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
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
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.