South Island New Zealand Itinerary 12 Days
Please note that this tour has been discontinued. Please choose one of our other amazing NZ itineraries instead.
Welcome to the 12 Day Southern Explorer Haka Plus Tour!
You’re never far from either the sea or the mountains on this New Zealand South Island 2 week itinerary as you cross the Cook Strait from Wellington, the nation’s capital, to the quaint town of Picton in the beautiful Marlborough Sounds. From here you venture into the heart of the majestic Southern Alps and on to the adventure playground of Queenstown.
Created for travellers in their mid-thirties and upwards, over the course of your week and a half tour you’ll travel through some of the most magical scenery you could hope to see. National Parks, rainforests, mountain ranges, UNESCO World Heritage Areas… everywhere you turn, there’s something different to behold.
This New Zealand South Island 2 week itinerary includes special activities such as one of the world’s most scenic train as well as one of the world’s most scenic ferry journeys, a scenic e-bike experience, a night of glamping and the opportunity to carve your own greenstone pendant.
You’ll have the opportunity to swim, kayak, skydive, hike, see kiwis (and whales and dolphins), relax in hot pools, eat and drink like a local, and more!
But only if you want to; this is your trip. It’s designed to be flexible – we include some high-end essentials, but let you make the call on what kind of activities appeal to you. You can pre-book the things you are certain you want to do before the trip starts – and then add more on while you’re on tour.
We'll fill your days with the best things to see and do in the South Island and also give you a great insight into New Zealand life and culture. At the end of the day, you can relax in comfortable 3–4 star accommodation to ensure you have a great night’s sleep ready for the following day’s activities.
Please note: private room upgrades are not available for two nights on this tour: the glamping experience in Wanaka where accommodation is twin or triple-share only.
Book this New Zealand itinerary for 12 days of fun and adventure in the South Island today!
As our tours are made up of a combination of tours, the composition of your group may change throughout your tour (Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch are the hubs where the group may change).
A Boat Cruise to the Remote Mou Waho Island Nature Reserve
Enjoy a boat cruise on Lake Wanaka to the remote Mou Waho Island nature reserve, a predator-free reserve with a natural glacial-formed lake at its summit.
One of the world’s most scenic Rail Journeys
Take in the stunning Southern Alps and the vast Canterbury Plains aboard the TranzAlpine train.
Carve Your Own Greenstone/Pounamu Pendant
Learn about Māori culture as you carve your very own pounamu pendant - the perfect keepsake.
What's included on every Haka Plus tour:
- Passionate and knowledgeable local Kiwi guide
- Comfortable and air-conditioned bus transport
- Orientation tour of each and every location
- Small groups of maximum 16 people
- Experiences to teach you about our unique Māori culture
- Stay each night in twin-share 3–4 star accommodation: a mix of hotels, motels, lodges, and rainforest retreats.
What's also included on this tour:
- Stay 11 nights in twin-share 3–4 star accommodation: a mix of hotels, motels, lodges, and rainforest retreats.
- Feast on daily hearty breakfasts and 2 dinners.
- Ride one of the most scenic ferry journeys in the world, over the Cook Strait
- Take in the stunning Southern Alps and the vast Canterbury Plains aboard the TranzAlpine, New Zealand’s finest inland rail journey.
- Taste some of the world’s best sauvignon blanc at a Marlborough wine tasting.
- Spend one night glamping (luxury camping) in Wanaka (available for tours starting before 1 September 2023).
- Cruise through Wanaka on a scenic e-bike (bicycle with electric motor) experience (available on tours starting before 1 September 2023).
- Enjoy a boat cruise on Lake Wanaka to the remote Mou Waho Island nature reserve (available on tours starting from 1 September 2023).
- Carve your own pounamu (jade) pendant in Franz Josef.
- Plus, many more surprise stops along the way!
ENHANCE YOUR TRIP WITH ADD-ON ACTIVITIES AND UPGRADES
Your tour includes all the essentials but you can add extra wow-factor to your tour by adding on the activities and accommodation upgrades that suit you best.
Optional activities you can add to this trip at checkout:
- Price from (NZD)
- Deposit only
ADVENTURE OR HAKA PLUS?
Discover which is best for your ->
Only $99 to secure your seat unless you book within 60 days of departure. Once your spot is booked, you can log in and customise your tour with any extra experiences or activities up to 60 days before departure.
FAQ - Southern Explorer
New Zealand Uncovered
Uncover all the beauty, adventure, culture and fun activities of New Zealand and tick practically everything off your bucket list.View tour
An unrushed exploration of the North Island’s top attractions including the Coromandel, Tongariro National Park, Rotorua & Wellington.View tour
Take in significant Southern highlights & must-do activities: mountains, lakes, glaciers, pristine rainforest & the world famous TranzAlpine rail journey.View tour