Southern Alps

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Our most recommended things to do in Southern Alps

  • Franz Josef Glacier: 2-Hour Scenic Lake Mapourika Cruise

    1. Franz Josef Glacier: 2-Hour Scenic Lake Mapourika Cruise

    Soak up panoramic views of the Southern Alps and glaciers reflecting on the mirror-like waters of Lake Mapourika on this 2-hour scenic cruise. The lake was created by the Franz Josef Glacier as it retreated 14,000 years ago and now sits calm and reflective between the Southern Alps and the sea. Meet your experienced skipper and small group at the office in Franz Josef and take a complimentary transfer out to Lake Mapourika. Board the boat, then sit back and relax onboard the Hanna-k in the comfortable enclosed cabin or on the covered back deck. Your skipper will take you through to the Okarito Kiwi Sanctuary on the far shorelines of the lake and will help you spot New Zealand's native birds. Enjoy informative commentary and fascinating stories as you cruise past untouched Jurassic rainforest and 900-year-old Kahikatea trees. Sip on a cup of complimentary tea or coffee as you unwind in...

    Blessed with perfect morning weather we had an exceptionally beautiful still lake and scenery.

  • Fox Glacier: Scenic Helicopter Ride with Snow Landing

    2. Fox Glacier: Scenic Helicopter Ride with Snow Landing

    Board the helicopter at the local partner’s base in Fox Glacier, then soar up into the skies where panoramic views await. Glide through the sky, passing over the spectacular ice pinnacles and crevasses of Fox Glacier on the way to the snow landing site. Throughout the ride soak up once-in-a-lifetime views of snow-capped mountains as well as some of New Zealand’s highest peaks. Arrive at the landing site and take your first steps out onto the snowy landscape. Be amazed by the sheer beauty of your surroundings as you are dwarfed by the size of this mountainous West Coast region. Enjoy enough time to take photos and soak up this magical location, then hop back in the helicopter for the return journey to the base.

  • Franz Josef: 3-Hour Kayak Tour on Lake Mapourika

    3. Franz Josef: 3-Hour Kayak Tour on Lake Mapourika

    Gear up for an incredible, three-hour guided kayaking experience. Begin your adventure by meeting your experienced team at the local partner's office in Franz Josef. Join them and your small group on a complimentary transfer out to Lake Mapourika. Glide effortlessly across the water, taking in panoramic views of the Southern Alps, glaciers, and untouched Jurassic rainforest reflected on the glassy waters of Lake Mapourika. Paddle into the heart of the Okarito Kiwi Bird Sanctuary, exploring the protected area with your knowledgeable guide. Tours depart at various times throughout the day. Mornings are often the calmest time of the day on the lake, a perfect choice for photographers looking to capture the beauty of the area. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and an experience not to be missed during your visit to Franz Josef.

    The best kayaking I've done, the weather was amazing, our guide was very informative

  • From Queenstown: Mount Cook and Hooker Valley Day Trip

    4. From Queenstown: Mount Cook and Hooker Valley Day Trip

    Visit breathtaking locations in Queenstown as you make your way to Aoraki Mount Cook National Park. Travel with a reliable tour guide who will share stories and rich background knowledge on Queenstown and the Mount Cook area. Start your tour in the stunning city of Queenstown. Drive through the Kawarau Suspension Bridge and marvel at the scenery the Kawarau Gorge has to offer. Stop at the Roaring Meg Lookout to take photos of your stunning view. Then, enter the region of Cromwell, famous for fruits and wine and where you can see huge fields of vines. Next, traverse the majestic Lindis Pass which lies between two valleys against a backdrop of a bright blue sky. This stretch of highway is one of the only three Alpine roads through the otherwise impassable Southern Alps. After taking photos at the top of the pass, drive through the Mackenzie District and visit the township of Omarama. Tu...

  • Fox Glacier: Scenic Helicopter Flight with Snow Landing

    5. Fox Glacier: Scenic Helicopter Flight with Snow Landing

    Journey into the Southern Alps for this once in a lifetime helicopter flight over the Fox Glacier. Begin your adventure at the helicopter base in Fox Glacier Township, where you will be greeted by your expert team. As you take off in your helicopter, be amazed by the panoramic views over the town and surrounding landscapes before heading towards the Fox Glacier. As you draw closer to the picturesque mountains, fly over dramatic ice falls and deep crevasses before you descend for a snow landing. Here you will have an opportunity to take in your surroundings, breathe in the clean alpine air and take photos in this winter wonderland. When you are finished, join your pilot in the return flight back to the Fox Glacier Township.

  • Franz Josef: Glacier Helicopter Ride with Snow Landing

    6. Franz Josef: Glacier Helicopter Ride with Snow Landing

    Board the helicopter at the local partner’s base in Franz Josef, then soar up into the skies where panoramic views await. Glide through the sky, passing over the spectacular ice pinnacles and crevasses of Franz Josef Glacier on the way to the snow landing site. Throughout the tour, soak up once-in-a-lifetime views of snow-capped mountains as well as some of New Zealand’s highest peaks. Arrive at the landing site and take your first steps onto the snowy landscape. Be amazed by the sheer beauty of your surroundings as you are dwarfed by the size of this mountainous West Coast region. Enjoy enough time to take photos and soak up this magical location, then hop back in the helicopter for the return journey to the base.

  • Haast: Scenic Flight with Picnic Lunch in the Southern Alps

    7. Haast: Scenic Flight with Picnic Lunch in the Southern Alps

    What could be more romantic than taking a helicopter to a gorgeous hidden spot in the Southern Alps? Make it happen in Haast, and top it off with a gourmet picnic lunch. Embark on the ultimate romantic experience with your loved one — fit even for popping the question. Enjoy pilot commentary of the major landmarks and history timed perfectly to the flight. Cascading waterfalls and hanging lakes are just some of the visual treats awaiting you as you cruise over South Westland's World Heritage Area. Marvel at snow-capped mountains, the bright blue of the glacier lake, and the lush greens of the vegetation. Discover the true wonders of the Haast region on this stunning flight through the majestic Hidden Valley at 3,000 feet above sea level. Fly over many highlights of New Zealand's back country and then land in the mountains so you can soak up the atmosphere of this isolated region. After...

  • Franz Josef Glacier: 2.5-Hour Lake Mapourika Cruise and Walk

    8. Franz Josef Glacier: 2.5-Hour Lake Mapourika Cruise and Walk

    Begin your adventure at the meeting point in Franz Josef to join your small group and transfer out to Lake Mapourika with your guide. Cruise across the lake in the comfort of the boat and enjoy a stunning vista of Southern Alps and glaciers. On a clear day enjoy views as far as Mount Cook.   Sit back as you arrive into the calm estuary of the Okarito Kiwi Sanctuary. Your local knowledgeable skipper will provide you with exclusive access and will guide you through a private rainforest trail.   Follow your skipper through the Jurassic rainforest track and get local insight on the region. Spot native birds as you find your way to the scenic lookout, the perfect spot for a cup or tea or coffee made on the spot.

    Our guide was excellent, we were a small group and everything was explained to us.

Other Sightseeing Options in Southern Alps

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What people are saying about Southern Alps

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 11 reviews

Friendly guide and very familiar with the formation of the lake, as well as flora and fauna. Pleasant cruise to discover century-old trees, birds nesting around (great white heron) To try

Great experience, great trip and very competent pilot, if in doubt it's worth the money, I can only say YES, do it

Blessed with perfect morning weather we had an exceptionally beautiful still lake and scenery.

The best kayaking I've done, the weather was amazing, our guide was very informative

Our guide was excellent, we were a small group and everything was explained to us.