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Franz Josef Glacier, West Coast | Photo Credit: Julian ApseFranz Josef Glacier, West Coast | Courtesy of 100% New Zealand | Photo Credit: Julian Apse

Secret Local Gems & Off-the-beaten Track

4 Days/ 5 Nights

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Description

South Island Hidden Gems – Self-drive Package
4 Days/ 5 Nights

For those with limited time seeking an exhilarating Glacier experience and the unique nature setting of a Wilderness Lodge, this package will give you ample time to enjoy both!

Depart Queenstown|Fox Glacier

This morning pick up your automatic Rental Car. Self-drive to Fox Glacier.

Your journey takes 251 miles (404km), which is approximately 6 hours driving time. An early start is suggested.
From Queenstown drive to Wanaka through the Kawerau Gorge on State Highway 6. This area has dramatic scenery and relics of old gold-mining days are plentiful.

Stay 1 night Te Waonui Forest Retreat – Franz Josef Glacier with dinner and breakfast included

Fox Glacier| Arthurs Pass

After a delicious breakfast, you will have the opportunity to take an Optional Heli Flight over the glaciers, before you continue your self-drive journey north to Greymouth.

The run up the coastal plain on SH6 to Greymouth will take you about three hours with a distance of 124 miles (199 kms). Stops at Lake Ianthe and the Giant Matai tree are recommended: you won’t see too many trees as big as this tree so handy to the road.  Maybe stop at the Lake Mahinapua Tavern and enjoy one of its famous pies. At Hokitika, visit one of the many craft shops or one of the three Greenstone factories. Hokitika was once the boom town at the centre of the coast’s gold rush of the 1870s with a port that was a hive of activity.

From Hokitika, it’s only a thirty minute drive to Greymouth. Six miles short of Greymouth turn right at Paroa to Shantytown. This old mining village has been faithfully restored and the old shops are overflowing with memorabilia and relics of a bygone era. Greymouth is the commercial centre of the West Coast and the river port is still used by a large fishing fleet and barges which take coal to the North Island.

On arrival at the Greymouth Train Station, drop off your rental car then board the famous TRANZ ALPINE Train to Arthurs Pass Station.  You will be met on arrival and transferred to the lodge where the balance of your afternoon is at leisure to enjoy this High-country sheep farm & nature reserve in the Heart of the Southern Alps.

Stay 2 nights at Arthurs Pass Wilderness Lodge with dinner, breakfast and two nature guided activities included.

Arthurs Pass Wilderness Lodge

Full Day at Leisure – This Lodge is a Mecca for guests interested in Nature Walks, Flora and Fauna, Kayaking, Guided fishing and farm walks to name a few. This is a fully working high country sheep farm. Every second day they offer a late afternoon sheep dog muster of sheep and a merino sheep shearing using old-fashioned blades. Half and full day guided tours are available from the Lodge and a programme changes daily for these activities.

Arthurs Pass | Christchurch

Morning free before you are transferred to the train station for your afternoon TRANZ ALPINE Train to Christchurch arriving around 6:00pm.

You will be met on arrival and transferred by private sedan to your hotel in the city.

Stay 1 night The George Hotel – Christchurch with breakfast.

Christchurch| Auckland (or extend Christchurch stay)

Christchurch nestled in the heart of Canterbury is the South Island’s largest city with a population well over 330,000. Christchurch is New Zealand’s “Garden City” “the most English city outside England”, full of many beautiful parks and reserves. Punting along the Avon River, through the inner city is a popular way to view the distinctively English character of the city. Just over the hills from Christchurch, nestled in one of the many harbours that indent Banks Peninsula, is the bustling port of Lyttelton, where Canterbury’s first settlers landed. Also on the Banks Peninsula, Akaroa, once a French settlement, still has French street signs and a charming Gaelic ambiance, along with quaint cottages, an excellent museum, French restaurants and a marvelous cheese factory.

Morning at leisure before your afternoon flight to Auckland.

4 nights in Deluxe Hotel accommodations, 3 Dinners, 3 Breakfasts, 2 Nature Guided Activities, 3 day Automatic Car Rental, return transfers ex Greymouth Train Station, private sedan transfers in Christchurch Train Station/Hotel and Hotel/Airport.

Package does not include the Optional Helicopter Glacier flight-seeing or airfares.

 

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