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New Zealand: Active South Island Expedition

Join a group of like-minded gay men on a “sweet as” adventure through New Zealand’s rugged landscape.

It should come as no surprise Sir Edmund Hillary—one of the first two men to ever surmount Everest—was a proud Kiwi. On this all-gay South Island adventure we’ll explore Hillary’s very own backyard, hiking the same mountains, gorges and temperate rainforests the famous mountaineer did. We’ll kayak both a glacier-fed lake and a stunning sound, keeping our eyes peeled for pods of bottlenose dolphins and sunbathing fur seals. And for the real adrenaline junkies, we’ll have the opportunity to bungee jump and/or hang glide in Queenstown, aka The Adventure Capital of the World. Now what’s the Māori word for “yeehaw”?

If you’d like to extend your time in Kiwi Country, consider joining our New Zealand: North Island Cultural Adventure. The all-gay relaxed adventure directly proceeds this tour and the two are intended to be booked together. Alternatively, this tour is easily paired with our Australia: Summer Down Under tour.

Please Note: 2021 and 2022 booking conditions differ, please ensure you have read all booking conditions thoroughly.


Quick Facts

  • Who's it for? Gay men, friends and family
  • Countries visited: New Zealand
  • Duration: 9 Nights/10 Days
  • Starts in: Christchurch, New Zealand
  • Ends in: Queenstown, New Zealand
  • Group size: Min 4; max 13
  • Accomodations: 4-star hotels as well as one night aboard a ship.
  • Physical Rating: 3.5/5
  • Theme: Active
  • Activities: Hiking, Hot Springs, Kayaking/Canoeing, Swimming

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Kayak through bright blue waters strewn with glaciers in the shadow of the mighty Aoraki/Mount Cook
  • Journey into the immense surroundings of the Fiordland National Park on an overnight Milford Sound cruise
  • Enjoy epic hikes through mountains, gorges and moss-covered temperate rainforests
  • Discover vibrant Christchurch on a private walking tour
  • Brave an optional bungee jumping experience in Queenstown, the city where the extreme sport was invented
  • Wish upon a shooting star in the only dark sky reserve in the Southern Hemisphere
  • Enjoy optional activities such as the steaming Tekapo Springs
  • Harness up (tehe) for an optional waterfall climbing experience in quiet Wanaka

DATES AND PRICES

February 13-22, 2022 (From $5,395.00 USD)
OPEN
  • Tour Prices - All tour prices are in USD and based on double/twin occupancy
    • Tour Price: $5,395.00 per person
  • Single Supplement (Optional) - All single supplement prices are in USD and additional to the tour price
    • Single Supplement: $1,200.00 per person
  • Payment Terms: $500 Deposit - Balance Due 60 Days Before Departure (2022)
  • Guides and Hosts for this trip: Carl Hiehn
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Tour Map

ITINERARY

Day 1 Christchurch

Kia Ora! Welcome to Christchurch, New Zealand. From the airport you will be transferred to our Joining Point Hotel. Upon arrival you’re welcome to unpack and relax after (likely) a very long journey. Please join us this afternoon for a group meeting and get familiar with your fellow travellers and fabulous local Guide. Then we’ll enjoy a tour of vibrant Christchurch before our official Welcome Dinner.

Day 2 Tekapo

Get ready for some pretty epic views this morning as we head inland towards the Southern Alps mountain range and the Mackenzie Region. The area is famous for its bright turquoise lakes and stunning snow-capped mountains. We’ll be sure to swing by the Summit of Mount John for an unforgettable #nofilter view. After arriving at our romantic hotel you’ll have some free time to trek Lake Tekapo, visit the nearby village or even slip into the steaming pools of Tekapo Springs. Tonight we’ll enjoy dinner together before seeking out shooting stars in the only dark sky reserve in the Southern Hemisphere—if you spot one, may we suggest wishing for sunny skies to accompany tomorrow’s photogenic hike?

Day 3 Mount Cook Village

Rise and shine, Gentlemen! This morning is our first truly active day as we hike (or “tramp”, as the locals say) into the shadow of Aoraki/Mt Cook and discover the The Hooker Valley Track—if the weather is, um, less than favourable, we’ll tackle this hike tomorrow. The track leads up the Hooker Valley and along the Hooker River, ending at the ancient glacier lake where one of the most breathtaking views of Aoraki/Mount Cook awaits. This imposing mountain is actually the highest peak in New Zealand. Keep your camera handy as we’ll cross three swing bridges, picturesque icebergs, glaciers and majestic mountains. This afternoon we’ll arrive at our well-located accommodation. After a little down time and lunch on your own, be sure to join us by the lake where we’ll jump on kayaks and get up-close and personal with icebergs. Tonight’s included dinner will be served with a side of unforgettable New Zealand vantages. Bon appetit!

 

Ascent: 124m/400ft
Descent: 124m/400ft
Distance: 6mi/10km return
Approximate hiking time: Allow 3 hours
Approximate kayaking time: 4-6 hours

Day 4 Wanaka

If the weather was less-than-favourable yesterday, we’ll complete Hooker Valley this morning. Otherwise we’ll bid Aoraki/Mt Cook farewell on the steep track to Sealey’s Tarn. Then it’s off to quiet Wanaka through mountain passes and mind-boggling natural phenomena such as Omarama Clay Cliffs—the region’s sharp pinnacles and ravines were cut out by ancient glaciers over a million years ago. Lindis Pass brings us through Otago before eventually ending in Wanaka, aka Queenstown’s little sister. After an included lunch en route and orientation walk with our guide you’ll have plenty of free time to enjoy this adventure playground on your own. Tonight you’re free to enjoy a peaceful dinner on your own or join the group for an optional dinner in the village.

 

Ascent: 600m/1950ft
Descent: 600m/1950ft
Distance: 2.5+mi/4+km
Approximate hiking time: 3–4 hrs return

Day 5 Wanaka

Today is our guide’s official day off so we’re on our own. But this government-mandated rest day is actually a blessing in disguise as you can pick and choose what activities appeal to you. For example you can challenge yourself on the industrious Roys Peak hike, join a more subdued E-Bike tour, take a wildlife trip on the Mou Waho Island Cruise or even harness up for a climbing adventure with Wild Wire. The only included activity we’ve got planned is our group lunch.

 

Ascent: 1228m/400ft
Descent: 1228m/400ft
Distance: 10+mi/16+km return
Approximate hiking time: 5–6hrs return

Day 6 Te Anau

An early morning awaits us as we bound toward New Zealand’s famous Fiordland National Park. Even if you haven’t armed yourself with a good book or a podcast, the drive is extremely scenic and you’ll be entertained by the many sights en route. We’ll make one short stop in the rustic gold mining town of Arrowtown for lunch (not included). After settling into our hotel you have a few options: discover Te Anau Caves featuring a limestone grotto of glow worms and underground waterfall, visit the local bird sanctuary and get acquainted with the Fiordland fauna such as the rare flightless takahē, or stretch your hamstrings on a leisurely forest stroll. We’ll reconvene this evening for an included group dinner.

Day 7 Milford Sound

Today we ask that you source your own lunch to-go before leaving Te Anau. We’ll drive approximately two hours through Fiordland’s otherworldly landscape towards iconic Milford Sound. It’s here we’ll board an overnight cruise that’ll take us into secret coves, under majestic waterfalls and ultimately into the heart of the sound. After anchoring, board a kayak or small boat to further explore. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for pods of bottlenose and dusky dolphin, basking New Zealand fur seal, and flocks of little blue and Fiordland crested penguin. And while it’s almost guaranteed you won’t see it, the world’s only flightless parrot, the kakapo, calls this region home. Tonight we’ll tuck into an included three course buffet dinner on board.

 

Please Note: You’ll have to unplug and disconnect today as our ship does not have Wi-Fi.

Day 8 Queenstown

Cruise back to civilization and reality this morning after your wilderness adventure in Fiordland National Park. En route to Queenstown—the adventure capital of the world and the birthplace of bungee jumping—we’ll enjoy a short hike through the mossy forests surrounding Lake Gunn. We’ll also grab lunch in the area before continuing on. After checking into our central hotel, you’re free to explore the city’s MANY activities such as bungee jumping, the mountain luge track, or an exhilarating jet boat ride across Lake Wakatipu. Finally, tonight you’re free to join the group for an optional dinner or discover the city’s spectacular restaurant options on your own—our guide has plenty of lesser-visited recommendations.

 

Ascent: 50+m/165+ft
Descent: 50+m/165+ft
Distance: 0.8mi/1.4km
Approximate hiking time: Allow 45 minutes

Day 9 Queenstown

For our final full day in New Zealand, join us on a gondola ride up the Remarkables Mountain Range to Bob’s Peak. This is hands down the best view of Queenstown. After savouring the vantage together we’ll enjoy the Queenstown Hill track. Then you’re welcome to enjoy the area’s many activities and experiences. For example, if you’re feeling particularly adventurous (and the weather permits), you can soar over Queenstown on an unforgettable in-tandem hang gliding experience.

 

Sadly, tonight is the final evening of our big gay New Zealand adventure. Please join us for one final hurrah at our delicious Farewell Dinner.

 

Ascent: 500m/1640ft 
Descent: 500m/1640ft 
Distance: 2.6mi/4.2km
Approximately hiking time: Allow 3 hrs

Day 10 Departure

As the final day of our tour, there are no activities planned—though, depending on your flight time you may be able to squeeze in a small trek or experience on your own. A private transfer will take you to the airport. Safe travels!

 

Please note: As this tour concludes, our Australia: Summer Down Under adventure is just getting started. The two tours can be easily booked together.


GUIDES AND HOSTS

MARKETING MANAGER & HOST

WHAT’S INCLUDED?

  • 1 Group Leader and 1 Out Adventures Host from beginning to end of tour
  • Arrival & departure transfers to/from the Out Adventures Joining/Finishing Point Hotels
  • Private air-conditioned transportation
  • 9 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches and 6 Dinners 
  • Accommodations throughout including an overnight Milford Sound Cruise
  • All included activities and experiences mentioned in the itinerary
  • All park fees and rental equipment for included activities

WHAT ISN’T INCLUDED?

  • International airfare
  • Domestic airfare if coming from our New Zealand: North Island Cultural Adventure (details will be provided when the official Trip Guarantee is sent to group)
  • Entry visa costs
  • Travel Insurance is mandatory for all travellers. Click here for more details.
  • Gratuities for Group Leader (New Zealand is not a tipping culture however a small gift may be warmly received.)
  • Meals and activities not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Water on transportation—please bring a reusable water bottle as New Zealand’s tap water is crisp, clean and refreshing
  • All optional activities mentioned/suggested
  • Alcoholic beverages at lunch and dinner, unless otherwise indicated

LGBT INFO FOR New Zealand

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

What to bring, visa information, required
vaccinations, travel insurance and more.
TELL ME EVERYTHING!

EXAMPLES OF ACCOMMODATIONS

The Muse Hotel
Christchurch
Exterior
The Muse Hotel
Christchurch
Superior King
The Muse Hotel
Christchurch
Superior Twin
Peppers Resort
Tekapo
Exterior
Peppers Resort
Tekapo
Restaurant
Peppers Resort
Tekapo
Bathroom
Peppers Resort
Tekapo
Standard Twin
Peppers Resort
Tekapo
Standard Double
Hermitage Mount Cook Lodge
Mount Cook
Exterior
Hermitage Mount Cook Lodge
Mount Cook
Mountain View Double
Hermitage Mount Cook Lodge
Mount Cook
Mountain View Twin
Edgewater Hotel
Wanaka
Exterior
Edgewater Hotel
Wanaka
Common Room
Edgewater Hotel
Wanaka
Lake View Twin
Edgewater Hotel
Wanaka
Lake View Double
Distinction Hotel & Villas
Te Anau
Exterior
Distinction Hotel & Villas
Te Anau
Pool
Distinction Hotel & Villas
Te Anau
Standard Twin
Queenstown
Ramada
Exterior
Queenstown
Ramada
Standard Double
Queenstown
Ramada
Bathroom

SHIP DETAILS & PRICING

Milford Mariner Overnight
Milford Sound
Top Deck
Milford Mariner Overnight
Milford Sound
Exterior
Milford Mariner Overnight
Milford Sound
Exterior
Milford Mariner Overnight
Milford Sound
Exterior
Milford Mariner Overnight
Milford Sound
Standard Double
Milford Mariner Overnight
Milford Sound
Standard Twin



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From $5,395.00 USD
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Who's it for?

While these trips typically attract gay men, all genders are welcome, and we encourage friends and family to join the fun as well.

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Accommodations

All accommodations on Out Adventures tours include breakfast and are located in areas central to our activities. All amenities are examples only, and may differ from hotel to hotel.

3-Star Hotels: Simple, clean and comfortable rooms along with basic amenities such as a simple restaurant/breakfast area, some featuring spas. Customer service is good, but offers no frills.

4-Star Hotels: Smart New Zealand designs with plush rooms and most amenities such as a restaurant, bar and breakfast area. Some featuring spas and special treatments. Customer service is excellent.

Milford Sound Yacht: Comfortable cabins with ensuite bathrooms are outfitted with both twin and double bed arrangements. The vessel includes a dining saloon/fully licensed bar and observation lounge. Extras like kayak rentals are available.

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This trip is fully booked but cancellations occur. If you’d like to be contacted if space opens up, please click “Book Now”, select the appropriate departure and you will be prompted to provide limited information.

If you are a solo traveller willing to share a room with another solo traveller, please select Shared/Twin Room when booking this tour.

If you are a solo traveller interested in booking a private room, please select single supplement when booking this tour (based on availability). If you are willing to share a room with another solo traveller, please select Solo Shared.

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