NZ Explorer Tour

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10 Day, Queenstown to Picton $5,975 Book Now

Activities

Activities

Multi-activity adventure tour

Accommodation

Accommodation

9 Nights in 4* Hotels & Motels

Meals

Meals

Breakfast & Lunch daily. No set menus.

Availability

Availability

October - April

Adventure Grading

adventure grading 4

Traveller Rating

Read our Tripadvisor reviews

Tripadvisor Review - 5

Tour Highlights

The NZ Explorer trip is loaded with activities and celebrates the huge diversity that the South Island boasts on an epic exploratory 10-day road trip that showcases major highlight destinations and real hidden gems.
This trip embraces adventure in remote forests, wild rivers and canyons, on pristine glaciers, crystal clear waters and golden sand beaches and is simply perfect for those who want to maximise their time in New Zealand and load up on adventure.

We include ziplining, mountain biking, hiking, jet boating, glacier heli-hiking, black water tubing with glowworms, white water rafting, canyoning and sea kayaking to bring you another amazing bucket-list New Zealand tour.

Beginning in Queenstown and finishing in Picton we take in Lake Wanaka, Franz Josef, Charleston, Cape Foulwind, Murchison, Mouteka and Abel Tasman National Park along the way for a stunning route that takes in the revered scenery of the South Island's West Coast.

We have carefully designed the trip to minimise travelling times and include modern comfortable ensuite accommodation and great food throughout to keep you energised and rested for your next big adventure.

Summer 2023/2024 Departures
6th November 2023 - 15th November 2023
11th December 2023 - 20th December 2023
22nd January 2024 – 31st January 2024
5th February 2024 – 14th February 2024
4th March 2024 – 13th March 2024

Summer 2024/2025 Departures
4th November 2024 - 13th November 2024
2nd December 2024 - 11th December 2024
6th January 2025 – 15th January 2025
3rd February 2025 – 12th February 2025
3rd March 2025 – 12th March 2025
7th April 2025 - 16th April 2025

  • Ziplining
  • Mountain Biking
  • Jet Boating
  • Hiking
  • Glacier Heli Hiking
  • Blackwater Glowworm Tubing
  • White Water Rafting
  • Sea Kayaking
  • Canyoning
  • 9 Nights in 4* Hotel/Motels
  • Breakfast & Lunch Daily - No set menus

Itinerary

We start this great tour by journeying to the wild and stunningly beautiful Glenorchy region at the head of Lake Wakatipu.  This area is home to big mountains, glaciers, the Paradise Valley, Rees Valley, Dart Valley and UNESCO world heritage Mt Aspiring National Park.  

Here we'll spend a full day exploring the valleys and surrounds of this idyllic region made famous by the Lord Of The Rings trilogy in what is arguably some of the most incredible natural beauty offered in New Zealand.

Included is three hours and over 1,000 metres of exhilarating and adventurous ziplining through stunning ancient Southern Beech forest!   Once we're geared up and completed our safety training on the equipment we're good to go and ready to zip our way over 8 ziplines that take us across stunning chasms, through slot canyons and above blue lagoons and pristine streams.  The thrill and scenery compete for your attention during the regions best zip lining experience, this really is a special place.

Today you have the whole day to get off the beaten track and to explore Queenstown by mountain bike on the incredible Queenstown Trail.  We provide premium MTB equipment, snacks, refreshments, trail information and dedicated bike taxi shuttles so that you can really get the most enjoyment on the day, and are able to ride 2-3 trail sections.  

We have a fantastic network of trails graded 1 - 4 to cater for those with all levels of mountain biking experience and fitness, and by following lake shore and criss-cross rivers and bridges you'll be afforded stunning views that you just can't get by road.  Some of our favourite rides can also take in a visit to historic Arrowtown, the World Famous 43 metre Kawarau Bridge Bungy for those who want to add in a dose of adrenalin, as well as the Gibbston Valley wine region for anyone wishes to sample some world class wines.  So much variation!

 

Today you have a half-day free in Queenstown to add on any extra adventure or adrenalin activities before we leave and your guide is on hand to help you make the most of your time here. There are seemingly unlimited options for your free time here with Queenstown being a mecca for downhill and cross country mountain biking trails, epic day hikes in the mountains, hang gliding and paragliding from the local peaks, bungy jumping and canyon swinging (naturally!), luge riding accessed from the Skyline gondola, submersible shark rides, the world's only commercial jet sprint experience, incredible and unique off-roading, quad biking, river surfing, skydiving, helicopter flights and  much, much more. 

After lunch we depart Queenstown for our next destination of Lake Wanaka, but not before an thrill ride on the iconic Shotover Jet with 360 degree spins in the spectacular Shotover River canyons.  This jetboat ride has been a big part of Queenstown becoming the adventure capital of the world and is a must-do experience. 

Travelling over the infamous Crown Range will bring us through the beautiful Cardrona Valley and into Lake Wanaka in the late afternoon. 

This morning we take in some of the very best views on offer of this much loved mountain town with a hike past Diamond Lake and to the top of the Rocky Mountain Summit track.  Here we are rewarded with fantastic uninterrupted panoramic views of Lake Wanaka, Tiritiri Mt Aspiring and the surrounding Southern Alps mountains and valleys.

After lunch overlooking the lake we will head towards the West Coast and to our next destination Franz Josef and the famous Franz Josef Glacier.  There will be plenty of stops this afternoon as this journey takes us through lush rainforest and past Blue Pools, thundering rivers, and waterfalls before crossing the mighty Haast River and reaching the West Coast with incredible views over the Tasman Sea.  This part of the South Island is visually spectacular and offers jaw-dropping natural beauty.

The Franz Josef Glacier Heli Hike trip is a major highlight and an activity that brings many travellers specifically to New Zealand and with the combination of an exhilarating helicopter ride, jaw-dropping scenery and a two and half hour hike through the most spectacular glacier features, it's really no surprise.

Your pilot will land high up on the main ice fall of the glacier, where your guide will help you make the final preparations for your hike. Then you will be ready to explore the pristine features of this incredible icescape. Because the glacier is so fast moving, its features are constantly changing - you might find yourself sliding through a narrow crevasse or between towering walls of ice, crawling through blue ice tunnels, hanging out in ice caves, or witnessing the glacier calving. You can be sure that you're seeing the glacier in a unique state and no two trips are ever quite the same. 

 Your afternoon is free to relax and enjoy soaking in the Glacier Hot Pools nestled in lush Rainforest, and we also strongly recommend a visit to the West Coast Wildlife Centre which has the largest Kiwi Captive Rearing facilities in the South Island and is helping bring the critically endangered Rowi and Haast Tokoeka Kiwi back from extinction.  Tours here a really limited and so your guide will talk to you early in the trip and help plan ahead so as not to miss out.

Leaving Franz Josef we continue up the West Coast and to Charleston to check-in for a unique underworld adventure in Paparoa National Park. This is a guided black water cave tubing trip, where you'll float on an underground stream to explore the enormous Nile River's multi -level cave system's and its stalactites and stalagmites navigating by the galaxies of glow worms!  When you exit the underground cave system you'll continue on a fun float through the gentle rapids of the Nile River surrounded by lush rainforest.

From Charleston we have a very short drive to Tauranga Bay and the Cape Foulwind walkway which is our destination for the evening.  This short 3.4km walk is a great wildlife spot and takes you past a Kekeno New Zealand fur seal colony and is also home to Sooty Shearwaters and Kokora Blue Penguins, the world's smallest penguins. Passing the colony the track continues north along the striking coastal bluffs to the Cape Foulwind
lighthouse which is just a stones throw from our accommodation.

 

As we leave the Cape today we head inland to Murchison for a half day of White Water Rafting trip on the Buller River where we run the Buller Gorge section.  This is an exhilarating rafting trip and the rugged West Coast scenery with spectacular granite canyons and deep gorges make rafting the Buller Gorge an adventure not to be missed.  This trip sees us raft down the Ariki section known for its big volume rapids and beautiful scenery with four major rapids providing full-on excitement. The final rapid is Ariki Falls - "chief of the Buller" with big drops at low flow!

After a well earned lunch in Murchison we'll continue on to Motueka, our  home for the next  three nights and gateway to the spectacular Abel Tasman National Park.

Today you will spend a full day sea kayaking in the spectacular Abel Tasman National Park, paddling by pristine golden beaches, through crystal clear waters, and to a marine reserve home to a Seal colony. This is New Zealand's smallest National Park and a destination well known for its wildlife, and kayaking as much as for its stunning natural beauty.

This is an awesome day where you will see more of the Abel Tasman National Park from a kayak than any other day trip as you explore some of New Zealand's finest and most secluded beaches from in the coastline between Anchorage and Kaiteriteri.  On this sea kayaking trip you may also be fortunate enough to paddle amongst dolphins or Orca for a truly amazing day!

Get ready for another full day of adventure exploring the Abel Tasman National Park as we spend it hiking on the Abel Tasman track and canyoning in the amazing Torrent River.  This is a really popular canyoning trip simply because it has everything that you could ask for.....jumps, slides, floats, abseils, you name it!  All this exciting stuff takes place in a gorgeous granite canyon filled with some of the purest water you can find and wrapped in mind-blowing, unspoiled rain forest.

We begin in Marahau and join an exhilarating water taxi ride through the Astrolabe Roadstead into Anchorage. From here we leave the golden sand beaches of the coast for a stunning 1.5 hour walk up and further into the Abel Tasman National Park. Along the way the guides will keep you entertained with endless amounts of stories about the history, culture, flora and fauna of the park.  At the top of the canyon you’ll jump into your wetsuit, crank your harness tight and pop your helmet on. After a clear safety briefing by the guides you enter the truly remote environment of the canyon. You’ll be jumping, sliding, abseiling, scrambling, floating and ziplining through this canyon for about 3.5 hours.

The canyoning trip ends at Anchorage where we jump on the water taxi and cruise back to Marahau.

This morning we drive from Motueka to the incredibly picturesque small port town of Picton in the heart of the Marlborough Sounds for lunch and to conclude our tour.  Picton is where those who are continuing onto the North Island will check-in and board the Inter Islander Ferry for their cruise to Wellington, alternatively there is also the opportunity for travellers to conclude their trip at Nelson regional airport for flights to Christchurch, Wellington Auckland and other domestic airports.

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