Mt Cook, Arthurs Pass, West Coast and Wanaka

round trip ex Queenstown

The best of Mackenzie Basin, Mt Cook, Scenic Inland Route via Rakaia River, TranzAlpine, Arthurs Pass, south part of West Coast and Wanaka

Queenstown is a great base to start a trip from! Experience Mt Cook from both sides of Southern Alps, lakes Pukaki and Tekapo, less traveled scenic inland highway 72 via Mt Summers, Arthurs Pass, the best of the south part of the West Coast with some hidden gems such as Okarito Lagoon and Jackson Bay.

The itinerary can be adjusted according to your group preferences (e.g. perhaps you don't like jet boats or would like to stay 2 nights in one place). There are many options to choose from. Don't be shy and ask for recommendations on how to make the most of your holiday - we will do our best to implement your travel wishes. This tour is designed as a 9 day trip, however it can be easily extended to see and experience more along the route (e.g. walk to Clay Cliffs, enjoy more time in Mt Cook area, visit Geraldine Vintage Car & Machinery Museum, etc.).

Welcome to our small-group (10 maximum) tour onboard our modern minibus, where you will be escorted around the area’s highlights.

Fox Glacier & Mt Tasman, West Coast's highlightsLindis PassMt Cook and Lake PukakiMt Cook, Hooker ValleyMt John, Lake TekapoChurch of the Good Shepherd, Lake TekapoTranzAlpine 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

The area we would like to show you has far more to offer than we can squeeze into our standard tours! Therefore we would like to offer you an option to tailor your trip according to your particular interests.

For instance, we can stay in Arthurs Pass overnight, we can visit Metro Cave (need two nights in Greymouth), we can do heli hiking (might need to stay extra night in Franz Josef/Fox Glacier), kayaking, we can stay in Wilderness Lodge Lake Moeraki (2 nights minimum) , you might love Siberia Experience (might need one more day on the way to Wanaka), add an overnight cruise on Doubtful Sound, or a visit to the other remote fjords of Fiordland.

Please ask us any questions so we can properly fulfill your travel dreams.

Queenstown, Remarkables Range and TSS Earnslaw

Day 1: Queenstown

Depending on your flight arrival time we may be able to explore Queenstown's surroundings.

Accommodation: Queenstown

Lake Pukaki and Mt Cook

Day 2: Cromwell, Lindis Pass, Omarama, Mt Cook

We will travel via Kawarau Gorge and visit Cromwell Historic Precinct before climbing up to Lindis Pass and down to MacKenzie Basin. In the afternoon we will enjoy short walks under Mt Cook, optionally you can take a scenic helicopter flight.

Accommodation: Twizel (or Mt Cook Village)

Burkes Pass village

Day 3: Lake Tekapo, Geraldine, Inland Scenic Route 72

In the morning we will travel along Lake Pukaki to Lake Tekapo, visit Mt John observatory with great panoramic views and the famous Church of the Good Shepherd. Travelling via Geraldine and Mount Somers, we will admire the mighty Rakaia River.

Accommodation: Springfield

TranzAlpine Train

Day 4: Arthurs Pass & Greymouth

In the morning we will take the TranzAlpine Train from Springfield 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 Greymouth.

Accommodation: Greymouth

Punakaiki, Pancake Rocks

Day 5: Punakaiki, Okarito Lagoon

In the morning we will drive along the rugged West Coast to Punakaiki with famous Pancake Rocks in 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. If time allows we can visit scenic Hokitika Gorge.

In the afternoon we will drive to the south with several scenic stops via gold mining Ross & Okarito Lagoon, where we can enjoy a boat trip on the lagoon.

Accommodation: Franz Josef

Franz Josef Glacier

Day 6: Franz Josef, Fox Glacier and Haast

In the morning we will visit Franz Josef Glacier (fancy a scenic helicopter flight?) and continue 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 can 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 NZ 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.

From $2440

Tour for private groups on demand - please register your interest here and we will be in touch asap

9 days / 8 nights $2440*

Single supplement $80/night

*Per person based on double occupancy / twin share (8 pax minimum)

These prices are based on a basic package (can be tailored according to your demand from a budget to luxury trip)

Price includes:

  • average of 3.5* accommodation - motel / hotel

  • Breakfast (mix cooked & continental)

  • Transport in modern and comfortable 11 seater minibus

  • Driver/tour guide

Price excludes:

  • flight ticket

  • lunch, dinners

  • additional activities

Main (in bold) and some optional activities