CHRISTCHURCH | ARTHURS PASS | FRANZ JOSEF | QUEENSTOWN | HOLLYFORD TRACK | NELSON | ABEL TASMAN | GOLDEN BAY | TONGARIO | AUCKLAND
New Zealand has some of the best and most scenic hiking trails in the world. Featuring a series of guided walks and an array of outdoor activities, this tour is for the true adventurer. Take away amazing memories as you explore the country’s natural beauty. Descend onto Franz Josef glacier on a scenic flight; retrace the footsteps of Maori chiefs and explore sprawling beaches in Abel Tasman National Park. Find your inner explorer.
What our clients say: ”We never knew we would be able to combine seeing so much of New Zealand with our favourite hobby – walking! Kayaking Te Pukatea Bay was just the icing on the cake.”
- See spectacular scenery as you hike the famous Holyford Track
- Learn about the Maori history in Abel Tasman
Day 1 : Christchurch
On your arrival into Christchurch Airport you will be transferred to your hotel. Often referred to as the Garden City, Christchurch features many majestic trees and extensive parks and gardens, the most notable of which is expansive Hagley Park in the heart of the city. Bordering the park, you will find the botanical gardens and the Gothic revival building which houses the Canterbury Museum.
Hotel: The George Hotel
Day 2 : Arthurs Pass
This morning, pick up your rental car in Christchurch and drive to Arthurs Pass. Discover wild nature in a spectacular mountain setting and experience life on a 2,400-hectare nature reserve at your lodge accommodation. Walk from your room into a natural paradise of beech forest, moss-lined streams and lakes. Forget your car for a couple of days, settle in and explore!
Hotel for 2 nights: Wilderness Lodge Arthurs Pass
Day 3 : Arthurs Pass
Get to know the rugged landscape around the stunning Wilderness Lodge today as a skilled nature guide takes you on a half day tour. Witness the dramatic beauty and learn about the flower and fauna of the region. Spend the remainder of the day relaxing and taking advantage of the lodge’s facilities.
Day 4-5 : Franz Josef
Traverse the mighty Southern Alps, where spectacular views of alpine landscape will take your breath away. Cross beautiful stretches of countryside to Franz Josef. Tomorrow, witness the majesty of the beautiful Franz Josef Glacier from the air as your helicopter takes to the skies then descend onto the glacier itself and set foot on the ice. Admission to the Franz Josef Hot Pools included.
Hotel for 2 nights: Te Waonui Forest Retreat
Day 6 : Queenstown
Depart Franz Josef and travel to Fox Glacier. Then on through red and white pine forests to Bruce Bay. Pass through bush scenery to the township of Haast; drive the Haast Pass Highway, stopping enroute to see Mt Brewster Glacier, then continue over the undulating countryside and skirt Lake Hayes to descend to Queenstown. Drop off your rental car in Queenstown tonight.
Hotel: St Moritz
Day 7 : Hollyford Track
This morning you will be picked up and taken through some of New Zealand’s most divine scenery to the start of the Holyford Track in the Hollyford Valley; a 3-day guided walk. On day 1 beneath the gaze of the mighty Southern Alps, you’ll re-trace footsteps of original Maori and early pioneer explorers, undulating through native forest and beside tumbling waterfalls. At the end of the day you will be welcomed at Pyke Lodge.
Hotel: Pyke Lodge
Day 8 : Hollyford Track
After a short walk this morning, board a jet boat for a scenic cruise; you may even encounter a family of Bottlenose Dolphins. Afterwards, continue hiking through the stunning Hollyford Valley where the human history is as incredible as the scenery. Next reach the Long Reef, which plays host to a colony of Fur Seals; end the day at Martins Bay Lodge
Hotel: Martin’s Bay Lodge
Day 9 : Queenstown
Today you’ll explore Martin’s Bay Spit. View historical sites of Maori occupation where chief Tutoko and his people guarded entry into the Hollyford Valley. Enjoy time at leisure to explore the isolated beach and sand dunes, then take a scenic flight into the truly spectacular Milford Sound where you’ll marvel at the grandeur of granite walls rising from the sea. Afterwards you will be transfered back to Queenstown.
Hotel for 2 nights: Hotel St Moritz
Day 10 : Queenstown
Experience everything Queenstown is known for today. You will be picked up and taken to the exhilarating Shotover Jet for the ultimate jet boat experience. Take a unique breath-taking ride through narrow canyons; hold on tight for exhilarating 360-degree spins. Afterwards, climb aboard your 4WD vehicle for an off-road adventure. Explore the abandoned gold mining area of the Arrow River and film locations used in Lord of the Rings, later on you will be transferred back to your hotel.
Day 11 : Nelson
Today, you will be collected from your accommodation and transferred to Queenstown Airport for your flight to Nelson. On your arrival into Nelson Airport, you will be transferred to your hotel. The beautiful township of Nelson is situated on the pristine Glenelg River, some two kilometers from the mouth but with views of the ocean across the sand hills to the south either side of the river estuary.
Hotel: Rutherford Hotel Nelson
Day 12 : Abel Tasman
You will be picked up this morning to meet your guide for a welcome briefing; the start of your 3-day guided walk through Abel Tasman. Next take a cruise from Kaiteriteri at the southern tip of the Park, along the spectacular Abel Tasman coastline. From Totaranui, walk through beech forests and along secluded golden beaches to the Awaroa inlet. Either walk, if the tide is out, or take a boat ride across the stunning expanses of the largest inlet on the coast.
Hotel: Meadowbank Homestead
Day 13 : Abel Tasman
Wake to breakfast overlooking the gardens of Meadowbank Homestead, watching the movement of the tides over golden sands. Walk the stunning expanse of Onetahuti Beach then paddle to Torrent Bay, through Tonga Island Marine Reserve and exploring hidden inlets along the way. Enjoy the sensation of paddling through the clear turquoise waters of the Park as you cruise past Tonga Quarry and learn the history of this granite area.
Hotel: Torrent Bay
Day 14 : Nelson
Leave Torrent Bay by kayak this morning and glide along the coast to discover the pristine bays and beaches named by French Explorer, Dumont D’urville in 1827. Paddle the idyllic waters of Te Pukatea Bay. Stop for lunch before continuing your journey through azure waters to the famous Kaiteriteri beach, where you’ll be transferred to your hotel.
Hotel for 2 nights: Rutherford Hotel Nelson.
Day 15 : Golden Bay
Today, choose from a selection of exclusive tours; explore the wild north west and witness incredible views of the national parks and Farewell Spit, Te Waikoropupu Springs and Wharariki Beach. Or head to the Golden Bay for spectacular scenery, caves & short walks. You might like to take a guided walk of Mt Arthur and Kahurangi National Park or discover the Nelson Lakes Nature Recovery on a scenic Drive and Guided Walk of Lake Rotoiti. The choice is yours.
Day 16 : Tongariro
You will be met at your accommodation and transferred to Nelson Airport for your flight to Taupo. On arrival in Taupo, pick up your rental car and drive to Tongariro National Park. Tongariro is New Zealand’s oldest national park; it has an important Maori cultural and spiritual association as well as outstanding volcanic features.
Hotel for 2 nights: Chateau Tongariro Hotel.
Day 17 : Tongariro
Today enjoy New Zealand’s best day one-day hike. The landscape on Tongariro is peppered with scoured volcanic rocks and emerald lakes. Summer offers a majestic landscape with a vast array of colours created by mineral deposits; Winter provides the luxury of few other walkers and the fun of sliding on snow.
Day 18 : Auckland
Drive to Taupo and drop off your rental car at the airport, before taking your flight to Auckland. Aucklanders have embraced the culinary arts of all those who have come to call it home, resulting in a dining culture that prizes variety, inventiveness and presentation, so why not eat out tonight? Rest up in your hotel before your flight home tomorrow.
Hotel: Novotel Auckland Airport.