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Canterbury Trails

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

Day 1: Queenstown to Franz Josef

  • Depart vibrant Queenstown, traversing the rugged Crown Range and passing historic Arrowtown, a relic of the gold rush era.
  • Journey alongside the shores of Lake Hawea and Lake Wanaka, surrounded by breathtaking alpine scenery.
  • Ascend the dramatic Haast Pass, marveling at the transformation from Otago's arid landscapes to the West Coast's lush rainforests. Descend through the Haast River Valley, witnessing waterfalls and the wild Haast River, especially awe-inspiring after recent rainfall.
  • Arrive in Glacier Country, where the mighty Franz Josef Glacier pushes into the vibrant rainforest—a truly unique sight. Settle into your accommodation in the nearby village.

Day 2: Glacier Country Exploration

  • Immerse yourself in the majestic Franz Josef Glacier region.
  • Opt for a thrilling helicopter flight, soaring over the Southern Alps and landing on the glacier's icy expanse (additional cost).
  • Hike around Lake Matheson, known as "Mirror Lake" for its stunning reflections of Mount Cook and Mount Tasman (weather permitting).
  • Visit Okarito, a charming coastal village, and embark on a lagoon kayaking or eco-boat tour (own expense).
  • Explore this untouched natural haven at your own pace, with your guide's expert insights.

Day 3: Franz Josef to Christchurch

Journey north, tracing the historic route used by gold miners and the Maori to transport precious greenstone. Explore Hokitika, a former gold rush hub now bustling with vibrant art and craft shops showcasing jade and gold treasures.

Continue north, marveling at the engineering of the Otira Gorge as the road winds its way upward. Enter Arthur's Pass National Park, where your guide will unveil its natural wonders. Conclude your adventure by boarding the iconic TranzAlpine™ train, traversing dramatic landscapes as you make your way into Christchurch city.


  • 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 Arthur’s Pass to Christchurch on Day 3
  • Fully escorted with a local knowledgeable guide

Not included:

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

Tour Code: SH04-S/N

  • 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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