BUBBLE BUSTER HOSTED TOURS
Best of the West Coast
CHRISTCHURCH (1 night) - SHANTYTOWN - HOKITIKA (3 nights) - HOKITIKA GORGE - TREETOPS WALK - (Franz Josef and Lake Matheson option) - PUNAKAIKI - WESTPORT (1 night) - REEFTON - CHRISTCHURCH (1 night)
7 days/6 nights including transfers and 1 night in Christchurch before the tour and 1 night after.
5 days/4 nights commencing Christchurch railway station Monday mornings and ending Christchurch railway station Friday afternoons.
Mondays, 2022: August 08, September 05, October 02, November 26. (Minimum 2 passengers).
2023: March 12
Itinerary - 7 day tour (5 day option excluding Christchurch pre and post tour accommodation and transfers)
Day 1. Sunday ARRIVE CHRISTCHURCH
Arrive Christchurch and you will be transferred to your accommodation.
Day 2. Monday CHRISTCHURCH - HOKITIKA
Transfer to the rail station.
8.15am Depart Christchurch railway station aboard the "Tranz Alpine" express for one of the most scenic rail journeys in the world across the Canterbury Plains climbing through the foothills of the Southern Alps criss crossing the Waimakariri River on the way to Arthurs Pass for a brief break. Travel through the Otira tunnel and descend into the rainforest of the West Coast. Pass Lake Brunner and the Grey River and arrive Greymouth 1.05pm.
You will be met by your local guide and visit Shantytown. Ride the train (usually diesel hauled), pan for gold, and recapture something of the atmosphere of the gold rush era. On to Hokitika and catch up on Hokitika in its prime during the gold rush era and even a bit of Luminaries lore.
Three nights accommodation and breakfast at the Beachfront Hotel, Hokitika.
Day 3. Tuesday. HOKITIKA (B)
This morning we go back to nature at the Hokitika Gorge for a short walk among the breathtaking scenery. Enjoy a leisurely Eco boat cruise on the Lake Mahinapua waterways originally used by pioneers, gold diggers, and early explorers. Drive south to the West Coast Treetop Walkway for an exhilirating treetop adventure high in the ancient Rimu and Kamahi trees with great views (weather permitting) of Lake Mahinapua, the Southern Alps, and Tasman Sea.
Day 4. Wednesday. HOKITIKA - optional tour to Franz Josef and Lake Matheson (B)
Optional day tour to explore the gold fields of Ross and on to Harihari and Fox glacier and scenic flight option. Visit the Franz Josef Glacier lookout* and continue to Fox Glacier township. Walk through the forest to beautiful Lake Matheson before returning to Franz Josef for accommodation. We highly recommend a scenic flight by ski plane or helicopter to land on the snows of the Franz or Fox Glaciers - weather permitting - extra cost $250. Minimum 2 passengers required). Ski plane or helicopter flight (30 mins $249 – no landing) With landing on the glacier 35 mins $359, 45 minutes $499, Grand Circle 55 minutes - the ultimate sightseeing experience $599. Prices subject to confirmation.
*Please note: with the reduced walkway length from the car park to the viewpoint the only way to get a decent view of Franz Josef glacier is by helicopter.
Day 5. Thursday. HOKITIKA - WESTPORT. (BD)
Drive north through Greymouth and the coal mining towns of the area to the amazing Punakaiki Pancake Rocks in the Paparoa National Park. Explore the area and continue to the seal colony at Cape Foulwind and into Westport to visit the Coal Museum. Overnight Westport. Dinner included at a local restaurant.
Day 6. Friday WESTPORT - REEFTON - GREYMOUTH - CHRISTCHURCH (B)
Drive to the Denniston lookout overlooking thesite of one of the most famous coal mining areas on the West Coast. The Brakehead 40 minute loop walk will include a viewpoint over the famous Denniston incline, Denniston's first settlement camp, the Banbury drystone arch, and the historic mine workshop site. Continue to Reefton and visit The Bearded Mining Company for a visit to a recreated miners hut and cup of Billy Tea. Watch the Blacksmith and try your hand at gold panning. A short visit to the Reefton Distillery Co with a little tasting. Return to Greymouth to rejoin the "Tranz Alpine" to recross the Southern Alps to Christchurch where arrival is scheduled for 6.05pm. Passengers on the 8 day tour will be transferred back to your hotel. 6 day tour ends on arrival at Christchurch Railway Station.
Day 8. Saturday CHRISTCHURCH DEPART (B)
Passengers on the 8 day tour will be transferred to the airport.
Tour cost per person: (8 day tour)
8 day tour $2,190. Single room $2,690
6 day tour $1,890. Single room $2,350
Tour cost includes (8 day tour):
** Arrival and departure transfers and 1 night accommodation and breakfast in Christchurch before and after the West Coast.
** Return travel from Christchurch to Greymouth aboard the "Tranz Alpine" train.
** All travel on the West Coast by driver escorted mini or midi bus.
** 7 nights accommodation and breakfast and 1 dinner in Westport.
** Admission fees to: Shantytown, Treetops walk, Waterways cruise, Reefton Distillery
5 day tour includes all of the above except transfers, accommodation, and breakfasts in Christchurch before and after the West Coast.
Programme for tuesday and wednesday may be interchanged to get the best weather at the glaciers.