Southern frontier

Wildlife & wilderness

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Hiking, biking, sea-kayaking, boating; 
an ever-changing nine-day road-trip through New Zealand’s wild south.

You don't have to be a seasoned adventurer or a hardened explorer to join this amazing trip. The sea-kayaking is on sheltered waters in fjords and lakes. The biking is along wide car-free trails through the country. Every activity can be shortened or lengthened to suit.

The trip will be wild but you don't have to be. Our guides will be there to keep everyone safe along a route linking some of New Zealand’s most magnificent unmodified landscapes. In an itinerary packed with experiences but never rushed, highlights include:

  • three guided sea-kayaking trips (Milford Sound, Lake Manapouri and Queenstown).
  • three bike-rides along car-free trails through gently undulating terrain. (Distance: you choose).
  • three of New Zealand’s nine Great Walks (Kepler Track, Milford Track, Rakiura Track).
  • guided kiwi-spotting in remote Stewart Island, one of the only places where these very rare birds can be viewed in the wild.
  • nine boat trips (a scenic cruise on Milford Sound, fast-ferry travel to/from Stewart Island, historic steamship travel to/from Walter Peak farm, water-taxis in Fiordland and Rakiura National Parks, launch travel to/from the Stewart Island kiwi-spotting experience).

The journey covers latitudes 45-47 degrees south. In this ecological zone you can expect to see dolphins and penguins riding the waves and fur-seals sunning themselves on rocky outcrops. Albatross soar on the wind-currents while deep within the forest rare, native birds like kiwi, kakapo and takahe wage their flightless fight for survival.

This is Aotearoa in its rawest state, where majestic mountains overlook vast forests, deep lakes and fjords; where the Southern Ocean meets desolate, untracked beaches; where wildlife and wilderness live largely undisturbed. Welcome to the Southern Frontier.

More about the accommodation:

Our accommodation for the first night of the tour is a 3-star hotel in the vibrant, alpine resort-town of Queenstown.

For nights 2, 3 & 4 we’ll stay in spacious 2-bedroom vacation apartments in Te Anau, gateway to Fiordland National Park.

Rakiura-Stewart Island is New Zealand’s southernmost permanently-inhabited outpost. Our accommodation for nights 5, 6 & 7 are 1- and 2-bedroom motels in the island’s solitary village Oban.

Queenstown’s understated, picturesque neighbour Arrowtown is our home for the final night of the tour, in 1- and 2-bedroom motels near the historic main street.

All the accommodations have their own well-equipped kitchens for travelers wanting to prepare their own meals.


Click to see Tamarillo's deal on trips for six

'Trips for Six'

Discounts for groups

Get a group of six or more together and reduce everyone’s price.

How it works: Instead of the regular per person price, we’ll give you a special per group price.
As the group's coordinator its up to you to decide how to split the 'Trips for Six' price. You might:

  • surprise your friends and family by paying for everyone.
  • divide the amount equally among all participants.
  • get the rest of the group to share the cost so you travel for free.

Who is it for? Extended families, groups of friends, hiking & kayaking clubs, corporate groups, etc.

'Trips for Six' discounts are available only for bookings made directly with
Tamarillo Active Travel. Contact us to learn more.

Other packages

Photo credits. Main image & right-side top: Tourism New Zealand. Right-side bottom, Chris McLennan. Sea-kayak the South, Ian Trafford. Sea-kayak the North, Scott Venning. Southern Frontier, Jocelyn Carlin.