COASTAL PACIFIC UPDATE
Work is continuing at pace on the reinstatement of the Main North Line following November’s Kaikoura earthquake. Parts of the line are open for freight goods and crews are working fast in both directions but higher safety standards and ongoing seismic events mean that passenger services will be delayed longer than freight. Because of this, it is unlikely that the Coastal Pacific will operate this summer season (September 2017-April 2018).
The Coastal Pacific will be back to service as early as possible for the 2018/2019 season and it is hoped the season will be extended if possible. This could mean an earlier start date than September 2018. We will continue to keep you updated as a return to service date becomes clearer. In the meantime we can book coach transportation for you between Picton and Christchurch.
Discover the Canterbury high country and see Lord of the Rings scenery on an Edoras tour, then travel to Queenstown via Mount Cook with this tour combo.
Day 1: Lord of the Rings Edoras Tour - Pick up Canterbury Museum, Rolleston Avenue, Outside Museum, Christchurch
Take a journey into Middle-earth with a full day tour from Christchurch to a key Lord of the Rings filming location.
Setting out from Christchurch, we travel via four-wheel drive to the remote and beautiful Mt Potts high country station. Here, peaceful Mt Sunday was transformed into Edoras, home to the Riders of Rohan in the Lord of the Rings film trilogy.
On your guided walk you'll learn how the set was built on top of sheer cliffs, see exclusive photos from the film set's construction, and enjoy the awe-inspiring 360-degree views from the summit (just like Eowyn did in the movies!). As you take in the pristine beauty and breathe in the crisp mountain air, you'll understand why the actors and crew fell in love with this stunning location.
During your tour you'll also see the famed Misty Mountains and the area which formed the backdrop to the terrifying battle of Helm's Deep, while enjoying informative and entertaining commentary from your local guide. An appetising champagne picnic lunch is included. Your tour concludes in Christchurch.
Useful tips: Your four-wheel drive vehicle is powered by 100% bio diesel, helping keep New Zealand's environment clean and green. Please advise at time of booking if infants are travelling.
Day 2: Mount Cook Day Tour (Christchurch to Queenstown) - Pick up Lichfield Bus Depot, Lichfield Street, Christchurch
Experience the beauty and grandeur of the Southern Alps on a sightseeing day tour to Mount Cook.
Leaving Christchurch in the morning, we travel through the fertile farmland of the Canterbury Plains to the shores of the stunning, glacier-fed Lake Tekapo, where you can view the solitary Church of the Good Shepherd and take in the sights of the spectacular Southern Alps. We then continue to the location of New Zealand's tallest mountain, Aoraki / Mount Cook, situated in a national park and UNESCO World Heritage site. Rising to 3,754 metres high, Aoraki certainly lives up to its name, which in M?ori can be translated as 'cloud piercer'. Legend tells of a young boy named Aoraki who was stranded with his brothers when their canoe struck a reef. As it tilted, the brothers climbed to the high side, where they were frozen by the south wind and turned into stone. Aoraki and his brothers now form the Southern Alps.
Enjoy lunch (optional extra) at the famous Hermitage Hotel in Mount Cook Village. After lunch you'll have time to explore the village and soak up the view. Alternatively there is time to experience a scenic helicopter or ski plane flight for incredible views of mountain peaks and glaciers (additional cost, weather permitting – this flight can be arranged with your driver guide on the day).
The tour continues south, past Lake Pukaki and through the tawny tussock of the Mackenzie Country. En route, enjoy afternoon tea (own expense) in the quaint village of Omarama and if time permits, visit the Jones Family Orchard near Cromwell. Your tour concludes in the evening upon reaching Queenstown, the adventure capital of New Zealand.
Free WiFi available on board the GreatSights coach