BUBBLE BUSTER HOSTED TOURS
Best of the West Coast
CHRISTCHURCH - FRANZ JOSEF GLACIER - FOX GLACIER - LAKE MATHESON - ROSS - TREETOPS WALK - WETLANDS ECO CRUISE - HOKITIKA - FRANZ JOSEF GLACIER - PUNAKAIKI - WESTPORT - REEFTON - CHRISTCHURCH.
6 days/5 nights. Depart Christchurch Mondays: February 22, March 29, April 19, May 17, June 14, July 12, August 09, September 06
Day 1. Monday CHRISTCHURCH - FRANZ JOSEF GLACIER.
8.15am Depart Christchurch railway station aboard the Join 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 steam train, pan for gold, and recapture something of the atmosphere of the gold rush era.
Head south to Franz Josef Glacier. Two nights accommodation and breakfast at Scenic Franz Josef Hotel.
Day 2. Tuesday FRANZ AND FOX (B)
Enjoy a relaxed day visiting the Franz Josef Glacier lookout with optional walk to the glacier face and Peters pool. Continue to Fox Glacier township, and beautiful Lake Matheson with time to walk around the lake if you wish. Free time for optional helicopter flights to land on the glaciers - extra expense and weather permitting or to relax in the Franz Hot Pools or visit the Kiwi Wildlife Centre. All activities extra expense.
Day 3. Wednesday. FRANZ JOSEF - HOKITIKA (B)
Drive to the historic gold fields of Ross, a hive of activity in the 1860's and 1870's and explore the area then on 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. Enjoy a tour of Hokitika. Catch up on Hokitika in its prime during the gold rush era and even a bit of luminaries lore.
Accommodation for 2 nights at the Beachfront Hotel, overlooking the (often) wild Tasman Sea. Support one of the local restaurants or dine at the hotel.
Day 4. Thursday. HOKITIKA (B)
This morning go back to nature at the Hokitika Gorge for a short walk among the breathtaking scenery, and enjoy a leisurely Eco boat cruise on the Lake Mahinapua waterways originally used by pioneers, gold diggers, and early explorers. Free time to explore at your leisure and enjoy the rugged West Coast beach in front of your hotel.
Day 5. Friday HOKITIKA - GREYMOUTH - PUNAKAIKI - WESTPORT (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 continue to the seal colony at Cape Foulwind and into Westport to visit the Coal Museum. Overnight in Westport with dinner included.
Day 5. Saturday. 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.
Tour cost per person: Maximum 10 passengers in tour
2 per room $1,790. Single room $2,300
Tour cost includes:
** Return travel from Christchurch to Greymouth aboard the "Tranz Alpine" train.
** All travel on the West Coast by driver escorted mini or midi bus.
** 5 nights accommodation and breakfast
** Admission fees to: Shantytown, Ross goldfields, Treetops walk, Waterways cruise, Reefton Distillery.
CHRISTCHURCH pre and post tour arrangements. Just $350 per person share twin, $540 single room.
Includes: arrival transfer from airport to hotel and hotel to train and departure transfer from train to hotel and hotel to airport plus 2 nights accommodation and breakfast at a central city 4 star hotel.