Welcome to New Zealand!
The South Island 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 & culture.
On this once-in-lifetime-trip, experience some of the most spectacular locations in the adventure capital of New Zealand. Become immersed in culture and partake in optional adventure activities that our team has carefully curated for you.
Our Trip Leaders will ensure you are well taken care of and have a great time every step of the way. Your Kiwi will show you secret treasures this magical country has to offer.
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 marvels. From magnificent glaciers, to stunning lakes, to snow-capped mountains, to majestic waterfalls, this trip has it all!
We’ve included activities that are 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 is 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.
Before your trip you'll have the opportunity to join a custom Facebook Group and connect with others members of your group. Many travelers meet in the airport, or for pre-trip drinks if they are from the same city. Others coordinate plans to stay in a country after their trip.
During your adventure, our Trip Leaders do their best to foster an open, supportive environment, where people feel safe to truly be themselves.
After your trip, you'll be an official U30X Alumni, and part of our larger online Travel Community where you'll have access to our network of thousands of past travelers. We are constantly hosting meetups that range from simple happy hours, to hikes, to outdoor movie nights.
More than 70% of our travelers come solo, but they all leave with friends.
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 and Queenstown, “glamping” tents on a traditional farm, beautiful hotel rooms in the rainforest, and apartment style hotels in Wanaka.
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 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. Please ensure that all the activities you plan on participating in are covered by your travel insurance.
We recommend using either Wanderwell or World Nomads to purchase your policy. The Wanderwell “Preferred Plan” or the World Nomads “Explorer Plan” will cover all included activities on U30X trips. Wanderwell donates at least one percent of your insurance purchase to Explore Austin, a sustainable youth outdoor education program, via 1% for the Planet, selected by Under30Experiences.
If you have travel insurance with your credit card we require proof of purchase of the trip in the form of a receipt or credit card statement on a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage, and emergency contact telephone number.
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.
All Under30Experiences trips are accompanied by local 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 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 at least 6 months beyond the last date of 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 regarding 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.
We suggest bringing $300 USD 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 XE Currency Exchange app.
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 $100.
Always carry a copy of your travel insurance, health insurance, vaccination card, 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.
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
Although it is not customary to tip in New Zealand, New Zealanders give tips for exceptional service if they feel the person carrying out the service really deserves it. Locals of New Zealand are naturally friendly and warm, especially with tourists. That’s why some are still uncomfortable in receiving tips for a job they were expected to do. Tipping in New Zealand is merit-based.
Surprisingly enough, tips are also not that common in hotels in New Zealand. If you’ve received service beyond your expectations, you can tip about 2 or 3 dollars.
Waiters in New Zealand are happy to assist you as you dine. They do not expect you to tip them because they know that serving you is all part of the job. If you’d want to give them a tip, nevertheless, you can leave your spare change on the table as you leave.
Tour guides are very helpful whenever you travel. If you find the tour guide’s service pleasing enough for you, you can offer a good 5 dollars for the whole trip.
The activities below will be paid in New Zealand dollars. All amounts are approximate prices in US dollars.
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.
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 round-trip ticket to and from Christchurch International Airport (CHC).
For the final day (Day 9) 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.
Check out these popular posts on Travel Hacking from our Award Winning Blog!
To avoid missing out on special offers and community updates from Under30Experiences, get our newsletter here.
U30X is such an amazing travel community. Once your trip is over, the experience is not. They keep in touch with their alumni & provide platforms for travel questions, personal development, & community connections in your own backyard! If you're a young person looking to travel I highly recommend U30X!
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!
Traveling with U30X has been life changing for me. I've made lifelong friends with both travelers and staff. I can't come up with enough good things to say about the company, the people, and the experiences I've had!
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.