New Zealand South Island Family Holiday

It’s time to explore the marvellous sights and sounds of New Zealand’s South Island with the kids, and this seven-day family adventure is just the ticket. You’ll all be in awe driving past some of mother nature’s most spectacular sights – the Crown Range, Lake Wanaka, Milford Sound, Stewart Island and Te Anau Downs, to name just a few. And with all of the adventure covered, the family will be cycling, hiking, paddling, cruising and animal spotting until your heart is content. So, come and see what all the fuss is about on this exploration of New Zealand’s great wilderness, with all of the hassle and worries taken care of by our expert local team.


1. Please note that these trips are for adults and children travelling together and there must be at least one child under 18 with you.

2. Minimum age for children on this trip is 10 years old.

3. A discount of 10% applies on this trip to children 17 years and under at time of travel.

4. Your adventure starts on Day 1 in Queenstown at 10am.

5. Bicycle hire is included on day 2 so we require all passengers height at the time of booking. Bike helmets are supplied also but you may wish to bring your own.

6. We recommend you wear closed-t shs and suitable clothing for the walks and cycling.

7. A single supplement is bookable on this trip, subject to availability at the time of booking. If you would like to book a single supplement and enquire about availability please speak to your booking agent.

Tour details
Tour Provider Intrepid Travel
Price From
Number of Days
Start Location
Queenstown, New Zealand
End Location
Queenstown, New Zealand
Age Range
Avg. 30+
Group Size
2 to 12
Tour Style
Tour Themes
Physical Rating
Itinerary Open all
Day 1: Queenstown to Wanaka
Welcome to New Zealand’s South Island. Make your way to a centrally located pickup point in Queenstown at 10 am to begin your family adventure. Once all families have arrived, leave this resort town in your dust and take a short drive to historic Arrowtown. This place was put on the map in the gold rush days, all the way back in the mid-19th century. Here, stop at a local cafe for an all-important welcome meeting where your leader will fill you in on the details of your trip. With all the formalities aside, head on a leader-led walking tour of Arrowtown, passing by the Chinese Settlement and gold miner’s village, old gaol and Dudleys Cottage. Jump back in your private transport and weave your way through the Crown Range before arriving at your self-contained apartments in lakeside Wanaka for the evening. You’ll have time to settle in plus take a walk along the Millennium Trail together, which hugs the shimmering Lake Wanaka.
Day 2: Wanaka
After an included breakfast, take a water taxi to the predator-free island of Mou Waho – a true natural paradise in Otago. Be sure to pack your walking shs as you’ll embark on a short 30-minute hike up to a viewing point where you’ll discover an island in a lake in an island in a lake in an island – yes, you read that right. It’s the natural equivalent of a babushka doll! Enjoy the views as you tuck into an included picnic lunch. This island is currently a conservation area for the inquisitive buff weka (a flightless bird) as well as giant crickets known as weta, so see if you can spot either. Next up jump into a kayak and take an easy 2–3 hour paddle, admiring the green landscapes that surround you.

In the mid-afternoon, return to Wanaka via water taxi for an afternoon at your leisure. For the grown ups, you might want to check out some local wineries, or instead, perhaps get the whole family together and try your hand at stand-up paddle boarding on the lake. Tonight is all yours, too, so be sure to ask your leader for any restaurant recommendations they may have in town.
Day 3: Otago Rail Trail/Te Anau Downs
Enjoy breakfast together before driving to historic Alexandra, where you will spend the morning cycling on the renowned Otago Rail Trail to Clyde. The full trail which was originally a supply route for the gold fields runs for 152 kilometres, but luckily for you the ride today is only a small section. It’s the best way to explore the local area, so jump on your bikes and leave town via the Alexandra Historic Bridge on your way to Clyde. Stop to see remnants of the gold rush era and learn about how the landscape has been shaped by the sluicing technique for extracting gold. Keep following the Clutha (Mata-Au) River across an old trestle bridge and into Clyde, where you’ll have time to relax and perhaps refuel with your own lunch – and possibly an ice-cream! This afternoon, drive to Te Anau via the mighty Kawarau Gorge (approximately 3 hours). After settling into your lodge-style accommodation (located in Te Anau Downs), meet your leader and fellow travel families for a lakeside walk and dinner.
Day 4: Milford Sound
Today is a truly a special day and you’ll want to have your camera ready – it’s time to cruise the incredible Milford Sound. This morning, board your boat for a cruise on the sound to see the scenic landscapes up close. It dsn’t matter what weather greets you here today as the landscape is on full display any time of the year. The deep blue waters shimmer in the sunlight, the rugged valley walls look eerie and mysterious when cloud shrouds its peaks, and even in the rain, natural waterfalls flow down the cliffs like veins in mother nature. Simply put, it’s a slice of paradise. En route, take the time to stop by Lake Gunn and Mirror Lakes for a short leader-led walk to admire these waterways. In the afternoon, head back to Te Anau Downs for a walk around Mistlet Lake and to relax into the evening. If you’re feeling up to it, why not book into an optional Glowworm tour at night? This is the best way to see these creatures in their natural habitat.
Day 5: Stewart Island
Have your headphones packed plus your best car games ready as today is a travelling day down further south on the South Island. Drive to Bluff, one of New Zealand’s southernmost points on the mainland, then jump on a ferry to Stewart Island (approximately 3–3.5 hours total). You will arrive in the late afternoon, where there will be plenty of time to settle into your retreat accommodation on the island. Tonight, you might like to join a local guide to go spotting one of New Zealand’s most famous animals – the elusive kiwi. Otherwise, the night is for you and your family to relax and recoup.
Day 6: Stewart Island
You may have thought that you’ve discovered all the nature that New Zealand has to offer in days’ past, but today, there’s more. Spend the whole day exploring the verdant interior of Stewart Island. You’ll walk along a section of the Rakiura Track – usually a four-day expedition, but for your family, an easy and short section along the beach. Don’t worry, it’s is no less beautiful and scenic than the longer version. Some time today you’ll also head to nearby Ulva Island to discover the mammals and birdlife that call this area home. Your guide will always be nearby to answer any questions you may have and help you spot the best wildlife out there. It’s no surprise that Stewart Island’s pristine shores are home to all of this natural wonder, and it’s all yours today to experience.
Day 7: Stewart Island to Queenstown
This morning, gather the troops as you return via ferry and private vehicle to Queenstown. Our ferry departs at 8am so it will be an early morning! Along the way, you’ll stop at Invercargill, perhaps bidding farewell from here. Otherwise, continue with your leader to Queenstown where your family adventure will end on arrival at a central location around 3 pm.
  • Meals: 6 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners
  • Transport: Private minivan, kayak, bike
  • Accommodation: Apartments (2 nights), Lodge (2 nights), Retreat (2 nights)
  • Arrowtown - Leader Led walking tour
  • Wanaka - Millenium Trail walk
  • Flat Water Kayaking
  • Mou Waho Island Hike
  • Te Anau - Lakeside walk
  • Otago Rail Trail - Alexandra to Clyde
  • Milford Sound - Nature Boat Cruise
  • Milford Sound - Walk to Mirror Lakes & Lake Gunn
  • Stewart Island - Guided Walk on the Rakiura Track
  • Stewart Island - Ulva Island tour
Departure dates
Start End Availability Price NZD
17 Sep 2022 23 Sep 2022 12 $2,718
24 Sep 2022 30 Sep 2022 9 $2,718
08 Oct 2022 14 Oct 2022 12 $2,718
07 Jan 2023 13 Jan 2023 5 $3,180
14 Jan 2023 20 Jan 2023 12 $3,100
22 Apr 2023 28 Apr 2023 12 $3,100
24 Jun 2023 30 Jun 2023 12 $3,100
01 Jul 2023 07 Jul 2023 12 $3,100
08 Jul 2023 14 Jul 2023 12 $3,100
16 Sep 2023 22 Sep 2023 12 $3,100
23 Sep 2023 29 Sep 2023 12 $3,100
07 Oct 2023 13 Oct 2023 12 $3,100