Summary

Travel Style: ,
Destinations: Oceania
  • 19 Days From
    R 92800
  • Trip code: ALN
  • Activity: Culture, Natural Wonders
  • Min age: 18
  • Group size: 6 - 14
Moderate

An active adventure exploring the Land of the Long White Cloud

From the waterfront city of Auckland to the spectacular Southern Alps, New Zealand is blessed with an array of natural wonders. By far the best way to appreciate these is on foot and by boat, and 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.

Key information
  • 17 nights in comfortable hotels and lodges, most with en suite facilities, 1 night cruise boat with shared faciilities
Activities
  • 17 nights in comfortable hotels and lodges, most with en suite facilities, 1 night cruise boat with shared faciilities
Highlights
  • Auckland and Christchurch
  • One-day Tongariro Crossing (optional) and other exciting walks
  • Lake Taupo and Rotorua
  • Abel Tasman National Park
  • Fox Glacier and Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park
  • Queenstown and Milford Sound
What's included
  • All breakfasts and 2 dinners
  • All accommodation 
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
    Food

    The itinerary includes 18 breakfasts and 2 dinners.

    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. For the meals not included you should allow approximately GBP450 (Allow for NZ$35 for a standard two course restaurant meal) although if you wish to eat lobster every night you should bring a little more!

Highlights

  • Auckland and Christchurch
  • One-day Tongariro Crossing (optional) and other exciting walks
  • Lake Taupo and Rotorua
  • Abel Tasman National Park
  • Fox Glacier and Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park
  • Queenstown and Milford Sound

Dates & Pricing

 
Start
Finish
Availability
Price
23 Oct 2019
10 Nov 2019
Guaranteed (Limited Availability)
R 92800
 
Start
Finish
Availability
Price
14 Dec 2019
01 Jan 2020
Available
R 92800
 
Start
Finish
Availability
Price
04 Jan 2020
22 Jan 2020
Available
R 92800
 
Start
Finish
Availability
Price
25 Jan 2020
12 Feb 2020
Guaranteed (Available)
R 92800
 
Start
Finish
Availability
Price
07 Mar 2020
25 Mar 2020
Available
R 92800

Reviews

A wonderful trip.

This trip covers a lot of ground, with a packed itinerary and with plenty of nwalking in beautiful scenery. The weather was very kind to us - we even saw nMilford Sound with clear blue skies!

Rating 5
Q&A
  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?
  • I couldn't single out just one - there were too many. The North Island nvolcanoes and geothermal activity were amazing but the South Island scenery nwas spectacular. The ' Abel Tasman' day was one highlight - a beautiful walk nfollowed by a swim and beach picnic then a return journey by sail - perfect. nSunrise at Lake Matheson, the boat trip on Milford Sound and walk to Key nSummit were other highlights, as were the unexpected extras arranged by Sean nand Merisha.

  • What did you think of your group leader?
  • Joint leaders Sean and Merisha were great!

  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?
  • Travel as light as you can - there are chances to wash clothes at lots of the nmotels. I brought far too much luggage and regretted it! Do bring layers, neven though we had fantastic weather the temperature ranges were big. We ndidn't use our waterproofs much but I don't think our weather was typical.nIf you can, add an extra day or two in NZ at the start and end of the trip.

  • Is there anything else you would like to add?
  • New Zealand is a beautiful and fascinating country. We had a great group and nexcellent leaders. I would highly recommend this trip.

Title is good.

Itu2019s a very full an encompassing trip. It covers a great deal and involves na lot of hiking, which is really the only way to truly see and appreciate nthis spectacular country.

Rating 5
Q&A
  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?
  • Many many beautiful views.

  • What did you think of your group leader?
  • We had 2, they weu2019re both absolutely excellent and complimented one another nperfectly.

  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?
  • Be fit

  • Is there anything else you would like to add?
  • Our small group of 10 was very special and together with our guides we really nseem to bond.nAll of us had a great time.nAs a solo traveller, I got lucky - it was a special group!nOur guides were over-the-top wonderful!nnWe got lucky with the weather too which was beautiful.

An Unexpected Journey.

An excellent introduction to both islands. There is so much to see and do nthat the time we had just whizzed by. It is clear that this trip only just ntouches the surface but in saying that we had an unprecedented insight into nthe geography, geology, flora, fauna and cultural diversity, balancing the ncity explorations with the more exciting challenges provided by the nspectacular scenery. To achieve this itinerary you have to withstand long ntravelling interspersed by the activities included. It would have been good nto have extra days in certain areas to enhance the experience but you can nonly do so much in 19 days. However, in saying that, this trip cannot be nfaulted and certainly shows New Zealand at its best.

Rating 5
Q&A
  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?
  • Too many as each area we visited gave totally different experiences.nThe Tongariro crossing was not to be missed- fortunate with the weather but nthere was snow in the craters at the plateau with high winds on the crater nedges.nGeothermal valleys.nWalking up to the terminal face of Fox glacier (despite no polar bear!)nCruising the Milford Sound-seeing the penguins.nWalking through the indigenous tropical forests.nWalking in the snow at the foot of Mount Cook and crossing glacial torrents nin full flood.nWalking at night on a Glow Worm trail- like thousands of LED lights- quite nenchanting.nSobering walk through the disembodied Christchurch- still recovering and has nnot regained its soul yet.

  • What did you think of your group leader?
  • All this could not be achieved without the excellent guidance, support and nknowledgeable expertise of our two guides, Chris and Rich who both ncomplemented each other- one being a Kiwi and the other a Devonian export. nNothing was too much trouble for them in trying to accommodate individual ninterests, adjusting the activities according to the prevalent weather nconditions and providing a constant supply of snacks to sustain us upon our nactivities. They appeared to have a magical influence over the weather and nvisitors, providing a narrow window of opportunity that allowed us to visit nvolcanic landscapes and geothermal valleys without the crowds or rain that nwould normally be expected. Their energy and enthusiasm to share their nknowledge of the islands and its peoples went without saying. They were quick nto ascertain the abilities of each individual member and gave optional nactivities when needed. The entire trip was skilfully organised and despite nthe long distance driven by both of them, they were able to protect nthemselves from being on constant demand.

  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?
  • Be prepared for long travelling.nBe prepared for Vivaldi weather (four seasons).nIf you are reasonably fit and used to mountain terrain, all walks should be nwithin your grasp.nnMake the most of your time.

  • Is there anything else you would like to add?
  • The accommodation was excellent and the resort spa was much appreciated.

Fabulous walking in New Zealand

A wonderful itinerary and excellent guides/leaders with infectious enthusiasm nfor this amazing country!

Rating 5
Q&A
  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?
  • The Tongariro Crossing and the visit to the Milford Sound, but so many nwonderful days so very difficult to choose just one. I would therefore say, nthe entire trip!

  • What did you think of your group leader?
  • Our group leader was Chris Cameron and second leader was Richard Mortiboys.nChris was an excellent experienced leader with a lovely friendly personality nand huge knowledge of the country and all the plants. She had boundless nenergy and tremendous enthusiasm for the country which was very infectious. nHer organization of every part of the day was very clear and well planned, nensuring the best possible experience and full confidence in her leadership.nRichard was the second in command and he and Chris worked very well together, nsharing the driving and general care of each and every one in the party. He nwas extremely kind and caring when some of us had left items at various nplaces enroute and he spent a great deal of time and effort to ensure that nthese items were successfully forwarded.nThey were both excellent leaders and they certainly made the trip a nresounding success.

  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?
  • Don't pack too many items. When you are moving on regularly, there isn't the ntime or the inclination to uncover more than the top few items of clothing!

  • Is there anything else you would like to add?
  • I do not see how this trip could be improved! It just had everything to make nit a wonderful comprehensive tour of North and South Islands.

AWESOME NEW ZEALAND

This trip is one of the best we have experienced with Exodus. The varied nwalking, landscape and experiences on the trip make it an amazing adventure. nBeware though there are many long distances to cover (we did over 3500 Km in nthe 19 days), but Ian and Sonya made it very interesting with their local nknowledge and frequent rest stops at interesting places. The highlight of the nwalking was of course the Tongariro Alpine Crossing which on the day we did nit was truly spectacular with the Emerald lake just like the Guide books. The nAbel Tasman Coastal walk again like the guide book pictures. The Diamond Lake nand Rocky Mountain walk was tough but well worth it for the views. Other nexperiences met all our expectations u2013 Sailing on Tasman sea, Jet boat on nRiver Motukituki where at times we were in 5 inches of water, Helicopter to nFox Glacier (paid locally) and overnight on Milford Sound in Fiordland. nChristchurch was sad to see but it is good to that they are beginning to get nthe city rebuilt. It is important to note that a few walks and experiences ncan be affected by weather. Although it was summer we dodged Storm Fehi u2013 nTongariro was closed the day after we walked it, Windy Wellington was stormy nWellington, roads near Fox Glacier were closed due to landslides and they had nhad no electricity for 3 days before we arrived. However we managed all the nplanned itinerary except walking to Fox Glacier due to landslide. All in all nan AWESOME trip

Rating 5
Q&A
  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?
  • Reaching the summit on the Tongariro Alpine Pass and seeing the Lakes as nshown in all the guidebooks

  • What did you think of your group leader?
  • Ian was an excellent leader. He was a very confident and safe driver which is nimportant on this trip. He kept us up to date with weather and reasons for nhis decisions in view of Storm Fehi. We had plenty of rest stops mostly in nvery interesting places.

  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?
  • Take note of distances travelled in order to cover the area - New Zealand is na huge countrynBe aware that although summer itinerary might be changed due to weather

The best of New Zealand

What an amazing trip! I cannot recommend it highly enough - it showcasts neverything that New Zealand has to offer, and despite travelling for 3 weeks nit is not enough. We wanted to stay longer, explore further, be stunned by nthe mindblowing views. From the rolling hills on the North Island to the nmajestic mountains and fields in Middle Earth and Milford Sounds on the South nIsland - it is impossible to choose a favourite spot, and certainly calls for nanother trip in the near future. I loved, loved, loved it, the country, the npeople and how happy it made me.

Rating 5
Q&A
  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?
  • I cannot pick a most inspirational moment, but Mount Aspiring National Park, nMilford Sound and Mount Cook left quite an impression - I am in awe. The nviews! Simply stunning.

  • What did you think of your group leader?
  • Fantastic leaders. I very much appreciated having two leaders, both very nfriendly, approachable, fun and entertaining and of course, knowledgeable nabout flora and fauna. Both were a treasure!

  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?
  • Be prepared for mindblowing views.

  • Is there anything else you would like to add?
  • n/a

Trails of New Zealand

A perfectly balanced blend of touristy sightseeing activities, incredibly nbeautiful, varied walks and exciting, unforgettable experiences. We were nblessed with fantastic weather, too!

Rating 5
Q&A
  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?
  • Standing under the 80m high Fairy Falls on the bow of the Milford Wanderer, nwater pummelling down on our heads, totally surprised, completely exhilarated nand utterly happy.nI have to add first seeing Red Crater on the Tongariro Crossing, jetboating, ncatamaran sailing on the Tasman Sea, walking through Tiritiri Matangi nIslandu2019s gorgeous native woodland ringing with exotic bird calls and ncicadas, the joy of seeing the glorious colour of Huka Falls. The trouble is nthat every day had moments like these, so how do you choose!?

  • What did you think of your group leader?
  • Hayley and Josh are an extraordinary young couple, calm, cheerful, incredibly nhard working and competent. If everyone drove like Josh, the roads would be nsafer places. Every suggestion regarding where to eat or shop or what to do nin our free time turned out to be good. In his review, Martin mentioned the nlady stranger who had a fall, but not that Hayley actually carried her most nof the way down a steep mountain after giving first aid! There were, ninevitably, some long drives, but Hayley and Josh arranged an enjoyable short nwalk or other activity at least every two hours. I think Iu2019d trust these ntwo in almost any situation.

  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?
  • Donu2019t scratch your Blackfly bites! They really are the scourge of South nIsland, but DEET does deter them so use it. I kept leaving it too late. Bites nI managed to resist scratching settled down quickly, those I took the tops noff had scabs for weeks and have left scars.nBe prepared for the jet lag - it took us a week to get over it after coming nhome.nTake lots of notes as well as taking photos -see below!

  • Is there anything else you would like to add?
  • It has been five weeks since the end of our holiday. It has taken this long nto go through all my photos and notes, remembering more and more things that nwe did, to do research on the internet and to write a journal. Only now do I nfeel able to take an overall view and write this review. This holiday is a nfull-on three weeks of new experiences and it is almost impossible to take it nall in at the time. For us and, I imagine most people, this was a holiday of na lifetime and I really do recommend making a photographic journal to fix nthose memories. It is a lot of work, but rather like having the holiday nagain!

Trails of New Zealand

We had promised ourselves this trip for some time and had high expectations. nWe were looking for a good mix of activities to see and experience the ncountry.nTrails of New Zealand went way beyond our expectations. We thoroughly nenjoyed the amazing places, the range of walks in different landscapes, the nfun of jet-boating, sailing and cruising, and luging, and the unique birds nand wildlife.

Rating 5
Q&A
  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?
  • We had so many experiences which will stay with us: walking the stark nvolcanic landscape of the Tongariro Crossing; walking to and flying over nMount Cook and landing on pristine Fox glassier; sailing a catamaran; or ntravelling at 80mph up a braided river; the magnificent kauri and redwoods, nand not forgetting the kiwis.nOn our way to Milford Sound on the South Island it poured with rain and we nwere not expecting to see much. However, soon after we boarded the boat the nskies cleared and the fiord was filled with magnificent waterfalls. It was nmagical as we explored Milford Sound in boats and kayaks, and our ship nosed nits way past and into the silver cascading water against a backdrop of nmajestic snow covered peaks.

  • What did you think of your group leader?
  • Josh and Haley were superb leaders. They were very organised and ensured nthat we knew all we needed to know. They provided supplements to our meals nand provided a super spread when they catered for us. They were great at nsharing additional information and encouragement to the slower and faster nmembers of the group.nWhen they found that an unknown walker had had a serious fall they ensured nthat she returned down the mountain safely while continuing to look after our ngroup. When the bus developed a technical fault it was dealt with quickly nand efficiently.

  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?
  • Go!!!nIt is a long way so pace and prepare yourself, but it will repay you many ntimes over.nThe country is very varied and so is the weather, so go prepared for neverything - it was coldest and wettest at sea level and hottest in the nmountains.

  • Is there anything else you would like to add?
  • This trip is a good balance of activities. You should be reasonably fit and nprepared for the unexpected. We were delayed for two hours when a giant nkauri fell across the road, and there are no alternatives. So we had a great ntime chatting with everyone including the fire brigade and police. It is nthat sort of country.

Trails of New Zealand

This was a wonderful walking holiday. We were fortunately blessed with nextremely good weather, so the views were unforgettable.

Rating 5
Q&A
  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?
  • Helicopter flight to the Fox glacier

  • What did you think of your group leader?
  • The group leader was excellent - always keen to please, make excellent meal nsuggestions and slightly adjust the program to fit the group.

  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?
  • Make the most of this wonderful trip!

  • Is there anything else you would like to add?
  • If there was one small suggestion I could make (and believe me, it is small nand nit-picky), I would recommend cleaning the bus windows if it has become ndusty; this could prevent a photoshoot stop on a few occasions. This idea ncame from a previous tour I made with a different company.

Highlights of New Zealand

An excellent and varied itinerary through stunning scenery. Much travelling nthoughtfully balanced by good walks. A good mix of group activities and free ntime.

Rating 5
Q&A
  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?
  • Definitely the Tongariro Alpine Crossing - hard work and a long day but worth nit.nThe views round Lake Matheson.nThe waterfalls in Milford Sound.nWe clocked up a few first experiences: first time in a jet boat (great fun nand something we would not have done otherwise), first helicopter flight, nfirst time sailing a catamaran (yes, I took the helm), first time on the Luge n...

  • What did you think of your group leader?
  • Hayley and Josh were calm, efficient, funny, informed, caring and very ncommitted. 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 ncan be very hot and very cold. Don't forget sunhat, suncream and insect nrepellant. 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 nCoromandel peninsula, the deep south or Kaikoura so you might want to try to nfit them in before and/or after the trip. After all, it is a long way to go nback again!

Accommodation

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:   Punakaiki Resort 

Fox:   The Westhaven

Wanaka:   Ramada Resort Wanaka

Milford Sound:   Real Journeys - Wanderer (boat)

Queenstown:   Blue Peaks Lodge

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

Christchurch:   Pavilions Hotel

Essential Info

Eating and Drinking

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. 

Is this trip for you?

*This trip is an Activity Level 3- Moderate*

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 all 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 optional Tongariro Crossing, you should be aware that the trek is tougher than the moderate grade of the main tour and would be considered a more challenging grade.

Full Day by Day Itinerary

Day 1 Land Only

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. *Comfortable Hotel*

Day 2

Visit Tiri Tiri Matangi Reserve.

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 island of Tiri Tiri Matangi, a stunning island recovery centre operated by the Dept of Conservation and home to a major native bird recovery program. The leader will explain the programme and introduce some of our rarest birds, plus there is the chance to relax, and swim from the local beach nearby. *Comfortable Hotel*

Meals Included : breakfast

Day 3

To Rotorua.

Leaving the city behind us we head south to Rotorua and our accommodation. On arrival we stretch our legs with a hike around the Green lake followed by a visit to the Maori Bathhouse and museum which helps us to gain an understanding of the rich history of the region. 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). *Comfortable Hotel*

Meals Included : breakfast,dinner

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 to Mt Ruapehu. On the way we visit the steaming Wai-O-Tapu geothermal valley and impressive Huka Falls. *Comfortable Hotel*

Meals Included : breakfast

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 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. *Comfortable Hotel*

Meals Included : breakfast

Day 6

To Wellington.

Relax following yesterday’s efforts as we drive 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 our capital city. *Comfortable Hotel*

Meals Included : breakfast

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 take the time out explore the city – or an optional visit to the amazing Wearable Arts Museum. After this visit we drive to Motueka on the edge of the Abel Tasman National Park, with its beautiful golden sand beaches and forests. *Comfortable Hotel*

Meals Included : breakfast

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. *Comfortable Hotel*

Meals Included : breakfast,lunch

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. Further down the coast we stop at Punakaiki, home of the famous Pancake Rocks for a beautiful river walk as we watch the setting sun. If the tide is up the ground can physically shake and water spurts from the blow-holes and fissures that dot the coastline. *Comfortable Hotel*

Meals Included : breakfast

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 for the spectacular views over the Southern Alps. Later we continue the short drive through to Fox township. *Comfortable Hotel*

Meals Included : breakfast

Day 11

Walk to Fox Glacier; continue to Wanaka.

After breakfast we walk across the moraine to the spectacular Fox Glacier that descends to within 200 metres (660ft) above sea level, or hike up beside the glacier’s terminal face. In the morning 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. In the afternoon we 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 *Comfortable Hotel*

Meals Included : breakfast

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. *Comfortable Hotel*

Meals Included : breakfast

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 through to the start of the Routeburn Track. At the saddle we take a 2-hour walk to Key Summit from where the spectacular views put the effort of the next two days into context. We continue further into the spectacular mountains of the 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 fiord. *Basic Hotel*

Meals Included : breakfast,dinner

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 Te Anau and then a stunning lakeside hike through rainforest to Lake Manapouri. After this hike we drive onto Queenstown and our next two nights are spent here. *Comfortable Hotel*

Meals Included : breakfast

Day 15

Free day in Queenstown.

A free day to enjoy the scenic delights of this world famous destination, home of the famous bungee jump! Optional activities available are: a 4×4 drive into the remote Skippers Canyon; a visit to the historic gold mining centre of Arrowtown and a local winery; a cruise aboard the historic steamship to Walter Peak sheep station; paragliding or bungee jumping! Then again, you may just prefer to simply spend the day shopping or relaxing. *Comfortable Hotel*

Meals Included : breakfast

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. 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. *Comfortable Hotel*

Meals Included : breakfast

Day 17

Drive to Christchurch via Canterbury Plains.

After breakfast we have the option to hike to the nearby blue tarns on Mt Sebastapol or an optional visit to the Hillary Museum 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 across the mosaic of the Canterbury Plains out to Christchurch and the end of our drive. *Comfortable Hotel*

Meals Included : breakfast

Day 18

Hike to summit walkway for spectacular views.

Above Christchurch is the summit walkway and in the morning we have a final hike 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. *Comfortable Hotel*

Meals Included : breakfast

Day 19

End Christchurch.

**

Meals Included : breakfast

Day 1-2 Flight Inclusive

Depart London.

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. *Comfortable Hotel*

Day 3

Arrive Auckland.

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 island of Tiri Tiri Matangi, a stunning island recovery centre operated by the Dept of Conservation and home to a major native bird recovery program. The leader will explain the programme and introduce some of our rarest birds, plus there is the chance to relax, and swim from the local beach nearby. *Comfortable Hotel*

Day 4

Visit Tiri Tiri Matangi Reserve.

Leaving the city behind us we head south to Rotorua and our accommodation. On arrival we stretch our legs with a hike around the Green lake followed by a visit to the Maori Bathhouse and museum which helps us to gain an understanding of the rich history of the region. 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). *Comfortable Hotel*

Day 5

To Rotorua.

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 to Mt Ruapehu. On the way we visit the steaming Wai-O-Tapu geothermal valley and impressive Huka Falls. *Comfortable Hotel*

Day 6

To Tongariro N.P.

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 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. *Comfortable Hotel*

Day 7

Hike Tongariro Crossing.

Relax following yesterday’s efforts as we drive 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 our capital city. *Comfortable Hotel*

Day 8

To Wellington.

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 take the time out explore the city – or an optional visit to the amazing Wearable Arts Museum. After this visit we drive to Motueka on the edge of the Abel Tasman National Park, with its beautiful golden sand beaches and forests. *Comfortable Hotel*

Day 9

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

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. *Comfortable Hotel*

Day 10

Half day coastal walk; boat to Motueka.

Our departure from the Abel Tasman National Park is followed by a scenic drive down the mighty Buller River. Further down the coast we stop at Punakaiki, home of the famous Pancake Rocks for a beautiful river walk as we watch the setting sun. If the tide is up the ground can physically shake and water spurts from the blow-holes and fissures that dot the coastline. *Comfortable Hotel*

Day 11

To Buller River; sunset walk at Punakaiki.

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 for the spectacular views over the Southern Alps. Later we continue the short drive through to Fox township. *Comfortable Hotel*

Day 12

To Fox Glacier passing Okarito en route.

After breakfast we walk across the moraine to the spectacular Fox Glacier that descends to within 200 metres (660ft) above sea level, or hike up beside the glacier’s terminal face. In the morning 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. In the afternoon we 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 *Comfortable Hotel*

Day 13

Walk to Fox Glacier; continue to Wanaka.

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. *Comfortable Hotel*

Day 14

Jet boat in Matukitiki.

From Wanaka we depart early heading for Te Anau and then into the Eglington Valley through to the start of the Routeburn Track. At the saddle we take a 2-hour walk to Key Summit from where the spectacular views put the effort of the next two days into context. We continue further into the spectacular mountains of the 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 fiord. *Basic Hotel*

Day 15

Transfer to Milford Sound and board overnight boat.

After an early morning breakfast we cruise the inner sound again searching for dolphins and seals before disembarking and retracing our tracks to Te Anau and then a stunning lakeside hike through rainforest to Lake Manapouri. After this hike we drive onto Queenstown and our next two nights are spent here. *Comfortable Hotel*

Day 16

Cruise Inner Sound; drive to Queenstown.

A free day to enjoy the scenic delights of this world famous destination, home of the famous bungee jump! Optional activities available are: a 4×4 drive into the remote Skippers Canyon; a visit to the historic gold mining centre of Arrowtown and a local winery; a cruise aboard the historic steamship to Walter Peak sheep station; paragliding or bungee jumping! Then again, you may just prefer to simply spend the day shopping or relaxing. *Comfortable Hotel*

Day 17

Free day in Queenstown.

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. 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. *Comfortable Hotel*

Day 18

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

After breakfast we have the option to hike to the nearby blue tarns on Mt Sebastapol or an optional visit to the Hillary Museum 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 across the mosaic of the Canterbury Plains out to Christchurch and the end of our drive. *Comfortable Hotel*

Day 19

Drive to Christchurch via Canterbury Plains.

Above Christchurch is the summit walkway and in the morning we have a final hike 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. *Comfortable Hotel*

Day 20

Hike to summit walkway for spectacular views.

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Day 21

Depart Christchurch.

Day 22

Arrive London.

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