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  • Amy Waters snow biking Our Team

    Steppes Travel is made by the people who work here. Incredible holidays are made possible because of their vast travel experience and the great enthusiasm they bring to their work.

  • William Dalrymple Our Tour Experts

    We carefully select our experts based on their knowledge, companionship and influence, ensuring that you can travel with the most knowledgeable leaders in the field.

  • Liz Bonnin Heroes and Heroines

    The people who lead the way when it comes to those things which matter to us: exploration, the environment, women’s empowerment and education.

South Island West Coast and Glaciers

This strip of the South Island boasts five of New Zealand’s 14 national parks and is a rugged land of wild beaches, inland snowy peaks, indigenous forests, crystal clear lakes and the glaciers of Fox & Franz Josef.

The small town of Punakaiki is known for the pancake rocks & blowholes – thin, horizontal layers of limestone, formed through a weathering process known as stylobedding. Just south of here is Greymouth from where the TranzAlpine train departs for its journey across the Southern Alps.

Fox and Franz Josef are two small townships just 20 minutes’ drive apart and are home to ancient glaciers, nestled amidst the primaeval rainforest. These glaciers are best visited either from the air on a scenic flight or on a heli-hike where you can don your crampons and experience the ice formations up close.


What do you really love doing? We curate your itinerary especially for you.

TranzAlpine Train Journey

Board the TranzAlpine train for a spectacular journey between Greymouth and Christchurch, passing through epic scenery.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Glacier Heli-Hiking

Heli-hike on the icy surface of Franz Josef Glacier, walking among ice caves and ridges.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Heli-Adventure over Mount Cook

Take the Grand Traverse scenic flight over Mount Cook and Fox and Franz Josef glaciers.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Lake Moeraki

Explore the wild coastline and native bush around Lake Moeraki, gateway to Mount Aspiring National Park.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Visit Pancake Rocks

Formed through a weathering process known as stylobedding, limestone pillars of thin, horizontal layers create blowholes through which the sea bursts spectacularly during high tide.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Exterior, Te Waonui Forest Retreat, Franz Josef Glacier, New Zealand
Te Waonui Forest Retreat, Franz Josef Glacier, New Zealand

Te Waonui Forest Retreat

This lodge-style hotel is nestled amid the rainforest on the West Coast of New Zealand. The retreat is nothing short of an eco-friendly accommodation designed with reused native materials and natural hues.

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Excellent organisation and itinerary, very professionally put together in an attractive package. Plus a great travel app. Amy was efficient, helpful and clearly knowledgeable.

New Zealand

Amy's experience of New Zealand was invaluable. Everything went like clockwork and the travel documentation and book you sent us were brilliant.

New Zealand

Why Choose Steppes?

Our knowledge and expertise set us apart. So too our curiosity. It is this that drives us to create a journey that is really bespoke to you, all the while ensuring we travel and operate sustainably.

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