New Zealand–South Island Encompassed

  • New Zealand

Explore the trails of Abel Tasman National Park by foot, get an adrenaline rush in Queenstown, cruise through the remote fjords of Milford Sound, cycle the Otago Rail Trail

Looking to tackle a bundle of different environments all in one go? New Zealand’s South Island has what you need and then some. Action is the common thread throughout this trip that incorporates hiking, cycling, and even bungee jumping across a variety of landscapes, including rainforests, glaciers, and some of the most gorgeous coastline you’ll ever see. This trip is exciting even when you’re not moving; accommodations include a seasonal floating boat hostel and a wilderness hostel deep in the rainforest itself. Unique? You bet.

was €1,87916 days from €1,429

(€89.31 per day)

Suitable for
All ages
Trip Code
ONSE
Travel Style
18-to-Thirtysomethings
Service Level
Basic
Physical Grading
3 - Average
Trip Type
Small Group
Group Size
Max 20, avg 16
Transport
Private vehicle, boat, ferry, bicycle, walking.
Accommodation
Hostels (10 nights), basic hotels (2 nights), basic lodges (3 nights). Most nights are multi-share.
Meals
15 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 4 dinners
Other
  • Big Night Out: Wellington
  • Excursion to Abel Tasman NP
  • Seal colony visit
  • View more
    • Walks in Abel Tasman NP, Fiordland NP, and Lake Matheson
    • Milford Sound day cruise
    • Cycling excursion (Central Otago)
    • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.
New Zealand–South Island Encompassed itinerary
  • Day 1Wellington

    Arrive at any time. Start the adventure with a Big Night Out with the group.

    There are no planned activities during the day, so check into the hotel and explore the city.

    Check out New Zealand's National Museum, a must-see with great displays of historical Maori artifacts and relatively modern exhibits such as the motorbike that was built in a shed and won the world championships. Afterwards, opt for a night out on the town. Wellington has an abundance of nightlife, bars, cafes and restaurants all located on and around the entertainment district of Courtenay Place.

    Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting

    The adventure begins tonight. Feel free to explore before your welcome meeting, but make sure you’re back in time to meet the group. After introductions, your CEO will review the details of your tour. Please note that normal check-in times apply at our start hotels, but you can usually store your luggage for the day if you arrive early.

    Big Night Out

    Whether it’s a pub crawl, drink specials or a bonfire on the beach, celebrate late into the night with your new best friends.

    accommodation

    Nomads Capital

    Optional Activities:

    • Weta Workshop Visit

      Guided tours start every 30 minutes from 10am to 5pm. Tours take approx 30-40 minutes. Maximum 20 people per tour 

      Entrance is free.

      Step into the behind-the-scenes world of hobbits, dragons and other fantastical movie creatures. The Weta Workshop is where the props and models for films like The Lord of the Rings, Avatar and the Amazing Spiderman 2 are designed and brought to life. Watch artists working on new pieces and see some of their award-winning creations from past projects in their new exhibition space.

    • Te Papa Museum Visit

      Visit this must-see museum, home to displays of historical Maori artifacts and modern exhibits. See how the museum is constructed on shock absorbers to withstand New Zealand’s many earthquakes – find the stairwell just outside the entrance and descend into the foundations of the building.

      Entrance to the museum is free (but there is a charge for special exhibits).

  • Day 2Wellington / Abel Tasman National Park

    Take a ferry over to the South Island and transfer to Abel Tasman National Park.

    Catch a morning ferry and cross the scenic Cook Strait. Make sure to stand outside and enjoy the views of the Marlborough Sounds at the top of the South Island. Disembark and transfer to Abel Tasman National Park, well-known for its stunning white sand beaches. Board a water taxi to transfer to the middle of the National Park for the night. The night will be spent on a floating boat hostel.

    Ferry

    Get to the next spot on your route aboard a convenient and efficient ferry boat.

    Private Vehicle

    Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

    Water taxi

    Jump in and cross the water to the next stop.

    accommodation

    Aquapackers

    Meals Included

    • Breakfast
    • Dinner

    During the winter season (May - Oct), and when there is inclement weather in the summer, we will stay in cabins in a true rural setting on the edge of the park instead of the floating boat hostel.

  • Day 3Abel Tasman National Park

    Hike and explore Abel Tasman's golden beaches and waterways.

    Abel Tasman National Park Walk

    Walk along a coastline track from Anchorage to Marahau to one of the world's most scenic golden sand beaches.

    accommodation

    Old MacDonalds Farm

    Optional Activities:

    • Sailing

      Sail through crystal clear waters, admire spectacular scenery and investigate secluded cloves, small islands, golden beaches and lush forest. Don't forget to wear a hat and sunscreen!

    • Abel Tasman National Park Kayaking

      Explore the coastline and beaches in stunning Abel Tasman National Park. Kayak from Watering Cove along the coastline to Marahau.

    • Canyoning

      Jump, slide, rappel, swim and float down the Torrent River on this canyoning adventure. Make your way down stream and see the stunning rainforest scenery on this active adventure that will bring you into the heart of Abel Tasman National Park.

    • Skydiving

    Meals Included

    • Breakfast
  • Day 4Abel Tasman National Park / Westport

    Head south down the coast of black-sand beaches. Visit a seal colony before travelling to Westport, the stop for the night.

    Private Vehicle

    Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

    Seal Colony Visit

    Stop by a viewing platform over a New Zealand fur seal colony at Cape Foulwind. Female seals will live in the same colony for the duration of their lives, whereas male seals move around more. The males visit the Cape Foulwind colony between late November and mid-January for mating season. All seasons offer plenty of activity to check out, from mating to the raising of baby pups and feeding out at sea.

    accommodation

    Tripinn Hostel, YHA Westport

    Meals Included

    • Breakfast
    • Dinner
  • Day 5Westport / Franz Josef

    Take in the pancake rock formations at Punakaiki before continuing on to Franz Josef. Enjoy free time for optional activities like hiking, horseback riding, and quad biking.

    Continue following the coastal road towards Franz Josef arriving at a unique wilderness lodge set in the rainforest for the night.

    Pancake Rocks Trek

    Walk along a loop trail with informative signs detailing how the 'Pancake Rocks' were formed millions of years ago. When the trail reaches the coast, there are many lookouts for photo stops and beautiful views of the coast, the rocks and the blowholes found along the area.

    Private Vehicle

    Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

    free time

    With tons of optional activities available around Franz Josef, get out there and explore!

    accommodation

    Rainforest Retreat

    Optional Activities:

    • Helicopter Hike

      Take a once-in-a-lifetime helicopter ride high up on Franz Josef Glacier. Hop out and trek on the white and blue ice. Cool!

    • Franz Josef Glacier Valley Walk

      Enjoy spectacular views on a guided interpretive walk that follows a riverbed along the Franz Josef Glacier's retreat. At the end, you'll be rewarded with a great view of the glacier off in the distance.

      This walk is not on ice or atop the glacier itself.

    • Franz Josef Kayaking

      Explore the stunning Lake Mapourika by kayak. This lake was created as the Franz Josef glacier retreated 14,000 years ago, and the still water has created a natural mirror allowing you to soak in the incredible panoramic views.

    Meals Included

    • Breakfast
    • Dinner
  • Day 6Franz Josef

    Free day for optional activities. Options include various hikes, horseback riding and quad biking.

    free time

    Enjoy a free day to explore the beautiful Franz Josef area.

    accommodation

    Rainforest Retreat

    Optional Activities:

    • Franz Josef Glacier Valley Walk

      Enjoy spectacular views on a guided interpretive walk that follows a riverbed along the Franz Josef Glacier's retreat. At the end, you'll be rewarded with a great view of the glacier off in the distance.

      This walk is not on ice or atop the glacier itself.

    • Helicopter Hike

      Take a once-in-a-lifetime helicopter ride high up on Franz Josef Glacier. Hop out and trek on the white and blue ice. Cool!

    • Franz Josef Quad Bike

      Wet weather gear, gumboots, gloves and helmets are provided. Bring multiple clothing layers, sunglasses, and a beanie/cold weather hat during colder seasons. Price varies depending on if you want to drive the quad bike or be a passenger.

      Hop aboard the two-seater ATV quad and drive along ancient glacial pathways carved into the landscape by ice and water. Be amazed at what lies around every twist and turn as you are guided through rainforests, riverbeds, grasslands, sand and mud. Feel the thrill of fresh air in your face and the excitement of riding in the wild.

    • Franz Josef Kayaking

      Explore the stunning Lake Mapourika by kayak. This lake was created as the Franz Josef glacier retreated 14,000 years ago, and the still water has created a natural mirror allowing you to soak in the incredible panoramic views.

    • Hiking

      There are many free hikes in the area but please note treks that start at locations that require a shuttle will require the cost of transport (typically $12 NZD).

      Take your pick of many scenic and memorable treks in Franz Josef – a true hiker’s haven. Get prepared before heading out, and be mindful of signs along the track. See majestic mountains, glaciers, rivers, and amazing views that you’ll definitely want your camera on hand for.

    • Horseback Riding

      Hop in the saddle and explore Franz Josef’s amazing glacier landscape on horseback. Ride amid rainforests and mountain scenery, and enjoy fresh open air and natural beauty on this unforgettable trip.

    Meals Included

    • Breakfast
  • Day 7Franz Josef / Queenstown

    Visit the adventure capital of the world—Queenstown.

    Private Vehicle

    Early start to travel to the picturesque Lake Matheson. When the weather is right you can get a great photo of the Southern Alps reflected in the lake. Follow the wild West Coast Road, through the rainforest before stopping for some small walks and waterfall visits.

    Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

    accommodation

    Nomads Queenstown

    Meals Included

    • Breakfast
  • Day 8Queenstown

    Free time in Queenstown. Get the heart pumping with some adrenaline-filled options, such as jet boating, bungee jumping, mountain biking or skydiving.

    free time

    Do as much or as little as wanted during a free day to explore the area.

    accommodation

    Nomads Queenstown

    Optional Activities:

    • Shotover Jet Boating

      Jet boating is a typical New Zealand activity— go as fast you can in a boat over water. Hang on tight as you fly across the surface of the water. Shoot through narrow rocky gorges and dare to watch as the driver takes hairpin turns frighteningly close to the cliffs.

    • Bungee Jumping

      Adrenaline junkies will be happy with a stop at the world's original commercial bungee site (bungy in New Zealand!). Opt to take the plunge or simply observe where it all started from the comfort of solid ground. Shoot some amazing photos of those brave enough to dive into the abyss.

    • Mountain Biking

      Hop on a bike and get familiar with some of the great trails in the area. There are routes for all levels of cyclist to enjoy so rent a and start exploring the hills.

    • Skydiving

      100kg (220 lbs) weight limit.

      Enjoy the awe-inspiring beauty of Queenstown from an eagle's perspective. Suit up, get briefed and board the prop plane to soar high about the rugged alpine landscape. Strap onto your instructor, take a breath and leap into a once-in-a-lifetime free fall. This is what a natural high truly feels like!

    • Vineyard Tour

      Visit vineyards in New Zealand's fastest growing wine region. Taste some of Queenstown's finest Pinot Noir, as well as Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc. Sample local cheeses and learn more about the grape varietals that flourish here. Pick up a few bottles to savour back home.

    • Paragliding

      Hang on! Get a birds-eye view of Queenstown on an exciting ride in the sky.

      100kg (220 lbs) limit for hang gliding, 130kg (286 lbs) for paragliding.

    • Gondola Ride

      Take a ride up to the top of the mountain by cable car gondola. Get a spectacular 220º view of Coronet Peak, the Remarkables mountain range, and Lake Wakatipu below.

    • Lord of the Rings Horse Riding Tour

      Escape New Zealand and head to Middle-earth on a horseback riding tour of sites used in the Lord of the Rings films. Take in the breathtaking views and see if you can spot places where the films were shot.

    • Ziptrek

    • Canyon Swing

      Get your heart racing as you launch yourself from the world's highest canyon swing. Free fall for 60m before a 200m swing across Shotover Canyon. See you at the other side!

    • Canyon Fox

    Meals Included

    • Breakfast

    If you have pre-booked the Queenstown Jet Boating, your CEO will inform you when you will do the activity during your tour, as days are subject to change. Please note - in the winter months (late April - early Nov) skiing and snowboarding in the Southern Alps is a highlight for any visitor. Most of the optional activities are also available, ask your CEO which ones are in season.

  • Day 9Queenstown

    Free time in Queenstown. Get the heart pumping with some adrenaline-filled options, such as jet boating, bungee jumping, mountain biking or skydiving.

    free time

    Do as much or as little as wanted during a free day to explore the area.

    accommodation

    Nomads Queenstown

    Optional Activities:

    • Shotover Jet Boating

      Jet boating is a typical New Zealand activity— go as fast you can in a boat over water. Hang on tight as you fly across the surface of the water. Shoot through narrow rocky gorges and dare to watch as the driver takes hairpin turns frighteningly close to the cliffs.

    • Bungee Jumping

      Adrenaline junkies will be happy with a stop at the world's original commercial bungee site (bungy in New Zealand!). Opt to take the plunge or simply observe where it all started from the comfort of solid ground. Shoot some amazing photos of those brave enough to dive into the abyss.

    • Mountain Biking

      Hop on a bike and get familiar with some of the great trails in the area. There are routes for all levels of cyclist to enjoy so rent a and start exploring the hills.

    • Skydiving

      100kg (220 lbs) weight limit.

      Enjoy the awe-inspiring beauty of Queenstown from an eagle's perspective. Suit up, get briefed and board the prop plane to soar high about the rugged alpine landscape. Strap onto your instructor, take a breath and leap into a once-in-a-lifetime free fall. This is what a natural high truly feels like!

    • Vineyard Tour

      Visit vineyards in New Zealand's fastest growing wine region. Taste some of Queenstown's finest Pinot Noir, as well as Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc. Sample local cheeses and learn more about the grape varietals that flourish here. Pick up a few bottles to savour back home.

    • Paragliding

      Hang on! Get a birds-eye view of Queenstown on an exciting ride in the sky.

      100kg (220 lbs) limit for hang gliding, 130kg (286 lbs) for paragliding.

    • Gondola Ride

      Take a ride up to the top of the mountain by cable car gondola. Get a spectacular 220º view of Coronet Peak, the Remarkables mountain range, and Lake Wakatipu below.

    • Lord of the Rings Horse Riding Tour

      Escape New Zealand and head to Middle-earth on a horseback riding tour of sites used in the Lord of the Rings films. Take in the breathtaking views and see if you can spot places where the films were shot.

    • Ziptrek

    • Canyon Swing

      Get your heart racing as you launch yourself from the world's highest canyon swing. Free fall for 60m before a 200m swing across Shotover Canyon. See you at the other side!

    • Canyon Fox

    Meals Included

    • Breakfast

    If you have pre-booked the Queenstown Jet Boating, your CEO will inform you when you will do the activity during your tour, as days are subject to change. Please note - in the winter months (late April - early Nov) skiing and snowboarding in the Southern Alps is a highlight for any visitor. Most of the optional activities are also available, ask your CEO which ones are in season.

  • Day 10Queenstown / Te Anau

    Visit Fiordland National Park and enjoy a boat cruise through breathtaking Milford Sound. In the evening, opt to cruise across Lake Te Anau and visit a cave that is home to thousands of glowworms.

    Private Vehicle

    Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

    Fiordland National Park Visit

    Enjoy a guided 2-hour interpretive bush walk.

    Milford Sound Cruise

    Enjoy the stunning scenery of Fiordland National Park and Milford Sound from the deck of a boat. Recharge your camera and be ready to shoot stunning photos of waterfalls, mountains stretching up to the sky and down to the sea and then search for dolphins and seals. This place is any artist's dream!

    Private Vehicle

    Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

    accommodation

    Te Anau Lakeview Kiwi Holiday Park

    Optional Activities:

    • Te Anau Glowworm Caves

      Head underground to see the mysterious and beautiful glowworms that magically shine bright deep in limestone caves. Learn about local history, and experience an unforgettable, one-of-a-kind natural wonder.

    Meals Included

    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
  • Day 11Te Anau / Wedderburn

    Enjoy free time in the morning to discover the natural beauty of Te Anau. Later, transfer to Wedderburn in Central Otago.

    Private Vehicle

    Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

    accommodation

    Mt Ida Shearers Quarters

    Optional Activities:

    • Hiking

      Lace up your hiking boots and head out on a trek to take in the amazing scenery around Te Anau. Hikes range from short walks to more challenging full-day treks -- take your pick!

    Meals Included

    • Breakfast
    • Dinner
  • Day 12Wedderburn

    Bike 35 km of the Otago Rail Trail, passing through one historic town to the next. Along the way sample some local food and drink.

    Biking Otago Rail Trail

    Drive to one of the best starting points of the Historic Otago Rail Trail. Spend the better part of the day cycling along an easy gradient through stunning scenery along 35km of the old rail trail. Cycle through scenery unspoiled by traffic and not visible from any roads.

    accommodation

    Mt Ida Shearers Quarters

    Optional Activities:

    • Curling

      Try your hand at throwing a curling rock and sweeping the ice at the only year-round curling facility in Australasia. The sport of curling was introduced to New Zealand in the late 19th century by Scottish settlers.

    Meals Included

    • Breakfast
  • Day 13Wedderburn / Christchurch

    Enjoy a free afternoon to explore Christchurch.

    Overnight in the very unique converted jail house.

    Private Vehicle

    Drive through breathtaking Central Otago, stopping at historic towns to buy supplies for a picnic lunch.

    Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

    free time

    Spend the afternoon exploring Christchurch during free time.

    accommodation

    Jailhouse Accommodation

    Meals Included

    • Breakfast

    Central Otago/Christchurch

  • Day 14Christchurch / Kaikoura

    Opt to go whale watching, swim with seals or take a walk along the coast.

    Spend the afternoon swimming with dolphins or taking a scenic flight over the peninsula.

    Bird watchers will be pleased to know that big ocean birds such as albatrosses, petrels and shearwaters frequent the area.

    Private Vehicle

    Early start this morning to maximize time in Kaikoura. Enjoy the view on the drive along the coastal road.

    Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

    free time

    Head out and explore this beautiful area. View some of the wildlife in the area or hit the trails to get a workout with a view.

    accommodation

    Dusky Lodge

    Optional Activities:

    • Swimming With Dolphins

      Hop aboard a boat and head out to the open seas to search for wild dusky dolphins. Depending on conditions, most groups have 20-40 minutes of swim time with the dolphins.

      The presence of the dolphins is never guaranteed due to the fact that they are not in captivity and are in fact wild dolphins. However, there is a very high success rate in locating pods of dolphins due to Kaikoura's abundance of wildlife. Groups that are not successful in locating dolphins will receive a refund. Wetsuit, mask, snorkel, swimming fins and a hood are provided, plus gloves and booties in the winter.

    • Scenic Flight

      Take a 30-minute flight and set off to search for whales, dolphins, and other marine life. On land, you'll see Maori sites, Kaikoura town and New Zealand's southern fur seals.

    • Whale Watching

      While there is a 95% success rate of finding the whales, there will be an 80% refund if a tour does not encounter a whale.

      Follow in the path of Paikea, the Maori "whale rider", and set out in search of Giant Sperm Whales as they spray and dive their way through the waters off Kaikora.

    • Hiking

      Part of the Southern Alps range, the Kaikoura Mountains provide an excellent backdrop to the town's picturesque landscape. One of the most popular routes is the Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway that starts at a seal colony and provides excellent sea and mountain views.

      Set off along one of many hiking trails to take in the beautiful scenery surrounding Kaikoura.

    • Sea Kayaking

    Meals Included

    • Breakfast

    As a result of the recent earthquake in New Zealand, groups departing before Jan 18, 2018 will be rerouted to Picton or Nelson instead of Kaikoura today.

  • Day 15Kaikoura / Wellington

    Travel to Picton to catch the ferry back to Wellington. Opt for a final night out with the group.

    Private Vehicle

    Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

    Ferry

    Get to the next spot on your route aboard a convenient and efficient ferry boat.

    accommodation

    Nomads Capital

    Meals Included

    • Breakfast
  • Day 16Wellington

    Depart at any time.

    We highly recommend pre- or post-accommodation to fully explore this vibrant city.

    Departure Day

    Not ready to leave? Your CEO can help with travel arrangements to extend your adventure.

    Meals Included

    • Breakfast
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Booking conditions

Adventure Tour prices are subject to terms, conditions and availability.

Only 1 tour can be discounted per passenger per reservation booking. If multiple tours are booked the discount will be applied to the most expensive tour booked.