Active South Island

Christchurch, Arthur's Pass, Lake Heron, Wanaka, Fiordland

From $9900 Per person in low season
From $12300 Per person in high season

based on 14 nights

Price Guide:

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* Pricing is a guideline only and excludes special offers. Travel over peak periods (e.g. Christmas, New Year and other public vacations) can affect prices considerably, as can exchange rates, flight class and room type.

Price includes:

  • Accommodation

  • Private transfers

  • Car rental

  • Selected experiences

Price based on 2 people sharing.

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At a Glance

  • Ideal trip for active types, with hiking, kayaking and outdoors activities aplenty

  • Get off the beaten track to hidden gems like Lake Heron Station, a high country working sheep farm

  • Road trip around South Island, driving a 4x4

  • Travel through the dramatic Doubtful Sound on an overnight boat cruise

  • Easy to add time exploring North Island if you want a longer trip

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Best time to Visit

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The climate in New Zealand is incredibly pleasant, with warm and balmy summers and cold crisp winter months with wonderful clear, blue skies. The warmer high-season months of November to April are perfect for outdoor exploration. The colder months of June to August are the best time to ski.

South Island is drier on the east coast, rather than on the west, where mountain ranges act as a trap for the moisture-rich winds from the Tasman Sea. It is also worth remembering that it is usually a few degrees cooler on the South Island than the North Island and as New Zealand has a maritime climate, the weather can change rapidly.

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Insider's View

Look out for the rare Fiordland penguin species with their distinctive yellow "eyebrows" when you're cruising the Doubtful Sound - they are delightful to watch as they hop along the rocks.

Stop off at the famous Sheffield Pies for a typical New Zealand meat pie on the way to Arthur's Pass - recommended by many Kiwis as the best meat pies in the country!

You need a 4x4 for this trip, particularly for Lake Heron, to ensure you can get out and about exploring this wild area.

We design each itinerary around you, so this suggested itinerary is a starting point that we can tweak or transform into something completely bespoke to you. To start planning your vacation


New Zealand is an active traveler's dream, with an abundance of rewarding outdoors adventures. Spend your days hiking, kayaking, mountain biking and exploring remote sheep stations by 4x4 on this active trip around South Island.

  1. Days 1-2: Christchurch

    Begin your active adventure around South Island in the garden city of Christchurch on the east coast. Nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the Canterbury Plains, Christchurch is a beautiful compact city – the largest in the South Island. Take a stroll in the picturesque Hagley Park or take a punt down the River Avon – a gentle introduction to New Zealand after your long flight.

    Accommodation: Hotel Montreal (1 night)

  2. Days 2-5: Canterbury and the West Coast

    Collect your hire car and continue to Wilderness Lodge Arthur’s Pass, a working farm located high in the dramatic Southern Alps. The journey from Christchurch to Arthur’s Pass is an adventure in its own right. Pass through heart of the mighty Southern Alps witnessing breath-taking scenery and awe-inspiring landscapes as you cross the mountainous spine of the South Island.  Wilderness Lodge Arthurs Pass is a charming eco-lodge which offers unbelievable mountain views and a huge variety of activities from sheep-shearing to guided nature walks around the 4000-acre estate. Other activities included guided stargazing allowing you to spot constellations and even planets or alternatively kayaking excursions and guided mountain hikes can also be arranged. For a little extra you can opt to climb high up into a glacial basin admiring the mountain panoramas and cascading waterfalls that surround Arthur’s Pass National Park. 

    Accommodation: Wilderness Lodge Arthur's Pass (3 nights)

  3. Days 5-8: Canterbury and the West Coast

    Returning South today your next destination is a remote sheep station at Lake Heron. Located in an extremely remote area of New Zealand, Lake Heron Station defines the definition of seclusion. A typical working high-country farm, Lake Heron Station is home to thousands of merino sheep as well as cattle and covers the entire valley and every mountain in sight. This is your adventure playground just begging to be explored, taking your 4x4, a map and a picnic lunch and driving anywhere you choose, setting off on foot and conquering a mountain or canoeing on the lake.

    Accommodation: Lake Heron Station (3 nights)

  4. Days 8-11: Canterbury and the West Coast

    The Ahuriri Valley is your next stop and your final experience of the Southern Alps before you head to the Fiordland region of New Zealand. Stay at The Lindis - a brand new luxury lodge set in the most breathtaking of environments. With a plethora of activities on offer from the lodge including gliding, cycling and horse riding - the choice is yours how you wish to spend your time here. Admire the simply outstanding scenery from one of the lodges many panoramic windows and as the sun falls be mesmerized by the thousands of stars shining bright above you. 

    The surrounding area is home to some outstanding full day hikes in some of New Zealand's most inspiring scenery, as well as challenging mountain biking, heli-hiking on glaciers, mountaineering, horse riding and quad biking.

    Accommodation: The Lindis (3 nights)

  5. Days 11-15: Fiordland National Park

    Last but by no means least, head into the Fiordland region, truly getting off the grid. After spending one night at Fiordland Lodge, cruise overnight on the Doubtful Sound, retracing the steps of early explorers who navigated these often-foggy waters in search of a landing point on the island. You'll get the chance to swim in the calm waters, if you’re lucky play with the playful dolphins, as well as kayak in this silent sound looking out for wildlife from  Fiordland penguins and fur seals. Your final couple of nights will be back on dry land at Fiordland Lodge, where you can enjoy wonderful day hikes on the Kepler or Milford track, with a helicopter ride back to the lodge at the end of the day if you wish or spend time fly-fishing if you prefer.

    Accommodation: Fiordland Lodge (4 nights)


Christchurch, Arthur's Pass, Lake Heron, Wanaka, Fiordland

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We design each itinerary around you, so this suggested itinerary is a starting point that we can tweak or transform into something completely bespoke to you. To start planning your vacation

Start planning now Speak to our specialists on 858 345 1762 or start planning now Plan your trip