4 Day West Coast NorthboundTravel from Queenstown to the "wild" West Coast and its glacier villages of Fox and Franz Josef. Enjoy a stroll around picturesque Lake Matheson then a guided walk to the terminal face of Franz Josef Glacier. Spend an afternoon visiting the Paparoa National Park home to the Pancake Rocks & Blowholes. Your venture concludes with travel aboard the TranzAlpine through the Southern Alps into Christchurch.
4 Day West Coast NorthboundFrom Queenstown, traverse the Southern Alps though the Haast Pass to the West Coast of the South Island. Enjoy a visit to Lake Matheson and a guided walk to the terminal face of Franz Josef Glacier. Visit Punakaiki Pancake Rocks & Blowholes, Sub-tropical rainforest of Paparoa National Park and complete your journey aboard the TranzAlpine train to Christchurch.
|Tour Type:||Independent Tours|
|From:||Queenstown to Christchurch|
Click on the region name to view more information about the region
- All transport & transfers
- 3 nights accommodation
- Superior accommodation includes breakfast
- Visit Lake Matheson
- Franz Josef guided glacier valley walk
- Visit Pancake Rocks
Day By Day Itinerary
DAY 1 - QUEENSTOWN / FOX GLACIER
Leaving Queenstown travel to the West Coast passing through Cromwell, Wanaka and Hawea before climbing over the Haast Pass into the Westland National Park. The Haast Pass is our southern most pass that traverses the Southern Alps linking the East Coast with the West Coast.
Stay: Fox Glacier
DAY 2 - VISIT LAKE MATHESON / FRANZ JOSEF GLACIER VALLEY WALK
This morning transfer to Lake Matheson. ‘Picture Perfect’ reflections of New Zealand’s highest peaks Mt Cook & Mt Tasman can be captured in the dark waters of this ancient lake formed by the retreat of the Fox Glacier.
Winding through ancient native rainforest, the walkway has three viewing platforms along the journey, providing unprecedented views. The full circuit around the lake takes approximately 1 – 1 ½ hours.
Early afternoon you will be transferred through to Franz Josef . Enjoy a guided walk to the terminal face of Franz Josef. Your Glacier Valley Walk will take you up alongside the mighty Waiho River bed following the glaciers path of retreat in this remarkable landscape. Here you will learn about the glacier’s history, see what is left behind by this majestic giant, and learn the legend of Ka Roimata o Hinehukatere. Near the terminal face, after a brief climb you will be rewarded with spectacular views of the rapidly changing terminal face of the glacier.
Stay: Franz Josef
DAY 3 - FRANZ JOSEF / GREYMOUTH / PUNAKAIKI
Travel north through lush rainforests and spectacular scenery to Greymouth.
Early afternoon you will be collected from your hotel / motel for a Punakaiki Pancake Rocks & Blowholes tour. This is one of the jewels in the crown of New Zealand’s scenic treasure chest. Just getting there is half the fun, with magnificent coastal views. Take time to look around at the renowned Punakaiki Pancake Rocks, a guided walk through the subtropical rainforest and time to explore an isolated beach while hearing about the ecology of the seabirds and plants.
DAT 4: GREYMOUTH / CHRISTCHURCH
Time is available this morning to take an optional tour to Shantytown (historic gold mining village) or to explore the local shops. Jade (Pounamu) and local craft shops are a specialty. This afternoon board the famous TranzAlpine train bound for Christchurch. A remarkable journey travelling from the West Coast to the East Coast including the lush rainforest of the Arthur’s Pass National Park. Viaducts, tunnels and river gorges all add to the enjoyment of the journey.
It was so well organised, went like clockwork. Everyone we met on the way, taxi drivers (Paul in Queenstown wins the award for the nicest driver ever!) bus drivers, tour guides, and motel operators, were so friendly, courteous, informative and helpful. A special mention to our guide Murray at Fox Glacier. As it was a bit rainy, after we had covered all we could there, we decided we wanted to move on so he very obligingly drove us over to Franz Josef early!
The staff at the motel let us have our room early so we had time for a bit of a break before our guided walk towards the glacier. And despite my concerns the walk was easy, only a few rough and small patches. Tim, our informative and thoughtful guide very patiently went slowly over these areas so no problem! Being equipped out in all the gear was great, didn’t have to get our own shoes and clothes wet.
We also took advantage of the free hot pool entry and what a great experience too! All the accommodation was the best, warm, comfortable, well equipped, and so clean. The two Bella Vista motels were so nice, would definitely recommend them. The room in Greymouth was particularly nice, such a high standard for a small place. And so shiny clean, it seemed almost a shame to use it lol. It would beat most of the places I have stayed Brisbane hands down!
Loved the train trip, still amazed at the beautiful landscapes, our photos don’t do it justice. So yes, we loved every minute and again thank you for arranging it all and answering all my crazy questions.
New Zealand is so beautiful and we hope to return and see more.
The coaches, train and included activities were all enjoyed. One additional feedback is that the lodgings exceeded expectation. Punga Grove in Franz was very convenient, while High Peaks in Fox Glacier had very helpful staff. The Coleraine in Greymouth was exceptional for our family of four and I would recommend it to anyone seeking accommodation in that area.
As soon as we arrived in Christchurch we spent the following day in Christchurch gardens, gondola and sightseeing. We then spent a week in Auckland, Rotorua and Bay of Islands before returning to the US tonight.
I will be sure to recommend your firm and pass your email contact to any friends looking to have travel arrangements made for future visits to NZ.
Thanks and regards.
Prices valid from 1st October 2020
|Twin/Double||$1,295 NZD||$1,401 NZD||Enquire / Book|
|Triple||$1,206 NZD||$1,425 NZD||Enquire / Book|
|Single||$1,516 NZD||$2,188 NZD||Enquire / Book|
Frequently Asked Questions – Independent Tours
What is an Independent Tour?
Independent Tours are not escorted group tours - they are for independent travellers. What this means is that it is not the same group of people traveling on their own coach with a tour leader/escort looking after you. You are traveling independently. However, you are picked up and dropped off at your accommodation each morning and evening and interesting commentary is provided on many sectors.
What dates do your tours depart?
The Pacific Travel Independent Tour programme operates on a daily basis (with daily departures) using the services of Great Sights, InterCity, Interislander and KiwiRail. All tours are subject to availability at time of booking.
What is included in the tour cost?
All tours 2+ days in length include coach travel, transfers, accommodation and sightseeing activities where specified. A detailed travel wallet with your travel vouchers and comprehensive itinerary will be sent to you or delivered to your pre tour accommodation for you to collect on check in.
What is not included in the tour cost?
Expenses of a personal nature such as meals (except where stated in the itinerary), beverages, travel insurance, laundry and optional sightseeing (except where stated in the itinerary) are not included in the tour cost.
I am travelling alone – can I pay the triple or twin share rate and be linked with other travellers?
No, unfortunately. You must pay the single room – per person cost.
I am travelling with children, what price will I pay?
Please contact us for information on child fares, as these vary based on the specific product you require. Some sightseeing activities are unsuitable for children.
Are any meals included in the tour cost?
Our Superior accommodation option includes breakfast. No other meals are included in the tour cost except where stated in the itinerary. The coach makes various refreshment / comfort stops throughout the day where food can be purchased. Each evening you are free to relax and dine at you choice of restaurant either on site if you choose Superior accommodation, or just a short walk into town if staying in Standard accommodation.
Is Halal food available in New Zealand?
Along with a small population of Muslims, New Zealand has an increasing number of Muslim visitors. Halal food and restaurants are now found in many areas of the country.
Do Independent Tours have a tour escort?
As these tours are Independent, you do not have an escort traveling with you. However all coach drivers are experienced professionals. They will share their vast knowledge of our country with you by providing an informative commentary on most routes.
Can I add in additional nights to a tour?
Yes you can. All tours are very flexible. Please ask one of our Travel Consultants for extra nightly rates.
What is the difference between Standard & Superior accommodation?
Standard: Motor Lodge, apartment style accommodation, self-contained accommodation, ensuite bathrooms.
Superior: 4 star hotel accommodation, includes breakfast.
Note all accommodation is reviewed regularly by staff, we have high standards and good relationships with all our providers. We endeavour where possible to book accommodation that is within easy walking distance of the centre of town.
What if I cannot find exactly what I am looking for on the website?
Let us know what is on your wish list to see and do and we are more than happy to help you plan a customised tour.
How much luggage can I take on my tour?
Each passenger may take 2 pieces of luggage (max 25kg each). For safety reasons, each passenger is limited to one carry on item (max 5kg). We also advise you check the maximum baggage allowance with your chosen airline.
How do I make a payment for a tour?
For bookings made more than 30 days prior to travel, Pacific Travel require a deposit of NZ$50 per person. This deposit is non-refundable. Balance of payment is due 30 days prior to travel. For bookings made 30 days or less prior to travel, full payment is required at the time of booking. Visa & MasterCard are accepted forms of payment. A 2.5% Credit Card Fee applies to all payments by credit card. You may pay via direct bank transfer to avoid the credit card fee. Bank details will be on your booking advice. All prices advertised are in New Zealand dollars and are GST inclusive.
What is your cancellation policy?
If after your booking has been confirmed you wish to cancel, the following cancellation fees will apply:
Cancellations 30 or more days prior to travel: Your deposit.
Cancellations 0 – 29 days prior to travel: no refund.
Booking amendments made by you. An amendment fee may be charged, to cover our administration and communication costs. We may also need to pass on any amendment/cancellation fees imposed by our suppliers.
Conditions of travel
Pacific Travel reserves the right to alter fares, amend itineraries, book alternative accommodation or to cancel tours. Pacific Travel Ltd shall not be held responsible for any loss or damage to luggage or personal effects and/or damage resulting in death or personal injury, which may arise whilst travelling with Pacific Travel Ltd or its nominated suppliers. All transportation, both land and sea, is subject to the terms and conditions of the company providing the transport, some of which limit or exclude liability. These are available from the carriers concerned on request.
Will I need travel insurance?
We strongly recommend you purchase travel insurance. Factors may arise that require you to cancel or amend your holiday, so it is essential you are covered for any costs that may be incurred. We recommend purchasing your travel insurance locally at the same time as you book your tour and flights. Pacific Travel Ltd does not sell travel insurance.
Do I need to tip in New Zealand?
If you wish to reward someone for a job well done it is always much appreciated.
Do I need a visa to visit New Zealand?
Most visitors to New Zealand do not require a visa to enter for the purpose of a holiday or vacation under the visa waiver program. If you do need a visa to visit New Zealand then you should contact the New Zealand consulate in your home country well before your departure date. We recommend you also check with your local travel agent or airline for any visa requirements to New Zealand particularly if you are passing through Australia. Information on the New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority (NZeTA) can be found here: https://www.immigration.govt.nz/new-zealand-visas/apply-for-a-visa/about-visa/nzeta
What currency is used in New Zealand?
The New Zealand dollar is the only legal tender in New Zealand. View a guide between your local currency and the New Zealand dollar. Please note: Your tour and all purchases using a credit card in New Zealand will be charged in New Zealand Dollars (NZD) at the current exchange rate at the time of purchase.