The ultimate off the beaten track

Epic 4 x 4 Adventure

Lake Tennyson

Revel in the untamed wilderness of the South Island High Country

Travel in comfort through this isolated region that few have seen; with outstanding natural features, a rich history and a stunning and dramatic landscape. Meander along paths steeped in history, stepping in the footprints of countless stockmen and shepherds, dogs and drovers as you get a chance to experience the cowboy's way of life.

Marvel at the unique birdlife and land locked native fish species in the magnificent tarns and lakes, and take a chance at spotting the spectacular New Zealand Falcon.

Soak in the glorious thermal pools at Hanmer Springs, and experience a thrilling jet boat ride - tailored from mild to wild.... what will you desire?

With comfort, adventure, city sightseeing and roads unknown, this tour really does have it all and will leave you feeling invigorated and in awe of this incredible region.

Is this tour for me?
Reserve your spot

There is limited availability for this tour.
Please contact us to find out more.

From
 
$3,950
 
per person
$500
 
initial deposit
From
 
$3,950
 
per person
$500
 
initial deposit
Request more info

*Custom departure points available for all tours

What’s included?
6 nights' accommodation
All activities stated in itinerary
All transport during the trip including plane, bus and 4WD
Expert local guide
All meals stated in itinerary
Moderate level of fitness

Tour highlights

Itinerary

Day 1

Home - Hanmer Springs

Home (April 28th)

If departing from Whanganui, meet at the Whanganui Racecourse for an 8:00am departure and travel to Palmerston North Airport to catch our flight to Christchurch.

If departing from Auckland or another region, your shuttle will collect you at the designated time and transfer you to your closest airport in plenty of time to catch your flight to Christchurch. Once landed, you will be met by your guide and join the group. (All tickets and details will be provided in your personal information pack sent prior to travel).

Hanmer Springs

As a group, we will be met by Mark Gilbert from Hassle-free who will be our guide for the duration of the tour. Mark has a wealth of experience living and travelling this region so we simply couldn’t be in better hands.

We get into the swing of things straight away visiting Woodchester Station. Here we will be met by Rebecca who will join us in the vehicle as we drive into the property. We enjoy a picnic lunch in the gardens before we have a drive around the farm and view the massive slip that came down in the 2016 Kaikoura earthquakes which caused a large lake to form on the property. After we leave Woodchester Station we will head to the resort town of Hanmer Springs where a dip in the fantastic hot pools is highly recommended. We meet for a delicious group dinner at our superb central accommodation.

Accommodation: Hanmer Springs Hotel

Day 2

Hanmer Springs - Molesworth

Hanmer Springs - Molesworth (April 29th)

We start the day with a delicious breakfast before we get into an epic adventure! The Molesworth Heritage Day Tour, where we will depart Hanmer Springs at 8.30am.

We do however stress that this is a back-country adventure so expect to experience nature at its most raw. A level of basic fitness, together with a flexible attitude, is strongly recommended. 

Travel  in a comfortable 4WD coach over Jacks Pass into Molesworth and the Clarence Valley area and then pass through the locked gate and onto the old Acheron Historic Accommodation House, now deserted but still alive with the memories of travellers and stockmen bound up in the clay walls of 157 years ago. We will take the opportunity to explore the building and enjoy a welcome morning tea break (toilets available).

Moving on up the Acheron valley we follow the river, its fault lines and unusual formations, passing grazing cattle and numerous bird life making the most of the daylight hours in this unequalled landscape so immense it is almost impossible to comprehend. It definitely feels like another world and you just cannot "pass through here" without the expert knowledge and experience of your guide who will give you a full commentary of the history and anecdotes that make up this once in a life time experience, never to be forgotten.

Just when you think you have seen it all, you are stunned by the vast sight of Isolated Flat with its acres of rippling clover, tussock grass, shiny cattle, Canada geese, paradise ducks and sparkling rivers. All this surrounded by an endless range of mountains and another favourite photo stop and leg stretch leaves us stunned by the complete change of topography, growth, colour and climate which makes up the very top end of the Awatere Valley country.

Watching cattle and horses grazing, the numerous valleys scattered with native flowers, viper's bugloss, pink briar rose and the ever present matagouri you realise that you can not pass through here without thinking about people like William Acton-Adams, William Atkinson, the Chisholms, and countless number of stockmen and rabbiters who have all left their special mark on this relentless country.

Nestled under the Inland Kaikoura’s is the Homestead complex with its century old cob buildings and planted trees. The Old Original Cob Cottage makes an ideal place for a picnic lunch with the magnificent snowcapped "Tapuaenuku" an epitaph of Maori legend, towering in the background (toilets available).

It is truly a land alive with romantic ghosts of stockmen and shepherds, dogs and drovers, slouch hats and sweating saddles. It is the land of the real cowboy and our chance to glimpse his way of life.

Then it’s back into the Saxton country with its vast river valleys formed by glaciers millions of years ago and the sheer barren mountains ravaged by severe winters, fire, rabbits and over grazing.

Passing through sections of the Muller and Tarndale and St Helens country with its ever changing vista of growth, colour and climate before finally descending down the historic and rugged Jollies Pass to Hanmer Springs and time to reflect on an unique journey back in time over New Zealand's largest farm.

PLEASE NOTE:

This day tour includes morning tea, picnic lunch and refreshments.

There will be regular toilets stops, etc throughout the day. You are advised to bring a light windproof jacket, sneakers and a bottle of water due to altitude and dry conditions.

Due to the type of roads and terrain we cover on this tour, the itinerary may need to be changed due to weather events and road closures. We have several great alternatives if changes are necessary.

Accommodation: Hanmer Springs Hotel

Day 3

Hanmer Springs - Methven

Hanmer Springs (April 30th)

After a lovely breakfast its time to leave Hanmer and start making our way through some more beautiful country.

We weave our way around to the outstanding Homebush Stables. This incredible land was part of the original Deans Farm, once 33,000 acres and owned by the pioneering Dean Family, one of the first farmers to farm on the Canterbury plains. 

Homebush truly has something for everyone. The Category One heritage listed 1870’s museum and stables buildings house a wide ranging and unique collection of pioneering country life on the Canterbury Plains and beyond. This includes a collection of vintage farming and mining machinery, military and sporting memorabilia and a broad collection of the everyday life of our forebears. There is also the unique Dayton Ohio water turbine, the only known one that is still in-situ in the world.

The trees of Homebush are recognised as being some of the best specimens nationally and worldwide and are a constant source of wonder and delight for our visitors.

We will enjoy a delicious lunch and have time to wander around historic buildings, through the museum and the stunning grounds.


Accommodation: Brinkley Resort

Methven

We then amble into Methven with a chance to relax before we meet again for another superb group dinner and share stories of the day.

Accommodation: Brinkley Resort

Day 4

Methven - Erewhon Station

Methven (May 1st)

Enjoy breakfast together and get set to visit a real show stopper and a day you’ll never forget! The sensational Erewhon Station.

Erewhon Station is a 35,000 acre property situated at the foothills of the Southern Alps at the top of the Rangitata River. Erewhon Station was originally made famous by the book Erewhon written by Samual Butler. 

We will stop at Lake Clearwater for morning tea and a photo opportunity with beautiful views looking across Lake Clearwater to the mountains in the distance. Next we will continue travelling back towards the mountains and past the site of a Lord of the Rings filming location of 'Edoras' on Mt Sunday where we will stop for a photo opportunity before continuing on to the end of the road and onto Erewhon Station itself. 

Erewhon is a play on the word “nowhere” spelled backwards. At Erewhon you will get to meet the owners of the property, Colin and Erin, this working high country station farms Merino sheep, Hereford Cattle, deer and includes a large Clydesdale Horse Stud. 

A lot of the work on the property is still undertaken using the Clydesdale horses such as towing wagons and working the fields by towing plows, your time at the property will be spent enjoying a picnic lunch in a spectacular setting while soaking in the amazing views. 

Erewhon Station

Erewhon Station is a 35,000 acre property situated at the foothills of the Southern Alps at the top of the Rangitata River. Erewhon Station was originally made famous by the book Erewhon written by Samual Butler. 

We will stop at Lake Clearwater for morning tea and a photo opportunity with beautiful views looking across Lake Clearwater to the mountains in the distance. Next we will continue travelling back towards the mountains and past the site of a Lord of the Rings filming location of 'Edoras' on Mt Sunday where we will stop for a photo opportunity before continuing on to the end of the road and onto Erewhon Station itself. 

Erewhon is a play on the word “nowhere” spelled backwards. At Erewhon you will get to meet the owners of the property, Colin and Erin, this working high country station farms Merino sheep, Hereford Cattle, deer and includes a large Clydesdale Horse Stud. 

A lot of the work on the property is still undertaken using the Clydesdale horses such as towing wagons and working the fields by towing plows, your time at the property will be spent enjoying a picnic lunch in a spectacular setting while soaking in the amazing views. 

Methven

After lunch we will make our return journey back to Methven. This is a truly unique experience not to be missed! We’ll head out for dinner at a local restaurant before resting our heads for the night.

Accommodation: Brinkley Resort

Day 5

Methven - Longbeach

Methven (May 2nd)

Today will  be another special day out as we explore Longbeach Estate.

Longbeach

Longbeach Estate is one of Canterbury’s original sheep farming stations, founded in 1864 and was originally 30,000 acres in size. 

The Station was a self-supporting community with its own post office, school, general store, flour mill, brick works, church, smithy, bakery and cook house and employed a permanent staff of 200 farm hands. The station has stayed in the same family since 1864 but today is around 3,000 acres and farming practices consist of prime lamb production, wool, cereal crops, grass seed crops and a dairy farming unit. Longbeach Estate is famous for its farming history, historic buildings and stunning gardens consisting of sweeping lawns and gardens. You will get to enjoy meeting the owners of the property and lunch in one of the historic buildings

We learn about the fascinating history, enjoy a guided tour of the gardens and historic build

Methven

After leaving Longbeach Estate we will visit Trotts Garden in Ashburton, this garden began its life as one mans dream on a barren four hectare paddock, Alan Trott decided to create a garden that would become a place people would visit and enjoy and one that would inspire others to create something special on their own land. Trotts garden is considered to be outstanding for its horticultural values in plant material, cultivation designs, construction and maintenance, From here it's just a short drive back to our fabulous accommodation where dinner and good times await!

Accommodation: Brinkley Resort

Day 6

Methven - Christchurch

Methven (May 3rd)

After another great breakfast we start our final journey into the rugged tussock and snow-covered mountains of the Canterbury High Country

Canterbury High Country

Along the way, our guide Mark will deliver a commentary on all aspects of farming, geography and history of the area. The tour stops to enjoy morning tea on the banks of Lake Heron. 

After morning tea the tour continues the journey to arrive at Lake Heron Station at which point the road ends and the tour begins its exciting 4x4 adventure over these two spectacular private high country stations. 

The 4x4 adventure follows Lake Stream around to the Rakaia River and onto Glenfalloch Station, we will stop for some amazing photo opportunities along the way. Arriving at Glenfalloch Station there will be a gourmet lunch provided at a location truly like no other, you will be in awe of the views.

Christchurch

After enjoying a delicious lunch and having the opportunity to talk with the station owners the tour begins its journey home down the south bank of the Rakaia River to the Rakaia Gorge at which point we will start heading for  Christchurch and into our great central accommodation where we’ll also enjoy our final group dinner together and share all the amazing stories of the incredible journey we’ve been on together throughout the week.

Accommodation: Pavillions Hotel

Day 7

Christchurch – Home

Christchurch (May 4th)

After a relaxed start to the day and a lovely breakfast we’ll get collected by coach for a tour of the city before we head out towards the airport and visit the world class attraction that is the International Antarctic Centre. We’ll tour this iconic destination viewing the wildlife and learning about this incredible continent at the bottom of the world. We then head to the airport for our 1pm flight back to Palmerston North where a coach will be waiting to transport us home.

For those travelling elsewhere all your travel arrangements can be made for you to ensure you get safely home after a memorable week exploring the South Island High Country.

Optional extras

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Meet your tour guide

Jason Granville

After years in the broadcasting industry, Jase hung up his headphones to run Take It Easy Tours. With now over a decade behind the wheel Jason ensures every tour will leave you with a lifetime of memorable expereinces.

Reserve your spot

$500
 
initial deposit
Payment plans available
from
 
$3,950
 
per person

There is limited availability for this tour. Please contact us to find out more.

Frequently asked questions

Can I earn Air New Zealanad airpoints on my flights?

Yes, you can earn airpoints with Take It Easy Tours when we are using Air New Zealand flights. All you need to do is get in contact with us and let us know your airpoints number for each time you wish to earn points.

Can you collect me from my door?

Yes, it would be our pleasure. We can arrange for you to be picked up and returned to your front door at the conclusion of any tour.

How about travel insurance?

We strongly recommend taking out travel insurance as soon as you book your trip. It just puts your mind at ease. Remember to make sure you are covered for and loss of personal possessions, sickness, accidents or travel delays. Feel free to ask us for any tips to make this quick and easy for you.

How active are your tours?

We are called Take it Easy for a reason as we like to do just that. Do as much or as little as you like - after all it's your holiday! However, there is walking and various activities on each tour that require various levels of fitness. Please check with us if you are unsure about anything and relax knowing that there's always another option for you if you would rather miss out on any activity. We always have a back up plan.

I have some dietary requirements?

Please just let us know in advance and we will sort everything for you. Chefs are used to all sorts now when it comes to diet so as long as we know - we’ll have you covered.

What happens if I have to cancel?

Cancellation charges do apply so again we recommend travel insurance. Our cancellation policy is clearly outlined for each tour so make sure you cast your eye over it and please feel free to ask any questions.

What kind of accommodation do we stay in?

Having a good night's rest after a day out touring is very important so we personally choose all of our accommodation. Generally, four star accommodation when available - with all the comforts you need for a relaxed night.

What types of transport do we use?

Our buses are quality touring coaches that are very comfortable and fully air conditioned. They range in size from 19-28 seats ensuring that we can easily access all those secret spots off the beaten track. All vehicles are regularly serviced as your safety is our priority.

Coaches and luggage trailers are always locked and secure but we recommended you take any valuables with you when staying overnight.

Still have questions?

Get in touch with our friendly staff

What our customers say

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