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South Island Encompassed

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Now's the time to explore New Zealand on your terms with this tour that's affordable for young travellers. If you prefer your travel experiences paired with adrenaline-pumping activities, then look no further than the South Island of New Zealand. Action is the common thread throughout this trip across a variety of landscapes — think rainforests, glaciers, and some of the most gorgeous coastline you’ll ever see. This trip is a, um, trip even when you’re not moving; accommodations include a wilderness hostel deep in the rainforest itself. Do people still say rad? Well, this is rad.

Until 30 NOV '22, you can SAVE 10% on the South Island Encompassed tour.

Just simply apply promo code G10NZ30 while checking out!


Book with confidence

✔️ Book travel with us departing between July 1st, 2022 and December 31st, 2023, and you can cancel and rebook up to 45 days prior to your departure date.


Tour Highlights


Vaccinated Tours

Covid Vaccine 50x65pxTo help protect our travellers and the places we visit, all our tours now adhere to our Travel with Confidence policy, which includes vaccination requirements. On all tours, all travellers must have received a full COVID-19 vaccination with the final dose given at least 14 days before the start of the tour.

Overview

Age requirement: 18 - 39 years old

Not 18-to-39? Give Stray's 11-Day Takahe Tour a try instead.

Duration: 16 days

Start/Finish City: Wellington to Wellington

Service Level: Basic

Simple and clean hotels and hostels; affordable public and private transport; lots of optional activities.

Physical Grading: Average

Some tours may include light hiking, biking, rafting, or kayaking in addition to walking.

Travel Style: 18-to-30 somethings

Fast, fresh, and fun adventures that never slow down, made for young, budget-minded travellers.


What's included

G Stay 50x65pxAccommodation

Hostels & basic lodges (15 nights, multi-share with 2-10 people).


 Cruiseship 50x65pxActivities

    • Touch the vibes of Windy Wellington
    • Excursion to Abel Tasman National Park
    • Visit to a seal colony
    • Walks in Franz Josef and Lake Matheson
    • Fiordland National Park visit and Milford Sound nature cruise

G Meals 50x65pxMeals

15 breakfasts, 4 dinners 


G Bus 50x65pxPrivate Coach Transport

Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.


 G Group 50x65pxSmall Group

Small group experience; Maximum 20 passengers, average 16 passengers.


CEO 50x65pxChief Experience Officer (CEO)

The CEO will be the group manager, leader and driver - this person is experienced in the routes travelled and will organise and lead the meal preparations and has experience in cooking a variety of local and international dishes for large groups.


Tour Dates

2023

  • 23 February
  • 2, 9 & 23 March
  • 6, 20 & 27 April
  • 11 & 25 May
  • 8 & 22 June
  • 6, 13 & 20 July
  • 3, 17 & 31 August
  • 7, 14, 21 & 28 September
  • 5, 12, 19 & 26 October
  • 2, 9, 16, 23 & 30 November
  • 7, 14, 21 & 28 December

2024

  • 4 January

G Adventures' Core Values

G Love 50x65pxWe Love Changing People's Lives
It’s true. At G Adventures, changing people’s lives isn’t just a mantra, it’s the very core of our company culture, the essence of who we are, and the driving force behind everything we do.

The way we see it, change is the key to innovation, and people are the key to change. From our CEOs (Chief Experience Officers), G Adventures staff, partners and the thousands of travellers we interact with every day, our goal is to ensure an authentic and unforgettable life-changing experience for everyone. After all, if you’re not changing, you’re not growing. And isn’t that what life is all about?


G Lead 50x65pxLead with Service
Our passion for travel is rivalled only by our commitment to those we serve. From helping our travellers choose the perfect trip, to providing them with the most authentic life-changing adventure possible, we go out of our way to ensure a travel experience unlike anything they’ve ever imagined.


G Embrace 50x65pxEmbrace the Bizarre
While most companies are busy thinking outside the box, we learned a long time ago that sometimes it’s best to just get rid of the box altogether. That’s why we encourage our staff – and our travellers – to embrace the bizarre, step off the beaten path and boldly embark down the road less traveled. It’s the reason our company culture celebrates individuality, champions diversity and inspires fearless innovation.


G Create 50x65pxCreate Happiness & Community
This unique combination of respect and enthusiasm prevents us from losing sight of what matters most – community, people, cultural exchange – and reminds us that creating happiness is a privilege we all share together.

We’re proud of our reputation as a world leader in innovative, authentic adventure travel, and we work hard to make sure we stay there. Of course, it doesn’t really feel like work when you love what you do as much as we do. Perhaps it’s because we’re more than a company, we’re a family – a family of diverse individuals united by a profound respect for, and enthusiastic belief in, not only our values, but each other.


G Do 50x65pxDo the Right Thing
The foundation of our success is built on one very simple principle: Do the right thing all the time, every time. For our staff, for our travellers, for the people and places we visit. It’s the difference between booking a trip and fulfilling a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. It’s a pledge to recognize the problems facing the world today and act quickly to meet them. Above all, it’s a commitment to continually challenge ourselves to see the big picture and bring about meaningful and positive change whenever we can.

South Island Encompassed

$3,199

Itinerary

Wellington Start Information

You can arrive at any time on Day 1. Day 1 is an arrival day and no activities have been planned for that day other then your welcome meeting in the evening.

DOWNLOAD FULL ITINERARY

Itinerary Notes:

Please also note that when in Franz Josef optional activities may be cancelled due to adverse weather conditions.

Itinerary Disclaimer:

While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Aboard expedition trips visits to research stations depend on final permission.

Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.

Wellington Arrival Day | G Adventures

Arrive at any time.

Tonight, get to know your group on a night out in Wellington. Choose to head to your CEO’s favourite local spot for dinner together before enjoying a social evening of bar games, music, and singing.

There are no planned activities during the day, so check into the hotel and explore the city.

Check out New Zealand's National Museum, a must-see with great displays of historical Maori artifacts and relatively modern exhibits such as the motorbike that was built in a shed and won the world championships. Afterwards, opt for a night out on the town. Wellington has an abundance of nightlife, bars, cafes and restaurants all located on and around the entertainment district of Courtenay Place.

Accommodation: Nomads Capital Hostel Wellington (or similar)

Optional Activities:

Weta Workshop Visit

Step into the behind-the-scenes world of hobbits, dragons and other fantastical movie creatures. The Weta Workshop is where the props and models for films like The Lord of the Rings, Avatar and the Amazing Spiderman 2 are designed and brought to life. Watch artists working on new pieces and see some of their award-winning creations from past projects in their new exhibition space.

Te Papa Museum Visit (30mins-6hrs): Free

Visit this must-see museum, home to displays of historical Maori artifacts and modern exhibits. See how the museum is constructed on shock absorbers to withstand New Zealand’s many earthquakes – find the stairwell just outside the entrance and descend into the foundations of the building.

Inclusions:

Your Welcome Moment: Meet Your CEO and Group

Your opportunity to meet your CEO and fellow travellers, and learn more about your tour. Opt to join the group for a local meal afterwards. Don't forget to see the notice in the lobby (or ask reception) for the official time and place to meet up with the group.

Your First Night Out Moment: Connect With New Friends

Connect with new friends on your first night out in a new destination. Only available on 18-to-Thirtysomethings tours.

Don't forget those cameras before hopping on the morning ferry to cross the Cook Strait. Pro tip: make sure you stand outside and marvel at the views of the Marlborough Sounds at the tip of the South Island. Then drive past lush native forests, beautiful clear waters, blue skies, and golden sands as the group travels to Abel Tasman National Park.

Catch a morning ferry and cross the scenic Cook Strait. Make sure to stand outside and enjoy the views of the Marlborough Sounds at the top of the South Island. Disembark and transfer to Abel Tasman National Park, well-known for its stunning white sand beaches.

Accommodation: The Barn Cabins & Camp (or similar)

Inclusions: Breakfast, Dinner

Ferry: Wellington – Picton (3.5hrs; 92km)

Get to the next spot on your route aboard a convenient and efficient ferry boat.

Picture this: birdsong ringing from the treetops as you wander through the undergrowth stumbling upon occasional waterfalls nestled in the midst of the forest. You take a dip in one of the refreshing pools before finding your way to pristine coastline and turquoise bays where you can soak up the sun and relax in the sand.

This is the kind of day that awaits you in Abel Tasman NP, you are free to explore the golden beaches and winding waterways any way you’d like! So have fun, build a sand castle for us, and let the adventures continue!

Accommodation: The Barn Cabins & Camp (or similar)

Optional Activities:

Abel Tasman National Park Kayaking (3-4hrs): 110NZD per person

Explore the coastline and beaches in stunning Abel Tasman National Park. Kayak from Watering Cove along the coastline to Marahau.

Sailing (4-6.5hrs): 90-176NZD per person

Sail through crystal clear waters, admire spectacular scenery and investigate secluded cloves, small islands, golden beaches and lush forest. Don't forget to wear a hat and sunscreen!

Canyoning: 235NZD per person

Jump, slide, rappel, swim and float down the Torrent River on this canyoning adventure. Make your way down stream and see the stunning rainforest scenery on this active adventure that will bring you into the heart of Abel Tasman National Park.

Inclusions: Breakfast

Abel Tasman National Park Walk (4hrs; 12km)

Walk along to the coastal track directly from your accommodation in Marahau up to Anchorage. Spend the day at one of the world's most scenic golden sand beaches, relaxing in the sunshine. In the afternoon, catch an Aqua Taxi back to Marahau.

It’s off to Westport today! Breathe in the fresh air and soak in the beautiful views as the group heads south down the coast of black-sand beaches. Make a (very cool) pit stop to a seal colony in Cape Foulwind and watch these majestic animals in their habitat before continuing on to Westport for the evening. Once you arrive grab a beer, talk to some locals, and discover the true charm of this coal mining town.

Accommodation: Bazil's Hostel & Surf School (or similar)

Optional Activities:

Surfing in Westport

Hit the beach and get ready to hang ten while you catch some waves. Spend some time in the water getting friendly with the waves, practice paddling, then pop up to balance on the wider, softer beginner boards.

Stand Up Paddle Boarding

Rent a board, grab a paddle and head out on the water to try one of the fastest growing water sports. Stand up, get your balance and plunge into a great water adventure that also happens to be a great full-body workout.

Inclusions: Breakfast, Dinner

Cape Foulwind Seal Colony Visit (30mins; 1-2km)

Stop by a viewing platform over a New Zealand fur seal colony at Cape Foulwind. Female seals will live in the same colony for the duration of their lives, whereas male seals move around more. The males visit the Cape Foulwind colony between late November and mid-January for mating season. All seasons offer plenty of activity to check out, from mating to the raising of baby pups and feeding out at sea.

Continue on a scenic drive south along the coast to Punakaiki; think pancake rocks and blowholes (man, those are two random things we never thought would be in the same sentence). As a special spot full of local secrets, Punakaiki is a great place to hop out of the bus, stretch those legs, and appreciate the strange beauty nature can create.

Continue following the coastal road towards Franz Josef arriving at a unique wilderness lodge set in the rainforest for the night.

Your Discover Moment: There's plenty to see and do in Franz Josef, and we wanted to make sure that you had some time to take it all in. Feel free to relax or try optional activities like a glacial hike, quad biking, and a helicopter hike. Your CEO has more ideas if you need them. Just ask!

Accommodation: Rainforest Retreat (or similar)

Inclusions: Breakfast, Dinner

Pancake Rocks Trek (15-30mins; 1km)

Walk along a loop trail with informative signs detailing how the 'Pancake Rocks' were formed millions of years ago. When the trail reaches the coast, there are many lookouts for photo stops and beautiful views of the coast, the rocks and the blowholes found along the area.

Enjoy a free day in Franz Josef. Today is all yours to spend as you please! From hiking to kayaking and walking on a glacier, there’s bound to be something you’ll want to check off that bucket list.

If your goal is to make actual contact with the glacier then try a heli-hike or guided ice walk. Or you could let nature be your guide and lose yourself in the rainforests, lakes, and waterfalls that surround Franz Josef. If you’d rather stay in town, then grab a bite to eat before booking a spa treatment at the Glacier Hot Pools... the choice is yours!

Your Discover Moment: There's plenty to see and do in Franz Josef, and we wanted to make sure that you had some time to take it all in. Feel free to relax or try optional activities like a glacial hike, quad biking, and a helicopter hike. Your CEO has more ideas if you need them. Just ask!

Accommodation: Rainforest Retreat (or similar)

Optional Activities:

Helicopter HikeFranz Josef (3-4hrs): 459-539NZD per person

Take a once-in-a-lifetime helicopter ride high up on Franz Josef Glacier. Hop out and trek on the white and blue ice. Cool!

Hiking (30mins-8hrs; 3-17km): Free

Take your pick of many scenic and memorable treks in Franz Josef – a true hiker’s haven. Get prepared before heading out, and be mindful of signs along the track. See majestic mountains, glaciers, rivers, and amazing views that you’ll definitely want your camera on hand for.

Franz Josef Kayaking (3-4hrs): 99-129NZD per person

Explore the stunning Lake Mapourika by kayak. This lake was created as the Franz Josef glacier retreated 14,000 years ago, and the still water has created a natural mirror allowing you to soak in the incredible panoramic views.

Inclusions: Breakfast

Hit the road to the adventure capital of the world - Queenstown. Sit back, relax and gaze out the window as you drive away from Glacier Country and wind through lush forests back to the coast and into the mountains over Haast Pass. The photo opportunities will seem endless (make sure those cameras are charged.) Then gear up and get ready because the adrenaline is going to be pumping the next few days.

Accommodation: Nomads Queenstown Hostel (or similar)

Inclusions: Breakfast

Let’s put it this way, if you’re the sort of person that loves adventure mixed with adrenaline all while exploring one of the most scenic places in the country, then Queenstown is for you!

Gear up for two days that are sure to leave you breathless. Free time in Queenstown is no joke, so be a dare devil and get ready to have those hearts pumping with some adrenaline-filled options like jet boating, bungee jumping, mountain biking or skydiving.

If you have pre-booked the Queenstown Jet Boating, your CEO will inform you when you will do the activity during your tour, as days are subject to change.

Please note - in the winter months (early/mid June to early/mid October) skiing and snowboarding in the Southern Alps is a highlight for any visitor. Most of the optional activities are also available, ask your CEO which ones are in season.

Your Discover Moment: There's plenty to see and do in Queenstown, and we wanted to make sure that you had some time to take it all in. Feel free to relax or try optional activities like mountain biking, bungee jumping, and jet boating. Your CEO has more ideas if you need them. Just ask!

Accommodation: Nomads Queenstown Hostel (or similar)

Optional Activities:

Vineyard Tour (5-7hrs): 185-230NZD per person

Visit vineyards in New Zealand's fastest growing wine region. Taste some of Queenstown's finest Pinot Noir, as well as Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc. Sample local cheeses and learn more about the grape varietals that flourish here. Pick up a few bottles to savour back home.

Mountain Biking (1-6hrs): 31.50-140.00NZD per person

Hop on a bike and get familiar with some of the great trails in the area. There are routes for all levels of cyclist to enjoy so rent a and start exploring the hills.

Bungee Jumping (1.5h-4hrs): 165-205NZD per person

Adrenaline junkies will be happy with a stop at the world's original commercial bungee site (bungy in New Zealand!). Opt to take the plunge or simply observe where it all started from the comfort of solid ground. Shoot some amazing photos of those brave enough to dive into the abyss.

Paragliding (15-30mins): 210NZD per person

Hang on! Get a birds-eye view of Queenstown on an exciting ride in the sky.

Gondola Ride (1-2.5hrs): 35-56NZD per person

Take a ride up to the top of the mountain by cable car gondola. Get a spectacular 220º view of Coronet Peak, the Remarkables mountain range, and Lake Wakatipu below.

Shotover Canyon Swing/Shotover Canyon Fox (2.5-3.5hrs): 169-299NZD per person

The ultimate in adrenaline activities, this is the world’s highest cliff jump! Jump off a cliff and swing into a canyon on the 109m high Canyon Swing or the 182m high Canyon Fox. This is sure to get your heart pumping!

Scenic Horse Riding Tour: 165-325NZD per person

Head out on a scenic horse ride and enjoy the spectacular scenery of Te Wahipounamu, a UNESCO World Heritage site in the southwest of New Zealand. Take in the breathtaking views on your journey of discovery through the magnificent Dart Valley - the backdrop for many famous film locations.

Queenstown Jet Boating

It's a jet boat ride along the Shotover River of Queenstown — need we say more? Okay, how about this, imagine a fast-paced whitewater ride with sharp turns and spins expertly navigated by a trained driver. So strap in and get ready to get wet.

Skydiving: 299-459NZD per person

Enjoy the awe-inspiring beauty of Queenstown from an eagle's perspective. Suit up, get briefed and board the prop plane to soar high about the rugged alpine landscape. Strap onto your instructor, take a breath and leap into a once-in-a-lifetime free fall. This is what a natural high truly feels like!

Inclusions: Breakfast

Let your breathing finally return to normal as the group departs Queenstown to visit Fiordland National Park. After arriving, soak up the chill vibes on a boat cruise through one of the most iconic places in New Zealand — Milford Sound. Marvel at the views of one of the wettest places on Earth before we make our way back to Queenstown for the night.

Accommodation: Nomads Queenstown Hostel (or similar)

Inclusions: Breakfast

Milford Sound CruiseMilford Sound (2-2.5hrs)

Enjoy the stunning scenery of Fiordland National Park and Milford Sound from the deck of a boat. Recharge your camera and be ready to shoot stunning photos of waterfalls, mountains stretching up to the sky and down to the sea and then search for dolphins and seals. This place is any artist's dream!

Hit the open road today on a 33km cycle along the banks of Lake Dunstan. Take in stunning views as you pedal a mostly flat track in the heart of Central Otago. Later, visit the Church of the Good Shepherd and at night be on the lookout for some of the brightest stars you’ll ever see.

Accommodation: Lakefront Lodge Backpackers (or similar)

Inclusions: Breakfast, Dinner

Lake Dunstan Cycle (2.5-3hrs; Morning; 30-33km)

Get your adrenaline pumping on this 33km cycle in the heart of Central Otago. Weave your way along the side of Lake Dunstan on a mostly flat section of trail. Pass stunning vineyards and a floating coffee shop as you soak in the views all around.

You have a full free day to explore Tekapo today. Spend your time at the hot springs, relax around Lake Pukaki, or hike to the Mt John Observatory and check out the incredible Dark Sky Reserve.

Free Time: Spend time exploring Tekapo today. Opt to visit some hot springs, relax around Lake Pukaki, or hike to the Mt John Observatory and check out the incredible Dark Sky Reserve.

Accommodation: Lakefront Lodge Backpackers (or similar)

Optional Activities:

Tekapo Hot Springs

Tekapo Hot Springs are located in beautiful Lake Tekapo, which happens to be in the heart of New Zealand’s South Island. Soak in the warm waters at the base of Mount John and take in views of iconic Lake Tekapo and the mountain ranges beyond.

Mt John Observatory and Dark Sky Reserve

Head to the top of Mount John for unbeatable views of the alpine landscapes. At night this area boasts unrivalled viewing of the wide open dark starry skies.

At the top you'll find the University of Canterbury Mount John Observatory, which has 6 telescopes including the country’s biggest which can observe 50 million stars each night.

Inclusions: Breakfast

Scoot on up to Christchurch to explore the South Island’s largest city and one of the places in New Zealand with the strongest English influences. Enjoy free time to explore and see what the nightlife is all about with your travel tribe, and grab some shut eye in a converted jailhouse to finish the evening.

Afternoon Free Time: Spend the afternoon exploring Christchurch during free time.

Accommodation: Jailhouse Accommodation (or similar)

Inclusions: Breakfast

Mountains, marine life, and magic! Kaikoura is pretty darn special, so special in fact, that it may be the South Island’s best kept secret. The best way to experience it is to get out there and witness what this rugged coastal town does best. Book a whale watching cruise, swim with seals, or just take a walk along the coast admiring the scenery. In the afternoon try bird watching, swim with dolphins or splurge on flight over the peninsula.

Spend the afternoon swimming with dolphins or taking a scenic flight over the peninsula.

Bird watchers will be pleased to know that big ocean birds such as albatrosses, petrels and shearwaters frequent the area.

Afternoon Free Time: Head out and explore the beautiful Kaikoura area. View some of the wildlife in the area or hit the trails to get a workout with a view.

Accommodation: Dusky Lodge (or similar)

Optional Activities:

Scenic Flight: 135-180NZD per person

Take a 30-minute flight and set off to search for whales, dolphins, and other marine life. On land, you'll see Maori sites, Kaikoura town and New Zealand's southern fur seals.

Whale Watching (3-3.5hrs): 145NZD per person

Follow in the path of Paikea, the Maori "whale rider", and set out in search of Giant Sperm Whales as they spray and dive their way through the waters off Kaikoura.

Hiking (2-10hrs; 1-9km): Free

Set off along one of many hiking trails to take in the beautiful scenery along the Kaikoura Peninsula walkway.

Sea Kayaking: 95NZD per person

Get to know your surroundings better from the water and sea kayak near Kaikoura.

Inclusions: Breakfast

Reminisce and reflect as you and the group travel to Picton to catch a ferry back to Wellington. Watch the majestic scenery of this country unfold before you and simply appreciate the moment (we know you’re probably already making plans to return.) Once back in the city grab some grub with your travel crew and let the good times roll for one last night out together.

Accommodation: Nomads Capital Hostel Wellington (or similar)

Inclusions: Breakfast

Ferry: Picton – Wellington (3hrs; 92km)

Get to the next spot on your route aboard a convenient and efficient ferry boat.

Your Big Night Out Moment:

Immerse yourself in the nightlife of Wellington on this night out with the group. Put those competitive hats on and play games at Blend Bar (may the best person win) and then put those dancing shoes to good use as you shimmy and shake the night away with your adventure buddies by your side. There’s no one cooler than this travel crew right here!

Depart at any time.

If you are interested in experiencing the Weta Workshop please talk to your CEO about booking post nights for this tour as this activity is on the final day of the trip in Wellington.

Departure Day: Not ready to leave? Your CEO can help with travel arrangements to extend your adventure.

Optional Activities:

Weta Workshop Tour: 25-65NZD per person

This 45-minute guided tour will give you a unique behind-the-scenes look at how the Weta workshop helps craft and create the imaginary realities of some of the world’s biggest films. Get so see creativity in action as the workshop crew members practice their trade and get up close and personal with props from The Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia, and so much more!

Inclusions: Breakfast

South Island Encompassed

$3,199

Accommodation

Hostels & basic lodges (15 nights, multi-share with 2-10 people).

Multi-share accommodation, on a single-sex basis (typically 4-6 people per room), is very common in New Zealand and is the way you will be spending most of your nights. We have specifically chosen unique accommodations to give local flavour to your trip.

COUPLES: Please note that due to the types of accommodation used in New Zealand, couples will likely be split into separate rooms where we use multi-share hostels. Pending availability, couples may be able to pay extra while on tour to have their own room in some destinations.

Accommodation will be varied throughout your adventure. Towels and soap are not always provided at overnight stops, so it's best to bring your own for bathing. Bathroom and showering facilities are shared and are very rarely en-suite.

PRE/POST ACCOMMODATION: If booking additional nights before or after your tour, accommodation will be multi-share on a mixed gender basis.

SOLO TRAVELLERS: We believe solo travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and solo travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.

MY OWN ROOM: Please note that if you have booked the "My Own Room" option for this tour, you will receive your own single room for all night stops.

South Island Encompassed

Need to Know

Vaccinated Tours

To help protect our travellers and the places we visit, all our tours now adhere to our Travel with Confidence policy, which includes vaccination requirements. On all tours all travellers must have received a full COVID-19 vaccination with the final dose given at least 14 days before the start of the tour.

Dossier Disclaimer

The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary.

VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.

Important Notes

  1. COMBO TRIP: This tour combines with other G Adventures tours. As such, the staff and some travel companions on your tour may have previously been traveling together with G Adventures prior to Day one of your tour, and may change between individual tour sections. Likewise, some staff and travel companions may be continuing together on another G Adventures tour after your trip concludes.
  2. WI-FI: Please be aware that wifi and internet access is not as readily available in New Zealand as in other parts of the world. There are often additional charges to connect to the internet, and speeds may be slower than what you are used to.
  3. PUBLIC HOLIDAYS: Over public holidays in Australia and New Zealand (such as Christmas, New Years Day, Easter, and Anzac Day) there may be some limitations of services and disruptions to schedules. In general our tours still operate effectively over public holidays, but there may be closures of optional activities and restaurants, and slight itinerary adjustments in order to provide all tour inclusions.

Group Leader Description

This G Adventures group trip is accompanied by one of our group leaders, otherwise known as a Chief Experience Officer (CEO). The CEO will be the group manager, leader and driver - this person is experienced in the routes travelled and will organize and lead the meal preparations and has experience in cooking a variety of local and international dishes for large groups.

As the group coordinator and manager, the aim of the CEO is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. While not being guides in the traditional sense, you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. They will also offer suggestions for things to do and to see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends.

We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting - we think it's the best of both worlds.

Group Size Notes

Maximum 20, average 16

Meals Included

15 breakfasts, 4 dinners

Meals

Eating is a big part of traveling. Travelling with G Adventures you experience the vast array of wonderful food that is available out in the world. Generally meals are not included in the trip price when there is a choice of eating options, to give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat. It also gives you more budgeting flexibility, though generally food is cheap. Our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There is no obligation to do this though. Your CEO will be able to suggest favourite restaurants during your trip. On truck trips in Africa, aboard the M/S Expedition or our Galapagos yachts, while trekking in remote regions etc. food is included, plentiful and made of fresh local ingredients. The above information applies to G Adventures group trips. For Independent trips please check the itinerary for details of meals included. For all trips please refer to the meals included and budget information for included meals and meal budgets.

Transport

Private vehicle, boat, ferry, bicycle, walking

About our Transportation

Our vans are mini-coaches. Occasionally with smaller group sizes we will use smaller, equally comfortable 13-seater vehicles. All mini-coaches tow a trailer for luggage and camping equipment (when needed). All groups have one CEO/Driver.

The vehicles are factory built with comfortable seats and air-conditioning. It is mandatory to wear a seatbelt while riding in our vehicles.

Joining Hotel

For details of your joining hotel please refer to your tour voucher, G Account, the G Adventures App or contact your travel agent.

Joining Instructions

By Taxi: $40-50

By Shuttle Bus: $29 for 1 person, $6 per additional. The "Super Shuttle" is a 24-hour service that takes approximately 45 minutes. The shuttle waits outside of the terminal and provides door-to-door service.

Please note that Day 1 is an arrival day and no activities have been planned for that day other then your welcome meeting in the evening, so you can arrive at any time.

A G Adventures Representative will organise a short meeting soon after arrival, during which you will meet other tour participants and receive information about general and specific aspects of the trip. A welcome note will be left for you in the hotel so you have all the necessary information regarding the meeting time. If you arrive late, s/he/they will leave you a message detailing what time and where you should meet the next morning.

Arrival Complications

We don't expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, please refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier and contact us as soon as possible. If you have a pre-booked transfer, and you have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the Starting Point hotel, following the Joining Instructions. Please apply to your travel agent on your return for a refund of the transfer cost if this occurs.

Emergency Contact

Should you need to contact G Adventures during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call our local office in Melbourne. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so we may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.

EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS: G Adventures Local Office and after office hours emergency number

From outside Australia: +61 432 705 621

From within Australia: 0432 705 621

If you are unable for any reason to contact our local operations manager, please call the numbers listed below which will connect you directly with our Sales team who will happily assist you. Hours of operation by region can be found here.

Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from UK: 0344 272 0000
Calls from Germany: 0800 365 1000
Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618
Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307
Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999

What to Take

You will be on the move a lot, so our advice is to pack as lightly as possible.

We recommend using a backpack for your convenience, or a medium-sized suitcase if you prefer. Heavy luggage is not recommended for the health of the CEO, who will take a lead in loading the storage trailer. Due to space in the trailer, we will not be able to accommodate more than one piece of main luggage per person. A good size day-pack (20-35L) is also essential to carry your personal gear for the day, as access to luggage between destinations will be limited. This daypack will be used to carry your personal gear for the day, your lunch and a water bottle.

Packing List

Cold Weather:
• Long-sleeved shirts or sweater
• Scarf
• Warm gloves
• Warm hat
• Warm layers

Documents:
• Flight info (required) (Printouts of e-tickets may be required at the border)
• Insurance info (required) (With photocopies)
• Passport (required) (With photocopies)
• Required visas or vaccination certificates (required) (With photocopies)
• Vouchers and pre-departure information (required)

Essentials:
• Binoculars (optional)
• Camera (With extra memory cards and batteries)
• Cash, credit and debit cards
• Day pack (Used for daily excursions or short overnights)
• Ear plugs
• First-aid kit (should contain lip balm with sunscreen, sunscreen, whistle, Aspirin, Ibuprofen, bandaids/plasters, tape, anti-histamines, antibacterial gel/wipes, antiseptic cream, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, rehydration powder, water purification tablets or drops, insect repellent, sewing kit, extra prescription drugs you may be taking)
• Flashlight/torch (Headlamps are ideal)
• Fleece top/sweater
• Footwear
• Hat
• Locks for bags
• Long pants/jeans
• Moneybelt
• Outlet adapter
• Personal entertainment (Reading and writing materials, cards, music player, etc.)
• Reusable water bottle
• Shirts/t-shirts
• Sleepwear
• Small travel towel
• Sunglasses
• Toiletries (Preferably biodegradable)
• Watch and alarm clock
• Waterproof backpack cover
• Windproof rain jacket

Health & Safety:
• Face masks (required)
• Hand sanitiser (required)
• Pen (Please bring your own pen for filling out documents.)
• Quick Covid Test/Antigen Test
• Rubber gloves

Light Hiking:
• Hiking boots/sturdy walking shoes
• Hiking pants (Convertible/Zip-off and quick dry recommended)

Warm Weather:
• Sandals/flip-flops
• Shorts/skirts (Longer shorts/skirts are recommended)
• Sun hat/bandana
• Swimwear

Note: The weather in New Zealand varies depending on the season. Make sure to check the forecast for the time you will be visiting and pack weather appropriate clothing for your trip.

Visas and Entry Requirements

All countries require a valid passport (with a minimum 6 months validity). Contact your local embassy or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements, or see your travel agent. It is your own responsibility to have the correct travel documentation. Visa requirements for your trip will vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. We keep the following information up to date as far as possible, but rules do change and sometimes without warning. While we provide the following information in good faith, it is vital that you check the information yourself and understand that you are fully responsible for your own visa requirements.

Spending Money

Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.

Money Exchange

The currency in New Zealand is the New Zealand Dollar (NZD).

Credit cards are accepted almost everywhere in New Zealand and can be used to purchase small and large items. When purchasing products or services with a foreign credit card you may be charged additional fees by your credit card company for foreign purchases.

Credit cards and debit cards are very useful for cash advances but you must remember to bring your PIN number (be aware that many ATM machines only accept 4-digit PINs). Both Cirrus and Plus system cards are the most widely accepted debit cards. Both Visa and Master Cards are the most widely accepted credit cards. While ATMs are commonly available, there are no guarantees that your credit or debit cards will actually work check with your bank before you travel. A visit to an ATM can be arranged on Day 1 and other days of the trip.

Do not rely on credit or debit cards as your only source of money. A combination of local currency (preferably smaller bills, 5's, 10's and 20's), traveller’s cheques and credit cards is best. Currency exchange is best obtained prior to travel or at the airport, currency exchange is easy to find in New Zealand in the gateway cities and most banks do accommodate.

Always take more rather than less, as you don't want to spoil the trip by constantly feeling short of funds.

As currency exchange rates can fluctuate often we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com

Emergency Fund

Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $200 (or equivalent) as an 'emergency' fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!

Tipping

It is not customary in New Zealand or Australia to tip service providers, but if you do experience outstanding service it is good to do so. Such service would only usually be in places like quality restaurants and it would be very rare that you would tip more than 10%. Unless specifically asked to do so at the time (by your CEO) - do not tip your local guides. Also at the end of each trip if you felt your G Adventures Chief Experience Officer did an outstanding job, you may consider a small tip - but it certainly isn't expected.

Optional Activities

Wellington
- Weta Workshop Visit
- Te Papa Museum Visit (Free)
- Weta Workshop Tour (25-65NZD per person)

Abel Tasman National Park
- Abel Tasman National Park Kayaking (110NZD per person)
- Sailing (90-176NZD per person)
- Canyoning (235NZD per person)

Westport
- Surfing in Westport
- Stand Up Paddle Boarding

Franz Josef
- Helicopter Hike (459-539NZD per person)
- Hiking (Free)
- Franz Josef Kayaking (99-129NZD per person)

Queenstown
- Vineyard Tour (185-230NZD per person)
- Mountain Biking (31.50-140.00NZD per person)
- Bungee Jumping (165-205NZD per person)
- Paragliding (210NZD per person)
- Gondola Ride (35-56NZD per person)
- Shotover Canyon Swing/Shotover Canyon Fox (169-299NZD per person)
- Scenic Horse Riding Tour (165-325NZD per person)
- Queenstown Jet Boating
- Skydiving (299-459NZD per person)

Lake Tekapo
- Tekapo Hot Springs
- Mt John Observatory and Dark Sky Reserve

Kaikoura
- Scenic Flight (135-180NZD per person)
- Whale Watching (145NZD per person)
- Hiking (Free)

Kaikoura
- Sea Kayaking (95NZD per person)

Safety and Security

Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers' cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your group leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it deemed necessary, due to safety concerns. Your Chief Experience Officer (CEO) will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy and explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions.

Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards), have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s).

Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk. Read more about travel safety for ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling.

A Couple of Rules

Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of people in the sex trade is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our CEOs have the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they utilise the services of paid sex workers, in any capacity.

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your leader, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy we require that at a minimum you are covered for medical expenses including emergency evacuation and repatriation. A minimum coverage of USD200,000 is required. G Adventures can provide you with the appropriate coverage. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. Some tours include adventure activities that require extra coverage (e.g. crampon use); please review your itinerary and make sure that you are covered for all included activities. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.

Planeterra Foundation - the non-profit partner of G Adventures

Planeterra International Foundation is a non-profit organisation committed to turning travel into impact by helping local communities earn an income from tourism. Planeterra connects underserved local communities to the benefits of tourism by developing and supporting small community-owned businesses. These businesses support Indigenous people, empower women, grant youth access to employment opportunities, and protect the environment. Planeterra also works to ensure these businesses have a thriving customer base by integrating their projects into G Adventures’ itineraries globally.
G Adventures is Planeterra’s largest corporate donor, covering all operating costs, so 100% of your donation will bring opportunity to people in need.

G Adventures Dollar-a-day Program - Make Every Day Count - Turn your travel into impact with Planeterra Foundation.

Did you know? Most communities around the world do not benefit from tourism. Give back to the places you visit on your travels by creating opportunities for local people to earn an income, and protect the environment.

Make every day count by donating $1/day for the length of your trip, and join us in empowering the communities you will visit when you travel. 100% of your donation goes directly to Planeterra projects.

Feedback

After your travels, we want to hear from you! Your feedback information is so important to us that we'll give you 5% off the price of your next G Adventures trip if your feedback is completed on-line within 30 days of finishing your trip. Your tour evaluation will be e-mailed to you 24 hours after the conclusion of your trip. If you do not receive the tour evaluation link in the days after your tour has finished, please drop us a line at [email protected] and we will send it on to you.

Minimum Age

Minimum age of 18 years for this trip.

International Flights

Check-in times and baggage allowances/restrictions vary by airline and can change at any time. For the most up-to-date information for your flight, please contact your airline. We recommend checking in online in advance to avoid potential delays at the airport.