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 spend the night in the park. Should you prefer, there is the option to kayak in the National Park.
Day 5-6 Franz Josef (2B)
Continue following the coastal road towards Franz Josef arriving at a unique wilderness lodge set in the rainforest for the night. Day 6 is a free day for optional activities. Options include various hikes, including a horseback riding and quad biking. Estimated travel time: 4 hours Travel distance: 220 km
Day 7 Makarora (1B)
Transfer to Makarora, where there are a variety of optional activities available. Options include a jet boat excursion or glacier trekking.
Day 8-9 Queenstown (2B)
Follow the wild West Coast Road out of Mt. Aspiring National Park. Opt to take the plunge or simply observe the site where it all started while getting some great pictures of those who do decide to jump. Days 8 and 9 are free days to maximize time for all the optional activities in the area. Opt for a jet boating outing, bungee jumping, mountain biking, sky diving, or a vineyard tour. The options in this adventure capital are endless. Three nights at a centrally-located hostel means that fitting everything in won't be too hard. Estimated travel time: 2 hours Travel distance: 130 km
Day 10 Walter Peak (1B)
Travel by ferry to Walter Peak and overnight in the historic shearers quarter. Enjoy all that the area has to offer.
Day 11 Milford Sound (1B)
Travel on to Milford Sound this morning. Along the ways stop for a trek to the Mavora Lakes with it’s stunning views and back drops.
Day 12 Central Otago (1B)
In the morning enjoy the stunning scenery of Fiordland National Park and Milford Sound from the deck of a boat. Take in the waterfalls and wildlife or venture out on the provided kayaks. Continue to Central Otago, and enjoy a free afternoon for activities.
Day 13 Christchurch (1B)
Classified as a public reserve, the Central Otago Rail Trail is completely car free, so cycling here is free from the worries of traffic. Spend the better part of the day cycling (easy gradient) through stunning scenery along 35km of the old rail trail. Transfer to Christchurch for the evening.
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, then take the ferry across to Wellington where the tour ends.