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Stray Journeys - 15 Day Mackinnon (CHC/CHC) (ASI15)

15 Day Mackinnon (CHC/CHC)  Fixed itinerary through New Zealand 



  • Ohau Point seal colony
  • Marlborough winery visit
  • Abel Tasman National Park / Hanmer Springs hot pools / Kaikoura (for dolphin and whale-spotting)
  • Kahurangi National Park
  • Nelson National Park
  • Franz Josef Glacier / Mt Aspiring National Park
  • Optional bungy jump in Queenstown
  • Fiordland National Park
  • Overnight cruise in Doubtful Sound (summer)
  • Doubtful Sound day cruise (winter)
  • Central Otago historic gold mining area and Otago Rail trail with all-level mountain biking
  • Rangitata Sheep Station


Experienced tour guide, accommodation transfers, accommodation, meals as indicated, boat transfers in the Abel Tasman National Park, a winery visit, soak in the hot springs of Hanmer, exclusive overnight cruise on the incredible Doubtful Sound (In winter the Doubtful Sound overnight cruise does not operate and is substituted with a day cruise, a night in Te Anau, and a glacial valley walk and hot pools in Franz Josef), mountain biking on the Otago Rail Trail. Breakfast (9 days), dinner (6 days). 


Sturdy walking shoes (ankle high), swimming gear, hat and sunscreen, motion sickness tablets, water bottle, towel and toiletries, warm clothing and waterproof jacket, insect repellent, camera.



  • Upgrade accommodation is excluded in Doubtful Sound
  • Tours should be reconfirmed at least 48 hours in advance by calling +64 9 526 2140.
  • Luggage should be restricted to 15kg in a single bag, plus a small day pack.

Stray Journeys

Mackinnon (ASI15)

Start: Christchurch

Finish: Christchurch

Total Days: 15


Day 1:            Christchurch to Picton

Nau mai, haere mai (welcome)! You kick off your Stray Journey in New Zealand’s second largest city, Christchurch. Your bus departs at 9.00am from the Christchurch International Airport for a scenic drive up the East Coast to the coastal port town of Piction. We’ll stop to view a seal colony along the way, and arrive mid-afternoon with time to take a scenic walk to see some stunning views over the Marlborough Sounds.

Accommodation included: Backpacker lodge close to the ferry and town centre

Activities included: Seal colony, Marlborough Sounds scenic walk


Day 2:            Picton to Abel Tasman

Relax and enjoy a leisurely morning, or explore Picton town by foot or bicycle. Today we cruise through the famous Marlborough region to Marahau/Abel Tasman National Park, stopping at a local Marlborough vineyard to enjoy a wine tasting and discover a world famous Sauvignon Blanc; before heading to the spectacular national park.  Tonight we enjoy some delicious seafood and a BBQ dinner at our exclusive campsite accommodation.  Includes breakfast and dinner

Accommodation included: The Barn

Activities included: Walk or bike around Picton town, Winery visit


Day 3:                        Full day in Abel Tasman

Today is a free day to experience the incredible Abel Tasman National Park. Explore this stunning, coastal area famous for being one of the sunniest spots in New Zealand. Walk the coastal track and discover some of New Zealand’s best natural golden beaches or choose an optional activity like sailing or sea kayaking (own expense).  Tonight you can self-cater and use the BBQ facilities at our rustic accommodation on the edge of the national park.  Includes breakfast

Accommodation included: The Barn

Activities included: Walk in the national park, relax on one of the golden sand beaches or jump on the Aqua Taxi and get dropped along the track and walk back


Day 4:            Abel Tasman to Hanmer Springs

Today you’ll travel through beautiful scenery in Kahurangi and Nelson National Parks where we’ll stop for a picnic lunch, before heading to the peaceful town of Hanmer Springs.

This afternoon you are free to enjoy this alpine setting. Spend the afternoon surrounded by mountains and forest as you relax in the thermal hot pools. Tonight is a group dinner.   Includes breakfast and dinner

Accommodation included: Green Acres Motel

Activities included: Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools and Spa


Day 5:            Hanmer Springs to Kaikoura

Today we head for the East Coast and the coastal village of Kaikoura, famous for a huge array of natural wonders from land to sea.  We arrive in Kaikoura early, so you are free to experience all this location has to offer.  Why not go out on the water and experience one of Kaikoura’s famous dolphin and whale spotting tours (own expense), see seals sitting right beside the road at Goose Bay or wander around the peninsula and check out the breath-taking views from the lookout. We spend the night in this charming coastal village. Includes breakfast

Accommodation included: The Lazy Shag


Day 6:            Kaikoura (via Christchurch) to Franz Josef

Don’t forget your camera today as there will be many fantastic photo opportunities.  The day starts with a stunning journey across the Canterbury Plains. We do quick pick-ups at Christchurch Airport, before continuing over the famous Arthur’s Pass to the West Coast. Around almost every corner there is a picturesque backdrop to enjoy. 

We visit Hokitika, famous for pounamu (jade) before our day ends in the quaint little West Coast town of Franz Josef, home to the mighty Franz Joseph Glacier. Includes dinner

Accommodation included: Rainforest Retreat

Activities included: Pounamu jade factory


Day 7:                        Full day at Franz Josef

Enjoy a free day and get out and explore the mighty Franz Joseph Glacier. Navigate the maze of ice and explore the incredible landscape on a Franz Josef Glacier guided tour (own expense) or visit the glacial terminal face for some spectacular photos. There are also many excellent bush hikes available in the region. Tonight we self-cater, giving you the opportunity to dine at one of the many local cafes and restaurants in town or make use of the self-catering kitchen at our accommodation. Includes breakfast

Accommodation included: Rainforest Retreat


Day 8:            Franz Josef to Makarora

Today we head down the West Coast towards Mount Aspiring National Park, stopping to take in some breathtaking scenery at the amazing mirror Lake Matheson, NZ’s most photographed lake.  We’ll take a short walk to a waterfall as we travel through the mountainous Haast Pass towards Makarora.  On arrival in Mount Aspiring National Park there’s plenty of time to enjoy some activities including a short walk through beech forest to the stunning Blue Pools, take a scenic flight or go jet boating (own expense).  Includes breakfast and dinner

Accommodation included: Makarora Tourist Centre

Activities included: Walk around Lake Matheson – Mirror Lake, walk through beech forest to the Blue Pools


Day 9:            Makarora to Queenstown

Today we visit Wanaka a picturesque lakeside town and a great place to stop for lunch before we cruise to the ‘adventure capital of the world’ and spiritual home of commercial bungy, Queenstown. We’ll head to Bungy Bridge, home to the world’s first commercial bungy and you’ll have the option to throw yourself over the edge (own expense) or watch others take the leap; it’s entirely up to you. Queenstown offers an optional big (make that huge) night out with excellent restaurants, pubs and live music. Includes breakfast

Accommodation included: Reavers Lodge Queenstown (located close to town with awesome views)


Day 10 & 11: Full Days Queenstown

You have two free days to explore. Queenstown is a great place to spend some extra time no matter what your past-time of choice is. Options include: zipline tours, canyoning, Shotover River jet boating, skiing, sky diving and local walks, or just enjoy the stunning scenery and do nothing. Optional activities and meals are at your own expense.

Accommodation included: Reavers Lodge Queenstown (located close to town with awesome views)


Day 12:          Queenstown to Doubtful Sound

Fiordland National Park is one of New Zealand’s most beautiful locations, with stunning ice-carved fiords, valleys, lakes and mountain scenery; it is our first port of call today. Within Fiordland we visit Doubtful Sound, the deepest of all the fiords, surrounded by towering peaks and huge waterfalls. We will board a purpose built boat and cruise past fur seals, penguins and dolphins.  There are also sea kayaks to enjoy. Includes dinner

Accommodation included: Overnight on the boat, anchored within a secluded bay

Activities included: Doubtful Sound Cruise, sea kayaking


Day 13:          Doubtful Sound to Central Otago

We leave Doubtful Sound around midday, leaving behind the stunning Fiordland to head for Central Otago.

We stop at the historic village of Arrowtown, a charming gold rush village located among beautiful peaks and surrounded by the Arrow River. We’ll jump off the bus and stretch our legs by doing one of the short walks in the area, before jumping back on the bus to head for the historic town of Naseby.  Located in a shallow valley in the foothills of the Mt Ida Range, Naseby is a unique gold mining village just minutes from the Central Otago Rail Trail. Includes breakfast and dinner

Accommodation included: Royal Hotel Naseby 


Day 14:           Central Otago to Rangitata

This morning we kick off the day with an active mountain bike ride past parts of the Central Otago Rail Trail.  Cycle the historic gold mining rail trail, explore remaining gold mine relics and learn the history of the area. The trail is a lot of fun, suitable for all levels of riding abilities and a mountain bike ride is an ideal way to explore it.  Afterwards we’ll board the bus and make our way through Lord of the Rings landscape towards our overnight stop in Rangitata. Tonight we spend the night in one of Canterbury’s original sheep stations, a great place to get outdoors and wander the native bush in Peel Forest. Includes breakfast

Accommodation included: Rangitata Rafting Lodge: one of Canterbury’s original sheep stations

Activities included: Mountain bike hire


Day 15:          Rangitata to Christchurch

It’s an early departure for an express haul across the Canterbury Plains for an early morning arrival. This is where your Stray Journey ends. We hope you had a blast!


What’s Included

+ Experienced tour guide

+ Meals and touring as indicated

+ Multi-share accommodation (or upgrade to twin/double)

+ Activities as per your itinerary


What to Bring

+ Sturdy walking shoes/boots

+ Bathers/towel

+ Hat & sunscreen

+ Motion sickness tablets

+ Water bottle

+ Toiletries

+ Warm clothing

+ Waterproof jacket

+ Insect repellent

+ Camera



  • Upgrade accommodation is excluded in Doubtful Sound
  • Tours should be reconfirmed at least 48 hours in advance by calling +64 9 526 2140.
  • Luggage should be restricted to 15kg in a single bag, plus a small day pack.


***Upgrades are not available in January and February and on request only after this period***


The tour is scheduled to depart every Saturday from 25 October 2015 - 7 May 2016

When booking please provide your requested departure date.

Departure pick-up time is 9am at Christchurch International Airport