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Southern Light South Island Tour

Southern Light South Island Tour

  • Christchurch
  • Queenstown
  • 8 days
  • 4.9 / 5.0 (72 reviews)
  • from NZD$3,150.00

Main Highlights

  • World heritage site
  • NZ cycle trail
  • Queenstown
  • Fiordland
  • Milford Sound
  • Abel Tasman
  • Kayaking
  • Glow-worm walks
  • Accommodation by coasts, mountains & lakes
  • ...and many more

Southern Light Southern Island tour - Overview:

The South Island of New Zealand is a visual paradise filled with jaw dropping scenery and the Southern Light tour will show you the highlights in around a week! On this South Island adventure tour, you can expect:

• VIEWS - Expect to see incredible glacier fed blue lakes and sheer and towering cliff faces with endless waterfalls.

• CAMPING - The Southern Light will give you a very good introduction of why we love New Zealand - this section also offers some very special camping spots that we have strategically placed so we can bring you much closer to nature than you’d ever have expected.

NATURAL WONDERS - From glaciers and mountains to beautiful beaches and wild coastlines. There are plenty of wildlife encounters along the way (such as whales, dolphins, seals and penguins).

TRAVEL MATES - Bring a friend along to share this tour of discovery, or make new mates amongst your fellow Flying Kiwi travellers and create lasting memories and lifetime friendships!



We want you to have the best possible experience and we know New Zealand which is why we have included the following in the Southern Light tour:

- Accommodation: Wake up close to lakes and oceans in our perfectly designed tents, included in the tour cost is shared tent accommodation, two people per tent. You can upgrade to your own tent for the duration of the tour for a small additional cost if you choose.

- Food: Delicious, tasty and healthy meals are included. See our detailed itinerary for details of which meals are included on a day-to-day basis. If you have a certain dietary requirement just let our team know, we can cater for most dietary needs.

- Hikes: Free walks are enjoyed every day (from 10 minutes to a few hours).

- Bike Rides: These include sections of the NZ Cycle Trail, on-road cycling and bike paths, something for everyone.


There are lots of museums and attractions that are free of charge, as well as all access to National Parks. We take in many of these on the Southern Light tour.

Our bike rides page and the hiking pages give you lots more detail into the rides and hikes our guides will show you along the way. For many of these we include printed maps and route notes which your guides will handout when on tour.

Our activities page above gives more detail on many of the free and optional activities that you might choose to do on your Southern Light tour and how it all works.


End of Trip Transport Options:
The Southern Light tour has you finishing in Queenstown where there are regular daily flights to Christchurch, Wellington or Auckland with either Air New Zealand or Jetstar. There are also bus and shuttle services travelling daily from Queenstown to Christchurch.

Please visit our how it works page for everything you need to know.

  1. Welcome to the first day of your Flying Kiwi adventure! Your tour begins in Christchurch, one of New Zealand’s most famous destinations which has been rebuilding since the infamous earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 and is now home to great shopping, cool laneway bars and amazing eateries. You’ll meet your group and Guide at 2pm outside the Rydges Hotel and then continue on down to the stunning Lake Tekapo where we’ll spend the next two nights camping.


    • Meals: Dinner
    • Bike Rides: Tekape Lakefront
    • Walks and Hikes: Explore Christchurch
    • Available Upgrades: Yes
  2. This morning, we’ll wake up in arguably the most beautiful part of the South Island. Lake Tekapo is incredibly scenic, and home to the most spectacular turquoise waters which get their colour from the glacial flour brought down from the rivers flowing from glaciers high up in the mountains.

    We’ll go and see some incredible sights today, heading for Aoraki/Mt Cook where we’ll hike to the base of NZ’s highest mountain following a trail up the Hooker valley where you’ll cross swing bridges and experience stunning views of the mountains before finishing up at a glacial lake with some awe inspiring views of the Hooker Valley glacier - trust us, you’ll want to bring your camera for this! This evening, we recommend going for a soak in the nearby hot pools or enjoying some world famous star gazing at the Mt John Observatory - you are staying in an International Dark Sky Reserve, after all! 

    • Meals: Breakfast & Lunch
    • Bike Rides: Lake Tekapo Regional Park, A2O Cycle
    • Walks and Hikes: Mt John walkway, Hike to the base of Mount Cook & Hooker Valley
    • Optional Activities: Scenic Flight, Tekapo Hot Pools, Star Gazing
    • Available Upgrades: Yes
  3. Today we’ll spend the morning in Lake Tekapo before departing this afternoon to travel back towards the Pacific coast. We'll camp in the historic town of Oamaru this evening, close to the unique Moeraki Boulders and the Scottish city of Dunedin. Go for a walk this evening to a great view point offering expansive views of the Pacific Ocean and try to spot a little Blue Penguin along the shore. 


    • Meals: Breakfast and Dinner
    • Bike Rides: 13 km Alps2Ocean trail ride
    • Walks and Hikes: Explore the Moeraki Heritage Trail
    • Available Upgrades: Yes
  4. If the tide is low this morning, we’ll go for a walk along the beach to see the mysterious Moeraki boulders. These perfectly round spheres of rock have formed over millions of years and have found their way onto the beach near Moeraki and make for some fun photo opportunities.

    Next it’s onto the historic Scottish city of Dunedin, the South Island's second-largest city and home to NZ’s only castle. Dunedin is home to the world’s steepest residential street and the coastline is home to some fantastic and rare wildlife. Afterwards, we’ll continue down to the gateway to the Milford Sound, situated on the edge of Lake Te Anau.  Tonight’s camp is on the lakeside in Te Anau, which is the South Island's largest lake.  The bikers can go for a ride on the lake to lake Te Anau trail and the rest of us can enjoy a leisurely walk along the lakefront or head up to the Te Anau Bird Sanctuary where we can see the endangered native Takahē. If you’d like to do an activity, we recommend the incredible glowworm caves tour and boat ride.


    • Meals: Breakfast and Dinner
    • Bike Rides: Lake Te Anau Lakefront Cycle Upukerora Trail (5km+)
    • Walks and Hikes: World’s steepest street, explore Dunedin city
    • Optional Activities: Te Anau glowworm caves tour & boat ride
    • Available Upgrades: Yes
  5. Today we’ll travel along one of the world’s most scenic roads and into Milford Sound! Described as the 'eighth wonder of the world', Milford Sound was carved by glaciers during the ice ages. We highly recommend boarding a cruise, where you'll see dramatic waterfalls and snow-capped peaks and if you’re lucky, some wildlife! At different times of year, penguins, dolphins, seals and even whales have been spotted at Milford. As it’s just the one road in and out, we head back along the same breath-taking route to our lakeside camp in Te Anau. Along the way, we drop off those doing the Routeburn Track, one of New Zealand’s 9 Great Walks. This hike is a haven for native birdlife. Charge up your camera as this hike offers everything from mountainous peaks and sheer rock faces to pristine lakes, cascading waterfalls and dense, luxuriant forest. 



    • Meals: Breakfast & Lunch
    • Bike Rides: Lake to Lake Te Anau trail, Lakefront Upukerora trail (5 km+)
    • Walks and Hikes: Plenty of short walks from camp
    • Optional Activities: Milford Sound Cruise, Te Anau glowworm caves tour & boat ride
    • Available Upgrades: Yes
  6. After a chance for a morning bike ride on the Lake to Lake Trail, if not done already, we will make our way along the Devil’s Staircase, and catch our first glimpses of Queenstown.  The Adventure Capital of NZ,  Queenstown is located on the shores of the South Islands second largest lake, Lake Wakatipu.  There are many cycle trails & walks for everyone to enjoy.  




    • Meals: Breakfast
    • Walks and Hikes: Routeburn Track (must be pre-booked and hikers will rejoin the group in Queenstown)
    • Optional Activities: Bungy jumping, skydiving, horse-riding, white water rafting, jet boating & the list goes on! You are in the adventure capital of the world!
    • Available Upgrades: Yes
    • Drive Distance: No Driving today
  7. With so much to do we’ll spend another full day in the fantastic Queenstown, so everyone has the opportunity to have those once in a lifetime experiences. Speaking of experiences, may we suggest trying the legendary Fergburger! Tonight, we dine out at one of Queenstown’s many delicious eateries - a great chance for your group to enjoy a feast at an iconic Queenstown eatery (own cost).  





    • Meals: Breakfast
    • Bike Rides: Lake Wakatipu trail (16km), Queenstown trail (48 km)
    • Walks and Hikes: Queenstown walks, Ben Lomond
    • Optional Activities: Bungy jumping, skydiving, horse-riding, white water rafting, jet boating & the list goes on!
    • Available Upgrades: Yes
  8. A last chance to indulge in the Queenstown action before finishing your tour with us here and saying farewell to your fellow Flying Kiwi travellers!

    • Meals: Breakfast
    • Bike Rides: Road cycling around town or on one of the many Queenstown trails





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Trip Reviews

  • The trip was excellent I've met a very nice group of people. It was a great way to see the country and more remote places.

    , travelled Southern Light South Island Tour on 23/10/2019

  • Fantastic trip with a great variety of beautiful locations and activities. Great group of people and relaxed travelling atmosphere lead by the brilliant Nick + Chrissy.

    , travelled Southern Light South Island Tour on 03/01/2020

  • Travelling with a group of like-minded and respectful people was the highlight of the trip for me. And personalized attention to detail from Genna and Charlene - I've not come across such warm and professional tours guides before.

    , travelled Southern Light South Island Tour on 01/02/2019

  • It was a great experience. Never went camping before but have definitely started to love it. Will do more camping in the future.

    , travelled Southern Light South Island Tour on 01/01/2019

  • Beautiful time with like minded people from all over the world. I would definitely do it again.

    , travelled Southern Light South Island Tour on 01/01/2019