WILD WEST 6 DAYS/5 NIGHTS
Discover New Zealand's Wild West on this tour of contrasts - from the Canterbury Plains to spectacular Glaciers to breathtaking lakes and the adventure capital Queenstown. On this tour you will travel from Christchurch by the famous Tranz Alpine train to Greymouth , then collect your rental car to continue to the Glaciers and on to Wanaka and Queenstown. A flight from Queenstown back to Christchurch is included.
DAY 1 - CHRISTCHURCH TO GREYMOUTH (Tranz Alpine Train Journey)
The TranzAlpine - Christchurch to Greymouth, rated one of the world's great scenic railway journeys! The TranzAlpine scenic train journey 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.
DAY 2 - GREYMOUTH TO FRANZ JOSEF GLACIER (2 hours and 30 minutes)
Boasting some of the most untamed and stunning scenery in the world the coastal road between Greymouth and Hokitika provides great views of the genuine 'Wild West Coast'. Make sure you stop off along the route to enjoy the sharp tang of the sea air and enjoy a stroll along the beach while enjoying the entertaining shapes and sizes of the driftwood that adorns our West Coast beaches.
From Hokitika the scenery begins to turn rural with a strange twist of thick forest and big flowing rivers.
Some notable stops along the route to Franz Josef include:
Only 10km's South of Greymouth, Shantytown is one of New Zealand's premier cultural and heritage experiences and retells the inspirational stories of the challenges that faced gold seeking immigrants during the 9th century's great gold rushes. Take a ride on a real steam engine and explore the 'real-life' town, as it would've looked in the 'old times'.
Between Greymouth and Hokitika on one of the spectacular coastal drives in the world, this is a wonderful place to stop and enjoy the wonderful walks and coastal views. Located in the heart of the Paparoa National Park, the area is most famous for the internationally recognised Pancake Rocks and Blowholes.
Overnight Franz Josef
Day 3 - FRANZ JOSEF GLACIER
You will enjoy your stay in this friendly, bustling village that offers some great restaurants, cafes and a large range of accommodation from budget to luxury.
A half day Glacier Experience is included in your trip. This is a fantastic introduction to an enthralling world of ice, traversing spectacular tracks of only moderate difficulty. This walk is longer in duration than others offered allowing you more time to enjoy the impressive terrain on the lower reaches of Franz Josef Glacier. After a short walk through regenerating rainforest, the trip continues along the glacier valley with your guide calling stops to explain the unique features of the Franz Josef Glacier and its surroundings.
After strapping on crampons you make your way up the terminal face of the glacier, where pre-formed tracks make exploring the lower reaches of the glacier achievable for most agile people. The terrain can look daunting, but the huge effort our guides put into creating extensive trails, allows you to travel further and see more, in comfort and ease.
Overnight Franz Josef
DAY 4 FRANZ JOSEF TO WANAKA (4 hours)
Travel via Fox Glacier heading south. The terminal face of Fox Glacier is just 5 kilometres from the township that serves it so worth a photo stop on the way.
Continue south on to Haast over the long one-lane bridge , enjoy waterfalls and river scenery as you leave the coast and climb up the Haast river valley to Haast Pass. The road snakes through the Aspiring National Park, and the vegetation becomes more sparse as you travel inland. The wilderness town of Makarora is a chance to refuel and refresh. Watch for the famous ‘bra fence' - it's become a local legend.
On arrival at Lake Wanaka you have a chance to take a deep breath and relax. Protected from the outside world by the grandeur of the mountains, Wanaka is a hidden paradise.
DAY 5 WANAKA TO QUEENSTOWN (1 hour and 40 minutes)
The shortest route to Queenstown is over the Crown Range Road. It's a challenging drive, but the views are amazing and you'll probably encounter friendly keas (mountain parrots). More conservative drivers can take the route that runs beside the Clutha River, Lake Dunstan and the Shotover River. The vineyards of the Gibbston area and bungy jumpers at the Kawarau River Bridge are interesting distractions along the way.
Surrounded by majestic mountains and nestled on the shores of crystal clear Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown is New Zealand's premier four season lake and alpine resort.
Spectacular Queenstown is the most popular holiday destination in New Zealand for international visitors and offers an incredible range of things to do no matter what the season.
Known as New Zealand's adventure capital, here you can experience bungy jumping, rafting, skydiving, heliflights,heliskiing and many more thrilling activities. There is also a wide range of more passive activities such as cruises, walking, hiking, golf, fishing, farm visits, sightseeing and wine tours. Coronet Peak, The Remarkables, Cardrona and Treble Cone ski resorts are close by.
Located close by are a number of wineries producing some of New Zealand's best wines. Queenstown has excellent shopping for local products and a good selection of fine cafe's and restaurants.
NOTE - With so much to do you may decide to extend your stay here. Full Day Coach/Cruise tours can be added to your trip from Queenstown for the world famous Milford and Doubtful Sounds in Fiordland.
For those preferring to stay away from the crowds an option is available to stay in nearby Arrowtown or Glenorchy - just as beautiful but much quieter.
Day 6 - Queenstown to Christchurch
Return your rental car to Queenstown airport in time for your return flight back to Christchurch. Subject to schedules and availability this is an afternoon flight.
WILD WEST TOUR PRICE- ex Christchurch:
Superior NZ$1,195.00 per person (share twin)
Deluxe NZ$1,495.00 per person (share twin)
Includes Tranz Alpine train journey, 5 day car hire (automatic vehicle including, Unlimited kilometres, Loss Damage Waiver (LDW),Airport Concession Fee Recovery and Accident Excess Reduction), 5 nights accommodation, breakfast daily, half day glacier experience, flight from Queenstown to Christchurch and GST.
Add extra nights in Queenstown from $195.00 per person, per day including accommodation and rental car. All tours are available in reverse and can be amended to suit.
Tour prices are in New Zealand Dollars and subject to availability at time of booking. High season surcharges may apply during peak seasons. Low season discounts may apply during the off-season. Single rates and triple share rates are available. Please enquire for full details.