South Island Experience

South Island Experience Tour April 2019
Date: 19 – 27 April 2019 (9 days)
Start: Nelson or Wellington Finish: Nelson
Price: From NZ$1573(incl. deals & specials) plus food kitty ($195). Regular price NZ$1623 per person – please see below for further information on what is included in the tour
Tour Description: Thermal pools in Hanmer Springs, scenic Lake Tekapo, interesting Dunedin, exciting Queenstown and stunning Westcoast – this tour gives you the chance to experience the best what the South Island has on offer. The tour combines city activities with awesome fun adventures. Additionally to an exciting group programme participants can book extra adventure activities. This tour can be booked on its own or together with the North Island Experience Tour for a comprehensive and fun exploration of New Zealand.
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 9 March 2019
  • Bring a Friend Deal: Receive an activity voucher for $50 if you get a friend to book the tour
  • Enter the draw to win a Free Extra Activity.

Please contact us with enquiries or questions. In order to book the tour please use the BOOK NOW button.




The South Island Experience Tour is now heading to Hanmer Springs instead of Kaikoura because the road between Blenheim and Kaikoura is still damaged.


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:
Stargazing at Mt John Observatory/Cowan’s Observatory – prices vary from NZ$59 to NZ$120 depending on tour. Please inquire about available options.

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 Bungy Jump (134m): NZ$245 (with valid NZ student-ID), NZ$275(Adult)
The Ledge Bungy Jump: $155 (up to 14 yrs), NZ$205 (15+ yrs), NZ$175 (15+ yrs with NZ student-ID) – plus gondola ticket (approx NZ$25)
Milford Sound Fly/Nature Cruise/Fly: NZ$341 (up to 14 yrs), NZ$525 (15+yrs)
Milford Sound Coach and Nature Cruise: NZ$104 (up to 14yrs), NZ$207(15+yrs)
Doubtful Sound Wilderness Cruise: NZ$163 (up to 14yrs), NZ$325 (15+yrs)
Skydiving: NZ$299.00 for 9,000ft, NZ$359.00 for 12,000ft, NZ$459 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$249, spectators NZ$20
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$89 (up to 15yrs), NZ$155 (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. Here we have the opportunity to get close to some of the Haast Pass natural wonders, like blue pools and waterfalls. In the evening we reach 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 in the cozy hostel.

We spend the morning in Franz Josef and you can join some exciting activities. It’s up to you how you want to explore the Franz Josef Glacier. You can choose one of the extra activities recommended below, or join our tour guide for a walk through the valley and up to a glacier viewpoint. In the afternoon we 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 (14+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

Pre-tour overnight option for NZ$195: If you live in Wellington, you can book our guided pre-tour overnight option. What’s included?: Transport from Wellington to Nelson by ferry & bus, plus 1 night supervised accommodation in a hostel in Nelson the night before the tour starts.

Do you feel like a longer holiday? Book this tour as an Add-on to our North Island Experience Tour. Explore the stunning North Island, experience Maori Culture and New Zealand’s Capital Wellington. 6 extra days you’ll never forget – book now!

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 and Dunedin
  • Visit Moeraki Boulders
  • Tour t-shirt and group photo
  • 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)
  • Pocket money
  • If you are not from Nelson: 1 extra night accommodation (supervised) on 18 April before the tour starts


  • Minimum 10 students
  • Students who are not from Nelson will arrive on 18 April 2019 and will stay in a supervised accommodation.
  • Booking conditions apply.
  • All inclusions are weather and time depending.
  • All prices are subject to availability and correct at date of publication (September 2018).
Call Student Tours Call us on 0800 350 010


group at lake wakatipu


Students in spa pool