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Wonders of Westland

October 2018
10 days - 9 nights
Price TBC  |  Single Supplement TBC
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Highlights

Queenstown

Skyline Restaurant, Queenstown

TSS Earnslaw & Lake Wakatipu

Arrowtown

Wanaka

Haast Pass plus go on a River Jet Boat

Franz Josef & Fox Glaciers

Hokitika

Shantytown Heritage Park

Monteith's Brewery

Punakaiki Rocks

Cape Foulwind

Coaltown Museum & Denniston Mine

Awakari Valley

Buller Gorge

Nelson Lakes

Blenheim

Picton

Cruise the Sounds on the Interislander

Northern Explorer Train

 
Print Tour

Next tour will be in October 2018. Please check again for updates.

Be swept away by the views of the rugged and unspoilt West Coast of the South Island and immerse yourself in the Coaster lifestyle.

Drive through Haast Pass, see the magnificent Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers and venture into the Awakari Valley and Buller Gorge. Starting in Queenstown, we go to Arrowtown and Wanaka as we head north to Hokitika, Greymouth and Westport taking in the magnificent landscape and scenery on the way.

Plus we enjoy a wonderful train journey home on the Northern Explorer, traversing Tongariro National Park and winding through the famous Raurimu Spiral.

 

Itinerary

Day 1

Breakfast, Dinner

We fly from Auckland to Queenstown and arrive early afternoon to begin our West Coast adventure. After checking into our hotel, we can relax before heading out for dinner at the fabulous Skyline Restaurant. The Skyline is ideally placed on Bob’s Peak and while dining we can marvel at the awesome views across Queenstown, Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkables. We stay in Queenstown for two nights.

Day 2

Breakfast, Dinner

This morning, we take a cruise across Lake Wakatipu to Walter Peak and it gives the boat enthusiasts among us plenty of time to explore a piece of living history – the TSS Earnslaw built in 1912. Visit the engine room and see its giant steam engines at work or take a look at the many historical photos in the TSS Earnslaw’s mini-museum, although why not just sit back and enjoy watching the Alpine Scenery as we sail along. After lunch, we take in some more local sights which includes a visit to the historic gold mining town of Arrowtown situated below the beautiful peaks that surround the sparkling Arrow River.

Day 3

Breakfast, Dinner

Today, we head off to look around Wanaka and also make a pit stop at Warbirds and Wheels at Wanaka Airport. We stop at the Retro Cafe for lunch. Afterwards, we make our way over the Haast Pass taking in the beautiful vistas along the way. We stop in Haast for a trip on the River Jet which takes us into some wonderful areas of untouched landscape. We are treated to a real Kiwi experience on board the fully-enclosed safari boats. The Haast region is so spectacular and remote that UNESCO has designated it a ‘World Heritage’ area. We stay overnight in Haast Village.

Day 4

Breakfast, Dinner

More fantastic West Coast scenery today as we visit the Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers. The Fox Glacier stretches from the high peaks of the Southern Alps to the Fox Valley through temperate rainforest and turns a corner before terminating 250 metres above sea level and only 12 kilometres from the Tasman Sea. It’s the longer and the faster moving of the two famous West Coast glaciers. After lunch in Franz Josef, we head to the glacier here. Just six kilometres from the centre of the village, Franz Josef Glacier descends from the tops of the Southern Alps into rainforest close to sea level. We have time to walk to the glaciers but we must be aware of the weather at all times. We continue to the Jade capital of New Zealand, the lovely coastal town of Hokitika, where we stay for the night. We are close to the town centre so not too far to go to purchase any jewellery.

Day 5

Breakfast, Dinner

We continue north along the magnificent wild coast to Greymouth today. We visit the unique Shantytown Heritage Park then it’s off to visit Monteith’s Brewery for a guided tour. After lunch, we carry on up the coast to see the fascinating Punakaiki Rocks and experience the sights, sounds (and smells) of the Seal Colony at Cape Foulwind. We stay in Westport for the next three nights.

Day 6

Breakfast, Dinner

We have a treat for you today as we head out to the Denniston Coal Plateau where we take in spectacular views of the Waimangaroa River Gorge, see fascinating coal mining relics and enjoy a short walk through lush forest and that’s all before lunch. This afternoon, we travel across the rocky sandstone plateau above the extensive underground mines. We climb up to Mt Rochfort (1040 metres above sea level) from where superb panoramic scenery to the coast can be seen.

Day 7

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

A fascinating day as we travel to the Awakari Valley and join a 4WD tour for ‘Johnny’s Journey’. Johnny Currie is a West Coast legend and we hear about his fascinating life. Keeping our cameras ready as we’ll certainly be taking lots of photos, we see wild red deer, pancake rock formations and the ancient Maori cave. While having lunch, Johnny provides a fascinating account of life in the valley and its natural history. We finish the day with a drive through Madman’s Creek and a short walk through pristine forest to see the ‘Piddling Cow Bluff’.

Day 8

Breakfast, Dinner

A great river run today as we follow the mighty Buller River from Westport through the Buller Gorge to Murchison. We stop at the picturesque Nelson Lakes National Park for lunch. Afterwards, we make a short stop in St Arnaud and then follow the Wairau River into the grape-growing region of the Wairau Plains. We continue to Blenheim for our last night in the South Island.

Day 9

Breakfast, Dinner

Today, we make our way to Picton for a visit before we board the Interislander and cruise through the magnificent Marlborough Sounds to Wellington. We take a last look back towards the South Island and arrive in Wellington where it’s only a short drive to our hotel.

Day 10

Breakfast

Today, we make our way home on the Northern Explorer Train passing through Tongariro National Park and winding through the famous Raurimu Spiral which is regarded as an ‘engineering masterpiece’. The final destination is Auckland but passengers can be dropped off at other stations along the way.

 

 

 

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