Guangdong Agents Experience FIT Products

Event Date: 23 June 2009

Experiencing what the coldest place on earth is like at the International Antarctic Centre in Christchurch

23 June 2009

Six product planners from Guangdong Province in South China toured the Canterbury and West Coast regions in the South Island in June 2009.  The objective of the trip was to experience new and varied products, especially for the fully independent traveller (FIT) market.

The famil began in Christchurch with the International Antarctic Centre where visitors can experience what it's like on the coldest place on Earth including sliding down an icing slope, watching penguins and riding in the amphibious Hagglund vehicle. Other activities in Christchurch included riding on the iconic Christchurch Tram where visitors can get on and off at the city's most interesting and historic sites, and Punting On The Avon. The group dined at Willowbank Wildlife Reserve where they combined a kiwi experience with a Maori cultural performance.

The group then travelled to the wine growing region of Waipara Valley where they enjoyed a wine tasting at The Mud House Winery and Cafe, then out to Lyttelton to Christchurch Wildlife Cruises. The Black Cat cruise departs from the historic township of Lyttelton, just 15 minutes from Christchurch, and visitors have a chance to see dolphins, penguins and other coastal marine birdlife. On the way back, the group took a spectacular ride on the Christchurch Gondola enjoying stunning views over the area as far as the Southern Alps.

The following day the group took the TranzAlpine train journey to Greymouth on the West Coast. The journey is rated one of the top rail journeys in the world and travels through the Southern Alps. In Greymouth the group panned for gold in Shantytown before travelling to Punakaiki to see the famous Pancake Rocks and Blowholes.

The group then travelled down the length of the West Coast to Haast and experienced the Waiatoto River Jet which is the world's only sea to mountains river safari. The Fox Glacier Heli-Hiking was another highlight, with a breathtaking guided trip on the Fox Glacier which combines the excitement of walking on a glacier with the thrill of a helicopter flight. A soak in the Glacier Hot Pools ended a busy day.

Johnston's Coachlines provided all the transport and commentary for the famil.