Tour 5: The Great Southern Explorer - Itinerary.

Duration: 11 Days
Cost: NZ$ 3200
Tour Dates: January 8th - January 18th
                 March 12th - March 22nd
Route: Christchurch - Mt Cook - Queenstown - Invercargill - Dunedin - Christchurch

Explore the deep South of New Zealand. Visit the majesty of Mount Cook, the playgrounds of Queenstown, and the beauty of Fiordland - part of a UNESCO World Heritage Area. From there we head out to the South Coast and the tranquil yet rugged Catlins. Our journey back to Christchurch takes in the sights of the East Coast.

Options for Fiordland include either Sea Kayaking or an overnight hiking trip.

The Great Southern Explorer - South Island Adventure Tour  

Day 1: Christchurch - Mount Somers

After pick up in Christchurch either from the Airport or your accommodation we set off for Mount Somers. We'll take the time for a picnic lunch before an afternoons walk to the Pinnacles Hut. We'll take in waterfalls, lush beech forest, and perhaps some swimming along the way. Tonight we stay in the backcountry at the Pinnacles Hut, set below spectacular Rhyolite rock formations.

Meals - Lunch and Dinner

Mount Somers Alpine Area  

Day 2: Mount Somers - Aoraki/Mount Cook Village or Lake Tekapo

If the weather is kind we'll start the day with a beautiful sunrise from across the Canterbury plains. We'll take in a relaxed morning breakfast before continuing along the trail into the Sub-Alpine areas of Mount Somers. We cross the pass and continue down Woolshed creek to meet the Van before traveling to Aoraki/Mount Cook Village or Lake Tekapo.

Meals - Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner


Day 3: Aoraki/Mount Cook Village or Lake Tekapo - Muller Hut

From Aoraki/Mount Cook village we take a walk up to Sealy Tarns and Mueller Hut. This takes us into the heart of some of the most spectacular alpine scenery found anywhere in New Zealand. The tough walk up is rewarded with stunning views over the glaciers and mountains of the area with the Muller hut providing welcome refuge for the night.

Meals - Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Aoraki/Mt Cook - New Zealands Highest Peak  

Day 4: Muller Hut - Queenstown

We return to Aoraki/Mount Cook village for Lunch and hop into the van for a drive across the MacKenzie Country - an area of dramatic grasslands. We cross the Lindis Pass and find our way to the playground capital of the South Island - Queenstown.

Meals - Breakfast and Lunch

Did you know?

The world's first commercial bungy jump opened at the Kawarau Bridge on November 12 1988. On this day twenty-eight people paid leapt off the 43 metre bridge with a bungy cord attached to their ankles.


Day 5 : Queenstown

Queenstown is without a doubt, the centre of play for New Zealand's South Island. Our guides will leave you to take your pick of activities, from adrenaline packed action to a relaxing coffee in one of the many cafes. You will have no shortage of things to keep you entertained for the next 2 days.

Meals - Breakfast

Queenstown - Adventure Capital of New Zealand  

Day 6 : Queenstown - Manapouri

We allow for a few final morning activities in Queenstown before heading to Manapouri. Those who are interested in the Kayaking option for Doubtful Sound will receive their pre trip briefing while the rest prepare for an overnight hike.

Meals - Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


Day 7: Manapouri - Doubtful Sound or Green Lake

Kayakers will enjoy a cruise across Lake Manapouri before crossing Wilmot pass to Deep Cove from where you will set out on your Kayaking adventure. Depending on the will of the wild you may get to encounter seals, penguins, and bottle nosed dolphins.

Trampers will take a short drive to the Borland Saddle from where we will walk up the valley to tranquility of Green Lake. We'll spend the evening camped out near the lake shore admiring the views of the surrounding beech forest covered mountains.

Meals - Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner


Day 8: Doubtful Sound or Green Lake - Manapouri

After another day exploring Fiordland either on foot or in the sea kayaks, we'll gather together again in Manapouri for a relaxing evening meal and to share stories of the adventures.

Meals - Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Did you know?

Doubtful Sound has two distinct layers of water that do not mix. The top few meters is fresh water, fed from the surrounding mountains. Below this is a layer of cold, heavy, saline water from the sea.


Day 9: Manapouri - Catlins

From Manapouri we will make our way to the South coast of the South Island and carry on through Invercargill to the Catlins Conservation Area. This spectacular area of New Zealand is often overlooked by visitors but the wealth of native flora and fauna makes a visit here very worthwhile.

Meals - Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner


Day 10: Catlins - Oamaru

We take the morning at the relaxed, easy going pace that abounds in the Catlins. Take the time to enjoy the tranquility while we search out the wildlife on a few walking trails.

In the afternoon we'll start making our way back to Christchurch traveling up the East coast to Oamaru.

Meals - Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


Day 11: Oamaru - Christchurch

From Oamaru we make our way back to Christchurch via State Highway 1 passing through Timaru and Ashburton along the way.

Meals - Breakfast, Lunch

Moeraki Boulders  

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