4 Day West Coast Northbound
Travel 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.
|Queenstown to Christchurch|
Click on the region name to view more information about the region
|Franz Josef||Fox Glacier||Greymouth||Punakaiki||Queenstown||Christchurch|
- All transport
- 3 nights accommodation
- Visit Lake Matheson
- Franz Josef Guided Glacier Valley Walk
- Visit Pancake Rocks
NOT INCLUDED IN PRICE
Expenses of a personal nature such as meals (except where stated in the itinerary), beverages, travel insurance, laundry and optional sightseeing are not included in the tour cost.
TOUR TYPE - 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 travelling on their own coach with a tour leader/escort looking after you. You are travelling independently. However, you are picked up and dropped off at your accommodation each morning and evening and interesting commentary is provided on many sectors.
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.
DAY 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.