Starting in Queenstown with a magical day in Milford Sound this tour then takes you up the west coast through stunning rainforest and past wonderful beaches before reaching the TranzAlpine Train, one of the worlds most scenic rail journeys. Once in Christchurch you can experience some kiwi city life before heading through the remote Canterbury plains and into the clear skies of the Mackenzie region, home to Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park, and finally back to Queenstown. All accommodation included is centrally located and gives you access to all the amenities you'll need on your stay. So sit back relax and enjoy the views along the way.
Detailed itinerary: 5 day tour starting in Queenstown
Day 1 - Milford Sound day tour from Queenstown
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.
Leaving Queenstown, travel past picturesque scenery of massive mountain peaks and crystal-clear blue lakes. Travel across the Haast Pass to the other side of the Southern Alps, the landscape changes dramatically. Welcome to the wild and wonderful West Coast, a remote and unspoiled region. Wind your way past native rainforest, rocky coastlines and powerful waterfalls. Your journey concludes in the village of Franz Josef, your base for exploration of the area.
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.
Day 3 - Franz Josef to Greymouth train station, Tranz Alpine train to Christchurch
Franz Josef to Greymouth Train Station with Hokitika Scenic Tours
Today you’ll head north through the historic gold mining region of Hokitika. Known for its Greenstone (Pounamu) this seaside town has a rich history dating back to the 1860’s. Continue on to Greymouth, the largest town on the West Coast and the starting point for the next leg of your journey - the TranzAlpine Scenic Train.
TranzAlpine Scenic Train: Greymouth to Christchurch
Considered one of the world's great train journeys, the TranzAlpine Scenic Train takes you from Greymouth to Christchurch. You'll travel across the South Island from the west to the east coast through Arthur's Pass National Park. From the comfort of your carriage see lush beech forest, deep river valleys and the spectacular peaks of the Southern Alps. Descend to the windswept Canterbury Plains before arriving in the city of Christchurch.
Private Transfer Christchurch Train Station to your accommodation
On arrival at the Christchurch train station, you will be met by a private driver and transferred to your accommodation.
Your accommodation: Bella Vista Christchurch
Bella Vista Motel Christchurch offers a great range of comfortable modern units with excellent facilities. Enjoy the convenience of being located in close proximity to the Christchurch CBD, shops, entertainment and other activities.
Christchurch to Mt Cook via Lake Tekapo Small Group Tour with Cheeky Kiwi - Includes Lunch
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 Christchurch to Aoraki/Mount Cook. 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.
Walking tracks in and around Aoraki / Mt. Cook National Park
There are many short scenic walks beginning in and around the Mt Cook Village, suitable for all ages and abilities. Located within the Mount Cook Village is the Department of Conservation information centre, where updates on the track conditions and suitability is available as well as information on the history of the area and its wildlife.
SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre Explorer Pass
A tribute to New Zealand's Sir Edmund Hillary humanitarian, ambassador and one of the world's greatest explorers, the centre showcases the Aoraki Moun...
A tribute to New Zealand's Sir Edmund Hillary humanitarian, ambassador and one of the world's greatest explorers, the centre showcases the Aoraki Mount Cook region and its people within a comprehensive museum as well as a 126-seat custom-designed theatre and Digital Dome Planetarium.
Your accommodation: Mt Cook Lodge & Motels
Mt Cook Lodge and Motel is located in the centre of Mt. Cook village. The self-contained units are spacious and all are surrounded by alpine mountain views.
Experience 500 year old icebergs up-close on the Mt Cook terminal lake. The Glacier Explorers tour is the only one of its kind in New Zealand and one ...
Experience 500 year old icebergs up-close on the Mt Cook terminal lake. The Glacier Explorers tour is the only one of its kind in New Zealand and one of only three in the world! Very few glaciers terminate into lakes and even fewer of them are accessible. See towering ice cliffs and floating icebergs from the safety of a specially designed boat. These boats provide a safe way to view unseen and inaccessible areas of New Zealand's largest glacier The Tasman.
Aoraki/Mount Cook to Queenstown Small Group Tour
Departing spectacular Aoraki/Mt Cook, this scenic tour winds its way through some of the best the Southern Alps area has to offer; stunningly blue Lake Pukaki, High Country Salmon experiences, the panoramic Lindis Pass, the grand Kawarau Gorge before finally coming to an end in breathtaking Queenstown, the adventure capital of the world.