Trails of New Zealand

Resort: Trails of New Zealand
Operator: Exodus
Destination: New Zealand
Price From: £6099.00


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 that are best experienced
and appreciated byfoot and by boat. This active trip maximises the time
spent in the outdoors. Whether it’s sailing through waterways, hiking between
volcanic peaks or jetboating through Mount Aspiring National Park, New
Zealand is a country that always exceeds expectations. Make the most of this
striking country with this jam-packed itinerary that includes many of the
highlights en route.


* 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


Day 1-2 Depart London.

Flights usually depart London in the afternoon.

Day 3
Arrive Auckland

The day is free to relax and recover from the jet lag. Auckland is a
beautiful city and worthy of some time to explore. The nearby Viaduct
restaurants are an ideal means of overcoming the last of the jet lag and the
day just slowly passes by. If you are feeling lucky visit the Sky City Casino
tower for one of those lunches you just don’t forget. Those not flying with
the group should meet at the start point at the Auckland City Hotel at 6pm
for a full briefing with your leader.

*Auckland City Hotel or similar*

Day 4
Visit Rangitoto Island

Auckland is the City of Sails, so what better way to start your holiday than
to take a cruise across the Gulf to the beautiful Rangitoto Island; which at
only 600 years old, is the youngest volcano in New Zealand. The island has
undergone a significant restoration programme and is entirely pest-free which
encourages the native flora and fauna to thrive. We will walk through lava
fields and forests to the summit of the island which stands 259m above sea
level and has some stunning panoramic views of Auckland and the Hauraki Gulf.

Walk Profile- Rangitoto Island: Distance- 8.5 km/5 miles,total ascent 249m
and descent 245m,approx. 2-3 hours.
*Auckland City Hotel or similar*

Day 5
To Rotorua

Leaving the city behind us we head south to Rotorua (approx. 3.5 hours drive)
and our accommodation. On arrival we stretch our legs with a hike around the
redwood forest followed by an optional afternoon at leisure in town or a hike
at Blue Lake. The evening highlight is the Marae (ceremonial ground) visit.
Our Maori hosts welcome us in their traditional manner before entertaining us
with a concert and hangi (traditional meal).

Walk Profile- Blue Lakes Circuit: Distance- 6 km/3.7 miles,total ascent
125m and descent 117m,approx. 1.5 hours.

*Jet Park Rotorua or similar*

Day 6
To Tongariro N.P

We explore one of New Zealand’s most colourful thermal areas with boiling mud
pools, hot streams and silica terraces. The natural wonders that first
attracted the Maori in the 14th century, and later the European’s, still draw
large numbers of tourists every year. Rotorua is a unique natural wonder and
a must see destination. Leaving Rotorua we drive south (approx. 3 hours) to
Tongariro National Park. On the way we visit the steaming Wai-O-Tapu
geothermal valley and impressive Huka Falls.

Walk Profile- Wai-O-Tapu: Distance- 8.5 km/5 miles,total ascent 109m and
descent 152m,approx. up to 3 hours.

*Skotel Alpine Resort or similar*

Day 7
Hike Tongariro Crossing

From the many walking options that exist, you are free to take your choice as
we explore this volcanic landform. Two half-day walks to beautiful waterfalls
and bush lands (unguided) or the amazing optional 8 hour 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.

Walk Profile- Tongariro Crossing: Distance- 19.4 km/12 miles,total ascent
765m and descent 1125m,approx. 7-8 hours.

If you do not wish to do the optional Tongariro Crossing, below are two of
the most popular and scenic walk optionsaccessible by foot fromthe
accommodation that you may wish to consider. Your leader will also be able to
advise locally with further details/options:

Walk Profile (unguided)- Silica Rapids: Distance- 7 km loop/4.3 miles,total
ascent 190m and descent 190m,approx. 2.5 hours.

Walk Profile (unguided)- Taranaki Falls: Distance- 6 km loop/3.7
miles,total ascent 115m and descent 115m,approx. 2.5 hours.

*Skotel Alpine Resort or similar*

Day 8
To Wellington

Relax following yesterday’s efforts as we drive (approx. 5 hours) south to
Wellington. Continue across the Rangitikei and Manawatu Plains and down the
Kapiti Coast to Wellington. Across from our hotel is Te Papa, the NZ National
Museum which we can explore in the afternoon along with the beautiful Botanic
Gardens and cable car and enjoy the exciting nightlife of New Zealand’s
capital city.

*The Bay Plaza Hotel or similar*

Day 9
Ferry across Cook Strait to Marlborough; drive to Abel Tasman N.P

After an early breakfast we board the ferry and leave the North Island behind
as we cross the Cook Strait, passing the Marlborough Sounds with 1500kms of
beautiful coastline. From Picton we have a 90 min drive to Nelson where we
can take time out to explore the city and a chance to stretch the legs with a
short walk to the geographical centre of New Zealand. After this visit we
drive to Motueka (approx. 60 min) on the edge of the Abel Tasman National
Park, with its idyllic golden sand beaches and forests.

Walk Profile- Geographical centre of New Zealand: Distance- 1.6 km/1
mile,total ascent 86m and descent 90m,approx. 1 hour.

*Avalon Manor Motel or similar*

Day 10
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.

Walk Profile- Marahau to Anchorage: Distance- 12.7 km/8 miles,total ascent
217m and descent 214m,approx. 3-4 hours.

*Avalon Manor Motel or similar*

Day 11
To Buller River; sunset walk at Punakaiki

Our departure from the Abel Tasman National Park is followed by a scenic
drive down the mighty Buller River. After a short stop at Cape Foulwind to
see the local seal colony, we then stop at Punakaiki, home of the famous
Pancake Rocks, to watch the setting sun (total driving time approx. 5 hours).
If the tide is up the ground can physically shake and water spurts from the
blow-holes and fissures that dot the coastline.

Walk Profile- Cape Foulwind: Distance- 3.5 km/2 miles,total ascent 76m and
descent 98m,approx. 1 hour and 15 minutes.

*Punakaiki Resort or similar*

Day 12
To Fox Glacier passing Okarito en route

Passing through areas of lush forests, we continue south down the beautiful
west coast. We drive onto the small village of Okarito nestled on the lagoon,
home of the rare Kotuku (white heron). On offer here is optional kayaking
where we float in on the incoming tide and explore the bush-clad waterways
seeking out the abundant bird life the lagoon is famous for. Those looking to
stretch their legs can hike to the nearby Trig station (approx. 1.5 hours)
for the spectacular views over the Southern Alps. Later we continue the short
drive through to Fox township.

Walk Profile- Okarito Trig Walk: Distance- 4.2 km/2.6 miles,total ascent
171m and descent 170m,approx. 1.5- 2 hours.

*The Westhaven or similar*

Day 13
Walk to Fox Glacier; continue to Wanaka

After breakfast we stroll around the reflective Lake Matheson, a
photographer’s dream. As we head out of town, we take a drive up the valley
andhike to a viewpointof the spectacular FoxGlacier.

We then continue south along bush-clad roads and past the dramatic coastline
with its wild windswept beaches to the settlement of Haast. Turning inland we
climb over Haast Pass, the southernmost crossing of the Southern Alps that
forms the boundary between Westland and Otago. From here the tussock lands of
the eastern slopes merge with the beech forests. We travel through to Wanaka,
home for the next two nights.

Walk Profile- Lake Matheson Loop: Distance- 2.6 km/1.6 miles,total ascent
42m and descent 42m,approx. 1.5 hours.

Walk Profile- Fox Glacier Valley Walkway: Distance- 2.6 km/1.6 miles,total
ascent 68m and descent 69m,approx. 1 hour.

*Ramada Resort Wanaka or similar*

Day 14
Jet boat inMatukituki

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 hour hike at the beautiful Diamond Lake that
provides stunning views of the river delta and the landscape.

Walk Profile- Matukituki Valley (walk during Jet boat): Distance- 2.2 km/1.3
miles,total ascent 29m and descent 29m,approx. up to 1 hour.

Walk Profile- Diamond Lake & Rocky Mountain Circuit: Distance- Up to 7.1
km/4.4 miles,total ascent 437m and descent 432m,approx. 2-3 hours.

*Ramada Resort Wanaka or similar

Day 15
Transfer to Milford Sound and board overnight boat

From Wanaka we depart early heading for Te Anau and then into the Eglington
Valley, enjoying a series of short walks in the spectacular Milford region
and then into Milford Sound itself where we join our floating accommodation
for the night. The newly refurbished boat has private two bed cabins with
shared facilities amidst dolphins and mighty peaks towering above the fjord.

Walk Profile- various short walk options on Milford Road of up to 1 hour/2
kms duration depending on group fitness, weather and time permitting.

*Real Journeys- Wanderer boat*

Day 16
Cruise Inner Sound; drive to Queenstown

After an early morning breakfast we cruise the inner sound again searching
for dolphins and seals before disembarking and retracing our tracks to The
Divide and the start of the Routeburn Track. Here we take a 3-hour walk
(approx. 6.8km) to Key Summit for some spectacular views. After this hike we
drive via Te Anau (approx. 4 hours) onto Queenstown, where we stay for the
next two nights.

Walk Profile- Routeburn Track: Distance- 6.8 km/4.2 miles,total ascent 430m
and descent 413m,approx. 3 hours.

*Blue Peaks Lodge or similar*

Day 17
Free day in Queenstown

A free day to enjoy the scenic delights of this world famous destination!
There are numerous activities on offer which your leader can advise about
locally. Or, you may just prefer to simply spend the day shopping or

*Blue Peaks Lodge or similar*

Day 18
Transfer to Mt Cook N.P.; trek in Hooker Valley

Travel through the barren Kawarau Gorge where large amounts of gold were
dredged at the turn of the century. Drive over Lindis Pass to the
tussock-covered plains of the Mackenzie basin and into the Mt Cook National
Park (total approx. 4 hours). Beneath NZ’s highest peak we walk into the
Hooker Valley with its crashing glaciers and glacial lakes. By early evening
we reach our accommodation and watch the spectacular view from the warmth of
the restaurant.

Walk Profile- Hooker Valley: Distance- 10.5 km/6.5 miles,total ascent 209m
and descent 218m,approx. 3 hours.

*Aoraki/Mt Cook Alpine Lodge or similar*

Day 19
Drive to Christchurch via Canterbury Plains

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

Walk Profile- Red Tarns- optional: Distance- 5.1 km/3.1 miles,total ascent
538m and descent 535m,approx. 2 hours.

*Pavilions Hotel or similar*

Day 20
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.

Walk Profile- Godley Head/Taylors Mistake: Distance- 6.1 km/3.8 miles,total
ascent 111m and descent 263m,approx. 3 hours.

*Pavilions Hotel or similar*

Day 21 Depart Christchurch.

For those on group flights, these depart in the afternoon and will arrive in
the UK the following day. We have the day free in Christchurch to relax or
enjoy some last minute shopping. Land Only arrangements will finish after
check-out from the hotel.

Day 22 Arrive London.


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