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New Zealand Itinerary

Day 1

Welcome to New Zealand!

We recommend booking pre-trip accommodations if you'd like to fully immerse yourself in Christchurch’s quirky atmosphere.

Morning/afternoon:

  • Arrive in Christchurch International Airport before 12pm local time.
  • Take included transportation to your boutique accommodation in the heart of Christchurch.
  • Get settled in as you get to know your new friends.

Evening:

  • Enjoy a traditional Māori cultural performance where you’ll learn about New Zealand’s rich culture.
  • Experience a Māori powhiri (welcome) and participate in a traditional hongi (greeting) between a Māori chief and a visiting traveler.
  • Participate in and watch the traditional Māori dance called the Kapa Haka.
  • Indulge in a delicious Māori dinner called a hāngī before taking included transportation back to your Christchurch accommodations.

Day 2

TranzAlpine Journey

Morning:

  • Enjoy an early morning breakfast together as a group.
  • Depart on a cross-country TranzAlpine Journey, which has been dubbed one of the world’s greatest train journeys.
  • Experience stunning sights of the South Island that can only be seen by train.
  • Cross through miles of untouched New Zealand beauty as you pass ice-fed rivers, the Southern Alps, and forest for as far as the eye can see.
  • The trip will take just under 5 hours covering 139 miles and you’ll be on a modern train with all the amenities you need. It truly is the journey of a lifetime.

Afternoon:

  • From the west coast of the country, travel south along the coast where you’ll take a scenic hike through New Zealand’s rainforest and explore this rugged and beautiful part of the country.
  • Continue traveling south towards your final destination - Franz Josef.

Evening:

  • Arrive in Franz Josef in the heart of glacier country where you’ll call home for the next two nights.
  • Have dinner (included) at a local restaurant in town hand-picked by people who know this area best.

Day 3

Experience Glacier Country

Morning:

  • Wake up early and make the most of your day here in Franz Josef, where there are tons of amazing optional activities to choose from!
  • Your Trip Leader can help you organize an optional “Heli-Hike” where you will spend a couple of hours on the glacier and take in stunning views from a helicopter.
  • If that doesn’t sound fun, you’re free to jump out of a plane, go quad biking, or kayak through Franz Josef’s glacier country. It’s your day!

Afternoon:

  • Reconvene with your group for a late lunch together.
  • After lunch, take a hike together through the awe-inspiring Franz Josef Glacier Valley.
  • Please note that this walk takes to you to the end of a track where you will be able to see the glacier from a few hundred meters away. Due to safety you cannot reach the ice unless you do so by helicopter so make sure to let your Trip Leader know if you would like to do the Heli-Hike.

Evening:

  • After a full day of adventuring, you might like to visit the Franz Josef Hot Pools before dinner.
  • You are free to have dinner tonight at our rainforest accommodations or in town (not included)

Day 4

Waterfalls, Lakes, Beaches, & Glamping

Morning:

  • Breakfast will be delivered to your room the night before as you’ll leave early for a scenic drive towards the lakeside town of Wanaka.
  • Prepare for one of the most scenic drives of the trip as you’ll make stops to visit stunning lakes, waterfalls, and beaches along New Zealand’s rugged west coast.
  • Stop off at Lake Matheson near Fox Glacier and take a short walk leading you to the lake where you’ll be greeted with views of Mount Cook in the distance, New Zealand's tallest mountain.
  • Today, we’ll take full advantage of our local guide’s knowledge as they pick out the best secret spots to take us to.

Afternoon:

  • You’ll arrive in Wanaka in the afternoon where you’ll refuel with a delicious lunch in the town center.
  • After lunch, you’ll explore the picture-perfect town, its namesake lake, and #thatwankatree

Evening:

  • Check into your perfectly positioned glamping accommodations surrounded by a traditional New Zealand farm amongst beautiful New Zealand natural landscapes.
  • Take a walking tour of the farm and participate in a tree planting activity where you can contribute to preserving New Zealand’s nature and offsetting your carbon footprint.
  • Enjoy a peaceful night away from the crowds with views that few have the opportunity to experience.
  • Lastly, have a traditional farm-stay dinner (included) under the incredible night sky as you stargaze.

Day 5

Wanaka Adventure Day

Morning:

  • Have an early morning breakfast on the farm before heading to the town of Wanaka.You’ll have the option to choose from a long list of exhilarating optional activities.
  • Some examples include: jumping out of a plane, scaling a waterfall, or even flying a plane!
  • For those who prefer a land-based, more budget-friendly activity, your Trip Leader will take you to Rob Roy Glacier where you’ll hike through stunning alpine scenery before arriving at a viewpoint of the massive glacier.

Afternoon:

  • After your adventures, regroup in Wanaka for lunch.
  • Take included transportation towards Queenstown, the adventure capital of New Zealand.
  • On the way, stop at the famous Cardrona hotel and the quirky Arrowtown. You’ll be enchanted by historic New Zealand treasures and gold rush icons.

Evening:

  • Arrive in Queenstown in the evening and check into your accommodations located just steps from the city center.
  • Take in the sights and sounds of Queenstown before having an included group dinner at one of the most delicious restaurants in town.

Day 6

Mountain Bike Queenstown

Morning:  

  • Enjoy a delicious breakfast steps away from your hotel at a local cafe.
  • Depart for a scenic guided mountain bike adventure taking you from Queenstown city center, through the Queenstown gardens, and around Lake Wakatipu, before ending at beautiful Jack’s Point. This a laid-back bike ride on a mostly flat trail. It's accessible for anyone who is up to the challenge!
  • Soak in the views from your mountain bike as you stand beneath the jaw-dropping Remarkables Mountain Range and learn about the the European and Maori cultural influence of the area from your local guide.

Afternoon:

  • Arrive back in Queenstown in the afternoon and take advantage of the rest of the day.
  • Take a leap of faith off a bridge, go skydiving, or take an exhilarating jet-boat ride through Skippers Canyon.
  • If you prefer less adrenaline in the afternoon, hike Bob’s Peak or play a game of frisbee at Frisbee Park.

Evening:

  • Dinner is on your own tonight so feel free to check out the dozens of delicious eateries that Queenstown has to offer (not included).

Day 7

The Adventure Capital of New Zealand

Morning/afternoon:  

  • Grab a delicious breakfast with your group before creating your own adventure in this outdoor lovers paradise.
  • Have the option to take one of the most scenic day trips in New Zealand to iconic Milford Sound where you’ll have a very early morning, departure before making your way into the Fiordland National Park.
  • Milford Sound awaits you with it's cascading waterfalls, towering valleys, rushing rivers, cheeky Kea birds, and a brilliant scenic cruise.
  • For those who prefer a little more adrenaline, Queenstown truly is an adventurer’s playground where you can swing through canyons, jump off bridges or planes, and conquer whitewater rapids or mountains.

Evening:

  • After a full day of adventure, enjoy an included dinner with your group where you’ll humbly brag about the adventure you had that day.
  • After dinner, keep the adventure going and enjoy Queenstown’s famed nightlife.

Day 8

Mount Cook National Park & Twizel

Morning:  

  • Enjoy a final breakfast in Queenstown and take the morning to do some wandering and souvenir shopping.
  • In the late morning, say goodbye to Queenstown as we begin our drive north towards Mount Cook National Park - a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • On the way, marvel at the gorgeous Lake Pukaki with its stunning shades of blue water.

Afternoon:

  • Arrive in Mount Cook National Park and hike through some of the most striking landscapes our planet has to offer.
  • On the hike, cross alpine lakes, snow-capped mountains, and glacier-fed rivers before arriving at spectacular views of New Zealand’s tallest mountain.
  • Enjoy a packed lunch in nature beneath these majestic mountains.

Evening:

  • After hiking beneath the Southern Alps, take included transportation to the small town of Twizel where you’ll have the rest of the evening to relax.
  • Enjoy the freedom to choose where you want to have dinner tonight (not included) and then choose your next activity.
  • We highly recommend taking a stargazing tour as this area is known as one of the best places in the world for night sky viewing. Or take a walk along the river.

Day 9

White Water Rafting

Morning:  

  • Wake up and have an early breakfast before a day packed with adventure.
  • Your Trip Leader will take you up to Lake Tekapo for a visit and lots of amazing photo opportunities from the summit of Mount John and the iconic Church of the Good Shepherd.
  • With the beautiful bright blue waters from the glaciers and the lupin flowers in bloom, Lake Tekapo is one of the most picturesque locations you will visit. Make sure to get a photo in front of the Church of the Good Shepherd and next to the gorgeous lake.

Afternoon:

  • From Tekapo, you’ll head to your whitewater rafting adventure and grab a light lunch at a nearby cafe before hopping in the rafts.
  • Whitewater raft through the Rangitata Gorge beneath the Southern Alps for a few hours of adventure in Class I-V Rapids.
  • You will have the option to walk around class V rapids if you choose not to raft through the more challenging section.
  • Enjoy this exhilarating experience on the river with your group of friends as you experience New Zealand’s nature in an extraordinary way.

Evening:

  • After your day on the river, indulge in a delicious included BBQ dinner before being dropped off in your accommodations in Christchurch.
  • Relax this evening or go out for a final drink with your Under30Experiences family!

Day 10

Goodbye New Zealand

Morning:

  • Have a final breakfast with your group before you fly back home.
  • We recommend taking the day to explore the quirky city of Christchurch. Your Trip Leader will happily provide recommendations for adventures in and around Christchurch -- a city that's rebuilding itself after an earthquake in 2011.
  • Airport transfers are included for your flight departing at anytime today.
  • Welcome to the Under30Experiences Community!

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Day 23