TOURS & BUS PASSES / 7 Day South Island Adventure Tour

7 Day South Island Adventure Tour

On this epic 7 Day South Island adventure your you'll be awed by stunning mountains, incredible views and you'll spend time in the "adventure capital of the world", Queenstown.

This South Island tour has it all and is the perfect introduction to the South Island of New Zealand.

You'll explore a selection of the South Island's must-see locations - including Christchurch, Wanaka, Queenstown and Franz Josef. You'll get to experience one of the world's best train journeys - the Tranz Alpine Railway on the way back to Christchurch. 


  • Witness spectacular views of Lake Tekapo and Lake Wanaka
  • Experience the ultimate thrill of your life with the Bungy Jump, Canyon Swing or Jet Boat ride
  • Visit the magnificent glacier in Franz Josef
  • Enjoy a free day in Queenstown

What's Included

  • Passionate Kiwi guides
  • 7 nights in high-end hostel accommodation – dorm share, upgrades available
  • Small groups, maximum 16
  • Orientation tour of every location
  • Comfortable bus transport
  • Continental breakfast every day
  • Carve your own pounamu/jade pendant in Franz Josef
  • Discover NZ's most spectacular UNESCO World Heritage Areas
  • Journey through multiple National Parks
  • Plus many surprise stops on the way

Important Notes

  • Departure Time / Location: 8am from Haka Lodge Christchurch
  • Finish Time: Approx. 6:30pm at Christchurch Rail Station

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PRICE: $1,259 NZD

Number of Days 7

Starts: Christchurch Finishes: Christchurch

Tour Type: Small Group Tour


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Tour Itinerary EXPAND ALL

Your day begins with an orientation tour of Christchurch’s surrounding area. Sadly the earthquakes of September 2010 and February 2011 have damaged many buildings, including the iconic cathedral – but the city is in the re-build stage and things look optimistic for its future.

After lunch we leave the South Island’s ‘Garden City’ and head south to the jewel of the Mackenzie Country, Lake Tekapo – an alpine village in the heart of the South Island high country. It sits at the edge of its stunningly beautiful glacial lake, completely surrounded by the impressive Southern Alps. 


Hostel accommodation


Optional Paid Activities: Hot Air Ballooning, Learn to Surf at Sumner

This morning if you’re feeling energetic, hike up to the summit of Mt John. With awesome views of the Southern Alps, you’ll feel on top of the world. Speaking of views, today’s scenic drive to Queenstown is a show-stopper.

From the golden tussocklands of Mackenzie country – where epic battles of Return of the King were filmed – to the dramatic peaks of the Southern Alps, it’s like you’re driving into a postcard.

We’ll pause for lots of photo stops en route to give your camera a workout, including a stop at the spectacular Kawarau Gorge. This also happens to be the World Home of Bungy, give it a go or enjoy watching the jumpers scream their way through the gorge!

Whether you’re an adrenalin junkie, an avid hiker, wine taster or scenery lover, Queenstown has something for absolutely everyone. With two nights and plenty of daylight hours here, get ready – this town certainly knows how to live life to the max!


Haka Lodge


Included: Gondola ride to Bob's Peak

Optional Paid: Loads of adventure activities to choose from

You have a whole day to spend in Queenstown and you are spoilt for choice! There are heaps of adventure activities on offer, or you can opt to do a day trip down to Milford Sound.

For a more relaxed day, your guide may take you to Glenorchy (one of the best drives on the South Island) where there are heaps of half and full day walks. 


Haka Lodge


Optional Paid: Day tour to Milford Sound

After the excitement of Queenstown, today is a chance to chill. Wanaka is Queenstown’s slightly quieter little sister, a mere one hour drive away. On the way we’ll stop in at charming Arrowtown, a historic gold rush village with heaps of old world character.

Blessed with towering peaks and a glacial blue lake, you’ll soon see why Wanaka’s considered to be one of New Zealand’s most beautiful mountain towns. There are stunning hikes and bike rides all around for a welcome chance to chill.

One of the best ways to admire Wanaka is from the air. Treat yourself to a skydive or a scenic flight in a vintage plane – you can even take a flying lesson, or if you prefer to keep your feet closer to the ground, stroll or bike around the lake and check out the famous Wanaka Tree, standing all alone in the water. As always, it’s your trip and your choice: you do you.


Hostel accommodation


Optional Paid: More adventure activities

After a relaxing morning in Wanaka, the journey to Franz is an another stunner – many of our guides rate it as their favourite drive in New Zealand.

As we hit the road, we’ll stop at one of our favourite lakeside lookout points at Lake Hawea or Lake Wanaka. Your guide will keep an eye on the weather and pick the best option.

From the cascading waterfalls of Haast Pass to classic Kiwi coastal views, you won’t want to nap on the bus in case you miss anything. Your guide will have some epic surprise photo stops and short walks along the way.

Between September and December it’s whitebait season (a small fish that’s a delicacy in New Zealand). Fried up with eggs and served on toast, it’s a local treat and shouldn’t be missed. We’ll stop at one of the local spots for a taste during the season.

We roll into Franz Josef around late afternoon/early evening. This UNESCO World Heritage area is famous for its spectacular glacier, just 5 kilometres from town, which is begging to be explored tomorrow.


Hostel accommodation

The Franz Josef glacier is a must see on the West Coast of the South Island. Surrounding the glacier is a stunning landscape of temperate rainforest of ancient podocarp trees and other evergreen species. The combination of ice and temperate rainforest is a unique feature of New Zealand’s glacier country and is an ecosystem found nowhere else on the planet.

Te Wahi Pounamu (which means ‘the place of greenstone’ in Māori) is the name given to the this part of the West Coast because of the abundance of pounamu (greenstone/jade) to be found here. Included in your tour today is a special opportunity to carve your very own pounamu pendant at a local gallery.

There are heaps of ways to enjoy Franz Josef Glacier; If you can afford it, we highly recommend reaching the bluest ice via helicopter with a Franz Josef Glacier heli-hike. Maybe you’d prefer to kayak on a glacial lake; or just relax in the steamy hot springs down below.


Hostel accommodation


Optional Paid: Franz Josef Ice Explorer, quad biking, mountain biking

Before you know it, it’s your last day! After breakfast we head further along the beautiful west coast on another of the most spectacular drives in the country (and, some would say, the world): a rugged, primeval landscape of luxuriant rainforest juxtaposed against breathtaking beach and ocean waves.

We stop at Hokitika and visit a greenstone factory, a great place to stock up on souvenirs for your friends and family back home. Time permitting, we may also visit the National Kiwi Centre where there is guaranteed viewing of rare kiwi birds in their nocturnal house.

On the way back to Christchurch, you'll traverse the South Island on the world-famous "Tranz Alpine" train back to Christchurch. Travelling across the Southern Alps through Arthur’s Pass, we arrive in Christchurch around 6.30pm to say our final goodbyes and go our separate ways.

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