South Island Hiking & Adventure Tours

South Island Hiking Adventure Tours

Discover unparalleled natural beauty under your own steam on a New Zealand's South Island adventure tour that will leave you changed.

The South Island of New Zealand hardly needs an introduction - its reputation as an outdoor lover's paradise ensures its presence on many people's bucket lists. On our South Island hiking adventure, we'll explore famous glaciers such as Franz Josef and Hooker Glacier, guide you on the best bits of our Great Walks, cruise or kayak the world-famous Milford Sound, venture into lesser-known backcountry that only locals know about and cycle some incredibly scenic trails such as the Alps 2 Ocean Trail. You'll have plenty of time to contemplate the scenery and relax in our carefully picked lodgings, and your guides will make sure you get fed in proper Kiwi fashion with freshly cooked meals. Come hike, bike and kayak in some of our favourite spots on the South Island, or opt for a more relaxed adventure - just take your pick!

South Island Hiking Adventure Tours

Great Walks and lesser-known trails: mix it up!

We have over five hundred incredible hiking trails here in the South Island, of which 10 of the most popular trails (including the Milford Track), have been developed into 'Great Walks'. These 'Great Walks' have impressive backcountry facilities, they're very popular and hiking passes need to be booked well ahead of time during the high season. Now, these ten Great Walks deserve their fame, they're simply stunning and we experience most of them on our trips down this way... but unfortunately, what most visitors to New Zealand don't realise is that there are literally hundreds of other trails that take you to cosy backcountry huts, in equally as stunning surroundings, with slightly more rustic amenities, but without the crowds of hikers you might find on the Great Walks. It's these lesser-known trails that we locals stick to, in our eyes it's the best way to see New Zealand, and you'll get a truly unforgettable wilderness experience.

South Island Trips

filters
View results

What Our Guests Say

view all

- April 2022

West Coast is a must visit

"This is our second Active Adventures trip and we weren't disappointed. The itinerary was excellent… read more

"This is our second Active Adventures trip and we weren't disappointed. The itinerary was excellent and food and accommodation of a high standard. We loved the West Coast scenery. The walks were amazing, particularly around Lake Matheson and Punakaiki. Kayaking on Okarito Lagoon, heli-hiking on Franz Joseph Glacier and the scenic flight over Mt Aspiring National Park out to Milford Sound were fantastic experiences. Our guide Clare was first class. Everything was organised to perfection and nothing was too much trouble. read less

5 Stars (2 reviews)

Robert, New Zealand

- April 2022

Great experience

"Well organised trip read more

"Well organised trip read less

5 Stars (863 reviews)

Adrian, New Zealand

- April 2022

Takahe trip 27 Mar-31 Mar 22

"This was a trip down memory lane for me revisiting old haunts & visiting new… read more

"This was a trip down memory lane for me revisiting old haunts & visiting new ones. I was thrilled with how it all went & with the experience of our guides & their enthusiasm. The weather was perfect & I achieved everything on my bucket list! read less

5 Stars (863 reviews)

Colleen, New Zealand

- April 2022

Amazing trip

"We loved our Active Adventures trip. The guides were amazing, super organised and great company. read more

"We loved our Active Adventures trip. The guides were amazing, super organised and great company. read less

5 Stars (64 reviews)

Kate, New Zealand

- April 2022

Great Get away

"With everything organised for you this was a great way to recharge the batteries and… read more

"With everything organised for you this was a great way to recharge the batteries and enjoy a beautiful part of the country. read less

4 Stars (2 reviews)

Tina, New Zealand

- March 2022

Definitely a bucket list thing to do!

"Active adventures is a very slick organisation. Nothing was too much for anyone there. From… read more

"Active adventures is a very slick organisation. Nothing was too much for anyone there. From the lovely girls on the phone as well as the emails coming telling us little bits and tips. The guides Mel and Elder would have to be the most patient helpful informative kind as well as unbelievable chefs you could wish for!! The accommodation they organised for us starting in Christchurch at Merivale Manor right in the heart of Merivale. You must NOT go past this motel. The owners Karen and Wayne greeted us all as long lost family. Their accommodation is just wonderful. Their presentation of all their rooms including continental breakfast with all the fresh fruit flowers fabulous muesli yoghurt and fruit compote. Hot cross buns and fresh bread beautifully wrapped in tissue with string and flowers is incredible!! A must experience for everyone!
Along with that, we experienced all sorts of super and interesting places on our 5-day cycle. Everything any group would love. We had 10 people on our ride and all got on so well that we are going to meet up for a reunion in the near future. Age doesn’t matter! 75 yr olds down to early 50’s Great combo. So get on the net and book in spring before you miss out! read less

5 Stars (64 reviews)

Heather, New Zealand

- March 2022

Definitely a bucket list thing to do!

"Active adventures is a very slick organisation. Nothing was too much for anyone there. From… read more

"Active adventures is a very slick organisation. Nothing was too much for anyone there. From the lovely girls on the phone as well as the emails coming telling us little bits and tips. The guides Mel and Elder would have to be the most patient helpful informative kind as well as unbelievable chefs you could wish for!! The accomodation they organised for us starting in Christchurch at Merivale Manor right in the heart of Merivale. You must NOT go past this motel. The owners Karen and Wayne greeted us all as long lost family. Their accomodation is just wonderful. Their presentation of all their rooms including continental breakfast with all the fresh fruit flowers fabulous muesli yoghurt and fruit compote. Hot cross buns and fresh bread beautifully wrapped in tissue with string and flowers is incredible!! A must experience for everyone!
Along with that we experienced all sorts of super and interesting places on our 5 day cycle. Everything any group would love. We had 10 people on our ride and all got on so well that we are going to meet up for a reunion in the near future. Age doesn’t matter! 75 yr olds down to early 50’s Great combo. So get on the net and book in spring before you miss out! read less

5 Stars (64 reviews)

Marki, New Zealand

- March 2022

Spectacular Scenery

"The Alps to Ocean is a really worthwhile lengthy trail that highlights some of the… read more

"The Alps to Ocean is a really worthwhile lengthy trail that highlights some of the best scenery NZ has to offer. Our guides Mel and Elder were awesome. They were friendly, knowledgeable and experienced. They made every effort to ensure we were well looked after and were always happy to do anything extra for us...their cooking was pretty superb too. Our accommodation was great and the food was excellent. The general organization could not be faulted. However, the e-bikes that were provided are really due for an upgrade. The supposed front suspension turned out to be seat suspension only and limited at that. After owning my own e-bikes for 5 years I have a fairly good idea of what they should be like. We weren't expecting top of the range or anything close to that but I really feel these bikes were not ideal for several parts of the track, especially on the first 3 days. We had to ride carefully conserving battery so we could complete the 70+km average on most days and on the rocky and slightly technical parts of the track the bikes were basic. Looking forward to any upgrade read less

4 Stars (64 reviews)

Raewyn, New Zealand

- March 2022

Alps to Ocean

"This bike tour was indeed an adventure. I was challenged physically and mentally and very… read more

"This bike tour was indeed an adventure. I was challenged physically and mentally and very glad I put the training in before arriving. For me, having guides was the ‘icing on the cake ‘ so- to - speak. I was impressed with their patience, having to often repeat instructions to some very tired participants, always with a positive attitude. It was gratifying to have nutritious and delicious meals provided by them and at the end of the day have the bikes, equipment and luggage all taken care of. Our guides gave of themselves personally and professionally. I cannot speak more highly of them.
The grandeur that is the South Island was as always breathtaking and we were encouraged to notice particular areas. The accommodation was great highlighted by our stay at
Braemar Station.
So much more could be said but one has to experience it for themselves. If you are fit, love off road biking, love the Sth. Island, this is the adventure to go for. I recommend being with guides and hiring / bringing an e-bike to get the best out of it. You’ll love it. read less

5 Stars (64 reviews)

Linda, New Zealand

- March 2022

Alps to Ocean

"Really enjoyed and would highly recommend read more

"Really enjoyed and would highly recommend read less

4 Stars (64 reviews)

Fiona, New Zealand

- March 2022

Alps to Ocean

"Overall a great trip. read more

"Overall a great trip. read less

4 Stars (64 reviews)

Kevin, New Zealand

- March 2022

Perfect Guides

"We were so lucky to have Mel and Elder as our guides on the Alps… read more

"We were so lucky to have Mel and Elder as our guides on the Alps to Ocean bike ride. Such capable and intelligent read less

5 Stars (64 reviews)

Jan, New Zealand

- March 2022

Marking off the Bucket List

"Hi, I have been wanting to do this trip for 4 years. I… read more

"Hi, I have been wanting to do this trip for 4 years. I was diagnosed with MS some 4 years ago and though not a great walker anymore, I thought...hey why not do this!!!! I had led an active life until diagnosis, (I am still am active, but wanted to see if I could do this with my disability). The support from the guides were amazing...they were so, so helpful and patient with my disability...nothing was a problem. They never got frustrated with me and were nothing but encouraging. They managed the trip, food and accommodation with finesse and were such a friendly and accommodating team. The group I travelled with were fun loving people and we have secured contacts and friendships for the future. A SUPERB trip....highly recommended. read less

5 Stars (64 reviews)

Maria, New Zealand

- March 2022

FUN FUN

"Had a brilliant time, met great people and had superb guides. read more

"Had a brilliant time, met great people and had superb guides. read less

4 Stars (64 reviews)

Sonia, New Zealand

- March 2022

This trip was amazing

"This trip was amazing. I got to meet some incredible people in my group that… read more

"This trip was amazing. I got to meet some incredible people in my group that welcomed us into their space with open arms - the scenery and weather were spectacular and the guides really impressed with the organization of the tour and their laid back ''we can make this happen'' personalities. They were absolutely fantastic -thank you both.
all in all, bring it on for the next adventure! read less

4 Stars (64 reviews)

Duncan, New Zealand

- March 2022

Nice, amazing, beauty

"Like a dream, weather was good, company was good, food was good, activities awesome read more

"Like a dream, weather was good, company was good, food was good, activities awesome read less

5 Stars (863 reviews)

Sabine, New Zealand

Active Adventure Assurance

Secure Your Spot Now, Pay the Rest Later

As members of the Active Adventures family, Austin Adventures offers booking assurance that allows you to secure your spot with a deposit now and pay the rest later. Plus, if your plans change or you can’t travel, you can transfer your booking or request a refund on any additional funds paid (less deposit) up to 90 days from your original trip start date.  

READ MORE

Why Travel With Us

benefit group size

Just-right group sizes allow you to get off the beaten path

With an average of 12 guests per departure and an industry-leading 6:1 guest-to-guide ratio, you’ll enjoy a highly personalized experience with the perspective of an insider.

benefit guides

Award-winning guides lead the way

It’s so much easier to relax and enjoy your adventure when you have fun, caring guides who know the land, are experts in motivation, sweat all the details and whip up incredible meals, too!

benefit inclusive

You’ll never need to sweat the details

When we say all inclusive, we mean it! Meals and snacks, activities, lodging, transportation, guiding services and more. Every detail is handled; all you need to do is show up!

benefit safety

Enjoy freedom to push your boundaries – safely

Every aspect of your trip is thoroughly considered for your safety, from highly vetted vendors and well-maintained equipment to extensively trained guides and our seasoned operations team at headquarters.

benefit family

Decades of expertise mean you’ll experience only the best

Family travel and North American National Parks are our specialty. We’ve perfected our itineraries and sustained relationships for decades, ensuring you'll experience your destination to the fullest.

benefit wow

"Wow Moments” take your trip from enjoyable to extraordinary

For us, the extra mile is never extra, it’s part of the way! Count on special touches throughout your trip that will amplify your experience. If we’ve done our job, they’ll have you saying “wow!”

Frequently Asked Questions