TOURS & BUS PASSES / 14 Day South Island Tour

14 Day South Island Tour

This 14 day tour allows you to experience the absolute best of New Zealand’s South Island - from Abel Tasman, to the West Coast, to majestic Doubtful Sound and more.

This tour departs from Christchurch and finishes in Christchurch, this trip and leaves no corner of the South Island unexplored. 


  • Enjoy a Full day in Abel Tasman National Park for walks and optional sea kayaking and sailing
  • Visit the West Coast’s Franz Josef Glacier World Heritage area
  • Queenstown – optional bungy jump in  the adventure capital of the World
  • Doubtful Sound overnight cruise through Fiordland National Park
  • Central Otago gold country and Otago Rail Trail cycling
  • Kaikoura coast with option to go whale watching

What's Included

All transport: You'll travel in our comfortable mid-sized coaches around New Zealand.

Experienced tour guide: Expect entertaining commentary, insight into local secrets and extra support from your tour guide.

Accommodation: 13 nights’ quad share accommodation in a variety of quality backpacker hostels, wilderness lodges and cabins. Upgrades to twin and single rooms are available. Single upgrade - $750, Twin Upgrade - $350pp.

Meals: 10 breakfasts and 6 dinners

Top rated activities:

  • Wine tasting at a vineyard cellar door in Marlborough
  • Hike Abel Tasman National Park. You can choose to take a water taxi ride or hire a stand up paddle board
  • Visit Cape Foulwind seal colony
  • Punakaiki Pancake Rocks and Blowholes
  • Walk around Lake Matheson
  • Admire the stunning colours of the Blue Pools
  • Thrilling Jet Boat Ride in Mt Aspiring National Park
  • Overnight cruise on a custom designed ship in the Doubtful Sound - this is one of New Zealand's most premier off the beaten track experiences!
  • Sea kayaking in Doubtful Sound
  • Scenic bike ride around Lake Wanaka
  • Walk the Hooker Valley Track in the Mount Cook National Park
  • Explore Lake Tekapo area.

Important Notes

  • Departure Time / Location: 7:30am from All Stars Inn / 8am from Christchurch International Airport
  • Finish Time: Christchurch, 5pm. 

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PRICE: $3,185 NZD

Number of Days 14

Starts: Christchurch Finishes: Christchurch

Tour Type: Small Group Tour


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Tour Itinerary EXPAND ALL

Your journey kicks off this morning when we depart from the city centre to the historic French settlement of Akaroa on the Banks Peninsula. After exploring the delights of the village, we’ll have time for lunch – make sure you sample one of the wonderful French pastries on offer in the charming cafes. Next, we head to the peaceful alpine town of Hanmer Springs, where you can spend the evening surrounded by mountains and forest as you relax in the thermal hot pools. Includes dinner.


Cozy Alpine chalets


INCLUDED: Hanmer Springs thermal pools and spa

Kaikoura is known for its huge array of wildlife such as whales, dolphins, seals and albatross. We get to Kaikoura early so you can choose from the many optional activities such as walking around the cliff tops to see the seals and amazing views to joining a whale-watching cruise (additional cost). We spend the night in this charming coastal village. Includes breakfast.


The Lazy Shag


Whale watching, dolphin swimming, scenic flights (extra costs). 

Leaving Kaikoura in the morning, we wind our way up the rugged coastal roads with stops for photos and a seal colony. Tonight we stay in the port town of Picton.


Cosy villa (Picton).


Free Activities: Seal colony; Queen Charlotte Sound view walk, mountain biking, fishing or relax in the spa at our accommodation (Picton).

Paid Activities: Vineyard tour (Picton). 

You’ll be picked up from your hostel at 11.45am. We cruise through the famous Marlborough vineyard area and coastal town of Nelson before heading onto Motueka and our amazing night stop Marahau on the edge of the Abel Tasman National Park.


Accommodation on the edge of National Park.


Free Activities: Swim, walk, mussel tasting around the fire.

Paid Activities: Wine tasting, skydiving, pilot your own stunt plane!


You have a whole day to experience this incredible area. Walk the coastal track famous for some of New Zealand’s best beaches or choose any of the optional activities on offer, including sailing or sea kayaking (own expense). Tonight we provide you with BBQ facilities for you to self cater. Accommodation is back at our exclusive campsite adjacent to the National Park. Includes breakfast.


Beach accommodation in the national park


Walk in the national park, relax on one of the golden sand beaches or jump on the Aqua Taxi (price included) and get dropped along the track and walk back.

We start early to head south along the ‘wild’ West Coast, travelling on the rugged rocky coastline that makes this stretch of road one of the country’s top drives. We’ll stop at Cape Foulwind to view a wild seal colony that’s active year round, and then make our way further down the coast to visit the spectacular limestone Punakaiki Pancake Rocks and blowholes. From there, we carry on to our next overnight stop in the quaint little West Coast town of Franz Josef, home to the mighty Franz Josef Glacier. Includes dinner.


Hostel close to all attractions


Cape Foulwind seal colony, Punakaiki pancake rocks

The day is spent in Franz Josef, a World Heritage area. As well as the glacier, the area is famous for its excellent walking trails (and lots of rain!). There are many great options for activities but a highly recommended guided trip (own expense - Franz Josef Glacier Hike) will enable you to get a hike ON the glacier, with a helicopter trip from the village nonetheless. Tonight is self-catering; there are plenty of local cafes and restaurants to enjoy or make use of the self-catering kitchen. Includes breakfast.


Hostel close to all attractions


Franz Josef Glacier Hike (extra expense) or loads of other activities. 

We head down the coast towards Mount Aspiring National Park and along the way see some breathtaking scenery including Lake Matheson, NZ’s most photographed lake. We also visit a waterfall and travel over a spectacular alpine pass. Once we arrive at the National Park there’s plenty of time to enjoy some of its activities including walking, scenic flights or jet boating (own expense). We spend the night in Chalets. Includes breakfast and dinner.


Unique mountain chalets


Walk around Lake Matheson - Mirror Lake, walk through beech forest to the Blue Pools

Fiordland National Park is one of New Zealand’s most beautiful locations, with stunning ice-carved fiords, valleys, lakes and mountain scenery; it is our first port of call today. Within Fiordland we visit Doubtful Sound, the deepest of all the fiords, surrounded by towering peaks and huge waterfalls.

We will board a purpose built boat and enjoy complimentary afternoon tea while cruising past fur seals, penguins and dolphins. There are also sea kayaks to explore the fiord. (B,D)


Overnight on the boat, anchored within a secluded bay in a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


 Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise, sea kayaking, wildlife spotting.

We depart Doubtful Sound around midday, leaving behind the stunning Fiordland to head for the ‘adventure capital of the world’ Queenstown. Includes Breakfast.


Lodge located close to town with awesome views.

The world's your oyster in Queenstown. Head out on a Day Tour to Milford Sound, take advantage of loads of walks or choose from a whole range of adventure activities. Adventure not your thing? How about a day sampling wine in Gibbston Valley. Either way you have two FREE days to explore Queenstown. Optional activities and meals are at own expense. Overnight accommodation included. Breakfast included. 


Lodge located close to town with awesome views


Milford Sound Day Tour, Wine Tasting, adventure activities, relax, go for hike (activities at extra expense) 

We’ll jump back on the bus for a short drive to Wanaka, where we’ll spend the morning biking some of New Zealand’s most scenic lakeside trails. After lunch, we head over the Lindis Pass through the picturesque Mackenzie region to the base of the country’s highest mountain, Aoraki/Mt Cook. There is time for a hike through the Hooker Valley for breathtaking views of the dramatic mountain landscape, or opt to take an alpine scenic flight (own expense). This is also one of the best places in New Zealand to join an evening stargazing tour. Includes breakfast and dinner.


Stunning alpine lodge


Included: scenic bike ride in Wanaka, scenic walk along the Hooker Valley track

Optional paid activity: Big Sky Stargazing or scenic heli-flight

Today we make our way through a landscape made famous in the 'Lord of the Rings' films. We’ll take a break for a stroll around Lake Tekapo, iconic for its historic church and turquoise waters. Between Tekapo and Christchurch there is an option for thrill seekers to hop-off and join a top-notch Grade 5 white water adventure on the Rangitata River (own expense). Those not rafting will continue on to Christchurch, where your driver guide will point out the highlights of the South Island’s largest city. The rafters will rejoin the group in Christchurch this evening. This is where your tour comes to an end – we hope you had a blast on your New Zealand journey! Includes breakfast.


Optional paid activity: Rangitata white water rafting

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1 reviews
Trish Byrne
February 2016

Hi We did this trip last year mid feb to march
As we are an older couple we opted for the extra payment for our own accommodation not sharing which was a great decision. Our group was mixed age wise as young as 20 and up to 60 not a problem at all.
The advise that matt gave me prior to booking with them was excellent any questions he answered and I asked a lot!
Doubtful sound was fantastic, Helicopter up to Franz Joseph just brilliant and white water rafting in Queenstown for me was the best I even got in to swim twice. Our Guide Gollum was really good lots of information . Otago biking the old railway line was great especially the tunnel where you cannot see for a few seconds. The lodge in Rangatata was the best place ever. the supposedly haunted house in Otago was not !!!!! Just do it

Trip Date: March 2015

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