Your journey begins in Queenstown, the Adventure Capital of the World. You'll travel by luxury coach, passing beautiful Lake Dunstan, Lake Wanaka, and Lake Hawea before carrying on through the Haast Pass, enjoying the beautiful native beech forests and the Southern Alps before emerging on the West Coast's ruggedly beautiful landscape of rainforest, waterfalls, wild beaches, and snow-capped mountains. Franz Josef is your base for the evening, from which you can explore the world famous Franz Josef Glacier. The next morning, travel from Franz Josef to Greymouth, where you'll catch the world famous TranzAlpine train across the Southern Alps to Christchurch. Aboard your comfortable carriage, you'll see lush beech forests, pristine river valleys, and the spectacular peaks of the Southern Alps before descending to windswept Canterbury Plains, eventually arriving in Christchurch. The evening is yours to soak up all that Christchurch has to offer. After a restful night, the next morning sees you embarking to Lake Tekapo, then carrying on to Aoraki Mt Cook National Park, home to New Zealand's largest mountain. After arriving, explore the village and surroundings at your leisure before retiring to your accommodation. The final morning, you will depart Aoraki Mt Cook, south through the tawny tussock of Mackenzie Country, through Omarama and the Lindis Pass. Continuing through the Kawarau Gorge, you will conclude your journey where you began, in Queenstown.
Departs every day - flexible independent travel
This suggested tour costs from NZD$1,545 per person (twin share, low season)
Starts in Queenstown, finishes in Queenstown
4 days/3 nights
Viewed 37 times in the last 7 days
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Leaving Queenstown, travel by luxury coach through the stunning scenery of the South Island. You will pass by the crystal-clear waters of Lake Dunstan, Lake Wanaka and Lake Hawea. After a morning tea break in Makarora on the border of Mount Aspiring World Heritage Park, you'll travel through the Haast Pass, journeying through native beech forest and over the Southern Alps, before emerging on the West Coast, arriving in the afternoon at the small village of Franz Josef.
From here you can explore the world famous Franz Josef Glacier.
You will be met at your accommodation by a representative from Glacier Shuttles and taken on a short tour to view the glacier. Your shuttle vehicle will transfer you up the Franz Josef valley to the road end. Here you will have the opportunity to walk to view the glacier from a viewing platform. Or enjoy one of the short walks available in this area. You will be returned to your accommodation by the Glacier Valley Shuttles.
Your accommodation: Punga Grove Motel & SuitesPunga Grove is right in the heart of Franz Josef Glacier village and offers affordable and stylish accommodation in a beautiful rainforest setting.
This morning travel north through the small townships of Whataroa and Harihari. Stop at the Bushman's Centre for refreshments and a chance to experience a bit of West Coast humour. Continue through the township of Ross, which in the late 1800s was the centre of one of New Zealand's richest alluvial goldfields. On arrival in Hokitika there is time to purchase lunch and explore the town centre.
Continue onto Greymouth Railway Station from where you catch the world famous TranzAlpine train across the Southern Alps to Christchurch.
Considered one of the world's great train journeys, the TranzAlpine Scenic Train takes you from Greymouth to Christchurch. You'll travel across the South Island from the west to the east coast through Arthur's Pass National Park. From the comfort of your carriage see lush beech forest, deep river valleys and the spectacular peaks of the Southern Alps. Descend to the windswept Canterbury Plains before arriving in the city of Christchurch.
On arrival at the Christchurch train station, you will be met by a private driver and transferred to your accommodation.
Your accommodation: Bella Vista ChristchurchBella Vista Motel Christchurch offers a great range of comfortable modern units with excellent facilities. Enjoy the convenience of being located in close proximity to the Christchurch CBD, shops, entertainment and other activities.
Depart Christchurch in the morning and travel through the lush farmland of the Canterbury Plains to Lake Tekapo, where you can see the iconic Church of the Good Shepherd as it stands in solitude next to the vibrant blue waters. Leaving Tekapo, continue into the Southern Alps towards Aoraki / Mount Cook National Park, home to New Zealand's tallest mountain. Compelling commentary from the driver on the region's culture and history will keep you entertained. Arrive at Mount Cook and feel free to explore the village and its surroundings at your own leisure.
There are many short scenic walks beginning in and around the Mt Cook Village, suitable for all ages and abilities. Located within the Mount Cook Village is the Department of Conservation information centre, where updates on the track conditions and suitability is available as well as information on the history of the area and its wildlife.
A tribute to New Zealand's Sir Edmund Hillary, a humanitarian, ambassador, and one of the world's greatest explorers. The centre showcases the Aoraki Mount Cook region, the history of climbing, and early transport used throughout the region. This comprehensive museum details the life of Sir Edmund Hillary, the Hermitage, and provides access to the 126-seat custom-designed theatre. Check out the daily film schedule which includes 3D Movies, documentaries, and 360-degree digital dome features.
Your accommodation: Mt Cook MotelMt Cook Motel is located in the centre of Mt. Cook village. The self-contained units are spacious and all are surrounded by alpine mountain views.
Experience 500 year old icebergs up-close on the Mt Cook terminal lake. The Glacier Explorers tour is the only one of its kind in New Zealand and one of only three in the world! Very few glaciers terminate into lakes and even fewer of them are accessible. See towering ice cliffs and floating icebergs from the safety of a specially designed boat. These boats provide a safe way to view unseen and inaccessible areas of New Zealand's largest glacier The Tasman.
Leaving Mt Cook, you will head south through the tawny tussock of the Mackenzie Country. You will stop for an afternoon tea break in Omarama (at your own expense) before crossing Lindis Pass. You will head towards Cromwell region, which is famous for its fruit orchards. You will continue through the Kawarau Gorge and its famous goldmines and arrive in Queenstown in the evening.