Arrive in Christchurch
Upon your arrival in Christchurch, you will be booked into one of two conveniently located properties, both within walking distance or a short shuttle ride from the airport. Our friendly local New Zealand team will be there to greet you at the airport and assist with your transfer to the accommodation. Once you’ve checked in, take some time to unwind and relax after your long journey. Catch up on rest, connect with fellow travelers starting their New Zealand adventure this week, and share your excitement on social media.
In the evening, why not venture out to explore the charming city of Christchurch? Grab some delicious food and drinks to kickstart your New Zealand experience. For those arriving a few days early, we’ve got you covered! We can arrange an early arrival at the hostel and our U.Crew will be happy to help you pre-book some amazing local experiences, allowing you to explore beyond the city and make the most of your time in this beautiful country. Get ready for an incredible adventure filled with memorable moments and breathtaking landscapes. Let the journey begin!
Meet the local team
Today is all about getting you fully set up and oriented in Christchurch. We’ll begin with a comprehensive briefing, making sure you have all the essential documents and information you need for your time in New Zealand.
After the briefing, we’ll embark on an enlightening walking tour of Christchurch. The city experienced a significant earthquake in 2010, which led to a remarkable rebuilding effort that has transformed it into a beautiful modern city. Our knowledgeable local team will show you the best spots for coffee, amazing eateries, must-visit bars (seems like new ones pop up every second day!), and all the main attractions. This way, you can start living like a local right from the start.
During the walking tour, we’ll also take a visit to the bank to help you set up your New Zealand bank account, obtain a local SIM card, and guide you through the process of obtaining your IRD tax number.
In the afternoon, you’ll have the freedom to explore more of Christchurch at your own pace or with your group. You can scout out potential places to live or simply enjoy the vibrant cityscape. Many groups tend to head out for a drink at one of the many lively bar areas seen during the walking tour. It’s a great way to connect with fellow travelers and soak in the local atmosphere. Get ready for an amazing journey filled with exciting experiences and unforgettable memories!
How to live and travel like a local
Today is all about equipping you with all the essential knowledge for working and traveling around New Zealand. We usually start a bit later in the day to allow you to recover from any jet lag or enjoy a leisurely breakfast at the Riverside Markets or Cashel Mall.
We’ll kick off with a job workshop, where our expert team will assist you in preparing your resume to impress Kiwi employers. We’ll provide insights into the various types of work opportunities available and guide you in your search for the perfect job, unless, of course, you prefer to embark on some exciting travels and explore the country first.
After a day of learning and organizing, we’ll come together for a group meal at a local restaurant. It’s a fantastic opportunity to bond with your fellow travelers and share experiences and excitement about the adventures that await us in New Zealand. Get ready for a rewarding and unforgettable journey ahead!
Get ready for an exciting escape from Christchurch as we embark on a day trip to the picturesque ocean-side settlement of Akaroa. The journey itself is a breathtaking drive over the hills, leading us to the charming Akaroa Harbour and its distinctly French-inspired village. This area holds a unique history, being the only place in New Zealand originally settled by French colonists.
Once in Akaroa, you’ll find yourself enchanted by the village’s quaint allure, with cute art shops, cozy cafes, and delightful restaurants lining the streets. Take your time to explore and immerse yourself in the French-inspired ambiance.
The Akaroa Harbour is a natural wonder and also serves as the home to the small and rare native Hectors Dolphins. As you gaze upon the tranquil waters, keep an eye out for these beautiful creatures, which may grace us with their presence.
In Akaroa, you have the option to partake in exciting optional activities that can be pre-booked:
1. Swimming with the dolphins: An eco-tour thoughtfully regulated by the Department of Conservation, ensuring the safety and well-being of the local dolphins.
2. Ocean Cruise: Board an ocean cruise with the hope of encountering these playful creatures in their natural habitat.
3. Horse Trekking: Experience the beauty of the area’s landscapes with a memorable horse trekking adventure.
As the sun sets, we will make our way back to Christchurch, carrying with us the memories of this remarkable day spent in the delightful settlement of Akaroa and the joy of witnessing Hectors Dolphins in their natural habitat.
Christchurch to Tekapo
Our journey south from Christchurch takes us to the awe-inspiring Mackenzie Country and the majestic Southern Alps. Our destination is the picturesque township of Tekapo, nestled on the shores of the glacial-fed Lake Tekapo. On our way, we’ll make a stop at the iconic stone Church of the Good Shepherd, perched on a rocky outcrop overlooking the stunningly blue waters of the lake. Lake Tekapo is the first of the three great lakes in the Mackenzie Country, each possessing its own unique shade of blue, sourced from the waters of the Southern Alps.
As the night descends, Tekapo’s sky transforms into an extraordinary sight, making it one of the few World Heritage areas known for its celestial beauty. The lack of light pollution grants us the opportunity to witness a mesmerizing display of trillions of stars shimmering overhead. The town takes great care in controlling the amount of light emitted, allowing the night sky to shine brightly.
For a remarkable stargazing experience, you can venture up nearby Mt John, providing a panoramic view of the landscape embraced by the stars of the Milky Way. Alternatively, you can indulge in relaxation by lying back and savoring the warmth of the Tekapo hot spring while gazing up at the sky. For an enhanced experience, there’s also the option to join the Dark Sky Project, which takes you into the UNESCO Dark Sky reserve (optional add-on). Prepare to be captivated by the enchanting wonders of the night sky in Tekapo.
Lake Taupo to Queenstown
Today, your journey south towards Queenstown begins with a fascinating stop at Omarama, a quaint farming settlement. Here, you’ll have the opportunity to marvel at the peculiar clay cliffs, formed over a million years ago, adding a touch of geological wonder to your New Zealand adventure.
Continuing your exploration of rural New Zealand, we’ll visit the historic gold mining town of Arrowtown. This charming village holds a special place in our hearts, as it is the hometown of one of our own, Dan. As you stroll through the historic streets, don’t miss the chance to savor a delightful hokey pokey ice cream, a New Zealand favorite. Wander along the river area and discover the historic Chinese Village, once home to over 8,000 gold miners in the 1800s, offering a fascinating glimpse into the region’s rich history.
But the best is yet to come as we head towards the adventure capital of the world – Queenstown! Known for its adrenaline-pumping activities, Queenstown is also a vibrant party destination, ready to welcome you with open arms. Get ready to dance the night away and make unforgettable memories in this vibrant and exhilarating city. Get your dancing boots on, as Queenstown promises an experience like no other on your New Zealand journey!
Rise and shine in this paradise! As you wake up, you’ll be captivated by the breathtaking beauty that surrounds you. The Southern Alps embrace a magnificent lake, and the vibrant downtown area is alive with the energy of international visitors and trendy locals alike. It’s no wonder that many of you will be thinking, “This is the place I want to get a job!”
For those of you who want to soak up more of Queenstown’s charm, we highly recommend pre-booking some extra nights at the hostel. This will give you the perfect opportunity to familiarize yourself with the area and truly immerse yourself in the local atmosphere. Talk to your U.Team about arranging thrilling adrenaline activities, such as jet boating, bungy jumping, and skydiving, if you’re seeking an adventure-packed experience.
Alternatively, you might consider a day trip to the area known as “Paradise,” located near the picturesque township of Glenorchy. If you’re a fan of craft beer and wine, why not embark on a tour to sample the best offerings of the local scene?
As the day winds down, please note that tonight’s accommodation is not included in the package. This gives you the flexibility to choose the perfect place to rest and recharge after an exhilarating day in Queenstown. Embrace the spirit of adventure and make the most of your time in this awe-inspiring paradise!