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Canterbury Trails

Christchurch to Queenstown via Mt Cook: Private Three Day Tour

Southern Odyssey: A Three-Day Private Adventure from Christchurch to Queenstown via Aoraki/Mount Cook

Day 1: Christchurch to Aoraki/Mount Cook

Embark on an unforgettable private journey from Christchurch, crossing the vast Canterbury Plains towards the majestic Aoraki/Mount Cook. As we traverse the plains, you'll be captivated by the rugged foothills of the Southern Alps, punctuated by the mighty Rakaia River and its imposing gorge.

We'll wind through charming country towns, crossing Burke's Pass to enter the high country of the Mackenzie Basin, a land steeped in sheep-farming history. Prepare to be mesmerized by the turquoise hues of glacial lakes Tekapo and Pukaki, where we'll pause for photos and take in the stunning alpine vistas. Our destination for the night is Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park, home to New Zealand's highest peak and a playground for outdoor enthusiasts.

Upon arrival, you'll have the option to explore the park's alpine beauty with guided walks, tailored to your preferences. If time and weather permit, we may even venture to witness the Tasman Glacier, the longest glacier in a temperate zone, an awe-inspiring natural wonder.

Day 2: Leisure Day in Tekapo or Aoraki/Mount Cook

Today is yours to unwind and explore at your own pace. Choose to either relax in Tekapo's soothing hot pools and experience a mesmerizing stargazing session at the world-renowned observatory, or immerse yourself in the alpine wonderland of Aoraki/Mount Cook. Here, you can choose from a variety of activities, including scenic walks, exhilarating glacier flights, or boat trips that take you up close to the glaciers.

Day 3: Aoraki/Mount Cook to Queenstown

As we depart Aoraki/Mount Cook, our journey south takes us through the enchanting Mackenzie Country, passing by the otherworldly "Clay Cliffs" of Omarama. Crossing the Lindis Pass, you'll witness a dramatic change in the landscape as we enter the Otago province, heading towards the adventure capital of Queenstown.

We'll stop at the Kawarau Gorge, where you can witness the birthplace of bungy jumping and marvel at the iconic bungy bridge. If time allows, we'll also visit a winery along the Kawarau River for a taste of the region's renowned wines.

Our final stop is the historic gold mining village of Arrowtown, where you can wander through the charming streets and immerse yourself in the town's rich history. Finally, we'll arrive in Queenstown, where your knowledgeable Canterbury Trails guide will provide a brief orientation of the town before leaving you to enjoy the rest of your South Island adventure.


  • Travel by luxury vehicle
  • Picnic morning or afternoon teas on days 1 and 3
  • Café lunches on days 1 and 3
  • Guided walks to explore alpine and rainforest landscapes (as required)
  • Fully escorted with a local knowledgeable guide

Not included:

  • Guest accommodations, breakfasts, evening meals, or optional activities

Tour Code: SH09-N/S

Depart Christchurch at 8:30 am on Day 1, finishing in Queenstown at 5:30 pm on Day 3.

  • Carbon Positive

    125% of emissions offset through the planting of native trees

  • Love this place

    Our guides will show you why they love what they do - looking after their guests in this magnificent country

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