Trip reference number: 12517

Trip Operator: Wildlife Worldwide

New Zealand’S Wild West Coast

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Travel from Christchurch to Queenstown on this small group trip to discover New Zealand’s South Island and its wild West Coast, rich with scenic charm and unique wildlife.

Starting in Christchurch this journey begins with a train ride on the iconic Tranz Alpine train to Arthur's Pass National Park in the heart of the Southern Alps where you will have the opportunity to walk and search for native birds, including the cheeky alpine parrot, the kea.

Continuing over to the West Coast of the South Island, the journey south travels through different landscapes and habitats of this dramatic and rugged coastline. Unique rock formations have formed along this coast, sculpted by the wind and waves which can be witnessed at Punakaiki, more commonly known as the ‘pancake rocks'. Nearby Cape Foulwind provides an ideal location for New Zealand fur seals to breed and a walk can be taken here to view their breeding colony.

Entering Glacier Country, this is one of the few places on earth to see ice pushing into rainforest; you will have the opportunity to view both Franz Josef Glacier and Fox Glacier. Nearby Okarito Lagoon provides a feeding ground for many native and migratory birds including the kotuku (great white heron), and a nature cruise is included to view the birdlife found here.

One of your final stops is the South West New Zealand World Heritage Area (Te Wāhipounamu), one of the great natural areas of the world and as a result recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage site. From the Dune Lake Walk which overlooks the south-west coastline you may be lucky enough to spot the rare Hector's dolphin before continuing inland to Queenstown through the pristine forests of Mount Aspiring National Park.

Typical itinerary

The full itinerary detail is available on our website.

  1. Day 1: Depart UK
  2. Day 3: Arrive Christchurch
  3. Day 4: Arthur’s Pass National Park & Lake Brunner
  4. Day 5: Lake Brunner to the West Coast
  5. Day 6: West Coast Region
  6. Day 7: New Zealand’s Great Ocean Road
  7. Day 8: Glacier Country
  8. Day 9: Glacier Country, Okarito Lagoon & Te Wāhipounamu
  9. Day 10: Te Wāhipounamu: South West New Zealand World Heritage Area
  10. Day 11: Mount Aspiring National Park to Queenstown
  11. Day 12: Depart Queenstown
  12. Day 13: Arrive UK
  • Available*: Oct to Apr
  • Group size: 10
  • Price including flights from/to UK: From £6,245 pp
  • Price excluding international flights: From £4,945 pp
  • Included in the price/package:
    • 9 nights hotel accommodation
    • Most meals
    • Transfers
    • Guided activities
  • Activities available:
    • Birdwatching
    • Nature drive
    • Walking


This is a group trip with fixed departure dates. Please refer to our website for further information.

This trip has no fixed departures but restrictions may apply - check operator website

** If you see this next to a price, a specific price in your currency has not been provided, this is an estimated-only price based on a currency conversion, the price you pay may be different to that shown

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