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The scenic South Island of New Zealand is part explorer, part thrill-seeker, and full of spectacular highlights. With an 11-day exploration of the best of the south, you'll be able to choose your own adventure and see what you want to see at a pace that suits you. Cruise the splendid fjords of the Milford Sound? Tick. View New Zealand's highest peak at Mt Cook? Tick. Go wild in Queenstown and have one of the country's most scenic dinners at Skyline? Tick. Bungy jump off a bridge, or take a heli-hike on the Franz Josef Glacier? Well, that's up to you. Let the thrills, spills, chills and… hills? of adventure-packed New Zealand get you exploring the best that this region can serve you on a small-group trip. The only question left is when to go.
Day 1: Christchurch
Kia-ora! Welcome to Christchurch, New Zealand. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader.If you arrive early into the city, there's a whole new range of pop up cafes, restaurants and bars to run through. Christchurch has hit the ground running and it's a great chance to get your bearings of this resilient city. Your evening is the free to do as you wish, before settling into your accommodation for the night.Note: If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive to the welcome meeting in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability).
Day 2: Punakaiki
Depart Christchurch early in the morning and head over the fertile Canterbury Plains, heading for the mountains. Leave the dry earth of the east coast and cross the dividing range to go down to the lush, green west coast. The countryside changes radically, as great deep blue rivers spring from the steep mountainsides. On arrival to Punakaiki, perhaps talk a walk out to Pancake Rocks and watch the power of the waves as they crash against the rocks. In the evening, drive onto Greymouth where you'll spend the night.Notes: Total driving distance is around five hours (approximately 300kms). Total distance walked is approximately two to three kilometres.
Day 3: Franz Josef Glacier
The drive down the coast later today is beautiful. You have plenty of time in the morning and afternoon to take part in optional activities, before leaving for Franz Josef Glacier along the coast of forests, lakes and hidden beaches. Pull into Franz Josef in the evening and relax before tomorrow's activities. Your evening is free, so possibly head out for dinner with the group.Notes: Total driving distance takes around three hours (approximately 180kms).
Day 4: Franz Josef Glacier
After breakfast this morning, your day is free to do as much or as little as you please. There are plenty of amazing optional activities to keep you busy, such as a guided hike across a glacier, kayaking, taking a spin on a quad bike or enjoying unrivaled views of the region on a scenic flight (at your own cost). Notes: Total driving time is around 30 minutes (approximately 10kms). Total distance walked will be between one and five kilometres.
Day 5: Queenstown
After breakfast, drive the remainder of the west coast and climb up through the Haast Pass into the Southern Alps (approximately four to five hours). This is a stunning drive with fantastic views of the mountains, rivers and lakes. Arriving into Queenstown in the late afternoon, enjoy dinner with the rest of your night free. Over the next few days, you'll see and experience a place that's widely acknowledged as being the extreme activity capital of the world. There is simply no end to the line up of optional activities including bungy-jumping, mountain biking, kayaking, rafting, helicopter rides, jet boating and paragliding.Note: Total driving time is around five and a half hours (approximately 360kms). Total distance walked is around one to two kilometres.
Day 6-7: Queenstown
Today is free to take part in as many optional activities as you want. Queenstown will spoil you for choice, as the undisputed adventure capital of New Zealand. Jet boat, bungee jump, paraglide, kayak, mountain bike, ski or river raft - there's so much to do in this grand place (all activities are at own expense). In the evening, settle down in your lodge after a big day of adventure.
Notes: Total driving time is around one hour (approximately 10kms).
Walking distance will depend on what activities you take part in.
Day 8: Doubtful Sound
Head out after breakfast and take a break from the adrenaline rush of Queenstown, as you drive to Doubtful Sound to board your overnight cruise boat for a trip through the fjords. This place is stunning with tall mountain peaks and waterfalls - easily one of the most spectacular places in the country. Enjoy a dinner aboard the boat this evening with the rest of the group. Notes: Total driving time is around three hours (approximately 170kms). Your boat has four berth cabins, so you'll be sharing your space with travellers of the same or different sex. Twin share cabins aren't available on the boat this night.
Day 9-10: Mt Cook
Be dwarfed by spectacular Aoraki (Mt Cook) which, at an impressive 3,754 m (12,316 ft), is the highest mountain in New Zealand. Explore meadows, lakes, streams and glaciers that shelter the world's only alpine parrot, the kea.
Day 11: Christchurch
This morning we depart Mt Cook in the morning making our way to Christchurch where your adventure concludes at around 6 pm. Please take this into consideration when booking any onward flights.Notes: Total driving time is around five hours (approximately 325kms).
Question: How many suitcases can I take with me on my trip?
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The trip was both both educational and exciting. I very much enjoyed the sights and culture.
The itinerary was just as I expected! The guide was very good as were the accomodations
Intrepid did such a great job. I never had to worry about where I was supposed to be and it felt so good not to worry about a thing but just to enjoy myself. Our guide was extremely knowledgeable about culture and history.
Taiwan people very friendly. Accommodation were centrally located and easily accessible. Did extra activities then in brochure which was greatly.
Larus our tour guide did an excellent job and was very attentive to our needs. He is very knowledgeable and has a great sense of humor.
Our guide Tarang chandola was exceptional. Courteous, knowledgeable, organized, polite, professional and went above and beyond taking care of our needs and requests offen anticipating what that might be. He made sure we all had the best possible time and offered suggestions to meet the needs of everyone on the tour. This made the trip even more enjoyable.
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