• New Zealand Family Walking & Hiking Tour
  • Rain forest - New Zealand Family Walking & Hiking Tour
  • Vineyard - New Zealand Family Walking & Hiking Tour
  • New Zealand Family Walking & Hiking Tours
  • New Zealand Family Walking & Hiking Tour

New! New Zealand Family Walking & Hiking Tour – Older Teens & 20s

South Island from Franz Josef Glacier to Queenstown

  • 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

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.

New Zealand Map


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.

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. Read the Straight Talk

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.
pp dbl. occ.
(+$980 for sgl. occ.)


9 days, 8 nights
Activity Level

Open 7 Days a Week
6 am - 6 pm Pacific time

Start / End
Christchurch, New Zealand/Queenstown, New Zealand

All breakfasts, 8 lunches, 7 dinners included

F Family Dates - Older Teens & 20s


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Casual Hotels*

800-462-2848 Open daily, 6 am - 6 pm Pacific time

Wilderness Lodge Arthur's Pass

Wilderness Lodge Arthur's Pass

Arthur's Pass (2 nights)

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

* Premiere Hotel
Franz Josef (1 night)

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)

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

* Premiere Hotel
Queenstown (1 night)

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

Guest Reviews

There's no better way to find out about Backroads than by hearing it from the people who have traveled with us. For more about the Backroads Experience, read our Guest Testimonials.

800-462-2848 Open daily, 6 am - 6 pm Pacific time

Dates & Prices

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.

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

800-462-2848 Open daily, 6 am - 6 pm Pacific time


Interested in a Private Trip? Check out the Make It Private tab for private dates available, or call us at 800-462-2848.

F 2018 Family Trips - Older Teens & 20s
2018 December

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.

800-462-2848 Open daily, 6 am - 6 pm Pacific time

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 4* 1000 8* 1800 10 2800
3 4 900
4 3 200 6 800 9 1000
Optional Franz Josef Glacier Scenic Flight
5 4 0
Wilderness Lodge Lake Moeraki Guided Excursion (3 Hours)
6 3* 200 5 1400 8* 2200
3 800
Optional Milford Sound Flightseeing & Boat Cruise (4 Hours)
7 7* 2000
8 6 300
9 2 0

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 levels and fully support a range of abilities and interests.

Please note that our distance and elevation figures come from Ride with GPS. Other sources (such as Map My Ride and Garmin devices) may give differing elevation figures due to different GPS and mapping technologies. Readings from a Garmin or a smart phone are influenced by other factors such as air pressure.

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.

Kids Who Aren't Kids Anymore

Only Backroads offers active trips in New Zealand designed for families with older teens and 20s. These trips are aimed at you and the amazingly grownup members of your clan—whether they're almost high school grads, already in college or further along. Find out more in this blog post.

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.

800-462-2848 Open daily, 6 am - 6 pm Pacific time

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

800-462-2848 Open daily, 6 am - 6 pm Pacific time

Pricing for Private Trips


  • 10 or more guests: from $4,698 pp dbl occ
  • 8 - 9 guests: from $5,098 pp dbl occ

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


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

Other Trips in New Zealand

Easy to Book Private Trips

Invite your family and friends on an adventure that's entirely your own - for your group of 8 or more. Find out more