New Zealand Walking Adventure

  • 14 Days
  • 12 People Max

    5 - 12 guests

  • Activity Level 2
    • Activity Level 2

      On the Move

      Sure, I own some hiking boots, they're even worn in, but they don't go on long trips. I like my creature comforts and I like to give a range of activities a go.

    Read more about the Active Range

  • Trip Start: Christchurch
  • Trip End: Christchurch
new zealand tour 4 v2

Experience beautiful, famous and little-known places of New Zealand, at your own pace, on our New Zealand Walking Adventure.

Over 14-days, you'll explore the South Island of New Zealand on breathtaking walks and cruises. Our New Zealand Walking Adventure is handcrafted for those new to adventure tours and for those who love to slow down and enjoy shorter hikes. From walking along the golden beaches of Abel Tasman National Park and sipping wine in the Marlborough Sounds to feeling tiny under Aoraki Mt Cook, New Zealand's tallest mountain, and pondering thousands of waterfalls thundering down in Milford Sound. Add in an optional heli-hike on Franz Josef Glacier and exploring parts of the Routeburn and Kepler Tracks, and you'll be hard-pressed to pick a favorite moment. Each night, you'll relax in stunning lodges set in unbelievable locations and be looked after by two excellent local guides. The only thing missing on our New Zealand Walking Adventure? You.

Trip Highlights

Routeburn Track

HikingHiking

Kepler Track

HikingHiking

Punakaiki

HikingHiking

Abel Tasman National Park

HikingHiking

Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park

HikingHiking

Franz Josef Glacier

HikingHiking

West Coast

HikingHiking

Explore Queenstown

Plus ...Plus ...

Cruise Milford Sound

Plus ...Plus ...

Wine tasting

Plus ...Plus ...

Visit Kiwi Birdlife Park

Plus ...Plus ...

Download Our Handy Trip Itinerary

Our Trip Itinerary contains all the exciting details you can expect to do on our trips. Get a clear picture of the adventures on this trip.

DOWNLOAD ITINERARY PDF

New Zealand Walking Adventure ~ Itinerary

Trip Start: Christchurch Trip End: Christchurch

Download our Handy Trip itenary

Our Trip Itinerary contains all the exciting details you can expect to do on our trips. Get a clear picture of the adventures on this trip

  • Day 1Arrive, visit Gore Bay and explore Kaikoura

  • Day 2Wine Tasting and hike Pelorus Track

  • Day 3Boat ride and hike Abel Tasman National Park

  • Day 4Hike Cape Foulwind and Punakaiki rainforest

  • Day 5Hike Truman’s Track, visit Hokitika and explore Lake Mahinapua

  • Day 6Hike coastal forest and beach, kayak Okarito Lagoon (optional)

  • Day 7Hike at Franz Josef Glacier

  • Day 8Hike Mt Iron, visit the Kiwi Birdlife Park

  • Day 9Free day in Queenstown

  • Day 10Hike Kepler Track

  • Day 11Cruise Milford Sound, hike Routeburn Track

  • Day 12Visit Cromwell Old Town, journey over Lindis Pass

  • Day 13Hike Aoraki Mt Cook National Park

  • Day 14Visit Tekapo, depart for home

  • Day 1

    Arrive, visit Gore Bay and explore Kaikoura

    #119

    Most people leave the Northern Hemisphere on a Thursday evening, arriving in Auckland early Saturday morning. You’ll lose a day crossing the dateline – but you get it back on the way home! It’s a short flight from Auckland to Christchurch on the South Island where we’ll meet you. We’ll travel north to Gore Bay to stretch our legs and get some fresh air after your flight. Then we’ll continue north to the seaside town of Kaikoura, referred to as the ‘Serengeti of the South Pacific as it has an amazing variety of whales, dolphins, fur seals, and other marine life that feed from the surrounding waters. We can walk to view fur seals basking on the rocks and playing in the eddies from a lookout point. This stretch of rugged coastline was uplifted in the Kaikoura earthquake - it’s amazing to see this brand-new land! Tonight, we’ll kick back and enjoy some delicious kiwi cuisine and get to know your fellow adventurers.

    The Fairways, Kaikoura (Lunch, Dinner)

  • Day 2

    Wine Tasting and hike Pelorus Track

    #121

    From Kaikoura, we’ll travel along the coast to Blenheim, a town in the Marlborough wine region. We’ll visit Forrest Estate Winery to sample some of their fantastic wines and have a picnic lunch before we head back into the wilderness. The Pelorus River Track is our destination this afternoon, an idyllic spot for a hike, through cool, green native bush, alongside the Pelorus River. You can expect crystal clear waters in this enchanting scenic reserve and even a little bit of Middle-earth magic, as one of the locations for the filming of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.

    Rutherford Hotel, Nelson (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

    Hiking: 3 kilometers (2 miles), 1-2 hours, elevation +/- 20 meters (65 feet)

  • Day 3

    Boat ride and hike Abel Tasman National Park

    #123

    Abel Tasman National Park is famous for its golden beaches, sculptured granite cliffs and the world-renowned Abel Tasman Coast Track. This morning, we’ll take a water taxi through crystal clear, sheltered waters - we’re at the whim of the tides here, though our boat captains know the Abel Tasman Coastal Track like the back of their hands, so we’ll find the best section to hike. Once ashore, we’ll make our way along the coast through stands of ancient rimu, totara, and rata. The rata (known as the South Island Kiwi Christmas tree) blossoms with brilliant red flowers between November and January. After our hike, we’ll relax on a white sandy beach and go for a dip in the ocean if you’d like. This area of New Zealand is famous for receiving the most sunshine hours of any place in the country.

    Rutherford Hotel, Nelson (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

    Hiking: 8.4 kilometers (5.2 miles), 3-4 hours, elevation +/- 80 meters (260 feet)

  • Day 4

    Hike Cape Foulwind and Punakaiki rainforest

    #125

    Today we journey to Cape Foulwind on the West Coast, where we’ll hike a spectacular track that takes us to a viewpoint overlooking a New Zealand fur seal breeding colony, then on to a lighthouse, taking in panoramic views of the coastline. The sparsely populated West Coast stretches 600 kilometers (372 miles) from north to south and is home to temperate coastal rainforest and two magnificent glaciers. After a picnic lunch, we’ll hike the Pororari River Trail in Paparoa National Park, which passes beneath magnificent limestone cliffs and through dense temperate rainforest full of distinctive coastal plants including the southern rata and towering rimu. This area has a unique micro-climate that supports the native nikau palm, a tree usually found much further north. In nearby Punakaiki, we’ll also visit the famous Pancake Rocks and blowholes – aptly named limestone formations that have been sculpted through relentless pounding by the Tasman Sea.

    Scenic Hotel Punakaiki (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

    Hiking: 3.5 kilometers (2 miles), 1-2 hours, elevation + 20 meters (65 feet) / - 65 meters (210 feet)

  • Day 5

    Hike Truman’s Track, visit Hokitika and explore Lake Mahinapua

    #127

    We’ll begin the day traveling on the coast to the start of Truman Track, rated one of New Zealand’s finest short walks. We’ll hike through dense native forest with tall flax stands near the ocean, eventually giving way to a pebbled bay and barren sandstone cliffs. Traveling along the scenic coastline, we’ll stop in Hokitika to check out local art galleries and pounamu-carving workshops (pounamu is Maori for jade). Next, we’ll get to explore Lake Mahinapua, a beautiful coastal lake surrounded by dense bush and birdlife. We can wander along one of the many paths that wind their way through the bush, and enjoy the serenity of the area. From here, we’ll carry on down to Franz Josef where we’ll stay for the next couple of nights. Nestled in the rainforest-clad foothills of the Southern Alps, Franz Josef is the heart of New Zealand glacier country.

    Rainforest Retreat, Franz Josef (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

    Hiking: 6 kilometers (4 miles), 2-3 hours, elevation +/- 130 meters (425 feet)

  • Day 6

    Hike coastal forest and beach, kayak Okarito Lagoon (optional)

    #129

    This morning we’ll take a short journey over to Okarito, a little-known beach community on the coast. We’ll take to the water in sea kayaks and glide along a picturesque lagoon, set against a stunning backdrop of snow-capped peaks. Okarito is home to the only native white heron colony in New Zealand, as well as a host of other interesting birds. If you’d prefer not to kayak, we’ll point you in the right direction for a relaxing hike through the lush coastal forest or along the black sand beach. Later we’ll head back to Franz Josef where you’ll have the option to take another hike or relax in the hot tub, before enjoying a traditional Kiwi roast dinner.

    Rainforest Retreat, Franz Josef (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

    Kayaking: 2-4 hours
    Hiking: 4.2 kilometers (2.6 miles), 1-2 hours, elevation +/- 120 meters (394 feet)

  • Day 7

    Hike at Franz Josef Glacier

    #131

    With some 140 glaciers making their way down from the Southern Alps, this area is fittingly known as glacier country. Few sights equal the spectacle of two of these giant frozen rivers (Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers) imperceptibly grinding their way down through the temperate rainforest to just 250 meters (820 feet) above sea level. Our hike will take us along the Waiho River bed up the valley and offer up views of the terminal face of the Franz Josef Glacier. Heli-hike option (extra fee applies): An outrageously scenic alternative to this afternoon’s hike is to heli-hike on Franz Josef Glacier itself. After being fitted with crampons, ice axes and so on, you’ll board a modern turbine helicopter and fly towards the highest peaks of the Southern Alps, landing on the glacier at 1300 meters (4265 feet) above sea level. Led by specialist glacier guides, you’ll hike through the grand ice formations of the glacier, checking out its crevasses, seracs and tunnels – no previous experience is required! The constant movement of the glacier means every day is different, so your guides will cut steps in the ice and make sure you make the most of the conditions. At the end of your hike on the ice, you’ll take another helicopter ride out of the mountains and back to civilization. The heli-hike is extremely popular and must be reserved at time of booking only.  The is also a weight limit of 115kg (250 pounds). From Franz Josef, we’ll travel down the coast through lush forest visiting historic Ship Creek to explore the Kahikatea forest, providing a glimpse back in time to what the West Coast may have looked like prior to human settlement. Tonight we’ll stay in the small settlement of Makarora, where you can enjoy incredible views of the mountains right outside your window.

    Wonderland Lodge, Makarora (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

    Hiking: 4.8 kilometers (3 miles) 2-3 hours, elevation +/- 20 meters (66 feet)

  • Day 8

    Hike Mt Iron, visit the Kiwi Birdlife Park

    #133

    The landscape this morning changes rapidly from dense beech forest to semi-arid terrain before transforming into an impressive vista of lakes and mountains. At Lake Wanaka, we’ll hike the Mt. Iron track, a spectacular circuit with great views of Mt. Aspiring National Park. From Wanaka, it’s a short but dramatic journey over the Cardrona Saddle to Queenstown on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, our base for the next couple of days. This afternoon we’ll visit the Kiwi Birdlife Park to view and learn about New Zealand’s icon, the flightless kiwi bird.

    Holiday Inn Express & Suites, Queenstown (Breakfast, Lunch)

    Hiking: 4.5 kilometers (2.8 miles), 1-2 hours, elevation +/- 220 meters (722 feet)

  • Day 9

    Free day in Queenstown

    #135

    Queenstown is the adventure capital of New Zealand (if not the world!) and all the comforts of civilization are packed into this tiny resort town: restaurants galore, stylish lounge bars, day spas, and boutiques. You’ll also find incredible optional activities here including horse trekking, a gondola, fishing, winery tours, a historic steamship, bungy jumping, jet boating, and skydiving, as well as some great hiking opportunities. Or you can just soak up the atmosphere at one of many local cafés. Your guides will happily share their favorite haunts and point you in the right direction for your free day today.

    Holiday Inn Express & Suites, Queenstown (Breakfast)

  • Day 10

    Hike Kepler Track

    #137

    This morning we’ll take a scenic drive through Te Anau, our base for the next couple of nights. We’ll enjoy a tasty lunch before heading out to explore Fiordland’s wilderness on foot where we’ll take a hike on the famous Kepler Track, one of New Zealand’s Great Walks - we follow the track through mountain beech forest and along the Waiau River. It’s an awesome hike with spectacular views! Tonight we’ll stay on the edge of Lake Te Anau, enjoying the scenery and the delicious local fare.

    Matai Lodge, Te Anau (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

    Hiking: 9.5 kilometers (6 miles), 2-3 hours, elevation +/- 50 meters (165 feet)

  • Day 11

    Cruise Milford Sound, hike Routeburn Track

    #139

    This morning, we set off for our largest and perhaps most spectacular national park, Fiordland. We’ll take a short drive through the Homer Tunnel and emerge at the top of a spectacular glacier-carved valley for a memorable descent to the shore of Milford Sound. Rudyard Kipling rated this fiord as the eighth natural wonder of the world and it is truly breathtaking, with steep granite walls plunging over a thousand meters to the Tasman Sea and waterfalls cascading into the deep inky water. We’ll jump on board a boat cruise, where you’ll gaze in wonder at the waterfalls tumbling down enormous vertical rock faces all around and journey right out to the entrance of the fiord. Afterwards, we’ll hike part of the Routeburn Track for unsurpassed views of the Hollyford Valley, as well as Lake Marian and Mt. Christina, before heading back to Te Anau for the night.

    Matai Lodge, Te Anau (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

    Hiking: 3.4 kilometers (2 miles), 3-4 hours, elevation +/- 380 meters (1,246 feet)

  • Day 12

    Visit Cromwell Old Town, journey over Lindis Pass

    #141

    Carefully relocated or lovingly reconstructed, the buildings of Cromwell Old Town represent the character of Cromwell’s gold-mining history. We’ll explore the intriguing buildings and eat lunch here together. Then we’ll drive through the tussock country of Lindis Pass to the remote and beautiful Aoraki/Mt. Cook Village. Our accommodation for our last two nights is tucked in beside the towering mountains, with stunning views stretching across to Aoraki/Mt. Cook and the Southern Alps – the ideal spot to stargaze!

    We use a variety of accommodation for stays in this region (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

  • Day 13

    Hike Aoraki Mt Cook National Park

    #143

    The highest mountain in New Zealand, Mt. Cook was first named Aoraki or ‘cloud piercer’ by South Island Maori. This region was Sir Edmund Hillary’s training ground as he prepared for his and Tenzing Norgay’s famous summit of Mt. Everest in 1953. We have a few hikes to choose from in this spectacular national park and our favourite is the impressive hike up to a lake at the base of the Hooker Glacier, complete with icebergs! The track is surrounded by peaks, glaciers, native vegetation, and mountain streams, and provides excellent views of Aoraki/Mt. Cook on a fine day. Another option is the stunning day hike to Sealy Tarns, a unique alpine environment including endemic flora such as the Mt. Cook lily (Ranunculus lyallii), the world’s largest buttercup.It’s a tough hike and the weather would need to cooperate, but the views across the Southern Alps are worth it! After hiking, we’ll relax back at our lodge nestled right in the heart of the National Park for the last night of the trip and we’ll enjoy a celebratory dinner as we sit outside and watch the sunset on Aoraki/Mt. Cook.

    We use a variety of accommodation for stays in this region (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

    Hiking: Hooker Valley Hike : 9 kilometers (5.6 miles), 3-4 hours, elevation +/- 100 meters (328 feet)
    Hiking: Sealy Tarns: 5.1 kilometers (3.2 miles), 3-4 hours, elevation +/- 650 meters (2,132 feet)

  • Day 14

    Visit Tekapo, depart for home

    #145

    After breakfast, we’ll head north past Lake Pukaki to Lake Tekapo. We’ll stretch our legs with a visit to the Church of the Good Shepherd, easily one of the most scenic locations for a church you’ll ever come across! After our lunch stop, we’ll head to Christchurch, arriving in time for afternoon flights. This is the end of your trip, and we’ll leave you refreshed and invigorated from the good food, exercise, rest, and great times you’ll have had with us in New Zealand! If you're keen to extend your trip and see what the North Island has to offer (Maori culture, pristine beaches, and geothermal areas) check out our 11-day Ultimate North Island Adventure (5-day options also available).

    No Accommodation (Breakfast, Lunch)

New Zealand Walking Adventure Departure Dates

  • Upcoming
  • 3 months
  • 6 months
  • 1 year

Looking for a shorter trip? Have a look at our 8-day Classic South Island Adventure.

USD $6699/per adult (+tax) 

Tax info:
Our New Zealand trip fares are subject to Goods and Services Tax (GST 15%)

Not ready to book yet?

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Included

  • Our own highly experienced guides, driver, and cook, with you from start to finish
  • Industry-leading Guest-to-Guide ratio (averaging 6:1)
  • Your own ‘Travel Wallet’, an online space with everything required for your adventure
  • Our knowledgeable Customer Service Team to answer your queries - just a phone call, email or chat away
  • Customer Service pre-trip phone calls to ensure you’re 'trip ready'
  • All accommodations for the duration of your trip
  • All meals except where indicated in the itinerary
  • Unlimited snacks to keep you fueled
  • All activities outlined in the itinerary
  • All necessary equipment (well-maintained and safe) for activities
  • All park and other entry fees
  • Transportation in our air-conditioned vans - safe, clean, modern, and comfortable!



Interactive Trip Map: Click on the map icons to read details for each day

Hear from our Happy Guests
4.85/5 Rating | 6,500+ Reviews

What Our Guests Say About the New Zealand Walking Adventure

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New Zealand Walking Adventure - October 2023

New Zealand - South Island

"Everything was great from the tours, guides, places to stay and the food.

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"Everything was great from the tours, guides, places to stay and the food. read more

"Everything was great from the tours, guides, places to stay and the food. read less

5 Stars (222 reviews)

G Gary | October 2023

New Zealand Walking Adventure - October 2023

Amazing vacation!!!

"Touring the South island of New Zealand with Active Adventures was outstanding!
Our guides, Jonathan and Brogen made the trip. Their positive and upbeat energy was contagious!
It was a surprise how many meals that they planned and cooked, every meal was delicious!
Milford Sound was a highlight, and waking up to snow at Mt Cook!

read more

"Touring the South island of New Zealand with Active Adventures was outstanding!
Our guides, Jonathan and… read more

"Touring the South island of New Zealand with Active Adventures was outstanding!
Our guides, Jonathan and Brogen made the trip. Their positive and upbeat energy was contagious!
It was a surprise how many meals that they planned and cooked, every meal was delicious!
Milford Sound was a highlight, and waking up to snow at Mt Cook! read less

5 Stars (222 reviews)

G Gary | October 2023

New Zealand Walking Adventure - March 2023

Patti

"My overall experience of the 14 day Kiwi trip far exceeded my expectations. The attention and care of our guides Emma and Ken was outstanding. We were nurtured with wonderfully varied meals during the trip and educated about so many aspects of New Zealand. These included fauna, wildlife, history and ecology.
Our guides were patient, encouraging, and most striking, joyful and warm. This was truly a trip of a lifetime and I am deeply grateful.

read more

"My overall experience of the 14 day Kiwi trip far exceeded my expectations. … read more

"My overall experience of the 14 day Kiwi trip far exceeded my expectations. The attention and care of our guides Emma and Ken was outstanding. We were nurtured with wonderfully varied meals during the trip and educated about so many aspects of New Zealand. These included fauna, wildlife, history and ecology.
Our guides were patient, encouraging, and most striking, joyful and warm. This was truly a trip of a lifetime and I am deeply grateful. read less

5 Stars (222 reviews)

P Patti | March 2023

New Zealand Walking Adventure - March 2023

Unforgettable experience

"I've wanted to visit NZ for 20 years and Active Adventures made sure it was as wonderful as possible when I finally got there. Our guides Ken and Emma were fun, knowledgeable, ready to answer any questions, and expert at choosing the best hikes for the weather and our group - and not to forget Emma being a phenomenal cook! They pushed us when needed and celebrated our accomplishments, all the while giving us a lot of insight in NZ life and nature. The trip ran like a well-oiled machine, and all I had to do was bring my hiking shoes and a thirst for an adventure. Can't thank enough for the amazing trip!

read more

"I've wanted to visit NZ for 20 years and Active Adventures made sure it was… read more

"I've wanted to visit NZ for 20 years and Active Adventures made sure it was as wonderful as possible when I finally got there. Our guides Ken and Emma were fun, knowledgeable, ready to answer any questions, and expert at choosing the best hikes for the weather and our group - and not to forget Emma being a phenomenal cook! They pushed us when needed and celebrated our accomplishments, all the while giving us a lot of insight in NZ life and nature. The trip ran like a well-oiled machine, and all I had to do was bring my hiking shoes and a thirst for an adventure. Can't thank enough for the amazing trip! read less

5 Stars (222 reviews)

S Saana | March 2023

New Zealand Walking Adventure - March 2023

Best Trip Ever

"My experience with Active Adventures was perfect. We had a small group in New Zealand with 2 of the best guides, Ken and Emma. They were fun, organized, knowledgeable, thoughtful and friendly. Emma was a fabulous cook and Ken drove superbly on the challenging roads. I liked the mixture of accommodations and the mix of restaurants or eating in family style. I believe this was the very best way to experience the spectacular country and people of New Zealand.

read more

"My experience with Active Adventures was perfect. We had a small group in New… read more

"My experience with Active Adventures was perfect. We had a small group in New Zealand with 2 of the best guides, Ken and Emma. They were fun, organized, knowledgeable, thoughtful and friendly. Emma was a fabulous cook and Ken drove superbly on the challenging roads. I liked the mixture of accommodations and the mix of restaurants or eating in family style. I believe this was the very best way to experience the spectacular country and people of New Zealand. read less

5 Stars (222 reviews)

J Jan | March 2023

New Zealand Walking Adventure - March 2023

Well organized, energizing trip

"This was by far the biggest trip of my life, and it was more fun than I could have imagined. The eight days were packed with varied experiences and settings, which were wonderful. The leaders--Ken and Emma--made all the difference though. Their enthusiasm and care of their group were obvious. Unforgettable!

read more

"This was by far the biggest trip of my life, and it was more fun… read more

"This was by far the biggest trip of my life, and it was more fun than I could have imagined. The eight days were packed with varied experiences and settings, which were wonderful. The leaders--Ken and Emma--made all the difference though. Their enthusiasm and care of their group were obvious. Unforgettable! read less

5 Stars (222 reviews)

S Steven | March 2023

New Zealand Walking Adventure - February 2023

South Island Adventure

"We so enjoyed our walking adventure on the South Island. The scenery was spectacular, and our guides Emma and Greg were just amazing. The small group tour format is perfect, and the activity level was just right for our family. Would highly recommend to anyone, it truly was a trip of a lifetime!

read more

"We so enjoyed our walking adventure on the South Island. The scenery was spectacular, and… read more

"We so enjoyed our walking adventure on the South Island. The scenery was spectacular, and our guides Emma and Greg were just amazing. The small group tour format is perfect, and the activity level was just right for our family. Would highly recommend to anyone, it truly was a trip of a lifetime! read less

5 Stars (222 reviews)

A Andy, United States | February 2023

New Zealand Walking Adventure - February 2023

Nature+Nurture=Active Adventure in NZ

"Our NZ Walking Adventure was an optimum combination of immersing in the natural beauty of the best of the south island, plus learning about the flora and fauna, and history and culture of the country. On top of that, the meals and lodging provided was excellent. While there were days we wished we could have walked even further, all-in-all, we agreed that we had selected the best level trip for our abilities, and I think most in our group had chosen correctly as well. Grateful for Kim and Jessi. They were a great team and were very considerate of individual needs.

read more

"Our NZ Walking Adventure was an optimum combination of immersing in the natural beauty of… read more

"Our NZ Walking Adventure was an optimum combination of immersing in the natural beauty of the best of the south island, plus learning about the flora and fauna, and history and culture of the country. On top of that, the meals and lodging provided was excellent. While there were days we wished we could have walked even further, all-in-all, we agreed that we had selected the best level trip for our abilities, and I think most in our group had chosen correctly as well. Grateful for Kim and Jessi. They were a great team and were very considerate of individual needs. read less

5 Stars (222 reviews)

R Randy, United States | February 2023

New Zealand Walking Adventure - February 2023

Every day was wonderful

"My 14 day trip with Active Adventures was wonderful. We had the most amazing guides, Holly and Elize. They adapted to people's needs and listened to our feedback. And the food they cooked was as good as restaurants! I thought Active Adventures ensured that we saw and hiked a great variety of places, from golden sand beaches in Abel Tasman to places that looked like Juraissac Park to hiking across suspension bridges and seeing glaciers. I would love to go back to New Zealand and recommend Active Adventures.

read more

"My 14 day trip with Active Adventures was wonderful. We had the most amazing… read more

"My 14 day trip with Active Adventures was wonderful. We had the most amazing guides, Holly and Elize. They adapted to people's needs and listened to our feedback. And the food they cooked was as good as restaurants! I thought Active Adventures ensured that we saw and hiked a great variety of places, from golden sand beaches in Abel Tasman to places that looked like Juraissac Park to hiking across suspension bridges and seeing glaciers. I would love to go back to New Zealand and recommend Active Adventures. read less

5 Stars (222 reviews)

C Cynthia, United States | February 2023

New Zealand Walking Adventure - January 2023

Stunning!

"We used this word a lot as we rounded corners and paths to yet another amazing landscape!! Just stunning!

read more

"We used this word a lot as we rounded corners and paths to yet another… read more

"We used this word a lot as we rounded corners and paths to yet another amazing landscape!! Just stunning! read less

5 Stars (222 reviews)

| January 2023

New Zealand Walking Adventure - January 2023

"Great guides with great relevant knowledge and irrelevant good humour. Knew where to stop for coffee, food, amenities and views, when to tweak the itinerary and how to quickly respond to any issues of the day.

read more

"Great guides with great relevant knowledge and irrelevant good humour. Knew where to stop for… read more

"Great guides with great relevant knowledge and irrelevant good humour. Knew where to stop for coffee, food, amenities and views, when to tweak the itinerary and how to quickly respond to any issues of the day. read less

5 Stars (222 reviews)

J Jeffrey, Australia | January 2023

New Zealand Walking Adventure - January 2023

Group tours for those who don’t like group tours.

"Finding a tour that gives you a challenge and a holiday is very difficult. active adventures New Zealand Walking Adventure achieved this and more. The pretrip organisation and communication was great. Our group although small, only 8 people, was friendly and enthusiastic, creating a welcoming atmosphere for everyone. The days were full but never exhausting and each activity whether a hike, kayak or cruise was wonderful. The fantastic weather definitely helped.
But it was out guides Emma and Greg who made this such a successful trip. They were always cheerful, professional, fun, personable and flexible to everyone’s needs. We were all treated as individuals rather than a group, whether allowing us to hike at our own pace or pandering to our special diet needs. Even on our free day they had creative suggestions for activities and where to eat.
I’d highly recommend this Active adventures group tour, especially for those who think they don’t like group tours.

read more

"Finding a tour that gives you a challenge and a holiday is very difficult. active… read more

"Finding a tour that gives you a challenge and a holiday is very difficult. active adventures New Zealand Walking Adventure achieved this and more. The pretrip organisation and communication was great. Our group although small, only 8 people, was friendly and enthusiastic, creating a welcoming atmosphere for everyone. The days were full but never exhausting and each activity whether a hike, kayak or cruise was wonderful. The fantastic weather definitely helped.
But it was out guides Emma and Greg who made this such a successful trip. They were always cheerful, professional, fun, personable and flexible to everyone’s needs. We were all treated as individuals rather than a group, whether allowing us to hike at our own pace or pandering to our special diet needs. Even on our free day they had creative suggestions for activities and where to eat.
I’d highly recommend this Active adventures group tour, especially for those who think they don’t like group tours. read less

5 Stars (222 reviews)

S Sandra, Australia | January 2023

New Zealand Walking Adventure - January 2023

"Oh New Zealand, Stop It"

"My Active Adventures trip to New Zealand's South Island was one of the best experiences I have ever had. New Zealand is such a beautiful country. I was able to experience and enjoy such a wide range of landscapes from the rugged coast lines of the east and west coasts to lush tropical rainforests, and within 3 hours, bask in the majesty of the glaciers at Mt. Cook and Franz Joseph. I enjoyed all the activities from the hikes to kayaking, What really made the trip for me were our excellent tour guides. Holly and Elize worked very well together and were so knowledgeable about New Zealand, explained about the flora, fauna and wildlife as well the Maori culture. They are the consummate professionals and bent over backward to ensure a wonderful experience and journey for all!!! They were always had an uplifting positive attitude no matter what circumstance is thrown at them. I would definitely consider another Active Adventures trip, especially if they were my guides again! I am a solo traveler and it was great to see how after 2 days, ten total strangers became like family. I credit this again to our wonderful guides for making everyone…

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"My Active Adventures trip to New Zealand's South Island was one of the best experiences… read more

"My Active Adventures trip to New Zealand's South Island was one of the best experiences I have ever had. New Zealand is such a beautiful country. I was able to experience and enjoy such a wide range of landscapes from the rugged coast lines of the east and west coasts to lush tropical rainforests, and within 3 hours, bask in the majesty of the glaciers at Mt. Cook and Franz Joseph. I enjoyed all the activities from the hikes to kayaking, What really made the trip for me were our excellent tour guides. Holly and Elize worked very well together and were so knowledgeable about New Zealand, explained about the flora, fauna and wildlife as well the Maori culture. They are the consummate professionals and bent over backward to ensure a wonderful experience and journey for all!!! They were always had an uplifting positive attitude no matter what circumstance is thrown at them. I would definitely consider another Active Adventures trip, especially if they were my guides again! I am a solo traveler and it was great to see how after 2 days, ten total strangers became like family. I credit this again to our wonderful guides for making everyone feel so comfortable and welcoming. Thank you again to Active Adventures for a wonderful trip (my second trip) and special thanks go to our lovely and wonderful expert guides. read less

5 Stars (222 reviews)

F Frank | January 2023

New Zealand Walking Adventure - December 2022

Even Better Than Anticipated!

"After having this adventure delayed for over two years (covid), the anticipation was WAY too high! But Active Adventures and our tour guides, Jacob & Jess, overdelivered beyond what we could even anticipate! Not only did we experience and hike New Zealand South Island's amazing countryside & rugged coastlines, we learned so much about local flora and fauna, customs and fun trivia facts.... even an unplanned night hike to see glow worms at Franz Josef after we mentioned we wanted to see glow worms!

But the true unexpected bonus was Jess' cooking. We didn't realize we'd be served several healthy & tasty dinners, picnic lunches and even breakfasts - the pecan pie for American Thanksgiving was a most thoughtful gesture!

THANKS Active Adventures!

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"After having this adventure delayed for over two years (covid), the anticipation was WAY too… read more

"After having this adventure delayed for over two years (covid), the anticipation was WAY too high! But Active Adventures and our tour guides, Jacob & Jess, overdelivered beyond what we could even anticipate! Not only did we experience and hike New Zealand South Island's amazing countryside & rugged coastlines, we learned so much about local flora and fauna, customs and fun trivia facts.... even an unplanned night hike to see glow worms at Franz Josef after we mentioned we wanted to see glow worms!

But the true unexpected bonus was Jess' cooking. We didn't realize we'd be served several healthy & tasty dinners, picnic lunches and even breakfasts - the pecan pie for American Thanksgiving was a most thoughtful gesture!

THANKS Active Adventures! read less

5 Stars (222 reviews)

J Jan, United States | December 2022

New Zealand Walking Adventure - December 2022

Kiwi Trip Nov 2022

"I LOVED this trip, my first with Active Adventures. I would definitely recommend this trip! The 14-day itinerary was packed full of hiking adventures every day. I was blown away by how much of your beautiful South Island we saw in that time. On each hike we saw something new; the scenery from the bus was amazing too, so much green. Every couple of days, we were in another eco system with different plants and weather. I’ve never seen anything like “the bush” nor streaming waterfall hillsides. It’s very different from Idaho, where it Is very dry.
Some days were quite long, because of road closure and we had to go around the long way. That was exhausting, but not all days were like that. Another exhausting day was on the island when the 2nd trail was closed, so we had to detour to a steeper, harder trail to return to the beach pickup point. I think these detours were due to conditions.
I have never seen so much varied countryside in such a short time, and it's all breathtakingly beautiful. Kudos to the people who set up…

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"I LOVED this trip, my first with Active Adventures. I would definitely recommend this… read more

"I LOVED this trip, my first with Active Adventures. I would definitely recommend this trip! The 14-day itinerary was packed full of hiking adventures every day. I was blown away by how much of your beautiful South Island we saw in that time. On each hike we saw something new; the scenery from the bus was amazing too, so much green. Every couple of days, we were in another eco system with different plants and weather. I’ve never seen anything like “the bush” nor streaming waterfall hillsides. It’s very different from Idaho, where it Is very dry.
Some days were quite long, because of road closure and we had to go around the long way. That was exhausting, but not all days were like that. Another exhausting day was on the island when the 2nd trail was closed, so we had to detour to a steeper, harder trail to return to the beach pickup point. I think these detours were due to conditions.
I have never seen so much varied countryside in such a short time, and it's all breathtakingly beautiful. Kudos to the people who set up this itinerary. Wow! We would never have seen so much country from the road ourselves; the trails brought us in close.
Our guides, Jess N. and Jake were outstanding. Their passion and love for this country and the outdoors shows. I don't know how they did it, but they both gave us 200% every day, way beyond my expectations. They both have such a positive attitude and encouraged us every day. I don't know how they did it (well, they're much younger than us!). They told us stories and legends about the area we were in, the names of plants and birds, the places they love, the animals New Zealand is trying to eradicate (although I don't agree with getting rid of deer). The meals Jess prepared were great (and she took care of all the special dietary needs, no small challenge). There were many kind, caring, thoughtful acts, like loaning rain pants when they were needed, and finding a wind-blown hat that sailed off the bridge. Jake took good care of our van, “William” and properly cleaned and sanitized it regularly and especially when someone became ill. Handling all the luggage was no small feat. They both genuinely love what they do. I was sad when they left us at the airport.
I was a little concerned that I might have trouble keeping up, depending on the age of group members. I was pleased to see that all guests on our trip were in our age group. I wasn’t as fast as some, but I took many photos and walked at my own pace.
Jess and Jake make a wonderful team, sharing the workload and making things run smoothly. It seemed effortless on their part, but I’m sure it was due to careful planning an much behind the scenes activity on their parts.
I was pleased that covid vaccines were required before this trip; we did have an outbreak. The person involved was provided a place to isolate and was able to rejoin us later.
The drive to Millford Sound was like something out of a fairy tale. I have never seen so much water; the hillsides were pouring, streaming rain, waterfalls everywhere you looked. Jake and Jess said they had never seen so many waterfalls as that day. My photos aren’t so good, because of the rain, but it’s unforgettable. While on the ship at Millford Sound, we all took videos of the big falls until we were soaking wet!
My least favorite thing was kayaking (my first time). It made my back hurt, but the view of the mountains while in the kayak was amazing.
This trip had amazing planning; the execution was excellent. The people really make the trip. Thank you for caring and sharing!
One suggestion: give a small card to each guest with phone numbers to call if there are problems, to carry with them always. We were told to call the main number for Active Adventures in NZ, but my paper with that information was in the suitcase on the trailer. We had 2 people that became ill at different times; we didn’t know where Jess and Jake were staying, sometimes off-site. A card that is carried with you would be a big help.
Peggy
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5 Stars (222 reviews)

P Peggy, United States | December 2022

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Take 10% off the trip price when you book a trip and pay in full

By paying in full we are able to pass on savings to our guests, but please note that by opting for this payment plan, your booking becomes non-refundable, non-cancellable, and non-changeable. This offer is only valid for reservations where the trip is no sooner than 180 days from the departure date at time of booking.

We highly recommend that you purchase Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR) insurance. We recommend Redpoint Insurance – you can find details here.

T&Cs Apply. Read more here.

BOOKING CONDITIONS

Useful Info

Where does the trip start?

On the first morning of the trip, our two pick-up locations are Merivale Manor at 10:30am or the Christchurch airport (CHC) in front of the Help Desk (near door 7) at 11am. You are welcome to book your pre-trip stay at this hotel directly or any other hotel in Christchurch, though you must make your own way to one of the two pick-up points at the pre-designated times.

Where does the trip end?

Your trip ends with a drop-off at either the Christchurch Airport (CHC) in time for flights below or anywhere in Central Christchurch around 3pm.

What flights would you recommend?

Arrival: We recommend arriving in Christchurch by 10am. Many guests like to arrive a day or two early to accommodate potential flight delays and/or explore the city prior to your trip start.

Departure: Flying out on the last day of the trip, we recommend departing from Christchurch after 4pm. Earlier flight times will require a separate transfer booked at your own expense.

How fit do I need to be?

As an Activity Level 1-2 trip, you’ll need a good level of fitness for this trip though you’ll be hiking on gentle to moderate trails and can still enjoy the scenery and relaxation. Typically, hikes range between two and four hours to complete, more, or less hiking is available too.

Please head to our Fitness Guide for great tips on how to prepare along with a workout plan!

What is not included?

Flights to and from trip start/end points
15% NZ Goods and Services Tax (GST)
Pre/Post Accommodation
Optional extra activities
Travel insurance
Gratuities for your guides
Rental gear

What accommodations do we stay at on this trip?

We have selected the accommodation on your trip for the stunning settings, unique character and adventuresome feel – it’s not designed as a tour of the fanciest hotels in New Zealand. We prefer to stay in quaint, comfortable B&B’s, lodges and apartments and you’ll have your own bathroom everywhere.

While there are laundry facilities at most locations, they may not be convenient or there may only be one machine to service your entire group. We recommend bringing enough clothing to only have to do laundry a couple of times during your trip. The best time will be during your two night stay in Queenstown (during your free day).

Is tipping expected in New Zealand?

Tipping is neither required nor routinely expected in New Zealand, but it is appropriate for very good service. In New Zealand you don't usually tip in restaurants, or if you take a taxi, or get a haircut. Many of our guests do choose to tip our guides and we recommend USD$20 per day, per guest, per guide.

How much luggage can I bring on this trip?

You are allowed one piece of luggage on your trip, plus a daypack. Your main piece of luggage should not exceed 50 pounds (23 kilograms) and can be anything from a duffle bag to a sports bag with wheels or a suitcase. You’ll also want a good quality backpack sized 25-30 liters (2000 cubic inches) to use throughout the days. 

How do rooming arrangements work?

Trip prices are based on shared arrangements (typically two guests per room), unless otherwise stated. For solo travelers, we’ll pair you with another person of the same gender to share rooms and if there’s no one suitable to share with, there’s no forced single supplement. However, if you specifically request your own rooms, you can opt to pay the single supplement. Solo travelers who book within 90 days of departure, where there are no other solo travelers willing to share, will be required to pay the single supplement. 

For Family Vacation bookings, families consisting of four guests traveling with children aged 17 and under will be automatically assigned one shared room. However, the following alternative rooming allocations are available:

  • Families consisting of four guests with all children aged 13 and above are welcome to opt for additional rooms as per advertised double occupancy adult rates.
  • Families consisting of four guests with at least one child aged 12 and under are automatically assigned a shared room. However, families can opt to pay the adult rates for all guests in their family to have an additional room.
  • The same principles apply for families consisting of more than four guests.

Rooming preferences are subject to availability and must be communicated in writing at time of booking. Automatic assignments as per this policy will be applied in the absence of any specification provided by guests. Any request for additional rooms during trips will be at guests’ own expense and subject to rates made available by the accommodation provider at the time. All minors (guests aged 17 and under) must be accompanied by at least one adult.

Tell me about the optional activities on this trip?

You have the option to take an exciting scenic helicopter flight to visit the upper reaches of the Franz Josef Glacier on the West Coast – an area usually only experienced mountaineers would get to see. No prior experience is required, everything you need is supplied, and as long as you can hike, you can heli-hike!

The three hour package includes a scenic helicopter flight (15 minutes one-way), a two-hour guided walk on and around the glacier and amazing panoramic views of the area. A good level of fitness is required and the following equipment is provided for you: glacier boots, socks, crampons, ice axe and a waterproof raincoat. You’ll need to bring underlayers and this will be depend on the weather, along with sunglasses, sunscreen, some snacks and a small drink bottle.

Note; this is not a fast activity, as walking with a group and continually cutting steps in the ice can be time-consuming. This is however a unique experience. Also If you have (or have had) a heart condition, ACL Knee surgery or you exceed the weight limit of 115 kilograms (250 pounds), you may be refused this activity on arrival.

*This activity MUST be booked at the time of booking.

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Our Local New Zealand Guides

Want to see more? Add on the North Island too!

New Zealand

Ultimate North Island Adventure

4.75

  • Duration 11 days
  • Activity Level Level 3 
    • Activity Level 3

      Step It Up

      I love an active vacation. Engaging in a challenging activity with a difficult goal, such as reaching a summit, is exactly what I need to unwind in the evenings.

    Read more about the Active Range

Discover your favorite part of the North Island as you hike the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, bike through redwood forests in Rotorua, snorkel or kayak the Poor Knights Islands, and walk through the otherworldly Waitomo Caves.

Trip Start: Auckland Trip End: Auckland

New Zealand

Northland Adventure

5.00

  • Duration 5 days
  • Activity Level Level 3 
    • Activity Level 3

      Step It Up

      I love an active vacation. Engaging in a challenging activity with a difficult goal, such as reaching a summit, is exactly what I need to unwind in the evenings.

    Read more about the Active Range

Take five days to discover the charms of the North Island. Explore colossal kauri forests, dive or snorkel the Poor Knights Islands, and learn about the Maori culture as you make your way along some of the best coastline of New Zealand.

Trip Start: Auckland Trip End: Auckland

New Zealand

North Island Volcanic Adventure

4.00

  • Duration 5 days
  • Activity Level Level 4 
    • Activity Level 4

      Challenge Accepted

      I'll let my trusty guides sweat the small things, so I can focus on my goal. Getting to the top, reaching the end, achieving my dreams! Sure, it'll be tough, but the views will be worth it.

    Read more about the Active Range

Explore volcanic landscapes as you hike the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. Soak in hot pools, hike by geysers and boiling mud pools, and explore caves in search of mystical glowworms on this short, action-packed North Island adventure.

Trip Start: Auckland Trip End: Auckland

Why Travel With Us

11

Experience adventure the way you want

You’ll be inspired and exhilarated, enjoying mind-blowing scenery on foot, in a sea kayak, or by bike - all at your own pace.

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Crafting award-winning trips for decades - the Kiwi way

We're proud of our Kiwi roots and you’ll love our professional and warm style of hosting. We’re always here to help with planning... even hiking boot recommendations!

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Every detail covered, to maximise your time

We've got everything covered – top-notch meals, comfortable transport, superb accommodation, amazing guides and INCREDIBLE service.

benefit group travel

Group travel for those who aren’t ‘group travelers’

With an average of 12 guests per departure and an industry-leading 6:1 guest-to-guide ratio, you'll get to know your fellow travelers and have the flexibility to go at your own pace.

benefit gems

Explore hidden gems through our expert local guides

All our carefully selected guides are highly experienced and have deep personal connections to nature and culture. You’ll enjoy an authentic local experience.

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4.85 out of 5 from 6607 reviews. That’s pretty solid.

We could hang around all day telling you how wonderful our trips are... but the best people to hear it from are our guests themselves.

Trip Inquiry

New Zealand

New Zealand Walking Adventure

USD $6699/per adult
$500 USD deposit per person required to secure your place on the trip

What To Expect

  • Place your booking
  • Receive your confirmation email & details to set up your Travel Wallet
  • Our dedicated team will keep you up to date all the way to the departure date

Dates

2023
2024
2025

December 2023

Saturday 9 December 2023
To Friday 22 December 2023
Filling Up
* GUARANTEED DEPARTURE *
Saturday 23 December 2023
To Friday 5 January 2024
Filling Up
* GUARANTEED DEPARTURE *

Saturday 6 January 2024
To Friday 19 January 2024
Full
Saturday 20 January 2024
To Friday 2 February 2024
Almost Full

Saturday 3 February 2024
To Friday 16 February 2024
Almost Full
Saturday 17 February 2024
To Friday 1 March 2024
Full

Saturday 2 March 2024
To Friday 15 March 2024
Filling Up
Saturday 16 March 2024
To Friday 29 March 2024
Almost Full

Saturday 12 October 2024
To Friday 25 October 2024
Open
Saturday 26 October 2024
To Friday 8 November 2024
Open

Saturday 9 November 2024
To Friday 22 November 2024
Open
Saturday 23 November 2024
To Friday 6 December 2024
Open

Saturday 7 December 2024
To Friday 20 December 2024
Open
Saturday 21 December 2024
To Friday 3 January 2025
Open

Saturday 4 January 2025
To Friday 17 January 2025
Open
Saturday 18 January 2025
To Friday 31 January 2025
Open

Saturday 1 February 2025
To Friday 14 February 2025
Open
Saturday 15 February 2025
To Friday 28 February 2025
Open

Saturday 1 March 2025
To Friday 14 March 2025
Open
Saturday 15 March 2025
To Friday 28 March 2025
Open