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Trails of New Zealand

from $8,079.00

An active adventure exploring the Land of the Long White Cloud

  • Reviews 12 Reviews
    5/5
  • Vacation Style Holiday Type
    Guided
  • Activity Level Moderate / Challenging
  • Group Size Small Group
    6 - 14
All about the Trails of New Zealand.

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.

The tour package inclusions and exclusions at a glance
What is included in this tour?Items that are included in the cost of tour price.

* All breakfasts and 2 dinners
* 17 nights in comfortable hotels and lodges, most with ensuite facilities, 1 night cruise boat with shared facilities
* All transport and listed activities
* Tour leader throughout. Group normally 6 to 14 plus local leader. Min age 18 yrs
* Airport transfers (at designated times)

What is not included in this tour?
  • Flights
  • Single Accommodation (available on request, inquire for supplement)

Highlights

  • Auckland and Christchurch
  • One-day Tongariro Crossing and other exciting walks
  • Lake Taupo and Rotorua
  • Abel Tasma National Park
  • Fox Glacier and Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park
  • Queenstown and Milford Sound
  1. 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 point at the Auckland City Hotel at 6pm for a full briefing with your leader.*Auckland City Hotel or similar*

  2. Day 2 Visit Rangitoto Island

    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.*Auckland City Hotel or similar*

  3. Day 3 To Rotorua

    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).*Jet Park Rotorua or similar*

  4. Day 4 To Tongariro N.P

    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.*Skotel Alpine Resort or similar*

  5. Day 5 Hike Tongariro Crossing

    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 8hr 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. A magnificent scenic flight option also exists for those wanting to understand the volcanic origins of the area.*Skotel Alpine Resort or similar*

  6. Day 6 To Wellington

    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*

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

    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 gographical centre of New Zealand (1 hour). 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.*Avalon Manor Motel or similar*

  8. Day 8 Half day coastal walk; boat to Motueka

    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.*Avalon Manor Motel or similar*

  9. Day 9 To Buller River; sunset walk at Punakaiki

    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.*Paparoa Park Motel or similar*

  10. Day 10 To Fox Glacier passing Okarito en route

    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.*The Westhaven or similar*

  11. Day 11 Walk to Fox Glacier; continue to Wanaka

    After breakfast we stroll around the reflective Lake Matheson, a photographer’s dream. As an optional extra (weather permitting), you can take a helicopter ride over the glaciers that lace the Southern Alps. 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.*Wanaka Heights Motel or similar*

  12. Day 12 Jet boat in Matukitiki

    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 hr hike at the beautiful Diamond Lake that provides stunning views of the river delta and the landscape.*Wanaka Heights Motel or similar*

  13. Day 13 Transfer to Milford Sound and board overnight boat

    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 newly refurbished boat has private two bed cabins with shared facilities amidst dolphins and mighty peaks towering above the fjord.*Real Journeys- Wanderer boat*

  14. Day 14 Cruise Inner Sound; drive to Queenstown

    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. 9km) 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.*Blue Peaks Lodge or similar*

  15. Day 15 Free day in Queenstown

    A free day to enjoy the scenic delights of this world famous destination, home of the famous bungy jump! Optional activities include a 4×4 drive into the remote Skippers Canyon; a visit to the historic gold mining centre of Arrowtown; a cruise aboard the historic steamship to Walter Peak sheep station; paragliding or bungy jumping! Then again, you may just prefer to simply spend the day shopping or relaxing.*Blue Peaks Lodge or similar*

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

    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 motel and watch the spectacular view from the warmth of the restaurant.*Aoraki/Mt Cook Alpine Lodge or similar*

  17. Day 17 Drive to Christchurch via Canterbury Plains

    After breakfast we have the option to hike (approx. 2 hours) to the nearby red tarns on Mt Sebastapol or an optional visit to the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre and the local Department of Conservation Centre. By late morning we depart for nearby Lake Tekapo and visit the observatory on the summit of Mt John, a short hike down to the township. From here we drive (approx. 3.5 hours) across the mosaic of the Canterbury Plains out to Christchurch and the end of our drive.*Pavilions Hotel or similar*

  18. Day 18 Hike to summit walkway for spectacular views

    Above Christchurch is the summit walkway and in the morning we have a final hike (approx. 2-3 hours) enjoying the spectacular views into the Lyttleton harbour and across the Canterbury Plains. After the devastating earthquakes of 2010/11, the city is undergoing a major rebuild, unrivalled in the world. The afternoon is free to explore this city rebuild as well as the beautiful gardens and Hagley park.*Pavilions Hotel or similar*

  19. Day 19 End Christchurch.

    **

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Where you stay

Hotels & Cruise Boat

You will spend 17 nights in comfortable hotels most of which have en-suite facilities. There will also be one night spent aboard a cruise boat with shared facilities. Accommodation on this trip uses a mixture of character motels and friendly hotels, some of which offer spectacular views. Single rooms are available for a supplement (on request), this covers all nights apart from 1 evening when we are aboard the Wanderer boat.

Please advise the sales team at the time of booking if you would like to request a single supplement.

Below is a list of the standard hotels used on the trip. However, please be advised these are subject to change and some departures may be accommodated in different a hotels of a similar standard:

Auckland:   Auckland City Hotel

Rotorua:   Jet Park Rotorua

Tongariro N.P:   Skotel Alpine Resort

Wellington:   The Bay Plaza Hotel

Motueka- Abel Tasman N.P:   Avalon Manor Motels

Punakaiki:   Paparoa Park Motels

Fox:   The Westhaven

Wanaka:   Wanaka Heights Motel

Milford Sound:   Real Journeys – Wanderer (boat)

Queenstown:   Blue Peaks Lodge

Mt. Cook N.P:   Aoraki/Mt Cook Alpine Lodge

Christchurch:   Pavilions Hotel

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts 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.

This trip is an Activity Level 4- Moderate/Challenging

This is a varied trip with 1 full day walks and 5 half-day walks. There are a number of other activities included in the itinerary which require a good level of fitness. The majority of walks are on good paths however those wishing to undertake the Tongariro Crossing should be prepared for some scrambling. If you wish to undertake the climb of Mt Ruapehu you should be aware that the trek can be difficult and will require a good level of fitness.

Overall Rating
5/5
Reviewed On 25/06/2020
5/5

TRAILS OF NEW ZEALAND

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were so many great times it was difficult to pick out one.  Walking the Tongariro Crossing to the Crater Lakes and climbing Mount Tongariro through amazing volcanic scenery Taking a helicopter ride to the saddle below Ben Lomand above Queenstown and after tea brewed by our guides climbing to the summit on a beautiful day with fantastic views and then a leisurely hike down to the gondolaA Maoiri evening cultural performance and feast followed by sunset walk by hot springs  and a wallow  in thermal pools, Walking in a landscape of bubbling mud pools, yellow sulphur lakes Seeing glow worms in a cave and native birds on Tiritiri Matangi Nature reserve  and on a night nature hike at Zealandia and shooting stars in the Southern night sky Loads of water based activities: jet boating , kayaking, wild water rafting, wild swimming  and boat trips in superb and varied scenery   
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    We were blessed with two group leaders from Adventure South: Stephan and Clark. They really communicates their knowledge of the county, their enthusiasm for their country and their job to our group . They had a lovely rapport between them and they on so many occasions went the extra mile to make our holiday enjoyable for example  sourcing food for my daughter's special gluten free diet, to finding excellent cafes and restaurants  lunches, bathing spots, hikes with freshly brewed tea stops and it was done with humour and professionalism.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you have the time take a few days at either end of the trip to see more of the Auckland area,and North Island and Christchurch.The temperature can be quite varied so take a variety of clothing.Overtrousers would be useful. Several  of the hotels/motels we stayed in had laundry facilities for a small fee.Most of the hotel/motel rooms had a fridge and some had limited cooking facilities so you don't have to eat out every night. There are long drives on some days but with breaks but there are activities every day.  
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I would definately want to go back to New Zealand and see more of this amazing counrty. I hope Exodus will consider introducing some other NZ trips with a different intinery and to add some Australian trips  with a similar variety of activities combining  trecking with other activities. I was glad that so many activities were included such as caving, jet boating that I would not have got round to trying on an independent holiday. I think the trip represents good value as all the activities except on our free day and most of the meals were included. It would be good to have a holiday  including the trecks around Milford  Sound and to include north of Auckland  such as the Bay of Islands

Reviewed On 25/06/2020
5/5

Fabulous trip

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing into the Red Crater at the top of the Tongarairo Crossing. The photographs just do not do it justice at all. Plus, you then get to run down the scree which is a lot of fun....
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent knowledge of the flora and fauna, I know more about NZ wildlife that that in the UK.... He also took us on numerous little walks to break up the long coach trips, many weren't listed on the trip notes but he knew them any way.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Even in summer, weather is variable. Actually, you are guaranteed rain in Westland... I used my light down jacket more than I thought. You need DEET On the south island, sandflies are evil
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Go on this trip. Consider doing your own add on to go to the Bay of Islands or the Coromandel Peninsula while you are there.

Reviewed On 25/06/2020
5/5

A great trip

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Some of the more challenging walks rewarded you with great views and a real feeling of having achieved something. Jet boating and catamaran tip were both great experiences.
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Both guides were knowledgeable and prepared you well for the next days activities.

Reviewed On 25/06/2020
4/5

A fabulous taster trip of New Zealand...

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    So many good moments that it's difficult to discriminate - but I particularly enjoyed our day jet-boating; our climb up to Mt Cook; the day coastal walking and sailing near Motueka (all in S Island) - and got immense satisfaction from my completion of the 20k Tontoriro Crossing trek in N Island!
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Ian, as our principal leader, was great...we were expertly guided and cajoled by him! He had a light touch (with our mainly 'early-retired' large party of 16) and inspired confidence... Pete - although new to Exodus - was also a very good support leader, most kind and caring.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for all and any weather conditions! Also, to get the best out of this trip, it is probably wise to arrive in a good state of fitness in order to be able to enjoy the many walks and trails on offer.
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I am happy to say that this is probably the best Exodus trip that I've travelled on - and I have been on sufficient now to qualify for my 10% discount!!

Reviewed On 26/07/2019
5/5

Highlights of New Zealand

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Definitely the Tongariro Alpine Crossing - hard work and a long day but worth it. The views round Lake Matheson. The waterfalls in Milford Sound. We clocked up a few first experiences: first time in a jet boat (great fun and something we would not have done otherwise), first helicopter flight, first time sailing a catamaran (yes, I took the helm), first time on the Luge ...
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Hayley and Josh were calm, efficient, funny, informed, caring and very committed. They were great. They prepared us well for each day's activities.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take a daysac as well as your 40 litre rucksack, if you can. Pack layers - it can be very hot and very cold. Don't forget sunhat, suncream and insect repellant. Poles can be hired for the Tongariro crossing.
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This trip doesn't cover Auckland and Northland up to Cape Reinga, the Coromandel peninsula, the deep south or Kaikoura so you might want to try to fit them in before and/or after the trip. After all, it is a long way to go back again!

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