Southern Light - from Picton
Why Choose Flying Kiwi...?
1. MORE EXPERIENCE = BETTER TRAVEL OPTIONS...
Flying Kiwi is the original New Zealand tour company. We are the experts with 30 years' experience in conducting tours of the highest quality and thousands of very, very satisfied customers. You can be guaranteed that our team will provide a professional and enjoyable experience of a lifetime.
2. MORE PEACE OF MIND WITH GUARANTEED DEPARTURES...
Once you are booked you are going! ALL our summer tours (Oct-Apr) are guaranteed departures. This gives you complete peace of mind and enables you to plan and look forward to your trip - trips do fill fast though so get in quick.
3. MORE NATIONAL PARKS....
We have a license with the Department of Conservation that enables us to visit, and stay in, places other tours can't access. We ensure our tours give you time to experience New Zealand's best national parks too, including Paparoa, Abel Tasman, Aoraki/Mount Cook, Tongariro and Fiordland.
4. MORE CHANCES TO GENUINELY GET OFF THE BEATEN TRACK...
There are a number of World famous highlights on any trip to New Zealand - Milford Sound, Queentown, Rotorua to name a few and we make sure to experience the best these spots have to offer. However, what makes our trips totally unique is exploring the lesser known spots that other tour groups don't visit. Whether it's a secret glow-worm walk at night, a lush rainforest-fringed pool for a dip, a bike ride along deserted roads hugging the coast or a local cafe that serves quite possibly the best muffins in New Zealand we have found the best secret spots - we know you will love them just try not to tell too many others!
5. MORE ACCOMMODATION BY LAKES, MOUNTAINS AND OCEANS...
Rather than wake up in a hostel dorm we wake up to amazing views, fresh air and away from the crowds. By staying in these carefully selected sites you get to experience amazing sunrises, spectacular sunsets, campfires, sleeping to the sound of the ocean, morning dips, lakeside dining to name a few. There are camping and cabin accommodation options (so something for everyone).
6. MORE TASTY AND HEALTHY MEALS...
Our trips involve a great deal of activity and we appreciate the importance of good food. We usually offer breakfast, lunch and dinner which saves you time and money. With an average meal out in NZ costing around $30 you'll save a fortune compared to other tour companies.
7. MORE CYCLE OPTIONS...
With bikes on board you have the chance to cycle as much, or as little, as you want. We cover a huge range of rides along the coast, by lakes, through mountain landscapes, downhill, uphill and even across hill - there is something for everyone and every fitness level.
8. MORE HIKES AND ACTIVITY OPTIONS (+LOADS OF FREE STUFF)...
We offer more hikes and activity options than any other tour company. That gives you more choice every day to try the hikes you fancy and the activities you have always wanted to try. Everything is optional and there are always free alternatives. We also include a number of the activities free of charge such as Queenstown gondola ride and more.
9. MORE FLEXIBILITY...
Our tours are designed to fit around you. We aren't a traditional tour - you choose the activities you want to do, you choose the style of accommodation you want and you can even take extended breaks along the way - Flying Kiwi is the perfect combination of independent travel and touring convenience.
10. MORE VALUE FOR MONEY...
Quite simply our trips are unbeatable. With transport, accommodation, most meals and use of sports equipment included you won't find a better value tour. Our tours add up to around $160 NZD per day which is a great measure to compare with other options (don't forget a meal out in NZ averages around $30 for starters and bike hire starts at approx. $35 per day).
11. FREE HIGHLIGHTS...
Some operators may list these as free activities specific to their tour but as Kiwis are such a generous bunch all those listed below are free for everyone!
Glow worm walks, heaps of free hikes, seal spotting, Tekapo Church of Good Shepherd and more.
12. PLACES WE VISIT ARE...
- Infamous Mount Cook
- Adrenalin rush of Queenstown
- Natural beauty of Kaikoura
- The spectacular Milford Sound
- Real Lord of the Rings country
- Cultural and historical treasures
- New Zealand’s World Heritage Sites
- The wildlife spotting paradise of Otago Peninsula
- Numerous remote locations that other tours and tourists don't reach
13. OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES TO CHOOSE FROM...
- Superb cycle rides (for all levels)
- Excellent hikes (for all levels)
- Sea kayaking
- Zipline tours
- Bungy jumping & giant swings
- White water rafting
- Whale watching (by air or boat)
- Deep sea fishing
- Dolphin swimming
- Horse riding
- Nature toursBus/coach transport
- Brewery tours
- Milford Sound boat cruise
- Glow worm tours
10 days, 9 nights
- Tasty meals - 9 x Breakfasts, 3 x Lunches, 5 x Dinners
- Bus/coach transport
- Shared tent accommodation, 2 people per tent
- Inflatable camping mattress
- Numerous free walks
- Queenstown 2 hostel nights accommodation
- Fresh Seafood Dinner - a Kaikoura fresh seafood feast - priceless!
- Use of sports equipment (bodyboards, cricket sets and more)
- 2 friendly & knowledgeable Flying Kiwi guides
- Amazing sunrises & sunsets at beautiful beach side campsites
Activities such as the Routeburn Track (3 day/2 night hike) can book out months in advance. We recommend pre-booking with us as soon as possible if interested.
This tour is recommended for persons 18 years and older however requests for younger participants will be considered on a case by We can cater for most dietary requirements, advise us of any dietary needs at the time of booking.case basis.
- Day 1 : PICTON - KAIKOURALeaving Picton at 11am we travel the scenic Pacific coast to Kaikoura where close encounters with seals and sea birds are common. Kaikoura translates to 'meal of crayfish' (Kai - food, koura - crayfish) a reference to the abundance of seafood and sea life in the area. The town has transformed from a sleepy fishing village into a hot spot for whale watching, dolphin swimming and seal spotting. This picturesque town sits right on the ocean at the foot of the mountains – a spectacular spot. Stretch your legs with a recommended afternoon peninsula walk and build up an appetite for a tasty feast of locally caught fresh seafood.Meals :DinnerDay 2 : KAIKOURA – CHRISTCHURCH - RANGITATAFor those that are keen there is the chance to rise early for a wonderful sunrise and then enjoy one of our most highly rated optional activities – dolphin swimming. The resident dusky dolphins are amongst the most interactive and entertaining in the World and it’s not unusual to swim with pods of 50 or more in their natural habitat, the ocean! We then have the chance to explore this quaint seaside town before heading south to Christchurch to collect and drop off those starting or ending their tour. You’ll have time to explore Christchurch city and buy your lunch from one of the many quirky container cafes at the ‘Restart Mall’. At 2:30pm we travel towards the Southern Alps with fantastic views across the Canterbury Plains – real Lord of the Rings country! Tonight’s unique camp is at the Shearer’s Headquarters (an actual operating farm) located at the foot of the Southern Alps.Meals :Breakfast, DinnerDay 3 : RANGITATA – LAKE TEKAPOWake up to mountain views and try white water rafting on the mighty Rangitata River! If rafting isn’t for you soak it all in with a morning cycle or walk through Peel forest. We then head through more jaw dropping landscapes (they don’t stop in the South Island) to the picture postcard, Lake Tekapo. Here you will view 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. Relax in the nearby hot pools or enjoy star gazing at the Mt John Observatory and make the most of staying in an International Dark Sky Reserve, plus there are plenty of hike and cycle options to choose from.Meals :Breakfast, LunchDay 4 : LAKE TEKAPO – MT COOK - MOERAKIImmerse yourself in the snow-capped mountain scenery that New Zealand is famous for and explore Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park. Hike to the base of NZ’s highest mountain following a trail up the Hooker valley where you’ll cross swing bridges and get stunning views of the mountains before finishing up at a glacial lake with views of the Hooker Valley glacier. We then travel back towards the Pacific coast for a quick stop in the historic town of Oamaru before continuing onwards to the small village of Moeraki. Walk to a great view point offering expansive views of the Pacific Ocean and try to spot a little Blue Penguin along the shore. If you have a bike it’s possible to visit a colony of extremely rare Yellow-eyed Penguins near to camp.Meals :Breakfast, Lunch, DinnerDay 5 : MOERAKI - DUNEDINBefore travelling south, we make a stop at the nearby Moeraki Boulders and then it’s onto the historic Scottish city of Dunedin, the South Island's second-largest city. This southern city is home to the world’s steepest residential street and the coastline is home to some fantastic and rare wildlife. It’s possible to take a tour onto the Otago Peninsula to view some of this diverse wildlife which includes Albatross and Fur Seals. For the adventurous why not try surfing at one of Dunedin’s best breaks! Our camp is a short distance from the beach with a variety of restaurants close by to choose from.Meals :BreakfastDay 6 : DUNEDIN – FIORDLAND NATIONAL PARKToday is one of our longer travel days as we drive through some of New Zealand’s most dramatic natural scenery on our way to Fiordland. Large parts of the landscape have been carved out over thousands of years to leave stunning paths that weave through snow-capped mountains. We stop briefly in Te Anau, the hub and gateway town for Fiordland National Park and Milford Sound and your last chance to get supplies for those doing the Routeburn Track tomorrow. From Te Anau we make our way into the gigantic Fiordland National Park, encompassing some 12,500km2 it is New Zealand’s largest National Park. Tonight’s camp is a pretty special place in the heart of the Hollyford Valley, established in the 1930s. You can learn more about the history of the camp at the onsite museum. Cyclists have the chance to cycle to camp through some great native bush and walkers can do some nice short walks from camp (ask your guide about the secret glow worm trails).Meals :Breakfast, DinnerDay 7 : FIORDLAND NATIONAL PARK – MILFORD SOUND - TE ANAUTravel one of the world’s most scenic routes into Milford Sound! Described as the 'eighth wonder of the world', Milford Sound was carved by glaciers during the ice ages. We highly recommend taking in the boat trip on Milford Sound with dramatic waterfalls, snow-capped peaks and possible wildlife spotting of dolphins, penguins and seals! 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 3-day Routeburn Track, one of New Zealand’s 9 Great Walks. This 3-day hike passes through two National Parks and 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, LunchDay 8 : TE ANAU - QUEENSTOWNToday we journey to Queenstown along the shores of the photogenic Lake Wakatipu. Once we arrive at the adventure capital of New Zealand you have a huge selection of activities to choose from. There is everything here, from adrenalin pumping bungy, canyon swing and skydiving to a relaxing horse trek or boat cruise – this place has it all. There are great tracks around the lake ideal for bikers and hikers and all with wonderful views of this alpine region. Camping isn’t feasible in this bustling alpine village, for the next two nights we stay in dorm-share accommodation in a centrally located hostel. Perfect for making the most of all Queenstown as to offer.Meals :BreakfastDay 9 : QUEENSTOWNWith so much to do we spend the full day in fantastic Queenstown with the opportunity to enjoy those once in a lifetime experiences (don’t forget to try the legendary and very tasty Fergburger!). Routeburn Track walkers re-join the group here at midday with time to try some of the many exciting activities this vibrant city has to offer. Tonight, we dine out at one of Queenstown’s many delicious eateries - a great chance for your group to enjoy a true kiwi feast (own cost).Meals :BreakfastDay 10 : QueenstownAnother chance to try any of the numerous activities including bungy, canyon swing, skydive, paraglide, horse trek or gondola ride - to name a few! This is the last day of the tour and there is plenty to keep you busy with options to extend the trip or stay on for more fun and frolics in the stunning, adrenalin capital. We say our final farewells by 2:00pm.Meals :Breakfast
Picton pickup: 11am outside the Picton Railway Station.
2019 TOUR DEPARTURE DATES:
November: 2, 11, 15, 20, 29
December: 8, 12, 17, 26
January: 1, 4, 13, 22, 31
February: 9, 18, 27
March: 7, 16, 25
April: 3, 12
Optional hires: You can hire any of the following equipment from us for the duration of your trip or bring your own gear. We charge a small handling fee for those who bring their own bikes but there are no charges for your own tent etc.
$220 Cycle hire for entire trip
$100 Bring your own bike
$120 Single tent upgrade
$ 65 Sleeping bag hire
Cabin upgrades (optional): Are available most nights for a small fee, payable on the day (subject to availability). During the peak travel months of Dec, Jan, Feb we recommend pre-booking upgrades prior to travel through the Flying Kiwi office. Pre-booking upgrades incur a 10% pre-booking service fee of the total upgrade cost.
Optional Activities: Most days there are a selection of optional activities you can choose to do (i.e. skydiving, heli hiking etc). Payment for optional activities are made direct to the operator on the day.