South Island Multisport Adventure, New Zealand (8 Days)

New Zealand is quite the adventure playground, and this 8 day trip is action-packed, taking in the best parts of the South Island. Get outdoors and enjoy the scenery on this beautiful island, while you hike, bike and kayak. Also enjoy unique experiences, like a mind-blowing scenic flight with a bird’s eye view of the Southern Alps, and an overnight cruise in Milford Sound. This trip offers experiences and views you will always remember!

Active Adventures is designed for small group tours, anywhere from 4-14 travelers depending on the type of tour. Trips sometimes have set departure dates or may be customized to a group. Contact Terraficionados for more information.

Daily Itinerary

Day 1

Details for Today

Arrive in Christchurch, New Zealand

Transfer to Southern Alps

Southern Alps:

  • Hike Devils Punchbowl in Arthur’s Pass
  • Explore the forest and waterfall

Accommodation: Rainforest Retreat, Franz Josef

Meals: L,D

Southern Alps, New Zealand,


It’s a short flight from Auckland to Christchurch in the South Island where your guide will meet you. You’ll then travel into the Southern Alps to hike Devils 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, you’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 glacier country.

Activity for today: 2km, +100/-100m, 0.5-1 hour

Day 2

Details for Today

Southern Alps:

  • Full Day of Hiking to Alex Knob or Roberts Point
  • Explore Franz Josef Glacier
  • Optional heli-hike (not included)

Transfer to Makarora

Accommodation: Makarora Lodgings, Makarora

Meals: B,L,D

Glacier, New Zealand,

Today will be filled with amazing views of the glacier country!

With 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. You’ll spend most of the day near Franz Josef Glacier hiking up through the forest to either Alex Knob or Roberts Point, both of which give incredible views of the ice. These hikes can be inaccessible in wet weather, so we may opt to hike close to the terminal face of Fox Glacier, or around Lake Matheson.

Activity for today: Alex Knob: 8km, +1,100/-1,100m, 5-6 hours; or Robert Point:12km, +400/-400m, 4-6 hours

Optional Heli-Hike (not included): A less strenuous, but outrageously scenic alternative to today’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 turbine helicopter and fly towards the highest peaks of the Southern Alps, landing on the glacier at 1300 meters 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 to make the most of the conditions.

From Franz Josef, you’ll travel down the coast through lush forest to Haast, and over the divide to a small mountain village called Makarora, where we’ll enjoy some local dishes.

Day 3

Details for Today

Mt Aspiring National Park:

  • Mind-blowing scenic flight with a bird’s eye view of the lower Southern Alps
  • Hike the remote Siberia Valley
  • Thrilling jet boat ride on Wilkin River

Accommodation: Makarora Lodgings, Makarora

Meals: B,L,D

Siberia valley, Mt Aspiring National Park, New Zealand,

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

You’ll head out for a mind-blowing scenic flight into Mt Aspiring National Park, with a bird’s eye view of the lower Southern Alps, landing in the remote Siberia Valley. From here 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 Makarora pub.

Activity for today: 6.6km, +140/-320m, 2-3 hours

Day 4

Details for Today

Mt Aspiring National Park:

  • Morning hike on Mt. Shrimpton track with views above the tree-line
  • Scenic bicycle ride along the Hawea River Trail

Transfer to Queenstown

Accommodation: Crowne Plaza Hotel, Queenstown

Meals: B, L

Mountain Bike, New Zealand,

This morning you’ll hike the Mt Shrimpton track. It’s a steep hike with a 750 meters (2500 feet) elevation gain, and wait until you see the views from above the tree-line!

Activity this morning: 10km, +750/-750m, 3-5 hours

After regrouping in Makarora, you’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 terrain. When we arrive at Lake Hawea, you’ll be fitted with a 21-speed front-suspension Avanti Black Thunder 7.1 mountain bike for a scenic ride along the Hawea River Trail. This gently undulating track follows the Hawea and Clutha Rivers through the rugged Central Otago landscape for 17 kilometers (10 miles) to the charming lakeside town of Wanaka. From Wanaka, it’s a short but dramatic journey over the Cardrona Saddle to Queenstown, on the shores of Lake Wakatipu.

Activity for this afternoon – Bike Ride is vehicle supported, so it’s flexible: 22km, -80m, 2-4 hours

You’ll sleep sweetly tonight at a lakefront hotel located in the heart of Queenstown.

Day 5

Details for Today


  • Choice of: Full day hike up Ben Lomond Track; or a day at leisure in Queenstown

Accommodation: Crowne Plaza Hotel, Queenstown

Queenstown, New Zealand, Supplier

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 in the lobby and head up the Ben Lomond Track. To save our legs a little, you’ll take a short gondola ride up to Bob’s Peak, which is 450 meters (1476 feet) above Queenstown. From there you’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 for your free day today.

Activity for today: 8km, +978m/-978m, 4-5 hours

Day 6

Details for Today

Transfer to Fiordland National Park, a World Heritage Area

Fiordland National Park

  • Enjoy easy walks with beautiful views of waterfalls and valleys
  • Board the Milford Wanderer for an overnight cruise – an exclusive experience!
  • Transfer on a smaller vessel to Sandfly Point and join a naturalist guide for a short evening hike

Accommodation: Milford Wanderer Overnight Cruise, Milford Sound

Meals: B, L, D

Fiordland National Park, New Zealand, Supplier

This morning, we set off for our largest and perhaps most spectacular national park, Fiordland. Once within the park we’ll stop to stretch our legs at regular intervals, to explore some of the highlights of this World Heritage Area, including the Eglinton Valley, Mirror Lakes, Marian Gantry and The Chasm. The waterfalls viewed from the gantry will take your breath away! Once through the Homer Tunnel, we’ll 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.

Tonight you’re in for an extra-special experience, as we’ll board the Milford Wanderer for an overnight cruise in the sheltered fiord. For those who are keen, there’s time to explore a short section of the Milford Track – you’ll transfer on a smaller vessel to Sandfly Point and join a naturalist guide for approximately 1.5 hours, before rejoining the Wanderer in time for a sumptuous dinner! 

Day 7

Details for Today

Milford Sound:

  • Sea kayaking
  • Hike the famous Routeburn Track and see incredible panoramic views

Accommodation: Lake Manapouri Inn, Manapouri

Meals: B,L,D

Sea Kayaking, New Zealand,

Having seen Milford Sound from the deck of a ship there’s one more unique activity we’ve got lined up for you, to experience the eighth natural wonder ‘Active Style’, gliding along in sea kayaks.

You’ll cause very little disturbance to the water, being in kayaks, providing an excellent chance of meeting friendly fur seals and dolphins that are sometimes in the area. This trip is run by specialist kayak guides, and the paddling here is equally suitable for beginners and experts.

After lunch, 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).

Tonight we’ll enjoy a celebratory dinner for the last night of the ‘Tui’.

Activity for today – Sea Kayak: 4-5 hours; Routeburn track: 6km, +450/-450m, 3-4 hours

Day 8

Details for Today

Transfer to Queenstown for your departure flight home

Meals: B

Flight, airplane,

After breakfast, you’ll return to Queenstown to catch your departure flight home.

This is the end of your ‘Tui’ trip and you’ll have had an exhilarating week. It’ll leave you buzzing with excitement, but feeling relaxed and refreshed as well!


Rainforest Retreat, Franz Josef
The Rainforest Retreat is in the perfect location. Only a 2-minute walk from the village center, where you can explore the local culture. This relaxed motel complex is surrounded by rainforest and is a 3-minute walk from the West Coast Wildlife Centre, and about 10 km from Lake Mapourika. The casual suites and rustic log cabins offer flat-screen TVs, sitting areas and kitchenettes. Some treehouse-style cabins are raised off the ground. More polished 2- to 4-bedrooms cabins have full kitchens and washer/dryers. Room service is available. There is an informal restaurant, plus a bar with a fireplace. Other amenities include a sauna, a hot tub, and massage services. Parking is complimentary.


Makarora Chalets, Makarora

These cute little A-frame lodges are set amongst native bush. They are a bit more rustic, but their quirky charm overcomes that. Tucked in under Mt Shrimpton, these chalets border the Mt Aspiring World Heritage, National Park.

Crowne Plaza Hotel, Queenstown
This Plaza Hotel is a minute’s walk from the banks of Lake Wakatipu, a 7-minute walk from Milford Galleries Queenstown and a 10-minute walk from the Skyline Queenstown gondola. This upmarket hotel in a contemporary building is also known for its streamlined rooms, they have balconies, free Wi-Fi and flat-screen TVs. Some suites offer lake views and living rooms. There’s 24-hour room service, and breakfast is served in a laid-back, modern restaurant that has a bar.

Milford Wanderer Overnight Cruise, Milford Sound
This overnight cruise through the heart of Fiordland provides astonishing views and the ultimate Milford Sound experience. Experience the history and geology of the area. This cruise-style is relaxed, allowing plenty of time to view the fiord’s spectacular waterfalls, rainforest, mountains, and wildlife – you’re bound to encounter seals and, maybe dolphins and penguins too.

The Milford Mariner anchors in a sheltered cove, to explore in the vessel’s tender craft (small boat) or kayaks. If you prefer, you can simply relax on deck and soak in the beauty of this amazing place. The cruise offers a delicious carvery buffet in the dining saloon – a feast prepared freshly by the onboard chef, and guest with their own private cabin.

Lake Manapouri Inn, Manapouri
Manapouri is New Zealand’s best-kept secret, situated 15 mins scenic drive from Te Anau, which is the departure point for Doubtful Sound trips. The Manapouri Inn is the ideal base for all Fiordland activities and a preferred accommodation for all those wishing to enjoy an accomplishing and satisfying holiday experience. Guests staying at Manapouri Inn get the best opportunity to visit some of the most renowned tourist places in New Zealand. Some of the famous tourist attractions near the hotel are Doubtful Sound, Lake Te Anau, Te Anau Caves, Milford Track, Lake Manapouri Southern Scenic Route, Kepler Track, Routeburn Track, Queenstown and Fiordland National Park.

South Island Multisport Adventure, New Zealand (8 Days)