Ultimate 11 Day South Island Adventure
Ultimate 11 Day South Island Adventure
Whale Watching – Scenic Train Ride – Quad Biking – Glacier Hiking – Boat Cruise – Jet Boating
New Zealand’s South Island is a playground for adrenalin and adventure seekers. This tour is complete with everything to tick all the boxes on your list. On this 11 day action packed adventure tour you can expect to experience everything that the South Island has to offer. Highlights include: Seeing whales up close in Kaikoura, traveling through the Southern Alps by train, driving 4WD quad bikes through native rainforest, taking a guided walk on one of our most prestine glaciers and being driven by jet boat on a glacial lake in the Mt Cook National Park. Welcome to The Road Trip, ‘Where your journey begins’.
Day 1 – Arrival in Christchurch
You will be welcomed to New Zealand by one of our representatives and your journey begins. We will take a short afternoon city tour featuring the Botanic Gardens and inner city and discuss the up and coming tour.
Day 2 – Christchurch – Hokitika via Tranz Alpine Train
Today we leave the city of Christchurch and head west towards the Southern Alps. From Christchurch- Greymouth you will travel on the ‘Tranz Alpine’ train through the Southern Alps. Arthurs Pass is the main divide between Christchurch and the West Coast that was crossed by the early gold miners on horse and cart in the 1800’s. Upon arrival in Greymouth we will make our way North to for our afternoon 4WD tour. New Zealand’s West Coast is one of the best places in New Zealand for this type of activity and you will get the opportunity to drive one of your own 4WD bikes through native forests and farmland over a 1 hour tour.
Later this afternoon we head south to Hokitika. Hokitika is our destination for this evening and is known for its greenstone, gold and glassblowing trade.
Day 3 – Hokitika – Fox Glacier (3 hours driving time – 165km )
Heading south through the majestic rainforest of the west coast you will encounter coast, beach and mountains all within 15km of each other. Today your tour heads through native bush to Fox Glacier. Fox Glacier is one of the only glaciers in the world that one can access almost from sea level and to be surrounded by native rainforest. You will be taken on a guided half-day glacier walk on this spectacular glacier- a once in a lifetime experience. We overnight in Fox Glacier with accessible views of Mt Cook and Mt Tasman, New Zealand’s 2 highest mountains.
Day 4 – Fox Glacier – Wanaka (245km – 4 hours driving)
One of the prettiest and most dramatic journeys in the country is what you can experience on this tour over the Haast Pass through to Wanaka. En route we visit Lake Matheson, otherwise known as ‘Mirror Lakes’ where on a clear day it is possible to see the reflection of New Zealand’s highest mountain Mt Cook (3754m/12,316ft). The walking possibilities are endless today around Haast and Haast Pass and we can do one of or several walks, some of which feature spectacular waterfalls and deep blue coloured pools where it is possible to see trout swimming. One of our favourite hidden spots at The Road Trip is an isolated beach featuring native Totara trees hugging rugged coastline. Keep a look-out for dolphins bobbing up and down on the shoreline. Tonight we stay in Wanaka, one of the most popular kiwi vacation hot spots situated on the shores of Lake Wanaka.
Day 5 – Wanaka – Te Anau (4 hours driving) 260km
This morning in and around Wanaka there are many options. For those feeling adventurous we can take a walk up Mt Iron where at the top we can take can admire the breath-taking views of the nearby Mt Aspiring National Park and Lake Wanaka. Other options include a visit to Stuart Landsborough’s Puzzling World or a kayak tour on the lake. For those who would like to try something extreme, a skydive over Lake Wanaka is not to be missed. This afternoon our South Island tour takes us over The Crown Range, New Zealand’s highest highway to Arrowtown which was one of New Zealand’s most important towns in the gold rush to Central Otago in the 1860’s. We also visit AJ Hackett Bungy, home of the original Bungy Bridge site and you have the choice here to undertake this fantastic 43m dive over the Kawarau Gorge. This afternoon we drive a further 2 hours to Te Anau situated on the shores of New Zealand’s 2nd largest lake and the gateway to Fiordland National Park.
Day 6 – Te Anau – Milford Sound – Te Anau (4 hours driving time) 240km
Be prepared for one of the jewels of the New Zealand landscape. The spectacular drive from Te Anau- Milford Sound is one of the most spectacular in the world and certainly a highlight on any New Zealand tour. En route you will see spectacular valleys, breath taking mountains and hopefully spot the cheeky Kea (New Zealand’s mountain parrot). You will take a boat cruise on the fjords and really get up close and personal with this stunning New Zealand land feature. We return the same way back to Te Anau stopping en route to visit some of The Road Trip’s secret spots!
Day 7 – Te Anau – Queenstown (2.5 hours driving time) 180km
Skirting our way around Lake Wakitipu makes for some stunning photography and you will be amazed by the Remarkables Mountain Range, one of the most famous back drops for Lord Of the Rings. We arrive in Queenstown late afternoon and take a trip up the Gondola together to view Queenstown and surrounds from a 360 degree viewpoint. You will also get to experience a ride on Queenstown’s luge as you control your cart down an 800 metre track full of fast paced fun and freedom. The rest of the afternoon is free to explore Queenstown at leisure.
Day 8 – Queenstown free activities day
Today in and around Queenstown there are many possibilities. It is a day entirely for your leisure. For the adventurous among us there is skydiving, bungy-jumping, paragliding and white water rafting. For those of us who prefer to take a more relaxed approach to the day a cruise on the 100 year old TSS Earnslaw Steam Ship or a walk alongside Lake Wakitipu are not to be missed.
Day 9 – Queenstown – Lake Tekapo via Mt Cook 360km (4.5 hours driving)
We leave Central Otago today through the Kawarau Gorge and Cromwell where we make a stop en route and visit a local fruit shop and a chance to try ‘Real Fruit Ice cream’ and sample a few of the New Zealand famous manuka honey products. From there we cross the Lindis Pass (965m) to the Mackenzie Country, known for its Merino Sheep and wool industry. This afternoon you will experience jet boating at its best with a trip on the renowned Glacier Explorer. Using custom built boats you are able to cruise the rapidly growing terminal lake taking in spectacular mountain views and scenery.Icebergs of every shape and size periodically tear away from the glacier allowing you to touch and taste the 300-500 year old glacial crystals, a jaw dropping experience. This afternoon our trip takes us through to Lake Tekapo where we overnight on the shores of this turquoise coloured lake.
Day 10 – Lake Tekapo- Christchurch 250km (3 hours driving)
In clear weather there is the possibility to take a one hour flight around Mt Cook and its spectacular surrounding valleys. There may even be time for one of the many short walks in the area each with its superb views. In the afternoon we drive back to Christchurch and enjoy a farewell dinner together in the evening and toast to a memorable New Zealand tour.
Day 11 – Departure Day – Christchurch
Today you will be transferred to your on-going travel arrangements. We trust that you have had a memorable Road Trip.