DUNEDIN TO MILFORD SOUND OVERLAND
Discover the South Island's immense natural beauty and historic landmarks by driving through unspoiled parkland, exploring gold-rush towns, and riding a gondola to the top of one of the highest peaks.
Day 1 - January 22, 2014 - Dunedin - Queenstown
Upon disembarking the ship, you will be met by your driver-guide and travel through Port Chalmers village along the shore of the Otago harbor into Dunedin where you will enjoy a brief orientation tour of the city. The first settlers from the British Isles arrived here in 1847 and before long, buoyed by the discovery of gold, Dunedin became one of the wealthiest and most populous areas in New Zealand. Along the way, you will see the exquisite stone buildings constructed during the city's most prosperous period including the Law Courts, the First Church of Otago, the Otago Museum and Otago University.
Your tour continues through the Central Otago Township of Alexandra, another town born in the gold-rush era and then to Cromwell and along the Kawarau River where a stop will be made at the Kawarau Bridge Center. A.J. Hackett began the first commercial bungy operation here in 1988. If the timing is right, you may see some of the thrill-seekers taking the 120-foot plunge off the Old Kawarau Bridge, screaming excitedly on the way down.
Next, you will proceed to Arrowtown where you will enjoy some free time to stroll along its quaint, tree-lined streets filled with galleries, cafes and shops. Gold was discovered here in 1861 and nearly 70 buildings still remain from that era.
A different view of the region awaits you in Queenstown, where you will ride the Skyline gondola to the top of majestic Bob's Peak, which soars nearly 1,500 feet above the city. If it's a clear day, you can see for miles, far beyond Queenstown and onto the aptly named Remarkable Mountains. In time, you will descend and check into your hotel for the evening.
Overnight in Queenstown.
Day 2 - January 23, 2014 - Queenstown - Milford Sound
Depart from Queenstown and settle back to watch the most amazing scenery unfold before you as you drive through spectacular raw wilderness where nature truly reigns. Expect gorgeous views around every corner especially along the coast of Lake Wakatipu, the longest lake in New Zealand. It is so beautiful and unspoiled that it has been used as a backdrop in several movies, including "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy. A stop for a light lunch will be made in Te Anau which is nestled at the southern shore of a lake bearing the same name, is New Zealand's second largest lake and is the largest body of freshwater on the South Island.
After lunch, travel around the shores of Lake Te Anau into the rugged valley of the Eglinton River, a place of ancient alpine forest and gushing waterfalls. As the road passes Lakes Gunn and Fergus, beech covered mountains frame the view of distant peaks. The road then enters the Hollyford Valley and climbs to the Homer Saddle. After driving through the 1200 meter long Homer Tunnel, the road drops down to follow the swiftly flowing Cleddau River into Milford Sound, an amazing 22km-long fiord dominated by Mitre Peak. If weather permits, you will stop for photos at the stunning Mirror Lakes before arriving at the port where you will board a tender boat to be brought back to your ship.
Overland Program Step by Step:
Please note: The order of sites visited may vary to avoid congestion. The timings indicated are only approximate, and are given here for general reference purpose and are subject to change.
The ship is docked in Port Chalmers
7:30am Disembark the ship
8:00am Join the tour coach and depart from the pier to Dunedin
8:30am Dunedin sights
9:30am Depart for Alexandra
11:45am Arrive in Alexandra. An early lunch is included at the Packing Shed Restaurant
12:45pm Depart for Arrowtown
1:45pm A stop will be made at Kawarau Bridge Center to view the bungy-jumping from the Kawarau Suspension Bridge (subject to operation)
3:30pm Depart Arrowtown for Queenstown
4:00pm Arrive at Skyline for a gondola ride to the top of Bob's Peak
5:15pm Approximate arrival time at the hotel in Queenstown
Evening and dinner on own
Overnight stay at the Novotel Lakeside or similar
Breakfast at the hotel
10:00am Depart the hotel for Te Anau
12:15pm Arrive in Te Anau. Lunch is included at the Distinction Hotel
1:30pm Depart Te Anau
4:30pm Arrive in Milford Sound
4:45pm Tender from Milford Wharf and rejoin the ship
Queenstown - Dunedin Temp (C) Max 16 - Min 5
New Zealand's seasons are the reverse of the Northern Hemisphere. The warmest months are December, January and February, while the coldest are in June, July and August. Regardless, on any given day the weather and temperature can change unexpectedly and sometimes dramatically. You should be prepared for that possibility, particularly if you are engaging in outdoor activities.
What to Bring:
Dress is informal and relaxed. Smart casual clothes are acceptable at most restaurants and night-spots. In summer, bring a jacket and sweater in case the weather turns cooler or you visit higher altitudes. You can expect some rain, so also include a light rainproof jacket or coat. If visiting between May and September, pack warm winter garments and layer your clothing
New Zealand's unit of currency is the New Zealand dollar (NZ$). All major credit cards can be used in New Zealand. Travelers Cheques are accepted at hotels, banks and some stores. Automated Teller Machines (ATM) are widely available at banks, along main shopping streets and in malls. International credit cards and ATM cards will work as long as they have a four-digit PIN encoded.
Electricity is supplied throughout New Zealand at 230/240 volts, 50 hertz. Most hotels and motels provide 110 volt ac sockets (rated at 20 watts) for electric razors only. Please note that power outlets only accept angled two or three pin Type I plugs (as also used in Australia) depending on whether an earth connection is fitted.
1 suitcase per person
Documents and Visa Requirements:
Please refer to the New Zealand Immigration web site http://www.immigration.govt.nz/
Alternatively, for Visa Free Countries see http://glossary.immigration.govt.nz/visafreecountries.htm
One-night accommodation in Queenstown at the Novotel Lakeside or similar.
We will only source different hotels in unforeseen situations. If similar hotels are required due to unforeseen circumstances, they will be of equal ratings and standards.
Accommodation for one night
One full breakfast and two lunches. Lunches include two glasses of house wine, local beer, soft drinks, bottled water, tea, or coffee.
All transfers, sightseeing and entrance fees as per the program and the services of an experienced English-Speaking driver-guide
Launch tender from Milford Wharf to ship
Skyline cable car-ride to Bob's Peak
Program does not include:
Any meals, drinks or optional sightseeing not mentioned in itinerary above.
Gratuities for drivers, bellmen, porters, waiters
Please note: Land programs that encompass multiple days ashore customarily include extensive and prolonged activity, while those of shorter durations typically have more moderate activity levels. However, each program varies and participants should be prepared to negotiate a mixture of surfaces which may include: inclines, cobblestones, sand, and gravel or natural paths. There may also be a need to climb steps or stairs on occasion. Guests who utilize a wheelchair and those with mobility concerns are advised to check with the cruise line in advance to see if any portion of the tour program may not be considered suitable for their individual situation. Weather appropriate clothing; hats; sunglasses; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are generally recommended.