The best of West Coast, Arthurs Pass and Wanaka

Glorious travelling in 9 days

From Christchurch via West Coast to Queenstown in 9 days

Experience the best of the south part of the West Coast with some hidden gems such as Denniston Plateau, Okarito Lagoon and Jackson Bay.

This itinerary includes three 2 night stays in Punakaiki, Franz Josef and Wanaka . It gives us an opportunity to explore more places and be flexible to get the most of our days.

Are you from Te Anau, Mossburn, Lumsden, Queenstown or Wanaka? You can do this as a round trip: Within this extension are Mackenzie Basin (Mt Cook) highlights included as well.

Welcome to our small-group (8 maximum) tour onboard our modern minibus, where you will be escorted around the area’s highlights.

Blog article from our tour in February 2021: West Coast Tour Diary

? 2021 / From $2990

or ask for a term suitable for you!

We are flexibility to provide the best experience.

FAQ: How to book your New Zealand tour? How much does a tour cost? and more...

9 days / 8 nights $2990*

Single supplement $80/night

*Per person based on double occupancy / twin share (6 pax min)

Price includes:

  • average of 3.5* accommodation - motel / hotel (we strive to provide the best accommodation available)

  • Breakfast (mix cooked & continental)

  • Transport in modern and comfortable 11 seater minibus

  • Driver/tour guide

Price excludes:

  • flight ticket

  • lunch, dinners

  • additional activities

Basic activity package

TranzAlpine Train + Okarito Boat Eco Tours + Waiatoto River Safari $410

Fox Glacier & Mt Tasman, West Coast's highlightsChristchurch - New Regent Street and tramwayTranzAlpine TrainArthurs Pass, Devil's Punchbowl Waterfall Otira ViaductPunakaiki, Pororari RiverPunakaiki, Pancake Rocks Greymouth's historic Wharf CranesHokitikaHokitika -  Government Buildings / Seddon House and statue of Richard SeddonOkarito LagoonOkarito Lagoon, White HeronOkarito LagoonFranz Josef GlacierFox Glacier, scenic helicopter flightFranz Josef GlacierFranz Josef GlacierMt Cook National Park, scenic helicopter flightFox GlacierLake Matheson reflection, Fox GlacierLake MoerakiShip CreekShip CreekShip CreekJetty in Jackson BayJackson Bay, walk to Ocean BeachHaast RiverThunder Creek FallsMakarora RiverLake HaweaLake Wanaka, Mou Waho IslandLake Wanaka, trip to a farmLake WanakaWanaka, Warbirds & Wheels museum
Christchurch Botanic Gardens

Day 1: Christchurch

Depending on your flight arrival time, we can show you the new development in the Christchurch’s CBD, Botanic Gardens and Arts Centre.

Accommodation: Christchurch

TranzAlpine Train

Day 2: TranzAlpine & Arthurs Pass

In the morning we will take the TranzAlpine Train to Arthurs Pass. This is the best part of the journey with winding railway tracks above Waimakariri River. (If you don't like to go by train, a driver can take you to Greymouth via Castle Hill) We will spend the afternoon around the Arthurs Pass village enjoying the alpine environment and you can walk to Devils Punchbowl Waterfall. From the village we will continue in the minibus via Otira Gorge with a few scenic stops on our way to Punakaiki.

Accommodation: Punakaiki

Punakaiki

Day 3: Denniston Plateau, Westport, Punakaiki

We will take a scenic drive via Charleston to Westport. We will visit Denniston Coalmining Historic Area and explore the place. In the afternoon if time allows, we can visit Cape Foulwind and seal colony in Tauranga Bay. We will enjoy sunset over Pancake Rocks.

Accommodation: Punakaiki

Lake Mahinapua

Day 4: Punakaiki, Hokitika, Ross

In the morning we will explore Punakaiki with famous Pancake Rocks, part of Paparoa National Park. We will enjoy a short walk along the Pororari River with the rainforest resembling Gondwana times. Hokitika is the heart of Pounamu country, we visit the oldest greenstone workshop to get to understand local history of jade and in the town are a few nice heritage buildings. If the weather is favourable we can visit scenic Hokitika Gorge. We will have a stop by Lake Mahinapua, in goldming Ross we might visit one of the oldest pubs and there is still an operational open gold mine. (According to the weather we might visit Okarito Lagoon, however preferably next day).

Franz Josef Glacier

Day 5: Franz Josef, Okarito Lagoon

We will visit Franz Josef Glacier (fancy a scenic helicopter flight?) and do a few short walks. We will travel to Okarito Lagoon and enjoy a boat trip on the lagoon (weather dependent, one of the highlights of the trip).

Accommodation: Franz Josef

Ship Creek, West Coast

Day 6: Fox Glacier village, Lake Matheson, Southern Alps, Haast

In the morning we travel to Fox Glacier village where we can walk around beautiful Lake Matheson. Later we will continue south along the Southern Alps with a few scenic stops and a walk amongst prehistoric kahikatea trees.

Accommodation: Haast

Jackson Bay Wharf

Day 7: Jackson Bay, Haast Pass, Wanaka

In the morning we will visit splendidly isolated Jackson Bay – where there are more resident seals and penguins than people. We can take a short walk to the rocky shore at Ocean Beach.

We will explore the Waiatoto River on a special jetboat excursion. Later on our way to Haast Pass we will visit Thunder Creek Falls and other scenic spots.

Accommodation: Wanaka

Mou Waho Island, Lake Wanaka

Day 8: Wanaka

In Wanaka we can visit Rippon Vineyard (must be booked in advance) with perhaps the best views in New Zealand and taste special biodynamic wines. Really worthwhile is a cruise to Mou Waho Island. Alternatively you can visit local museums, we can enjoy several walks or just relax :-)

Accommodation: Wanaka

Cardrona Hotel

Day 9: Cardrona, Crown Range, departure from Queenstown Airport

We will drive via Cardrona Valley and Crown Range to the airport. If time permits we can visit Arrowtown or Queenstown.

Doubtful Sound

Optional Extensions

We are happy to assist with all bookings and adjust your itinerary accordingly.

  • Te Anau & Milford Sound, Fiordland- visit for a day, two or more...

  • Doubtful Sound cruise - full day or two days (overnight cruise) add a day or two in Fiordland. Doubtful Sound’s fjord is a less famous neighbour of Milford Sound. However, being far larger and more remote many travelers regard it as superior. Access to Doubtful Sound is only via Lake Manapouri or in a helicopter. For overnight cruises we recommend travelling on a smaller vessel which offers a more intimate experience.

Main (in bold) and some optional activities