Wellington to Queenstown weast coast discovery

On this 6-day adventure from Wellington to Queenstown, explore the wilds of the West Coast. Before crossing the Cook Strait to sunny Nelson and the wild beaches, odd geological features, and old glaciers of the South Island's West Coast, visit the intriguing museums in New Zealand's capital. In Wanaka and Queenstown, you may finish your journey with world-class restaurants, boutique shopping, and adventure.

Go New Zealand Go New Zealand 9 days ago
Wellington to Queenstown weast coast discovery

Day 1: Wellington to Nelson

Wellington, as New Zealand's capital, is steeped in political history. Before getting a ferry to the South Island, spend the morning exploring the city's many museums and art galleries or trying out the local eateries. The boat ride across Cook Strait and through the Marlborough Sounds is one of the most magnificent in the world, including stops at the Red Rocks seal colony, Tory Channel, Cook's Lookout, and the sounds' stunning coves. Travel from Picton to Nelson, one of New Zealand's sunniest cities and home to a vibrant population of wineries, craft breweries, and art enthusiasts. You can plan an eco-adventure or learn about the local creative culture from here.

Marlborough
Marlborough
Marlborough, New Zealand

Day 2: Nelson to Westport

Continue to Westport and the West Coast. Make a pit stop in Murchison, which offers a wide range of whitewater sports. Because the town is surrounded by rivers, kayaking, rafting, canoeing, and jet boating are all popular activities. On the banks of the Buller River, Westport is a coastal town. It has a small-town New Zealand feel to it, with a strong sense of community that makes the residents quite proud of their home. Westport was founded on gold mining, but now coal mining keeps the small settlement alive. The stories of the early settlers, gold prospectors, and coal miners who established the town will captivate you at the Coaltown Museum.

West Coast
West Coast
West Coast, New Zealand

Day 3: Westport to Greymouth via Punakaiki

The drive to Greymouth follows the coastline, offering breathtaking vistas of wild beaches and the choppy Tasman Sea. There are other places to visit along the road, including Paparoa National Park, Charleston's magnificent limestone caves, and Punakaiki's odd pancake rocks and booming blowholes. These rock formations, which date back 30 million years, are made up of layers of limestone overlain with rock and clay. Greymouth is the largest town on the West Coast, and it is noted for its breathtaking views of the ocean. Local brewery tours, gold rush history at Shantytown Heritage Park, and the magnificent West Coast Wilderness cycling track are also popular attractions.

Pancake Rocks
Pancake Rocks
Pancake Rocks, New Zealand

Day 4: Greymouth to Franz Josef Glacier

Hokitika, which was founded in 1860 following the discovery of gold on the west coast, retains the sense of a frontier town, with some magnificent ancient structures to admire. Pounamu is a local delicacy in Hokitika (jade). At the Jade Factory, you can see a carver at work or go to one of the several galleries to see specimens of carved stone. From here, it's a short drive to Westland Tai Poutini National Park, which is home to the Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers. These two glaciers are among the most accessible in the world, and the only spot where ice meets rainforest outside of Argentina. Take an awe-inspiring hike or flightseeing excursion to learn more about this ancient occurrence.

Franz Josef Glacier
Franz Josef Glacier
Franz Josef Glacier, West Coast, New Zealand

Day 5: Franz Josef to Wanaka

Continue on to Wanaka, a lovely lakeside town with a plethora of activities. You won't be short of excitement with year-round activities including fishing, hiking, canyoning, climbing, and skydiving. Mountain bikers will find a wide range of tracks to explore, or they may go on a 4WD safari through Wanaka's stunning high country. Alternatively, you can unwind by visiting one of the region's many vineyards, cafes, restaurants, or boutique stores. Unique attractions like as Puzzling World and the magnificent Paradiso Cinema are also available.

Wanaka
Wanaka
Wanaka, New Zealand

Day 6: Wanaka to Queenstown

Today you'll go to Queenstown, the most popular tourist destination in New Zealand. From jet-skiing and bungee jumping to white-water rafting and skydiving, there is an abundance of adrenaline-pumping sports to choose from. Bike, kayak, horseback, 4WD Safari, or walk along one of the region's many hiking paths to take in the breathtaking mountain landscape. Visit the nearby village of Arrowtown to learn about its unique gold-mining past. The Chinese miners' village, with its reconstructed shelters, is a highlight, providing a peek into early development in the area.

Glenorchy, where Peter Jackson shot parts of the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies, is a must-see for movie buffs.

Arrowtown
Arrowtown
Arrowtown, New Zealand

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