Home to the adventure capital of the world and unparalleled natural beauty
The South Island of New Zealand hardly needs an introduction - its reputation as an outdoor lover's paradise ensures its presence on many people's bucket lists. The South Island is divided north to south by an incredible mountain range, known as the Southern Alps. The Alps are responsible for the South Island's numerous unique climatic zones; from lush, temperate rainforest on the West Coast, to beech forests further inland, and the wide fertile plains on the East Coast.
Of course, nature's diversity provides the ultimate playground, and there's a long history to all of our hiking trails, many of which were first developed by Maori and early settlers, being used for both recreation and access to gold, coal and jade mining. Nowadays we have over five hundred incredible hiking trails here in the South Island, of which nine of the most popular trails (including the Milford Track), have been developed into 'Great Walks'.
These 'Great Walks' have impressive backcountry facilities, they're very popular and hiking passes need to be booked well ahead of time during the high season. Now, these nine Great Walks deserve their fame, they're simply stunning and we experience most of them on our trips down this way... but unfortunately, what most visitors to New Zealand don't realise is that there are literally hundreds of other trails that take you to cosy backcountry huts, in equally as stunning surroundings, with slightly more rustic amenities, but without the crowds of hikers you might find on the Great Walks. It's these lesser-known trails that we locals stick to, in our eyes it's the best way to see New Zealand, and you'll get a truly unforgettable wilderness experience.
If this sounds like something you'll enjoy - you're keen to get off that beaten path and discover the more wild and remote parts of our great kiwi countryside, you'll find that not all of these spots are easily discovered on foot, which is why we like to sprinkle a bit of kayaking and biking into some of our itineraries. Our coastline offers world-class exploration by kayak, and the Te Wahipounamu World Heritage Area (all 2.6 million hectares!) has incredible fjords and lagoons to explore. Likewise, mountain biking is the perfect way to cover longer distances in a short amount of time, and under your own steam. In recent years the trail network in New Zealand has exploded, to the point where most locals can't even keep up with the new tracks on offer!
There are two main gateways to the South Island; Christchurch, which is the midway point on the East Coast, and Queenstown, which is nestled on the edge of the Southern Alps, near the Southern end of the island. Both places have an international airport, though most of our trips start and finish in Christchurch, as it's the logical hub for a 2-week tour of the South Island.
Ultimate South Island Adventure - Rimu
14 Days |
South Island |
US$5499 + tax
We'll take you on an unforgettable journey exploring our mountains, coastlines and countryside, on foot, by bike and with a paddle in your hands. Experience our unique culture and wildlife along the way.
Essence of the South Island - Tui
8 Days |
South Island |
US$3999 + tax
Short on time? On this adventure you’ll hike, bike, kayak, cruise and jet boat in some extraordinary parts of the South Island. You can combine this with our 5-day 'Kauri' to see both Islands in two weeks.
New Zealand Family Adventure - Kea
13 Days |
South Island |
Adult: US$4799 + tax , Child (15 & under): US$3999 + tax
Join us on a family adventure that you can take year-round. Hike, kayak, raft and jet boat the South Island and visit a wildlife reserve to view kiwi, our national bird.