Southern Alpine Circuit Itinerary

 

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1

Arrive Christchurch

‘Haere Mai’ and welcome to New Zealand!

Welcome to Christchurch, New Zealand’s Garden City. You will be transferred from the airport to your Christchurch hotel. After you check-in, you can head out and explore Christchurch, the city is under-going much change since the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes.

Some Suggested Activities Options for Christchurch

Easygoing Cycling Tour  Punting the Avon River  Lyttelton Harbour Wildlife Cruise
Māori Cultural EveningFrench Akaroa TourSouthern Alps Ballooning
Christchurch GondolaClearwater GolfArthur's Pass TranzAlpine Hike


Accommodation: Christchurch - 1 night

Christchurch City Tram
Accommodation:
The Quest Christchurch is located just off Cathedral Square in the heart of the commercial, arts and tourist precinct. This purpose built property is on Christchurch's famous inner city Tram Loop and features a mix of new and heritage architecture. Incorporated in the complex are a variety of retail shops, cafes and restaurants. All the serviced Apartments have free Wi-Fi & Fully Equipped Kitchens.
Quest Christchurch

2

Christchurch - Mt Cook - Queenstown

Leave the city today westwards through the Canterbury plains, you will find a superb location for some great photos at Lake Tekapo. Tekapo is one of three significant, neighboring lakes that border the Mackenzie Valley in New Zealand's South Island. Golden tussock grass carpets the surrounding hillside and roll away into the distance where the Southern Alps frame the horizon. The charming 'Church of the Good Shepherd' sits alone on its shores and the views to our highest mountain, Aoraki Mt Cook are remarkable. 

Heading South from Mount Cook, pass through the high country towns of Twizel and Omarama before entering the beautiful Lindis Pass, the pass offers a unique mountain and tussock grassland scenery - Lindis Pass Scenic Reserve was formed in 1976 and was one of the first tussock reserves in New Zealand.

Relax as you take in the spectacular scenery that changes from rugged ranges and mirror lakes to the winding Kawarau River Gorge before emerging into the lush green farmland surrounding Queenstown.

Accomodation: Queenstown - 3 Nights

Mt Cook National Park

Just 8 minutes walk into the heart of Queenstown you will find the Alexis Motel and Apartments, surrounded by majestic alpine scenery and spectacular views across Lake Wakatipu. Choose from a variety of self contained accommodation which include One Bedroom Apartment, Two Bedroom Apartment and Studio Suites

Alexis Motel and Apartments

3

Milford Sound Day Tour

With camera batteries fully charged, we set out on an unforgettable journey into a World Heritage Site of absolute majesty. The Milford Road takes you from Te Anau to Milford Sound on one of the most scenic drives on the planet. A glorious labyrinth of soaring peaks is punctuated by unspoiled rainforest, plunging valleys, azure lakes, waterfalls and glaciers. The light at the end of the Homer Tunnel marks the final reaches of this amazing roadway and our arrival at Milford Sound. Following a boat cruise of the sound, you will understand why this place was once described as the '8th natural wonder of the world'. From the spectacular scenes of Milford Sound, you will travel back to Queenstown

 

Milford Sound Mitre Peak

4

Queenstown - Free Day

The surrounding area is known for its Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vineyards and the natural landscape with wild rivers, high peaks and deep canyons has allowed Queenstown to developed an exciting array of outdoor adventure activities - and there's plenty to choose from. But if you are just want to chill out then Queenstown's compact downtown area is relaxed during the day and huge fun at night. In any season, you can count on stylish designer shops and many trendy restaurants offering a kaleidoscope of dining experiences.

Enjoy spectacular scenic views as you sit back and relax in the Skyline Queenstown Gondola. The steepest cable car lift in the Southern Hemisphere and one of the must-do activities in Queenstown. 

Other recommended excursions around Queenstown:

Routeburn Day WalkHighest Bungey JumpExplore Arrowtown

Wine Tasting Central Otago      

Biking Skippers Canyon      Round at Millbrook Golf Resort
Earnslaw Steamboat Cruise  Dart River Jetboat Safari      

Gibbston Valley Wine Trail

Queenstown Wharf

5

Franz Josef Glacier

Today you will continue to Franz Josef by coach. Franz Josef is in the heart of the Westland National Park, considered to be the most diverse and beautiful areas in New Zealand and the home of the Kea, a protected native parrot that thrives in the chilly environment and is infamous for its inquisitive and often destructive behaviour! 

Excursions available in and around the Franz Josef area:

Kayak Okarito Lagoon 

   Glacier Hot Pools      Glacier Scenic Flight

Horseback Riding  

   Walk to Glacier Face   Glacier Heli-hike


Accomodation: Franz Josef - 1 Night

Franz Josef Glacier
At Punga Grove, all of our stylish accommodation is set amidst the native Franz Josef rainforest. Our mountainside motel has been designed to maximise the beauty of the greenery with decks, outdoor areas and conservatory windows virtually putting you deep in the rainforest. All apartments include a fully equipped kitchen.
Punga Grove

6

TranzAlpine Train - Christchurch

This morning you will travel by coach to Greymouth. Then you will board the Tranzalpine to Christchurch. The TranzAlpine Train, renowned as one of the great train journeys of the world. Descend through spectacular gorges, river valleys and over massive viaducts before completing your journey at Christchurch.

Accommodation: Christchurch - 1 Night

TranzAlpine Rail Journey
Accommodation:
The Quest Christchurch is located just off Cathedral Square in the heart of the commercial, arts and tourist precinct. This purpose built property is on Christchurch's famous inner city Tram Loop and features a mix of new and heritage architecture. Incorporated in the complex are a variety of retail shops, cafes and restaurants. All the serviced Apartments have free Wi-Fi & Fully Equipped Kitchens.
Quest Christchurch

7

Bon Voyage!

"Haere rā" Goodbye! and Bon Voyage!

Today we say farewell. We take care of your transfer to Christchurch Airport where you will board your onward flight, taking with you the magical memories of a truly exceptional New Zealand holiday.

 

 

 

 

Bon Voyage

Notes

What is an Independent Coach Tour

Tour Inclusions

  • 4 Star Accommodation
  • Experienced Driver Guides
  • Detailed and informative commentary
  • Travel in an air-conditioned coach
  • Franz Josef Glacier
  • Gondola Queenstown
  • Milford Sound Scenic Cruise
  • TranzAlpine Rail Journey
  • 24 Hour Assistance
  • Return airport transfers - flight details to be provided 14 days prior to travel
Southern Alpine Circuit map

Profile picture for user Natalie 2
What Natalie 2 says about this tour: A great loop in and out of Christchurch - taking in both sides of the majestic Southern Alps from the West Coast and directly from Mt Cook - leading down to the Queenstown Southern Lakes - and including a day trip to Milford Sound. The Tranz Alpine train inclusion is a real highlight of this trip.
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