Kiwi Adventure Small Group Active Tour

from £4399
excluding flights *
13 nights Nov-Mar, Oct

Overview

This guided adventure holiday focuses on New Zealand's South Island taking in classic scenic hotspots as well as little-known gems with plenty of time to explore each iconic location! From Kaikoura to Abel Tasman, the West Coast glaciers to Milford Sound and Queenstown, and including hiking, kayaking and cruising, enjoy an unforgettable 14-day soft adventure.

Following a circular route from Christchurch, this holiday showcases the South Island's diverse landscapes from the Canterbury Plains to the rugged Southern Alps, the golden beaches of Abel Tasman to the glaciers of the West Coast.

Highlights

  • Explore Abel Tasman by boat and on foot
  • Hike the West Coast's glaciers and temperate rainforest as well as the famous Routeburn Track
  • Cruise Milford Sound and enjoy free time in Queenstown
  • Enjoy wine tasting and take an optional whale watching trip
  • Explore the trails around Mt Cook

What's Included

  • Accommodation in rooms with private bathroom
  • 11 breakfasts, 11 lunches, 10 dinners
  • Hikes throughout with two guides
  • Excursions as per itinerary

Full description

Enjoy time to relax as well as get active on some of the world's best hiking trails including the Routeburn and Abel Tasman tracks. You'll also encounter local wildlife, delve into local heritage and cruise Milford Sound making for a well-rounded adventure.

The accommodation is comfortable throughout and includes a variety of hotels, motels, and B&B’s to enable access to some of the most beautiful off-the-beaten track places on the South Island.  With a variety of facilities available at each accommodation, some have en-suite bathrooms and some have shared facilities. Most places will have ensuite bathrooms, however, you may need to share a bathroom with other group members on occasion.

Contact our New Zealand specialists now
worldwide team jo cooper bw
Authentic holidays for passionate travellers

Prices & Dates *

Airfares start from around £825 per person and are quoted separately to the holiday price. When enquiring, our Travel Specialists will provide the best fare possible from your preferred airline / airport.

Prices from £ per person

Departure Duration Twin Price (pp)
20 Oct 2018 13 nights £4,399
17 Nov 2018 13 nights £4,399
15 Dec 2018 13 nights £4,399
12 Jan 2019 13 nights £4,399
26 Jan 2019 13 nights £4,399
09 Feb 2019 13 nights £4,399
16 Feb 2019 13 nights £4,399
23 Feb 2019 13 nights £4,399
09 Mar 2019 13 nights £4,399
19 Oct 2019 13 nights £4,399
16 Nov 2019 13 nights £4,399
14 Dec 2019 13 nights £4,399

What's Included

  • Accommodation in rooms with private bathroom
  • 11 breakfasts, 11 lunches, 10 dinners
  • Hikes throughout with two guides (Lead Guide & Co-Guide)
  • Excursions as per itinerary
  • All transportation
  • 24 hour emergency assistance from our team during your holiday
  • No surcharge guarantee

Group Size:
Minimum group size: 5
Maximum group size: 14

Itinerary & Accommodation

Itinerary & Accommodation

Day 1: Arrive, visit Gore Bay and hike Kaikoura Peninsula

On arrival in Christchurch you will be met and taken to Gore Bay where you can stretch your legs after your flight. Then we will continue to the seaside town of Kaikoura, referred to as the “Serengeti of the South Pacific” due to its amazing variety of whales and marine life. We will hike around the Kaikoura peninsula to visit the local New Zealand fur seal colony, watch the sea birds and enjoy spectacular views of the surrounding coastal mountains. Alternatively if you are keen for an even closer view of the abundant marine wildlife it is possible to join a whale-watching excursion (optional at extra cost). Tonight, kick back and enjoy some delicious kiwi cuisine and get to know your fellow group members
Overnight: Kaikoura Lodgings, Kaikoura

Day 2: Wine Tasting and hike Pelorus River Track

From Kaikoura, we’ll travel along the coast to Blenheim, a town in the Marlborough wine region. We’ll visit Forrest Estate Winery to sample some of their fantastic wines and have a picnic lunch before we head back into the wilderness. The Pelorus River Track is our destination this afternoon, an idyllic spot for a hike, through cool, green native bush alongside the Pelorus River. Later we’ll settle into our lodgings for the night in Marahau, a small settlement in the Tasman Region and gateway to the Abel Tasman National Park
Overnight: Abel Tasman Marahau Lodge, Marahau

Day 3: Boat ride & Abel Tasman National Park

Abel Tasman National Park is famous for its golden beaches, sculptured granite cliffs and the world-renowned Abel Tasman Coast Track. This morning, we'll take a water taxi through crystal clear sheltered waters before making our way ashore for a hike along the coast. After hiking, we will relax on a white sand beach and go for a dip in the ocean.
Overnight: Abel Tasman Marahau Lodge, Marahau.

Day 4: Cape Foulwind & Punakaiki rainforest

Today we journey to Cape Foulwind on the West Coast, where we’ll hike a spectacular track that takes us to a view point overlooking a New Zealand fur seal breeding colony, then on to a lighthouse, taking in panoramic views of the coastline. The sparsely populated West Coast stretches 600 kilometres (372 miles) from north to south and is home to temperate coastal rainforest and two magnificent glaciers. After a picnic lunch, we’ll hike the Pororari River Trail in Paparoa National Park, which passes beneath magnificent limestone cliffs and through dense temperate rainforest full of distinctive coastal plants including the southern rata and towering rimu. This area has a unique micro-climate that supports the native nikau palm, a tree usually found much further north. In nearby Punakaiki, we’ll also visit the famous Pancake Rocks and blowholes – aptly named limestone formations that have been sculpted through relentless pounding by the Tasman Sea.
Overnight: West Coast Lodgings, Punakaiki. All meals included.

Day 5: Hike Truman Track, visit Hokitika & West Coast Treetop Walk

We’ll begin the day travelling on the coast to Te Miko and the start of Truman Track, rated one of New Zealand’s finest short walks. We’ll hike through dense native forest with tall flax stands near the ocean, eventually giving way to a pebbled bay and barren sandstone cliffs. Travelling along the scenic coastline, we’ll stop in Hokitika to check out local art galleries and pounamu-carving workshops (pounamu is Maori for jade). Next we’ll experience the West Coast Treetop Walk, an exhilarating treetop adventure among giants. This walk will take you up above the forest floor, allowing you to pass through an ancient canopy of rimu and kamahi trees. From here, we’ll carry on down to Franz Josef where we’ll stay for the next couple of nights. Nestled in the rainforest-clad foothills of the Southern Alps, Franz Josef is the heart of New Zealand glacier country.
Overnight: Rainforest Retreat, Franz Josef.

Day 6: Coastal forest and beach & Okarito Lagoon (optional)

This morning we’ll take a short journey over to Okarito, a little-known beach community on the coast. We’ll take to the water in sea kayaks and glide along a picturesque lagoon, set against a stunning backdrop of snow-capped peaks. Okarito is home to the only native white heron colony in New Zealand, as well as a host of other interesting birds. If you’d prefer not to kayak, we’ll point you in the right direction for a relaxing hike through lush coastal forest or along the black sand beach. Later we’ll head back to Franz Josef where you’ll have the option to take another hike or relax in the hot tub, before enjoying a traditional Kiwi roast dinner.
Overnight: Rainforest Retreat, Franz Josef. All meals included.

Day 7: Franz Josef Glacier & the Kiwi Wildlife Centre

With some 140 glaciers making their way down from the Southern Alps, this area is fittingly known as glacier country. Few sights equal the spectacle of two of these giant frozen rivers (Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers) imperceptibly grinding their way down through temperate rainforest to just 250 metres (820 feet) above sea level. Our hike will take us along the Waiho River bed up the valley right to the terminal face of Franz Josef Glacier. Alternately you can partake in a heli-hike on Franz Josef Glacier (optional at extra cost) Later, we regroup and head back to the Franz Josef township to meet a famous New Zealand icon, the flightless kiwi bird. We'll view the birds up close and learn about the two most endangered species; the rowi and the Haast tokoeka. You'll get a great insight into the conservation efforts that have so far ensured their survival.
Overnight: Makarora Lodgings, Makarora. All meals included.

Day 8: Mt Iron, Arrowtown and the Kiwi Birdlife Park

The landscape this morning changes rapidly from dense beech forest to semi-arid terrain before transforming to an impressive vista of lakes and mountains. At Lake Wanaka, we'll hike the Mt Iron track, a spectacular circuit with great views of Mt Aspiring National Park. From Wanaka, it's a short but dramatic journey over the Cardrona Saddle to the township of Arrowtown where we'll explore the town's gold mining history, before heading onto Queenstown on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, our base for the next couple of days. This afternoon we'll visit the Kiwi Birdlife Park to view and learn about New Zealand's icon, the flightless kiwi bird. You'll sleep sweetly tonight at a lakefront hotel located in the heart of Queenstown.
Overnight: Crowne Plaza Hotel, Queenstown.

Day 9 Sunday – Free day in Queenstown

Queenstown is the adventure capital of New Zealand and all the comforts of civilisation are packed into this tiny resort town: restaurants galore, stylish lounge bars, day spas, and boutiques. You'll also find incredible optional activities here, including horse trekking, a gondola ride, fishing, winery tours, a historic steamship, bungy jumping, jet boating, skydiving, as well as some great hiking opportunities. Or you can just soak up the atmosphere at one of many local cafés. Your guides will happily share their favourite haunts and point you in the right direction for your free day today.
Overnight: Crowne Plaza Hotel, Queenstown.

Day 10: Routeburn Track

This morning, we set off for our largest and perhaps most spectacular national park, Fiordland. We'll hike part of the Routeburn Track for unsurpassed views of the Hollyford Valley, as well as Lake Marian and Mt Christina. We'll take a short drive through the Homer Tunnel and emerge at the top of a spectacular glacier-carved valley for a memorable descent to the shore of Milford Sound. Rudyard Kipling rated this fiord as the eighth natural wonder of the world and it is truly breathtaking, with steep granite walls plunging over a thousand metres to the Tasman Sea and waterfalls cascading into deep inky water. Tonight we'll stay in some fairly basic accommodation in a wonderful remote location, enjoying the simple things in life.
Overnight: Milford Lodge Chalets, Milford Sound.

Day 11: Cruise Milford Sound & Hike Kepler Track

Today you’ll have the opportunity to explore Milford Sound and hopefully spot some friendly fur seals and dolphins. We’ll jump on board a boat cruise, where you’ll gaze in wonder at the waterfalls tumbling down enormous vertical rock faces all around and journey right out to the entrance of the fiord. We’re on a smaller boat than is typical in Milford, which means we’ll be able to get up close to the wildlife and also have a good chat to the specialist nature guides who’ll give a lively and informative commentary. This afternoon, we’ll explore the Fiordland wilderness on foot to check out some of its endemic flora and fauna, like the kea (Nestornotabilis), New Zealand’s notoriously cheeky and intelligent alpine parrot and the kotukutuku (Fuchsia excorticate), the world’s largest fuchsia. Later we’ll hike a section of the Kepler Track, one of New Zealand’s Great Walks
Overnight: Lake Manapouri Inn, Manapouri.

Day 12: Spare time in Queenstown, journey over the Lindis Pass

After a relaxed start we return to Queenstown, where you’ll have a couple of hours to get some lunch, do any last minute shopping, send postcards home, or whatever you might need to do before heading back into the wilderness for the remainder of your trip. There’s spectacular scenery today as we journey through the Kawarau Gorge and over the Lewis Pass to the remote and beautiful Lake Ohau Lodge. The lodge is tucked in beside an alpine lake, with stunning views stretching across to Aoraki Mt Cook and the Southern Alps – the ideal spot to soak in the hot tub and star gaze
Overnight: Lake Ohau Lodge, Ohau

Day 13: Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park & Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre

This morning you won’t have to pack your bags as we’ll be returning to this wonderful setting in the evening. The highest mountain in New Zealand, Mt Cook was first named Aoraki or ‘cloud piercer’ by South Island Maori. This region was Sir Edmund Hillary’s training ground as he prepared for his and Tenzing Norgay’s famous summit of Mt Everest in 1953. Feeling inspired, we’ll take an impressive hike up to a lake at the base of the Hooker Glacier, complete with icebergs! The track is surrounded by peaks, glaciers, native vegetation and mountain streams, and provides excellent views of Aoraki Mt Cook on a fine day. If you’re keen for a challenge, another option is to take a day hike to the main ridge above Mueller Glacier. It’s a tough hike and the weather would need to cooperate, but the views across the Southern Alps are worth it! Afterwards, we’ll return to Lake Ohau Lodge for the last night of the ‘Kiwi’ and we’ll enjoy a celebratory dinner as we sit outside and watch the sun set on Aoraki Mt Cook.
Overnight: Lake Ohau Lodge, Ohau

Day 14: Visit Tekapo

After breakfast we’ll head north past Lake Pukaki to Lake Tekapo. With yet more views of Aoraki Mt Cook to your left, you’ll be amazed at the sheer scale of these lakes and their cobalt blue allure. We’ll stretch our legs with a visit to the Church of the Good Shepherd, easily one of the most scenic locations for a church you’ll ever come across! After our lunch stop, we’ll head to Christchurch, arriving in time for afternoon flights. This is the end of your ‘Kiwi’ trip, and we’ll leave you refreshed and invigorated from the good food, exercise, rest, and great times you’ll have had with us in New Zealand!

How to Book
Call us on 01737 214 250 to discuss your plans or
Enquire Now
Browse the website

Find a holiday idea or suggested itinerary that inspires you, then send an enquiry or call us

Personalised Quote

Your dedicated travel specialist will create a quote based on your preferences

Refine & Book

Together we’ll refine your itinerary until you’re happy and ready to book

You’re in safe hands

From the moment you book until you return home we’re here for you no matter what

You may also like

Rimu Adventure Small Group Active Tour

from £4199
excluding flights
13 nights Nov-Apr, Sep-Oct
Get off the beaten track on this adventurous guided tour on the South Island.
  • Escorted
  • Active
  • Walking and Trekking
New Zealand