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South Island Explorer
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We depart Christchurch early in the morning and head over the fertile Canterbury Plains heading for the mountains. We leave the dry East Coast and cross the dividing range to go down to the lush, green and moist West Coast. The countryside changes radically as great deep blue rivers spring from the steep mountainsides.
Franz Josef Glacier
The drive down the coast today is beautiful. We have several cultural activity options before leaving for Franz Josef Glacier along the coast of forests, lakes and hidden beaches. We pull in to Franz Josef in the evening and prepare for tomorrow's activities. The following day we have many options. There are spectacular flights available in either a helicopter or a ski-plane. The flights offer unequalled views of the mountains, valleys and glaciers and there is the option of a snow landing depending on the trip you pick. There are also guided walks onto the glacier and excellent light hikes available in the valley.
We drive the remainder of the west coast and climb up through the Haast Pass into the Southern Alps. This is a stunning drive with fantastic views of the mountains, rivers and lakes. Spend the next few days in the place that is widely acknowledged as the extreme activity capital of the world. There is simply no end to the fantastic line up of optional activities in Queenstown. Try bungy-jumping, mountain biking, kayaking, rafting, helicopter rides, jet boating and paragliding. There is also a huge variety of shops, restaurants and fun things to see in town. On our first day in Queenstown we will do a tour of the area in the bus, to show you around. Take a break between adrenalin rushes as we drive through to Doubtful Sound to board your overnight cruise boat for a stunning trip through the fjords.
After returning to dry land we drive up to the foot of New Zealand's highest peak, Mt Cook. The drive is over expansive high country farmland with views of the Alps, rivers and lakes. We spend the night in Mt Cook National Park.
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