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New Zealand / South Island

9 Day Kaka South Island SELECT Tour - Stray NZ

4.5 (2 reviews)

Details

Highlights:

  • Transverse the majestic Southern Alps on the highly regarded TranzAlpine Scenic Train, passing through Arthur's Pass to Greymouth and finally reaching Hokitika, a vibrant town known for its art and native greenstone.
  • Experience the iconic Franz Josef Glacier, hike through native bush, cross glacial streams, and marvel at the terminal face of the glacier. Alternatively, relax in the township and enjoy the breathtaking views.
  • Discover the 'Adventure Capital of the World' and the spiritual home of bungy jumping.
  • Take a scenic walk around Lake Matheson, witness people bungee jumping at Kawarau Bridge, and explore Milford Sound on a cruise to see towering Mitre Peak and wildlife.
  • Visit the base of New Zealand's highest mountain, Aoraki/Mt Cook, surrounded by stunning alpine scenery.
  • Choose from optional experiences like a boat tour on a glacial lake, visit the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre, or explore the beautiful short walks in the area, all while enjoying the best stargazing spots in the country.

Included:

  • 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.
  • Take the pressure off, kick back, relax, soak up the scenery and let someone else do the driving.
  • You'll travel by Scenic Train and private, air-conditioned bus.
  • Expect entertaining anecdotes, great recommendations, extra support and local insider knowledge from your charismatic guide.
  • Guides know every inch of this country. You can't get this from a google search!

Itinerary

Day 1 : Christchurch to Hokitika (via Tranzalpine Train)

Transverse the Southern Alps on the highly regarded TranzAlpine Scenic Train. You'll start the day by travelling through the stunning Arthur's Pass to the historic gold mining town of Greymouth on the West Coast. Your Stray group will meet you outside the Greymouth train station. From here we’ll make our way to Hokitika, a vibrant, artistic town and the best place to buy ‘Pounamu’, a native greenstone.

Accommodation: Hokitika Beachfront Hotel or similar

Meals: Breakfast

Meal options: Local eateries

Free activities: Head down to Hokitika Beach for sunset.

Included activities: TranzAlpine Scenic Train

 

Day 2 : 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: Breakfast

Meal options: Local restaurants

 

Day 3 : 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: Breakfast

Meal options: Local restaurants

Free activities: Glacier Valley hike, bush tracks

Optional paid activities: Shuttle to the track

 

Day 4 : 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: Breakfast

Meal options: Local restaurants and cafes

Free activities: Lake Matheson scenic walk, watch people jumping off a bridge!

Optional paid activities: Puzzling World

 

Day 5 : Queenstown

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: Breakfast

Meal options: Local restaurants

Included activity: Milford Sound Day Cruise

 

Day 6 : 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: Breakfast

Meal options: Local restaurants Free activities: Hike Ben Lomond, the Queenstown Hill, or Bob’s Peak

Optional paid activities: Any adventure activity that we mad Kiwis can dream up (bungy, swing, jet boating, skydiving, mountain biking, zipline, horse riding…).

 

Day 7 : 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: Breakfast

Free activities: Take photos of awe-inspiring scenery, do one of the many great short walks to the Hooker glacial lake (weather dependent), stargazing.

Optional paid activities: Visit the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre, Glacier Explorer boat tour

 

Day 8 : 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 to the Ibis hotel which is our accommodation for the evening.

Accommodation: Ibis Christchurch or similar

Meals: Breakfast

 

Day 9 : 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: Breakfast


Pickups / Departures

Pickup: 7:45am at Christchurch Railway Station to embark on the Tranzalpine Train.

Return: Christchurch


Extras

What to Bring:

Hat/Sunscreen
Camera
Waterproof Jacket


Reviews

4.5 (2 reviews)
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Grace B. 23 Feb 2020
Had a fab time with Stray! Wish I was able to do a longer trip with the company. The short time I did have was good fun & met plenty of awesome people! Shout out to Pacman - very knowledgeable, was a great tour guide/coach driver
Frank V. 06 Jan 2020
Had an amazing time with Stray. You meet great people and go to wonderful places. Including places you would not normally visit. The vibe is very relaxed. At no time did I feel hurried. The drivers are extremely knowledgeable and have a great sense of humor. Expect to encounter groups with a 70/30 mix of solo and non-solo travellers. Age of the travellers is mostly twenties / early thirties, although there were also some older and younger on my busses. All drivers I had were fantastic, but a specific shout out to Lightening! If you do have a chance to travel with him, do ask for his rendition of Tequila. It will rock your world

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9 Day Kaka South Island Select Tour - Stray Nz

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