Mar 15 – Mar 19, 2021 – Women’s Trip
Price: NZ$ 1,895
Double occupancy/twin share
Single Supplement: NZ$450
min 6, max 11
- Mountains and Limestone – Arthur’s Pass
- Ride in a Rainforest – Hokitika
- Fascinating History – Blackball
- Pancake Rocks – Punakaiki
- Reefton Legends – Reefton
- Mineral Pools Soak – Hanmer Springs
- Dine in the Vines – Waipara
We’ll traverse the Southern Alps exploring Castle Hill, a high country station, and Arthur’s Pass before dropping over to the rugged West Coast. We’ll bike, or ebike, from the ‘cool little town’ of Hokitika through the rainforest to the Treetop Walkway for expansive views high among the canopy of rainforest giants. We’ll walk to Hokitika Gorge and the Punakaiki Rocks then spend time with some West Coast locals along the way for an insider’s perspective into life in this rugged part of our country. Reefton takes us back in time to hear more stories of local legends while sampling some exquisite local liquors. We’ll soak in hot pools, wander amidst larger than life iron sculptures and round out our trip with a slow sumptuous vineyard lunch.
This trip blends stunning alpine and west coast scenery, some gentle walking and biking, locally produced food, wine and spirits, truly intriguing and inspiring locals, and all in the company of other fun-loving women. It’s a great break with loads of variety.
No minimum level of fitness is required for this trip.
Day 1: Christchurch – Hokitika
- Arrive in Christchurch early as we begin our trip from Christchurch Airport. We’ll depart by 10am.
- Watch the scenery change from the plains of Canterbury to the rugged high country.
- Explore Castle Hill’s unique and enormous limestone formations surrounded by sheer snow-capped mountains. Described by the Dalai Lama as the spiritual centre of the universe, and used in The Lord of the Rings and Narnia, this area is quite magical.
- Enjoy a welcome lunch at Flock Hill Station, learning about the conservation efforts of this high country station.
- Take in the impressive crashing waterfalls of Arthur’s Pass before watching the terrain change to the lush green of the wild west coast.
- Stroll across the road to explore the impressive glowworm dell.
- Fall asleep to the sounds of the waves in our locally owned beachfront lodging with views over the ocean.
Day 2: Hokitika
- Join a West Coast local for an easy 1-2 hour bike ride on the newest section of the West Coast Wilderness trail. Ebikes if you want!
- Ride through wetlands, native bush, and old mill sites on this gorgeous stretch of the trail, taking in the stunning views of Lake Mahinapua.
- Fuel up at lunch before venturing up the Treetop Walkway for expansive views high among the canopy of rainforest giants. Birdsong and views surround you as you take in the majestic views of nature all around.
- Meander back to Hokitika at a leisurely pace.
- Wander around town and visit the many greenstone shops in Hokitika.
Day 3: Hokitika – Cape Foulwind
- Stroll through dense podocarp forest to view the surreal blue waters of the Hokitika river, crossing the swing bridge to get closer down to the turquoise waters.
- Follow the rugged coast north to the tiny rural town of Blackball, rich in surprising history in the unlikeliest of places.
- Spend time with a long time local who will share stories of this fascinating area and people.
- Relax over a delicious lunch at ‘Formerly The Blackball Hilton’, a welcoming pub for locals and guests alike.
- Marvel at the bizarre geological formations of the Punakaiki Pancake rocks and thundering blowholes.
- Breathe in one of the best coastal drives in the world before reaching our locally owned lodging for the night.
- Chat with the locals in the village pub where we’ll dine tonight.
- Think about how these connections with locals, sharing of stories, and viewing life through another’s eyes can provoke our own thinking and help us understand each other more.
Day 4: Cape Foulwind – Hanmer Springs
- Stretch your legs this morning on an early morning beach walk, or a walk to Cape Foulwind Seal colony, along this rugged coastline.
- Farewell the West Coast as we meander inland to the charming, historic gold mining town of Reefton, famous for being the first town in New Zealand to have electric street lights.
- Sample revolutionary spirits whilst listening to the story of the Reefton Distillery, renowned for sourcing botanical ingredients from the surrounding bush for their locally crafted liquor.
- Be inspired by the story of Little Biddy, a pipe-smoking, gin-toting, gold-mining woman who is a legend of her time.
- Relax as we journey through Lewis Pass, absorbing the changing landscapes, to the alpine town of Hanmer.
- Wander through Hanmer’s boutique shops, soak in the mineral pools, or add a pampering massage to unwind, perfectly ending this relaxing day.
Day 5: Hanmer Springs – Christchurch
- Slowly depart from Hanmer towards Christchurch – but we’re not finished yet!
- Be inspired by Ray, an artist who has transformed a derelict quarry into a backdrop for his stunning iron sculptures.
- Spend time wandering Ray’s open-air gallery of masterpieces that are both quirky and stunning. Hear the story of Ray’s regenerative journey in this special place.
- Savour a slow sumptuous lunch at local family owned and operated Vineyard, with its spectacular views over the vines and surrounding valley.
- Reluctantly continue to Christchurch Airport (by 4pm) for your return home.
- Marvel that you’ve only been away four days, yet have seen so much, met so many inspiring people, heard so many stories. And you’ve enjoyed all this in the company of new friends.
There’s still so much to see and do! Talk with us about extending your trip.
- New Zealand Awaits Guide, Debbie Clarke
- Private Comfortable Van Transportation
- 4 Nights Lodging in Comfortable Accommodation with Ensuite or Private Bathrooms
- Meals: 4 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches
- High Country Station Welcome Lunch – Arthur’s Pass
- Guided Ebike Ride – Hokitika
- Treetops Walk – Hokitika
- Blackball Museum Talk – Blackball
- Reefton Distillery Tour & Tastings – Blackball
- Hanmer Hot Springs – Hanmer
- Iron Ridge Quarry Admission – Waipara
- Vineyard Farewell Lunch – Waipara
- Walks around Castle Hill, Hokitika Glowworm Dell, Hokitika Gorge, and the Punakaiki Rocks
- And of course the opportunity to share this adventure with like-minded women
What’s Not Included:
- Airfares or transport to and from the start and end of the trip
- Travel Insurance
- Drinks, meals and optional activities not specified in the itinerary, and souvenirs and personal purchases.