Itinerary Notes

 

Due to the recent earthquake in New Zealand, there has been significant damage to the area around Kaikoura. As a result, we have rerouted Days 14 & 15 of this itinerary for all departures through Oct 31, 2017. Please see the full itinerary for details of the change.

When arranging your transportation, such as flights, please take into consideration the below time restrictions for joining and departing from your group. With these times, we have taken into account travel time to/from the airport in the given destination and required time for check-in or baggage collection/immigration.

Your flight must arrive by or before: 11:59 p.m. on Day 1
Your flight must depart no earlier than: 12:00 a.m. on Day 16

 

Itinerary

Day 1Wellington

 

Arrive at any time. Start the adventure with a Big Night Out with the group.

There are no planned activities during the day, so check into the hotel and explore the city.

Check out New Zealand's National Museum, a must-see with great displays of historical Maori artifacts and relatively modern exhibits such as the motorbike that was built in a shed and won the world championships. Afterwards, opt for a night out on the town. Wellington has an abundance of nightlife, bars, cafes and restaurants all located on and around the entertainment district of Courtenay Place.

 
Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting

 

1h18:30

The adventure begins tonight. Feel free to explore before your welcome meeting, but make sure you’re back in time to meet the group. After introductions, your CEO will review the details of your tour. Please note that normal check-in times apply at our start hotels, but you can usually store your luggage for the day if you arrive early.

 
Big Night Out: 

 

 

Whether it’s a pub crawl, drink specials or a bonfire on the beach, celebrate late into the night with your new best friends.

Optional Activities - Day 1

Weta Workshop Visit
 

Step into the behind-the-scenes world of hobbits, dragons and other fantastical movie creatures. The Weta Workshop is where the props and models for films like The Lord of the Rings, Avatar and the Amazing Spiderman 2 are designed and brought to life. Watch artists working on new pieces and see some of their award-winning creations from past projects in their new exhibition space. 

 
Te Papa Museum Visit
Wellington30m-6h
Free

Visit this must-see museum, home to displays of historical Maori artifacts and modern exhibits. See how the museum is constructed on shock absorbers to withstand New Zealand’s many earthquakes – find the stairwell just outside the entrance and descend into the foundations of the building.

Accommodation

 
Nomads Capital (or similar)
Hotel

Day 2Wellington/Abel Tasman National Park

Take a ferry over to the South Island and transfer to Abel Tasman National Park.

Catch a morning ferry and cross the scenic Cook Strait. Make sure to stand outside and enjoy the views of the Marlborough Sounds at the top of the South Island. Disembark and transfer to Abel Tasman National Park, well-known for its stunning white sand beaches. Board a water taxi to transfer to the middle of the National Park for the night. The night will be spent on a floating boat hostel.

During the winter season (May - Oct), and when there is inclement weather in the summer, we will stay in cabins in a true rural setting on the edge of the park instead of the floating boat hostel.

 
Ferry
Wellington – Picton3h30m92km

Get to the next spot on your route aboard a convenient and efficient ferry boat.

 
Private Vehicle
Picton – Abel Tasman National Park3h200km

Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

 
Water taxi
Abel Tasman National Park30m

Jump in and cross the water to the next stop.

Accommodation

 
Old MacDonalds Farm (or similar)
Hostel

Meals included:

 Breakfast | Dinner

Day 3Abel Tasman National Park

Hike and explore Abel Tasman's golden beaches and waterways.

 

 
Abel Tasman National Park Walk
Abel Tasman National Park4h12km

Walk along a coastline track from Anchorage to Marahau to one of the world's most scenic golden sand beaches.

Optional Activities - Day 3


Sailing
Abel Tasman National Park4h-6h30m
90-176NZD per person

Sail through crystal clear waters, admire spectacular scenery and investigate secluded cloves, small islands, golden beaches and lush forest. Don't forget to wear a hat and sunscreen!

 
Abel Tasman National Park Kayaking
Abel Tasman National Park3h-4h
110NZD per person

Explore the coastline and beaches in stunning Abel Tasman National Park. Kayak from Watering Cove along the coastline to Marahau.

 
Canyoning
Abel Tasman National Park
235NZD per person

Jump, slide, rappel, swim and float down the Torrent River on this canyoning adventure. Make your way down stream and see the stunning rainforest scenery on this active adventure that will bring you into the heart of Abel Tasman National Park.

 
Skydiving
Abel Tasman National Park
249-399NZD per person

Accommodation

 
Old MacDonalds Farm (or similar)
Hostel

Meals included:

 Breakfast

Day 4Abel Tasman National Park/Franz Josef

Head south down the coast of black-sand beaches. Visit a seal colony and take in the pancake rock formations at Punakaiki before continuing on to Franz Josef.

 

 
Private Vehicle
Abel Tasman National Park – Franz Josef8h-8h30m475km

Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

 
Pancake Rocks Trek
Punakaiki15m-30m1km

Walk along a loop trail with informative signs detailing how the 'Pancake Rocks' were formed millions of years ago. When the trail reaches the coast, there are many lookouts for photo stops and beautiful views of the coast, the rocks and the blowholes found along the area.

 
Seal Colony Visit
Cape Foulwind30m1-2km

Stop by a viewing platform over a New Zealand fur seal colony at Cape Foulwind. Female seals will live in the same colony for the duration of their lives, whereas male seals move around more. The males visit the Cape Foulwind colony between late November and mid-January for mating season. All seasons offer plenty of activity to check out, from mating to the raising of baby pups and feeding out at sea.

Accommodation

 
Rainforest Retreat (or similar)
Resort

Meals included:

 Breakfast | Dinner

Day 5Franz Josef

Free day for optional activities. Options include various hikes, horseback riding and quad biking.

Opt to kayak the river into the Paparoa National Park or stick to the local trails for some day hikes. Continue following the coastal road towards Franz Josef arriving at a unique wilderness lodge set in the rainforest for the night.

 
Carte Blanche
Franz JosefFull Day

There's plenty to see and do in Franz Josef, and we wanted to make sure that you had some time to take it all in. Feel free to relax or try optional activities like a glacial hike, quad biking, and a helicopter hike. Your CEO has more ideas if you need them. Just ask!

Optional Activities - Day 5

Franz Josef Quad Bike
Franz Josef
65-160NZD per person

Hop aboard the two-seater ATV quad and drive along ancient glacial pathways carved into the landscape by ice and water. Be amazed at what lies around every twist and turn as you are guided through rainforests, riverbeds, grasslands, sand and mud. Feel the thrill of fresh air in your face and the excitement of riding in the wild.

 
Helicopter Hike
Franz Josef3h-4h
449-499NZD per person

Take a once-in-a-lifetime helicopter ride high up on Franz Josef Glacier. Hop out and trek on the white and blue ice. Cool!

 
Franz Josef Glacier Valley Walk
Franz Josef
65-75NZD per person

Enjoy spectacular views on a guided interpretive walk that follows a riverbed along the Franz Josef Glacier's retreat. At the end, you'll be rewarded with a great view of the glacier off in the distance.

 
Ice Explorer Guided Hike (Heli Transfer)
Franz Josef
379-409NZD per person

The sheer size and power of Franz Josef is something you need to see to believe. Board a chopper for a leisurely flight over the glacier before landing directly on the ice. From there, get up close and personal on a three-hour guided hike past towering peaks and stunning blue ice. The constantly shifting ice flows and crevices ensure your visit will be one-of-a-kind!

 
Franz Josef Kayaking
Franz Josef3h-4h
99-129NZD per person

Explore the stunning Lake Mapourika by kayak. This lake was created as the Franz Josef glacier retreated 14,000 years ago, and the still water has created a natural mirror allowing you to soak in the incredible panoramic views.

 
Hiking 
Franz Josef30m-8h3-17km
Free

Take your pick of many scenic and memorable treks in Franz Josef – a true hiker’s haven. Get prepared before heading out, and be mindful of signs along the track. See majestic mountains, glaciers, rivers, and amazing views that you’ll definitely want your camera on hand for.

 
Horseback Riding
Franz Josef
65-150NZD per person

Hop in the saddle and explore Franz Josef’s amazing glacier landscape on horseback. Ride amid rainforests and mountain scenery, and enjoy fresh open air and natural beauty on this unforgettable trip. 

Accommodation

 
Rainforest Retreat (or similar)
Resort

Meals included:

 Breakfast | Dinner

Day 6Franz Josef

Free day for optional activities. Options include various hikes, horseback riding and quad biking. 

 

 
Carte Blanche
Franz JosefFull Day

There's plenty to see and do in Franz Josef, and we wanted to make sure that you had some time to take it all in. Feel free to relax or try optional activities like a glacial hike, quad biking, and a helicopter hike. Your CEO has more ideas if you need them. Just ask!

Optional Activities - Day 6

Franz Josef Glacier Valley Walk
Franz Josef
65-75NZD per person

Enjoy spectacular views on a guided interpretive walk that follows a riverbed along the Franz Josef Glacier's retreat. At the end, you'll be rewarded with a great view of the glacier off in the distance.

 
Helicopter Hike
Franz Josef3h-4h
449-499NZD per person

Take a once-in-a-lifetime helicopter ride high up on Franz Josef Glacier. Hop out and trek on the white and blue ice. Cool!

 
Franz Josef Quad Bike
Franz Josef
65-160NZD per person

Hop aboard the two-seater ATV quad and drive along ancient glacial pathways carved into the landscape by ice and water. Be amazed at what lies around every twist and turn as you are guided through rainforests, riverbeds, grasslands, sand and mud. Feel the thrill of fresh air in your face and the excitement of riding in the wild.

 
Ice Explorer Guided Hike (Heli Transfer)
Franz Josef
379-409NZD per person

The sheer size and power of Franz Josef is something you need to see to believe. Board a chopper for a leisurely flight over the glacier before landing directly on the ice. From there, get up close and personal on a three-hour guided hike past towering peaks and stunning blue ice. The constantly shifting ice flows and crevices ensure your visit will be one-of-a-kind!

 
Franz Josef Kayaking
Franz Josef3h-4h
99-129NZD per person

Explore the stunning Lake Mapourika by kayak. This lake was created as the Franz Josef glacier retreated 14,000 years ago, and the still water has created a natural mirror allowing you to soak in the incredible panoramic views.

 
Hiking 
Franz Josef30m-8h3-17km
Free

Take your pick of many scenic and memorable treks in Franz Josef – a true hiker’s haven. Get prepared before heading out, and be mindful of signs along the track. See majestic mountains, glaciers, rivers, and amazing views that you’ll definitely want your camera on hand for.

 
Horseback Riding
Franz Josef
65-150NZD per person

Hop in the saddle and explore Franz Josef’s amazing glacier landscape on horseback. Ride amid rainforests and mountain scenery, and enjoy fresh open air and natural beauty on this unforgettable trip. 

Accommodation

 
Rainforest Retreat (or similar)
Resort

Meals included:

 Breakfast

Day 7Franz Josef/Queenstown

Visit the adventure capital of the world—Queenstown.

 

 
Private Vehicle
Franz Josef – Queenstown6hMorning365km

Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

Accommodation

 
Nomads Queenstown (or similar)
Hostel

Meals included:

 Breakfast

Days 8–9Queenstown

Free time in Queenstown. Get the heart pumping with some adrenaline-filled options, such as jet boating, bungee jumping, mountain biking or skydiving.

 

If you have pre-booked the Queenstown Jet Boating, your CEO will inform you when you will do the activity during your tour, as days are subject to change.

Please note - in the winter months (late April - early Nov) skiing and snowboarding in the Southern Alps is a highlight for any visitor. Most of the optional activities are also available, ask your CEO which ones are in season.

 
Carte Blanche
QueenstownFull Day

There's plenty to see and do in Queenstown, and we wanted to make sure that you had some time to take it all in. Feel free to relax or try optional activities like mountain biking, bungee jumping, and jet boating. Your CEO has more ideas if you need them. Just ask!

Optional Activities - Days 8–9

Shotover Jet Boating
Queenstown2h-3h
149NZD per person

Jet boating is a typical New Zealand activity— go as fast you can in a boat over water. Hang on tight as you fly across the surface of the water. Shoot through narrow rocky gorges and dare to watch as the driver takes hairpin turns frighteningly close to the cliffs.

 
Bungee Jumping
Queenstown1h30m-4h
175-510NZD per person

Adrenaline junkies will be happy with a stop at the world's original commercial bungee site (bungy in New Zealand!). Opt to take the plunge or simply observe where it all started from the comfort solid ground. Shoot some amazing photos of those brave enough to dive into the abyss.

 
Mountain Biking
Queenstown1h-6h
31.50-140.00NZD per person

Hop on a bike and get familiar with some of the great trails in the area. There are routes for all levels of cyclist to enjoy so rent a and start exploring the hills. 

 
Skydiving
Queenstown
299-439NZD per person

Enjoy the awe-inspiring beauty of Queenstown from an eagle's perspective. Suit up, get briefed and board the prop plane to soar high about the rugged alpine landscape. Strap onto your instructor, take a breath and leap into a once-in-a-lifetime free fall. This is what a natural high truly feels like!

 
Vineyard Tour
Queenstown5h-7h
185-230NZD per person

Visit vineyards in New Zealand's fastest growing wine region. Taste some of Queenstown's finest Pinot Noir, as well as Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc. Sample local cheeses and learn more about the grape varietals that flourish here. Pick up a few bottles to savour back home.

 
Paragliding
Queenstown15m-30m
210NZD per person

Hang on! Get a birds-eye view of Queenstown on an exciting ride in the sky. 

 
Gondola Ride
Queenstown1h-2h30m
32NZD per person

Take a ride up to the top of the mountain by cable car gondola. Get a spectacular 220º view of Coronet Peak, the Remarkables mountain range, and Lake Wakatipu below. 

 
Lord of the Rings Horse Riding Tour
Queenstown
165-325NZD per person

Escape New Zealand and head to Middle-earth on a horseback riding tour of sites used in the Lord of the Rings films. Take in the breathtaking views and see if you can spot places where the films were shot.

 
Ziptrek
Queenstown
120-170NZD per person
 
Canyon Swing
Queenstown
205NZD per person

Get your heart racing as you launch yourself from the world's highest canyon swing. Free fall for 60m before a 200m swing across Shotover Canyon. See you at the other side!

 
Canyon Fox
Queenstown
165NZD per person

Accommodation

 
Nomads Queenstown (or similar)
Hostel

Meals included:

 Breakfast

Day 10Queenstown/Doubtful Sound

Visit Fiordland National Park en route to Doubtful Sound. 

 

Depending on weather the walk and kayak may be reversed to fall on different days.

 
Private Vehicle
Queenstown – Doubtful Sound4h250km

Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

 
Fiordland National Park Visit
Fiordland National Park2hAfternoon

Enjoy a guided 2-hour interpretive bush walk in Deep Cove with a visit to Helena Falls.

Accommodation

 
Doubtful Sound Camp (or similar)
Hotel

Meals included:

 Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Day 11Doubtful Sound/Wedderburn

Enjoy a guided kayak excursion through jaw-dropping scenery (seasonal), then travel to Central Otago. 

 

Due to cold weather during the winter months (approx May to late September), we will be going on a three hour nature cruise in Doubtful Sound instead of kayaking in the area.

 
Kayaking Excursion
Fiordland National Park3h-4h

Throw on a life jacket, pick up a paddle and prepare to be wowed during this 3-4 hour kayaking trip through New Zealand's largest national park. Paddle through icy clear waters below towering cliffs and waterfalls and marvel at the moss-covered slopes and verdant rainforest terrain. Spot dolphins, seals and penguins below while birds soar above.

 
Private Vehicle
Doubtful Sound – Otago Central Rail Trail5h350km

Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

Accommodation

 
Mt Ida Shearers Quarters (or similar)
Hostel

Meals included:

 Breakfast | Dinner

Day 12Wedderburn

Bike 35 km of the Otago Rail Trail, passing through one historic town to the next. Along the way sample some local food and drink. 

 

 
Biking Otago Rail Trail 
Otago Central Rail Trail5h35-40km

Drive to one of the best starting points of the Historic Otago Rail Trail. Spend the better part of the day cycling along an easy gradient through stunning scenery along 35km of the old rail trail. Cycle through scenery unspoiled by traffic and not visible from any roads.

Optional Activities - Day 12

Curling
Otago1h-1h30m
30NZD per person

Try your hand at throwing a curling rock and sweeping the ice at the only year-round curling facility in Australasia. The sport of curling was introduced to New Zealand in the late 19th century by Scottish settlers.

Accommodation

 
Mt Ida Shearers Quarters (or similar)
Hostel

Meals included:

 Breakfast

Day 13Wedderburn/Christchurch

Enjoy a free afternoon to explore Christchurch.

Overnight in the very unique converted jail house.

 
Private Vehicle
Wedderburn – Christchurch5h400km

Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

 
Free Time
ChristchurchAfternoon

Spend the afternoon exploring Christchurch during free time.

Accommodation

 
Jailhouse Accommodation (or similar)
Hotel

Meals included:

 Breakfast

Day 14Christchurch/Kaikoura

Opt to go whale watching, swim with seals or take a walk along the coast.

Spend the afternoon swimming with dolphins or taking a scenic flight over the peninsula. 

Bird watchers will be pleased to know that big ocean birds such as albatrosses, petrels and shearwaters frequent the area.

As a result of the recent earthquake in New Zealand, groups departing before Oct 31, 2017 will be rerouted to Picton or Nelson instead of Kaikoura today.

 
Private Vehicle
Christchurch – Kaikoura3h180km

Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

 
Free Time
KaikouraAfternoon

Head out and explore this beautiful area. View some of the wildlife in the area or hit the trails to get a workout with a view.

Optional Activities - Day 14

Swimming With Dolphins 
Kaikoura3h-4h5km
170NZD per person

Hop aboard a boat and head out to the open seas to search for wild dusky dolphins. Depending on conditions, most groups have 20-40 minutes of swim time with the dolphins.

 
Scenic Flight
Kaikoura
135-180NZD per person

Take a 30-minute flight and set off to search for whales, dolphins, and other marine life. On land, you'll see Maori sites, Kaikoura town and New Zealand's southern fur seals.

 
Whale Watching
Kaikoura3h-3h30m
145NZD per person

Follow in the path of Paikea, the Maori "whale rider", and set out in search of Giant Sperm Whales as they spray and dive their way through the waters off Kaikora. 

 
Hiking
Kaikoura2h-10h1-9km
Free

Set off along one of many hiking trails to take in the beautiful scenery surrounding Kaikoura.

 
Sea Kayaking
Kaikoura
95NZD per person

Accommodation

 
YHA Nelson (or similar)
Hostel

Meals included:

 Breakfast

Day 15Kaikoura/Wellington

Travel to Picton to catch the ferry back to Wellington. Opt for a final night out with the group.

 

 
Private Vehicle
Kaikoura – Picton2h150km

Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

 
Ferry
Picton – Wellington3h92km

Get to the next spot on your route aboard a convenient and efficient ferry boat.

Optional Activities - Day 15

New Zealand Fur Seals Visit
Kaikoura

See the lovable southern fur seals in their natural habitat. These confident and curious creatures can be pretty engaging, but be sure to keep a distance so they don't feel threatened. Be sure to snap some pics of your new furry friends!

Accommodation

 
Nomads Capital (or similar)
Hotel

Meals included:

 Breakfast

Day 16Wellington

Depart at any time.

We highly recommend pre- or post-accommodation to fully explore this vibrant city.

 
Departure Day
 

Not ready to leave? Your CEO can help with travel arrangements to extend your adventure. 

Meals included:

 Breakfast

 

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