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New Zealand Trip Details

Introduction

Welcome to New Zealand!

New Zealand boasts some of the most stunning natural beauty on our planet. From mind-blowing forests to magnificent mountain ranges, to bright blue lakes, to rich history and culture--it truly is a magical place.

On this once-in-lifetime-trip, experience some of the most spectacular locations on the South Island of New Zealand. Become immersed in cultural, adventure, and eccentric activities that our team has carefully curated for you.

Our fun, experienced Trip Leaders will ensure you are well taken care of and have a great time every step of the way. Your local Kiwi guide knows New Zealand like the back of their hand and will show you secret treasures this magical country has to offer as you travel like a local.

You’ll get to sit back and enjoy all the magic–we’ll handle the logistics.

Duration: 10 days, 9 nights

Start:  Christchurch International Airport (CHC) -- Christchurch, New Zealand
To ensure included transportation: plan to arrive before 12:00 pm on Day 1.

Finish: Queenstown Airport (ZQN) -- Queenstown, New Zealand
To ensure included transportation: plan to depart at any time on Day 10.

Airfare booking details will be sent after registration – please wait to book your flight until you receive further instructions.

What's Included

  • 10 days / 9 nights shared accommodations in boutique hotels, rainforest accommodations, glamping tents, & apartment style hotels
  • 9 breakfasts and 6 dinners
  • Conquer one of the highest waterfall climbs in the world
  • One of world’s best train rides on the TranzAlpine Scenic Rail Journey
  • Scenic hikes exploring the West Coast rainforests
  • Overnight glamping experience on a beautiful farm
  • Free time for optional #bucketlist activities like skydiving, bungy jumping, flying a plane, and so much more
  • Hiking in Franz Josef’s Glacier Valley with pristine waterfalls
  • Exploring beaches, lakes, and waterfalls on the scenic drive to Wanaka
  • Walk Lake Matheson near Fox Glacier & photograph the famous reflections
  • Scenic Mountain E-Biking in Queenstown with a local guide
  • Experience the Wanaka town, lake, and #thatwanakatree
  • Traditional New Zealand farm tour & tree planting sustainability activity
  • Rob Roy Glacier Hike, arguably the most stunning hike in the region
  • Visit the birthplace of New Zealand jade & shop for precious stones
  • See one of the oldest & most historic hotels
  • Visit the historic gold rush town of Arrowtown
  • Learn about New Zealand’s conservation efforts & meet the famous Kiwi bird
  • Watch an authentic Māori Cultural Performance
  • Secret stops & travel like a local with our Local Guide
  • Walking tours of each town visited
  • Private ground transportation throughout New Zealand for 10 days
  • Airport pick-up upon arrival
  • Airport drop-off upon departure
  • Under30Experiences Trip Leader
  • Personal recommendations for optional activities
  • The chance to meet some kick-ass people
  • Access to the Under30Experiences community
  • Taxes always included, never hidden fees, & NO blackout dates

Travelers are responsible for international airfare to and from New Zealand

Highlights

  • Conquer one of the highest waterfall climbs in the world with New Zealand's best Via Ferrata experience
  • Hike through national parks, stunning lakes, lush rainforests, rugged beaches, majestic waterfalls, and magnificent glacial valleys
  • Mountain bike and experience Queenstown--the Adventure Capital of the World
  • Marvel at towering glaciers from the towns of Franz Josef and Wanaka
  • Sleep in glamping tents on a traditional New Zealand farm beneath the stars surrounded by mountains
  • Explore free adventure days & cross off #bucketlist activities like skydiving, bungee jumping, flying a plane, visiting iconic Milford Sound, jetboating through canyons, catapulting through a river valley, or parasailing over a lake

Is this Trip for You?

If you love nature or adventure, this trip is for you!

Experience New Zealand’s most beautiful marvels! From magnificent glaciers, to stunning lakes, to towering snow-capped mountains, to majestic waterfalls, this trip has it all!

We’ve included activities that are moderately active and adventurous, while also giving you plenty of free time to take advantage of this adrenaline junkie paradise if you want to cross off #bucketlist activities in the adrenaline capital of the world.

Amongst the list of included activities are a laid back mountain biking experience around Queenstown. The terrain is easy and the bikes are electronic which will provide assistance during any steep climbs. There will also be a Via Ferrata experience which is a mountain climbing route equipped with steel cables, ladders, and other fixed anchors. No previous climbing experience is necessary for our Via Ferrata experience.

There will be a night of glamping on a traditional New Zealand farm where you’ll sleep nestled under the stars and surrounded by New Zealand’s famous natural landscapes.

Since you’ll be visiting a lot of the South Island, there will be a few scenic drives. Our 5 hour train journey is also considered one of the most scenic in the world.  

-Age requirement:  21+
-Group Size:  8-16 travelers
-Physical Rating: Moderate

Have a question? Check out our FAQ for New Zealand!

Community

Travel connects us. Community keeps us connected.

Once you come on a trip, you become part of our Travel Community forever.

From U30X Alumni resources (and a secret group) after your trip, to custom Facebook groups before your trip, to meetups around the world, you will have the opportunity to meet and stay connected to other like-minded adventurers.

More than 70% of our travelers come solo but they all leave with friends.

Whether you have joined us on a trip or are looking for a group of like-minded people, we welcome you to the Under30Experiences Travel Community.

Itinerary Disclaimer

Travel can be unpredictable. Our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience.

While it is our intention to adhere to the itinerary, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into it and on occasion, it may be necessary or desirable to make alterations.

Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.

Meals

Sample Breakfast Menu:

  • Eggs benedict, bacon, fresh muesli, yogurt, hashbrowns, toast

Sample Lunch Menu:

  • New Zealand steak & cheese pie, mince & cheese pie, salad rolls, sandwiches, salads

Sample Dinner Menu:

  • Burgers, pizza, BBQ, steak, lamb, chicken, rice

We do our best to accommodate dietary restrictions. Most meals can be modified for special requests and food allergies.

Transport

You will be traveling by private ground transportation and public passenger train throughout your trip.

  • Private ground transportation to and from the airport (Included)
    If you land after the scheduled arrival time, we will organize shared ground transportation from the airport.
  • Private ground transportation to and from your hotels around the country (Included)
  • Public passenger train from Christchurch to Greymouth (Included)

Accommodation

You’ll be staying in boutique hotels in the heart of the Christchurch, “glamping” tents on a traditional farm, beautiful hotel rooms in the rainforest, and apartment style hotels steps away from the center of Wanaka and Queenstown -- the adventure capital of New Zealand.

Laundry is available at some hotels for an additional fee. Ask your Trip Leader for details.

Accommodations may vary but will be the same quality.
Solo travelers are paired with someone of the same gender.

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is mandatory in order to participate on any of our trips.

When selecting a travel insurance policy please bear in mind that all travelers must have medical coverage and that we require a minimum coverage of USD 200,000 for repatriation and emergency rescue. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. Please ensure that all the activities you plan on participating in are covered by your travel insurance. For World Nomads, the “Explorer Plan” will cover all of the included activities on U30X trips.

If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt or credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.

Our suggested travel insurance vendor is World Nomads.

Cancellation Policy

Very Flexible

Give us at least 30 days notice and you can switch your trip for free, or we'll hold your Experience Credits for future use.

If you have an emergency cancellation that is less than 30 days before your trip, please refer to your travel insurance company as they may cover you for some expenses. 
We are not able to transfer trips or hold experience credits within 30 days of the trip because we have already secured reservations on your behalf.

Trip Leader Expectations

All Under30Experiences trips are accompanied by experienced Trip Leaders.

The goal of the Trip Leader is to facilitate an awesome experience and help our travelers have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are traveling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends.

You can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects.

Packing List

Please be eco-friendly
  • Bring a reusable water bottle.
  • Use as little plastic as possible by declining straws and plastic bags at restaurants and when shopping.
  • Please avoid aerosol bug sprays as they negatively affect the environment.

We recommend using a travel backpack for your convenience, or a medium-sized suitcase if you prefer. A daypack is also essential for carrying everyday items. Space is limited on transportation, so there is a limit of one main piece of luggage per person. You will be responsible for carrying your own luggage.

Below includes our staff picks of the best items on the market that we travel with!  All products selected are 3 ounces or less to comply with TSA carry-on size and organically inspired when possible.

Some of the links on this page are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you Under30Experiences will earn a small commission if you make a purchase.

Passport & Visas

Guidelines for U.S. Passport Holders

Make sure you have an updated passport with you. Your passport must be valid for 60 days after your trip. Under30Experiences recommends that your passport be valid for at least 6 months after your trip.  Please consult the U.S. Department of State with any more questions.

For US Citizens a visa is not required for stays of less than three months.

Make sure there is no damage to your passport. Conditions that may constitute damage requiring you to replace your passport include water damage, a significant tear, unofficial markings on the data page, missing or torn out visa pages, a hole punch, or other injuries.

Health & Insurance

The tap water in New Zealand is safe to drink. Please bring a reusable water bottle and join us in our efforts to be environmentally friendly and keep New Zealand beautiful.

Our suggested travel insurance vendor is World Nomads and has a minimum of $200,000 USD coverage.

Please consult with your doctor before traveling in regards to physical activity and vaccinations.

No inoculations are required to enter New Zealand from the United States but the Center for Disease Control suggests routine vaccines for all travelers. Required vaccines should go through CDC, recommended vaccines should be through your doctor.

More specific health information for travelers to New Zealand can be found at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website.

Money & Currency

We suggest bringing USD $300 in cash to be used at establishments that do not accept credit cards.

This is not a total cash amount that you should expect to spend on your trip. Please consider your own spending habits for additional expenses such as snacks, souvenirs, and optional activities.

The official currency in New Zealand is the New Zealand Dollar (NZD).

Remember to call your bank and credit card company and let them know you'll be traveling overseas.

For an up-to-date exchange rate, download the app XE

Please be advised that US Dollar notes that are slightly torn, heavily marked, or faded may be difficult to exchange. It is best to bring notes in fairly good condition, in denominations lower than $100USD.

Safety & Security

Always carry a copy of your travel insurance, health insurance and passport with you. A photo of these items on your phone is also a good backup.

Keep your passport and any valuables locked in your hotel room.

Don’t leave valuables unattended.

US Citizens please consider registering with US State Department's “SMART Traveler Program” who can contact your family in case of emergency.

Weather

Temperatures in New Zealand are generally mild with moderate rainfall and plenty of sunshine.

We will be visiting New Zealand’s west coast rainforests and, as the name implies, expect to see some rain during those days.

Although it gets hot in February, March, and April, it snowed in March of 2018 and that’s supposedly the end of summer! Be prepared for anything!

Summer months of December-February on the South Island

  • Average high is 72°F (22°C)  
  • Average low is 50°F (10°C)

Autumn months of March-May on the South Island

  • Average high is 65°F (18°C)
  • Average low is 46°F (7°C)

cultural information

In general, New Zealand's culture follows Western norms. However, there are noticeable influences from their geographic isolation and British colonial rule.

New Zealand's indigenous population are called Māori and they have a unique language and culture that fascinates travelers visiting New Zealand.

New Zealanders are commonly known as "Kiwi's" after the endangered flightless bird which is the national symbol of the country.

Key Phrases in Māori

  • Hello -- Kia Ora
  • Welcome -- Haere mai
  • Goodbye -- Haere rā
  • How are you -- Kei te pēhea koe?
  • A welcome ceremony -- Pōwhiri
  • Traditional Māori dances -- Kapa haka
  • New Zealand -- Aotearoa

Optional Activities

The activities below will be paid in New Zealand dollars. All amounts are approximate prices in US dollars.

Franz Josef
  • Glacier Hot Pools: ~USD $18
    Nestled in the rainforest, but steps away from Franz Josef’s town center. A perfect place to decompress after a day of adventure.
  • Heli-Hike: ~USD $300
    Combine an exciting helicopter ride with awe-inspiring Glacier country scenery, and a three-hour hike through the majestic Franz Josef glacier.
  • Walk the Tatare Tunnels: Free
    Walk through old mining tunnels and see the famous New Zealand glow-worms that live within the tunnels.
  • Rainforest Trekking: Free
    Franz Josef is home to a beautiful rainforest with tons of hiking paths to explore.
Wanaka
  • Skydiving over the Southern Alps from 12,000 ft: ~USD $230
    Strap yourself to a stranger and conquer your fears as you jump out of a plane from miles above the ground. Enjoy the unrivaled New Zealand scenery below.
  • Learn To Fly (30 mins): ~USD $150
    Take off and fly a plane under the watchful eye of an experienced pilot while you soar over some truly spectacular New Zealand scenery below!
  • Hike Roy’s Peak: Free
    Breathtaking views over Lake Wanaka and Mount Aspiring.
  • Visit Wanaka’s Fine Art Gallery: Free
    Home to exclusive New Zealand Art and unique works.
Queenstown
  • Nevis Bungy Jump: ~USD $185
    New Zealand’s highest bungy jump. Are you up for the adrenaline rush as you freefall for almost 9 seconds for 134 meters!
  • Canyon Swing: ~USD $145
    Swing by yourself or with a friend from the world-famous Nevis Swing for a 300 meter arc.
  • Nevis Catapult: ~USD $170
    Shoot yourself 150 meters up and across the Nevis Valley. Experience up to 3Gs of force and reach speeds of almost 100km/hour in 1.5 seconds.
  • Milford Sound Day Trip: ~USD $85
    An unforgettable full day of traveling into Fiordland National Park. You’ll travel by coach, to a cruise, and then back on the coach, through some jaw dropping natural environments.
  • Doubtful Sound Day Trip: ~USD $130
    Experience the “sound of silence” and the grandeur of Doubtful sound on an unforgettable day trip that takes you on a cruise through Lake Manapouri.
  • Skippers Canyon JetBoat Tour: ~USD $100
    A thrilling ride through Skipper's Canyon where you’ll come inches away from the canyon wall as the driver maneuvers through the narrow canyon at speeds as high 80kms.
  • Gondola + 3 Luge Rides: ~USD $35
    A thrilling ride and experience that provides unrivaled views of Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu below.
  • Play Disc Golf in the Queenstown Gardens: Free
    Meet some friendly locals and challenge them to a game in the popular frisbee area.
  • Picnic at Lake Hayes: Free
    Located about 15 minutes away from Queenstown, Lake Hayes offers beautiful views and walking paths away from the hustle and bustle of Queenstown.
  • Queenstown Hill: Free
    Hike through a pine forest to reach epic views of The Remarkables, Cecil Peak, Lake Wakatipu and the Kawarau River.

While your trip leader will assist you with optional activities available, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of the Under30Experiences itinerary. We offer no guarantees on the safety or standard of the activity.

General Rules

Respect the people around you and the environment in which you’re traveling. This includes, but is not limited to fellow travelers, trip leaders, the local community, nature, wildlife, and yourself.

Do your best to keep yourself and fellow travelers out of harm’s way.

It’s important to obey local laws and customs while on our trips. This includes, but is not limited to wearing appropriate clothing while visiting certain communities, refraining from taking photos of people without asking, avoiding the use of illegal drugs, having weapons, and soliciting prostitution. If you’re not sure about something, take time to educate yourself, or ask.

Travel involves contact with new cultures. When confronted with a different way of living than you’re used to, do your best to understand that neither way is better or worse. They’re simply different ways of life.

Know your limits! This applies to physical ability, emotional space, social situations, and alcohol consumption. If you can’t participate in something, be upfront about it. If you need a break from people, take it. Stop drinking before you get too drunk.

Trip Leaders are working in the travelers’ best interest. If they say something or ask you not to do something it’s not because they’re tyrants, but because they want you to have a good time!

Lying or withholding information about any physical or mental condition that might affect your ability to participate in any of the activities may be grounds for removal from your trip with no refund.

Staying longer or arriving early?

Hotel recommendation in Christchurch

Hostel recommendation in Christchurch

Still need to book your flight?

Advice for booking international flights! We recommend that you arrange for a roundtrip ticket to and from Christchurch International Airport (CHC).

For the final day (Day 10) of the trip, purchase a separate domestic flight from Queenstown (ZQN) - Christchurch (CHC). Air New Zealand and Jetstar are recommended carriers. This will provide less expensive international flights and will offer more flight time options.

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