1

Auckland - Whirinaki

11km/3 hours hiking

We head south to Rotorua, with a café stop at 9am for those who missed breakfast. Rotorua is renowned for its steaming thermal vents, bubbling mud-pools and stunning lakes. The area is also rich in Māori and early European history, including the violent 1886 Mt Tarawera eruption that buried a Māori village. We enjoy a quick stop by Lake Rotorua before heading away from the beaten track – southeast into the Whirinaki. 

After a picnic lunch, we sort out gear and pack our backpacks for the hike into the rainforest. A further hours’ drive get us to the south end of this huge park. 

The Whirinaki Forest is a preserved remnant of the vast forests believed to have covered the super-continent of Gondwanaland more than 150 million years ago. Our first hike is an easy one, descending 300m on a track through native beech forest, to a simple forest hut beside the stunning Whirinaki river. We cook up our meal together and relax. We either camp or stay in the nearby hut with an evening campfire and time to enjoy the surrounds. Includes lunch and dinner.
 

Includes: Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation: We either camp or stay in the nearby hut with an evening campfire - 1 night


2

Whirinaki - Te Urewera

16km/5 hours hiking

This morning we continue down the valley track. This wilderness is off the tourist trail and we rarely see others, but we do often see rare blue ducks and robins, and hear kaka (a large bush parrot)! Lower down the valley, we hike beneath giant tree ferns and some of New Zealand’s most stunning podocarp rainforest trees. 

Later in the afternoon we drive east, into the rugged forest ranges of Te Urewera. This is the traditional home of the Tūhoe (Māori tribe) and one of the last places to have been reached by European settlers. 

After two hours winding through the most incredible rain forest, we reach the western arm of remote Lake Waikaremoana. We continue around the lake before stopping for the night at a camping area with sweet little cabins. Here we relax and cook a meal together in the communal kitchen.
 

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Camping - 1 night

This lakeside camp has a fantastic view and provides a peaceful place to relax after a day's hiking. Here you are able to enjoy nature and soak in the pristine surroundings. Explore the many walks nearby or enjoy boating, fishing and kayaking on the lake. Take time to get connected - it's in your nature!

Tenting New Zealand

3

Lake Waikaremoana

17km/8 hours hiking

This morning we drive 20 min to the trail-head at the south end of the lake and ready ourselves for some spectacular views. We climb up the Panekiri Range through gnarled beech and bright green tawa forest ascending to a point over 500 metres above the lake. 

From here, we hike along with breath-taking vistas in every direction. After enjoying a lunch stop at Bald Knob, we return back along this undulating trail, and if time permits once back at the road end, we explore the fascinating ’caves’ trail. 

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation - Waikaremoana - 1 night

Waikaremoana Holiday Park offers you accommodation with a stunning natural environment of the lake right on its doorstep. The campsite boasts an ideal location where natural beauty abounds. Excellent a facilities in a superb environment. Friendly hosts and a relaxed atmosphere make this the perfect place to unwind and relax. Leave your stress right here.

Waikaremoana Holiday Park

4

Lake Waikaremoana - Taupo

4km/2 hours hiking 

This morning we drive to the Volcanic Plateau where we explore an extraordinary thermal park (price included), bathe in a natural hot river and view the impressive Huka Falls. Feel the spray here as the mighty Waikato River plunges 11 metres into a stadium-like pool. This is New Zealand’s longest river. 

Later we arrive at Lake Taupo, the largest lake in New Zealand. Incredibly, this 600 square kilometre crater lake was formed in 186 AD by the most powerful volcanic explosion in recorded history.

At Taupo, we either grab takeaway food (own cost) or rustle up a quick ‘trailer’ meal at a lovely lake-side spot. Here we can relax on the unusual pumice beach and in summer enjoy an evening swim before continuing to our cabin accommodation in Tongariro National Park.
 

Includes: Breakfast & Lunch 

Accommodation: Whakapapa Village - 1 night

Arriving at Skotel Alpine Resort, you will be able to enjoy the fresh mountain air and sparkling waters of New Zealand’s North Islands central plateau. At the edge of a village in Tongariro National Park, this rustic lodge sits at the foot of Mount Ruapehu. It's directly on the Tongariro Northern Circuit trail. Apart from comfortable accommodation the Skotel Alpine Resort offers a restaurant, a hot tub and a terrace bar with a fireplace.

Skotel Alpine Resort

5

Tongariro National Park

15km/6 hours hiking

Tongariro National Park is the oldest National Park in New Zealand and the fourth oldest in the world. In 1993, the park became a UNESCO mixed cultural and natural World Heritage Site. Although many hikers walk the busy one-day Tongariro Alpine Crossing, few explore the more remote and drier east side of this volcanic range. Enjoy our secret side trips and short cuts but rest assured we will hike the famous Tongariro Alpine Crossing – considered one of the world’s finest day walks – but at a less busy time of the day whenever possible.

We sort out gear and pack our backpacks ready for our two nights away. In the late morning hike out of Whakapapa through tussock-grasslands and over the low saddle that cuts between the volcanoes Ruapehu and Ngauruhoe. Late afternoon we arrive at a simple but modern hut beside a quiet stream and among patches of mountain beech forest. There are great mountain views from the spacious common room

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

Accommodation: Tongariro - 1 night

Accommodation:

When you have been walking all day, you just want to enjoy a meal in a beautiful scenery, and here is the place to do that. Built on a truely grand location on the east side of Ngauruhoe in the Tongariro National Park. The huts living area has 2 sleeping platforms on one side and 2 rooms with bunks on the other. 


6

Tongariro

12km/6 hours hiking

The trail to the next hut takes just 3 hours, so we have the morning to explore. 

Either amble (about an hour) to the splendid Ohineopango Springs and visit a historic hut and then return to hut for lunch, or we can negotiate an adventurous off-trail route over ash-moraine ridges and skirt lava cliffs to reach a viewpoint high above a remote lake. After lunch continue on, traversing stony deserts to an alpine hut at 1400m situated on the edge of an old lava flow. 

We stop to enjoy fantastic views of the Park’s three main peaks: Ruapehu, Tongariro, and Ngauruhoe. The latter starred as Mount Doom in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings films. It’s an extraordinary landscape of active volcanoes and lava valleys.

Evening provides an opportunity to share an alpine hut with hikers from all over the world. Oturere ‘sardine tin’ Hut is small, quite busy, but still our favourite spot. We usually sleep in the hut, but sometimes we camp

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodation: Whakapapa Village - 2 nights

Arriving at Skotel Alpine Resort, you will be able to enjoy the fresh mountain air and sparkling waters of New Zealand’s North Islands central plateau. At the edge of a village in Tongariro National Park, this rustic lodge sits at the foot of Mount Ruapehu. It's directly on the Tongariro Northern Circuit trail. Apart from comfortable accommodation the Skotel Alpine Resort offers a restaurant, a hot tub and a terrace bar with a fireplace.

Skotel Alpine Resort

7

Tongariro Alpine Crossing

8-15km/3-8 hours hiking

We hike through a moon-like valley of lava flows and ash fields before climbing steeply to the remarkable Emerald Lakes, which have graced the covers of many guidebooks. 

From here we join the spectacular Tongariro Alpine Crossing

The next few hours of hiking take us through an unforgettable wonderland of lava valleys, steaming craters and brooding volcanoes before our descent through bonsai-like alpine foliage and alongside mineral-infused streams. In good conditions, we have the option of climbing high on the volcanic peaks.

An evening drive takes us to a lodge in the heart of the National Park – the perfect place to relax with a beer and enjoy million-dollar volcanic views before dining in the alpine village.

Meals: Breakfast and Lunch


8

Tongariro - Wellington

1km/1-2 hours hiking
 
On your last day on the North Island you can choose, 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

Accommodation: Wellington - 1 night

"Wellington's best hostel" Lonely Planet, 2015. The YHA Wellington is one of the most centrally located hostels in Wellington. With a location like this, it is ideal for everything Wellington has to offer. With quality rooms and a vibrant atmosphere with espresso bar, Wellingtons YHA is a great place to stay.

Wellington Front

9

Wellington to Abel Tasman

13.5km/4 hours hiking

Early risers can enjoy a quick wander along the fabulous waterfront (just 200m away) to watch this harbour city hum into life; plenty of commuter cafes to graze. Regroup at reception to meet the shuttle to the airport for the short flight to Nelson – our first stop in the South Island (note, the transfer from Wellington accommodation to Nelson Airport is without the guide). Here, our South Island guide introduces us to the people joining us for the South Island portion of the Ultimate New Zealand.

From Nelson, we take a picturesque drive around Tasman Bay to Kaiteriteri, the gateway for our two nights and three days in Abel Tasman National Park. Our guide advises us on how to pack light and smart as we ready ourselves for this next adventure.

A boat cruise around the coast takes us to the beautiful and less visited part of the park at Awaroa. We enjoy a picnic on this idyllic beach before starting our hike following the Abel Tasman Coastal track south to Bark Bay, where our tents and some gear have been dropped by boat. We pitch our tents and enjoy a delicious meal together. Fall asleep to the sound of waves lapping the shore.

Includes: Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Camping - 1 night

Sorry due to the isolated nature of the Abel Tasman you have to experience an evening with no 'Mod Con's' - we doubt you will be able to have any internet connection. Bark Bay is another golden beach in the Abel Tasman National Park and has a beautiful tidal estuary which you can walk along. Bark was stripped from trees to be used in a Nelson tannery last century, hence the origin of the name of the bay (the bark has grown back)

Abel Tasman Camping Adventure

10

BARK BAY TO ANCHORAGE

8.5 - 12km/3-5 hours hiking

After a relaxed breakfast, we continue our hike on the Coastal Track to Anchorage. The hike from Bark Bay takes us through glades of manuka, over a low saddle and across a 47-metre suspension bridge at Falls River. The optional side trip to Cleopatra’s Pool is a must and a perfect place for a refreshing swim, and if you are feeling nimble you can join the guide for a boulder hop further up the valley exploring idyllic pools and waterfalls.

Your guide may also talk you into taking another side trip up to the Falls River cascades, another stunning swimming spot. We camp tonight at the bush-fringed and bright blue inlet of Anchorage. Relax, read a book and go for a swim – before we meet in the evening to cook and eat together. 

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

Accommodation: Anchorage - 1 night

Located in Abel Tasman National Park is the Anchorage campsite, popular with kayakers and walkers alike it is one of the best equipped camps  within the park. Set in a beautiful north facing beach,(that’s sunny in the southern hemisphere) the site has great facilities Anchorage Camp site has kitchen shelters, flush toilets, fireplaces with dry firewood tap above sinks and also a filtered water tap for drinking.
 


11

Anchorage - Murchison

15km/3 hours paddling

It’s time to hit the water and explore the Abel Tasman’s magical coastline by waka (Māori canoe).* After a traditional karakia (blessing) we learn the etiquette associated with joining a waka team. Then it’s time to climb aboard and paddle!

Depending on conditions, we explore several coves on the mainland and the wildlife refuge of Adele Island, where we observe a breeding colony of New Zealand fur seals – beautiful animals that were almost hunted to extinction in the 1800s. Along the way our waka guide enlightens us with stories of local Māori history and customs. We paddle into the beautiful Kaiteriteri beach at around midday, where our Hiking New Zealand guide awaits with our backpacks. After a picnic lunch and a restock on supplies in Motueka we drive south to our private campsite near Murchison, overlooking the confluence of the Buller and Maruia rivers. We enjoy an organic meal that is home-cooked by our hosts. Includes breakfast, lunch and dinner. 

*Note: The waka experience requires a minimum of 6 people. With smaller groups we return to Kaiteriteri via water taxi.

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodation: Murchison - 1 night


12

Ballroom Overhang

8km/3-4 hours hiking
 
After driving through the Buller Gorge our first stop and experience of the wild west coast is at Charleston. We take a short hike through lush West Coast bush checking out the dramatic headlands, wild waves and secluded bays. 

After the hike we enjoy a picnic lunch and pack up for the next hike that takes us up a spectacular limestone river canyon in Paparoa National Park. Established in 1987, this park covers more than 30,000 hectares. Its attractions include mountains, limestone cliffs, caves, rivers, wilderness areas and coastlines. 

The first half of the trail is on a reasonably well-formed track and is relatively flat, while the second half involves multiple river crossings and sections where the riverbed itself is our route. Some boulders here can be slippery and good hiking shoes or boots are essential. Our guide teaches us how to cross rivers by linking arms with our companions. We collect firewood along the way and set up camp under the massive Ballroom Overhang, a fluviatile cave. For those that are keen on more hiking you can join the guide and explore up a beautiful side canyon, following the stream until it disappears into a cave.
 

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Camping - 1 night

Accommodation:

The massive and breathtaking Ballroom Overhang, is an ancient overhanging limestone cliff face, that has been sheltering hikers tramping the Inland Pack Track since 1908. The Ballroom Overhang is close to the Fox River, perfect for a swim after a days walking.

Camping on the West Coast

13

Hokitika & Punakaiki Pancake Rocks

6km/3 hours hiking

After a relaxed breakfast we hike back out the same way and head to the West Coast town of Punakaiki to check out the famous Pancake Rocks and seawater blowholes. Then it’s down the coast to tonight’s accommodation in Hokitika. A thriving gold rush town in the 1870s, Hokitika is now a great place to buy pounamu (greenstone), which was highly valued by early Māori for tools, jewellery and weapons.

Tonight’s lodge accommodation is centrally located and just a short distance from the beach. Tuck in to traditional Kiwi fish and chips on the beach or eat at one of the many cafés in this bustling little seaside town. On arrival in Hokitika, we get fitted out with bikes for tomorrow's ride.
 

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodation: Hokitika - 1 night


14

Hokitika - Arthur's Pass

39km/4-5 hours biking

Before meeting the group grab breakfast at one of the great cafés in town. Today we get to cycle the stunning West Coast Wilderness Trail between the Arahura River bridge and the historic township of Kumara. 

We will pedal our way through majestic native forest, cross crystal-clear rivers, and pass old reservoirs and water races. Today’s ride is unguided, but the trail is very well marked, and our local partners will give you a very thorough briefing on riding the trail. The thoughtfully restored Theatre Royal Hotel in Kumara is the perfect place to celebrate our ride with a drink. 

After the ride sit back and enjoy the mountain and rainforest landscapes as we turn east to drive into the Southern Alps and stay in the quaint mountain village of Arthurs Pass. Lodgings tonight are at a private hut with showers and electricity. We prepare dinner together and get ready for tomorrow's hiking adventure into Edwards Valley
 

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

Accommodation: Arthurs Pass - 1 night


15

Arthur's Pass - Edwards Hut

7km/5-6 hours hiking
 
While not as well-known as some of the other National Parks visited on the tour, Arthur’s Pass will awe you with its rugged alpine peaks, wild rivers and adventurous hiking trails. Our overnight hike takes us up the Edwards Valley to the Edwards Hut which sits just above the treeline with a great view up and down this beautiful valley.* 

It is a challenging hike on a real ‘kiwi-style’ track. There are several river crossings and parts where you will need to use your hands for extra grip as the trail is rugged with steep slippery sections. 

We either camp or stay in the hut depending on how many other hikers are there.

At nightfall, we listen out for the distinct call of our national bird, the kiwi. Roroa or great spotted kiwi are known to inhabit this sub-alpine area.

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Edwards Hutt - 1 night


16

Edwards Valley - Mt Somers

7km/5-6 hours hiking
 
We make the most of being in this wonderfully remote alpine valley with an optional hike to explore further up the valley this morning towards Falling Mountain, where the views of the surrounding mountains open up even more. 

After returning to the hut we pack up and hike back down the valley having lunch along the way. The scenery changes dramatically on the eastern side of the divide. The steep forested slopes of the west are replaced with wide braided rivers, scree slopes and the surreal limestone formations of Castle Hill. 

We leave the main highway following an inland route past Lake Lyndon, through the Rakaia Gorge and onto the tiny village of Mt Somers where we stay

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Mt Somers - 1 night


17

Aoraki/Mt Cook

8km/5 hours hiking

We spend the morning driving along the western boundary of the Canterbury plains and into the stunningly beautiful Mackenzie Country, an intermontane basin of huge glacial lakes and snow-capped mountains. 

By late morning we arrive at Aoraki/Mt Cook village ready to maximise our afternoon with a hike with day-packs up to Sealy Tarns and possibly as far as Mueller Hut. Enjoy views across two valley glaciers to the Mount Sefton icefalls and Aoraki/Mt Cook. Towering moraine walls, glacial lakes and the frequent rumbling of distant avalanches are reminders of nature’s sheer power in this dynamic landscape. 

We return via the same track to our accommodation at a private hut/camp. We’re in the heart of the Southern Alps, surrounded by huge mountains of commanding presence. With luck, we can watch the summit of Aoraki/Mt Cook turn from white to pink with the sun’s last rays.
 

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Mount Cook - 2 nights

Accommodation:
Nestled amongst native bush are our spacious, level tent sites located – so choose your own. Enjoy the panoramic views of Mount Cook and the surrounding Alps – camping at its best! Set amongst a working sheep station just 18km from Mt Cook National Park, Glentanner Park is the only fully equipped campground in the Mount Cook region.
Mt Cook

18

Aoraki/Mt Cook - Lake Hawea

4km/2 hours hiking

We enjoy a relaxing breakfast together with a postcard view of Aoraki/Mt Cook from our dining room window. 

There is the option today of joining a local operator for a guided heli-hike on the Tasman Glacier (NZ $599).* A helicopter flight will take us onto the upper glacier where we attach crampons to our boots and marvel at the jagged landscape while exploring ice formations and ice caves. 

For those not heli-hiking, join the guide for a hike up the steep glacial moraines to Red Tarns. More stunning views from here! 

Those wanting to rest the legs today can either relax at the hut or visit the information centre and learn more about the park’s natural history and the feats of pioneering mountaineers. By mid-afternoon we have re-united with the heli-hikers and depart Aoraki/Mt Cook to continue our journey south through the Mackenzie Country and over Lindis Pass into the Central Otago region. We stay tonight near the shores of Lake Hawea, a glacially formed lake over 35kms in length ringed by mountains. We take the night off cooking tonight and dine at a local restaurant. 

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Lake Hawea - 1 Night


19

Lake Hawea - Aspiring Hut

14km/ 6 hours hiking

We drive to Wanaka township this morning, grab a coffee and take a wander around this vibrant lakeside resort town before we drive along Matukituki Valley to the end of the road. We shoulder our packs and hike along the valley, perhaps opting to climb up for a view of Rob Roy Glacier. Cheeky and inquisitive kea (alpine parrots) often mingle with our group at lunchtime, so we might need to keep an eye on our gear (kea love shiny zips)!

In the afternoon, we enjoy stunning alpine views as we hike the valley to Aspiring Hut. Between high peaks we catch glimpses of the Matterhorn-like Mt Aspiring (3033m).

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodation: Aspiring Hut - 1 Night

This historic stone hut, located in the spectacular Matukituki Valley in the Mt. Aspiring National Park. The views are endless and unforgettable, It is a mixture of wonderful and remote wilderness, lovely river valleys and beautiful high mountains. Managed by DOC, has a wood burner for heating, mattresses and tank water, a favorite for many climbers and trampers.

Aspiring Hut

20

Aspiring Hut - Knobs Flat

8km/3 hours hiking

We return down the valley early this morning enjoying the pretty views and easy hiking along the floor of this wide glacially formed valley. Once we are back in Wanaka we have a lakeside picnic and you may want to dive into the lake for a swim.

Next up is a remarkable drive over the Crown Range, offering breath-taking summit views of the Wakitipu Basin and lakes. By late afternoon, we’re past Te Anau and well on our way to Milford Sound. 

We camp for the next two nights at the beautiful Knobs Flat campsite, relaxing and making the most of the welcome hot showers.
 

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

Accommodation Knobs Flat - 3 nights

Accommodation:
This campground is small and quiet and in one of the most beautiful regions in New Zealand - Fiordland! The showers are hot and the kitchen ready and waiting for you. There overnight tent and campervan sites in the picturesque setting of Knobs Flat here in Fiordland National Park. This is the only serviced campsite on the main highway between Te Anau and Milford Sound.
Knobs Flat

21

Milford Sound Cruise

2-hour cruise (or Milford kayaking option*), 5km/3 hours hiking

This morning we drive beneath imposing granite cliffs and hanging valleys into the heart of Fiordland National Park. This amazing World Heritage Site is one of the largest national parks in the world, with its huge glacial lakes of Te Anau and Manapouri and spectacular fjords. 

By mid-morning, we are at Milford and ready to join one of the world’s great day-cruises. Our vessel takes us out to Anita Bay and the entrance to Milford Sound. We enjoy stunning views of cascading waterfalls and the iconic Mitre Peak, which soars 1722 metres above the sea. We keep our eyes peeled for dolphins, Fiordland crested penguins and New Zealand fur seals, which often play near our boat. 

Before returning to Knobs Flat, we enjoy a hike up to Key Summit. This is the final section of the famous Routeburn Track, which is another of New Zealand’s Great Walks. We enjoy an informative nature walk and views of the Darran Mountains and Hollyford Valley. Includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.

* If you have chosen the kayaking option you will be picked up at 6.30am by the kayak company to travel to Milford Sound. Paddle for 3 to 3.5 hours in double kayaks to waterfalls, spotting rare wildlife, and generally feeling dwarfed by the enormity of the fjords. Returning to land, you will be reunited with the group after their cruise. 

Please advise us at the time of booking if interested in the kayaking option, as space is limited. Cost: NZ$125

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
 


22

Queenstown - the Adventure Capital

2km/45 minutes hiking

After breakfast we take a short hike to check out a beautiful waterfall near our campsite, where you may want to soak up one last little bit of Fiordland by jumping under for a shower! We then make our final drive to Queenstown arriving in the early afternoon. 

The afternoon is free for you to use as you wish. Our lodge is within easy walking distance to town. We meet up in the early evening and head out to celebrate the great hikes and adventures we have had together over the last two weeks. 

Includes: Breakfast and Lunch

Just a short 7 minute walk from the energetic centre of Queenstown and a convenient two-minute ride away from Queenstowns awesome 'Bike Park' this modern facility is surrounded by majestic alpine scenery. Pinewood Lodge has plenty of off-street parking, a relaxing spa and many other facilities to enjoy. 

Pinewood Lodge

23

Queenstown - Tour Ends

Today is the end of the tour. Our guide departs early for Christchurch. For those staying on in Queenstown you will be spoilt for choice of adventure activities to try. Queenstown is the adventure capital of New Zealand and is surrounded by stunning landscapes with superb hiking and cycling tracks. Don’t hesitate to ask one of our helpful team for tips of great hikes to do in the area at the conclusion of your trip. 


NOTES

Included Highlights

  •  Hike sections of New Zealand’s Great Walks and visit a thermal park
  • Experience the volcanic wonders of the Tongariro Crossing
  • Multi-day hikes alongside golden sand beaches and through native rainforest
  • Scenic flight across Cook Strait to the South Island
  • Observe a fur seal breeding colony
  • Explore crystal clear rivers and limestone river canyons
  • View a monstrous river of ice, the dynamic Rob Roy Glacier
  • Free day in Queenstown, New Zealand’s ‘adrenalin capital’
  • Cruise the waters of Milford Sound
  • Explore Aoraki/Mt Cook National park, a rugged land of ice and rock

Inclusions

  • 12 seater minibus
  • A guide
  • Most meals
  • Therm-a-rest sleeping mat
  • Tents
  • Cooking equipment
  • Plates/cutlery
  • First aid kit
  • Safety equipment
  • Maps

Fitness

  • Grade: D
  • Average of 4-5 hours physical activity per day, up to 8-9 hours on longer days.
  • Pack weights of 10-12kgs (22-26lbs) on some days.
  • Altitude gains of up to 800m (2600ft) per day.
  • Some uneven track surfaces and river crossings.
  • No multi-day hiking experience necessary.
  • You need to be reasonably fit and enthusiastic and have good agility.
  • Terrain mostly tracks. Some may be slippery or rough; some off-track hiking and river crossings.

Accommodation

"Wild nights" vs nights in civilisation...The Ultimate New Zealand is a combination of “wild nights”, which are the nights where you are truly in the wilderness, staying in backcountry huts or camping in locations that may be several hours walk from the nearest road or populated area, versus nights in civilisation where you may stay in cabins, lodges or camp by the vehicle at Department of Conservation campsites. Some of these locations may still be relatively remote and in the wilderness but they can be reached by the vehicle.

Food

As well as being the time to rest, refuel and recharge, meal times are also a great time to get to know your fellow travellers better, sit back and enjoy the amazing surroundings and enjoy some great food! Everybody has a turn with the preparation and cooking of meals: barbecues, salads, pancakes, curries, pasta, stir-fries, hangi... Vegetarian meals are no problem. On the "wild nights" the group will usually eat pasta and rice meals (special "secret" recipes used). There is always a lot of hiking food - chocolate, nuts, raisins, biscuits. The vehicles carry a full range of cooking equipment including gas burners, woks, frying pans and billies (cooking pot). When you go on an overnight hike the group will carry a portable stove. 


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What Chrissy says about this tour: I thoroughly recommend this tour to fit, enthusiastic hikers and walkers who are up for a 22 day adventure. There's also biking, kayaking, glaciers, cruises, many mountains and of course wilderness camping! Sound like you? A small group tour for intrepid folk who want to experience New Zealand's iconic walks.
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