Coastguard NZ South island challenge lockup

Over four exhilarating days, take on the South Island Challenge to raise funds for Coastguard's search and rescue efforts.

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20 - 24 October 2024



Trip Cost

Paid upfront or in instalments

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Challenge Grade

Give Back to the Community


Fundraising Target

The Difference You'll Make


Coastguard rescues an average of 17 people every day, whether that’s families who have been stranded when their boat has broken down, fishermen who’ve gone missing, or a kayaker who is overturned, Coastguard is the charity that brings these Kiwis home safely to their whānau.


Coastguard volunteers are always ready to respond. 24/7, 365 days a year. And with more than 2,000 volunteers across 63 units throughout Aotearoa, the rigorous training and rescue gear required to do the job all comes at a hefty cost.

The funds raised from the South Island Challenge will support these rescue efforts by funding training and equipment so that more lives can be saved on the water. 

Coastguard NZ | Saving someone in the water

How it works



Pay upfront or in flexible instalments.
Cancel more than 90 days before departure to receive refund options (excluding deposit).
For more details, see our FAQs.
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Make a difference

Commit to raising the minimum fundraising target and make a positive difference to worthwhile causes.

You'll be supported by our team of fundraising experts to reach and exceed your fundraising goals.


Be part of a team

Join like-minded travellers, and representatives from the charity, all united in their adventurous spirit and commitment to making a positive impact in the world. Make lifelong friends during a shared challenge experience.

Trip notes

Day 1, Sunday, 20 October 2024: Christchurch - Hokitika

Day 1, Sunday, 20 October 2024: Christchurch - Hokitika

Today our adventure finally begins! It’s an early start to meet your fellow teammates and guides in Central Christchurch at 8am. We then transfer to Hokitika. On arrival, we check that the bikes are the right fit and take them for a quick spin on the West Coast Wilderness Trail before having free time to explore the town. Tonight, we gather for a welcome briefing about our upcoming challenge, do a full gear check and enjoy our first hearty dinner together, which will set us up for our big adventure ahead!

Accommodation: 3-star motel

Transfer time: 3.5 hours

Meals: D

Day 2, Monday, 21 October 2024: Cycle from Cameron’s Beach to Otira

Day 2, Monday, 21 October 2024: Cycle from Cameron’s Beach to Otira

Today is our first challenge day! We commence from Cameron’s Beach on the West Coast, starting with a short walk off the beach to the road where we hop onto our bikes. Today’s cycle takes us via Mitchells and Lake Brunner to Otira. It’s a challenging ride, but you’ll be rewarded with stunning views and camaraderie amongst the team to keep you going. Our ride ends at the Stanley Gooseman Bridge where it crosses the Taramakau River. As we wind down and the first challenge day is completed, we are transferred to our accommodation and enjoy a team dinner. 

Accommodation: 3-star motel

Challenge: 50km cycle

Meals: B L D

Day 3, Tuesday, 22 October 2024: Hike over Arthur’s Pass

Day 3, Tuesday, 22 October 2024: Hike over Arthur’s Pass

Today is our big trekking day! We start at Arthur’s Pass, climbing up to the Temple Basin ski field and down to Bealey Chasm, exploring the gorgeous countryside as we go. This alpine crossing of the Southern Alps reaches an elevation of 1400 metres, making it a spicy trek for the legs! We emerge on the east side of ‘The Divide’ at Arthur’s Pass Village. We enjoy the evening together, putting up our legs after a long day of trekking and strengthening ourselves with another healthy meal.

Accommodation: 3-star motel

Challenge: 12km trek

Meals: B L D

Day 4, Wednesday, 23 October 2024: Raft the Waimakariri River

Day 4, Wednesday, 23 October 2024: Raft the Waimakariri River

This is where things really heat up, as we take on the mighty Waimakariri River on a stunning 40km journey through the Waimakariri Gorge to the Waimakariri Road Bridge. This part of the challenge is always a favourite, and makes the multisport challenge all the more fun! Transferring to Gooseberry Flats after breakfast, we start our scenic raft journey through the Gorge, Hamilton Rapids and Horseshoe Bends. At the river out-take, we meet our guides and are transferred to our accommodation where we have plenty of time to freshen up before everyone gathers to celebrate at our final team dinner.

Accommodation: 3-star motel

Challenge: 40km raft

Meals: B L D

Day 5, Thursday, 24 October 2024: Cycle from Waimakariri River to New Brighton Beach - depart Christchurch

Day 5: Cycle from Waimakariri River to New Brighton Beach - depart Christchurch

Our final day is here—the last push to reach the finish line of the South Island Challenge! We have already achieved a mean feat, and all that’s left now between ourselves and the end of the challenge is a 70-kilometre cycle. We first transfer from Castle Hill to the Waimakariri River Bridge to get on our road bikes. We get to ride through farmland and rural scenery, trending downhill (yippee!) all the way to the coast. We arrive in New Brighton by the early afternoon where the pier marks the end of our incredible journey. We celebrate with a relaxing dip in the He Puna Taimoana hot pools and a refreshing drink. After an epic adventure and some serious exercise we’ll be full of endorphins and feeling very proud of ourselves! In the late afternoon, we transfer into central Christchurch where the tour concludes. Note: Please do not book flights departing before 6.00pm tonight.

Challenge: 70km cycle

Meals: B L

Includes: Accommodation in 3-star motels based on twin share • Transfers and meals as per itinerary • Local guides • Private support vehicle(s) • Bike hire and helmet • Waimakariri River Rafting • Healthy snacks and water on challenge days • He Puna Taimoana hot pools in New Brighton • Department of Conservation Concession fees

Exclusions: Airfares • Airport Transfers • Pre & post tour accommodation in Christchurch • Travel insurance (compulsory for non-NZ citizens, highly recommended for NZ residents) • Personal expenses such as laundry, soft drinks and alcoholic beverages • Tips and gratuities


Why you'll love this adventure

  • Experience the unique beauty of the South Island on a challenge you'll never forget.
  • Trek over the Southern Alps at Arthur’s Pass and cycle from Cameron’s Beach to Otira, taking in breathtaking views on the way.
  • Raft the Waimakariri River for 40km to the Waimakariri Road Bridge.
  • Raise funds to help the lifesaving work that Coastguard volunteers do to keep Kiwis safe on the water.

Frequently asked questions

Can't find the answer to your question? Get in touch via email ( or phone (1300 905 188). We’re always here to help!

About the adventure

How challenging is this adventure?

This adventure is ranked 4/5. While no extensive trekking, cycling, or rafting experience is required prior to registering, our adventures are specifically designed for people who are relatively fit and willing to train. The adventure is a physical challenge, involving consecutive days of difficult trekking, cycling and rafting. The fitter you are, the more you will enjoy the experience. 

You will be well supported on the adventure, with the guides and your team all cheering you on. You are free to move at your own pace and we will take frequent breaks. 

How many people will be on my adventure? 

We believe small group travel is better for the planet, and better for you. Our adventures average between 10 - 20 participants, connected by their commitment to the greater good.

Can I join Coastguard's South Island Challenge on my own?

Of course, many people will! Throughout your adventure journey, we will connect you with your fellow adventurers so you can get to know each other before you hit the road.

What is the general age range of participants?

The minimum age for this adventure is 18, however younger ages are considered on application. We have had participants aged 16–84+ take part in our challenges, all united by their sense of philanthropy and adventure.

I have dietary requirements, will I be catered for? 

Of course, we will happily arrange for any dietary requirements you’ve noted during booking to be catered for. Please advise your local guide on Day 1 as well. You will be fed very well while you’re on the adventure, but if you have a very specific dietary requirement or severe allergies, often it’s best to pack some extra things as back-up.

Who is Inspired Adventures?

Coastguard New Zealand has partnered with Inspired Adventures to bring you this adventure of a lifetime. Over the last 19 years, Inspired Adventures has taken over 8,000 people, just like you, on adventures all around the world, raising over $47 million for important causes. When you choose to travel with Inspired Adventures and Coastguard New Zealand, you can be confident you’re in the best hands.

Fitness and training

How do I train for this adventure? 

We will provide you with information on how to prepare for your adventure when you register. In addition, we recommend that you consult your GP and a personal trainer to develop a training plan that will prepare you for the challenge.

As part of your training, we recommend making use of your free time to complete several day hikes and cycle rides. You should aim to be able to walk in hilly terrain for 5+ hours comfortably and get up and do it again the next day.

It is sensible to start training as early as possible before you go on your trek.


What is the accommodation like? 

Accommodation on this adventure will be twin-share motel rooms, with clean shared facilities.

Will I be sharing accommodation?

Accommodation on this adventure is based on multi-share. You will be paired with teammates of the same gender and, whenever possible, age group. 

I’m travelling with a friend, can we stay together?

Absolutely! If you’re travelling with a friend, please make note of this and we will pair you together.


How do I fundraise?

Never fundraised before? Not sure where to start? No worries, we don’t expect you to do it alone. You will have regular support from the Inspired Adventures fundraising team, who will help you make a fundraising plan to meet your target. Alongside personalised coaching, we will also send you lots of ideas and resources on how to fundraise. From online fundraising to trivia nights, to bake sales and out-of-the-box ideas, we have years and years of tried and tested tips to make your fundraising a success.

What happens if I don’t meet my fundraising target? 

It’s normal to worry you won’t meet your fundraising target, but we know you can do it. In fact, with the support of Inspired Adventures, almost everyone goes on to raise far more than they imagined. 

By registering for the adventure, you agree to raise the minimum fundraising amount of $3,000. Like you, we are looking to make a significant impact for Coastguard, so the goal is for each person to have met their fundraising target before departure. If you fail to raise the minimum fundraising target by this time, we will review the situation on a case-by-case basis.

I’m travelling with a friend, can we fundraise together? 

Absolutely! Fundraising with a friend is a great idea. Just remember the fundraising target is per person, so you will each need to meet the minimum fundraising goal to participate. We know you can do it.

When people donate to my page, is their donation tax deductible?

The funds raised for Coastguard New Zealand are tax-deductible (conditions apply).

Payments, cancellations and refunds

How much does it cost to participate in this adventure? 

The total cost to participate in the adventure is $3,500 per person. This fee includes all expenses related to the adventure, with a $950 non-refundable deposit. As part of the South Island challenge you are also committing to raising at least $3,000 (per person) for Coastguard.

What happens if I need to cancel?

If you find yourself unable to attend, please notify us as soon as possible.

  • Cancellation within 5 days of registration will receive a full refund.
  • Cancellations more than 90 days prior to departure will receive a full refund minus the $950 deposit.
  • Cancellations within 90 days of departure will receive no refund. Where applicable, we can provide assistance in making a travel insurance claim.

Travel insurance

Do I need to have insurance?

Travel insurance is highly recommended for New Zealand residents and required for non-New Zealand residents, to cover cancellation, hospital, emergency evacuation and lost luggage. We recommend purchasing your policy as soon as possible. It is up to you to ensure you have fully comprehensive travel insurance and you will need to share these details with our team before departure. For more information, please visit

What happens if there is a medical emergency?

Providing the safest possible environment is our highest priority and we have an outstanding safety record. All Inspired Adventures guides are first aid trained and well-equipped to handle any medical emergencies.


All information is subject to change and will be confirmed upon your registration.


“I loved the variety of activities, the group of people I got to travel with and in such a great location - beautiful!”

– Rebekah King, Sammy D's Coast to Coast Challenge 2023

“Our guides made the week so special for everyone with their enthusiasm, organisation, knowledge and warm nature.”

– Peter Rawson, ShelterBox Southern Alps NZ 2022

Find Out More

Enter your details to find out more and hear directly from our team about how this adventure makes a difference.