Kiwi Experience Southern Round Up

Kiwi Experience Southern Round Up

Unlike the passes before it, the Southern Round Up heads up the coastline from Christchurch instead of cutting straight over to the West Coast. This way you get to see Kaikoura, Blenheim, Picton, Kaiteriteri, the Abel Tasman National Park and its famous golden beaches.

If you’re short on time this is a great way to see the highlights of the South Island. If you’re not short on time you can always add the Milford Explorer or Deep South later to see even more.​.​​

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PRICE: $699 NZD

Number of Days 11

Starts: Queenstown Finishes: Queenstown

Tour Type: Hop on Hop Off Bus Pass

DEPARTS FROM Queenstown ON

Tour Itinerary EXPAND ALL

We head out of Queenstown, through the Lindis Pass, so get your cameras ready because this is ‘Lord of the Rings’ territory. After stopping to admire Mt Cook at Lake Pukaki, we travel to Lake Tekapo with its amazing location by snow-capped alps and clear starry skies. Lake Tekapo has something for everyone - relaxing at the lakeside and taking in the untouched view, soaking in the hot springs, discovering one of the many scenic walkways or checking out the mind-boggling stars in what is the world’s largest dark sky reserve.

We have a straight run into Christchurch, our largest city in the South Island and the 3rd largest in New Zealand. Check out the funky Re:Start Mall and keep your eyes peeled for the sweet pop-up bars around the city.

Departing Christchurch bright and early, we arrive in Kaikoura in time for you to check out what Kaikoura is most famous for – its whale watching, or swimming with the dolphins. Spend the evening chilling on the beach or sampling some of the best seafood New Zealand has to offer for your dinner. In fact, the name Kaikoura means to eat crayfish (“kai” meaning to eat, “koura” meaning crayfish).

It’s a spectacular drive, and we may take the opportunity to stop for a close look at the seals that lay about on the rocks all day long. We make our way to Picton and then to Kaiteriteri at the edge of the Abel Tasman National Park. You can simply wile away the evening on the golden sand beach just metres from your accommodation. Kaiteriteri is a great spot to begin an adventure (on foot, by kayak or by water taxi) into Abel Tasman National Park.

Spend the morning kayaking out to Split Apple Rock and along the golden bays near Kaiteriteri, looking out for the local marine wildlife; or catch a water taxi to one of the bays in the Abel Tasman National Park to go for a morning stroll in the native New Zealand forest.  This afternoon we stop at the iconic Nelson Lakes on the way to Westport so you can get your legendary wharf jumping shot before hitting surf town Westport.

Today we start our journey down spectacular State Highway 6, that stretches 435 kilometres along the rugged Tasman shoreline. The road winds through a diverse series of landscapes which never cease to amaze. Highlights today include the Cape Foulwind seal colony walk, rugged beaches, and the Punakaiki Pancake Rocks. Tonight's unique accommodation is a chance to enjoy a delicious group meal and bond with your bus mates.

After breakfast at Lake Mahinapua we hit the road on our way to Franz Josef. Franz Josef is the northern gateway to Te Wahipounamu, the Southwest New Zealand World Heritage area. The region includes Aoraki/Mount Cook, Westland Tai Poutini, Mount Aspiring, the Fiordland National Parks, and surrounding conservation lands. We factor in a free day in Franz Josef so that you can get out there and experience what Franz Josef has to offer. It’s a wicked spot and whatever you get out and do, you will be blown away by the views of the glacier and Alps.

Today is your chance to hike on Franz Josef Glacier, rated as one of the top three activities in New Zealand.  You could also enjoy a scenic heli-flight over the glacier, go horseback riding, kayaking or explore the various walks in the area.

We start out early in order to catch the perfect mirror reflection of Mt Cook and the Southern Alps on Lake Matheson. We then cruise down the last stretch of Highway 6, stopping at popular scenic spots along the way. Then it’s into Mount Aspiring National Park, arriving in the awe-inspiring destination of Wanaka in the afternoon.

Before we leave Wanaka get your brain working at Puzzling World and then its on to the world’s first commercial bungy site - the Kawarau Bridge. Only the brave will sign themselves up for this iconic NZ activity. On arrival in Queenstown we will head down to the spectacular waterfront before it’s out on the town exploring Queenstown’s infamous nightlife with all the crew!

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