3 day - Christchurch via West Coast to Queenstown

3 day - Christchurch via West Coast to Queenstown
From NZD $980.00
  • Duration: 3 Days (approx.)
  • Location: Christchurch, Canterbury
  • Product code: SH04-N/S
Day 1: Christchurch to Franz Josef
Depart Christchurch on the world famous TranzAlpine™ train and
cross the vast expanses of the Canterbury Plains. Travel through
the dramatic gorge of the Waimakariri River and enter Arthur’s
Pass National Park. Here, your guide will meet you and show you
some of the highlights of the national park.
-The highest mountains have glaciers and surrounding them are
tussock basins, flowering herbs and alpine grasses. You will travel
through the Arthur’s Pass National Park and depart Canterbury
province for Westland (“The West Coast”). This route was originally
used by the Maori to move greenstone (jade) from the west coast,
and later as a link to the gold rush fields. Today will reveal great
mountain valleys and you will marvel at the road as it winds its way
down the spectacular Otira Gorge, a Geographer’s dream.
Follow rivers that flow to the West Coast and observe the changes
to the rainforest and the many varieties of ferns that dominate this
region. A stop will be made in Hokitika, once the capital of
Westland and a roaring gold mining town, now a bustling centre of
art and craft shops where greenstone and gold feature.
As you journey south you will see the West Coast forests and
further evidence of the last Ice Age in the kettle lakes created by
the melting ice sheets. You will then arrive at Glacier Country and a
walk can be made to view the Franz Josef Glacier pushing into
rainforest and on a Pacific Island - truly incredible! At the end of the
day, your guide will take you to your accommodation where you will
be staying for the next two nights 

Day 2: Glacier Country
A day to explore the glaciated landscape of the Franz and Fox
Glacier region. Walks are available to the terminal face of the Franz
Josef or Fox Glacier and to a viewpoint to witness the glacier’s
descent down the mountain into the rainforest. Here you can also
experience a guided hike on the glaciers with an alpine guide or
perhaps an exciting helicopter ride to view the Southern Alps with a
snow landing on the upper reaches of the glacier. (Please note that
the optional 'On the glacier hike' and helicopter trips are not
included in the tour cost and are subject to the weather).  A beautiful and tranquil walk can be taken around the
edge of Lake Matheson, the “mirror lake”. It is here that
incredible reflections of Mount Cook and Mount Tasman
in the lake can often be seen on a clear day.
Or a visit to Okarito where you can meet some
"coasters" in a village with a population of 18 and
depending on the weather and the tides a nature boat
tour may be done or kayak (own expense) on the
lagoon. Your guide is at your disposal to explore and
enjoy this almost untouched natural playground. 

Day 3: Glacier Country to Queenstown
From Glacier Country, you will travel south and reach
the mighty Haast River Valley. Following the Haast
Highway, observe how the landscape again changes
dramatically as the road climbs over the Haast Pass
from the dense rain forest of the West Coast to the drier
tussock lands of Otago.
After the Haast Pass, the road skirts first alongside Lake
Wanaka and then making a slight turn and rising over a
ridge, Lake Hawea is before you. The road follows the
shoreline of this lake and then you reach Wanaka
village. From Wanaka, head over the rugged and
remote Crown Range, the site of gold diggings in the
1860's and arrive in quaint old gold mining village of
Arrowtown. It is then a short drive to your Queenstown
accommodation where your Canterbury Trails guide will
bid you farewell.

• Travel by deluxe mini-van
• Picnic morning or afternoon teas
• Café lunches on each day
• Guided walks to explore the alpine and rainforest
landscapes (as required)
• TranzAlpine train Christchurch to Arthur’s Pass
on Day 1
• Fully escorted with local knowledgeable guide 

Not included:
• Guest accommodations, breakfasts, evening
meals or optional activities 

Depart Christchurch at 7.30am on Day 1, finish in
Queenstown at 5.30pm on Day 3