kayaking cathedral cove

The Haast tour is named after Julius Von Haast, a German geologist who helped chart various regions of the South Island. He has a mountain pass named after him as well as the world’s largest eagle (now sadly extinct) not to mention three small settlements in the South West corner of the West Coast.  Make your mark on the South Island like Haast. Heading south from Christchurch you'll discover the West Coast taking in glaciers, lakes, snowcapped peaks and Fiordland before looping back up through central Otago's gold mining country towards Christchurch. 

Seasons: 

Winter: May - September 2015 (please refer to Winter tab for winter itinerary) 

Summer: October 2015 - April 2016 (please refer to Itinerary tab for Summer itinerary)


Tour Highlights

  • Hokitika Bushman’s Centre
  • Franz Josef Glacier / Mt Aspiring National Park
  • Fiordland National Park
  • Overnight cruise in Doubtful Sound (summer)
  • Doubtful Sound day cruise (winter)
  • Central Otago historic gold mining area and Otago Rail Trail with all-level mountain biking

What To Bring

Sturdy walking shoes (ankle high), swimming gear, hat and sunscreen, motion sickness tablets, water bottle, towel and toiletries, warm clothing and waterproof jacket, insect repellent, camera.


How to Book

You can book this pass online today by clicking "Book your travel" and going through the checkout process. After you have booked, our reservations team will email you within 48 hours to confirm your booking. If you have any urgent questions in the meantime you can email reservations@straytravel.co.nz.

Rates are based on quad share. You can upgrade your accommodation with reservations after booking the tour 

  • Twin/Double Upgrade per person*: $175
  • Single/Private Upgrade: $350

Please note: 

  • All rates are in NZD, per person, and are subject to change.
  • *Twin/Double upgrades based on two people sharing.
  • Most accommodation on theDoubtful Sound Cruise is quad-share. Upgrades are limited and so are not included.  If available you can upgrade on arrival and pay direct to the operator. 
  • A 15% discount off these rates is available for children aged 12 and under. 
Was $1,995 $1,795 NZD

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Itinerary

Summer Departures: October 2015 - April 2016

Days: 10 / Nights: 9

Tours depart every Thursday

When booking please provide your requested departure date.

Departure pick-up time is 9am at Christchurch International Airport.


What's Included:

Experienced tour guide

Accommodation transfers

Accommodation

Meals as indicated

Exclusive overnight cruise on the incredible Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise

Mountain biking on the Otago Rail Trail

Breakfast (5)

Dinner (4)

Journey from Christchurch to Franz Josef

Don’t forget your camera today, as there are many fantastic photo opportunities. We travel over the famous Arthur’s Pass and down onto the West Coast. Around almost every corner there’s a new picturesque backdrop to enjoy. We also visit Hokitika, famous for pounamu (jade) and the Bushman’s Centre to learn about local history. The day ends at Franz Josef to see the famous glacier. We sleep in a rainforest lodge at Franz Josef. (D)

Rainforest Retreat

Pounamu jade factory.

The day is spent in Franz Josef, a World Heritage area. As well as the glacier, the area is famous for its excellent walking trails. There are many great options but a highly recommended guided trip (own expense – refer Notes) will enable you to get closer to the glacier. Tonight is self-catering; there are plenty of local cafes and restaurants to enjoy or make use of the self-catering kitchen. Includes breakfast.

 

Rainforest Retreat

We head down the coast towards Mount Aspiring National Park and along the way see some breathtaking scenery including Lake Matheson, NZ’s most photographed lake. We also visit a waterfall and travel over a spectacular alpine pass. Once we arrive at the National Park there’s plenty of time to enjoy some of its activities including walking, scenic flights or jet boating (own expense). We spend the night in Chalets. Includes breakfast and dinner.

Makarora Tourist Centre

Walk around Lake Matheson - Mirror Lake, walk through beech forest to the Blue Pools

Today’s a day for the real thrill seeker as we head to the adventure capital of the world, Queenstown. Before we get there, we visit Wanaka, a picturesque town, great for a spot of lunch. We then head to Bungy Bridge to see where the adventure all started. There’s no pressure, you can jump or watch and it’s up to you. In the evening we’ll visit Queenstown’s nightspots, often as lively as the bungy jump. Includes breakfast.

Reavers Lodge Queenstown (located close to town with awesome views)

Enjoy two FREE days to explore Queenstown. Optional activities and meals are at own expense. Overnight accommodation included.

Reavers Lodge Queenstown (located close to town with awesome views)

Fiordland National Park, with its stunning scenery, is our first port of call today. Within the National Park there’s Doubtful Sound, a true treasure of NZ. We board a purpose built boat and with the help of a nature guide we’ll see fur seals, penguins and dolphins. There are also sea kayaks to enjoy. The night is spent on the boat, anchored within a secluded bay. Includes dinner

Overnight on the boat, anchored within a secluded bay

Doubtful Sound cruise, sea kayaking

We leave the boat and then head through the stunning Otago Region. There are interesting relics of the gold rush to be enjoyed. Optional ice curling (additional cost) is our evening’s entertainment and we stay in unique accommodation in Otago Gold Country. Includes breakfast and dinner.

Royal Hotel Naseby

It’s an active start to the day as we grab mountain bikes and ride parts of the Otago Gold Mining Trail. The trail is a lot of fun and a mountain bike is an ideal way to explore it. The trail is fine for all levels of riding abilities. We then head to Rangitata, one of the oldest sheep stations within the region. Includes breakfast.

Rangitata Rafting Lodge: one of Canterbury's original sheep stations

Mountain bike hire

Today we express from Rangitata to Christchurch where you have the day to explore Christchurch further.

Was $1,995 $1,795 NZD

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Timetable

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Was $1,995 $1,795 NZD

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Winter Itinerary

Winter departures: May - October 2015

Days: 10 / Nights: 9

Tours depart Christchurch every Sunday and Tuesday. 

When booking please provide your requested departure date.

Departure pick-up time is 9am at Christchurch International Airport


What's Included: 

  • Experienced Tour Guide throughout the trip
  • 9 nights’ accommodation
  • Franz Josef: Ice Explorer trip (including helicopter ride)
  • Franz Josef: entry to Franz Josef Hot Pools
  • Queenstown: Shotover Jet
  • Queenstown: day trip to Doubtful Sound
  • Mt Cook: 6WD Argo Tour

Itinerary 

Day 1: Christchurch (via Greymouth) to Franz Josef

Take the Atomic Shuttle from Christchurch over the stunning Arthur’s Pass to the town of
Greymouth, where you have 30 minutes free before meeting up with the Stray bus. This afternoon
we’ll make a stop in Hokitika before heading to Franz Josef, a town squashed between the Tasman
Sea and the mighty Franz Josef Glacier.

Accommodation: Lodge in the middle of the rainforest


Day 2: Free day in Franz Josef

A free day to get up close and personal with the glacier!

Accommodation: Lodge in the middle of the rainforest

Included: The Ice Explorer trip – a short heli flight onto the glacier followed by an educational tour, entry to the hot pools is included.


Day 3: Franz Josef to Wanaka

Depart at 9am. We head to Lake Matheson for the amazing mirror lake; stop at Fox Glacier for pickups then travel through to the mountainous Haast Pass and Makarora. We pass by the beautiful Lake Hawea and arrive in Wanaka with an afternoon to enjoy this picturesque lakeside town.

Accommodation: Central hostel

Optional paid activities: Puzzle World.

Free activities: Mirror Lake walk, Ship Creek walk, Blue Pools walk, Thundercreek Falls walk, explore Wanaka.


Day 4: Wanaka to Queenstown

Depart 10.30am. This morning you have the opportunity to check out amazing views of the lake either by skydiving or walking up Mt Iron! We cruise into Queenstown with a stop at the famous A.J. Hackett bungy site and then head to the ‘Adventure Capital of the World!’ Queenstown offers an optional big (make that huge) night out with excellent restaurants, pubs and live music.

Accommodation: Central hostel

Optional Paid Activities: Skydiving, bungy jumping.

Free activities: Walk Mt Iron, watch people jumping off a bridge!


Days 5, 6 & 7: Free days in Queenstown

Enjoy three full days in Queenstown to get amongst the action in NZ’s ‘Adventure Capital.’

Accommodation: Central hostel Included: Shotover Jet and Doubtful Sound Day Trip (these can be done on day of your choice).

Optional paid activities: Any adventure activity that we mad Kiwis can dream up (bungy, swing, jetboating, skydiving, mountain biking, zipline, horse riding…), trip to Milford Sound.

Free activities: Sleep in, great walks, take in beautiful views from this cool resort town.


Day 8: Queenstown to Aoraki/ Mt Cook

Depart from 8.40am. We head over the Lindis Pass through the beautiful Mackenzie Country and Lake Pukaki, then head north to our amazing stop at the base of New Zealand’s highest mountain Aoraki/Mt Cook, arriving in the early afternoon.

Accommodation: Stunning alpine lodge Included: 6WD Argo Tour

Optional paid activities: Visit the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre, 6WD Argo Tour.

Free activities: Take photos of awe-inspiring scenery, do one of the many great short walks to the Hooker glacial lake.


Day 9: Mt Cook to Rangitata

Depart 10am. We make our way to the ‘Lord of the Rings’ landscape of Rangitata. We head past the turquoise Lake Tekapo, where we stop for ice-skating, snow tubing or a swim at the hot springs. We arrive early afternoon in Geraldine, and then head through to spend the night at Rangitata.

Accommodation: One of Canterbury’s original sheep stations

Optional paid activities: Walk or horse ride through Peel Forest.

Free activities: Take photos of stunning scenery, go for a walk.


Day 10: Rangitata to Christchurch

Depart 7.30am. It is an express haul across the Canterbury plains to Christchurch. We arrive at 9.30am at the Christchurch International Airport. We hope you had a blast on your adventure!