BUBBLE BUSTER HOSTED TOURS
Best of the West Coast
CHRISTCHURCH - SHANTYTOWN - HOKITIKA (3 nights) - HOKITIKA GORGE - TREETOPS WALK - LAKE MATHESON - FRANZ JOSEF - PUNAKAIKI - KARAMEA - WESTPORT - REEFTON - CHRISTCHURCH.
8 days/7 nights. This tour connects from our GRAND RAIL TOUR from Auckland to Wellington, Picton, and Christchurch.
Commence Christchurch (Minimum 2 required)
Saturdays: November 13, January 08, February 12, March 12, April, 09,
Day 1. Saturday ARRIVE CHRISTCHURCH
Arrive Christchurch and you will be met and transferred to your accommodation.
Day 2. Sunday CHRISTCHURCH - HOKITIKA
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, overlooking the Tasman Sea.
Day 3. Monday. 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. Free afternoon to enjoy Hokitika. Spend time in the museum, visit a jade carver, glassblower, and gold centre, or wander the rugged beach.
Day 4. Tuesday. HOKITIKA - TREETOPS - LAKE MATHESON - FRANZ JOSEF GLACIER. (B)
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, Southern Alps, and Tasman Sea. Continue south to Ross and on to Harihari and Fox Glacier township. Walk through the forest to beautiful Lake Matheson before returning to Franz Josef Glacier township for accommodation at Scenic Franz Josef Hotel.
We highly recommend a scenic flight by ski plane or helicopter to land on the snows of the Franz or Fox Glaciers - weather permitting and extra expense.
Day 5. Wednesday FRANZ JOSEF - GREYMOUTH - PUNAKAIKI (BD)
Drive north through Greymouth and the coal mining towns of the area to the amazing Punakaiki Rocks in the Paparoa National Park. Explore the area and overnight at Punakaiki.
Day 6. Thursday. PUNAKAIKI - KARAMEA - WESTPORT (B)
Continue to the seal colony at Cape Foulwind and into Westport to visit the Coal Museum then on to Seddonville and Karamea returning to Westport for the night.
Day 7. Friday WESTPORT - GREYMOUTH - CHRISTCHURCH. (B).
Depart for Denniston, site 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. You will be transferred back to your hotel
Day 8. Saturday CHRISTCHURCH DEPART
You will be transferrd to the airport for departure.
Tour cost per person:
2 per room $2,690. Single room $3,290
Tour cost includes:
** 2 nights in Christchurch with breakfast.
** 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
** Admission fees to: Shantytown, Treetops walk, Waterways cruise, Reefton Distillery.