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Overview

 Highlights


  • Mountain biking alongside the Clutha River to Dean’s Bank through typical Otago landscape
  • Two nights surrounded by snow in the secluded Rex Simpson Alpine Hut
  • An exhilarating jet boat ride of the narrow Kawarau and Shotover Rivers complete with 360 degree spins
  • Glenorchy Islands kayak safari
  • Summit Rocky Mountain for beautiful views of Lake Wanaka and the surrounding mountains.
  • Day walks in Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park

In 8 days, you’ll learn the ropes of a range of new outdoor activities in the South Island of New Zealand, discovering unforgettable mountain landscapes following the paths of early NZ mountaineering pioneers as you go.

We’ve included a fun and action-packed line up that will leave you feeling challenged and inspired from start to finish, all while putting your outdoor education skills to the test in a real-life setting.

From Queenstown to Christchurch, this journey covers everything from kayaking, cycling, hiking to jet boating, we’ll visit the National Park Centre at Aoraki/Mt Cook Village and experience incredible stargazing in Tekapo’s famous Dark Sky Reserve. This tour has been designed to be human powered, so you travel as much as possible by foot and bike to discover the wonders of the Southern Alps.

As Sir Edmund Hillary once said; “you don't have to be a hero to accomplish great things”, so let's get out there and enjoy it!

Countries:

Start and Finishing Point:

Sydney

Activities:

Grading:Moderate   


After the months of planning and preparation the wait is finally over! Your trip begins in Queenstown, the adventure capital of New Zealand, and home of the Bungy Jump. You’ll be met by our NZ guides at the airport and transferred to your central city accommodation for the next 2 nights. Your guides will run through a full trip briefing and team introduction we’ll enjoy our first group meal of the trip together. After dinner, we’ll do an evening hike to the top of Bob’s Peak for some draw dropping views over the township under a twilight sky. Walk: 1.5-2 hours Accommodation: 3 star hotel / motel

Meals:  D

After breakfast, we get set up on our bikes and then head out along the Queenstown trails to the historic gold mining village or Arrowtown. Here we learn about the history of a Chinese gold mining settlement before following the Arrow River trail to arrive at the famous Kawarau Bungy bridge to watch the bungy jumpers plunge towards the deep blue Kawarau River. We then return to Queenstown along the cycle trails following the shore of Lake Wakatipu. Once back in Queenstown we embark on an exhilarating jet boat ride of the narrow Kawarau and Shotover Rivers complete with 360 degree spins. When we return to the pier, we visit the Underwater Observatory to get up close and personal with rainbow trout and other lake life. Cycle Distance: 50km Accommodation: 3 star hotel / motel

Meals:  B,L,D

After breakfast, we pack up and head to Glenorchy at the head of Lake Wakatipu. Here we embark on our Glenorchy Islands kayak safari after being kitted out with our kayak gear. We’ll receive instruction about how to kayak from our experienced guides and we’ll have plenty of time to practice our paddling technique. We’ll then set out on an easy 45 minute kayak across Lake Wakatipu to a secluded beach on either Pigeon or Pig Island. These Islands are important nature reserves surrounded by a breathtaking mountainous backdrop of the Southern Alps. There will be a guided walk on the island where we can see some interesting birdlife such as the New Zealand Weka. After refreshments on the beach, we then paddle back to shore. In the afternoon, we drive over the highest road in NZ; the Crown Range to the historic and iconic Cardrona Hotel. We will have a look at the old hotel, village store and post office. We then drive a little further before setting off on a walk to take in stunning panoramic views over Lake Wanaka and the surrounding mountains. We start by climbing gently around the east side of Rocky Mountain to the summit and then descend via the beautiful Diamond Lake. We then drive to Wanaka and our accommodation for the night. Kayak Excursion: 1.5 -3 hours Walking Distance: 7km, up to 3 hours Accommodation: 3 star hotel / motel

Meals:  B,L,D

Enjoy a morning of mountain biking alongside the Clutha River to Dean’s Bank, the track weaves through typical Otago landscape with matagouri and tussock. With a selection of berms and tight corners, this fast flowing single track is expertly designed to be enjoyed by beginners and pros. We then leave Wanaka and drive over the Lindis Pass to Oamarama. Here we visit the Clay Cliffs, and learn about the pinnacles that were formed by layers of silt and gravel deposits by the glaciers over one million years ago. After visiting the historic wool shed at Quailburn, we then get back on our bikes and join the famous Alps to Ocean cycle way (an off-road cycle trail that heads 300km from Mt Cook all the way to the sea at Oamaru). We ride one of the most scenic and most challenging sections of this cycleway over the Tarnbrae Track, rising up to a high point of 900m. Our descent rewards us with stunning vistas across Lake Ohau to Lake Ohau Lodge and our accommodation for the night. Cycle Distance: 30-50km Accommodation: Lake Ohau Lodge

Meals:  B,L,D

The backdrop of a snow covered Aoraki/Mt Cook (NZ’s highest peak) against turquoise waters is a sight you’ll never forget. After breakfast, we head to the World Heritage area, Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park and enjoy one of a number of walks determined by the weather and our fitness levels. Walks could include a hike up to the Red Tarns or along the amazing glacial Hooker valley to admire the alpine environment, other options include a walk to see Tasman Glacier and to traverse alongside the lateral moraine. Here we learn about the striking glacial geo-morphology in the region and witness the very land forms carved by recent glaciation. There will be an opportunity to visit the National Park Visitors Centre in the late afternoon to learn more about the geography, flora and fauna of the region as well as the history of local mountaineering (optional). Hike: 2-5 hours Accommodation: 3 star hotel / motel

Meals:  B,L,D

We leave Mt Cook Village early to drive to Lake Tekapo where we get kitted out for our overnight hike. Then a further short, scenic drive around the lake takes us to Mt Gerald Station. We set away on a 3 hour walk, climbing through golden tussocks, to reach the exclusive and remote Rex Simpson Hut that we have to ourselves for the night. In the afternoon we trek along the ridge top nicknamed ‘Snake Ridge’ that was formed by ice-age glaciation towards Beuzenberg Peak, at an altitude of 2073m. From here you can see the East Face of Mount Cook dominating the western skyline. We return to the hut and help prepare a hearty dinner over a pot belly stove. We watch the sun set behind the alps and enjoy spectacularly clear displays of our Southern Hemisphere stars in the Mackenzie Country “dark sky reserve”. Hike: 3-6 hours Accommodation: Hut

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning we wake to wonderful views from our remote back country hut over Lake Tekapo and leave after breakfast. We descend back down the track to Mt Gerald Station, a walk taking around 3 hours. We then drive to Tekapo for lunch. In the afternoon we get back on the bikes to enjoy more cycling along the Alps to Ocean cycle trail. Our route takes us out of Tekapo and follows the emerald green canals, past the salmon farms towards Lake Pukaki. Here we load up the bikes and return to Tekapo. In the late afternoon we take a soak in the outdoor hot pools at Tekapo Springs, surrounded by mountains, and with views of the brilliant blue Lake Tekapo. Depending on the date of the tour (December to early February) – there might be chance to ride on the 53m long inflatable hydro slide! As darkness approaches we walk to the summit of Mount John, an hours climb through larch forest which emerges out into tussock lands and gives stunning 360 degree views over Lake Tekapo, Lake McGregor, Alexandrina and the Southern Alps. At the top we can join a stargazing tour to view the amazing night sky and the milky way through a powerful telescope at Cowan’s Observatory (optional). Cycling Distance: approx. 35km Accommodation: Dorm

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning we will enjoy a mountain bike ride through the forest trails of Lake Tekapo Regional Park and return to Tekapo for a final lunch together. After lunch, we hop back on the bus for our drive to Christchurch City where we are dropped at the airport in time for our flight home.

Meals:  B,L


Inclusions

  • 7 breakfasts (continental style), 7 lunches (packed lunches) and 7 evening meals (based on 1 course in local cafes or restaurants)
  • 5 nights accommodation in 3 star hotels/motels, 1 night backpackers dorm (4 beds per dorm), 1 night backcountry hut
  • Private vehicle transport including all airport transfers
  • Mountain bike hire and helmet, Kayaking gear
  • Water and snacks on the trail
  • Dept of Conservation concessions fees
  • NZ Goods and Services Tax (GST)
  • Half day lake kayaking excursion
  • Jet boat ride on Kawarau/Shotover Rivers
  • Mt Johns Twilight Observatory Tour
  • 4 professional guides from 16 students

  • All beverages, other than breakfast
  • Optional activities not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Personal expenses (eg. phone calls, internet, laundry, shopping etc)
  • Travel insurance

About Your Leader

Our guides are one of our biggest assets. We pride ourselves on the standard and quality of these great people who you will be spending your holiday with. They come from all walks of life but they all have a common desire to give you the best possible experience, heaps of fun and lots of fond memories to take home with you. We provide you with the services of two guides for many of our trips, (this may depend on the size of the group). All are certified in first aid and CPR and many are advanced mountain guides. To check out more about our guides see ‘Our Team’ page on our website (www.adventuresouth.co.nz).


Grading

Moderate

To determine the grade of a particular adventure we consider a number of factors. These include the condition of the terrain, the altitude and the length of the trip. Cycling, trekking, cross country skiing and snow shoeing all require some physical exertion. However, these are all conducted at your own comfortable pace and ability level.


Why travel with us

Why travel with us

Assisted over
14,000 Students Worldwide

Since the 1980's, we have helped students from around the globe to experience the world's most exciting destinations, allowing them to travel, give, grow.

400+ Service Learning
Programs

Together with students, we have completed over 400 Service Learning programs in developing countries. We will always continue to support causes including social justice, animal welfare, the environment and more.

Fully Customised
School Travel Programs

Want to include service learning, your school curriculum and a physical challenge, or any of the above? Contact us and we can design a program fully catered for your students and budget.

Safety and
Support - Our #1 Priority

Every school receives a detailed risk management plan that is guided by government advisories and the local partners we work with. We never compromise on the safety of your students to reduce the price of the program.

Testimonials


Want to find out more?

Our educational travel experts are ready to help you tailor an itinerary or service learning project to suit your school’s needs and budget. Contact us today to receive a free consultation.


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