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New Zealand Walking & Hiking Tour

Route Rating
Make It Private
Trip Highlights
  • Tramp through the unmatchable South Island - it's a Kiwi tradition!
  • Alpine tundra in the a.m. and oceanside trails in the p.m.
  • Visit a working Merino sheep station
  • Explore two glaciers, Franz Josef and Fox
  • Opt to discover dramatic Milford Sound by scenic flight or cruise

Call 800-462-2848, Every day 6am-6pm,PST

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South Island Paradise

After New Zealand, the bar will be forever raised. Other coastlines will seem less striking. Even mountains will pale in comparison. Glaciers...who sees glaciers at home? Start at the South Pacific, journey up to the Southern Alps, down to the Tasman Sea, then back up again. It's impossible to choose the most spectacular view. The most incredible moment. The blowholes at Punakaiki? Franz Josef Glacier, surrounded by rain forest? The view from the top of Rocky Mountain? Your ten days in New Zealand will be the benchmark. And your next vacation will have big shoes to fill.

Days 1-2 Tramp through the spectacularly beautiful South Island - it's a Kiwi tradition! Hike to a Maori sacred site, Kura Tawhiti - a gorgeous set of limestone outcroppings once used by Maoris to navigate across the island Behold beech forests and alpine lakes as you ascend to a sheep station hut where shepherds stayed during the days of high-country sheep farming.

Days 3-4 Alpine tundra in the a.m. and oceanside trails in the p.m.  Traverse mountain wetlands into Otira Valley Watch water explode skyward through blowholes at Punakaiki Pancake Rocks by the Tasman Sea A jungle trek along (and across!) the Porari River reveals native tree ferns and nikau palms Check out the hand-carved greenstone jewelry in the gold-rush town of Hokitika.

Days 5-7 Explore two glaciers, Franz Josef and Fox  Stunning views of Mounts Tasman and Cook during a hike around Lake Matheson Swap rain forest for pounding surf at Munro Beach and search for pounamu (the native jade) Canoe with a naturalist on Lake Moeraki, or go hiking or swimming.

Days 8-10 Climb to the top of Rocky Mountain for incredible views of Lake Wanaka and the surrounding peaks Experience jaw-dropping Milford Sound, New Zealand's most famous fjord, on an optional excursion Breathtaking 360-degree vistas greet you atop Mount Iron, an impressive glacial rock formation.

Guests Reviews About This Trip

While we have traveled around the world with other tour companies and Backroads, this by far was the most enjoyable trip. New Zealand provided not only an extraordinary background, having two of our adult children and their spouses along made it uniquely enjoyable, the trip leaders were just the best. Attentive, friendly, sharing of their knowledge, generous with their time, consciously sharing their attention among all the travelers, and full of flexibility and suggestions (getting a fishing guide, arranging bungee jumping, juggling the schedule to get it all in) all of which made this a very special trip. Bravo!
Don Tucker - Landrum, SC
My father and I had an outstanding time on our trip to New Zealand. The trip provided my father and me an opportunity to create memories that will last a lifetime. We were given ample time to spend on our own and also given the opportunity to spend quality time with the other guests in a comfortable and fun-loving atmosphere. Everything was carefully planned and brilliantly executed by our leaders and I can't imagine a better trip.
Nate Liberman - Thousand Oaks, CA
This was an extraordinary trip! I can't say enough about the leaders, hikes, settings and locations of the accommodations, and the members of the group. People who choose Backroads are good people to travel with.
Fern Cohen - Sands Point, NY

Casual & Premiere Inns*

Wilderness Lodge Arthur's Pass
Wilderness Lodge Arthur's Pass

Arthur's Pass (2 nights) A cozy mountain retreat and high-country sheep station surrounded by beech forest and frosted peaks.

Punakaiki Resort
Punakaiki Resort

Punakaiki (1 night) Simple but comfortable, this resort borders Paparoa National Park and has panoramic views of the Tasman Sea.

Westwood Lodge
Westwood Lodge
* Premiere Inn

Franz Josef (2 nights) Warm wood interiors overlook rugged terrain at this inviting and secluded lodge.

Wilderness Lodge Lake Moeraki
Wilderness Lodge Lake Moeraki

Lake Moeraki (2 nights) This riverside lodge offers cozy guest rooms and excellent cuisine in a remote rain forest setting.

Edgewater Resort Hotel
Edgewater Resort Hotel
* Premiere Inn

Lake Wanaka (2 nights) On the shore of Lake Wanaka with views of the magnificent Southern Alps. (spa, tennis)

Private Trips Options & Pricing

Gather your favorite people to share a Backroads adventure on a ready-to-book Private Trip - featuring all the legendary Backroads hallmarks from expert leaders to unforgettable activities.

You can pick any open date for your group of 8 or more except for trips departing during the last two weeks of December, where a 16 guest minimum is required. Call us for date availability.

Pricing for Private Trips (prices may vary based on departure date)

8 - 9 guests $5,598 pp dbl. occ. 12 or more guests $4,698 pp dbl. occ.
10 - 11 guests $5,298 pp dbl. occ.

For groups of 2 to 7 guests, please call for Custom Trip pricing.

This Trip Is Rated Level 1-3

Routes For All Abilities
Every Backroads trip is designed to appeal to a wide variety of interests and fitness levels. We know your pace may vary from one day to the next-and your traveling companion's may differ somewhat from yours. So we present a range of mileage options, and each day you decide exactly what and how much you want to do.

Daily Route Options
Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4 Level 5
miles feet gain miles feet gain miles feet gain miles feet gain miles feet gain
1 3.5* 800
2 7.6* 1800 9.8 2800
3 2.3* 0 4.0* 600
4 3.0* 100 5.3* 500
Hokitika Urban Hike (1 Hour)
5 2.5* 100 4.0 100 6.0* 1000 8.0* 3000
3.5* 400
Optional Morning Scenic Flight, Guided Ice Walk or Boat Cruise
6 2.7 200
3.0 200
3.7* 600
7 4.5 0
Kayaking on Lake Moeraki (3 Hours)
8 8.3* 200
9 5.5 1400
Optional Scenic Flight/Cruise, Canoeing, Paragliding or Golf
10 2.5 400

The terrain on this trip includes alpine tracks, meadow trails, coastal paths and glacier valley walks.

* Includes a shuttle

For 35 years, Backroads has been perfecting the art of active travel. We are the New Zealand tour experts. See our award-winning Asia & the Pacific walking tours and hiking tours, Asia & the Pacific biking tours and Asia & the Pacific multisport tours.

Walking & Hiking

Casual & Premiere Inns*

Trip length varies, roll over dates below for specific details View Dates

Trip Price**
  • $4,698 to $5,248 pp dbl. occ.
  • (+$1,130 for sgl. occ.)

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Christchurch, New Zealand/Queenstown, New Zealand

Detailed Itinerary

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Dates & Prices

Click on month below and roll over date for specific pricing

2014 Classic Dates
2015 Classic Dates
Trip Notes

All meals except 2 lunches, 2 dinners

Recommended Reads

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Cancellation Policy

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* See lodging tab for complete details.

** Prices may change. Once you book your trip, your price is guaranteed.