What To See And Do: Hiking In New Zealand
In many ways, hiking in New Zealand defies a single definition. From day hikes to multiday adventures, prepare for everywhere from sandy beaches to barren volcanic alpine vistas.
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.
THIS ITINERARY: 9 days, 8 nights
ACCOMMODATIONS: Casual & Premiere Hotels*
Start Christchurch / End Queenstown
Start/End locations may vary. Do not book flights until your trip details are confirmed.
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.
A welcoming mountain retreat and high-country sheep station surrounded by a beech forest and frosted peaks.
Climb through a mountain beech forest to a magical alpine garden in a glacier-hewn valley | Mighty mountains, dividing east and west, tower above as you make your way to the summit of Arthur's Pass—the striking beauty of the area is undeniable | Take in the views as you head south along the incredible West Coast to Franz Josef, the gateway town to "Glacier Country" and the Southern Alps, New Zealand's highest mountain range | Settle into our decadent retreat, situated next to Glacier Hot Pools.
A luxurious hotel that provides for every comfort—even offering a pillow menu. (spa)
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.
This riverside lodge offers cozy guest rooms and excellent cuisine in a remote rain forest setting.
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 | Discover the stunning landscape of Mount Aspiring National Park and catch a spectacular view of Lake Wanaka.
On the shore of Lake Wanaka with views of the magnificent Southern Alps. (spa)
Explore the Central Otago wine region | Discover picturesque Queenstown, New Zealand's adventure capital, situated near scenic Lake Wakatipu and surrounded by breathtaking views of the Remarkables mountain range.
This boutique hotel is located in the center of Queenstown with magnificent views of Lake Wakatipu and 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
Click on dates for pricing, itinerary variations and to book your trip. Price is per person, double occupancy.
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. LEARN MORE.
Note: The terrain on this trip includes a mix of mountain and meadow trails, coastal paths and glacier valley walks.
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.
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.
New Zealand's West Coast is a unique destination with a pristine lush green environment. Due to frequent rain it's sometimes called the Wet Coast. Make sure you pack rain gear so we can explore it together and remember: if you want to see a rainbow you have to see some rain!
In order to access the most scenic routes and significant points of interest on this trip, strategic shuttles are incorporated into several days of our itinerary. Most will be limited to an hour or so at a time, but on some days you can expect to spend a bit more time in the shuttle. We've planned our itinerary to make the most of our time in this spectacular area, so sit back and relax, knowing that someone else is doing the driving, and enjoy the beauty of the journey.