South Island Lick
New Zealand
Adventure, Hiking & Trekking, Active, Nature & Wildlife, National Parks, Culture, Cities
Tour Type
Small group tour
Physical Level
Season Season
January - December

This seven-day jaunt around New Zealand's south island is perfect for both adventure-seekers and those wanting to experience New Zealand's dramatic scenery.

On this trip, you'll see turquoise lakes, majestic glaciers, imposing mountain peaks, golden tussock lands and the picture-perfect towns of Queenstown, Wanaka and Franz Josef.

This small-group guided tour of the south island visits Christchurch, Wanaka, Queenstown, Tekapo (an International Dark Sky Reserve), Franz Josef Glacier and then back to Christchurch via Arthur’s Pass onboard the world-famous TranzAlpine train. You’ll have the option to visit Milford Sound and stop at many other scenic spots along this route.

There’s a range of optional add-on activities: from adrenaline-pumping bucket-list items like bungy jumping, jet boating, and skydiving to more gentle activities like heli-hiking (okay for all abilities), quad biking, kayaking, scenic flights and hiking. You are free to choose which you want.

Tour itinerary

What you'll see and do

Christchurch to Mackenzie Country and Lake Tekapo

This morning you’ll explore iconic downtown Christchurch and your guide will show you the creative ways the city is being rebuilt after the life-changing 2011 earthquake here.

After lunch you'll leave the city behind and head for Lake Tekapo. The lake’s breathtaking turquoise colour and mountain backdrop is a photographer’s dream come true.

Tekapo has been declared an International Dark Sky Reserve and the incredibly clear skies make it the best place in New Zealand to see the stars and galaxies on a clear night.

Includes: breakfast
Lake Tekapo to Queenstown

This morning if you’re feeling energetic, hike up to the summit of Mt John, which has amazing views of the Southern Alps.

The drive to Queenstown will take you through the golden tussocklands of Mackenzie country and bungee-jumper favourite Kawarau Gorge to the dramatic peaks of the Southern Alps.

Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie, an avid hiker, wine taster or scenery lover, Queenstown has something for absolutely everyone. You'll have two nights here to enjoy the many options the city has to offer.

Includes: breakfast

With a full day in Queenstown, you'll have plenty of activities to choose from: paragliding over the lake, mountain bike parks and trails, bungy jumping, horse riding through Lord of the Rings scenery, and swinging through a canyon are just a few options on offer.

For scenery lovers, a trip to Milford Sound is a must-see. Whether you fly or drive, the scenery en route is as amazing as the destination. Once on the Sound, sailing beneath thundering waterfalls and towering cliff faces, you’ll understand why some call it the “8th Wonder of the World”.

Tonight you have around 40 bars to choose from — your guide will fill you in on their favourites – to share your adventures with your travel buddies.

Includes: breakfast
Queenstown to Wanaka

One last morning in Queenstown with a number of options to choose from, including a canyoning experience, Lord of the Rings 4x4 safari, or a jet boat ride along the Shotover River.

After the excitement of Queenstown, this afternoon is a chance to relax. Wanaka is Queenstown’s slightly quieter little sister, a mere one hour drive away. On the way we’ll stop in at charming Arrowtown, a historic gold rush village with plenty of old-world character.

Blessed with towering peaks and a glacial blue lake, you’ll soon see why Wanaka’s considered to be one of New Zealand’s most beautiful mountain towns. There are stunning hikes and bike rides all around for a welcome chance to relax.

Includes: breakfast
Wanaka to Franz Josef

This morning you'll get to explore Wanaka. Optional activities include a flying lesson, skydiving, a bike tour along Wanaka’s lakeside, or a lake cruise and nature walk on Mou Waho Island. If none of those appeal, there are lots of scenic short walks in the area — including a visit to the famous wanaka tree.

The journey to Franz Josef is another stunner — many of our guides rate it as their favourite drive in New Zealand. You’ll stop at one of our favourite lakeside lookout points at Lake Hawea or Lake Wanaka. Your guide will keep an eye on the weather and pick the best option.

From the cascading waterfalls of Haast Pass to classic Kiwi coastal views, you won’t want to nap on the bus in case you miss anything. Your guide will have some fantastic surprise photo stops and short walks along the way.

You'll arrive in Franz Josef around late afternoon/early evening. This UNESCO World Heritage area is famous for its spectacular glacier, just 5 kilometres from town, which you'll get the chance to explore tomorrow.

Includes: breakfast
Franz Josef

With Aoraki/Mount Cook — New Zealand’s highest mountain — twinkling behind the glaciers, Franz Josef is about as beautiful a setting as you can find in New Zealand.

Te Wahi Pounamu (which means ‘the place of greenstone’ in Māori) is the name given to this part of the West Coast because of the abundance of pounamu (greenstone/jade) to be found here. Included in your tour today is a special opportunity to carve your very own pounamu pendant at a local gallery.

There are plenty of ways to enjoy Franz Josef Glacier; weather permitting, to get up onto the bluest ice you can take a scenic helicopter flight and hike onto the glaciers. Maybe you’d prefer to kayak on a glacial lake; or just relax in the steamy hot springs down below.

Includes: breakfast
Franz Josef to Christchurch

Before you know it, it’s your last day. After breakfast you'll head further along the beautiful west coast on another of the most spectacular drives in the country: a rugged, primeval landscape of luxuriant rainforest juxtaposed against breathtaking beach and ocean waves.

You'll stop at Hokitika and visit a greenstone factory, a great place to stock up on souvenirs for your friends and family back home. Time permitting, you may also visit the National Kiwi Centre where there is guaranteed viewing of rare kiwi birds in their nocturnal house.

On the way back to Christchurch, you'll traverse the South Island on the stunning TranzAlpine Train Crossing. Travelling across the Southern Alps through Arthur’s Pass, you'll arrive in Christchurch around 6.30pm before transferring to your accommodation.

Your tour officially ends at 8pm today in Christchurch, so feel free to party on with your new travel friends for as long as you like – your accommodation tonight is included so you can treat yourself to a lie-in in the morning.

Includes: breakfast

Upcoming departures

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Where to stay

Sample accommodation suggested by our New Zealand experts.

Accommodation is in dorm share hostels (4-6 per room), upgrades to private rooms available on request.

Haka Lodge Queenstown

Haka Lodge Queenstown

Haka Lodge Queenstown opened just a few years ago, close to the city centre and kitted out with top of the line facilities...

Tour inclusions

Get in touch now for more details

Included Accommodation

All accommodation is included on this trip.

Included Some meals

Continental breakfasts are provided on every day.

Included Guided excursions

All tours include a passionate Kiwi guide.


What people are saying about Haka Tours


Don't give it a second thought — visit New Zealand and sign up for a Haka Tour! I just got back from the South Island Haka tour and definitely have to say it was one of the best vacations ever. The trip was entirely stress-free and fun, every city we visited was amazing, scenery unbeatable, accommodation was clean and nice and I made lifelong friends that I hope to travel with again in the future. Worth every penny!


Best tour ever! Did the Amplified New Zealand Tour from Auckland to Christchurch. It was an amazing experience from front to back, enabled by the flexibility and experience of Andy advising where and when to do activities. Would absolutely recommend this as a great way to see and experience New Zealand quickly!

Helena Anne

Amazing trip last week with Haka Tours. Perfectly paced and flawlessly organised thanks to Andy. Nice size group, good accommodation and long drives were never frustrating. It's lovely to be on an organised tour and still have independence. Very impressed with Haka, I'll certainly be back to explore the North island!



From only

NZ$1,259 pp

This tour is operated by Haka Tours
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