• Maori waka paddle and welcome
  • Learn about the Kiwi breeding program at Willowbank Wildlife Reserve
  • Discover the history of the early Antarctic Explorers at the Antarctic Centre
  • Visit a Maori Marae (community meeting place)
  • Cycle along stunning lakes on the Little River Rail Trail
  • 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
  • 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 Maori waka paddle and welcome on the Otakaro River 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 Antarctica at the Antarctic Centre, witness the Kiwi breeding program at Willowbank Wildlife Reserve, and join the spectacular City to Sea Cycle 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 6 nights. Your guides will run through a full trip and safety briefing and team introduction. We then settle into our group accommodation in Christchurch and have our first evening meal together. Overnight: Christchurch Bealey Quarter.

Meals:  D

We wake to breakfast before we spend the morning cycling around Christchurch 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 weave our way along the off-road Te Ara Otakaro Avon River Trail towards 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 head out to explore Christchurch and first stop we jump aboard a hand crafted war canoe or waka. As a team, we will paddle for about 45 minutes along the scenic Otakaro River Avon and learn about the importance of the waka to the early Maori culture. 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 Otakaro River Avon together. At the beach there will be time to explore the dunes and coast, if time allows we will cycle back to our accommodation following the cycle trails or we will load the bikes and return by the group minibus transport. the sun has set, we will embark on a night hike to the Port Hills, the volcanic hills dominating the city center which have a network of trails taking us to the Summit Road. From here we can admire a panoramic view of the city and Southern Alps under a starry night sky. Cycle Distance: City to Sea - Approx 30km Cycle path is flat and closed to vehicles – some crossing of roads. Vehicle support available at all times. Overnight: Christchurch Bealey Quarter.

Meals:  B,L,D

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. In the afternoon we will get set up on our bikes and then head out along the Little River Trail from Little River to Motukarara, 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. At Motukarara we load up the bikes and return to Christchurch and our accommodation. Tonight the students will organise and pay for their own dinner. Cycling Distance: 25km Overnight: Christchurch Bealey Quarter.

Meals:  B,L

Our first visit today is to the Richmond Community Gardens to see an area that has been transformed from where houses once stood pre-earthquake, into a thriving community garden and horticulture space which has been created for all to enjoy and benefit. We will learn how the gardens have become a permanent and important part of the Richmond community, growing enough food to share, offering workshops on gardening and food preservation, food resilience, ecological restoration and community engagement.  We will spend the morning helping out; participating in an activity such as planting, mulching, a river clean up, or predator trapping. After a BBQ lunch, we board our private vehicle and head to Christchurch’s Willowbank Wildlife Reserve to learn about New Zealand's wildlife. We will see the conservation work being done to protect the local flora and fauna and learn about the Kiwi breeding program 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. This afternoon we return to Christchurch to freshen up before dinner. Overnight: Christchurch Bealey Quarter.

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. In the late morning we will head to the Rapaki Marae (meeting ground) located in a picturesque bay in Lyttelton Harbour. A marae is a fenced-in complex of carved buildings and grounds that belongs to a particular Maori iwi (tribe), hapu (sub-tribe) or whanau (family). Maori see their marae as their turangawaewae - their place to stand and belong. Marae are used for hui (meetings), ahuareka (celebrations), tangi (funerals), educational workshops and other important tribal events. On arrival there will be a powhiri, a traditional welcome and we will have lunch. In the afternoon there will be cultural activities including a history hikoi where we explore the local area and whare whakairo korero, learning all about the meeting house and Maori traditions. After we say farewell to our hosts and return to our accommodation in central 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: Christchurch Bealey Quarter.

Meals:  B,L,D

After breakfast we drive to Akaroa to meet the Pohatu Conservation Trust who have a long standing history of protecting the Korora (Little penguins) on Banks Peninsula. We spend a half day taking part in conservation activities, including tree planting, predator control, learning management techniques that help the penguins, or building penguin houses. We will also embark on a half day sea kayaking adventure within the marine reserve. The calm waters are home to to an extremely rich and diverse flora and fauna, including numerous small reefs and the endangered world's smallest dolphin: the Hector's dolphin. We will learn about marine wildlife and have the chance to spot hector’s dolphins, as well as the penguins, seals (and their pups) cormorants and possibly Albatross. All kayaking gear is provided (life jackets, jackets, spray deck, dry bags for cameras). At the end of the day we will return to Christchurch and our accommodation in the city. Overnight: Christchurch Bealey Quarter.

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 buckle up and take a ride on a Hägglund, an amazing all-terrain amphibious Antarctic vehicle. You’ll feel what it’s like driving across the ice, up and down hills, above crevasses and through water. In the afternoon we will set away driving towards the mountains and the spectacular Southern Alps. We cross the Canterbury Plains, Porters Pass and Arthur's Pass to head towards our accommodation at a historic ski lodge. Temple Basin is unique in that there is no vehicle access to the top. Instead, a 40-50 minute walk from the car park is needed to reach the lodge, not a bad thing as the views are worth savouring! Hiking boots or running shoes with an aggressive sole are suitable footwear for the track, which is steep and rocky in places. We'll spend the next 2 nights surrounded by high mountain peaks in this incredible alpine environment. Today the students will organise and pay for their own lunch. Overnight: Temple Basin Ski Lodge - Arthur's Pass

Meals:  B,D

Today will be filled with active adventures. We spend the day exploring this magic alpine basin with a walk up to the ski huts and possibly up higher towards the Temple Col for panoramic views over Mt Rolleston (2275m) and Mt Philistine (1967m) and their glaciers. Overnight: Temple Basin Ski Lodge - Arthur's Pass

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning we pack up our gear, leave our lodge behind and walk down the hill to where our vehicle will meet us. We drive to Punakaiki on the west coast (2-3 hours drive) known for its beautiful lush forest, wild seas and interesting rock formations. The group will be split into 2, one group will spend the afternoon embarking on our 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 most southerly found palm tree in world and endemic to NZ) and Rata trees, many of them hundreds of years old. Over the next two days we will learn about ecology, environment and conservation while completing vital conservation tasks: Site induction covering the history of the site and restoration project, what our projects involve, the species we are working to protect, site tour, health and safety. At the Punakaiki Coastal Restoration Project (PCRP) site we explore the Nikau Scenic Reserve with its ancient, mature sand plain forest, then wander Te Ara Taiko Nature Reserve which covers the PCRP 75 hectares we have restored, planting over 200,000 trees since 2008; and out onto the Pakiroa Beach which backs onto our site. Learn about the West Coast's history of gold, pounamu and conservation. We eco source all the seeds we use to grow our native trees and plants for our projects. We head out onto our project sites and the surrounding environs to help collect the seeds which will raise our forests, process them for propagation in seed raising trays, and learn about eco districts and the many ways in which a seed may need to be processed and sown to thrive. Once they're big enough and have started to grow their "true leaves", we take the tiny seedlings out and prick them out - pot them up individually into pots and place them in our frames to grow on. Help prick out the seedlings to become the thousands of trees we plant each year. We then grab a spade and come and help, learn about tree placement and positioning to give them the best protection and chance of surviving. This activity is also great for learning about eco districts, eco-sourcing and what tree will grow where. The other group will explore the Pororari River Gorge and we will all meet again later in the afternoon for a walk around the peculiar Pancake Rocks. Overnight: Te Nikau Retreat - Punakaiki

Meals:  B,L,D

Those who did the conservation project yesterday will undertake walks and activities based on the weather and water levels of rivers to determine our best option. Both options are awesome! 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. You would be forgiven for thinking you are in Hawaii in this sub tropical setting! The other half of the group will spend the morning undertaking the conservation work outlined yesterday, learning about the Coastal Restoration Project, and helping with tree planting. We will meet up again for our afternoon activities and spend a second night in Punakaiki. Be sure to look out for glow worms after dark! Overnight: 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. With Sustainable Coastlines' Litter Intelligence, we help clean up the local beaches and monitor what type of litter is on the beach, learn about beach litter and protecting the ocean, track the frequency and type of litter. 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 take a short walk along the sub-tropical Truman Track opening up to the beautiful Truman beach. We then drive back over the Southern Alps towards Christchurch and on arrival we will join a short walk from Arthur’s Pass to Devil’s Punchbowl Falls via Bealey Chasm (3.5km). Back in the hotel, we will have our last dinner and get our bags ready for our flight back home tomorrow. Overnight: Christchurch Bealey Quarter

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

Addressing the UN Sustainable Development Goals

Good Health And Well-being:  Ensuring healthy lives and promoting the well-being for all at all ages is essential to sustainable development.

Clean Water And Sanitation:  Clean, accessible water for all is an essential part of the world we want to live in.

Affordable And Clean Energy:  Energy is central to nearly every major challenge and opportunity.

Reduced Inequalities:  To reduce inequalities, policies should be universal in principle, paying attention to the needs of disadvantaged and marginalized populations.

Sustainable Cities And Communities:  There needs to be a future in which cities provide opportunities for all, with access to basic services, energy, housing, transportation and more.

Climate Action:  Climate change is a global challenge that affects everyone, everywhere.

Life Below Water:  Careful management of this essential global resource is a key feature of a sustainable future.

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
  • Meals as per the itinerary
  • 11 nights lodge / dorm with shared facilities
  • Professional qualified driver/guides
  • Teachers from St Leonard's College accompanying the group
  • 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
  • Personal expenses (eg. extra snacks, drinks, shopping etc)
  • Sleeping Bag (A sleeping bag is required for this program and is not provided)

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