2 day Christchurch via West Coast to Queenstown

2 day Christchurch via West Coast to Queenstown
From NZD $2,480.00
  • Duration: 2 Days (approx.)
  • Location: Christchurch, Canterbury
  • Product code: SH03

Day 1: Christchurch to the West Coast and the glaciers 

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.
Journey through the Arthur’s Pass National Park and depart
Canterbury province for Westland (“The West Coast”).
Originally used by the Maori to move greenstone from the west
coast and later as a link to the gold rush fields, this route 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.
You will 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. Visit Hokitika, once the capital of
Westland and a roaring gold mining town, and also a place
where the Maori sought their treasured greenstone (jade).
Greenstone and gold are features in this town’s bustling centre
of art and craft shops. 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 – truly incredible!
Your overnight stay will be taken at the nearby village. 

Day 2: Glacier Country to Queenstown 

Explore this unique glaciated region with its glaciers pushing
into re-generating temperate rainforest and happening on a
Pacific Island - truly very special! Short walks can be made to
experience the rainforest with the glacier in the background
and it’s shattered, glacier formed landscape. Overlooking this
are the Southern Alps and the high peaks of Mt Cook and Mt
Tasman. Walks that are available are to glacier viewpoints to
witness the glacier’s descent down the mountain into the
rainforest. An exciting helicopter ride to view the Southern Alps
with a snow landing on the upper reaches of the glacier is also
available. (Please note that the optional helicopter trips and
scenic flights are not included in the tour cost)
From Glacier Country, travel south and reach the mighty Haast
River valley. Following the Haast Highway, you can 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.
On the way, you can take short walks on a remote
beach or to see waterfalls and if there has been
recent rainfall, the Haast River passing through the
gorge known as the Gates of Haast can be truly
spectacular. After crossing the Haast Pass the road
skirts first the banks of the headwaters of Lake
Wanaka, then making a slight turn and rising over a
ridge, Lake Wanaka is left behind and Lake Hawea is
before you. The road follows the shoreline of this lake
and then you reach Wanaka village on the southern
shores of Lake Wanaka. 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 2