Soar over the Canterbury Plains in a hot air balloon
Travel along the TranzAlpine railway, one of the world’s great train journeys
Take a guided heli-hike expedition of the Franz Josef Glacier
Enjoy an exhilarating jet boat ride on the Dart River
Explore Fiordland on a Hollyford Track guided three-day hike
Curated by Nikki
Day 1 Arrival Christchurch
Upon arrival at the airport you’ll be escorted by car to your accommodation in Christchurch.
The remainder of your day will be spent at leisure. Lightfoot Travel can arrange for optional excursions including a hot air balloon flight over the Canterbury Plains, vintage tram ride of the city centre, or punting down the Avon River.
Day 2 Christchurch - Franz Josef
After breakfast, you’ll be driven to the station to board the TranzAlpine for one of the world’s greatest train journeys. You’ll travel along the Canterbury Plains and over Arthur’s Pass in the Southern Alps, before descending through rainforests to the West Coast.
Upon arrival at Greymouth, you’ll pick up your rental car and drive to your accommodation.
Day 3 Franz Josef - Queenstown
Today you’ll head on a guided heli-hike expedition of the Franz Josef Glacier. You’ll fly onto the glacier then enjoy a guided walk among ice caves, pinnacles and seracs.
Back on solid land, drive to Queenstown, a journey of around 4.5 hours. We suggest driving via Lake Matheson and the scenic Crown Range.
Day 4 Glenorchy
This morning you’ll be driven to Glenorchy for a jet boat ride on the Dart River. Your private guide will then take you hiking through native beech forest, pointing out native flora and birds, before a picnic in a tranquil forest glade.
Next you’ll head to the shores of Lake Sylvan, along the banks of the Routeburn River, and back to your transport.
In the evening, attend a pre-departure briefing for your multi-day hike along the Hollyford Track.
Day 5 Queenstown - Hollyford Track
This morning you’ll depart Queenstown for the drive to Te Anau and the start of the Hollyford Track. Your journey begins by retracing the footsteps of early pioneers along the Hollyford River, with the Southern Alps forming a formidable backdrop.
Day 6 Hollyford Track
The second day of the hike begins with a short walk to Lake Alabaster where you can cross Fiordland’s longest swing bridge and board a jet boat for a scenic ride to Lake McKerrow.
You’ll walk past ancient forests and coastal gardens until you reach the rugged West Coast. Watch out for Fiordland crested penguins and New Zealand fur seals as you go.
Day 7 Hollyford Track - Queenstown
On the final day of the Hollyford Track, you’ll travel by jet boat to explore Martins Bay Spit, which separates the Hollyford Valley from the Tasman Sea. Your guide will explain its history and point out native plants, birds and sea life.
Return to your accommodation, before enjoying a scenic flight over Milford Sound with views over the route you’ve just walked as well as mighty Mitre Peak. You have the option of joining a cruise on the sound.
Return to Queenstown via coach.
Day 8 Queenstown - Christchurch
Spend the morning at leisure in Queenstown.
Take a steamer cruise on the TSS Earnslaw, play golf, or enjoy a hot air balloon ride or horseback ride. Your Travel Designer can recommend activities to suit your interests prior to departure.
In the afternoon, you’ll self-drive or fly to Queenstown for your flight to Christchurch.
Day 9 Departure
Today you’ll be escorted to the airport for your onward journey.