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.
Travelers are responsible for international airfare to and from New Zealand
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
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.
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.
Sample Breakfast Menu:
Sample Lunch Menu:
Sample Dinner Menu:
We do our best to accommodate dietary restrictions. Most meals can be modified for special requests and food allergies.
You will be traveling by private ground transportation and public passenger train throughout your trip.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The official currency in New Zealand is the New Zealand Dollar (NZD).
Depending on your spending habits, bring cash with you for additional expenses such as snacks, souvenirs, optional activities.
We suggest only about ~USD $300 in cash since most places will accept credit cards.
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.
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
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.
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
Autumn months of March-May on the South Island
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
Please bring cash with you. It will be helpful to have at least USD $300 in cash.
The activities below will be paid in New Zealand dollars (credit card or cash). All amounts are approximate prices in US dollars.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Hotel recommendation in Christchurch
Hostel recommendation in Christchurch
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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There are not enough ways for me to describe how amazing this company is. After my first trip I always told people, it wasn't about the location, but the experience that u30x gave me. I have some of the best experiences of my life with u30x, and now a passion for travel. Also, their alumni community and groups are awesome too!
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Just returned from my second trip with Under30Experiences. My first trip was to the Costa Rica rainforest. My most recent trip was to Iceland. Both trips were such an amazing experience. I loved learning about Iceland and its origins. I enjoy the small groups and I made some great new friends! Recommend them for anyone wanting to travel alone or with a couple of friends.
I was so scared to travel abroad alone and then I came across their website and they made international travel so easy! And the people I’ve met on the trips are some amazing individuals! I’ve done 6 of their trips and plan on continuing to do even more!!
My Hike the Inca Trail trip was beyond amazing, and I couldn't have asked for anything more from a trip. Our leaders made us all feel instantly comfortable, and the group was fantastic. The trip was well planned and the hike was unforgettable. Memories to last a lifetime.