Christchurch – Queenstown 3day 2nights

Tourism West Coast

3 Days 2 nights of Untamed Natural Wilderness where time has no limit.
CATEGORY

SELF-DRIVE

DURATION

3 DAYS 2 NIGHTS

DISTANCE

459 mi / 740 km

BEST TIME

ANY


Day One: 4 hours 31 mins, 230 km

Christchurch to Greymouth

About the day

Take the TranzAlpine train journey from Christchurch, recognised as one of the 6 top short train journeys in the world and one form of public transport that you'll actually wish took a little bit longer!  Once 

in Greymouth you can hire a car.Greymouth and the surrounding Grey Valley offer adventure activities, heritage attractions and guided nature tours. Cycle the easy West Coast Wilderness Trail or visit Shantytown, a replica of an 1880's gold town. Get muddy on a quad bike tour, go glow worm caving, enjoy one of the multitude of local walking tracks  then end your adventure with a good old brew of our local 

Monteith's beer - Come along and join the tour. The Monteith’s Brewery Tour has been created so 

you can experience, firsthand, the foundation of Monteith’s Family of Fine Beers.

The Greymouth and Grey Valley area takes in Blackball, Nelson Creek, Stillwater and Greymouth.

Greymouth has a great range of accommodation.


TranzAlpine Timetable


The TranzAlpine service operates daily, departing Christchurch from Addington Station on Troup drive.

Christchurch - GreymouthGreymouth - Christchurch Christchurch depart 8.15 am   Greymouth depart 1.45 pm Rolleston depart 8.34 am Kokiri depart 2.26 pm Darfield depart 8.53 am Moana (Lake Brunner) depart 2.42 pm Springfield depart 9.15 am Jacksons depart 3.07 pm Cass depart 10.12 am Otira depart 3.33 pm Arthur's Pass depart 10.42 am Arthur's pass depart 3.57 pm Otira depart
11.03 am Cass depart 4.19 pm Jacksons depart 11.21 am Springfield depart 5.12 pm Moana (Lake Brunner) depart 11.47 am Darfield depart 5.29 pm Kokiri depart
12.03 pm
Rolleston depart 5.47 pm Greymouth arrive
12.45 pm
Christchurch arrive 6.05 pm

Highlights


Day Two: 27 mins, 23.5 km

Greymouth to Hokitika

About the day

Hokitika Goldfields Capital and Port, Museum, Guided Town Walk, heritage quayside, streets and buildings, Westland Industrial Heritage Park, first New Zealand airline memorial, and artisans working gold, pounamu, precious stones, wood, metals and glass. Discover the pounamu (greenstone) story with Arahura Greenstone Tours.


Highlights


Day Three: 1 hour 43 mins, 134 km

Hokitika to Glacier Country

About the day

To Franz Josef / Fox Glacier. Visit Rimu / Woodstock Hill Goldfields Lookout and Heritage Site, at Ross pan for gold and walk the Goldfields, take a break at Hari Hari’s First Trans-Tasman Flight Memorial, at Whataroa join Alpine Fault Tours, stand between the continental plates and see how the Southern Alps were formed, visit the peaceful Okarito goldrush town and port with lagoon and heritage tours, historic wharf shed, Donovans gold rush era store, coastal pack track and stunning views of the Southern Alps and glacial landscape formations from the trig station. Then on to the Glaciers.

 

Return to Christchurch via Hokitika and Otira / Arthur’s Pass Alpine Highway or travel on to Wanaka via Haast stopping at Ship Creek historic area and Haast Visitor Centre (settlement and highway heritage displays) and venturing south to Jackson Bay (historic cemetery, wharf and walks).

 

To explore more, pick any location above, go to www.westcoast.co.nz/heritage and view all the attractions these towns have to offer.


Day Four: 4 hours 43 mins, 353 km

Wilderness

About the day

Head to the river where there is also a public gold fossicking area.
Once you get at Glacier Country there is plenty more to see - accommodation is great as well as 
fabulous dining options.  You are spoilt for choice for accommodation with loads of options ranging 
from back/flashpacker to 5 star! 
In Glacier Country, it takes a while to make a West Coast ice cube - about 10,000 years or so. The Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers are among the most accessible glaciers in the world and Glacier Country offers a wealth of adventure activities. Take a guided glacier hike, ride a quad bike, fly in 
a helicopter or sightseeing plane or even do a tandem sky dive (the highest sky dive in NZ!!) 
 Wildlife attractions include the kiwi breeding programme in Franz Josef, NZ’s only White Heron Sanctuary in Whataroa and night magic with kiwi in the wild at Okarito as well as several other wetland bird species.   After your busy day, soak in the lovely Franz Josef Glacier hot pools.   Near Fox Glacier is NZ’s most photographed lake, Lake Matheson providing stunning reflections and views of Aoraki/Mt Cook, great food and a nice walking track also.
Glacier Country is Whataroa, Okarito, Lake Mapourika, Franz Josef Glacier, Fox Glacier, Lake Matheson and Gillespie’s Beach.

Highlights


Itinerary Map


About the author

Tourism West Coast, .

We love the West Coast! Our passion is promoting our awesome region both here in New Zealand and around the world.