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Thrifty Tours

4 day Glaciers, Queenstown and Milford Sound highlights

Highlights include: The world famous TranzAlpine Scenic Train, The wild West Coast, visits to Franz Josef Glacier, Lakes Wanaka and Hawea, the Gibbston Valley, Queenstown, and Milford Sound.

Tour special blurb

Due to the impacts, COVID-19 has had on tourism numbers in New Zealand the TranzAlpine train is currently operating on a limited schedule. Some departure dates for this tour may be affected by the changes until 26 December 2022. Please contact our sales consultants to discuss whether your chosen departure is affected and see how we can adjust the itinerary to include this experience if it is.

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Quick Itinerary Details

New Zealand independent tour

This suggested tour costs from NZD$2,400 per person (twin share, low season)

Starts in Christchurch, finishes in Christchurch

4 days/3 nights

Motels

 Customisable? YES

 Viewed 240 times in the last 7 days

Tour at a glance

Brief itinerary - 4 day Glaciers, Queenstown and Milford Sound highlights

Day 1: Christchurch to Greymouth by Tranz Alpine Scenic Train then to Franz Josef Glacier
Accommodation: Punga Grove Motel & Suites

Day 2: Franz Josef Glacier to Queenstown
Accommodation: Blue Peaks Lodge

Day 3: Day tour to Milford Sound including a cruise
Accommodation: Blue Peaks Lodge

Day 4: Queenstown to Christchurch

Tour full itinerary
Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 - Christchurch to Greymouth by Tranz Alpine Scenic Train then to Franz Josef Glacier

4 day Glaciers, Queenstown and Milford Sound highlights - Day 1
TranzAlpine Scenic Train: Christchurch to Greymouth

Your early morning departure is rewarded with incredible scenery today onboard the TranzAlpine Scenic Train, considered one of the world's great train journeys. It travels between Christchurch and Greymouth, from one coast of New Zealand to the other. From your carriage you'll see the fields of the Canterbury Plains and farmland, followed by the spectacular gorges and river valleys of the Waimakariri River. Your train then climbs into the Southern Alps before descending through the lush beech rain forest to the West Coast town of Greymouth - a great base for visits to Punakaiki and the West Coast glaciers.

Greymouth Train Station to Franz Josef with Hokitika Scenic Tours

Leaving Greymouth, you will head south to Franz Josef and Glacier Country. Pass through Hokitika and continue on through Ross, a historic gold mining town where several buildings still remain intact. As you travel further down the coast you’ll also go through Hari Hari, the town where Guy Menzies, the first person to fly solo over the Tasman crash landed. Follow the coast through several small towns before catching a glimpse of the Franz Josef glacier as you arrive into the town centre.

Glacier Valley Shuttle

You will be met at your accommodation by a representative from Glacier Shuttles and taken on a short tour to view the glacier. Your shuttle vehicle will transfer you up the Franz Josef valley to the road end. Here you will have the opportunity to walk to view the glacier from a viewing platform. Or enjoy one of the short walks available in this area. You will be returned to your accommodation by the Glacier Valley Shuttles.

Your accommodation: Punga Grove Motel & Suites

Punga Grove is right in the heart of Franz Josef Glacier village and offers affordable and stylish accommodation in a beautiful rainforest setting.

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Day 2 - Franz Josef Glacier to Queenstown

4 day Glaciers, Queenstown and Milford Sound highlights - Day 2
Franz Josef to Queenstown with Glacier Shuttles

Set off from the small village of Franz Josef, set at the edge of Franz Josef Glacier (one of the world's most accessible glaciers), and travel through the remote and unspoiled scenery of the West Coast. Take the scenic Haast Pass through the Southern Alps, the southernmost pass between the East and West coasts of the South Island. See the clear and pristine waters of Lake Hawea as you travel east, passing Lake Hawea and Lake Wanaka as you continue through to New Zealand's 'Adventure Capital', Queenstown.

Your accommodation: Blue Peaks Lodge

Blue Peaks Lodge offers well equipped self contained rooms with a fantastic location overlooking Queenstown and is just an easy five minutes walk to the Queenstown lakefront.

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Day 3 - Day tour to Milford Sound including a cruise

4 day Glaciers, Queenstown and Milford Sound highlights - Day 3
Milford Sound Cruise and coach tour from Queenstown

Return luxury coach transport from Queenstown to Milford Sound, with a 1 hour 40 minute Cruise along the full length of the fiord. On boarding a Real Journeys luxury glass-roofed coach in Queenstown or Te Anau, you will enjoy a relaxing trip along the shores of Lake Wakatipu and through the rolling countryside to Te Anau. The coach driver provides an informative commentary. After a morning tea break in Te Anau, where you have the option of purchasing refreshments, the coach continues along the spectacular Milford Road. There is time for photo stops and short walks along the way. On reaching Milford Sound, you board the modern, spacious vessel for a leisurely cruise in the fiord. The cruise provides excellent viewing opportunities and plenty of time is available to enjoy waterfalls, rainforest, mountains and the wildlife. During the cruise your friendly crew provide commentaries in several languages and point out the sights such as Mitre Peak and the Pembroke Glacier.

Your accommodation: Blue Peaks Lodge

Blue Peaks Lodge offers well equipped self contained rooms with a fantastic location overlooking Queenstown and is just an easy five minutes walk to the Queenstown lakefront.

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Day 4 - Queenstown to Christchurch

4 day Glaciers, Queenstown and Milford Sound highlights - Day 4
Queenstown to Christchurch Small Group Tour via Aoraki/Mount Cook and Lake Tekapo

This small group, fully-guided day trip combines all of the key highlights in the area with the famous Lake Tekapo, Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park and Tasman Glacier. The ultimate way to get from Queenstown Christchurch. Led by famously passionate tour guides, notorious for bringing your journey to life by sharing their stories and rich background knowledge and run in modern, comfortable minibuses packed with extras ensuring your comfort and safety.

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4 day Glaciers, Queenstown and Milford Sound highlights
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