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West Coast Wilderness Glaciers

Depart on one of the world’s most famous train journeys, the TranzAlpine Express on this West Coast Wilderness Glaciers itinerary  . Travel between Christchurch and Greymouth where you will have spectacular views of the Southern Alps and deep gorges. A trip to Franz Josef isn’t complete without a Glacier Valley Walk where you will climb to the spectacular views of the rapidly changing glacier. Then take it easy with a stay at the luxurious Matakauri Lodge and paddle on inflatable kayaks (funyaks!) down the Dart River.

Suggested Duration: 7 days

Highlights:

– Board the renowned TranzAlpine Express and traverse the South Island from east to west
– Enjoy an amazing Heli-hike experience on the Franz Josef Glacier
– Take a cruise on the pristine waters of Lake Wanaka

Itinerary

Day 1 – Arrive Christchurch
Arrive into Christchurch, check in to your luxury accommodation, and enjoy the afternoon at leisure at this glorious Victorian mansion.
Overnight: Otahuna Lodge
Meal Plan: D
Day 2 – Christchurch – Franz Josef
Today, depart on one of the world’s most famous train journeys, the TranzAlpine between Christchurch and Greymouth. Cross the fertile farmlands of the Canterbury Plains, and enjoy thrilling vistas over deep gorges asyou travel alongside the ice-fed Waimakariri River. Traverse the mighty Southern Alps, where spectacular views of the chiselled alpine landscape await you at every turn. On arrival into Greymouth, collect your rental vehicle and travel on to Franz Josef. We suggest you break your journey in the village of Hokitika, famous for the precious stone pounamu, also known as greenstone or New Zealand jade.
Overnight: Te Waonui Forest Retrat
Meal Plan: B, D
Day 3 – Franz Josef
Head out for the Franz Josef Glacier Valley Walk, which takes you alongside the mighty Waiho Riverbed, following the glacier’s path as it winds its way through a remarkable landscape. Learn about the history of the glacier and its dramatic effect on the local topography. After a brief climb, you will be rewarded with spectacular views of the glacier’s rapidly-changing terminal face. You may choose to upgrade to a helicopter-hike on the glacier.
Overnight: Te Waonui Forest Retreat
Meal Plan: B
Day 4 – Franz Josef – Queenstown
This morning, make your way to the luxurious Matakauri Lodge, a spectacular alpine lakeside retreat.
Overnight: Matakauri Lodge
Meal Plan: B, D
Day 5 – Queenstown
Today is at your leisure. Take in the stunning views of The Remarkables, Cecil and Walter Peak mountain ranges. Enjoy some of the activities of Matakauri Lodge, which include horse-riding, hiking and golf, or simply relax in the spa.
Overnight: Matakauri Lodge
Meal Plan: B, D
Day 6 – Queenstown
Escape deep into the heart of the world-renowned Mt Aspiring National Park today, and paddle your Funyak inflatable kayak down the Dart River. Glide through the serene surroundings that provided the backdrop to Peter Jackson’s ‘The Hobbit’ and ‘The Lord Of The Rings’ movies. Then travel a back-country route passing by locations used in the movies to illustrate Middle Earth.
Overnight: Matakauri Lodge
Meal Plan: B, L, D
Day 7 – Depart Queenstown
Today make your way to Queenstown Airport, return your vehicle and meet your departing flight.
Meal Plan: B
To discuss the West Coast Wilderness Glaciers tour please contact Dave Pope on 01926 658797 or email escape@popeandsons.co.uk