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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

9 Days
8 places

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

Is this trip for me?

Travel Style

In-Depth Explorer

Group Size

Average 20 people

Transport Style

Coach, Ferry & Boat


  • 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
  • Only $200 deposit to book
  • Pay over time, interest free
    Learn more
  • No booking fee, no change fees
  • Financing available with UpLift

What's included?

8 nights accommodation

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

This adventure is all about authentic experiences and natural beauty, which is why we've included 3 unforgettable Special Stays. From staying in a lodge framed by the Marlborough Sounds and accessed only by water taxi, to stargazing from your lodge in Mount Cook National Park, to learning about conservation at the award winning Camp Glenorchy Eco-Retreat, you'll be closer to New Zealand's spectacular scenery than ever before. When hanging in towns, we'll be staying in centrally-located hotels & hostels in the heart of the action, like the Jucy Snooze pods.

9 Meals

3 Dinner, 6 Breakfast

We'll get 9 of your meals, you get the rest. You can expect an included breakfast most mornings, as well as an authentic Kiwi BBQ and a breakfast buffet with floor to ceiling views of Mt Cook. We'll also give you plenty of opportunities to try the best gourmet eats in NZ, with killer tips to find the perfect flat white, hokey-pokey icecream or pulled lamb pie.


Trip Manager & Driver

A highly trained Trip Manager who brings your adventure to life. An expert driver who knows foreign roads better than Google Maps. Local Guides who make tourist traps a thing of the past. This is your team. Smart, friendly, fun, and integral to everything we do.


Included in your trip is transport around New Zealand on our fleet of comfy, state of the art coaches. They're kitted out with all the necessities: USB charge points, WiFi, Air Con and a rocking sound system. You bring the other essentials, like tunes, friendships and stories from the night before. Plus we'll hop on a boat to get to our Special Stay lodge in the heart of the Marlborough Sounds.


16 included, 18 optional that you can add

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.

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From staying at an award-winning Eco Retreat in Glenorchy to stargazing from your lodge in Mt Cook National Park, this trip boasts an incredible 5 Special Stays to bring you even closer to New Zealand's unique beauty and heritage.

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


Nights spent per location

  1. Wellington

  2. 2 2 nights

    Marlborough Sounds

  3. 1 1 night


  4. via via

    Lake Tekapo

  5. 1 1 night

    Mt Cook

  6. via via


  7. 2 2 nights


  8. 2 2 nights



Are flights included in my trip?

International flights to/from the destination your trip starts and ends in are not included in the cost of the trip, and must be purchased separately. You can book these independently if you want to shop around for the best quote, or through your travel agent.

Any flights you take during your Contiki are included in the cost of your trip. On certain Australian trips we use planes to get you from A to B as quickly as possible, and all of this is included.

What documents do I need to travel?

Depending on your nationality, you may require visas to enter Australia & New Zealand. You are fully responsible for obtaining all necessary visas prior to the departure of your trip. Contiki is not legally permitted to knowingly allow anybody who does not have a valid visa (if required) to join a trip. Visa & other entry & exit conditions such as currency, arrival/ departure taxes, customs & quarantine regulations change regularly, so make sure you stay up-to-date before you travel. See here for more info:
It is also essential that you have any necessary vaccinations & comply with all laws of the countries visited.

What are the luggage restrictions?

On our Australia & New Zealand trips, you can bring one bag or suitcase of 73cm x 50cm x 25cm (29” x 20” x 10”), with a max weight of 20kg (44lbs) plus one piece of hand luggage suitable as a carry-on for flights.

What do the Contiki team do?

People are at the heart of everything we do, and our team is what makes our trips the best. Our worldwide On-Road Team, locally based staff & network of Local Guides are all extensively trained & widely travelled, & are the best in the business. But we know it’s not just about training, it’s about passion & our team have it in their blood. 
Your Trip Manager is like your walking, talking guidebook – just for you. They plan your itinerary every day, organise your food and accomodation and book your Free Time Add ons, and because they know everything about where you’re going, you will too. Your Drivers are the experts on getting you from A to B efficiently and safely in Australia & New Zealand. They know their way around like the back of their hands & they’ll drop you at your door & unload your bags for you. Local Guides provide specialist knowledge when you need it, like when you’re journeying into the bush, and will always help you avoid the tourist traps.

How do I redeem the % off deal?

Our great deals and offers are only in market for a limited time are subject to pay in full deadlines. If you cannot pay in full by the specified date shown alongside the offer/deal you can still  lock in the trip date of your choice at our Standard Price where normal payment terms of pay in full 45 days prior to your trip departing apply.  Visit the deals page for the full terms & conditions. Discounts apply to the land portion of your trip price only (this excludes taxes, included flight costs, extra accommodation & optional activities. Your trip price does not include the costs of international flights that start or end your trip).


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