NEW ZEALAND TOUR - Feb / March 2013
Final Web Version 20 Feb 2013
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Night (booked)



Feb 23


Copthorne Commodore Airport Hotel,
449 Memorial Avenue Burnside, Christchurch 8053, New Zealand
(03) 358 8129

Fly into Christchurch from various departure points in Australia (Syd, Melb, Bris). Mid morning Departure, Mid pm arrival.    
Options on arrival -
  • Willowbank Wildlife Reserve - Ko Tane Living Maori Village (cultural experience) 7km - 9 min drive from hotel (checking bus), check-in 5:15pm $135
  • OR Explore Christchurch (17 min - checking Airport to City bus service - possibly Super Shuttle? )
  • & OR Pomeroy's Historic Brewery Inn 292 Kilmore Street, Christchurch (possible dinner venue?)
  • OR 30 min Punting trip on the Avon River ($25 p/p) 03 366 0337 (see other tours on this site)
  • The Great New Zealand Beer Festival is on in Hagley Park 11.30- 7pm. 45 NZ Breweries, mainly craft type, will be represented, along with music & food - Tickets - Gate sales $40 ea Enter via Park Terrace/Rolleston Avenue
  • The Great British Car Rally (not actual rally cars though) end in Christchurch today. 200-300 British cars of all marques & age arrive after a charity fund raiser from Auckland started by the British Foreign Secretary. 11-3pm Hagley Park North
  • Ferrymead Heritage Park in Christchurch is an operating historic township/museum & their tram restoration workshop is an interesting look. They generally have trams running in the weekends & occasionally a steam tram & train, but there is also something for everyone here.

Early arrivals could do a bit of private exploring.


Feb 24

Train C/Church to Arthurs Pass "Tranz Alpine wilderness experience. Full day (booked)
Tour information: "Today you will board the world famous Tranz Alpine Train for a full day trip out to New Zealand’s
beautiful Southern Alps. View the incredible scenery through panoramic windows before disembarking at Arthurs Pass, where you will enjoy a tour by road through the National Park to Otira Gorge.
Lunch is included and is at the Wobbly Kea Restaurant.
The return journey to Christchurch is by road, stopping for an exhilarating jet boat ride through the spectacular gorges of the Waimakariri River. Finally, a visit will be made to a farm for late afternoon tea, followed by a sheep shearing and sheep mustering demonstration." Returns 5.30 - 6.00 pm


Rise Early!

Pick-up at
0745 am.

Feb 25
Note - GREEN background =
car hire day

Beachcomber Hotel
27 Waikawa Road, Picton,
(03) 573 8900

Pick up the cars - Ron Hazelhurt's crew will be picked up at 0830 for delivery to his premises at 300 Jowers Road, West Melton (20 min) to pick up cars. Bryan Laws crew will have their cars delivered to the Copthorne. All to meet at Amberley (tba) 36 min north of the Copthorne at Norwest Cafe 95 Carters Rd, Amberley ( 03-314 9411) for coffee.

Head north from Christchurch to the Marlborough Sounds and Picton area

  • Stop at Amberley
  • via Kiakoura famous for a nearby cove and waterfall or whale watching trip,
    plus Nin's Bin (caravan) for fresh crayfish!
  • Blenheim / Cloudy Bay – wineries (side trip - Jackson 's Rd near Blenheim 03 520 9197)
  • Blenheim - Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre ( 03 579 1305   $25 or $20 seniors 10am - 5pm) "houses a display like no other and you don’t have to be an aviation buff to enjoy it! Human stories from the Great War come to life in a theatrical treatment, which is innovative and the Etrich Taube Dogfight, visually stunning."
  • also at Omaka - Omaka Classic Cars and accessed from the Aviation Centre.
  • Edwin Fox Maritime Museum 03 573 6868 (30-60 min) Not far from Beachcomber Hotel

345 km 5 hrs



Feb 26

Leisure lodge
40 Waimea Road, Nelson,
03 548 2089
Wi Fi 50Mb free
then 10c / Mb

"Beachcomber Fun Cruise: Scenic Ship Cove Cruise" Half day (booked) Web site has a good map.
Check in: 9 am departs 9:30 03 57 36 175 or 0800 62 45 26
"Enjoy the stunning scenery of the Queen Charlotte Sound as you sit back & relax on a Cruise to Ship Cove. Meander through the sounds, keeping an eye out for the abundant wildlife. You will have an opportunity to disembark for 15 minutes at Ship Cove which holds key cultural heritage stories told in a beautiful sheltered cove with a lush coastal forest backdrop. On rejoining your cruise vessel you will visit Resolution Bay to feed bread to the pet fish."

The cruise finishes at 1230 and we will have lunch in Picton.
We will then make our way to Nelson, a town known for its abundance of arts and crafts.
Driving distance to Nelson is approx 1 hour 45 mins / 110kms.
" Picton to Nelson is via Queen Charlotte Drive. This is a winding stretch of road on which it is difficult to overtake for much of its length. If you get caught behind slow traffic, it can add quite a bit to the time for the journey. Many campervans and similar vehicles use it and the scenery is quite nice. You should allow a couple of hours for the trip".
After settling in at the Leisure Lodge have a look around Nelson attractions.
Evening Meal: the Smugglers Pub 03 546 4084   Nelson Coaches $6.50 ea. ret. - Mike 03 539 0831 7pm 10pm

110 km 1:45 hr
Feb 27
  • Local driving tour to Kaiteriteri which has been recommended by Terry Byrne, Group Leader for the Nelson area TR Reg. NZ. He says "It is a good drive and a fabulous beach area".
  • (booked)Nelson - 2pm - World of WearableArt™ and Classic Cars Museum (03) 547 4573
    Cadillac Way off Quarantine Road, Annesbrook
Feb 28
Punakaiki Resort
State Hwy 6
03 731 1168

Travel via Murchison       (Buller Gorge Swingbridge near Murchison)
Then via Charleston on the west coast.
Options at Charleston: (probably NOT possible due to the time required)

Stop as required along the coast via Greymouth and Hokitika.
- Visit nearby blowholes and Pancake Rocks & other vistas!

274 km 4hrs

(start of TR Reg NZ
Natl. Meet in Auckland)

Mar 1
Fox Glacier
Sunset Motel
93 Cook Flat Road Fox Glacier
03-751 0062
0800 751 006

There are places to see on the way to Glacier Country - Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers
Stop off at Franz Josef glacier and or..
move on to Fox glacier - check the Information Centre at the Fox Glacier Inn (39 Sullivan Road, West Coast 7886) for things to see and do.
- self guided walk to the terminal face of the Glacier
- Fox Glacier terminal face guided walk (2 hrs $49 ea) I think you may be able to walk by yourself?
- or optional Heli Tour.     Check scenic flights HERE 03 752 0793 OR 0800 800 793 (from NZ$195.00 per adult)

Bryan Laws (MX5 Touring) suggests: "Not sure what your dining arrangements are when you are at Fox Glacier but I can recommend the Lake Matheson Cafe – they have a website and the setting is great and the food very good – much better than the usual hotel buffet fare." 03 751 0878
I have made a tentative booking (from) 6pm for 30 people. Check the website above - it also has the menus on-line.

Ron Hazelhurst (MX5 Rentals) suggests: " The road between Westport and Greymouth is one of the most scenic of the West Coast, best parts 10km each side of Punakaiki where the bush comes right down to the sea. Hope the weather is good that day. Punakaiki is fairly remote without the facilities like choice of restaurants of Greymouth or Hokitika (not that they are great!) but you will want to push all of them to do at least the walk (5 minutes) down to see the Punakaiki rocks. Next best would be the glaciers. Lake Ianthe and Lake Mapourika are very scenic.
The West Coast can be a bit wet but still great!"


247km 3:40 hrs

Claire Middleton wants you to know...
Today is the start of the Bluff OYSTER Season

Mar 2
38 - 54 Lake Esplanade
03 442 7600

Wired broadband to room.
Free WiFi in the bar!!

[Stop off at Fox glacier if missed yesterday]
Your drive today will take you down the rugged west coast of New Zealand and through to the beautiful southern lakes region.
Travel to Queenstown via Haast Pass, Hwy 6, then turn right into Wanaka The Visitor Information Centre on the shores of Lake Wanaka (100 Ardmore St) is worth a visit.... OR:
- visit the National Transport & Toy Museum at Wanaka Airport (time permitting) by turning left on Hwy 6 towards Queenstown for 6km. The Airport also hosts the NZ Fighter Pilots Museum.
IF YOU MISS THE MUSEUMS TODAY they can be revisited tomorrow (100km each way)
Meet up with some TR Register NZ members today. (tba)
Travel through Wanaka then to Queenstown via the Cardrona Valley Rd & Crown Range Rd.

A deviation via Arrowtown is recommended as it is an old minig town (& one of the Middle Earth filming locations for the Lord of the Rings).

332km 4:50 hrs

(3rd Mar finish of TR Reg NZ
Natl. Meet in Auckland)
Mar 3

Morning Options:

Evening: (booked)Join the TSS Earnslaw Evening Dining Cruise including dinner at Walter peak.
More info and a MAP    

Mar 4

Drive to Glenorchy
OR visit Arrowtown if you missed it before.
or other local attractions.

(booked) dinner high above Queenstown at the Skyline gondola and Restaurant.

Mar 5
Te Anau
Distinction Luxmore Hotel

Corner Mokonui St & Main St
03 249 7526

Driving distance Queenstown/Milford sound is 4 hours 10mins / 291 kms     7.30am departure!
Milford Sound - general info
Milford sound scenic cruise (1 hours 40mins) 1pm departure. (booked)
Driving distance Milford Sound / Te Anau 1hr 41min / 116km

Te Anau activities

291km 4:10 hrs
116km 1:41 hrs
(after cruise)
Mar 6
Ascot Park
Corner of Tay St & Racecourse Road
03 219 9076
Wi Fi available
$5 - 100mb
Internet also.
Driving distance 2 hours 25 mins / 157 kms this drive will take you through the Southern Heartland and onto New Zealand’s most southern city of Invercargill.
- Travel past Lake Manapouri, then on to Clifden and Tuatapere, where you can investigate caves and discover the historic suspension bridge.
- Riverton, one of New Zealand's first settlements, has an excellent museum. [2:45 hrs / 190km to Invercargill]
- Or travel via Lumsden. [2:25 hrs / 157 km to Invercargill]
- Fit in a visit to the display of Burt Munro's motor cycles. + includes a nice gift shop
- OR visit Richardson's Truck collection 03 217 1600 only 1km walk from our motel. "The Bill Richardson Truck Museum is the largest private collection of its type in the world. Presently the museum is home to 210 trucks and 120 petrol bowsers, and is still growing. Four wheel tractors and five crawler tractors in the collection reflect Bill's interest in farm machinery". Contact Ian - 027 436 1654       Tentative booking for 2pm for 15
A courtesy bus is available to take those who don't want to go to the Truck Museum to Invercargill shopping centre.

157km 2:25 hrs
190km 2:45 hrs
via Tuatapere


Mar 7

District attractions including the Burt Munro collection & Richardson's Truck Museum.
Visit Bluff (oysters! - and it IS their oyster season) - drive right to the end of Marine Parade at the southern tip of Bluff - recommended view... and eating.
Optional ferry trip to Stewart Island ($140 ret 9.30 - 4.30) + optional Paterson Inlet Cruise (including Ulva Island)
The ferry trip may be weather permitting.

Mar 8
Mercure Dunedin
310 Princes Street
03 477 1145
Wi Fi available
Free 30 min
+ charged room broadband

Direct drive from Invercargill and onto the Edinburgh of the south, Dunedin via the inland road, missing the picturesque but slow coastal road. Easily fit in the train trip starting at 2:30pm
OR a very scenic drive up the east coast of the South Island via Catlins coastal road [possible 7am start??]

Some (8 couples so far) have booked the Taieri Gorge Railway - Anzac Avenue, Dunedin to Pukerangi & ret (2.30 - 6.30) $86 ret. with just enough time to get back to the dinner at 7.30 pm. The Mercure is about 2km from the Railway Station. Those travelling by train will need to pay direct to: 03 477 4449 ( or book on website)

OR arrive directly & explore Dundein OR Larnach Castle OR Otago Museum etc.

[Note: the Otago peninsular is a "road too far" for this trip].
Final Dinner this evening at Mercure Dunedin    (booked) With guests from the TR Register NZ
217km 3:05 hrs

257km say 4hrs with some stops
Mar 9
Lake Tekapo
Peppers Blue Water
State Highway 8,
03 680 7000

The following suggestion from Trevor Payton - (TR Reg NZ - Otago) "Take Highway 1, suggest visit to Moeraki Boulders, good restaurant for coffee and food. Oamaru. The historic precinct is worth a visit, it's not far off Highway 1.
Follow Highway 1 to Highway 83 turn off. Follow Highway 83 up the Waitaki Valley. Fossil Information centre is worth a visit at Duntroon.
Turn onto Highway 8 at Omarama, watch for salmon farms around Twizel.
Turn off Highway 8 at MtCook (Mt Aorangi) turnoff. From turn off to Mt Cook is approx 45min (56km) you need to leave time to do any walks etc you want to do in the area. On a good day there is quite a few things to do.
At Lake Tekapo, check out the Mt John Observatory - check opening times or tours it is well worth it. Even the drive up there is worth doing."
General information: Mount Cook        Options: short walks

300km 4:20 hrs
Mar 10

(10 Couples flying out on 11th)
Sudima Hotel
Cnr Memorial Ave
& Orchard Rd
03 358 3139

Travel to Christchurch. Trevor Payton suggests: "...taking Highway 72, the scenic route. This is the inland route and is far more interesting than the main road. You would need to give up the idea of going to Akaroa. (see day 17 for alternative possibility)

Christchurch to Akaroa is a good half day trip if you want to do it properly. Having a look around the town and possibly doing one of the dolphin tours.

Alternatively, you could go straight up Highway 1 turn off at Burnham and go to Akaroa that way; it would be a full on day. If you decide to do this I would suggest that you take the high road into Akaroa on the way in and take the low road on the wav back. It makes for a far more interesting drive."

Information on Akaroa (thanks Lesley)
Return car to Christchurch if flying out today

302km 4:23 hrs

160km 3:10 hrs
round trip without stops.

360km 5:30
plus stops

Mar 11
Return to Oz

Perhaps retain the car (Ron's cars are available) and drive to Akaroa on the Banks Peninsula (a recommended drive) if time permitted. (it is 1.5 hrs drive each way so we wouldn't have time to stop for long).
OR ...Visit missed attractions around Christchurch.

Return hire cars.
At least 10 couples Fly out today . Emirates departs at 1655

Approx 2600km
+ incidentals
= 3000k+
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