This trip filled (and enrollment closed) on July 5, 2012.
See Ellie’s blog for great stories and pictures from the trip!
When: Jan 22 – Mar 5, 2013
Where: New Zealand, South Island
Who: 10 students (ages 14-19) plus trip leaders Blake, Julie, and Cameron
How Much: $4500 plus airfare
The Journey is the Reward
Want to voyage from one side of New Zealand to the other? Yup, we thought so. Join Unschool Adventures for the adventure of a lifetime.
View UA NZ 2013 in a larger map
Every Unschool Adventure trip is created with specific purposes in mind. Here’s what we’ll set out to accomplish:
Walking from One Side of New Zealand to The Other
If you love the outdoors, you’ll love this trip. New Zealand is world-famous for its natural beauty, and we’re going to spend six sunny weeks walking across it. (It won’t all be walking; occasionally we’ll need to take a boat or bus to get safely from point A to point B.) One way or another, we’re going to cross the mountains, foothills, valleys, beaches, glaciers, lakes, rivers, and fjords of New Zealand’s South Island.
Farm Volunteering, Camping, and Unplanned Fun
When not walking, our group will stay in towns, cities, or farms. There are many organic farms in the region where we’ll be hiking, and we may have the opportunity to stay and volunteer on them as part of our trip. While in a town or city, you’ll enjoy plenty of unstructured time to explore local towns, use computers at internet cafes, relax, and create your own adventures. Potential group activities might include going to a movie, inviting travelers who we meet to one of our home-cooked dinners, playing card games, attending a local music show, or creating music ourselves. Unschool Adventures students and staff are pretty darn good at devising fun, spontaneous adventures on our trips.
Learning to Pack Light, Move Fast, and Enjoy the Traveler’s Life
This trip will show you how to get around the world with little more than a pack on your back and a smile on your face. We’ll spend roughly half of our nights sleeping under the stars at a farm, campground, or a wilderness campsite. The other nights we’ll spend in traveler’s hostels with hot showers, beds, kitchens, and laundry facilities. You’ll carry your own sleeping bag, shelter, and personal gear while also walking up to 10 miles per day. If you’ve ever wanted to do a long backpacking trip, learn how to cook a simple meal from scratch, or gain the skills necessary to plan your own long-term travel adventure, this will be an opportune learning experience.
Remember the scene from Lord of the Rings when Legolas, Aragorn, and Gimli were running across the mountains? That will pretty much be us. Minus the orcs.
The Greenstone Track—one of the final legs of our voyage
Our trip will start on the South Island’s east coast and end on the west coast—that won’t change—but much of the in-between will be planned as we go. Below you’ll find a rough itinerary of some possible destinations.
Part One: Dunedin
After flying into Christchurch, we’ll take a bus to Dunedin. Recover from jet lag, hit the beach, and prepare for the journey ahead! (3 days)
Part Two: Rail Trail
The world-famous Otago Rail Trail is one possible way for us to head west. Many small towns lie along the Rail Trail, which ends in the town of Clyde.
Alternatively, we may hike to a farm in this region and volunteer there. (7-12 days)
Part Three: Wanaka
Our voyage might take us to Wanaka, a gorgeous town where we can relax by the lake. (5-7 days)
Part Four: Queenstown
Queenstown, the world adventure capital, will almost certainly be on our itinerary. Here we can relax, eat great food, and possibly partake in some adventure activities! (5-7 days)
Part Five: Greenstone Track
From Queenstown we’ll boat across Lake Wakatipu and hike the world-famous Greenstone Track. Along the way we’ll stay in established backpacker’s huts. The trail ends at “The Divide”, which separates New Zealand’s wetter west coast from its dry east coast. (5 days)
Part Six: Milford Sound
There’s no easy way to walk from The Divide to Milford Sound, so we’ll hire a bus to take us there! If you haven’t heard of it, Milford Sound is one of those “you have to see this place before you die” places. (2 days)
Part Seven: Return to Christchurch
We’ll return to Christchurch from Milford Sound by bus (via Queenstown or Wanaka). Rest, rejoice, and fly home with a tan! (3 days)
- Daily group meeting and check-in
- Internet access (including e-mail and Skype) available in most towns
- Do-it-yourself lunch (students must purchase their own luches—staff will ensure that students have sufficient food for the outdoor treks)
- Helping with group meal preparation, clean-up, and packing.
- Free/unstructured time for exploration, photography, journaling, R&R, and spontaneous fun
Have More Questions?
Contact us via e-mail or phone and we’ll be happy to answer your questions.