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New Zealand: South Island Encompassed

  Avg. Trip Rating 4.5 Based on 2 Reviews. No Booking FeesDedicated Consultant
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 Trip Length
16 Days
 Trip Starts
 Trip Finishes
16 Day New Zealand: South Island Encompassed Itinerary (G Adventures)
Countries Explored: New Zealand
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Read 2 reviews and enjoy exclusive savings on G Adventures 16 Day New Zealand: South Island Encompassed. Now's the time to explore New Zealand on your terms with this tour that's affordable for young travellers. If you prefer your travel experiences paired with adrenaline-pumping activities, then look no further than the South Island of New Zealand. Action is the common thread throughout this trip across a variety of landscapes — think rainforests, glaciers, and some of the most gorgeous coastline you’ll ever see. This trip is a, um, trip even...read more when you’re not moving; accommodations include a wilderness hostel deep in the rainforest itself. Do people still say rad? Well, this is rad.


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.

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. (B/D)

Picture this: birdsong ringing from the treetops as you wander through the undergrowth stumbling upon occasional waterfalls nestled in the midst of the forest. You take a dip in one of the refreshing pools before finding your way to pristine coastline and turquoise bays where you can soak up the sun and relax in the sand. This is the kind of day that awaits you in Abel Tasman NP, you are free to explore the golden beaches and winding waterways any way you’d like! So have fun, build a sand castle for us, and let the adventures continue! (B)

It’s off to Westport today! Breathe in the fresh air and soak in the beautiful views as the group heads south down the coast of black-sand beaches. Make a (very cool) pit stop to a seal colony in Cape Foulwind and watch these majestic animals in their habitat before continuing on to Westport for the evening. Once you arrive grab a beer, talk to some locals, and discover the true charm of this coal mining town. (B/D)

Continue following the coastal road towards Franz Josef arriving at a unique wilderness lodge set in the rainforest for the night. (B/D)

Enjoy a free day in Franz Josef. Today is all yours to spend as you please! From hiking to kayaking and walking on a glacier, there’s bound to be something you’ll want to check off that bucket list. If your goal is to make actual contact with the glacier then try a heli-hike or guided ice walk. Or you could let nature be your guide and lose yourself in the rainforests, lakes, and waterfalls that surround Franz Josef. If you’d rather stay in town, then grab a bite to eat before booking a spa treatment at the Glacier Hot Pools... the choice is yours! (B)

Hit the road to the adventure capital of the world — Queenstown. Sit back, relax and gaze out the window as you drive away from Glacier Country and wind through lush forests back to the coast and into the mountains over Haast Pass. The photo opportunities will seem endless (make sure those cameras are charged.) Then gear up and get ready because the adrenaline is going to be pumping the next few days. (B)

Let’s put it this way, if you’re the sort of person that loves adventure mixed with adrenaline all while exploring one of the most scenic places in the country, then Queenstown is for you! Gear up for two days that are sure to leave you breathless. Free time in Queenstown is no joke, so be a dare devil and get ready to have those hearts pumping with some adrenaline-filled options like jet boating, bungee jumping, mountain biking or skydiving. (B)

Let’s put it this way, if you’re the sort of person that loves adventure mixed with adrenaline all while exploring one of the most scenic places in the country, then Queenstown is for you! Gear up for two days that are sure to leave you breathless. Free time in Queenstown is no joke, so be a dare devil and get ready to have those hearts pumping with some adrenaline-filled options like jet boating, bungee jumping, mountain biking or skydiving. (B)

Let your breathing finally return to normal as the group departs Queenstown to visit Fiordland National Park. After arriving, soak up the chill vibes on a boat cruise through one of the most iconic places in New Zealand — Milford Sound. Marvel at the views of one of the wettest places on Earth before we make our way back to Queenstown for the night. (B)

Hit the bike trail on a 33km cycle along the banks of Lake Dunstan. Take in stunning views as you pedal a varied, undulating track in the heart of Central Otago. Later, visit the Church of the Good Shepherd and at night be on the lookout for some of the brightest stars you’ll ever see. (B/D)

You have a full free day to explore Tekapo today. Spend your time at the hot springs, relax around Lake Pukaki, or hike to the Mt John Observatory and check out the incredible Dark Sky Reserve. (B)

Scoot on up to Christchurch to explore the South Island’s largest city and one of the places in New Zealand with the strongest English influences. Enjoy free time to explore and see what the nightlife is all about with your travel tribe, and grab some shut eye in a converted jailhouse to finish the evening. (B)

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. (B)

Reminisce and reflect as you and the group travel to Picton to catch a ferry back to Wellington. Watch the majestic scenery of this country unfold before you and simply appreciate the moment (we know you’re probably already making plans to return.) Once back in the city grab some grub with your travel crew and let the good times roll for one last night out together. (B)

Depart at any time. (B)

Trip Inclusions

  • Explore the trails of Abel Tasman National Park by foot.
  • Get an adrenaline rush in Queenstown.
  • Cruise through the remote fjords of Milford Sound.
  • Opt to hike to the Mt John Observatory.

  • Your Welcome Moment: Welcome Meeting - Meet Your CEO and Group
  • Your First Night Out Moment: Connect With New Friends
  • Your Discover Moment: Franz Josef
  • Your Discover Moment: Queenstown
  • Your Big Night Out Moment: Wellington
  • Excursion to Abel Tasman National Park
  • Seal colony visit
  • Walks in Abel Tasman National Park and Lake Matheson
  • Milford Sound day cruise
  • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities

  • Hostels & basic lodges (15 Nights, multi-share with 2-10 people)
  • Please note that multi-share accommodation is very popular in New Zealand and is the way you will be spending most of your nights. This may involve 4-6 group members sharing and even (on rare occasions) dormitory-style rooms for the whole group. The majority of accommodation will have shared bathroom facilities. We have specifically chosen unique accommodations to give local flavour to your trip.
  • Where we use multi-share hostels, rooming requests of any kind cannot be taken.
  • Accommodation will be varied throughout your adventure. Towels and soap are not always provided at overnight stops, so it's best to bring your own for bathing. Bathroom and showering facilities are shared and are very rarely en-suite. For private accommodation please see tours in our Classic Travel Style.

  • CEO (Chief Experience Officer) throughout, local guides

  • 15 breakfasts, 4 dinners

  • Private vehicle, boat, ferry, bicycle, walking

  • Accommodation, itinerary and inclusions subject to change.
  • Price is for land, cruise and internal flights as specified. Flights not specified are not included
AVG. RATING 4.50 / 5
2 Reviews
5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star
Great way to get an in depth view of the South Island! 0 , United States, Dec 2019
I had an amazing time on this tour and it's a great way to see most of the South Island. Itinerary was pretty awesome, though we did end up having to skip Franz Josef due to flooding so in place of that we ended up going to Tekapo and Aoraki/Mt. Cook! At the end of the tour, our CEO (which is also the driver) told us that we'd driven over 2400km!

There ...read more were quite a few unique accommodations including Aquapackers, a floating ship hostel in Abel Tasman, and the Jailhouse Accommodation in Christchurch, however this is a hostel trip so set your expectations there (4-8 per room most nights, daily supermarket breakfast, and some included dinners). Also being NZ and the adventure capital of the world, there are A LOT of optionals which you will be booking on the trip, so definitely take a look at those and plan ahead!
Unforgettable trip to New Zealand's South Island 0 , United States, Jan 2019
Juliet was an amazing travel agent who quickly responded to any questions I had. My trip to New Zealand was incredible and I met so many people from all over the world that I will still keep in touch with. Some of the highlights of my trip were swimming with dolphins, the shot over jet, hiking the Franz Josef Glacier, and skydiving. There were so many ...read more other activities that I also enjoyed but those were just a few of my favorites.

The only downside was the experience that I had with my tour guide and his inappropriate behavior but once we had contacted G Adventures as a group, they had great customer service and fired the guide during our trip and sent a new and much better CEO. I have no complaints about this trip, it is one that I will remember forever and thanks to Juliet she helped ease my nerves before I left and helped with every step of planning the trip as well. Thank you!
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Prices & Dates

There are currently no departures available on this trip. Either it's the end of the season and new departures will be released shortly, or this itinerary has been changed and will no longer continue. Feel free to contact us for information about when next seasons dates will be released or click here to view the general release dates for all destinations.

Tour & cruises prices are per person. Prices shown have savings applied, are subject to availability and may be withdrawn at any time without notice. Prices and trip information are correct at the time at this point in time, however are subject to confirmation at the time of booking and are subject to change by G Adventures.

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