries. Christchurch, the final site on your legacy tour, is brimming with invention, creativity, and historical landmarks. Visit the beautiful botanic gardens, take a punt along the Avon River, or take a ride on the historic tram to the city's many shopping and dining districts.

Christchurch
Christchurch
Christchurch, New Zealand

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