New Zealand - Active South Island
Day 1 Wellington
Arrive at any time.
Day 2 Abel Tasman (1B)
Leaving North Island New Zealand this morning, 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. On arrival, transfer by water taxi into Abel Tasman National Park. On arrival travel by and water taxi into Abel Tasman National Park. Camp out this evening in Abel Tasman.
Day 3 Marahau (1B)
Setting off from the beach today, kayak along the Abel Tasman coastline towards Marahau. The panoramic views of Abel Tasman National Park accompany the kayak journey. We may see nesting seabirds, and tiny islands along the way. Overnight in Marahau.
Day 4 Paparoa National Park (1B)
Transfer to Paparoa National Park this morning, before a trek in the park. The coastal views here include the famous Pancake Rocks, a limestone landscape of pancake shaped rock formations and blowholes. The hike continues through a spectacular limestone gorge, and spends the night on the edge of the park. Should you prefer, there is the option to kayak in the National Park.
Day 5-6 Franz Josef (2B)
Continue South along the coast towards Franz Josef, stopping for a walk at the wildlife mecca of Okarito Lagoon for an invigorating walk. Spend two nights staying amongst verdant temperate rainforest. Day 12 is a free day for optional activities. Options include various hikes, horseback riding, quad biking as well as the unique and stunning Franz Josef Glacier. Estimated travel time: 4 hours Travel distance: 220 km
Day 7 Makarora (1B)
Travel through Te Wahi Pounamu World Heritage Area to Makarora, where you can spend the afternoon exploring the area by foot, or opt for a jet boat excursion or scenic flight.
Day 8-9 Queenstown (2B)
Days 8 and 9 are free days to maximize time for all the optional activities in the area. Opt for a jet boat outing, bungee jumping, mountain biking, sky diving, or a vineyard tour. The options in this adventure capital are endless. Two nights at a centrally-located hostel means you can make the most of your time here. Estimated travel time: 2 hours Travel distance: 130 km
Day 10 Milford Sound (1B, 1D)
Depart early morning to continue onto the fjords of the South Island. Enjoy the stunning scenery of Fiordland National Park and Milford Sound from the deck of a boat taking in the waterfalls and searching for dolphins and seals, native to his region.
Day 11 Te Anau (1B)
Continue onto Te Anau where you have the day to explore the area surrounding Lake Te Anau, including the start of the Kepler Track. Optional activities including hiking, biking, explore the Te Anau glowworm caves or take in a screening of the award winning ‘Ata Whenua’ – ‘Fjordland Film’ documentary at the local cinema.
Day 12 Central Otago (1B)
Morning departure to Central Otago where you’ll spend the afternoon cycling 42km along the Historic Otago Rail Trail, a route created specially for mountain biking. Cycle through scenery unspoiled by traffic and not visible from any roads. Estimated travel time: 5 hours Travel distance: 400 km
Day 13 Christchurch (1B)
Drive through breathtaking scenery on one of New Zealand's most spectacular journeys. Views of Mt. Cook along the Lindis Pass, where the road cuts through the mountains to get to Christchurch. As long as the weather is good, there may be time for a swim or perhaps a short walk, but there will definitely be time to take some dramatic photographs on the drive.
Day 14 Kaikoura (1B)
Early start to drive the scenic coastal road up to Kaikoua. The views are breathtaking in this small town where the mountains meet the ocean. The just off shore deep water Hikurangi Trench brings an abundance of marine life very close to the shoreline. This is one of the premier spots in the world for whale watching. A free afternoon can also be spent 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. Hikers can opt to go on several day hikes in the Seaward Kaikoura mountains, part of the Southern Alps range, that provide an excellent backdrop to the town's picturesque landscape. One of the most popular routes is the Kaikoura peninsula walkway that starts at a seal colony and provides excellent sea and mountain views. In Maori, “Kai” means food, and “Koura” means crayfish. Be sure to sample the delicious offerings from the sea. Estimated travel time: 3 hours Travel distance: 180 km
Day 15 Wellington (1B)
Transfer to Picton, visiting a seal colony along the way before taking the ferry back to Wellington where the tour ends upon arrival. Onward travel can be booked after 8pm.