New Zealand Adventure
Hikes, Bikes and Beaches
March 18 to 31, 2019
New Zealand is the adventure capital of the world! You’ll be amazed at the sheer volume of beauty and variety found on this remote South Pacific island. We’ll delight in hiking glaciers and trails, biking, kayaking, bungie jumping, canyoning, and rafting. We’ll enjoy scrumptious food and incredible New Zealand wine.
Walk one of NZ’s most famous trails along the shores of Abel Tasman National Park and explore trails into ancient rainforests among waterfalls and (if you’re up to it) the Franz Josef Glacier.
Take your bike out for a spin on a full-day exploration at the top of the South Island. Later, relax with a mellow river’s edge ride to a famous bungie bridge near Queenstown.
Check out an amazing cave system carved out by nature into astonishing shapes and marvel at the twinkling lights above you created by NZ glow worms as you Black-water Raft the river.
Chill out along the stunning shores of Abel Tasman National Park and either take the boat, kayak or hike between the beautiful lodges during our 3-day stay here.
Rappel down a fantastic, deep chasm then leap, slide and splash through water in the distinctly down-under sport known as canyoning.
Explore Queenstown’s beauty in any combination of ways you wish. Stroll around on foot, bike, whitewater raft, or even bungie!
Choose your own adventure from among fantastic options on this tour. Mountain bike, jet boat, paraglide and horseback ride. More options include special vineyard tours, Lord of the Rings tours and a light aircraft day-trip over the fantastic Milford Sound.
Reviews 3 Reviews5/5
Vacation Style Holiday TypeCycling, Discovery, Guided Tours, Trekking, Wildlife
Activity Level Moderate
Group Size Small Group
New Zealand Adventure Tour
Queenstown, and specifically New Zealand’s South Island, is known as the adventure travel capital of the world – and for good reason. This tour’s activities in some of the world’s most incredible landscapes will make for some of your life’s most cherished memories.
New Zealand’s astonishing array of features form a collage of geographical scenes from around the world. Its waters resemble glistening lakes in Italy and its deep-cut fjords look like Norway’s. Alaska’s stunning glaciers and Switzerland’s snow-capped Alps also have analogues here. You’ll admire New Zealand’s natural wonders and understand why its locations have been so perfectly featured in Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. You’ll also be shocked by how much room is still left for sheep. That’s New Zealand.
When you become a Wild Kiwi, you’ll enjoy new scenery and new activities every day. This tour includes canyoning through a natural waterpark of chutes, pools, waterfalls and slides. White and blackwater rafting expeditions are part of this tour, plus you can hike a glacier, kayak on the sea, bike along rivers and through vineyards, and even bungie jump. And if you prefer, you can also just relax and enjoy the sublime beauty and surprises that await you each day. Naturally, you do all this while savoring fantastic meals and some of New Zealand’s most wonderful inns and lodges.
- $1500 Single Supplement (if you’re traveling solo and would like to enjoy a private bedroom and bathroom)
- $900 Single Supplement Most nights (single on all but the two nights we’re at Abel Tasman National Park – limited availability)
- $240 Canyoning
- $320 Helicopter to Glacier Hike
- $190 Whitewater Rafting
INCLUDED already in this tour are the glacier valley eco-hike, Abel Tasman hiking and kayaking, vineyards bike ride, cave-tubing or glow worm hike, as well as bungie jumping.
Options are available at checkout.
Deposit is available: $1000 – call 800-825-9766.
- All group ground transportation, starting in Nelson and finishing in Queenstown.
- Sightseeing visits to waterfalls, primordial forests, and vistas along our route around the island; and, of course, the famed bungy jump.
- A valley eco-hike to the glacier with guide.
- All hotels and accommodations in double occupancy.
- Kayaking or hiking and boating for 3 days at Abel Tasman National Park.
- Out West Adventures tour director accompanying the group from Nelson to Queenstown.
- 11 breakfasts, 4 lunches, and 6 dinners.
- Coastal hikes; cave-tubing or cave hike to see glow worms.
- Biking near Queenstown and also near Nelson.
- Out West Adventures provides complimentary Medical & Evacuation Insurance for every US Resident on our group tours who does not have other coverage.
- Airfare from home to Nelson and from Queenstown to home
- Airport transfers
- Souvenirs, snacks, admissions, alcohol
- Meals and beverages not listed here
- Optional activities, such as whitewater rafting, upgrade from the valley eco-hike to Heli-hike on the glacier, and canyoning
- Gratuities for tour director and local guides.
You don’t need to pay the single supplement if you’re traveling alone. We’ll be happy to match you with a roommate if you want. Pay the single supplement only if you want a bedroom to yourself.
For selected trips we will charge half the single supplement if you request a roommate but we can’t match you with someone.
The activities included with our trips serve as natural ice-breakers. Within a day you’ll be traveling with friends.
The tour starts in Nelson (NSN) and ends in Queenstown (ZQN.) Both are located on the South Island of New Zealand.
Note: All flights across the Pacific will cross the International Date Line. You will lose a day when flying southwest across the ocean, and regain that day on the way home. North American travelers who want to arrive in Nelson on Monday will need to depart home on Saturday. Your departure from New Zealand to North America on a Sunday afternoon will usually have you arriving on the US or Canadian West Coast earlier that same Sunday, a few hours before you left Auckland.
European travelers have a variety of options on Air New Zealand, Qantas, Etihad, Emirates and other airlines.
New Zealand is the place for exciting adventure sports. Our action offers travelers the chance to experience unique settings while trying new adventures. Hiking, canyoning, water sports, and more are available on this trip. If you are in good physical shape and like a challenge, this trip is for you.
But no worries if some of the activities don’t appeal to you. Nearly everyone is likely to join us for shorter hikes, biking, and kayaking. You have the option to hike or ride in a scheduled boat instead of kayak. On other days, we may break into two groups, depending on individual preferences, doing different activities. Or you may choose to have a quieter day, exploring on your own or perhaps enjoying a massage at the lodge. If you’re still wondering, contact us and we’re happy to discuss how we may be able to accommodate your needs.
And as for the bungy jump: Whether you do it or not, predicting who will take the plunge makes for some fun dinner conversations. And in the past, we’ve all guessed wrong about one or two members of the group. You won’t be the only one not jumping. And you’ll enjoy watching others take the leap.
February and March are late summer and early fall in New Zealand, where the seasons are reversed from the northern hemisphere. Most days in February and March will continue to be in the 60s and low 70s, and you’ll often be comfortable in shorts and t-shirt, but you’ll also need a light jacket occasionally. There may be times when you are glad you brought a sweatshirt and jeans in the mountains, especially if it rains. In Queenstown and Wanaka, days are likely to be warm and clear, but temperatures may drop in the evening. You’ll want a sweater when you go out for dinner.
On the west coast, we may have beautiful blue skies or we may encounter the rains that create those amazing glaciers and rain forests, but it just depends on the fronts that year. Because it’s an island with irregular terrain, New Zealand has what’s known as a maritime climate, where the weather can change rapidly. Be prepared for sun to turn to rain — and vice versa — during the course of a day.
Canyoning is a popular outdoor sport in Australia, New Zealand, France, and a few other countries, and only more recently in the southwestern United States. It is usually called canyoneering in North America.
Canyoning is generally the act of traveling in canyons. It can use a variety of techniques such as climbing, jumping, rappelling, swimming and hiking. Ideal canyons are beautiful areas with spectacular sights.
Those who try this activity generally say it’s the most exciting day of the trip.
In New Zealand, and all our tours, we have sought out a variety of accommodations that are nice and comfortable and give us a sense of the place. They are often small inns and lodges when available.
On some tours, we may have a few nights in 2 and 3 bedroom luxury apartments or condos when this arrangement offers more space. If we’re in apartments every unit has a living room. If you request a single room you’ll have your own bedroom in a shared condo at these lodgings. Please note that if we are in luxury condos there may be cases where two rooms share a bathroom.
The official starting time is 6:00 pm on our official “start date”. At that time we’ll have our orientation, followed by dinner. It ends after breakfast on the last day. You can arrive earlier or depart later, but please note that (as of this writing) check-in time is 4:00 pm, and check-out time is 10:00 am, which is standard in New Zealand.
For North American travelers, the most direct route is to fly from home to Auckland, on the North Island of New Zealand, then connect to a flight to Nelson (NSN) on the South Island. You’ll then fly home from Queenstown (ZQN) at the end of the trip. Several airlines have service into NZ, including Air New Zealand (United miles), United, American, and a few others if you travel through Australia or Tahiti (Qantas, Air Tahiti Nui). Air New Zealand, with flights from Houston, LA, and SFO, seems to have the best service in coach and premium economy.
As of this writing, Air New Zealand (NZ) has many daily flights from Auckland into our starting town of Nelson. And Air New Zealand and Qantas-owned Jetstar (JQ) fly many times daily from Queenstown to Auckland. If flying from or via Australia, there are also direct flights from Sydney and Melbourne to Auckland, Wellington, and Queenstown on Air New Zealand, Qantas and Jetstar.
Many travelers find that booking through our in-house flight specialist is very convenient. We have special rates with Air New Zealand that can save quite a bit on international airfare, especially for travelers who want to experience the exquisite Business Class service for which Air New Zealand is famous! (For couples, Air New Zealand also has an innovative section in coach where a couple can purchase the seat between them and raise the foot rests to make a platform!) Please call 305-294-8174 if you would like us to assist your flight arrangements.
No! From the time you arrive at the hotel where we start, until you leave on the last day, group transportation is included. It’s very unlikely you’d want to rent a car at any point unless you are spending time on your own in the region before or after the tour.
If you have the time, NZ is a beautiful country to see from a train, bus or ferry. Nelson is not on a train line nor near a ferry port, with the nearest option being the ferry from Wellington, which lets you off in Picton, about 100 miles away. You would need to bus or rent a car from there into Nelson. And Queenstown is accessible only by coach, air, or car. However, there is good bus service both locally and long distance. The following websites give details about various ground travel options in New Zealand.
The vast majority of your expenses are covered, including all transportation during the trip, accommodation, and many activities. All but two breakfasts and several lunches and dinners are also included. So apart from gifts and souvenirs, which vary greatly from one individual to another, your only expenses are likely to be as follows:
- Activities of your choice. Our philosophy is that if most people will enjoy a particular activity, we include it in the price. So on many days, you’re covered. The overview of this trip, here on the web, tells what’s included.
But if an activity is unlikely to appeal to everyone, we prefer to offer it as an option, so that you’re not indirectly paying for something you don’t do. You may want to head off on your own some days. If you take advantage of the options we offer, we’d suggest a budget of $200 to $400 for such activities. The spectacular but optional half-day flight to/from Milford on Day 11 will be about $400 if you choose to go (and weather allows).
As for that bungy jump: It’s free, too. You don’t have to do it — but we don’t want you claiming you’re going to skip it just to save money!
- Meals. Many meals are included. When they’re not, you can have a good dinner for as little as $15-$20, or pay up to $40 for a gourmet dinner with wine. You can eat quite well and keep total meal costs to $150 to $250 with a little effort, or budget a bit more and indulge yourself.
- Activity guide gratuities. We use local guides for some activities. Some companies add a compulsory surcharge to their list price for “gratuities”, which we think defeats the purpose. We’ve consistently had great guides on this tour and we have been happy to tip them for making our vacation special. Tips are at your discretion, but we expect you’ll feel the same way, and should budget around $100 for tips for activity guides.
- Out West Adventures tour director. As on all of our tours, a professional tour director will be with you throughout the trip to make sure everything goes smoothly, and a gratuity will be appreciated.
We encourage you to do so. Outside Magazine says that talking to people who have taken a trip previously is one of the best ways to evaluate whether it will be right for you, and we agree.
Please call for the names and phone numbers of references in your area, 305-294-8174.
For answers to your additional questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 305-294-8174