Enjoy the coastal delight of Kaikoura - famous for its sea and bird life
Kayak amidst fascinating native birds and outstanding marine life
Experience the golden beaches hiking New Zealand's smallest, but beautiful National Park: Abel Tasman N.P.
Experience an underground cave rafting trip on the rugged West Coast
Climb a glacier over several thousand years old and 13km long!
Take a river safari with a jet boat ride into the untouched wilderness of South Westland
Sample the delicacies of a vineyard in the Kawarau Gorge
Tour description provided by World Expeditions
Come with us while we take you on some awesome New Zealand activities on our West Coast Hike & Kayak tour from Christchurch to Queenstown exploring the wonders of the West Coast of the South Island. This is the 1st half of two interconnecting itineraries that provide a slightly slower pace and some more activities.
Small groups travelling in modern, comfortable 16 seater buses for maximum enjoyment. Over the 7 days we will take you on activites such as: sea kayaking, hiking, sailing and cave rafting. Stay the night at quality accommodation in great locations and private facilities. Our friendly, supportive and qualified guides will make this an experience never to forget.
All breakfasts (excluding day 1), 6 lunches, and 1 evening meal
Experienced adventure south driver/guide
Transport using comfortable modern vehicle
6 nights accommodation as detailed based on a twin share basis with private bathroom facilities
All hikes as indicated including national park fees
Sea kayaking on queen charlotte sound
Abel tasman hike and sailing
Cave rafting charleston
Fox glacier hike
Waiototo river safari jet boating
Wine tasting at gibbston valley vineyard
Specialist guides for non-walking activities
Use of adventure south packs & hiking poles if required
Access and concession fees paid to the department of conservation
Nz goods and service tax (gst)
Day 1 Christchurch to Picton
Important: The night before your tour is to depart your guide will call your pre tour accommodation to advise what time they will collect you the following morning. (Please make sure you have given us information as to where you are staying). If you are not around when your guide calls they will leave a message at reception – its really important that you check with reception if you have not heard from your guide directly. If for any reason you have not heard from your guide by the morning of the tour please call us in the NZ office on 0800 00 11 66 (from within NZ).
Around 8.30am your guide will collect you from your accommodation and following a briefing, we drive northward to the coastal township of Kaikoura, famous for its whale watching and prolific bird life. The coastal peninsula walk provides a spectacular viewing point, while some may wish to take the optional pelagic boat trip for a chance to view the birdlife that exists in the area. After this interlude we head north again, bound for Marlborough – famous for its Savignon Blanc wines. If time allows in the late afternoon we have an option to experience one of the regions premier winetastings before finishing into Picton with views of the beautiful Sounds for the night.
Day 2 Picton to Motueka
Today we paddle our sea kayaks on the sheltered waters of Queen Charlotte Sound stopping for lunch at a picturesque bush rimmed bay. The double kayaks are very stable, easy to paddle, and a delightful way to travel. Towards the end of our two-hour kayak journey we paddle close to a small colony of shags perched high in the overhanging trees. Mid afternoon we drive through the hills and forest, and sunshine city of Nelson located in an area well known for its horticulture and craftwork and close to the world-renowned Abel Tasman National Park. Following the beautiful coastline we arrive at Motueka where we will stay for the next two nights.
Day 3 Motueka
In the morning we are whisked through to the edge of the park and the start of our hike through to Torrent Bay. The walk is an easy grade and there exists the chance to explore some of the beautiful bays along the way. The hike takes around 4 hours which allows us time to explore around the Anchorage / Torrent bay area. Then it’s onboard our boat for a sail out of the heads and then along the Mad Mile with the gentle winds in our sail. The yacht takes us back to Kaiteriteri and then onto Motueka.
Day 4 Motueka to Punakaiki
Our adventure today is cave rafting. We travel along the Buller River, which we follow inland via its bush-clad gorges. We stop in Charleston, a once busy gold mining town in the late 1800’s, although little evidence now remains from these heady times. Here we join our cave rafting tour, which takes us up the Nile River in a small train. We change into wetsuits, grab our inner tubes and head underground. We exit the caves by floating downstream on tubes – a novel and exciting way to view this amazing underworld experience. Late afternoon we watch the sun set into the Tasman Sea as we follow the spectacular coastline to Punakaiki. Before dinner we take a walk around the famous Pancake Rocks and blowholes.
Day 5 Punakaiki to Fox Glacier
After breakfast, we continue southwards, the road is bounded on one side by the rugged coast, where land meets, the often wild, Tasman Sea and on the other, by dense, temperate rainforest which covers the distant wall of mountains: the Southern Alps. The coast is steeped in history: from the indigenous Maori collecting pounamu or greenstone, to the wild gold rush days of the late 1800’s and the long years of coal mining and timber milling. We continue through extensive areas of luxuriant forest to Hokitika and then to glacier country. Following a briefing from our experienced glacier guide, we depart for a 4 -hour walk onto the Fox Glacier. Under their watchful eye, we attach instep crampons to our boots, grasp our walking pole firmly, and head onto the white ice: this is one of only three places in the world where you can experience walking on 200 metre thick ice next to dripping rainforest! An evening option is to take a leisurely stroll around Lake Matheson, a photographer’s paradise or to take an optional helicopter ride that lifts you out of the valley to a wondrous world of our highest, ice covered mountains.
Day 6 Fox Glacier to Lake Wanaka
We follow the scenic highway south along the coast to Pleasant Flat where we join the awesome Waiototo jet-boat experience. We are treated to an eco-commentary by our skilled, professional driver as we travel up the wilderness river, which takes us deep into Mt Aspiring National Park. Marvel at the impossibly shallow water that your boat skims over at speed, all made possible by its unique drive system invented in the 1950’s by New Zealand farmer, Bill Hamilton. A walk option provides the chance to enjoy the solitude of your surroundings before returning to our craft for the return journey to the coast. The spectacular scenery continues as we cross the Haast Pass, then skirt Lake Hawea and onto Lake Wanaka, to our overnight stay.
Day 7 Lake Wanaka to Queenstown - tour end
Wanaka is an undiscovered gem and nearby at Diamond Lake the beautiful walkway provides some spectacular views. The short drive takes us via Glendu Bay and then to the track. For those seeking a good hike, the full three hour round trip takes in a summit view up valley and over the lake. The shorter hike to the lake look out is a great viewpoint and a warm up for lunch as a picnic beside the lake. The next drive takes us down the side of Lake Dunstan, a hydro lake created in the 70’s. At the mouth of the we stop off at a local vineyard to learn about the wine making process and sample some of the delights. Then the last hour takes us through the rugged gorge and finally out to the mighty Lake Wakatipu and your accommodation for the night. Here we say our goodbyes for as each head in our own directions and the tour ends.