Following an increasing number of potential safety incidents on KiwiRail’s Great Journeys of New Zealand scenic rail services, the outdoor viewing carriage on the Northern Explorer only will be closed until further notice while a safety solution is found.
Take a day trip from Queenstown to Aoraki / Mount Cook National Park, home to New Zealand's highest mountain.
Leaving Queenstown, we travel north through the historic gold mining region of the rugged Kawarau River Gorge and past Cromwell, famed for its fruit-growing. Skirting the shores of Lake Dunstan, we cross the Lindis Pass to Omarama for morning tea (own expense). Continue through the rugged high country landscape of the Mackenzie Basin to arrive at Mount Cook Village, where you can gaze up at the 3,754 metre-high mountain Aoraki / Mount Cook, an important landmark in Maori mythology .
Enjoy the views from the iconic Hermitage Hotel as you eat a delicious lunch (optional extra), or explore the village and its scenic surrounds. There is also the chance to take off on a scenic flight over the park with its snowcapped mountains and ancient glaciers (additional cost, weather permitting – this flight can be arranged with your driver/guide on the day).
Following our lunch stop, we depart Mount Cook Village and retrace our journey to Queenstown, arriving in the early evening.
Half day tour
Departs and returns: Athol Street, Queenstown
Kawarau River Gorge
Aoraki / Mount Cook National Park
Mount Cook Village
Free WiFi available on board the coach