Skip to contentSkip to menu

9 Day Majestic New Zealand - Independent Coach

Days
9

Pricing From
$3329

North Island / South Island
Book Now

Overview

9 Day Majestic New Zealand independent coach tour MapCoach Tours of New Zealand - If time is short but you still want to experience New Zealand in all its majestic glory, then this is the tour for you. Journey underground on a subterranean adventure through limestone chambers and passages, weave between steaming thermal springs and boiling mud and be captivated by some of the world's most stunning scenery at Milford Sound.

Flexible Itineraries

Our Independent coach tours, New Zealand can be adapted or extended according to your requirements. So if you want to stay longer at any place on the itinerary, let us know, ALL itineraries can be amended.

If you do not find a Tour that suits you, just ask us to provide you with a personalised coach touring holiday.

Accommodation

4 Star Hotels
We have a wide range of 4 star hotel properties. Most hotels in this category generally have swimming pools, fitness gyms, a choice of restaurants, and are usually a little closer to town centres or occupy premium locations. Room types may include standard, deluxe, superior, mountain view, lake view, suites, etc. Many also include 2 and 3 bedroom suites which can offer great value for larger groups.

3 Star Hotels
All our 3 star hotels have restaurant facilities. Meals can be included in your package, if required. Please note that smaller destinations such as Coromandel, Kaikoura, Akaroa, etc. hotels don't usually feature this as an accommodation option.

Motels
Motel accommodations are self-contained facilities. At minimum, a studio unit includes cooking utensils, a hot plate and/or a microwave, toaster, kettle, and crockery and cutlery. Others will include a full kitchen and can include saunas, spas, and swimming pools and sometimes a full breakfast service. Room types include stuido, 2-bedroom, or family units. Our motels are of a very high standard and are generally owned and operated by locals who would love to share their genuine interest in their region with you.

Looking for a fully escorted coach tour? Check out our guided departures here!

Sunset over Auckland in winter

Sunset over Auckland in winter

Waitomo Glowworm Caves

Waitomo Glowworm Caves

Waitomo Glowworm Caves

Glowworms at Waitomo Glowworm Caves

Maori greeting at Tamaki Village Rotorua

Maori greeting at Tamaki Village, Rotorua

Cooking a Hangi meal at Tamaki Village Rotorua

Cooking a Hangi meal at Tamaki Village, Rotorua

Hangi meal at Tamaki Village Rotorua

Hangi meal at Tamaki Village, Rotorua

Agrodome Farm Show, Rotorua

Agrodome Farm Show, Rotorua

Bubbling geothermal mud Rotorua

Bubbling geothermal mud in Rotorua

Pohutu Geyser at Te Puia Rotorua

Pohutu Geyser at Te Puia, Rotorua

Pohutu Geyser at Te Puia Rotorua

Lakeland Queen, Rotorua

Trout at Rainbow Springs Rotorua

Trout at Rainbow Springs, Rotorua

Tongariro National Park

Tongariro National Park

Wellington by night

Wellington by night

Arahura Interislander Ferry in Wellington Harbour

Arahura Interislander Ferry in Wellington Harbour

Picton Marina

Picton Marina

Tranzcoastal train from Picton to Christchurch

Tranzcoastal train from Picton to Christchurch

Hagley Park, Christchurch

Cherry Blossom in Hagley Park, Christchurch

Sheepdog Statue at Lake Tekapo

Sheepdog Statue at Lake Tekapo

Mt Cook in autumn

Mt Cook in autumn

Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown

Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown

Red Boats Cruise on Milford Sound

Red Boats Cruise on Milford Sound

Skyline Gondola Queenstown

View from the Skyline Gondola, Queenstown

TSS Earnslaw Queenstown

TSS Earnslaw at Walter Peak Station, Queenstown

Shotover Jet Queenstown

Shotover Jet, Queenstown

Arrowtown near Queenstown

Autumn colours in Arrowtown, Queenstown

White water rafting at Queenstown

White Water Rafting at Queenstown

Haast road

Haast road looking south to Makaroa

Franz Josef Glacier

Franz Josef Glacier

Helicopter flight to Fox Glacier

Optional Helicopter flight to Fox Glacier

Tranzalpine Train from Greymouth to Christchurch

Tranzalpine Train from Greymouth to Christchurch

Kea at Willowbank Wildlife Reserve Christchurch

Kea at Willowbank Wildlife Reserve, Christchurch

Itinerary

Open All
Day 1Auckland - Waitomo - Rotorua

You will need at least a night in Auckland before this your.

Enjoy a tour from Auckland to Rotorua including a guided tour of the fascinating Waitomo Glowworm Caves. Leaving Auckland in the morning you travel through the lush farmland of the Waikato and King Country regions. Your experienced local driver guide will provide a commentary as you travel to Waitomo and point out sites of interest including Rangiriri, the location of a historic Maori land wars battle between forces loyal to the Maori King and the Colonial Government in 1863. On arrival in the small town of Waitomo enjoy a guided tour through the world famous Waitomo Glowworm Caves with their amazing stalactites, stalagmites and other limestone formations. Finish the tour with a silent boat ride through the Glowworm Grotto - a subterranean cavern lit up by the lights of thousands of tiny glowworms. Continue your tour this afternoon by driving to Rotorua, passing through the beautiful Fitzgerald Glade where the roadside trees arch overhead to form a tunnel of natural greenery.

Tamaki Maori Village cultural tour and dinner
Journey back in time to a Pre-European lifestyle experience of customs and traditions. Enjoy the night's festivities with the people of Tamaki Maori Village as you are treated to a banquet of succulent foods cooked the traditional Maori way. Rediscover the Maori village as it comes alive to the sound and activities of tribal songs, dances, myths and legends and browse throughout the largest after hour's tribal market place in Rotorua. Includes dinner.
Stay 2 nights Rotorua

Day 2Discover Rotorua Morning Sights tour

Experience Te Puia, a place of Maori culture and a thermal wonderland of impressive geysers and boiling mud pools. Explore Rainbow Springs Nature Park, which showcases native flora and fauna as well as the New Zealand Kiwi. Then see NZ's agricultural industry in action with a sheep shearing display and sheep dog trials at the Agrodome.

Day 3Rotorua - Wellington

You will be collected from your accommodation and transferred to the Coach Depot.

Your coach journey from Rotorua to Wellington takes you via the township of Taupo and New Zealand's largest lake, Lake Taupo. The lake itself is actually a gigantic volcanic caldera formed during one of the worlds largest ever eruptions. Through Tongariro and onto the central plateau and the high country Rangipo Desert. Skirting Tongariro National Park, one of New Zealand’s three world heritage sites and clouds permitting you can see the 2,500 metre peak of the still volcanically active Mt. Ruapehu. You might recognise the symmetrical shape of Mt. Ngauruhoe as this was used as the scenery of Mt. Doom in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. A little further the military town of Waiouru also hosts the Army Museum, an incredible collection of New Zealand’s military history and a memorial to its servicemen. Heading south you pass through the rural towns of Taihape, Mangaweka and Bulls before arriving on the Kapiti Coast, with its coastal seaside towns of Paraparaumu, Paekakariki and Plimmerton. The Kapiti Coast leads into Wellington, New Zealand's capital. Wellington sits on a wonderful deep natural harbour and is surrounded by bush clad hills. The city centre itself is quite compact (only around 1 square kilometre), so exploring on foot is relatively easy. From your city centre accommodation you can easily stroll the cafes and restaurants around Courtenay Place and explore New Zealand's national museum, Te Papa, which is also close by.

Stay 1 night Wellington

Day 4Wellington - Fly - Christchurch

Wellington, home to New Zealand’s centre of government has a largely cosmopolitan feel. Often referred to as ‘mini-Melbourne’, this (self described) windy city is a melting pot of art, culture, food and fashion. Quirky laneway bars, underground art shows, and hipster eateries make up its inner city vibe, while a host of sandy beaches outside the urban bustle bring a cheerful holiday feel.

Head to Te Papa Museum for a history lesson and a ticket to one of its many international exhibitions or jump aboard the Wellington Cable Car at Lambton Quay - the only running funicular railway in the country. For those with an eye for boutique fashion wander through Cuba St to sample some of the city's best vintage stores. Break for coffee at a hipster cafe and be sure to snap a pic outside the ‘Beehive,’ New Zealand’s parliamentary debate chamber.

Go behind the scenes at Weta Workshop, the Oscar Award Winning design studio behind Lord Of The Rings, The Hobbit, and Avatar. We recommend a 45 minute guided tour through both the Workshop and Weta Cave. If you're a foodie at heart, a two hour round trip to Martinborough is a must do. Take your time as you wind through spectacular wine country, and be sure to stop in at Martinborough Wines or Ata Rangi Martinborough. For a educational day out, learn about New Zealand's native species at Zealandia - the world's first fully fenced eco-sanctuary and home to over 40 types of endangered and native birds.

You will be collected from your Wellington hotel and transferred to the airport.

Air New Zealand flight Wellington to Christchurch

On arrival you will be met by a private driver and delivered to your Christchurch accommodation.

Stay 1 night Christchurch

Day 5Christchurch - Mt Cook - Queenstown

First crossing the vast Canterbury Plains, then you enter the MacKenzie Country home to large high country sheep stations. The picturesque town of Lake Tekapo, is the first of the large Southern Lakes on your journey and you’ll enjoy a short stop here to take in the picturesque lake and one of the most photographed buildings in the country, the Church of the Good Shepherd.

Continue on to Lake Pukaki where on clear days you will be rewarded with spectacular views of Mt Cook towering over the lake. The scenic drive along the lake delivers you into the heart of the national park and Mt. Cook Village. At Mt Cook Village you’ll enjoy a gourmet lunch at the famous Hermitage Hotel.

After lunch you’ll have time to explore the village and soak up the view. Alternatively you can experience a scenic helicopter or ski plane flight for incredible views of mountain peaks and glaciers (additional cost, weather permitting – this flight can be arranged with your driver guide on the day).

Twizel, just south of Mt. Cook was the location of many Lord of the Rings movie scenes and a little further on is Omarama where a short afternoon tea stop is available (own expense). Crossing the Lindis Pass this is one of New Zealand’s highest roads with the summit reaching 971 metres, you pass from the Mackenzie Basin into Central Otago. The next major town is Cromwell, a major fruit growing region, which sits at the head of the Kawarau Gorge. If time allows you’ll visit the Jones Family Orchard, where you can sample the local produce from Cromwell and surrounds. Follow the sheer cliffs of the Kawarau Gorge towards Queenstown and the Gibbston Valley, one of New Zealand's premier wine growing regions.

Approaching Queenstown the impressive Remarkables mountain range come into view and then beautiful Lake Wakatipu as you head towards the adventure and activity capital of New Zealand.

Stay 3 nights Queenstown

Day 6Milford Sound Tour from Queenstown with buffet lunch

Leaving Queenstown, travel in comfort through rugged mountain terrain past Te Anau, a quiet town on the shores of the largest lake in the South Island. Your glass-roof coach will provide amazing views of the skyline. Journey through the Southern Alps and along the picturesque Eglinton Valley, a place of ancient alpine forest and gushing waterfalls and one of only a few road-accessible glacier valleys in New Zealand. Take advantage of the photo opportunities on offer along the Milford Road, like the stunning Mirror Lakes, where on a calm day the surrounding mountain ranges are perfectly reflected in the still waters, and Knobs Flat, where glaciers have carved their mark on the terrain. Travel through the Homer Tunnel, a 1.2km passageway drilled into solid rock, then experience The Chasm, a short but impressive walk over footbridges spanning a series of powerful, swirling waterfalls and rapids.

At Milford Sound, board your 1 3/4 hour Southern Discoveries Scenic Cruise and set off to explore the region that Rudyard Kipling called the Eighth Wonder of the World. Travel the length of the fiord and out to the Tasman Sea, gliding past glacier-scarred rock walls and waterfalls that tumble through valleys and crash into the sea far below. Lush native forest clings to steep cliffs, while seals, penguins and dolphins are regular visitors to the icy waters. At the pinnacle of the sound, Mitre Peak rises dramatically from the depths to a height of 1,692 metres above sea level.

Along the way your captain will provide lively and informative commentary. Your cruise will take place on a modern, purpose-built catamaran with large viewing windows, outdoor decks, panoramic views and warm indoor seating.

After your cruise, return to Queenstown by coach.

Day 7Explore Queenstown and surrounds

Although celebrated as New Zealand's ‘adventure capital’ Queenstown offers far more than a fast paced action-packed holiday. Settled on the shores of Lake Wakatipu beneath a soaring panorama of the Remarkables Mountain Range, this alpine town is surrounded by a plethora of historic, gastronomic and scenic wonders.

Head down the Gibbston valley wine trail to sample some of the region’s best Pinot or catch a ride on the 100 year old Steamship - the TSS Earnslaw - to Walter Peak Station for dinner and a farm tour. Browse the waterfront cafes and have lunch at Michelin star chef Josh Emett's ‘Rata.’ Check out nearby historic Arrowtown and enhance your experience with a four wheel drive trip to Macetown.

Drive through Lord Of The Rings country - or for the really fanatic, jump aboard one of many dedicated LOTR tours. And after all of that - if you do really want the adrenaline rush Queenstown is known for, take your pick from the Shotover Jet, Nevis Bungy, Canyon Swing, Zipline, Luge or Heli-ski.

Skyline Gondola
Hop aboard the Skyline Gondola - the steepest cable car lift in the Southern hemisphere - and take in the awe-inspiring views of this spectacular landscape. Sit back and relax as you enjoy panoramic views of The Remarkables, Walter Peak, Cecil Peak and Coronet Peak - one of Queenstown’s Ski field.

Day 8Queenstown - Glaciers

From Queenstown you'll cross the Crown Range - the highest sealed road in New Zealand - to arrive in the Alpine town of Wanaka, gateway to Mt Aspiring national park. Skirting the shores of both Lake Wanaka and Hawea, you will enter the small town of Makarora. Stop at Blue Pools for a ten minute walk through native beech forest to a glacier-fed swimming hole. Continue on through the remote seaside settlement of Haast before heading up the wild West Coast - a 600 km stretch of bush and native rainforest. Fox Glacier welcomes you first, then comes your destination for the night - Franz Josef township.

Glacier Valley shuttle
You will be met at your accommodation by a representative and taken on a short tour to view the glacier. Your shuttle vehicle will transfer you up the Franz Josef valley to the road end. Here you will have the opportunity to walk to view the glacier from a viewing platform. Or enjoy one of the short walks available in this area. You will be returned to your accommodation.

Stay 1 night Franz Josef

Day 9Glaciers - TranzAlpine Train - Christchurch

This morning travel north through the small townships of Whataroa and Harihari. Stop at the Bushman’s Centre for refreshments and a chance to experience a bit of West Coast humour. Continue through the township of Ross, which in the late 1800s was the centre of one of New Zealand's richest alluvial goldfields. In 1903 the largest gold nugget ever found in New Zealand was discovered at Jones Creek, not far from the town centre. It weighed 2807 grams. The New Zealand Government later purchased the nugget and presented it as a coronation gift to King George V. On arrival into Hokitika there is time to purchase lunch, walk around the town centre, to view the greenstone factories, visit the woodworking studio, or just relax and enjoy the windswept coast. Hokitika is the administrative and commercial centre for this part of Westland. The major primary industry is timber milling. Dairy and sheep farming, commercial fishing, white baiting and eel processing being the other major industries. Continue onto Greymouth Railway Station from where you catch the world famous Tranz Alpine train across the Southern Alps to Christchurch.

Tranz Alpine Scenic train Greymouth to Christchurch
Considered one of the world's great train journeys, the Tranz Alpine scenic train takes you from Greymouth to Christchurch. You'll travel across the South Island through the Arthur's Pass National Park from the west coast to the east.

From the comfort of your carriage see lush beech forest, deep river valleys and the spectacular peaks of the Southern Alps. Descend to the windswept Canterbury Plains before arriving in the city of Christchurch. 

You will need at least one night in Chrsitchurch after this tour.

Cost per person (Twin Share)

  • Motel (Self Catering): from NZ$3,329
  • 3-Star Accommodation: from NZ$3,551
  • 4-Star Accommodation: from NZ$4,215

Prices quoted are per person and are room only. Prices do not include meals.  

Twin share is based on 2 people traveling together and sharing one rooms. Single room and triple share prices are available upon request.

 

* Please Note*

Prices are estimates only, and are subject to availability and exchange rates when booking, seasonal or holiday price surcharges (such as Christmas/New Year and Easter); as well as special events that may be on. Please forward a request and we will be happy to forward a quote.

Payment

  • Deposit: 20% of the package cost or NZ$250 per person (whichever is the greater) at time of booking
  • Full Payment: 60 Days before travel
  • Airfares (if applicable): Paid in full no more than 6 days after booking

Cancellation Charges

  • Cancellation Fees up to 100% can apply after booking. Extra deposits or full payment may be requested to cover these charges prior to booking

Itinerary

Open All
Day 1Auckland - Waitomo - Rotorua

You will need at least a night in Auckland before this your.

Enjoy a tour from Auckland to Rotorua including a guided tour of the fascinating Waitomo Glowworm Caves. Leaving Auckland in the morning you travel through the lush farmland of the Waikato and King Country regions. Your experienced local driver guide will provide a commentary as you travel to Waitomo and point out sites of interest including Rangiriri, the location of a historic Maori land wars battle between forces loyal to the Maori King and the Colonial Government in 1863. On arrival in the small town of Waitomo enjoy a guided tour through the world famous Waitomo Glowworm Caves with their amazing stalactites, stalagmites and other limestone formations. Finish the tour with a silent boat ride through the Glowworm Grotto - a subterranean cavern lit up by the lights of thousands of tiny glowworms. Continue your tour this afternoon by driving to Rotorua, passing through the beautiful Fitzgerald Glade where the roadside trees arch overhead to form a tunnel of natural greenery.

Tamaki Maori Village cultural tour and dinner
Journey back in time to a Pre-European lifestyle experience of customs and traditions. Enjoy the night's festivities with the people of Tamaki Maori Village as you are treated to a banquet of succulent foods cooked the traditional Maori way. Rediscover the Maori village as it comes alive to the sound and activities of tribal songs, dances, myths and legends and browse throughout the largest after hour's tribal market place in Rotorua. Includes dinner.
Stay 2 nights Rotorua

Day 2Discover Rotorua Morning Sights tour

Experience Te Puia, a place of Maori culture and a thermal wonderland of impressive geysers and boiling mud pools. Explore Rainbow Springs Nature Park, which showcases native flora and fauna as well as the New Zealand Kiwi. Then see NZ's agricultural industry in action with a sheep shearing display and sheep dog trials at the Agrodome.

Day 3Rotorua - Wellington

You will be collected from your accommodation and transferred to the Coach Depot.

Your coach journey from Rotorua to Wellington takes you via the township of Taupo and New Zealand's largest lake, Lake Taupo. The lake itself is actually a gigantic volcanic caldera formed during one of the worlds largest ever eruptions. Through Tongariro and onto the central plateau and the high country Rangipo Desert. Skirting Tongariro National Park, one of New Zealand’s three world heritage sites and clouds permitting you can see the 2,500 metre peak of the still volcanically active Mt. Ruapehu. You might recognise the symmetrical shape of Mt. Ngauruhoe as this was used as the scenery of Mt. Doom in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. A little further the military town of Waiouru also hosts the Army Museum, an incredible collection of New Zealand’s military history and a memorial to its servicemen. Heading south you pass through the rural towns of Taihape, Mangaweka and Bulls before arriving on the Kapiti Coast, with its coastal seaside towns of Paraparaumu, Paekakariki and Plimmerton. The Kapiti Coast leads into Wellington, New Zealand's capital. Wellington sits on a wonderful deep natural harbour and is surrounded by bush clad hills. The city centre itself is quite compact (only around 1 square kilometre), so exploring on foot is relatively easy. From your city centre accommodation you can easily stroll the cafes and restaurants around Courtenay Place and explore New Zealand's national museum, Te Papa, which is also close by.

Stay 1 night Wellington

Day 4Wellington - Fly - Christchurch

Wellington, home to New Zealand’s centre of government has a largely cosmopolitan feel. Often referred to as ‘mini-Melbourne’, this (self described) windy city is a melting pot of art, culture, food and fashion. Quirky laneway bars, underground art shows, and hipster eateries make up its inner city vibe, while a host of sandy beaches outside the urban bustle bring a cheerful holiday feel.

Head to Te Papa Museum for a history lesson and a ticket to one of its many international exhibitions or jump aboard the Wellington Cable Car at Lambton Quay - the only running funicular railway in the country. For those with an eye for boutique fashion wander through Cuba St to sample some of the city's best vintage stores. Break for coffee at a hipster cafe and be sure to snap a pic outside the ‘Beehive,’ New Zealand’s parliamentary debate chamber.

Go behind the scenes at Weta Workshop, the Oscar Award Winning design studio behind Lord Of The Rings, The Hobbit, and Avatar. We recommend a 45 minute guided tour through both the Workshop and Weta Cave. If you're a foodie at heart, a two hour round trip to Martinborough is a must do. Take your time as you wind through spectacular wine country, and be sure to stop in at Martinborough Wines or Ata Rangi Martinborough. For a educational day out, learn about New Zealand's native species at Zealandia - the world's first fully fenced eco-sanctuary and home to over 40 types of endangered and native birds.

You will be collected from your Wellington hotel and transferred to the airport.

Air New Zealand flight Wellington to Christchurch

On arrival you will be met by a private driver and delivered to your Christchurch accommodation.

Stay 1 night Christchurch

Day 5Christchurch - Mt Cook - Queenstown

First crossing the vast Canterbury Plains, then you enter the MacKenzie Country home to large high country sheep stations. The picturesque town of Lake Tekapo, is the first of the large Southern Lakes on your journey and you’ll enjoy a short stop here to take in the picturesque lake and one of the most photographed buildings in the country, the Church of the Good Shepherd.

Continue on to Lake Pukaki where on clear days you will be rewarded with spectacular views of Mt Cook towering over the lake. The scenic drive along the lake delivers you into the heart of the national park and Mt. Cook Village. At Mt Cook Village you’ll enjoy a gourmet lunch at the famous Hermitage Hotel.

After lunch you’ll have time to explore the village and soak up the view. Alternatively you can experience a scenic helicopter or ski plane flight for incredible views of mountain peaks and glaciers (additional cost, weather permitting – this flight can be arranged with your driver guide on the day).

Twizel, just south of Mt. Cook was the location of many Lord of the Rings movie scenes and a little further on is Omarama where a short afternoon tea stop is available (own expense). Crossing the Lindis Pass this is one of New Zealand’s highest roads with the summit reaching 971 metres, you pass from the Mackenzie Basin into Central Otago. The next major town is Cromwell, a major fruit growing region, which sits at the head of the Kawarau Gorge. If time allows you’ll visit the Jones Family Orchard, where you can sample the local produce from Cromwell and surrounds. Follow the sheer cliffs of the Kawarau Gorge towards Queenstown and the Gibbston Valley, one of New Zealand's premier wine growing regions.

Approaching Queenstown the impressive Remarkables mountain range come into view and then beautiful Lake Wakatipu as you head towards the adventure and activity capital of New Zealand.

Stay 3 nights Queenstown

Day 6Milford Sound Tour from Queenstown with buffet lunch

Leaving Queenstown, travel in comfort through rugged mountain terrain past Te Anau, a quiet town on the shores of the largest lake in the South Island. Your glass-roof coach will provide amazing views of the skyline. Journey through the Southern Alps and along the picturesque Eglinton Valley, a place of ancient alpine forest and gushing waterfalls and one of only a few road-accessible glacier valleys in New Zealand. Take advantage of the photo opportunities on offer along the Milford Road, like the stunning Mirror Lakes, where on a calm day the surrounding mountain ranges are perfectly reflected in the still waters, and Knobs Flat, where glaciers have carved their mark on the terrain. Travel through the Homer Tunnel, a 1.2km passageway drilled into solid rock, then experience The Chasm, a short but impressive walk over footbridges spanning a series of powerful, swirling waterfalls and rapids.

At Milford Sound, board your 1 3/4 hour Southern Discoveries Scenic Cruise and set off to explore the region that Rudyard Kipling called the Eighth Wonder of the World. Travel the length of the fiord and out to the Tasman Sea, gliding past glacier-scarred rock walls and waterfalls that tumble through valleys and crash into the sea far below. Lush native forest clings to steep cliffs, while seals, penguins and dolphins are regular visitors to the icy waters. At the pinnacle of the sound, Mitre Peak rises dramatically from the depths to a height of 1,692 metres above sea level.

Along the way your captain will provide lively and informative commentary. Your cruise will take place on a modern, purpose-built catamaran with large viewing windows, outdoor decks, panoramic views and warm indoor seating.

After your cruise, return to Queenstown by coach.

Day 7Explore Queenstown and surrounds

Although celebrated as New Zealand's ‘adventure capital’ Queenstown offers far more than a fast paced action-packed holiday. Settled on the shores of Lake Wakatipu beneath a soaring panorama of the Remarkables Mountain Range, this alpine town is surrounded by a plethora of historic, gastronomic and scenic wonders.

Head down the Gibbston valley wine trail to sample some of the region’s best Pinot or catch a ride on the 100 year old Steamship - the TSS Earnslaw - to Walter Peak Station for dinner and a farm tour. Browse the waterfront cafes and have lunch at Michelin star chef Josh Emett's ‘Rata.’ Check out nearby historic Arrowtown and enhance your experience with a four wheel drive trip to Macetown.

Drive through Lord Of The Rings country - or for the really fanatic, jump aboard one of many dedicated LOTR tours. And after all of that - if you do really want the adrenaline rush Queenstown is known for, take your pick from the Shotover Jet, Nevis Bungy, Canyon Swing, Zipline, Luge or Heli-ski.

Skyline Gondola
Hop aboard the Skyline Gondola - the steepest cable car lift in the Southern hemisphere - and take in the awe-inspiring views of this spectacular landscape. Sit back and relax as you enjoy panoramic views of The Remarkables, Walter Peak, Cecil Peak and Coronet Peak - one of Queenstown’s Ski field.

Day 8Queenstown - Glaciers

From Queenstown you'll cross the Crown Range - the highest sealed road in New Zealand - to arrive in the Alpine town of Wanaka, gateway to Mt Aspiring national park. Skirting the shores of both Lake Wanaka and Hawea, you will enter the small town of Makarora. Stop at Blue Pools for a ten minute walk through native beech forest to a glacier-fed swimming hole. Continue on through the remote seaside settlement of Haast before heading up the wild West Coast - a 600 km stretch of bush and native rainforest. Fox Glacier welcomes you first, then comes your destination for the night - Franz Josef township.

Glacier Valley shuttle
You will be met at your accommodation by a representative and taken on a short tour to view the glacier. Your shuttle vehicle will transfer you up the Franz Josef valley to the road end. Here you will have the opportunity to walk to view the glacier from a viewing platform. Or enjoy one of the short walks available in this area. You will be returned to your accommodation.

Stay 1 night Franz Josef

Day 9Glaciers - TranzAlpine Train - Christchurch

This morning travel north through the small townships of Whataroa and Harihari. Stop at the Bushman’s Centre for refreshments and a chance to experience a bit of West Coast humour. Continue through the township of Ross, which in the late 1800s was the centre of one of New Zealand's richest alluvial goldfields. In 1903 the largest gold nugget ever found in New Zealand was discovered at Jones Creek, not far from the town centre. It weighed 2807 grams. The New Zealand Government later purchased the nugget and presented it as a coronation gift to King George V. On arrival into Hokitika there is time to purchase lunch, walk around the town centre, to view the greenstone factories, visit the woodworking studio, or just relax and enjoy the windswept coast. Hokitika is the administrative and commercial centre for this part of Westland. The major primary industry is timber milling. Dairy and sheep farming, commercial fishing, white baiting and eel processing being the other major industries. Continue onto Greymouth Railway Station from where you catch the world famous Tranz Alpine train across the Southern Alps to Christchurch.

Tranz Alpine Scenic train Greymouth to Christchurch
Considered one of the world's great train journeys, the Tranz Alpine scenic train takes you from Greymouth to Christchurch. You'll travel across the South Island through the Arthur's Pass National Park from the west coast to the east.

From the comfort of your carriage see lush beech forest, deep river valleys and the spectacular peaks of the Southern Alps. Descend to the windswept Canterbury Plains before arriving in the city of Christchurch. 

You will need at least one night in Chrsitchurch after this tour.

Similar Tours

17 Day Auckland to Christchurch Ultimate Explorer Independent Coach
17 Day Auckland to Christchurch Ultimate Explorer Independent Coach

Read more

13 day Southern Parks and Scenic Trains Independent Coach
13 day Southern Parks and Scenic Trains Independent Coach

Read more

8 Day Upper North Island Adventure Independent Coach
8 Day Upper North Island Adventure Independent Coach

Read more

7 Day Alpine Express Independent Coach Tour
7 Day Alpine Express Independent Coach Tour

Read more