New Zealand South Island Adventure

12 Days | Satisfy all your senses in the spectacular South Island

3.8 out of 5 based on 14 reviews submitted.
USD $4,244
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From an ancient world of forests and glaciers to a culture of hospitality that has long defined New Zealand’s people, discover the best of the South Island on a 12-day adventure. Take in highlights from Reefton to Fox Glacier, Pancake Rocks to botanical gins, kayaking to spa soaking. Make your way to the shores of the South Island’s biggest lake and sail the silent waters of glacier-carved Fiordland National Park on an unforgettable cruise on Milford Sound. Cross to the cliffs of the Catlins and hike to coastal caves, then span the gap to untouched Stewart Island to explore the wilderness, listening out for the call of the kiwi. When it comes to natural wonders, it doesn’t get better than this.

Trip overview

Map of New Zealand South Island Adventure including New Zealand
Christchurch, New Zealand
Queenstown, New Zealand
New Zealand
Physical rating
Indicates how physically exerting a trip is, and how fit you will need to be to enjoy it. More info on physical ratings
Min 15
Group size
Min 1 - Max 12
Trip code
This trip generates 10.75 kg of CO2-e per person per day.
We offset these emissions on your behalf. But we know that is not enough, so we also have a carbon reduction target.

Why you'll love this trip
  • Take in the magic of the spectacular Fox Glacier region weaving through rainforests and a walk around the shimmering Lake Matheson.
  • Witness the stunning, millions of years old scenery at the dramatic Pancake Rocks and the Hokitika Gorge, and spot fur seals at Cape Foulwind.
  • Soak up the silence of Milford Sound on a cruise across its waters – you’ll be left speechless by the hundreds of tumbling cascades and deeply forested mountains.
  • Cross the Foveaux Strait to unspoilt Stewart Island and spend two days cruising the bays and inlets to spot penguins and seabirds and walking along its forested coastal tracks in search of kiwis.

Is this trip right for you?
  • This trip involves some walking over varied terrain and is best suited to travellers with a good level of mobility. Details on physical activities can be found in the itinerary.
  • As this is a combination of 2 trips, your leader and the composition of your group may change in Queenstown on Day 7.


Map of New Zealand South Island Adventure including New Zealand



11 breakfasts


Private vehicle, Ferry


Hotel (7 nights), Motel (1 night), Hostel (twin share with shared facilities) (2 nights), Cabin (with shared facilities) (1 night)

  • Reefton - Historic Town Visit
  • Reefton - Goldfields Museum with Local Storyteller
  • Reefton - Billy Tea with 'The Bearded Miners'
  • Punakaiki - Pancake Rocks & Blowholes Walk
  • Kumara - Glow Worm Cave Visit
  • Charleston - Nile River Gorge Rainforest Train Ride
  • Westport - Seal Colony at Tauranga Bay
  • Westport - Cape Foulwind Walkway & Lighthouse
  • Hokitika - Gorge Visit
  • Okarito - Okarito Lagoon Walk
  • Fox Glacier - Lake Matheson Walk
  • Milford Sound - Nature Boat Cruise
  • Milford Sound - Leader-led walk to Milford Lookout
  • Milford Sound - Walk to Mirror Lakes & Lake Gunn
  • The Catlins - Leader-led walk to Nugget Point & McLean Falls
  • Stewart Island - Scenic Ferry Crossing
Add on activities
  • Lewis Pass - Hanmer Hot Springs - from - NZD38
  • Fox Glacier - Glacier Heli Hike - from - NZD655
  • Te Anau - Glow Worm Cave with Cruise & Guide - NZD109
  • Stewart Island - Village & Bay Trip - NZD49
  • Stewart Island - Wild Kiwi Encounter - NZD199
  • Stewart Island - Beaks & Feathers Kiwi Spotting - NZD125
  • Stewart Island - Ulva Island Explorer - NZD99

Dates and availability

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Important notes

This trip starts at 8am in Christchurch on day 1 and finishes upon arrival in Queenstown on the last day at approximately 2pm. Please take this into account when making onward travel arrangements.

A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement applies to all nights of your trip and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.

Essential Trip Information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides 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.

Read Essential Trip Information


3.8 out of 5 based on 14 reviews submitted.
Reviews are from travellers who have completed their trip and want to share their experience. We show all reviews, but may remove any that include profanity or inappropriate content, are unrelated to the trip or reveal personal details.

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Roger · Traveled April 2023
The South Island Adventure really was an adventure. The weather on our trip matched the dramatic variations in scenery. Some west coast rain, snow flurries around Queenstown. Our guide Oli steered us around all this – one eye on the weather patterns another on coffee stops. And a lot of empathy toward individual needs and preferences. He let us discover the surprises like Stewart Island’s unique community and its bird life. Pick this trip for its adventure possibilities, one of which might be that you get a guide like Oli.
Review submitted 19 May 2023

Victoria Racquel · Traveled April 2023
We lucked out with our tour guide. Oli R.’s local knowledge was extensive and knew how to pivot when weather challenges arose. Though I wish we spent more time in Wānaka, I think the itinerary was great and I feel I got to see the best the South Island has to offer.
Review submitted 10 May 2023

Breanna · Traveled January 2023
I would never book another Intrepid tour. My experience was extremely disappointing and the companies approach to customer satisfaction is extremely lacking.
Review submitted 19 Feb 2023

Mandy · Traveled January 2023
I was so looking forward to this Intrepid Trip after a wonderful Intrepid tour of Morocco. Unfortunately the tour did not reach the expectations on a number of levels. Quality of guide was not up to standard with limited communication and knowledge of the local area. There were some highlights, in particular Milford Sound, Pancake Rocks and the walks in the rainforest.
Review submitted 10 Feb 2023

Gabrielle · Traveled January 2023
After travelling around the South Island we are unimpressed with the whole Intrepid experience. It is so disappointing as we were really looking forward to it. It lacked professionalism and quality in delivery.
Review submitted 10 Feb 2023
New Zealand South Island Adventure
USD $4,244