ALL NEW South Island Adventure
REGION: SOUTH ISLAND, NEW ZEALAND
ACTIVITIES: WALKING, FLYING, SEA KAYAKING
In this all new and revised South Island adventure, you’ll experience THE perfect combination of majestic landscapes all rolled into one small land mass. Turquoise lakes, sparkling glaciers, snow capped peaks, rolling tussock meadows and pristine forests greet you on every day of this epic adventure. We’ve thrown in helicopters and planes to spice things up a bit too – with an epic heli hike on Franz Josef Glacier, and the worlds most scenic flight into the one and only Milford Sound.
DAY 1 - Arrive Christchurch, Arthurs Pass and West Coast
Our trip begins in Christchurch where we’ll meet at a central location in the city centre. Once we’ve done our meet and greet, we’ll drive straight into the Southern Alps. The Arthurs Pass region is the main divide and access to the South Islands West Coast. It’s home to some BIG mountains and classic beech forests. We’ll stop right in the heart of Arthurs Pass and walk to The Devils Punchbowl waterfall – not the most original name for a waterfall, but it this waterfall is a sight to behold.
Later we’ll continue through to the west coast, where we’ll have the night in Hokitika and a meal at the Manihapua Tavern – THE classic West Coast Pub.
ACCOMMODATION: Beach Front Hotel, Hokitika MEALS: (L,D)
DAY 2 - Sea Kayak Okarito Lagoon
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.
ACCOMMODATION: Rainforest Retreat, Franz Josef
DAY 3 - Heli Hike Franz Josef Glacier
An outrageously scenic excursion awaits us today. After being fitted with crampons, we’ll board a helicopter and fly towards the highest peaks of the Southern Alps, landing on the glacier at 1300 metres (4265 feet) above sea level. Led by specialist glacier guides, we’ll hike through the grand ice formations of the glacier, checking out its crevasses, seracs and tunnels – no previous experience is required! The constant movement of the glacier means every day is different, so our guides will cut steps in the ice to make the most of the conditions. At the end of our hike on the ice, we’ll take another helicopter ride out of the mountains and back to civilisation.
Later, we’ll continue down the west coast, and back through the Southern Alps. The Haast Pass is an incredible drive! We’ll spend the evening in Wanaka.
ACCOMMODATION: Oakridge Resort, Wanaka
DAY 4 - Hike Queenstown Hill, Queenstown
We’ll have a relaxed morning in Wanaka, taking in the lakefront and surrounding mountains, before driving over the Crown Range and into the Wakatipu Basin, and Queenstown. Before heading to our accomodation, we’ll walk the iconic Queenstown Hill track. This walk is a 500-metre climb through pine forest to the summit of Te Tapu-nui (mountain of intense sacredness). We’ll be rewarded with sweeping views of the surrounding peaks, some of Queenstown’s main landmarks and Lake Wakatipu.
ACCOMMODATION: The Ramada, Queenstown
DAY 5 - Experience Milford Sound and Hike Mt Crichton
We’ll take off from Queenstown, and fly above the rugged backcountry of Central Otago, before heading westward to where the glacial-fed rivers empty into Lake Wakatipu. Witness what the power of nature has created over the years, as we journey over two remarkable National Parks; Mt Aspiring and the world heritage listed Fiordland National Park.
Upon landing at Milford Sound Airport we’ll be welcomed with a view of Mitre Peak, standing tall at the head of the fiord. Surrounded by some of the most magnificent scenery in the world, we’ll board the Mitre Peak Cruises vessel and begin a voyage cruising the length of the 16km fiord out to the Tasman Sea.
Upon our flight return to Queenstown, there’s an option to take a late afternoon hike on the Mount Crichton Loop Trail – a local secret classic through gorgeous beech forest.
ACCOMMODATION: Ramada Hotel, Queenstown
DAY 6 - Free Day in Queenstown
Queenstown is the adventure capital of New Zealand (if not the world!) and all the comforts of civilisation are packed into this tiny resort town: restaurants galore, sidewalk cafés, stylish lounge bars, day spas and boutiques. You’ll also find incredible optional activities here including horse trekking, a gondola, kayaking, fishing, winery tours, hang gliding, mountain biking, bungy jumping, jet boating and skydiving, as well as some great hiking opportunities. Or you can just soak up the atmosphere or lounge about reading a book. Your guides will happily share their favourite haunts and point you in the right direction for your free day today.
ACCOMMODATION: Ramada Hotel, Queenstown
DAY 7 - Depart or Explore Queenstown
Today is the last day of your Conqueror Adventures exploration of New Zealand’s most scenic areas. Our aim is to create incredible moments that count with like minded people, and build lifelong friendships through physical activity and shared experiences in some of the worlds most beautiful places.
All meals as per itinerary * All transport and shuttles * Guiding and hosting * All park entrance fees * All accommodation * Luggage transfers
International and domestic flights * Travel Insurance * Personal hiking gear * Luggage * Personal snacks * Alcoholic beverages
We understand the importance of a good nights rest. We have carefully chosen only locally owned lodgings that understand the importance of a place to unwind and share the experience with your fellow travelers. While you won’t be glamming it up at the Ritz (that’s not our style), you’ll enjoy a comfortable accommodation with amazing local hosts.
GETTING THERE – FLIGHTS
Arriving in Christchurch is simple. International flights into New Zealand arrive into Auckland, where you can easily add a domestic flight to Christchurch. Because this tour begins in the morning, we recommend you arrive by 9am at the latest on day 1, or the night before. The tour ends in Queenstown on Day 7. There are numerous flights leaving throughout the day, returning to Auckland. Talk to us about flight arrangements – we’re here to help!
“This was truly a special trip for me. Phil and his team made the difference between it being great to absolutely unforgettable”