10 Day South Island Wilderness Adventure

Earnslaw Burn Heli Adventure800
Ball Pass Day 2
Deep Canyon

10 Day South Island Wilderness Adventure

This trip has been designed for very active people, you may have hiked the Dolomites or the Inca Trail previously and appreciate a good challenge. This trip has more than enough to keep you physically and mentally challenged, throw in a mixture of remote back-country cabins mixed with 5-star boutique. After a busy days exploring you'll be pleasantly surprised by the fine dining available, New Zealand has some of the best produce available in the world. Season: Late November to April

Duration: 10 Days

Starts: Christchurch

Finishes: Queenstown

+ Absolute Chauffer Inclusions:
  • Dedicated Travel designer
  • Professional Driver/Guide
  • All airport transfers
  • Full In-Country Support
Your Experiences:
  1. 3 Day Ball Pass Crossing
  2. Niger Stream Canyoning
  3. Relaxed Mountain Biking & Winery Visit
  4. Earnslaw Burn Heli-hike
Your Locations:
  1. Christchurch
  2. Tekapo
  3. Mount Cook National Park
  4. Wanaka

Day by day tour itinerary

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Welcome to Christchurch

Christchurch is our "Garden City," blessed with beautiful parks and gardens right in the heart of town.

After welcoming you at the airport and transferring you to your hotel, we will leave you to unwind: we have taken care of everything.

After checking in, why not step back to Edwardian times with a relaxing Private Punting Trip down the Avon River? It’s a wonderful introduction to the “Garden City”. Gliding gently along the river in a flat-bottomed boat, you will take in Christchurch’s ‘must-see’ historic buildings and Botanic Gardens away from the hustle and bustle of the city streets.

Christchurchs vibrant New Regent St with tram approaching.
Travel to Lake Tekapo

Located in the scenic `high country' The Mackenzie Basin is a Dark Sky Reserve and home to the most beautiful lake in New Zealand.

Today your driver will collect you and after driving through the Canterbury Plains, you’ll reach the majestic and peaceful setting of Lake Tekapo amid the high-country splendour of the Mackenzie Basin.

Lake Tekapo. This vast picturesque body of water is regarded by locals as being one of the most beautiful places to visit in the South Island, The color of the lake’s water truly sets it apart from other lakes. It’s a beautiful turquoise blue is a product of the surrounding glaciers.

Tekapo lies in a Dark Sky Reserve, offering unrivaled opportunities for stargazing.

Lake Tekapo
Day 1 : Ball Pass Summit Trek

A challenging and spectacular 3 day adventure in the Aoraki Mount Cook National Park

Day 1: A 6-8 hours trekking, 5.5km (3.4 mi) Distance with a 1200m (3937 ft) ascent.

Drive to Mount Cook (about 1 hour), transfer to 4WD vehicle and drive as far as possible up the old Ball Hut Road, parallel to the Tasman Glacier. The effects of glacial recession are very evident as we hike beside the lateral moraine. Climb up onto Ball Ridge and along to Caroline Hut at 1800m/6000ft, perched right opposite the awe-inspiring Caroline Face of Aoraki Mount Cook. The panorama includes Aoraki Mount Cook and Mount Tasman, all the mountains adjoining the Tasman Glacier, and Lake Pukaki.

Your guide will choose one of two routes (Waterfall direct or Cove Stream) depending on conditions and weather. If snow conditions are firm below Caroline Hut, you are likely to be introduced to crampons and ice axe.

In addition to our personal clothing, the crampons, ice-axe, helmet and harness, we will be carrying some fresh items of food (e.g. bread, fruit, vegetables, meat). The hut is stocked with nonperishable food, mattresses, pillows, sleeping bags, cooking and eating utensils, gas and firewood.

Ball Pass
Day 2 : Ball Pass Summit Trek

Trek to Beautiful Kaitiaki Peak - Practice basic mountaineering techniques, using crampons and ice-axe on the way.

Day 2: A 6-8 hours return from Caroline Hut.

Kaitiaki Peak (2222m/7290ft) south of Ball Pass and take in the dramatic views of the South Ridge of Aoraki Mt Cook. Maybe explore a crevasse on the Ball Glacier. Back at Caroline Hut take time to watch the sun set on Mt Tasman and the ice avalanches thunder down the Caroline Face.

Ball Pass Day 2 Small
Day 3 : Ball Pass Summit Trek

Return dasent to Mount Cook Village

Day 3: A 5-7 hours trekking, 5.5km (3.4 mi) distance, 300m (984 ft) ascent.

Return to Mount Cook Village via the Tasman Valley (Cove Stream, Waterfall direct or Ball Ridge routes). Depending on conditions and group ability, the guide may opt to take you back via a different route to your ascent. The descent routes allow good views out over the ever-expanding terminal lake of the Tasman Glacier.

Your driver will transfer you 1 hour to Mt Cook.

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    1 night at The Hermitage

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    Approximate Distance: 100km / 64mi

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    Total Driving Time: 1 hour

Mt Cook
Travel to Lake Wanaka

This spectacular drive takes you from the heart of Mount Cook National Park to the lakeside town of Wanaka.

From brilliant turquoise canals, lakes and alpine meadows travel into beautiful remote farmland — this road offers huge scenic contrasts and some of the most beautiful landscapes in the country. You’ll travel through the Mackenzie Basin, over the Lindis Pass before passing through the small towns of Omarama and Twizel. Continue to the quaint farming town of Tarras. Known for its merino wool, high country sheep stations and vineyards, we recommend stopping at coffee shop on your way through. A short distance later arrive at the beautiful lakeside town of Wanaka.

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    2 Night at Tin Tub Luxury Lodge

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    Approximate Distance: 205km | 127 miles

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    Total Driving Time: 2 hour 17 mins

Lake Wanaka
Niger Stream Canyoning

World class canyoning in the gorgeous Matukituki Valley

Ready for a fantastic adrenaline rush? The Niger Stream is a world class canyon, located in the gorgeous  Matukituki Valley, gateway to Mount Aspiring National Park. Be prepared for a day of high excitement and heaps of fun in a unique and fabulous natural setting. You will be abseiling and sliding down waterfalls, climbing and jumping over rocks and into pools. This is one of the most wonderful back-to-nature experiences you can find. 

Travel to Queenstown

Mountain biking wine and food adventure

You’ll head this morning to New Zealand’s adventure capital of Queenstown.

Today you’ll ride the most popular section of the Queenstown Trail. Follow the Arrow River Trail to the historic Kawarau Bungy Bridge. From there proceed into the Gibbston Wine Valley, making your way to a designated winery from which you will be shuttled back to Queenstown.

Total Distance Biked: 14.27km | Total Elevation Gain: 153m | Total Elevation Loss: 198m.

Queenstown bike Tour
Earnslaw Burn Helihike

This hanging glacier and cascading waterfalls really is New Zealand’s best-kept secret

Departing Glenorchy, take a heli flight over Glenorchy, the Dart River, and Mt Alfred before touching down in the Mt Earnslaw basin. You’ll follow a meandering glacier-fed river, see an array of wildlife, tussock, speargrass and waterfalls before you reach a corner where the mighty Earnslaw Burn comes into view.

Here, in this beautiful spot, you can sit back and relax with a picnic and soak in the tranquillity of this breathtaking location.  After your picnic, your pilot will return you to Glenorchy via a 1,000 metre (over 3,000 feet) ascent towards the blue ice of the hanging glacier.

For more confident walkers, there will be an opportunity to follow ridges, bush spurs and explore multiple river crossings.

Trip summary: 20-25 minutes of flying, 1.5 – 2 hours of hiking, 1 – 1.5 hours for a picnic and exploring

Earnslayburn 750
DAY 10
Bon Voyage!

Say farewell to New Zealand today

Say farewell to Queenstown today as you board your onward flight, taking with you the magical memories of a truly exceptional South Island Wilderness Adventure.

If you still want more – then we can easily add to this Itinerary with one of the Great Walks – the 5 Day Milford, The 3 or 5 Day Routeburn or 3 Day Hollyford – just ask!

Marcella Hunapo - Travel Designer
Marcella Hunapo, OUR ABSOLUTE TRAVEL DESIGNER SAYS: “This trip is perfect for the experienced hiker who likes their getaway to include physical challenges - getting back in to nature in a big way - as well as still enjoying the finer side to accommodation and dining. This trip has all the beauty spots that New Zealand is famed for and a few more challenging activities - this is a jumping off point - let me design a trip that matches you perfectly.”

Ready to find out more? Talk to one of our friendly travel designers about his tour. We guarantee you it will be the experience of a lifetime!


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    10 Day South Island Wilderness Adventure

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