Be spoilt by the scenic and adventurous delights of South NZ

Hike the Franz Josef Glacier, kayak with dolphins in Doubtful Sound, view New Zealand's highest peak, Mt Cook, and go wild in Queenstown - the extreme adventure capital of the world. There's so much to do in New Zealand's South Island, this is bound to be an unforgettable travel experience and a rollicking adventure. Where do you sign up? Right here!

Start
Christchurch, New Zealand
Finish
Christchurch, New Zealand
Countries
New Zealand
Themes
Explorer
Code
PTOSU
Physical rating
Cultural rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1 Max 15
Carbon offset
0kg pp per trip


Highlights

  • Spend the night aboard a boat among the spectacular scenery of the Doubtful Sound. Cruise through fjords and take in the natural beauty of this remote wilderness area
  • Share amazing moments with your fellow travellers. As you'll be in a small group, the trip retains a fun, personalised atmosphere throughout
  • Spend several nights in Queenstown, New Zealand's adventure capital, where's you'll have tonnes of time to explore
  • Stunning Abel Tasman National Park is best explored on foot. Trek along walking trails through lush forest to beautiful coves, kayak on the blue water or relax on the beach
  • Franz Josef Glacier is every adventurer's dream. Take a guided hike across the glacier, get your blood pumping on a quad bike ride around the area or enjoy unrivalled views on a scenic flight

Itinerary

Kia-ora! Welcome to Christchurch, New Zealand. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader.

If you arrive early into the city, there's a whole new range of pop up cafes, restaurants and bars to run through. Christchurch has hit the ground running and it's a great chance to get your bearings of this resilient city. Your evening is the free to do as you wish, before settling into your accommodation for the night.

Note: If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive to the welcome meeting in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability).
Depart Christchurch early in the morning and head over the fertile Canterbury Plains, heading for the mountains. Leave the dry earth of the east coast and cross the dividing range to go down to the lush, green west coast. The countryside changes radically, as great deep blue rivers spring from the steep mountainsides. On arrival to Punakaiki, perhaps talk a walk out to Pancake Rocks and watch the power of the waves as they crash against the rocks. In the evening, drive onto Greymouth where you'll spend the night.

Notes: Total driving distance is around five hours (approximately 300kms). Total distance walked is approximately two to three kilometres.
The drive down the coast later today is beautiful. You have plenty of time in the morning and afternoon to take part in cultural activities, before leaving for Franz Josef Glacier along the coast of forests, lakes and hidden beaches. Pull into Franz Josef in the evening and relax before tomorrow's activities. Your evening is free, so possibly head out for dinner with the group.

Notes: Total driving distance takes around three hours (approximately 180kms).
After breakfast this morning, your day is free to do as much or as little as you please. There are plenty of amazing optional activities to keep you busy, such as a guided hike across a glacier, kayaking, taking a spin on a quad bike or enjoying unrivaled views of the region on a scenic flight (at your own cost).

Notes: Total driving time is around 30 minutes (approximately 10kms). Total distance walked will be between one and five kilometres.
After breakfast, drive the remainder of the west coast and climb up through the Haast Pass into the Southern Alps (approximately four to five hours). This is a stunning drive with fantastic views of the mountains, rivers and lakes. Arriving into Queenstown in the late afternoon, enjoy dinner with the rest of your night free. Over the next few days, you'll see and experience a place that's widely acknowledged as being the extreme activity capital of the world. There is simply no end to the line up of optional activities including bungy-jumping, mountain biking, kayaking, rafting, helicopter rides, jet boating and paragliding.

Note: Total driving time is around five and a half hours (approximately 360kms).
Total distance walked is around one to two kilometres.
Today is free to take part in as many optional activities as you want. Queenstown will spoil you for choice, as the undisputed adventure capital of New Zealand. Jet boat, bungee jump, paraglide, kayak, mountain bike, ski or river raft - there's so much to do in this grand place (all activities are at own expense). In the evening, settle down in your lodge after a big day of adventure.

Notes: Total driving time is around one hour (approximately 10kms).
Walking distance will depend on what activities you take part in.
Head out after breakfast and take a break from the adrenaline rush of Queenstown, as you drive to Doubtful Sound to board your overnight cruise boat for a trip through the fjords. This place is stunning with tall mountain peaks and waterfalls - easily one of the most spectacular places in the country. Enjoy a dinner aboard the boat this evening with the rest of the group.

Notes: Total driving time is around three hours (approximately 170kms).
Your boat has four berth cabins, so you'll be sharing your space with travellers of the same or different sex. Twin share cabins aren't available on the boat this night.
Be dwarfed by spectacular Aoraki (Mt Cook) which, at an impressive 3,754 m (12,316 ft), is the highest mountain in New Zealand. Explore meadows, lakes, streams and glaciers that shelter the world's only alpine parrot, the kea.
This morning we depart Mt Cook in the morning making our way to Christchurch where your adventure concludes at around 6 pm. Please take this into consideration when booking any onward flights.

Notes: Total driving time is around five hours (approximately 325kms).
View trip notes to read full itinerary

Inclusions

Meals
7 breakfasts, 2 dinners
Transport
Van
Accommodation
Lodge (9 nights), Overnight boat (1 night)
Included activities
  • Pancake Rocks and Blowhole
  • Franz Josef Glacier - Kiwi House
  • Lake Matheson
  • Arrowtown Tour

Dates

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Important notes

1. This trip finishes on arrival in Christchurch on day 11 at approx 6:00pm.
2. A single supplement is available on this trip .

Trip notes

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Your trip notes provide a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what’s included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

View trip notes

Reviews

Our New Zealand South Island Explorer trips score an average of 4.47 out of 5 based on 19 reviews in the last year.

New Zealand South Island Explorer , March 2016

New Zealand South Island Explorer , March 2016