After breakfast, we depart Franz Josef to drive the southern end of the South Island’s West Coast Road. Vistitors have described there being a strong sense of entering a primeval land here, and a feeling of total isolation.
Arriving at Haast, we are surrounded by a landscape of rainforest, wetlands, sand dunes and surf-pounded shingle beaches. This wilderness forms part of the South West New Zealand World Heritage Area, so designated because South Westland and Fiordland have some of the most dramatic forest and mountain scenery and natural resources in the world.
From the Westland National Park we travel through the Haast River Valleys and over the Haast Pass to Makaroa and onto the upper reaches of Lake Wanaka. Travelling past Lake Hawea we reach the popular Lake Wanaka, the starting point of the mighty Clutha River.
This afternoon we travel via Cromwell following the Kawerau Gorge Road into Queenstown. Dinner will be served at our hotel tonight.
Included meals: Breakfast & Dinner
Accommodation: Holiday Inn Express & Suites, Queenstown (Nov 23) / Copthorne Hotel Lakefront, Queenstown (2024)