7 Days South Island New Zealand

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 4.91 (204 reviews)

7 Days

14 People Max

Activity Level 4

Trip Start: Christchurch

Trip End: Queenstown

Trip Overview

  • LevelModerate
  • Duration7 days
  • RegionSouth Island, NZ
  • ArriveChristchurch
  • DepartQueenstown
  • Price US$3,199+Tax
  • Season Year-round

Trip Introduction

Prepare for an unforgettable 7-day adventure through New Zealand’s South Island, where every moment unveils a new facet of majestic beauty. From turquoise lakes to snow-capped peaks, and pristine forests to sparkling glaciers, this journey encapsulates the essence of natural splendor.

Experience the thrill of helicopter rides and scenic flights, including an epic heli-hike on Franz Josef Glacier and a breathtaking journey into Milford Sound. Traverse the enchanting landscapes of Arthur’s Pass and Devil’s Punchbowl, glide through the serene waters of Okarito on a sea kayaking escapade, and conquer glaciers with exhilarating hiking adventures.

Join us as we embark on an exhilarating odyssey through the heart of New Zealand’s South Island, where every moment promises awe and wonder.

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Trip Highlights

Trip Itinerary

Your 7-day conquest of the South Island is no ordinary journey; it’s an odyssey of epic proportions.

From Christchurch’s cultural embrace to the untamed marvels of Franz Josef Glacier, each day unfurls a new chapter in this adventure tale. Brace for the extraordinary – a heli-hike on Franz Josef, a cloud-kissed flight over Milford Sound. This isn’t just a trip; it’s a symphony of adventure!

Arrive Christchurch. Arthurs Pass & 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 Devil's 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.

Beach Front Hotel, Hokitika
Lunch, Dinner

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.

Later, we’ll hike to the Okarito Trig – a steep trail up through virgin forest to an absolutely classic view point. As well as the highest peaks in the Southern Alps, you’ll be afforded views all the way up and down the west coast, as well as the Okarito lagoon.

Rainforest Retreat, Franz Josef
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

West Coast Rainforest Hiking

This morning we’ll continue down the west coast, and follow the spine of the the Southern Alps. Our first hike for the day is around the stunning ''mirror'' lake - Lake Matheson. Shrouded in dense native forest, this stunning trail circumnavigates the lake with beautiful mountain reflections! Later, we'll continue down the West Coast and hike through coastal forest to Munro Beach - a pristine beach famed for penguins. Keep your eyes peeled!

After our hike, we'll continue South through Haast Pass to Makarora, in the heart of the Mt Aspiring area. One of the most pristine areas of New Zealand.

Wonderland Makarora, Makarora
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Heli Hike Franz Josef Glacier Day 3 Option

An outrageously scenic optional excursion is on offer today for those who are keen. 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 civilization.

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. This optional excursion is US$300

Wonderland Makarora, Makarora
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Hike Rob Roy Glacier, Queenstown

Today we hike one of New Zealand’s most diverse and beautiful trails. We start off with a stunning drive up the Matukituki Valley, passing through large sheep, cattle and deer farms along the way.

Our hike starts from Raspberry Flat and crosses a suspension bridge over the Matukituki River before climbing through beech forest alongside the raging boulder strewn Rob Roy River. Eventually we’ll emerge above the tree line into a stunning alpine meadow with a superb view of the Rob Roy Glacier. We’ll take lunch here and soak in the views before heading back down the valley.

Later, we’ll drive over the iconic Crown Range and down into Queenstown.

The Ramada, Queenstown
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Hike Mt Crichton

Today we'll embark on a hike on the Mount Crichton Loop Trail – a local secret classic through gorgeous beech forest. Part of this loop walk passes Sam Summers' Hut - providing a fascinating glimpse of life as a gold prospector. This area was mined off and on between the 1860s and the 1930s.

In the early days of the gold rush, water was used as a tool to blast gravel off the cliffs. The gold-bearing gravel was then washed through a tail race tunnel. The tunnel we'll see on this walk is spectacular - 24 metres long, a metre wide and 10 metres high.

Ramada Hotel, Queenstown
Breakfast, Lunch

Experience Milford Sound - Day 5 Option

If you choose the Milford Sound option, you'll head out early this morning! You’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 you’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. You’ll complete the journey with a scenic flight over the Southern Alps back to Queenstown. This Optional Excursion is US$370.

Ramada Hotel, Queenstown
Breakfast, Lunch

Free Day in Queenstown

Queenstown is the adventure capital of New Zealand (if not the world!) and all the comforts of civilization 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 favorite haunts and point you in the right direction for your free day today.

Ramada Hotel, Queenstown
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Depart

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.

Breakfast

The Details

What's Included

  • All meals as per itinerary
  • All transport and shuttles
  • Guiding and hosting
  • All park entrance fees
  • All accommodation
  • Luggage transfers

What's Not Included

  • International and domestic flights
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal hiking gear
  • Luggage
  • Personal snacks
  • Alcoholic beverages

Accommodation

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.

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!

Departure Dates

Looking for the perfect trip? See our trip dates below. If you can’t find the perfect travel date, get in touch with our team today and we may be able to customize a trip date for you.

 

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Photo Gallery

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Frequently Asked Questions

DO I NEED A VISA TO TRAVEL TO NEW ZEALAND?

Visas are currently not required for Australian, US, Canadian or UK/EU passport holders wishing to visit New Zealand. If you are outside these regions, please check with your embassy. You can also check the Visa HQ website for up todate information.

New Zealand’s border opens to international travelers from May 2022.

WHAT ABOUT DRINKING WATER?

Water from the tap is safe to drink in New Zealand. Because of the nature of our day hikes on this trip, you’ll be able to fill your water bottle(s) for the day from the tap at our accommodation, as well as other places in the area where tap water is available. The other good thing is – New Zealand’s tap water tastes great!

WHAT WILL THE WEATHER/TEMPERATURE BE LIKE?

New Zealand has a largely temperate climate. While North has subtropical weather during summer, and inland alpine areas of the South Island can be as cold as -10 C in winter, most of the country lies close to the coast, which means mild temperatures, moderate rainfall, and abundant sunshine. But it’s always very changeable! You never quite know what the weather will throw at you in New Zealand.

When it comes to temperatures, the South Island can reach 23 °C (73F) from late November and December, 30 °C (86F) through January and February and 20 °C (68) from mid March to mid April.

IS LAUNDRY AVAILABLE?

Yes. Laundry is available in Wanaka, towards the end of the trip. Most people find that they don’t really have a need to do any laundry until this location. We will send you a detailed packing list, which will detail what clothes you’ll expect to need throughout the trip.

WHAT IS THE MAXIMUM GROUP SIZE?

Our maximum group size for this trip is 11 people.

WHAT ABOUT ALTITUDE?

Altitude isn’t really a factor on our South Island adventure. Even though we do plenty of hikes where we gain significant elevation, we don’t venture into altitudes that have an effect on us.

HOW STRENUOUS IS THIS TRIP?

This is an moderate hiking trip which is suitable for those who have some experience with hiking and a good general physical condition. Most of the hikes are on established trails, but there is also some steep terrain through rooted forest trails and high alpine areas that have scree and small boulders.  Average walking times: approx. 5 hours each day.

IMPORTANT! There are some long inclines so if you are at all unsteady on your feet we highly recommend you also bring a retractable walking pole(s). Comfortable walking/hiking shoes are essential, along with a small day-pack and water bottle.

IS WIFI AVAILABLE?

Wifi is available in our Methven and Wanaka lodges. Wifi is also available in Mt Cook and in Lake Ohau lodges, but it can be very slow! 5G reception is generally available in built up areas and in some of the areas where we explore, but equally, there are significant portions of some of the regions we visit that have no coverage!

WILL I HAVE TO CARRY ALL MY BELONGINGS ON THE HIKES?

No. Because all our hikes on this trip are day hikes, you’ll only be carrying the stuff you’ll be needing for that day – in a day pack. Talk to us if you need recommendations on day packs.

WHAT IS THE ROOMING SITUATION?

The rooming on the trip is based on twin and double share. Because of limited space in lodges along the way, there are no options for single supplements.

IS THERE A SINGLE SUPPLEMENT FEE IF I'M COMING ON MY OWN?

No! Many other travel companies put this on single travelers, but we think this is unfair.

WHERE DO I FLY TO?

When you book your flights, you should fly into either Auckland International or Christchurch International Airports. If you’re flying into Auckland, you’ll need to attach a short domestic flight down to Christchurch, and ensure that you arrive into Christchurch by 9.30am at the latest on Day 1 of the trip. Your departing flight needs to leave from Queenstown, to Auckland.

If you are joing the South Island adventure straight after our North Island trip, you’ll need to get a flight from Rotorua to Christchurch. Talk with us for more information about arrival and departure details for this trip!

Interactive Trip Map

Hear What Our Adventurers Have to Say

My trip to the South Island in New Zealand was nothing more than magical. Phil and the Conqueror Adventures were one of the best guides/companies I have ever toured with, and would 100% do it again.

Alec McDaniel

AZ, USA.
South Island
November 2022

As someone who was always scared to venture out on my own, but craved a sense of adventure and exploration, Conqueror Adventures has truly exceeded my expectations. Anything that was in the hands of Phil and his team was managed with attention to detail and we were always taken care of. Thank you to Phil and Conqueror Adventures for a trip of a life time!

Bianca Cowling

Vancouver, Canada.
 South Island
November 2022

You don’t realize the extent to which the tour impacts your life until you return home and know that it was the best holiday/vacation you have ever taken. Thanks Phil and team. I’ll be back.

Tiffany Johnson

LA, USA.
South Island
November 2022

Meet Our Guides

At The Conqueror Adventures, our journey is led by the passionate and experienced individuals who have an unwavering love for the great outdoors. These are the adventurers who guide you through rugged landscapes, lead you to hidden gems, and share their profound knowledge of the destinations we explore.

In this section, we invite you to meet our guides, the heartbeat of our hiking tours. These individuals are more than just experts; they are passionate storytellers, nature enthusiasts, and cultural interpreters. They bring the landscapes to life, adding a layer of depth to your adventure that can’t be found in guidebooks.

Their stories, insights, and profound love for the destinations they explore are integral to the exceptional experiences we provide. Get to know the adventurers who will be your companions on the trail, leading you through extraordinary journeys filled with discovery, camaraderie, and the joy of exploration.

Phil Boorman

Phil Boorman

Founder, Guide & CEO

Phil Boorman

Founder and boss, Phil is at his best when he’s leading a group. He has spent his entire working life, leading and designing adventures in almost every continent in the world. It’s just in his blood and he’ll never give it up. You’ll still find Phil leading trips in Italy, Nepal, and New Zealand which is his home. Phil loves whitewater kayaking, backcountry skiing and mountain biking in his free time.

“I’ve done a tonne of guided trips in my time, and traveling with Phil was by far, THE best and most fulfilling experience I’ve had – he was genuine, attentive and clearly loves what he does.”

Ed Stone, USA – June 2016

Dylan Arthur

Dylan Arthur

New Zealand

Dylan Arthur

Dylan is an enthusiastic young hiking addict who takes a particular interest in the North Island. His side hustle is landscape, outdoor and travel photography. To say he’s handy with a lens or two is an understatement.

Check out his considerable talent here – https://www.dylanarthur.com/

“Dylan was a wealth of information on the flora and fauna. More than that, he was our can-do leader, inspiring us at every step of the trail and every day on our trip!”

Katharine Chiu, USA – November 2022

Mike Dawson

Mike Dawson

New Zealand

Mike Dawson

Mike is 2 time former Olympian and world renowned adventurer, having embarked on expeditions to the far reaches of the globe, including Angola, Pakistan and recently a ski expedition to the South Pole. New Zealand is his first love though, and he’s right at home guiding in the South Island where he first developed his love of the outdoors. There’s nothing he can’t handle!

Brad Taylor

Brad Taylor

New Zealand

Brad Taylor

Brad is a hiking veteran with over 21 years experience in the New Zealand’s outdoors. Originally trained as a whitewater rafting guide, Brad made the switch to trail adventures early and has never looked back. He’s quick with an interesting story about our native New Zealand flora and fauna and loves his 80’s pop culture and vintage Star Wars memorabilia.

Hamish Tills

Hamish Tills

New Zealand

Hamish Tills

Hamish comes from the same breed that almost all our guides come from. Originally a river guide and expedition kayaker, Hamish has been a guide and adventurer his whole working life and knows our wilderness areas like the back of his hand. He has SO many stories of great adventures he’s led and been a team member of. You’re in THE best hands with Hamish!

Why Travel With The Conqueror Adventures

When it comes to embarking on extraordinary journeys, you have a choice. So why choose The Conqueror Adventures? Our unwavering commitment to redefining adventure travel sets us apart. We don’t just offer hiking tours; we offer experiences that challenge limits, ignite curiosity, and foster meaningful connections.

Our meticulously crafted adventures are designed to leave a profound and lasting impact, pushing you to step boldly into the uncharted. Discover why adventurers around the world choose to explore with us, and join our global community of explorers, wanderers, and adventure enthusiasts. Your extraordinary journey starts here.

Logistics

Transport, permits, transfers, awesome places to stay, and everything in between. We’ve covered all the details, so you can simply enjoy.

ALL-INCLUSIVE

Meals, experienced guides, cool locally owned accommodation, transport… Once you arrive, there’s no need to dip into your pocket.

Hosts with the Most

Our guiding teams are THE best around. Every Conqueror trip is lead by an experienced guide and leader combo.

The Conqueror Spirit

Step boldly, share your goals and make every mile and moment count. Our trips and destinations are awesome, but it’s our like-minded community who make it unforgettable.

Rest Easy

Locally owned, stylish and comfortable. We’ve carefully chosen accommodations that ensure you get a comfortable nights sleep, great meals and creature comforts.

Pre Trip Care

Getting on the plane isn’t the beginning of your journey with us. From the moment you book, we’ll make sure you’re well prepared for your trip of a lifetime and ready to step boldly.

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