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New Zealand South Island Discovery

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highlights
  • Trek through the Catlins, a breathtaking land full of waterfalls, titanic caves, illustrious nature walks and remains of a petrified wood forest.
  • Visit the well-preserved gold rush town of Arrowtown and sample renowned local drops in Gibbston Valley.
  • A cruise along Lake Manapouri to Doubtful Sound – the second largest fiord in Fiordland National Park – will leave you speechless. Sail past hundred of plunging waterfalls, rugged peaks, lush rainforest and twisting inlets and dolphins and fur seals play. 
  • Head to stunning Lake Wanaka and be treated to the Hongi greeting, Haka performance (traditional Maori war cry and dance) and hear traditional Maori tales.
The New Zealand South Island Discovery tour starts and ends in Queenstown. The New Zealand South Island Discovery is a Local Culture tour that takes 10 days taking you from Queenstown, New Zealand and through other destinations in Oceania.

While New Zealand’s North Island is known for its spectacular coastline, the South Island is gifted with gorgeous coast, rugged mountains, pristine glacier-carved landscapes and renowned wine. We’re not going to pick which one is better, but – you get the idea. Beginning and ending in Queenstown, this ten-day adventure takes you to the charming, gold rush town of Arrowtown, the rugged Catlins coastline, across the Foveaux Strait to unspoiled Stewart Island and to the breathtaking Fiordland National Park. With the perfect balance of organised activities and free time, this comfort style trip is the best way to explore the many treasures of New Zealand’s south.
Welcome to the South Island! Make your own way to the hotel, where the adventure kicks off with a 6 pm welcome meeting where you'll meet your tour guide and travel group. If you arrive early, make sure to get out and explore the 'Adventure Capital of the World'. The aptly-named Remarkables mountain ranges and Lake Wakatipu not only serve as spectacular props to get your adrenaline fix, they’re simply beautiful to look. The town is also a great base for exploring the Central Otago’s excellent vineyards and historic mining towns. You’ll have plenty of time to get active in Queenstown when you return at the end of the trip, so perhaps use free time to admire the stunning surrounds and explore the cosmopolitan town.
Accommodation
  • Hotel
After breakfast, take a short drive to the well-preserved, gold mining town of Arrowtown. This charming town has retained much of its rich heritage and historic buildings. Get a sense of what it was like during the gold rush days as you stretch your legs on a guided walk. There’s time to browse some of the art galleries and museums, then it’s on to Wanaka. Head to the iconic Cardrona Hotel – one of the country’s oldest and most photographed hotels – for a bite to eat in its award-winning restaurant (not included). Meet some proper southern locals and make sure to grab a photo in front of the tavern’s historic facade, then enjoy a free afternoon to explore this quaint, lakeside township at your own pace. Later on, meet up with your group for an included traditional farm dinner and a night of glamping.
Accommodation
  • Farm stay (Glamping with shared facilities)
This morning you’ll head to a stunning location to learn about Maori culture. The destination: the shores of Lake Wanaka. With rugged mountains looming behind it, and the curved branches of a much-photographed tree emerged from the lake’s waters, there’s no better place to be treated to the Hongi greeting, Haka performance (traditional Maori war cry and dance) and hear traditional Maori tales. Afterwards, continue through Central Otago to the island’s south-east coast. Often overlooked by travellers, the university town of Dunedin is bound to surprise. With its thriving food scene, quirky street art, beautiful heritage buildings, live music venues and coastal walking trails, Dunedin just might be New Zealand’s coolest little city. Its dramatic landscapes are also home to colonies of albatross, sea lions and rare yellow-eyed penguins. See Royal Albatross at sunset on an optional tour. Otherwise, enjoy free time for the rest of the day.
Accommodation
  • Hotel
After breakfast, hop in your transport and continue down the coast to discover the thick forests, rugged coastlines, hidden lakes and stunning waterfalls of The Caitlins. Explore the Cathedral Caves, which owe its name to its immense size (it measures up to 30 metres high and 200 metres long). After lunch (not included), witness sea lions sunbathing on the golden beaches while strolling the sands with your leader.
Accommodation
  • Motel
Take a ferry across the Foveaux Strait to New Zealand’s third largest island, Stewart Island. It takes about one hour to travel the 30-km strait. A haven for birdwatchers, Stewart Island’s unspoiled forests, beaches and bays are home to a variety of bird species including endangered brown kiwi, flightless Stewart Island kiwi and nearly extinct kakapo parrots. It’s also a great spot for hiking, with walks for all levels of fitness available. Explore the incredible surrounds on your own or choose to take part in an organised tour where a nature guide will lead you across the peninsula, providing information about the flora and fauna as you go (optional). For a quintessential Kiwi experience, tuck into some fish and chips on the beach before you get exploring.
Accommodation
  • Hotel
Optional Activities
  • Stewart Island Village and Bay Tour - NZD 49
  • Stewart Island Wild Kiwi Encounter - NZD 199
Head to the lovely lakeside town of Te Anau – gateway to Fiordland National Park. Watch the tranquil landscapes pass by, catch up on some sleep or watch a film that provides eye-opening insight into Fiordland National Park called Ata Whenua as you make the five-hour drive. Tonight, don’t miss the chance to head underground by boat and see thousands of glow worms illuminate underground caves to spectacular effect.
Accommodation
  • Hotel
Optional Activities
  • Glowworm caves
Today you’ll set off on an unforgettable cruise to Doubtful Sound, the second largest fiord in the national park. Sail along Lake Manapouri, looking out for dolphins and seals at play, as you make your way past hundreds of plunging waterfalls, rugged peaks, lush rainforest and twisting inlets. Lunch will be a picnic onboard the boat. Return to Te Anau in time for dinner (not included).
Accommodation
  • Lodge
After breakfast, make the leisurely journey back to Queenstown today. Stop along the way for a wine and cave tour at a winery in the Gibbston Valley, also known as the ‘Valley of Vines’. The majority of the grapes grown in this region are pinot noir, though other varieties include chardonnay, pinot gris, riesling and sauvignon blanc. Upon arrival in Queenstown, the rest of your day is free to spend how you please.
Accommodation
  • Hotel
Enjoy a free day in Queenstown to see the sights you missed at the start of the trip or to get your adrenaline fix in the 'Adventure Capital of the World'. Your leader can help to organise a range of optional activities on offer. Otherwise, the day is yours to spend how you please before reconvening with the group in the evening for a farewell dinner at a local restaurant.
Accommodation
  • Hotel
Your South Island Discovery comes to an end today after breakfast. There are no activities planned today.
what’s included
Accommodation
  • Hotel (6 nights)
Meals
  • 8 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 2 Dinner
Transport
  • Private vehicle
Included Activities
  • Cardrona Hotel
  • Arrowtown Tour
  • Farm tour
  • Wanahaka Maori Culture Experience
  • Cathedral Caves
  • Doubtful Sound Wilderness Cruise
  • Wine tasting at Gibbston Winery and Cheesery plus cave tour
what’s excluded
  • International Flights
  • Any international flights to/from Queenstown 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 Discovery tour. Travel insurance is mandatory to buy. We recommend purchasing it from World Nomads.
Tour details
Booking Type Instant Booking  
Duration 10 days
Tour Type Group Tour - Max 15 participants
guiding method Live guide/instructor
Guide Language English
Starts/Ends Queenstown/ Queenstown
Get a PDF file with detailed trip information: Download Trip Notes for New Zealand South Island Discovery
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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 August 2019 full payment is required.

Travel Insurance

The New Zealand South Island Discovery 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 Discovery 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 Discovery 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 Jun 2019

  • Trip title

    New Zealand South Island Discovery

  • Trip code

    PHCNS

  • Validity

    Validity: 01 Apr 2019 to 31 Mar 2020

  • Introduction

    While New Zealand’s North Island is known for its spectacular coastline, the South Island is gifted with gorgeous coast, rugged mountains, pristine glacier-carved landscapes and renowned wine. We’re not going to pick which one is better, but – you get the idea. Beginning and ending in Queenstown, this ten-day adventure takes you to the charming, gold rush town of Arrowtown, the rugged Catlins coastline, across the Foveaux Strait to unspoiled Stewart Island and to the breathtaking Fiordland National Park. With the perfect balance of organised activities and free time, this comfort style trip is the best way to explore the many treasures of New Zealand’s south.

  • Style

    Comfort

  • Themes

    Explorer

  • Transport

    Private vehicle

  • Physical Rating

    2

  • 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

    10 Days in the beautiful Southern region of NZ, visit places others won't have the opportunity to

    Semi-active, a good level of fitness is required for this trip.

  • 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

    Everyone has the right to feel safe when they travel. We don’t tolerate any form of violence (verbal or physical) or sexual harassment, either between customers or involving our leaders, partners or local people. Sexual relationships between a tour leader and a customer are strictly forbidden.

    Use or possession of illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. If you choose to consume alcohol while travelling, we encourage responsible drinking, and expect that you’ll abide by the local laws regarding alcohol consumption.

    The sex tourism industry is known to exploit vulnerable people and have negative consequences on communities, including undermining the development of sustainable tourism. For this reason, patronising sex workers will not be tolerated on our trips.

    By travelling with us you are agreeing to adhere to these rules. Your group leader has the right to remove any member of the group for breaking any of these rules, with no right of refund.

    If you feel that someone is behaving inappropriately while travelling with us, please inform your tour leader or local guide immediately. Alternatively, contact us on the emergency contact number detailed in the Problems and Emergency Contact section of this Essential Trip Information.

  • Accommodation notes

    Accommodation is on a twin share basis, and single travellers are paired with someone of the same sex. On rare occasions there may be triple rooms. Single supplement room upgrades can be requested at the time of booking.

  • 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 Essential Trip Information. 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

    ITINERARY CHANGES:
    Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It is important that you print and review a final copy prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weather, local conditions, transport schedules, public holidays or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in country. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary seasonally to ensure our travellers have the best experience. Your tour leader will keep you up to date with any changes once on tour.

    OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES:
    A selection of optional activities that have been popular with past travellers are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only for some of what might be available. Prices are approximate, 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. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination, so some pre-planning for what you are most interested in is advised. When it's recommended that travellers pre-book these activities, look for a note in the Special Information section of the day-to-day itinerary. For most, they can either be organised independently on the day, or let your leader know you are interested and they can assist.

    Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. Although it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Medium and high risk activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with organising these activities. Activities that contravene our Responsible Travel policies are also not listed. Please remember that the decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.

  • Accommodation

    Hotel (6 nights)

  • Important information

    This trip starts in Queenstown on Day 1. You can arrive any time and check into your hotel.
    Trip finished in Queenstown after breakfast. Onward travel can be booked at any time.

  • Communications

    Wireless (wi-fi) is common across accommodation in New Zealand. Some properties may charge a fee for use. 

    Cafe's and pubs across NZ may have wi-fi for a fee, with those in more tourist area's offering it for free. Shopping centre's, airports and other public spaces offer limited free wi-fi access.  

    If you are spending longer in New Zealand, it might be a good idea to purchase a local SIM card for data and your mobile device.

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The Advantages of Bookmundi
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  • Destination: {{tripPlannerKeysNames[myRequest.id].destinations.join(', ')}}
  • Activity: {{tripPlannerKeysNames[myRequest.id].activity.join(', ')}}
  • Custom Destination: {{tripPlannerCustom[myRequest.id].destination}}
  • Custom Activity: {{tripPlannerCustom[myRequest.id].activity}}
  • Group Size: {{myRequest.no_of_adults > 0 && myRequest.no_of_children > 0?',':''}} {{myRequest.group_type=='Single'?'1 Person':myRequest.group_type=='Couple'?'2 People':''}}
  • {{myRequest.departure_month || myRequest.duration?'Approx. Dates':'Travel Dates'}}: {{myRequest.start_date | readableDate}} to {{myRequest.end_date | readableDate}} {{myRequest.departure_month}}, {{myRequest.duration}} Not decided yet
  • Tour Type: {{myRequest.tourtype | tourtypefullName}}
  • Age Group: {{myRequest.age_group}} yrs
  • Type of Tour: {{tripPlannerKeysNames[myRequest.id].type_of_tour}}
  • Accommodation Option: {{tripPlannerKeysNames[myRequest.id].accommodation_option}}
  • Budget Per Person: USD {{myRequest.approx_budget_amount}}
  • Budget Flexibility {{tripPlannerKeysNames[myRequest.id].budget_flexibility}}
  • Trip Planning Stage {{myRequest.trip_planning_stage}}
""
Can you handle {{getFirstName(activeuser)}}'s enquiry? Rejection Reason
{{myRequest.reject_reason?myRequest.reject_reason:'Sorry, Your trip request has been rejected.'}}
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