South Island Trip April 2018 (15 days)

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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, four wheel driving, paragliding… plus much more!

Trip Dates: April 14 – 28, 2018 (15 days)
Cost (per trip): NZ$2,180 OR NZ$2,080 with Early Bird Special*
Price includes: All meals (43 meals in total), cabin accommodation, $300+ in group activities (optional activities cost extra), 15 days bus travel, experienced ISENZ trip manager, leaders, assistants and chef.
Trip starts and ends in Wellington

Why Choose ISENZ Trips?

ISENZ trips are by far the best value for money. If you do a comparison you’ll find that other similar trips either include a lot less for your money (meals, activities), cost more, or are shorter in length.

Price includes:
  • 15 days of fun and activities. Some tours are only 9 or 10 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
  • 14 nights of comfortable cabin accommodation (2 – 6 people per cabin). Some tours include tent accommodation.
  • 15 days of bus transport
  • An experienced ISENZ Trip Manager, 1 – 2 Trip Leaders, Kitchen Manager, 1 – 2 Trip Assistants + bus driver (1:9 adult:student ratio)
  • a range of group activities valued at over NZ$300 (listed below)
    • 1 x Return trip from Wellington to Picton on the Cook Strait Ferry (Interislander or Bluebridge)
    • 1 x Kayaking in the Golden Bay area of Abel Tasman Park
    • 1 x Milford Sound boat cruise – Fiordland
    • 1 x Shotover jet boat ride – Queenstown
    • 1 x Skyline Gondola ride (return ticket) – Queenstown
    • 3 x Luge rides – Queenstown
    • 1 x Admission to Minus Five Bar in Queenstown plus 1 x Complemetary non-alcoholic drink.
    • 1 x Admission to Puzzling World in Wanaka
    • 1 x Admission to Hanmer Springs Hot Pools
    • 1 x Admission for The Buller Gorge swing bridge
    • 1 x Admission to Shanty Town + Gold panning
    • 1 x Forest trek and swim at Wainui Falls, a beautiful waterfall in Pohara
    • 1 x Visit to Punakaiki Pancake Rocks
    • 1 x Visit to the Greenstone / Jade Factory – Hokitika
    • 2 x Glacier visits (Franz Joseph and Fox Glaciers)
    • 1 x Visit to Thunder Creek Falls in the Haast Pass
    • 1 x Visit to Ships Creek Beach or kahikatea swamp forest walk
    • 1 x Walk or race up the steepest street in the world – Baldwin Street, Dunedin
    • 1 x Tasman Glacier walk (if light and weather permits)
    • Plus much more!…
  • 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 Jump (Kawarau Bridge, Nevis, Ledge) – Queenstown. $195-$275, depending on which jump you choose.
• Ledge Swing $160, Canyon Swing $229, Nevis Swing $195 – Queenstown
• Kawarau Zipride – Queenstown – from $50 per person
• Tandem Paragliding (Skyline or Coronet Peak) – Queenstown – from $219
• Helicopter flight over Queenstown and the Remarkable Mountain Range – prices start from about $240
• Four Wheel drive trips – Lord of the Rings Trails – from $185
• Four wheel drive – Skippers Canyon – $185
• Sky diving: $299 – $439 (depending on the jump altitude which ranges from 9000ft- 15000ft (2743-4572m).
Additional costs for taking a GoPro or photographer, from $189 – $329 depending on the package.
• Horse-trecking: between $100-200 for 1.5 – 3 hours
• Paint-ball (group rates): $60 for 200 balls, $80 for 400 balls, $100 for 600 balls (group rates)

* 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.
* Prices quoted here are June 2017 prices (NZD$). These are standard adult rates, but sometimes student rates or group discounts can be offered or negotiated. Students 14 and under may be eligible for child rates.

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: Between 11 – 11.00 am (Hotel Waterloo and Backpackers). Airport pick-ups on April 13th and 14th
  • Ferry departs at about 1.30 pm. We must check in by 12.30pm
  • Travel by ferry to Picton over the Cook Strait and through the Marlborough Sounds. Drive by bus to Blenheim.
  • Stay over-night at the Blenheim TOP 10 Holiday Park. Phone: 03 578 3667.

Day 2

  • Travel to Nelson. Free time to explore Nelson city centre. Nelson was one of the first settlements in NZ and is home to Ernest Rutherford, the father of atomic physics.
  • Lunch at beautiful Tahunanui Beach.
  • Travel to Takaka in the Golden Bay area, stopping in Motueka for a look around and a visit to the European Bakery.
  • Visit Pupu Springs the largest fresh-water spring in New Zealand
  • Stay two nights at the Pohara Top 10 Holiday Park (Phone: 03 525 9500), situated alongside the beach of Golden Bay

Day 3

  • Sea kayaking in the morning at Tata Beach in the Abel Tasman National Park.
  • Lunch back at the holiday park. Native forest walk and visit to Wainui Falls or Rawhiti Caves
  • Group activities and games on the beach back at the holiday park before dinner
  • After dinner, head down to the beach and watch the sunset while toasting marshmallows on the bonfire

Day 4

  • Travel through Buller Gorge to Westport
  • Walk the buller swing bridge across the Buller Gorge
  • Stay over-night at Carter’s Beach 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 and optional activities Day 9.
  • 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

  • Visit the famous Moeraki Boulders – unusually large, spherical boulders that lie along Koekohe Beach
  • Stop for lunch in Oamaru at the Steampunk Playground. Oamaru is a quaint old town known for its white stone Victorian buildings. Visit the Steampunk HQ Museum for a weird, retro-futuristic sci-fi experience like no other!
  • Travel inland up the Waitaki Valley and see the huge hydro lakes and the Benmore Dam Hydro Station
  • Continue through Canterbury high country to Mount Cook, stopping for a swim at Lake Pukaki. Mt Cook is the highest mountain in New Zealand, standing at 3724m. The Maori name for Mount Cook is Aoraki, meaning “cloud piercer”.
  • Walk up to the Tasman Lake for views of the Tasman Glacier, if the light permits
  • Stay over-night at YHA Aoraki Mount Cook Backpackers. Phone: (03) 435 1820.

Day 13

  • Travel from Mount Cook to Christchurch, stopping for scenic views of Lake Pukaki and Lake Tekapo overlooked by Mt Cook in the distance. These are glacier lakes renowned for their intense turquoise colour.
  • Lunch at Lake Tekapo, by the Church of the Good Shepherd, a small, picturesque stone church overlooking the lake.
  • Travel onto Christchurch, stopping in Geraldine along the way.
  • Time to explore Christchurch CBD. You will see the evidence of the extensive damage caused by the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes. 70% of central city buildings were extensively damaged and are still being demolished and re-built.
  • Visit the earthquake memorial wall, the Cardboard Cathedral, or explore the unique Re:START container mall, a make-shift shopping centre made from shipping containers
  • Stay overnight at the Spencer Beach Holiday Park. Phone: (03) 329 8721

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. NZTA antipate this will still be the case in April 2018. Because of this, we have unfortunately had to remove Kaikoura and associated activities from the itinerary.)

  • Travel inland to Murchison. Stop at Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools and Spas for a relaxing bathe in the naturally heated mineral pools, surrounded by mountains and forest.
  • Lunch at Hanmer Springs and time to look around the town
  • Travel onto Murchison through the beautiful Lewis Pass National Park.
  • Final night dinner and awards ceremony
  • Stay over-night at Riverside Holiday Park, Murchison. Phone: 03 523 9591

Day 15

  • Pack up and travel back to Picton via the Wairau Valley, a major grape growing and wine production region in NZ.
  • Stop at Lake Rotoiti and head out onto the pier to see thousands of eels hiding beneath
  • Lunch in Picton. Time to have a look around Picton before checking in at the ferry terminal.
  • 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.
Payment Details

Payment is best made by electronic transfer direct from your parent’s bank into the ISENZ account. If making payment this way, a bank charge of $20 should be added as BNZ will deduct this at the New Zealand end.

If you need flights to or from Wellington and/or extra accommodation in Wellington, there are advantages in getting ISENZ to arrange this as then only one bank fee is paid.

*NZ$20 needs to be added to the trip cost for overseas payments.

Alternatively, your parents can remit payment to your personal NZ bank account if you open one and you can then ask your bank to transfer the amount to the ISENZ account. Banks can also give you a bank cheque made out to ISENZ Ltd.

Some students withdraw cash using a credit card, then pay the cash into the ISENZ account at any BNZ bank in NZ.

Note: Payment by credit card is not an option.

Click here to download Payment Details

Trip Map


Reserving places on the trip

We encourage you to reserve a place early. Email us 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 Forms and Itinerary

Find out more

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