New Zealand–South Island Encompassed

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Explore the trails of Abel Tasman National Park by foot, get an adrenaline rush in Queenstown, weave through the remote fjords of the Doubtful Sound by sea kayak, cycle the Otago Rail Trail.

Tour description provided by G Adventures

Looking to tackle a bundle of different environments all in one go? New Zealand’s South Island has what you need and then some. Action is the common thread throughout this trip that incorporates hiking, kayaking, cycling, and even bungee jumping across a variety of landscapes, including rainforests, glaciers, and some of the most gorgeous coastline you’ll ever see. This trip is exciting even when you’re not moving; accommodations include a seasonal floating boat hostel and a wilderness hostel deep in the rainforest itself. Unique? You bet.


Day 1 Wellington
There are no planned activities during the day, so check into the hotel and explore the city. Check out New Zealand's National Museum, a must-see with great displays of historical Maori artifacts and relatively modern exhibits such as the motorbike that was built in a shed and won the world championships. Afterwards, opt for a night out on the town. Wellington has an abundance of nightlife, bars, cafes and restaurants all located on and around the entertainment district of Courtenay Place. Included Activities: Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting
Day 2 Wellington/Abel Tasman National Park (1B, 1D)
Catch a morning ferry and cross the scenic Cook Strait. Make sure to stand outside and enjoy the views of the Marlborough Sounds at the top of the South Island. Disembark and transfer to Abel Tasman National Park, well-known for its stunning white sand beaches. Board a water taxi to transfer to the middle of the National Park for the night. The night will be spent on a floating boat hostel. Additional Notes: During the winter season (May - Oct), and when there is inclement weather in the summer, we will stay in cabins in a true rural setting on the edge of the park instead of the floating boat hostel. Transport: Water taxi (0.50 hour(s)) Private Vehicle (3.00 hour(s), 200km) Ferry (3.50 hour(s), 92km)
Day 3 Abel Tasman National Park (1B, 1D)
Hike and explore Abel Tasman's golden beaches and waterways. Included Activities: Abel Tasman National Park Walk
Day 4 Abel Tasman National Park/Punakaiki (1B, 1D)
Visit the Cape Foulwind seal colony, then follow the stunning coastal road down to a beach camp in Punakaiki for the night. Visit the famous 'Pancake Rocks' walk upon arrival into Punakaiki. Included Activities: Pancake Rocks Trek Seal Colony Visit Transport: Private Vehicle (4.00 hour(s), 250km)
Day 5 Punakaiki/Franz Josef (1B, 1D)
Opt to kayak the river into the Paparoa National Park or stick to the local trails for some day hikes. Continue following the coastal road towards Franz Josef arriving at a unique wilderness lodge set in the rainforest for the night. Transport: Private Vehicle (4.00 hour(s), 220km)
Day 6 Franz Josef (1B)
Free day for optional activities. Options include various hikes, horseback riding and quad biking.
Day 7 Franz Josef/Queenstown (1B)
Visit the adventure capital of the world—Queenstown. Transport: Private Vehicle (6.00 hour(s), 365km)
Days 8-9 Queenstown
Free time in Queenstown. Get the heart pumping with some adrenaline-filled options, such as jet boating, bungee jumping, mountain biking or skydiving. Additional Notes: If you have pre-booked the Queenstown Jet Boating, your CEO will inform you when you will do the activity during your tour, as days are subject to change. Please note - in the winter months (late April - early Nov) skiing and snowboarding in the Southern Alps is a highlight for any visitor. Most of the optional activities are also available, ask your CEO which ones are in season.
Day 10 Queenstown/Doubtful Sound (1B, 1L, 1D)
Visit Fiordland National Park en route to Doubtful Sound. Additional Notes: Depending on weather the walk and kayak may be reversed to fall on different days. Included Activities: Fiordland National Park Visit Transport: Private Vehicle (4.00 hour(s), 250km)
Day 11 Doubtful Sound/Wedderburn (1B, 1D)
Enjoy a guided kayak excursion through jaw-dropping scenery, then travel to Central Otago. Additional Notes: Due to cold weather during the winter months (approx June to late September), we will be going on a three hour nature cruise in Doubtful Sound instead of kayaking in the area. Included Activities: Kayaking Excursion Transport: Private Vehicle (5.00 hour(s), 350km)
Day 12 Wedderburn (1B)
Bike 35 km of the Otago Rail Trail, passing through one historic town to the next. Along the way sample some local food and drink. Included Activities: Biking Otago Rail Trail
Day 13 Wedderburn/Christchurch (1B)
Overnight in the very unique converted jail house. Transport: Private Vehicle (5.00 hour(s), 400km)
Day 14 Christchurch/Kaikoura (1B, 1D)
Spend the afternoon swimming with dolphins, visiting a colony of southern fur seals, or taking a scenic flight over the peninsula. Bird watchers will be pleased to know that big ocean birds such as albatrosses, petrels and shearwaters frequent the area. Transport: Private Vehicle (3.00 hour(s), 180km)
Day 15 Kaikoura/Wellington (1B)
Morning visit to a seal colony before catching the ferry back to Wellington. Opt for a final night out with the group. Included Activities: Seal Colony Visit Transport: Private Vehicle (2.00 hour(s), 150km) Ferry (3.00 hour(s), 92km)
Day 16 Wellington (1B)
We highly recommend pre- or post-accommodation to fully explore this vibrant city. Included Activities: Departure Day