Way South

Plains, alps, badlands & ice

Christchurch, Aoraki/Mt Cook & Queenstown
2 days/1 night Overland Expedition

Day 1 - Christchurch to Mt Cook

"Cities, plains, mountains & lakes"

Way South Expedition - Wild South

Depart Christchurch and head across the Canterbury Plains to the foothills of the Southern Alps. Your journey will take you across the wide expanse of the plains and then across the Rakaia River at the Rakaia Gorge. 

Heading south you will travel alongside the foothills and through small picturesque country towns. Cross Burke's Pass and enter the high country of the MacKenzie Plains, named after a sheep rustler. Pass Lake Tekapo and Lake Pukaki, examples of turquoise coloured high country lakes before turning towards Aoraki / Mt Cook National Park.

At 3754 metres, New Zealand's highest mountain, Aoraki / Mount Cook is dazzling and there are 20 other mountains in this alpine backbone which peak at over 3000 metres. Hundreds of others are not far short of that, all making up the famous Southern Alps.

At Aoraki / Mt Cook National Park, walks can be made to experience the alpine vistas and explore the national park. A walk can be made to view the Tasman Glacier, the longest glacier in the world that exists in a temperate zone (and on a Pacific island!).

If desired, time can be allowed for walks or perhaps a glacier skiplane flight with a landing on the Tasman Glacier.

Day 2 - Mt Cook to Queenstown

Alps, high country, tussocks & gold

Depart Aoraki / Mt Cook and travel south through the MacKenzie Country to Omarama (world renowned as a gliding centre) and from where a view can be made of the “Clay Cliffs”. This amazing semi-arid “badland” of deep ravines and pinnacles of ancient eroded river gravels and lake silts are situated on the active Ostler Fault Line.

From here you will travel over the Lindis Pass and view a dramatic change in the landscape as you head through Otago province to Queenstown.

A stop can be made in the Kawarau Gorge to view the bungy bridge (where it all started!) or perhaps visit one of the Kawarau wineries. 

Visit Arrowtown (historic old gold miners’ village) and then head to Queenstown where a familiarisation tour of the town can be made.

Brian & Paula will bid you farewell at the conclusion of the day at your Queenstown accommodation.

Highlights of your Journey:

  • Depart Christchurch and cross the wide expanse of the Canterbury Plains. The Canterbury Plains are New Zealand’s largest area of flat land, with straight roads cutting across a mosaic of paddocks, and home to world famous Canterbury lamb. 
  • Cross the Rakaia Gorge, where the Rakaia River widens into a braided river system, before entering the Pacific.
  • Enter the high country of MacKenzie country and view the glacial formed lakes - Tekapo and Pukaki.
  • Aoraki / Mount Cook is home to breathtaking landscapes. Experience clear starry nights in the world's largest International Dark Sky Reserve, turquoise lakes, snow-capped mountains and New Zealand's highest peak, Aoraki / Mount Cook.
  • Journey into a stark, eroded landscape – Paritea / Claycliffs, New Zealand’s example of “badlands”. 
  • Travel through the Kawarau Gorge and visit Arrowtown, a historic gold town.

Tour Inclusions:

  • Travel by deluxe 4WD minicoach
  • Fully guided and hosted with informative commentary
  • Guided walks to explore the alpine landscape
  • Delicious picnic morning and afternoon teas
  • Picnic lunch served with NZ wine or café lunch each day
  • Overnight stay at Aoraki / Mt Cook on Day 1- Premier Room with dinner
  • Breakfast on Day 2
  • Courtesy city accommodation pickup and dropoff
  • Depart Christchurch at 7.30am on Day 1, finish in Queenstown at approximately 5.30pm on Day 2

Not included…

  • Optional helicopter trips and scenic flights are not included in the tour cost

Download the Way South Expedition brochure