You’ll never forget the beauty of remote Doubtful Sound reached by a launch ride across Lake Manapouri and coach over Wilmot Pass. It’s a unique 24 hour excursion, staying overnight in an en suite cabin and exploring the Sound’s many arms. Two nights in Queenstown, visiting Arrowtown and Wanaka in autumn, Haast Pass, Franz Josef Glacier and Arthur’s Pass, conclude this adventure.
- All transport by comfortable, air-conditioned coach (maximum of 18 travellers).
- Services of your knowledgeable guide.
- Quality accommodation chosen for a “sense of place".
- Return airfares ex Auckland.
All meals are included
- All breakfasts(B).
- All lunches(L) including special lunches at Five Rivers Retreat and a private home, Wanaka.
- All dinners(D) including special dinners at: Colonel’s Homestead, Walter Peak Station; "Fiordland Navigator", Doubtful Sound; historic Cardrona Hotel, Cadrona; Edgewater Hotel, Lake Wanaka.
All activities and entrance fees are included
- Catch the Queenstown Gondola to the Skyline, Bob’s Peak.
- Cruise on vintage steamship TSS Earnslaw across Lake Wakatipu.
- Explore Walter Peak Station and the Colonel’s Homestead.
- Cruise by launch to the head of the Lake Manapouri.
- Doubtful Sound 24 hour excursion, overnighting on “Fiordland Navigator”.
- Take a rigid bottom inflatable craft to explore Doubtful Sound with your nature guide.
- Stay at the quaint and historic Cardrona Hotel.
- Guided tour and tasting of the artisan Cardrona Distillery & Museum.
Included sightseeing and exploring
- Visit leafy Arrowtown and browse the shops.
- Sightsee around the Queenstown region.
- Travel through the beech forests over the Wilmot Pass.
- Seals bask on the islands at the entrance to Doubtful Sound.
- Wake up to the stillness and mirror reflections of Doubtful Sound.
- See the Great Southern Lakes of Wakatipu, Wanaka and Hawea.
- Tussock-covered land of the dramatic Crown Range.
- Sightsee in and around Wanaka.
- Superb mountain and river scenery of the Haast Pass.
- Stroll in Haast Pass’ mountain beech forests to waterfalls and clear blue pools.
- At Ship's Creek take a stroll along the wild beach and through swampland rainforest.
- View the Fox Glacier and Lake Matheson.
- Visit Hokitika’s artisan craft galleries.
- Drive the exciting Otira Gorge, see cheeky kea birds and towering mountains.
- Enjoy the beautiful scenery of Arthur's Pass.
Available on request. Starting from $4,979
Your included flight departs Auckland mid-morning. On arrival in Queenstown we drive to Arrowtown to lunch at Provisions Cafe in a tree-lined street famous for its autumn colours and to check out the shops. We visit the Chinese miners’ settlement alongside the Arrow River at the end of the town where harsh conditions were endured in their search for gold.
Later we check out Queenstown's boutique shops and wander the lakefront. We stay two nights at Copthorne Lakeside Hotel and dine in this evening.
Accommodation: Queenstown - Copthorne Lakeside
We have the day to explore Queenstown. We take the Gondola ride to the Skyline on Bob's Peak to enjoy the magnificent views over Lake Wakatipu to The Remarkables Range and drive beside the lake to Glenorchy.
This evening we board the steamship TSS "Earnslaw" and, with the pianist playing old favourites, cruise across Lake Wakatipu to Walter Peak Station for dinner at the Colonel’s Homestead. We return to our hotel in the mid-evening.
Accommodation: Queenstown - Copthorne Lakeside
We drive alongside Lake Wakatipu to Manapouri where we board a launch to cruise to the head of the lake. We travel by coach through beech forests and over Wilmot Pass to Doubtful Sound where our small ship, “Fiordland Navigator” awaits.
We cruise the sheltered arms of this beautiful fiord out to the Tasman Sea with the ship's nature guide keeping a lookout for marine and bird life. Seals bask on the islands at the entrance to the Sound. Later the ship anchors in a peaceful cove and we get even closer to the shoreline on an inflatable craft with your nature guide.
Accommodation: Doubtful Sound - Fjordland Navigator
Wake up to the perfect stillness and mirror reflections of this remote wilderness. As breakfast is served the ship cruises the inner arms of the sound and returns to Deep Cove where we disembark at 10am. We retrace our steps over Wilmot Pass and across the lake to Manapouri.
At Manapouri we rejoin our coach and head tor a private lunch with Paula and Roger on the farm at Five Rivers Retreat. We drive over the tussock-covered land of the dramatic Crown Range, descending into the valley we stay at quaint Cardrona Hotel where we dine this evening.
Accommodation: Cardrona - Cardrona Hotel
We breakfast at the Cardrona Hotel with a history that goes back to goldmining days.
Nearby we take a guided visit and tasting at the artisan, family owned Cardrona Distillery & Museum.
Later we drive into Wanaka to visit the town and lunch with locals in their home with views out to the lake and the mountains. We tour the regions's sights driving out around the lake. Tonight we dine back at our hotel, the Edgewater, right beside Lake Wanaka.
Accommodation: Wanaka - Edgewater Resort
We drive beside Lake Hawea and Lake Wanaka and through the superb mountain and river scenery of the Haast Pass. We walk to the Blue Pools where trout lurk and take short walks to waterfalls in the Haast Pass. On the coast at Ship Creek we wander along the wild beach and on a boardwalk through swampland rainforest.
We continue through lush rainforest to Lake Matheson and Fox Glacier and over the hill to Franz Josef to check into our accommodation at the Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier.
Accommodation: Franz Josef Glacier - Scenic Hotel
The Coast scenery is stunning - we pass mirror lakes, boulder-laden rivers and catch glimpses of the Southern Alps as we drive north to visit Hokitika’s artisan craft galleries. Turning eastwards we drive up the Otira Gorge on a spectacular cantilevered highway to the alpine village of Arthur's Pass.
We continue through a magnificent alpine landscape to Porters Pass and across the Canterbury Plains. Your flight departs from Christchurch in the late afternoon.