Spend three days experiencing the highlights of New Zealand's scenic South Island on this tour from Christchurch. Travel by coach to Mt Cook National Park, Queenstown, Greymouth and the impressive Franz Josef Glacier, listening to informative onboard commentary and stopping to explore sights independently. You’ll be treated to a panorama of New Zealand’s spectacular, ever-changing scenery, from open plains and rugged mountain ranges to glacial lakes, dense forests, Gold Rush towns and beyond. This 3-day tour is ideal for more independent sightseeing, and those looking to experience the beauty of New Zealand in a relaxed, comfortable way.
Day 1: Christchurch — Mt Cook — QueenstownBoard a coach in Christchurch and travel through the rich pastoral farm land of the Canterbury Plains. Watch as the scenery changes as you make your way through the foothills of the Southern Alps, across Burkes Pass and to Lake Tekapo, where Church of the Good Shepherd stands proudly on the shore. Continue along the western side of Lake Pukaki and arrive at Mt Cook, New Zealand's highest mountain, where you'll have free time to soak in your stellar surroundings. Cross Lindis Pass and skirt the Kawerau Gorge before arriving in Queenstown for the night.Overnight: Heartland Hotel Queenstown or similarDay 2: Queenstown — Franz Josef GlacierFrom your Queenstown hotel, drive along the shores of Lake Wanaka and Lake Hawea to Haast Pass, one of New Zealand's most stunning highway routes and the gateway to World Heritage Westland National Park. After passing through the flat grasslands of Central Otago, ascend up to the majestic peaks of the Southern Alps and the rivers and rainforests of Westland. Travel up the West Coast past spectacular mountain ranges, forests and lakes to Franz Josef Glacier, a jaw-dropping 7-mile (11-km) glacier dating back more than 7,000 years. Stay overnight at a unique hotel tucked away in the mountains.Overnight: Scenic Hotel Franz Josef GlacierDay 3: Franz Josef Glacier — Greymouth — ChristchurchWake up to beautiful mountain scenery before embarking on the last day of your tour. Travel back in time to the West Coast Gold Rush in Greymouth, the center for thousands of diggers during the historic gold strikes of the 1860s. Board the renowned TranzAlpine train for your homeward journey across the Southern Alps, along the banks of the Waimakiriri River Gorge to the Canterbury Plains, arriving finally in Christchurch in the evening. From here you'll be taken to your hotel or the airport for your onward journey.