Guided Small Group Tours of New Zealand

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WSE – Wilderness South Expedition West Coast Tours NZ

Trip Includes:

  • 8 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 4 dinners
  • 8 nights accommodation in stylish lodges and luxury small hotels
  • Milford Sound cruise
  • Personal, experienced & knowledgeable local licensed guides
  • The incredible scenery of the New Zealand's South Island
  • Guided walks and excursions to experience the diverse landscapes
  • Pristine National Parks of New Zealand
  • South-West New Zealand, a World Heritage Area
  • Seasonal sightings of the Fiordland Crested Penguin
  • Picnic morning/afternoon tea
  • Travel by minicoach
  • Airport transfer at Queenstown

Not included:

  • Airfares, Meals (other than those listed)
  • Items of a personal nature, optional activities

Enquire Here

Description

Wilderness South Expedition Tours

West Coast Tour Map

Canterbury Trails offers a guided, small group 9-day tour of the South Island including the West Coast and Fiordland regions.  Highlights of your tour will include: Arthur’s Pass National Park, Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers, West Coast rainforest, Queenstown and Milford Sound.

Your Canterbury Trails guide will help you experience the natural wonders and heritage of Aotearoa, the ‘Land of the Long White Cloud’. You will meet the local people of the West Coast and Fiordland, visit National Parks and walk on pristine beaches. On the countryside’s quiet trails, you will go where the large tour groups do not venture and visit wild and remote places. You will travel through the South-West New Zealand World Heritage Area in the shadow of the Southern Alps and their rugged snow capped peaks and through the rainforest of West Coast NZ. This tour is fully escorted with guided walks, first class service, superb food and accommodation. It is a photographer’s dream. Maximum group size for these tours is eight guests.

Please note that the Wilderness South Expedition can be done as a private tour or become the basis of a tailor made tour for you or your group.

Itinerary

Day 1 – “Christchurch and welcome”

After an introduction tour of Christchurch, you will travel west across the vast Canterbury Plains and into the mountains. Here in the heart of the “High Country” is the Wilderness Lodge Arthur’s Pass where you will stay for the first two days of your South Island adventure.

Accommodation: Wilderness Lodge Arthur’s Pass
Included meals: AT, D

Day 2 “High country, sheep, valleys & keas”

Discover the real high country where you can explore alpine plants, animals and the mountains. Experience the workings of a sheep station, explore Arthur’s Pass National Park in the heart of the Southern Alps and view the wide braided river system. Walking, mountain biking or relaxing are options available at the lodge.

Accommodation: Wilderness Lodge Arthur’s Pass
Included meals: B, MT, L, AT, D

Day 3 “Mountains, moas, pioneers & ice”

Travel through the Arthur’s Pass National Park and cross the pass created as a gold rush link. Great mountain valleys, history and home of the kea – the world’s only alpine parrot. Down the incredible Otira Gorge to the West Coast and “Glacier Country”. Take a walk to view the mighty Franz Josef Glacier.

Accommodation: Franz Josef or Fox Glacier

Included meals: B, MT, AT

Day 4 “Geology, ice age & podocarps”

A day to explore the Fox region where walks can be taken to experience this incredible glacial area. A tranquil walk can also be made to Lake Matheson, the beautiful lake famous for it’s alpine reflections or to a remote beach for views of the Southern Alps.

Accommodation: Wilderness Lodge Lake Moeraki

Included meals: B, MT, L, AT, D

Day 5 “Wilderness, wildlife & rainforests”

Today is the opportunity to explore magnificent and rugged beaches that are home to the crested penguins (July -Nov) and NZ fur seals, untouched lowland rain forests spread between pristine lakes and rivers of the West Coast NZ which drain from the snow capped Southern Alps.
this is Lake Moeraki.

Accommodation: Wilderness Lodge Lake Moeraki
|  Included meals: B, MT, L AT, D

Day 6 “Coastline, explorers, tussocks and gold”

Moving on, you will cross the alps over the Haast Pass where the forests give way to golden tussock grasslands. Pass Lakes Hawea and Wanaka, ancient glacial lakes and then over the Crown Range to Arrowtown, an old gold-miners’ village. See the bungy (or jump it yourself!) then into Queenstown where you will stay for the next three nights at a superior lodge.

Accommodation: Millbrook Golf Resort + Spa or similar
|  Included meals: B, MT, AT

Day 7 “Adventure in the mountains”

Choose your own optional adventure – bungy jumping, a backcountry safari, jetboating, kayaking or a cruise on the historic steamship Earnslaw. Perhaps shopping, golf, wineries, an art & craft trail or just relax and take in the beautiful mountain setting.

Accommodation: Millbrook Golf Resort + Spa or similar
|  Included meals: B

Day 8 “Milford, glacial lakes, alps & fiords”

Travel to magnificent Milford Sound and cruise on the fiord. You will see deeply carved glacial valleys, ancient forests and incredible scenery – truly magnificent.

Accommodation: Millbrook Golf Resort + Spa or similar
|  Included meals: B, MT, L, AT

Day 9 “Queenstown & farewell”

After breakfast, perhaps relax and indulge in some pampering with some of health and beauty facilities at Millbrook. Time for that last minute shopping or to experience that last piece of adventure before it is time for your guide to bid you farewell. Your guide will transfer you to the airport or car rental office as required.

Meal codes…

;;
B = Breakfast;
MT = Picnic morning tea;
L = Lunch;
AT = Picnic afternoon tea;
D = Dinner

Itinerary

Day 1 – “Christchurch and welcome”

After an introduction tour of Christchurch, you will travel west across the vast Canterbury Plains and into the mountains. Here in the heart of the “High Country” is the Wilderness Lodge Arthur’s Pass where you will stay for the first two days of your South Island adventure.

Accommodation: Wilderness Lodge Arthur’s Pass
Included meals: AT, D

Day 2 “High country, sheep, valleys & keas”

Discover the real high country where you can explore alpine plants, animals and the mountains. Experience the workings of a sheep station, explore Arthur’s Pass National Park in the heart of the Southern Alps and view the wide braided river system. Walking, mountain biking or relaxing are options available at the lodge.

Accommodation: Wilderness Lodge Arthur’s Pass
Included meals: B, MT, L, AT, D

Day 3 “Mountains, moas, pioneers & ice”

Travel through the Arthur’s Pass National Park and cross the pass created as a gold rush link. Great mountain valleys, history and home of the kea – the world’s only alpine parrot. Down the incredible Otira Gorge to the West Coast and “Glacier Country”. Take a walk to view the mighty Franz Josef Glacier.

Accommodation: Franz Josef or Fox Glacier

Included meals: B, MT, AT

Day 4 “Geology, ice age & podocarps”

A day to explore the Fox region where walks can be taken to experience this incredible glacial area. A tranquil walk can also be made to Lake Matheson, the beautiful lake famous for it’s alpine reflections or to a remote beach for views of the Southern Alps.

Accommodation: Wilderness Lodge Lake Moeraki

Included meals: B, MT, L, AT, D

Day 5 “Wilderness, wildlife & rainforests”

Today is the opportunity to explore magnificent and rugged beaches that are home to the crested penguins (July -Nov) and NZ fur seals, untouched lowland rain forests spread between pristine lakes and rivers of the West Coast NZ which drain from the snow capped Southern Alps.
this is Lake Moeraki.

Accommodation: Wilderness Lodge Lake Moeraki
|  Included meals: B, MT, L AT, D

Day 6 “Coastline, explorers, tussocks and gold”

Moving on, you will cross the alps over the Haast Pass where the forests give way to golden tussock grasslands. Pass Lakes Hawea and Wanaka, ancient glacial lakes and then over the Crown Range to Arrowtown, an old gold-miners’ village. See the bungy (or jump it yourself!) then into Queenstown where you will stay for the next three nights at a superior lodge.

Accommodation: Millbrook Golf Resort + Spa or similar
|  Included meals: B, MT, AT

Day 7 “Adventure in the mountains”

Choose your own optional adventure – bungy jumping, a backcountry safari, jetboating, kayaking or a cruise on the historic steamship Earnslaw. Perhaps shopping, golf, wineries, an art & craft trail or just relax and take in the beautiful mountain setting.

Accommodation: Millbrook Golf Resort + Spa or similar
|  Included meals: B

Day 8 “Milford, glacial lakes, alps & fiords”

Travel to magnificent Milford Sound and cruise on the fiord. You will see deeply carved glacial valleys, ancient forests and incredible scenery – truly magnificent.

Accommodation: Millbrook Golf Resort + Spa or similar
|  Included meals: B, MT, L, AT

Day 9 “Queenstown & farewell”

After breakfast, perhaps relax and indulge in some pampering with some of health and beauty facilities at Millbrook. Time for that last minute shopping or to experience that last piece of adventure before it is time for your guide to bid you farewell. Your guide will transfer you to the airport or car rental office as required.

Meal codes…

;;
B = Breakfast;
MT = Picnic morning tea;
L = Lunch;
AT = Picnic afternoon tea;
D = Dinner

Additional information

What to bring

What should we wear and take on our Day Tour CLOTHING Check the weather, dress accordingly and if necessary carry extra appropriate clothing. If you think that the clothing you have with you in New Zealand is inadequate/ unsuitable for your tour let us know, at least, the day before departure, so we can lend you some. South Island weather is extremely variable. Sudden changes are not uncommon! As we include walks on our tours it is advisable that you wear comfortable clothing suitable for being active and, as you will be in the mountains or on the ocean, a wind proof top is a must. It is advisable to wear layers of clothing that can be added and/or removed. The following is recommended: wind/shower proof jacket that will keep you dry in a sharp shower Sweater or jacket suitable for cooler weather, made of material that retains warmth when damp from sweat or drizzle). hat (type depending on weather) Guests on hiking tours should have a rainstorm proof jacket. DAY PACK (or bag you can carry and have both hands free) sunscreen (high SPF) sunglasses water bottle lip balm camera with extra card, spare batteries.

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