South Island Lick Tour

AUD $1,699.00

Be awed by stunning mountains, fantastic views, and the amazing Queenstown on this South Island trip where you’ll experience unbeatable scenery coupled with a massive range of optional activities.

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Starting and ending in the “Garden City” of Christchurch, we show you the ultimate highlights of New Zealand’s stunning South Island over 7 action-packed days.

From turquoise lakes to towering mountains and glaciers, the South Island’s scenery will blow your mind, and the nation’s adventure capital, Queenstown, has all the adrenalin activities on offer that you could possibly wish for.
As the tour starts early in the morning, you can opt to stay at our Haka accommodation in Christchurch the night before the tour – only having to walk downstairs on the day the tour starts makes for a stress free morning. Accommodation is included on the last night of your tour, but we can also book a few extra nights for you if you would like to extend your stay.

The tour price includes dorm share accommodation but if you would prefer your own space you have the option to upgrade to a private room for the duration of your tour.

In this itinerary, you’ll find descriptions of the places you’ll be visiting and the inclusions that you’ll experience. We’ve also provided an example timetable for each day to help give you a sense of what your days on tour may look like. Keep in mind though, that every tour is unique, with each guide bringing their own special flavour to the trip.

Each day also has a list of our favourite Haka Highlights, and the add-on activities and experiences that are available in that location.


  • ORIENTATION TOURS – We give you the low-down on every location
  • COMFORTABLE TRANSPORT – With plenty of room to spread out
  • CONTINENTAL BREAKFAST EVERY DAY – Heaps of options for everyone (you too, vegans!)
  • HIGH-END HOSTEL ACCOMMODATION – Dorm share, upgrades available
  • EXPERIENCED LOCAL GUIDE – Friendly, knowledgeable and passionate about NZ
  • SMALL GROUPS – MAXIMUM 16 – Because you’re more than just a number!

  • Tour Inclusions

    • Explore downtown Christchurch and see its inspiring regeneration since the 2011 quake
    • Visit the tiny Church of the Good Shepherd, nestled by the shores of Lake Tekapo
    • Unparalleled stargazing opportunities in Tekapo’s Dark Sky Reserve
    • Two nights in Queenstown, the Adventure Capital of the World
    • Visit the charming, historic gold rush village of Arrowtown
    • Carve your own pounamu (jade) pendant in Franz Josef
    • Visit the Mountain Jade Factory in Hokitika
    • Relax for two nights at a West Coast rainforest retreat in Paparoa National Park
    • Plus many surprise stops along the way

    Itinerary Summary

    • Day 1 – Christchurch To Mackenzie Country
    • Day 2 – Mackenzie Country To Queenstown
    • Day 3 – Queenstown
    • Day 4 – Queenstown To Wanaka
    • Day 5 – Wanaka To Franz Josef
    • Day 6 – Franz Josef
    • Day 7 – Franz Josef To Christchurch
    • Day 8 – Christchurch


    This morning we’ll explore iconic downtown Christchurch and your guide will show you the cool and creative ways the city is being rebuilt after the life-changing 2011 earthquake here. Christchurch folk are an innovative and creative bunch – the Transitional Cathedral, created from cardboard, is totally inspirational.

    After lunch we leave the city behind and head for Lake Tekapo. The lake’s breathtaking turquoise colour and mountain backdrop is a photographer’s dream come true. The tiny Church of the Good Shepherd stands right at the water’s edge, proving that small is definitely beautiful. Grab some confetti and congratulate any passing brides – couples travel from all over the world for wedding shots in front of the chapel!

    Tekapo has been declared an International Dark Sky Reserve and the super clear skies make it the best place in New Zealand to see the stars and galaxies on a clear night. Sit back, relax and enjoy.

    Please note: Private accommodation upgrades are not available for this night of the tour due to the limited availability of accommodation in the area. In special circumstances other arrangements may be possible – please contact [email protected] for more information.

    Meet your Guide and group for breakfast and introductions
    Explore Christchurch

    Head off in the Haka bus to stunning Lake Tekapo
    Check out the Southern Alps from above in a scenic helicopter ride (not included)

    Wander the beautiful lakeshore of Tekapo
    Go out for dinner with your tour group (not included)

    Haka Highlights (Included)
    Explore downtown Christchurch and see its inspiring regeneration since the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes
    Visit The Church of the Good Shepherd nestled by the shore of Lake Tekapo
    Reach for the stars with unparalleled stargazing opportunities in Tekapo’s Dark Sky Reserve

    Epic Add-Ons
    Scenic Flight


    This morning if you’re feeling energetic, hike up to the summit of Mt John. With awesome views of the Southern Alps, you’ll feel on top of the world. Speaking of views, today’s scenic drive to Queenstown is a show-stopper.

    From the golden tussocklands of Mackenzie country – where epic battles of Return of the King were filmed – to the dramatic peaks of the Southern Alps, it’s like you’re driving into a postcard. We’ll pause for lots of photo stops en route to give your camera a workout, including a stop at the spectacular Kawarau Gorge. This also happens to be the World Home of Bungy, give it a go or enjoy watching the jumpers scream their way through the gorge!

    Whether you’re an adrenalin junkie, an avid hiker, wine taster or scenery lover, Queenstown has something for absolutely everyone. With two nights and plenty of daylight hours here, get ready – this town certainly knows how to live life to the max!

    Hike up Mt John
    Drive through the starkly beautiful Mackenzie country to Queenstown

    Optional bridge bungy at Kawarau Gorge en route (not included)
    Get to know vibrant Queenstown with an orientation from your guide
    Explore Queenstown your own way!

    Grab dinner with your Haka crew (not included)

    Haka Highlights (Included)
    A scenic drive to die for with mountain passes and gorgeous gorges
    Welcome to Queenstown the Adventure Capital of New Zealand!

    Epic Add-Ons
    Scenic Flight
    Bungy Jump

    With a full day in Queenstown, let’s work on that bucket list! There are heaps of options to choose from: paragliding over the lake, mountain bike parks and trails to die for, bungy jumping while your Haka friends cheer you on, horse riding through Lord of the Rings scenery, and swinging through a canyon are just a few of our favourites.

    Hikers: the Ben Lomond day walk (not for the faint- hearted) will be right up your alley. This is a firm tour guide favourite, and they can recommend great shorter walks too.

    For scenery lovers, Milford Sound is a must-see. Whether you fly or drive, the scenery en route is as awesome as the destination. Once on the Sound, sailing beneath thundering waterfalls and towering cliff faces, you’ll understand why some call it the “8th Wonder of the World”

    Tonight you have around 40 bars to choose from – your guide will fill you in on their favourites – to share your adventures with your travel buddies, and party the night away.

    Tackle your chosen activities for the day

    Further time for exploring and add-on activities

    Return to Queenstown from your day of adrenalin
    Head to your accommodation to relax before a night on the town.
    Make a night of it at one (or several) of Queenstown’s many bars!

    Haka Highlights (Included)
    Full day in Queenstown to scratch your adrenalin itch or soak up the scenery

    Epic Add-Ons
    Visit Milford Sound
    Canyon Swing
    Bungy Jumping
    Shotover Jet Boat
    Horse Trekking
    Middle Earth 4WD Tour
    Heli-Mountain Biking


    After the excitement of Queenstown, today is a chance to chill. Wanaka is Queenstown’s slightly quieter little sister, a mere one hour drive away. On the way we’ll stop in at charming Arrowtown, a historic gold rush village with heaps of old world character.

    Blessed with towering peaks and a glacial blue lake, you’ll soon see why Wanaka’s considered to be one of New Zealand’s most beautiful mountain towns. There are stunning hikes and bike rides all around for a welcome chance to chill.

    One of the best ways to admire Wanaka is from the air. Treat yourself to a skydive or a scenic flight in a vintage plane – you can even take a flying lesson, or if you prefer to keep your feet closer to the ground, stroll or bike around the lake and check out the famous Wanaka Tree, standing all alone in the water. As always, it’s your trip and your choice: you do you.

    Explore charming historic Arrowtown
    Check out Cardrona en route to Wanaka


    Explore Lake Wanaka and the township by foot, bike or boat
    Head up in the air or out on the water with an add-on activity (not included)

    Take a walk around the shores of Lake Wanaka
    Up your Insta cred with a snap of #thatwanakatree

    Haka Highlights (Included)
    Visit Arrowtown and experience this charming and historic gold rush village
    Soak Up The beauty of Lake Wanaka while getting to know this stellar town

    Epic Add-Ons
    Tiger Moth Aerobatic Plane Ride
    Wanaka Bike Tours
    Lake Cruise & Island Nature Walk

    After a relaxing morning in Wanaka, the journey to Franz is another stunner – many of our Haka Guides rate it as their favourite drive in New Zealand.

    As we hit the road, we’ll stop at one of our favourite lakeside lookout points at Lake Hawea or Lake Wanaka. Your guide will keep an eye on the weather and pick the best option.
    From the cascading waterfalls of Haast Pass to classic Kiwi coastal views, you won’t want to nap on the bus in case you miss anything. Your guide will have some epic surprise photo stops and short walks along the way.

    Between September and December it’s whitebait season (a small fish that’s a delicacy in New Zealand). Fried up with eggs and served on toast, it’s a local treat and shouldn’t be missed. We’ll stop at one of the local spots for a taste during the season.

    We roll into Franz Josef around late afternoon/early evening. This UNESCO World Heritage area is famous for its spectacular glacier, just 5 kilometres from town, which is begging to be explored tomorrow.

    Spend the morning exploring Wanaka or trying any last minute activities

    Hit the road on the Haka bus for the most magical drive of your whole tour
    Special stops en route to gaze out at Lake Hawea and check out some short walks
    Arrive at our glacier stop for the night – Franz Josef

    Grab some Kiwi kai (food) with your team (not included)
    Haka Highlights (Included)
    Super scenic drive through the Fiordland, Mt Aspiring and Tai Poutini (Westland) National Parks
    Wondrous waterfall walks as we hit the Haast Pass
    Try local delicacy whitebait when it’s in season (September to December)

    Epic Add-Ons
    Wanaka Bike Tours
    Lake Cruise & Island Nature Walk


    With Aoraki/Mount Cook (New Zealand’s highest mountain) twinkling behind the glaciers, Franz Josef is about as beautiful a setting as you can find in New Zealand.

    Te Wahi Pounamu (which means ‘the place of greenstone’ in Māori) is the name given to the this part of the West Coast because of the abundance of pounamu (greenstone/jade) to be found here. Included in your tour today is a special opportunity to carve your very own pounamu pendant at a local gallery.

    There are heaps of ways to enjoy Franz Josef Glacier; weather permitting, to get up onto the bluest ice you can take a scenic helicopter flight and hike onto the glaciers. Maybe you’d prefer to kayak on a glacial lake; or just relax in the steamy hot springs down below.

    As well as the awesome glacier activities you could also try out quad biking, horseback riding and even a bit of group karaoke tonight in Franz Josef!

    Learn to carve a pounamu pendant with your group (included)
    Set out on one of the many glacial activities on offer – see our Epic Add-ons section below for ideas

    Head back to your accommodation to get changed and give your muscles a rest!
    Dine out with your Haka pals (not included)
    Sing your heart out at karaoke!
    Haka Highlights (Included)
    Take in the staggering beauty of the West Coast’s natural features
    Carve your own pendant from pounamu (greenstone/jade)

    Epic Add-Ons
    Glacier Heli Hike
    Scenic Helicopter Flight With Snow Landing
    Kayak in Glacier Country

    Before you know it, it’s your last day! After breakfast we head further along the beautiful west coast on another of the most spectacular drives in the country (and, some would say, the world): a rugged, primeval landscape of luxuriant rainforest juxtaposed against breathtaking beach and ocean waves.

    We stop at Hokitika and visit a greenstone factory, a great place to stock up on souvenirs for your friends and family back home. Time permitting, we may also visit the National Kiwi Centre where there is guaranteed viewing of rare kiwi birds in their nocturnal house.

    On the way back to Christchurch, you’ll traverse the South Island on the stunning TranzAlpine Train Crossing. Travelling across the Southern Alps through Arthur’s Pass, you’ll arrive in Christchurch around 6.30pm before transferring to your accommodation.

    Your tour officially ends in Christchurch, so feel free to party on with your new travel buddies for as long as you like – your accommodation tonight is included so you can treat yourself to a lie-in in the morning!

    Drive further up the wild west coast to Hokitika
    Visit the Hokitika Mountain Jade Factory
    Get face-to-face with a kiwi at the National Kiwi Centre (not included)

    Board the TranzAlpine train for scenic journey across to Christchurch through Arthur’s Pass

    Pull into Christchurch at around 6:30pm
    Head to your final night accommodation (included)

    Haka Highlights (Included)
    Visit the mountain jade factory in Hokitika
    Traverse The Southern Alps on the TranzAlpine train journey

    Your tour ends after breakfast on Day 8.
    We’re sure you’ll have a whole lot of incredible memories to take home with you.
    We’ve shown you our New Zealand – we hope we will see you again.
    Haere tū atu, hoki tū mai.