January 6th – January 11th 2014
January 5th – January 10th 2015
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destinations, including Milford Sound and an alpine glacier walk. A trip of
towering mountains, open expanses, and rugged coastline, this adventure
brings you face-to-face with the best of New Zealand.
- Explore Fox Glacier, an 8-mile glacier that stretches from the summits of NZ’s highest mountains down to the rain forests.
- Journey along New Zealand’s West Coast
- Descend into the fiords and visit Milford Sound, “The 8th wonder of the world.”
- Visit Queenstown, New Zealand’s adventure capital.
Christchurch — Punakaiki
Welcome to New Zealand! Meet your guide and fellow travelers at Christchurch airport. (If your international flight brings you to Auckland, you’ll need to take a short flight to Christchurch). Get settled in as we begin a scenic drive into Arthur’s Pass National Park – one of only four roads that access the West Coast of the South Island. Depending on how you feel after your flight, a number of short hikes are available, including Devil’s Punchbowl – a short walk through native beach trees that leads to a spectacular waterfall, a fl at sub-alpine trail with great views of the towering mountains or, for the more adventurous, a steep zigzag track that ascends into alpine basins with amazing views of the surrounding peaks and mountain flowers.We’ll cross the Main Divide (that separates west from the East in the Southern Alps) and travel north up the West Coast to the small coastal village of Punakaiki.
Punakaiki — Fox Glacier
Surrounded by intense native forests, beautiful rivers and pounding sea surf, Punakaiki off ers unique experiences. First, we check out the natural rock formations of Pancake Rocks and the powerful vertical blowholes. Next, we’ll follow the Pororari River into Paparoa National Park for a couple hours, walking through lush temperate rainforest and limestone sculptured canyons. This track was once the only path to traverse this beautiful but rigid coastline. Following our river walk, we’ll travel south along the West Coast to the town of Fox Glacier, where we will settle in for the night after a delicious meal.
Fox Glacier — Wanaka
Fox Glacier is a small coastal town with a population of about 400 people. Named for the 7 ½ mile long glacier that stretches from the mountains of the Southern Alps to the lush rain forests, Fox Glacier sits only 980 feet above sea level.
You have three options for exploring this amazing natural wonder:
1. Glacier hike – Walk up the valley to the terminal face of the glacier where you’ll gain some height before walking on the glacier for about one hour. Explore ice crevasses and ridges. Moderate fitness required.
2. Heli-hike – After taking a helicopter fl ight up to a remote part of the glacier you spend 2 ½ hours exploring amazing ice formations and ice caves. Add $150 USD + tax.
3. Scenic Helicopter flight – Explore the Fox Glacier and Southern alps by helicopter. The fl ight can be customized between 10 min to 40min in length, with the option of a glacier landing. Add $50 – $150 USD + tax, depending on chosen package.
Following our morning adventures, we continue down the West Coast to check out some spectacular sights before traveling inland over Haast Pass and to the lakeside town of Wanaka.
Wanaka — Te Anau
Today is the day of lakes: we visit the three largest lakes in the South Island. After a champagne breakfast on the shores of Lake Wanaka, we’ll head towards Queenstown, traveling over the Crown Range. We’ll stop to check out the original New Zealand bungee jump site, the Kawarau Bridge Bungy – measuring 141 feet / 43 meters. (Taking the plunge is optional of course!). We then travel just down the road for lunch at a local winery, one of many that give this area its reputation as a top Pinot Noir producer.
Following lunch, we travel along the shores of Lake Wakatipu heading south through sheep country toward the small town of Te Anau, the hub of Fiordland. Following dinner, we take a short boat ride across the glacial-carved Lake Te Anau, to explore the Te Anau Glowworm Caves. This magical underground world exhibits thousands of glow worms, waterfalls and delicate rock formations … a truly amazing place.
Te Anau — Queenstown
We’ll get an early start and drive into Milford Sound to experience the calm morning waters of the fiord in a sea kayak. This is a fully guided trip suitable for both first time and experienced paddlers. You’ll spend about 3 ½ to 4 hours on the water paddling and drifting at a leisurely pace as we explore and learn about the fiord. Following lunch, we’ll board a scenic plane back to Queenstown. From the air, you’ll see the steep fiords of Milford Sound, cascading waterfalls, pristine glaciers, mountains and lakes. Note: The flight out of Milford Sound is not guaranteed due to the weather. If the weather is poor, we’ll drive back to Queenstown and stop along the way to explore and stretch the legs.
Take the morning to explore Queenstown, the adventure capital of New Zealand. Relax and check out the cafés and shops or partake in some of the adrenaline surging activities famous to Queenstown: jet boating, bungee jumping, sky diving, river surfing … it’s our choice. We’ll be on hand to help you plan your morning. We’ll gather together at 1 pm for a farewell lunch at a local winery. We’ll wrap up the tour around 3pm, dropping people off at the airport if they have connecting flights to Auckland / Christchurch / Sydney. If you choose to spend a night in Queenstown before continuing on a new adventure, we can help you sort out your options.