Hiking Tour of New Zealand

11 Day Hiking Tour - Auckland to Queenstown

For those wanting to maximise the New Zealand experience in a minimum amount of time, this tour could tick a lot off your bucket list.  Designed with the leisure tourist in mind, we visit some of the country's most beautiful destinations, and include some short hikes along the way. You will visit a Geothermal wonderland, Tongariro National Park, Queen Charlotte track, the Wild West Coast of the South Island and beautiful Queenstown, among other hotspots.  

  • Price:  $4199 per person based on 6 or more 
  • Starts:  Auckland, New Zealand
  • Finishes:  Christchurch, New Zealand
  • Moderate Level of Fitness Required
  • Single Room Supplement: $1015
  • Price based on a minimum of 6 participants


Group requests welcome

Fitness Requirements

The average, walking time on most hikes will be around 2 hours on well-defined tracks. Maximum walking times will not exceed 3-5 hours. We remind you to expect a range of terrain from flat to undulating to hilly, so we recommend a moderate level of fitness. Hiking boots or shoes with ankle support are strongly recommended and hiking poles are optional, but not essential.

Full Tour Itinerary

Day One – Auckland

After meeting your guide at the hotel mid-morning,  enjoy a sightseeing tour of Auckland.  Take in the sites and sounds of New Zealand's largest city and enjoy getting to know your group throughout the day.  A welcome dinner and a nice glass of wine will be a great way to settle into the next fantastic 10 days.

Accommodation: Auckland City Hotel http://achhobson.co.nz
Driving: City tour only
Hiking: no scheduled hiking today
Meals:  Welcome dinner

Day Two – Rotorua

After breakfast at the hotel, we begin the journey to Rotorua, stopping on the way to stretch the legs at Okere Falls.  Spend the afternoon exploring Rotorua or one of the local attractions such as the Treetop Walks (cost not included in the tour).  For those wishing to experience some Maori Culture and a hangi dinner, we highly recommend a visit to the Mitai Maori Village in the evening.  Our guide can help pre-arrange all your optional activities.

Accommodation: Sudima Lake Rotorua https://www.sudimahotels.com/en/our-hotels/rotorua/
Driving: approx. 230 km, travel time: approx. 3 hours
Hiking: Okere Falls Track, approx 1 hour return, 2.5 kms
Meals:  Breakfast

Day Three – Tongariro National Park

Leave Rotorua and drive a short distance to the Wai-O-Tapu thermal area. For thousands of years, this area has been shaped by volcanic activity, creating one of New Zealand's most impressive geothermal areas. High-explosive geysers and bubbling mud pits still bear testimony to the volcanic activity. Continue to Lake Taupo, New Zealand's largest inland lake, until you reach Tongariro National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Overnight stay at the hotel in Whakapapa.

Accommodation: Chateau Tongariro https://www.chateau.co.nz
Driving: approx. 200 km, travel time: approx. 2 ½ hours
Hiking: Walk around Wai-O-Tapu
Meals: Breakfast

Day Four – Wellington

You start the day with a hike on one of the many well-developed trails around the visitor centre of Tongariro National Park. Our guide will choose the most suitable 1.5 - to 2-hour hike, depending on weather and the group's abilities, usually either Taranaki Falls with its excellent mountain views on a clear day, or Silica Rapids where the stream bed widens and forms a series of shallow terraces coated in creamy white deposits – the famous Silica Rapids. After leaving Whakapapa, you reach the capital of New Zealand in the afternoon and explore during a short city tour.

Accommodation: Copthorne Hotel Wellington Oriental Bay https://www.millenniumhotels.com/en/wellington/copthorne-hotel-wellington-oriental-bay/#home
Driving: 348km, approx. 5.5 hours drive time
Hiking:  Taranaki Falls or Silica Rapids. Walking time approx. 2h-2.5h, approx. 6-7km
Meals:  Breakfast

Day Five – Picton

In the morning you can visit one of the most innovative museums in the world - the National Museum Te Papa. Afterwards, enjoy the ferry crossing through the Cook Strait and the fjord-like inlets of the Marlborough Sounds on the South Island to Picton. Spend the afternoon and evening in this small harbor town at the end of picturesque Queen Charlotte Sound.

Accommodation: The Beachcomber Hotel  https://pictonhotel.com
Driving: Short driving distance, only transfer from the hotel to the ferry
Hiking: No guided hike today
Meals:  Breakfast

Day Six – Picton, Queen Charlotte Sound

A boat takes you through the picturesque Sounds to Ships Cove, the starting point of today's hike at the other end of the Queen Charlotte Walkway. In three to five hours you hike along the coast through dense rain forest with giant tree ferns to Furneaux Lodge, and then you are taken by boat to Picton back to the marina to spend one more night in this beautiful place.

Accommodation: Same as previous night
Driving: No driving today
Hiking: Queen Charlotte Track – walking times 3-5 hrs, 10.5-15km
Meals: Breakfast


Day Seven – Westport

After breakfast, we drive through Marlborough wine country before continuing through the impressive Buller Gorge and the West Coast.  After we have reached our destination of Westport, we go for a walk at Cape Foulwind where you will hopefully see some seal colonies – best to have your camera ready!

Accommodation: Chelsea Gateway Motor Lodge, http://www.chelseagateway.co.nz 
Driving: approx. 285 km, travel time: approx. 4 hours
1.5 hours one way, 3.4km one way
Meals: Breakfast

Day Eight - Fox Glacier

After breakfast, we head along the spectacular coastal road, which leads first to Punakaiki to the well-known pancake rocks, reminiscent of stacked pancakes. We head south to Hokitika before reaching Fox Glacier in the afternoon.  Weather and time permitting, we can take a hike in the area,  or you can book an optional helicopter ride over the glaciers (cost not included in tour).

Accommodation: Lake Matheson Motel https://www.lakematheson.co.nz or Mt Cook View Motel https://www.mtcookview.co.nz  
Driving: approx. 300 km, travel time: approx. 4 ½ hours 
Hiking: Walk around pancake rocks and a hike in the glacial areas will be determined by the guide depending on what is available on the day
Meals: Breakfast

Day Nine - Queenstown

In good weather with clear views, it is a wonderful experience to hike around Lake Matheson, at sunrise and to admire the reflections of Aoraki (Mt Cook) and Kotuko (Mt Tasman) in bog water. After breakfast we start the spectacular drive to Wanaka, where there are opportunities for short walks along the way if time permits. After a short stop, we pass the legendary "Cardrona Pub" and the Crown Range Road, the highest mountain road in New Zealand, back down to the former gold mining town of Arrowtown, which is rich in history. Visit the old Chinese miner’s huts and transport yourself back to those extraordinary days.  After here, it is only a short drive to Queenstown - the adventure capital of New Zealand!

Accommodation: Hurley's of Queenstown  https://www.hurleys.co.nz or Heartland Hotel  https://www.scenichotelgroup.c... 
Driving: 330 km, travel time: approx. 5 ½ hours
Hiking: Optional walks between Fox and Glacier to be determined by the guide
Meals: Breakfast

Day Ten - Queenstown

Today is a day filled with optional activities such as a jet boat ride, bungy jump, visit to the kiwi house, gondola ride or a cruise on the historical Earnslaw steamboat. Weather permitting, try an excursion to Milford Sound or Doubtful Sound. Or experience the wonders of the Glow Worm Caves.  The options are literally endless!  We are happy to pre-book any of these optional activities for you - just let us know what you'd like to do. (Price for activities today not included in the cost of the tour - all extra.)  The day will conclude with a farewell dinner with the group as it is our final night on the tour.

Accommodation: Same as previous night
Driving: No driving
Hiking: No scheduled hikes
Meals: Breakfast, Farewell dinner

Day Eleven - Departure Day

Today is departure day.  Airport transfers can be arranged for an additional cost.

Accommodation listed is our preferred accommodation.  Subject to change depending on availability.
Itinerary also subject to change depending on weather conditions/road closures etc.

$500 deposit required to secure your place on the tour, which is fully refundable if the departure date does not meet the minimum number of participants (6 people).

Tour Inclusions and Exclusions

Tour Includes:

  • x10 nights in mostly 4 star accommodation (pre and post nights can be arranged on request)
  • 9 breakfasts, x2 dinners
  • Air-conditioned Mercedes Benz Sprinter Coach
  • Luggage transport during the entire journey
  • Driver/Tour Guide
  • All Department of Conservation fees
  • Wai-O-Tapu entry near Rotorua (geothermal reserve) 
  • Ferry from Wellington to Picton
  • Return boat trip from Picton to Queen Charlotte Track

Not included in tour:

  • Travel insurance
  • Meals/food unless stated in the itinerary
  • Drinks (except water during the cycling), telephone & mini-bar costs
  • Personal expenses such as laundry, any internet charges etc
  • Airport transfers (can be arranged for an additional cost)
  • Optional activities

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