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New Zealand

Active New Zealand: Hike, Bike and Paddle the South Island

Program No. 20621RJ
New Zealand is stunning. Come explore this outdoor adventurer’s paradise as you raft the Hurunui River, cycle on scenic trails, and hike mountains familiar from the “Lord of the Rings.”

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Protecting the Environment

We offset a portion of the emissions created by your travel. Learn more

At a Glance

For outdoor enthusiasts who live for snow-capped mountain peaks, pristine coastlines, and immaculate cycle paths through stunning landscapes, New Zealand’s South Island is the ultimate destination. In the shadow of the stunning Southern Alps, hike through valleys and along trails you might recognize from the “Lord of the Rings” movies. Experience the thrill of river rafting through rocky gorges and cycle a rail trail through spectacular wide-open tussock country. Absorb the majesty of towering granite walls and waterfalls as you cruise by vessel through glacier-carved Milford Sound in Fiordland National Park.
Activity Level
Outdoor: Spirited
Hiking up to six miles on mixed, sometimes hilly terrain, cycling up to 20 miles on mostly flat terrain, and river rafting.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 13 to 24 participants.

What You'll Learn

  • Enjoy an exhilarating day of expert-led rafting on the pristine Hurunui River.
  • Bike the Otago Rail Trail, a well-maintained gravel path through rocky gorges and past small villages.
  • Wonder at the spectacular beauty of Fiordland's Milford Sound by vessel.
Featured Expert
All trip experts
Profile Image
Russell Davie
Russell Davie is an ex-dairy farmer with a background in geology, geography, soil mineralogy and volcanology, with a particular interest in the Fiordland area, in and around Te Anau, where he now lives and the lake, which bears the same name.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

Profile Image of Russell Davie
Russell Davie View biography
Russell Davie is an ex-dairy farmer with a background in geology, geography, soil mineralogy and volcanology, with a particular interest in the Fiordland area, in and around Te Anau, where he now lives and the lake, which bears the same name.
Profile Image of Nicola Cardwell
Nicola Cardwell View biography
Nicola Cardwell originally trained as a registered nurse but has spent many recent years working as an administrator at the local hospice. However, she is now self-employed, providing administration services as a contractor, and is enjoying a more flexible lifestyle. She enjoys walking, gardening, reading, cycling, and a range of outdoor activities. Bruce and Nicola have four grown-up children and are now experiencing the joy of being grandparents.
Profile Image of Esther Sassenburg
Esther Sassenburg View biography
Esther Sassenburg is Dutch born, married to Eric, and lives in Nelson. Her main career has been in urban planning, and she has worked in countries around the world. After settling in New Zealand, she became a teacher, specializing in Social Sciences. This has given her a broad general knowledge of the country. In her free time, Esther loves the outdoors, particularly tramping (hiking), cycling, and water sports. Esther also has an interest in European languages and currently works as a French language teacher.
Profile Image of Eric McPherson
Eric McPherson View biography
Eric McPherson is married to Esther. He is a retired cabinetmaker and wood machinist and ran his own furniture-joinery business. Now in his free time he is doing community volunteering, mainly environmental and predator control work, and is a mentor for Big Brothers Big Sisters. Eric also enjoys tramping (hiking), recreational cycling, kayaking, and jogging. He has a passion for classic motorcycles and DIY in his garage.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
Meals
30 Meals
11 Breakfasts
11 Lunches
8 Dinners
The following choices may be available when requested in advance: Vegetarian, Gluten Free
Lodging
Lodgings may differ by date. Select a date to see the lodgings specific to that date.
Display
Mar 10, 2025 - Mar 23, 2025
  • Mar 10, 2025 - Mar 23, 2025
  • Jan 13, 2025 - Jan 26, 2025 (Hanmer Springs to Te Anau)
  • Feb 17, 2025 - Mar 02, 2025 (Hanmer Springs to Te Anau)
  • Mar 10, 2025 - Mar 23, 2025 (Hanmer Springs to Te Anau)
3 nights
Hanmer Springs
Perfectly located in the Hanmer Springs alpine village, Tussock Peak Motor Lodge offers affordable luxury, in tranquil and comfortable surroundings, close to everything. With an emphasis on being environmentally friendly, our high-quality accommodation is Qualmark 4-star Gold rated.
2 nights
Twizel
The Mackenzie Country Hotel is instantly recognisable by its classic stonework exterior, reflecting the distinctive mountain and river landscapes of the Mackenzie region. The spacious and mature grounds are a key feature of this idyllic country setting.
3 nights
Cromwell
Welcome to your “Home Away From Home”. Cozy, comfortable accommodation located in the heart of Cromwell. Whether you’re passing through or spending an extended period in Cromwell, come and make the most of the experienced, down to earth Southern hospitality at The Carrick Lodge Motel. Bob & Di look forward to seeing you.
3 nights
Cromwell
Central Location. Directly opposite the Swimming pool and Astro Turf for the Hockey with the sports grounds only a stones throw away.Warm and cosy. Modern and spacious studio and one bedroom units, Also four Two bedroom family apartments. Tastefully decorated and well fitted out for our guests enjoyment. Air conditioning/heat pumps, heated floors and double glazed for guests comfort. Smart T.V's in all units.
3 nights
Te Anau
Te Anau is the hub of the Fiordland region and the perfect base for your adventures. From the moment you arrive, you'll enjoy the convenience of being located in close proximity to the Te Anau town centre for business, shops, entertainment and other activities. At Bella Vista Te Anau we cater for all your business or recreational needs. Bella Vista Motel offers superior studio and family units, all serviced daily. Walk to town centre, cafes, restaurants and bars.
3 nights
Hanmer Springs
Perfectly located in the Hanmer Springs alpine village, Tussock Peak Motor Lodge offers affordable luxury, in tranquil and comfortable surroundings, close to everything. With an emphasis on being environmentally friendly, our high-quality accommodation is Qualmark 4-star Gold rated.
2 nights
Twizel
The Mackenzie Country Hotel is instantly recognisable by its classic stonework exterior, reflecting the distinctive mountain and river landscapes of the Mackenzie region. The spacious and mature grounds are a key feature of this idyllic country setting.
3 nights
Cromwell
Welcome to your “Home Away From Home”. Cozy, comfortable accommodation located in the heart of Cromwell. Whether you’re passing through or spending an extended period in Cromwell, come and make the most of the experienced, down to earth Southern hospitality at The Carrick Lodge Motel. Bob & Di look forward to seeing you.
3 nights
Cromwell
Central Location. Directly opposite the Swimming pool and Astro Turf for the Hockey with the sports grounds only a stones throw away.Warm and cosy. Modern and spacious studio and one bedroom units, Also four Two bedroom family apartments. Tastefully decorated and well fitted out for our guests enjoyment. Air conditioning/heat pumps, heated floors and double glazed for guests comfort. Smart T.V's in all units.
3 nights
Te Anau
Te Anau is the hub of the Fiordland region and the perfect base for your adventures. From the moment you arrive, you'll enjoy the convenience of being located in close proximity to the Te Anau town centre for business, shops, entertainment and other activities. At Bella Vista Te Anau we cater for all your business or recreational needs. Bella Vista Motel offers superior studio and family units, all serviced daily. Walk to town centre, cafes, restaurants and bars.
3 nights
Hanmer Springs
Perfectly located in the Hanmer Springs alpine village, Tussock Peak Motor Lodge offers affordable luxury, in tranquil and comfortable surroundings, close to everything. With an emphasis on being environmentally friendly, our high-quality accommodation is Qualmark 4-star Gold rated.
2 nights
Twizel
The Mackenzie Country Hotel is instantly recognisable by its classic stonework exterior, reflecting the distinctive mountain and river landscapes of the Mackenzie region. The spacious and mature grounds are a key feature of this idyllic country setting.
3 nights
Cromwell
Welcome to your “Home Away From Home”. Cozy, comfortable accommodation located in the heart of Cromwell. Whether you’re passing through or spending an extended period in Cromwell, come and make the most of the experienced, down to earth Southern hospitality at The Carrick Lodge Motel. Bob & Di look forward to seeing you.
3 nights
Cromwell
Central Location. Directly opposite the Swimming pool and Astro Turf for the Hockey with the sports grounds only a stones throw away.Warm and cosy. Modern and spacious studio and one bedroom units, Also four Two bedroom family apartments. Tastefully decorated and well fitted out for our guests enjoyment. Air conditioning/heat pumps, heated floors and double glazed for guests comfort. Smart T.V's in all units.
3 nights
Te Anau
Te Anau is the hub of the Fiordland region and the perfect base for your adventures. From the moment you arrive, you'll enjoy the convenience of being located in close proximity to the Te Anau town centre for business, shops, entertainment and other activities. At Bella Vista Te Anau we cater for all your business or recreational needs. Bella Vista Motel offers superior studio and family units, all serviced daily. Walk to town centre, cafes, restaurants and bars.





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