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New Zealand: South Island Encompassed

16 days, Wellington to Wellington

Now's the time to explore New Zealand on your terms with this tour that's affordable for young travellers. If you prefer your travel experiences paired with adrenaline-pumping activities, then look no further than the South Island of New Zealand. Action is the common thread throughout this trip that features hiking, cycling, and even bungee jumping across a variety of landscapes — think rainforests, glaciers, and some of the most gorgeous coastline you’ll ever see. This trip is a, um, trip even when you’re not moving; accommodations include a wilderness hostel deep in the rainforest itself. Do people still say rad? Well, this is rad.

16 days

Wellington to Wellington

From$16739HKD
Valid on May 4 2023
Trip Code: ONSE

Need a flight? We can help.

Call us to book your flights! We'll find you the best option!

Now's the time to explore New Zealand on your terms with this tour that's affordable for young travellers. If you prefer your travel experiences paired with adrenaline-pumping activities, then look no further than the South Island of New Zealand. Action is the common thread throughout this trip that features hiking, cycling, and even bungee jumping across a variety of landscapes — think rainforests, glaciers, and some of the most gorgeous coastline you’ll ever see. This trip is a, um, trip even when you’re not moving; accommodations include a wilderness hostel deep in the rainforest itself. Do people still say rad? Well, this is rad.

Is this tour for me?

Travel Style: 18-to-Thirtysomethings

Fast, fresh, and fun adventures that never slow down, made for young, budget-minded travellers.

Service Level: Basic

Simple and clean hotels and hostels; affordable public and private transport; lots of optional activities.

Physical Rating: 3 - Average

Some tours may include light hiking, biking, rafting, or kayaking in addition to walking.

Trip Type: Small Group

Small group experience; Max 20, avg 16

Age requirement: 18-39

Visa Requirements

16 days

Wellington to Wellington

From$16739HKD
Valid on May 4 2023
Trip Code: ONSE

Need a flight? We can help.

Call us to book your flights! We'll find you the best option!

Creating ripples that change lives

The Ripple Score is an honest evaluation of how often we use local businesses and services to create each tour. With this score you can see the percentage of our local expenses that stay in the communities you visit. Learn more

Ripple Score

100

Map of the route for New Zealand: South Island Encompassed

Places visited

Itinerary Notes

Please also note that when in Franz Josef optional activities may be cancelled due to adverse weather conditions.

Itinerary

Day 1Wellington

Arrive at any time.

Tonight, get to know your group on a night out in Wellington. Choose to head to your CEO’s favourite local spot for dinner together before enjoying a social evening of bar games, music, and singing. Then you will have the option to bid in a charity auction for G Adventure’s not-for-profit organization, Planeterra for a chance to do a Canyon Swing and Fox in Queenstown! Grab a dancing partner or two and let the good times roll.

Exclusive Inclusions:

Your Welcome Moment Meet Your CEO and Group| Your First Night Out Moment Connect With New Friends

Day 2Wellington/Abel Tasman National Park

Don't forget those cameras before hopping on the morning ferry to cross the Cook Strait. Pro tip: make sure you stand outside and marvel at the views of the Marlborough Sounds at the tip of the South Island. Then drive past lush native forests, beautiful clear waters, blue skies, and golden sands as the group travels to Abel Tasman National Park.

Meals included:

Breakfast | Dinner

Day 3Abel Tasman National Park

Picture this: birdsong ringing from the treetops as you wander through the undergrowth stumbling upon occasional waterfalls nestled in the midst of the forest. You take a dip in one of the refreshing pools before finding your way to pristine coastline and turquoise bays where you can soak up the sun and relax in the sand.

This is the kind of day that awaits you in Abel Tasman NP, you are free to explore the golden beaches and winding waterways any way you’d like! So have fun, build a sand castle for us, and let the adventures continue!

Meals included:

Breakfast

Day 4Abel Tasman National Park/Westport

It’s off to Westport today! Breathe in the fresh air and soak in the beautiful views as the group heads south down the coast of black-sand beaches. Make a (very cool) pit stop to a seal colony in Cape Fouldwind and watch these majestic animals in their habitat before continuing on to Westport for the evening. Once you arrive grab a beer, talk to some locals, and discover the true charm of this coal mining town.

Meals included:

Breakfast | Dinner

Day 5Westport/Franz Josef

Continue on a scenic drive south along the coast to Punakaiki; think pancake rocks and blowholes (man, those are two random things we never thought would be in the same sentence). As a special spot full of local secrets Punakaiki is a great place to hop out of the bus, stretch those legs, and appreciate the strange beauty nature can create.

Meals included:

Breakfast | Dinner

Day 6Franz Josef

Enjoy a free day in Franz Josef. Today is all yours to spend as you please! From hiking to kayaking and walking on a glacier, there’s bound to be something you’ll want to check off that bucket list.

If your goal is to make actual contact with the glacier then try a heli-hike or guided ice walk. Or you could let nature be your guide and lose yourself in the rainforests, lakes, and waterfalls that surround Franz Josef. If you’d rather stay in town, then grab a bite to eat before booking a spa treatment at the Glacier Hot Pools... the choice is yours!

Meals included:

Breakfast

Day 7Franz Josef/Queenstown

Hit the road to the adventure capital of the world — Queenstown. Sit back, relax and gaze out the window as you drive away from Glacier Country and wind through lush forests back to the coast and into the mountains over Haast Pass. The photo opportunities will seem endless (make sure those cameras are charged.) Then gear up and get ready because the adrenaline is going to be pumping the next few days.

Meals included:

Breakfast

Days 8–9Queenstown

Let’s put it this way, if you’re the sort of person that loves adventure mixed with adrenaline all while exploring one of the most scenic places in the country, then Queenstown is for you!

Gear up for two days that are sure to leave you breathless. Free time in Queenstown is no joke, so be a dare devil and get ready to have those hearts pumping with some adrenaline-filled options like jet boating, bungee jumping, mountain biking or skydiving.

Meals included:

Breakfast

Day 10Queenstown/Te Anau

Let your breathing finally return to normal as the group departs Queenstown to visit Fiordland National Park. After arriving, soak up the chill vibes on a boat cruise through one of the most iconic places in New Zealand — Milford Sound. Marvel at the views of one of the wettest places on Earth and then if you are feeling up to it, book a cruise across Lake Te Anau to visit a cave that is home to thousands of glowworms.

Day 11Te Anau/Central Otago

It’s time to discover the natural beauty of Te Anau with a morning of free time. Head out to hike on one of New Zealand’s Great Walks, visit the Te Anau Bird Sanctuary, and try a savoury pie from Miles Better Pies. Then, it’s time to transfer to Wedderburn in Central Otago to give the eastern part of the South Island some love.

Meals included:

Breakfast | Dinner

Day 12Central Otago

Enjoy the unique landscape of Central Otago while biking 35 km on the Otago Rail Trail. Cycle through one historic town after another and sample some local food and drink as you go.

Meals included:

Breakfast

Day 13Wedderburn/Christchurch

Scoot on up to Christchurch to explore the South Island’s largest city and one of the places in New Zealand with the strongest English influences. Enjoy free time to explore and see what the nightlife is all about with your travel tribe, and grab some shut eye in a converted jailhouse to finish the evening.

Meals included:

Breakfast

Day 14Christchurch/Kaikoura

Mountains, marine life, and magic! Kaikoura is pretty darn special, so special in fact, that it may be the South Island’s best kept secret. The best way to experience it is to get out there and witness what this rugged coastal town does best. Book a whale watching cruise, swim with seals, or just take a walk along the coast admiring the scenery. In the afternoon try bird watching, swim with dolphins or splurge on flight over the peninsula.

Meals included:

Breakfast

Day 15Kaikoura/Wellington

Reminisce and reflect as you and the group travel to Picton to catch a ferry back to Wellington. Watch the majestic scenery of this country unfold before you and simply appreciate the moment (we know you’re probably already making plans to return.) Once back in the city grab some grub with your travel crew and let the good times roll for one last night out together.

Exclusive Inclusions:

Your Big Night Out Moment

Meals included:

Breakfast

Day 16Wellington

Depart at any time.

Meals included:

Breakfast
View full itinerary

What's Included

  • Your Welcome Moment: Meet Your CEO and Group
  • Your First Night Out Moment: Connect With New Friends
  • Your Discover Moment: Franz Josef
  • Your Discover Moment: Queenstown
  • Your Big Night Out Moment: Wellington
  • Excursion to Abel Tasman National Park
  • Seal colony visit
  • Walks in Abel Tasman National Park and Lake Matheson
  • Milford Sound day cruise
  • Cycling excursion (Central Otago)
  • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities

Accommodations

Hostels & basic lodges (15 nts, multi-share with 2-10 people).

Meals

14 breakfasts, 4 dinners
Allow USD345-450 for meals not included.

Transportation

Private vehicle, boat, ferry, bicycle, walking.

Staff & experts

CEO (Chief Experience Officer) throughout, local guides.

Available extras (Add these to your tour when you book)

Queenstown Shotover Jet - From $799.00

Take a thrilling jet boat along the Shotover River of Queenstown – strap in and get ready to get wet.

Make it a private tour

Book this tour as a private departure - with your own CEO and all the benefits of a G Adventures group tour - for any group, big or small (even just one traveller).

New Zealand: South Island Encompassed

| 16 days - Wellington to Wellington - from $16739 HKD