10 Day South Island Adventure Itinerary

From NZD$20,699 / USD$12,299 per adult subject to availability

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Boutique Stays

 Boutique Stays

Car Rental

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Pre Dinner Drinks

 Pre Dinner Drinks

Evening Meals

 Evening Meals

Adventure & Luxury combine to create 10 days of South Island memories.

  • 10 Nights Luxury Lodge & 5-Star Boutique Accommodation
  • Premium Rental Car - 10 Day Hire
  • Abel Tasman Cruise and Sea Kayak
  • Franz Josef Glacier Heli Hike
  • Milford Sound Scenic Flight- Nature Cruise- Scenic Flight
  • Daily Gourmet Breakfast
  • Two Delectable Lunches
  • Seven nights of Pre-dinner Drinks and Canapés
  • Eight Exquisite Evening Meals

  • Heli Hike

     Heli Hike

    Scenic Flight

     Scenic Flight

    Boat Cruise

     Boat Cruise

    Jet Boat

     Jet Boat

    From NZD$20,699 / USD$12,299 per adult subject to availability

    *Please note USD pricing and conversions vary.

    10 Day South Island Adventure Itinerary

    The South Island is famous worldwide for its adventure offerings, and our New Zealand South Island itinerary for 10 days brings you the best outdoor adventures in the country.

    Hike in alpine splendor, kayak a stunning stretch of coastline and cruise the majestic fiord, Milford Sound. Everywhere you travel, your adventures take place against a backdrop of breathtaking scenery.

    For adventurous travelers, our recommended New Zealand South Island itinerary for 10 days is as follows:

    Read on for the full details of our recommended New Zealand adventure itinerary.

    Luxury Adventure: New Zealand South Island Itinerary 10 Days

    Day 1 Arrive in Nelson

    Your exclusive New Zealand experience begins in Nelson, situated at the picturesque northern end of the South Island.

    Driving time Nelson to Abel Tasman 1 hour

    Venture into Abel Tasman National Park, which offers secluded golden-sand beaches, lush native forests, and crystal-clear bays. This is the perfect way to unwind as you become acquainted with New Zealand.

    Split Apple Retreat, an exclusive, intimate luxury lodge, retreat, and wellness spa will re-ground you during your stay. The retreat is renowned for its gourmet Asian-Mediterranean fusion cuisine, where every ingredient has been selected for its positive contribution to health and wellness. Indulge in the spectacular setting and unparalleled service.

    Stay 2 nights at Split Apple Retreat

    Included: Pre-dinner drinks and canapés, daily breakfast, world-class tasting menu featuring Asian/Mediterranean cuisine and use of all facilities.

    Accommodation: Split Apple Retreat

    Split Apple Retreat health wellness retreat NZ Abel Tasman luxury accommodation

    Day 2 Abel Tasman Cruise & Sea Kayak

    Explore the highlights of the remote Abel Tasman coastline this morning on a cruise and kayak tour that showcases the beautiful golden-sand beaches, rich marine life, tranquil lagoons and carved granite coastline of the Abel Tasman National Park. Your experience includes guided sea kayaking along the granite coastline, opportunities to hike sections of the Abel Tasman Coast Track, and swim off the sandy beaches. A delightful picnic lunch and refreshments are supplied as part of your full-day excursion.

    This afternoon unwind and indulge in the facilities and activities on offer at Split Apple Retreat, or explore Abel Tasman National Park further. Every aspect of the retreat revolves around relaxation. Facilities at the retreat include a salt-water infinity pool, a Japanese spa, a sauna, a steam room, a yoga pavilion, and a meditation theatre – make the most of your stay with a massage treatment, a private yoga session, a cooking lesson with Chef Pen, or a guided meditation.

    Sea Kayaking Abel Tasman National Park New Zealand

    Day 3 Springs Junction, Maruia River Retreat

    Driving time Abel Tasman to Maruia River Retreat 2.5 hours

    Situated along the magnificent Maruia River and protected by mountains from the east and west, the Maruia River Retreat is a stunning boutique lodge and private nature resort focusing on relaxation and luxury wellness. The complete Maruia experience invites visitors to dine on gourmet meals, admire the outstanding views and rest in the privacy and comfort of self-contained villas.

    Whether it’s a spa day, a yoga class, or just relaxing in one of their saunas or hot tub, it is all about YOU and your wellbeing at Maruia River Retreat. Enjoy many exclusive nature walks, guided garden tours or even take a white water rafting trip.

    *Option to add on Helibike Nelson Old Ghost Road Heli Bike

    Stay 2 nights in Springs Junction.

    Included: Daily continental breakfast spread, 3-course gourmet dinner, daily yoga classes and use of all facilities.

    Accommodation: Maruia River Retreat

    Day 4 Maruia River Retreat

    Today, stay in and pamper yourself or you may like to explore the nearby hidden gems of the area. Enjoy private access to the outdoor forest tub surrounded by a canopy of beech forest trees and amazing views of the Maruia River. Spoil yourself with a treatment of your choice in the Wellness Centre or join a local nature guide for a walk through the native forest to learn about the local ecology.

    Choose your own views with a range of scenic helicopter flights on offer, organise a local guide to pick you up for either a half day or full day of guided trout fishing in the local rivers or rent a mountain bike and explore the advanced mountain bike tracks nearby.

    Day 5 Franz Josef

    Driving time Maruia River Retreat to Franz Josef 4.5 hours

    Franz Josef’s cloak of ice once flowed from the mountains right to the sea. Following millennia of gradual retreat, the glacier is now 19 km inland and accessible only by helicopter. A glacier experience is a crowning moment for thousands of annual visitors with helicopter flights which land atop Franz Josef Glacier and glacier heli-hikes being the two best ways to view the glacier.

    You will be perfectly poised to experience the solitude and grandeur of the West Coast from your accommodation at Te Waonui Forest Retreat, an exclusive luxury hotel. Encircled by native bush, Te Waonui Forest Retreat has been built with both comfort and ecological awareness in mind.

    Stay 1 night in Franz Josef.

    Included: 5 course degustation dinner, daily breakfast.

    Accommodation: Te Waonui Forest Retreat

    Day 6 Glacier Heli Hike + Wanaka

    With the combination of an exhilarating helicopter ride, jaw-dropping scenery and a 2.5 hour hike through the most spectacular glacier features, it’s no wonder guests often label their Glacier Heli Hike as the highlight of their visit to Aotearoa (New Zealand).

    Driving time Franz Josef to Wanaka 4.5 hours

    Discover Haast Pass today as you venture through the heart of the Southern Alps once more on the journey to Wanaka. This is a densely forested wilderness with cascading waterfalls, tumbling rivers, and hanging glaciers. There are many short walks and viewing points to take in along the Haast Pass Highway to break the journey. A stop at the Blue Pools (a natural viewing attraction) is highly recommended.

    Driving time Wanaka to Mahu Whenua – 30 minutes

    Escape the bustle of town at Mahu Whenua, a ridgeline homestead and eco sanctuary. This luxurious high country homestead offers total privacy, unforgettable experiences, and exquisite food and wine in a setting which spans over 55,000 hectares of majestic natural beauty.

    Stay 2 nights in Wanaka.

    Included: Daily breakfast, lunch, dinner, morning and afternoon tea, pre-dinner canapés, refreshments, picnic, and premium wine and other beverages, as well as use of lodge facilities.

    Accommodation: Mahu Whenua

    Mahu Whenua Luxury Accommodation Wanaka luxury lodges NZ

    Day 7 Mahu Whenua

    Explore your surrounds at Mahu Whenua today, with the option to enjoy the Homestead facilities, which include two open fireplaces, a large open living area with expansive views, a media and games room, a library, a pool table, an outdoor spa pool, a sheltered swimming pool, and a large deck that makes the most of the incredible location.

    You could also indulge in the activities on offer around Wanaka, from hiking in Mt Aspiring National Park to kayaking on Lake Wanaka and touring the wineries of Central Otago. Heli-accessed hiking, farm tours, and winery tours are also on offer.

    Mahu Whenua Luxury Accommodation Wanaka luxury lodges NZ

    Day 8 Queenstown

    Driving Mahu Whenua to Wanaka – 30 minutes
    Driving time Wanaka to Queenstown – 1.5 hours

    Today your journey takes you to Queenstown, the ultimate luxury destination on New Zealand’s South Island. From world-class luxury lodges to indulgent spa experiences.

    Queenstown is also known as the adventure capital of New Zealand, and with this title comes a plethora of adrenaline activities from whitewater rafting and canyoning through to skydiving and bungy jumping.ces, superb cuisine and exclusive tours, Queenstown is a delight to experience.

    Your accommodation near Queenstown is at Blanket Bay Lodge, in the picturesque and remote Glenorchy region. Voted one of the world’s best luxury lodges, Blanket Bay is nestled amidst the rugged snow-capped peaks of the Southern Alps on the shores of Lake Wakatipu. All rooms at Blanket Bay are positioned to take full advantage of the magnificent lake and mountain vistas. Natural materials are showcased throughout, echoing the lodge’s integration and interaction with the environment. 

    Stay 3 nights in Queenstown.

    Included: Daily pre-dinner drinks, dinner, breakfast and full use of sports equipment and lodge facilities.

    Accommodation: Blanket Bay

    Blanket Bay Lodge luxury lodges Queenstown

    Day 9 Milford Sound

    Milford Sound is an area of extraordinary beauty. It offers a majestic fiord, dramatic and awe inspiring scenery and prolific flora and fauna.

    Each tour begins with a complimentary pick-up from your central Queenstown accommodation. After check-in completion, your pilot will give a thorough pre-flight briefing on the route and scenic highlights likely to be encountered. These include the famous Skippers Canyon, the Paradise region (recently made popular as film locations for Lord of the Rings/Hobbit Trilogies), and the Donne glacier among many other awe-inspiring features. Your 35 minute flight concludes with an over flight of the fiord of Milford Sound, prior to landing.

    The second half of the adventure begins in Milford Sound, where your pilot personally escorts you to the boat docks to board the “Spirit of Milford” to enjoy your Milford Sound Nature Cruise. Numbers aboard are capped at 150 passengers and on this intimate experience, Nature Guides offer a personal commentary. The “Spirit of Milford” catamaran explores nooks and crannies along the edge of the fiord, nudging into sheer rock faces to examine flora and fauna in detail.

    Following your Milford Sound cruise, your return flight takes in many of the pristine alpine lakes and waterfalls that Fiordland National Park is recognised for, including the Sutherland Falls which span 580 m (1900 ft). Flight time is another 35 minutes, with a total trip time of approximately 4.5 hours. After enjoying your Scenic Flight back from Milford Sound landing back in Queenstown you will be returned to your accommodation to complete the journey.

    Milford Sound Fiordland National Park New Zealand

    Day 10 Blanket Bay

    Today is spent at your leisure, either relaxing at Blanket Bay and perhaps indulging in one of the spa treatments on offer, or adding another activity from the wide array on offer in Queenstown. Options range from guided nature walks or fishing in crystal clear waters, to more adrenaline-fuelled activities such as Jet-boating through the wilderness of Mt Aspiring National Park, skydiving in one of the most scenic locations on earth or heli hiking on a magnificent glacier.

    Day 11 Depart Queenstown

    As your unforgettable New Zealand vacation draws to a close, return to Queenstown Airport. Soak in the views one last time before departing Queenstown at your leisure.

    Planning your Adventure Holiday with our New Zealand South Island Itinerary for 10 Days

    Our New Zealand adventure itinerary is fully customisable, as we know every traveler has different interests and must-do activities.

    With so many rewarding adventure activities available in New Zealand, we have left space in this itinerary for you to pick and choose your favorites. For example, you have a free day in Queenstown to choose from the wide range of activities on offer. Sample jet-boat rides, “funyak” (inflatable kayak) adventures, skydiving, bungy jumping, 4WD tours, and much more.

    We can also add adventure activities to our other South Island luxury holiday packages. Alternatively, we can modify this itinerary to match your timeframe if you have more or less than 10 days in New Zealand.

    Contact our team at New Zealand Luxury Escapes today to begin planning your New Zealand adventure.


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