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South Island Off-Grid

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The one that lets you experience the South Island like a local, for an authentic & unplugged discovery of heritage sites, retreats & adrenaline pumping activities

Travel Style

In-Depth Explorer

Take your time and explore in-detail each destination on this trip. Find out more

  • Duration

    9 days

  • Places

    8 places

  • Meals

    6 Breakfasts, 3 Dinners

  • Transport Style

    Coach, Ferry & Boat

  • Group Size

    Average 20 people

  • Average Group Age

    18 - 35 year olds

  • Team

    Trip Manager & Driver

Wellington, Marlborough Sounds, Christchurch, Mt Cook, Glenorchy, Queenstown, Lake Tekapo, Arrowtown

South Island Off-Grid

16 Inclusions

Experiences that are included with your trip

  • Learn about the wildlife recovery programme at Lochmara on a guided conservation tour
  • Take an underwater observatory tour with a marine biologist and learn about marine conservation in the Marlborough Sounds
  • Enjoy included kayaking, SUP (Stand Up Paddleboarding) and hiking from your base at Lochmara Lodge
  • Hike to the coastal paradise of Queen Charlotte Sound
  • Explore 10 acres of 'living gallery' on the quirky outdoor sculpture & art trail at Lochmara Lodge
  • Learn about the wildlife recovery programme at Lochmara on a guided conservation tour
  • Hand-feed native parakeets and stingrays at Lochmara Lodge
  • Take a guided city tour of a city in transition: Christchurch
  • Immerse yourself in an awe-inspiring multimedia Dark Sky Reserve experience, 13.8 billion years in the making, combining science and tātai arora (Māori astronomy)
  • Take a short & spectacular hike to Tasman Glacier Lake
  • Take an early morning hike to Kea Point to see a golden sunrise fall over majestic Mt Cook
  • Eat a full buffet breakfast at the Heritage Hotel with floor to ceiling views of Mt Cook
  • Stop off in the charming historic goldrush settlement of Arrowtown
  • Eat a full buffet breakfast at the Heritage Hotel with floor to ceiling views of Mt Cook
  • Start the morning with a yoga session at Camp Glenorchy Eco Retreat
  • Check out Queenstown's top adventure spots & nightlife from your centrally located Jucy Snooze hostel

18 Free Time Add-Ons

Optional experiences that you can choose from and pay for on your trip

  • Take a cruise of the sunken valleys of the Marlborough Sounds while enjoying a seafood feast paired with local wine
  • Fly in a plane and helicopter over the soaring peaks of majestic Mt Cook followed by a glacier snow landing
  • Visit the Tasman Glacier, cruise the terminal lakes past icebergs and crystals & touch 300-500 year old glacial crystals
  • Make the most of the pitch black sky with a unique stargazing experience from your Mount Cook Lodge
  • Hike part of the Routeburn Track, one of the world's top hiking trails
  • Take a foodie, movie set or bike & hike e-bike tour of the Routeburn track, Glenorchy
  • Take a Glenorchy kayak safari and explore the Lake Wakatipu islands in the shadow of the Southern Alps
  • Get your adrenalin pumping with AJ Hackett's Ledge Swing with sweeping views of Queenstown NZ$165
  • Get a thrilling perspective of Queenstown's skyline with the famous AJ Hackett Ledge bungy NZ$205
  • Take the plunge on the world's OG bungy at Kawarau Bridge, Queenstown NZ$205
  • Paddle over Queenstown's Lake Wakatipu with Funyaks kayaking
  • Take an splashy adventure thrill ride on Queenstown's Shotover Jet NZ$129
  • Jump off the third highest bungy platform in the world at AJ Hackett's Nevis Bungy in Queenstown NZ$275
  • Go all out with Thrillogy - 3 of Queenstown's world class bungy jumps including the historic Kawarau Bungy, the freestyle Ledge Bungy, and the hair-raising Nevis Bungy NZ$420
  • Take the swing of your life on the 300m Nevis Swing, one of the world's biggest canyon swings in Queenstown NZ$210
  • Swing through the tree tops on a Ziptrek Zipline tour in Queenstown NZ$189
  • Do a tour and tasting of a Central Otago Wine vineyard and Craft Brewery in Queenstown
  • Enjoy dinner with unparallelled views at Queenstown's Skyline restaurant NZ$85

Where I'll Stay?

Learn more about the accommodation available on this trip

  • contiki-destinations-nz-juice-snooze

    Jucy Snooze

    Queenstown, New Zealand

    The funky Jucy Snooze hostel features futuristic sleeping pods and laid back social areas

    2 nights

  • 8 nights

    All accommodation is included on this trip

    2 nights in Special Stay - Lochmara Lodge, 1 night in Hotel, 1 night in Lodge, 1 night in Special Stay - Eco Camp, 1 night in Eco Lodge, 2 nights in Hostel

About this trip

New Zealand's south island is full of wonderful wilderness, which is why this adventure takes you off grid.  Journeying into the thicketed heart of the South Island, you'll encounter unforgettable experiences every single day. Walk on a glacier, kayak in the Marlborough Sounds, learn yoga at an eco-retreat and bungy jump in Queenstown - and that's a small sample of the adventures awaiting you. This is the South Island unplugged, and it's utterly unforgettable.

Buy With Confidence

  • Only $99 deposit to book*

    For a limited time, reserve your space now with a deposit of only $99, pay the rest 45 days before departure

  • Pay over time, interest free

    Can't pay in full? We've got you covered with our Part Pay Program

  • No booking fee, no change fees

    Change your travel dates or even your trip for free

  • Financing available with UpLift

    Book now, pay later when you're eligible for Uplift

Map & Itinerary

  • Start location
  • End location
  • Trip day
  • Via location
  • River route
  • Plane route

Nights spent per location

  1. Wellington

  2. 2 2 nights

    Marlborough Sounds

  3. 1 1 night

    Christchurch

  4. via via

    Lake Tekapo

  5. 1 1 night

    Mt Cook

  6. via via

    Arrowtown

  7. 2 2 nights

    Glenorchy

  8. 2 2 nights

    Queenstown

+-2 more

DAY 1 - Wellington to Marlborough Sounds

Wellington

After meeting and greeting in the compact cultural hub of Wellington this morning, we're catching the ferry to the wild and wonderful South Island.

Marlborough Sounds

It's time for our first Special Stay - only accessible by water. Lochmara Lodge is more than just a place to stay, it's a natural haven, and a unique way to experience the magic of the Marlborough Sounds. There's no road access and no TVs - just gorgeous views, nature walks, art and wildlife and, at night, clear starswept skies. Facilities include free kayaks and paddleboards, hammocks, a beach, and world famous nature trails. There's also the Underwater Observatory, where we'll get a tour from a marine biologist who will tell us all about their work to replenish fish populations of the sounds. We'll also take the sculpture and art trail along 10 acres of a 'living gallery' with mixed media art by renowned global artists.

Stay

Lochmara Lodge (Special Stay)

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • Learn about the wildlife recovery programme at Lochmara on a guided conservation tour

  • Take an underwater observatory tour with a marine biologist and learn about marine conservation in the Marlborough Sounds

DAY 2 - Marlborough Sounds

Marlborough Sounds

We've got a full day to explore the sounds. Go kayaking or stand up paddleboarding, hike to the Queen Charlotte Sound or take the Seafood Odyssey Cruise. Featuring Regal salmon, Cloudy Bay clams and Greenshell mussels with local Sauvignon Blanc for the perfect food and wine match, you'll also get to enjoy the beauty of the sounds as you cruise aboard a luxury launch. Bliss.

Stay

Lochmara Lodge (Special Stay)

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • Enjoy included kayaking, SUP (Stand Up Paddleboarding) and hiking from your base at Lochmara Lodge

  • Hike to the coastal paradise of Queen Charlotte Sound

  • Explore 10 acres of living gallery on the quirky outdoor sculpture and art trail at Lochmara Lodge

  • Learn about the wildlife recovery programme at Lochmara on a guided conservation tour

  • Hand-feed native parakeets and stingrays at Lochmara Lodge

FREE TIME ADD-ONS

  • Take a cruise of the sunken valleys of the Marlborough Sounds while enjoying a seafood feast paired with local wine

DAY 3 - Marlborough Sounds to Christchurch

Marlborough Sounds

We're taking a quick break from nature today as we head onto Christchurch.

Christchurch

Christchurch is still recovering from the devastating 2010 earthquakes that destroyed its centre, but it remains a vibrant city steeped in its European heritage. We'll check out the local sights of this city in transition with an included tour before retiring and getting ready for our next venture into nature.

Stay

Breakfree on Cashel

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • Take a guided city tour of a city in transition: Christchurch

DAY 4 - Christchurch to Mt Cook

Christchurch

Get ready for your next Special Stay in Mt Cook - but first, we have a unique stop on the agenda.

Lake Tekapo

We'll stop off to see the intense milky blue waters of glacially-fed Lake Tekapo, and here, we'll also get to enjoy an unforgettable Dark Sky experience. You'll be blown away by this interactive multimedia exhibition that mixes stargazing, science and traditional Māori astronomy, teaching us how the Māori people originally used to use stars to harvest food, and about the importance of limiting light pollution.

Mt Cook

Our next Special Stay is a lodge located in Mt Cook National Park, a majestic landscape of glaciers, terminal lakes, turbulent rivers and Australasia's tallest peak, the mighty Aoraki (Mt Cook) soaring above at 3,724 metres. There's endless adventures to choose from today - walk some of the famed hiking trails or take a scenic flight over the glacier followed by a snow landing and glacier walk. If heights aren't your thing, take a cruise up close to the glaciers, where you to touch and taste 300-500 year old glacial crystals. As the pitch black night draws in, opt for a unique stargazing experience.

Stay

Mt Cook Lodge

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • Immerse yourself in an awe-inspiring multimedia Dark Sky Reserve experience, 13.8 billion years in the making, combining science and tātai arora (Māori astronomy)

  • Take a short and spectacular hike to Tasman Glacier Lake

FREE TIME ADD-ONS

  • Fly in a plane and helicopter over the soaring peaks of majestic Mt Cook, followed by a glacier snow landing

  • Visit the Tasman Glacier, cruise the terminal lakes past icebergs and crystals & touch 300-500 year old glacial crystals

  • Make the most of the pitch black sky with a unique stargazing experience from your Mount Cook Lodge

DAY 5 - Mt Cook to Glenorchy

Mt Cook

Rise and shine! You won't want to miss our morning hike to Kea point, to watch a golden sunrise stretch over the mountains. Hungry? We've definitely earned a buffet breakfast, and we'll enjoy floor to ceiling views of Mt Cook as we dine in the Heritage Hotel.

Arrowtown

Whether or not you have any room left after breakfast, you'll be happy to know we have a quick stop off for lunch in Arrowtown, New Zealand's historic gold-mining town. A bit like a New Zealand version of the Wild West, Arrowtown is full of charming wooden-fronted shops, cafes and remnants of the goldrush era. Be sure to check out the replica miner's huts, buy some flakes of gold, wade in the river where people still go gold-panning, or buy some old-timey sweets from the Remarkable Sweet Shop on the main street.

Glenorchy

Arriving in Glenorchy we'll get a guided tour of our eco-retreat Special Stay. Nestled among some of New Zealand’s most spectacular scenery, this place celebrates nature through buildings designed with non-toxic construction materials, native plantings, and creative touches from New Zealand artists and craftspeople. State-of-the-art technology helps to reduce water and energy use. We'll enjoy an included Kiwi BBQ dinner before turning in for the night. We've got a big day of exploration tomorrow.

Stay

Camp Glenorchy (Special Stay)

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • Take an early morning hike to Kea Point to see a golden sunrise fall over majestic Mt Cook

  • Eat a full buffet breakfast at the Heritage Hotel with floor to ceiling views of Mt Cook

  • Stop off in the charming historic goldrush settlement of Arrowtown

  • Eat a full buffet breakfast at the Heritage Hotel with floor to ceiling views of Mt Cook

DAY 6 - Glenorchy

Glenorchy

We've got a day to explore the great outdoors! Lucky us. Maybe start the day with some free yoga; after that the opportunities are limitless. Get the ultimate thrill with some tandem skydiving; take an e-bike tour of the Routeburn track; maybe take the safari kayak adventure and explore the islands of Lake Wakatipu, surrounded by the spectacular Southern Alps...New Zealand is the gift that keeps on giving, and we're not done yet.

Stay

Camp Glenorchy (Special Stay)

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • Start the morning with a yoga session at Camp Glenorchy Eco Retreat

FREE TIME ADD-ONS

  • Hike part of the Routeburn Track, one of the world's top hiking trails

  • Take a foodie movie set or bike and hike e-bike tour of the Routeburn track Glenorchy

  • Take a Glenorchy kayak safari and explore the Lake Wakatipu islands in the shadow of the Southern Alps

DAY 7 - Glenorchy to Queenstown

Glenorchy

Glenorchy, it's been emotional, but we're headed to the adventure capital of the world.

Queenstown

Framed by the aptly named Remarkable Mountains, the birthplace of bungee gets the pulse racing in more ways than one. We'll take an orientation tour, and then there's a menu of adventures to choose from. So, where to start? You might be the one trailing through wine country and doing a spot of horseback riding, or you may insist on cramming in a bungy jump, a skydive and a heliraft. It's your adventure - run wild as you see fit.

Stay

Jucy Snooze

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • Check out Queenstown's top adventure spots & nightlife from your centrally located Jucy Snooze hostel

FREE TIME ADD-ONS

  • Get your adrenalin pumping with AJ Hackett's Ledge Swing with sweeping views of Queenstown

    NZ$165

  • Get a thrilling perspective of Queenstown's skyline with the famous AJ Hackett Ledge bungy

    NZ$205

  • Take the plunge on the world's OG bungy at Kawarau Bridge, Queenstown

    NZ$205

  • Paddle over Queenstown's Lake Wakatipu with Funyaks kayaking

  • Take an splashy adventure thrill ride on Queenstown's Shotover Jet

    NZ$129

DAY 8 - Queenstown

Queenstown

With our last day (sob) in adrenaline city ahead of us, this is the time to push yourself to the limits and hurl over any mental barriers you've put up around yourself. Maybe conquer those niggling fears once and for all. We recommend the exhilarating Shotover Jet experience, where you can throw those hands in the air as you fly through narrow Shotover canyons at speeds of up to 85 kph. For those who did their dash yesterday, a day staying mellow and enjoying the beautiful wineries, cute cafes and incredible mountains is fine too!

Stay

Jucy Snooze

FREE TIME ADD-ONS

  • Jump off the third highest bungy platform in the world at AJ Hackett's Nevis Bungy in Queenstown

    NZ$275

  • Go all out with Thrillogy - 3 of Queenstown's world class bungy jumps including the historic Kawarau Bungy, the freestyle Ledge Bungy, and the hair-raising Nevis Bungy

    NZ$420

  • Take the swing of your life on the 300m Nevis Swing, one of the world's biggest canyon swings in Queenstown

    NZ$210

  • Swing through the tree tops on a Ziptrek Zipline tour in Queenstown

    NZ$189

  • Do a tour and tasting of a Central Otago Wine vineyard and Craft Brewery in Queenstown

  • Enjoy dinner with unparallelled views at Queenstown's Skyline restaurant

    NZ$85

DAY 9 - Queenstown

Queenstown

This morning our adventure comes to an end (sob) here in Queenstown, or you can take an optional transfer back to Christhurch. Hug it out with your New Zealand crew. We're sad to say goodbye, but memories of what we've experienced will put stupid grins on our faces for years to come.

Frequently Asked Questions

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