The best of West Coast, Central Otago and Fiordland in 9 days

From Christchurch via West Coast to Queenstown and Milford Sound in 9 days

Experience the best of the south part of the West Coast with some hidden gems.

Welcome to our small-group (6 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

18-26 January 2023 / From $4900

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9 days / 8 nights $4900*

Single supplement $100/night

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

Bookings contact:

Price includes:

  • Average of 3.5*- 4* accommodation - motel / hotel (we strive to provide the best accommodation available)

  • Transport in modern and comfortable minibus

  • Driver/tour guide

  • Tranzalpine Train

  • Milford Sound cruise

Price excludes:

  • Flight ticket

  • Meals - breakfasts, lunch, dinners

  • Additional activities

Christchurch Botanic Gardens

Day 1: Christchurch - 18 JAN Wednesday

Meeting with Martin at the airport. Scenic trip around the city. You will see the new development in Christchurch's CBD, Botanic Gardens and Arts Centre, New Brighton, we can visit Sumner, Littleton, etc.

Accommodation: Christchurch

TranzAlpine Train

Day 2: Arthurs Pass & Greymouth - 19 JAN Thursday

In the morning we will take the TranzAlpine Train (8:15am) 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 (this part of the train ride is a bit boring, unlike the road which is more scenic).

Accommodation: Punakaiki


Day 3: Punakaiki, Hokitika, Ross, Franz Josef - 20 JAN Friday

In the morning we will enjoy Punakaiki with famous Pancake Rocks in Paparoa National Park.and a short walk along the Pororari River with the rainforest resembling Gondwana times. Hokitika is the heart of Pounamu country, we can visit the oldest greenstone workshop to get to understand the 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 goldmining Ross we might visit one of the oldest pubs and there is still an operational open gold mine.

Accommodation: Franz Josef

Lake Mahinapua

Day 4: Franz Josef, Okarito Lagoon 21 JAN Saturday

We will visit Franz Josef Glacier (fancy a scenic helicopter flight?) and do a few short walks. We will travel to Okarito Lagoon and we can take a boat trip on the lagoon (weather dependent, one of the highlights of the trip with great views of Southern Alps, white herons and podocarp rainforest).

Accommodation: Franz Josef

Franz Josef Glacier

Day 5: Fox Glacier village, Southern Alps, Haast 22 JAN Sunday

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. Later on our way to Haast Pass we will visit Thunder Creek Falls and other scenic spots.

Accommodation: Wanaka

Ship Creek, West Coast

Day 6: Wanaka 23 JAN Monday

In Wanaka we can visit Rippon Vineyard 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 7: Queenstown 24 JAN Tuesday

We will drive via Cardrona Valley and Crown Range to Wakatipu Basin and visit old gold mining Arrowtown. In the afternoon we will explore Queenstown with many shops and cafes. Later we will drive along Remarkables Range and Lake Wakatipu via the small and quintessential South Island villages of Kingston, Garston, Athol and Mossburn, through to Te Anau - the gateway to Fiordland National Park.

Accommodation: Te Anau

Day 8: Milford Road and Milford Sound 25 JAN Wednesday

We will spend the whole day on our scenic journey to Milford Sound and take a cruise on the fiord. We will show you the best scenic spots, take short walks and tell you about unique fauna and flora, history and stories.

In the evening you might like to try local venison or famous Fiordland lobster (seasonal).

Accommodation: Te Anau

Day 9: Te Anau - Queenstown, flight to Auckland 26 JAN Thursday

According to your flight you will continue exploring Te Anau or Queenstown's region. Eventually you will be dropped at Queenstown Airport and fly back to Auckland.

If time allows we can see New Zealand's precious flightless takahe, kaka parrots and other birds in the Te Anau Bird Sanctuary (free entry, donation welcome, open for the whole day).

Main (in bold) and some optional activities