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15 Day South Island Winter Tour

The South Island is an adventure lovers paradise, and this 15 day tour offers an epic mix of adventure, relaxation and mind-blowing scenery. 

Starting and finishing in Christchurch, this trip takes in all of the highlights of the South Island. You'll get to hike on the Franz Josef Glacier (extra cost), relax on the beach in Abel Tasman and be awe-struck by the snow capped peaks around the adventure capital of Queenstown. 

Highlights

  • Discover the charms of the Marlborough Sounds.
  • Marlborough winery visit
  • Abel Tasman National Park
  • Mighty Franz Josef Glacier
  • Mt Aspiring National Park
  • Optional bungy jump in Queenstown
  • Day trip to stunning Doubtful Sound in Fiordland National Park
  • Overnight at the base of NZ’s highest mountain, Aoraki Mt Cook

What's Included

  • Experienced Tour Guide throughout the trip
  • 14 nights’ accommodation (price is for a dorm bed - upgrades available) 
  • Marahau/Abel Tasman: Aqua Taxi
  • Wanaka: Guided Bike Tour
  • Queenstown: Shotover Jet
  • Queenstown: Day trip to Doubtful Sound

Important Notes

  • Departure Time / Location: 9am from Christchurch International Airport
  • Finish Time: Arriving by approximately 9.40am at Christchurch International Airport

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PRICE: $1,855 NZD

Number of Days 15

Starts: Christchurch Finishes: Christchurch

Tour Type: Small Group Tour

DEPARTURES

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Tour Itinerary EXPAND ALL

We depart at 9:45am from the Christchurch International Airport and have a beautiful drive up the coast to Kaikoura. You have the afternoon free for activities.

ACCOMODATION

Historic seaside hotel.

SIGHTS

Free Activities: Walk around the peninsula and up to the lookout.

Optional Paid Activities: Whale watching, swimming with seals, piloting your own plane or swimming with dolphins. Try the amazing fresh fish and chips!

 

Depart 8.30am. We wind our way up the rugged coastal roads with stops for photos and a seal colony. We arrive into Picton around midday so you have plenty of time to explore this seaside town – go for a walk or relax in the spa at your accommodation.

ACCOMODATION

Cozy villa

SIGHTS

Free Activities: Seal colony, Queen Charlotte View walk.

You have the morning free to explore Picton further. At midday we will cruise through the famous Marlborough vineyard area and the coastal town of Nelson, before heading to our amazing overnight stop of Marahau, right on the edge of the Abel Tasman National Park.

ACCOMODATION

Unique accommodation on the edge of the national park

SIGHTS

Included: Ferry crossing from Wellington to Picton

Optional Paid Activities: Wine tasting, skydiving

You have the entire day at leisure to explore this stunning coastal national park. Whether exploring by land, sea or air, there are tons of fantastic options for getting around to see as much as possible.

ACCOMODATION

Unique accommodation on the edge of the national park

SIGHTS

Included Activities: Walk part of the Abel Tasman track and catch an Aqua Taxi home

Optional Paid Activities: Full day sailing trip, kayaking, skydiving, water taxi, horse riding or hang gliding

We travel south today towards the ‘wild’ West Coast passing through Buller Gorge and down a stretch of road that was rated as one of the top ten drives in the world. We stop at Cape Foulwind to visit the seal colony and then head for the historic coal mining town, Westport. The sunset from our accommodation tonight is a must see if the weather is clear! 

ACCOMODATION

Charming villa in the center of town

SIGHTS

Optional Paid Activities: Surfing, horse riding, jet boating, caving

Free Activities: Westport seal colony, West Coast sunset, Truman Track walk

An early start takes us down the rugged West Coast to the spectacular Punakaiki limestone pancake rocks and blowholes. We’ll stop to take a short walk and grab refreshments at the café before we head for the historic gold mining town, Greymouth. We do pick-ups in Greymouth and make stops in Hokitika, before heading to the quaint little town of Franz Josef – home to the mighty Franz Josef Glacier. 

ACCOMODATION

Lodge in the middle of the rainforest

SIGHTS

Optional Activities: Bone carving and jade carving

Free Activities: Punakaiki pancake rocks and the mighty blowholes; walk along the beach.

Today is yours to explore Franz Josef. Most choose to go on a guided trip of the EPIC Franz Josef Glacier. 

ACCOMODATION

Lodge surrounded by the rainforest. 

SIGHTS

Free Activities: Explore the village, go for a hike.

Paid Activities: Franz Josef Glacier Hike, quad biking, scenic flights. 

We depart in the morning stopping for hostel pick-ups at Fox Glacier before heading for the amazing mirror Lake Matheson. Today we cross the mountainous Haast Pass and Makarora towards Wanaka. We’ll pass by the beautiful Lake Hawea and arrive in Wanaka late-afternoon in time to enjoy this picturesque lakeside town.  

ACCOMODATION

Central hostel.

SIGHTS

Free Activities: Stunning views on the way to Wanaka, Blue Pools walk, Thundercreek Falls walk, explore Wanaka.

We depart around mid-morning, giving you time to check out amazing views of the lake either by skydiving or taking a walk up Mt Iron! Then we’re off to Queenstown – the Adventure Capital of the World. 

ACCOMODATION

Central Hostel. 

SIGHTS

Free Activities: Watch people bungy jump, go for a hike.

Paid Activities: Bungy jump, skydiving, jet boat tour. 

Enjoy three full days in Queenstown to get amongst the action in NZ’s ‘Adventure Capital.’ Your tour price includes the famous Shotover Jet trip as well as the highly-reccomended day trip to Doubtful Sound. You'll have plenty more time to get your adventure on, or simply relax in this chilled out resort town. 

ACCOMODATION

Central hostel

SIGHTS

Included: Shotover Jet and Doubtful Sound Day Trip (these can be done on day of your choice).

Optional paid activities: Any adventure activity that we mad Kiwis can dream up (bungy, swing, jetboating, skydiving, mountain biking, zipline, horse riding...), trip to Milford Sound.

Free activities: Sleep in, great walks, take in beautiful views from this cool resort town.

Today it’s off over the Lindis Pass en route for New Zealand’s highest peak. We arrive in the early afternoon with time to do a Mt. Cook 4WD and Argo Tour, check out the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine centre or do one of the many great short walks in the park. 

ACCOMODATION

Stunning alpine lodge inside the National Park. 

SIGHTS

Free Activities: Take photos of stunning scenery.

Paid Activities: Cruise on a lake filled with iceburgs. Scenic flights. 

Today we make our way through a landscape made famous by the Lord of the Rings films. We head past turquoise Lake Tekapo, where we stop for ice-skating, snow tubing or a swim at the hot springs. We arrive in Christchurch later in the afternoon, giving you time to explore parts of the South Island’s largest city.

SIGHTS

Free activities: Take photos of stunning scenery, go for a walk around central Christchurch.

Optional paid activities: Ice skating, snow tubing or soak in the hot springs.

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Reviews

1 reviews
Emily
October 2016

This was such a great trip! I wish I could have made it longer. I had only a little over 2 weeks in NZ but feels like I've been here for months (in a good way) because I was able to do and see so much!! It kept me constantly excited with so many new and exciting activities to do and so many new things to see every day. I felt like doing a loop of the south allowed me to see every single thing that I wanted to, and so much more. The people were great, the atmosphere was great and they couldn't have made it any easier for me to travel, being that I had a strict time schedule. With that being said, I would have loved to hop off and spend more time in some of the places if I could've, and would recommend anyone thinking of doing this trip to do the same. This trip gives you just enough guideance to take you easily through the south and just enough freedom to do whatever your heart desires!

Trip Date: September 2016

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