TranzAlpine Itinerary

6 DAYS

768 km

Highlights

  • TranzAlpine train
  • Accessible glaciers
  • Mount Aspiring National Park

Proximity

Spend some time exploring vibrant Christchurch before you head across the Southern Alps to the untamed West Coast. Discover a region where temperate rainforest meets glaciers and dramatic coastlines before heading to the lakeside resort town of Wanaka, home to the Mt Aspiring National Park and then on to discover the energy of Queenstown.

Day 1: Spend the day in Christchurch

Christchurch - Canterbury
Punting on the Avon River., Christchurch - Canterbury

By ChristchurchNZ

Christchurch - Canterbury

Christchurch - Canterbury

Christchurch

Highlights

  • TBC

Proximity

  • By car: TBC

Fast-changing and funky, Christchurch is the South Island's largest city. Old English gardens contrast with pop-up bars and container-based shopping malls in this enduring centre, which is rebuilding itself after a damaging earthquake in February 2011. Favourite activities include punting down the Avon River, biking in the Port Hills, visiting Sumner Beach, or taking a day trip out to the French colonial settlement of Akaroa.

Day 2: Christchurch - Greymouth via Arthurs Pass

embark on a world-famous train journey
Christchurch - Canterbury
TranzAlpine Rail Journey, Christchurch - Canterbury

By KiwiRail

Christchurch - Canterbury

CANTERBURY

Enjoy the Southern Alps, lakes & rivers.

Enjoy Southern Alps, lakes & rivers.

Proximity

  • By train: Christchurch to Greymouth
  • By train: 3 h 20 min | 251 km

Recommended experiences in Canterbury

Find out more

Catch the world famous TranzAlpine scenic train from Christchurch to Greymouth and be there in a little over 4 hours, or drive across the stunning Southern Alps to discover the untouched beauty of the West Coast.

Day 3: Greymouth to Fox Glacier

Come face to face with unique glaciers
West Coast
Fox Glacier, West Coast

By Alistair Guthrie

West Coast

West Coast

Be welcomed by locals and discover an untamed wilderness

Proximity

  • By car: Punakaiki to Fox Glacier
  • By car: 3 h 15 min | 241 km

Head south down the Great Coast Road, one of the Top 10 Coastal Drives in the world according to Lonely Planet and let it take you alongside ancient limestone cliffs, rivers, glowworm caves, mining heritage and untamed native forest to glacier country.

Day 4: Fox Glacier to Wanaka

discover hidden gems on easy day walks
Wanaka
Mt Aspiring National Park, Wanaka

By Tourism NZ

Wanaka

WANAKA

An outdoor playground surrounds this lakeside town

Proximity

  • By car: Fox Glacier to Wanaka
  • By car: 3 h | 262 km

Recommended experiences in Wanaka

Find out more

From Fox Glacier head inland past waterfalls and river scenery as you leave the coast through the Haast river valley to the lakeside resort town of Wanaka. Experience Mt Aspiring National Park on easy day walks from Wanaka. Finally head to Queenstown in just 1 hour.

 

Day 5: Wanaka to Queenstown

Take to the road and discover rugged beauty
Queenstown
Paradise reflections, Queenstown

By Glenorchy Journeys

Queenstown

Queenstown

Stunning resort town on Lake Wakatipu

Proximity

  • By car: Wanaka to Queenstown
  • By car: 1 h | 67 km

Recommended experiences in Queenstown

Find out more

The alpine resort of Queenstown is exciting and fantastically attractive. It’s the place to source almost any kind of adventure, including 4WD adventures, bungy, jet boating, horse trekking, rafting and river surfing. It’s also a destination for luxury experiences – gourmet food and wine, spa treatments and leisurely games of golf

 

Day 6: Spend the day in Queenstown

Queenstown
The Shotover Jet in Queenstown, Queenstown

By @iluvnewzealand

Queenstown

Queenstown

Queenstown

Highlights

  • TBC

Proximity

  • By car: TBC

The alpine resort of Queenstown is exciting, sophisticated and fantastically scenic. It’s the place to source almost any kind of adventure, including bungy, jet boating, horse trekking, rafting and river surfing. It’s also a destination for luxury experiences – gourmet food and wine, spa treatments and leisurely games of golf.

Test your driving skills in New Zealand

Put yourself in the driver’s seat using the AA’s new Visiting Drivers Training Programme and experience what it is like to drive on New Zealand roads. Complete a series of driving tasks and test yourself on New Zealand’s road rules. If you pass the tests, get a certificate to prove your skill.

Take the test

View the route below

Explore other South Island itineraries

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