22
days

The Ultimate New Zealand Adventure Tour

On this Ultimate New Zealand Adventure Tour you’ll be visiting the absolute must-see places in New Zealand! On the North Island, get a chance to hike two of New Zealand’s Great Walks, breathtaking Lake Waikaremoana and also the volcanic wonders of Tongariro National Park. Kayak in the pristine Abel Tasman National Park, walk on the ice at Fox Glacier.

Kayaking, Biking, Overnight Hiking, Cruising and Glacier Walking, Wild West Coastal Canyons, Abel Tasman National Park & Waikaremoana.

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Itinerary

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1
Auckland - Rotorua Lakes 12km (7.8 mi) /6 hours hiking

The first day starts with a short introduction from your guide before travelling to Rotorua. You will have a short coffee break on the way at 9.00 am. Rotorua is not just famous for its thermal areas, but also for its beautiful wilderness lakes, rivers and forests. Rich in Maori culture, this town is well known for its fascinating history including the tragedy of the 1886 Mount Tarawera eruption that destroyed a Maori village.

Later this afternoon, we explore one of the stunning thermal parks and hike one of the lake or river trails before heading back to your lodge in Rotorua. We prepare an overnight bag for tomorrows hike before relaxing tonight in town. Explore the great bars and restaurants in town and get to know the other travellers who have joined you on the trip.

Includes: Lunch

Accommodation Rotorua - 1 night

2
Lake Waikaremoana 12km (7,8 Mi) /4 hours hiking

On the second day you will leave Rotorua and head east to beautiful Urewera National Park. There will be a coffee break at a Tuhoe settlement, one of a few places in New Zealand where Maori is the first language.  After one more hour we will arrive at Lake Waikaremoana, where your overnight hike will start. 

We follow the track along the peninsula, meandering in and out of the many streams, valleys and bays and enjoy the exceptional views over the beautiful lake. We pass multiple campsites and old huts before arriving at a new lake-side hut, and then our campsite for the night, situated above a wonderful beach. The group cooks their meals in the tranquil surroundings and if you are lucky enough you may hear the sounds of a Kiwi through the night. 

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation Camping - 1 nights

3
Lake Waikaremoana, 10km (6.3 Mi) /3 hours hiking

Your day starts with a 2 hour hike through the lake fringed native forest. When arriving at the next hut, a water taxi will pick you up and take you under the dramatic Panekiri Bluffs. Those who prefer to relax in the morning can stay at the hut to get picked up by the water taxi later. Have lunch together at a camp next to the wharf before getting into row-boats (weather depending). We row out into this tranquil lake to a tiny island situated right in the middle. Take the time to enjoy the fascinating bird life and untouched nature that surrounds you. If the weather is not suitable, the group simply walks further around the lake, following a loop track back to the Park Information Centre. Afterwards, we walk back to camp for a well deserved dinner. 

Note: There is a 2 hours rowing option.

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation - Waikaremoana - 1 night

4
Natural Hot Pools near Lake Taupo 4km (2,9 Mi) /1 hour hiking

Day 4 begins with a 30 minute hike up to stunning Lou’s Lookout. Climbing up through ‘cloud forest’ filled with soft mosses and lichens we start to reach above the bluff. Our view becomes better and better as we climb higher finally enjoying the view over Lake Waikaremoana and beyond. We do a quick stop at the visitor centre and explore the waterfall track before driving south to the largest lake in New Zealand, Lake Taupo.

Lake Taupo is 600 sq km, a volcanic crater created in 186 AD from the largest explosion known to humankind. On the way to Lake Taupo there are several possibilities to enjoy natural hot rivers and a stop at Huka Falls. In the evening we will have dinner at the beach of Lake Taupo before continuing our drive to Tongariro National Park

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation Whakapapa Village - 1 night

5
Tongariro National Park 13km (8.1 Mi) /5 hours hiking

Tongariro National Park is New Zealand’s first National Park, gifted to the people of New Zealand by a far-sighted Maori chief who saw this as a way of protecting the tapu (respect, sacredness, preciousness), of the land and volcano summits. Tongariro National Park is considered a National Treasure and is a World Heritage park.

We set off on our hike through the tussock grasslands and over the volcanic hills to a hut set amongst native forest. We enjoy lunch at the hut before continuing on the track along stony deserts, reaching the second hut situated at 1,400m showcasing beautiful views over Ruapehu, Tongariro and Ngauruhoe. The landscape is extraordinary here, shaped by the active volcanoes and previous lava flows creating these valleys. Stay the night in an alpine hut with likeminded travellers. 

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation Camping - 1 night

6
Tongariro National Park 15km (9.6 Mi) /6-8 hours hiking

The day starts with a hike through what seems to be another world, contorted by old lava flows and ash fields. We climb higher on the track which takes you up to the stunningly beautiful Emeralds Lakes for your lunch stop. After lunch we cross the plateau hiking through more lava valleys, steaming explosion craters with volcanic peaks either side. The National Park is unlike anything else found in New Zealand. If the weather permits, there is the possibility to climb on one of the volcanic peaks. Your day will end at a lodge located inside the Tongariro National Park, where you can relax and have a delicious dinner. 

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodation Whakapapa Village - 1 night

7
Tongariro - Wellington 1km (0.12 Mi) /1-2 hours hiking

On your last day on the North Island you can chose, if you would like to do a loop track to beautiful Taranaki Falls in the morning or just relax at the alpine café. In the afternoon, drive south to New Zealand’s capital city, Wellington. There you have the chance to visit the Te Papa Museum, relax in one of the lovely cafes or explore the city.

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodation Wellington - 1 night

8
Wellington to Tonga Quarry, Abel Tasman 5km (3,2 Mi) /1.5 hours hiking

Today you leave the North Island behind as you fly over the Cook Strait and enjoy aerial views of Marlborough Sounds and its beautiful maze of sea-flooded valleys as you get closer to the South Island. On arrival you will meet your South Island guide before your two hour drive to Nelson. We meet up with anyone joining the group for the South Island leg of this tour before we drive onwards to Abel Tasman National Park on a picturesque route along the ocean.

On arrival, we pack our gear for a 2 night stay within the park and board the water taxi. We cruise across the gentle water around the coast admiring the bays as we head to our first destination of Awaroa. There is time for a relaxing swim (recommended) before following the renowned Abel Tasman Coastal Track south over Tonga Saddle to Onetahuti Beach. We hike 20 minutes to the campsite at Tonga Quarry where we set up camp and prepare a delicious meal together, spending the night getting to know any new members in the group.

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

Accommodation Camping - 2 nights

9
Bark Bay - Anchorage 8-12 km (5,5 - 7,8 Mi) / 3-5 hours hiking

Wake up this morning in paradise, and swim at our secluded bay. Later this morning, we pack up and hike toward our second campsite at Bark Bay. Today offers you the opportunity to sea kayak and discover the sheltered coastlines for yourself. One of the highlights of the paddle is the seal colony based at Tonga Island. They are quite friendly and are used to kayakers. Those who are hiking have a rewarding steady climb through the Manuka forest, offering views out over the ocean. This afternoon we set up camp, prepare dinner and relax beside the beach. 

Note: Please enquire at the time of booking for the sea kayaking option.

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation Anchorage - 1 night

10
Anchorage - Murchison 6km (3,1 Mi) / 2,5 hours hiking

Leaving our campsite we travel inland, winding through the lush forest and cross the Falls River over an airy 47m suspension bridge. We walk down and back to Torrent Bay where your guide times the crossing of the estuary with the tides (at high tide we must detour inland). FIt is a short cruise back to Kaiteriteri Beach by water taxi, where we rejoin our vehicle to travel to our campsite near Murchison. Enjoy a meal at the local Murchison pub on the way.

Note: A sea kayaking option is available today too, if you would prefer to paddle than walk.

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodation Murchison - 1 night

11
Murchison to Ballroom Overhang 8km (4,2 Mi) /3-4 hours hiking

After packing up our campsite, we drive down the Buller Gorge towards the West Coast, to our new destination. Stopping at Cape Foulwind there is an opportunity to view a breeding colony of native New Zealand fur seals, almost hunted to extinction back in the 1800s. After lunch we begin our hike up a spectacular river canyon made of limestone in Paparoa National Park. This National Park was established in 1987 covering over 30,000 hectares which includes mountains, limestone cliffs, rivers, caves and wilderness areas. We hike through several river crossings collecting firewood along the way to our camp, setting up under the massive Ballroom Overhang.

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation Camping - 1 night

12
Ballroom Overhang to Hokitika 8km (4,2) /3-4 hours hiking

Take the chance to splash up a beautiful side canyon towards a cave before hiking back. You guide will determine the weather conditions and may alter the route to include more time in the canyon away from the track. After our hike we stop in Punakaiki and view the famous Pancake Rocks and blowholes before heading down the west coast to our accommodation in Hokitika.

In the 1870’s Hokitika was a thriving gold rush town and was described back then as ‘the most rising place on earth’. This town is now better known for the ‘Wild Food Festival’ held every year in March. Whilst you’re here, there is a good opportunity to buy pounamu (greenstone), which was highly valued by early Maori for tools, jewellery and weapons.Tonight we stay in a lodge, showcasing a magnificent sunset view over the Tasman Sea. It’s your night off for cooking tonight, so treat yourself to a local favourite, fish and chips on the beach or eat out at the many cafes in this seaside town.

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodation Hokitika - 1 night

13
Hokitika to Fox Glacier 33km (20,9 Mi) /4 hours biking - optional

Today, take the opportunity to hire a bike and explore the West Coast Cycle Trail (optional). The ride will take you from Milltown to Kumara, 33km following a series of old bush tram lines built back in the 1860’s to cart coal. Experience a gentle climb before the track descends down through a lush rainforest paradise. The afternoon is yours to relax as we drive you down the coast to Fox Glacier, and your camp  for the night.

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation Fox Glacier - 1 night

14
Fox Glacier to Haast 8-12km (4,2 - 7,8 Mi) /3-5 hours hiking - optional

Start your day with a gentle morning walk around Lake Matheson, a photographers dream canvas surrounded by native rainforest and a lake reflecting New Zealand’s giants -Mt Cook and Mt Tasman. The reflections are truly spectacular, being one of the most photographed lakes in the country! Later this morning, you’ll have the option of hiking on Fox Glacier, one of the only glaciers in the world to descend into rainforest!

Take a guided hike with a local guide and walk on the ice, exploring the crevasses and ice caves overlooking the valley below. If you prefer not to walk on the ice, take the other option of a guided hike up the valley to a fantastic viewpoint of the glacier. For those more inclined for adventure, there is the option of ice climbing! Whichever option you choose, you will be awed by this incredible glacier. Once finished at the glacier, we drive into South Westland stopping at Haast Beach campsite for the night, sharing your stories of the day’s adventure with your fellow group.

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation Haast - 1 night

15
Haast to Aspiring Hut 8km (4,2 Mi) /3 hours hiking

As we drive towards Central Otago, the scenery changes dramatically and we are no longer amongst the lush rainforests of the West Coast, but out into the spacious tussock high country of Central Otago. We drive the shores of the glacially formed lakes Hawea and Wanaka, both expansive and stunning lakes perfect for a swim on a hot summer day. Moving on from Wanaka we drive through Matukituki Valley towards the road end where we stop and start our day’s hike to Aspiring Hut. Hiking gently into the valley, the scenery starts to unfold and you are rewarded with majestic mountain views, through the dips in the high peaks you will glimpse the Matterhorn-like Mt Aspiring (3033m) in the distance.

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation Camping - 1 night

16
Rob Roy Glacier & Mossburn 14km (8,1 Mi) /6 hours hiking

We take a steep side trip this morning and climb up to view Rob Roy Glacier. We stop of lunch with company of the cheeky kea (New Zealand alpine parrot), known for their mischief behaviour and stealing items! As we head back into the Aspiring Valley and back to the road end, we pop in and out of beech forest whilst enjoying the views from the track. We reach the vehicle and allow you to rest as we take a scenic drive over the Crown Range. Take in the views from the summit which may leave you breathless as you see far across the Wakatipu Valley and lakes below. We drive on to Mossburn and the idyllic campsite situated on 28 acres of park-like farmland.

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation Mossburn - 1 night

17
Milford Sound and on to Queenstown (2 hour cruise, optional)

This morning after breakfast we take on the stunning drive towards Milford Sound in Fiordland National Park. This World Heritage Site is the largest National Park in New Zealand, and one of the largest in the world. The massive glacial lakes of Te Anau and Manapouri border the inland coastline that is, Fiordland. The park, truly is dominated by water, which is either in the form of lakes or as falling rain. The route to Milford Sound is breath-taking, towering mountains surround you either side, covered in lush rainforest. Driving on you will notice the majestic waterfalls tumbling down the mountain surface, until finally we reach the opening of Milford Sound.

By mid morning we have reached the Sound, where you will be able to join a cruise which takes you all the way out to Anita Bay, and the entrance of Milford Sound from the Tasman Ocean. Enjoy the views of cascading waterfalls and famous Mitre Peak (1722 metres straight from the sea). Keep your eye out for the local wildlife too, with Crested Penguins, Dolphins and New Zealand fur seals which often play near the boat. This afternoon we drive back through Te Anau and reach Queenstown.

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodation Queenstown - 2 nights

18
Queenstown at leisure

Enjoy a day of leisure in New Zealand’s Adventure capital! There are so many different activities there’s one to suit everyone, experience bungee jumping, skydiving, mountain biking, canyon swings, jet boating and more. If you want something more relaxing take the Gondola ride for spectacular views over Queenstown, or take a stroll into the boutique shops for some souvenirs. We stay at a centrally located lodge that is easy walking distance from town.

Some Recommended Excursions:

Routeburn Track Guided Day Walk Explore Historic Arrowtown Highest Bungy Jump
Wine Tasting Tour Central Otago Biking Skippers Canyon Round at Millbrook Golf Resort
TSS Earnslaw Steamboat Cruise Dart River Jetboat Safari Gibbston Valley Wine Trail
 

Includes: Breakfast

19
Ahuriri Valley and Canyon Creek 6km (3,1 Mi) /3 hours hiking

First thing today we drive up through Central Otago and cross Lindis Pass into Mackenzie Country, home to some of the countries largest sheep stations, measuring tens of thousands of acres! The area is renowned for its high quality fine wool production, thanks to its merino sheep. We turn off the main road and drive up the Ahuriri Valley and Conservation Park. We organise our overnight packs when we reach the end of the rugged road, and step out to follow the track by foot up Canyon Stream. The waterfalls and canyon are impressive here!

As we emerge out of the expansive Beech forest, we are greeted with great views of the alpine valley and soaring Mt Barth at the head of the valley. We camp for the night in this remote location.

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation Camping - 1 night

20
Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park 8km (4,2 Mi) /4 hours hiking

Explore the valley further today, if weather permits we climb higher for expansive views over the Southern Alps ‘the spine of the South Island’. We descend back to our vehicle for a late lunch before driving up through the Mackenzie Country and onwards to Aoraki/Mt Cook. Tonight’s campsite is at the foot of this exceptional mountain. New Zealand’s tallest mountain at 3754 metres.

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation Mount Cook - 2 nights

21
Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park 8km (4,2 Mi) /5 hours hiking

Today we start grab our day packs and hike up to Sealy Tarns and Mueller Hut. Take in the impressive views over Hooker and Mueller glaciers to Mount Sefton icefall and Aoraki/Mount Cook. This walk will allow you to see and learn further about the forces of nature a work – the large moraine walls which have deposited over thousands of years du to glaciers, the tumbling rocks and avalanches left on the distant mountain faces.

Later there is time in the afternoon to relax as we return to the campsite. There is the option to visit the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre, a great way to become inspired by the courageous stories of mountaineers and an insight into the Park’s natural world. Tonight is our last night together, with a fantastic place to end the tour – in the heart of the Southern Alps. If you’re lucky you will see the summit of Aoraki turn from white to pink as the sun sets for the day.

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

22
Aoraki/Mt Cook to Christchurch 8km (4,2 Mi) /3-4 hours hiking

We take one final hike this morning to make the most of this serene place. We can either go up the terminal lake of Hooker Glacier scattered with icebergs, or we can make a short drive to the Tasman Valley to explore the glacial moraines and tarns. Our final drive is through the centre of Canterbury plains, towards Christchurch where our tour ends.

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch