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Journeys : Oct Nov 2010
October / November 2010 73 with RACT Travelworld Kingston Shop 49A Channel Court Phone 6242 3211 Glenorchy Corner Terry Street and Main Road Phone 6212 9500 Launceston Corner York and George Streets Phone 6335 5655 Devonport 119 Rooke Street Mall Phone 6421 1977 Ulverstone RACT Travelworld 38 Reibey Street Phone 6425 8050 Bur nie 24 North Terrace Phone 6434 2955 Been there, done that Louella explores the Land of the Long White Cloud In June this year I was lucky enough to experience a seven-night Grand Pacific coach tour around the South Island of New Zealand. The tour started in Christchurch and we made our way through Dunedin, Te Anau, Queenstown, Omarama and then back to Christchurch. We also had a lot of stops along the way in great little towns including Timar u, Oamaru, Twizel, Arrowtow n and Lake Tekapo. The highlights of the tour for me were Lar nach Castle, which is about 30 minutes drive from Dunedin; bungy jumping at Kawarau Bridge, about 20 minutes drive from Queenstow n; the Shotover Jet in Queenstow n and the helicopter flight from Mount Cook. Our first destination was Dunedin, a pleasant five-hour drive from Christchurch, with stops along the way at Ashburton, home to the vintage railway steam train, Timar u and Oam ar u. In Dunedin we toured Speight's Brewery, home of the South Island's most popular beer, and enjoyed a traditional haggis ceremony at Lar n ach Castle. I recommend doing a guided tour around the castle -- the guides bring William Larnach's amazing story to life. Queenstow n was my favourite destination. It sits on the shore of Lake Wakatipu and is surrounded by snow-capped mountains. Queenstow n, the adventure capital of the world, has a great atmosphere and has something to cater for all ages. There are some great bars, pubs, cafes and restaurants, and it is home to many of New Zealand's famous tourist attractions including Coronet Peak, Cardrona, Treble Cone and The Remarkables ski fields, the Shotover jet, bungy jumping, scenic flights, The Skyline Gondola, Luge and Restaurant, Minus 5 Ice Bar and many more. I stayed in Queenstown for two nights, but I would definitely recommend at least four or five nights, because there is so much to do. On our drive from Om aram a back to Christchurch we drove up to Mount Cook Village, deep in the Southern Alps. The helicopter ride over the mountains, Tasman Glacier and lakes was a highlight, and for those of us who had never seen snow before, it was an amazing first-time experience. Travelling on the Grand Pacific coach was fabulous -- our coach captain was knowledgeable and made the trip interesting at all times. The coach was very comfortable, and if you want to take your coach touring 'to the ultimate', then Grand Pacific Ultimate tours are the way to go. I recommend a coach tour to all those travellers who like to see as much as possible on their trip. It takes away the stress of doing it yourself and I know that if I had chosen to do exactly the same itinerary as an independent traveller, I wouldn't have seen nearly as much as I did with Grand Pacific. I've worked in the travel industry for nearly two years. My travels have taken me throughout the USA, Thailand, Mexico, Fiji and New Zealand and I hope to discover many more exciting destinations. My favourites so far are the USA, in particular Hawaii and Las Vegas; and Mexico, because of their wide range of activities and fun atmosphere. Contact me at RACT Travelworld's Kingston branch on 6242 3202. Louella Horne Icebergs in the terminal lake of the Tasman Glacier, Mt Cook Louella hangs ten before dropping in for a close look at the Kawarau River
Aug Sep 2010