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8 Day - South Island Adventure Experience

8 Day - South Island Adventure Experience

Experience the top highlights of New Zealand's South Island, showcasing the purest natural landscapes. From rugged coastlines to lush plains. Exhilarate with extreme adventures and some of the most spectacular things to do in New Zealand.

Challenge yourself in ways you’ve never imagined. Experience jaw-dropping scenery at a Heli hike on a glacier in the Southern Alps and helicopter through the spectacular Doubtful Sound in Fiordland, one of natures world wonders. Join us on the highest waterfall via ferrata in the world. Plunge down water polished chutes and abseil down waterfalls. Jump off cliffs! Climb, swim and float through an amazing world of water- sculpted rock, deep clear pools and spectacular waterfalls.

Plan Your Tour

Highlights

Private guided tour 7 nights
Category: Adventure
Location:
South Island
Departing/Finishing: Christchurch - Queenstown (Itinerary can be reversed)
Accommodation: 4* or 5* quality Hotels, boutique B&Bs, Luxury Serviced Apartments, Premium Lodges
Next Departure: Departs Daily

LOCATION AND HIGHLIGHTS:
Day 1: Christchurch arrival
(Akaroa Sea Shore Kayaking Safari)
Day 2: Christchurch – West Coast
(Arthur’s Pass, Rafting in Glow-Worm Caves)
Day 3: West Coast – Franz Josef
(Rainforest and Heli-hike over glaciers, Or: Heli Rafting Adventure)
Day 4: Franz Josef – Wanaka
(Mt Aspiring National Park, Siberia Experience-Jetboat)
Day 5: Wanaka
(Wild Wire or Canyoning of Waterfall)
Day 6: Wanaka – Queenstown
(Helicopter flight and Landing in remote Doubtful Sound, Or: Heli bike)
Day 7: Queenstown
(Afternoon to your own leisure, Or: skydiving, paragliding)
Day 8: Queenstown departure

PRICE: We recommend the following guidelines for customized tour packages, excluding international flights: 4* to 5*: From around NZ$ $500 - $1250+ per person per day. The customized package will include accommodation, airport transfers and other transportation within New Zealand, guided tours or activities, unique experiences, trip planning, and 24X7 support during your trip. Please inquire for a custom quote. The price is customized based on final accommodation choices, travel dates, and other customer preferences.

Day 1: Christchurch Arrival

Christchurch city promises an eclectic mix of historic elegance and contemporary culture. The most French town in New Zealand, Akaroa will have you entranced with its historic buildings, magnificent harbour and a passion for fine food. An easy drive south-east of Christchurch, Banks Peninsula is the South Island's most interesting volcanic feature. The best way to explore Akaroa is on foot. Visit local restaurants with their focus on French cuisine and head along to Barrys Bay Cheese, where they've persevered with original methods for over a century. Take a self-guided walk to see historic cottages. 

Kayak along the outer coast of Pohatu Marine Reserve just outside Akaroa, it is spectacular with towering sea cliffs sculpted through the ages by the sea into rock stacks, reefs, and deep sea caves. Flea Bay Island and the impressive island arch make an added exciting attraction in settled sea conditions. Pohatu Marine Reserve also has diverse wildlife with many marine species such as Penguins, several seal colonies and is often visited by Hectors Dolphins and a great range of seabird species.

Accommodation: Christchurch or Akaroa

Day 2: Christchurch - Arthur's Pass - West Coast

You leave the city and head out into the countryside. Stop for a walk at Castle Hill Basin, characterised by its distinctive limestone rock formations. These limestone rock formations are the water eroded remnants of limestone formed during the Oligocene age 30-40 million years ago when much of present-day New Zealand was covered by the sea.  

Arthur's Pass is the highest pass over the Southern Alps. Long before surveyor Arthur Dudley Dobson found his way over the pass in 1864, it was known to Maori hunting parties as a route between east and west. The eastern side of Arthur's Pass National Park is characterised by wide, shingle-filled riverbeds and vast beech forests. The western side of the park, where wet weather is more common than dry, has deeply gorged rivers flowing through dense rainforest. 

Stop at nearby Punakaiki, the Jewel of the West Coast and world renowned for its pancake rock formations and blowholes. Walk along some of the stunning and remote beach treks, through a dense rainforest with Nikau Palms and large ferns.

Underworld Rafting’ is a superb 4 hour Black Water Rafting adventure in the enormous Nile River Cave System deep in the ‘Untamed Natural Wilderness’ of the Paparoa National Park. The Nile River Rainforest Train will take you into the stunning West Coast Rainforest with towering limestone cliffs that create a magical backdrop for your adventure. You float on a slow-moving underground river to emerge back into daylight having used only the natural light of the simply awe-inspiring display of glow worms as navigation. You leave this special place in your tube for the untamed wilderness of the rainforest and the tranquil Nile River to float down the fun-filled gentle rapids on The Nile River and return to the train.

Accommodation: West Coast

Day 3: West Coast - Glaciers

You will visit the historical gold mining town of Hokitika, it is a place to appreciate the fascinating history of the West Coast. Hear about the shipwrecks gold miners and pounamu hunters.  

Franz Josef Glacier features ice pinnacles as high as multi-story buildings, deep crevasses and stunning, pristine blue ice. It’s all on show and the most dynamic glacier in New Zealand is accessible to you via one of the most exhilarating experiences in the world. First, witness the majesty of the beautiful ice formation from the air as your helicopter takes to the skies above the glacier. Then descend onto the glacier itself and set foot on the ice. Your Heli hike guide will then lead you through some of the most stunning ice formations, immersing you in the world of the Franz Josef Glacier. To touch the ice and breathe in the fresh alpine air is a unique experience and one which you will never forget.

Or: Eco Rafting’s Full Day Heli Rafting Adventure is the Premier rafting trip in New Zealand and ranked one of the top 10 in the world. Take a helicopter flight up into the mountains and put in at a gorge and raft for 2 hours through big volume grade 3 whitewater!  Stop on the way for a cup of billy tea made on a camp fire.

Accommodation: Glacier area 

Day 4: Glaciers - Haast - Wanaka

Go as far South as the township of Haast. Nearby take a gentle walk following the slow flowing Ship Creek Tauparikaka. A creek-side viewpoint allows easy observation of the forest plants and wildlife. Deep in the swamp forest, are views of New Zealand's tallest tree, the Kahikatea. Explore a part of New Zealand that's splendidly isolated - there are more resident seals and penguins than people. 

South of Haast, the coastline turns westward along a 24 kilometre, gently curving bay to Jackson Head. Jackson Head marks the southern end of the west coast's narrow river plains. Beyond this point, the steep mountain ranges plunge directly into the sea - the first of the deep glacial fiords is just 60 kilometres away. 

Have four hours of unique New Zealand wilderness adventure in Mt Aspiring World Heritage National Park. Fly amongst alpine valleys, over beautiful mountain lakes and waterfalls and past spectacular glaciers and snow-capped mountains. Land in a truly remote backcountry valley. Walk across open tussock flats,  amongst vibrant native rainforest, surrounded by incredible mountain vistas. Jet Boat through crystal clear glacial mountain river. The ultimate in shallow river jetboating amongst native bush, pristine river valleys and ice-capped mountains.

As you exit Mt Aspiring National Park you will travel through what is known as “The Neck” a formation of land that separates two of our great South Island lakes, Lake Hawea and Lake Wanaka. Nestled below towering mountains, Wanaka is the most tranquilly set of the South Island lakes. 45 kilometres long and covering 193 square kilometres, the crystal-clear waters of Lake Wanaka are perfect for jet boaters, sailors and kayakers to explore. 

Accommodation: Lake Wanaka or Lake Hawea

Day 5: Wanaka - Mt Aspiring National Park

Nestled below towering mountains, Wanaka is the most tranquilly set of the South Island lakes. It is much more than a winter destination. Year-round activities include fishing, hiking, canyoning, climbing and skydiving. Excavated by massive glaciers more than 10,000 years ago, Lakes Wanaka and Hawea lie side by side. Lake Wanaka is the source of New Zealand's largest river, the Clutha.  

The ultimate waterfall adventure on the highest waterfall via ferrata in the world. Choose from 1 of 3 climbs: “Go Wild” is one of those great Wanaka activities that’s fun and easy to do with the family, our Intermediate climb “Wild Thing” is perfect for those looking for a bit more adventure and our advanced climb “Lord of the Rings” is the highest waterfall via ferrata in the world and includes a return via helicopter and is definitely one of the most spectacular things to do in New Zealand. Wild Thing continues on from Go Wild and adds around another 2 hours of climbing. It is steeper, more exposed and longer. Technically, it is similar to Go Wild, but it is higher off the ground and there are a few more steep sections to climb.  

Or: Discover the joys of canyoning. For real adventure for people (16 years and over) with good fitness and water skills, outdoor experience and/or a big, positive attitude, the Leaping Burn - A physically magnificent canyon carved deep into mother earth. At times you can’t see the sky, at others you’re a fly on the wall. The jumps need commitment. You’ll get hammered in waterfalls. You’ll be blown away – no doubt!

Accommodation: Lake Wanaka or Lake Hawea

Day 6: Wanaka - Heli to Fiordland - Queenstown

Helicopter out of Queenstown as you fly over Mavora Lakes, you will see farmland, New Zealand native forest to Manapouri. Into Fiordland National park, over into Doubtful Sound which is the second largest Fiordland, view Deep Cove, the Browne Waterfalls, Campbell's Kingdom. Experience a remote beach landing before returning back to Queenstown over Te Anau with an alpine landing in the Eyre mountains to conclude your experience.

Central Otago is New Zealand’s fastest growing wine region and also it's most scenic. Take the time to explore these incredible vineyards set in small micro-climates in a landscape dominated by high snow-capped mountains, and tussock clad slopes. 

Or: Take an epic Backcountry Heli biking tour. Two big descents equal a massive 2900m descent in one day! After an awesome flight into the Remarkables Rangeland at just over 6000ft, the highest of all Heli biking in New Zealand. Now there is 15km of rock garden trails descending into the open alpine tundra you can only experience at this altitude. 

Queenstown has transformed into a sophisticated cosmopolitan town, tucked into a picturesque bay on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, beneath majestic mountains. There’s a permanent buzz in downtown Queenstown, where you’ll find a fantastic choice of restaurants, a lively bar scene and excellent shopping. 

Accommodation: Queenstown 

Day 7: Queenstown - Skydive or Paraglide

Queenstown has transformed into a sophisticated cosmopolitan town, tucked into a picturesque bay on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, beneath majestic mountains. There’s a permanent buzz in downtown Queenstown, where you’ll find a fantastic choice of restaurants, a lively bar scene and excellent shopping.  

For one of the best views of Queenstown and an iconic experience in the alpine resort, there’s the Tiki Trail. Starting at the bottom of the gondola the Tiki Trail winds its way towards the lookout at the top where you have the option of making your way back down, after a few photos and a drink, or if the climb has got the better of you relax in the Gondola for the journey back down.

Or: Tandem Skydive with NZONE Skydive and see some of the most dramatic scenery in NZ, from 15,000ft! After a 15 minute scenic flight to altitude, you will nudge towards the edge of the plane before being thrown out! Keep your head up, smile at your skydive photographer and take in the stunning surroundings. After an exhilarating freefall, you will experience a 5 minute parachute ride, floating safely back down to the skydive drop zone. 

Or: The original Queenstown Tandem Paraglide! Take off from the top of the Skyline Gondola and experience the ultimate in free flight as we soar over Queenstown. 

Accommodation: Queenstown

Day 8: Queenstown departure

Your private chauffeur will take you to your departing flight at Queenstown airport.

 

Experiences in this tour

West Coast

West Coast

A wild place of rivers and rainforests, glaciers and geological treasures, The West Coast of New Zealand is an untamed natural wilderness, with scenery so stunning it takes your breath away.
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Franz Joseph

Franz Joseph

The Franz Josef Glacier offers visitors a rare opportunity to experience a dynamic glacial environment. There is something truly spectacular about the sight of the blue glacier set against the backdrop of snow-covered peaks.
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Wanaka

Wanaka

Located in the spectacular Alps of the South Island, New Zealand, visitors from around the world are drawn to the Wanaka region by its outstanding beauty. The stunning mountain and lakeside setting and proximity to Mt Aspiring National Park make it the ultimate base for outdoor activities.
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Fiordland

Fiordland

Fiordland is one of the most dramatic and beautiful parts of New Zealand. Fiordland National Park is a World Heritage Site and includes Milford, Dusky and Doubtful Sounds. Milford Sound was described by Rudyard Kipling as the Eighth Wonder of the World; take a scenic flight over it and you will understand why.
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