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The 'Alpine Safari' is a spectacular day tour from Christchurch, New Zealand. Featuring Jet Boat, Four Wheel Drive high country safari and the world famous TranzAlpine train journey. These three exhilarating activities combine to create a day you will always remember.

Alpine Safari

Jet Boat
The concept of the Jetboat was invented here in New Zealand, and underwent many trials on this very stretch of the river. Waimak Alpine Jet are the premier operator in the upper reaches of the river canyon. They will whisk you away for an exciting 45 minute ride up the river, through high walled rock canyons and white water rapids.

4WD High Country Tour
Climb aboard your four-wheel-drive transport for this spectacular backcountry tour. A full commentary is given on the many features and history,with plenty of stops for photos and fresh Canterbury air.

A delicious luncheon awaits you before you continue your journey to Arthurs Pass, nestled right in the heart of the National Park. You have the opportunity to visit the National Park Information Center or pop up the road for a cuppa at the tea rooms (time permitting).

TranzAlpine Train Journey
Ride the world famous TranzAlpine™ Train. The TranzAlpine™ has been described as one of the world's top six train journeys. Sit back and experience the ever-changing landscape as you enjoy a drink from the refreshment car or stand in the open air viewing car for more of that fresh alpine air. During the winter months due to shorter daylight hours the latter portion of the train journey may be in darkness.

Kaikoura and Hanmer SpringsCONTACT US ABOUT THIS TOUR
With whale watch flights and hotpools, forests and wines.
Full day tour (KH01)

On this amazing day, you will experience the Alpine Pacific Triangle™ touring route, one of New Zealand’s great scenic drives. This route takes in two of New Zealand's best recreational locations. Kaikoura, famous for its whale watching and Hanmer Springs Alpine Thermal Village, known for its thermal hot pools

  • Depart Christchurch and travel through the beautiful rural pastoral scenes of North Canterbury to Kaikoura where the mountains meet sea. A stop can be made to see NZ Fur Seals basking on rocks alongside the highway.

DolphinsNew Zealand Fur Seal
  • Kaikoura, with snow-capped mountains rising almost straight from the Pacific Ocean, has deep ocean canyons that provide a home to an exciting array of sea creatures including the Giant Sperm Whale. Whales live there all year round making this one of the best places in the world for whale watching.
  • At Kaikoura, a whale watch flight with Wings over Whales is made. On your 30 minute flight you will look out for the majestic Sperm Whales and Dusky Dolphins. Sightings can also include Southern Right, Humpback, and Pilot whales.

  • Enjoy spectacular views from the Kaikoura Peninsula and then travel to Hanmer Springs by way of the very scenic inland route with farmland, river and mountain views.
  • A stop is made at the Kaikoura Winery for a wine tasting.
  • Travel from Kaikoura to Hanmer Springs on the very scenic “inland road” with its farmland and alpine vistas.
  • Situated in a high country basin, Hanmer Springs is one of New Zealand's favorite retreats and here lunch is enjoyed in an exquisite café.
    Sit back and relax in natural thermal waters at Hanmer’s outdoor Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools & Spa complex. Surrounded by towering trees and a superb mountain backdrop, the soothing mineral waters have been attracting visitors for more than 125 years as they seek to relax and unwind.

Thermal Pool - Hanmer SpringsKaikoura Winery

Akaroa & Banks PeninsulaCONTACT US ABOUT THIS TOUR
Volcanoes, Craters, Dolphins and Cheese
Full day tour (AK01 & AK02)

Banks Peninsula was formed following the violent eruptions of two volcanoes. A crater nurses the picturesque harbor of Akaroa with many smaller bays indenting the coastline. Sighted by Captain Cook in 1770, the Peninsula was then inhabited by Maori. In 1840 French settlers arrived at Akaroa, which had just been claimed under the Treaty of Waitangi by the English. To this day Akaroa remains unique the site of the only attempted settlement by the French in New Zealand.

Many streets have French names and there are descendants of the original French families still living in Akaroa.


The charm of this old French town with the incredible scenery encountered on the way have assured Akaroa’s popularity as a unique destination.

  • Travel to Akaroa over the beautiful Banks Peninsula, formed following violent eruptions of two ancient volcanoes. The high summit route gives glorious views of Akaroa Harbour, the Canterbury Plains and the distant Southern Alps and the remote bays and farmlands. The Akaroa crater nurses the picturesque harbor and Akaroa village, the only French settlement established in New Zealand.
  • Visit the Barry's Bay Cheese Factory for a cheese tasting of locally made cheeses, the only remaining cheese factory on the peninsula from a bygone era.
  • Enjoy the quaint colonial style architecture and wander around the charming 150 year old French harborside village of Akaroa with it's museum of settlers' history, art and craft shops and studios, cafes and wine bars.
Tour options
  • AK01 with Eco-marine Harbour Cruise Nature & harbor cruise on the Canterbury Cat
  • AK02 with "Swim with the dolphins" Swim with the Hector’s Dolphins – an eco-marine adventure
With return by air

Our journey this morning travels by luxury vehicle from Queenstown along the edge of Lake Wakatipu. We follow the rugged Remarkables mountain range on the road to Te Anau, which is the "Gateway to Fiordland". Te Anau is the Department of Conservation centre where efforts are currently being made to save one of the world’s most rare birds, the Takahe. The Takahe was thought to be extinct but was rediscovered in the mountains above Lake Te Anau in 1948. We’ll also discuss another even more rare bird - the Kakapo.

After a brief morning tea break in Te Anau we enter the Fiordland National Park and will be mesmerized by the grandeur of this region. As you pass through the Eglington Valley you will see ancient alpine beech forest, stunning waterfalls, and the famous Mirror Lakes where we will stop for photo opportunities.

Milford SoundLake Matherson
From here the journey progresses through the Upper Hollyford Valley past the stunning Christie Falls and enters the ‘Homer Tunnel’ (weather and road conditions permitting), which is almost a mile long. The tunnel is drilled through the solid rock of a mountain. As we exit the Homer Tunnel prepare yourself for the breath-taking impact of the Cleddau Valley and the descent into Milford Sound.

Your guide will tell tales of the early settlers and adventurers to the area. Arriving at Milford Sound we board a luxury vessel that takes us on a cruise on the majestic Sound.. Here we will see the wonderful Mitre Peak - glacier scarred rock walls that rise 1,200m vertically from the sea, and waterfalls that tumble from hanging valleys and crash into the water far below. A sumptuous lunch is served on board. From here we return to shore before making our way to the airport for your scenic flight back to Queenstown.

Queenstown To Wanaka Day TripCONTACT US ABOUT THIS TOUR

We highly recommend Wanaka for a great day trip.

Experience the stunning and varied landscapes of the Southern Lakes region with a day trip to Wanaka and a Wanaka River Journeys jet boat trip to the glaciers.

jet boating on the Matukituki River

Travel to Wanaka via the Crown Range through the historic Cardrona Valley stopping mid way at the famous Cardrona pub for photos. This is a 1.25 hour alpine drive to meet either the 10am or 1pm Wanaka River Journeys trip.

Lunch in one of Wanaka's many great cafe's then visit the absolutely unique Puzzling World before returning to Queenstown via the Cromwell and Gibbston vineyards' and the Kawerau Gorge.

This an amazing wilderness jet boating adventure on the Matukituki River beneath spectacular views of Mount Aspiring and her Glaciers.

Feel the breeze in your hair on board our purpose built jet boats as you wind your way past towering mountains, waterfalls and the unique landscapes featured in the Lord of The Rings trilogy. See Rocky Hill where the fellowship was filmed heading South from Rivendell on a jet boating sensation like no-other!

A Highlight is the remote wilderness walk (about 50 minutes). This is a great introduction to the New Zealand wilderness while walking easy terrain suitable for people of all ages. Depending on where the River Flow allows the jet boat to beach we have three beautiful areas to explore. McGill's Creek; where we follow the creek to a waterfall. Mill Creek; walk through the forest to a spectacular gorge.. The East Branch; walk beneath amazing scenery to a waterfall. On this walk, enjoy the company of your guide as he shares with you the culture of our people and the natural forces that created this unique landscape. It's worth taking your good camera!

jet boating on the Matukituki River

For those who want an even MORE exciting experience and an up-close look at the Glaciers, there is a 25 minute helicopter flight available from the jet boat and high altitude snow landing overlooking Mount Aspiring. This is a great opportunity to capture a close up look at the huge glacial area beneath Mount Aspiring with this unique combination of jet boating, helicopter flight, and wilderness walk.

Board the helicopter from the river bank for a scenic helicopter flight. See hanging valleys where glaciers once lay and waterfalls that cascade from under giants of ice into the streams and rivers that feed into the Matukituki River. During this unique New Zealand glacier tour experience a high altitude snow landing overlooking Mount Aspiring. Disembark the helicopter for photos before flying down into the Matukituki Valley to join the guided wilderness walk and return leg of the Jet Boat tour.

The following itinerary caters to those who prefer smaller, more intimate group tours, or who do not wish to be totally on their own. We pride ourselves on our attention to detail, the personal touches and aim to give our guests a truly memorable experience of their visit to New Zealand - a visit which will be both unique and relaxed.

Taking you "Off the Beaten Track", the tour is designed for those who wish to experience the pristine beauty of New Zealand whilst receiving first class service and attention. It will encompass those things which make New Zealand truly unique - the ecology and natural history, the Maori mythology and history, the European history and of course, New Zealand's incredible scenery. A small group tour will give you far more flexibility with the time and activities to allow for each individual's desires. Great care is taken to choose top quality lodges and luxury small hotels that are as interesting and unusual as the sights we see and are more than just places to stay. Journey of learning, discovery and adventure

Deluxe 9 day Nature and Wilderness SafariCONTACT US ABOUT THIS TOUR

Day 1 "Christchurch and welcome"
After an introduction tour of Christchurch, you will travel west across the vast Canterbury Plains and into the mountains. Here in the heart of the "High Country" is the Arthur's Pass Wilderness Lodge where you will stay for the first two days of your South Island adventure.

Arthur's Pass Wilderness Lodge

Accommodation: Wilderness Lodge Arthur’s Pass

Day 2 "High country, sheep, valleys & keas"
Discover the real high country where you can explore alpine plants, animals and the mountains. Experience the workings of a sheep station, explore Arthur1s Pass National Park in the heart of the Southern Alps and view the wide braided river system. Walking, mountain biking or relaxing are options available at the lodge.

Accommodation: Wilderness Lodge Arthur's Pass

Day 3 "Mountains, moas, pioneers & ice"
Travel through the Arthur’s Pass National Park and cross the pass created as a gold rush link. Great mountain valleys, history and home of the kea - the world’s only alpine parrot. Down the incredible Otira Gorge to the West Coast and "Glacier Country". Take a walk to view the mighty Franz Josef Glacier.

Arthur's Pass National Park and Glacier Country

Accommodation: Te Weheka, Fox Glacier (or similar)

Day 4 "Geology, ice age & podocarps"
A day to explore the Fox region where walks can be taken to experience this incredible glacial area. A tranquil walk can also be made to Lake Matheson, the beautiful lake famous for it’s alpine reflections or to a remote beach for views of the Southern Alps.

Accommodation: Wilderness Lodge Lake Moeraki

The Fox Region

Day 5 "Wilderness, wildlife & rainforests"
Magnificent and rugged beaches that are home to the crested penguins and NZ fur seals, untouched lowland rain forests spread between pristine lakes and rivers which drain from the snow capped Southern Alps

Accommodation: Wilderness Lodge Lake Moeraki

Day 6 "Coastline, explorers, tussocks and gold"
Moving on, you will cross the alps over the Haast Pass where the forests give way to golden tussock grasslands. Pass Lakes Hawea and Wanaka, ancient glacial lakes and then over the Crown Range to Arrowtown, an old gold-miners’ village.


See the bungy (or jump it yourself!) then into Queenstown where you will stay for the next three nights at a superior lodge.

Bungy Jumpers

Accommodation: Millbrook Resort

Day 7 "Adventure in the mountains"
Choose your own optional adventure - bungy jumping, a backcountry safari, jetboating, kayaking or a cruise on the historic steamship Earnslaw.


Perhaps shopping, golf, wineries, an art & craft trail or just relax and take in the beautiful mountain setting.

Accommodation: Millbrook Resort

Day 8 "Milford, glacial lakes, alps & fiords"
Travel to magnificent Milford Sound and cruise on the fiord. You will see deeply carved glacial valleys, ancient forests and incredible scenery - truly magnificent.

Milford Sound cruise on the fiord

Accommodation: Millbrook Resort

Day 9 "Queenstown & farewell"
After breakfast, perhaps relax and indulge in some pampering with some of health and beauty facilities at Millbrook. Time for that last minute shopping or to experience that last piece of adventure before it is time for your guide to bid you farewell. Your guide will transfer you to the airport or car rental office as required.