Classic South Island Adventure

  • 8 Days
  • Avg Group Size: 12
  • Activity Level 3
    • Activity Level 3

      Step It Up

      I love an active vacation. Engaging in a challenging activity with a difficult goal, such as reaching a summit, is exactly what I need to unwind in the evenings.

    Read more about the Active Range

  • Trip Start: Christchurch
  • Trip End: Queenstown
new zealand tour 4 v3

Discover the depths of New Zealand's backcountry via hiking, biking and kayaking on our Classic South Island Adventure.

Get ready for an adventure of a lifetime, exploring New Zealand's most iconic and remote wilderness, with every detail carefully planned on our 8-day Classic South Island Adventure. You'll be truly mind-blown by the array of activities and landscapes you can experience in just eight days. From flying into Siberia Valley, hiking up to Lake Crucible in Mt Aspiring National Park and jet boating out the next morning. Each day brings a unique challenge, a new adventure and a chance to see the South Island in ways very few experience. If you're ready to take in the wilderness of the West Coast, hike part of the Routeburn Track and spend a day in the charming mountain town of Queenstown, look no further than our Classic South Island Adventure.

Trip Highlights

Routeburn Track

HikingHiking

Mt Aspiring National Park

HikingHiking

Franz Josef Glacier

HikingHiking

Queenstown Trail

BikingBiking

Okarito Lagoon

KayakingKayaking

Cruise Milford Sound

Plus ...Plus ...

Scenic mountain flight to Siberia Hut

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Jet boat in Mt Aspiring National Park

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Explore Queenstown

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Cross the Haast Pass

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Download Our Handy Trip Itinerary

Our Trip Itinerary contains all the exciting details you can expect to do on our trips. Get a clear picture of the adventures on this trip.

DOWNLOAD ITINERARY PDF

Classic South Island Adventure ~ Itinerary

Trip Start: Christchurch Trip End: Queenstown

Download our Handy Trip itenary

Our Trip Itinerary contains all the exciting details you can expect to do on our trips. Get a clear picture of the adventures on this trip

  • Day 1Arrive, hike in Arthur's Pass

  • Day 2Kayak Okarito Lagoon and Hike near Franz Josef Glacier

  • Day 3Start Of Multi-Day Options

  • Day 3 Option ASiberia Valley Wilderness: Scenic flight, hike Lake Crucible

  • Day 3 Option BMakarora Adventure: Scenic flight, hike Siberia Valley, jet boat Wilkin River

  • Day 4Multi-Day Options Continued

  • Day 4 Option ASiberia Valley Wilderness: Hike Siberia Valley, jet boat Wilkin River, bike Queenstown Trail

  • Day 4 Option BMakaroa Adventure: Hike Haast Pass Lookout and Blue Pools, bike Queenstown Trail

  • Day 5Gondola ride, hike Ben Lomond or free day in Queenstown

  • Day 6Hike Kepler Track

  • Day 7Milford Sound Cruise, Hike Routeburn Track

  • Day 8Depart for home

  • Day 1

    Arrive, hike in Arthur's Pass

    #99

    Most people leave the Northern Hemisphere on a Friday evening, arriving in Auckland early Sunday morning. You’ll lose a day crossing the dateline – but you get it back on the way home! It’s a short flight from Auckland to Christchurch on the South Island where we’ll meet you. We’ll then travel into the Southern Alps to hike Devil’s Punchbowl in Arthur’s Pass. The walk will take you through native beech forest to an awesome 131 meter (430 feet) waterfall, so make sure you have your camera handy! From there, we’ll head down the coast to Franz Josef where we’ll stay the night. Nestled in the rainforest-clad foothills of the Southern Alps, Franz Josef is the heart of New Zealand's glacier country.

    Rainforest Retreat, Franz Josef (Lunch, Dinner)

    Hiking: 2 kilometers (1.2 miles), 0.5-1 hour, elevation +/- 100 meters (330 feet)

  • Day 2

    Kayak Okarito Lagoon and Hike near Franz Josef Glacier

    #101

    This morning we’ll take a short journey over to Okarito, a little-known beach community on the coast. We’ll take to the water in sea kayaks and glide along a picturesque lagoon, set against a stunning backdrop of snow-capped peaks. Okarito is home to the only native white heron colony in New Zealand, as well as a host of other interesting birds. You can opt for the heli-hike on Franz Josef Glacier instead of the kayaking if you wish (see information below). After our activities this morning we’ll regroup back in Franz Josef for some lunch before heading off to check out the glacier! With some 140 glaciers making their way down from the Southern Alps, this area is fittingly known as glacier country. Few sights equal the spectacle of two of these giant frozen rivers (Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers) imperceptibly grinding their way down through the temperate rainforest to just 250 meters (820 feet) above sea level. After lunch we go for a short walk out to a viewpoint of the Franz Josef Glacier. This afternoon we’ll travel down the coast along the Tasman Sea with a chance to walk the beach before heading over the divide of the island into Mount Aspiring National Park, ending our day in Makarora.

    Wonderland Lodge, Makarora (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

    Kayaking: 2-21/2 hours OR Heli-Hike on Franz Josef Glacier
    Hiking: 1.5 kilometers (1 mile), 30 minutes, elevation +/- 20 meters (66 feet)
    Notes: Optional Heli-hike (additional cost applies): An outrageously scenic alternative to this afternoon’s hike is to heli-hike on Franz Josef Glacier itself. After being fitted with crampons, ice axes and so on, you’ll board a modern turbine helicopter and fly towards the highest peaks of the Southern Alps, landing on the glacier at 1300 metres (4265 feet) above sea level. Led by specialist glacier guides, you’ll hike through the grand ice formations of the glacier, checking out its crevasses, seracs and tunnels – no previous experience is required! The constant movement of the glacier means every day is different, so your guides will cut steps in the ice and make sure you make the most of the conditions. At the end of your hike on the ice, you’ll take another helicopter ride out of the mountains and back to civilization. The heli-hike is extremely popular and must be reserved at time of booking only. Please note also there is a weight limit of 115kg (250 pounds).

  • Day 3

    Start Of Multi-Day Options

    This morning we’ll make our final preparations for our incredible flight into Mount Aspiring National Park, and true wilderness.

  • Day 3 Option A

    Siberia Valley Wilderness: Scenic flight, hike Lake Crucible

    If you like the idea of staying in one of New Zealand’s most isolated mountain huts, then this option is for you (but let us know early as space is limited!) We’ll start with a stunning scenic flight alongside the snowy Southern Alps to the Siberia Valley airstrip, a short hike from the hut where we’ll spend the night. After lightening your packs at the hut, we will hike up the trail to Lake Crucible, a cauldron-like glacial lake with fantastic views of the valley below. The hike follows the Siberia river upstream for a short while before crossing the river to make our way up into the Crucible Valley. This section of the trail is steep and forested and is where the majority of the 550m (1800 feet) in elevation gain will be tackled. The path will ease eventually, and you’ll cross the Crucible stream, making your way toward the moraine wall and the impressive backdrop of the valley, Mount Alba. The hike at times is strenuous, though the Lake Crucible Valley has exceptional scenic diversity, so it provides a great reward for the efforts you put in. We’ll be there to encourage you the whole way. Tonight, you’ll enjoy a true Kiwi experience at a small mountain hut, tucked within the Siberia Valley, our home for the night!

    Siberia Hut, Mt Aspiring National Park (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

    Hiking: 7 kilometers (4.3 miles), 6-8 hours, elevation +/- 550 meters (1,800 feet)

  • Day 3 Option B

    Makarora Adventure: Scenic flight, hike Siberia Valley, jet boat Wilkin River

    If you prefer accommodation with modern amenities instead of a mountain hut for the night, then this is the option for you. You’ll head out for a mind-blowing scenic flight into Mount Aspiring National Park, with a bird’s eye view of the lower Southern Alps, landing in the remote Siberia Valley. After crossing the Wilkin River you can choose to have some downtime at the Siberia Hut or a walk upstream past a waterfall and amazing views of the mountains. After lunch, you’ll hike downstream along the Wilkin River, through beautiful silver beech (Nothofagus menziesii) forests to a jet boat rendezvous. Then it’s a thrilling ride back to Makarora for dinner and perhaps a well-earned drink at the local pub.

    Wonderland Lodge, Makarora (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

    Hiking: 6.6 kilometers or 10.5 kilometers (4.1 or 6.5 miles), 2-3 hours, elevation +140 meters (460 feet) / - 320 meters (1,050 feet)

  • Day 4

    Multi-Day Options Continued

  • Day 4 Option A

    Siberia Valley Wilderness: Hike Siberia Valley, jet boat Wilkin River, bike Queenstown Trail

    After an early start, we spend the morning hiking to Kerin Forks, at the head of the Wilkin River, where we’ll be met by a jet boat for an exhilarating ride back to Makarora to meet up with the rest of the group for lunch. Your load will be little more than a day pack – our guides will carry the lion’s share. You’ll be carrying a backpack with a sleeping bag, a few spare clothes, and some food – no need for any more than that, although if you opt to camp out under the stars the night before, you will be carrying your tent out. After regrouping in Makarora, we’ll have a picnic lunch before taking a beautiful drive through spectacular glacier-carved valleys. The landscape changes rapidly from dense beech forests to semi-arid mountainous terrain. We'll take a quick stop in Wanaka before a short but dramatic journey over the Cardrona Saddle to Arrowtown, a small historic gold mining village established in the 1800s. We'll hop on bikes to ride a portion of the Queenstown Bike Trail. The trail is well packed and winds along beside the Arrow River, and we'll follow the Arrow Bridges Trail through to Morven Ferry Carpark or the famous Kawarau Bungy Bridge, depending on the group's ability. After our ride, we'll head on to Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu where you’ll sleep sweetly tonight in this alpine town.

    Heritage Hotel, Queenstown (Breakfast, Lunch)

    Hiking: 6.6 kilometers (4.1 miles), 2-3 hours, elevation + 140 meters (460 feet) / - 320 meters (1,050 feet)
    Biking: 7.5-13 kilometers (4.6-8.1 miles), 1-2 hour, elevation +/- 127 meters (416 feet)

  • Day 4 Option B

    Makaroa Adventure: Hike Haast Pass Lookout and Blue Pools, bike Queenstown Trail

    This morning we’ll head back toward the West Coast and stop off at the top of Haast Pass to walk up to the Haast Pass Lookout. The trail has a steady incline and doesn’t let off until you reached the top, though the views from above the tree line are well worth the climb! On our way back to Makarora, we’ll check out the iconic Blue Pools, nestled among mature beech and podocarp forest, these pools of deep, clear water flowing into the Makarora River offer a moment of tranquillity. Alternatively, you can have a relaxing sleep in and spend your morning soaking up the mountain views. After regrouping in Makarora, we’ll have a picnic lunch before taking a beautiful drive through spectacular glacier-carved valleys. The landscape changes rapidly from dense beech forests to semi-arid mountainous terrain. We'll take a quick stop in Wanaka before a short but dramatic journey over the Cardrona Saddle to Arrowtown, a small historic gold mining village established in the 1800s. We'll hop on bikes to ride a portion of the Queenstown Bike Trail. The trail is well packed and winds along beside the Arrow River, and we'll follow the Arrow Bridges Trail through to Morven Ferry Carpark or the famous Kawarau Bungy Bridge, depending on the group's ability. After our ride, we'll head on to Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu where you’ll sleep sweetly tonight in this alpine town.

    Heritage Hotel, Queenstown (Breakfast, Lunch)

    Hiking: Haast Pass Hike: 3.5 kilometers (2.2 miles), 1 hour return, elevation +/- 107 meters (351 feet)
    Hiking: Blue Pools Hike: 1.5 kilometers (0.9 miles), 1 hour return, elevation +/- 54 meters (177 feet)
    Biking: 7.5-13 kilometers (4.6-8.1 miles), 1-2 hour, elevation +/- 127 meters (416 feet)

  • Day 5

    Gondola ride, hike Ben Lomond or free day in Queenstown

    #111

    Today you have two options – a full day hike or a free day to yourself. For those keen for an alpine hike, you’ll meet your guide at reception at 9am, ready to head up the Ben Lomond Track. To save our legs a little, we’ll take a short gondola ride up to Bob’s Peak, which is 450 meters (1476 feet) above Queenstown. From there, we’ll head out along the trail through alpine tussock-land towards the summit of Ben Lomond. From this vantage point, you’ll find yourself immersed in amazing views over Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu, which are themselves dwarfed by the surrounding mountains including Mt. Aspiring. As an alternative, you can have a free day to explore on your own. Queenstown is the adventure capital of New Zealand (if not the world!) and all the comforts of civilisation are packed into this tiny resort town: restaurants galore, sidewalk cafés, stylish lounge bars, day spas, and boutiques. You’ll also find incredible optional activities here including horse trekking, kayaking, fishing, winery tours, hang gliding, mountain biking, bungy jumping, jet boating and skydiving. Or you can just soak up the atmosphere or lounge about reading a book. Your guides will happily share their favourite haunts and point you in the right direction if you choose to have a free day today.

    Heritage Hotel, Queenstown

    Hiking: 8 kilometers (5 miles), 4-5 hours, elevation +/- 978 meters (3,208 feet)

  • Day 6

    Hike Kepler Track

    #113

    This morning we’ll make our way around Lake Wakatipu, leaving behind the towering Remarkables and head west to the small town of Te Anau, the gateway to Milford Sound. This afternoon we’ll take a hike on the famous Kepler Track, one of New Zealand’s Great Walks - we follow the track through mountain beech forest and along the Waiau River. It’s an awesome hike with spectacular views! Tonight we’ll stay on the edge of Lake Te Anau, enjoying the scenery and the delicious local fare.

    Matai Lodge or Distinction Luxmore Hotel, Te Anau (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

    Hiking: 9.5 kilometers (6 miles), 2-3 hours, elevation +/- 50 meters (165 feet)

  • Day 7

    Milford Sound Cruise, Hike Routeburn Track

    #115

    It’s an early start this morning as we set off for our largest and perhaps most spectacular national park, Fiordland. We’ll take a short drive through the Homer Tunnel and emerge at the top of a spectacular glacier-carved valley for a memorable descent to the shore of Milford Sound. Rudyard Kipling rated this fiord as the eighth natural wonder of the world and it is truly breathtaking, with steep granite walls plunging over a thousand meters to the Tasman Sea and waterfalls cascading into the deep inky water. We’ll jump on board the first boat cruise of the day, where we’ll have the water to ourselves, as we gaze in wonder at the waterfalls tumbling down enormous vertical rock faces all around and journey right out to the entrance of the fiord. We may be lucky enough to encounter the friendly fur seals and dolphins that are sometimes in the area. Afterwards, we’ll explore the Fiordland wilderness on foot again, with a hike to Key Summit on the famous Routeburn Track. The panoramic views are incredible from this vantage point and you’ll probably get to meet New Zealand’s notoriously cheeky and intelligent alpine parrot, the kea (Nestor notabilis). After our hike, we’ll continue heading out of Milford Sound to return for our last night on the shores of Lake Te Anau. Tonight we’ll enjoy a celebratory dinner for our last night.

    Matai Lodge or Distinction Luxmore Hotel, Te Anau (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

    Hiking: 6.8 kilometers (4.2 miles), 3-4 hours, elevation +/-470meters (1540 feet)

  • Day 8

    Depart for home

    After breakfast, we’ll return to Queenstown. This is the end of your trip and you’ll have had an exhilarating week. We’ll leave you buzzing with excitement, but feeling relaxed and refreshed as well! If you're keen to extend your trip and see what the North Island has to offer (Maori culture, pristine beaches, and geothermal areas) check out our 11-day Ultimate North Island Adventure (5-day options also available).

    No Accommodation (Breakfast)

Classic South Island Adventure Departure Dates

  • Upcoming
  • 3 months
  • 6 months
  • 1 year
USD $4999/per adult (+tax) 

Tax info:
Our New Zealand trip fares are subject to Goods and Services Tax (GST 15%)

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Included

  • Our own highly experienced guides, driver, and cook, with you from start to finish
  • Industry-leading Guest-to-Guide ratio (averaging 6:1)
  • Your own ‘Travel Wallet’, an online space with everything required for your adventure
  • Our knowledgeable Customer Service Team to answer your queries - just a phone call, email or chat away
  • Customer Service pre-trip phone calls to ensure you’re 'trip ready'
  • All accommodations for the duration of your trip
  • All meals except where indicated in the itinerary
  • Unlimited snacks to keep you fueled
  • All activities outlined in the itinerary
  • All necessary equipment (well-maintained and safe) for activities
  • All park and other entry fees
  • Transportation in our air-conditioned vans - safe, clean, modern, and comfortable!



Pick Your Multi-Day Option!

Option A: Siberia Valley Wilderness

The Siberia Valley Wilderness option is designed for those that would like to experience true remoteness in this stunning area. If you like the idea of staying in a rustic mountain hut this might be the option for you! We’ll be carrying everything we need in with us in large backpacks. While your guides carry the lion’s share of the load you’ll still need to carry your own gear (sleeping bag, dry clothes and some toiletries) and a portion of the group’s food. Any excess gear is stored securely in our vehicle for you.

Option B: Makaroa Adventure

The Makarora Adventure option is perfect if you’d like to experience a scenic flight, a day hike and a jet boat ride in the stunning Mt. Aspiring Wilderness area, all the while staying in comfortable accommodations. You’ll be doing just as much activity as those on the Siberia Valley Wilderness option - without having to carry a pack!

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Save 30%* on every second traveler’s adventure of a lifetime when you book by April 30, 2024.

Choose an epic adventure from 25 countries, 6 continents, and over 85 itineraries, then bring a friend or family member and save 30% on their trip! Want to bring a group of friends? Every second group member's adventure is 30% off!

The offer applies to ALL trips - so now is the time to book a new adventure!

Offer ends April 30, 11:59 PM (Pacific Daylight Time).

*Terms & conditions apply – see below

 

*Offer applies for every second guest for trips departing no later than June 30, 2025, valid for new bookings for two or more guests made no later than April 30, 2024 (11:59 pm US PDT). A 30% discount is applied to the pre-tax trip cost for every second guest booked, and all other guests are subject to the full advertised trip cost. To secure the booking and discount, a 50% deposit is due at time of booking. Your 50% deposit is non-refundable, non-cancellable, and non-changeable. If you change or cancel your trip, you will forfeit your 50% deposit, and no refunds will apply. Discount cannot be combined with any other offers. Other restrictions may apply. We highly recommend purchasing Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR) insurance. We recommend Redpoint Insurance – you can find details here.

Useful Info

Where does the trip start?

On the first morning of the trip, our two pick-up locations are Rydges Latimer Square Hotel at 9:30am or the Christchurch airport (CHC) in front of the Help Desk (near door 7) at 10am. You are welcome to book your pre-trip stay at this hotel directly or any other hotel in Christchurch, though you must make your own way to one of the two pick-up points at the pre-designated times.

Where does the trip end?

Your trip ends with a drop-off at either the Queenstown Airport (ZQN) in time for flights below or anywhere in Queenstown around lunch time.

What flights would you recommend?

Arrival: We recommend arriving in Christchurch before 9am. Many guests like to arrive a day or two early to accommodate potential flight delays and/or explore the city prior to your trip start.

Departure: Flying out on the last day of the trip, we recommend departing from Queenstown after 12pm. Earlier flight times will require a separate transfer booked at your own expense.

How fit do I need to be?

As an Activity Level 3-4 trip, you’ll need a good level of fitness for this trip as it’s one of our more adventurous trips. Typically, hikes range between three and six hours to complete, more, or less hiking is available depending on your multi-day option.

Please head to our Fitness Guide for great tips on how to prepare along with a workout plan!

What accommodations do we stay at on this trip?

We have selected the accommodation on your trip for the stunning settings, unique character or adventuresome feel – this trip is not designed to be tour of the fanciest hotels in New Zealand. We prefer to stay in quaint, comfortable B&Bs, lodges and apartments, some of which have private bathrooms and some shared bathrooms. Things get a little more rustic in Milford Sound and in the Siberia Valley wilderness huts, and it’s well worth it for the experience!

If you've selected a single supplement for your trip, the Siberia Valley wilderness option is not included as no single rooms are available in the huts, and the single supplement price takes this into account.

While there are laundry facilities at most locations, they may not be convenient or there may only be one machine to service your entire group. We recommend bringing enough clothing to only have to do laundry once during your trip, if at all. The best time will be during our two night stay in Queenstown (during your free day). 

How much luggage can I bring on this trip?

You are allowed one piece of luggage on your trip, plus a daypack. Your main piece of luggage should not exceed 50 pounds (23 kilograms) and can be anything from a duffle bag to a sports bag with wheels or a suitcase. You’ll also want a good quality backpack sized 25-30 liters (2000 cubic inches) to use throughout the days. 

If you've chosen the Siberia Valley Experience option, you'll also require a good quality trekking pack with well-fitting shoulder and waist straps. Your pack should be 50 litre size (3500 cubic inches), large enough to fit your sleeping bag inside along with all your multi-day gear. 

How do rooming arrangements work?

Trip prices are based on shared arrangements (typically two guests per room), unless otherwise stated. For solo travelers, we’ll pair you with another person of the same gender to share rooms and if there’s no one suitable to share with, there’s no forced single supplement. However, if you specifically request your own rooms, you can opt to pay the single supplement. Solo travelers who book within 90 days of departure, where there are no other solo travelers willing to share, will be required to pay the single supplement. 

For Family Vacation bookings, families consisting of four guests traveling with children aged 17 and under will be automatically assigned one shared room. However, the following alternative rooming allocations are available:

  • Families consisting of four guests with all children aged 13 and above are welcome to opt for additional rooms as per advertised double occupancy adult rates.
  • Families consisting of four guests with at least one child aged 12 and under are automatically assigned a shared room. However, families can opt to pay the adult rates for all guests in their family to have an additional room.
  • The same principles apply for families consisting of more than four guests.

Rooming preferences are subject to availability and must be communicated in writing at time of booking. Automatic assignments as per this policy will be applied in the absence of any specification provided by guests. Any request for additional rooms during trips will be at guests’ own expense and subject to rates made available by the accommodation provider at the time. All minors (guests aged 17 and under) must be accompanied by at least one adult.

Will we encounter snow on this trip?

During bumper snow years the snow may stay on the mountains into October and November. If so, the New Zealand Department of Conservation (equivalent of the USA’s National Park Service) will not allow us to travel over heavily snowed terrain for safety reasons and we heed their warnings. As a result, we may not be able to access some higher elevation hikes such as Mueller Ridge in Aoraki Mt. Cook National Park and Robert’s Ridge in Nelson Lakes National Park - both at 1,500 metres (4500 feet) in our itinerary. Luckily, New Zealand is full of stunning hikes so we’ll select an alternative hike that allows you to enjoy the snowcapped peaks from a safe distance.

Tell me about the optional activities on this trip?

You have the option to take an exciting scenic helicopter flight to visit the upper reaches of the Franz Josef Glacier on the West Coast – an area usually only experienced mountaineers would get to see. No prior experience is required, everything you need is supplied, and as long as you can hike, you can heli-hike!

The three hour package includes a scenic helicopter flight (15 minutes one-way), a two-hour guided walk on and around the glacier and amazing panoramic views of the area. A good level of fitness is required and the following equipment is provided for you: glacier boots, socks, crampons, ice axe and a waterproof raincoat. You’ll need to bring underlayers and this will be depend on the weather, along with sunglasses, sunscreen, some snacks and a small drink bottle.

Note; this is not a fast activity, as walking with a group and continually cutting steps in the ice can be time-consuming. This is however a unique experience. Also If you have (or have had) a heart condition, ACL Knee surgery or you exceed the weight limit of 115 kilograms (250 pounds), you may be refused this activity on arrival.

*This activity MUST be booked at the time of booking.

What is not included?

Flights to and from trip start/end points
15% NZ Goods and Services Tax (GST)
Pre/Post Accommodation
Optional extra activities
Travel insurance
Gratuities for your guides
Rental gear

Tell me about the Siberia Valley Wilderness option?

The Siberia Valley Wilderness option is designed for those that would like to experience true remoteness in this stunning area. If you like the idea of staying in a rustic mountain hut this might be the option for you! We’ll be carrying everything we need in with us in large backpacks. While your guides carry the lion’s share of the load you’ll still need to carry your own gear (sleeping bag, dry clothes and some toiletries) and a portion of the group’s food. Any excess gear is stored securely in our vehicle for you. It’s an easy 15 minute wander from the airstrip across to the Siberia Hut, our humble home for the night, where you will drop the bulk of your gear before departing for Lake Crucible! We will hike up the valley further, following the Siberia river before crossing to ascend a steep, forested section of the trail, a tangle of roots requiring the use of your hands. Once we have reached the hanging valley above we will hike toward the Lake, with a last burst up the steep morraine to reach it! There is an elevation gain of 550 metres (1,800 feet) and the views are worth it! The hike is a good challenge and is a return hike on the same trail. The following day it’s a three hour hike (6.5 kilometres /4 miles) through to the next valley with your backpack, to meet the jet boat.

You’ll start with a jaw-droppingly beautiful scenic flight up the Wilkin and Siberia Valleys to land on an air strip virtually right at the foot of Siberia Hut, your humble home for the night. After dropping your overnight gear off at the hut, you’ll then decide what to do for the afternoon – hike up to glacier-fed Lake Crucible, go for a swim in the waterfall or chill out at the hut with a book. This evening you’ll be treated to a mountain-style candle-lit dinner. The following morning you’ll set off on a three hour hike downstream, and then it’s time to catch a ride on a jet boat for a thrilling trip back to Makarora.

While in Siberia Valley you’ll be sleeping in Department of Conservation (DOC) owned mountain huts. While this unique hut is located in a very remote area (with amazing scenery) it doesn’t have any private rooms, electricity, hot water, phones or flushing toilets - however it’s warm, dry, comfortable - and view from the outhouse is second to none! It’s not possible to pre-book this hut, so you will probably get to meet other mountain adventurers during your stay. 

If you’d prefer a little more privacy than the huts can provide, then you can opt to camp in the field outside Siberia Hut. You’ll be provided with a 2 person tent and a foam roll sleeping mat to carry in your backpack. You can pitch your tent wherever you choose (we can help!) and you’ll still be able to use all hut facilities. If camping sounds appealing, that’s great! Just bear in mind that you’ll need to pack the 2-3kg (4-6lbs) tent out the following day. 

Is tipping expected in New Zealand?

Tipping is neither required nor routinely expected in New Zealand, but it is appropriate for very good service. In New Zealand you don't usually tip in restaurants, or if you take a taxi, or get a haircut. Many of our guests do choose to tip our guides and we recommend USD$20 per day, per guest, per guide. You are welcome to tip an equivalent amount in the local currency. There are plenty of ATM’s and banks in the larger towns of New Zealand.

Tell me about the Makarora Adventure option?

The Makarora Adventure option is perfect if you’d like to experience a scenic flight, a day hike and a jet boat ride in the stunning Mt. Aspiring Wilderness area, all the while staying in comfortable accommodations. You’ll be doing just as much activity as those on the Siberia Valley Wilderness option - without having to carry a pack!

On the first day of this option everyone in your group will head out for a mind-blowing scenic flight into Mt. Aspiring National Park for a bird’s eye view of the lower Southern Alps. After landing in the remote Siberia Valley, you’ll head off for a three-hour hike downstream to the Wilkin River. There, you’ll meet up with a jet boat for a thrilling trip back to Makarora, where you’ll spend the night in a comfortable bed. The following morning you’ll go for a lovely hike in the Haast Pass and Blue Pools, before meeting with the rest of your group once they return from their night in the hut.

What additional activities are on offer in New Zealand?

You’ll be participating in loads of amazing activities during your tour, however, you may be wondering what other cool stuff you can do before or after your trip to make the most of your time in New Zealand.  

We’ve teamed up with the good folk at Everything Travel and you’re welcome to book any pre or post-trip ‘things to do’ directly with them.  

For trips starting and/or ending in the South Island, check out things to do before and/or after your trip here.

For trips starting and/or ending in North Island, check out things to do before and/or after your trip here.

Make sure any activities you book are before or after your trip only as your tour itself is already filled to the brim with the adventures we offer!

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Our Local Guides

Want to see more? Add on the North Island too!

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Ultimate North Island Adventure

4.54

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  • Activity Level Level 3 
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    Read more about the Active Range

Discover your favorite part of the North Island as you hike the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, bike through redwood forests in Rotorua, snorkel or kayak the Poor Knights Islands, and walk through the otherworldly Waitomo Caves.

Trip Start: Auckland Trip End: Auckland

New Zealand

Northland Adventure

ActiveAdventures

Operated by our sister brand Active Adventures

4.67

  • Duration 5 days
  • Activity Level Level 3 
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      Step It Up

      I love an active vacation. Engaging in a challenging activity with a difficult goal, such as reaching a summit, is exactly what I need to unwind in the evenings.

    Read more about the Active Range

Take five days to discover the charms of the North Island. Explore colossal kauri forests, dive or snorkel the Poor Knights Islands, and learn about the Maori culture as you make your way along some of the best coastline of New Zealand.

Trip Start: Auckland Trip End: Auckland

New Zealand

North Island Volcanic Adventure

ActiveAdventures

Operated by our sister brand Active Adventures

4.25

  • Duration 5 days
  • Activity Level Level 4 
    • Activity Level 4

      Challenge Accepted

      I'll let my trusty guides sweat the small things, so I can focus on my goal. Getting to the top, reaching the end, achieving my dreams! Sure, it'll be tough, but the views will be worth it.

    Read more about the Active Range

Explore volcanic landscapes as you hike the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. Soak in hot pools, hike by geysers and boiling mud pools, and explore caves in search of mystical glowworms on this short, action-packed North Island adventure.

Trip Start: Auckland Trip End: Auckland

Why Travel With Us

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

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

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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, sweat all the details and whip up incredible meals, too!

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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. All you need to do is show up!

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Enjoy freedom to push your boundaries – safely

Every aspect of your trip is thoroughly considered for your safety, from highly vetted partners and well-maintained equipment to extensively trained guides.

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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 for decades, ensuring you'll experience your destination to the fullest.

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"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.

Trip Inquiry

New Zealand

Classic South Island Adventure

USD $4999/per adult
$500 USD deposit per person required to secure your place on the trip

What To Expect

  • Place your booking
  • Receive your confirmation email & details to set up your Travel Wallet
  • Our dedicated team will keep you up to date all the way to the departure date

Dates

2024
2025

April 2024

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