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.
25 March - 2 April or ask for a term suitable for you! Non-binding tour enquiry
Blog article from our tour in February 2021: West Coast Tour Diary
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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 :-)
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.
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.
Please register your interest here and we will be in touch asap
9 days / 8 nights $2990*
Single supplement $80/night
*Per person based on double occupancy / twin share (6 pax min)
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
Basic activity package
TranzAlpine Train + Okarito Boat Eco Tours + Waiatoto River Safari $410
Main (in bold) and some optional activities
TranzAlpine Train from Christchurch to Arthurs Pass
Metro Cave - Charleston / Punakaiki
National Kiwi Centre in Hokitika - the biggest eels you can ever see and more
Westland Greenstone - the oldest greenstone workshop in Hokitika
West Coast / New Zealand landscapes photography - Hlavacek Gallery in Whataroa
Okarito Boat Eco Tours - Okarito Lagoon is one of the hidden gems of West Coast
Flying Fox Heli Hike - Fox Glacier
Waiatoto River Safari - ocean to alps safari, showcasing some of the country’s best examples of dramatically changing landscape
Siberia Experience (+ 1 more night)
Rippon Vineyard - Wanaka
Transport and Toy Museum - Wanaka
Warbirds and Wheels Museum - Wanaka
Puzzling World - Wanaka