Alpine Explorer
Independent tour (bus & coach) from Christchurch to Christchurch
Breadcrumb
New Zealand tour itinerary name and information
Thrifty Tours

Alpine Explorer

A 5 day introduction to the South Island including Mt Cook National Park, Queenstown. Fiordland, Milford Sound and the West Coast Glaciers and the Tranz Alpine Scenic Train journey. An ideal tour to customise to your own schedule.

Tour summary and feature

Independent tour (bus & coach)

This suggested tour costs from NZD$1,751 per person (twin share, low season)

Starts in Christchurch, finishes in Christchurch

5 days/4 nights

Hotel 3 star

 Customisable? YES

 Viewed 52 times in the last 7 days

Tour at a glance

At a glance - Alpine Explorer

Day 1: Christchurch to Mt Cook National Park to Queenstown. Accommodation: Millennium Hotel Queenstown

Day 2: Full day tour to Milford Sound including cruise. Accommodation: Millennium Hotel Queenstown

Day 3: Free day to explore Queenstown. Enjoy the views from the Skyline Gondola. Accommodation: Millennium Hotel Queenstown

Day 4: Queenstown to Fox Glacier by Greatsights coach. Accommodation: Heartland Hotel Fox Glacier

Day 5: Fox Glacier to Greymouth train station, Tranz Alpne train to Christchurch.

Tour full itinerary

Detailed itinerary: 5 day tour starting in Christchurch

Day 1 - Christchurch to Mt Cook National Park to Queenstown

Alpine Explorer - Day 1
Christchurch to Queenstown via Mount Cook with GreatSights

Leaving Christchurch in the morning, travel through the fertile farmland of the Canterbury Plains to the shores of the stunning, glacier-fed Lake Tekapo, where you can view the solitary Church of the Good Shepherd and take in the sights of the spectacular Southern Alps. Then continue to the location of New Zealand's tallest mountain, Aoraki / Mount Cook, situated in a national park and UNESCO World Heritage site. Rising to 3,754 metres high, Aoraki certainly lives up to its name, which in Māori can be translated as 'cloud piercer'.
You'll have time to explore the village and soak up the view. The tour continues south, past Lake Pukaki and through the tawny tussock of the Mackenzie Country. En route, enjoy a stop in the quaint village of Omarama. Your tour concludes in the evening upon reaching Queenstown, the adventure capital of New Zealand.

Your accommodation: Millennium Hotel Queenstown

Right in the heart of the action, the Millennium Hotel is just minutes from Queenstown's central shopping and entertainment district. Outdoor activities such as bungy jumping, white water rafting and jet boating are just some of the easily accessible activities nearby in New Zealand's adventure capital.

Day 2 - Full day tour to Milford Sound including cruise

Alpine Explorer - Day 2
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: Millennium Hotel Queenstown

Right in the heart of the action, the Millennium Hotel is just minutes from Queenstown's central shopping and entertainment district. Outdoor activities such as bungy jumping, white water rafting and jet boating are just some of the easily accessible activities nearby in New Zealand's adventure capital.

Day 3 - Free day to explore Queenstown. Enjoy the views from the Skyline Gondola

Alpine Explorer - Day 3
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.
 

Queenstown Skyline Gondola Ride

Hop aboard the Skyline Gondola - the steepest cable car lift in the Southern hemisphere! From which you can 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, Coronet Peak and the magnificent Lake Wakatipu.

Your accommodation: Millennium Hotel Queenstown

Right in the heart of the action, the Millennium Hotel is just minutes from Queenstown's central shopping and entertainment district. Outdoor activities such as bungy jumping, white water rafting and jet boating are just some of the easily accessible activities nearby in New Zealand's adventure capital.

Day 4 - Queenstown to Fox Glacier by Greatsights coach

Alpine Explorer - Day 4
Queenstown to Fox Glacier with GreatSights

See the majestic Southern Alps, picturesque lakes and rivers and the wild beauty of the West Coast on this journey from Queenstown to Fox Glacier. Along the way your driver guide will provide commentary on this unique region. Pass man-made Lake Dunstan outside Cromwell, beautiful Lake Wanaka and its neighbouring Lake Hawea. Entering Mount Aspiring National Park, follow the historic route used by Māori as they travelled across the Southern Alps in search of pounamu (greenstone). Journey through the Haast Pass, the southernmost pass between the South Island's two coasts, enjoying views of native beech forest, waterfalls and glacier-fed rivers. Arriving on the West Coast, you enter an awe-inspiring landscape of vast rainforests, crystal clear waterfalls and rugged mountain tops. Here you will discover an isolated and tranquil part of New Zealand. Your journey concludes as you reach the small village of Fox Glacier.

Your accommodation: Heartland Hotel Fox Glacier

The Heartland Hotel Fox Glacier is nestled at the base of the majestic Southern Alps, in the Westland World Heritage Park. Originally built in 1928 it has been refurbished to retain its charming atmosphere.

Day 5 - Fox Glacier to Greymouth train station, Tranz Alpne train to Christchurch

Alpine Explorer - Day 5
Fox Glacier to Greymouth Train Station with GreatSights

This morning travel north through the small townships of Whataroa and Harihari. Pass through the township of Ross, which in the late 1800s was the centre of one of New Zealand's richest alluvial goldfields. In 1903 the largest gold nugget ever found in New Zealand was discovered at Jones Creek, not far from the town centre. It weighed 2807 grams. The New Zealand Government later purchased the nugget and presented it as a coronation gift to King George V. On arrival into Hokitika there is a 35-minute break in your journey. This allows time to purchase lunch, explore the town centre and relax. Hokitika is the administrative and commercial centre for this part of Westland. The major primary industry is timber milling. Dairy and sheep farming, commercial fishing, white baiting and eel processing being the other major industries. Your coach concludes at the Greymouth Train Station.

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.

Tour quick quote

Instant quote - Alpine Explorer

Step 1: Select start date here
Step 2: Select number of guests and room configuration
Select number of adult per room type
Single occupancy (based on 1 adult in one room)
Double room (based on 2 adults sharing one room, one bed)
Twin room (based on 2 adults sharing one room with two beds)
No pricing loaded - please choose another date or contact us
Your quote for this tour:
Start date:
End date:
Guests:
Rooms:
Total cost for ALL guests is:
0
This quote is based on vehicles to accommodate your party in the vehicle type. We suggest changing the car type or contacting us for the best options.
Save and send a copy of this quote to
or

NOTE: Instant quotes are subject to availability of specific accommodation and other inclusions. Our NZ touring experts will be in touch with you regarding this. Costs quoted in currencies other than New Zealand dollars (NZ$) are based on todays exchange rate and are  subject to change. Refer to our terms and conditions.

Remember - we can create this itinerary with any style of accommodation or customise to suit your interests and timeframe. Just contact us here.

Tour departure list
See all departure dates & prices
This tour has 458 departure dates.
All prices are in
Go to dates in
Starts Status Twin/Double (2 people sharing) Single occupancy You save  
Sep 30, 2020
(Wednesday)
Check with us
NZD$1,751
NZD$2,370
save
NZD$0pp
Enquire Book
Oct 1, 2020
(Thursday)
Check with us
NZD$2,055
NZD$2,875
save
NZD$0pp
Enquire Book
Oct 2, 2020
(Friday)
Check with us
NZD$2,055
NZD$2,875
save
NZD$0pp
Enquire Book
Oct 3, 2020
(Saturday)
Check with us
NZD$2,055
NZD$2,875
save
NZD$0pp
Enquire Book
Oct 4, 2020
(Sunday)
Check with us
NZD$2,055
NZD$2,875
save
NZD$0pp
Enquire Book
Oct 5, 2020
(Monday)
Check with us
NZD$2,055
NZD$2,875
save
NZD$0pp
Enquire Book
Oct 6, 2020
(Tuesday)
Check with us
NZD$2,055
NZD$2,875
save
NZD$0pp
Enquire Book
Oct 7, 2020
(Wednesday)
Check with us
NZD$2,055
NZD$2,875
save
NZD$0pp
Enquire Book
Oct 8, 2020
(Thursday)
Check with us
NZD$2,055
NZD$2,875
save
NZD$0pp
Enquire Book
Oct 9, 2020
(Friday)
Check with us
NZD$2,055
NZD$2,875
save
NZD$0pp
Enquire Book
Oct 10, 2020
(Saturday)
Check with us
NZD$2,055
NZD$2,875
save
NZD$0pp
Enquire Book
Oct 11, 2020
(Sunday)
Check with us
NZD$2,055
NZD$2,875
save
NZD$0pp
Enquire Book
Oct 12, 2020
(Monday)
Check with us
NZD$2,055
NZD$2,875
save
NZD$0pp
Enquire Book
Oct 13, 2020
(Tuesday)
Check with us
NZD$2,055
NZD$2,875
save
NZD$0pp
Enquire Book
Oct 14, 2020
(Wednesday)
Check with us
NZD$2,055
NZD$2,875
save
NZD$0pp
Enquire Book
Oct 15, 2020
(Thursday)
Check with us
NZD$2,055
NZD$2,875
save
NZD$0pp
Enquire Book
Oct 16, 2020
(Friday)
Check with us
NZD$2,055
NZD$2,875
save
NZD$0pp
Enquire Book
Oct 17, 2020
(Saturday)
Check with us
NZD$2,055
NZD$2,875
save
NZD$0pp
Enquire Book
Oct 18, 2020
(Sunday)
Check with us
NZD$2,055
NZD$2,875
save
NZD$0pp
Enquire Book
Oct 19, 2020
(Monday)
Check with us
NZD$2,055
NZD$2,875
save
NZD$0pp
Enquire Book
Oct 20, 2020
(Tuesday)
Check with us
NZD$2,055
NZD$2,875
save
NZD$0pp
Enquire Book
Oct 21, 2020
(Wednesday)
Check with us
NZD$2,055
NZD$2,875
save
NZD$0pp
Enquire Book
Oct 22, 2020
(Thursday)
Check with us
NZD$2,055
NZD$2,875
save
NZD$0pp
Enquire Book
Oct 23, 2020
(Friday)
Check with us
NZD$2,055
NZD$2,875
save
NZD$0pp
Enquire Book
Oct 24, 2020
(Saturday)
Check with us
NZD$2,055
NZD$2,875
save
NZD$0pp
Enquire Book
Oct 25, 2020
(Sunday)
Check with us
NZD$2,055
NZD$2,875
save
NZD$0pp
Enquire Book
Oct 26, 2020
(Monday)
Check with us
NZD$2,055
NZD$2,875
save
NZD$0pp
Enquire Book
Oct 27, 2020
(Tuesday)
Check with us
NZD$2,055
NZD$2,875
save
NZD$0pp
Enquire Book
Oct 28, 2020
(Wednesday)
Check with us
NZD$2,055
NZD$2,875
save
NZD$0pp
Enquire Book
Oct 29, 2020
(Thursday)
Check with us
NZD$2,055
NZD$2,875
save
NZD$0pp
Enquire Book
Oct 30, 2020
(Friday)
Check with us
NZD$2,055
NZD$2,875
save
NZD$0pp
Enquire Book
All prices are in
Go to dates in
Contact form
Enquire about this tour
Your contact information

See our privacy policy here