New Zealand South Island Adventure
From 11/09/2022 to 11/05/2023
Departure dates & prices
Dates Availability Price
Sep Sun 11 2022 to Sep Thu 22 2022AvailableFrom$5,010*
Oct Sun 09 2022 to Oct Thu 20 2022AvailableFrom$5,010*
Oct Sun 23 2022 to Nov Thu 03 2022AvailableFrom$4,960*
Nov Sun 06 2022 to Nov Thu 17 2022AvailableFrom$4,885*
Nov Sun 20 2022 to Dec Thu 01 2022AvailableFrom$5,035*
Dec Sun 04 2022 to Dec Thu 15 2022AvailableFrom$4,935*
Dec Sun 18 2022 to Dec Thu 29 2022AvailableFrom$5,130*
Jan Sun 01 2023 to Jan Thu 12 2023AvailableFrom$5,380*
Jan Sun 15 2023 to Jan Thu 26 2023AvailableFrom$5,280*
Jan Sun 29 2023 to Feb Thu 09 2023AvailableFrom$5,380*
Feb Sun 12 2023 to Feb Thu 23 2023AvailableFrom$5,280*
Feb Sun 26 2023 to Mar Thu 09 2023AvailableFrom$5,125*
Mar Sun 12 2023 to Mar Thu 23 2023AvailableFrom$5,125*
Apr Sun 16 2023 to Apr Thu 27 2023AvailableFrom$5,220*
Apr Sun 30 2023 to May Thu 11 2023AvailableFrom$5,125*
Take in the magic of the spectacular Franz Josef Glacier and Fox Glacier regions during dips in hot pools 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.
Explore the Cathedral Caves of the Catlins, an untamed coastal wilderness home to rugged cliffs, dense forest, and spectacular hidden waterfalls.
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.
Breakfasts Included: 11.
Hotel (9 nights),Motel (1 night),Cabin (with shared facilities) (1 night).
Age: min 15.
Group Size: 1 - 12.
Reefton - Town Tour with Billy Tea, Scones & Honey.
Reefton - Miners Hut visit.
Reefton - Gold Panning Experience.
Tauranga Bay - Fur Seal Colony.
Westport - Cape Foulwind Walkway & Lighthouse.
Westport - Seal Colony at Tauranga Bay.
Denniston - Heritage Village Walk.
Punakaiki - Pancake Rocks & Blowholes Walk.
Kumara - Glow Worm Cave Visit.
Charleston - Nile River Gorge Rainforest Train Ride.
Franz Josef Glacier - Hot Pools.
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.
Stewart Island - Leader-led Dark Sky Briefing & Star Gazing.
Day 1 - Christchurch / Reefton / Westport Welcome to your Intrepid exploration of the South Island! Your adventure begins in Christchurch, where a welcome meeting will take place at 8am for you to meet up with your local leader and fellow travellers. After your meeting, it’s time to hit the road, first heading to Maruia Springs in the Lewis Pass national reserve. Check out the natural hot pools surrounded by greenery as the snow dusted peaks of the Southern Alps look on. You can even opt to take a dip. Next up, travel to Reefton, a tiny town that punches above its size. Take a town walking tour with a local story-teller, learning about it's gold mining past. Step back in time as tea is prepared for you on the forge. Manuka leaf is introduced into the billy to produce a rich and sweet black tea which will be served with scones with manuka honey. Finally, drive on to the town of Westport and perhaps round off the day with group dinner.
Day 2 - Denniston / Westport Start your day with a stop at the wild Cape Foulwind and admire incredible views of the mountains and rugged coastline. The headland is home to a fur seal breeding colony so keep your eyes peeled, they can easily blend in with the rocks! Then it’s time to stretch your legs with a walk through the historic mining settlement of Denniston – your leader will be able to give you an idea of what life once looked like for the miners and their families. Return to Westport for an evening at leisure.
Day 3 - Punakaiki / Kumara Travel to Charleston this morning to join a train ride in open carriages through primeval rain forest. ‘The Nile River Rainforest Train’ recreates a bygone era where bush trams once prevailed. Experience the spectacular wilderness of the Nile River Canyon in Paparoa National Park. Next up is Punakaiki, a town with less than 100 residents, but famed for its so-called Pancake Rocks. These layers of fossilised animals and plants, formed over 30 million years ago, were thrust above the surface by the moving earth and sculpted by wind and water. At high tide the sea is forced through blowholes in the limestone to burst metres into the air – it’s an entertaining sight! Continue to Kumara, a former goldrush town with an intriguing history (this little place was the home of New Zealand’s longest serving Prime Minister!). On arrival, settle into your hotel, then head out to meet the town’s brightest residents. Just behind your hotel, you’ll find dazzling glow worms lighting up old mineshafts. Once the sun has gone down, be sure to look up. With very little light pollution, the stargazing in Kumara is absolutely out of this world (literally!).
Day 4 - Hokitika / Fox Glacier Today begins with a visit to the Hokitika Gorge, one of the West Coast’s most stunning spots. Shimmering turquoise waters wreathed with lush native bush make a sight to remember. Then it’s on to the Okarito Lagoon, alive with the calls of over 70 unique species of birds. Head out on a nature walk culminating in a lookout point from which, on a clear day, you can enjoy an unbeatable view over Westland (Tai Poutini) National Park from the snow-capped Southern Alps (Kā Tiritiri o te Moana) across extensive native forest to the lagoons and beaches of the coast. Continue your journey south towards Franz Josef and pay a visit to the glacier hot pools, where you’ll enjoy some time to relax and unwind while tucked away among gorgeous rainforest. Later in the day, travel to the Fox Glacier township, your gateway to the dramatic and enormous Fox Glacier and your base for the evening.
Day 5 - Fox Glacier Today is yours to make the most of what this amazing slice of the country has to offer. Take a shuttle back to Franz Joseph Glacier or you may want to visit a pounamu (greenstone) workshop and learn how to carve your own original piece. Alternatively you can book a helicopter ride up to the glaciers, with the potential to add on a hike through the spectacular landscape. There’s also no shortage of interesting walks and cosy pubs if you fancy a more low-key afternoon – have a chat to your leader about your options for the day.
Day 6 - Wanaka Kick off the day with a gentle walk around the glittering Lake Matheson, dubbed the ‘mirror lake’ for its dark waters which perfectly reflect the towering Southern Alps – if you take one picture of your West Coast adventure, this should be it! Then make tracks for Wanaka, making plenty of interesting stops along the way. First up is Ship Creek, where you’ll take a walk through quintessentially rugged West Coast scenery. You can either walk through shady swamp forest, or explore windswept sand dunes and coastal forest. Then it’s on to Mt Aspiring National Park. Make the short walk to the incredible Thunder Creek Falls, featuring an impressive 96-metre-tall cascade. Your last stop is for a 1-hour walk along the wonderful Blue Pools Track, passing through forests of beech and podocarp which surround sapphire-blue pools of glacial water. Arrive in Wanaka and enjoy an evening at leisure.
Day 7 - Queenstown / Te Anau Depart Wanaka this morning and drive through the magnificent scenery of the Crown Range. Arrive in Queenstown in the late morning, then a meeting will take place to welcome any new travellers joining you for the next leg of your journey. After the meeting, head to the lovely lakeside town of Te Anau – gateway to Fiordland National Park. Watch the stunning landscapes pass by as you round the bottom of Lake Wakatipu with the aptly named The Remarkables mountains in the background. The five-hour drive will take you to the shores of the South Island’s biggest lake, which extends into the fiords and deeply forested mountains. Tonight you there's an optional chance to head underground by boat and see thousands of glow worms illuminate subterranean caves, to spectacular effect.
Day 8 - Milford Sound / Te Anau The stunning, unforgettable sights of the fiords are best experienced by boat, so today you’ll set off for a memorable cruise on Milford Sound, known locally as Piopiotahi. Sail along the waters that pour out into the Tasman Sea, and look out for bottlenose dolphins and fur seals at play. Nature feels close here in the silence of the sound as you make your way past countless tumbling, misting cascades, soaring icy peaks, lush rainforest and twisting inlets. Soak up the surrounds so stunning that they feel almost fake, and breathe in the crisp mountain air. Afterwards get a different perspective of the sound, surrounded by native bush, as you take on the lookout track with your leader. There’s a bit of a climb, but the views are more than worth it to look down on the water and up at the peaks. The spectacular views keep on coming with a Mirror Lakes walk, where the peaks and greenery reflect in the clear lake waters. Return to Te Anau in time for dinner this evening – maybe seek out some local fare like venison or even lobster for dinner.
Day 9 - The Catlins This morning it’s time to swap one side of the island for the other as you make your way to what feels like a forgotten corner of Otago – the Catlins. This untamed coastal wilderness is home to rugged cliffs, dense forest, and some spectacular hidden waterfalls. Visit Nugget Point and its lighthouse, situated on a rocky outcrop jutting out into the South Pacific Ocean, and hike through dense forest to pretty McLean Falls. In the afternoon take the time to soak up the sights of pounding surf, windswept beaches and sunbathing sea lions as you stroll the sands with your leader.
Day 10 - Stewart Island Head to the very bottom of the island and take a ferry across the Foveaux Strait to the country’s third largest landmass, remote and rugged Stewart Island. It takes about one hour to travel the 30-kilometre strait. The island is almost entirely national park, which makes its unspoiled forests, beaches and bays a haven for hikers of all abilities as well as birdwatchers – it’s home to endangered brown kiwi, flightless Stewart Island kiwi and nearly extinct kakapo parrots. In the Maori language the island is known as Rakiura, which means ‘the land of glowing skies’. So tonight your leader will brief you and point you towards the best nearby vantage point to explore the night sky.
Day 11 - Stewart Island Enjoy a full free day to explore the island as you discover the coast and Rakiura National Park. Optional activities include cruises on the bays and inlets spotting penguins and seabirds and walks along forested coastal tracks past early Maori settlements. Learn about the local flora and fauna, and relax on the beach for a picnic lunch. Take in the views over glistening William Bay and see if you can spot the mountains of the South Island in the distance. Return to your accommodation and enjoy the rest of the evening to relax after your full day of island exploration. Perhaps join the group for dinner at a local restaurant tonight.
Day 12 - Stewart Island / Queenstown Head back over to the mainland, then continue back to Queenstown. Your trip comes to an end today when you arrive back in Queenstown at approximately 2pm. If you have extra time to spend in Queenstown, make sure to get out and take advantage of the numerous adventure activities on offer. The Remarkables and Lake Wakatipu not only serve as spectacular props to get your adrenaline fix, they’re also beautiful to look at. The town is also a great base for exploring Central Otago’s excellent vineyards and historic mining towns.
- The following product terms and conditions apply in addition to our Booking Terms and Conditions (available on our website) and terms and conditions of the relevant travel service provider.
- Prices quoted valid for sale until 29 May 2022 for travel during the period specified (if applicable) unless otherwise stated or sold out prior.
- All prices are per person (unless otherwise stated), subject to availability and may be withdrawn or varied without notice. Accommodation (if included) is based on twin share unless otherwise stated.
- Advertised price includes bonus nights and/or stated saving (if applicable).
- Additional supplier conditions and travel restrictions may apply. Please enquire for further details.
- Airfare (including internal flights) is not included unless otherwise stated and, if included, is economy class unless otherwise stated.
- Components of the total price including local payments, "resort fees", "national park fees", "trip kitties" and food funds (if applicable) may be payable direct to the supplier on arrival or to your travel consultant prior to your departure. Where applicable, these payments are included in the total price quoted.
- Gratuities are not included unless otherwise stated.
- Prices shown are fully inclusive of taxes, levies and government charges current at the time of publication.
- Additional levies, government charges & other applicable fees, including additional taxes, surcharges and visa fees specific to your departure date or flight routing, may apply and are beyond our control.
- Seasonal surcharges and blackout dates may apply depending on date of travel.
- Prices shown are for payments made by cash in store or by BPAY.
- Payments made in store by credit card will incur a surcharge (see Booking Terms and Conditions for further details).
- These prices are a guide to the best price and are subject to change without notice, due to matters outside our control, such as adverse currency fluctuations, fuel surcharges, taxes and airfare increases. Please enquire for further details..
- We receive payment from third party travel service providers when you use us to book travel and travel-related products and services with them on your behalf.
- Our liability to you is limited in certain situations, and we may charge you a cancellation fee(s) in certain circumstances. See our booking terms and conditions for further details.
Tell us about your travel plans