This tour departs daily and has a minimum number of 2 people. Accommodation is in twin or double share at 3 or 4 stars properties around New Zealand. Price includes all accommodation, transport including shuttle transfers during the tour, meet & greet and activities as described in the itinerary below.
This tour can also be done as a self drive using an economy car (up to 1.6 litre) which we will supply. The price for self-drive is the same.
Tranz- Alpine Train Journey
Dragons Cave Rafting & Glow-Worms Adventure (1 of 2 options)
Punakaiki/Pancake Rocks National Park Scenic Tour (1 of 2 options)
Rainforest Jungle Boat Cruise (1 of 2 options)
4 Wheel Drive Adventure (1 of 2 options)
White Water Rafting (1 of 2 options)
Shantytown Gold Rush Heritage Park (1 of 2 options)
Helicopter flight & guided walk on advancing Glacier
Kiwi Haka & Dinner
Day 1: Arrive in Christchurch
Our representative will meet you at the airport and transfer you to your accommodation in Christchurch and give you all your travel vouchers and tickets. Our representative will be at the airport waiting for you. Watch for a board with your name on it.
Relax with your own free time for the rest of the day in New Zealand’s Garden City. We recommend a punt on the Avon with a glass of wine, a visit to the Antarctic Centre or the fabulous Art Gallery on Worcester Boulevard.
Day 2: Tranz Alpine Train to Greymouth (Inc self drive)
7:15am you will be collected from your accommodation for transfer to the Christchurch Railway Station. Please be ready with all your luggage and checked out of your hotel. This includes self-drive people as your car will be waiting for you in Greymouth.
7:45am Check-in at the rail ticket counter.
8:15am Tranz-Alpine Train departs to our Wild West Coast.
Leaving from Christchurch, crossing the huge and fertile patchwork farmlands of the Canterbury Plains, the Tranz-Alpine winds its way over massive viaducts, through spectacular gorges and river valleys, before tracking across the country’s greatest mountain range, the Southern Alps. Following rivers and skirting lakes, it descends through lush rainforest to the Tasman Sea and the town of Greymouth. Make sure you have had lunch and used the toilet on the train before getting to Greymouth as your afternoon tour leaves straight from the Railway Station in Greymouth.
12:45pm You will be met at the Greymouth Railway Station by one of the team from the Wild West Adventures Company. S/he will be standing near the baggage claim area wearing a green jacket and holding a card with your name on it. We will take your luggage with us and transfer you to your accommodation after your afternoon tour.
This afternoon you have a choice of tours. Please choose from one of the following options. The description for each tour is listed at the end of this itinerary.
Your tour this afternoon will finish at about 6pm and you will be dropped off at your accommodation. Check your departure time with one of the Wild West crew for your next morning’s tour.
Dragons Cave Rafting Adventure
Rainforest Jungle Boat Cruise
Four Wheel Drive Adventure
White water Rafting Adventure
Punakaiki Pancake Rocks National Park Scenic Tour
Shantytown Gold Rush Heritage Park Village
Day 3: Morning Activity/Afternoon to Franz Josef
Choose another Wild West Adventures activitiy for the morning from the options listed below:
Dragons Cave Rafting Adventure
Rainforest Jungle Boat Cruise
Four Wheel Drive Adventure
White Water Rafting Adventure
Punakaiki/Pancake Rocks National Park Scenic Tour
Visit to Shantytown Gold Rush Heritage Park
7.30am Get up bright and early, pack your bags and have a good breakfast. Keep your swim suit & towel with you if you have chosen a water based activity for this morning.
You will need to be at the Wild West Adventures Base at approximately 7.30am. (Dependent on your chosen activity/Check with our team the night before). Your bags should be packed and you should have all your belonging as you will not be coming back to Greymouth after your trip.
Today as well as enjoying your chosen morning tour, you will also visit a Greenstone Factory, the Bushman’ s Centre where you can learn to throw an axe and use a pitsaw as in the pioneering days (entry to the Pioneer Section at your own cost) and view the Mirror Lakes. You will be transported down the glorious and sometimes Wild West Coast to Franz Josef Glacier Village. (self drive people will pick their rental car up from Greymouth at 12:30pm today after their morning activity.)
You will be dropped off at your accommodation at the end of the afternoon. The evening is free for you to do whatever you wish.
Accommodation: Franz Josef
Day 4: Glacier Ice Explorer with Heli-Hike
8:45am Check in at the Franz Josef Glacier Guides on the Main Road for your 9:00 am departure onto the Franz Josef Glacier. You are in a small village so things are easy to find and you will see their base building as a natural wood two storey building which is well sign posted.
Your half day guided walk starts with a helicopter flight to the Glacier so don't be late!
With nailed boots and an alpenstock you will be guided onto the ice to view the amazing crevasses, ice cliffs and caves. Take in the spectacular sights of the ice masses as they crawl down the mountains towards the lush fringes of native rainforest.
You will be back on time for a late lunch (around 1:00 pm). The afternoon is yours to do whatever you wish. We suggest exploring one of the local bush walks, visiting the Department of Conservation with its very informative display panels on the local fauna, flora, history & geography. The Hot Pools are open until late and a good soak is a must after a day of action. Therapeutic massage can be booked there at your own cost.
Accommodation: Franz Josef
Day 5: Spectacular journey down to Queenstown
8:00am Your Intercity Coach will collect you from your accommodation.
Travel on through the spectacular West Coast scenery. This is a land of contrasts with majestic mountains on one side of the road and a rugged untamed coast on the other. Rare penguins and fur seals are resident to this coast line. You'll catch some good views of thundering waterfalls in the Haast Pass area.
Arriving in Queenstown around 4:30 pm, the evening is yours to explore Queenstown's famous nightlife.
Day 6: Afternoon Cruise, Gondola & Haka Dinner
Get up when you want today as you have the whole morning to please yourself in the Alpine resort town of Queenstown.
There is lots to do here so don’t relax too long, Queenstown has a reputation as the adventure capital with a huge selection of breathtaking activities. The town is situated on Lake Wakatipu which provides stunning backdrops to a place with everything you could ever need from a holiday destination. Queenstown also boasts beautiful long walks, interesting cultural history and back-country four-wheel drive treks. Activities done this morning are at your own cost.
2.00pm. Be at Steamer's Wharf to board the TSS Earnslaw for an afternoon cruise on Lake Wakatipu. If this time is not suitable and you wish to go earlier check with the staff at Real Journeys at the Wharf for availability on earlier cruises.
5:30pm You need to be at the Gondola Terminal to catch your Gondola Ride for your evening Maori Experience with Kiwi Haka & Buffet style dinner. This is the latest time to catch the Gondola. If you wish to go earlier and have a beer or just admire the view just turn up at the Gondola Terminal and jump on.
You may want to use this day to go and explore Milford Sound. Just let us know and we can upgrade you. Note that you will not be back on time for the Kiwi Haka & dinner.
Day 7: Coach to Christchurch via stunning Lake Tekapo
Check out of your accommodation this morning and ensure you have all your belongings with you as you are moving on today back to Christchurch.
7:30 am Check-in at the Intercity Coach Depot called “the Station” on the corner of Shotover & Camp Streets in Queenstown. Departure time is 7:45 am.
Today you will travel by coach on through the rugged and beautiful scenery of Otago with its great rock stacks, via Lake Tekapo which will offer you good views of Mount Cook and finally across the Canterbury Plains to return to Christchurch. Your tour finishes on arrival in Christchurch and does not include overnight accommodation.
If you are not flying out that night and wish to stay in Christchurch for another night or two, we can organise this for you at an additional cost. Just let us know.
(self drive people can return their rental car in the morning)
See below for description of Greymouth Tours to choose from
You can choose any two for your one afternoon & one morning in Greymouth
Dragons Cave Rafting with Glow-Worms
How about floating through an underground galaxy world of glow-worms, experiencing the fun of rainforest river tubing and a cliff jump (optional)?
This is a relaxing half day adventure that is fun, is in a beautiful place and takes you into an unusual cave environment with its glow-worms.
You can add some more adrenaline with an optional cliff jump & a hydroslide. You'll have a fun experience with local Maori Cave Legends too.
Would you like to finish up with a relaxing hot shower and spa with a drink and a snack afterwards? Yes!... Then this trip is for you. Our glow-worm cave rafting ( we are actually on tubes and not rafts!) adventure is flexible and can provide as much or as little challenge as you are comfortable with.
Every trip is different depending on who is on them so they can suit all abilities and ages down to as young as 6 years. As your adventure is also based on the South Island's West Coast there are no crowds and no time limits.
Raft the Rainforest
Here’s a gentle, fun, rafting adventure suitable for families and first time rafters.
Rafting the Arnold River, a grade 2, we pass through podocarp rainforest and farmland for one and a half hour of floating fun. On the way, learn about the ecology of one of the World's most fascinating ecosystems and how it influences life on our planet.
Our company has a range of boat sizes so that groups can choose their own “fun factor”. For those wanting to increase the ‘fun factor’, smaller boats give more bounce while for those people who are more tentative about their rafting, the larger rafts will give you more confidence while still having a fun adventure.
If you want to increase the ‘fun factor’ and throw in some challenge as well, then try a self guided raft! Full training is given and you are under the supervision of our expert raft guides at all times.
All equipment and transport is supplied.
Your trip also includes our Pleasure Spa package
Punakaiki Pancake Rocks and Blow-holes
You can upgrade this trip to a grade 3 with more action for an additional price of $50 per person
We travel from Greymouth north along the stunning Coast Road to Punakaiki, being the Maori word for “food basket” and the home of the fascinating Pancake Rocks.
Take a stroll around the Pancake Rocks Walkway to see the unique rock structures layered here 30 million years ago. Watch also for the roaring Geysers that heave their way from the Ocean floor up out through the Rock Blowholes.
Take time also to view the award winning audio visual show at the Visitors Centre and to browse around some of New Zealand’s finest craft displays.
Your guide will also take you on:
A short easy interpretative Rain Forest walk where you will learn about the ecology of NZ’s temperate flora and how the local Maori people gained their food and medicine from the forest.
Beach combing for NZ Jade. This wild landscape is the home of NZ’s Pounamu-the jade greenstone treasured by the Maori people. Walk along a secluded beach beside the thundering Tasman Sea surf in a search for your own souvenir piece of this treasured gemstone.
Gold Trails Adventure with U-Drive Option
A thrilling 4x4 adventure with a Glow-worm Cave, drive-thru tunnels, gold & gemstone hunting & a short guided rainforest walk with a swing bridge. Drive yourself to the limit (or we will drive for you), on one of the West Coast’s stage coach trails over Mountain Passes, rainforests, across rivers and through tunnels cut by 1860’s goldminers. For self drive people we supply you with your own Landcruiser or Pajero 4x4 vehicle, plus an instructor with support vehicle in case you get stuck. Choose one of 4 trails depending on how much excitement you want!
Fun in comfort! 4x4 Outback Adventure.
A relaxing cruise by Jungle Boat amongst the primeval giants of our rain forests.
In the tradition of our early explorers, we follow the route of ‘Te Ara Pounamu’-the greenstone pathway. This is part of the trail used by ancient Maori greenstone jade traders on their way to the West Coast jade fields.
This gentle flat water float trip through some of the World's most hauntingly beautiful rainforest scenery teaches you how we preserve the delicate balance between one of Nature's oldest ecosystems and today’s modern use of this environment. Here you can experience absolute silence which is only broken by the occasional birdcall.
Touch the silence while drifting by this prehistoric world of huge podocarp rainforest trees & experience some of the area's bird life. The dark waters are tinged with tannin from the rainforest giving you an eerie feeling of timelessness and spirituality. You will leave with a sense of rejuvenation from your visit with nature today.
Enjoy a cup of Manuka Bush tea, glass of wine or fruit juice as you learn about the life and legends of the native Maori People and take home a piece of traditional flax weaving that we teach you to do during the flax weaving session we hold during the cruise.
We drift quietly down the Arnold River for about one and a half hour where you are given natural history, Maori and ecology interpretation. The whole trip from Greymouth return is about 3 hours.
The Arnold is a great trout fishing river and you are able to take a rod with you. A trout licence is required which we can organise. Please advise on booking if you want to do some fishing. There is an additional charge of $45 payable on arrival.
Shantytown Goldrush Heritage Park
10.00am A later start for this tour.
A Shantytown visit includes a ride on a historic steam train, panning for gold and experiencing an 1860’s gold rush town in action. There is even a saloon with dancing girls! A history of chinese goldmining and a gruesome 1860’s hospital.
Feel free to use our travellers free phone at anytime on 0508 2 86877 or contact us if you have any enquiries.