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Canterbury Trails

Christchurch-Arthurs Pass-West Coast Glaciers-Queenstown: Private Three Day Tour

Day 1: Christchurch to Franz Josef

You will be picked up from your hotel and taken to board the world famous TranzAlpine™ train to Arthur’s Pass National Park., where your guide will meet you and show you the highlights of the national park. Follow the route originally used by the Maori to move greenstone from the west coast and later as a link to the gold rush fields.

Marvel at the road as it winds its way down the spectacular Otira Gorge. Visit Hokitika, once the capital of Westland and a roaring gold mining town. Greenstone and gold are features in this town’s bustling centre of art and craft shops.

As you journey south toward Franz Josef, you will see the West Coast forests and further evidence of the last Ice Age in the kettle lakes created by the melting ice sheets.
Your guide will drop you off at your pre booked accommodation where you will stay for the next 2 nights.

Day 2: Glacier Country
A day to explore the glaciated landscape of the Franz and Fox Glacier region. Options are an exciting helicopter ride to view the Southern Alps with a snow landing on the upper reaches of the glacier or a scenic fixed wing flight. (Please note that the optional activities are not included in the tour cost and are subject to the weather).

A beautiful and tranquil walk can be taken around the edge of Lake Matheson, the “mirror lake”. It is here that incredible reflections of Mount Cook and Mount Tasman in the lake can often be seen on a clear day. Or a visit to Okarito where you can meet some "coasters" in a village with a population of 18 and, depending on the weather and the tides, take an eco boat tour or kayak (own expense) on the lagoon.

Your guide is at your disposal to explore and enjoy this almost untouched natural playground.


Day 3: Glacier Country to Queenstown
From Glacier Country, you will travel south and reach the mighty Haast River Valley. Following the Haast Highway, observe how the landscape again changes dramatically as the road climbs over the Haast Pass from the dense rain forest of the West Coast to the drier tussock lands of Otago.

The road runs alongside Lake Wanaka before making a slight turn and, rising over a ridge, Lake Hawea is before you. From Wanaka village, head over the rugged and remote Crown Range, the site of gold diggings in the 1860's and arrive in quaint old gold mining village of Arrowtown. It is then a short drive to your Queenstown accommodation where your Canterbury Trails guide will bid you farewell.


  • Travel by deluxe mini-van
  • Picnic morning or afternoon teas
  • Café lunches on each day
  • Guided walks to explore alpine and rainforest landscapes (as required)
  • TranzAlpine train Christchurch to Arthur’s Pass on Day 1
  • Fully escorted with a local knowledgeable guide

Not included:

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

Tour Code: SH04-N/S



Depart Christchurch at 7.30am on Day 1, finish in
Queenstown at 5.30pm 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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