Login
Call us FREE on 1844 215 8211
|

7 day Southern Alps to the Southern Lakes

This 7 day tour is great for people who wish to experience as much as they can as they journey from Christchurch to Queenstown. Begin with the renowned TranzAlpine scenic train, then there is time to explore the west coast glacier regions, the alpine-adventure town of Queenstown and the breath taking Milford Sound.

 Independent (daily departures)
 Starts in Christchurch, finishes in Queenstown
 7 days/ 6 nights
 Motels
  Customisable? YES Enquire Enquire
 Viewed 68 times in the last 7 days

Included in this tour package

Mitre Peak, Milford Sound
Tranzalpine train, South Island

At a glance - 7 day Southern Alps to the Southern Lakes

Day 1: Arrive into Christchurch. Accommodation: Bella Vista Christchurch

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

Day 3: Free day to explore the glaciers. Accommodation: Punga Grove motel & suites

Day 4: Franz Josef Glacier to Queenstown. Accommodation: Blue Peaks Lodge

Day 5: Explore Queenstown . Accommodation: Blue Peaks Lodge

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

Day 7: Depart Queenstown today.

Back to top

7 day Southern Alps to the Southern Lakes - Detailed Itinerary  

Day 1: Arrive into Christchurch

Private transfer Christchurch airport to your accommodation

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

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Discover Christchurch Double-Decker Bus Tour

Learn about Christchurch’s fascinating history from the back of a 1960’s London open top double decker bus. You’ll hear about the pioneering days right through to present time, including the devastating earthquakes of 2010 and 2011. On the tour you will view some of the areas affected by the earthquakes and see how Christchurch is preserving some of its iconic heritage buildings, as well as hearing about the city’s rebuild and vision for the future.

Your Accommodation: Bella Vista Christchurch

The Bella Vista Motel and Apartments, Christchurch, offer accommodation in a great range of comfortable modern units with excellent facilities.

Bella Vista Christchurch

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

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 12:45pm).
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.

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: Free day to explore the glaciers

Explore Franz Josef Glacier

Franz Josef is small but lively town in the heart of the West Coast, known for its 12 km long glacier. Surrounded by lush rainforest-clad mountains the township has a vibrant and bustling atmosphere. To see the ice up close walk along the valley floor to the terminal face without a guide. However, to go on the glacier itself or get within 100m you must take a licensed tour. Strap on some crampons and give it a go with Franz Josef Glacier Guides or take the easier option and book in a helicopter landing instead. Whichever way you choose to ascend, once on top you’ll have the chance to explore the crevasses, caves and ice flows.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Franz Josef Glacier Valley Walk

On this relaxing walk, you’ll wander through regenerating rainforest alongside the Waiho Riverbed, following the path of the glacier as it winds its way through the landscape. Learn about the glacier’s history and role in shaping this remarkable area. As you approach the terminal face, you’ll have the chance to venture beyond the public barriers and see this magnificent river of ice up close. You’ll also have the chance to access exclusive trails and hear the Maori legend of Ka Roimata O Hine Hukatere.

With 1 guide for every 13 guests, this 3 hour trip ensures you gain an in-depth knowledge about this unique region.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Glacier Hot Pools

Nestled within the lush rainforest surrounds, the Glacier Hot Pools is a haven of tranquility. Unwind in one of the three main pools or relax in a secluded private oasis. Temperatures range from 36 to 40 degrees and the water comes directly from a glacial stream. Wash off the day and rejuvenate in this unique forest paradise.

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 4: Franz Josef Glacier to Queenstown

Franz Josef to Queenstown by Newmans coach

7.30 am You will be collected from your accommodation by the Newmans coach. Please wait in the reception area.
8.00 am The Newmans coach departs from Franz Josef and this morning your journey continues south crossing over many large rivers and through Fox Glacier and other small West Coast townships such as Jacobs River & Bruce Bay.
9.45 am The coach arrives at Paringa. Here you will have a 20 minute break at the Salmon Farm Tearooms. From the building you will be able to view the large salmon swimming in the ponds underneath. The road next takes you past Lake Moeraki and to the coast at Knights Point where on a clear day you receive wonderful views up and down the rugged coastline. From here it just a short journey to reach Haast.
10.55 am. At Haast the coach stops for a lunch stop. Lunch can be purchased at your own expense. State Highway number 6 now turns inland and travels up the wide valley following the Haast River into the Southern Alps. The coach passes over the spectacular Gates of Haast Bridge and across the Haast Pass itself. The Haast Pass is the southernmost crossing of the Southern Alps. The road was completed in 1965 opening a long awaited access route between the east and west sides of the Alps. The region has a high rainfall and consequently the landscape is enhanced by varying shades of lush green vegetation. Enjoy the grandeur of some of the most untouched bush clad mountainous regions of New Zealand as your journey continues.
1.05 pm Near Makaroa the coach stops at The Country Café for a rest & refreshment stop.
1.35 pm Depart from Makarora. The landscape now changes as you head into the interior of the South Island. Along the shores of Lake Wanaka, across “The Neck” to Lake Hawea. Then back onto the shores of Lake Wanaka at the township of Wanaka for a short 10 minute stop. Skiing at the Treble Cone and Cardrona ski fields is a popular winter pastime and water sports on the lake are just as popular in the summer months. Departing from Wanaka you travel to Cromwell on the shores of Lake Dunstan, a manmade lake formed behind the Clyde Dam. This dam produces a proportion of the electricity for New Zealand’s citizens. After departing Cromwell the road winds through the narrow and rugged Kawarau Gorge, past vineyards and the world’s first Bungy Jump bridge before entering the Wakatipu Basin.
4.30 pm Arrive into picturesque Queenstown. Queenstown is a popular year round resort, famous for its numerous outdoor adventure activities. During the journey please advise your driver where you are staying in 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.

Blue Peaks Lodge

Day 5: Explore Queenstown

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 - Skyline Gondola

Hop aboard the Skyline Gondola - the steepest cable car lift in the Southern hemisphere - and take in the awe-inspiring views of this spectacular landscape. Sit back and relax as you enjoy panoramic views of The Remarkables, Walter Peak, Cecil Peak and Coronet Peak - one of Queenstown’s Ski field.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Jet Boat the Shotover Canyon

Jet boating on the Shotover River is one of the must do Queenstown activities, even the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge climbed aboard ‘Big Red’.  During this unforgettable ride you’ll skim across shallow water, past rocky outcrops as you hurtle through the narrow chasm of the Shotover Canyon before your skilled driver takes you into a scream worth 360 degree spin.

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 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: Depart Queenstown today

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.

Back to top

Departure Dates & Prices  

Filter Tour Departures by Month (This tour departs daily)
All prices are in
Back to top

Here are some similar NZ Coach tour packages

Back to top

Travel with our teammates

The original NZ self-drive touring company
Prefer to self-drive? Search over 200 NZ tours
nzsidekick - New Zealand's leading travel agent partner
Travel agents - book NZ itineraries here