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Flying Kiwi Adventure Tours: Southern Light

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED - If you don't have time for the full South Island this is an excellent way to experience some of the most beautiful and diverse scenery on the planet.  We cover all the best parts of the south island and there is plenty of flexibility to take extended breaks along the ...

What makes these tours unique:

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.

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 its 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!

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) and we do occassionally use hostels (3 on the entire 28 day trip) to give you access to the bustling city centres.

Flying Kiwi is the original New Zealand tour company.  We are the experts with over 25 year 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.

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 $25 you'll save a fortune compared to other tour companies.

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.

We offer more hikes and activity options that any other tour company.  That gives you more choice everyday 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 hot pools, Wai-O-Tapu thermals, gondola ride, wine tasting, , scenic ferry crossing (both directions) and more.

Once you are booked you are going.  Unlike other tour companies all our trips have 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.

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 independant travel and touring convenience.

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 $125 per day which is a great measure to compare with other options (don't forget a meal out in NZ averages around $25 for starters and bike hire starts at approx $35 per day).

Activities to try are:
-Superb cycle rides (for all levels)
-Excellent hikes (for all levels)
-Dolphin swimming* 
-Longer hikes such as Routeburn, Kepler & more.
-Whale watching* 
-Bungy jumping
-White water rafting
-Cruising the Milford Sound

* Please note as dolphin swimming and whale watching are run in parallel it is only possible to choose one but it is highly likely on the dolphin watch you may see whales and visa versa.

Places to visit are:
-Character cities of Dunedin and Christchurch 
-Infamous Mount Cook
-Adrenalin rush of Queenstown
-Natural beauty of Kaikoura
-The spectacular Milford Sounds
-Real Lord of the Rings country
-Cultural and historical treasures

+ You can take extended breaks at any of the points on the tour
+ Most nights you can upgrade to cabins for a small fee and a taste of rural luxury


This itinerary shows a 10 day trip starting in Picton. You can also start in Christchurch making it a 9 day trip. If you don’t have time for the full South Island tour (Summer Blast) then this is an excellent way to see and experience some of the most beautiful and diverse scenery on the planet.

Day 1: Leaving at 11am travel the scenic Pacific coast to Kaikoura where close encounters with seals and sea birds are common. This picturesque town sits right on the ocean at the foot of the mountains – a spectacular spot. Stretch your legs with a recommended evening peninsula walk and build up an appetite for a tasty feast of locally caught fresh seafood. Tonight we Camp with the sound of the waves – perfect! Cabin upgrades available.

hikes: Kaikoura peninsula walk with opportunity to spot seals and a variety of birdlife 

bike rides: wonderful road rides along the Pacific coast. Distances can vary from 9km - 60km 

optional activities: whale watching, sea kayaking, deep sea fishing
meals: dinner


Day 2: For 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. All this is enjoyed at sea in their natural habitat and on their terms and conditions. We then have the chance to explore this quaint seaside town before heading through Christchurch to collect and drop off those starting /ending here. At 2:30pm we head out 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. Cabin upgrades available.

hikes: some great early walks from coastal camp and the chance to hike around peel forest at the foot of the alps 

bike rides: local rides around Kaikoura or cycle the coast towards the Southern Alps. Distances can vary from 13km - 45km 

optional activities: highly recommended dolphin swim, dolphin viewing 

meals: breakfast & dinner


Day 3: Wake up to mountain views and refresh yourself even more with the chance to try white water rafting on the mighty Rangitata River – this thrilling ride takes you through the heart of the mountains with amazing scenery and a few splashes and spills on the way! If rafting isn’t for you then no problem - soak it all in with a morning cycle ride or walk through the forest. We then head through more jaw dropping landscapes (they don’t stop in the South Island) to the picture postcard, alpine Lake Tekapo. Here you will view the most spectacular turquoise waters which get their colour from the glacial flour on 

the surrounding snow-capped peaks. From there we head to one of our best wilderness camps – sat on the shores of the lake you can set up your tent to nothing but views of lakes and mountains. 

hikes: lots of shorter options today but all with spectacular views – make sure to have your camera ready

bike rides: short local forest rides and then a wonderful long road ride to our lakeside camp (choose the distance to suit you) 

optional activities: white water rafting 

meals: breakfast, lunch & dinner 


Day 4: Today is a real chance to immerse yourself in the snow-capped mountain scenery that New Zealand is famous for. We will be exploring Aoraki National Park and hike to the base of NZ’s highest mountain - Mount Cook. We then head back to the Pacific coast with a short stop in the historic town of Oamaru. Tonight we are stay in another spectacular camp with panoramic views of the pacific ocean. For those that love their nature there is the option to view Yellow eyed penguins at their carefully managed reserve (these little guys are only found in NZ). We enjoy a few beach games on our idyllic and isolated sandy beach and for the brave and the bold it’s a great place for a bit of bodysurfing. Finish the day with great food and a beach campfire as we watch the sunset over the ocean. Sleep to the sound of the gently lapping waves.

hikes: highly recommended scenic hike to the base of Mount Cook

bike rides: dramatic ocean views along the Pacific coast to camp and one of the most unique stretches of road you will 

ever experience! 

optional activities: penguin viewing 

meals: breakfast, lunch & dinner 


Day 5: After a tasty breakfast and sunrise ocean walk for the early risers we head to Dunedin via the totally unique and bizarre Moeraki Boulders. In historic Dunedin we enjoy the sights including the chance to walk/cycle/crawl up and down the steepest street in the World. For those with an appetite visit the Cadburys Factory or Speights Brewery - something for every taste. We have time to explore the Otago Peninsula - an area considered the wildlife capital of New Zealand and home to an abundance of magnificent wildlife including albatross and penguins. Tonight we camp out on the peninsula with fantastic cycle and walk options. Cabin upgrades available.

hikes: try the World’s steepest street and explore the streets of Dunedin city. Great nature spotting walks from camp. 

bike rides: excellent winding downhill road ride into Dunedin, test your fitness on the World’s steepest street and enjoy 

some wonderful rides into our coastal camp 

optional activities: Speight's brewery tour, Cadbury Chocolate factory tour, Otago Peninsula tours 

meals: breakfast, dinner 


Day 6: Journey through scenic southern pastures to Te Anau, the hub and jumping-off point for Fiordland National Park and the Milford Sound. Our accommodation tonight is a unique and historic site hidden in the unspoilt Hollyford Valley - a true wilderness escape. There is even an onsite museum to learn more about the region and history. For cyclists there is the chance to cycle into camp and for the hikers this camp is ideal (ask your guide about secret glow worm trails). Limited cabin upgrades available. 

hikes: plenty of short treks from camp 

bike rides: lakeside cycle, or cycle to camp in the stunning Fiordland National Park 

optional activities: none (this place is all about getting off the beaten track!) 

meals: breakfast & dinner 


Day 7: Travel 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. The fiord's cliffs rise dramatically from the dark waters (home to seals and dolphins) whilst waterfalls as high as 1000 metres cascade downwards. Board the optional boat cruise to explore the fiord up close. Afterwards those who love hiking are in for a treat with the start of the Routeburn Track. This 3 day walk passes through 2 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. Cabin upgrades available.

hikes: the chance to experience the awesome 3 day Routeburn Track (re-join group in Queenstown on day 14) 

bike rides: wonderful downhill meandering ride into Milford Sound, relaxed lake side rides and a great mountain bike track 

optional activities: highly recommend Milford boat cruise, Routeburn Track

meals: breakfast & lunch 


Day 8: In the morning we journey to Queenstown along the shores of the photogenic Lake Wakatipu. Once we arrive at the adventure capital of New Zealand you can enjoy spectacular views, a free Gondola ride and a huge selection of activities to choose from. There is everything here, from adrenalin pumping bungy, canyon swing or skydive to a more relaxed horse trek or sail – this place has it all. There are some great tracks around the lake ideal for bikers and hikers and all with wonderful views of this alpine region. Cabin upgrades available. 

hikes: multiple walking / hiking options 

bike rides: excellent options for cyclists with purpose built options including sections of the New Zealand cycle trail and 

for the keen the chance to try some serious mountain biking at Skyline Bike Park 

optional activities: too many to list – something for everyone (check site or ask us for details)

meals: breakfast 


Day 9: With so much to do we spend another 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 with time to try the many exciting activities this vibrant city has to offer. Tonight you get the opportunity to dine out at one of Queenstown’s many delicious eateries - a great chance for your group to enjoy a true kiwi feast (own cost). Cabin upgrades available.

hikes: with panoramic views of this alpine area you are spoilt for walks and hikes of all distances 

bike rides: excellent options for cyclists with purpose built options including sections of the New Zealand cycle trail and 

for the keen the chance to try some serious mountain biking at Skyline Bike Park 

optional activities: too many to list – something for everyone (check site or ask us for details)

meals: breakfast 


Day 10: A last chance to indulge in Queenstown’s action before finishing your tour with us here and saying farewell to your fellow Flying Kiwi travellers at 2:30pm. 

bike rides: another chance to try some of the Queenstown trail

optional activities: too many to list – something for everyone (check site or ask us for details)

meals: breakfast 


Have more time? 

Extend your trip by connecting with our 8 day Wild West tour to Picton 

- contact one of our friendly team with any questions.



2016 departures:

9, 18, 27 FEB

7, 16, 25 MAR

3, 12 APR

MAY > SEPT - winter

24 OCT

2, 11, 20, 29 NOV

8, 17, 26 DEC


2017 departures:

4, 13, 22, 31 JAN

9, 18, 27 FEB

8, 17, 26 MAR

4, 13 APR


2016 departures:

1, 10, 19, 28 FEB

8, 17, 26 MAR

4, 13 APR

MAY > SEPT - winter

25 OCT

3, 12, 21, 30 NOV

9, 18, 27 DEC


2017 departures:

5, 14, 23 JAN

1, 10, 19, 28 FEB

9, 18, 27 MAR

5, 14 APR


Optional hires: You can hire any of the following equipement 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.

Cycle hire for entire trip $150
Bring your own bike $65
Single tent upgrade $60
Sleeping bag hire $50

Tour extensions If you have a few days after your trip why not extend it with one of these great trips:

Wild West Tour - Wild is the operative word for this one! Starting in Queenstown we travel along a route recently voted one of the top 10 drives in the World by the Lonely Planet. We have also found a few extra spots to enjoy and a range of excellent rides and activities.

Reverse Traverse Tour - This is a one way adventure, from Queenstown, for those who have a little less time but still want to see a sizeable chunk of the country. Highlights include thermal wonders of Rotorua, blackwater rafting, whale watching, dolphin swimming, Milford Sounds, the adventure capital Queenstown and much more.