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7 day South Island Alpine Experience

Arriving into Christchurch explore the city by double decker. Then take the Tranz Alpine train crossing the Southern Alps to the West Coast Glaciers before heading south and onto the alpine township if Wanaka. Explore the regions wines en-route to Queenstown. The tour includes a trip to Milford Sound.

 New Zealand independent tour
 Starts in Christchurch, finishes in Queenstown
 7 days/ 6 nights
 Motels
  Customisable? YES Enquire Enquire
 Viewed 48 times in the last 7 days

Included in this tour package

Milford Sound, New Zealand
Wanaka, New Zealand

At a glance - 7 day South Island Alpine Experience

Day 1: Welcome to Christchurch, transfer to accommodation and rest of day at leisure. Accommodation: Merivale Manor Motel

Day 2: Christchurch to Greymouth by Tranz Alpine Scenic Train then to Franz Josef , Glacier shuttle . Accommodation: Punga Grove motel & suites

Day 3: Franz Josef to Wanaka by Newmans coach. Accommodation: Clearbrook Motel and Serviced Apartments

Day 4: Explore Wanaka, afternoon wine tour with drop off in Queenstown. Accommodation: Blue Peaks Lodge

Day 5: Free day to enjoy Queenstown, this evening cruise on the TSS Earnslaw. Accommodation: Blue Peaks Lodge

Day 6: Real Journeys Milford Sound day tour including a nature cruise. Accommodation: Blue Peaks Lodge

Day 7: Explore Queenstown before transferring to the airport.

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7 day South Island Alpine Experience - Detailed Itinerary  

Day 1: Welcome to Christchurch, transfer to accommodation and rest of day at leisure

Private transfer Christchurch airport to your accommodation

On arrival you will be met by a private driver and delivered to your Christchurch accommodation.

Christchurch Hop On Hop Off City Tour - 24 hour ticket (Two loops)

Discover the true magic of city sightseeing on-board this city tour bus. With a mix of open and closed top buses, you will ride in comfort and style, enjoying spectacular views. Join friendly local guides as they take you on a journey of discovery through Christchurch. Listen to "live" entertaining and informative commentary and learn about the fascinating history, from pioneering days to modern times.

Your Accommodation: Merivale Manor Motel

Originally built in the 1880's, Merivale Manor has been transformed into elegant motel and apartment accommodation. Less than 200 metres to central Merivale with its premier shopping, restaurants, cafes and bars.

Merivale Manor Motel

Day 2: Christchurch to Greymouth by Tranz Alpine Scenic Train then to Franz Josef , Glacier shuttle

Private transfer hotel to Christchurch train station

A private transfer will collect you this morning and deliver you to Christchurch train station in time for your train journey.

Tranz Alpine Scenic Train Christchurch to Greymouth

Considered one of the worlds great train journeys, the TranzAlpine scenic train 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 lush beech rain forest to the West Coast town of Greymouth - a great base for visits to Punakaiki and the always popular glaciers.

Greymouth train station to Franz Josef with Intercity

Your InterCity coach to Franz Josef Glacier departs from the Greymouth Railway Station. Please check in at the counter when you arrive at the train station (scheduled arrival by Tranz Alpine train is 13:05pm).
1.30 pm Depart from Greymouth on your InterCity coach. The journey to the Glaciers is southward through the lush bush covered landscape at the base of the Southern Alps.
2:10pm We reach Hokitika. There is 35 minute refreshment stop in Hokitika. This allows you time to either walk around the town centre, view the greenstone factories or wood working studio, or just relax and have a refreshment stop. Hokitika is the administrative and commercial centre for this part of Westland. One of the primary industries is timber milling. Dairy and sheep farming, commercial fishing, whitebaiting and eel processing are some of the other major industries.
Further south we pass through the township of Ross which was the centre of one of New Zealand's richest alluvial gold fields in the late 1800s.The largest gold nugget ever found in New Zealand was discovered at Jones Creek, not far from the town centre in 1903. It weighed 2807 grams. The New Zealand Government later purchased the nugget and presented it as a coronation gift to King George V.
5:05 pm On arrival into Franz Josef  you will be dropped off at your accommodation.

Glacier Valley shuttle

You will be met at your accommodation by a representative from Glacier Valley Eco Tours 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 Eco Tours shuttle.
*Winter hours do not allow the Glacier Valley Shuttle to connect with this tour

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.

Punga Grove motel & suites

Day 3: Franz Josef to Wanaka by Newmans coach

Franz Josef to Wanaka by Newmans coach

Leave the small village of Franz Josef this morning and travel along the West Coast with its awe-inspiring landscape of vast rainforests, crystal clear waterfalls and rugged mountain tops. At Haast Pass - the southernmost pass between the East and West coasts of the South Island, head east and drive through breathtaking scenery and the stunning blue lakes of Hawea, Dunstan and Wanaka to arrive into the alpine township of Wanaka. On arrival into Wanaka you will be dropped off on the lakefront, besides the central thoroughfare of Ardmore St. From here you will make your own way to tonight's accommodation.

Wanaka Coach stop to accommodation

You will be collected from the Wanaka coach stop and transferred to your accommodation.

Your Accommodation: Clearbrook Motel and Serviced Apartments

Clearbrook offers luxury apartment style and townhouse accommodation options and is located just metres from Wanaka's main street and its majestic lake front.

Clearbrook Motel and Serviced Apartments

Day 4: Explore Wanaka, afternoon wine tour with drop off in Queenstown

Wanaka Wine Tours Boutique Central Otago Wine Trail

This small group wine tour (maximum 8) offers a relaxed and personal introduction to the wines and scenery of the Central Otago region. This tour is a great way to explore award-winning vineyards hidden amongst the rugged landscape of Central Otago. Visit and enjoy tastings at 4 Central Otago vineyards including a gourmet canape matched tasting.  You'll also discover the history of the region with a visit to Old Cromwell Town, a charming heritage precinct that has been revitalised into a boutique arts and crafts village.

Wanaka to Queenstown

Leaving Wanaka you head over New Zealand's highest sealed road, Crown Range Road before dropping into Queenstown. This drive should be planned as a whole day to really enjoy the scenery and to allow time to explore the walks, and many stops en route.

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.

Blue Peaks Lodge

Day 5: Free day to enjoy Queenstown, this evening cruise on the TSS Earnslaw

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Free day in Queenstown

Although celebrated as New Zealand's ‘adventure capital’ Queenstown offers far more than a fast paced action-packed holiday. Settled on the shores of Lake Wakatipu beneath a soaring panorama of the Remarkables Mountain Range, this alpine town is surrounded by a plethora of historic, gastronomic and scenic wonders. Head down the Gibbston valley wine trail to sample some of the region’s best Pinot or catch a ride on the 100 year old Steamship - the TSS Earnslaw -  to Walter Peak Station for dinner and a farm tour. Browse the waterfront cafes and have lunch at Michelin star chef Josh Emett's ‘Rata.’ Check out nearby historic Arrowtown and enhance your experience with a four wheel drive trip to Macetown. Take a leisurely lakeside stroll or ride the gondola for breathtaking views. Venture further afield into the Fiordland National Park or head over the Crown Range to Wanaka. Drive through Lord Of The Rings country - or for the really fanatic, jump aboard one of many dedicated LOTR tours. And after all of that - if you do really want the adrenaline rush Queenstown is known for, take your pick from the Shotover Jet, Nevis Bungy, Canyon Swing, Zipline, Luge or White Water rafting.
 

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Dart River Wilderness Safari

Take a one and a half hour jet boat safari through the remote wilderness of Mt Aspiring National Park. Home to towering mountains, alpine bush, glacial lakes and icy rivers, this spectacular trip is considered one of the most scenic in the world. Following your boat journey, take a 40 minute walk through ancient beech forests over 80 million years old. Learn about the area and its history before taking a  four wheel drive coach on a 50 minute journey to the isolated hamlet of Paradise - home to many Lord of the Rings filming locations.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Nomad Safaris 'Safari of the Scenes' Glenorchy tour

For those keen on Lord Of The Rings - this is the tour for you. Go on a scenic adventure through some of the iconic locations used in the filming. Although none of the sets are left behind, the landscapes will be instantly recognisable. Follow the shores of Lake Wakatipu to the small town of Glenorchy and enjoy the spectacular views of the Remarkables Range as you drive. From Glenorchy you'll head into the beech forests of Paradise - located on the outskirts of Mount Aspiring National Park - before heading up the dart valley and back. Film locations you'll see include Isengard, Lothlorien, Ithilien Camp and the Seat of Seeing.

TSS Earnslaw cruise to Walter Peak including gourmet BBQ dinner and a farm tour

Enjoy a dinner cruise from downtown Queenstown to Walter Peak High Country Farm aboard the vintage steamship TSS Earnslaw – an iconic Queenstown experience. Take in the stunning views of Lake Wakatipu and surrounds as you cruise across the lake to historic Walter Peak high country farm. You’ll be greeted of the boat and guided through beautiful lakeside gardens to the charming homestead. Enjoy the ambience of the heart of the stately homestead while your Colonel’s Homestead Restaurant chef prepares a gourmet BBQ dinner. Your seasonal menu includes an extensive selection of local New Zealand produce, including succulent meats and a selection of delicious vegetables and salads. Complete your meal with your choice of delicious desserts, New Zealand cheeses and tea & coffee. After dinner, you’ll enjoy a short demonstration of life in the high country. Now it’s time to cruise home under the southern stars. Join a sing-a-long with the on board pianist or simply enjoy the fresh night air as the lights of Queenstown draw ever closer.

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.

Meals included: Speciality Dinner

Blue Peaks Lodge

Day 6: Real Journeys Milford Sound day tour including a nature cruise

Milford Sound Nature Cruise with return luxury coach transfers from Queenstown

Return luxury coach transport from Queenstown to Milford Sound, with an extended 2½ hour Nature Cruise along the full length of the fiord.
On boarding a Real Journeys luxury glass-roofed coach in Queenstown, 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 Milford Mariner for a leisurely extended cruise of the fiord. The cruise provides excellent viewing opportunities and plenty of time is available to enjoy waterfalls, rain forest, mountains and wildlife with extensive commentary by the on board nature guide. Includes picnic boxed lunch.

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.

Meals included: Lunch

Blue Peaks Lodge

Day 7: Explore Queenstown before transferring to the airport

Private transfer from your accommodation to Queenstown Airport

You will be met at your accommodation by your private driver and transferred to Queenstown Airport for your onward journey.

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