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South Island Explorer

All things south in seven days!

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Group Size: Max 30.

Trip code: NXGKCC

Duration: 7 days

Guided group tour
Awesome inclusions
Fantastic optional activities

Discover the mighty mountain ranges, sparkling blue lakes and adventure-loving cities of New Zealand’s South Island on this 7-day tour. Starting and ending in Christchurch, you’ll journey through the beautiful green landscapes of the Canterbury Plains, plunge through the jaw-dropping mountain scenery of the Southern Alps and get up close to amazing Fox Glacier. Plus, you’ll enjoy an adventurous break in Queenstown and an unforgettable cruise on Milford Sound. Travelling with a group and guide on board a comfortable coach with free Wi-Fi, you’ll soon fall in love with this spectacular part of the world!


Trip highlights

  • Discover the highlights of the South Island in just seven days
  • Walk around the perfect blue waters of Lake Matheson
  • Spend two unforgettable days in Queenstown, the adventure capital of NZ!
  • Enjoy a beautiful boat cruise on Milford Sound
  • Go mountain biking along the mighty Arrow River
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What's included
  • 6 nights’ accommodation
  • Lake Matheson visit
  • Visit Hokitika
  • Free time in Queenstown
  • Milford Sound cruise
  • Arrow River mountain biking
  • All transport between included destinations
  • Air-con and Wi-Fi on board the coach
  • Dedicated tour guide
  • 6 breakfasts, 1 lunch and 3 dinners
  • 24 hour emergency support
What's not included
  • Flights
  • Travel Insurance
  • Visa (if required)
  • Airport transfers
  • Pre/post-tour accommodation
  • Additional meals, snacks and drinks
  • Optional activities
Further trip information

Day 1: Christchurch to Fox Glacier via Hokitika. Meet your group and tour guide at 7am and then hit the road. Pass through the infinite greens of the Canterbury Plains and then journey through soaring snow-capped mountains. This is what New Zealand is all about! Your first stop is Hokitika, an atmospheric seaside town that looks out across the mighty Tasman Sea. Then, head inland and discover the perfect placid waters of Lake Matheson. Spend the night near famous Fox Glacier.

Please note: Due to the early start this morning, we recommend arriving in Christchurch the night before and booking an extra night of accommodation in the city. We can help you book this extra night. Please speak to a travel advisor for more information.

Day 2: Fox Glacier to Queenstown. Wake up and enjoy a free morning in the area. Join an optional trip to Fox Glacier, an incredible channel of ice that plummets from the mountain tops to the forest-fringed valley below. After an unforgettable morning, continue down to Queenstown, the adventure capital of New Zealand. Buckle up for a few days of non-stop adrenaline-pumping action!

Days 3, 4 and 5: Queenstown. Enjoy two full free days to make the most of all that Queenstown has to offer as well as a full day trip to Milford Sound. Whether it be white-water rushes, sky-plummeting adventures or canyon climbing excursions, there really is something for everyone in this awesome town. And once you’ve finished your adventures, there are a host of lively bars and restaurants where you can cool off with an ice-cold beer. Awesome!

On day 5 you will leave Queenstown behind and journey south to the gorgeous waters of Milford Sound. The landscapes here are truly extraordinary. You’ll see it all on an unforgettable boat cruise and then stroll along the stunning walking trails before heading back to Queenstown for the night.

Day 6: Queenstown to Ohau via Arrowtown. Next stop: Arrowtown, once a gold mining hotspot that drew prospectors from all across the country. Step back in time as you mountain bike along the rushing Arrow River, rattling across suspension bridges and stopping off to soak up the scenery. Spend the end of the day at beautiful Lake Ohau, where you can swim and relax.

Day 7: Lake Ohau to Christchurch via Lake Tekapo. Discover another perfect blue lake today as you roll past Lake Pukaki. Keep an eye out for the iconic peak of Mount Cook. Then leave mountain country behind and travel back towards Christchurch, stopping off at the gorgeous Church of the Good Shepherd on the banks of Lake Tekapo. Arrive back in Christchurch this evening at approximately 6pm, where your tour ends.

Due to this late finish, we recommend booking an extra night of accommodation in Christchurch and flying out the next day.

Booking options

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Call us on: +44 1892 527392
Email us at: [email protected]
Arrival information

The tour begins at 7am in Christchurch on day 1 of your itinerary. Due to this early start we recommend flying into Christchurch at least the day before and booking an extra night of accommodation. The tour ends back in Christchurch at approximately 6pm. Due to this late finish, we recommend booking another night of accommodation and flying out the next day.

Airport transfers are not included but are easy to arrange. Regular buses travel between the airport and the city centre.

Accommodation & meals

6 nights of accommodation are included on this group tour. You will stay in a combination of multi-share hotel and hostel accommodation. Due to the early start and late finish on this tour, you may need to book extra nights of accommodation before and after your tour. We can advise you on booking this accommodation – contact a travel advisor for more information.

6 breakfasts, 1 lunch and 3 dinners are included. You will need to purchase the rest of your meals yourself. Your guide will be able to recommend good-value and good-quality restaurants in each destination. New Zealand has excellent western food and, due to its proximity to Asia, the Asian food is delicious as well. You’ll be spoilt for choice!

Minimum age & eligibility

The minimum age to join this group tour is 18 years old. This trip is designed for 18 to 39 year olds.

Visitors who are transitting through or entering New Zealand as tourists will need to hold an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) before travelling to New Zealand. Tourists will also need to pay an International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL) alongside the ETA. Tourists can enter for up to 6 months. People entering New Zealand on a Working Holiday Visa do not require an ETA.

If you are planning on working at all during your time in New Zealand, you will need to apply for a Working Holiday Visa (available to 18-30 year olds) and can do this by visiting the New Zealand Immigration website.

Visa rules and regulations are subject to change. Please check the relevant embassy websites for up to date information.

Covid safety

This trip is designed with your safety and wellbeing in mind. As a result of Covid-19, many of our suppliers and partners around the world are introducing new policies and procedures surrounding health and safety in response to the Coronavirus outbreak. As the state of travel is evolving these new safety measures will adapt over time, and will be different for each trip. Here are some of the changes you may see on your trip:

Arrival safety meetings
Most trips have an arrival meeting on the first day where the guide or local team will run through the trip, the safety protocols, and to answer any questions you may have. Now more than ever it is important you arrive in time for these meetings.

Updated hygiene and safety procedures
Our suppliers and partners have health and safety procedures in place on all of our trips. These protocols will be updated and adapted as a response to the Coronavirus outbreak, dependent on local restrictions and laws.

Transport and accommodation choices
Our suppliers and partners choose the accommodation and transport on our trips very carefully, and you may see a change to what would normally be used as a response to the outbreak. This may involve such changes as enhanced use of private transport or quieter accommodation.

Trained and knowledgeable staff
Our staff in the UK are trained to help you with your trip before you depart and answer any questions you may have. In addition, the local team and guides on our trips are there to help with any health and safety concerns and to ensure our trips run safely and smoothly.

Reduced group sizes
Some trips will run with reduced group sizes to start with. You may find that trips are more intimate and chilled, whilst still being packed with fun and adventure.

Your guide or the local team will be on hand to help you seek medical attention should you require it during your trip. As medical facilities and standards can vary around the world, you should ensure you have adequate travel insurance in place before you depart to cover you for any medical emergencies.

24/7 emergency support
We operate an emergency phone line for our travellers abroad. This is operated by a UK based member of staff 24/7 if you have a genuine emergency or urgent matter that you need attending.

It is important that you take measures to make travelling safer for yourself and others around you. Ensure you frequently wash your hands, cover your face when you sneeze and cough, bring and use your own hand sanitiser and facial coverings/masks, and enable social distancing where necessary. You should also ensure you listen to the instructions and guidance of the local team at all times, and follow all local laws and restrictions.

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