Fiordland, South Island

15 Day NZ
South Island

Looking to tackle a bundle of different environments all in one go? New Zealand’s South Island has what you need and then some. Action is the common thread throughout this tour that incorporates hiking, cycling, and even bungee jumping across a variety of landscapes, including rainforests, glaciers, and some of the most gorgeous coastline you’ll ever see. 

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Day 1: Wellington

We will start the adventure in Welllington. Arrive at any time and you have some time to explore this fantastic city. 

Wellington is said to have more bars and restaurants per capita than New York City, so we will find a great spot for everyone to have a group dinner.

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Day 2: Wellington/Abel Tasman National Park

First thing in the morning we will take a ferry over to the South Island and transfer to Abel Tasman National Park. Abel Tasman National Park is New Zealand's smallest national park - but it's perfectly formed for relaxation and adventure.

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Day 3: Abel Tasman National Park

Hike and explore Abel Tasman's golden beaches and waterways. Here, inviting sandy beaches fill the spaces between trees and tide line. Crystal clear streams tumble down mossy valleys to join the ocean. Granite and marble formations fringe the headlands, which are cloaked in regenerating native forest. 

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Day 4: Abel Tasman National Park/Westport

Head south down the coast of black-sand beaches. Native wildlife is an essential part of the scenery at Abel Tasman National Park. Tui and bellbird song fills the forest; shags (cormorants), gannets and little blue penguins dive for their dinner. Today we will visit a seal colony at Cape Foulwind. Depending on the season, there can be up to 100 New Zealand fur seals in the vicinity. We will then head to our stop for the night at Westport.

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Day 5: Westport/Franz Josef

Punakaiki is best known for its Pancake Rocks and Blowholes – both a spectacular must-see when visiting the West Coast. Today we will take in the pancake rock formations before continuing on to Franz Josef. Enjoy free time for optional activities like hiking, horseback riding, and quad biking

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Day 6: Franz Josef

The hospitable town of Franz Josef serves the glacier of the same name. If you want to actually make contact with the glacier, take a guided ice walk or a heli-hike. Aerial sightseeing is another option. There is also a range of natural attractions in close proximity to Franz Josef Glacier Village. Today you have a free day to lose yourself in the rainforests, waterfalls, and lakes.​ 

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Day 7: Franz Josef/Queenstown

Today we will visit the adventure capital of the world - Queenstown. Queenstown is the ultimate destination. Here you can experience exciting adventure activities amidst some of New Zealand's most spectacular natural scenery. The town sits on the shore of crystal-clear Lake Wakatipu among dramatic mountain ranges; this stunning location will blow you away.

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Day 8-9: Queenstown

Free time in Queenstown. Queenstown is suited to all kinds of adventures - whatever the season. Activities like skiing, golf, paragliding, Zip lining, 4WD Driving, and kayaking are the perfect way to enjoy Queenstown’s beautiful outdoors. Other activities like skydiving, jet boating, river rafting and bungy jumping offer a fun and exhilarating day out.

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Day 10: Queenstown/Te Anau

Visit Fiordland National Park and enjoy a boat cruise through breathtaking Milford Sound. Situated on the west coast of the South Island, Milford Sound is a fusion of spectacular natural features with amazing visual cues around every corner.

In the evening, opt to cruise across Lake Te Anau and visit a cave that is home to thousands of glowworms.

Te Anau
Day 11: Te Anau/Central Otago

Enjoy free time in the morning to discover the natural beauty of Te Anau. The picturesque township of Te Anau is the main visitor base for the glacier-carved wilderness that is Fiordland National Park. At the Department of Conservation Visitor Centre you can make plans  for a morning walk around the Milford, Routeburn or Kepler Tracks. Later in the day, we will transfer to Wedderburn in Central Otago.

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Day 12: Central Otago

Bike 35 km of the Otago Rail Trail, passing through one historic town to the next. The trail that inspired the creation of the New Zealand Cycle Trail network, the Otago Central Rail Trail offers a classic blend of natural beauty, fascinating history, friendly towns, along with fantastic local food and wine which we will most definetely sample along the way.

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Day 13: Wedderburn/Christchurch

Today we head to Christchurch. Set against a majestic backdrop from the alps to the ocean, Christchurch offers visitors a unique and diverse destination. From Christchurch city, you’ll find the sparkling Pacific Ocean, the majestic Southern Alps and an ancient volcanic peninsula all within driving distance. Enjoy a free afternoon to explore Christchurch.

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Day 14: Christchurch/Kaikoura

The Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway is known for its ocean views, marine wildlife, and easy access from the Kaikoura town centre. Today you can opt in for Whale watching or you might want to observe seals and seabirds, explore historic sites and enjoy clifftop views while walking part of the local walking track. To fully explore and enjoy the features of the walk start at Kaikoura town centre and continue to Point Kean car park. 

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Day 15: Kaikoura/Wellington

As our trip comes to a end, we have a travel day ahead. We will head Picton to catch the ferry back to Wellington and have a final night out with the group to say goodbye and talk about this epic 15 day adventure of the South Island.

This tour can be linked with the following tours

6 Day NZ North Island

Admittedly, we haven’t checked the numbers too closely, but we’re confident that New Zealand ranks among the world’s leading producers of excitement. This quick trip across the North Island jams as many thrills as permissible by law into six electrifying, activity-packed days. Sea kayak, learn to surf New Zealand's world-famous waves, experience Maori culture directly from the Maori themselves, and much more, all in a breezy week that always feels full and never hurried.

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