Tour 4: The Big Central South Island Explorer - Itinerary.

Duration: 12 Days
Cost: NZ$ 3300
Tour Dates: December 9th - December 20th
                 February 12th - February 23rd
Route: Christchurch - Mt Cook - Queenstown - West Coast - Lewis Pass - Christchurch

An extended tour around the heart of the South Island. Experience the great diversity New Zealand's landscape has to offer. We cross the Canterbury plains and start our adventures in the foothills of the Southern Alps. We visit the majesty of Mount Cook, the playgrounds of Queenstown, the rugged and beautiful West Coast with it's glaciers and spectacular rock formations. Finally, we cross the Southern Alps over the beautiful Lewis Pass.

Big Central South Island Explorer - South Island Adventure Tour Route  

Day 1: Christchurch - Mount Somers

After pick up in Christchurch either from the Airport or your accommodation we set off for Mount Somers. We'll take the time for a picnic lunch before an afternoons walk to the Pinnacles Hut. We'll take in waterfalls, lush beech forest, and perhaps some swimming along the way. Tonight we stay in the backcountry at the Pinnacles Hut, set below spectacular Rhyolite rock formations.

Meals - Lunch and Dinner

Pinnacles Hut  

Day 2: Mount Somers - Aoraki/Mount Cook Village or Lake Tekapo

If the weather is kind we'll start the day with a beautiful sunrise from across the Canterbury plains. We'll take in a relaxed morning breakfast before continuing along the trail into the Sub-Alpine areas of Mount Somers. We cross the pass and continue down Woolshed creek to meet the Van before traveling to Mount Cook Village or Lake Tekapo.

Meals - Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Did you know?

Aoraki/Mount Cook is the highest peak in New Zealand at 3754m (12316 ft). Prior to 1991 it stood 10m (33ft) taller before a large avalanche sent the top of the peak tumbling over 2700m (9000 ft) to Tasman Glacier below.


Day 3: Aoraki/Mount Cook Village or Lake Tekapo - Muller Hut

From Aoraki/Mount Cook village we take a walk up to Sealy Tarns and Mueller Hut. This takes us into the heart of some of the most spectacular alpine scenery found anywhere in New Zealand. The tough walk up is rewarded with stunning views over the glaciers and mountains of the area with the Muller hut providing welcome refuge for the night.

Meals - Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Aoraki/Mount Cook - New Zealands Highest Peak  

Day 4: Muller Hut - Queenstown

We return to Aoraki/Mt Cook village for Lunch and hop into the van for a drive across the MacKenzie Country - an area of dramatic grasslands. We cross the Lindis Pass and find our way to the playground capital of the South Island - Queenstown.

Meals - Breakfast and Lunch

Did you know?

The most people to have bungy jumped in one day in Queenstown is 402 in November 1998 as part of the 10 year bungy anniversary.


Days 5 and 6 : Queenstown

Queenstown is without a doubt, the centre of play for New Zealand's South Island. Our guides will leave you to take your pick of activities, from adrenaline packed action to a relaxing coffee in one of the many cafes. You will have no shortage of things to keep you entertained for the next 2 days.

Meals - Breakfast

Queenstown - Adventure Capital of New Zealand  

Day 7: Queenstown - Haast

After all the excitement of Queenstown, we step the pace down and head for the West Coast. We make our way to Wanaka for Lunch and enjoy some quiet sightseeing on the way over Haast pass to the West coast. We'll spend the evening with the locals at the Haast hotel.

Meals - Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Did you know?

The Haast eagle was the largest eagle that ever lived. Female Haast's Eagles weighed 10 to 14 kg (22 to 30 pounds). Males were slightly smaller. They had a wingspan of about 3 metres.


Day 8: Haast - Franz Josef Glacier

We travel up the West Coast to Franz Joseph Glacier. You'll be given a rare opportunity to take a guided walk on a glacier and enjoy the rugged and beautiful West Coast scenery.

Meals - Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Franz Josef Glacier Walks  

Day 9: Franz Josef Glacier - Greymouth

We take the day at a relaxed pace as we continue up the West coast to Greymouth. We'll enjoy the forests around Okarito and visit the White Heron Colony on the Banks of the Waitangitaona river.

Meals - Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Did you know?

Tasman glacier is the longest glacier in New Zealand at 28 km (17.5 miles).At the height of the last Ice Age, 18,000 years ago, it was 85 km (52 miles) long. The longest glacier in the world today is the Lambert glacier in Antarctica, it is a massive 708km (440 miles) long.


Day 10: Greymouth - Ces Clark Memorial Hut

Today we take a walk in the southern end of the Paparoa ranges to experience some of the unique West Coast Forests. We make our way up Black Ball Creek to the Ces Clark Memorial Hut.

Meals - Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Aoraki/Mount Cook Reflections in Lake Matheson  

Day 11: Ces Clark Memorial Hut - Barrytown

We continue our walk in the Paparoa ranges and cross over to Barrytown via Mount Ryall. On a clear day your efforts will be rewarded with views down to Mount Cook. We descend into the forest and eventually come out at the Barrytown pub. We'll be spending our last night of this tour together here.

Meals - Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Did you know?

On the 7th of January 1931, Guy Menzies completed the first solo trans-tasman flight in the Avro Avian IVA, G-ABCF "Southern Cross Junior". He landed in swamp near Hari Hari on the West Coast. The flight took 11 hours and 45 minutes.


Day 12: Barrytown - Christchurch

We'll take our final day together at a relaxed pace with a visit to the Punakaiki rock formations before crossing Lewis Pass back to Christchurch. Along the way we'll stop in at the hot pools for a well earned soak.

Meals - Breakfast, Lunch

Punakaiki - Pancake Rocks  

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