New Zealand: Bike & Walk the South Island
Few places boast such an immense concentration of magnificent vistas as New Zealand’s South Island. Boundless beauty calls for boundless exploration, which is why VBT explores these spectacular landscapes by bike, foot, and kayak. We’ve handpicked the best routes—and the most rewarding ways—for you to fully experience it all. Cycle from mountainside to seaside. Hike along a massive glacier. Paddle a coastal lagoon. Along the way, you’ll ride the TranzAlpine on a breathtaking rail journey, enjoy Kiwi hospitality at a sheep station lunch, and sample local wines. Join us!
- Board the TranzAlpine and enjoy one of the world’s most breathtaking rail journeys
- Gaze at the splendor of the snow-capped Southern Alps from a 2,300-foot perch
- Marvel at the brilliant Southern Cross, a constellation only seen in the Southern Hemisphere
- Cycle and walk on purpose-built trails in Westland National Park, a stunning canvas of glaciers and waterfalls
- Walk the perimeter of iconic Lake Matheson to the “View of Views,” a striking vista of Mt. Cook and its mirrored reflection in the waters
- Enjoy free time near Franz Josef Glacier and Lake Moeraki to explore or relax
- Explore the Okarito Lagoon by kayak and by foot, a renowned haven for wildlife
- Learn about local wines during a private tasting at an Otago winery
- Walk through Mt. Aspiring National Park, stopping to admire the stunning Blue Pools
- Share a home-cooked meal and see shepherd dogs at work during a private visit to a high country station
- Make the most of daily activity options with the support of two vans and three Trip Leaders
What to Expect
The majority of rides and all walks on this tour are on purpose-built trails (the Kiwis have it figured out!). Trails are packed gravel, regularly maintained, away from motorized vehicle traffic, and allow access to the beauty of the country. The roadways that we ride are secondary, quiet and paved. The VBT van support shuttle is available for a head start, catch-up or shorter option.
Average Daily Cycling Mileage: 9 – 28 miles
Average Daily Cycling Time: 2 – 4 hours
Average Daily Walking Mileage: 1.5 – 6.1 miles
Average Daily Walking Time: 1.5 – 3 hours
Average High/Low Temperature (°F) – Hokitka
Jan 67º/53º Feb 68º/54º Mar 66º/50º Apr 62º/47º Oct 62º/47º Nov 62º/48º Dec 64º/51º
Average Precipitation (in.) – Hokitka
Jan 9.6 Feb 7.8 Mar 9.1 Apr 9.2 Oct 10.2 Nov 10.4 Dec 10
E-Bikes Available on this tour.
Limited quantities — first come, first serve. Learn more.
Bike and Walk Vacation Only – without Air
- 8 nights in comfortable lodgings
- 17 meals – 8 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 5 dinners
International Air Package
- Roundtrip international airfare
- 8 nights in comfortable lodgings
PLUS: 1 extra night in a fine hotel in Christchurch and 2 nights in flight
- 18 meals – 9 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 5 dinners
- ALL overseas transfers
- AND the option to add our Low-Cost Trip Extensions:
Pre-trip: Auckland – 3 nights for only $645-$695*
Post-trip: Queenstown – 2 nights for only $345
Both Vacation Options Include
- FREE use of our custom VBT bicycle and helmet
- FREE use of our custom VBT walking poles
- Service of two or three VBT Trip Leaders
- Support of one or two vans
- Daily route directions and maps
- Welcome reception
- Sightseeing and cultural activities
- 5% Frequent Traveler Credit to use on your next VBT vacation. See details.
- Special Good Buy Discount
For more info see our VBT Bikes page.
Click here to download our Suggested Reading List.