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New Zealand Walking & Hiking Tour

Dates & Prices
Route Rating
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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 limestone monoliths at Kura Tawhiti? Franz Josef Glacier, surrounded by rain forest? The view from the top of Rocky Mountain? Your nine 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  This is an ideal outing for bird-lovers - look for New Zealand's smallest bird, the rifleman, as well as grey warblers, bellbirds, harrier hawks and gregarious alpine parrots called kea Continue to the top for an exceptional panorama when skies are clear.

Days 3-6 Explore Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers, the latter one of the few glaciers in the world that descends into temperate rain forest in an unrivaled mingling of dramatically different ecosystems  Soak up superb views of Mounts Tasman and Cook during a hike around Lake Matheson, a kettle lake that originated as an enormous slab of glacial ice 14,000 years ago You'll certainly understand why this pristine lake is one of the most photographed spots in New Zealand!  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 7-9 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 Ascend Mount Iron, an impressive glacial rock formation  Pass through grasslands and forest on your way to the summit, where you can admire a tableau that includes Lakes Wanaka and Hawea, and a patchwork of farms across the valley.

Casual 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.

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

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

Guest 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

Trip Dates & Prices

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

March 2015
November 2015
December 2015
January 2016
February 2016
March 2016
November 2016
December 2016

Don't see your ideal travel date? Call us at 800-462-2848 for Private Trip date availability.

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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 4* 800
2 8* 1800 10 2800
3 4* 600
Hokitika Township Walk (1 Hour)
4 3* 100 5* 500 8* 3000
4* 100
4* 400
Optional Franz Josef Glacier Heli-Hike (4 Hours)
5 3 200
4* 600
6 5 0
Lake Moeraki Kayak Adventure (3 Hours)
7 8* 200
8 6 1400
Optional Scenic Flight and Cruise in Milford Sound (4 Hours)
9 3 400

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

* Includes a shuttle

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 from $5,498 pp dbl. occ. 12 or more guests from $4,698 pp dbl. occ.
10 - 11 guests from $4,998 pp dbl. occ.


8 - 9 guests from $5,498 pp dbl. occ. 12 or more guests from $4,698 pp dbl. occ.
10 - 11 guests from $4,998 pp dbl. occ.

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

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 Inns*
Route Rating

arrow Level 1-3


Christchurch, New Zealand/Queenstown, New Zealand

Detailed Itinerary

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Trip Notes

All meals except 2 lunches, 2 dinners

Recommended Reads

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* See lodging tab for complete details.