Small Group Tour
Small Group Tour
Turquoise lakes, majestic glaciers, dramatic mountain peaks and the picture-perfect towns of Queenstown, Wanaka and Franz Josef. With accommodation and some activities included (see below), our all-inclusive tours are hassle-free, authentic experiences for those short on time. This 10 day South Island tour is the ultimate South Island roadie visiting Kaikoura, Christchurch, Tekapo and back across to Christchurch via the famous Arthur’s Pass.
This tour departs at 7.30am from Wellington YHA (292 Wakefield Street, Te Aro, Wellington), where your accommodation has been booked for the night before departure.
Give us a call to secure your spot with a 10% deposit.
Today you’ll kick off by experiencing what’s regarded as one of the most beautiful inter-island crossings in the world, the Cook Straight (included). Arriving into the top of the South Island we’ll journey through the dreamy Marlborough region, home to more vineyards than your eyes can see. Stopping off for a tasting (or two…) along the way (included) to Kaikoura to spot unique marine life and experience local Kiwi cuisine.
Start the day with a sleep-in or for the more adventurous head out to sea to witness spectacular marine life such as dolphins, whales, albatrosses and so much more (extra activity). Around mid-morning, we’ll head up the Kaikoura Peninsula walkway to walk among a large seal colony (included). After a morning experiencing a real-life Planet Earth episode we’ll cruise to the diverse city of Christchurch, where we will go on a walking tour of the city (included) to learn about the street art, see the blooming botanical gardens, and learn about the history of a city that’s experienced so much in recent times.
Saying goodbye to Christchurch, we’ll hit the road and cruise into the magnificent Mackenzie Country, home to Lake Tekapo. Here we will visit the charming stone Church of the Good Shepherd (included), sat next to the breathtakingly blue waters of the lake framed with colourful lupins. As night falls, we will visit the Dark Sky Project situated among the UNESCO Dark Sky reserve (included).
Cruising past the ‘powerade factory’ Lake Pukaki (you’ll know what we mean when you see it) we head for Mount Cook village where we will hike the Hooker Valley Walk (included) which has breath-taking views which will break your internet and blow your mind. Here you will have the opportunity to experience the Tasman Glacier by helicopter or take a scenic flight through the Mt Cook National Park (Aoraki). From mid-morning, we will continue to cruise through the National Park, through the stunning Lindis Pass through to Wanaka.
Here in Wanaka, we will have the morning to hike the famous Roys Peak (included), snap ‘That Wanaka Tree’ or climb Mount Iron (included). For the more daring in the group, there’s the option to experience a via Ferrata ‘Wild Wire’ or hit up the lakeside trails on a mountain bike. Late afternoon, you can catch your breath in the back of the bus as we cruise through the Crown ranges and head for the adrenaline fuelled Queenstown. We’ll end the day heading up the Gondola (included) for a tasty dinner at the ‘Skyline’ overlooking Queenstown.
Carrying on the adrenaline-pumping theme, you have a full day to fill with activities that suit all budgets and appetites for adventure. Try your hand at activities such as white water rafting, bungy jumping, skydiving, jet-boating or canyon swinging… if you dream it, it probably exists here in Queenstown. Speak to your Driver Guide who will be able to point you in the right direction.
Today we will head out into the heartlands of Otago to the picturesque town of Glenorchy to experience a scenic landscape brimming with southern charm.
Leaving bright and early we leave behind Queenstown and set off for Franz Josef. This is one of the most scenic drives of your tour. We’ll cruise by the breath-taking Lake Hawea, past the aptly named ‘Blue Pools’ and visit the pounding Thunder Creek Falls before visiting Lake Matheson; a spot that makes a mockery of Instagram filters. We’ll then arrive in Franz Josef where we’ll retire to a wilderness hostel deep in the rainforest itself.
Today we have a free day in Franz Josef where you have the opportunity to experience a Heli-Hike to New Zealand’s most famous Franz Josef Glacier or you can explore this lush corner of New Zealand (for free) on foot; hitting up the many walking trails in the area. For those wanting something a little more special to take home with them; passengers can carve their own greenstone necklaces (pounamu).
On your final day, we will cruise through the Arthur’s Pass National Park, a landscape of two halves. On the eastern side, you'll see wide, shingle-filled riverbeds and vast swathes of beech forest. Descend the western side and you venture through dense rainforest alongside and over deeply gorged rivers. Along this road, we will stop off at the Devil’s Punch Bowl and the breath-taking Castle Hill (included). Your tour will end back in Christchurch.
Our Small Group Tours offer a fixed itinerary, with a few bucket list items included. There are plenty of additional activities you can add on to your experience as you travel.
I did the 10 Day South Island Tour and it was the best choice to travel without a driving license.
Good Fun, Different Experience!
I was really happy that I hadn't had to look up activities up by myself and Kiwi Experience always gave us good discounts.
I’m a solo traveller... will I meet other solo travellers?
Absolutely! The majority of our passengers are travelling solo. Kiwi Experience is a social experience guaranteed to leave with new friends from across the globe.
Am I too old/young for Kiwi Experience?
We welcome the young, and the young at heart aboard our buses, there is no upper limit! There is however a lower limit; you’ll need to be 18 at the time of travel.
What visas do I need?
Luckily, many nationalities are able to visit New Zealand for less than 3 months without a visa. However, if you are not from one of these countries, obtaining your own visa is your own responsibility. We ask that you check out the Immigration New Zealand website before booking your Kiwi Experience trip.
Do I need travel insurance?
While not mandatory, travel insurance is recommended and should be taken out when travelling with us. As well as making sure your expensive stuff is covered, you should also get comprehensive travel insurance (covering you for all medical expenses you could incur while travelling).
How much should I budget for each day?
We recommend you budget between $70 - $100 per day to cover food and super fun times. From time to time, it may be worth putting a little more aside to pay for the really crazy stuff like skydiving.
How much luggage am I allowed to bring?
Passengers are allowed one 23kg suitcase/backpack and one day bag, as there are strict weight restrictions on our buses.
Start Wellington | Finish Queenstown Accommodation, activities and breakfast included
Start Christchurch | Finish Christchurch Accommodation, activities and breakfast included
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