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Canterbury Trails

Marlborough - West Coast - Queenstown: Private Three Day Tour

From Coastal Charm to Glacial Majesty: A Private Three-Day Exploration from Marlborough to Queenstown

Day 1: Marlborough to Punakaiki

Embark on an unforgettable private journey from the picturesque Marlborough region, traversing the scenic landscapes of Nelson Lakes and Paparoa National Park. Your knowledgeable guide will lead you through the historic Buller Gorge, once a thriving gold mining area, before arriving at the coastal haven of Punakaiki.

Here, you'll witness the natural wonder of the Pancake Rocks and blowholes, a testament to the powerful forces of nature that shaped this coastline. Take a leisurely walk along the beach, soaking in the dramatic scenery before settling into your comfortable accommodation for the night.

Day 2: Punakaiki to Glacier Country

The journey continues south along the wild and rugged West Coast road, leading you to Hokitika, once the capital of Westland and a bustling gold mining town. Explore the town's vibrant arts and crafts scene, where greenstone (pounamu) and gold are still celebrated.

As you venture further south, you'll encounter the ancient remnants of the last Ice Age – the kettle lakes, formed by melting ice sheets. Arriving in Glacier Country, prepare to be awestruck by the Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers, where immense rivers of ice descend into lush temperate rainforest – a truly unique spectacle.

Choose your adventure for the day: embark on a guided walk through the rainforest, witness the glaciers' descent from a scenic viewpoint, or take an exhilarating helicopter flight for a bird's-eye view and a snow landing on the glacier (optional, additional cost). Your overnight stay will be in either Franz Josef or Fox Glacier village, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the glacial wonderland.

Day 3: Franz Josef/Fox Glacier to Queenstown

After exploring the wonders of Glacier Country, including the serene Lake Matheson, known for its mirror-like reflections of Aoraki/Mount Cook and Mount Tasman, your journey continues south. We'll traverse the mighty Haast River valley, witnessing the dramatic transition from dense rainforest to the drier tussock lands of Otago as we ascend the Haast Pass.

The road then skirts alongside Lake Wānaka and Lake Hāwea, offering stunning views of these alpine lakes. From the charming village of Wānaka, we'll journey over the rugged Crown Range, a historic gold mining area, before reaching the quaint village of Arrowtown. Finally, you'll arrive in Queenstown, where your knowledgeable Canterbury Trails guide will bid you farewell, leaving you with cherished memories of a truly extraordinary adventure.

Tour Inclusions:

  • Travel by luxury vehicle
  • Picnic morning or afternoon teas, days 1 and 3.
  • Café lunches, days 1 and 3.
  • Fully escorted with local knowledgeable guide

Not included:

  • Optional activities
  • Accommodation and meals (unless otherwise stated)
  • Flights


Tour Code: SH07-N/S

  • 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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