Hit enter to search or ESC to close

Summer Blast South Island Tour

Summer Blast South Island Tour

  • Christchurch
  • Picton
  • 13 days
  • 4.8 / 5.0 (100 reviews)
  • from NZD$5,125.00

Main Highlights

  • NZ's best National Parks
  • World heritage site
  • NZ cycle trail
  • Glacier hikes
  • Queenstown
  • Fiordland
  • Milford Sound
  • Abel Tasman
  • Kayaking
  • White water rafting
  • Glowworm walks
  • Accommodation by coasts, mountains & lakes.
  • ...and many more


If you want to experience NZ scenery that changes dramatically from one campsite to the next then the Summer Blast is for you. Expect the widest range of natural wonders from glaciers and mountains to beautiful beaches and dramatic Fiords. You’ll get to see an amazing range of wildlife such as dolphins, whales, penguins and seals and there will be numerous opportunities for daily hikes and biking that get you closer to nature on with this South Island adventure tour.


We have included the following in the Summer Blast tour which we think shows off the very best of the South Island:

- Accommodation: Taking you further off the beaten tourist trail and getting you amongst NZ’s natural beauty we have carefully selected our campsites to include a mixture of wilderness bush camps and commercial camps. Included in the tour price is shared tent accommodation, two people per tent. You can upgrade to a single tent for a small additional cost.

- Food: Enjoy great food on our trips and most meals are included (our detailed itinerary outlines exactly what is included on a day-to-day basis). We can also cater for a broad range of dietary requirements.

- Wine tasting Marlborough: New Zealand's flagship wine region which, in combination with Sauvignon Blanc, put the country on the international wine stage. We think it’s worth a try which is why we’ve included a taster for you.

- Hikes: We offer a range of daily walks from 10 minutes to a few hours. You also have access to the Aoraki Mt Cook, Westland Tai Poutini, Paparoa, Fiordland, Mt Aspiring and Abel Tasman national parks!

- Bike Rides: For those that have hired one of our bikes, we have some great rides both on road and off road for you to enjoy.


There is a lot you can see and do for free as Kiwis really are a generous bunch. Visit the Church of Good Shepherd in Tekapo, gaze in wonder at the Punakaiki Pancake rocks and blowholes and see amazing sunrises and sunsets at beautiful beachside campsites, and more.

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

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. This is our final morning in Queenstown and your last chance to indulge in one more walk or bike ride before we wave farewell to those finishing their tour and welcome new travellers joining us here. Leaving at 10:00am, after the thrills and spills of Queenstown we’ll travel past mountains and on towards stunning glacial lakes and calmer shores. 

    On the final stretch to camp we’ll get views of Mt Aspiring National Park in the distance. Lake Hawea is just over the next ridge and it’s on the edge of this glacial lake that we find our next wilderness camp at Lake Hawea where we can enjoy great views of the lake and the mountains beyond as we absorb the beauty of the area. 



    • Meals: Breakfast and Dinner
    • Bike Rides: Hawea River Track (12 km), Lake Wanaka to Lake Hawea (30km)
    • Walks and Hikes: Multiple walking options
    • Available Upgrades: Yes
  9. We’ll enjoy a relaxed morning at our lakeside camp and then we’re continuing north through Mt Aspiring National Park. Before we reach the West Coast, we’ll stop for a walk to the amazing Blue Pools, then head through the dramatic Haast Pass, on roads woven over braided rivers and huge glacier carved valleys. There are two more great walk options along the way, one through lush and ancient forests and the other through swampy vegetation, ending on the beach where it’s possible to spot Hector dolphins. Tonight, we’ll stay in the iconic Fox Glacier on the wild west coast.



    • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
    • Bike Rides: Gladstone Track (13kms Return from Lake Hawea Camp), Fox Glacier Cycle Way (12kms Return from Fox Glacier Holiday Park)
    • Walks and Hikes: Blue Pools, Ship Creek
    • Available Upgrades: Yes
  10. Today is your chance to explore one of NZ’s most unique and spectacular natural wonders – the Franz Josef Glacier. This staggeringly beautiful work of nature descends from the Southern Alps to less than 300 metres above sea level. To get on the ice you must go up by helicopter but it’s possible to view the glacier via a stunning walk through the main valley. We also recommend taking a walk to Peter’s Pool for another incredibly scenic view. Before arriving at Franz Josef, we’ll take a highly recommended walk around Lake Matheson where crystal clear reflections of Mount Cook and Mount Tasman make the perfect photo opportunity. Next, we’ll board the bus and continue up this spectacular coastal road to the quirky town of Hokitika, home of the Greenstone and a great place to pick up a traditional souvenir. Passing through Greymouth we’ll keep following the coast to Punakaiki where you’ll notice a change in the landscape as huge limestone cliffs appear and Nikau Palm trees become abundant. Our beach camp for tonight offers great sunsets, a beautiful river and incredible views of Paparoa National Park. The pancake rocks and blowholes are the main attraction in Punakaiki where limestone rocks are stacked on top of each other and ocean swells are forced through gaps in the rock creating a whale’s blowhole effect. This evening, explore a cavern with some glow worms hanging out in the dark and then enjoy a beverage at the local tavern.  




    • Meals: Breakfast and Dinner
    • Bike Rides: Trail to Lake Matheson (4.3kms one way), Bullock Creek trail (15 km)
    • Walks and Hikes: Sunrise Lake Matheson
    • Optional Activities: Punakaiki pancake rocks & blow holes (free)
    • Available Upgrades: Yes
  11. Before leaving Punakaiki we’ll take some time to explore part of the Paparoa National Park, walking along the Pororari river or cycling up Bullock creek road to visit a cave resurgence. Leaving mid-morning we’ll travel inland through the majestic Buller gorge and onto the famous Abel Tasman National Park. Situated in one of the sunniest areas of the country and home to heaps of beautiful secluded bays and stunning golden sand beaches. We look forward to spending 2 nights at our perfectly located camp, close to the park entrance which makes it the ideal place to explore all corners of the stunning Abel Tasman. 



    • Meals: Breakfast and Dinner
    • Bike Rides: Bullock Creek, Coastal ride to camp and Kaiteriteri bike park, Great Taste Trail
    • Walks and Hikes: Truman track
    • Optional Activities: Skydiving
    • Available Upgrades: Yes
  12. Take time today to explore arguably the best beaches and clearest waters in New Zealand - there are excellent options for everyone here. You can walk, sail or kayak around the numerous golden bays and dive into the crystal-clear waters along the way. There will be plenty of chances for wildlife spotting (dolphins, seals and even Orcas!) and for those seeking a thrill, join the one in a lifetime canyoning experience!


    • Meals: Breakfast
    • Bike Rides: Kaiteriteri Mountain Bike Park
    • Walks and Hikes: Abel Tasman National Park track
    • Optional Activities: Kayaking, canyoning, sailing, water taxi / walk
    • Available Upgrades: Yes
  13. Today is the final day of your tour. We'll take a trip to Marlborough, home to some of the World’s best known grapes and where we’ll treat you to a free tasting in one of their best vineyards before your tour finishes in Picton.

    • Meals: Breakfast
    • Available Upgrades: n/a





Show nearby:

Trip Reviews

  • I feel really bad as I went on this trip a few years ago however, since the pandemic, I've seen images of NZ and it reminded me of my amazing experience. I really can't praise Flying Kiwi highly enough. Everyone from the staff who helped me with my online booking to everyone throughout the 3 week trip. You really feel like a family, everyone is so nice and welcoming. I have too many highlights to mention. NZ is one of the most breathtaking places I've ever visited. When we are past the Covid-19 pandemic please book a place and go. You won't regret it.

    , travelled Summer Blast South Island Tour on 01/10/2018

  • Easily the best trip I've been on. Not just for the itinerary but also the company I had going on this trip.

    , travelled Summer Blast South Island Tour on 01/04/2019

  • Im leaving the South Island trip wishing Id done the North Island too. I couldn't have asked for more from this holiday and would definitely recommend it to friends.

    , travelled Summer Blast South Island Tour on 01/02/2019

  • I loved it. Loved being outside and I felt at home so quickly, the group feeling was amazing, people were so like minded and the age difference didn't matter at all. Going with you was one of the best decisions I ever made. Thank you, had the best experience.

    , travelled Summer Blast South Island Tour on 01/01/2019

  • Overall, the trip was absolutely fantastic and far exceeded my brilliant expectations. Being in the outdoors for 2 full weeks was amazing. Great guides, great locations and great fellow passengers put the cheery on top!

    , travelled Summer Blast South Island Tour on 01/01/2019