South Island Experience

South Island Experience Tour October 2018
Date: 03 – 11 October 2018 (9 days) 
Start: Nelson Finish: Nelson
Price: From NZ$1598 (incl. deals & specials) plus food kitty ($195). Regular price NZ$1653 per person – please see below for further information on what is included in the tour
Tour Description: Stunning West Coast, exciting Queenstown, interesting Dunedin – this tour gives you the chance to experience what the South Island has on offer. The itinerary combines city activities with awesome fun adventures. Additionally to an exciting group programme, participants can book extra activities.
Deals & Specials: Check out our Deals & Specials for great discounts! On this tour we offer:

  • Early Bird Special: Save $50 if you book this tour before 29 August 2018
  • Online Booking Saver: Save $5 if you book this tour online
  • Bring a Friend Deal: Receive an activity voucher for $25 if you get a friend to book the tour
  • Enter the draw to win a free shotover jet ride

Please contact us with enquiries, bookings or questions.


Kia Ora! Good to have you aboard the South Island Experience Tour! Sit back and relax while we drive you South towards the Southern Alps. We stop in Murchison for lunch and continue our way to Hanmer Springs on the famous Lewis Pass. “Hanmer” – as the locals call the town located between snow covered mountains in Northern Canterbury – is one of the top spots for hot pools and thermal springs in New Zealand. Here, you have the chance to join an amazing Alpine Horse Safari, try out clay shooting or just simply chill out in the thermal spa pools! We have a relaxing evening playing games in our very own lodge and getting to know each other.


We leave Hanmer Springs in the morning and continue our journey down south along the East Coast. We stop in Christchurch for lunch break and you have the opportunity to do some shopping in New Zealand’s second largest city. Have a walk through the colourfull container mall! In the afternoon we drive you to our destination for today: the picturesque turquoise coloured Lake Tekapo. Dazzling by night, Lake Tekapo is the perfect spot for stargazing. Don’t forget to take a picture with the famous Church of the Good Shepherd in the background. The stunning lake is understandably a popular theme for postcards.

Extra Activity Option:
Little Star Tour (Stargazing at Mt John Observatory) – NZ$63 (up to 17yrs), NZ$120 (18yrs & over)


We leave the turquoise lake in the morning, stop at Lake Pukaki, another spot for breathtaking pictures of the lake with Mt. Cook in the background. We drive through the cozy little town Twizel and stop at the famous Moeraki Boulders. Take fantastic photos with your friends as this spot is one of the must-do’s in New Zealand. Then we continue our drive to New Zealand’s most famous university town – Dunedin. Students make up one fifth of the population so it’s no wonder that the city is hailed to have a great atmosphere. On the way to Dunedin we travel through the stunning area of central Otago, along lakes and hydro dams and through fertile horticulture country with many fruit orchards along the way. Having arrived in Dunedin, we will definitely visit Baldwin Street, the worlds’ steepest street – see who can reach the top of the street fastest. In the afternoon you have the chance to explore Otago Peninsula on the Elm Wildlife Tour, an eco-experience on which you can see penguins, fur seal colonies and the famous albatross birds. If you choose not to go on the Elm Wildlife tour, there are plenty of other things to do in Dunedin: go shopping, visit the Otago Museum to explore the history of New Zealand and the Southern Hemisphere, check out the Dunedin Public Art Gallery, one of New Zealand finest art museums. To top it all off, a visit to the famous Cadbury Chocolate Factory with lots of opportunity to taste different chocolates could be on the programme for those of you who have a “sweet tooth”.

Extra Activity Option:
Elm Wildlife Tour: NZ$112 (with NZ student ID)


Today is the day all you thrill-seekers and adrenalin-junkies have been longing for – we head off to the birth place of bungy jumping. Queenstown is known as the adventure capital of New Zealand, if not the world. After checking into our hostel in Queenstown, we will take the Skyline Gondola up to Bob’s Peak. This is the steepest gondola in the southern hemisphere and from the top of the mountain, you have an awesome view over Queenstown, Lake Wakatipu and the mighty Remarkables mountain range. We will enjoy a traditional & powerful Maori Haka performance, followed by an original Kiwi buffet dinner. A truly unique New Zealand experience!


Jump off a bridge, swing over a canyon, paddle your way through a raging river – there’s nothing you can’t do (as long as you have permission from your parents of course ).
For the more faint-hearted there are stunning cruises to Milford or Doubtful Sound that are sure to inspire. Those of you that do not book any of the extra adventure activities have a chance to explore Queenstown. We will go for walk into town, do some sightseeing and shopping, and we take a walk along famous Lake Wakatipu. Tonight is free time for everyone, take a stroll into town or spend time to look at the fantastic photos everyone has made and update your Facebook pages.

Extra Activity Options:
Kawarau Bungy (43m): NZ$155 (up to 14 yrs), NZ$205 (15+ yrs), NZ$175 (with valid NZ student-ID)
Nevis Highwire Bungy (134m): NZ$245 (with valid NZ student-ID), NZ$275 (without NZ student ID)
The Ledge Bungy: NZ$155 (up to 14 yrs), NZ$205 (15+ yrs), NZ$175 (15+ yrs with NZ student-ID) – plus gondola ticket (approx NZ$35)
The Ledge Swing: NZ$115 (up to 14 yrs), NZ$165 (15+ yrs), NZ$135 (15+ yrs with NZ student-ID) – plus gondola ticket (approx NZ$35)
The Ledge Bungy and Swing Combo: NZ$280
Milford Sound Fly/Nature Cruise/Fly: NZ$515 (15 years or older only!)
Milford Sound Coach/Nature Cruise/Coach: NZ$104 (up to 14yrs), NZ$207 (15+yrs)
Doubtful Sound Coach/Cruise/Coach: NZ$163 (up to 14yrs), NZ$325 (15+yrs)
Skydiving: NZ$299 for 9,000ft, NZ$349 for 12,000ft, NZ$449 for 15,000ft


Another free day to continue your adrenalin rush. For those of you who do not book any extra activities today there is lots to do and see in Queenstown. Go and check out the world famous Fergburger for lunch or enjoy a coffee on the shore of Lake Wakatipu. Tonight has a special treat in store for everyone. After dinner we head along to the ‘Minus 5 Ice Bar’ for a non-alcoholic cocktail. The bar is made completely of ice, even your cocktail glasses. But you do not have to freeze, you will be given warm clothes and gloves, so you can enjoy your experience in comfort and marvel at the great ice sculptures at the bar.

Extra Activity Options:
Canyon Swing: NZ$229
Horseriding: NZ$95 (up to 14yrs), NZ$120 (15+yrs)
Dart River Wilderness Safari: NZ$149 (up to 15yrs), NZ$249 (16+yrs)
Shotover Jet: NZ$79 (up to 15yrs), NZ$149 (16+yrs)
White Water Rafting: NZ$229 (16 years or older only!)


We leave Queenstown in the morning and stop in Arrowtown, a Wild-West like village where scenes of the movie Lord of the Rings were filmed. We continue our way up north and stop in Wanaka for lunch. Heading to the wild West Coast through the Haast Pass we reach soon the beautiful Lake Matheson, icon of the West Coast with its enchanting reflections of Mount Cook and Mount Tasman. If the weather’s nice, we stop there and go for a walk around the lake. Our destination for today is one of the world’s most accessible glaciers, the Franz Josef Glacier. Franz Josef Glacier was named after the Austrian Emperor Franz Josef, and is one of only three glaciers world wide that borders a rain forest. In the evening you get the chance to relax and soak in the Franz Josef Hot Pools.


It’s up to you how you want to spend the morning. You can choose one of the extra activities recommended below and explore the Franz Josef Glacier, relax in the hostel or visit the West Coast Wildlife centre and spot some kiwis. We leave Franz Josef after lunch and make our way north through Hokitika and Greymouth along the wild west coast. We stop in Punakaiki, visit the famous Pancake Rocks which really live up to their name and stop for a quick walk on Truman Track into the Paparoa National Park. Then we continue our journey towards Westport. After days packed with activities, we will enjoy a last evening together at the hostel, tell the best stories of the tour and finish off with a Farewell dinner.

Extra Activity Options:
Glacier Helicopter Flight: NZ$245 (15+yrs)


In the morning you have a chance to try surfing or paddle boarding in Westport or relax at the beach. After your activities we leave Westport and begin our return journey home.
Sadly, we have to say goodbye in Nelson, but we’re sure you’ll never forget this experience – so keep in touch!

Extra Activity Options:
Surf lesson, Westport : NZ$80
Stand Up Paddle Boarding, Westport : NZ$40

This tour can be booked on its own or together with the Nelson-Abel Tasman Escape for a comprehensive and fun exploration of New Zealand’s “main island”.

Included in tour cost

  • Experienced Guides/Assistants
  • Comfortable accommodation at hostels/backpackers
  • All transport during the tours
  • Visit Pancake Rocks
  • Short walk at Truman Track
  • Visit “Mirror Lake”
  • Walk to Thunder Falls
  • Visit Kawarau Bungy Bridge
  • Entry & 1 alcohol-free cocktail at Minus5 Ice Bar
  • Gondola ride, Kiwi Haka performance and dinner in Queenstown
  • Excursions in Queenstown
  • Visit Baldwin Street in Dunedin
  • Visit Moeraki Boulders
  • Visit seal colony
  • Tour t-shirt, special group photo and postcards
  • Lots of fun game evenings and group activities

Additional Cost

  • Transport (flights, ferry, transfers) to/from tour start
  • Extra Activities
  • Food – a contribution of $195 towards a food kitty is mandatory (breakfast and dinner only)
  • Pocket money
  • If you are not from Nelson: 1 extra night accommodation (supervised) on 27 September before the tour starts


  • Minimum 15 students
  • Students who are not from Nelson will arrive on 02 October 2017 and will stay in a supervised accommodation (at extra cost).
  • Booking conditions apply.
  • All inclusions are weather and time depending.
  • All prices are subject to availability and correct at date of publication (December 2017).
Call Student Tours Call us on 0800 350 010