Southern Pioneer

  • Best price guaranteed
  • No booking fees
  • duration 10 days
  • tour type Small group Request as private
  • age requirement 18-99 yrs
  • max group size 16
  • guiding method Fully guided
  • Tour Code BM-36588
  • Footprint Carbonneutral CO2 emissions resulting from all trips on Bookmundi will be offset via investments in carbon reduction projects.
  • Operated in English
  • Starts Christchurch, New Zealand
  • Ends Christchurch, New Zealand
  • +6
HIGHLIGHTS Download trip notes
  • One of the world’s most scenic Rail Journeys
  • A Boat Cruise to the Remote Mou Waho Island Nature Reserve
  • Carve Your Own Greenstone/Pounamu Pendant
Starting and ending in Christchurch, the "Southern Pioneer" tour is a guided explorer trip that takes 10 days. You will travel through Queenstown, Ohau, Wanaka and 3 other destinations in New Zealand. "Southern Pioneer" is a small group tour which includes accommodation in hotels, transport, meals and others.

Fall in love with the highlights of this 10 day South Island itinerary that takes you on a circuit of spectacular mountains, lakes, rivers, glaciers, waterfalls and rainforests and gives you the opportunity to enjoy all the bucket list adventures you could wish for.

Created for travellers in their mid-thirties and upwards, on this New Zealand South Island itinerary you’ll visit Christchurch, Queenstown, Lake Wanaka, Lake Tekapo (and Lake Wakatipu, Lake Mapourika, Lake Hawea, plus more lakes!), the Mackenzie Country, and Franz Josef, plus you’ll get to take one of the world’s greatest train rides! Your comfortable 3–4 star accommodation on tour includes a boutique hotels and a rainforest retreat.

We’ll travel from the wide plains of Canterbury, through the mountains and lakes of Central Otago, to the glaciers and pristine rainforest of the West Coast via the spectacular Haast Pass. By the end of this New Zealand South Island itinerary, you will have lost count of the number of times you’ve uttered the words: “Wow!”, “So beautiful!” and “It’s breathtaking!”.

You’ll have the opportunity to swim, kayak, jet boat, skydive, hike, bike, see kiwis, relax in hot pools, eat and drink like a local, and more.

But only if you want to; this is your trip, and it’s designed to be flexible. Across this 10 day South Island itinerary we include some of the things that we reckon are absolute essentials, but rather than force you into activities you’re not so sure of, we leave the choice up to you. You can pre-book activities that you definitely want to do before the trip starts, and then add more while you’re on tour.

As our tours are made up of a combination of tours, the composition of your group may change throughout your tour (Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch are the hubs where the group may change).
  • Day 1 Christchurch
  • Day 2 Christchurch to Ohau (via Lake Tekapo)
  • Day 3 Ohau to Queenstown
  • Day 4 Queenstown
  • Day 5 Queenstown to Wanaka
  • Day 6 Wanaka
  • Day 7 Wanaka to Franz Josef
  • Day 8 Franz Josef
  • Day 9 Franz Josef to Christchurch
  • Day 10 Christchurch
  • Stay each night in twin-share 3–4 star accommodation: a mix of hotels, motels, lodges, and rainforest retreats.
  • Stay 9 nights in twin-share 3–4 star accommodation: a mix of hotels, motels, lodges, and rainforest retreats.
  • Feast on daily hearty breakfasts and 2 dinners.
  • Comfortable and air-conditioned bus transport
  • Passionate and knowledgeable local Kiwi guide
  • Orientation tour of each and every location
  • Small groups of maximum 16 people
  • Experiences to teach you about our unique Māori culture
  • Take in the stunning Southern Alps and the vast Canterbury Plains aboard the TranzAlpine, New Zealand’s finest inland rail journey.
  • Enjoy a boat cruise on Lake Wanaka to the remote Mou Waho Island nature reserve.
  • Carve your own pounamu (jade) pendant in Franz Josef.
  • 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 is not included in this Southern Pioneer tour. Travel insurance is mandatory to buy. World Nomads' travel insurance has been designed by travelers for travelers.
This tour has not received any customer reviews yet. However, you can expect a good tour as it is run by a trusted travel specialist who has received 10 reviews for other tours with an average 4.7 rating.
REQUEST A PRIVATE, CUSTOMIZABLE DEPARTURE By design, this is a group tour. You can however request a private, customized version of this tour for yourself or your private group of people. Private departures are usually more expensive, but come with these benefits:
  • Personal Itinerary can be tweaked and customized.
  • Protected Travel within your own bubble.
  • Professional Access our Travel Specialists' insider knowledge.
  • Privacy Enjoy a tour focused solely on you or your travel group.
Request a private and/or personalized departure To design a private tour, we'll ask you some more information in the following steps.
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GOOD TO KNOW Download trip notes

No additional cancellation fees apply for this Southern Pioneer tour. You can cancel the tour up to 63 days prior departure and avoid paying the full amount, but your deposit paid is non-refundable. No refund applies for cancellations within 62 days of departure.


For any tour departures within 26 August 2024, full payment is required. For tours that depart later than 26 August 2024, a deposit of 61 USD is required to confirm the tour, and the remaining balance will be charged 62 days before trip departure.

Travel Insurance

Southern Pioneer tour requires that you have adequate and valid travel insurance covering medical and personal accidents, including repatriation costs and emergency evacuation. World Nomads offers travel insurance for independent travelers and intrepid families.


For this Southern Pioneer 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 traveling to, as part of this itinerary.

COVID-19 Safety Measures

This trip incorporates the following COVID-19 measures:

  • Hygiene safety measures and distancing will be followed in transportation, accommodation and meal venues.
  • Guests are requested to follow the hygiene guidelines from WHO including the regular washing of hands. Hand sanitiser will also be readily available on tour
  • Implemented COVID-19 Protocols
If you have any question about this tour or need help with planning a trip, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us. We're ready to help.

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