New Zealand South Island Family Holiday

It’s time to explore the marvellous sights and sounds of New Zealand’s South Island with the kids, and this seven-day family adventure is just the ticket. You’ll all be in awe driving past some of mother nature’s most spectacular sights – the Crown Range, Lake Wanaka, Milford Sound, Stewart Island and Te Anau Downs, to name just a few. And with all of the adventure covered, the family will be cycling, hiking, paddling, cruising and animal spotting until your heart is content. So, come and see what all the fuss is about on this exploration of New Zealand’s great wilderness.


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7 Days from $2,540 per adult & $2,286 per child

Inclusions:

  • Meals - 6 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners
  • Transport - Private minivan, Kayak, bike
  • Accommodation - Apartments (2 nights), Lodge (2 nights), Retreat (2 nights)
  • Included activities:
    • Arrowtown - Leader Led walking tour
    • Wanaka - Millenium Trail walk
    • Wanaka - Kayaking
    • Wanaka - Mou Waho Island walk
    • Te Anau - Lakeside walk
    • Otago Rail Trail - Alexandra to Clyde
    • Milford Sound - Cruise
    • Milford Sound - Walk to Mirror Lakes and Lake Gunn
    • Stewart Island - Guided Walk on the Rakiura Track
    • Stewart Island - Ulva Island tour



Itinerary

Day 1: Queenstown to Wanaka

Welcome to New Zealand’s South Island. Make your way to a centrally located pickup point in Queenstown at 10 am to begin your family adventure. Once all families have arrived, leave this resort town in your dust and take a short drive to historic Arrowtown. This place was put on the map in the gold rush days, all the way back in the mid-19th century. Here, stop at a local cafe for an all-important welcome meeting where your leader will fill you in on the details of your trip. With all the formalities aside, head on a leader-led walking tour of Arrowtown, passing by the Chinese Settlement and gold miner’s village, old gaol and Dudleys Cottage. Jump back in your private transport and weave your way through the Crown Range before arriving at your self-contained apartments in lakeside Wanaka for the evening. You’ll have time to settle in plus take a walk along the Millennium Trail together, which hugs the shimmering Lake Wanaka.

Accommodation: Upton Apartments or similar (1 night)


Day 2: Wanaka

After an included breakfast, jump into a kayak and take an easy 2–3 hour paddle to Glendhu Bay, admiring the green landscapes that surround you. Then, take a water taxi to the predator-free island of Mou Waho – a true natural paradise in Otago. Be sure to pack your walking shoes as you’ll embark on a short 30-minute hike up to a viewing point where you’ll discover an island in a lake in an island in a lake in an island – yes, you read that right. It’s the natural equivalent of a babushka doll! Enjoy the views as you tuck into an included picnic lunch. This island is currently a conservation area for the inquisitive buff weka (a flightless bird) as well as giant crickets known as weta, so see if you can spot either. In the mid-afternoon, return to Wanaka via water taxi for an afternoon at your leisure. For the grown ups, you might want to check out some local wineries, or instead, perhaps get the whole family together and try your hand at stand-up paddle boarding on the lake. Tonight is all yours, too, so be sure to ask your leader for any restaurant recommendations they may have in town.

Accommodation: Upton Apartments or similar (1 night)

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch


Day 3: Te Anau Downs

Enjoy breakfast together before driving to historic Alexandra, where you will spend the morning cycling on the renowned Otago Rail Trail to Clyde. The full trail which was originally a supply route for the gold fields runs for 152 kilometres, but luckily for you the ride today is only a small section. It’s the best way to explore the local area, so jump on your bikes and leave town via the Alexandra Historic Bridge on your way to Clyde. Stop to see remnants of the gold rush era and learn about how the landscape has been shaped by the sluicing technique for extracting gold. Keep following the Clutha (Mata-Au) River across an old trestle bridge and into Clyde, where you’ll have time to relax and perhaps refuel with your own lunch – and possibly an ice-cream! This afternoon, drive to Te Anau via the mighty Kawarau Gorge (approximately 3 hours). After settling into your lodge-style accommodation (located in Te Anau Downs), meet your leader and fellow travel families for a lakeside walk and dinner.

Accommodation: Te Anau Downs Fiordland National Park Lodge (1 night)

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 4: Te Anau Downs

Today is a truly a special day and you’ll want to have your camera ready – it’s time to cruise the incredible Milford Sound. This morning, board your boat for a cruise on the sound to see the scenic landscapes up close. It doesn’t matter what weather greets you here today as the landscape is on full display any time of the year. The deep blue waters shimmer in the sunlight, the rugged valley walls look eerie and mysterious when cloud shrouds its peaks, and even in the rain, natural waterfalls flow down the cliffs like veins in mother nature. Simply put, it’s a slice of paradise. En route, take the time to stop by Lake Gunn and Mirror Lakes for a short leader-led walk to admire these waterways. In the afternoon, head back to Te Anau Downs for a walk around Mistletoe Lake and to relax into the evening. If you’re feeling up to it, why not book into an optional Glowworm tour at night? This is the best way to see these creatures in their natural habitat.

Accommodation: Te Anau Downs Fiordland National Park Lodge (1 night)

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner



Day 6: Stewart Island

You may have thought that you’ve discovered all the nature that New Zealand has to offer in days’ past, but today, there’s more. Spend the whole day exploring the verdant interior of Stewart Island. You’ll walk along a section of the Rakiura Track – usually a four-day expedition, but for your family, an easy and short section along the beach. Don’t worry, it’s is no less beautiful and scenic than the longer version. Some time today you’ll also head to nearby Ulva Island to discover the mammals and birdlife that call this area home. Your guide will always be nearby to answer any questions you may have and help you spot the best wildlife out there. It’s no surprise that Stewart Island’s pristine shores are home to all of this natural wonder, and it’s all yours today to experience.

Accommodation: Rakiura Retreat (1 night)

Meals Included: Breakfast


Day 7: Stewart Island to Queenstown

This morning, gather the troops as you return via ferry and private vehicle to Queenstown. Along the way, you’ll stop at Invercargill for your own lunch, perhaps bidding farewell from here. Otherwise, continue with your leader to Queenstown where your family adventure will end on arrival at a central location around 5 pm.

Meals Included: Breakfast


*Terms and Conditions: Price correct as of 15 December 2020. Prices are per person based on twin share accommodation, low season. Prices, itineraries and inclusions are subject to availability and can change at any time without notice. Booking, payment and cancellation conditions apply. Contact your travel agent for more information. SUPPLIER: Intrepid