Note that this tour utilizes a variety of accommodation including hostels. See the 'About Accommodation' section of the trip details for more information.

New Zealand - Active South Island

15 days,Wellington to Wellington

Kayak in the waters of Abel Tasman National Park, trek through the wilds of the South Island's national parks, try exhilarating adventures in Queenstown, cross the spectacular Southern Alps, cycle along the remote rail trail in Central Otago.

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New Zealand is the perfect place for adrenaline and activity, and there's nowhere in the country more suited to that than the South Island. On this two-week trip, cover the ground (or water) by sea kayak, boat, bike, and on foot. Explore Abel Tasman National Park, hike the Routeburn Track, glide along the waters of Milford Sound and take two wheels through the Rail Trail in Central Otago. If you're not out of breath just from reading all that, then it's time to start packing.

What's Included

  • Ferry crossing to South Island. Water taxi to Abel Tasman. Sea kayak in Abel Tasman. Trek in Paparoa National Park. Cruise on Milford Sound. Cycling the Rail Trail.
  • 14 breakfasts (Allow NZD250-300 for meals not included.)
  • Hostels (11nts), hotels (2 nts), camp (1 nts).
  • Ferry, water taxi, kayak, private bus, walk, bike, boat
  • Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, local guides.
  • Small group experience; Max 16, avg 12
Itinerary Notes

More information about the accommodation that we use for this trip can be found by clicking the button below.

Accommodation Info

Day 1 Wellington

Arrive at any time.

Day 2 Abel Tasman (1B)

Transfer by ferry to the South Island. Transfer by water taxi into Abel Tasman National Park

Day 3 Marahau (1B)

Sea-kayak in Abel Tasman, out to the edge of the park before joining a short transfer to Marahau.

Day 4 Paparoa National Park (1B)

Transfer to Paparoa National Park, before a trek in the park. Overnight on the edge of the Paparoa National Park.

Day 5-6 Franz Josef (2B)

Transfer to Franz Josef, stopping at Okarito lagoon en route. Day 12 is free for optional activities in Franz Josef such as glacier trekking.

Day 7 Makarora (1B)

Transfer to Makarora, where there are a variety of optional activities available. Options include hiking, jet boat excursion and scenic flights.

Day 8-9 Queenstown (2B)

Travel through into the heart of Central Otago, stopping at the resort town of Wanaka. Continue onto the “adventure capital of the world”, Queenstown, in time for an afternoon of optional activities such as from bungee jumping (in its birthplace), jet boating (also born here!), sky diving, rafting, mountain biking, hang gliding, and so much more!

Day 10 Milford Sound (1B, 1D)

Continue to the fjords of the South Island. Enjoy the stunning scenery of Fiordland National Park and Milford Sound from the deck of a boat.

Day 11 Te Anau (1B)

Continue onto Te Anau where you can explore the area surrounding the South Islands largest lake with the option to hike, bike or explore the Te Anau glowworm caves.

Day 12 Central Otago (1B)

Cycle the Rail Trail, a route created specially for mountain biking. Cycle through scenery unspolied by traffic and not visible from any roads. Continue to Christchurch for the evening.

Day 13 Christchurch (1B)

Drive through breathtaking central Otago via the Lindis Pass & Mt Cook, New Zealand’s highest peak arriving in Christchurch for the evening.

Day 14 Kaikoura (1B)

Transfer to Kaikoura, with optional whale or dolphin-watching in the afternoon.

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.

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