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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

  • Transport
  • Accommodation (max 6 share, upgrades available)
  • Breakfast
  • Passionate kiwi guide
  • Ticket to ride the Tranz Alpine Express train – one of the world’s top rated train journeys
  • Free gondola ride with stunning views of Queenstown
  • Wake up alongside the beautiful lakes of Tekapo and Wanaka
  • Two nights in Franz Josef surrounded by glaciers and rain forest
  • Small Groups - Max 16
  • Guided tour of every location. We show you places you would miss when travelling on a flexible bus pass
  • Be treated to surprise stops only possible with a small group

Important Notes

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

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PRICE: $1,349 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. 


Lake Tekapo Scenic resort or YHA Tekapo


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

We have time to enjoy Lake Tekapo before leaving for Queenstown in the mid-morning.

Consider experiencing the region on a one hour scenic flight, taking you up close to Mt Cook and the Southern Alps. Beautiful. Your guide will take a break at one of the many salmon farms along the drive to allow you to feed the salmon and taste some sashimi. After heading past Lake Pukaki and Mt Cook and through the village of Omarama there is a chance to experience some wine tasting in Gibbston Valley just outside of Queenstown.

In the evening we take the Queenstown gondola to view Lake Wakatipu and the surrounding mountains. Our accommodation is situated a five minute walk from the centre of town – allowing great accessibility but also a quiet night’s sleep. The nightlife in Queenstown is fantastic, so consider heading out for a couple beers. 


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

We leave Queenstown late afternoon and head over the Crown Range along the highest inland road in the country.  Along the way we pass the oldest pub in New Zealand, the Cardrona Hotel – a definite photo stop! We spend the night in Wanaka, another stunning lakeside town. Think of Wanaka as Queenstown’s more chilled out younger sister. 


Purple Cow YHA


Optional Paid: More adventure activities

You have the morning to explore Wanaka by going for a walk, or checking out some of the adventure activities in town – although by this point, you might be ready for a quiet coffee by the lake!

There are heaps to see and do along our drive today so we set off after any activities, passing along the shores of beautiful Lake Hawea, and back around to Lake Wanaka for the second time on the way to the West Coast. The drive to the West Coast crosses the Haast Pass – this is an epic drive, one that changes from high alpine to temperate rain forest. The town of Haast marks our arrival at the coast and we take our first look at the ocean from the Ships Creek viewing point.

Between September and December it is whitebait season and so we will try to find a place to buy some of this rare delicacy. We head up the West Coast – passing secluded beaches, waterfalls and native bush along the way. It’s a bloody good drive, so keep your camera handy. 


Chateau Franz

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.

If you can afford it, we highly recommend reaching the bluest ice via helicopter with a Franz Josef Glacier heli-hike. Trekking on the glacier is nowhere as strenuous as it sounds, but if it doesn’t sound like your thing, then your guide will take you as close to the bottom of the glacier as possible.


Chateau Franz


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

Road trip up the wild west coast to Greymouth and take the world-famous "Tranz Alpine" train back to Christchurch. Travelling across the Southern Alps through Arthur’s Pass, we return to Christchurch by 6.05pm to say our final goodbyes and go our separate ways.

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