You’ll never forget the beauty of remote Doubtful Sound reached by a launch ride across Lake Manapouri and coach over Wilmot Pass. It’s a unique 24 hour excursion, staying overnight in an en suite cabin and exploring the Sound’s many arms. Two nights in Queenstown, visiting Arrowtown and Wanaka in autumn, Haast Pass, Franz Josef Glacier and Arthur’s Pass, conclude this adventure.
$4,132 per person, share twin
$600 single supplement
1 – 7 Feb, 2021 SOLD OUT
8 – 14 March, 2021 SOLD OUT
6 -1 2 April, 2021
• All meals
• Entrance fees
• All transport by comfortable, air conditioned coach (maximum of 18 travellers).
• Services of your knowledgeable guide.
• Quality accommodation chosen for a “sense of place”.
• Domestic airfares
From Queenstown we drive to Arrowtown to lunch at Provisions Cafe in a tree-lined street famous for its autumn colours and to check out the shops. We visit the Chinese miners’ settlement alongside the Arrow River at the end of the town where harsh conditions were endured in their search for gold.
Later we check out Queenstown’s boutique shops and wander the lakefront. We stay two nights at Copthorne Lakeside Hotel and dine in this evening.
We have the day to explore Queenstown. We take the Gondola ride to the Skyline on Bob’s Peak to enjoy the magnificent views over Lake Wakatipu to The Remarkables Range and drive beside the lake to Glenorchy.
This evening we board the steamship TSS “Earnslaw” and, with the pianist playing old favourites, cruise across Lake Wakatipu to Walter Peak Station for dinner at the Colonel’s Homestead. We return to our hotel in the mid evening.
We drive alongside Lake Wakatipu to Manapouri where we board a launch to cruise to the head of the lake. We travel by coach through beech forests and over Wilmot Pass to Doubtful Sound where our small ship, “Fiordland Navigator” awaits.
We cruise the sheltered arms of this beautiful fiord out to the Tasman Sea with the ship’s nature guide keeping a lookout for marine and bird life. Seals bask on the islands at the entrance to the Sound. Later the ship anchors in a peaceful cove and we get even closer to the shoreline on an inflatable craft with your nature guide.
Wake up to the perfect stillness and mirror reflections of this remote wilderness. As breakfast is served the ship cruises the inner arms of the sound and returns to Deep Cove where we disembark at 10am. We retrace our steps over Wilmot Pass and across the lake to Manapouri.
At Manapouri we rejoin our coach and head tor a private lunch with Paula and Roger on the farm at Five Rivers Retreat. We drive over the tussock-covered land of the dramatic Crown Range, descending into the valley we stay at quaint Cardrona Hotel where we dine this evening.
We breakfast at the Cardrona Hotel with a history that goes back to goldmining days.
Nearby we take a guided visit and tasting at the artisan, family owned Cardrona Distillery & Museum.
Later we drive into Wanaka to visit the town and lunch with locals in their home with views out to the lake and the mountains. We tour the regions’s sights driving out around the lake. Tonight we dine back at our hotel, the Edgewater, right beside Lake Wanaka.
We drive beside Lake Hawea and Lake Wanaka and through the superb mountain and river scenery of the Haast Pass. We walk to the Blue Pools where trout lurk and take short walks to waterfalls in the Haast Pass. On the coast at Ship Creek we wander along the wild beach and on a boardwalk through swampland rainforest.
We continue through lush rainforest to Lake Matheson and Fox Glacier and over the hill to Franz Josef to check into our accommodation at the Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier.
The Coast scenery is stunning – we pass mirror lakes, boulder-laden rivers and catch glimpses of the Southern Alps as we drive north to visit Hokitika’s artisan craft galleries. Turning eastwards we drive up the Otira Gorge on a spectacular cantilevered highway to the alpine village of Arthur’s Pass to Christchurch
We continue through a magnificent alpine landscape to Porters Pass and across the Canterbury Plains.
Some great news… while we wait for international borders to re-open, there is no better time to see a bit of our own backyard and help our local communities get back to business.
We’re excited to let you know that we have partnered with MoaTours, one of New Zealand’s leading and most trusted local tour operators since 1971. MoaTours offers a range of small group tours all over New Zealand that we think you’ll love — from Cape Reinga to Stewart Island.
A a family run business just like Tours Direct, MoaTours has great connections and unbeatable local knowledge of New Zealand’s best kept secrets. They also share common values so we know you will be well looked after and have a great experience.
Twenty hours cruising the empty, bushclad arms of Doubtful Sound stays with you forever. Leaving the world behind at Manapouri, crossing the lake, coaching over Wilmot Pass it’s an adventure. Cardrona Hotel brings a connection to earlier times and finally there’s the beauty of Haast and Arthur’s Pass to enjoy.