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.
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.
Day 1: Queenstown
Depending on your flight arrival time we may be able to explore Queenstown's surroundings.
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)
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.
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.
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
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.
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 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 :-)
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.
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)
average of 3.5* accommodation - motel / hotel
Breakfast (mix cooked & continental)
Transport in modern and comfortable 11 seater minibus
Main (in bold) and some optional activities
Scenic helicopter flights over Mt Cook from Aoraki/Mt Cook Airport
Glacier Explorers - view the gigantic Tasman Glacier Ice wall, icebergs
TranzAlpine Train from Springfield to Arthurs Pass
Metro Cave - Charleston / Punakaiki (+ 1 more night)
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
Haast River Safari - In sharp contrast to other jet-boating activities and their association with adrenalin-pumping high adventure Haast River Safari provides a leisurely scenic cruise - making use of the jet-boat as its NZ inventor Bill Hamilton originally intended - "to explore the back country."
Siberia Experience (+ 1 more night)
Rippon Vineyard - Wanaka
Transport and Toy Museum - Wanaka
Warbirds and Wheels Museum - Wanaka
Puzzling World - Wanaka
Highlands Motorsport Park - Cromwell