• 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
  • Witness the Kiwi breeding program at Willowbank Wildlife Reserve
  • Learn about early Antarctic Explorers at the Antarctic Centre
  • Huskie Dogs at the Huskie Zone rescue 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
  • Hike through hundreds of spectacular limestone formations at Kura Tawhiti
  • Participate in a 2 Day 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 12 day activity based 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, it's unique architecture and and its surrounds. We join a behind the scenes look at the mysteries of the Antarctic at the Antarctic Centre including a hands on visit to the Huskie rehabilitation and rescue centre. We 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 Henry's dolphin, the smallest of its kind. The variety of landscapes we encounter is impressive and will help us gain a greater understanding of this fragile environment. We then work together as a team and participate in Conservation Project within the Hineway Reserve and 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!



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:  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. At the beach there will be time to play volleyball and Frisbee along with team challenges. We can cycle back to our accommodation following the cycle trails. Cycle Distances: City to Sea - 15km, New Brighton to Holiday Park - 13km Cycle path is flat and closed to vehicles – some crossing of roads Vehicle support available at all times. Overnight Christchurch

Meals:  B,L,D

Today we we will learn about New Zealand's wildlife and about life in a traditional Maori village. We board our private vehicle and head to Christchurch’s Willowbank Wildlife Reserve. A visit to Ko Tane begins with a traditional powhiri (a welcoming ceremony) before meeting the big 5 of New Zealand's animal species. We will then see the conservation work being done to protect the local flora and fauna and explore the Kiwi breeding program the centre is famous for. Willowbank tells the story of our country’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 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. After participating in the education program we head to the Maori village to participate in a cultural exchange program to learn about traditional hunting tools, cooking methods and legends of the local Maori people including a Kapa haka performance. This afternoon we return to Christchurch to freshen up before dinner. Overnight in Christchurch.

Meals:  B,L,D

After breakfast, we will have the unique opportunity to immerse ourselves in the Antarctic world. We will visit the Antarctic Centre and step back in time while we learn about some of the early Antarctic Explorers and the history of Antarctic Travels. We will then 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. We then visit the Huskie Zone rescue and rehabilitation centre and engage in activities with these incredible animals. This afternoon we will meet with our leader of Forest & Bird, one of New Zealand's leading independent conservation organisations, for a chance to see the penguin nesting sites and learn about their habitat. Overnight Christchurch.

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 have an activity based challenge day. 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 lodge

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 visit the Adventure South conservation project to learn about tree planting and wetland restoration. Later today we will drive to the Banks Peninsula and visit the beautiful Hinewai Reserve. We will meet local botanist and avid environmentalist Hugh Wilson to learn more about the local flora and fauna and the environmental impact of climate change. Overnight Hinewai Reserve Cycling Distance: 25km

Meals:  B,L,D

We will spend our morning participating in a Hinewai Reserve conservation project and walking through the reserve to reach Stoney Peak Bay. 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 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 seals, penguins, cormorants and possibly Albatross. Overnight Hinewai Reserve

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning we will drive to Punakaiki on the west coast (2-3 hours drive) to embark on our 2-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 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, as well as the Taiko breeding colony and its national importance • Touring our site, the Barrytown beach and the adjacent Nikau Scenic Reserve, a great example of unmodified Sand Plain Forest • 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 the Barrytown beach 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. Overnight in Punakaiki

Meals:  B,L,D

After our breakfast today we return to our project site to continue on our second and last day of our conservation project. At the end of the day we embark on a stunning evening walk up to Pororari River Gorge. It follows spectacular landscapes of subtropical and temperate forests, deep rock pools and limestone structures. We return to our accommodation for a delicious dinner. Overnight in 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 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 early flight back home tomorrow. Spend final night in Christchurch.

Meals:  B,L,D

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.

Industry Innovation And Infrastructure:  Investments in infrastructure are crucial to achieving sustainable development.

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 On Land:  Sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation, halt biodiversity loss

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
  • 11 breakfasts, 10 lunches, 11 dinners
  • 11 nights lodge / dorm with shared facilities
  • Teachers from your school travelling in single rooms
  • 2 Professional qualified driver/guides
  • Private vehicle transport including all airport transfers
  • All activities as mentioned in itinerary
  • Traditional Maori welcome and cultural greeting at Christchurch marae
  • Bike hire and helmet
  • Equipment required during 2 Day coastal restoration project
  • Water, snacks and fruit during activities
  • Dept of Conservation concessions fees
  • NZ Goods and Services Tax (GST)
  • Conservation service program

  • All beverages, other than breakfast
  • Water bottle (please help us save the environment and bring your own water bottle or hydration pack)
  • Personal expenses (eg. phone calls, internet, laundry, shopping etc)
  • Travel insurance

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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