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Similar itineraries

21 Day New Zealand Walking Tour

21 days starting in Auckland, finishing in Christchurch
Accommodation style: Hotel 4 star

Southern Encounter with the Iconic Milford Track

12 days starting in Queenstown, finishing in Christchurch
Accommodation style: Boutique lodges & hotels

The Ultimate Milford and Routeburn Hiking Adventure

18 days starting in Queenstown, finishing in Queenstown
Accommodation style: Hotel 4 star

 

The Contrasts of New Zealand 22 Day Hiking Tour

Queenstown to Auckland, 22 days 21 nights self drive tour, staying in Boutique lodges & hotels

The Contrasts of New Zealand 22 Day Hiking Tour
The Contrasts of New Zealand 22 Day Hiking Tour
The Contrasts of New Zealand 22 Day Hiking Tour
The Contrasts of New Zealand 22 Day Hiking Tour

Tour map

The variety of landscapes you'll discover on this 22 day hiking experience is hard to imagine in advance of your vacation. Starting with the iconic Milford Track in Fiordland National Park, you then move on to the West Coast Glaciers. At the top of the South Island, explore Able Tasman National Park by foot and kayak. In the calm, blue waters you'll enjoy beautiful views and have the chance to meet the local marine wildlife. In the North Island, give your feet a rest as you partake in a boutique wine tour, it's then on to tackle the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, meandering through dramatic volcanic scenery and breathtaking views.

The approximate total driving distance and time for this itinerary is: 1769 kms / 1097 miles, 22.6 hours

You can expect to spend around NZ$255 in fuel cost on this itinerary based on an intermediate sized car.

 

Day 1

Welcome to Queenstown, transfer to accommodation and rest of day at leisure

Arrive into Queenstown and private transfer to your accommodation

Arrive into Queenstown.  A private driver will meet your flight and transfer you to your Queenstown accommodation.

Your tour documentation pack and support

Your tour documentation pack and support
Your tour documentation pack and support
Your tour documentation pack and support
Your tour documentation pack and support

Once you touch down in New Zealand your detailed tour pack will be hand delivered by one of our trusted representatives. The pack contains everything you need for the duration of your stay. It will include a comprehensive, printed and bound version of your itinerary as well as clear driving instructions and maps for each leg of your journey. It also contains all the reservation details for your accommodation and activities - along with relevant brochures and information. While in New Zealand we offer 24 hour support - details on how to contact us at any time will be well documented.

Welcome to Queenstown

Renowned for its adrenaline inducing activities 'Queenstown' is synonymous with adventure. Parked on the shores of Lake Wakatipu this small alpine town is nestled below soaring vistas of The Remarkables Mountain Range. While arguably the brightest gem in New Zealand’s crown, Queenstown offers far more than an action-packed getaway. Spend time on the Gibbston valley wine trail and end with a meal at Michelin star chef Josh Emett’s restaurant, Rata. Take a trip down memory lane on a 100 year old steamship the TSS Earnslaw. Soak in the scenery on your walk around the lake, or venture further afield into Fiordland National Park. Head over the hill to resort town Wanaka, or re-live scenes from Lord Of The Rings by four wheel drive. But - if you really do want that rush - head out on the Shotover Jet, dive off the Nevis Bungy, freefall on the Canyon swing or Zip line the Gondola. Just be sure it's done on an empty stomach  – don’t say we didn’t warn you!

Your accommodation - The Dairy Private Hotel

Style: Boutique lodges & hotels

Accommodation features

  • Check in time: 2 pm
  • Check out time: 11 am
  • Walk time to shops/restaurants: 1-2 mins
  • Parking: onsite free parking
  • Internet facilities: In room free access
  • Includes continental breakfast
  • Includes cooked breakfast
  • Tea/coffee facilities in room
  • Hairdryer
  • Laundry facilities: On site
  • Laundry facilities: Drycleaning service available
  • All rooms non smoking
The Dairy Private Hotel
The Dairy Private Hotel
The Dairy Private Hotel
The Dairy Private Hotel
 

Day 2

Explore Queenstown and the many activities on offer. This evening attend your Milford Track briefing

Enjoy your free day exploring Queenstown and the surrounding countryside

Enjoy your free day exploring Queenstown and the surrounding countryside
Enjoy your free day exploring Queenstown and the surrounding countryside
Enjoy your free day exploring Queenstown and the surrounding countryside
Enjoy your free day exploring Queenstown and the surrounding countryside

Although celebrated as New Zealand's ‘adventure capital’ Queenstown offers far more than a fast paced action-packed holiday. Settled on the shores of Lake Wakatipu beneath a soaring panorama of the Remarkables Mountain Range, this alpine town is surrounded by a plethora of historic, gastronomic and scenic wonders.

Head down the Gibbston valley wine trail to sample some of the region’s best Pinot or catch a ride on the 100 year old Steamship - the TSS Earnslaw -  to Walter Peak Station for dinner and a farm tour. Browse the waterfront cafes and have lunch at Michelin star chef Josh Emett's ‘Rata.’ Check out nearby historic Arrowtown and enhance your experience with a four wheel drive trip to Macetown.

Take a leisurely lakeside stroll or ride the gondola for breathtaking views. Venture further afield into the Fiordland National Park or head over the Crown Range to Wanaka. Drive through Lord Of The Rings country - or for the really fanatic, jump aboard one of many dedicated LOTR tours. And after all of that - if you do really want the adrenaline rush Queenstown is known for, take your pick from the Shotover Jet, Nevis Bungy, Canyon Swing, Zipline, Luge or Heli-ski.

Milford Track Guided Walk Briefing

Milford Track Guided Walk Briefing
Milford Track Guided Walk Briefing
Milford Track Guided Walk Briefing
Milford Track Guided Walk Briefing

A briefing is held at 5pm on the afternoon prior to your walk commencing. Here you can ask any last minute questions and ensure you have everything you need for your next 5 days.

Your accommodation - The Dairy Private Hotel

Style: Boutique lodges & hotels

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

 

Day 3

Travel from Queenstown to Te Anau, then begin the Milford Track

Driving distance and time: 0 kms / 0 miles : 0.0 hours

 

Times are based on averages for this specific route and allow for stops. Use these times as guidelines and to assist in the planning for your day.

 

Milford Track 5 Day/4 Night Guided Walk

Milford Track 5 Day/4 Night Guided Walk
Milford Track 5 Day/4 Night Guided Walk
Milford Track 5 Day/4 Night Guided Walk
Milford Track 5 Day/4 Night Guided Walk

Traversing the heart of New Zealand's wild fiord country, the Milford Track has long been described as "the finest walk in the world". Since Quintin Mackinnon pioneered the route in 1888, everyone from hardened trekkers to novices sporting their first pair of boots has taken up the challenge of the Milford Track.

The Fiordland National Park is the cornerstone of the Te Wahipounamu Southwest New Zealand World Heritage Area. Enjoy close encounters with the native birdlife: the Robin; Kea; Weka; Fantail; Parakeet; Bellbird; even Kiwi have been spotted! Walkers on the track to Milford Sound encounter Fiordland at its most spectacular: deep lakes; silent fiords; luxuriant forest and sheer canyons carved out of imposing granite define this landscape. On fine days there is a postcard shot around every corner, but only when it rains and torrents of water cascade down the mountainsides have you truly experienced the magic of the Milford Track.

The Milford Track Guided Walk is a 5 day / 4 nights Queenstown to Queenstown all-inclusive guided walk through the heart of Fiordland National Park to Milford Sound.  The package includes all transport, accommodation, meals, snacks, backpacks and rain jackets. Accommodation is in luxury lodges and you will be led by expert Ultimate Hikes guides.

Day 1 - Queenstown to Glade House

Depart Queenstown to Te Anau by coach. Lunch in Te Anau. After lunch a coach will take you to Te Anau Downs where you board the launch taking you to the head of Lake Te Anau, the beginning of the Milford Track. It's a short easy walk to Glade House, 1.6km. Settle in and enjoy the environment. (Includes lunch and dinner)

Your accommodation - Milford Track Lodges

Style: Motels - economy

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Milford Track Lodges
Milford Track Lodges
Milford Track Lodges
Milford Track Lodges
 

Day 4

Cross the Clinton River, then walk up the valley

Day 2 - Glade House to Pompolona

Day 2 - Glade House to Pompolona
Day 2 - Glade House to Pompolona
Day 2 - Glade House to Pompolona
Day 2 - Glade House to Pompolona

After crossing the emerald green Clinton River you walk up the valley to the Hirere Falls lunch shelter. The beech forest gets more luxuriant the farther you go, until it releases you on to the Prairie. From this meadow you can capture the true nature of the ice carved Clinton Canyon. It is a short climb to Pompolona Lodge from here. (Includes breakfast, lunch and dinner).  Total walking today is 16km (10 miles) 5-7 hours.

Your accommodation - Milford Track Lodges

Style: Motels - economy

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

Day 5

Today you tackle the Mackinnon Pass

Day 3 - Pompolona to Quintin via Mackinnon Pass

Day 3 - Pompolona to Quintin via Mackinnon Pass
Day 3 - Pompolona to Quintin via Mackinnon Pass
Day 3 - Pompolona to Quintin via Mackinnon Pass
Day 3 - Pompolona to Quintin via Mackinnon Pass

This is the most demanding day, especially in inclement weather. The track leads to Lake Mintaro at the head of the Clinton Valley, before climbing the Mackinnon Pass in a series of zigzags. Take your time. At the top you will be rewarded with spectacular views and lunch in Pass Hut. After the rocky decent into the Arthur Valley you will welcome a hot cup of tea at Quintin Lodge, this should be enough to refresh you for the 90 minute round trip to the Sutherland Falls, the world's fifth highest waterfall. (Includes breakfast, lunch and dinner). Today you will walk 15km (9 miles) taking 6-8 hours.

Your accommodation - Milford Track Lodges

Style: Motels - economy

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

Day 6

Final day on the Milford Track, walk to your waiting boat for a cruise to Milford Sound

Day 4 - Quintin to Mitre Peak Lodge via Sandfly Point

Day 4 - Quintin to Mitre Peak Lodge via Sandfly Point
Day 4 - Quintin to Mitre Peak Lodge via Sandfly Point
Day 4 - Quintin to Mitre Peak Lodge via Sandfly Point
Day 4 - Quintin to Mitre Peak Lodge via Sandfly Point

Your final day on the track. You walk down the Arthur Valley to Boatshed; on past Mackay Falls and Bell Rock, which was turned out of the river during a particularly violent flood and on to the lunch spot at Giant's Gate waterfall. The final stretch of track follows tranquil Lake Ada to Sandfly Point. From here it is a short launch trip to the renowned Mitre Peak Lodge, the only accommodation at Milford Sound offering superb views of Mitre Peak, often referred to as the eighth wonder of the world. Here you will enjoy a celebratory dinner while relaxing with the knowledge that the hard part is now behind you while the magnificence of Milford Sound is right in front of you. (Includes breakfast, lunch and dinner). Today enjoy 21km (13 miles) 6-8 hours of walking.

Your accommodation - Milford Track Lodges

Style: Motels - economy

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

Day 7

Enjoy a rest day with a cruise on Milford Sound, then travel back to Queenstown

Driving distance and time: 0 kms / 0 miles : 0.0 hours

 

Times are based on averages for this specific route and allow for stops. Use these times as guidelines and to assist in the planning for your day.

 

Day 5 - Mitre Peak Lodge to Te Anau and Queenstown

Day 5 - Mitre Peak Lodge to Te Anau and Queenstown
Day 5 - Mitre Peak Lodge to Te Anau and Queenstown
Day 5 - Mitre Peak Lodge to Te Anau and Queenstown
Day 5 - Mitre Peak Lodge to Te Anau and Queenstown

Wake to views of Milford Sound and after breakfast board one of the famous Red Boats for a cruise on Milford Sound. Watch for the dolphins and fur seals and pray for rain. (No-one believes us, but the waterfalls are absolutely incredible!) Following the cruise you start your spectacular journey through the heart of Fiordland National Park to the Homer Tunnel and on to Te Anau and Queenstown arriving at approximately 4.00pm.  

Your accommodation - The Dairy Private Hotel

Style: Boutique lodges & hotels

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

Day 8

Collect your rental car and then head to the West Coast Glaciers

Driving distance and time: 350 kms / 217 miles : 4.6 hours

 

Times are based on averages for this specific route and allow for stops. Use these times as guidelines and to assist in the planning for your day.

 

Today collect your rental vehicle for your Fine Tours New Zealand holiday

Today collect your rental vehicle for your Fine Tours New Zealand holiday
Today collect your rental vehicle for your Fine Tours New Zealand holiday
Today collect your rental vehicle for your Fine Tours New Zealand holiday
Today collect your rental vehicle for your Fine Tours New Zealand holiday

Collect your rental vehicle for your Fine Tours New Zealand holiday.  You can choose from an extensive range of late model cars and 4WD vehicles, from Europcar, Budget or Hertz.

GPS navigation system

Use the latest GPS technology as you tour New Zealand. Your portable GPS features a simple touch screen interface with automatic route calculation and turn-by-turn voice-prompted directions including street name announcement. The automotive-grade GPS unit is easy to use and has multiple language options.

Queenstown to Franz Josef Glacier (via Wanaka)

Queenstown to Franz Josef Glacier (via Wanaka)
Queenstown to Franz Josef Glacier (via Wanaka)
Queenstown to Franz Josef Glacier (via Wanaka)
Queenstown to Franz Josef Glacier (via Wanaka)

From Queenstown you'll cross the Crown Range - the highest sealed road in New Zealand - to arrive in the Alpine town of Wanaka, gateway to Mt Aspiring national park. Skirting the shores of both Lake Wanaka and Hawea, you will enter the small town of Makarora. Stop at Blue Pools for a ten minute walk through native beech forest to a glacier-fed swimming hole. Continue on through the remote seaside settlement of Haast before heading up the wild West Coast - a 600 km stretch of bush and native rainforest. Fox Glacier welcomes you first, then comes your destination for the night - Franz Josef township.

Your accommodation - Westwood Lodge

Style: Boutique lodges & hotels

Meals included: Breakfast

Accommodation features

  • Check in time: 2 pm
  • Check out time: 10:30 am
  • Walk time to shops/restaurants: 15-20 mins
  • Parking: onsite free parking
  • Internet facilities: On site free access
  • Includes continental breakfast
  • Includes cooked breakfast
  • Bar on site
  • Tea/coffee facilities in room
  • Hairdryer
  • Laundry facilities: On site
  • Laundry facilities: Drycleaning service available
  • All rooms non smoking
Westwood Lodge
Westwood Lodge
Westwood Lodge
Westwood Lodge
 

Day 9

Get up close to a glacier with an amazing heli-hike adventure

Franz Josef Glacier Helihike with The Helicopter Line

Franz Josef Glacier Helihike with The Helicopter Line
Franz Josef Glacier Helihike with The Helicopter Line
Franz Josef Glacier Helihike with The Helicopter Line
Franz Josef Glacier Helihike with The Helicopter Line

Take a scenic flight over all three Franz Josef glacier icefalls. Landing high on the glacier take a two hour guided trip through some of the most beautiful terrain in the country. Your guide will choose the route as you go through a wonderland of blue ice and frozen pinnacles. You'll have endless views of the surrounding mountains and rainforest as well as plenty of opportunities to take photographs. Sure to be one of the most memorable experiences you have while you are in New Zealand. Should weather not be suitable to take this flight you are able to transfer your booking onto a similar tour on any of the Helicopter Line operations in Queenstown or Mt Cook.

Walking tracks in and around Franz Josef area

Walking tracks in and around Franz Josef area
Walking tracks in and around Franz Josef area
Walking tracks in and around Franz Josef area
Walking tracks in and around Franz Josef area

There are many walks and hikes in and around Franz Josef. The information below is provided by the Department of Conservation. Located in Franz Josef village is a Department of Conservation information center and you can get updates on track conditions and suitability plus you can learn about the area, its natural history and its people. Listed below are a selection of short walks but check with the Department of Conservation information center for weather conditions, track suitability and conditions  first.

Douglas Walk

The Douglas Walk is an easy one-hour forest walk that passes by the Peters Pool viewpoint and crosses several moraines before descending to the bridge across Dolly Creek on the way back to the road.

Category:  Walking track. Completion Time:  1 hr return

Franz Josef Glacier/Kā Roimata o Hine Hukatere Walk

The 40-minute walk to the terminal face of the Franz Josef Glacier follows a rocky path over riverbed. Only experienced and prepared visitors should attempt climbing on the glacier.

Category:  Walking track. Completion Time:  1 hr 30 min return

Lake Wombat Track

The Lake Wombat Track leads you through a lush rimu forest to the idyllic Lake Wombat.

Category:  Walking track. Completion Time:  1 hr 30 min

Okarito walking tracks

North of the Franz Josef Township sits the coastal settlement of Okarito and the Okarito Lagoon. The lagoon is home to more than 76 species of native birds including the kōtuku/white heron and royal spoonbills.

Category:  Walking track.

Peters Pool Walk

The spectacular view at Peters Pool includes Franz Josef Glacier/Kā Roimata o Hine Hukatere, and the Fritz Range, including Mt Moltke and Mt Roon.

Category:  Easy access walk. Completion Time:  25 min

Sentinel Rock Walk

Just a short distance south of the Franz Josef Township you will come to the Glacier and Sentinel Rock walks. The Sentinel Rock Lookout offers impressive views of the glacier, the valley and Waiho River.

Category:  Short walk. Completion Time:  20 min

Tatare Tunnels Walk

The 80-minute return Tatare Tunnels Walk follows an old 4WD road to a junction with the Callery/Waiho Walk. From there follow the track to the old water tunnels.

Category:  Walking track. Completion Time:  1 hr 20 min return

Terrace Walk

Follow the Terrace Walk as it winds through forest and goes by remnants of past gold mining operations.

Category:  Short walk. Completion Time:  30 min

Your accommodation - Westwood Lodge

Style: Boutique lodges & hotels

Meals included: Breakfast

 

Day 10

Continue along the wild west coast to Punakaiki

Driving distance and time: 212 kms / 132 miles : 2.6 hours

 

Times are based on averages for this specific route and allow for stops. Use these times as guidelines and to assist in the planning for your day.

 

Franz Josef to Punakaiki

Franz Josef to Punakaiki
Franz Josef to Punakaiki
Franz Josef to Punakaiki
Franz Josef to Punakaiki

Driving north on State Highway 6 you pass through many small West Coast towns. Hari Hari is the township that Guy Menzies decided to land in (or rather crash land) as he became the first person to fly solo across the Tasman. Ross is the site of an old gold mining town and some of the old buildings remain. You can even pan for gold. The craft and gift stores in Hokitika are excellent with a great range of locally made items and if you want to explore further here then the Hokitika Gorge is worthy of a detour.

Just south of Greymouth is Shantytown a replica gold rush town with lots of great displays from yesteryear. Be sure to stop at the supermarket in Greymouth as there is none in Punakaiki. Punakaiki is a highlight of this drive so allow plenty of time to walk the paths and explore the formations.

Your accommodation - Punakaiki Resort

Style: Hotel 4 star

Meals included: Breakfast

Accommodation features

  • Check in time: 2 pm
  • Check out time: 10 am
  • Walk time to shops/restaurants: 10-15 mins
  • Parking: onsite free parking
  • Internet facilities: On site paid access
  • Restaurant on site
  • Bar on site
  • Tea/coffee facilities in room
  • Room service available
  • Laundry facilities: On site
  • All rooms non smoking
Punakaiki Resort
Punakaiki Resort
Punakaiki Resort
Punakaiki Resort
 

Day 11

From Punakaiki you follow the coast, then skirt Kahurangi National Park to reach Abel Tasman National Park

Driving distance and time: 276 kms / 171 miles : 3.4 hours

 

Times are based on averages for this specific route and allow for stops. Use these times as guidelines and to assist in the planning for your day.

 

Punakaiki to Abel Tasman National Park

Punakaiki to Abel Tasman National Park
Punakaiki to Abel Tasman National Park
Punakaiki to Abel Tasman National Park
Punakaiki to Abel Tasman National Park

Follow the wonderful coast road through Paparoa National Park as you head north towards Westport. Cape Foulwind just south of Westport is home to a seal colony and the short walk provides some spectacular scenery. Continuing along the Buller Gorge the route offers some wonderful scenery as you follow this magnificent Buller River. The first major town (by this regions standard) is Inangahua and a small museum tells of the earthquake that hit the region in 1968 leaving 70% of the buildings damaged or inhabitable. Further along the river one of the must stop places is Whites Creek and New Zealand's longest swing bridge. Crossing the river you get magnificent views of the gorge and once on the other side there are short bush walks, jet boat rides and some of the historic gold mining remnants. The town of Murchison is a quiet place and a great lunch stop. Underneath its sleepy farming facade is an adventurer's paradise with white water rafting, kayaking, 4WD trips and some great trout fishing. Continuing to follow the river you then enter the Kahurangi National Park region and the Nelson Lakes. Trees and rivers accompany you now as you follow the Motueka Valley towards Motueka which overlooks Tasman Bay. Continuing north along the coast will take you to Marahau and Kaiteriteri, ideal locations from which to explore the beautiful Abel Tasman National Park.

Your accommodation - Split Apple Lodge

Style: Bed & breakfast (B&B)

Meals included: Breakfast

Accommodation features

  • Check in time: 3 pm
  • Check out time: 10 am
  • Parking: onsite free parking
  • Internet facilities: On site free access
  • Includes continental breakfast
  • Hairdryer
  • Laundry facilities: On site
  • All rooms non smoking
Split Apple Lodge
Split Apple Lodge
Split Apple Lodge
Split Apple Lodge
 

Day 12

Today begin your walking and kayaking Abel Tasman encounter

Abel Tasman 3 day Kayak & Walking trip

Abel Tasman 3 day Kayak & Walking trip
Abel Tasman 3 day Kayak & Walking trip
Abel Tasman 3 day Kayak & Walking trip
Abel Tasman 3 day Kayak & Walking trip

This 3 day holiday is the best combination to experience everything Abel Tasman National Park has to offer, with the comfort of Lodge accommodation on the beachfront within the Park.  With 2 days sea kayaking the sheltered southern reaches of the Park and one day walking the lush northern rainforest and isolated beaches of Abel Tasman Coast Track, including a scenic cruise along the length of the Abel Tasman coast.

 

Day 1 - Nelson / Motueka to Awaroa via Totaranui

Pick up from Nelson (10.30 - 10.45 am), Motueka (11.30 am) and if you have your own car, you will be directed to safe parking. At the office, "Day Packs" are available to borrow if required, and any excess luggage can be safely stored. There is also a safe for valuables. Then, meet your guide for a welcome briefing with time for last-minute luggage organisation, before departing from Motueka to Kaiteriteri by coach. You will cruise from Kaiteriteri at the southern tip of the Park to Totaranui in the North following the contours of the beautiful Abel Tasman coastline. Relax on the upper or lower viewing decks to delight in sweeping golden bays and hidden inlets, framed by lush, evergreen native forest. From Totaranui, walk through mature beech and rata forests, and along secluded golden beaches to the sweeping tidal inlet at Awaroa, where a warm kiwi welcome awaits you at Meadowbank Homestead, a faithful re-creation of the Wilson family's original home on the "finest site in the bay". You can also either walk, if the tide is out, or take a boat ride across the stunning expanses of the largest inlet on the coast. Today includes a 1hr and 20min cruise and 2.5 hours of walking (7 kms). At Meadowbank Homestead - Awaroa, right on the edge of the inlet, you'll be welcomed with pre-dinner drinks and fine food. Here you'll find comfortable accommodation full of history and kiwi charm. Meals included are - Lunch, Afternoon Tea, Dinner

Your accommodation - Meadowbank Homestead

Style: Bed & breakfast (B&B)

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Meadowbank Homestead
Meadowbank Homestead
Meadowbank Homestead
Meadowbank Homestead
 

Day 13

Journey by kayak and walking to Torrent Bay

Day 2: Awaroa to Torrent Bay

Day 2: Awaroa to Torrent Bay
Day 2: Awaroa to Torrent Bay
Day 2: Awaroa to Torrent Bay
Day 2: Awaroa to Torrent Bay

Wake to breakfast overlooking the gardens of Meadowbank Homesead, watching the movement of the tides over golden sands. At around 9.30 am, you'll depart Awaroa for the scenic walk over the Tonga Saddle to Onetahuti. Here, your guide will settle you into your kayaks with full training and safety brief. Don't worry, you won't leave the beach until your guide is satisfied you can safely negotiate the coast in your kayak. (If you are a travelling on your own, your Guide will find a suitable paddling partner for you). In good weather, there's the opportunity to visit the Seal Colony on Tonga Island where New Zealand fur seals breed. It's often possible to spot new-born pups here in December and January. As you enjoy the sensation of paddling through the clear turquoise waters of the Park, you'll cruise past Tonga Quarry and the Tonga Arches, where your guide will explain the history of this granite area, pointing out some of the unusual natural features and relics from the historic quarry. Around midday, stop for lunch at sheltered Bark Bay, where you can take time out to explore, swim or relax on the golden sand. After lunch, continue your paddle, beach hopping along the coast with picture-postcard views, including the Falls River and Frenchman's Bay. At around 4.30 pm paddle into Torrent Bay to be welcomed with refreshments and a hot shower in your ensuite room. Today you will walk for approximately 1.5 hours (5 kms) and paddle for 4 hours (10 kms).

Your accommodation - Torrent Bay Lodge

Style: Bed & breakfast (B&B)

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Torrent Bay Lodge
Torrent Bay Lodge
Torrent Bay Lodge
Torrent Bay Lodge
 

Day 14

Your last day in the park, you'll paddle back to Kaiteriteri

Day 3 - Torrent Bay to Kaiteriteri

Day 3 - Torrent Bay to Kaiteriteri
Day 3 - Torrent Bay to Kaiteriteri
Day 3 - Torrent Bay to Kaiteriteri
Day 3 - Torrent Bay to Kaiteriteri

Wake up to morning light on the golden sands of Torrent Bay and perhaps a coffee on the deck before a hearty home-cooked breakfast to set you up for another day of scenic paddling. Around 9.30 am leave Torrent Bay by kayak and glide southwards along the coast, to discover the pristine bays and beaches named by French Explorer, Dumont d'Urville in 1827. Paddle the idyllic waters of Te Pukatea Bay.  In the sheltered Astrolabe Roadstead, paddle along the picturesque coast of Adele Island, now a predator-free sanctuary ringing with birdsong. If the wind is with you, your guide will help you hoist a specially designed sail so you can ride the sea breeze. Stop for lunch and a rest at any one of the bays, before you continue your journey through azure waters to the famous Kaiteriteri beach, where your coach will be waiting to meet you for the return journey to Motueka (4.30pm) or Nelson (5.30pm). Today you will sea kayak for 4.5 hours (12 kms).

Your accommodation - Split Apple Lodge

Style: Bed & breakfast (B&B)

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

 

Day 15

Follow the top of the South Island to Picton and the Marlborough Sounds

Driving distance and time: 162 kms / 100 miles : 2.5 hours

 

Times are based on averages for this specific route and allow for stops. Use these times as guidelines and to assist in the planning for your day.

 

Abel Tasman National Park to Picton

Abel Tasman National Park to Picton
Abel Tasman National Park to Picton
Abel Tasman National Park to Picton
Abel Tasman National Park to Picton

The drive takes you through the city of Nelson and along the coast of Tasman Bay towards the Bryant Range. The highway between Nelson and Picton also crosses the Pelorus River and just at this junction is the famous and historic Pelorus Bridge. From here there are a number of forest walks with the most popular the 30 minute loop through beech, rimu and totara forest to the swing-bridge. Starting in the town of Havelock the Queen Charlotte Drive travels the Marlborough Sounds coastline towards the port town of Picton. Magnificent views of the sounds can be had from many vantage points so allow plenty of time to enjoy the scenery. If you can spare the time take the narrow windy road to Portage along Mahau Sound and Kenepuru Sound with their bush clad hillsides and secluded sandy coves. Picton the busy port town of Picton, and its here from that the Interislander ferries arrive and depart. The small town centre has plenty of shops and cafes and the waterfront area is a very pleasant place to spend a few hours watching the activity of the ships. The Edwin Fox Maritime Centre on the wharf is worth a visit with the star attraction being the vessel the Edwin Fox, reputably the 9th oldest ship in the world.

Your accommodation - McCormick House

Style: Boutique lodges & hotels

Meals included: Breakfast

Accommodation features

  • Check in time: 3 pm
  • Check out time: 10 am
  • Walk time to shops/restaurants: 20-30 mins
  • Parking: onsite free parking
  • Internet facilities: In room free access
  • Includes continental breakfast
  • Includes cooked breakfast
McCormick House
McCormick House
McCormick House
McCormick House
 

Day 16

Cross the Cook Straight, then over the Rimutaka Ranges to Martinborough

Driving distance and time: 75 kms / 47 miles : 1.1 hours

 

Times are based on averages for this specific route and allow for stops. Use these times as guidelines and to assist in the planning for your day.

 

Interislander ferry Picton to Wellington

Interislander ferry Picton to Wellington
Interislander ferry Picton to Wellington
Interislander ferry Picton to Wellington
Interislander ferry Picton to Wellington

The 92 km journey between Picton and Wellington takes around 3 hours and has been described as 'one of the most beautiful ferry rides in the world'. Around one hour of the cruise takes you through the Marlborough Sounds. This region of bush covered mountains, small islands, crystal clear waters and secluded bays offer remarkable photographic opportunities.

From the Cook Strait, spectacular views of the Kaikoura Ranges on the South Island can be enjoyed and often dolphins and sea birds are seen. After crossing the strait you approach Wellington Harbour and pass many interesting points such as Pencarrow Head on top of which is New Zealand's oldest lighthouse (1859). Red Rocks is home to a seal colony and Oterangi Bay is the site which recorded the country's highest ever wind speed of 268 kph (167 mph).

Today collect your rental vehicle for your Fine Tours New Zealand holiday

Today collect your rental vehicle for your Fine Tours New Zealand holiday
Today collect your rental vehicle for your Fine Tours New Zealand holiday
Today collect your rental vehicle for your Fine Tours New Zealand holiday
Today collect your rental vehicle for your Fine Tours New Zealand holiday

Collect your rental vehicle for your Fine Tours New Zealand holiday.  You can choose from an extensive range of late model cars and 4WD vehicles, from Europcar, Budget or Hertz.

Wellington to Martinborough

Wellington to Martinborough
Wellington to Martinborough
Wellington to Martinborough
Wellington to Martinborough

Crossing the Rimutaka Ranges from the capital city delivers you to the agricultural region of the Wairarapa. This fertile and productive region produces many crops and in more recent times the Martinborough region had developed into a boutique wine growing region.

Your accommodation - Peppers Parehua, Martinborough

Style: Luxury apartments

Meals included: Breakfast

Accommodation features

  • Check in time: 2 pm
  • Check out time: 11 am
  • Parking: onsite free parking
  • Restaurant on site
  • Includes continental breakfast
  • Includes cooked breakfast
  • Tea/coffee facilities in room
  • Kitchen/kitchenette in room
  • Swimming pool
  • All rooms non smoking
Peppers Parehua, Martinborough
Peppers Parehua, Martinborough
Peppers Parehua, Martinborough
Peppers Parehua, Martinborough
 

Day 17

Relax in the charming village of Martinborough and discover the local boutique wineries

Martinborough Half Day Wine Tour

Martinborough Half Day Wine Tour
Martinborough Half Day Wine Tour
Martinborough Half Day Wine Tour
Martinborough Half Day Wine Tour

Visit wonderful vineyards such as Te Kairangi Wines, Tirohana Estate, Cabbage Tree Vineyard and Martinborough Vineyard on this half day tour of the premium wine region of Martinborough. Taste the wines, learn about the development of the region, its people and characters from knowledgeable guides.

Your accommodation - Peppers Parehua, Martinborough

Style: Luxury apartments

Meals included: Breakfast

 

Day 18

Head north to Tongariro National Park

Driving distance and time: 336 kms / 208 miles : 4.1 hours

 

Times are based on averages for this specific route and allow for stops. Use these times as guidelines and to assist in the planning for your day.

 

Martinborough to Whakapapa Village

Martinborough to Whakapapa Village
Martinborough to Whakapapa Village
Martinborough to Whakapapa Village
Martinborough to Whakapapa Village

A short drive from Martinborough is Greytown, which boasts the largest concentration of historic wooden buildings in the country. The next Wairarapa township you pass through is Masterton, the service capital of the region and also home to the world famous Golden Shears competition where sheep shearers compete for the highly prestigious title of fastest shearer.  Continuing north you pass through the rural town of Taihape before arriving onto the central plateau. A little further the military town of Waiouru is home to the Army Museum, an incredible collection of New Zealand’s military history and a memorial to its servicemen. Skirting Tongariro National Park, one of New Zealand’s three world heritage sites, and clouds permitting you can see the 2,500 metre peak of the still volcanically active Mt. Ruapehu. You might recognise the symmetrical shape of Mt. Ngauruhoe as this was used as the scenery of Mt. Doom in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy.  Tongariro is New Zealand's oldest national park, established in 1887 after the Maori chief Te Heuheu Tukino IV gifted the sacred peaks to the nation.  At the heart of the park are three volcanoes, Tongariro, Ruapehu and Ngauruhoe.  Despite the barren and sometimes inhospitable environment, the region abounds with flora and fauna. Alpine herbs and flaxes thrive on the upper slopes while dense beech forests cover the lower regions. New Zealand's only native mammals, the short and long tailed bat make their homes here.  The Tongariro Crossing is one of New Zealand's Great Walks and there are many other tracks and trails to suit all abilities. Also lying within the park are two of New Zealand's largest ski fields, Whakapapa and Turoa.

Your accommodation - Ruapehu Country Lodge

Style: Boutique lodges & hotels

Meals included: Breakfast

Accommodation features

  • Check in time: 2 pm
  • Check out time: 10 am
  • Parking: onsite free parking
  • Includes continental breakfast
  • Includes cooked breakfast
  • Dinner service available
Ruapehu Country Lodge
Ruapehu Country Lodge
Ruapehu Country Lodge
Ruapehu Country Lodge
 

Day 19

Today you experience the world's greatest 1 day walk - The Tongariro Crosssing

Exclusive Guided Tongariro Alpine Crossing with Adrift

Exclusive Guided Tongariro Alpine Crossing with Adrift
Exclusive Guided Tongariro Alpine Crossing with Adrift
Exclusive Guided Tongariro Alpine Crossing with Adrift
Exclusive Guided Tongariro Alpine Crossing with Adrift

For the exclusive guided trips you'll be provided with a really personal, informative and friendly day you will never forget. This trip is tailored so that group sizes are small, your guides are well informed and are able to provide you with an amazing experience. Your guide will also 'work behind the scenes' constantly assessing the weather and track conditions, timing for your Ketetahi personalised transport pick-up, and other little details that will maximise your enjoyment. They can also tailor the trip to accommodate different fitness levels and know a few tricks about avoiding weather exposed or crowded areas.

Your accommodation - Ruapehu Country Lodge

Style: Boutique lodges & hotels

Meals included: Breakfast

 

Day 20

Drive north to Auckland the 'City of Sails'

Driving distance and time: 337 kms / 209 miles : 4.0 hours

 

Times are based on averages for this specific route and allow for stops. Use these times as guidelines and to assist in the planning for your day.

 

Whakapapa Village to Auckland City

Whakapapa Village to Auckland City
Whakapapa Village to Auckland City
Whakapapa Village to Auckland City
Whakapapa Village to Auckland City

From Tongariro you pass through Taumaranui, once a busy train town on the 'main trunk line' between Auckland and Wellington. Into the lush farmland of the King country so named after the movement of the Maori chief King Tawhiao who led a resistance against the Europeans. After failing to prevent the invasion he and his followers fled and sought refuge in the remote hills. Europeans venturing into the region did so at the risk of capture or worse! One of the most famous locations on this drive is Waitomo and its vast network of limestone caves. A short detour from the main highway and you can be exploring the fascinating underworld or visiting he glow worm caves. At Otorohanga you can also visit  to the Kiwi House to see some of New Zealand's native birds in particular our famous flightless namesake. The city of Hamilton is New Zealand's largest non coastal settlement and one of the star attractions are the Botanical Gardens. Auckland City is just around 1 hour further north. It is New Zealand's largest city with a population of around 1.5 million people (about one third of the national population), spread over approximately 60 square kilometres. Just to give you an idea of the diversity Auckland offers: it lies between 2 seas, the Tasman to the west and the Pacific to the east; it has two mountain ranges, the Hunua Ranges and the Waitakere Ranges; it has 48 volcanic cones, 50 Gulf Islands, and over 800 parks and reserves. The city offers a unique and remarkable experience.

Your accommodation - Eden Villa

Style: Boutique lodges & hotels

Meals included: Breakfast

Accommodation features

  • Check in time: 2 pm
  • Check out time: 11 am
  • Walk time to shops/restaurants: 2-5 mins
  • Internet facilities: In room free access
  • Includes continental breakfast
  • Includes cooked breakfast
  • Tea/coffee facilities in room
  • All rooms non smoking
Eden Villa
Eden Villa
Eden Villa
Eden Villa
 

Day 21

On the edge of the city you'll discover a natural wilderness

Bush and Beach Coast and Rainforest Full Day Tour

Bush and Beach Coast and Rainforest Full Day Tour
Bush and Beach Coast and Rainforest Full Day Tour
Bush and Beach Coast and Rainforest Full Day Tour
Bush and Beach Coast and Rainforest Full Day Tour

Your full day excursion takes you first to the Arataki Visitor Centre - gateway to the Waitakere Ranges and a short drive from Auckland Central. Enjoy panoramic views - extending from the Tasman Sea to the Pacific Ocean - as you absorb the area's history and admire the magnificent traditional Maori carvings. Walk the regenerating rainforest where your experienced guide will detail local flora and fauna. Take in the giant tree ferns, bubbling streams and cascading waterfalls before venturing onto a wild west coast beach. Enjoy a picnic lunch before your eco-tour ends in an area of untamed original rainforest. Here, mature 1,000 year old kauri trees have developed separately from the rest of the world for millions of years and this part of the rainforest is particularly rich in bird life due to a successful programme to eradicate pests.

Your accommodation - Eden Villa

Style: Boutique lodges & hotels

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

 

Day 22

Explore Auckland before you depart for home

Driving distance and time: 25 kms / 16 miles : 0.4 hours

 

Times are based on averages for this specific route and allow for stops. Use these times as guidelines and to assist in the planning for your day.

 

Depart Auckland today

Explore more of vibrant Auckland city before dropping your rental car at the airport depot and continuing your onward journey.

 
 
price from
NZ$ 11,596.00 pp (small car, low season - details)

This tour includes