White Heron West Coast Tour
Join us on a small group bird watching tour of the stunning West Coast of New Zealand. You'll see the magnificent White Heron (Kotuku) in their natural nesting environment, along with other native birds such as the Royal Spoonbill and the Little Shag.
© Southern Lakes Tours
© South Island Tours NZ
Enjoy the scenic Tranz Alpine Train journey from Christchurch across the vast Canterbury plains into the rugged Southern Alps to Lake Brunner. See the pristine lakes, and rugged coastlines of Bruce Bay, Jacksons Bay, visit Greymouth, Hokitika, Franz Joseph, get up close to the White Herons at Whataroa.
Stay in Haast and enjoy the magnificent scenery of Haast Pass, see Lakes Wanaka and Hawea arriving in Queenstown for of special evening dining experience and cruise on the historic Earnslaw. Travel over the Crown Range, visiting Cardrona with interesting stops on your journey to Christchurch. Group size will be 4-8 people.
Your own travel arrangements to Christchurch today, we have arranged accommodation in Christchurch for you tonight.
Day 1: Christchurch to Hokitika - Highlight today Tranz Alpine Train Journey
Pickups approx. 7.30am from your Christchurch accommodation and all aboard this morning for your Tranz Alpine Train Journey, one of the best train journeys in the World, you will be met at Lake Brunner by your guide.
Have a look around the lake and see if we can spot any birds, before driving to Greymouth to get a spot of lunch, we have a look around Greymouth before going to Lake Mahinapua to admire the picturesque setting, enjoy the Tree Tops Walk experience, with the Southern Alps reflecting on the lake. You might be able to hear and see the birds that inhabit the surrounding bush also the area is so rich in history. We then check in to our seaside accommodation before enjoying a meal in Hokitika tonight. D
Day 2: Hokitika to Franz Joseph - Highlight White Heron Guided Tour
Today we visit the White Herons at Whataroa and join a tour consisting of a short minibus ride, a gentle jet-boat for a 20-minute scenic cruise into the Waitangiroto Nature Reserve, with a short walk through ancient Kahikatea rainforest to a viewing hide to observe the magnificent White Heron (Kotuku) in their natural nesting environment. The Royal Spoonbill and the Little Shag also share this special area and can be seen easily from the hide.
Returning from your tour we will lunch at a local café. On the way we will visit Okarito village to see how many of the 76 species of birds that live in the area we can spot. We then head off to Franz Joseph for our night’s stay and evening dining experience. B.D
Day 3: Franz Joseph- Haast. Highlight today lakes and rugged West Coast scenery.
Today we are overnighting in Haast and along the way we will visit the beautiful lake Matheson with the famous Mt Cook magnificent reflection, also the township of Fox Glacier, Bruce Bay where Maoris were first thought to have landed on the West Coast and visit the southern and wild landscape of Jacksons Bay. We then drive to Haast and later go out for dinner together at a classic West Coast pub. B.D
Day 4: Haast to Queenstown - Highlight Walter Peak evening dinner cruise on the Earnslaw.
Today we travel along State Highway 6 through Haast Pass which only opened in the early 1960s. We stop off at places including Roaring Billy waterfall and other points of interest and listen to any bird life that fly and live in this area also reflect on the last time a Haast eagle was sighted. After driving through the pass, we arrive at Makaroa a little place with a wonderful café.
Later in the afternoon we drive through to Hawera and Wanaka and Cromwell to arrive in Queenstown. A special evening tonight cruising on the Earnslaw steamship to enjoy a wonderful night of entertainment and a beautiful meal at Walter Peak Station in the historic house surrounded by extensive gardens. B.D
Day 5: Queenstown-Christchurch. Highlights spectacular Lindis Pass and Southern Lakes.
We travel over the Crown Range stopping at the historic Cardrona Hotel, Tarras the home of Shrek, Lindis Pass to Omarama for a lunch stop. View Mt Cook and the Southern Alps from Lake Pukaki & visit the Church of the Good Shepherd & Mackenzie’s dog memorial at Lake Tekapo, we travel over Burkes Pass into the rolling hills of North Otago, through Fairlie to Geraldine for a short stop, through the farming town of Ashburton arriving in Christchurch approximately 5.30pm. B
Tour Dates: Nov 6-11 2019
Treetop Walk Experience
Tranz Alpine Train journey
Walter Peak evening dinner and cruise on the Earnslaw steamship
5 night’s accommodation
4 evening dining experiences