Queenstown, New Zealand

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clock-o3 days (Approx.)
TransportHotel pickup offered
ticket-oMobile ticket
commentOffered in: English

Overview

Travel from Queenstown to Christchurch on a 3-day semi-independent journey that includes a guided Fox Glacier valley walk and TranzAlpine railway journey. You’re driven through Mount Aspiring National Park en route to the stunning glacial landscape of Fox Glacier, where you spend two nights in the township before continuing down the South Island’s west coast. Then ride a train from Greymouth through the Canterbury Plains and Arthur’s Pass National Park. Transportation and accommodation with breakfast are included, with ample free time to explore on your own.
  • 3-day independent tour of the West Coast with Fox Glacier and Tranz Alpine Train, from Queenstown
  • Travel by coach through stunning scenery including Central Otago and Mount Aspiring National Park
  • Spend two days in Fox or Franz Josef Glacier township with free time to explore at your leisure
  • Enjoy a guided 2-hour Glacier valley walk
  • Journey by train through spectacular South Island scenery on the renowned TranzAlpine Train
  • See Arthurs Pass National Park, the Southern Alps, and the Waimakiriri River gorge on the train to Christchurch
  • Choose from either standard or superior accommodation
This 3-day semi-independent trip from Queenstown to Christchurch offers some of the best South Island scenery to be seen. Traveling by coach and TranzAlpine train along the Southern Alps of the west coast, you have a choice of standard or superior single or twin-share accommodations in Fox Glacier or Franz Josef Glacier township, including breakfast. Enjoy plenty of free time plus a few scheduled tours including a guided glacier valley walk.

Itinerary

Day 1: Queenstown – Fox or Franz Josef Glacier township
After early morning pickup from your Queenstown hotel, travel by comfortable coach 200 miles (323 km) to Fox or Franz Josef Glacier townships, with rest stops and photo ops along the way. Admire the scenic landscape as you pass through the interior of Central Otago, New Zealand’s most inland region, known for its rolling hills, snowcapped mountains, clear rivers and deep gorges. Drive over Haast Pass, a forested section of highway that crosses through the mountain ranges of Mount Aspiring National Park.
In the late morning, your coach stops at a visitors center bordering the national park where you can stretch your legs and purchase a bite to eat. Later, pop into a salmon farm where you can see the operations and have a snack at the cafe. Arrive at Fox Glacier township in the late afternoon and check into your hotel for two nights. Have the rest of the day to explore the town at your leisure. Your hotel can suggest restaurants for dinner.

Overnight: Standard accommodation at Heartland Hotel Fox Glacier or similar; Superior accommodation at Distinction Fox Glacier or similar

Day 2: Fox Glacier (B)
Experience Fox Glacier on a 2-hour glacier valley walk with an expert guide. After introductions, your guide provides a safety briefing and hiking gear that includes boots, socks and a rain coat if needed. Once you have put on your gear, take a short ride along the glacial valley to the start of the trail. Depending on the day’s conditions, you'll be taken as close to the ice as possible.

Snap photos of fantastic views of the valley and glacier. Throughout your walk, your knowledgeable guide shares fascinating stories and facts about the glacier. Afterward, have the rest of the day to spend at your leisure. You have several choices of places to purchase lunch in Fox Glacier, including a cafe at the Fox Glacier guiding office.

Overnight: Standard accommodation at Heartland Hotel Fox Glacier or similar; Superior accommodation at Distinction Fox Glacier or similar

Day 3: Fox Glacier – Christchurch (B)
In the morning, travel by coach 125 miles (200 km) north to Greymouth, with stops along the way where you can purchase a snack or take a short stroll. When you reach Greymouth, your coach delivers you to the famous TranzAlpine railway. Board the train and enjoy amenities that include an open-air platform, a cafe car with food and drinks for purchase, recorded commentary that you can listen to on a provided headset, and comfortable seats with large panoramic windows and skylights for excellent viewing.
Leaving Greymouth, the train passes the former coal-mining town of Dobson, then crosses a broad shallow river in a deep valley flanked by misty mountains and waterfalls. Enter the Otira Tunnel, one of the longest tunnels in New Zealand at 5.3 miles (8.6 km) long. At Arthurs Pass station, take in Arthurs Pass National Park and the surrounding mist-shrouded mountains.

As you descend from the Southern Alps, get breathtaking views of the Waimakiriri River gorge. The train travels over a series of steel girder bridges and deep gorges; the highest viaduct rises 240 feet (73 meters) above the river. Pass through fields of sheep, cattle, and red deer, as you cross the Canterbury Plains before arriving in Christchurch.
After your 4.5-hour train journey, your tour ends upon arrival in Christchurch in the early evening.

Reviews

Viator Traveller's Reviews

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J
, Feb 2016

3 fantastic days, perfectly organized.
The scenery is fabulous particularly from the TransAlpine despite very mixed weather

S
, Apr 2015

We were disappointed. Your company made us feel ripped off and stupid !!! The details about the tour on the website and in email that you informed us before the tour start went wrong and made us confused and upset !!! First, you didnt provide hotel pick up and drop off as promised on the first and the last day !!! We just knew that we have to make our own way to bus station before the pick up time one hour !!! And we knew that because we called you !! Your staff told us over the phone that your company mailed by post us two days ago before the tour start to inform the changes !! But we didn't get any mail !!! We have asked the hotel staff ... nobody found any mail !!! I just don't understand why didnt't you call us or email us !!! You asked for those contact detail !!! And my phone was on international roaming service to stand by to get any urgent information from you !!! Second, on website you mentioned that tour will operated by coach. I think it's quite tricky !!! Because coach made us though that you would provide a coach for a specific group of people. But it turn out to be a inter-city bus that opened for the public !! After all, we did research about the cost of everything accommodation, activity, transportation cost and we found out that your company overcharged us 355 per person !!! I know and understand that the travel agent need to make profit from arrangement those kind of things for the customer. But don't you think that too much !!! How can you do that ??? At first I saw your company profile and I though you are a good one. We decided to buy more than one package from you. We bought another two packages Shotover River Extreme Jet Boat Ride from Queenstown Swimming with Dolphins in Akaroa from your company. They were good. And the price are reasonable !!!! However, after experience 3-Day Queenstown to Christchurch including West Coast Glaciers and the TranzAlpine Train
I decided not to recommend anyone to buy your services anymore !!!

A
, Feb 2015

The view during the entire trip was truly fabulous! One thing is you would have almost a day off during this trip which you have to plan yourself. I rent a bicycle in Fox Glacier and spend the 1st days' afternoon enjoyed the sun and the Lake Matheson. After the dinner my friend and I went to the nearby forest for glowworm which was so amazing! 2nd day you would only have the valley walk which was interesting and not dangerous at all, so my friend and I went for the helicopter and enjoyed the view of the Glacier during the rest of day which was soooooo awesome! But I have to say helicopter thing cost me a bunch of money, but who cares right! We still got a lot of time left, but my friend was a bit sick so we spend the rest of time relax and wander around the main road and forest. The 3rd day's main point was the TranzAlpine Train! The highlight of the trip! However, I did spend a lot of extra money during the trip as I got a lot of free time while I love to do anything I could possibly do.


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