CNN & Lonely Planet agree that Top Travel Destinations for 2013 are Down Under!
Often described as a little slice of England in the South Pacific, Christchurch is a gracious city of tree filled parks, elegant squares and beautiful stone buildings. Beautiful private and public gardens surround the city which is in a period of rebirth since the devastating earthquakes of 2010 & 2011.
Perhaps one of the most inviting aspects of Christchurch is its close proximity to an abundance of diverse activities from skiing at a world-class alpine resort, enjoying a round of golf, bungy jumping, rafting, mountain biking, hot-air balloon tours, whale watching and tours of internationally-acclaimed wineries and gardens.
Christchurch is also the gateway to one of our favorite New Zealand lodges, Arthurs Pass Wilderness Lodge which is a short journey away by train. Departing from Christchurch, the Tranz Alpine Express is regarded as one of the world’s best scenic rail journeys. Traveling through the mighty Southern Alps across open farmland of the Canterbury Plain, the Tranz Alpine Express climbs into the Southern Alps beside braids of ice fed rivers and spectacular viaducts before arriving at Arthur’s Pass.
Nestled in mountain beech forest and surrounded by the Southern Alps, Arthurs Pass Wilderness Lodge provides warm, eco friendly and hospitable atmosphere in which to enjoy the high country scenery and mountain ecology. Built in 1996 on historic 2,500-hectare high-country, the lodge is surrounded by 200 hectares of native beech forest, tussock grasslands and a small lake that invites guests to experience high country nature, guided activities, trout fishing and merino sheep farming.
Hobart, a charming city of the island state of Tasmania, is one of colonial architecture, with no pollution or traffic problems to speak of. Nestled beneath the slopes of Mount Wellington and Mount Nelson, Hobart is graced with a beautiful natural harbor. Head for the waterfront to visit Salamanca Place with its historic buildings and browse the arts and crafts galleries. Enjoy a wander through colorful, open-air Salamanca Market Place while being serenaded by local musicians.
Pause and refresh your senses in the Royal Tasmanian Botanic Gardens. Visit some of the historic sites including the oldest Australian Synagogue or head for Constitution Dock where locals and visitors alike gather. In a city famous for fresh fish, the floating fish markets are fascinating.