Trekking in New Zealand

Trekking in New Zealand

19 Days From



Trekking in New Zealand

19 Days Starting in Auckland and ending in Christchurch

Visiting: Auckland, Rotorua, Whirinaki Forest Park, Taupō, Tongariro National Park, Tongariro Alpine Crossing, Wellington, Nelson, Abel Tasman National Park, Murchison, Buller River, Paparoa National Park, Punakaiki, Hokitika, Makarora, Wanaka, Mount Aspiring National Park, Queenstown, Te Anau, Kepler Track, Milford Sound, Mackenzie Country, Aoraki / Mount Cook, Sealy Tarns Viewpoint, Christchurch

Tour operator:


Tour code:


Guide Type:

Fully Guided

Group size:

4 - 15

Physical rating:

Moderate / Challenging

Age range:


Special diets catered:

Please inform Exodus of specific dietary requirements

Tour operated in:

Trekking, Walking

$11232 Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$318

NB: Prices correct on 27-May-2024 but subject to change.

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Tour Overview

New Zealand epitomises contrasting scenery and culture and is an ideal country for adventure travel. Explore both islands as you weave your way through New Zealand on this active trip, visiting all the main highlights and many off-the-beaten-track attractions. Maximise your time in out of the way places and yet still marvel at the iconic destinations. Enjoy true wilderness campsites followed by comfortable lodges. Trek through Jurassic-like rainforest, hike along a glacier, climb up volcanic peaks and enjoy fish and chips on the beach. It is this mix which makes New Zealand extraordinary - it is majestic but down to earth, otherworldly yet reassuringly familiar. A range of activities and glacier walking (optional extra) complement the hikes superbly and keep this tour as diverse and exciting as the landscapes travelled!


  • Fox Glacier and the deep fjord complexes around Milford

  • Raw, primeval landscape of Rotorua shaped by volcanic activity

  • Optional activities in Queenstown

  • Climb amongst the soaring peaks of Aoraki Mt Cook National Park

  • Golden beaches of Abel Tasman

  • Hike in Mt Aspiring NP

  • Hike surrounded by smoking volcanoes


Expand All

Day 1 : Start Auckland

Location: Auckland

Meals Included: No Meals

Start Auckland; afternoon free to relax at your central hotel or wander the

downtown to get your bearings in New Zealand's largest city. Catch a ferry to

Devonport or clamber up the Mt Eden volcanic cone to get panoramic views of

the city and its bright blue harbours and gain a sense of the city’s

complex volcanic past. There will be a briefing in the hotel foyer at 6pm

this evening. Afterwards those who wish, can gather for a group meal, your

leader will organise. 


* *

Day 2 : Travel To Rotorua

Location: Rotorua

Meals Included: Lunch

We depart Auckland and head south through the dairy farming plains of the

Thames Valley before passing over old ignimbrite flows to reach Lake Rotorua

with its stunning crater lakes and volcanoes. We savour a picnic lunch

sitting on the beach of Lake Tarawera - an ancient caldera crater amongst

forest and volcanoes. In the afternoon we enjoy a bush walk along a good

trail alongside this splendid lake - there are plenty of great swimming

spots. We use a water taxi to travel one way. Sample good kiwi kai (food)

with an evening meal at one of the many cafes and restaurants in Rotorua.*


Day 3 : Hike Through The Jurassic-Like Rainforest Of Whirinaki Forest Park; Visit The Waiotapu Thermal Reserve

Location: Whirinaki Forest Park, Taupō

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

It is a 1.5-hour drive to the Jurassic-like rainforest of Whirinaki Forest

Park. This park covers an area of 60,000 hectares and is famous for its

podocarp trees, an ancient off-shoot of the conifer family that evolved

before flowering plants. It is thought that forests like this once covered

the super-continent of Gondwanaland more than 150 million years ago. This is

where the BBC ‘Walking with Dinosaurs’ series was filmed. Step back in

time as you hike amongst weeping ferns, forest giants and rare birdlife. On

our way back to the vehicle we keep an eye out for the rare Blue Duck that

are sometimes seen in this river.

En-route to Taupo we visit Waiotapu Thermal Reserve, where you can walk at

your own pace through this fascinating thermal wonderland of geysers,

bubbling mud, steaming ground, expansive vistas, huge volcanic craters and

sinter terrace formations.

We'll visit Huka Falls before arriving in Taupo, situated on the shores of

the largest lake in New Zealand; which was formed by a series of massive

volcanic eruptions over the last 2000 years. 

* *

Day 4 : South To Tongariro; Bush And Alpine Walks

Location: Tongariro National Park

Meals Included: Lunch

A 1-hour drive gets us to the Tongariro National Park. Established in 1887,

it was New Zealand's first National Park, gifted to the people of New Zealand

by a Maori chief (Tukino Te Hue Hue) who saw this as a way of protecting the

tapu (respect or sacredness) of the land - in particular the summits of the

active volcanoes. It is also a dual World Heritage Area, a status which

recognises the park's important Maori cultural and spiritual associations as

well as its outstanding volcanic features.

Enroute to the Park, we enjoy a short 1 hour hike through stunning forest

around the slopes of Mt Pihanga and to the mystical Lake Rotopounamu (Lake of

Greenstone). The next two nights are spent in a hotel on the edge of the

park, providing a great opportunity for you to explore the area at your

leisure. In the afternoon hike to Taranaki Falls, cascading 20 metres over a

15,000 year old lava flow.

Day 5 : Trek The Tongariro Alpine Crossing

Location: Tongariro Alpine Crossing

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Today is a full days hiking on the famous Tongariro Alpine Crossing, regarded

as one of the best day walks in the world. The well-built track climbs,

steeply at times, to the craters of Mt Tongariro. Hike up through a moon-like

valley of contorted lava flows and ash fields before climbing up the last

steep section to Red Crater, and down to the Emerald Lakes - our usual lunch

stop. Admire the volcanic views and steaming vents that make this hike so

outstanding. This is a tough walk so those who prefer a more restful day can

find plenty to do at the village (unguided): Soda Springs walk, Taranaki

Falls walk, or simply drink coffee and view the great exhibits at the Park

Visitor Centre. Enjoy your second night in this village.

Today and yesterday may be swapped around in order to take advantage of the

best weather on the Tongariro Alpine crossing.

* *

Day 6 : To Wellington; Free Time

Location: Wellington

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

This morning we drive to Wellington, arriving in the early afternoon.

Wellington is New Zealand’s wonderful harbour capital. The giant

fault-created harbour almost encircled by steep suburbs gives it a giant

coliseum feel. You have free time to enjoy walking around the central city

and absorb the lively atmosphere. Wellington is well known for its vibrant

café, art and culture scenes. There is no shortage of places to have a

coffee or a drink - with more bars, cafes and restaurants per capita than New

York. You may like to visit the museum of New Zealand, called Te Papa, or the

beehive (Parliament House).

Day 7 : Short And Scenic Flight To Nelson; To Abel Tasman; Water Taxi Into Park

Location: Nelson

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

We transfer to Wellington airport for the short flight across the Cook Strait

to the South Island. Here we meet our South Island-based guide. A pleasant

drive through the orchards and vineyards of Nelson Bay takes us to

Kaiteriteri, a popular holiday spot for kiwis and a gateway into Abel Tasman

National Park. Abel Tasman’s wilderness flows unhindered to a coast of

golden beaches and granite headlands; there are no roads here - just boat and

walking access. We hail a water taxi to reach the lovely Onetahuti Beach in

the heart of the park. From here we start our hike on the famed coastal track

and hike through to our tranquil campsite at Bark Bay. A great spot to gaze

at the stars before falling asleep to the sounds of the ocean.

Day 8 : Walk Abel Tasman Np Coastal Track; To Murchison

Location: Abel Tasman National Park, Murchison

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Today we wander through lush coastal forests, cross Falls River via a 47

metre suspension bridge then depending on the tides we may cross an estuary

or follow the all tide track. Cleopatra's Pool is a worthwhile side trip,

here the river has carved a smooth slide down the rocks into deep clear pools

- you may not be able to resist taking a dip! We finish our hike on the

golden sand beaches of Anchorage, where a water taxi takes us back to

Kaiteriteri and our vehicle. We spend the night in Murchison, a quiet rural

town on the edge of the wilds. This is the north eastern limit of the vast

wilderness ranges and rivers that dominate much of the South Island.*


Day 9 : To Paparoa N.P.; Hike Up Fox River To The Ballroom Overhang

Location: Buller River, Paparoa National Park

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

This morning we drive west beside the mighty Buller River to the rugged West

Coast. At Cape Foulwind we take a short walk to view a seal colony. The New

Zealand fur seal pups are born in December and January. We might see the

young pups frolicking around in rockpools sheltered from the heaving waves

that pound this part of the coast. After lunch we start an overnight hike in

Paparoa National Park. Amongst the largest remaining tract of coastal native

forest in New Zealand are towering limestone cliffs, caves and rivers - an

ideal area for hiking. Starting at the mouth of the Fox River, we take a

historic pack-horse route to Dilemma Creek, and then follow the river upwards

to the Ballroom Overhang where we spend the night. Your guide will show you

river crossing techniques and you will be thankful for your proper hiking

boots, which are essential in this terrain. The Ballroom is a large limestone

overhang which shelters a serene campsite just above the Fox River. The

evening is spent sitting around the campfire and enjoying a delicious meal.*


Day 10 : Hike Out Of Canyon; Drive To Punakaiki, Pancake Rocks, Hokitika And Fox Glacier

Location: Punakaiki, Hokitika

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

After a leisurely breakfast we hike back down the Fox River before driving

south along the coast to Punakaiki and the Pancake Rocks. These

30-million-year-old limestone rocks have formed immense features with

thousands of layers. Continuing south, we stop at Hokitika. Originally known

as the 'Capital of the Goldfields', Hokitika was once a thriving and

prosperous port. Much of its old character remains and it is now a major

centre for greenstone (pounamu) or jade. This hard stone is treasured by the

Maori who used it for decorative jewellery and for carving some of their

lethal weapons – the war clubs known as meres. From Hokitika we continue

south to Fox Glacier, one of the few places in the world where you will see

glaciers descending into the level of the rainforest.*


Day 11 : Fox Glacier Trek; To Makarora & Wanaka

Location: Makarora, Wanaka

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

We make the most of being in the South Westland World Heritage Area this

morning and hike to a view point of the Franz Josef glacier. This dynamic

glacier falls 2400m over 12kms as it makes its journey from high in the

Southern Alps to temperate rainforest just 250m above sea level.

After we return from the hike we continue our drive through this remarkable

World Heritage Area on to Makarora crossing back over the Southern Alps en

route at Haast Pass stopping to explore remote beaches and coastal lagoons

and forests on the way. Tonight we stay we stay in the lakeside town of


Day 12 : Rob Roy Glacier Walk In Mt Aspiring Np; Transfer To Queenstown

Location: Mount Aspiring National Park, Queenstown

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

After a relaxed breakfast enjoying the stunning views over Lake Wanaka we set

off on today’s hike to the Rob Roy Glacier. We start off with a beautiful

drive up the Matukituki Valley, driving through large sheep, cattle and deer

farms along the way. Our hike starts from Raspberry Flat and crosses a

suspension bridge across the Matukituki River before climbing through Beech

forest alongside the raging boulder strewn stream of Rob Roy. Eventually the

track emerges above the tree line in a delightful alpine meadow with a superb

vista of the Rob Roy glacier. We take lunch here before wandering back down

the valley to the vehicle. We drive over the Crown Range into Queenstown

where we stay for the next two nights.

* *

Day 13 : Free Day In Queenstown

Location: Queenstown

Meals Included: No Meals

Labelled the adventure capital of New Zealand, Queenstown offers the chance

to sample numerous optional activities! Alternatively, you may choose to sit

back, relax and take in the amazing views from the shores of Lake Wakatipu on

this free day. There are also some great day walks (some up to eight hours)

that leave from this bustling little town. Your guide will outline all the

options on how to make the most of your day.*


Day 14 : To Te Anau; Afternoon Hike On The Kepler Track

Location: Te Anau, Kepler Track

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

We head into Fiordland National Park - World Heritage Area, the largest

National Park in New Zealand. The huge glacial lakes of Te Anau and Manapouri

are the border of Fiordland’s dramatic inland coast. The area is dominated

by water, either in the form of lakes, ocean fiords or as falling rain –

which has enabled the establishment of temperate rainforest. 

We hike on the Kepler track, firstly around the lake shore before climbing

gently up through the forest and limestone outcrops to the bush-line. From

these broad tussock tops you are rewarded with the sweeping views of the

Fiordland wilderness including the Murchison and Kepler mountains and Lakes

Te Anau and Manapouri. Descend back to the lake and follow the lakeside trail

back to the vehicle. We base ourselves in Te Anau for the next two nights.

An ideal base to explore and experience Fiordland National Park.

Day 15 : Drive To Milford Sound; Optional Boat Cruise Into The Fjord; To Te Anau

Location: Milford Sound, Te Anau

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Optional 2 hour boat cruise.

We rise early and drive through the Homer Tunnel and down to Milford Sound

itself. Here we have the option to take a cruise on the fjord with its

cascading waterfalls and views of Mitre Peak (1722m). Fiordland crested

penguins and New Zealand fur seals often play near the boat. 

An afternoon hike takes us up to Key Summit (the tail end of the renowned

Routeburn track) for fantastic views across the gneiss and granite Darran

Mountains. After the hike return to Te Anau via the splendid Eglinton Valley,

one of the only road accessible valleys in Fiordland National Park.

Day 16 : Drive Through Mackenzie Country To Aoraki/Mt Cook

Location: Mackenzie Country, Aoraki / Mount Cook

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

After several days of rigorous hiking give the legs a rest today on our drive

north to Aoraki/ Mt Cook National Park. A stop in Cromwell is a good

opportunity to sample some of the delicious fruit that is grown in this area

as well as taking a stroll through the quaint and lovingly restored

historical precinct of the town. Central Otago’s high country landscape,

contains some of New Zealand’s largest high country sheep stations, many

measuring tens of thousands of hectares – Patagonian like in size and

splendor. Crossing Lindis Pass we continue through the MacKenzie country to

the shores of Lake Pukaki and then west to Aoraki/Mt Cook (3724m). Arriving

late in the afternoon the remainder of the afternoon is yours to do as you

please, either hike (unguided) the nearby Red Tarns track or relax and enjoy

the stunning views of Aoraki.

Day 17 : Hike Up To Mueller Ridge Via Sealy Tarns

Location: Sealy Tarns Viewpoint

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today we hike up the Mueller Ridge via Sealy Tarns, with awesome views of Mt

Cook and Mt Tasman (the two highest peaks in New Zealand) and Mueller Glacier

with its terminal meltwater lakes. There is time in the afternoon to take

another hike up to the Hooker Valley, or alternatively take a stroll around

the village and visit the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Center.*


Day 18 : Hike Small Lakes Of Tasman Glacier; Transfer Across The Canterbury Plains To Christchurch

Location: Christchurch

Meals Included: breakfast, lunch

Time for one final hike this morning, as we explore the nearby Tasman Valley,
a stunning area of alpine vistas, lakes and glacial morraines. Leaving Mt
Cook we continue north through the MacKenzie country, taking a break at Lake
Tekapo - aqua blue waters framed by the Southern Alps. Tekapo is filled by
glacially fed rivers which deposit tons of glacial flour (finely ground rock)
into the lake; this flour is so fine that it is suspended in the water and
refracts the light giving the lake a stunning colour. After crossing the
Canterbury plains we arrive in Christchurch in the mid afternoon, and here
the trip concludes after 3 weeks of hiking through volcanoes, thermal
wonderlands, rainforests, glaciers and remote mountain valleys. 

Day 19 : End Christchurch

Location: Christchurch

End Christchurch

What's Included

  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)

  • Tour leader throughout

  • All accommodation 

  • All transport and listed activities

  • 15 breakfasts, 16 lunches & 4 dinners

  • 14 breakfasts, 16 lunches & 3 dinners

What's Not Included

  • Single accommodation (available on request)

  • Visas or vaccinations

  • Travel insurance


The itinerary includes 14 breakfasts, 16 lunches and 3 dinners.

Usually the group and the leader prepare the meals together as many of the
meals are picnic/buffet style lunches or dinners.

Breakfasts are generally buffet/continental style; lunches are sandwiches,
salads and fruit. The evening meals prepared in the backcountry are a little
more basic for practical reasons, but still flavoursome and nutritious
(mainly vegetarian).

Please note: food for lunches and dinner will be purchased during the tour by
your leader, and you may be asked to help out with picking up these supplies.


We spend 16 nights in hotels, lodges and cabins (some with private bathrooms and some with shared facilities) and two nights in huts/camping with shared facilities. The camping is in a wilderness setting, basic facilities and generally the group is expected to put up and take down their own tents and pitch in with cooking and washing up.

Single rooms are available for 15 nights of this tour for a supplement and must be requested in advance, so please inform us at the time of booking. Private bathrooms are unlikely on nights 2, 3, 8, 10 and 11. Single tents are provided for the camps (the two remaining nights).

Check out our Q&As

  • Are the local guides on the tour English speaking?


  • What is the maximum group size?


  • Are children permitted to take part in the tour?

    16+ age people can go on this tour.

  • What happens if I need to change my holiday date once I’ve booked?

    If you wish to make any changes to your booking, particularly if you need to alter any flights booked through us, please let us know as soon as possible. There is a booking or flight amendment fee of £40 per change and flight amendments often incur extra airline costs depending on the changes to be made and if the ticket has been issued or not.

  • How long has the tour company been trading?

    Exodus has been trading since 1974

  • What documents will I receive before I travel?

    Your final joining instructions and flight details, if booked with us, will then be sent out 2 to 3 weeks before departure. If you would like a hard copy posted, or if you require these any earlier, please contact the customer operations team. We advise that if you are booking connecting travel before receiving these, please ensure you leave plenty of time.

  • Do you operate a “single share” option and how does it work?

    Travellers are welcome to opt to share a room with a tour member of the same gender for no additional charge. If you'd like your own room, we can request a single supplement so that you will have your own room throughout.

  • Can I join the tour once it has departed?

    You are welcome to meet the group after the tour has departed however there is no reduction in rate for joining a tour after the departure date.

Reviews from travellers on this tour


New Zealand exceeded my expectations and the trip

New Zealand exceeded my expectations and the trip provided even more than the brochure promises. The value for money was exceptional. There was such a diversity of landscape and no end to the opportunities to explore it to the full.

Trekking in New Zealand

If you are reading this review because you are thi

If you are reading this review because you are thinking of going on this Exodus trip, I have to say I'm quite jealous of you! If you decide to go you have an amazing holiday ahead of you. This is an opportunity to see some of the best this beautiful country has to offer in a relatively short period of time. Yes, it was exhausting because we packed so much in, but what a rollercoaster of fun and experience. And most days there was time to relax and recharge in the vehicle.

Trekking Delights Down Under

This is a wonderful opportunity to get to know a b

This is a wonderful opportunity to get to know a beautiful country and to enjoy probably the best one-day trek in the world, the Tongagriro Alpine Crossing. The scenery is incredibly varied, the walking is challenging at times but always enjoyable. The organisation of the entire trip was faultless and the guides were full of enthusiasm and knowledge. It's an intense and busy three weeks, with a lot of travel involved between walks but I wouldn't have missed it for the world. The group were such fun, too, which made it all the better.


A well-organised, varied and very enjoyable trip w

A well-organised, varied and very enjoyable trip with great leaders and nice group members which did what it said on the tin.  A good mix of travel and walking and other outdoor activities - a perfect first taste of NZ.


The trip was an unending variety of activities and

The trip was an unending variety of activities and experiences; physically tiring but without the stresses sometimes felt in non English speaking countries.  It was a superb trip but 3 weeks is barely enough time and I have returned home with a list of things/places to return and visit again or anew.


We packed so much in the three weeks that it was n

We packed so much in the three weeks that it was necessary to come back home and sit down with the itinerary. notes etc. to appreciate just how much we had achieved!

trekking new zealand

A very well put-together trip with a variety of re

A very well put-together trip with a variety of really interesting experiences


A great way to see and do a LOT!

A great way to see and do a LOT!


Fantastic jam packed three weeks in the wonderful

Fantastic jam packed three weeks in the wonderful New Zealand. The trip was more than I could have hoped for, New Zealand would be a great back drop for any visit.


I have had great diffuculty rating this trip and e

I have had great diffuculty rating this trip and even with the benefit of time, I just cannot give it more than 4 stars, I really wanted too but although there is nothing wrong with the trip at all and it is exactly as promised in the brochure, I can't help feeling just a bit disappointed. That may sound churlish on what is otherwise an excellent over 3 week trip to a stunning country with fantastic settings for those who love the outdoors, that was superbly organised. But perhaps that's it, the trip is exactly as planned as described and there was not that sudden "surprise" moment you get on other trips. The trip perhaps tries to be too many things to everyone, accepting this may be many peoples only taste of New Zealand, so although it is 3 weeks long, there is an awful lot packed in and being honest the hiking was really relatively easy and it is apparent there are so many fantastic longer hikes available, so I think I would have prefered it to have been able to indulge in one of the longer multi-day hikes, rather than just doing a bit of several of the classic hikes.

Read all 16 reviews

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  • Transfer as credit to Future Tours

    Exodus allows you to transfer existing payments to a future tour to avoid cancellation fees if you can't travel and inform exodus, 43 days before departure.

  • Low Deposit

    Exodus requires a minimum deposit of 25% or the full booking value, whichever is less, with the final balance not due until 90 days before departure.

  • Cancellation Policy

    We don't charge a cancellation fee, here is a summary of exodus charges.

    Up to 70 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of deposit.

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