Adventures in The South Island

Cape Reinga beach, New Zealand
IDEAL LENGTH 8 nights
Price From $5,830 pp
When to Go All Year
Adventures in The South Island

The heli-hike to Franz Josef Glacier is a great way to experience this unique part of New Zealand, both from above as you fly over in the helicopter and from below as you strap on crampons and an ice axe to walk over the glacier.

Day 1

Day 1
Arrival Christchurch

Upon arrival at the airport you’ll be escorted by car to your accommodation in Christchurch.

The remainder of your day will be spent at leisure. Lightfoot Travel can arrange for optional excursions including a hot air balloon flight over the Canterbury Plains, vintage tram ride of the city centre, or punting down the Avon River.

Day 2

Day 2
Christchurch - Franz Josef

After breakfast, you’ll be driven to the station to board the TranzAlpine for one of the world’s greatest train journeys. You’ll travel along the Canterbury Plains and over Arthur’s Pass in the Southern Alps, before descending through rainforests to the West Coast.

Upon arrival at Greymouth, you’ll pick up your rental car and drive to your accommodation.

Day 3

Day 3
Franz Josef - Queenstown

Today you’ll head on a guided heli-hike expedition of the Franz Josef Glacier. You’ll fly onto the glacier then enjoy a guided walk among ice caves, pinnacles and seracs.

Back on solid land, drive to Queenstown, a journey of around 4.5 hours. We suggest driving via Lake Matheson and the scenic Crown Range.

Day 4

Day 4
Glenorchy

This morning you’ll be driven to Glenorchy for a jet boat ride on the Dart River. Your private guide will then take you hiking through native beech forest, pointing out native flora and birds, before a picnic in a tranquil forest glade.

Next you’ll head to the shores of Lake Sylvan, along the banks of the Routeburn River, and back to your transport.

In the evening, attend a pre-departure briefing for your multi-day hike along the Hollyford Track.

Day 5

Day 5
Queenstown - Hollyford Track

This morning you’ll depart Queenstown for the drive to Te Anau and the start of the Hollyford Track. Your journey begins by retracing the footsteps of early pioneers along the Hollyford River, with the Southern Alps forming a formidable backdrop.

Day 6

Day 6
Hollyford Track

The second day of the hike begins with a short walk to Lake Alabaster where you can cross Fiordland’s longest swing bridge and board a jet boat for a scenic ride to Lake McKerrow.

You’ll walk past ancient forests and coastal gardens until you reach the rugged West Coast. Watch out for Fiordland crested penguins and New Zealand fur seals as you go.

Day 7

Day 7
Hollyford Track - Queenstown

On the final day of the Hollyford Track, you’ll travel by jet boat to explore Martins Bay Spit, which separates the Hollyford Valley from the Tasman Sea. Your guide will explain its history and point out native plants, birds and sea life.  

Return to your accommodation, before enjoying a scenic flight over Milford Sound with views over the route you’ve just walked as well as mighty Mitre Peak. You have the option of joining a cruise on the sound.

Return to Queenstown via coach.

Day 8

Day 8
Queenstown - Christchurch

Spend the morning at leisure in Queenstown.

Take a steamer cruise on the TSS Earnslaw, play golf, or enjoy a hot air balloon ride or horseback ride. Your Travel Designer can recommend activities to suit your interests prior to departure.

In the afternoon, you’ll self-drive or fly to Queenstown for your flight to Christchurch.

Day 9

Day 9
Departure

Today you’ll be escorted to the airport for your onward journey.

Chris
our destination expert

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itinerary highlights
  • Soar over the Canterbury Plains in a hot air balloon

  • Travel along the TranzAlpine railway, one of the world’s great train journeys

  • Take a guided heli-hike expedition of the Franz Josef Glacier

  • Enjoy an exhilarating jet boat ride on the Dart River

  • Explore Fiordland on a Hollyford Track guided three-day hike

Looking for something else?

Get in touch with our Lightfoot Travel experts and they will create a bespoke itinerary designed to your exact needs and budget.

Choose Lightfoot Travel
Choose Lightfoot Travel
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