Looking for incredible scenery, adrenalin fixes and a chance to try some of New Zealand's best restaurants, bars and nightlife? Then the south of New Zealand's South Island is for you! Spend nine nights visiting places in the Deep South
All about the 14 Day Full South Island Christchurch to Christchurch Winter Tour
Explore the best bits of New Zealand's South Island on this 15 day comprehensive fully guided tour. Our tour guides are experienced, filled with knowledge, passion and will give you a holiday you won't forget.
Highlights of this trip include the discovery of the charms of the Marlborough Sounds with a sneaky Marlborough winery visit, Abel Tasman National Park, mighty Franz Josef Glacier, Mt Aspiring National Park, the chance to do a bungy jump in Queenstown, wonderful day trip to stunning Doubtful Sound in Fiordland National Park. And an overnight at the base of NZ’s highest mountain Aoraki Mt Cook!
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. We include all accommodation in quad share style rooms or upgraded if requested. 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!
New Zealand's incredibly diverse natural beauty is revealed around every winding corner. Book your New Zealand adventure tour today!
14 Day Full South Island Christchurch to Christchurch Winter Tour Itinerary - 15 days
Christchurch to Kaikoura
Depart from the Christchurch International Airport at 8am and enjoy a beautiful drive up the coast to Kaikoura. You have the afternoon free for activities to check out the amazing marine wildlife that call this area home. Go on a whale and dolphin spotting tour, search for seals sunning themselves at Goose Bay or walk to the peninsula lookout for breathtaking views.
Accommodation: Warm modern hostel
Optional Activities: Whale watching by boat or by plane, swimming with dolphins, guided fishing trip.
Free activities: Walk around the peninsula and up to the lookout.
Kaikoura to Picton
Depart 8.30am. Leaving Kaikoura this morning, we wind our way up the rugged coastal roads for the top of the South Island. We arrive into Picton around midday so you have plenty of time to explore this charming port town – go for a walk to take in the stunning views of the Marlborough Sounds or kick back and relax in the spa at your accommodation.
Accommodation: Cosy Villa
Free activities: Queen Charlotte Sound view walk, relax in the accommodation’s spa pool.
Picton to Marahau
Enjoy a free morning to relax in Picton. You will meet your group at the hostel at midday and we will cruise through the famous Marlborough vineyard area and the coastal town of Nelson, before heading through Motueka to our amazing overnight stop of Marahau, right on the edge of the Abel Tasman National Park.
Accommodation: Unique accommodation on the edge of the national park
Optional Activities: Wine tasting, skydiving
Free activities: Swim, walk, mussel tasting around the fire
Day in Marahau
You have the entire day free to explore this stunning coastal national park. Whether by land, sea or air, there are tons of fantastic options for getting around. An Aqua Taxi ride is included in your tour, but you are welcome to upgrade to sailing or kayaking.
Accommodation: Unique accommodation on the edge of the national park.
Included Activities: Walk part of the Abel Tasman track and catch an Aqua Taxi home.
Optional Activities: Full day sailing trip, kayaking, skydiving, hang gliding.
Marahau to Franz Josef
Buckle up for an awesome day driving down the incredibly scenic ‘wild’ West Coast, an area known for its untamed beaches and spectacular rainforest. We’ll pass through Buller Gorge and down a stretch of road that was labelled one of the top ten drives in the world by Lonely Planet. We’ll view the seal colony at Cape Foulwind before continuing further down the coast to the geographic wonder of Punakaiki’s Pancake Rocks and blowholes. Here we’ll take a walk around these unique limestone rock formations and stop for a bite of lunch. Our next stop is the historic gold mining town of Greymouth to collect passengers connecting from Christchurch. From here we’ll continue on, via Hokitika, to the quaint township of Franz Josef, home to the mighty Franz Josef Glacier.
Accommodation included: Lodge in the middle of the rainforest
Free activities: Buller Gorge, Cape Foulwind Seal Colony, Pancake Rocks and Blow holes, Hokitika greenstone store
Enjoy a full free day to explore the glacier. Live your glacier walking dream with a guided tour through a world of ice on the glacier or hike from town to view it from below, then unwind in the relaxing spa pools afterwards.
Accommodation included: Lodge in the middle of the rainforest
Optional activities: Guided Glacier Heli-hike, Glacier Valley Walk Free Activities: Any of the good bush walks in the area
Franz Josef to Wanaka
Depart early to take a walk along the shores of the amazing mirror-like Lake Matheson, and then travel through the mountainous Haast Pass and Makarora with plenty of photo stops along the way. We pass by the beautiful Lake Hawea on our way to arrive in Wanaka by late afternoon.
￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼Accommodation included: Central hostel
Free activities: Lake Matheson walk, Ship Creek walk, Blue Pools walk, Thunder Creek Falls walk, explore Wanaka
Wanaka to Queenstown
This morning, head out to cycle some of New Zealand’s most beautiful bike paths along the lake before we depart Wanaka and cruise down to the famous original A.J. Hackett bungy site, where you can take the plunge - if you dare! Then, it’s on to the ‘Adventure Capital of the World!’ Queenstown offers an optional big (make that huge) night out with a variety of excellent restaurants, pubs and live music.
Accommodation included: Central hostel
Included activities: Scenic bike ride around the lake (suitable for all levels)
With so much to see and do in and around Queenstown, you need three full days to take it all in! To get you started, a couple highlight activities are included in your package. Today, you'll take an exhilarating jet boat ride through the spectacular Shotover River Canyons in the morning and then have the afternoon free for more Queenstown fun. Accommodation incuded: Central hostel
Activities included: Jet boat ride
Depart early on a day long trip to the jaw dropping Doubtful Sound in stunning Fiordland National Park, where you'll take a three hour wilderness cruise and learn more about this incredible natural wonder. You will return to Queenstown in the evening. Lunch is not included (you can purchase sandwiches and snacks on the day), so make sure you bring lunch, snacks and water.
Accommodation included: Central hostel Activities included: Doubtful Sound day trip
Make the most of your final free day doing any of the other incredible activities on offer or further exploring Queenstown. If you haven’t already, we recommend riding the gondola or walking to the top of the hill for spectacular views of the town, lake and surrounding mountains.
Accommodation included: Central hostel
Optional activities: Any adventure activity that we mad Kiwis can dream up (bungy, swing, jetboating, skydiving, mountain biking, zipline, horse riding...), trip to Milford Sound
Queenstown to Aoraki/ Mt Cook
Depart Queenstown early to drive over the Lindis Pass through the beautiful Mackenzie Country and past the vivid blue waters of Lake Pukaki. Then, we head north to our amazing stop at the base of New Zealand’s highest mountain Aoraki/Mt Cook, arriving in the early afternoon.
Accommodation included: Stunning alpine lodge
Optional activities: Visit the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre, scenic flights, 4WD Tasman Valley tour
Free activities: Take photos of awe-inspiring scenery, do one of the many great short walks to the Hooker Glacial Lake
Mt Cook (via Tekapo) to Rangitata
Leaving Mt Cook, we make our way through a landscape made famous in the Lord of the Rings films. We’ll stop to admire the turquoise waters of Lake Tekapo and the Church of the Good Shepherd – a famous photo stop. Relax in the Tekapo hot pools, go snow tubing or ice skating or hike up to the Mt John observatory where you’ll witness stunning views of the lake from above. After lunch, we will continue to our overnight stop in Rangitata Peel Forest. Tonight, we’ll stay in one of Canterbury’s original sheep stations.
Accommodation included: One of Canterbury’s original sheep stations
Optional activities: Tekapo Hot Springs, Ice skating (April-Sept), Snow tubing (June-Sept) Free activities: Visit Lake Tekapo, Mt John walk, Rangitata forest walks
Rangitata to Christchurch
This morning, you will have the opportunity to sign up to a Lord of the Rings tour or to explore the stunning Peel Forest scenery on horseback. We’ll arrive in Christchurch late afternoon, where your tour comes to an end - we hope you had a blast on your New Zealand journey!
￼￼￼￼￼￼Optional paid activities: LOTR tour, horse trekking
Free activities: Explore Christchurch by foot, check out the Re-Start Mall, Cardboard Cathedral and inner-city street art
Thursdays from Christchurch from 9 May to 17 October 2019
Travelling from 26 October 2018 to March 2019 Check out our 14 Day Full South Island Christchurch to Christchurch Summer Tour
Important NotesThings you need to know about this tour
Luggage should be restricted to 15kg per person in a single bag, plus a small day pack.
During the winter months, tours will operate in conjunction with the Stray travel network allowing all Real Kiwi winter departures to be 100% guaranteed. Clients will still have a set itinerary with included accommodation and activities however meals are not included and the guide and group may change during the tour.
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