New Zealand: South Island Adventure

A Dream Journey in Nature’s Wonderland

Trip Level

This trip is rated Level 3, Moderate. This is a trip for people who enjoy hiking. In general you can set your own pace while hiking, and there is no need to keep up with the fastest walkers. Although you carry only a daypack, there are some steep ascents and descents and some sections that cross rough or rocky trails. On one or two occasions, our hiking routes cross an estuary or small stream and you will likely get your shoes wet (bring some Tevas or shoes appropriate for walking through water). For your own enjoyment, we recommend that you make a special effort to be in good physical condition for the trip. Daily walking and/or regular hiking (or using a stair-climbing machine at your gym) are excellent preparatory exercises. You should wear lightweight, well-broken-in hiking boots for maximum comfort on the trail.

Our vehicle touring is over good roads in a comfortable bus. The trip is designed to make the most of our time exploring the diverse landscapes of the South Island. We stay in a range of delightful accommodations along the way, including a charming bed-and-breakfast, a luxurious lodge accessible only by water taxi, and private cabins on a wonderful Milford Sound cruise boat.


The weather in New Zealand is notorious for changing throughout the day. Average temperatures in New Zealand’s spring (September to November) typically range from the low to mid-60s. Crisp, sunny days can briskly change to cool temperatures and spring showers. Summer temperatures (December to February) are generally warm and pleasant with averages in the high 60s and low 70s and minimal rain, though it can get much colder in certain places and in the evenings. In autumn (March to May), long sunny days linger with temperatures still averaging in the mid-60s to low 70s, and you’ll hardly notice that summer has officially ended. Although it is rare, we have even experienced snowfall in the mountains in mid-summer. The pressure systems travel west to east, so the Southern Alps have a noticeable “wet” and “dry” side. The west side gets the greatest amount of rain. Cold and snow are permanent fixtures on the highest peaks. On the east side, temperatures are a bit warmer. Since the weather in New Zealand is often variable, we may occasionally have to wait for it to change in order to participate in our planned activities or possibly change our activities altogether. When packing, be prepared for a wide range of weather scenarios.

Choosing the Right Trip

We work hard to help you choose the right trip for you, paying attention to your individual interests, abilities, and needs. If you have questions about the level of comfort or any of the activities described in this itinerary, please contact us.


We are proud to have an exceptionally high rate of repeat travelers. For more information, we would be happy to put you in touch with a client who has traveled with us.