Reward and revitalise your staff with this epic incentive experience of New Zealand in winter. The highlight of the trip for many will be the full-day ice-driving experience, in which we take to the wheel of new Audi vehicles in the snowfields between Queenstown and Wanaka. With the tour focused on such a spectacular region, it should be no surprise that each day of the trip enables us to experience something new and incredible. From a helicopter trip, private boat landing and lobster lunch while cruising the fiords of Milford Sound, to a snowshoeing experience with gourmet lunch at a private table setting in the snow, to a drive through the immaculate winter scenes of the Southern Alps and Mt Cook, this trip has it all! Available during the months of July and August.
Day 1: Arrive Queenstown
On arrival in Queenstown you’ll be met by your group coordinator and immediately transferred by coach to your central accommodation. After the flight in, guests may choose to relax and rest up, or join a brief, relaxed exploration of the town to get your bearings. Queenstown is small and easily walkable, so we take a walk around the lake, past the town center and around the Botanic Gardens. In the evening, we make our way to a welcome dinner in a cosy, warm environment.
Day 2: Snowshoeing the Remarkables
We set out from Queenstown for the drive on the route up the Remarkables Mountain Range. Then, a full debrief, ensuring everyone is comfortable with the plan for the day. Depending on preferences of group members, the group can be split into varying levels of fitness, so that those that wish to take a summit hike may do so, while those seeking a more relaxed experience can take an alternate, less strenuous path. Our expert local snow guides will lead us on a snowshoe journey through stunning snowy terrain that offers exceptional views from the summits on the horizon down to the valleys below. Finally it’s time to take lunch, and with do so with one of the most special experiences of our entire time in New Zealand. In the snowy wilderness, we arrive at a fully arranged dining table, complete with table cloths, warm beverages, Champagne and gourmet meals. This is a true luxury wilderness experience, and a perfect reward for our morning’s hiking.
After hiking back, we make the 45 minute drive back down the mountain to Queenstown where we enjoy a superb meal in a rustic yet very refined setting. Following dinner, we’ll have the opportunity for an optional visit to Onsen Hot Pools, where warm waters and superb views offer relaxation to tired muscles.
Notes on Snowshoeing
- Our snowshoeing experience allows for a rare and truly extraordinary winter experience of the New Zealand Alps, offering an alpine encounter while being very safe and accessible to all fitness levels.. Snowshoeing is extremely easy – if you can walk, you can snowshoe – there is essentially no more risk of injury than walking down the footpath.
- Clients with their own hiking boots may bring and use them (shoe shoes are worn on top of regular hiking boots). Clients without their own boots will have them provided. Clients should wear their own warm weather gear (eg. thermal underwear/jacket), but any items that clients do not own can be rented at very minimal cost (approx $5-$20). Sunglasses are required, and can also be rented if needed.
- The lunch equipment and gourmet meals are flown in by helicopter and set up by our crew.
Day 3: Milford Sound Scenic Flight & Cruise
In the morning, we travel to Queenstown airport and board privately chartered helicopters for a superb flight over the dramatic summits of the Southern Alps. There are few scenes in the world more splendid than the abrupt glacier carved valleys of New Zealand’s mountains, covered in extensive stands of beech trees dusted in snow. As our helicopters lead us over the dramatic peaks between Queenstown and Milford Sound, we take the opportunity to make a glacier landing to fully appreciate this pristine, icy wilderness.
Continuing on our flight into the heart of this UNESCO recognised world-heritage wilderness, we descend into Milford Sound landing directly on our luxury chartered vessel and finding ourselves amidst one of the most stunning scenes in New Zealand. Our private cruise will guide us on a full experience of this remarkable terrain as we enjoy a superb, chef-prepared gourmet lobster lunch. Above and around us, the peaks rise abruptly, creating postcard opportunities in all types of weather.
The joys of the day are just beginning; on conclusion of our cruise we helicopter back to Queenstown and make the 20 minute drive to Queenstown’s Kawarau wine district, with an initial stop at Kawarau bungy. Thrillseekers may optionally choose to take the jump, while spectators will enjoy the view of others making the leap of faith from the bridge down to the icy flow of the Kawarau River below. Following the bungy jumping, we’ll have the option of taking a relaxed walk (less than one hour) alongside the river to Gibbston Winery, where we can enjoy a cave tour and tastings before continuing down the road to the superb setting of Chard Farm winery, for a further wine tasting experience. Shortly thereafter, we return to central Queenstown for a sumptuous dinner.
Day 4: Ice-Driving Experience
Today we enjoy one of the great highlights of our winter tour; Ice-Driving. This is an unforgettable driving experience in the beautiful snow covered terrain just outside of Queenstown.
Your group is guaranteed excitement and cameraderie as a result of this unique and memorable day on the snow. The experience comes with full professional guidance from highly qualified instructors, with all group members trained in the basics of snow and ice driving, expanding to cover the finer points of dynamic driving in this unique environment – including drifting around a snow circle and experiencing a slalom course.
The experience includes fresh morning tea at the mountain event center and full buffet lunch, which allows everyone to keep warm between driving sessions, which are the focus of the day – with the emphasis on getting as much time behind the wheel as possible.
In the evening, we make our way to the beautiful lakeside town of Wanaka, check-in to our new accommodation, and head out for a delicious dinner.
Day 5: Haast Pass with Wilderness Jetboat
Wanaka sits amidst some of the best scenery in New Zealand. The region offers spectacular variation, however, and today we take a drive toward the West Coast, which offers some of the most stunning rainforest scenery in New Zealand. From the slightly drier climate of Wanaka, we drive past the beautiful glacial lakes Wanaka and Hawea, and ascend to Haast Pass. An optional free 30 minute walk takes us to the stunning Blue Pools, and their remarkably clear waters. Descending through U-shaped valleys and surrounded by waterfalls, we continue toward Haast. We board our privately chartered jetboat and enjoy a thrilling sightseeing experience up the river, with spins and thrills to suit the group. The boat is covered, so the group will remain comfortable despite the likely cold weather outside.
Day 6: Wanaka to Mt Cook
Today we drive over the scenic Lindis Pass toward the small town of Omarama. Continuing north from Omarama through the desert-like country of southern Canterbury, we enjoy the scenic drive across the high plains at the foot of the Southern Alps. We come to the shores of glacial Lake Pukaki, and enjoy emerging scenes of beautiful Mount Cook – the highest peak in New Zealand – which rises dramatically in the approaching distance as we make our way to Mt Cook Village. Mt Cook offers beautiful walks and the option to take a boat trip to view the Tasman Glacier. Alternatively, guests will have the option of experiencing the dramatic landscape by scenic helicopter flight.
Day 7: Mt Cook to Christchurch
First up, we drive to Lake Tekapo, the most well-known and stunning of New Zealand’s glacial lakes. We visit the famous Church of the Good Shepherd on the lake shore, and enjoy a wonderful lunch including the local alpine-raised Salmon at a renowned Japanese restaurant. From Tekapo, follow the road leading out of the mountains to the vast Canterbury Plains, and on to Christchurch. Christchurch continues to recover from significant earthquake damage and increasingly boasts new sights and attractions for visitors. At the edge of the city is the Canterbury Museum, the Botanic Gardens, and Hagley Park.
Day 8: Depart Christchurch
Depending on flight departure time, we may have some time for a morning tour of central Christchurch, including. There will be time for shopping, or the opportunity to enjoy some an optional scenic drive into the Port Hills to enjoy stunning views over the city and the volcanic terrain of the Banks Peninsula. Optionally, guests may choose to take a stroll around Christchurch from our central accommodation, picking up some souvenirs for the trip home. Depending on flight time, there may also be opportunity to optionally visit the Antarctic Center.
- Indulgence Tours private group coordinator to accompany & assist for the full duration of your trip.
- Twin share accommodation, with optional upgrade to single occupancy.
- Private, premium quality transportation throughout.
- Optional free local sim cards for all group members.
- Full phone support and assistance.
- Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner on all days except arrival day (dinner only) and departure day (breakfast only)
- Milford Sound Return Heli Flights with Glacier Landing
- Milford Sound Private Luxury Charter with Lobster Lunch
- Ice-Driving Experience with Brand-New Audi Vehicles
- Snowshoeing Experience with Private Snowfield Gourmet Lunch
- 3 nights in Queenstown
- 2 nights in Wanaka
- 1 night in Mount Cook
- 1 night in Christchurch