Join us for our amazing New Zealand Multi-Adventure. Touring the west coast of the South Island, you will go sea-kayaking in Queen Charlotte Sound, take a helicopter ride to hike on Fox Glacier, fly through river canyons on a Jetboat, and explore underground caves by the blue light of glow worms, and more. This is a family friendly trip with lots of adrenaline pumping activities and the option for some relaxing downtime!
• New Zealand is only about the size of Colorado
• As of July 2012 New Zealands population was roughly 4,328,000 with a growth rate of about .8% yearly
• New Zealand’s landscape is predominately made up of mountain ranges and hill side
• The first permanent settlers of New Zealand did not arrive until 1830, officially taking control in 1840 with the signing of The Treaty of Waitangi
• Mount Cook is the highest point in New Zealand standing at just over 12,300 ft
Day 1 Arrive in Wellington, New Zealand and transfer to our accommodation. You will have the day free to explore the city, including the immaculate botanical gardens before joining together for our welcome dinner and briefing about the weeks’ activities.
Day 2 In the early morning we will board the Inter Island ferry and sail across Cook Strait and through the scenic Marlborough Sounds to Picton. We then have the opportunity to sea kayak on the sheltered waters of Queen Charlotte Sound, stopping for lunch at a picturesque bush-rimmed bay. The double kayaks are very stable, easy to paddle, and a delightful way to travel. Towards the end of our two-hour kayak journey we will paddle near a small colony of shags perched high in the overhanging trees. In the late afternoon we will drive through forested hills and the sunshine city of Nelson, close to the world-renowned Abel Tasman National Park. Following the coastline, we will arrive at the beautiful town of Motueka where we will stay for the next two nights.
Day 3 In the morning we are whisked through to the edge of the Abel Tasman National Park where we will begin our hike to Torrent Bay. The hike takes around 4 hours which allows us time to explore around the Anchorage / Torrent bay area. The captain will meet us at a remote beach, where we will board our sail boat for a journey out of the heads and then along the Mad Mile with the gentle winds in our sail. The boat will then take us back to Kaiteriteri where we meet our vehicle for a short drive back to Motueka where we will be relaxing again.
Day 4 Today we do some cave rafting! We travel along the Buller River, which we follow inland via its bush-clad gorges. We stop in Charleston, a once busy gold mining town in the late 1800’s. Here we join our cave rafting guide who will take us up the Nile River in a small train. We then change into wetsuits, grab our inner tubes, and head underground. We float along waterways through the caves on our inner tubes – a novel and exciting way to enjoy this amazing underworld experience. Late afternoon we watch the sun set into the Tasman Sea as we follow the spectacular coastline to Punakaiki, where we will be staying at a beachside resort for the evening. Before dinner we have the option to take a walk around the famous Pancake Rocks and blowholes.
Day 5 Today is the day you’ll brag about for years to come! After breakfast, we continue southwards. The road is bound on one side by the rugged coast, where land meets the wild Tasman Sea and on the other by dense, temperate rainforest which covers the distant wall of mountains – the Southern Alps. We continue to Hokitika and then to glacier country. Following a briefing from our experienced glacier guide, we board a helicopter for an exhilarating flight to a remote and stunningly beautiful part of the Fox Glacier. Under the guide’s watchful eye, we attach instep crampons to our boots and head onto the white ice to explore the ever-changing formations. This is an area of the glacier where its forces work hardest, often creating spectacular ice caves and arches. Weather permitting, time on the ice is about 3 hours before we return to base in the late afternoon by helicopter once again. We will be staying near Fox Glacier for the evening.
Day 6 This morning we take a 90 minute walk around the jewel-like Lake Matheson, a photographer’s paradise. If the weather cooperates, there is potential to capture photos of brilliant mountainous reflections over the lake, before following the scenic highway south. The road is bordered by rainforest and mountains on one side and the wild ocean on the other. Spectacular scenery continues as we cross the Haast Pass, with Mt Aspiring National Park as the backdrop, then skirt Lake Hawea on the way to beautiful Lake Wanaka. We visit a winery and sample some local vintages before continuing to our accommodation in Wanaka for overnight.
Day 7 Wanaka is an undiscovered gem with a nearby short walk at Diamond Lake yielding some spectacular mountain views from the lake lookout and providing a good warm up for our hike to the summit of Mt Roy (1578m). The start point for this hike is a short drive out of Wanaka and the track initially zigzags upwards through open farmland. A steep climb to the ridgeline follows before the final ascent to the summit. Views from the top take in a magnificent panorama including Lake Wanaka, Mount Aspiring and the Matukituki Valley. We will enjoy a picnic lunch on this hike which takes about 6 hours to complete. We drive through Queenstown afterwards, passing through the Gibbston Valley wine region and the rugged Kawauru Gorge (fancy a bungee jump?) before arriving at our hotel overlooking the mighty Lake Wakatipu. This will be home for the next 3 nights.
Day 8 There is so much to do here in Queenstown, the choices can be overwhelming. For the wine buff, a chance to explore the great Pinot Noirs of the area. For the culture seekers, nearby artsy Arrowtown is waiting to be explored. For the Adventure Seeker – hiking, biking, frisbee golf, and more! However at 2pm we want to regather at the TSS Earnslaw wharf for an afternoon cruise up the lake to Walter Peak as part of a final Historical Excursion. The on board historian will guide us through the only working Steamship in the southern hemisphere as well as a tour through the beautiful colonial homestead at Walter Peak. The wine tasting and antipasto appetizer sets you up for the return trip and dinner at one of the local restaurants.
Day 9 We will spend our last morning zipping around on a jetboat in the Shotover river canyons – a wild, adrenaline-pumping ride not for the faint of heart! After lunch, you will have the afternoon off to explore Queenstown, the center for adventure tourism in New Zealand with option activities available including a gondola ride, luge or zip-lining, bungy-jumping and more!! We’ll reminisce over our last dinner as a group before retiring and heading back to our hotel. Overnight in Queenstown.
Day 10 Depart Queenstown for U.S.
The best way to stay comfortable on any active adventure is going lightweight. Wearing the right versatile layers will insure a system with great ventilation and maximum protection in any conditions. The items on this list are just suggestions, however traveling with these items will give you the best chance for comfort and protection while in the tropics against any and all conditions. Your local Backwoods employee would be glad to help determine which product is right for you!
✓ Large Duffel bag
✓ Luggage tags and luggage locks.
✓ Passport pouch or money pouch.
✓ Casual clothing – lightweight, comfortable items for travel
✓ Valid passport
✓ Airline tickets
✓ Electrical adapter plug
✓ Rain jacket/pants – waterproof and breathable
✓ Hiking shorts, quick drying
✓ Light fleece
✓ Long-sleeve shirts-for evening or for extra sun/insect protection.
✓ Lightweight pants, quick drying
✓ Sun hat or visor
✓ Casual, comfortable shoes for evenings.
✓ Lightweight hiking boots or trail shoes.
✓ Water sandals/shoes
✓ Hiking socks
✓ Water bottles and/or Hydration Reservoir (2-3)
✓ Headlamp and/or flashlight
✓ Sunglasses w/ strap
✓ Bandana or Buff
✓ Money ($500-$1,000 in cash, including some small US bills)
✓ Camera, film, tripod
✓ Batteries-extra for headlamp and camera
✓ Small binoculars
✓ Notebook, journal, pencil and pen
✓ Pocket knife or multi-tool
✓ Energy bars, hard candy, snacks and comfort foods (optional)
✓ Personal first-aid kit
✓ Insect repellent
✓ Several Ziploc plastic bags
✓ Small Towel
✓ Toothbrush and toothpaste
✓ Handi-wipes (moist towels for cleaning)
✓ Hand sanitizer
✓ Personal toiletry items
Experienced local guide and Backwoods Adventures Guide
Private transportation using comfortable, modern support vehicle
All accommodations (based on double occupancy)
All Meals mentioned in Itinerary
All hikes as indicated including National Park fees
Sea kayaking on Queen Charlotte Sound
Abel Tasman National Park hike and sailing adventure
Cave rafting adventure
Fox Glacier helicopter hike (weather dependant)
Jet Boating in Queenstown
Wine tasting at Wanaka vineyards
Mount Nicholas Merino Wool Station and Farm Tour
Specialist guides for non-walking activities
Access and Concession fees paid to the Department of Conservation
NZ Goods and Service Tax (GST)
Pre-Departure conference calls with Backwoods Adventures Guide
Airfare to Wellington
Airfare from Queenstown
Personal gear and clothing
Alcoholic drinks, extra drinks and snacks
Optional activities in Queenstown
Personal Extras; laundry, massage, internet, etc.
Our past clients have been pleasantly surprised by the quality and freshness of the food in New Zealand. We eat breakfast at the hotel each morning. Lunch will be in small cafes or enjoyed picnic-style amid beautiful scenery. Dinner is enjoyed at restaurants each night, with a special farewell dinner on the last night in Queenstown. Vegetarian and special diets can be accommodated.
Below are just a few descriptions of the accommodations for or New Zealand adventure. All accommodations are top-notch for each region we visit.
Avalon Manor Motel – “Your ideal base for exploring the Abel Tasman National Park, Nelson, Golden Bay and Kahurangi National Park.” – Avalan Manor Motel
Punakaiki Resort – This is a stunning resort located on New Zealand’s West Coast at Punakaiki Beach – and near the world famous Pancake Rocks and Blow Holes. We will be staying in “stylish and comfortable” accommodations that suit only the most adventurous travelers.
*Single occupancy is a available at additional cost.
Our New Zealand Multi-Sport adventure does include some moderately difficult activities such as glacier walking with crampons, rafting, and jet-boating. Although we will not be adventuring to significant altitudes, we do encourage training to be sure you will have no physical constraints. Before traveling internationally with Backwoods Adventures you are strongly advised to consult your physician for a thorough medical check-up and clearance before attempting the trip. If you are over 50 years old, talk to your doctor about doing a “stress EKG”. Should you require any medication whatsoever, you must provide your own and be able to administer it yourself.
No Visa is required for U.S. travelers staying in New Zealand for less than 90 days. You should carry a photocopy of your passport, insurance information and emergency contact numbers with you at all times. You should leave a copy of this information with a friend or relative at home.
FROM OUR TRAVELERS
“My wife and I were celebrating our 20th anniversary and had super high expectations for the trip. We wanted it to be an experience we’d never forget and didn’t want to deal with the stress of planning the trip or working through where we’d eat or where we’d stay or how we’d get there once in country. We wanted a turn-key adventure. Well…Backwoods delivered. The food, accommodations, excursions, etc all were well planned and excellent in every way. We didn’t have any idea how stressful paying for hotels/food/excursions was until we didn’t have to do it. The group was small enough that we didn’t feel herded about like I’d expect some of the larger group adventures might feel. The whole experience fit with the impression you get with the Backwoods stores…excellence and personal connection. Thank you Pam and Backwoods for a great memory.”
“If your going to travel half way around the world, you need to make sure you once you get there you do it well. With Backwoods Adventures knowledge and local expertise….you’ll do it well!”
“Backwoods Adventures not only stepped up to the plate but hit it out of the park on our recent trip to New Zealand! I’d love to go back year after year with Backwoods, and maybe I will! Accommodations, food, fun and downtime were all perfectly done for a fabulous trip of a lifetime!! Thanks to our expert guides, our group had a great time enjoying the adventures in one of the world’s greatest treasures, New Zealand.”