Queenstown to Franz Josef Tour via Wanaka (One-Way)

Franz Josef Tour from Queenstown

Searching for the best way to get from Queenstown to Franz Josef? Join Cheeky Kiwi Travel on a fully-guided, small group tour to Franz Josef and experience the West Coast’s most unmissable destinations.

Led by our famously passionate guides, you’ll get a unique glimpse into the rugged landscapes, natural gems and rich cultural heritage of the West Coast with multiple stops along the way.

While in Franz Josef, you’ll have the chance to experience heli hikes, scenic flights with glacier landings, hot springs and nature walks, immersing yourself in the natural wonders of this epic region!

Wanaka Willow Tree
Blue Pools Track
Thunder Creek Falls
Ship Creek Beach Lookout Tower
Lake Matheson Sunset
Franz Joseph Glacier Hike

Key details

Tour overview

Destination Highlights: Cardrona Pub, Lake Wānaka, Lake Hāwea, Blue Pools, Thunder Falls, Ship Creek, Bruce Bay and Lake Matheson

Tour starts icon
Starts Queenstown
Ends Franz Joseph
Tour Duration Icon
12 hours approx
Tour Inclusions Icon
Lunch & snacks included
Optional Tour Add-Ons
All Ages Tour


$290 adult / $250 child

  • Fully-guided tour led by an experienced guide
  • Small group size for a more interactive experience
  • Modern, comfortable minibus equipped with WiFi and USB charging ports
  • Thoughtfully planned itinerary featuring stops at listed destinations
  • Lunch included – please specify any dietary requirements when booking
  • Free snacks and bottled water
  • Free cancellation with a minimum of 24 hours’ notice
Cheeky Kiwi Travel Tour Bus

Tour itinerary

1. Queenstown

Your tour begins in the stunning city of Queenstown. As we depart, your guide will set the scene for your journey, pointing out and providing insights into some of the area’s top highlights.

2. Cardrona Hotel

Located on the spectacular Crown Range Road between Queenstown and Wānaka, the Cardrona Hotel is one of New Zealand’s oldest and most iconic hotels. Its rustic charm, spectacular mountain setting and rich history make it a must-see in Central Otago.

3. Wānaka

We’ll stroll down to the lakeside for that iconic photo of the Wānaka Tree. Soak in the beauty of this expansive lake, backdropped by Mt Aspiring and the Southern Alps—a paradise for photographers.

4. Lake Hāwea

Crossing the mighty Clutha River, we’ll head westward past the stunning Lake Hāwea. We’ll stop for a quick photo at a lookout point between Lake Wānaka and Lake Hāwea.

5. Blue Pools

Located in Mt Aspiring National Park, the aptly named Blue Pools are a must-see. This easy 3km round trip is well worth the effort to witness the breathtaking blue waters of the Makarora River.

6. Thunder Creek Falls

An easy 5-minute walk will reward you with a spectacular view of Thunder Creek Falls. This 28-metre waterfall, a remnant of a once-great glacier, pours from a hanging valley.

7. Ship Creek

As we head north along the border where ancient rainforest meets the ocean, we’ll stop at Ship Creek. Dig your toes in the sand and feel the crash of the relentless waves of the Tasman Sea. Explore the dunes via an easy 1km walking track.

8. Bruce Bay

Here, thick native rainforest meets the seemingly endless open ocean. Bruce Bay truly showcases the best of the West Coast!

9. Lake Matheson

We continue to every photographer’s dream: Lake Matheson. On a calm day, you can capture Mt Cook reflected elegantly across this picturesque lake. This 4.4km/90-minute easy walk will reward you with breathtaking views of the Southern Alps.

10. Franz Josef

We’ll pass many glacial rivers as we journey past Fox Glacier to our destination of Franz Josef. Our guide will drop you at any central accommodation in either Franz Josef or Fox Glacier.

If you are continuing your journey from Franz Josef to Christchurch, Cheeky Kiwi has some awesome day tours available – including the option to ride the TranzAlpine train journey en route to Christchurch.

Why book with Cheeky Kiwi Travel?

TripAdisor Traveler's Choice

Top rated tours

1,500+ five star reviews on TripAdvisor

Tour Group

Small group size

Enjoy a more interactive & personalised tour experience

Famously Passionate Guides

Famously passionate tour guides

Our authentic & knowledgeable guides go the extra mile to make you smile

Comfortable tour buses

Complete with WiFi, USB charging ports & on-screen entertainment

Extra Surprises on Tour

Extra surprises

Surprise stops, wildlife viewings & other little delights along the journey truly set our tours apart

New Zealand Tours Icon

Customisable NZ tour packages

Explore our full-range of tours and add-ons to customise your New Zealand adventure

About Our Guides

About our guides

At Cheeky Kiwi Travel, our famously passionate guides are the heart of your adventure. Each guide is an engaging host who brings rich knowledge, enthusiasm and a personal touch to every tour. All Cheeky Kiwi guides have clean, passenger-endorsed driver licenses, are trained in first aid and receive comprehensive training before they hit the road with you. Whether it’s revealing hidden gems, sharing fascinating stories, or ensuring your comfort and safety, our guides go the extra mile to make your journey truly unforgettable.

Guest reviews

Smaller and more intimate

“This was one of the highlights of my trip to New Zealand. I’m glad I specifically went with this tour as it is smaller and more intimate. Driver Ben was hilarious, informative and enthusiastic throughout the entire day.”

Ryan F

Knowledgeable and very passionate

“Such a great tour guide, extremely knowledgeable and very passionate about his country, people and culture. Absolute champion.”

Fiona S

Fantastic day trip

“We had a fantastic day trip with Cheeky Kiwi. From pick up to drop off we never felt rushed. We enjoyed sitting back and relaxing while our trusted driver took us on our very long journey.

Leanne C

You might also be interested in…