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Takahe 11 Day South Island SELECT Tour





Dorm Style Accommodation (4-10 beds) is included. You'll stay in comfortable backpacker hostels, cabins and lodges. All accommodation facilities have self-catering kitchen facilities. 

 Private coach transport

Take the pressure off, kick back, relax, soak up the scenery and let someone else do the driving. You'll travel by private, air-conditioned bus. 

 Stray Guide

Expect entertaining anecdotes, great recommendations, extra support and local insider knowledge from your charismatic guide. They know every inch of this country. You can't get this from a google search!


Day 1 : Christchurch to Marahau (Abel Tasman)
Depart from Christchurch this morning on a public bus service (unguided) to Picton where you’ll meet your Stray Guide and group. We depart Picton around midday from Picton Villa, before setting off through the picturesque Marlborough region where we'll stop to sample what the region is most famous for: Sauvignon Blanc wine! Then it's onwards to Marahau, situated right on the edge of the spectacular Abel Tasman National Park. Accommodation: The Barn or similar Meals included: Breakfast Optional paid activities: Wine tasting (usually $5-10) Meal options: We’ll stop at a supermarket to stock up on supplies - Self-cater or join the optional group dinner Free activities: Stargazing
Meals :Breakfast

Day 2 : Marahau (Abel Tasman)
Count yourself lucky - you have a full day to explore New Zealand’s most popular national park. From our accommodation you can hike straight into the park (no water taxi required!). It’s a cool 12kms to Anchorage and you’ll see the park’s natural golden sand beaches and brilliant blue waters along the way. The walk is approx. 4 hours each way but there’s enough photo stops en-route to spend an entire day exploring. Enjoy a picnic on the beach before checking out Cleopatra’s Pools, moss lined fresh water pools with a natural water slide. Accommodation: The Barn or similar Meals included: Breakfast Optional paid activities: Kayaking, water taxi, canyoning Meal options: Pack a picnic lunch and lots of snacks for your hike, Self-cater in the kitchen or use the BBQs Free activities: Hike in the national park, relax on the golden sand beaches, see Cleopatra’s Pools
Meals :Breakfast

Day 3 : Marahau (Abel Tasman) to Hokitika
Buckle up for an awesome day driving down the incredibly scenic ‘wild’ West Coast, an area known for its untamed beaches and spectacular rainforest. Through Buller Gorge and down a stretch of road named one of the top drives in the world by Lonely Planet, there’s not much cell phone reception but you are NOT gonna need it – we dare you to peel your eyes away from the window for even a second. We’ll stop at the Punakaiki Pancake Rocks and blowholes to explore this unique part of coastline before continuing on to the vibrant, artistic township of Hokitika. Accommodation: Hokitika Beachfront Hotel or similar Meals included: Breakfast Meal options: Local eateries Free activities: Head down to Hokitika Beach for sunset
Meals :Breakfast

Day 4 : Hokitika to Franz Josef Glacier
It’s a short drive today towards the quaint village of Franz Josef. The scenery will change from serene coastline to dramatic, lush rainforest. We’ll get to Franz Josef around lunchtime so you’ll have the rest of the day to explore the town or relax at your accommodation. Accommodation: Franz Josef Motels or similar Meals included: Breakfast Meal options: Local restaurants
Meals :Breakfast

Day 5 : Franz Josef Glacier
Ice, ice baby! Get ready to experience Franz Josef Glacier, an iconic highlight of the West Coast. Take a short drive to the beginning of the track. Hike through native bush and across glacial streams to the terminal face of the glacier for spectacular photos or just relax in the township and enjoy the views. Accommodation: Franz Josef Motels or similar Meals included: Breakfast Optional paid activities: Shuttle to the track Meal options: Local restaurants Free activities: Glacier Valley hike, bush tracks
Meals :Breakfast

Day 6 : Franz Josef Glacier to Queenstown
This morning we’ll go for a scenic walk around Lake Matheson and then we’ll make our way to Queenstown, known in New Zealand as the ‘Adventure Capital of the World’ and the spiritual home of bungy jumping. We stop at Kawarau Bridge on our way into town a.k.a. the first commercial bungy jumping site in the world. If you’re feeling brave you can tick the bungy off your bucket list or if you’d prefer to just watch then you can cheer your mates on from the viewing platform! Accommodation: Mercure Queenstown or similar Meals included: Breakfast Optional paid activities: Puzzling World Meal options: Local restaurants and cafes Free activities: Lake Matheson scenic walk, watch people jumping off a bridge!
Meals :Breakfast

Day 7 : Day Trip to Milford Sound
Today you’ll hop aboard a Coach which will take you to the stunning Milford Sound. You’ll take a Cruise across this impressive Sound and see towering Mitre Peak, plus rainforests and waterfalls as well as spotting some amazing wildlife like Fur Seals, Penguins and Dolphins. Once you’ve snapped as many pics as you possibly can, it’s back to Queenstown. We recommend checking out the buzzy nightlife and many restaurants Queenstown has to offer. Accommodation: Mercure Queenstown or similar Meals included: Breakfast Included activity: Milford Sound Day Cruise Meal options: Local restaurants
Meals :Breakfast

Day 8 : Queenstown
Yaaaasssss Queen(stown)! You’ve got a full day in the adventure capital today. With beautiful mountain scenery and plenty of outdoor activities, it’s easy to understand why so many backpackers refuse to leave this place. Accommodation: Mercure Queenstown or similar Meals included: Breakfast Optional paid activities: Any adventure activity that we mad Kiwis can dream up (bungy, swing, jet boating, skydiving, mountain biking, zipline, horse riding…) Meal options: Local restaurants Free activities: Hike Ben Lomond, the Queenstown Hill, or Bob’s Peak
Meals :Breakfast

Day 9 : Queenstown to Mount Cook
Depart Queenstown early to drive over the Lindis Pass through the beautiful Mackenzie Country and past the vivid blue waters of Lake Pukaki on the way to our amazing stop at the base of New Zealand’s highest mountain, Aoraki/Mt Cook. We arrive in the early afternoon with time to do an optional experience like a boat tour on a glacial lake surrounded by snow capped alps and views of the gigantic Tasman Glacier Ice wall. Alternatively you can check out the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre or do one of the many great short walks in the park. If it’s a clear night, make sure you head outside to experience one of the best stargazing spots in the country. Accommodation: Stunning alpine lodge Meals included: Breakfast Optional paid activities: Visit the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre, Glacier Explorer boat tour Free activities: Take photos of awe-inspiring scenery, do one of the many great short walks to the Hooker glacial lake (weather dependent), stargazing
Meals :Breakfast

Day 10 : Mount Cook to Christchurch
Leaving Mount Cook we make our way through a landscape made famous in the ‘Lord of the Rings’ films. We’ll stop to admire the turquoise waters of Lake Tekapo and the Church of the Good Shepherd, a famous photo stop. Relax in the Tekapo hot pools, go snow tubing or ice skating (winter only) or hike up to the Mt John Observatory where you’ll witness stunning views of the lake from above. After lunch, we will continue to our overnight stop in Christchurch, a city where old meets new, as the rebuild continues following the devastating 2011 earthquake. Spend your afternoon wandering the city streets and laneways to discover creative street art intended to bring cheer and colour to a city once buried in rubble. On arrival in Christchurch, we’ll make our way toour accommodation for the evening. Accommodation: Bealey Christchurch or similar Meals included: Breakfast
Meals :Breakfast

Day 11 : Depart Christchurch
Today your adventure comes to an end. We hope you had a blast! If you have some time at the end of your trip, why not stay a few extra days in Christchurch and explore the city. Meals included: Breakfast
Meals :None

Pickups / Departures


7:30AM, outside Bus Interchange on Lichfield Street, near Colombo Street

*Subject to change. Please be ready at the pickup 15 minutes prior to the departure.


Meet your Stray Guide & Group up outside Naumi Hotel Wellington (213 Cuba Street, Te Aro, Wellington) at 6:30am before heading to check in the Bluebridge Cook Strait Ferry together.

*Subject to change. Please arrive at the Hotel 5 minutes prior to the departure time.


12:30pm - 1PM, The bus stop on Auckland Street outside i-SITE Information Centre (opposite to Picton Railway Station)

*Subject to change depending on ferry arrival time. Please be ready at the pickup 15 minutes prior to the departure.




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Takahe 11 Day South Island Select Tour