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Nelson Lakes National Park

The small settlement of St Arnaud, a short drive from Nelson, is the gateway to Nelson Lakes National Park (102,000ha) which includes serene lakes and the majestic mountains that make up the northern expanse of the Southern Alps .  The beech forests around the namesake lakes, Lake Rotoiti and Lake Rotoroa contain a network of walking tracks allowing visitors to explore the lake edges and forest.   On signs around the area you can read about the Rotoiti Nature Recovery programme which aims to maintain a predator-free sanctuary around the nectar producing beech forest.  The success of this programme is evident in the rich variety of birdsong you’ll hear as you walk the trails.  You’ll see many smaller forest dwelling birds including tomtits, robins and rifleman and soaring above the forest canopy you might be lucky enough to see the South Island kaka. The Department of Conservation website has more detailed information on the many walks you can enjoy in the park.

Kahurangi/ Golden Bay Scenic with Farewell Spit Eco Tour with Helicopters Nelson

Kahurangi/ Golden Bay Scenic with Farewell Spit Eco Tour with Helicopters Nelson

Tracking west into the Kahurangi mountains, enjoy a flight over unspoilt country before your pilot lands at a remote alpine location, where you can enjoy the overwhelming surrounds of New Zealand’s second largest National Park. Following your mountain landing, you descend further north west to Golden Bay, and track the beautiful coastline to land in the remote settlement of Puponga, situated at the base of Farewell Spit.
Here join Farewell Spit Eco Tours for a private guided tour of Farewell Spit, the natural sandspit that spans approximately 26 km above the tide mark across the top of the South Island. Hear the history of Puponga and New Zealand’s first Radar Station. See where whales strand and uncover the mystery of the migrant waders. During the summer there are up to 20,000 godwits and 30,000 knots at the Spit, as well as other northern migratory birds, New Zealand natives and introduced species.

New Zealand touring ideas

A popular style of touring is to take a preplanned self drive road trip.  After a thorough consultation with you we expertly plan and create your self drive tour around New Zealand allows you the freedom to explore at leisure with the comfort and security of pre-booked activities and accommodations. Route suggestions, GPS and APP guidance plus local support mean you are in safe hands. See self drive ideas here

If you prefer to let someone else do the work then an escorted small group tour or a private guided tour might be for you. Our range of hand picked small group itineraries are ideal if you prefer to travel in the company of like minded people. These tours limit the number of participants which means different accommodation options, exclusive activities and of course a knowledgable guide ensures you get to see the best of New Zealand. See our small group tours here. 

A private guided tour offers true flexibility and the security of a knowledgable local guiding you all the way. Well planned itineraries ensure you see exactly what you want to see but with your own driver-guide you can adapt to suit the day or your preference. 100% tailor-made to suit you a private tour is a great option when travelling as a small group. all our self drive itineraries can be replanned and priced using a private driver and guide. Just contact us to discuss your needs.

All North Island touring ideas - explore the diverse North Island with these itinerary suggestions. See here

All South Island touring ideas - Iconic scenery and landscapes await on this made for touring island. See here

All Nationwide touring ideas - see the best of New Zealand on these all encompassing touring itinerary ideas. See here

Read our blogs on New Zealand travel