Pre & Post Touring
For those delegates who wish to explore New Zealand before and/or after LCA 2010, the following are some pre and post touring suggestions.
Travelling South from Wellington
Depart Wellington for Picton on the Inter Island ferry. From Picton it is just a short drive to Marlborough, a natural paradise of mist-hazed hills, sheltered waterways and sun-drenched plains – world-renowned for its Sauvignon Blanc wines and gourmet delights.
Travel south along the magnificant East Coast to Christchurch, stopping off at Kaikoura to take a Whale Watching boat trip. Explore Christchurch, New Zealand’s garden city or experience a horse trek over the hills of Banks Peninsula.
From Christchurch and en-route to Mt Cook, New Zealand’s highest mountain, stop at the Church of the Good Shepherd to view Lake Tekapo. Continue to Mount Cook village – nestled under the mountain which overlooks a network of glaciers feeding Lakes Tekapo and Pukaki. There are a number of activities including walks, tramps and scenic flights that will enable views of Mt Cook and the glaciers.
Travel to Queenstown by following the “gold trail” alongside the winding Kawarau River. Queenstown nestles up to the northern shore of Lake Wakatipu from where it commands an expansive view of the peaks which surround the lake.
Spend time in Queenstown, the adventure capital of the world. Go bungy jumping, jet boating, white water rafting, hiking, climbing and horse trekking. Enjoy a wine tour of one of the best wine regions in New Zealand.
Take a Milford Sound day excursion from Queenstown. Drive through the magnicent beech forests of the Eglington and Hollyford Valleys, through the Homer Tunnel to Milford Sound for a launch excursion on the fiord. Enjoy the breathtaking scenery including the awe-inspiring Mitre Peak.
While in the area walk The Milford Track – long been described as “the finest walk in the world”. The Milford Track Guided Walk is a 5 days/4 nights Queenstown to Queenstown all-inclusive guided walk through the heart of Fiordland National Park to Milford Sound. Accommodation is in luxury lodges and delegates will be led by expert guides.
Depart from Queenstown to Franz Josef Glacier. During the trip, delegates will traverse Kawarau Gorge, Hawera River and Lake Wanaka. Travel through Haast and continue on to Franz Josef.
View the magnificent Franz Josef glacier then travel to Greymouth on board the scenic Tranz Alpine for a rail journey famous for its spectacular mountain scenery as it traverses the Southern Alps which divide the East and West coasts of the South Island. Travel across the Canterbury Plains and back to Christchurch.
Travelling North from Wellington
Head north from Wellington up the Kapiti Coast and drive through the spectacular Desert Road on the volcanic plateau to Lake Taupo. Stop in Taupo township, on the shores of the lake and enjoy the beautiful scenery. Go fly fishing for the day on one of the many rivers or streams in the region or play a round of golf at the magnificent Wairakei International Golf Course.
From Taupo it’s a short drive to Rotorua, the centre of the geothermal region of New Zealand. It is also the main centre for Māori culture. Boiling mud, geysers and silica deposits surrounding the lake attract visitors from all over the world. Enjoy a thermal tour – visit Whakarewerewa Thermal Reserve, Rainbow Springs and Farm Show and Lake Rotorua. Perhaps take a tour of Mt Tarawera or the Buried Village or enjoy a swim at the Polynesian Spa. Enjoy a Māori Hangi (feast) and concert in the evening.
Continue north via Lake Karapiro to Waitomo. Visit the Waitomo Caves and enjoy the magical boat-ride through the Glow-worm Grotto. From Waitomo travel through Te Awamutu to Hamilton City and follow the Waikato River north, head over the Bombay Hills to Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city.
While in Auckland enjoy the best in local food and fashion. Spend a half day out on the harbour in one of the America’s Cup yachts or take a guided walk through Auckland’s volcanic landscape.
Travel north across Auckland’s harbour bridge, along the beautiful Hibiscus Coast to the Bay of Islands. On arrival in the Bay of Islands visit the Waitangi Treaty Grounds. Considered to be the birth place of New Zealand as a bicultural nation, the Waitangi Treaty Grounds are set in an extensive park-like reserve. Learn about the first Māori canoes to New Zealand, the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi and visit Te Whare Runanga, a fully carved Māori Meeting House, which is representative of all Iwi (regional tribes) in New Zealand.
While in Northland take a stroll amongst 1000-year old kauri trees at Puketi Forest. Pass by golden sand beaches at Whangaroa, Coopers Beach, Cable Bay and Taipa. The departing place for Māori spirits is Cape Reinga where the Tasman Sea and mighty Pacific Ocean crash together beneath the Cape Reinga Lighthouse.
Other highlights of spending time in the far North include Te Paki Quicksand Stream, thrilling sand tobogganing on body boards down the giant Te Paki Sand Dunes and traveling by coast down the vast Ninety Mile Beach.
Return to Auckland via the same route for the flight home.