South Island Trip April 2017

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Experience the spectacular beauty of New Zealand’s South Island on this 15-day trip.

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Experience the scenic beauty of Tasman and Golden Bay, visit the Franz Joseph and Fox Glaciers and the iconic Milford Sounds set amongst the Fiordland National Park. Sleep in the shadow of Mount Sefton near Mount Cook. Stay three nights at the adventure tourism capital of Queenstown and indulge the adrenaline junky within you… go bungy jumping, sky diving, canyoning, paragliding… plus much more!

Trip Dates: April 15 – 29, 2017
Cost (per trip): NZ$2,160 OR NZ$2,060 with Early Bird Special
(Price includes $300+ in group activities. Optional activities cost extra.)


Why Choose ISENZ Trips?

ISENZ trips are by far the best value for money. If you do a comparison you’ll find that other trips either provide a lot less for your money, or cost more.

Price includes:
  • 15 days of fun and activities. Some tours are only 10 or 11 days for a similar price.
  • ALL meals included (breakfast, lunch and dinner – 43 meals in total). Some tours only include SOME meals.
  • tour snacks and bottled water between meals
  • Comfortable cabin accommodation (2 – 6 people per cabin). Some tours include tent accommodation.
  • Bus transport for the 15 days
  • An experienced ISENZ trip manager, bus driver and adult supervisors (between 4-6 depending on student numbers)
  • a range of group activities valued at over $300 (listed below)
    • Kayaking in the Golden Bay area of Abel Tasman Park
    • Walk up to Rawhiti Caves in Pohara and view thousands of stalactites
    • Forest trek and swim at Wainui Falls, a beautiful waterfall in Pohara
    • The Buller Gorge swing bridge
    • Seal Colony – Westport
    • Punakaiki Pancake Rocks
    • Shanty Town… Gold panning
    • Fox and Franz Joseph Glaciers walks
    • Puzzling World in Wanaka
    • Skyline Gondola and Luge – Queenstown
    • Visit to Minus Five Bar in Queenstown. Complemetary non-alcoholic drink.
    • Shotover jet boat ride
    • Milford Sound boat cruise – Fiordland
    • Walk or race up the steepest street in the world – Baldwin Street, Dunedin
    • Tasman Glacier walk if light and weather permits
    • The Hilary Centre at Mount Cook and movie
    • Bathe at Maruia Thermal Hot Springs
  • the opportunity to do many optional activities (eg. tandem sky diving, bungy jumping)
Price does not include:
  • Domestic travel to the start point (normally Wellington)
  • Additional optional activities
  • Between meal snacks
  • Supervised accommodation will be arranged on request in Wellington for any students needing to stop over in Wellington to make connections. The cost is $40 per night.
Optional Activities (extra cost):
  • Bungy Jumping – allow $195-$275 (depending on which jump you do)
  • SkylineTandem Paragliding – Queenstown – allow $200
  • Paragliding of Coronet peak – $200
  • White water rafting – 12 mile canyon – allow $199
  • Swimming with the dolphins – $155-$170 for a swimmer or just $45-$90 as a viewer
  • Whale watching in Kaikoura – $60-$145 per person
  • A Helicopter flight over Queenstown and the Remarkable Mountain Range is $155- $200.
  • Four Wheel drive trips – Lord of the Rings Trails ($160-200 for different trips)
  • Four wheel drive- Skippers Canyon ($160)- very spectacular
  • Sky diving: $299- $439 (depending on the jump altitude which ranges from 9000ft – 15000ft (2800-3500m). Taking a photographer costs about $250 more. The photographer jumps with you and films you on the way down.
  • Horse-trecking: $155-$200 half day. $315 full day…only for experienced riders.
  • Paint-balling

* Parental approval is required for all these activities
* Your organisation may also disallow some activities and/ or your insurance cover may exclude some things. Please check.
* The above prices are 2014 prices and are subject to review in October each year.

About the Trip: 15 Day Itinerary
Day 1

  • Palmerston North (and nearby) students may get a ride to Wellington in the ISENZ van. Students need to be at 29 Meridian Grove at 08:00am for a 8:15am departure. Places in the van are limited, so Russell must be contacted on 021646750 to make this arrangement prior to the trip start date.
  • Wellington: 11.00 am (Downtown Backpackers) Airport pick-ups on April 15th and 16th
  • Ferry departs at about 1.00 pm. We must check in by 12.00pm
  • Travel by ferry to Picton
  • Stay over-night at the Tahuna Beach Holiday Park, 70 Beach Rd, Tahunanui. Phone: 03 548 5159

Day 2

  • Time in Nelson city. Nelson was one of the first settlements in NZ and is home to Ernest Rutherford, the father of atomic physics.
  • Early lunch at beautiful Tahunanui Beach.
  • Travel to Takaka in the Golden Bay area.
  • Stay two nights at the Pohara Top 10 Holiday Park (Phone: 03 525 9500), situated alongside the beach of Golden Bay

Day 3

  • Pohara, Golden Bay
  • Kayaking and cave and forest and/or waterfall walk
  • Visit the Pupu Springs the largest fresh-water spring in NZ

Day 4

  • Travel through Buller Gorge to Westport
  • Walk the buller swing bridge across the Buller Gorge
  • Stay over-night at the Seal Colony Holiday Park.

Day 5

  • Travel down the rugged and beautiful west coast through rain forest
  • Stop at Punakaiki Pancake Rocks and Shanty Town
  • Pan for gold at Shanty Town
  • Travel on to Franz Joseph Glacier
  • Stay overnight at the Franz Joseph Top 10 Holiday Park.

Day 6

  • Visit Franz Joseph and Fox glaciers.
  • Continue through the Westland rain forest (a world heritage area)
  • Through the Haast Pass to Lakes Hawea and Wanaka. Wanaka is a very popular holiday resort.
  • Stop over night at Wanaka at the Top 10 Holiday Park.

Day 7 – 9

  • Time in Wanaka. Visit the Maze and Puzzling World.
  • Travel on to Cromwell. See the town of Cromwell where the Clyde dam formed a lake, drowning most of this old gold-mining town. Cromwell is also famous for the production of apricots, cherries and Pinot Noir wines.
  • Continue into the Kawarau Gorge and stop at the original AJ Hackett bungy. Hackett is the man who invented the bungy jump.
  • Arrive in Queenstown. Time to check out optional activities. Optional activity day is Sunday April 23. Group activities include a trip up the Skyline gondola, the Skyline luge, the Shotover Jet and a visit to Minus 5 Ice Bar
  • Remain in Queenstown for three nights at the Lakeland Park Camp. Phone: (03) 442 8809
  • Take part in group activities Day 8 (Saturday 22nd April) and optional activities Day 9 (Sunday 23rd April).
  • There is time for other activities and shopping

Day 10

  • Travel on to on to Te Anau then Milford Sound in Fiordland through very rugged mountain country and on through the Homer tunnel. Scenery through the pass and in the Fiords is very spectacular. It is a designated World Heritage Park.
  • Take a boat trip on Milford Sound viewing Mitre Peak, seals, waterfalls and sometimes dolphins.
  • Travel back to Lake Te Anau.
  • Stop overnight at the Lakeview Holiday Park. Phone: 03 249 7457.

Day 11

  • Travel from Queenstown to Dunedin. Arrive in Dunedin at around 3.00pm
  • Spend night at Dunedin at Dunedin Holiday park, Phone: 03 455 4690. Dunedin was once the largest city in New Zealand. It was the first Scottish settlement in NZ and the city has a Scottish character.
  • Time in Dunedin to explore the city or visit the Cadbury Chocolate Factory (optional activity).
  • Walk or race up Baldwin Street, the steepest street in the world.

Day 12

  • Travel north, see the quaint old town of Oamaru and the famous Moeraki Boulders
  • Go inland up the Waitaki Valley and see the huge hydro lakes.
  • Continue through Canterbury high country to Lake Pukaki and Mount Cook. Visit the Tasman Glacier if the light permits
  • Stay over-night at the Mount Cook Youth Hostel. Phone: 03 435 1820.

Day 13

  • Visit the Edmund Hilary Centre
  • Travel from Mt. Cook to Christchurch passing Lake Pukaki and Lake Tekapo. These are glacier lakes renowned for their turquoise colour.
  • Stay overnight at the Spencer Beach Holiday Park.
  • See central Christchurch and evidence of the extensive damage caused by the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes. 70% of central city buildings were extensively damaged and are now being demolished and re-built.

Day 14
(Changes to original itinerary are due to the recent earthquake in Kaikoura. The alternative road to Kaikoura is open to car traffic, but will not allow heavy vehicles to travel on it. NZ Transport antipate this will still be the case in April 2017. Because of this, we have unfortunately had to remove Kaikoura and associated activities from the itinerary.)

  • Travel inland (Hanmer Springs and Murchison) to St Arnaud, situated on the edge of Lake Rotoiti in the Nelson Lakes National Park.
  • Visit Maruia Hot Springs for a bathe in the natural mineral pools and nearby river (optional activity). Have lunch here.
  • Go for a swim in Lake Rotoiti, and/or a hike on one of the walking tracks in the nearby region.
  • Stay over-night at Nelson Lakes Motels & Travers-Sabine Lodge. Phone: 03 5211887

Day 15

  • Pack up and travel back to Picton via the Wairau Valley, a major grape growing and wine production region in NZ.
  • Lunch at Picton.
  • Take the afternoon ferry back to Wellington.
  • Drop off in Wellington.
  • Supervised accommodation will be arranged for those who need to stop-over to make connections, if requested.
  • Palmerston students will be returned back home. Times to be given later… but expect evening… as late as 9.00pm.
  • The ferry arrives in Wellington at about 6.00pm.

Reserving places on the trip

We encourage you to reserve a place early. Contact Russell on or complete this online form to reserve a place on a trip.

Then download the booking form, and print, complete and return the following forms to

  • Registration form (pages 2-3 of PDF download)
  • Parent permission form (page 4 of PDF download)
  • School permission form (page 5 of PDF download).
Reserve a Place Download Booking Form

Trip Route

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Find out more

If you have any questions about this trip, please get in touch.