Glaciers Overnight
Independent tour (bus & coach) from Queenstown to Christchurch
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New Zealand tour itinerary name and information
Thrifty Tours

Glaciers Overnight

Highlights include: Queenstown • the Gibbston Valley • Lakes Wanaka and Hawea •  Visit Franz Josef Glacier • the wild West Coast • The world famous TranzAlpine Scenic Train

Tour summary and feature

Independent tour (bus & coach)

This suggested tour costs from NZD$595 per person (twin share, low season)

Starts in Queenstown, finishes in Christchurch

2 days/1 nights

Motels

 Customisable? YES

 Viewed 66 times in the last 7 days

Tour at a glance

At a glance - Glaciers Overnight

Day 1: Queenstown to Franz Josef Glacier. Accommodation: Punga Grove Motel & Suites

Day 2: Franz Josef to Greymouth, then take the Tranz Alpine train to Christchurch.

Tour full itinerary

Detailed itinerary: 2 day tour starting in Queenstown

Day 1 - Queenstown to Franz Josef Glacier

Glaciers Overnight - Day 1
Queenstown to Franz Josef with Intercity

Leaving Queenstown early, travel by coach through the stunning scenery of the South Island. You will pass by the crystal-clear waters of Lake Dunstan, Lake Wanaka and Lake Hawea. After a morning tea break in Makarora on the border of Mount Aspiring World Heritage Park, you'll travel through the Haast Pass, journeying through native beech forest and over the Southern Alps, before emerging on the West Coast. This remote area has a ruggedly beautiful landscape of vast rainforests, gushing waterfalls and snow-capped mountains. Skirt the coast and see waves crashing on rocky beaches before returning inland. Before arriving in the afternoon at the small village of Franz Josef. From here you can explore the world famous Franz Josef Glacier.

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 2 - Franz Josef to Greymouth, then take the Tranz Alpine train to Christchurch

Glaciers Overnight - Day 2
Franz Josef to Greymouth Train Station with Intercity

This morning travel north through the small townships of Whataroa and Harihari. Stop at the Bushman's Centre for refreshments and a chance to experience a bit of West Coast humour. Continue 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 in Hokitika there is time to purchase lunch and explore the town centre. 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. Continue onto Greymouth Railway Station from where you catch the world famous TranzAlpine train across the Southern Alps to Christchurch.

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.

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

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