Experience the top highlights of New Zealand's South Island, showcasing the purest natural landscapes. From rugged coastlines to lush plains. Exhilarated 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 nature's world wonders. Join us on the highest waterfall via Ferrata in the world. Plunge water-polished chutes and abseil down waterfalls. Jump off cliffs! Climb, swim and float through a fantastic world of water- sculpted rock, deep clear pools and spectacular waterfalls.
Plan Your Tour
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
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 passion for fine food. An accessible drive southeast 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 focusing on French cuisine and head to Barrys Bay Cheese, where they've persevered with original methods for over a century. Then, 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, and several seal colonies. In addition, it is often visited by Hectors Dolphins and many seabird species.
Accommodation: Christchurch or Akaroa
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 broad, 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 rainforests.
Stop at nearby Punakaiki, the Jewel of the West Coast and world-renowned for its pancake rock formations and blowholes. Then, walk along some of the stunning and remote beach treks through a dense rainforest with Nikau Palms and giant 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, using 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
You will visit the historic 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 the 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 you will never forget.
Or: Eco Rafting’s Full Day Heli Rafting Adventure is the Premier rafting trip in New Zealand and is 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 significant volume grade 3 whitewater! Stop on the way for a cup of billy tea made on a campfire.
Accommodation: Glacier area
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 genuinely remote backcountry valley. Walk across open tussock flats amongst vibrant native rainforests, 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. Forty-five 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
Nestled below towering mountains, Wanaka is the most tranquilly set of the South Island lakes. However, 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 one of the most spectacular things to do in New Zealand. Wild Thing continues from Go Wild and adds 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 has 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 a significant, positive attitude, the Leaping Burn - A physically magnificent canyon carved deep into mother earth. Sometimes you can't see the sky; you're a fly on the wall at others. The jumps need commitment. You'll get hammered in waterfalls. You'll be blown away – no doubt!
Accommodation: Lake Wanaka or Lake Hawea
Helicopter out of Queenstown; as you fly over Mavora Lakes, you will see farmland, New Zealand native forest to Manapouri. Then, into Fiordland National park, Doubtful Sound, the second largest Fiordland, view Deep Cove, the Browne Waterfalls, and Campbell's Kingdom. Experience a remote beach landing before returning 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 is' 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 a fantastic 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 fantastic restaurants, a lively bar scene and excellent shopping.
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 fantastic 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.