Easygoing Multi-Adventure Tour New Zealand
Dolce Tempo Journey from Christchurch to Queenstown on the South Island
Imagine the world on a geological time scale. Volcanoes blossoming from the bottom of the ocean and poking their heads up out of the sea. Glaciers creeping like caterpillars, carving valleys from the earth. It’s difficult to picture—but it’s easier once you’ve seen New Zealand. Everything here exists on a different scale. Epic peaks, enormous glaciers, sprawling jungles. Ready for a new perspective? The South Island is waiting.
THIS ITINERARY: 9 days, 8 nights
ACCOMMODATIONS: Casual Hotels*
Start Christchurch / End Queenstown
Start/End locations may vary. Do not book flights until your trip details are confirmed.
Refreshingly Active Adventures
Discover the South Island, a one-of-a-kind playground for outdoor fun. E-bike, stroll, kayak and raft your way across these stunning landscapes for an adventure you’ll never forget.
Take your time exploring the quaint villages and significant Maori sites that define this youthful nation, and enjoy learning the fascinating history—both geological and cultural—of this singular destination.
Unique Hotels & Kiwi Hospitality
Experience one-of-a-kind hospitality at our casual hotels on this trip. Enjoy stargazing from mountain retreats, views of snow-dusted peaks and dense rainforests. Sample the culinary riches of this island paradise, from local wine to tender lamb.
9 Days Casual Hotels*
Meet your Trip Leaders in Christchurch, the oldest city in New Zealand | Travel to Arthur's Pass, soaking up the vistas along the way | Meet a sheep farmer and learn how New Zealand became the go-to producer of merino wool | Relax with a good book at our charming wilderness lodge, where expansive windows frame vistas of the towering Southern Alps.
A welcoming mountain retreat and high-country sheep station surrounded by a beech forest and frosted peaks.
Revel in stunning vistas of the Tasman Sea, bordered by glaciers and rain forests | Cruise by e-bike along the peaceful rural roads | Explore charming Hokitika, the setting of Man Booker Prize-winning novel The Luminaries | Meander through Westland National Park, taking time to photograph the quickly receding face of Franz Josef Glacier | Experience some of New Zealand’s gold-rush history in the quaint coastal village of Okarito | Opt for a scenic helicopter ride above the imposing glaciers | Enjoy local cuisine and fresh produce at our peaceful retreat in the woods.
A luxurious hotel that provides for every comfort—even offering a pillow menu. (spa)
Walk around Lake Matheson and take in the views of snow-capped Mount Cook, New Zealand’s highest peak | Take advantage of the lodge’s many activities, from a leisurely kayak on Lake Moeraki to star gazing | Kick back at Munro Beach or learn about forest ecology with a lodge naturalist | Cozy up at our lakeside lodge for the next two nights.
This riverside lodge offers cozy guest rooms and excellent cuisine in a remote rain forest setting.
Journey from the verdant coast up and over the Southern Alps to the golden hills surrounding Lake Wanaka | Feel the sea breeze on our e-bike ride to the sleepy fishing village of Jackson Bay | Explore the Haast World Heritage area, dotted with waterfalls and home to some of the country’s highest mountains and largest glaciers | Relax at a pebble beach or stroll the quiet streets of picturesque Wanaka | Take a flight to the unforgettable landscapes of Milford Sound.
On the shore of Lake Wanaka with views of the magnificent Southern Alps. (spa)
Experience New Zealand’s burgeoning wine culture in this region famous for its Pinot Noir | Step out of your front door to raft the Kawarau River with expert local guides | Stroll the picturesque streets of historic Queenstown | Extend your stay with another adventure or some rest and relaxation in town.
This boutique hotel is located in the center of Queenstown with magnificent views of Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkables mountain range.
The earlier you book, the more choice you'll have and the lower your price. And you can always change your mind — you won't be charged to transfer to a different trip before your final payment is due. View cancellation policy
Click on dates for pricing, itinerary variations and to book your trip. Price is per person, double occupancy.
Dolce Tempo: What to Expect
Our easygoing Multi-Adventure tours make adventuring a breeze—perfect for beginners or occasional bikers/hikers, or anyone who is interested in exploring the world actively. With dedicated Trip Leaders, support vans and GPS supported routes, the day is yours to decide. Find an unbeatable blend of walking and biking routes (2-4 hours of activity, 10-30 miles of biking, 2-7 miles of walking) with other fun-filled activities such as kayaking, rafting, snorkeling, camel riding and more. On trips with biking, custom electronic-assist bikes allow you to pedal effortlessly!
The walking terrain on this trip includes a mix of paved walkways, well-maintained dirt paths and with the option to hike on a few rugged mountain trails. Our bike routes were chosen to keep you off the main road and are on scenic, secondary roads.
Available Bike Options
On this Dolce Tempo trip, most travelers choose to ride one of our custom titanium e-bikes. If you prefer to enjoy the daily rides without electric assistance, you can select another bike. See all options below.
- All breakfasts, 7 lunches, 7 dinners
- Expertise and services of our experienced Trip Leaders
- Snacks and beverages between meals
- Additional guides and experts from the region on many trips
- Van shuttles to support a variety of route options
- Comprehensive Travel Planner with detailed pre-trip information
- Private guided tours at museums, historic sites, wineries and other select attractions as noted in the Travel Planner
- All gratuities at hotels and restaurants
- Special events, including wine tastings and other select attractions as mentioned in the Travel Planner
- On biking and multi-adventure trips, use of fully equipped Backroads titanium bike plus helmet and accessories
- Trailercycles, carriers, and kid-sized helmets for Family Trips
- Equipment and experienced guides for kayaking, rafting, snorkeling, sailing and canoeing as described
- Park and other entry fees
- Fares for trains, ferries and other modes of travel as listed in the Travel Planner
- Select coach transfers
- Baggage transfers and porterage
We want to make sure you're on the right trip and that you have the best experience possible. Every Backroads trip is unique and this one is no exception.
In order to access the most scenic routes and significant points of interest on this trip, strategic shuttles are incorporated into several days of our itinerary. Most will be limited to an hour or so at a time, but on some days you can expect to spend a bit more time in the shuttle. We've planned our itinerary to make the most of our time in this spectacular area, so sit back and relax, knowing that someone else is doing the driving, and enjoy the beauty of the journey.
Due to a significant rise in tourism in New Zealand, the South Island has seen an increase in car traffic along its western coast. As a result, we do not ride on the iconic State Highway 6 (SH6). While our shuttles are often on this coastal road, we ride on scenic bike routes off the main highway to ensure your safety while still delivering as much of New Zealand's grandeur and stunning scenery.
While biking and hiking and kayaking trips are at the core of popular adventure travel offerings, they are not for everyone. So Backroads, a company that has long been the leader in active travel trips, has come up with an array of softer adventures for 2021.