7 Day Alpine Express

7 Day Alpine Express

A lively independent round trip coach tour from Christchurch taking in all the southern highlights including the TranzAlpine train, a trip down the west coast from Franz Josef, a cruise on Milford Sound, a three night stopover in Queenstown, and Mt Cook.

Book your independent coach tour this month and receive a discount of 7.5%. If you pay by 30 September 2018.

Tour Info

Tour Type: Independent Coach Tour
From: Christchurch to Christchurch
Departures: Feb 2018 to May 2019
Price:
From (NZD) $1796 per person
Tour Operator: Relaxing Journeys
Duration: 7 Days
Tour Code: RJ206

Inclusions

6 nights accommodation
All Coach, Ferry & Rail Transport & Transfers
Optional Breakfasts
Daily Departures
Milford Sound Day Tour & Cruise (including lunch)
TranzAlpine Train Journey

Book your independent coach tour this month and receive a discount of 7.5%. If you pay by 30 September 2018.

* Note: Prices shown are per person (based on two people travelling). Prices are valid for travel until September 2018

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Day by Day Tour Itinerary

Day 1
Arrive Christchurch

Welcome to Christchurch, gateway to the South Island. Bordered by hills and the Pacific Ocean, it is situated on the edge of the Canterbury Plains that stretch to the Southern Alps. Despite suffering earthquake damage there is plenty to see and do. World – renowned for its beauty the gently winding Avon River is a stunning feature of the city centre.

Day 2
Christchurch - TranzAlpine Train - Franz Josef

This morning you will board the TranzAlpine Train for one of the world’s great scenic train trips that will take you across the patchwork farmland of the Canterbury Plains before a slow climb into the Southern Alps. From here you will marvel at views of the stunning Waimakiriri River gorge and alpine scenery on a series of breathtaking viaducts. After a brief stop at Arthur’s Pass you will enter one of New Zealand’s longest tunnels, the Otira Tunnel and subsequently descend through a deep valley of sub tropical rainforest over a broad shallow river into the small town of Greymouth. Join your coach in Greymouth and travel through Hokitika to Franz Josef Glacier.

Day 3
Franz Josef - Queenstown

Travelling south your journey will take you through coastal forest and windswept sand dunes, crossing Haast Pass on New Zealand’s longest single lane bridge. Travelling through Wanaka sitting at the foot of the Southern Alps your next stop is Queenstown, which is the Southern Hemisphere’s premiere four season alpine lake resort. (3 nights)

Day 4
Milford Sound Day Tour & Cruise

It’s an early start. Head off around the southern shores of Lake Wakatipu to Lake Te Anau, then into the World Heritage Fiordland National Park, a region rich with dense rainforest, lakes and waterfalls cascading from rugged mountain peaks. Journey through the Southern Alps via the Homer Tunnel, a 1.2km tunnel drilled through a solid mountain of rock. Upon arrival at Milford Sound, board your vessel for a spectacular cruise where you will see the wonders of Mitre Peak, glacier scarred rock walls that rise 1,200m vertically from the sea, and waterfalls that tumble from hanging valleys and crash into the sound far below. Board the coach for Queenstown, arriving in the evening. (L)

Day UP
Milford Sound Return Flight Upgrade Package (NZ $395pp)

Return to Queenstown on a scenic flight taking in magnificent views of the alps, glaciers, lakes and forests of Fiordland National Park – a quick and convenient way to return to Queenstown. (Duration 35mins) The flight shaves off approximately 4 hours off a return by coach. It is however very weather dependent, so if the weather doesn’t play ball, then you will need to return by coach and we will refund the upgrade price.

Day 5
Queenstown

Today is completely at your leisure to enjoy the many sights of this alpine resort situated on the shores of Lake Wakatipu. Queenstown offers something for everyone – you can enjoy the quiet beauty and tranquility of this mountain retreat and enjoy several walking trails in the town area. For sheer excitement there is white-water rafting, helicopter rides, the famous jet boats, bungy jumping to pump your adrenalin, and offroad 4WD tours with plenty of river crossings. There are cruises on the lake and a visit to a high country sheep station, and wine tasting tours. You can visit nearby Arrowtown where the main street has been preserved since the 1860’s gold rush days and you can try your luck and pan for gold in the adjacent Shotover River.

Day 6
Queenstown - Mount Cook - Christchurch

Depart Queenstown this morning and travel north through the historic gold mining region of the Kawarau Gorge, pass through the dramatic Lindis Pass into the Mackenzie Country. Hug the shores of Lake Pukaki before arriving at the majestic Aoraki/Mt Cook Village. This region is breathtaking and full of opportunities for the outdoor enthusiast. Enjoy an optional scenic helicopter or ski plane flight (own expense), explore the treasures of New Zealand’s mountaineering history at the Sir Edmund Hillary Centre or relax over a three course lunch at the famous Hermitage Hotel (not included). This afternoon you will continue north to the glacial fed, turquoise blue Lake Tekapo where you can take the opportunity to appreciate the majestic scenery of the Southern Alps and view the solitary Church of the Good Shepherd. Continue your journey north through the vast patchwork of the Canterbury Plains before arriving at your final destination, Christchurch.

Day 7
Depart Christchurch

Sadly your trip has come to an end. We hope that you have thoroughly enjoyed your experiences in New Zealand. Today you will be met at your accommodation and transferred to the airport for your onward journey. Have a safe trip home.

4.7/5.0

There are 25 reviews of this tour from past clients of Relaxing Journeys, averaging 4.7 out of 5.

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Tour Reviews

3
14/02/2017
Well organised tour with good accommodation. Great sights coach is good with very informative drivers. Only problem is, each stop is very short. More time required especially the Lake Tekapo stop because it's very beautiful. Rainforest Retreat at Franz Josef doesn't have air con so its pretty warm. Might be nice to have a couple of meals included during the travelling on the coach.
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5
09/09/2016
Everything that was organised went smoothly. I think the tour we chose was good for us, not having been to NZ before. Everything was planned out perfectly and we had a great time. The only negatives were despite indicating that Tash was a vegan, and even reiterating this with the actual cruise company the night before, she was not allocated a vegan meal on the Milford Sound Cruise. I think this was probably an issue with the cruise company though. Otherwise it was a great way to see the South Island of NZ!
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5
03/02/2016
The whole tour ran very smoothly. Everything was right on time, high quality.
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5
31/01/2015
Overall the Alpine Express tour was a great add and possibly the best part of our Auckland to circle Australia cruise vacation. We chose to start our Alpine Express tour in Queenstown and add a free day to start and end with 2 nights in Auckland. Every step of the itinerary occurred as planned. Many of the best sites of South Island are between the cities and the excursions and day trips got us to everywhere we wanted to go. There were enough stops for photos and toilet/coffee/lunch breaks. The Independent Coach experience was comfortable, informative, on time and very easy to get on and off. All of the motels and apartments were convenient to walk to local attractions, restaurants and shopping. They all were clean and comfortable and included a kitchenette with a small refrigerator, microwave, coffee pot and in most cases a cook top. All provided toiletries and ample towels. We enjoyed every day and each was different making it impossible to rank the activities. The 'must dos' were the Milford Sound cruise and the TranzAlpine train from Christchurch to Greymouth. Our Tour Consultant Mani, was helpful and easy to work with. The activity that was rained out was quickly refunded.
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5
23/10/2014
We returned home yesterday after a few days in Sydney. Everything on the tour went great including the hotels, sightseeing tours, and all of the travel connections and arrangements. We had no problems at all and everything happened as planned.
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5
19/04/2014
The trip was arranged in great in detail which is far more than we expected. The accommodation was literally minutes away from the transport pick-up point and town centre. Transport was perfectly on time and we even got a taxi from Tarras to Wanaka which is a luxury. The lake room in lake Tekapo Lodge was superb, unbeatable accommodation we've ever seen. We customized the trip a lot to meet our needs, and Leanne and her team at Relaxing Journeys have done tremendous jobs to do that, thanks to you all. We will definitely book through you again.
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4
11/03/2014
We were very impressed with the excellent service provided by yourselves at Relaxing Journeys. You were flexible and supportive throughout the process of booking and of making adjustments. All pick up and reception points were equally impressive. Formalities were minimal and the voucher system worked a treat! Accommodation was good throughout and accommodation staff always helpful. Coach drivers were a great source of information and kept us entertained on long journeys. I'd just make a small point that sometimes it was difficult for us to follow 'kiwi' drivers when they spoke quickly and quietly! The only disappointment was the return journey to Christchurch which included a relatively short stop at Mount Cook. We appeared not to be fully informed of the options available in the short time we had there. This could have included mention of the excellent Visitor Centre which I discovered shortly before the coach left. I realise this may not be possible, as it is a scheduled passenger service, but a stop of 2 to 3 hours would have allowed for a trip to a glacier or a visit to the on site museum. However, in overall terms this is a minor point. We are very happy to recommend Relaxing Journeys for their excellent, superbly efficient, hassle free, service.
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5
03/01/2014
The tour and accommodation was excellent. All transfers were efficient and the commentaries were very educational. To do it again, I would spend 2 nights in Christchurch at the beginning of the tour, visit the Museum, Gondola, Botanical Gardens and Akaroa, then proceed on the Alpine Express. I'd have 1 night at Franz Josseph, 2 nights in Queenstown and stay 2 nights at Te Anau or Milford to explore the Fiordlands in depth and finally would fly out of Queenstown, rather than return to Christchurch via Mt Cook. This leg was a very long drive and once you've been to Fiordlands, for myself at least, I didn't think Mt. Cook was necessary. Overall, it was a very professional exercise and everything was taken care of, so I could just relax and enjoy the beautiful countryside. Thank you for your excellent service.
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5
26/12/2013
The tour was superb thank you. We had a fabulous time and everything ran so smoothly throughout.
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4
06/10/2013
I enjoyed the places that I visited on this tour, in particular the TranzAalpine train journey and the Milford Sound cruise. I would recommend independent tours for people travelling with another person/group. I was on my own and thought there would be some people on the same itinerary, which wasn't the case. It would have been better if dinners were included in the price. One of the stops was Franz Josef, and I arrived about 5.20 in the evening. I found out later (after 6) that to see the glacier you have to walk for an hour and 1/2- so it would be good to have this information in advance (on the itinerary) or arrange it so that you arrive earlier in Franz Joseph and have sufficient time to do the walk. The hotels were all of a good standard and the buses were efficient at pick ups and gave some entertaining commentary. Thank you! (Ed. Thanks for your comments, Esther. We always recommend an extra day in Franz Josef, if you have the time - the weather can interrupt activities and sightseeing on the West Coast, so it always a good idea to have an extra day up your sleeve to to ensure you don't miss a Glacier walk or Heli-Hike).
Overall Tour Rating

Value For Money

Accommodation

Tour Pace

Relaxing Journeys Experience

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New Zealand has a great deal of things to see and do, why not add one of our optional sightseeing activities to your trip. Prices are per adult (we'll adjust your quote for any children).

Enquire about our 7 Day Alpine Express

7 Day Alpine Express
Independent Coach Tour
Tour Code: RJ206
From (NZD) $1796 per person
Enquire Now
Departures: Feb 2018 to May 2019
Rating:
25 reviews (4.7/5)

A lively independent round trip coach tour from Christchurch taking in all the southern highlights including the TranzAlpine train, a trip down the we... Read More

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7 Day Alpine Express
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