10 Day Southern Sounds, Alps and Glaciers
10 Day Southern Sounds, Alps and Glaciers
Begin your relaxing journey by crossing the Southern Alps on board the TranzAlpine train, then head south to explore the West Coast glacier region, Queenstown, and spectacular Milford Sound. Prepare your senses and camera memory for an unforgettable getaway.
|Tour Type:||Independent Coach Tour|
|From:||Christchurch to Christchurch|
|Departures:||Jan 2020 - March 2021|
|Price:||From (NZD) $3078 per person|
|Tour Operator:||Relaxing Journeys|
|8 nights accommodation|
|1 night on a Milford Sound overnight cruise|
|All coach, ferry and rail transport and transfers|
|TranzAlpine train journey|
|Tasman Glacier Explorer excursion|
Prices are per person based on twin-share, and are subject to availability. Prices are correct at the time of submission but are subject to change without notice. Valid for travel January 2020 – March 2021. Blackout periods may apply. A non-refundable deposit of $250 per person is required at time of booking.
Click here for our full terms and conditions.
Day by Day Tour Itinerary
Haere mai! Welcome to the ‘Garden City’ of Christchurch. Disembark, pass through customs, and collect your luggage. You will be met by one of our representatives and transferred to your accommodation – it’s time to start your holiday. What should you do with the rest of the day? If you’d like to take it slow, sit back and relax, we suggest punting down the River Avon through the stunning Botanic Gardens.
This morning you will board the TranzAlpine train for one of the world’s great scenic train journeys, which will take you across the patchwork farmland of the Canterbury Plains before a slow climb into the Southern Alps.
After a brief stop at Arthur’s Pass you will enter one of New Zealand’s longest tunnels, the Ōtira Tunnel, cross breathtaking viaducts, and subsequently descend through a deep valley of subtropical rainforest over a broad shallow river into the small town of Greymouth. Join your coach in Greymouth and travel through Hokitika to Franz Josef. (2 nights)
Today you have a whole day at leisure. Perhaps enjoy a guided walk, a heli-hike, or a scenic flight from the Franz Josef township. If you’d prefer a relaxing day, head to the Glacier Hot Pools that are nestled amongst lush rainforest, or meander through the village where you will find a wonderful selection of gifts, artwork, merchandise and cafes.
Treat yourself and upgrade your accommodation in Franz Josef to the 5-star Te Waonui Forest Retreat, a luxury lodge hotel nestled amongst native West Coast rainforest. Our upgrade package includes luxurious accommodation, dinner on the first night – an indulgent 5-course degustation menu in The Canopy Restaurant – and a la carte breakfast both mornings. We’ve also included a stunning Franz Josef heli-hike to help you make the most of your time in the region. Ask us for a price!
Farewell Franz Josef and travel down the West Coast, alongside braided riverbeds, native forests and roadside waterfalls, before climbing up over the Haast Pass and through Mount Aspiring National Park. Stop the car, stretch your legs, and drink in the scenery, as impressive mountains touch the sky; remnants of the Ice Age glacial valley. Take your time and drive along the shores of Lake Hawea, arriving at the action-packed resort of Queenstown.
Today is at leisure to enjoy the many sights and activities in and around Queenstown. You could enjoy a leisurely stroll along the shores of pristine Lake Wakatipu and in the evening experience an optional cruise aboard TSS Earnslaw (own expense). If you’re planning a more active trip there are a myriad of activities you can take part in, including jet boating, bungy jumping, skydiving, ziptrekking, quad biking, snowshoeing, national park walks, and off-road 4WD tours!
Travel by coach along the shores of Lake Wakatipu and through the rolling countryside to Te Anau. Continue along the spectacular Milford Road and through the hand-hewn Homer Tunnel to Milford Sound where you board the Milford Mariner for a relaxing cruise. Cruise the entire length of the sound to the Tasman Sea, viewing spectacular waterfalls, rainforests, mountains and wildlife.
The Milford Mariner is designed along the lines of a traditional New Zealand trading scow to reflect Fiordland’s heritage and you will be accommodated in private cabins with en-suite bathrooms in this purpose-built vessel. It boasts spacious deck areas for viewing the wilderness, scenery and wildlife of Milford as well as activities which include kayaking and excursions in the tender vessels (Stabicraft) to explore the coastline. (Overnight cruise does not operate 21 May – 15 September.) (D)
In the morning, enjoy a hearty breakfast before heading back out to the Tasman Sea (weather permitting) and exploring more of the fiord. Board your coach and return to Queenstown mid-afternoon. The remainder of the day is at leisure. (B)
Upgrade your itinerary to return to Queenstown on a scenic flight taking in the magnificent views of the alps, glaciers, lakes and forests of Fiordland National Park. (Duration 35 mins.)
The flight shaves approximately 4 hours off a return by coach. It is, however, very weather dependent, so if the weather doesn’t play ball you will need to return by coach and we will refund the upgrade price.
Depart Queenstown and travel through Ōmarama before heading up over the Lindis Pass – this is the area where gold was first discovered in the Central Otago region in 1861. Central Otago has a harsh but beautiful landscape due to its summer heat and winter cold. A lot of gold was discovered in the area in the late 1800s. More recently, in the late 1900s, it was discovered as a great place for growing grapes – perfect for wine and food fanatics.
The afternoon is free to explore the area and take one of the many short walks starting from Aoraki Mount Cook Village.
This morning you will embark on a fascinating tour of the Tasman Glacier Terminal Lake. An experienced guide will whisk you away in a stable MAC boat to explore the melting ice-face of the glacier. Touch and taste 400-year-old icebergs that have been carved into the murky waters of the lake.
This afternoon re-board your coach, heading northbound for Christchurch. On your way you visit beautiful Lake Tekapo and view the tiny Church of the Good Shepherd before crossing the vast Canterbury Plains, arriving in the evening.
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. Haere rā!
There are 7 reviews of this tour from past clients of Relaxing Journeys, averaging 5 out of 5.
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).
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Begin your relaxing journey by crossing the Southern Alps on board the TranzAlpine train, then head south to explore the West Coast glacier region, Qu... Read More
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