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now your races are complete, seize this opportunity to explore the majestic wonders of

New Zealand's SOUTH ISLAND


When the IBCPC Participatory Dragon Boat Festival concludes, join fellow paddlers and friends on a 3-7 night extension and travel to the heart of the Southern Alps on New Zealand's beautiful South Island.

Begin with an introduction to Queenstown and experience the welcoming culture of New Zealand's adventure capital. As a town perched on the shore of Lake Wakatipu, with The Remarkables as the backdrop, Queenstown is the perfect starting point for any outdoor experience! From a steamboat cruise on the lake to hiking or biking the variety of trails to tasting the award-winning wines, this alpine mecca has something for everyone.

Discover the breathtaking Fiordland National Park and cruise the water in Milford Sound, consider getting up-close-and-personal with giant glaciers on the rugged West Coast, or hike into the highest peaks of the Southern Alps. Conclude the tour in Christchurch, the largest city on the South Island and the gateway to the Canterbury region.

Trip Itinerary


APRIL 17-20, 2023 | or | April 17-24, 2023

Day 1 | Monday, April 17


Check out of your hotel after breakfast and transfer to Auckland Airport.

Together with your American Expeditions tour manager, board your flight bound for Queenstown, situated in the majestic Southern Alps.

Welcome to New Zealand's South Island! Transfer by private motorcoach to your hotel, check-in, and unpack.

Later, meet your tour manager for an orientation walk of Queenstown, nicknamed the 'adventure capital' of New Zealand.

Enjoy a delicious dinner in a local restaurant.

DAY 2 | Tuesday, April 18


Following breakfast at your hotel, enjoy the day to explore Queenstown and the area at your leisure.

Consider taking the gondola up to Bob's Peak and look down over the town with the iconic view of The Remarkables in the background.

Maybe you're ready to stretch your legs and will rent a bike and peddle the scenic path along the lakeshore, or lace up your hiking shoes and explore the regional trails on foot. From walking the shore of Lake Hawea in Wanaka, to hiking to Queenstown Hill, or summiting Ben Lomond at 5735 feet, there is no shortage of trails for all interests and abilities.

If a wine tasting is more to your liking, join a cellar door tour and treat your pallet to world-class Pinot Noirs.

Or, find your adventurous spirit and try bungee jumping from the bridge where this thrilling activity was invented.

Tonight, your tour manager would be happy to lend dinner suggestions in town. Be sure to try the famously creative Fergburger at some point during your stay!

DAY 3 | Wednesday, April 19


Following breakfast at the hotel, embark on a full-day excursion to Milford Sound.

Travel by private motorcoach south through the incredible landscape of Fiordland National Park. You may recognize the vistas from Jurrasic Park or Lord of the Rings. There will be time to stop along the route for photos and to purchase lunch.

Enjoy a narrated cruise of Milford Sound and take in the wonders of this fiord, from towering waterfalls to jumping dolphins to Mitre Peak.

Return to Queenstown for the evening and dinner at your leisure.

DAY 4 | Thursday, April 20


Following breakfast, check out of the hotel.

3-NIGHT EXTENSION TRAVELERS || Catch your return flight home or continue on your own adventure!

7-NIGHT EXTENSION TRAVELERS || Gather in the lobby and load your motor coach with your luggage.

Travel north to Fox and Franz Joseph Glaciers, situated on the rugged West Coast. This morning, pass through ski resorts to the village of Wanaka and along Lake Hawea + Lake Wanaka. Soon you'll meet the Haast River which you'll follow to its mouth, where the river meets the Tasman Sea. Continue your journey north and enjoy the sweeping views of the Southern Alps from the coach windows. There will be time to stop for photos and to purchase lunch along the route.

Catch a glimpse of the mighty Aoraki/Mount Cook, New Zealand's tallest peak, at over 12,300 feet at its summit.

Check into your hotel and enjoy dinner on your own today. Your tour manager would be happy to offer suggestions.

DAY 5 | Friday, April 21


Following breakfast at your hotel, enjoy the day free to explore the glaciers and Mount Cook National Park as you wish.

Consider strapping on crampons to take a guided hike on Fox or Franz Joseph Glacier. Or, take a nature walk to an alpine lake with Mount Cook as your backdrop.

Your tour manager will be able to help organize an excursion to match your interests.

Enjoy dinner at your leisure tonight and get a good night's rest.

DAY 6 | Saturday, April 22


Following breakfast at your hotel, check out and load your private motor coach bound Christchurch.

Begin the scenic drive today by heading further north along the rugged West Coast to Hokitika. This small seaside village is a great option to purchase lunch or a souvenir of pounamu, or green stone. Enjoy a stop at the turquoise blue waters in Hokitka Gorge.

Take in the views from the bus windows as the coach turns inland to travel through the iconic Arthur's Pass, over the Alps, and arrive in Christchurch this afternoon.

Check in to your hotel and settle in. Later, meet your tour manager in the lobby for an orientation walk of Christchurch and pick out a tasty restaurant for dinner.

DAY 7 | Sunday, April 23


Following breakfast at your hotel, enjoy the day to enjoy Christchurch at your leisure.

As the largest city on the South Island, Christchurch offers a variety of things to do and see. Your tour manager will be happy to help with suggestions!

Tonight, a festive farewell dinner has been organized for the group, a perfect opportunity to recount the wonderful memories made throughout the tour.

DAY 8 | Monday, April 24


Check out of your hotel after breakfast and begin your trip home. Your tour manager will be able to help organize airport transfers.

Extension Tour INCLUSIONS


  • 3 to 7 nights in high-quality hotels according to the itinerary

  • breakfast daily
  • dinner in Queenstown
  • dinner in Christchurch | 7N TOUR only

  • Transportation as described in the itinerary in a modern, climate-controlled motor coach with a professional driver.

  • Narrated cruise on Milford Sound

  • An American Expeditions Tour Manager to assist your group in-country, from touchdown to take-off.

  • Extension PRICING

    The extension packages are based on a minimum of 30 travelers in double occupancy. Packages include estimated airfare, taxes, and fuel from Auckland to Queenstown based on 2020 rates; fares will open 11 months prior to departure. || 800-624-0166