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Valleys, Mountain Lakes - Inland Canterbury

Suitable For The Moderately Active

This 8-day tour takes you into seldom visited glacial valleys and landscapes, some hidden gems that are off the beaten track You will get to see pristine glacial blue lakes and rivers, tour up remote country roads to iconic high -country stations, have the chance to hike on trails in vast landscapes or cycle on easy quiet tracks and country roads. 

To complete the experience we visit Lake Tekapo, cycle part of the ‘Alps 2 Ocean’ trail at Pukaki and journey to Mount Cook Park, with a walk into the Hooker valley glacial lake described as one of the best short walks in New Zealand. 

 

Your travel itinerary

Tuesday 01 December

Auckland – Christchurch – Mt Somers

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On arrival at the airport we cross the plains heading inland on the scenic route to journey into the majestic Rakaia River Valley with its glacial blue water, wide braided riverbed fed from the Garden of Eden icefield. We will take you to the edge of pristine inland lakes that are a haven for fisherman and home for native waterfowl like the crested grebe. In the area is the Wilberforce Valley which is the home of the famous Mt Algidus Station (Mona Andersons book, ”a river rules my life “).

You can enjoy short walks to viewpoints of Lake Coleridge and the arboretum forest walk at Lake Coleridge Hydro village and perhaps even the Rakaia Gorge River walk before we head to our accommodation at Mt Somers for a three night stay at Stonechrubie Hotel.

Wednesday 02 December

Sightseeing to Mesopotamia

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No crowds here as we take you on a journey up the glacial carved Rangitata Valley to visit the historic Mesopotamia sheep station. This is in the heart of New Zealand’s Southern Alps.   

Here your local guides will describe the farming practices and rich history and point out the natural features enroute. We pass by other stations starting with the historic Mt Peel, then White Rock, Rata Peaks, Ben McLeod, and Forest Creek. Once we reach Mesopotamia Station, we take the time to visit the Mesopotamia School, Shearers Quarters, Grave site of Dr Sinclair, and the Te Araroa Trail. Our 4WD vans take us high on station tracks and trails through the deer park where you may also see Himalayan Thar, then it is time to enjoy a home style picnic and refreshments. There is time for a walk at your leisure, take photos or just relax to take in the vastness of this valley and the upper reaches of the Rangitata River with its stunning glaciers and snowfields. 

Thursday 03 December

Sightseeing Ashburton Lakes

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Today is a drive into the Ashburton lakes, a vast glacial landscape of waving tussocks, gorgeous lakes, historic huts, and Lord of the Ring views. Mt Potts and Erewhon Station are two historic sheep stations based at the foot of an alpine playground.

A choice of walks; Mt Sunday can provide an awesome panorama or perhaps to Lake Emma with its historic hut. We also visit Lake Heron, the Maori lakes and Lake Clearwater. There is an amazing network of huts and tracks in this newly created park. Perhaps some time for fishing.

Friday 04 December

Mt Somers – Tekapo

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Our travel south is via Geraldine to Lake Tekapo. We stop to visit the Church of the Good Shepherd, and the statue of Mackenzie’s dog perhaps take time for a lakeside picnic lunch .Then in the afternoon it’s a chance for exploring the remote country roads as we drive to the head of lake Tekapo.There are a range of walks at Lake Alexandrina or Round hill ski field, fantastic views of the Godley and Cass Valley and a chance for a leisurely cycle before returning to Tekapo for a two night stay at Peppers Resort. 

 

Saturday 05 December

Sightseeing day – Mt John, Lake Pukaki

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Today starts with a drive up Mt John to the observatory cafe, with a stunning 360 degree panorama. There is an option to walk down tracks leading off Mt John to the lake below where you will meet up with our vans. Then we travel across the Mackenzie basin towards Twizel to enjoy the Alps 2 Ocean cycle trail at Lake Pukaki.

The Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail is the longest continuous ride in New Zealand and takes in some of the country’s most incredible scenery. Today you have the choice of riding or walking on one of the most scenic sections of the trail. This section is up to 22 kms in length but you can stop at any stage and ride in the support vehicle. We start near the Mount Cook salmon farm where you may enjoy the chance to see salmon feeding. The cycle trail runs alongside the Tekapo hydro canal and follows it at a very gradual downhill until you get to a lovely downhill section which takes you to the edge of Lake Pukaki.The surface is sealed at first and then becomes a shingle track around the lake edge There are stunning views in this section of the Southern Alps, Lake Pukaki, and the Mackenzie Basin.

Sunday 06 December

Tekapo – Mount Cook National Park

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The drive into Lake Ohau is spectacular. The area is beautifully rugged and painted with beautiful yellow, orange, and brown hues synonymous with the South Island high country. The prominent Ben Ohau mountain range stands watch over the far side of Lake Ohau. We travel up the remote road as far as our vehicles allow to gain views of the Hopkins and Huxley valley, enjoy a walk on a beech forest track or relax with a cup of tea in this vast valley.

There is another lovely lakeside cycle trail, leading onto roads running along canals as an option on the return home. This is another popular section of the A20 trail (about 30 kms to Twizel) and again easy riding with a downhill gradient. . A scenic drive along Lake Pukaki into the heart of the Southern Alps where we have a two night stay at the iconic Hermitage Hotel.

Monday 07 December

Mt Cook National Park

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This is your chance to walk the Hooker Valley, described as one of the best half day walks in NZ. The walk follows the Hooker River, crosses three swing bridges ending at a glacier lake with its icebergs and an amazing views of Mt Cook (Aoraki) on a clear day. The return walk is 10kms (allow about 3 hours). Shorter walks in and around the Mt Cook Village are also available or relax and soak in the views

 

Tuesday 08 December

Mt Cook National Park – Christchurch – Auckland

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Weather permitting we will take a sparsely travelled alternative route over the Mackenzie Pass to Fairlie  This road is following the route used by the notorious sheep rustler and his loyal dog as they moved their stolen mob of sheep into the Mackenzie basin. Arrive in Christchurch in time for the return flight.

 

Inclusions

• Airfares - Auckland-Christchurch return

(other destinations available)

• Seven nights accommodation with private facilities

• Breakfast daily

• Dinner daily

• Six Picnic lunches

• Travel is in 9 seater 4WD vehicles

• Maximum 16 Passenagers 

• Expert driver/guides

• Mountain bikes included 

• Station access fees /Mt John fees /cycle        trail fees etc

• Pukekohe Travel Escort subject to 12 passengers travelling

Cost

Cost Per Person *
Auckland - Auckland
Twin ShareSingle 
   $2,985 $3,630

*This is a cash or cheque price. Credit cards will incur a 2% fee
*Itinerary and costs subject to change, airline and fuel charges and currency fluctuations prior to final payment

Exclusions

• Cancellation insurance

• Items of a personal nature

• Items not specified 

• Fishing Licence

Booking Conditions

• A non-refundable deposit of $200 per person will secure a place on the tour.  

• FULL PAYMENT is due no later than 23 October 2020

• Bookings made after  23 October 2020 will require full payment.

Cancellations

• Deposit – non refundable

• After 23 October 2020 – no refund

• All cancellation charges are on a per-person basis.  

• No refund can be made once tour is the underway.

 

Travel Insurance

We strongly advise all participants to take out suitable travel insurance to cover cancellation costs.  Please ask us for a quote.

 

General Information

Alps 2 Ocean is a local tour company with a group of guides who have worked and grown up in the region and have a wealth of knowledge to share .They are passionate about showing you their region’s hidden jewels and providing an authentic relaxed experience. 

 4WD vans used are 9-seater 4WD Toyota vans that allow access to the remote tracks and country roads in this itinerary. There will be shuttle trailers for luggage and for carrying bikes.

Cycling – we use mountain bikes. The cycling is generally downhill as much as possible on quiet country roads or tracks and formed cycle trails. There is options to re-join a support vehicle when ready. Bikes, helmets and fluoro vests are provided. Cycle pants, light shoes and windproof jackets are recommended. 

Walks- mostly on high country station tracks, formed trails, tussock country or native forest, on generally undulating tracks avoiding the steeper and wetter areas. Light boots or tramping shoes required.

Fishing - we are often near rivers inland lakes and canals that have both trout and salmon. Passengers may be dropped off if they wish, at a location for a time to fish and picked up on our return.

A fishing licence is required; some fishing rods and gear will be available.

Health and Fitness

• To ensure the tour is enjoyable for the whole group, a good standard of fitness is required and clients should be able to walk comfortably for an hour plus and have cycled recently and be confident on gravel surfaces.

Light boots or tramping shoes are required


Note: Pukekohe Travel reserves the right to correct errors and omissions on our website without recourse.
* Itinerary subject to change

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