This is a tour that has adventure at the very center of the experience, including an epic overnight rafting experience deep in the New Zealand wilderness. Designed for high-performing groups that thrive on intensity, we offer the opportunity to reward your team with this true, deep escape into the wild (for a more broadly accessible tour, see our Sailing, Hot Pools and the Wanganui River offering). Clear the mind and detach fully from the regulated environment of the high-performing workplace, with intense excitement under the guidance and support of our expert guides. While offering the best in comfort and an uncompromising emphasis on safety, this unique experience is ideal for adventurous teams wishing to break from the usual patterns of corporate life while sharing in a world-class experience of beautiful New Zealand.
Day 1: Arrive Christchurch
Fly into Christchurch, the largest and best-connected city on the South Island, lying at the edge of the Canterbury Plains and within an hour’s drive of the Southern Alps. You’ll be met at Christchurch airport by your group coordinator and transferred by luxury coach or minibus to your central accommodation. Depending on the duration of your flight into Christchurch and your arrival time, the day can be relaxed or active to suit preferences. Christchurch contains a diverse range of attractions – from the city’s distinct English influence, neo-gothic architecture and abundant gardens, to the Antarctic centre and the Port Hills above the city, there is plenty to fill the day for groups that arrive early. In the evening, we enjoy a delicious welcome dinner together.
Day 2: Christchurch to Whataroa
Following breakfast, we board our coach and make our way toward the Southern Alps, experiencing our first encounters with the wild, mountainous wilderness we’ll be sharing an experience of over the coming few days. After crossing the patchwork of farms that spreads extensively across the Canterbury Plains, we ascend Porter Pass, continuing on the mountain route as it winds through the countryside in the direction of Arthur’s Pass. There are fantastic stops, walks and roadside scenery throughout this famous crossing to the West Coast, including Castle Rock – film location in Chronicles of Narnia – and the Devil’s Punchbowl waterfall. We enjoy lunch in Arthur’s Pass, then descend through the sharp valleys that lead us out to the West Coast. In the afternoon, we reach Whataroa and make our way to the helipad for our scenic helicopter flight up river, deep into the New Zealand wilderness. Our flight takes us over stunning West Coast scenery – a lush rainforested paradise of dramatic valleys, soaring peaks and stunning wild-flowing rivers. Our camp is set up and a delicous, wholesome meal is prepared for all and cooked over an open fire.
Day 3: Whataroa River Rafting
Lower-grade River Option
By default, this itinerary is developed around an exciting experience on one of New Zealand’s most scenic rivers. The rafting experience varies from grade 3-4, meaning the intensity and thrill level is high! Under our professional guidance, the experience is accessible to everyone comfortable in the water. However, for groups preferring a less intense rafting experience, the itinerary can be easily adjusted to include rafting a calmer grade 2-3 river instead.
After a peaceful rest in the wilderness, we wake to a cooked breakfast, with tea and coffee served to fire us up for the day’s adventure. There’s no rush this morning, and we have plenty of time for a full safety debrief before putting our gear on and setting out in our rafts. What follows is a thrilling adventure through some of the most breathtaking scenery in New Zealand. The vibrant blue waters of the Whataroa River will lead us through a wonderland of rapids, gorges and occasional calmer stretches. 1…2…3…Paddle!!! On the conclusion of this unforgettable experience, we make the short drive to Franz Josef Glacier township for a well-earned dinner and evening soak in the hot pools.
Day 4: Franz Josef Glacier Heli-Hike, followed by Wanaka
An exciting ice-climbing experience is available as an alternative to the heli-hike outlined below, for a small additional cost. Get in touch for details.
The vast rivers of ice that are Franz Josef and Fox glaciers descend almost to sea level. To experience the best of them, we board a helicopter after breakfast for a thrilling scenic flight up the glacier to the fresher ‘blue’ ice higher up. Under expert guidance, and following a full safety debrief, we set out on a 3 hour hike through the glacier, exploring the caves and crevasses formed within the glacier on this once-in-a-lifetime experience.
We return to Franz Josef, and make the short drive through native forest to Fox Glacier township, and take in the postcard views of Mount Cook – New Zealand’s highest peak – from stunning Lake Matheson. We enjoy lunch before continuing south, exploring the dense forest and rugged beaches of the West Coast on what is surely one of the most scenic drives in the world. By evening, we arrive in Wanaka, where we enjoy dinner.
Day 5: Wanaka to Queenstown with wineries
We make a relaxed start to the day, resting up after our energetic experiences on the West Coast. Wanaka offers an exceptional lakeside setting, and is not the kind of place that ought to be rushed! Late morning, we board our coach and make the drive through the dry, rocky scenery that characterises central Otago. This is prime fruit-growing country, and following a tasty restaurant lunch, we stop by a stall for some tasty fruit ice-cream. Pushing forward, we make our way through the beautiful stark scenery of the Kawarau Gorge. We stop by the world-famous Kawarau Bungy where group members can optionally make the historic jump from the bridge above the Kawarau river – either staying dry or getting a dip in the water depending on preference! From the bungy, its time to calm the nerves – we head for a tour of the excellent local wineries, with abundant opportunities for tastings. We continue to Queenstown, and make our way to dinner in the evening.
Day 6: Milford Sound Flight & Cruise
In the morning, we travel to Queenstown airport and board privately chartered helicopters for a superb flight over the dramatic summits of the Southern Alps. There are few scenes in the world more splendid than the abrupt glacier carved valleys of New Zealand’s mountains, covered in extensive stands of beech trees with the alpine tops emerging above. As our helicopters lead us over the dramatic peaks between Queenstown and Milford Sound, we take the opportunity to make a glacier landing to fully appreciate this pristine, icy wilderness.
Continuing on our flight into the heart of this UNESCO recognised world-heritage wilderness, we descend into Milford Sound, landing directly on our luxury chartered vessel and finding ourselves amidst one of the most stunning scenes in New Zealand. Our private cruise will guide us on a full experience of this remarkable terrain as we enjoy a superb, chef-prepared gourmet lobster lunch. Above and around us, the peaks rise abruptly, creating postcard opportunities in all types of weather. On conclusion of our cruise we helicopter back to Queenstown. In the afternoon, we’ll have time to expereince the thrilling KJet jetboat journey up the Kawarau River. We enjoy dinner in central Queenstown .
Day 7: Quad Bikes and Free Time
Today, we venture into the hills behind Queenstown for an epic trip on Quad bikes. We each get our own set of wheels, and after some training we set out on a mission into rough terrain offering exceptional 360 degree views. There are over 25km of trails that we can explore, and the experience can be catered to everyone from absolute beginner level to those looking for something more adventurous. We’ll venture from base to heights over 1000 metres above sea level, experiencing a wide variety of fun terrain. We then have a free afternoon, allowing group members take part in any of the many, many activities that Queenstown has to offer, to relax, or perhaps do some souvenir shopping in the local boutiques. In the evening, we head for a delicious farewell dinner.
Day 8: End Tour in Queenstown
The final day of the trip in Queenstown can be adjusted to suit the time of your departure flight. There is a wide range of activities and experiences that can be included, from lake cruises and paragliding to more obscure experiences such as river sledding. We’ll work out a suitable set of options for you to suit your outgoing flight. Breakfast is included by default, and lunch and dinner can be added as required.
- Indulgence Tours private group coordinator to accompany & assist for the full duration of your trip.
- Twin share accommodation, with optional upgrade to single occupancy.
- Private, premium quality transportation throughout.
- Optional free local sim cards for all group members.
- Full phone support and assistance.
- Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner on all days except arrival day (dinner only) and departure day (breakfast only)
- 1 night in Christchurch
- 1 night in Whataroa
- 2 nights in Franz Josef
- 1 night in Wanaka
- 2 nights in Queenstown