Trails of New Zealand

Start: Auckland Finish: Christchurch

Visiting: Oceania, Lindis Pass, Tekapo, Haast, Te Anau, Rotorua, Christchurch, Wanaka, Auckland, Mt Cook, Queenstown


Duration: 17 Nights

Physical rating: Moderate

Special diets catered: Please inform Exodus of specific dietary requirements

Tour Operator: Exodus

Group size: 6 - 14

Age range: 18 to 99

Tour operated in: English


Prices From: $7600

Tour Overview

From the waterfront city of Auckland to the spectacular Southern Alps, New Zealand is blessed with an array of natural wonders that are best experienced and appreciated by foot and by boat. This active trip maximises the time spent in the outdoors. Whether it's sailing through waterways, hiking between volcanic peaks or jetboating through Mount Aspiring National Park, New Zealand is a country that always exceeds expectations. Make the most of this striking country with this jam-packed itinerary that includes many of the highlights en route.

Highlights

  • iconLake Taupo and Rotorua
  • iconAbel Tasman National Park
  • iconAuckland and Christchurch
  • iconFox Glacier and Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park
  • iconOne-day Tongariro Crossing (optional) and other exciting walks
  • iconQueenstown and Milford Sound

Itinerary

Map Image
icon Day 1 : Arrive Auckland

The day is free to relax and recover from the jet lag. Auckland is a beautiful city and worthy of some time to explore. The nearby Viaduct restaurants are an ideal means of overcoming the last of the jet lag and the day just slowly passes by. If you are feeling lucky visit the Sky City Casino tower for one of those lunches you just don't forget. Those not flying with the group should meet at the start hotel at 6pm for a full briefing with your leader. *Auckland City Hotel/ The Parnell Hotel or similar*

icon Day 2 : Visit Rangitoto Island

Meals: breakfast

Auckland is the City of Sails, so what better way to start your holiday than to take a cruise across the Gulf to the beautiful Rangitoto Island; which at only 600 years old, is the youngest volcano in New Zealand. The island has undergone a significant restoration programme and is entirely pest-free which encourages the native flora and fauna to thrive. We will walk through lava fields and forests to the summit of the island which stands 259m above sea level and has some stunning panoramic views of Auckland and the Hauraki Gulf. Walk Profile- Rangitoto Island: Distance- 8.5 km/5 miles, total ascent 249m and descent 245m, approx. 2-3 hours. *Auckland City Hotel/The Parnell Hotel or similar*

icon Day 3 : To Rotorua

Meals: breakfast, dinner

Leaving the city behind us we head south to Rotorua (approx. 3.5 hours drive) and our accommodation. On arrival we stretch our legs with a hike around the redwood forest followed by an optional afternoon at leisure in town or a hike at Blue Lake. The evening highlight is the Marae (ceremonial ground) visit. Our Maori hosts welcome us in their traditional manner before entertaining us with a concert and hangi (traditional meal). Walk Profile- Blue Lakes Circuit: Distance- 6 km/3.7 miles, total ascent 125m and descent 117m, approx. 1.5 hours. *Jet Park Hotel or similar*

icon Day 4 : To Tongariro N.P

Meals: breakfast

We explore one of New Zealand's most colourful thermal areas with boiling mud pools, hot streams and silica terraces. The natural wonders that first attracted the Maori in the 14th century, and later the European's, still draw large numbers of tourists every year. Rotorua is a unique natural wonder and a must see destination. Leaving Rotorua we drive south (approx. 3 hours) to Tongariro National Park. On the way we visit the steaming Wai-O-Tapu geothermal valley and impressive Huka Falls. Walk Profile- Wai-O-Tapu: Distance- 8.5 km/5 miles, total ascent 109m and descent 152m, approx. up to 3 hours. *Skotel Alpine Resort/The Park Hotel/Disovery Lodge or similar*

icon Day 5 : Hike Tongariro Crossing 

Meals: breakfast

From the many walking options that exist, you are free to take your choice as we explore this volcanic landform. Two half-day walks to beautiful waterfalls and bush lands (unguided) or the amazing optional 8 hour Tongariro Alpine Crossing are on offer. The Tongariro Alpine Crossing has been called one of the greatest one-day walks in New Zealand and provided the weather is kind the rugged volcanic desert, craters and glacial valleys combined with the incredible views make this a day to remember. The crossing should not be under estimated and there are a number of steep sections where the loose surface can make it tough going, so come well-prepared. The crossing can take 7-8 hours depending on walking ability.  Walk Profile- Tongariro Crossing: Distance- 19.4 km/12 miles, total ascent 765m and descent 1125m, approx. 7-8 hours. If you do not wish to do the optional Tongariro Crossing, below are two of the most popular and scenic walk options accessible by foot from the accommodation that you may wish to consider. Your leader will also be able to advise locally with further details/options: Walk Profile (unguided)- Silica Rapids: Distance- 7 km loop/4.3 miles, total ascent 190m and descent 190m, approx. 2.5 hours. Walk Profile (unguided)- Taranaki Falls: Distance- 6 km loop/3.7 miles, total ascent 115m and descent 115m, approx. 2.5 hours. *Skotel Alpine Resort/The Park Hotel/Discovery Lodge or similar*

icon Day 6 : To Wellington

Meals: breakfast

Relax following yesterday's efforts as we drive (approx. 5 hours) south to Wellington. Continue across the Rangitikei and Manawatu Plains and down the Kapiti Coast to Wellington. Across from our hotel is Te Papa, the NZ National Museum which we can explore in the afternoon along with the beautiful Botanic Gardens and cable car and enjoy the exciting nightlife of New Zealand's capital city. *The Bay Plaza Hotel or similar*

icon Day 7 : Ferry across Cook Strait to Marlborough; drive to Abel Tasman N.P

Meals: breakfast

After an early breakfast we board the ferry and leave the North Island behind as we cross the Cook Strait, passing the Marlborough Sounds with 1500kms of beautiful coastline. From Picton we have a 90 min drive to Nelson where we can take time out to explore the city and a chance to stretch the legs with a short walk to the geographical centre of New Zealand. After this visit we drive to Motueka (approx. 60 min) on the edge of the Abel Tasman National Park, with its idyllic golden sand beaches and forests. Walk Profile- Geographical centre of New Zealand: Distance- 1.6 km/1 mile, total ascent 86m and descent 90m, approx. 1 hour. *Avalon Manor Motel or similar*

icon Day 8 : Half day coastal walk; boat to Motueka

Meals: breakfast, lunch

Out of Marahau, this morning coastal walk takes us through the beautiful beaches and ancient forests as the track weaves through the park, providing a kaleidoscope of impressions. The path is well maintained and the walk will take approx 3-4 hours. We meet our sailing boat at the Anchorage Bay, providing the return to Marahau and some time to relax dining out at the small town of Motueka. Walk Profile- Marahau to Anchorage: Distance- 12.7 km/8 miles, total ascent 217m and descent 214m, approx. 3-4 hours. *Avalon Manor Motel or similar*

icon Day 9 : To Buller River; sunset walk at Punakaiki

Meals: breakfast

Our departure from the Abel Tasman National Park is followed by a scenic drive down the mighty Buller River. After a short stop at Cape Foulwind to see the local seal colony, we then stop at Punakaiki, home of the famous Pancake Rocks, to watch the setting sun (total driving time approx. 5 hours). If the tide is up the ground can physically shake and water spurts from the blow-holes and fissures that dot the coastline. Walk Profile- Cape Foulwind: Distance- 3.5 km/2 miles, total ascent 76m and descent 98m, approx. 1 hour and 15 minutes. *Punakaiki Resort or similar*

icon Day 10 : To Fox Glacier passing Okarito en route

Meals: breakfast

Passing through areas of lush forests, we continue south down the beautiful west coast. We drive onto the small village of Okarito nestled on the lagoon, home of the rare Kotuku (white heron). On offer here is optional kayaking where we float in on the incoming tide and explore the bush-clad waterways seeking out the abundant bird life the lagoon is famous for. Those looking to stretch their legs can hike to the nearby Trig station (approx. 1.5 hours) for the spectacular views over the Southern Alps. Later we continue the short drive through to Fox township. Walk Profile- Okarito Trig Walk: Distance- 4.2 km/2.6 miles, total ascent 171m and descent 170m, approx. 1.5- 2 hours. *Mt Cook View Motel or similar*

icon Day 11 : Walk to Fox Glacier; continue to Wanaka

Meals: breakfast

After breakfast we stroll around the reflective Lake Matheson, a photographer's dream. As we head out of town, we take a drive up the valley and hike to a viewpoint of the spectacular Fox Glacier.  We then continue south along bush-clad roads and past the dramatic coastline with its wild windswept beaches to the settlement of Haast. Turning inland we climb over Haast Pass, the southernmost crossing of the Southern Alps that forms the boundary between Westland and Otago. From here the tussock lands of the eastern slopes merge with the beech forests. We travel through to Wanaka, home for the next two nights. Walk Profile- Lake Matheson Loop: Distance- 2.6 km/1.6 miles, total ascent 42m and descent 42m, approx. 1.5 hours. Walk Profile- Fox Glacier Valley Walkway: Distance- 2.6 km/1.6 miles, total ascent 68m and descent 69m, approx. 1 hour. *Ramada Wanaka /Wanaka Heights Motel or similar*

icon Day 12 : Jet boat in Matukituki

Meals: breakfast

In the morning we head into the Mount Aspiring National Park and experience an exciting jetboat ride along the braided rivers leading into the park. Jetboating was invented in NZ as a means to negotiate the shallow braided rivers which we use to access a track leading to a hike into the cirque surrounded by huge mountain walls. Back at our coach we eat our picnic lunch before driving onto our 3 hour hike at the beautiful Diamond Lake that provides stunning views of the river delta and the landscape. Walk Profile- Matukituki Valley (walk during Jet boat): Distance- 2.2 km/1.3 miles, total ascent 29m and descent 29m, approx. up to 1 hour. Walk Profile- Diamond Lake & Rocky Mountain Circuit: Distance- Up to 7.1 km/4.4 miles, total ascent 437m and descent 432m, approx. 2-3 hours. *Ramada Wanaka /Wanaka Heights Motel or similar*

icon Day 13 : Transfer to Milford Sound and board overnight boat

Meals: breakfast, dinner

From Wanaka we depart early heading for Te Anau and then into the Eglington Valley, enjoying a series of short walks in the spectacular Milford region and then into Milford Sound itself where we join our floating accommodation for the night. The Milford Mariner boat has private two bed cabins with en-suite facilities where we enjoy our overnight stay amidst dolphins and mighty peaks towering above the fjord. Walk Profile- various short walk options on Milford Road of up to 1 hour/2 kms duration depending on group fitness, weather and time permitting. *Real Journeys- Milford Mariner boat*

icon Day 14 : Cruise Inner Sound; drive to Queenstown

Meals: breakfast

After an early morning breakfast we cruise the inner sound again searching for dolphins and seals before disembarking and retracing our tracks to The Divide and the start of the Routeburn Track. Here we take a 3-hour walk (approx. 6.8km) to Key Summit for some spectacular views. After this hike we drive via Te Anau (approx. 4 hours) onto Queenstown, where we stay for the next two nights. Walk Profile- Routeburn Track: Distance- 6.8 km/4.2 miles, total ascent 430m and descent 413m, approx. 3 hours. *Garden Court Suites or similar*

icon Day 15 : Free day in Queenstown

Meals: breakfast

A free day to enjoy the scenic delights of this world famous destination! There are numerous activities on offer which your leader can advise about locally. Or, you may just prefer to simply spend the day shopping or relaxing! *Garden Court Suites or similar*

icon Day 16 : Transfer to Mt Cook N.P.; trek in Hooker Valley

Meals: breakfast

Travel through the barren Kawarau Gorge where large amounts of gold were dredged at the turn of the century. Drive over Lindis Pass to the tussock-covered plains of the Mackenzie basin and into the Mt Cook National Park (total approx. 4 hours). Beneath NZ's highest peak we walk into the Hooker Valley with its crashing glaciers and glacial lakes. By early evening we reach our accommodation and watch the spectacular view from the warmth of the restaurant. Walk Profile- Hooker Valley: Distance- 10.5 km/6.5 miles, total ascent 209m and descent 218m, approx. 3 hours. *Aoraki/Mt Cook Alpine Lodge /Mount Cook Lodge and Motels or similar*

icon Day 17 : Drive to Christchurch via Canterbury Plains

Meals: breakfast

After breakfast we drive to Christchurch via the Canterbury Plains. After the devastating earthquakes of 2010/11, Christchurch is undergoing a major rebuild, unrivalled in the world. The afternoon is free for you to explore this city as well as the beautiful gardens and Hagley park before we have a final group dinner. *Pavilions Hotel or similar*

icon Day 18 : End Christchurch

Meals: breakfast

For Land Only clients, the trip will finish after breakfast and check-out from the hotel.

What's Included

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    Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)

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    Tour leader throughout

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    All breakfasts, 1 lunch and 2 dinners

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    All accommodation 

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    All transport and listed activities

What's Not Included

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    Single accommodation (available on request) 

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    Travel insurance

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    Visas or vaccinations

Food

All breakfasts, 1 lunch and 2 dinners are included. Breakfasts will be either supplied by the accommodation or by the guides for you. We will always be able to purchase lunches on the run but can also facilitate creating sandwiches at your accommodation and have these stored in our on-board fridge. Morning tea / coffee stops are available at your own cost. 

Book with Confidence

  • icon
    Low Deposit

    Exodus requires a deposit of 20% to secure a place on this tour, and the final balance is not due till 70 days before departure..

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    Secure payments

    All payments to TourHub are deposited into an externally regulated Trust account.


Reviews

Read all 20 reviews
Trails of New Zealand
This was a wonderful walking holiday. We were fortunately blessed with extremely good weather, so the views were unforgettable. This was a wonderful walking holiday.

We were fortunately blessed with extremely good weather, so the views were unforgettable.

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Trails of New Zealand
The holiday exceeded our expectations and in the main the Trip Notes accurately reflected the details of the holiday (see below). A fantastic holiday. The holiday exceeded our expectations and in the main the Trip Notes accurately reflected the details of the holiday (see below).

A fantastic holiday.

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TRAILS OF NEW ZEALAND
This was the trip of a lifetime for me. If you love walking and the great outdoors but want to challenge yourself with some other activities you may not have ....more This was the trip of a lifetime for me.

If you love walking and the great outdoors but want to challenge yourself with some other activities you may not have tried before and see the wildlife and landscape of this fascinating  country with a bunch of like minded people book this trip you will not be disappointed.

; ....less
A wonderful trip.
This trip covers a lot of ground, with a packed itinerary and with plenty of walking in beautiful scenery. The weather was very kind to us - we even saw ....more This trip covers a lot of ground, with a packed itinerary and with plenty of walking in beautiful scenery.

The weather was very kind to us - we even saw Milford Sound with clear blue skies!; ....less
Title is good.
It’s a very full an encompassing trip. It covers a great deal and involves a lot of hiking, which is really the only way to truly see and appreciate this ....more It’s a very full an encompassing trip.

It covers a great deal and involves a lot of hiking, which is really the only way to truly see and appreciate this spectacular country.

; ....less
Trails of New Zealand
Covered the highlights of the whole of New Zealand in a three week marathon trip! Hit all the major spots of the whole country which of course means many long ....more Covered the highlights of the whole of New Zealand in a three week marathon trip! Hit all the major spots of the whole country which of course means many long hours of driving (3000 miles!) but worth it.

Managed as well to fit in special things for us on free days so best of both worlds.

; ....less
Fabulous trip
A tour of both North and South Islands with numerous short walks included which aren't listed on the trip notes. The scenery is just breathtaking (sometimes literally with some ....more A tour of both North and South Islands with numerous short walks included which aren't listed on the trip notes.

The scenery is just breathtaking (sometimes literally with some of the hills we walked up.

.

.

.

) and just needs to be seen.

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AWESOME NEW ZEALAND
This trip is one of the best we have experienced with Exodus. The varied walking, landscape and experiences on the trip make it an amazing adventure. Beware though there are ....more This trip is one of the best we have experienced with Exodus.

The varied walking, landscape and experiences on the trip make it an amazing adventure.

Beware though there are many long distances to cover (we did over 3500 Km in the 19 days), but Ian and Sonya made it very interesting with their local knowledge and frequent rest stops at interesting places.

The highlight of the walking was of course the Tongariro Alpine Crossing which on the day we did it was truly spectacular with the Emerald lake just like the Guide books.

The Abel Tasman Coastal walk again like the guide book pictures.

The Diamond Lake and Rocky Mountain walk was tough but well worth it for the views.

Other experiences met all our expectations – Sailing on Tasman sea, Jet boat on River Motukituki where at times we were in 5 inches of water, Helicopter to Fox Glacier (paid locally) and overnight on Milford Sound in Fiordland.

Christchurch was sad to see but it is good to that they are beginning to get the city rebuilt.

It is important to note that a few walks and experiences can be affected by weather.

Although it was summer we dodged Storm Fehi – Tongariro was closed the day after we walked it, Windy Wellington was stormy Wellington, roads near Fox Glacier were closed due to landslides and they had had no electricity for 3 days before we arrived.

However we managed all the planned itinerary except walking to Fox Glacier due to landslide.

All in all an AWESOME trip; ....less
The best of New Zealand
What an amazing trip! I cannot recommend it highly enough - it showcasts everything that New Zealand has to offer, and despite travelling for 3 weeks it is not enough. ....more What an amazing trip! I cannot recommend it highly enough - it showcasts everything that New Zealand has to offer, and despite travelling for 3 weeks it is not enough.

We wanted to stay longer, explore further, be stunned by the mindblowing views.

From the rolling hills on the North Island to the majestic mountains and fields in Middle Earth and Milford Sounds on the South Island - it is impossible to choose a favourite spot, and certainly calls for another trip in the near future.

I loved, loved, loved it, the country, the people and how happy it made me.

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Trails of New Zealand
We had promised ourselves this trip for some time and had high expectations. We were looking for a good mix of activities to see and experience the country.Trails of New ....more We had promised ourselves this trip for some time and had high expectations.

We were looking for a good mix of activities to see and experience the country.

Trails of New Zealand went way beyond our expectations.

We thoroughly enjoyed the amazing places, the range of walks in different landscapes, the fun of jet-boating, sailing and cruising, and luging, and the unique birds and wildlife.

; ....less

Dates & Availability

Select departure month

Friday Oct 29, 2021

Nights

17

Available

8

$7600.18

Saturday Dec 11, 2021

Nights

17

Available

8

$7600.18

Friday Jan 07, 2022

Nights

17

Available

8

$7600.18

Saturday Jan 22, 2022

Nights

17

Available

8

$7600.18

Saturday Mar 05, 2022

Nights

17

Available

8

$7600.18