G Adventures - 16 Day NZ South Island Encompassed Itinerary


Wellington - Our Cool Little Capital

Arrive into Wellington at any time. There are no planned activities during the day, so check into the hotel and explore the city. Start the adventure with a Big Night Out with the group.

Suggested outings in and around Wellington.

National Museum - Te Papa Visit Cuba StreetWeta Workshop Tour
Zealandia Wildlife Reserve     

 Wellington Cable Car    

Carter Observatory 

Accommodation Nomads Wellington (or similar)

A small harbour in Wellington.

This laid-back Travellers Lodge in the Nations capital Wellington is a 9-minute walk from the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa and 3 km from the Zealandia wildlife sanctuary. Nomads Capital is a 5-star Qualmark rated hostel 

Nomads Captial Backpackers


Abel Tasman National Park

Travel by InterIsland Ferry to the South Island, travel to Marahau at the start of the Park and then transfer by water taxi into Abel Tasman National Park.

Abel Tasman National Park

Golden beaches border the translucent turquoise sea, and sandy estuaries fringed by natural forests. The walking tracks here, both in land and costal, are world famous for their outstanding beauty. Walking and Kayaking and then just kicking back on one of the many unspoilt beaches you will discover along the way is what its all about. Plus you have the added bonus of face-to-face encounters with marine wildlife and birds. The Abel Tasman National Park is home to the ever-entertaining seal colony and who knows you may be lucky enough to spot visiting dolphins and Orcas playing in the Abel Tasman National Park waters.

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

Accommodation Aqua Packers (or similar)

Interislander Ferry Crossing

Welcome To New Zealand's only floating backpackers & private accommodation, and experience the only floating backpackers accommodation in New Zealand. Enjoy the peace and quiet of New Zealand's Abel Tasman National Park from the deck of our specially converted catamaran and relax in your own private cabin or share in a backpackers dorm. ​This unique Abel Tasman floating hostel is on board our catamaran called 'Cat-a-rac' - specially refitted for this purpose.


Hiking the Abel Tasman Coastal Track

Hike and explore Abel Tasman's golden beaches and waterways. Walk along the Coastline Track from Anchorage to Marahau to one of the world's most scenic golden sand beaches. French names left by Dumont d’Urville and his crew add character to this part of the Abel Tasman Track. After Yellow Point it turns inland, winding in and out of several little gullies before emerging in open country overlooking Torrent Bay and the coast and islands to the north. On the far side of the estuary the track passes through open country to Tinline Bay.
The track rounds Guilbert Point to Apple Tree Bay then passes through beech forest with large kanuka trees. After Yellow Point it turns inland, winding in and out of several little gullies before emerging in open country overlooking Torrent Bay and the coast and islands to the north.
Time: 4 hours   Distance: 12.4 km (7.5 mi)

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

Accommodation Old MacDonalds Farm (or similar)

Two people walking along the coast.
A natural-land setting in Marahau. This quirky accommodation has tame farm animals roaming around and is situated on a river sporting many great swimming holes. The farm sits on 100 acres (40 Hectares) of working Kiwi farm. The camping ground has spacious power and non-power sites. with  comfortable backpackers' accommodation and self-contained, with ensuite - All just 400 metres (1300 feet) from the Abel Tasman Track. 
Old MacDonalds Farm


Westport - Wild Coast, Seals and Beautiful Black Sand Beaches

Today we head south down the coast of black-sand beaches. The West Coast is wild and untamed, sparsely populated but the views are impressive.

Seal Colony - Cape Foulwind
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.

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

Accommodation Tripinn Hostel, YHA Westport (or similar)

A cute seal.
Tripinn Hostel is a beautiful historical home on New Zealand’s South Island. Enjoy the cosy fires in the winter or the beautiful gardens and decks in the summer with room to pitch a tent. The accommodation offers two lounge rooms, a large, new, fully equipped kitchen and modern bathrooms all included in your stay in Westport, NZ. The Hostel features immaculate surroundings for you to enjoy and the unique atmosphere of this historical location.
YHA Westport


Franz Josef - the Heart of Glacier Country

Pancake Rocks Trek
​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.

Following the coastal road towards Franz Josef you will arrive at a unique wilderness lodge set in the rainforest for the night. Enjoy your free time in Franz Josef and take part in optional activities like hiking, horseback riding, and quad biking.

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

Accommodation Rainforest Retreat 2 nights (or Similar)

Pancake rocks
Rainforest Retreat is centrally located in the heart of Franz Josef Village , Secluded yet handy to every local activity. Nestled in six acres of idyllic native bush at the foot of precipitous mountains the Rainforest Retreat is a inviting place to stay. Each unit was built exclusively to embrace its beautiful, secluded, natural environment providing guests with choices of either forest floor or mid canopy bush views.
Rainforest Retreat


Explore Franz Josef

Spend the day exploring the stunning region around Franz Josef. Opt for various hiking adventures in the area, the most popular being a glacier trek. If relaxing is more your style, there are shorter day hikes and bush walks or local hot pools to take a dip. You are in the heart of Westland National Park, considered to be the most diverse and beautiful area in New Zealand.

Excursions available in and around the Franz Josef area:

Kayak Okarito Lagoon 

   Glacier Hot Pools      Glacier Scenic Fligh

Horseback Riding  

   Walk to Glacier Face   Glacier Heli-hike


Meals: Breakfast 

The stunning Franz Josef glacier.


Queenstown - The Adventure Capital of the World

Nestled on the shores of Lake Wakatipu and ringed by towering mountains, Queenstown is one of New Zealand’s ultimate holiday destinations. It may be the adventure capital of the world, but it’s also home to excellent food and wine scene as well as great shopping, hiking and endless opportunities to relax. It’s just as easy to go fishing, golfing, gold panning or wine tasting as it is to Bungy jump or skydive. Famed for its international winter skiing profile and outdoor beauty, Queenstown is a brilliant destination to visit year-round. One thing is certain here: you won’t run out of things to do.  

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Jucy Snooze Queenstown (or similar) - 3 nights 

Jucy Snooze Queenstown is located in the heart of Queenstown. The accommodation offers guests a rooftop bar and cafe with stunning views of Lake Wakatipu. Free WiFi is featured throughout the property. A range of rooms are offered including pod rooms, which consist of a private sleeping space in a shared room and hotel rooms fitted with an ensuite. At JUCY Snooze you will find a 24-hour reception as well as lift access.
Jucey Snooze


Two Days Off - Queenstown at Leisure

Explore everything Queenstown has to offer and do it your way on a day of leisure. You can get your adrenaline pumping with a thrilling Wilderness Jet Boat Ride  or if you prefer something more relaxing like a wine tour in the stunning vineyards of the Gibbston Valley, you won’t be disappointed. 

Recommended Queenstown excursions:

Routeburn Day WalkHighest Bungey JumpExplore Arrowtown

Wine Tasting Central Otago      

Biking Skippers Canyon      Round at Millbrook Golf Resort
Earnslaw Steamboat Cruise  Dart River Jetboat Safari      

Gibbston Valley Wine Trail

Meals: Breakfasts 

People cruising in a Jet boat.


Milford Sound Scenic Cruise

Visit Fiordland National Park and enjoy a boat cruise through breathtaking Milford Sound. In the evening, opt to cruise across Lake Te Anau and visit a cave that is home to thousands of glowworms.

Milford Sound Cruise

Enjoy the stunning scenery of Fiordland National Park and Milford Sound from the deck of a boat. Recharge your camera and be ready to shoot stunning photos of waterfalls, mountains stretching up to the sky and down to the sea and then search for dolphins and seals. This place is any artist's dream!

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Te Anau Lakeview Holiday Park (or similar) - 1 Night 

Milford Sound
The spacious lakeside Holiday Park & Motels enjoy incredible views across picturesque Lake Te Anau and into the Fiordland’s mountains – immerse yourself in the vast wilderness as it meets Te Anau. With only a short stroll to the town center. This quiet established park has amazing lake and mountain views, children’s play area, BBQs, picnic tables, Sky TV lounge, Free wireless internet in common areas, laundries, sauna/spa bath, communal bathrooms, and kitchens.
Te Anau Holiday Park


Te Anau/ Wedderburn

Lace up your hiking boots and discover the natural beauty of Te Anau. Available hikes range from short walks to challenging full day hikes. Head out and take in the amazing scenery around you.

In the afternoon you can sit back and enjoy the scenic ride to Wedderburn, Central Otago, where you will be staying at Mt Ida Shearers Quarters.

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

Accommodation Mt Ida Shearers Quarters  2 nights (or similar)

Stunning view of Lake Te Anau, South Island, New Zealand

Nestled under the Hawkdun Range and surrounded by stunning landscape of farmland and tussock country, The Lodge & Cottages Wedderburn offers Otago Central Rail Trail accommodation & hospitality at its best, ranging from the comfortable 1928 farm homestead Lodge to attractive self-contained Cottages, both ideal for homestay or farmstay type accommodation.

Wedderburn Cottage


Mountain-biking a Section of the Otago Rail Trail

This morning we head into Central Otago to spend the afternoon cycling from best starting points of the Historic Central Otago Rail Trail 42 km (26 mi). Pass through scenery unspoiled by traffic and not visible from any roads. 

Highlights include seeing The Rock and Pillar Range, this is Otago's most distinctive upland features; its summit ridge dominated by impressive schist tors or rocky pillars. The Taieri River, the Kakanui Mountains, the trail provides beautiful scenery and a peaceful scenic atmosphere

Meals: Breakfast

People mountain biking in the Otago area.


Christchurch - The Garden City

New Zealand’s second-largest city 'Christchurch' has bounced back after a series of major earthquakes, and has shown its resiliency with a number of new and exciting developments popping up everywhere. Don’t miss the Re Start Shopping Mall, made out of shipping containers, as well as the many funky Pop Up bars dotted throughout the city. All public services and spaces are running as normal, and Christchurch continues to be a vibrant city to live, work and play. 

Some suggested excursions if you have time.

Easygoing Cycling Tour

   Punting the Avon River   Lyttelton Harbour Wildlife Cruise

Māori Cultural Evening

   French Akaroa Tour   Southern Alps Ballooning

Christchurch Gondola

   Clearwater Golf   Arthur's Pass TranzAlpine Hike

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation Jailhouse Accommodation 1 night (or similar)

A tram driving through Christchurch city.
Experience sleeping in a former jail! This fully renovated historical heritage is nowadays functioning as very high quality, award-winning budget accommodation, serving you extra facilities while staying over in a very special environment. The hostel is also conveniently located, close to the rail station, the AMI Stadium, Horncastle Arena, Addington Raceway and Hagley Park.
Jailhouse Accommodation


Kaikoura ‘Serengeti of the Sea'

The road to kaikoura has impressive coastal views, roaring surf, rocky bays dotted with fur seals sunbathing on rocks. The township of Kaikoura is a great place for lunch, take the opportunity to join an excursion to get up close and personal with dolphins, seals, whales and other sea creatures.

Suggested Wildlife Encounters in Kaikoura

Whale Watching Cruise

   Swim with the Seals in Kaikoura

Whale Watching Flight Kaikoura

   Dusky Dolphin Viewing or Swimming

Kayaking with Fur Seals

   Albatross & Pelagic Bird Watching Kaikoura

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

Accommodation Dusky Lodge 1 night (or similar)

Kaikoura Whale Watching

Unwinding at the pools with a spectacular sunset - that's one of the features that makes the Dusky Lodge very enjoyable. With a very homely atmosphere and many facilities such as the pool, spa, sauna, three large kitchens and a BBQ on the outside deck, having a good time with fellow guests will become inevitable.

Dusky Accommodation


Wine Country / Wellington

After lunch continue your journey through Marlborough to Picton. Marlborough is the engine room of the New Zealand wine industry. In the 1970's the plains would have been filled by sheep - now it  is vines as far as the eye can see, producing world cool climate varietals such as Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Riesling and Pinot Noir. Continuing north the vines will keep you company as you reach Blenheim. A 25 minute drive north of Blenheim you will find Picton the gateway to the Marlborough Sounds and your final leg an Interisland Cruise to Wellington.

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation Nomads Wellington (or similar)

A vineyard in Marlborough area.

This laid-back Travellers Lodge in the Nations capital Wellington is a 9-minute walk from the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa and 3 km from the Zealandia wildlife sanctuary. Nomads Capital is a 5-star Qualmark rated hostel 

Nomads Captial Backpackers


Homeward Bound

"Haere rā" Goodbye! and Bon Voyage!

We know you will enjoy the 'New Zealand South Island Encompassed Adventure Tour' and our promise to you is to make your travels through New Zealand as hassle-free and hospitable as possible - ensuring that today you leave with a memory card full of photos, and huge smiles on your faces when recalling your time in New Zealand! Have a great homeward journey, farewell and hope to see you again soon in Aotearoa, New Zealand. 

Meals: Breakfast

Wellington Waterfront


Included Highlights

  • Explore the trails of Abel Tasman National Park by foot
  • Get an adrenaline rush in Queenstown
  • Weave through the remote fjords of the Doubtful Sound by sea kayak
  • Cycle the Otago Rail Trail.


  • Excursion to Abel Tasman NP
  • Seal colony visit
  • Walks in Abel Tasman NP, Paparoa NP, and Lake Matheson
  • Sea kayaking excursion (Doubtful Sound, seasonal)
  • Cycling excursion (Central Otago)
  • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities

Is this tour for me?

Service Level: Basic Simple and clean hotels and hostels. 
Physical Rating: 3 - Average - Some tours may include light hiking, biking, rafting.
Trip Type: Small Group: Small group experience; Max 20, avg 16.
Age requirement: 18-39.

Large 16 Day Map

See Pricing Options
What Kasey says about this tour: We had a lot of fun putting this itinerary together. 16 days of adventure and thrills, best suited to folk with good energy reserves. You'll be hiking kayaking, mountainbiking and bungee jumping with free time in Queenstown, the adventure capital of New Zealand.
Enquire Now
NZ Journey Planner image

Download for free - simply complete the details below to download.

Free Custom NZ Holiday Itinerary

Use our Itinerary Planner and we'll email you back a custom New Zealand holiday Itinerary within 24 hrs!
Preferred Holiday Type

Pricing terms

The price is based on current exchange rates but is only an approximation. Please contact us for a final price