Delve Deep: New Zealand South Island
Itinerary / more information
Day 1 - Christchurch, New Zealand
One minute you’re stuck in that boring home routine, ‘nek minnit’ you’re landing in Christchurch, meeting a bunch of people who are 100% different but 100% the same. We’re kicking things off with an included group dinner – swap notes on all the weird and wonderful stuff you’re planning to do. Get ready to delve into the South Island’s local hot spots, legendary cities and mind-blowing natural wonders. See you in the morning!
Day 2 - Christchurch to Franz Josef Glacier region, via Hokitika
In the mood to see Mother Nature showing off? You’re in luck – today we’re making tracks to one of New Zealand’s most famous glaciers. But first up: historic Hokitika. Head to the beach and find the quirky sculpture made by the locals. Buy a pounamu (greenstone) for good luck. And give ‘mountain oysters’ a try (hint: Google it first). We’ll make a photo stop at Lake Matheson to make your friends back home jealous AF – before rolling into the jaw-dropping Franz Josef Glacier region. Tonight: seek out the resident glow worms on an after-dark adventure – just ask your in-the-know Trip Leader.
Day 3 - Franz Josef Glacier region to Queenstown
Rise and shine! If the weather is good, you’ll have the chance to explore this chilly playground on an optional Heli-hike. Strap on your crampons and pile into the chopper – we’ll head up to 800 m above sea level to explore the maze of ice formations with an expert local guide. Or go all-out with a scenic flight that’ll leave you with goosebumps and a full camera roll. Then: we’ll turn our attention to the adventure capital of the world. Get the lay of the land with your Trip Leader, then there’s a group dinner on us. Later: hunker down in World Bar – with world-famous teapot cocktails, it’s the perfect spot to make a plan for next three days.
Day 4 - Queenstown
If Queenstown had a Tinder profile it would read: fun-filled outdoor enthusiast – looking for a fellow adrenalin junkie to share adventures with. And be filled with pics of people throwing themselves off extreme heights. Swiping right? Hell yes! Skydiving. Bungy jumping. Jet boating. White water rafting. Canyon swinging. You want it, this place has it. And you’ve got 24 hrs to embrace it all. DW if all the above makes you want to run and hide – there’s more here than death-defying antics. Take the skyline gondola for some incred views over Lake Wakatipu. Race your Topdeck buddies on the sky-high luge track. Jump aboard the TSS Earnslaw for a scenic cruise. Or strap on those Nikes and hike the Ben Lomond Saddle Loop – the views are worth the sore legs in the morning. Trust us. Tonight, head to Winnies and tuck into pizzas with toppings you can’t prepare for – they’re that good.
Day 5 - Queenstown including Milford Sound
Today, we’ll take a break from all the high-octane screaming with a day trip to the mesmerising Milford Sound. Plaster your face to the window as we take the scenic route through Fiordland National Park. Then, the main event: a cruise on the Milford fjord complete with thundering waterfalls, razor-edge cliffs and resident seals. This place is National Geographic on steroids (like Schwarzenegger steroids). Tuck into lunch on board surrounded by a view you’ll tell your children (12 cats) about for years to come. Then, back in Queenstown, gather your new mates and explore the local haunts – your Trip Leader knows ‘em, just ask.
Day 6 - Queenstown
Didn’t tick everything off? We’ve got your back – here’s another free day we prepared earlier. Head into Mount Aspiring National Park on a Wilderness Jet adventure. Jump in a funyak down the Dart River (like a kayak, but better). Or conquer the wild Shotover River on an adrenalin-pumping whitewater rafting experience. If you’d rather cruise in the slow lane, sip your way through the Otago region on a wine tour or get your Fergburger take-away and head up to Queenstown Gardens for stunning views over The Remarkables. Tonight: head to the Cookie Bar. We’re talking warm cookies, freakshakes, s’more, ice-cream...*wipes drool from chin*.
Day 7 - Queenstown to Lake Ohau, via Arrowtown
Ok, nobody panic – the adventure is coming to a close. But we’re sure as hell not done yet! Set the course for Arrowtown and stretch out those calves – there’s a cycle along the banks of the historic Arrow River in store for today. Venture through some ‘holy-sh*t’-worthy scenery, cross awe-inspiring suspension bridges and try not to stack it in front of your trip mates. Then: press your nose to the window and soak up all the incredible views racing past the coach window as we make our way to our lakeside-lodge for the night. Nestled between towering mountains and overlooking the sparkling lake, this is the perfect place to spend the last night of our southern expedition. We’re gonna give this trip the send-off it deserves at tonight’s final group dinner.
Day 8 - Lake Ohau to Christchurch, via Lake Tekapo
Squeeze in one last pano at Lake Tekapo before we make tracks for Christchurch. After a jaunt around the city with your fact-filled Trip Leader, it’s time to say goodbye. Eight days. Countless thrills, spills and good times. You embraced it all and shared the adventure with a bunch of strangers who are now like family. Reunion trip next year? 100%.
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