• This program is 100% carbon offset. World Expeditions Schools absorb the cost of credits mitigating 100% of the unavoidable carbon emissions as its ongoing commitment to responsible travel
  • Experience a Maori welcoming ceremony on a local marae
  • Explore Christchurch, the "basecamp" for the American Antarctic program and final port for Antarctic explorers
  • Learn about the Huskie Dogs at the Huskie Zone rescue centre
  • Avoid the crowds and hike stunning trails
  • Engage in a conservation program at Hinewai Reserve
  • Experience mountain vistas, waterfalls and crystal clear rivers
  • Cycle around the crater rim of an extinct volcano and along the Little River Rail Trail
  • Marvel at Canterbury Plains as we summit Peak Hill above Lake Coleridge
  • Rakaia Gorge jetboat ride

This active learning journey exploring Otautahi, Christchurch and Canterbury has been designed to showcase the highlights of the Garden City and it's breathtaking surrounding landscapes by foot and bike along with studying the conservation programs in place on the island. We embark on a series of walking challenges from day walks to climbing peaks affording panoramic views of the Southern Alps and Canterbury Plains. We cycle along the historical Little River Rail Trail and the City to Sea trail, away from mainstream traffic, with a full support team. We will learn about New Zealand's interesting history and rich culture. We explore the exciting new city rebuild of Christchurch, it's street art and creative spaces and visit the interactive Antarctic Centre where we can participate in a range of hands on experiences including visiting the Huskie zone rehabilitation centre. Christchurch has been a base camp for exploration for centuries and is the embarkation point for many Antarctic expeditions. We also gain a unique insight into the local culture as we are welcomed onto a Marae for a traditional ceremony and engage in conservation projects, meeting environmentalist's who will join us in exploring the extensive Hinewai Reserve on the Banks Peninsula. This trip will inspire the students through varied and challenging outdoor pursuits, educate through interactive experiences and will provide the opportunity for the group to appreciate the stunning NZ environment with active conservation work.



Grading:Introductory to Moderate   

On arrival in Christchurch we will be met by our experienced World Youth Adventures guide and taken by coach to our hotel where we have a full trip and safety briefing on our journey ahead. We will then head out and experience a traditional Maori welcoming ceremony on a local marae (meeting grounds and the central focal point of Maori communities throughout New Zealand) to gain an insight into NZ history. The ceremony will include the Wero, the challenge by Maori Warriers, and Kapahaka, traditional cultural performances. 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 stary night sky. Overnight in Christchurch

Meals:  L,D

Today we rise and help with breakfast preparation in our lodging before preparing ourselves for the day ahead. Our first visit is the Antarctic Centre. Here we can join in a number of engaging activities to learn about the first expeditions to Antarctica and modern day life on Scott Base along with the future of humanity on ice. We’ll experience the incredible Antarctic storm room, take a ride on the all terrain vehicle and make friends with penguins and huskies. We visit the Huskie rescue centre and meet and learn more about these incredible dogs and how they are being rehabilitated. We then have a cycle safety briefing and spend the morning cycling around the city centre exploring the interesting new architecture including a visit to Turanga; the innovative state of the art library and experience “Quake City” to understand the science of earthquakes and impact of the Christchurch earthquakes. After lunch we 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. At the beach there will be time to play sports and Frisbee games after a conservation team challenge. Overnight Christchurch Cycle Distances: City to Sea - 15km, New Brighton to Holiday Park - 13km Cycle path is flat and closed to normal vehicles. Vehicle support available at all times.

Meals:  B,L,D

Today we head out of Christchurch towards the mountains at the edge of the Canterbury Plains. Our first stop is to explore the incredible Kura Tawhiti/Castle Hill Rocks, a scattering of hundreds of weathered limestone tors that erupt from golden tussocky hills. Known as a karst landscape, these ancient rocks are smooth, sculpted, spectacular, and irresistibly photogenic. We will learn about the geology of these formations as we embark on a trek to the Castle Hill ridge. We then travel towards the Craigieburn Forest Park, a popular ski resort in the winter, to begin our second hike. Our walk starts gently through a mountain beech forest before we climb steeply up to Lyndon Saddle and to the top of Helicopter Hill (1256m). Here we have panoramic views of the Craigieburn and Torlesse ranges and the limestone outcrops of the Castle Hill Basin. We descend back down to our vehicle and drive back to Christchurch (1.5hours). Our trek is around 2 1/2 hours. Walking distances can be amended to suit group and conditions. Overnight Christchurch

Meals:  B,L,D

We will drive to Motukarara and start our cycle along the Little River Rail Trail which follows the historic 19th century railway line between Hornby and Little River. The trail is relatively flat with no vehicles and runs alongside vast Lake Ellsmere. On the way we will visit the interesting Birdlings Flat known for it's mammoth seas, wild waves, round flat pebbled beach (perfect for skimming stones) and fossicking for precious gems. Looking out to sea, there is nothing between Birdlings flat and Antarctica! On arrival in Little River we will have refreshments and explore the surrounding area. We will be met by our van and load up the bikes before returning to Christchurch this afternoon. Cycling Distance: Motukarara to Little River – approx 25km Vehicle support available at all times.

Meals:  B,L,D

Today is a wonderful day as we cycle around a volcano and walk along spectacular coast line. 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 sit 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 to 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.)

Meals:  B,L,D

Today we help with breakfast prep before we drive to the French settlement of Akaroa on the Banks Peninsula. We visit the Hinewai Reserve, an ecological restoration project aimed to regenerate the native vegetation and wildlife of the reserve. Here we can engage in a land management conservation program. We will meet world renowned botanist and conservationist Hugh Wilson to learn about the flora and fauna. Hugh will then accompany our group on a challenging hike called the “Big Circle” through the native bush from Otanerito Bay to the Summit of Stoney Peak, a climb of 806m. At the end of this incredibly rewarding day we will drive back to Christchurch. Hiking Distance: 8-12km Walking distances can be amended to suit group and conditions

Meals:  B,L,D

Today’s challenge ends our tour on a high note. After breakfast we will drive across the Canterbury Plains to the foothills of the Southern Alps. Our final hike today takes us to the summit of Peak Hill (1244m) high above Lake Coleridge. At the top we are rewarded with sweeping views of snowy alps and the impressive Rakaia and Wilberforce river valleys. In the afternoon we embark on a walk through the Rakaia Gorge along glacial and river-carved terraces to a stunning lookout point. The walkway follows the rim of the gorge where we will encounter spectacular geological areas, including lava flows, before descending into a gully under a forest canopy to the Snowdon coal mines. The entrances to several coal mine tunnels can be seen here, along with the remains of equipment used for extraction. Here we complete our NZ Adventure with an invigorating jet boat ride through the Rakaia Gorge. Back at the bus, we return to Christchurch and our last group dinner together. Hiking Distance: Peak Hill -5km return, Rakakia Gorge Walk (up to 5km) Walking distances can be amended to suit group and conditions.

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning after our final breakfast we drive to the airport for our flight home.

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 men and women to help them deal with adverse situations in life.
World Expeditions Schools absorbs the cost of credits mitigating 100% of the unavoidable carbon emissions. This is our commitment to being part of the solution to climate crises.


  • Flights to Christchurch return
  • 7 nights accommodation in lodge rooms (4 per dorm) with shared facilities
  • Teachers from your school travelling in single rooms
  • 2 Professional qualified driver/guides
  • Private vehicle transport through out
  • Traditional Maori welcome and cultural greeting at a Christchurch marae
  • All entry fees and exploration as listed in itinerary
  • Mountain bike hire and helmet
  • Rakaia Gorge jetboat ride
  • Access and concession fees paid to the Department of Conservation
  • New Zealand Goods and Services Tax (GST)
  • Conservation program at Hinewai Reserve

  • Travel insurance
  • Aerated drinks with meals
  • Water bottle (help us save the environment and bring your own drink bottle or hydration system)
  • Personal expenses (eg. phone calls, internet, laundry, shopping etc)
  • Visa (if required)

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 holiday with. All are certified in first aid and CPR and many are advanced mountain guides.


Introductory to Moderate

Customise your program

We can fully customise a School Travel Program to suit your students' learning objectives and budget. Whether you require a Service Learning program, physical challenge, cultural immersion or certain curriculum targets - talk to one of our educational travel experts about the elements you need in your itinerary. We pride ourselves on developing unique itineraries to meet the learning requirements for schools.

World Expeditions Schools is a division of one of the world's leading adventure travel companies, World Expeditions. We can develop itineraries in any destination that is offered by World Expeditions, which is to every continent on earth.

Use our simple Expedition Design Form to contact us with your requirements and an educational travel expert will be in touch to assist.

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.

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