Southern Light - Overview
If you don't have time for the full South Island trip, then this is an excellent way to see and experience some of the most beautiful and diverse scenery on the planet. The South Island of New Zealand is a visual paradise filled with jaw dropping scenery hosting adventurous activities.
Expect to see sparse high country land, incredible glacier fed blue lakes, sheer and towering cliff faces with endless waterfalls. Queenstown, the adventure capital of New Zealand is our final destination on the Southern Light, where you can rest your legs from numerous hikes and bikes or opt for a challenge and jump out of a plane if that’s on your bucket list. The Southern Light will give you a very good introduction of why we love New Zealand - this section also offers some very special camp spots that we have strategically placed so we can bring you much closer to nature than you’d ever have expected.
From the top of the South Island, our trip takes you to a huge range of 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) as well as the odd adrenalin rush such as rafting grade 5 rapids and many other great activities. If its hikes and bike rides you’re looking for, then you won't be disappointed as we have a heap of superb options.
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!
You can start this trip in Picton (10 days) or Christchurch (9 days). You are also able to start in Nelson (10 days) by prior arrangement.
Customise Your Trip: It is possible to only do part of the route - maybe you want to start in Christchurch and finish in Fox Glacier. Talk to our crew in the office about how we can create you the perfect trip.
If you have a few days after your trip why not extend it with one of these great options:
- Wild West Tour - Not ready to leave your Flying Kiwi family yet? Continue with us up the stunning west coast of the south island to finish in Nelson or Picton on this 8 day trip through the rugged and natural beauty that is ‘The Coast’.
- Reverse Traverse - A one way adventure from Queenstown to Auckland with highlights including 2 nights by Paparoa National park, 2 nights by the Abel Tasman National Park and 2 nights in the Bay of Islands, how great is that!
- Greymouth - Add an extra 3 nights to your trip and continue with us past Fox Glacier and onto Greymouth. From here you can take the Tranz Alpine scenic train ride through the Southern Alps to Christchurch.
- Fox Glacier - This is a popular 2 night extension which will take you into glacier country and have you finishing in the alpine village of Fox Glacier. Take a shuttle back to Queenstown the following day after you’ve explored the ice.
SOUTHERN LIGHT TRAVEL DAYS
You can have a look at the detailed day-to-day itinerary on our Flying Kiwi Detailed Itinerary page. The Southern Light takes you to some of our best ‘hidden’ spots on this 9 or 10 day adventure.
WHAT IS INCLUDED IN THE SOUTHERN LIGHT TOUR
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 only metres from the lakes edge 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.
- Seafood Feast - Kaikoura is one of the best seafood locations in New Zealand which is why it’s a great place to enjoy a delicious seafood feast on us. Enjoy your meal while soaking up the atmosphere of our perfectly located seaside camp. This is a meal not to be missed!
- Queenstown Gondola: A must do while in Queenstown. Sit back and relax as the best views in the region unfold before your eyes and the Gondola carries you 450 metres above Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu to the top of Bob's Peak.
- Sports Equipment: We have put sports equipment on board for you to use at any stage, this includes Body boards, frisbee and more depending upon the bus.
- Hikes: Free walks are enjoyed every day (from 10mins 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.
IMPORTANT THINGS WE WANT YOU TO KNOW ABOUT THE SOUTHERN LIGHT TOUR
During the Southern Light tour we stay at two of our most stunning bush camps on two consecutive nights. We have selected these camps for their amazing scenery, at night you will be in awe as you gaze at the stars uninterrupted by street lights. Due to their remote locations there are no cabin upgrade options and they also come with only basic toilet facilities, but don’t worry a hot shower is not too far away and a refreshing dip in the lake comes highly recommended.
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 costing from $55 NZD.
Please visit our how it works page for everything you need to know.