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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 LGBTQ New Zealand South Island adventure we’ll explore Hillary’s very own backyard, hiking the same mountains, gorges and temperate rainforests the famous mountaineer did. 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 relaxed adventure directly precedes this tour and the two are intended to be booked together. Alternatively, this tour is easily paired with our Australia: Summer Down Under tour.
Kia Ora! Welcome to Christchurch, New Zealand. Please join us this afternoon for a group meeting at 4PM 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.
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 a group dinner together.
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 on a day trip to 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. Before arriving back at our hotel we’ll make a stop for an optional lunch. This evening you are free to relax on your own or join an optional group dinner, and you also have the option to seek out shooting stars in the only dark sky reserve in the Southern Hemisphere (weather dependent).
Distance: 6mi/10km return
Approximate hiking time: Allow 3 hours
This morning we’re 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.
Today is our local 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 included group dinner.
Today we have a short drive to Gibbston Valley. We’ll make one short stop in the rustic gold mining town of Arrowtown for lunch (not included) and take the time for a short walk just outside of town. Upon arrival in Gibbston Valley we’ll check into our charming cabins and delight our tastebuds with a delightful wine tasting experience and dinner.
This morning we’ll drive approximately 4.5/5 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 dolphins, basking New Zealand fur seals, and flocks of little blue and Fiordland crested penguins. 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.
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 an optional 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.
Approximate hiking time: Allow 45 minutes
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.
Approximately hiking time: Allow 3 hrs
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 shared shuttle 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.
The New Zealand South Island is perfect for an OA trip. Great itinerary and lots of opportunities for hikes! Accent on being active and covering a lot of ground (which is much more difficult to do as a solo traveller)
Having trouble deciding which island is right for you? These highlights and hidden gems are sure to be helpful. Or pair these tours back-to-back and see it all!Read More
Despite being one of the smallest nations we visit, New Zealand has so much to offer we created back-to-back trips that focus on the North and South islands. This post dives into the accommodations on our Active South Island Expedition, including a night aboard a boat.Read More
While these trips typically attract gay men, all genders are welcome, and we encourage friends and family to join the fun as well.Learn More
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.Learn More
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.
This departure is closed and a wait list is not available.
This departure is almost sold out. Book now to guarantee your spot!
This departure is open for booking!
This trip is available but we are close to departure and will need to confirm services such as hotels and activities before confirming you on the trip. The process can take up to 5 business days. If you are seriously interested in this trip, please complete the On Request Booking form and one of our team members will get back to you with next steps.