Fine Tours New Zealand
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Call us free in New Zealand on 1844 215 8210

Similar itineraries

11 Day Southern Adventure

11 days starting in Queenstown, finishing in Queenstown
Accommodation style: Boutique lodges & hotels

10 Day Northern Adventure

10 days starting in Auckland, finishing in Auckland
Accommodation style: Apartments

North to South Fishing Adventure

10 days starting in Wellington, finishing in Queenstown
Accommodation style: Hotel 4 star

 

12 day Ultimate South Island

Queenstown to Queenstown, 12 days 11 nights self drive tour, staying in Boutique lodges & hotels

12 day Ultimate South Island
12 day Ultimate South Island
12 day Ultimate South Island
12 day Ultimate South Island

Starting and finishing in the alpine adventure capital of Queenstown, this route circumnavigates the Southern Alps and its dramatic peaks, glaciers and lakes.

Experience what New Zealand is all about. Visit Wanaka before discovering the beauty of the West Coast and glacier country before making your way to Arthur's Pass National Park. On route back to Queenstown you will take an overnight stop in the majestic Mt. Cook National Park.

The approximate total driving distance and time for this itinerary is: 1239 kms / 768 miles, 14.9 hours

You can expect to spend around NZ$144 in fuel cost on this itinerary based on an intermediate sized car.

 

Day 1

Arrive into Queenstown and be transferred to your accommodation

Arrive into Queenstown and private transfer to your accommodation

Arrive into Queenstown.  A private driver will meet your flight and transfer you to your Queenstown accommodation.

Your tour documentation pack and support

Your tour documentation pack and support
Your tour documentation pack and support
Your tour documentation pack and support
Your tour documentation pack and support

Your tour pack will be hand delivered by one of our trusted representatives. Containing all the documentation you’ll need for the duration of your tour, this comprehensive bag includes a bound version of your itinerary complete with driving instructions and maps for each travel leg. You’ll also receive the reservation details for your accommodation and activities - as well as a New Zealand touring atlas and relevant brochures on the destinations you’ll be visiting. While travelling throughout New Zealand we offer 24 hour support should you need any help at all.

Welcome to Queenstown

Renowned for its adrenaline inducing activities 'Queenstown' is synonymous with adventure. Parked on the shores of Lake Wakatipu this small alpine town is nestled below soaring vistas of The Remarkables Mountain Range. While arguably the brightest gem in New Zealand’s crown, Queenstown offers far more than an action-packed getaway. Spend time on the Gibbston valley wine trail and end with a meal at Michelin star chef Josh Emett’s restaurant, Rata. Take a trip down memory lane on a 100 year old steamship the TSS Earnslaw. Soak in the scenery on your walk around the lake, or venture further afield into Fiordland National Park. Head over the hill to resort town Wanaka, or re-live scenes from Lord Of The Rings by four wheel drive. But - if you really do want that rush - head out on the Shotover Jet, dive off the Nevis Bungy, freefall on the Canyon swing or Zip line the Gondola. Just be sure it's done on an empty stomach  – don’t say we didn’t warn you!

Your accommodation - The Dairy

Style: Boutique lodges & hotels

Meals included: Breakfast

Accommodation features

  • Check in time: 2 pm
  • Check out time: 11 am
  • Walk time to shops/restaurants: 1-2 mins
  • Parking: onsite free parking
  • Internet facilities: In room free access
  • Includes continental breakfast
  • Includes cooked breakfast
  • Tea/coffee facilities in room
  • Hairdryer
  • Laundry facilities: On site
  • Laundry facilities: Drycleaning service available
  • All rooms non smoking
The Dairy
The Dairy
The Dairy
The Dairy
 

Day 2

Collect your rental car this morning and head to the alpine lakeside town of Wanaka

Driving distance and time: 60 kms / 38 miles : 0.9 hours

 

Times are based on averages for this specific route and allow for stops. Use these times as guidelines and to assist in the planning for your day.

 

Today collect your rental vehicle for your Fine Tours New Zealand holiday

Today collect your rental vehicle for your Fine Tours New Zealand holiday
Today collect your rental vehicle for your Fine Tours New Zealand holiday
Today collect your rental vehicle for your Fine Tours New Zealand holiday
Today collect your rental vehicle for your Fine Tours New Zealand holiday

Collect your rental vehicle for your Fine Tours New Zealand holiday.  You can choose from an extensive range of late model cars and 4WD vehicles, from Europcar, Budget or Hertz.

GPS navigation system

Use the latest GPS technology as you tour New Zealand. Your portable GPS features a simple touch screen interface with automatic route calculation and turn-by-turn voice-prompted directions including street name announcement. The automotive-grade GPS unit is easy to use and has multiple language options.

Queenstown to Wanaka

Queenstown to Wanaka
Queenstown to Wanaka
Queenstown to Wanaka
Queenstown to Wanaka

Leaving Queenstown you'll drive over New Zealand's highest sealed road, the Crown Range before arriving into the resort town of Wanaka.

Your accommodation - Lakeshore Springs Apartments

Style: Luxury apartments

Accommodation features

  • Check in time: 2 pm
  • Check out time: 10 am
  • Walk time to shops/restaurants: 1-2 mins
  • Parking: onsite free parking
  • Internet facilities: In room free access
  • Breakfast service available
  • Tea/coffee facilities in room
  • Kitchen/kitchenette in room
  • Hairdryer
  • Laundry facilities: On site
  • All rooms non smoking
  • Apartments serviced weekly
Lakeshore Springs Apartments
Lakeshore Springs Apartments
Lakeshore Springs Apartments
Lakeshore Springs Apartments
 

Day 3

Explore Wanaka today. Visit famous Mou Wahu Island

Wanaka

Wanaka
Wanaka
Wanaka
Wanaka

The alpine village of Wanaka sits on the shores of the third largest lake in the Queenstown Lakes District and is surrounded by the southern alps. Wanaka draws those seeking adventure, spectacular scenery and a relaxed atmosphere.

During winter the town's population more than triples as snow sports enthusiasts flock to the local ski fields of Treble Cone and Cardrona. Known as the gateway to the Mt Aspiring National Park, Wanaka is a walker's paradise of remote wilderness, high mountains and beautiful river valleys. For those seeking an adrenaline rush try skydiving, rock-climbing, jet boating or choose a scenic flight over Wanaka in a historic Tiger Moth airplane.

Lake Wanaka Cruise and Island Nature Walk

Lake Wanaka Cruise and Island Nature Walk
Lake Wanaka Cruise and Island Nature Walk
Lake Wanaka Cruise and Island Nature Walk
Lake Wanaka Cruise and Island Nature Walk

Lying close to the center of Lake Wanaka is Mou Waho Island Nature Reserve. A unique glacial remnant of the last ice age, the island is also the historic site of early shipbuilding and used to be a stopping place for the steamers and log rafts that once plied the lake. Accessible from Wanaka by a 35 minute boat cruise, the landing is on the eastern side of the island where the remnants of early settlement remain; a stone wharf and a hut. A well-formed track leads from the landing and climbs steadily through native bush to near the top of Tyrwhitt Peak. Just before the top we see Arethusa Pool, a small lake on the island with small islands in it - very intriguing! From the top we have a sweeping 360-degree view of Lake Wanaka, its surrounding mountains and valleys, and below Arethusa Pool. The perfect spot to stop for a tea or coffee. Going back down the track gives us more time to take in our surroundings, listening to and watching the lively bird-life, and just enjoying this unique wildlife reserve. You will feel well rewarded as you re-join the boat for the cruise back to Wanaka. Total cruise time is 1.5 hours. The trip runs subject to weather and lake conditions.

Your accommodation - Lakeshore Springs Apartments

Style: Luxury apartments

 

Day 4

Drive through Mt Aspiring National Park and onto the Wild West Coast and Glacier Country

Driving distance and time: 282 kms / 175 miles : 3.4 hours

 

Times are based on averages for this specific route and allow for stops. Use these times as guidelines and to assist in the planning for your day.

 

Wanaka to Franz Josef Glacier

Wanaka to Franz Josef Glacier
Wanaka to Franz Josef Glacier
Wanaka to Franz Josef Glacier
Wanaka to Franz Josef Glacier

The route follows the shores of Lakes Wanaka and Hawea before you enter the village of Makarora, the gateway to Mt. Aspiring National Park. The Blue Pools, just outside Makarora, are a wonderful 30 minute walk through pristine native beech forest. Descending into Mt. Aspiring National Park and towards the Haast Pass, crashing rivers and waterfalls are around every corner. Crossing the Haast River you are now truly on the wild West Coast, a 600 kilometer stretch of bush, rainforest and podocarp forest. First Fox Glacier welcomes you to the glacier region and Franz Josef township is just a further 45 minutes. A great way to experience the glaciers is with a scenic flight or glacier hike.

Glacier Hot Pools

Glacier Hot Pools
Glacier Hot Pools
Glacier Hot Pools
Glacier Hot Pools

Nestled within the lush rainforest surrounds, the Glacier Hot Pools is a haven of tranquility. Unwind in one of the three main pools or relax in a secluded private oasis. Temperatures range from 36 to 40 degrees and the water comes directly from a glacial stream. Wash off the day and rejuvenate in this unique forest paradise.

Your accommodation - Westwood Lodge

Style: Boutique lodges & hotels

Meals included: Breakfast

Accommodation features

  • Check in time: 2 pm
  • Check out time: 11 am
  • Walk time to shops/restaurants: 10-15 mins
  • Parking: onsite free parking
  • Internet facilities: In room free access
  • Includes continental breakfast
  • Includes cooked breakfast
  • Bar on site
  • Tea/coffee facilities in room
  • Hairdryer
  • All rooms non smoking
Westwood Lodge
Westwood Lodge
Westwood Lodge
Westwood Lodge
 

Day 5

This morning take a helicopter onto the glaciers. This afternoon time to self explore

Twin Glaciers Scenic Helicopter Flight

Twin Glaciers Scenic Helicopter Flight
Twin Glaciers Scenic Helicopter Flight
Twin Glaciers Scenic Helicopter Flight
Twin Glaciers Scenic Helicopter Flight

Take a spectacular scenic flight over two of New Zealand's most famous glaciers. Land at the head of one and view the incredible sight of this frozen river as it winds its way through ancient carved valleys.  Should weather not be suitable to take this flight you are able to transfer your booking onto a similar tour on any of the Helicopter Line’s operations in Queenstown or Mt Cook.

Walking tracks in and around Franz Josef area

Walking tracks in and around Franz Josef area
Walking tracks in and around Franz Josef area
Walking tracks in and around Franz Josef area
Walking tracks in and around Franz Josef area

There are many walks and hikes in and around Franz Josef. The information below is provided by the Department of Conservation. Located in Franz Josef village is a Department of Conservation information center and you can get updates on track conditions and suitability plus you can learn about the area, its natural history and its people. Listed below are a selection of short walks but check with the Department of Conservation information center for weather conditions, track suitability and conditions  first.

Douglas Walk

The Douglas Walk is an easy one-hour forest walk that passes by the Peters Pool viewpoint and crosses several moraines before descending to the bridge across Dolly Creek on the way back to the road.

Category:  Walking track. Completion Time:  1 hr return

Franz Josef Glacier/Kā Roimata o Hine Hukatere Walk

The 40-minute walk to the terminal face of the Franz Josef Glacier follows a rocky path over riverbed. Only experienced and prepared visitors should attempt climbing on the glacier.

Category:  Walking track. Completion Time:  1 hr 30 min return

Lake Wombat Track

The Lake Wombat Track leads you through a lush rimu forest to the idyllic Lake Wombat.

Category:  Walking track. Completion Time:  1 hr 30 min

Okarito walking tracks

North of the Franz Josef Township sits the coastal settlement of Okarito and the Okarito Lagoon. The lagoon is home to more than 76 species of native birds including the kōtuku/white heron and royal spoonbills.

Category:  Walking track.

Peters Pool Walk

The spectacular view at Peters Pool includes Franz Josef Glacier/Kā Roimata o Hine Hukatere, and the Fritz Range, including Mt Moltke and Mt Roon.

Category:  Easy access walk. Completion Time:  25 min

Sentinel Rock Walk

Just a short distance south of the Franz Josef Township you will come to the Glacier and Sentinel Rock walks. The Sentinel Rock Lookout offers impressive views of the glacier, the valley and Waiho River.

Category:  Short walk. Completion Time:  20 min

Tatare Tunnels Walk

The 80-minute return Tatare Tunnels Walk follows an old 4WD road to a junction with the Callery/Waiho Walk. From there follow the track to the old water tunnels.

Category:  Walking track. Completion Time:  1 hr 20 min return

Terrace Walk

Follow the Terrace Walk as it winds through forest and goes by remnants of past gold mining operations.

Category:  Short walk. Completion Time:  30 min

Your accommodation - Westwood Lodge

Style: Boutique lodges & hotels

Meals included: Breakfast

 

Day 6

Head into the Southern Alps and the glorious Arthurs Pass National Park and Wilderness Lodge

Driving distance and time: 233 kms / 145 miles : 2.8 hours

 

Times are based on averages for this specific route and allow for stops. Use these times as guidelines and to assist in the planning for your day.

 

Franz Josef to Arthur's Pass National Park

Franz Josef to Arthur's Pass National Park
Franz Josef to Arthur's Pass National Park
Franz Josef to Arthur's Pass National Park
Franz Josef to Arthur's Pass National Park

Driving north on State Highway 6 you pass through many small West Coast towns. Hari Hari is the township that Guy Menzies decided to land in (or rather crash land) as he became the first person to fly solo across the Tasman. Ross is the site of an old gold mining town and some of the old buildings remain. You can even pan for gold. The craft and gift stores in Hokitika are excellent with a great range of locally made items and if you want to explore further here then the Hokitika Gorge is worthy of a detour.

State Highway 73 is the main road between the West Coast and Christchurch and the scenery is spectacular - even in the rain - and there is pretty good chance of rain in the high alpine mountains. With hundreds of waterfalls cascading down the bush clad hillsides it's not a road to be rushed. Originally the road was a pass used by Maori as they made tier seasonal passage to look for the greenstone abundant in the West Coast mountains. When the gold rush hit the West Coast in the late 1800's then a road was quickly developed and not soon after the train. Today the main use for the track is transporting coal to Lyttelton Harbour but once a day the now world famous Tranz Alpine Scenic Train takes a few hundred tourists and visitors between the two oceans.

The Otira Gorge on the Western side of Arthur's Pass features a remarkable piece of engineering with the road passing high on a viaduct through this large valley. This is a recent addition to the route as the old road was washed away in a rock fall a few years ago. There are numerous lookout points giving great views of the valley and its engineering feat but watch out for the local residents, the kea. this bird is the worlds only alpine parrot and can be extremely cheeky.

Arthur's Pass Township is bustling place in the peak season with many walkers and adventurers using it as a base for the forays into the mountains of Arthur's pass National Park. The Department of Conservation centre here has an excellent display of the local history and is a great source of information for the many short walks in the area.

Arthur's Pass National Park

Arthur's Pass National Park
Arthur's Pass National Park
Arthur's Pass National Park
Arthur's Pass National Park

Arthur’s Pass National park straddles the Southern Alps and because of this, offers a landscape of contrast. The Western regions of the park benefit from the high rainfall that drops from the prevailing winds as it ascends the main divide, creating lush rainforests. The east is much drier and dominated by beech forest.  Between the two lies the mountainous areas of the Southern Alps with home to kea and snow tussock.

As well as the natural wonders of the park there is a long history of human presence, beginning with early Maori who used the passes to travel between the east and west coasts to trade pounamu. In 1864 Arthur Dobson surveyed the area with a view to creating a reliable route and despite his advice that it was 'almost impossible' a large number of men carved a rudimentary road through the Southern Alps - completing it in 1866. The recent Otira Viaduct was a major engineering achievement and greatly minimizes the hazards of travelling this way. The West Coast gold fields were the driver for the creation of the road and also led to Arthur’s Pass village being developed.

The village still exists and provides amenities including a store, cafes, restaurants and the Department of Conservation visitor center.  There are a number of ways to explore the National Park, including hiking, caving and bird-watching. Visit the DOC visitor center, to be advised on the most suitable walks for your ability and the weather conditions.  Alternatively if you are staying at Grasmere Lodge or Wilderness Lodge Arthur’s Pass you are right on the park’s doorstep.

From Christchurch or Greymouth catch the TranzAlpine scenic train for stunning Arthur’s Pass vistas.

Your accommodation - Wilderness Lodge

Style: Luxury Lodges & hotels

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Accommodation features

  • Check in time: 2 pm
  • Check out time: 11 am
  • Parking: onsite free parking
  • Internet facilities: On site paid access
  • Includes cooked breakfast
  • Includes dinner
  • Bar on site
  • Tea/coffee facilities in room
  • Hairdryer
  • All rooms non smoking
Wilderness Lodge
Wilderness Lodge
Wilderness Lodge
Wilderness Lodge
 

Day 7

A full day to enjoy the activities on offer at the lodge

Wilderness Lodge, Arthur's Pass

Wilderness Lodge, Arthur's Pass
Wilderness Lodge, Arthur's Pass
Wilderness Lodge, Arthur's Pass
Wilderness Lodge, Arthur's Pass

Nestled in mountain beech forest, midway between Christchurch and the West Coast, Wilderness Lodge Arthur's Pass offers stylish accommodation, great food and warm hospitality in a spectacular mountain setting.

Set on a 4000 acre working sheep farm and nature reserve in the heart of the Southern Alps, a daily program of guided activities will be the highlight of your visit. Join naturalist and farmer guides to hike alpine trails, kayak wildlife refuge lakes and experience life on a working farm.

Complimentary Guided Activities

Twice daily complimentary guided trips provide a wonderful introduction to the wildlife, landscapes and history of the Southern Alps. Some of the trips include:

  • Sheep Farm Discovery: Join a guide to watch sheep dogs in action, handfeed lambs, see traditional blade shearing and learn about growing merino wool for the fashion industry. This trip happens every second afternoon and is a highlight for many guests
  • Birds and Special Plants of the Mountain Beech Forest: Explore with a naturalist guide and learn the secrets of these remarkable moss forests surrounding the lodge
  • McKay Moa Forest Hike: Visit a special nature reserve on the Wilderness Lodge farm. Take in spectacular mountain scenery, see bizarre ‘moa plants’ and learn their fascinating history.
  • Stars of the Southern Night Sky: A gentle stroll after dinner to see the starry night sky. Identify planets, satellites and constellations including the Southern Cross.

Longer Charged Guided Activities

  • Upper Otira Glacier Adventure: A superb challenging summer hike. Climb high into a glacial basin and enjoy mountain panoramas, alpine flowers, cascades culminating in a mountain picnic below Mt Rolleston.
  • Limestone Castles & Easy Kayaking:  A relaxed guided tour/walk to a landscape made famous by the Narnia film 'The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe'. Paddle a gentle mountain lake and enjoy lunch amongst natural limestone castles.
  • Southern Alps Mountain Hike: Traverse beech forest to open mountain tops high above the Waimakariri River. Learn about alpine plants and enjoy lunch at a historic hut which once sheltered shepherds when this area was part of the Wilderness Lodge farm, now Arthur's Pass National Park.
  • Wonderful Waterfalls of Arthur's Pass: A special trip for waterfall and photography enthusiasts. Visit waterfalls and cascades throughout Arthur's Pass National Park and explore 'bonsai' mountain beech forests. Picnic beside a mountain stream.

Self-Guided Activity Options

  • Explore a 30km network of forest, farm and mountain walking trails. You hosts can provide maps and suggestions and you may like to order a picnic lunch
  • Explore neighboring Arthur’s Pass National Park on your own.
  • Relax in peace and tranquillity and take in the spectacular mountain scenery

Your accommodation - Wilderness Lodge

Style: Luxury Lodges & hotels

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

 

Day 8

Onto the Canterbury Plains and foothills today

Driving distance and time: 129 kms / 80 miles : 1.6 hours

 

Times are based on averages for this specific route and allow for stops. Use these times as guidelines and to assist in the planning for your day.

 

Arthurs Pass to Windwhistle

Arthurs Pass to Windwhistle
Arthurs Pass to Windwhistle
Arthurs Pass to Windwhistle
Arthurs Pass to Windwhistle

Descending from the Southern Alps through the Canterbury High Country, pass by Lake Pearson. A beautiful tranquil lake and a good spot for fishing or bird watching. Further on you’ll find Castle Hill, often referred to by climbers as one of the best rock climbing and bouldering locations in New Zealand. The limestone rock makes the area a year-round climbing destination. Follow the inland scenic route through the tiny villages of Glentunnel and Glenroy towards Windwhistle and the spectacular Rakaia Gorge taking time to stop and enjoy the spectacular views on this route.

Your accommodation - Terrace Downs Resort

Style: Luxury Lodges & hotels

Meals included: Breakfast

Accommodation features

  • Check in time: 3 pm
  • Check out time: 11 am
  • Restaurant on site
  • Breakfast service available
Terrace Downs Resort
Terrace Downs Resort
Terrace Downs Resort
Terrace Downs Resort
 

Day 9

Take the inland scenic route to Mt Cook National Park via Lake Tekapo

Driving distance and time: 274 kms / 170 miles : 3.1 hours

 

Times are based on averages for this specific route and allow for stops. Use these times as guidelines and to assist in the planning for your day.

 

Windwhistle to Mt. Cook National Park via the Inland Scenic Route

Windwhistle to Mt. Cook National Park via the Inland Scenic Route
Windwhistle to Mt. Cook National Park via the Inland Scenic Route
Windwhistle to Mt. Cook National Park via the Inland Scenic Route
Windwhistle to Mt. Cook National Park via the Inland Scenic Route

Today's journey begins with the spectacular Rakaia Gorge as you cross the narrow one lane bridge spanning the river below. Continuing on you hug the foothills of the Southern Alps and Peel Forest until you arrive into the township of Geraldine, an ideal refreshment stop (local ice cream, cheeses, bakery etc) before you head into the Mackenzie country. Turning west you continue towards the high country and passing through places such as Beautiful Valley it's not hard to understand how the names originated. Ascending Burkes Pass and onto the high country plateau and the picturesque town of Lake Tekapo, the first of the large Southern Lakes. Lake Pukaki is just another 30 minutes from Lake Tekapo and its from here you can be rewarded with spectacular views the full length of the lake and into Mt. Cook National Park. In Mt. Cook Village a myriad of activities are available from glacier landings by ski plane or helicopter, kayaking on a glacial lake and a host of walks to suit all abilities and time frames. At The Hermitage Hotel the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre is a must see.

The Panorama Room, Hermitage Hotel, Mt Cook

The Panorama Room, Hermitage Hotel, Mt Cook
The Panorama Room, Hermitage Hotel, Mt Cook
The Panorama Room, Hermitage Hotel, Mt Cook
The Panorama Room, Hermitage Hotel, Mt Cook

Since first opening its doors in 1969,The Panorama Room has gained a reputation as being one of the best restaurants in New Zealand. This reputation is reflected in the numerous awards the restaurant has received over the years. A simple philosophy of using just the freshest, local ingredients, in particular from New Zealand's South Island, is still the secret to its success today.  The menu has a strong international influence and reflects both the establishments taste and the fact that most of the chefs have travelled and worked widely throughout the world. See the current menu here

Your accommodation - Hermitage Hotel, Aoraki Wing Premium Plus

Style: Hotel 4 star

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Accommodation features

  • Check in time: 2 pm
  • Check out time: 10 am
  • Walk time to shops/restaurants: 1-2 mins
  • Parking: onsite free parking
  • Internet facilities: In room free access
  • Internet facilities: On site free access
  • Restaurant on site
  • Bar on site
  • Tea/coffee facilities in room
  • Hairdryer
  • All rooms non smoking
Hermitage Hotel, Aoraki Wing Premium Plus
Hermitage Hotel, Aoraki Wing Premium Plus
Hermitage Hotel, Aoraki Wing Premium Plus
Hermitage Hotel, Aoraki Wing Premium Plus
 

Day 10

Some time to explore the walks or Mt Cook Village before taking to the glacier lake

Aoraki-Mt. Cook National Park

Aoraki-Mt. Cook National Park
Aoraki-Mt. Cook National Park
Aoraki-Mt. Cook National Park
Aoraki-Mt. Cook National Park

At 3754 meters Aoraki-Mt. Cook is New Zealand's highest mountain, located deep in the heart of the Southern Alps. From the Visitor Centre at the southern end of Lake Pukaki, you will be rewarded with magnificent views of this immense peak. As well as its impressive beauty, Mt. Cook National Park is also home to a huge range of awe-inspiring sights and activities. Take to the air with Mt. Cook Ski Planes for a scenic flight that includes a glacier landing. At around 27 kilometers long the Tasman Glacier is New Zealand's longest and a Glacier Explorers tour will  give you the opportunity to see its unique features.

There are many short hikes in and around the park and these are well signposted. For a fascinating guided tour the Mt. Cook Encounter Guided walk is a must-do and those with an interest in the night sky should take a stargazing tour of the Mt. John Observatory. The region is considered to have one of the clearest night skies in the world and is one of the few gold-rated dark sky reserves worldwide. The Hermitage Hotel complex offers fine dining, multiple cafes and a bar. Visit the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre for insight into this region’s mountain climbing history. You’ll also learn of Sir Ed's incredible achievements and his dedication to helping others around the world.

Glacier Explorers Mt. Cook

Glacier Explorers Mt. Cook
Glacier Explorers Mt. Cook
Glacier Explorers Mt. Cook
Glacier Explorers Mt. Cook

Experience 500 year old icebergs up-close on the Mt Cook terminal lake. The Glacier Explorers tour is the only one of its kind in New Zealand - and one of only three in the world! Very few glaciers terminate into lakes and even fewer of them are accessible. See towering ice cliffs and floating icebergs from the safety of a specially designed boat.  These boats provide a safe way to view unseen and inaccessible areas of New Zealand's largest glacier - The Tasman.

Your accommodation - Hermitage Hotel, Aoraki Wing Premium Plus

Style: Hotel 4 star

Meals included: Breakfast

 

Day 11

Continue your drive south into Central Otago, through the Gibbston Valley and back to Queenstown. Cross the lake to Walter Peak Station for dinner tonight

Driving distance and time: 256 kms / 159 miles : 2.9 hours

 

Times are based on averages for this specific route and allow for stops. Use these times as guidelines and to assist in the planning for your day.

 

Mt. Cook National Park to Queenstown

Mt. Cook National Park to Queenstown
Mt. Cook National Park to Queenstown
Mt. Cook National Park to Queenstown
Mt. Cook National Park to Queenstown

Leaving the alpine region of Mount Cook, you'll travel through the lakeside town of Twizel, then a little further to Omarama - the gliding capital of New Zealand. Continue on over the Lindis Pass, one of New Zealand’s highest roads with a summit of 971 meters. Arrive in the quaint village of Tarras, then continue on a short way to the historic Bendigo Reserve, one of Otago’s original gold mining settlements.

Follow the road to Cromwell, and keep going through the sheer cliffs of the Kawarau Gorge towards the Gibbston Valley, one of New Zealand's premier wine growing regions. See the historic Kawarau Bridge where you can bungy jump or relax and watch others take the plunge. Approaching Queenstown, the Remarkables mountain range comes into view as you arrive into the adventure capital of New Zealand.

TSS Earnslaw cruise to Walter Peak including gourmet BBQ dinner and a farm tour

TSS Earnslaw cruise to Walter Peak including gourmet BBQ dinner and a farm tour
TSS Earnslaw cruise to Walter Peak including gourmet BBQ dinner and a farm tour
TSS Earnslaw cruise to Walter Peak including gourmet BBQ dinner and a farm tour
TSS Earnslaw cruise to Walter Peak including gourmet BBQ dinner and a farm tour

Go back in time on this return trip to Walter Peak High Country Farm aboard the historic TSS Earnslaw steamship. On disembarking, you’ll be escorted through the beautiful lakeside gardens to the charming Colonel's Homestead. Here you’ll enjoy a Gourmet BBQ dinner which your chef will prepare in front of you. The seasonal menu includes an expansive array of local produce, including succulent meats cooked on the outdoor rotisserie and a selection of delicious vegetables and salads.

Finish your meal with an irresistible dessert, New Zealand cheeses and freshly brewed tea & coffee. After dinner, an entertaining and informative demonstration gives you a glimpse of life in the high country. On your cruise home, enjoy the camaraderie of a singalong with the ship’s pianist or breathe in the fresh night air  as you watch the lights of Queenstown draw nearer.

Your accommodation - The Dairy

Style: Boutique lodges & hotels

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

 

Day 12

Your final day in Queenstown

Driving distance and time: 8 kms / 5 miles : 0.2 hours

 

Times are based on averages for this specific route and allow for stops. Use these times as guidelines and to assist in the planning for your day.

 

Enjoy your final morning in Queenstown before driving to the airport for your onward flight

Take in the sights of Queenstown one more time before returning your car to the airport and catching your onward flight.

 
 

Testimonials

"FTNZ, and in particular their excellent representative Salli Smith, were creative, professional, enthusiastic, incredibly responsive and helpful in every respect." see more

price from
NZ$ 5,834.00 pp (small car, low season - details)

This tour includes