Christchurch - Aoraki/Mt Cook Mackenzie

Fly total time: 6 days

Enjoy one of the world’s most scenic train journeys – the TranzAlpine – before taking to the road in your rental car and exploring a region famed for its wild natural beauty. You’ll discover natural wonders like the Pancake Rocks & Blowholes at Punakaiki and drive on a spectacular coastal highway. There are ancient glaciers to walk on, a rich history to learn about and wilderness walks that take you past clear blue pools, across swing bridges and into a pristine native forest. 

  • Day 1: Christchurch to Punakaiki (via Greymouth)

    Drive Fly 5 hours 223 KMS 138 MI

    That afternoon, collect your rental car from the Greymouth Railway Station and head north on Coast Road to Punakaiki to see the ancient pancake rock formations – a true natural wonder.

    Recommended activities:

    Take the scenic TranzAlpine train from Christchurch to Greymouth.

  • Day 2: Punakaiki to Westport

    Drive Fly 50 minutes 56 KMS 34 MI
    Continue to Westport.  Note that height restrictions apply at the entrance of Oparara Road, affecting campervans. Alternate transport can be arranged at at the Karamea Information Centre and Rongo Backpackers.

    Recommended activities:

    • experience the magic of Oparara, born from a million years of undisturbed isolation within the rainforest of Kahurangi National Park;
    • discover history on The Old Ghost Road track, still displaying relics from a bygone mining era.;
    • Adventure enthusiasts will appreciate the thrills that await them below the surface at UnderWorld Adventure.
  • Day 3: Westport to Hokitika

    Drive Fly 2 hours 140 KMS 86 MI

    Drive south towards Hokitika and soak up the rich mining heritage of this region. Your first stop is Reefton, a town renowned for its gold-mining heritage.

    From here, head to the stunning Lake Brunner for brown trout fishing

    Recommended activities:

  • Day 4: Hokitika and Greymouth

    Drive Fly 30 minutes 33 KMS 20 MI

    Stay in the area for more history, culture and unspoilt nature.

    Recommended activities:

  • Day 5: Hokitika to Franz Josef or Fox Glacier

    Drive Fly 1 hour and 40 minutes 140 KMS 86 MI

    .A scenic drive south gets you to Franz Josef, one of the slightly bigger Glacier Country townships and a great base for your adventures

    Recommended activities:

  • Day 6: Explore Glacier Country

    Drive Fly 2 hours 144 KMS 89 MI

    Continue your explorations of Glacier Country today.

    Recommended activities:

    • visit Lake Matheson, nestled within ancient forest and renowned for its reflection of Aoraki/Mount Cook and Mount Tasman;
    • continue your journey to Haast, located in the heart of Te Wāhipounamu World Heritage Area, renowned for its legendary landscape, river safaris, and fur seal and penguin colonies.
    • finish the day with a dip at Glacier Hot Pools - hot pools in the middle of a rainforest. 
  • Day 7: Depart

    Drive Fly 0

    Depart for your next New Zealand adventure the following day, returning to Christchurch via the TranzAlpine from Greymouth or continuing south to Wanaka and Queenstown.

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