There’s high-adrenaline adventure. And then there’s high-adrenaline adventure in New Zealand – with more extreme sports than natural beauty spots (or is it the other way round?)
On Active New Zealand, you’ll kayak, swing, boogie and hike your way across the South Island’s biggest and best adventure spots. 9 days of rainforests, mountains, glacial lakes and premium countryside, from the top of the Hokitika trees to the depths of Lake Ohau. Now your heart’s racing just thinking about it!
The Route (and the Routeburn)
Meet your Contiki crew in Christchurch, where the coach will depart for Franz Josef (AKA glacier land!) En-route, there’ll be a brief stop-off in Hokitika, where you’ll get a unique view of the NZ rainforest from a 40-metre treetop walk. After a free day of kayaking, quad biking and hiking in Franz Josef, and via a trip to Haast to check out the famous blue pools, you’ll head to Queenstown – the adventure capital of the world. Don’t panic, you’ll have 4 days to make the most of the extreme views, extreme sports and extreme(ly cool) local nightlife.
Next, it’s off for a Milford Sound fjord cruise en-route to Te Anau – known around the world for its national parks. The wonder continues into Lake Ohau, where you’ll bed down in a remote lodge with a scenic view of Mt Cook. The trip ends back in Christchurch, but only after a final hike in Hooker Valley. Cue icebergs.
NZ’s best hikes? All in a day’s work
Ready to lace up your boots and get walking? NZ is full of great hikes and you’ll conquer the best of them on this trip. Travel by helicopter to the heart of the Franz Josef glacier to pick your way around the ice.
The Routeburn Track is one of the best hikes in the world. It takes a full day, but it’s a full day of mountain landscape views and wildlife spotting that you won’t forget in a hurry. It’s a tricky route to get tickets for (it’s kind of a big deal) but when you travel with Contiki, you can spend less time worrying and more time walking. Yup, your tickets are secured well in advance.
The Hooker Valley hike is one of the last items on your itinerary, and it does everything but disappoint. Think icebergs, snow-capped mountains, charming swing bridges – and enough fresh air to get you sleeping through any flight home, no matter how long.
Adrenaline with extra view
This trip is like Disneyland for ledge-swingers and bungee jumpers, with a high-octane activity for each day of the week in Queenstown alone. But it’s designed to flick all of your switches – satisfying the adrenaline junky on your left shoulder and the culture vulture on your right.
You’ll do your bit for forestry conservation in Hokitika (a MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience). There’s the Milford Sound fjord cruise – pretty much the most scenic experience in the whole of NZ. You’ll learn all about rural life and enjoy a delicious home-cooked BBQ on a visit to Walter Peak High Country Farm. You’ll also visit a Kiwi sanctuary; and have the chance to make your own pendant using traditional Māori methods.
Stays that stay with you
Sleep when you’re dead? Nah, you just need better accom.
On this trip, you’ll bed down in central Queenstown at a pod hostel… with a rooftop bar. That means you’re in the midst of Queenstown’s thriving nightlife, with some privacy (and Wi-Fi) waiting for you back at the dorm… and did I mention the rooftop bar?
You’ll come face to face with nature at the Rainforest Retreat in Franz Josef. Plus, you’ll cosy up in a peaceful lodge by Lake Ohau – with a view of Mt Cook by day and the stars by night. There’s also a polar plunge available, just in case the heavenly tranquillity ends up being too heavenly and tranquil.