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New Zealand Trip Details

Introduction

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 ecocentric 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 of the magic – we’ll handle all 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: Christchurch International Airport (CHC) -- Christchurch, New Zealand
Plan to depart at any time on Day 10.

If you want to spend more time in New Zealand we'll be happy to provide post-trip recommendations.

What's Included

  • 10 days / 9 nights shared accommodations in boutique hotels, rainforest accommodations, glamping tents, & apartment style hotels
  • 9 breakfasts and 6 dinners
  • One of world’s best train rides on the TranzAlpine Scenic Rail Journey
  • Whitewater rafting through the Rangitata Gorge
  • 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
  • Hiking in a UNESCO world heritage site with views of glaciers, rivers, alpine lakes, & snow-capped mountains
  • Marvel at the scenic summit of Mt. John with views of the amazingly blue below
  • Visit the Church of the Good Shepherd with some of the most picturesque locations in the Southern Alps
  • Learn about New Zealand’s conservation efforts & meet the famous Kiwi bird
  • Visit Lake Tekapo and experience its mind-blowing blue colors
  • Watch an authentic Māori Cultural Performance
  • Secret stops & travel like a local with our Local Guide
  • Walking tours of each town visited
  • Under30Experiences Trip Leader
  • Private ground transportation throughout New Zealand for 10 days
  • Airport pickup and drop-off upon arrival and departure

Highlights

-Hike through a UNESCO World Heritage site, 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
-Whitewater raft through stunning canyons near New Zealand’s Southern Alps
-Marvel at towering glaciers from the towns of Franz Josef and Wanaka
-Explore free adventure days & cross off #bucketlist activities like skydiving, bungy jumping, or flying a plane, or visit iconic Milford Sound, jetboat through Canyons, catapult through a river valley, or parasail over a lake
-Sleep in glamping tents on a traditional New Zealand farm beneath the stars surrounded by mountains

Is this Trip for You?

If 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 laidback 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 White Water Rafting experience through Class I-V rapids and there will be the option to walk around the class V rapid section.

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 couple long, but very scenic drives. Our long train journey is 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.

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 vegan and vegetarian requests or any allergies.

Transport

You will be traveling on private ground transportation to and from the airport.

  • If you land after the scheduled arrival time, we will organize shared ground transportation from the airport.

You will be traveling on private ground transportation to and from your hotels around the country.

You will be traveling on a passenger train from Christchurch to Greymouth.

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 Queensland -- the adventure capital of New Zealand.

Solo travelers are paired with someone of the same gender.

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is mandatory in order to participate in 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 $200,000 USD for repatriation and emergency rescue. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of 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.

Trip Leader Expectations

All Under30Experiences trips are accompanied by experienced Trip Leaders and community managers.

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 sustainable 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
  • Bring "reef safe" sunscreens that do not contain oxybenzone and octinoxate because they kill coral

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 certified organic when possible.‍

Some of the links on this page are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you U30X will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

Passport & Visas

  • 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 US Embassy 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

  • Please bring a sustainable water bottle.
  • Our suggested travel insurance vendor is World Nomads and has a minimum of $200,000 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

  • The official currency in New Zealand is the New Zealand Dollar (NZD).
  • USD $1 is about NZD $1.50* (unofficial and subject to change)
  • Depending on your spending habits, bring cash with you for additional expenses such as snacks, souvenirs, optional activities. We suggest only about ~$300 USD in cash since most places will accept credit cards.
  • We recommend exchanging from USD to NZD at your local bank before arriving in New Zealand to make sure you have some currency in case you have issues with your card when you arrive!
  • Call your bank and credit card company and let them know you'll be traveling overseas.  

Safety & Security

  • Always carry a copy of your travel insurance, health insurance and passport with you.
  • Keep your passport and any valuables locked in your hotel room.
  • Don’t leave valuables unattended.
  • US Citizens please register 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.

During the summer months of December-February the average high is 72°F (22°C) and the average low is 50°F (10)°C on the South Island.

During the autumn months of March-May the average high is 65°F (18°C) and the average low is 46°F (7°C) on the South Island.

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!

cultural information

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 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!

Via Ferrata Waterfall Climb: ~USD $160

Experience the highest waterfall via ferrata in the world! Via ferrata literally means ‘iron road’. Originally used In WW1 to help transport troops across steep mountain ranges. You need no climbing experience and is accessible to anyone with an adventurous heart!

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 travelling 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 Skippers 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.


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?

Check out the official New Zealand Airlines website for the best deals!

https://www.airnewzealand.com/iah

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