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.

7 Day / 6 Night Tour departing Auckland, visiting Queenstown, Wanaka, Franz Josef Glacier and an unforgettable overnight cruise on Doubtful Sound

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Tour Price

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$4390.00 pp twin
$4890.00 pp single
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Tour Map

Day 1: Auckland - Arrowtown - Queenstown

Arrowtown Autumn Leaves - Doubtful Sound Tour

Your included flight departs Auckland mid-morning. On arrival in 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.

What you'll love today
  • We lunch in leafy Arrowtown and browse the shops
  • Later in the day wander the Queenstown lakefront 

Day 2: Queenstown - Glenorchy - Walter Peak Station - Queenstown

TSS Earnslaw Steamship on Lake Wakatipu

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.

What you'll love today
  • Catch the gondola up Bob's Peak for stunning lake and mountain views
  • Cruise on the TSS "Earnslaw" out to dine at Walter Peak Station

Day 3: Queenstown - Lake Manapouri - Doubtful Sound

Cruising on the Fiordland Navigator - Doubtful Sound Tour

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.

 

What you'll love today
  • Stay overnight on Doubtful Sound on the 38 metre "Fiordland Navigator" 
  • Take in views of wild mountain scenery, rivers and cascading waterfalls as we travel over the Wilmot Pass 

 

Day 4: Doubtful Sound - Manapouri - Five Rivers Retreat - Crown Range - Wanaka

Guests outside the Cardrona Hotel

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.

What you'll love today
  • Wake up to perfect reflections in the deep waters of Doubtful Sound
  •  We stay the night at charming Cardrona Hotel built in 1863

 

Day 5: Wanaka sightseeing

Edgewater Resort Wanaka - Doubtful Sound Tour

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.

What you'll love today
  • Enjoy a guided tour and tasting at the Cardrona Distillery
  • Home hosted lunch with friendly locals

 

Day 6: Wanaka - Haast Pass - Franz Josef Glacier

Franz Josef Glacier View - Doubtful Sound Tour

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.

What you'll love today
  • Drive through the spectacular beauty of the Haast Pass
  • At Ship Creek the rugged beauty of the coast contrasts with the tranquil rainforest

Day 7: Franz Josef Glacier - Hokitika - Arthur's Pass - Christchurch - Auckland

Otira Viaduct at Arthurs Pass - Doubtful Sound Tour

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.

We continue through a magnificent alpine landscape to Porters Pass and across the Canterbury Plains. Your flight departs from Christchurch in the late afternoon.

What you'll love today
  • Take in Hokitika’s artisan craft galleries
  • Drive the dramatic Otira Gorge highway to Arthur’s Pass, see kea and towering mountains

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