Doubtful Sound & West Coast Odyssey

Doubtful Sound & West Coast Odyssey

7 day small group South Island tour

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 en suite cabins and exploring the Sound’s many arms. Other special memories include a night at historic Cardrona Hotel and a private Eco Safari on the Waiatoto River near Haast, followed by a BBQ lunch with the locals.

WHAT TRACY LOVES ABOUT THIS TOUR: “There’s so much natural beauty to enjoy as you cruise on the TSS “Earnslaw” across Lake Wakatipu to Walter Peak Station and float amid untouched Doubtful Sound in Fiordland. We stay in the mountains at sweet Cardrona Hotel and on the lakeside in Wanaka. I’m sure you’ll treasure the sense of discovery as you explore the stunning Waiatoto River or encounter the dramatic mountains of Arthur’s Pass.”

  • $5,290 (NZD) pp twin
  • $5,790 (NZD) pp single

Day 1

Arrive in Queenstown - Arrowtown

Your flight departs mid-morning, after arrival in Queenstown we lunch at Ayburn near Lake Hayes. We call into Arrowtown’s tree-lined street, famous for its autumn colours, and check out the shops and visit the Chinese miners’ settlement alongside the Arrow River.

Later we check out Queenstown’s boutique shops and wander the lakefront. We stay two nights in this resort town and dine in this evening.

  • We lunch at Ayrburn near Lake Hayes
  • Later in the day wander the Queenstown lakefront

Accommodation

Novotel, Queenstown Lakeside

QUEENSTOWN - NOVOTEL LAKESIDE

Novotel Queenstown Lakeside is the most centrally located lakefront 4-star hotel . Step outside your door and into the heart of Queenstown with easy access to all that this premier four season lake and alpine resort has to offer. 

What we love about the Novotel Queenstown Lakeside – On the flat down by the great southern lake Wakatipu stroll out the front door and into all of the boutique shopping options Queenstown has to offer.

Day 2

Queenstown - Wakatipu cruise to Walter Peak Station - Queenstown

We have the day to explore Queenstown, the boutique shopping and the Botanic Gardens. Catch the Gondola to the Skyline on Bob’s Peak to enjoy the magnificent views over Lake Wakatipu to The Remarkables Range. There’s time to elax, stroll the shops and explore the lakefront.

We board the historic steamship TSS “Earnslaw” to cruise across Lake Wakatipu to dine at Walter Peak Station.

  • Catch the gondola up Bob’s Peak for stunning lake and mountain views
  • Cruise on the TSS “Earnslaw” to Walter Peak Station 

Accommodation

Novotel, Queenstown Lakeside

QUEENSTOWN - NOVOTEL LAKESIDE

Novotel Queenstown Lakeside is the most centrally located lakefront 4-star hotel . Step outside your door and into the heart of Queenstown with easy access to all that this premier four season lake and alpine resort has to offer. 

What we love about the Novotel Queenstown Lakeside – On the flat down by the great southern lake Wakatipu stroll out the front door and into all of the boutique shopping options Queenstown has to offer.

Day 3

Queenstown - Lake Manapouri - Doubtful Sound

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.

  • Cascading waterfalls and views of the Sound from Wilmot Pass
  • Stay overnight on Doubtful Sound on the 38 metre “Fiordland Navigator”

Accommodation

Fiordland Navigator, Doubtful Sound

DOUBTFUL SOUND - FIORDLAND NAVIGATOR

This overnight cruise explores hidden arms of Doubtful Sound. Travel close to the shoreline by tender craft with your nature guide. See seals and dolphins. Comfortable en suite cabins. 

What we love about Fiordland Navigator – It’s great having a specialist nature guide on board to provide insightful commentary.

Day 4

Doubtful Sound - Manapouri - Crown Range - Wanaka

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 drive along the shores of Lake Wakatipu and over the tussock-covered land of the dramatic Crown Range and on to Wanaka where we stay for two nights on the lakefront and dine in.

  • Wake up to perfect reflections in the deep waters of Doubtful Sound
  • Stay two nights at the Edgewater Hotel on the lakefront

Accommodation

Wanaka - Edgewater Resort

This is the only hotel in Wanaka that’s right on the lake edge, that’s why we stay here. Nestled in a friendly Kiwi neighbourhood, with everything here we need and super friendly staff it’ feels just like home. On site spa, tennis and bikes too.

What we love about Edgewater – Walk out of your room, across the lawn and down to the lake before breakfast, you’re in New Zealand now!

Day 5

Wanaka - Distillery & Museum, Cardrona Valley - Wanaka sightseeing

Enjoy a leisurely start to the day before we head back up the valley to visit the artisan, family owned Cardrona Distillery & Museum for a tour, tasting and lunch. 

This afternoon we drive into Wanaka to visit the town and tour the region’s sights driving out around the lake. Perhaps take a short stroll along the lakefront to the famous That Willow Tree.

  • Enjoy a guided tour and tasting at the Cardrona Distillery
  • Stay on the lakeside in Wanaka, not far from the famous tree

Accommodation

Wanaka - Edgewater Resort

This is the only hotel in Wanaka that’s right on the lake edge, that’s why we stay here. Nestled in a friendly Kiwi neighbourhood, with everything here we need and super friendly staff it’ feels just like home. On site spa, tennis and bikes too.

What we love about Edgewater – Walk out of your room, across the lawn and down to the lake before breakfast, you’re in New Zealand now!

Day 6

Wanaka - Haast Pass - Waiatoto River Ecosafari - Franz Josef

Driving beside Lake Hawea and Lake Wanaka and through the superb mountain and river scenery of the Haast Pass. From Hannah’s Clearing we take a memorable eco safari up the untouched Waiatoto River followed by a BBQ lunch with the locals.

On the coast at Ship Creek, wander along the wild beach and on a boardwalk through swampland rainforest. We continue northwards through rainforest to Fox Glacier and over the hill to Franz Josef to check into our accommodation at the Scenic Hotel Franz Josef. 

  • Explore the Waiatoto River on an eco safari
  • At Ship Creek the rugged coastline contrasts with the tranquil rainforest

Accommodation

Guests relaxing in the lounge at the Scenic Hotel, Franz Josef Glacier

Franz Josef Glacier - Scenic Hotel

Surrounded by lush rainforest, the Scenic Hotel has been designed with the surroundings in mind. It’s just minutes walk from everywhere but you feel like you’re miles away from it all!

What we love about Scenic – Enjoying a coffee on your balcony, listening to the native birdsong in the forest all around you.

Day 7

Franz Josef - Hokitika - Arthur's Pass - Christchurch - Return flight

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 stop for lunch at charming Theatre Royal Hotel in Kumara, then drive up the Otira Gorge on a spectacular cantilevered highway to the alpine village of Arthur’s Pass.

We continue alongside the Waimakariri River and through this magnificent alpine landscape to Porters Pass and across the Canterbury Plains. Your flight departs from Christchurch in the early evening.

  • Take in Hokitika’s artisan craft galleries
  • Drive the dramatic Otira Gorge highway to Arthur’s Pass

Next departures

Tour DatePrice (from)Availability
20 Nov 2024 - 26 Nov 2024
$5,290 (NZD)
Almost full
Just 1 seat left!
Enquire
02 Apr 2025 - 08 Apr 2025
$5,290 (NZD)
Sorry it's full
Enquire

General inclusions

  • All transport by comfortable, air conditioned coach (maximum of 18 travellers).
  • Services of your knowledgeable MoaTours Kiwi guide.
  • Quality accommodation chosen for a “sense of place”.
  • Return airfares from Auckland (please ask us about flights from other airports)

All Meals Are Included

  • All Breakfasts
  • All Lunches
  • All Dinners

Included Experiences

The following are included in your tour.

Sightseeing & Exploring

You’ll visit all the following spots on the tour.

Please contact us if you have any questions about our tour departure dates.

Tour DatePrice (from)Availability
20 Nov 2024 - 26 Nov 2024
$5,290 (NZD)
Almost full
Just 1 seat left!
Enquire
02 Apr 2025 - 08 Apr 2025
$5,290 (NZD)
Sorry it's full
Enquire
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