Approximately 8.5 hours
This adventure tour explores one of New Zealand’s least-visited areas—the rugged hill country of the Southern Alps which stands in dramatic contrast to the flat Canterbury Plains surrounding Christchurch. This Off the Beaten Track excursion, will take you into pristine high country that even New Zealanders seldom see.
From the port of Lyttelton, drive through the city of Christchurch and across the fertile Canterbury Plains, before crossing the Waimakariri River at the Gorge Bridge. Travel on through the Oxford area before entering the 10,000-acre property of Woodstock Station, the largest farm in the Oxford area located along the northern boundary of the Waimakariri River Gorge.
At the secluded Riverside Lodge on the edge of the Gorge, enjoy morning tea while viewing the fast flowing river below.
Then, board your next mode of transport—a Hamilton jet boat—which will take you on a thrilling and spectacular scenic ride deep into the heart of the Waimakariri Gorge, skimming over water – at times only centimeters deep.
Upon arrival at the river boundary of Flock Hill Sheep Station, you’ll switch modes again—this time to a 4x4 tussock buggy. From the river’s edge, the buggy will take you through bush-clad slopes up into the tussock-covered high country of Flock Hill Station. The 12-mile journey through the vast 35,000-acre property includes numerous stops for photos and a chance to appreciate the spectacular views of river gorges, rugged high country and the jagged peaks of the Southern Alps.
Learn about the colourful history of this remote and isolated area as your journey takes you along the original stagecoach road, hand built by the early pioneers to gain access to the gold fields on the west coast. After crossing the Midland railway line, explore the abandoned coal mining settlement of Avoca.
At Flock Hill Lodge, enjoy lunch before re-boarding your coach for the return journey to Christchurch, where a brief orientation tour will introduce you to the Garden City before your tour concludes at the pier.
Please note this excursion is now one of the highest rated cruise ship shore excursions in New Zealand and is only available through your travel agent or cruise ship line.