All about the 14 Day Full South Island Christchurch to Christchurch Summer Tour

On this 14 day South Island adventure you can opt to get your adrenaline fix with some world class extreme activities, explore awesome cities and relax in spectacular landscapes.

Highlights of this two-week adventure include a visit to the Marlborough wine region and sample some New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. Hiking in the Abel Tasman National Park. You can also choose to take a water taxi ride or hire a stand-up paddleboard. Visiting the historic French and British settlement of Akaroa (optional marine activities available at your own expense). Soaking in Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools and Spa. Seeing the mighty Franz Josef Glacier (optional Glacier Ice Explorer or helicopter flight available at your own expense). Walking around the mirror-like Lake Matheson. Admiring the stunning colors of the Blue Pools in Makarora. Spending two full days in Queenstown, the adventure capital of New Zealand! Seeing the fascinating Moeraki Boulders and then heading to the Kaikoura coast with the option to go whale watching You will also spend a full day in Abel Tasman National Park for walks and optional sea kayaking and sailing.

Real Kiwi Adventures is about adventure and getting involved. We don’t define by age but our trips are quite active. We get travelers from all over the world, people traveling by themselves, couples and groups A great way to meet new people and with an experienced and fun tour guide.

This New Zealand tour is an off the beaten track adventure, some bus companies will take you straight from A to B with barely a toilet break in between but, with us, you will experience great stops and inclusions en route to your next destination. A typical travel day can see you stopping off for a short walk to a waterfall, climbing to a lookout for a photo opportunity, pausing at an unusual piece of New Zealand art along the roadside, or stopping to check out a wild fur seal colony. You’ll fit so much more into your NZ road trip!

We know we live in an incredible country, and we are committed to playing our part, as an environmentally sustainable tourism operator, to keep it that way! We have been awarded the Enviro-Gold accreditation from Qualmark which is the highest accolade for quality, sustainably operated tourism operators in New Zealand. Qualmark recognizes businesses that a focused on protecting what makes New Zealand unique and special and at Stray, protecting our beautiful natural environment, enhancing local communities and delivering a high quality, safe experience for our passengers are things we feel extremely passionate about!

Travel in a small group with all transport by mini-bus or coach and inter-island transport between the North and South Island. We include all accommodation in quad share style rooms or upgraded if requested. We have selected top- rated activities to include on this tour. You will be fully guided on tour with entertaining commentary by an expert including a few local secrets and plenty of support as you travel our wonderful country. You will stay with the same group on tour, meaning you will make lifelong friends while ticking off those bucket list destinations!

If the scenery of the South Island leaves you with any breath, then Queenstown’s adventure activities will take it away!


14 Day Full South Island Christchurch to Christchurch Summer Tour Itinerary - 14 days

  • Day 1 Christchurch to Hanmer Springs
    Nau mai, haere mai (welcome)! Your journey kicks off when we depart from the city centre to the historic French settlement of Akaroa on the Banks Peninsula. After exploring the delights of the village, we’ll have time for lunch – make sure you sample one of the wonderful French pastries on offer in the cafes. Next, we head to the peaceful alpine town of Hanmer Springs, where you can spend the evening surrounded by mountains and forest as you relax in the thermal hot pools. Tonight is a group dinner. (D)
    Accommodation included: Cozy alpine chalets
    Activities included: Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools and Spa
  • Day 2 Hanmer Springs to Kaikoura
    We start today with an invigorating walk up Conical Hill for the best views in Hanmer Springs. Then, we’ll make our way to the East Coast and the coastal village of Kaikoura, famous for a huge array of natural wonders from land to sea. We arrive in Kaikoura so you have free time to experience all this location has to offer. Why not go out on the water and experience one of Kaikoura’s famous dolphin and whale spotting tours (own expense), see seals sitting right beside the road at Goose Bay or wander around the peninsula and check out the breathtaking views from the lookout. (B)
    Accommodation included: Warm modern hostel
    Activities included: Conical Hill walk, peninsula walk and seal colony visit
    Optional activities: Whale watching, swim with dolphins
  • Day 3 Kaikoura to Picton
    Today we’ll travel north on a scenic drive along rugged coastal roads to the seaside port town of Picton. You have free time this afternoon to go for a walk to get your bearings in this charming town or relax in the spa pool at your accommodation.
    Accommodation included: Cozy villa
  • Day 4 Picton to Abel Tasman
    Spend the morning viewing the stunning Marlborough Sounds by foot or bicycle on one of the nearby tracks. You’ll meet your group at midday to drive through the famous Marlborough wine region. We visit a local vineyard’s cellar door to sample New Zealand’s world-famous Sauvignon Blanc, before heading to the spectacular Abel Tasman National Park. Tonight we enjoy some delicious seafood and a BBQ dinner at our exclusive campsite accommodation. (D)
    Accommodation included: Beach accommodation in the national park
    Activities included: Winery cellar door visit
  • Day 5 Full day in Abel Tasman
    Today is a free day to experience the incredible Abel Tasman National Park. Explore this stunning coastal area famous for being one of the sunniest spots in New Zealand. Walk the coastal track and discover some of New Zealand’s best natural golden sand beaches or choose an optional activity like sailing or sea kayaking (own expense). Tonight you can self-cater and use the BBQ facilities at our accommodation on the edge of the national park. (B)
    Accommodation included: Beach accommodation in the national park
    Activities included: Abel Tasman Track and Aqua Taxi or stand-up paddle board hire (SUP)
  • Day 6 Abel Tasman to Franz Josef
    We start early to head south along the ‘wild’ West Coast, travelling on the rugged rocky coastline that makes this stretch of road one of the country’s top drives. We’ll stop at Cape Foulwind to view a wild seal colony that’s active year round, then make our way further down the coast to visit the spectacular limestone Punakaiki Pancake Rocks and blowholes. From there, we carry on to our next overnight stop in the quaint little West Coast town of Franz Josef, home to the mighty Franz Josef Glacier. (B,D)
    Accommodation included: Hostel close to all attractions
    Activities included: Cape Foulwind seal colony, Punakaiki Pancake Rocks walk
  • Day 7 Full day at Franz Josef
    Enjoy a free day and get out and explore the mighty Franz Josef Glacier. Navigate the maze of ice and explore the incredible landscape on a Franz Josef Glacier guided tour which we highly recommend (own expense). There are also many excellent bush hikes available in the region. Tonight we self-cater, giving you the opportunity to dine at one of the local cafes and restaurants in town or make use of the communal kitchen at our accommodation. (B)
    Accommodation included: Hostel close to all attractions
    Optional activities: Glacier heli-hike, scenic helicopter flight
  • Day 8 Franz Josef to Makarora
    Today we head further down the West Coast towards Mount Aspiring National Park, stopping to take in the breathtaking scenery at the amazing mirror-like Lake Matheson, NZ’s most photographed lake. See waterfalls as we travel through the mountainous Haast Pass towards Makarora then visit the stunning Blue Pools. On arrival in Mount Aspiring National Park we go jet boating to experience the best in shallow water boating, skimming just inches from the riverbed, viewing pristine waterways, snow-capped peaks and native bush. (B,D)
    Accommodation included: Unique mountain chalets
    Activities included: Walk around Lake Matheson – Mirror Lake, walk through beech forest to the Blue Pools, Jet Boat Mt Aspiring National Park
  • Day 9 Makarora to Doubtful Sound
    Fiordland National Park is one of New Zealand’s most beautiful locations, with stunning ice-carved fiords, valleys, lakes and mountain scenery; and it is our first port of call today. Within Fiordland we visit Doubtful Sound, the deepest of all the fiords, surrounded by towering peaks and huge waterfalls. We will board a purpose-built boat and enjoy complimentary afternoon tea while cruising past fur seals, penguins and dolphins. There are also sea kayaks available to explore the fiord. (B,D)
    Accommodation included: Overnight on the boat, anchored within a secluded bay in a UNESCO World Heritage Site
    Activities included: Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise, sea kayaking, wildlife spotting
  • Day 10 Doubtful Sound to Queenstown
    We depart Doubtful Sound around midday, leaving behind stunning Fiordland to head for the ‘adventure capital of the world’, Queenstown. Queenstown offers an optional big (make that huge) night out with excellent restaurants, pubs and live music. (B)
    Accommodation included: Lodge located close to town with awesome views
  • Days 11 and 12 Queenstown
    You have two free days to fully explore everything on offer. Queenstown is a great place to spend a few days, no matter what your past-time of choice is. Options include: bungy jumping, zipline tours, canyoning, Shotover River jet boating, skydiving or walk up Ben Lomond or Queenstown Hill for amazing views, or just enjoy the stunning scenery around you and do nothing. Optional activities and meals not indicated are at your own expense. (2xB)
    Accommodation included: Lodge located close to town with awesome views
    Optional activities: AJ Hackett Bungy, Canyon Swing, Skyline Gondola and Luging
  • Day 13 Queenstown to Mt Cook
    We’ll jump back on the bus for a short drive to Wanaka, where we’ll spend the morning cycling along some of the world’s most beautiful lakeside bike paths. After lunch, we head over the Lindis Pass through the picturesque Mackenzie region to the base of the country’s highest mountain, Aoraki/Mt Cook. There is time for a hike through the Hooker Valley for breathtaking views of the dramatic mountain landscape, or opt to take an alpine scenic flight (own expense). This is also one of the best places in New Zealand to join an evening stargazing tour. (B,D)
    Accommodation included: Alpine lodge
    Activities included: Mountain biking in Wanaka, scenic walk in Hooker Valley
    Optional activities: Big Sky Stargazing or scenic heli-flight
  • Day 14 Mt Cook to Christchurch
    Today we make our way through a landscape made famous in the 'Lord of the Rings' films. We’ll take a break for a stroll around Lake Tekapo, iconic for its historic church and turquoise waters. Between Tekapo and Christchurch there is an option for thrill seekers to hop-off and join a top-notch Grade 5 white water adventure on the Rangitata River (own expense). Those not rafting will continue on to Christchurch, where your driver guide will point out the highlights of the South Island’s largest city. The rafters will rejoin the group at the accommodation in Christchurch this evening. This is where your tour comes to an end – we hope you had a blast on your New Zealand journey! (B)
    Activities included: Explore Lake Tekapo area
    Optional activities: Rangitata white water rafting
Real Adventure Group Real People
Real Kiwi Says:
If you're into nature, spectacular views and more fresh air then you know what to do with then this South Island Tour is for you! During the winter our Real Kiwi Adventures tours are operated with our partners on the hop on hop off network, so you can guarantee we depart with a good group of travellers every week. There is plenty to see in New Zealand in the winter, with some saying its even better at that time of year!

14 Day Full South Island Christchurch to Christchurch Summer Tour Price information
NZD per person



Tour code: ASI14
Secure your seat today with only a 10% deposit!
Multi-share (Shared facilities) October 2020 to May 2021
Twin/Double October 2020 to May 2021
Single - Sole Use October 2020 to May 2021

Departure information


Saturdays from Christchurch from 26 October 2019 to 25 Apr 2020.

Saturdays from Christchurch from 24 October 2020 to 1 May 2021

Traveling from May to October? Check out our 14 Day Full South Island Christchurch to Christchurch Winter Tour.


More information

Important Notes

Things you need to know about this tour

Itinerary is subject to change due to cultural or seasonal conditions
^Upgrade accommodation is excluded in Hahei and Doubtful Sound.
*Standard accommodation is 6-share in Whakahoro.
Child rate available to one passenger 8-12 years sharing with 2 adults.
Luggage should be restricted to 15kg in a single bag, plus a small day pack.

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