• Witness the Kiwi breeding program at Willowbank Wildlife Reserve
  • Learn about early Antarctic Explorers at the Antarctic Centre
  • Cycle along stunning lakes on the Little River Rail Trail
  • Meet and learn from local botanists and environmentalists
  • Hinewai Reserve Conservation Project and sea kayaking at Pohatu
  • Hike through hundreds of spectacular limestone formations at Kura Tawhiti
  • Participate in Coastal Restoration Conservation Project at Punakaiki
  • Learn about climate change and marine widlife
  • Hike to the stunning Devil's Punchbowl Falls
  • Urban exploration of Christchurch's main attractions
  • This program is 100% carbon offset.

The journey is set in the spectacular landscapes of the South island and focuses on the group working as a team in a number of engaging activities relating to the local culture, history and environment. After being welcomed into the country with a traditional Maori ceremony we join a range of cultural activities at a local Marae. We then spend the next few days exploring Christchurch and its surrounds. We join a behind the scenes look at the mysteries of the Antarctic at the Antarctic Centre, witness the Kiwi breeding program at Willowbank Wildlife Reserve, and join the spectacular cycle city to sea path. We learn about the impact of climate change from a renowned local botanist and environmentalist, kayak through the Akaroa Marine Reserve to learn about marine wildlife during which we have the chance to spot the endangered Hectors dolphin, the smallest of its kind. The variety of landscapes is impressive and unique and will help us gain a greater understanding of this fragile environment. We then work closely together as a team and participate in a Conservation Project within the Punakaiki region, not only learning about ecology and environmental protection, but taking part in an important coastal restoration project vital to reestablish the health of an ecological corridor providing nesting grounds for many vulnerable species. The effects of our contributions will have a substantial positive long term impact for the surrounding ecosystems. We will also take part in a beach clean up and learn about the impacts of tourism in fragile environments. Our participation in the project will leave a long lasting, tangible contribution to the area and its wildlife, as well as the local community. This is a hands on learning journey to get excited about!


Start and Finishing Point:


Grading:Introductory to Moderate   

On arrival in New Zealand you will be met at the airport by your experienced guides and transferred to your accommodation for the next 5 nights. Your guides will run through a full trip and safety briefing and team introduction. We will then head out and start to explore Christchurch and first stop we jump aboard a hand crafted war canoe or waka. This experience blends historical and cultural aspects on Otakaro Avon River. This is not the first time waka have been seen on the Otakaro Avon River. Early Maori originally came to Aotearoa New Zealand by waka. Then 180 years ago, waka were an important part of the early building of Christchurch, with Maori and early settlers transporting on, trading by and working along the Avon River together. We can then settle into our accommodation in Christchurch and prepare our first evening meal together. Once the sun has set, we will embark on a night hike to the top of Dyers Pass for some jaw dropping views over the city of Christchurch under a starry night sky. Overnight in Christchurch North South Holiday Park

Meals:  D

We wake to breakfast before we spend the morning cycling around the city centre exploring the interesting new buildings. This is a very gentle introduction to cycling and we will have a full safety briefing prior to setting off. During our exploration we will visit Turanga; the innovative state of the art library and experience “Quake City” to understand the science of earthquakes and impact of the Christchurch earthquakes through photography, video footage and artefacts. We then ride the off-road Te Ara Otakaro Avon River Trail to New Brighton on the coast, we’ll cycle through the abandoned red zone area of Christchurch, an incredible network of gardens, parks and deserted streets adjacent to the river. We will stop at Richmond Community Gardens to see an area that has been transformed from where houses once stood into a thriving community garden and horticulture space which has been created for all to enjoy and benefit. At the beach there will be time to explore the dunes and coast before we load the bikes and return to our accommodation. Cycle Distances: City to Sea - 15km Cycle path is flat and closed to vehicles – some crossing of roads. Vehicle support available at all times. Overnight in Christchurch North South Holiday Park

Meals:  B,L,D

Today we we will learn about New Zealand's wildlife at Christchurch’s Willowbank Wildlife Reserve. We will see the conservation work being done to protect the local flora and fauna and explore the Kiwi breeding program that the centre is famous for. Willowbank tells the story of New Zealand's natural heritage using pioneering and innovative display techniques, with an emphasis on creating a natural environment and an up-close and personal interactive experience. Willowbank was the first reserve to open a glass-free nocturnal house for the kiwi in a natural environment. The centre remains true to their main goals to be part of the conservation of species and to educate and advocate for wildlife. Willowbank is a New Zealand leader in conservation, with success in many national, Australasian and in-house breeding programmes focusing on New Zealand native and endangered species, as well as many rare and heritage breeds of farm stock. Overnight in Christchurch North South Holiday Park

Meals:  B,L,D

After breakfast, we will have the unique opportunity to immerse ourselves in the Antarctic world. We will visit the International Antarctic Centre and receive a guided tour through the museum. Our program includes the Penguin rescue, exploring the Gallery which contains comprehensive ‘hands-on’ displays on everything Antarctic. We learn about current science research and animal adaptations, experiencing an ‘Antarctic Storm’ in the Snow & Ice Room filled with real snow and ice chilled to -8°Celsius. During the Antarctic Storm, a simulated Antarctic wind blows at 42km/h, which introduces a wind chill factor making it feel like -18°Celsius. We then head back in time while we learn about some of the early Antarctic Explorers and the history of Antarctic Travels. We meet the Antarctic Heritage Trust, established in 1987 to conserve the early Antarctic Explorers' expedition bases, dating all the way back to the 1900's. Overnight in Christchurch North South Holiday Park

Meals:  B,L,D

Today is a wonderful day as we cycle around an extinct volcano and walk along spectacular coastline. After breakfast we drive to the top of the Port Hills to embark on a cycle ride following the crater rim of an extinct volcano. We will cycle along the undulating and almost traffic-free Summit Road out to Godley Head. This area is home to the WWII coastal defence battery that sits atop sheer 120m cliffs. We leave the bikes and walk to the heads to experience the wonderful views into Lyttelton Harbour and out to the Pacific Ocean. Our walk continues around the peninsula where we visit a historic hut called Scott's Cabin which has many and varied ties to Antarctica and Robert Falcon Scott. We descend towards Taylors Mistake and over to the beach suburb of Sumner where we meet our vehicle for the drive back to Christchurch. Cycling Distance: Dyers Pass to Godley Head – 21km. Godley Head Walk – 5km Vehicle support available 90% of the time (there is one section of Summit Road closed entirely to vehicles – makes perfect riding.) Overnight in Christchurch North South Holiday Park

Meals:  B,L,D

Today we will get set up on our bikes and then head out along the Little River Trail from Motukarara to Little River, running alongside both Te Waihora (Lake Ellesmere) and Te Roto o Wairewa (Lake Forsyth). Our journey will offer stunning views of the lakes, the alps and an opportunity to spot many of the 166 species of birds living in the area. En-route we take a quiet side road down to the crashing shore and wild coastline of Birdlings Flat before returning to the main cycle trail and riding into the village of Little River. Later today we will drive to the Banks Peninsula and visit the beautiful Hinewai Reserve. We will learn about (and hopefully meet) local botanist and avid environmentalist Hugh Wilson and hear his commitment to protect and preserve local flora and fauna and the environmental impact of climate change. Stay at Wainui Education Centre on Banks Peninsula Cycling Distance: 25km

Meals:  B,L,D

Once on the coastline, we will get ready to embark on a half day sea kayaking adventure within the Akaroa marine reserve. The calm waters are home to an extremely rich and diverse flora and fauna. You will be taken on a guided wildlife adventure to find various seabirds, see curious New Zealand fur seals with pups playing in rock pools, Little penguins and possibly even spot the world's smallest dolphin gliding under your kayak. There is much to see and explore under the guidance of our experienced knowledgeable local guides. Explore the outer coast of Pohatu Marine Reserve and marvel at its spectacular towering cliffs, rock stacks, reefs, and deep sea-caves. We visit Flea Bay Island and the impressive island arch make an added exciting attraction in settled sea conditions. All gear is provided (life jackets, dry jackets, spray deck, dry bags for cameras). Stay at Wainui Education Centre on Banks Peninsula

Meals:  B,L,D

Today will be filled with active adventures. We will start our day by driving towards the mountains and the spectacular Kura Tawhiti Conservation Area (Castle Hill Rocks) with its hundreds of weathered limestone formations, remnants of soft limestone from millions of years ago that have been eroded with time. We will have the opportunity to learn more about Karst landscapes and trek up Castle Hill ridge. We will continue to Craigieburn Forest Park and walk up to Helicopter Hill (1256m) for panoramic views over Craigieburn and Torlesse Ranges. Overnight in Forest Lodge Castle Hill

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning we will drive to Punakaiki on the West Coast (2-3 hours drive) to embark on our half day Conservation Project assisting with the restoration of the coastal environment. The Punakaiki coastal region is an important ecological corridor providing nesting grounds for the vulnerable Westland Petrel, habitat for the Blue Penguin and sand plain forests bearing Nikau Palms (Nikaus are the most southerly found palm tree in world and endemic to NZ) and Rata trees, many of them hundreds of years old. We will learn about ecology, environment and conservation while completing vital conservation tasks: • Site induction covering the history of the site and restoration project, as well as the Taiko breeding colony and its national importance • Planting of native trees around site • Seed collection and processing • Potting up seedlings • Helping out in our nursery where all the trees planted are raised • Beach clean up on local beaches After our work for the day, we will have an evening visit to the peculiar Pancake Rocks and a short walk along the sub-tropical Truman Track opening up to the beautiful Truman beach. Te Nikau Retreat - Punakaiki Please Note: Unfortunately the conservation project was reduced from 2 days to half a day by Conservation Volunteers New Zealand due to a restructure of the organisation.

Meals:  B,L,D

Todays walks and activities are based on the weather and water levels of rivers to determine our best option. One option is the Pororari River Gorge which follows spectacular landscapes of subtropical and temperate forests, deep rock pools and limestone structures or another choice is walking up the Fox River valley. We return to our accommodation for a delicious dinner. Te Nikau Retreat - Punakaiki

Meals:  B,L,D

Today we will make our way to Punakaiki Beach and participate in a much needed beach clean up and learn about the impacts of tourism in fragile environments. Following a destructive storm in 2019, the Fox River was flooded with rubbish and plastic which still continues to wash up on west coast beaches, posing a threat to the flora and fauna of the Marine Reserve and National Park. Our participation in the project will leave a long lasting, tangible contribution to the area and its wildlife, as well as the local community. Once our work is done, we will drive back over the Southern Alps towards Christchurch and on the way we will stop for a short walk from Arthur’s Pass to Devil’s Punchbowl Falls via Bealey Chasm (approx. 5km). Back in Christchurch, we will have our last dinner and get our bags ready for our flight back home tomorrow. Overnight in Christchurch North South Holiday Park

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning we wake very early and transfer to Christchurch Airport for our flight back to Melbourne. Breakfast will be served on the plane.

Meals:  B

Learning outcomes for students

A World Expeditions Schools adventure is a unique learning experience. Our journeys are designed to encourage thriving and positive youth development along with leaving the communities and environments where we travel in a better condition than when we arrived.
The programs are designed to enhance the following life skills that will help you grow as an individual:
• the confidence to lead a group and make decisions
• the value of working together as a cohesive team to achieve a common objective
• the ability to face mental and physical challenges
• the ability to adapt to new environments outside of their 'comfort zone'
• to appreciate and care for the natural environment. The environments we trek through are beautiful and often pristine, invariably the students will gain a deeper appreciation and understanding about how their individual actions impact on the environment
• build strong friendships and bonds with their peers and also the local peoples
• basic outdoor skills obtained on trek such as personal hygiene, pitching a tent, helping to prepare meals
Importantly our adventures help increase general well-being and build resilience in young citizens to help them deal with adverse situations in life.


  • International Airfares including tax and fuel surcharges ex Melbourne / Christchurch / Melbourne
  • 11 breakfasts, 10 lunches, 11 dinners
  • 11 nights lodge / dorm with shared facilities
  • 2 professional qualified driver/guides
  • 2 teachers from St Leonard's College accompanying the group in single rooms
  • Private vehicle transport including all airport transfers
  • All activities as mentioned in itinerary
  • Traditional Maori waka paddle and cultural greeting
  • Pohatu Penguin kayak
  • Visit Hinewai Reserve
  • Bike hire and helmet
  • Equipment required during coastal restoration project
  • Water, snacks and fruit during activities
  • Dept of Conservation concessions fees
  • NZ Goods and Services Tax (GST)

  • All beverages, other than at breakfast
  • Water bottle (please help us save the environment and bring your own water bottle or hydration pack)
  • Personal expenses (eg. extra snacks, drinks, shopping etc)

About Your Leader

Our guides in New Zealand are one of our biggest assets. We pride ourselves on the standard and quality of these great people who you will be spending your adventure with. All are highly experienced, certified in first aid and CPR, have a strong local knowledge, and many are advanced mountain guides.


Introductory to Moderate

To determine the grade of a particular adventure we consider a number of factors. These include the condition of the terrain, the altitude and the length of the trip. Cycling, trekking and kayaking all require some physical exertion. However, these are all conducted at your own comfortable pace and ability level.

Why travel with us

Why travel with us

Assisted over
14,000 Students Worldwide

Since the 1980's, we have helped students from around the globe to experience the world's most exciting destinations, allowing them to travel, give, grow.

400+ Service Learning

Together with students, we have completed over 400 Service Learning programs in developing countries. We will always continue to support causes including social justice, animal welfare, the environment and more.

Fully Customised
School Travel Programs

Want to include service learning, your school curriculum and a physical challenge, or any of the above? Contact us and we can design a program fully catered for your students and budget.

Safety and
Support - Our #1 Priority

Every school receives a detailed risk management plan that is guided by government advisories and the local partners we work with. We never compromise on the safety of your students to reduce the price of the program.


Want to find out more?

Our educational travel experts are ready to help you tailor an itinerary or service learning project to suit your school’s needs and budget. Contact us today to receive a free consultation.

Join Newsletter
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/ADS.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Adventures South"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Adventure South</div>
Adventure South NZ is unrivalled in their geographic coverage, originality and overall quality of adventures holidays in New Zealand. Choose from walking, cycling, winter or multi-activity holidays, on either the North or South Island.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/AWH.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Australian Walking Holidays"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Australian Walking Holidays</div>
Australian Walking Holidays specialises in small group guided walking adventures. Since 1982 we have been guiding small groups of travellers on Australia's finest walks across our tropical, coastal or red centre landscapes.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/GCT.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Great Canadian Trails"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Great Canadian Trails</div>
Great Canadian Trails specialises in active holidays in Canada. With both guided and supported self-guided options available, our unique itineraries draw upon some of Canada's most inspiring parks, trails and landscapes from coast to coast.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/HUM.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Humac Challenge"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Huma Charity Challenge</div>
Huma enables those with adventurous spirits to challenge themselves and make a difference for a cause close to their heart. Travel, fundraise and meet life-long friends on one of Huma's meaningful and unique challenges around the world.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WB.jpg?v2' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Walkers’ Britain"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Walkers' Britain</div>
Walkers' Britain (formerly Sherpa Expeditions) have specialised in walking and cycling trips in the United Kingdom and Europe since 1973. Explore iconic trails and destinations on a self guided or small group active holiday with Walkers' Britain.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WB.jpg?v2' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Walkers’ Britain"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Walkers' Britain</div>
Walkers' Britain (formerly Sherpa Expeditions) have specialised in walking and cycling trips in the United Kingdom and Europe since 1973. Explore iconic trails and destinations on a self guided or small group active holiday with Walkers' Britain.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/TAS.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Tasmania Expeditions"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Tasmanian Expeditions</div>
Tasmanian Expeditions is the most experienced operator of treks and adventure travel holidays in Tasmania. We own and operate the most comprehensive range of adventure holidays available across Tasmania's varied landscapes.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/UTX-new.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Utracks"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>UTracks</div>
UTracks are the active European holiday specialists. Whether you prefer cycling or walking, 2-star or 4-star, small groups or self guided, land, river or sea – UTracks can help you to explore Europe exactly the way you want.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WYA.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="World Expeditions Schools"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>World Expeditions Schools</div>
World Expeditions Schools is our specialist division dedicated to organising tailor made overseas school group adventures. Specialists in Service Learning projects, choose from more destinations than any other school group provider.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/YOM.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Yomads"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Yomads</div>
Yomads offers adventures for the 20s and 30s on six continents. Designed as a way to bring young and likeminded travellers together, Yomads caters to those interested in lightly structured and active trips that allow freedom to roam and explore.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/ACT.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Australian Cycle Tours"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Australian Cycle Tours</div>
Australian Cycle Tours specialises in high quality self guided and guided cycling experiences in a selection of the most beautiful regions in Australia.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WEX.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="World Expeditions"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>World Expeditions</div>
The pioneers of original, worldwide adventure travel holidays since 1975
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/TJX.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Trail Journeys"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Trail Journeys</div>
Self-guided cycling experts on New Zealand's Otago Rail Trail and more
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/BMAC.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Blue Mountains Adventure Company"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Blue Mountains Adventure Company</div>
The original Blue Mountains canyoning, hiking, climbing and abseiling experts
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/GWNZ.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Great Walks of New Zealand"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Great Walks of New Zealand</div>
Explore New Zealand's most spectacular wilderness regions with the self-guided hiking experts
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/NAA.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="North America Active"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>North America Active</div>
USA Canada hiking & cycling tour specialists, choose from self-guided or guided trips