A trip designed for the thrill seeker! South Island in New Zealand hosts the purest natural landscapes you’ll ever experience. The perfect playground for exhilarating adventures.
The South Island's spectacular and beautiful landscape includes vast mountain chains, rugged coastlines, deeply indented fiords and lush rainforest. Come and enjoy some true adventures in the South Island of New Zealand, that will form lifelong memories. This journey is not for the faint-hearted.Plan Your Tour
Private guided tour 9 nights
Location: South Island
Accommodation: 4* or 5* quality hotels, Boutique B&B’s, Serviced Luxury Apartments
Next Departure: Departs Daily
LOCATION AND HIGHLIGHTS:
Day 1: Christchurch arrival
(City tour, Or: Helicopter Alpine Jet Boat experience)
Day 2: Akaroa - Arthur's Pass – West Coast – Punakaiki
(Blackwater tubing caves, Or: Cave Climbing Adventure)
Day 3: Punakaiki - Franz Josef Glacier
(Helicopter 5* Rafting, Glaciers, Waterfalls)
Day 4: West Coast – Queenstown or Wanaka
(Skydiving, Or: Canyoning Mt Aspiring National Park)
Day 5: Queenstown or Wanaka
(Nevis swing or Catapult Bungy, Or: Paragliding)
Day 6: Queenstown or Wanaka
(Wild Wire waterfall, Or: Heli bike Lake Wanaka)
Day 7: Queenstown - Te Anau
(Morning to your own leisure, wineries, Arrowtown)
Day 8: Te Anau – Day trip to Milford Sound
(Kayaking Milford Sound Or: Day hike Milford Sound Or: Routeburn Track)
Day 9: Queenstown - Mt Cook
(Heli Hike Or: Tasman Glacier Ice Climbing, and Stargazing
Day 10: Mt Cook - Tekapo - Christchurch departure
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Christchurch city promises an eclectic mix of historic elegance and contemporary culture. Described by Lonely Planet as a "vibrant city in transition, coping resiliently and creatively,” Christchurch's energy is evident wherever you go. Contemporary art galleries, boutique shops and open-air markets add to Christchurch’s creative vibe.
Or: New Zealand is home to some of the world’s most breathtaking scenery, including intricate river systems and fast-flowing rapids. This tour takes you on an amazing scenic helicopter flight over the Canterbury Plains before arriving at the Waimakariri Gorge for an adrenalin-packed 1-hour Jet Boat ride. It’s the ultimate Kiwi experience. Our pilots will personalise this experience for you by sharing their local knowledge and insights of our big backyard as you fly over remarkable sights and landmarks, including; Waimakariri Gorge and Claxby.
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.
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. Dressed ready for your adventure, a short drive and 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.
Or: Adventure Caving. Adventure Caving’ is full on expedition style caving that takes you into the untamed wilderness of the Te Tahi cave system. Fully equipped with harnesses, lights, helmets, wetsuits your adventure begins in our base in Charleston. Te Tahi Cave is a short drive on a remote road into the West Coast Wilderness. Following practice, your adventure begins with a 130 ft abseil down a breath-taking shaft. The last of daylight fades as you begin to scramble through a dark abyss of passages deep below. You will scramble, crawl and abseil to reach the active waterways.
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.
Accommodation: West Coast
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.
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. The only access is via a hike in or helicopter. We then take a helicopter ride up into the mountains to the rafting put in. Landing at the top of the first of 3 canyons we need to negotiate. The start of the canyon is our first portage around a dangerous undercut cliff. We then head into the first canyon where the towering schist gorges overhang the river and have to be seen to be believed. They really are a natural wonder. After an hour on the river, we stop to explore a side canyon where a crystal clear creek pounds out of a deep crevice and over a waterfall. Jump into the waterfall and get flushed out of the side canyon into a deep pool that joins the main river. With two more gorges to negotiate we have a bite to eat to recharge the energy levels before paddling into the next gorge where we have to portage the raft around an unrunnable rapid. We then complete an abseil down a huge rock and back into the raft. We then peel out into the current and negotiate a technical section of grade 4 whitewater before pulling into shore above the last grade 5 rapid for the day.
Take a leisurely and scenic drive to the famous glacier region and your day’s itinerary will end in the tiny settlement of Franz Josef. The rugged West Coast is hemmed between the Tasman Sea and the imposing Southern Alps, making for spectacular contrasts in the surrounding scenery. Two glaciers are located only 25 km from each other and are unique in the world as they seem to nearly reach the ocean. Franz Josef Glacier was first explored in 1865 by geologist Julius von Haast, who named it after the Austrian emperor.
Accommodation: Franz Josef or Fox Glacier
Skydive Franz is one of only nine skydiving companies to make the Red Bull list of the Most Insane Places to Skydive in the World. Skydive Franz has New Zealand’s highest mountain Aoraki/Mount Cook and the biggest glaciers Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers immediately on the right and the wide blue ocean on the left. Skydive amongst mountains, glaciers, lakes, rivers and ocean views.
A spectacular and scenic road links Haast and Wanaka. It reaches beyond wind-whipped Lakes Wanaka and Hawea, through golden tussock-covered hills, to wind among steep mountains cloaked in lush rainforest and crosses tumbling rivers. Take a 30-minute return walk to the Blue Pools. The glacier-fed water in these deep pools is the colour of deep azure blue, and so clear that you can see right to the bottom, making the resident brown trout look like they are suspended in the air.
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.
Or: Queenstown is one of New Zealand's top visitor destinations and if you come to the region you'll understand why. Queenstown sits on the shore of crystal clear Lake Wakatipu amidst dramatic mountain ranges; this stunning location will blow you away.
Accommodation: Wanaka or Queenstown
Wanaka 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. Lake Hawea feeds into the Hawea River, which joins the Clutha at Albert Town. Ringed by pebbly beaches and with magnificent views to the surrounding peaks, both lakes offer a variety of adventures, especially during the long, hot months of summer.
The Ultimate Waterfall Adventure Wild Wire - Join us on the highest waterfall via ferrata in the world. Choose from 1 of our 3 climbs: Our easiest climb “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.
Or: Epic Back country Heli biking: 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. The chopper will come and fly you to the stunning 1700m Crown Peak that has 360 vistas taking in Wanaka and Queenstown. We seem to finish where there is a well-earned beer!
Accommodation: Queenstown or Wanaka
Discover the joys of canyoning. For people with some water confidence and reasonable fitness, with a big focus on fun. No experience necessary. Niger Stream, our most popular trip involving several abseils, lots of sliding, jumps big and small (optional), zip-lines and a few other things besides. We teach you a lot and our guides are great at pitching trips at your level. A great all-around trip with high excitement and heaps of fun, in a unique and fabulous setting.
Or: Introducing the Most Famous Swing in the World - and we don’t say that lightly. It’s big, it’s bad and it’s loud (if you consider every shriek of every person who’s had a go). Swing by yourself or tandem with a friend - forwards, backwards, upside down - you choose. You’ll complete the 300m arc, bellowing at the top of your lungs, wanting to do it all over again once you’re back on solid ground. NEW: The worlds First Bungy Catapult: Get ready for an insane ride on the biggest and most extreme catapult in the world! You’ll be propelled 150m up and out across the Nevis Valley, experiencing up to 3Gs of force as you reach speeds of almost 100kms an hour in 1.5 seconds flat. A hair-raising drop will have your blood pumping and you’ll be screaming for another hit!
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. Allow 1 hour for a round trip.
Accommodation: Queenstown or Wanaka
Keep the morning free for some additional adventure or take a chance to relax with some of our great wines.
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.
One of the most picturesque settlements in New Zealand, Arrowtown sits alongside the gold-bearing Arrow River. The town was established in 1862, during the height of the Otago gold rush. The settlement grew quickly as pioneers constructed cottages, shops, hotels and churches, more than 60 of which can still be seen today. A special highlight is a Chinese settlement at the edge of the river. Built by Chinese miners from 1868, this area of restored shelters and buildings paints a picture of earlier times.
The journey takes you past the Eastern shores of Lake Wakatipu to Fiordland National Park. The extraordinary scenic beauty has earned this region a reputation as a significant sightseeing and walking destination, and a 'must see' for anyone travelling to New Zealand
Accommodation: Te Anau
Nestled on the edge of a lake, Te Anau is the perfect town to base yourself from to visit Milford Sound. The picturesque township is the main visitor base for the glacier-carved wilderness that is Fiordland National Park.
Situated on the west coast of the South Island, Milford Sound is a fusion of spectacular natural features with amazing visual cues around every corner. Described by Rudyard Kipling as the 'eighth wonder of the world', Milford Sound was carved by glaciers during the ice ages. Milford Sound is breathtaking in any weather. The fiord's cliffs rise vertically from the dark waters, mountain peaks scrape the sky and waterfalls cascade downwards, some as high as 1000 metres. When it rains in Milford Sound, and it often does, those waterfalls multiply with magnificent effect.
Want to REALLY get amongst it?! We’re sure you’ll agree with us and the Lonely Planet that sea kayaking is by far the best way to truly discover Milford Sound. Get set to feel the spray kiss your face as waterfalls tumble from hundreds of metres above you; marvel at the ancient rainforest clinging to the steep cliffs of the fiord alongside you; and look out for the New Zealand Fur Seals, Fiordland Crested Penguins, famous Blue Penguins and even Bottlenose Dolphins.
Or: See Fiordland by foot, join a guided walk to get real insight and safely learn more about the spectacular natural surrounds in this famous World Heritage Area. Experience the raw beauty first hand; step out into the forest and mountains with a local, knowledgeable guide to share in this awe-inspiring world. Our Milford Track guided day hike options begin the trail from the Milford Sound end, at a place called Sandfly Point. Easygoing and enjoyable, it’s a fantastic way to get a feel for the beauty of the track.
Or: The Routeburn – while lesser-known than the Milford – features some of the grandest scenery. Huge, glacier-carved valleys, snowy mountains, waterfalls and jewel-like lakes dot the length of the Routeburn.
Accommodation: Te Anau
The Heli Hike takes you on an exploration of the Tasman Glacier, the largest of several glaciers which flow south and east towards the Mackenzie Basin from the Southern Alps. At 27km in length, Tasman Glacier is New Zealand's longest glacier. It is as much as 4 kilometres wide and 600 meters thick and lies within the borders of Mt Cook/Aoraki National Park. The glacier covers an area of 101 square kilometres and starts at a height of 3,000 metres above sea level. Your professional guide will lead you into the most spectacular terrain that is usually seen only by experienced mountaineers. Your helicopter will fly you from Mount Cook Airport to around 1,200 metres above sea level where you will spend up to 2 hours in the mountains. Your crampons bite into the glacier ice as you trek on easy undulating terrain, below Aoraki/Mt Cook and Mount Tasman the highest peaks of the Southern Alps. The snow-covered mountains tower above vast ice-falls that bulldoze and grind down the mountainsides. Your helicopter will fly you close by the 1,000 metre high Hochstetter Icefall as your journey ends and you return to Mt Cook Airport.
Or: Tasman Glacier Ice Climbing: Your adventure starts with a scenic flight into the Tasman Glacier, with views of Aoraki Mount Cook, Mount Tasman and the surrounding snow-capped mountains that form the Southern Alps. Years of experience and exploration of the glacier by your guide has resulted in extensive local knowledge allowing you to explore the hidden gems of the Tasman Glacier.
Join us on our famous observatory tour. Spend the evening discovering what the southern sky has to offer, and experience the thrill of looking deep into the cosmos with our powerful telescopes.
Accommodation: Mt Cook
Lake Tekapo is in the Mackenzie Basin. The township faces north across the remarkable turquoise coloured lake to the mountainous drama of the Southern Alps. Lake Tekapo gets its intense milky-turquoise colour from the fine rock-flour (ground by glaciers) which is suspended in the water. On the shores, on the lake, you'll see the beautiful Church of the Good Shepherd, where the altar window frames a perfect view of the Southern Alps beyond the lake.
Traditionally known as the Garden City, Christchurch’s award winning Botanic Gardens are over 150 years old and boast an enviable collection of exotic and native plants. The Avon River flows gently through the city centre, making Edwardian punt rides an iconic way to sightsee. Alternatively, catch a ride aboard the Historic Tram or take a bicycle tour to learn about Christchurch's history.