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Sightseeing company launches new season’s tours

For Immediate Release
October 13 2005

New Zealand’s top sightseeing company launches new season’s tours

New this summer: Spectacular Ruakuri cave, Hanmer Springs alpine spa resort, Scottish style city of Dunedin

Spectacular Ruakuri cave, the South Island alpine spa resort of Hanmer Springs and Dunedin, are new features in the coming summer season’s tours from Great Sights, New Zealand’s premier sightseeing company.

Great Sights’ new range of tours and destinations has something for everybody, whether it is a half day, a full day, overnight stay or a longer tour package. Added to this, there are the personable driver guides who have been limbering up for the coming season in a series of refresher training programmes.

The recently re-opened Ruakuri cave is one of the most complex and visually spectacular of the three original tourist limestone caves at Waitomo, 2.5 hours south of Auckland.

Thanks to Great Sights there are now a number of ways to visit Ruakuri, including day trips departing from Auckland and Rotorua or as part of multi-day packages starting from either Auckland or Rotorua.

Ruakuri was recently re-opened after being closed to visitors for 18 years. The cave is a place of ancient Maori lore, meandering underground streams, vast chambers with intricate stalagmite and stalactite formations, secret passages, fossilised sea shells and the distant thunder of subterranean waterfalls.

Touring options to Hanmer Springs, 90 minutes into the mountains from Christchurch, include lunch and wine tasting en route at a Waipara Valley winery. On arrival at Hanmer, there are three options – relaxing in the warm waters of Hanmer Thermal Hot Springs, which won the Visitor Attractions category in this year’s New Zealand Tourism Awards, or the thrills of jet boating, or that quintessential adrenalin pump, bungy jumping.

Dunedin is a brand new destination for Great Sights. Passengers have a choice of tours, either from Christchurch or Queenstown to Dunedin or from Dunedin to Christchurch or Queenstown. All will give an insight into the lifestyle, architecture and history of this city, which is known as the ‘Edinburgh of the South’ in honour of the Scottish people who settled there in the 1800s.

Dunedin tours pass through the stunning scenery of Central Otago. Sights en route include ‘cloud piercer’ Mount Cook, the glacier fed lakes, Tekapo and Pukaki and the crystal blue lakes and hydro electric power schemes in the Waitaki Valley.

The Great Sights summer range also includes an expanded range of city sights tours in and around Auckland and interesting perspectives of Rotorua.

Great Sights has designed its luxury coaches for optimum sightseeing. They have large windows, air conditioning, comfortable reclining seats, an onboard toilet and a ‘kneeling’ feature to allow easy access, plus grab rails for the added safety of less mobile passengers. Most coaches also feature glass roofs allowing passengers clear and unrivalled viewing of the scenery. As well as English language commentary, Global Positioning System (GPS) operated multi-lingual (Japanese, Mandarin and Spanish) commentary systems are available on many Great Sights tours.

For further information or to make reservations go to or call 0800 744 487.


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