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New Zealand South Island Explorer

From US$ 3,115 per person
  • No booking or credit card fees
highlights
  • Spend the night aboard a boat among the spectacular scenery of the Doubtful Sound. Cruise through fjords and take in the natural beauty of this remote wilderness area
  • Share amazing moments with your fellow travellers. As you'll be in a small group, the trip retains a fun, personalised atmosphere throughout
  • Spend several nights in Queenstown, New Zealand's adventure capital, where's you'll have tonnes of time to explore
  • Franz Josef Glacier is every adventurer's dream. Take a guided hike across the glacier, get your blood pumping on a quad bike ride around the area or enjoy unrivalled views on a scenic flight
The New Zealand South Island Explorer tour starts and ends in Christchurch. The New Zealand South Island Explorer is an Explorer tour that takes 11 days taking you from Christchurch, New Zealand and through other destinations in Oceania.

Hike the Franz Josef Glacier, kayak with dolphins in Doubtful Sound, view New Zealand's highest peak, Mt Cook, and go wild in Queenstown - the extreme adventure capital of the world. There's so much to do in New Zealand's South Island, this is bound to be an unforgettable travel experience and a rollicking adventure. Where do you sign up? Right here!
Kia-ora! Welcome to Christchurch, New Zealand. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader.

If you arrive early into the city, there's a whole new range of pop up cafes, restaurants and bars to run through. Christchurch has hit the ground running and it's a great chance to get your bearings of this resilient city. Your evening is the free to do as you wish, before settling into your accommodation for the night.

Note: If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive to the welcome meeting in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability).
Accommodation
  • Lodge
Depart Christchurch early in the morning and head over the fertile Canterbury Plains, heading for the mountains. Leave the dry earth of the east coast and cross the dividing range to go down to the lush, green west coast. The countryside changes radically, as great deep blue rivers spring from the steep mountainsides. On arrival to Punakaiki, perhaps talk a walk out to Pancake Rocks and watch the power of the waves as they crash against the rocks. In the evening, drive onto Greymouth where you'll spend the night.

Notes: Total driving distance is around five hours (approximately 300kms). Total distance walked is approximately two to three kilometres.
Accommodation
  • Lodge
The drive down the coast later today is beautiful. You have plenty of time in the morning and afternoon to take part in optional activities, before leaving for Franz Josef Glacier along the coast of forests, lakes and hidden beaches. Pull into Franz Josef in the evening and relax before tomorrow's activities. Your evening is free, so possibly head out for dinner with the group.

Notes: Total driving distance takes around three hours (approximately 180kms).
Accommodation
  • Lodge
After breakfast this morning, your day is free to do as much or as little as you please. There are plenty of amazing optional activities to keep you busy, such as a guided hike across a glacier, kayaking, taking a spin on a quad bike or enjoying unrivaled views of the region on a scenic flight (at your own cost).

Notes: Total driving time is around 30 minutes (approximately 10kms). Total distance walked will be between one and five kilometres.
Accommodation
  • Lodge
Optional Activities
  • Glacier Flights from - NZD 195
  • Glacier Hike from - NZD 339
After breakfast, drive the remainder of the west coast and climb up through the Haast Pass into the Southern Alps (approximately four to five hours). This is a stunning drive with fantastic views of the mountains, rivers and lakes. Arriving into Queenstown in the late afternoon, enjoy dinner with the rest of your night free. Over the next few days, you'll see and experience a place that's widely acknowledged as being the extreme activity capital of the world. There is simply no end to the line up of optional activities including bungy-jumping, mountain biking, kayaking, rafting, helicopter rides, jet boating and paragliding.

Note: Total driving time is around five and a half hours (approximately 360kms).
Total distance walked is around one to two kilometres.
Accommodation
  • Lodge
Optional Activities
  • Bungy Jumping from - NZD 135
  • Jet boating from - NZD 135
  • River Rafting - NZD 220
  • Paragliding NZ - NZD 200
Today is free to take part in as many optional activities as you want. Queenstown will spoil you for choice, as the undisputed adventure capital of New Zealand. Jet boat, bungee jump, paraglide, kayak, mountain bike, ski or river raft - there's so much to do in this grand place (all activities are at own expense). In the evening, settle down in your lodge after a big day of adventure.

Notes: Total driving time is around one hour (approximately 10kms).
Walking distance will depend on what activities you take part in.
Accommodation
  • Lodge
Optional Activities
  • Jet boating from - NZD 135
  • Bungy Jumping from - NZD 135
  • Paragliding NZ - NZD 200
  • Mountain Biking Tours - NZD 170
Head out after breakfast and take a break from the adrenaline rush of Queenstown, as you drive to Doubtful Sound to board your overnight cruise boat for a trip through the fjords. This place is stunning with tall mountain peaks and waterfalls - easily one of the most spectacular places in the country. Enjoy a dinner aboard the boat this evening with the rest of the group.

Notes: Total driving time is around three hours (approximately 170kms).
Your boat has four berth cabins, so you'll be sharing your space with travellers of the same or different sex. Twin share cabins aren't available on the boat this night.
Accommodation
  • Doubtful Sound Overnight Boat Cruise (4 berth cabins)
Be dwarfed by spectacular Aoraki (Mt Cook) which, at an impressive 3,754 m (12,316 ft), is the highest mountain in New Zealand. Explore meadows, lakes, streams and glaciers that shelter the world's only alpine parrot, the kea.
Accommodation
  • Lodge
Optional Activities
  • 360 Degree Screen Documentary
This morning we depart Mt Cook in the morning making our way to Christchurch where your adventure concludes at around 6 pm. Please take this into consideration when booking any onward flights.

Notes: Total driving time is around five hours (approximately 325kms).
what’s included
Accommodation
  • Lodge (9 nights), Overnight boat (1 night)
Meals
  • 7 Breakfast, 2 Dinner
Transport
  • Van
Included Activities
  • Pancake Rocks and Blowhole
  • Kiwi House
  • Lake Matheson
  • Arrowtown Tour
what’s excluded
  • International Flights
  • Any international flights to/from Christchurch are not included in this price. We always recommend that you arrive 1 day prior to your tour starting date.
  • Travel Insurance
  • Travel insurance is not included in this New Zealand South Island Explorer tour. Travel insurance is mandatory to buy. We recommend purchasing it from World Nomads.
Tour details
Booking Type Instant Booking  
Duration 11 days
Tour Type Group Tour - Max 15 participants
guiding method Live guide/instructor
Guide Language English
Starts/Ends Christchurch/Christchurch
image description
Get a PDF file with detailed trip information: Download Trip Notes for New Zealand South Island Explorer
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Good to know Payment

A deposit of 400 USD is required to confirm this tour. The remaining balance will be charged 57 days before departure. For any departures within 22 July 2018 full payment is required.

Travel Insurance

The New Zealand South Island Explorer tour requires that you have adequate and valid travel insurance covering medical and personal accidents, including repatriation costs and emergency evacuation. We recommend using World Nomads' travel insurance.

Visa

For this New Zealand South Island Explorer tour getting the required visa(s) is the responsibility for each individual traveller, as visa requirements vary depending on your nationality. We recommend to check with your local embassies representing the countries that you are travelling to, as part of this itinerary.

CancellationNo additional cancellation fees apply for this New Zealand South Island Explorer tour. You can cancel the tour up to 58 days prior departure and avoid paying the full amount, but your deposit paid is non-refundable. No refund applies for cancellations within 57 days of departure.
Trip Details
  • Last modified (date)

    24 May 2018

  • Trip title

    New Zealand South Island Explorer

  • Trip code

    PTOSU

  • Validity

    Validity: 01 Jan 2018 to 31 Mar 2019

  • Introduction

    Hike the Franz Josef Glacier, kayak with dolphins in Doubtful Sound, view New Zealand's highest peak, Mt Cook, and go wild in Queenstown - the extreme adventure capital of the world. There's so much to do in New Zealand's South Island, this is bound to be an unforgettable travel experience and a rollicking adventure. Where do you sign up? Right here!

  • Style

    Original

  • Themes

    Explorer

  • Transport

    Van

  • Physical Rating

    3

  • Group leader

    All Intrepid group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders. In New Zealand your group leader is also your driver, taking you from start to finish in a coaster vehicle. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Our crew are chosen for their driving skills, their knowledge of the country, their personality, and of course their leadership abilities. We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting - we think it's the best of both worlds.

  • Is this trip right for you

    Accommodation on this trip isn't luxurious, but it's comfortable enough for you to relax after a day of adventure.

    There are more optional activities on this trip than included ones. These activities range from trekking moderate hiking trails to white water rafting, so you'll be able to choose your own adventure level.

    You'll be spending quite a lot of time in a minibus as you travel through the islands. The bus may be small, but it's comfortable, and offers a great opportunity to get to know your fellow travellers and gaze at passing landscapes.

  • Health

    Our trips require a level of independence and physical endurance. Before embarking on one of our trips, it is important to consider your physical and mental health and your suitability for the trip. It is recommended that you consult with your doctor about your current health and the possible implications of doing the trip. We also ask that you advise us of any mental or physical conditions you have and raise any concerns that you, or your travelling companions, may have with us before you travel.

    You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations and anti-malarial requirements before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements (including a spare pair of glasses) as they may not easily be obtained at the locations on this trip. For legal reasons our leaders and guides are prohibited from administering any type of drugs including headache tablets and antibiotics. Please ensure that you are adequately prepared.

  • Food and dietary requirements

    While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. On our camping trips we often cook the region's specialities so you don't miss out. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There's no obligation to do this though.



    New Zealand is renowned for its fresh air and clean waters. Fresh food, including dairy (amazing cheese and milk), produce, seafood and meat - especially lamb. From high end restaurants and gastro pubs and cafe's to local restaurants and suburban dairies there is plenty of choice for all budgets. Wine is also done extremely well in NZ and not just sav blanc, but excellent pinot's and cool climate red's.

    Vegetarians and Vegans are well catered for in New Zealand and most restaurants and cafe's will have a good selection of vegetarian meals. Gluten and Lactose free diets are also well catered for. 

    Tap water is safe and delicious in cities and towns. Further out of town its best to check with your guide if in doubt. Please bring a reusable bottle and drink tap water where you can. You'll use less plastic, saving both the environment and money.

    New Zealand has strict laws regarding arriving with fruit and veg into the country. Please pay attention to signs when arriving internationally.

    Please budget approximately $15 per lunch, and $20 - $40 for each dinner, perhaps a little more if you intend to also enjoy a glass of wine or beer with your meal.

  • Climate and seasonal

    FLEXIBLE ITINERARY:
    Our routes have been carefully chosen to include the best night stops and highlights. However, as road conditions, weather, local restrictions and group input may vary, no two trips will ever be the same. With the help of your tour leader and fellow travellers you may modify certain nightstops and highlights to give a truly unique experience!

  • A couple of rules

    Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land, but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for Intrepid travellers. Intrepid's philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter and in particular, the local people who make our destinations such special places. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our group leader has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.

    Everyone has the right to feel safe and secure on their trip. We don’t tolerate any form of violence (verbal or physical) or sexual harassment at Intrepid, either between passengers or involving our leaders, local operators or locals.

    Sexual relationships (consensual or otherwise) between a leader and a passenger are unacceptable. If you ever feel another person is behaving inappropriately please inform us immediately by contacting the emergency contact number detailed in these trip notes.

  • Accommodation notes

    Our accommodation in New Zealand are backpacker lodges which have a friendly festive atmosphere and good facilities. All bedding is included. Please note that whilst visiting Doubtful Sound, upgrade options are not available on the overnight cruise due to room restrictions, all accommodation is quad share.

  • Transport notes

    You will be travelling in a coaster vehicle specially designed for local conditions.

  • Your fellow travellers

    As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part. Due to privacy reasons we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure.

    SINGLE TRAVELLERS:
    Our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and don't involve a compulsory single supplement. Single travellers share with people of the same gender in accommodation ranging from twin to multishare. Some of our itineraries have accommodation booked on a mixed gender share basis and where applicable this will be specified in our Trip Notes. On a selection of our trips, you have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure that you have your own accommodation (where available). Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour - pre-trip and post-trip accommodation will be booked on a single room basis.

  • Itinerary disclaimer

    Occasionally our itineraries are updated during the year to incorporate improvements stemming from past travellers' comments and our own research. The information given in this itinerary may be slightly different to that in the brochure. It's very important that you print and review a final copy of your Essential Trip Information a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans. If you have any queries, please contact your travel agent or our staff. We are here to help you! Please note that while we operate successful trips in this region throughout the year, some changes may occur in our itineraries due to inclement weather and common seasonal changes to timetables and transport routes. This can happen with little notice so please be prepared for modifications to the route. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary from time to time.

    OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES:
    A selection of optional activities are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only. Prices are approximate and are for entrance only and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability and it may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination. Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. This means that it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, however we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with booking these activities. The decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.

  • Accommodation

    Lodge (9 nts),Overnight boat (1 nt)

other information
Intrepid Travel / Product Category: Explorer
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