Blank

New Zealand Walking & Hiking Tour

South Island from Franz Josef Glacier to Queenstown

From $4,999 - $5,399 pp dbl. occ. | 9 days / 8 nights

(+$980 to $1,180 for sgl. occ.)

After this trip, the bar will be forever raised. Other coasts will seem less striking. Even mountains will pale in comparison. So many spectacular views. And incredible moments. From Kura Tawhiti's limestone monoliths to shimmering Lake Wanaka. After these nine days in New Zealand, your next vacation will have big shoes to fill.

We're here to help

New Zealand

Start Christchurch / End Queenstown

New Zealand Map

Highlights

  • Hike through the unmatchable natural wonders and sacred sites of the South Island—it's a Kiwi tradition!
  • Explore two gorgeous and fascinating glaciers, including Franz Josef, which slopes into a rain forest
  • Discover the adventurer's paradise of scenic Queenstown, where architectural interest meets breathtaking views
  • Experience a variety of landscapes, from alpine tundra in the morning to oceanside trails in the afternoon
New Zealand

Start Christchurch / End Queenstown

New Zealand Map

Itinerary

Days 1-2 Tramp through the spectacularly beautiful South Island | Hike to a Maori sacred site, Kura Tawhiti, a gorgeous set of limestone outcroppings | Behold beech forests and alpine lakes as you ascend to a sheep-station hut | Bird-lovers rejoice: look for tiny rifleman and gregarious alpine parrots called kea.

Days 3-5 Soak up superb views during a hike to the summit of Arthur's Pass | Dig into a classic New Zealand barbecue served overlooking the coastline | Tour the historic gold-rush town of Hokitika | Hike Franz Josef Glacier, one of the few glaciers in the world that descends into a temperate rain forest | Swap rain forest for pounding surf at Munro Beach and search for pounamu, the native jade | Explore the Te Wahipounamu World Heritage area—choose hiking, swimming or canoeing with a naturalist on Lake Moeraki.

Days 6-9 Stroll the shore of Lake Wanaka and visit the bustling town of Wanaka | Experience jaw-dropping Milford Sound, New Zealand's most famous fjord, on an optional excursion | Take a swing bridge across the West Matukituki River and climb to a spectacular viewpoint below the Rob Roy hanging glacier | Hike the Central Otago wine region and enjoy a tasting | Discover picturesque Queenstown, surrounded by breathtaking views of the Remarkables mountain range.

The earlier you book, the more choice you'll have and the lower your price. And you can always change your mind — you won't be charged to transfer to a different trip before your final payment is due. View cancellation policy.

Please click on a date below for specific pricing and possible itinerary variations.

  • Available
    to Book
    i
  • Going
    Fast
    i
  • Contact
    Us
    i
  • Private Trip
    – Reserved
    i

C Classic Dates

2019 March
2019 October

View Private Dates

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 from the selection of dates below for your group of 8 or more. If your party has fewer than 8 guests, or your preferred date is not available, we'll create a departure just for you. Call or email us to reserve your date.

2019 Private Trip Pricing
  • 10 or more guests: from $4,999 pp dbl occ
  • 8 - 9 guests: from $5,699 pp dbl occ

Please click on a date below for specific pricing and possible itinerary variations.

Don't see your ideal travel date? Make a Date

  • 8 AVAILABLE TO BOOK
    for 8 or more guests
  • 12 AVAILABLE TO BOOK
    for 12 or more guests
  • 16 AVAILABLE TO BOOK
    for 16 or more guests
  • Reserved

C Couples, Friends & Solos Tours

2019 February
2019 October
2019 December

View Scheduled Dates

The sky’s the limit! Tell us what your dream trip would be and we'll make it happen! Whether you're looking for a honeymoon trip for 2, a 30-person family reunion or a 100-person corporate trip, we can do it all. A dedicated Custom Trip Consultant will work closely with you to bring your dreams to reality. Call us at 800-462-2848 to speak with your Custom Trip Consultant or click on the button below.

REQUEST YOUR CUSTOM TRIP NOW

Prices

From $4,999 - $5,399 pp dbl. occ.
9 days / 8 nights

(+$980 to $1,180 for sgl. occ.)

Casual & Premiere Hotels*

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

Arthur's Pass (2 nights)

* Casual Plus
Te Waonui Forest Retreat
Te Waonui Forest Retreat

Franz Josef (1 night)

* Premiere Hotel
Lake Moeraki Wilderness Lodge
Wilderness Lodge Lake Moeraki

Lake Moeraki (2 nights)

* Casual Plus
Edgewater Resort Hotel
Edgewater Resort Hotel

Lake Wanaka (2 nights)

Hotel St. Moritz
Hotel St Moritz

Queenstown (1 night)

* Premiere Hotel

Activity Level

This trip is rated Levels 1-4

What's Included

Services and equipment are included.

Why Backroads

Why Travel with Backroads in New Zealand

Reviews by Power Reviews ®

Load Less

Casual & Premiere Hotels*

Accommodations may vary based on departure date. Any difference from what is listed below can be found by clicking on your desired date on the View Scheduled Dates or Private Dates tabs.

Wilderness Lodge Arthur's Pass

Wilderness Lodge Arthur's Pass

Arthur's Pass (2 nights)
* Casual Plus

A welcoming mountain retreat and high-country sheep station surrounded by a beech forest and frosted peaks.

Te Waonui Forest Retreat

Te Waonui Forest Retreat

Franz Josef (1 night)
* Premiere Hotel

A luxurious hotel that provides for every comfort—even offering a pillow menu. (spa)

Lake Moeraki Wilderness Lodge

Wilderness Lodge Lake Moeraki

Lake Moeraki (2 nights)
* Casual Plus

This riverside lodge offers cozy guest rooms and excellent cuisine in a remote rain forest setting.

Edgewater Resort Hotel

Edgewater Resort Hotel

Lake Wanaka (2 nights)

On the shore of Lake Wanaka with views of the magnificent Southern Alps. (spa)

Hotel St. Moritz

Hotel St Moritz

Queenstown (1 night)
* Premiere Hotel

This boutique hotel is located in the center of Queenstown with magnificent views of Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkables mountain range.

This Trip Is Rated Levels 1-4

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 (drag to see full )

Daily Route Options
Day EASYGOING ACTIVE AVID
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* 500 4* 800
2 4* 1000 8* 1800 10 2800
3 2 600 4 900
4 3 200 6 800 9 1000
Optional Franz Josef Glacier Scenic Flight
5 3 300
Wilderness Lodge Lake Moeraki Guided Excursion (3 Hours)
6 3* 800 4 200 5* 1300 9 1500
Optional Milford Sound Flightseeing & Boat Cruise (4 Hours)
7 5* 1500 7* 1800
8 3* 400 6 400
9 2 100
 

Note: The terrain on this trip includes a mix of mountain and meadow trails, coastal paths and glacier valley walks.

* Includes shuttle.

Learn more about how we determine our activity level and fully support a range of abilities and interests.

Please note that our distance and elevation figures come from Ride with GPS. Other sources may give differing elevation figures due to different GPS and mapping technologies and other external factors.

Meals

All breakfasts, 7 lunches, 7 dinners

Also Included

  • Expertise and services of our experienced Trip Leaders
  • Snacks and beverages between meals
  • Additional guides and experts from the region on many trips
  • Van shuttles to support a variety of route options
  • Comprehensive Travel Planner with detailed pre-trip information
  • Private guided tours at museums, historic sites, wineries and other select attractions as noted in the Travel Planner
  • All gratuities at hotels and restaurants
  • Special events, including wine tastings and other select attractions as mentioned in the Travel Planner
  • On biking and multi-adventure trips, use of fully equipped Backroads titanium bike plus helmet and accessories
  • Trailercycles, carriers, and kid-sized helmets for Family Trips
  • Equipment and experienced guides for kayaking, rafting, snorkeling, sailing and canoeing as described
  • Park and other entry fees
  • Fares for trains, ferries and other modes of travel as listed in the Travel Planner
  • Select coach transfers
  • Baggage transfers and porterage

Get the Straight Talk about This Trip

We want to make sure you're on the right trip and that you have the best experience possible. Every Backroads trip is unique and this one is no exception.

Two Leaders

We ordinarily staff our trips with three leaders: two leaders out on the trail offering support—allowing everyone to have the experience they want, whether it's an easygoing interpretative walk or a rigorous hike—while the third leader moves the van from trailhead to trail end. This trip is a little different in that our routes are a combination of loop hikes and out-and-back trails that begin and end in the same location. This means that you'll still have the same two leaders providing excellent trail support without the need for a third leader to move the van.

Why Travel with Backroads in New Zealand

The Best Leaders in New Zealand

Backroads has the best-qualified people to lead your trip in New Zealand, and our guests back that up, rating our Trip Leaders an average of 9.75 out of 10 for all-around quality of performance. Get the facts (and no fluff) on how we recruit and develop the very best people for your trip.

A Variety of Routes Each Day

In New Zealand you head off each morning after choosing among several expertly designed routes—all with detailed directions, mileage and shuttle options. Unlike trips with one fixed daily route (or worse, one guide that everyone's obliged to follow), you're free to enjoy the best of the region at your pace, stopping wherever you want to explore further.

We Live in the Neighborhood

Our Trip Leaders in New Zealand live in the area and are deeply engaged in their communities, giving them unique inside knowledge they're happy to share in making your experience that much richer. They'll introduce you to people, customs and parts of town you'd likely never encounter on your own—and teach you a few local phrases to help break the ice.

The Value of Casual Hotels

In addition to the ideal balance of comfort and hospitality in our choice of lodgings, this trip featuring Casual Hotels includes nearly all of your meals, plus everything from cocktail receptions to the best snacks along the road. So there's rarely a need to reach for your wallet – we've got you covered.

Everyone at Their Own Pace

We design and support our New Zealand trips to suit mixed abilities and varied interests—so you can set your own pace, then change things up as the day unfolds. And all guests are free to do the same, traveling together or apart, with no one cramping anyone else's style. Which sounds easy in theory, but it's hard to pull off. Here's more on how we do it.

We Stand Behind Our Trips

Most companies' trips in New Zealand are run by local operators. At Backroads we manage our own trips; we would never subcontract your precious vacation to a third party. So as you enjoy the support of your seasoned Trip Leaders, along with our expert local guides and drivers, you have the confidence of knowing we're with you every step of the way.

Backroads Photo Gallery

New Zealand Hiking Tours
Backroads New Zealand walking and hiking tour
Backroads New Zealand Walking & Hiking Tours
new zealand hiking tours
Backroads New Zealand walking and hiking tour
Backroads New Zealand walking and hiking tour
Backroads New Zealand walking and hiking tour
Backroads New Zealand walking and hiking tour
Backroads New Zealand walking and hiking tour
Backroads New Zealand walking and hiking tour

Guest Photo Gallery

Videos

Straight Talk

We want to make sure you're on the right trip and that you have the best experience possible. Every Backroads trip is unique and this one is no exception.

Two Leaders

We ordinarily staff our trips with three leaders: two leaders out on the trail offering support—allowing everyone to have the experience they want, whether it's an easygoing interpretative walk or a rigorous hike—while the third leader moves the van from trailhead to trail end. This trip is a little different in that our routes are a combination of loop hikes and out-and-back trails that begin and end in the same location. This means that you'll still have the same two leaders providing excellent trail support without the need for a third leader to move the van.
Top