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21 Day New Zealand Walking Tour

20 nights, Auckland to Christchurch

21 Day New Zealand Walking Tour

Beginning in the North Island, this independent walking tour takes you on New Zealand’s best hiking trails - the Tongariro Crossing, Milford and Routeburn tracks. 

As well you'll enjoy guided glacier hiking on Franz Josef Glacier, kayaking on the Okarito Lagoon and the scenic flight from Milford Sound over the immense wilderness of Fiordland National Park which will leave you spellbound.  You'll journey on three scenic trains, including the iconic TranzAlpine and by ferry across the Cook Strait.

Included in this New Zealand self drive holiday

Coastal Pacific Train
Cruise on Milford Sound
Mackinnon Pass on the Milford Track
Tongariro Ngauruhoe Ruapehu Volcano
 

Day 1 - Arrive into Auckland

Welcome to Auckland City

Welcome to Auckland City
Welcome to Auckland City
Welcome to Auckland City
Welcome to Auckland City

Auckland, New Zealand’s self-proclaimed ‘City of Sails’ is the country’s largest metro area. Resting between the Pacific Ocean and the Tasman Sea, this urban paradise has something for everyone. Surrounded by native bush, rainforests and an abundance of beaches, Auckland is a playground for both the city savvy and those with an eye for adventure. Explore the central museums and galleries on foot, or take a drive through one of over 800 regional National Parks to see deserted beaches, waterfalls and native forest.

Your tour documentation pack and support

Your tour documentation pack and support
Your tour documentation pack and support
Your tour documentation pack and support
Your tour documentation pack and support

Once you touch down in New Zealand your detailed tour pack will be hand delivered by one of our trusted representatives. The pack contains everything you need for the duration of your stay. It will include a comprehensive, printed and bound version of your itinerary as well as clear driving instructions and maps for each leg of your journey. It also contains all the reservation details for your accommodation and activities - along with relevant brochures and information. While in New Zealand we offer 24 hour support - details on how to contact us at any time will be well documented.

Personal meet and greet, and private transfer to your accommodation

On arrival you will be met by one of our team and driven to your Auckland accommodation.

Accommodation: SkyCity Hotel Auckland

Accommodation type: Hotel 4 star

Accommodation: SkyCity Hotel Auckland
Accommodation: SkyCity Hotel Auckland
Accommodation: SkyCity Hotel Auckland
Accommodation: SkyCity Hotel Auckland

Accommodation features

  • Check in time: 3 pm
  • Check out time: 11 am
  • Walk time to shops/restaurants: 1-2 mins
  • Parking: onsite paid parking NZ$30-NZ$35 per 24 hrs
  • Internet facilities: In room free access
  • Restaurant on site
  • Breakfast service available
  • Bar on site
  • Room service available
  • Hairdryer

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Day 2 - A full day tour of the lush forests and wild beaches of the Waitakere Ranges

Bush and Beach Coast and Rainforest full day tour

Bush and Beach Coast and Rainforest full day tour
Bush and Beach Coast and Rainforest full day tour
Bush and Beach Coast and Rainforest full day tour
Bush and Beach Coast and Rainforest full day tour

Your full day excursion takes you first to the Arataki Visitor Centre - gateway to the Waitakere Ranges and a short drive from Auckland Central. Enjoy panoramic views - extending from the Tasman Sea to the Pacific Ocean - as you absorb the area's history and admire the magnificent traditional Maori carvings. Walk the regenerating rainforest where your experienced guide will detail local flora and fauna. Take in the giant tree ferns, bubbling streams and cascading waterfalls before venturing onto a wild west coast beach. Enjoy a picnic lunch before your eco-tour ends in an area of untamed original rainforest. Here, mature 1,000 year old kauri trees have developed separately from the rest of the world for millions of years and this part of the rainforest is particularly rich in bird life due to a successful programme to eradicate pests.

Accommodation: SkyCity Hotel Auckland

Accommodation type: Hotel 4 star

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodation: SkyCity Hotel Auckland
Accommodation: SkyCity Hotel Auckland
Accommodation: SkyCity Hotel Auckland
Accommodation: SkyCity Hotel Auckland

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Day 3 - Take the Northern Explorer scenic train south to Tongariro National Park

Driving distance and time: 0 kms / 0 miles : 0.0 hours

Times are based on averages for this specific route and allow for stops. Use these times as guidelines and to assist in the planning for your day.

Transfer to Auckland train station

Transfer to Auckland train station
Transfer to Auckland train station
Transfer to Auckland train station
Transfer to Auckland train station

You will be collected from your Auckland hotel and transferred to Auckland train station.

The Northern Explorer Scenic Train Auckland to National Park

The Northern Explorer Scenic Train Auckland to National Park
The Northern Explorer Scenic Train Auckland to National Park
The Northern Explorer Scenic Train Auckland to National Park
The Northern Explorer Scenic Train Auckland to National Park

The Northern Explorer is a journey through the heart of the North Island, travelling between Auckland - New Zealand's largest city, to Wellington.  Your journey today takes you along the first half of this scenic train trip, through to Tongariro National Park. You also see fantastic views of New Zealand farmland, the volcanic plateau, Mount Ruapehu, the world famous Raurimu Spiral, and stunning river gorges - all from panoramic windows or open air viewing decks allowing you the best possible views. All carriages feature large panoramic windows giving sweeping views of the magnificent North Island.

Accommodation: Bayview Chateau Tongariro

Accommodation type: Hotel 4 star

Meals included: Breakfast

Accommodation: Bayview Chateau Tongariro
Accommodation: Bayview Chateau Tongariro
Accommodation: Bayview Chateau Tongariro
Accommodation: Bayview Chateau Tongariro

Accommodation features

  • Check in time: 3 pm
  • Check out time: 10 am
  • Parking: onsite free parking
  • Internet facilities: In room paid access
  • Restaurant on site
  • Breakfast service available
  • Bar on site
  • Tea/coffee facilities in room
  • Hairdryer
  • Gym/fitness centre
  • All rooms non smoking

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Day 4 - Tackle one of the greatest single day walks - the Tongariro Crossing

Exclusive Guided Tongariro Alpine Crossing with Adrift

Exclusive Guided Tongariro Alpine Crossing with Adrift
Exclusive Guided Tongariro Alpine Crossing with Adrift
Exclusive Guided Tongariro Alpine Crossing with Adrift
Exclusive Guided Tongariro Alpine Crossing with Adrift

For the exclusive guided trips you'll be provided with a really personal, informative and friendly day you will never forget. This trip is tailored so that group sizes are small, your guides are well informed and are able to provide you with an amazing experience. Your guide will also 'work behind the scenes' constantly assessing the weather and track conditions, timing for your Ketetahi personalised transport pick-up, and other little details that will maximise your enjoyment. They can also tailor the trip to accommodate different fitness levels and know a few tricks about avoiding weather exposed or crowded areas.

 

Accommodation: Bayview Chateau Tongariro

Accommodation type: Hotel 4 star

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodation: Bayview Chateau Tongariro
Accommodation: Bayview Chateau Tongariro
Accommodation: Bayview Chateau Tongariro
Accommodation: Bayview Chateau Tongariro

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Day 5 - Continue on the Northern Explorer south to the capital city of Wellington

Driving distance and time: 0 kms / 0 miles : 0.0 hours

Times are based on averages for this specific route and allow for stops. Use these times as guidelines and to assist in the planning for your day.

The Northern Explorer Scenic Train National Park to Wellington

The Northern Explorer Scenic Train National Park to Wellington
The Northern Explorer Scenic Train National Park to Wellington
The Northern Explorer Scenic Train National Park to Wellington
The Northern Explorer Scenic Train National Park to Wellington

The Northern Explorer is a journey through the heart of the North Island, travelling between Auckland - New Zealand's largest city, to Wellington.  Your journey today from National Park, past rolling countryside of the Manawatu region and along the spectacular Kapiti Coast into our capital city of Wellington.  Enjoy fantastic views from the panoramic windows in your carriage or the open air viewing deck at the rear of the train.

Private transfer Wellington train station to hotel

You will be met on arrival into Wellington train station and transferred to your hotel.

Accommodation: Bolton Hotel Wellington

Accommodation type: Hotel 4 star

Meals included: Breakfast

Accommodation: Bolton Hotel Wellington
Accommodation: Bolton Hotel Wellington
Accommodation: Bolton Hotel Wellington
Accommodation: Bolton Hotel Wellington

Accommodation features

  • Check in time: 3 pm
  • Check out time: 11 am
  • Walk time to shops/restaurants: 2-5 mins
  • Parking: valet paid parking NZ$20-NZ$30 per 24 hrs
  • Internet facilities: In room free access
  • Restaurant on site
  • Breakfast service available
  • Tea/coffee facilities in room
  • Kitchen/kitchenette in room
  • Hairdryer
  • Swimming pool
  • Gym/fitness centre

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Day 6 - This morning you'll cruise across the Cook Strait, then board the Coastal Pacific scenic train to Kaikoura

Driving distance and time: 0 kms / 0 miles : 0.0 hours

Times are based on averages for this specific route and allow for stops. Use these times as guidelines and to assist in the planning for your day.

Private transfer to Interislander ferry terminal

You will be collected from your hotel and transferred to the Interislander ferry terminal in time for your ferry check in.

Interislander ferry Wellington to Picton and Coastal Pacific Train to Kaikoura

Interislander ferry Wellington to Picton and Coastal Pacific Train to Kaikoura
Interislander ferry Wellington to Picton and Coastal Pacific Train to Kaikoura
Interislander ferry Wellington to Picton and Coastal Pacific Train to Kaikoura
Interislander ferry Wellington to Picton and Coastal Pacific Train to Kaikoura

The 92 km journey between Wellington and Picton takes around 3 hours and has been described as 'one of the most beautiful ferry rides in the world'. Leaving Wellington Harbour you cross the Cook Strait and into the Marlborough Sounds. Then board the Coastal Pacifc train for your  journey between the delightful port of Picton and Kaikoura, this leg is a scenic feast with the Kaikoura mountain ranges on one side of your train and the rugged Pacific Ocean coastline on the other.

Kaikoura Railway Station to your accommodation

You will be met at the Kaikoura Railway Station and transferred to your Kaikoura accommodation.

Accommodation: The White Morph, Kaikoura

Accommodation type: Motels - premium

Meals included: Breakfast

Accommodation: The White Morph, Kaikoura
Accommodation: The White Morph, Kaikoura
Accommodation: The White Morph, Kaikoura
Accommodation: The White Morph, Kaikoura

Accommodation features

  • Check in time: 2 pm
  • Check out time: 10 am
  • Walk time to shops/restaurants: 10-15 mins
  • Parking: onsite free parking
  • Internet facilities: In room free access
  • Tea/coffee facilities in room
  • Kitchen/kitchenette in room
  • Laundry facilities: On site
  • All rooms non smoking

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Day 7 - Cruise off the coast of Kaikoura for a whale watching adventure, then continue on the Coastal Pacific to Christchurch

Driving distance and time: 0 kms / 0 miles : 0.0 hours

Times are based on averages for this specific route and allow for stops. Use these times as guidelines and to assist in the planning for your day.

Whale Watch Kaikoura

Whale Watch Kaikoura
Whale Watch Kaikoura
Whale Watch Kaikoura
Whale Watch Kaikoura

New Zealand's only marine based whale watching company, Whale Watch Kaikoura offer visitors a once-in-a-lifetime up close encounter with the giant sperm Whale. You are also likely to encounter New Zealand fur seals, dusky dolphins and albatross. Depending on the season you may also see pilot, blue and southern right whales as well as migrating humpbacks. Often orcas can be spotted here and the world's smallest dolphin, the Hectors, is sometimes seen.
You'll be taken out in modern catamarans specifically designed for whale watching - featuring large passenger cabins and outside viewing decks. Passenger numbers for each tour are kept below the vessel carrying capacity to ensure your tour experience remains a personal one.

Kaikoura Accommodation to Railway Station

You will be collected from your accommodation and transferred to the Kaikoura Railway Station in time for your departure.

Coastal Pacific Train Kaikoura to Christchurch

Coastal Pacific Train Kaikoura to Christchurch
Coastal Pacific Train Kaikoura to Christchurch
Coastal Pacific Train Kaikoura to Christchurch
Coastal Pacific Train Kaikoura to Christchurch

Continue south passing through some of Marlborough and North Canterburys finest farmland before arriving into the Garden City of Christchurch.

Private transfer Christchurch train station to your accommodation

A private transfer will meet you on arrival into Christchurch train station and drive you to your Christchurch accommodation.

Accommodation: Novotel Christchurch Cathedral Square

Accommodation type: Hotel 4 star

Meals included: Breakfast

Accommodation: Novotel Christchurch Cathedral Square
Accommodation: Novotel Christchurch Cathedral Square
Accommodation: Novotel Christchurch Cathedral Square
Accommodation: Novotel Christchurch Cathedral Square

Accommodation features

  • Check in time: 2 pm
  • Check out time: 11 am
  • Walk time to shops/restaurants: 2-5 mins
  • Parking: valet paid parking NZ$30-NZ$40 per 24 hrs
  • Internet facilities: In room paid access
  • Restaurant on site
  • Breakfast service available
  • Bar on site
  • Room service available
  • Hairdryer
  • Laundry facilities: Drycleaning service available
  • All rooms non smoking

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Day 8 - Depart Christchurch on the Scenic TranzAlpine journey across the Southern Alps, then on to Punakaiki

Driving distance and time: 41 kms / 26 miles : 0.5 hours

Times are based on averages for this specific route and allow for stops. Use these times as guidelines and to assist in the planning for your day.

Private transfer hotel to Christchurch train station

A private transfer will collect you this morning and deliver you to Christchurch train station in time for your train journey.

Tranz Alpine Scenic Train Christchurch to Greymouth

Tranz Alpine Scenic Train Christchurch to Greymouth
Tranz Alpine Scenic Train Christchurch to Greymouth
Tranz Alpine Scenic Train Christchurch to Greymouth
Tranz Alpine Scenic Train Christchurch to Greymouth

Considered one of the worlds great train journeys, the TranzAlpine scenic train travels between Christchurch and Greymouth, from one coast of New Zealand to the other. From your carriage you'll see the fields of the Canterbury Plains and farmland, followed by the spectacular gorges and river valleys of the Waimakariri River. Your train then climbs into the Southern Alps before descending through lush beech rain forest to the West Coast town of Greymouth - a great base for visits to Punakaiki and the always popular glaciers.

Collect your rental car

Collect your rental car
Collect your rental car
Collect your rental car
Collect your rental car

Our rental car range includes the latest vehicles from the top suppliers. Insurance is included with a small excess or deductible. All airport fees, additional driver fees and unlimited kilometres are also included. To help you navigate your way around New Zealand all rentals also come with GPS. Our range included small compact cars to mid-size saloons to large 4WD and people movers.

GPS navigation system

Use the latest GPS technology as you tour New Zealand. Your portable GPS features a simple touch screen interface with automatic route calculation and turn-by-turn voice-prompted directions including street name announcement. The automotive-grade GPS unit is easy to use and has multiple language options.

Greymouth to Punakaiki

Greymouth to Punakaiki
Greymouth to Punakaiki
Greymouth to Punakaiki
Greymouth to Punakaiki

The short drive north to Punakaiki takes you along the wonderful west coast with ample opportunity to view the surf and the steep bush clad mountains. Punakaiki is most famous for the Pancake Rocks and Blowholes. Visitors are often less aware of the great many other experiences available. Located in the heart of the Paparoa National Park, the area offers guided beach, forest and mountain walks, canoeing, wildlife, horse trekking, surfing, gemstone hunting, caving and climbing, heritage sites. There are taverns, cafes and restaurants, and a great range of accommodation. The area also boasts a vibrant arts and crafts community and a cooperative gallery.

Accommodation: Punakaiki Resort

Accommodation type: Hotel 4 star

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Punakaiki Resort
Accommodation: Punakaiki Resort
Accommodation: Punakaiki Resort
Accommodation: Punakaiki Resort

Accommodation features

  • Check in time: 2 pm
  • Check out time: 10 am
  • Walk time to shops/restaurants: 10-15 mins
  • Parking: onsite free parking
  • Internet facilities: On site paid access
  • Restaurant on site
  • Bar on site
  • Tea/coffee facilities in room
  • Room service available
  • Laundry facilities: On site
  • All rooms non smoking

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Day 9 - Explore the caves of Paparoa National Park

Pancake Rocks

Pancake Rocks
Pancake Rocks
Pancake Rocks
Pancake Rocks

Punakaiki is most famous for the Pancake Rocks and Blowholes. Visitors are often less aware of the great many other experiences available. Located in the heart of the Paparoa National Park, the area offers guided beach, forest and mountain walks, canoeing, wildlife, horse trekking, surfing, caving and climbing, heritage sites. There are taverns, cafés and restaurants, and a great range of accommodation. The area also boasts a vibrant arts and crafts community and a cooperative gallery.

Underworld Adventures - black water rafting

Underworld Adventures - black water rafting
Underworld Adventures - black water rafting
Underworld Adventures - black water rafting
Underworld Adventures - black water rafting

A superb 4 hour Black Water Rafting adventure in the Paparoa National Park. You meander through a paradise of stalactites and stalagmites in the upper dry levels of the cave.  You then enter a slow moving underground river on which you float in your tube using only the natural light of an awe inspiring display of glow worms for navigation. You emerge from the cave into a remote and untouched world before leaving its tranquility for the rushing bubbling waters of the low grade Nile River Rapids.

Accommodation: Punakaiki Resort

Accommodation type: Hotel 4 star

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Punakaiki Resort
Accommodation: Punakaiki Resort
Accommodation: Punakaiki Resort
Accommodation: Punakaiki Resort

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Day 10 - Travel the stunning West Coast and kayak at Okarito Lagoon

Driving distance and time: 212 kms / 131 miles : 2.6 hours

Times are based on averages for this specific route and allow for stops. Use these times as guidelines and to assist in the planning for your day.

Punakaiki to Franz Josef Glacier

Punakaiki to Franz Josef Glacier
Punakaiki to Franz Josef Glacier
Punakaiki to Franz Josef Glacier
Punakaiki to Franz Josef Glacier

The drive South on State Highway 6 takes you through many West Coast towns. The first is Greymouth, the commercial centre for the West Coast. Just south of the town is Shantytown a replica gold rush town with lots of great displays from yesteryear.
The next town is Hokitika and this is a great place to explore the craft and gift stores. The Jade or Greenstone on offer in Hokitika is probably some of the best you will see in the country. The Hokitika Gorge, off the beaten track and inland a little is a spectacular detour. Turquoise waters flowing through a narrow gorge. A great short walk will deliver you to this piece of paradise.
Ross is the site of an old gold mining town and some of the old buildings and workings remain. In fact Ross is still home to one of the few working gold mines left in New Zealand and the local information centre offers you the chance to pan for gold.
Continuing south Hari Hari is the township that Guy Menzies decided to land in (or rather crash land) as he became the first person to fly solo across the Tasman.
Whataroa, a small township on the main road is where you would head off to see one of the worlds rarest birds. The entire population (somewhere between 150 and 200 birds) of the New Zealand white heron or kotuku nest at the Waitangi Roto Nature Reserve and guided tours from October to March will take you there.
Arriving in to the Glacier region you catch your first glimpse of Franz Josef Glacier from a few kilometres out as it flows from the Southern Alps. Franz Josef township is a lively place with a great atmosphere, plenty of choice to dine out and some wonderful activities to enjoy.

Okarito Lagoon Guided Kayak Trip

Okarito Lagoon Guided Kayak Trip
Okarito Lagoon Guided Kayak Trip
Okarito Lagoon Guided Kayak Trip
Okarito Lagoon Guided Kayak Trip

Kayaking is by far the best way to enjoy the flora, fauna and scenic grandeur of New Zealand's largest unmodified coastal wetland. Previous experience is not necessary. Okarito Lagoon covers more than 3240 hectares of shallow open water and is well known for its outstanding bird life, including white heron and royal spoonbill. Exploring the open water and river channels that lead you deep into the heart of the rainforest is like stepping back in time to pre-European conditions and on a clear day you enjoy fantastic views of Mt. Cook and the Southern Alps. Your guide will take you to their favourite spots where you'll discover the flora, fauna and history of the lagoon over 2 hours.

Accommodation: Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier

Accommodation type: Hotel 4 star

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodation: Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier
Accommodation: Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier
Accommodation: Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier
Accommodation: Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier

Accommodation features

  • Check in time: 2 pm
  • Check out time: 10 am
  • Walk time to shops/restaurants: 2-5 mins
  • Parking: onsite free parking
  • Internet facilities: In room free access
  • Restaurant on site
  • Bar on site
  • Tea/coffee facilities in room
  • Hairdryer
  • Laundry facilities: On site
  • All rooms non smoking

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Day 11 - Explore the West Coast Glaciers by air and on foot

Explore Franz Josef Glacier

Explore Franz Josef Glacier
Explore Franz Josef Glacier
Explore Franz Josef Glacier
Explore Franz Josef Glacier

Known for its 12 km long glacier, Franz Josef is a lively town in the heart of the West Coast. Surrounded by lush rainforest-clad mountains its township has a vibrant and bustling atmosphere. To see the ice up-close, walk along the valley floor to the terminal face without a guide. However, to go on the glacier itself or get within 100m you must take a licensed tour. Strap on some crampons and give it a go with Franz Josef Glacier Guides or take the easier option and book in a helicopter landing instead. Whichever way you choose to ascend, once on top you’ll have the chance to explore the crevasses, caves and ice flows.

Franz Josef Glacier Helihike

Franz Josef Glacier Helihike
Franz Josef Glacier Helihike
Franz Josef Glacier Helihike
Franz Josef Glacier Helihike

Take a scenic flight over all three Franz Josef glacier icefalls. Landing high on the glacier take a two hour guided trip through some of the most beautiful terrain in the country. Your guide will choose the route as you go through a wonderland of blue ice and frozen pinnacles. You'll have endless views of the surrounding mountains and rainforest as well as plenty of opportunities to take photographs. Sure to be one of the most memorable experiences you have while you are in New Zealand. Should weather not be suitable to take this flight you are able to transfer your booking onto a similar tour on any of the Helicopter Line operations in Queenstown or Mt Cook.

Accommodation: Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier

Accommodation type: Hotel 4 star

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier
Accommodation: Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier
Accommodation: Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier
Accommodation: Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier

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Day 12 - Keep you camera handy for the stunning waterfalls you'll pass as you cross the Haast Pass

Driving distance and time: 344 kms / 213 miles : 4.3 hours

Times are based on averages for this specific route and allow for stops. Use these times as guidelines and to assist in the planning for your day.

Franz Josef to Queenstown (via Wanaka)

Franz Josef to Queenstown (via Wanaka)
Franz Josef to Queenstown (via Wanaka)
Franz Josef to Queenstown (via Wanaka)
Franz Josef to Queenstown (via Wanaka)

Heading south you pass through the second glacier town of Fox Glacier. A short side trip to view the glacier is easy before heading along the coast and more classic West Coast bush scenery. At Knights Point Lookout elephant seals can often be seen basking on the sandy beaches at the far end of the point. Crossing the massive Haast River you turn inland and head into the valley climbing through mountains littered with waterfalls.

The Haast Valley offers a spectacular view of the river and its enormous power. The Blue Pools near Makarora are a great 30 minute walk. Lakes Wanaka and Hawea guide you into the township of Wanaka before you head over New Zealand's highest sealed road, Crown Range Road before dropping into Queenstown. This drive should be planned as a whole day to really enjoy the scenery and to allow time to explore the walks, and many stops en route.

Accommodation: Millennium Hotel Queenstown

Accommodation type: Hotel 4 star

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Millennium Hotel Queenstown
Accommodation: Millennium Hotel Queenstown
Accommodation: Millennium Hotel Queenstown
Accommodation: Millennium Hotel Queenstown

Accommodation features

  • Check in time: 2 pm
  • Check out time: 10 am
  • Walk time to shops/restaurants: 10-15 mins
  • Parking: onsite paid parking NZ$10-NZ$15 per 24 hrs
  • Internet facilities: In room paid access
  • Restaurant on site
  • Breakfast service available
  • Dinner service available
  • Bar on site
  • Tea/coffee facilities in room
  • Room service available
  • Hairdryer
  • Laundry facilities: On site
  • Gym/fitness centre
  • All rooms non smoking

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Day 13 - Today you'll spend the day on the Routeburn Track a great alpine walk

Routeburn Track Encounter Guided Day Walk

Routeburn Track Encounter Guided Day Walk
Routeburn Track Encounter Guided Day Walk
Routeburn Track Encounter Guided Day Walk
Routeburn Track Encounter Guided Day Walk

The Routeburn Track traverses wild and scenic mountain country between the Hollyford and Dart Valleys at the base of New Zealand's Southern Alps. Since the 1880's the Routeburn Track has proved to be one of the most accessible and popular journeys into New Zealand's forests and mountains.
The Routeburn Encounter is a fully catered, guided one-day walk up the spectacular Routeburn Valley departing from and returning to Queenstown. It is an ideal trip for people who have limited time or are uncertain of their ability to do a longer hike.
Although there is some altitude gain (400m) to Routeburn Flats, the track is very well formed and of a good gradient. Average fitness is all that is required to complete the walk to Routeburn Flats and return. The 300m (1000 feet) climb to Routeburn Falls is somewhat tougher, but well within the abilities of the majority of our walkers. The return distance to Routeburn Flats is 13km (8 miles), adding the optional but recommended climb to Routeburn Falls makes a total return distance of 19km (11 miles).

Accommodation: Millennium Hotel Queenstown

Accommodation type: Hotel 4 star

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Millennium Hotel Queenstown
Accommodation: Millennium Hotel Queenstown
Accommodation: Millennium Hotel Queenstown
Accommodation: Millennium Hotel Queenstown

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Day 14 - A free day in Queenstown to relax, discover or explore

Explore Queenstown and surrounds

Explore Queenstown and surrounds
Explore Queenstown and surrounds
Explore Queenstown and surrounds
Explore Queenstown and surrounds

Queenstown may be New Zealand's ‘adventure capital,’ but it offers far more than a fast paced action-packed holiday.  On the shores of Lake Wakatipu beneath the soaring Remarkables Mountain Range, this small town is surrounded by a plethora of historic, gastronomic and scenic wonders. Head through Gibbston Valley to sample some of the region’s best wine. We recommend stopping at the Chard Farm cellar door, visiting the architecturally award winning Peregrine vineyard or taking a cellar cave tour at Gibbston Valley Winery. Cruise to Walter Peak station for dinner on board a 100 year old steamship -  the TSS Earnslaw. While you're there, a farm tour is a must do for those not familiar with rural living.

Take some time to wander the waterfront, and grab lunch at one of the many amazing cafes and restaurants on offer. Try Vudu’s Pantry and larder or for a holiday treat go to Michelin star chef Josh Emett's ‘Rata. Check out nearby historic Arrowtown and enhance your experience with a four wheel drive trip to Macetown - a disused gold mining settlement built in the 1800’s.Take a leisurely lakeside stroll or ride the gondola for breathtaking views. Venture further afield into the Fiordland National Park or head over the Crown Range to Wanaka. Drive through Lord Of The Rings country or for the really fanatic, jump aboard one of many dedicated LOTR tours. After all of that - if you do really want the adrenaline rush Queenstown is known for, take your pick from the Shotover Jet, Nevis Bungy, Canyon Swing, Zipline, Luge or White Water Rafting.

Gibbston Valley

Gibbston Valley
Gibbston Valley
Gibbston Valley
Gibbston Valley

To the east of Queenstown, tucked inside the Kawarau Gorge is the Gibbston Valley. Stretching to Lake Hayes in Arrowtown, Gibbston is known for its wineries.

Bordering the road on both sides the land is extensively planted with grapes, and there are many opportunities to taste the pinot noir, a variety the region is famous for. Some of its notable wineries include Peregrine, Chard Farm, Gibbston Valley and Two Paddocks.

An ideal spot for lunch is Amisfield Winery and Bistro - a must for any foodie - located at Lake Hayes, just a 10 minute drive from central Queenstown. The Gibbston Valley isn't just about wine. Opposite Chard Farm is the Kawarau Suspension Bridge built in 1880 to provide access to the goldfields in the region. 108 years later it became the location of the world’s first commercial bungy jumping operation and you can still take the 43 metre leap today.

Glenorchy

Glenorchy
Glenorchy
Glenorchy
Glenorchy

Situated at the northern end of Lake Wakatipu, around 45 kilometres from Queenstown is the sleepy town of Glenorchy. This picturesque township is a great place to relax in and the drive along the edge of Lake Wakatipu is stunning. Dart River Safaris operate Jet Boat wilderness tours from here and these 4 hour adventures are a must do. Just a little further along is tiny hamlet of Paradise situated on the edge of the lake just outside Mt. Aspiring National Park. There are many day and multi-day walks to explore in the Mt Aspiring and Fiordland National Parks including some of New Zealand's iconic ‘Great Walks’ such as The Routeburn and Milford tracks.

Accommodation: Millennium Hotel Queenstown

Accommodation type: Hotel 4 star

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Millennium Hotel Queenstown
Accommodation: Millennium Hotel Queenstown
Accommodation: Millennium Hotel Queenstown
Accommodation: Millennium Hotel Queenstown

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Day 15 - Follow Lake Wakatipu to the countryside of Southland, then continue to Te Anau, gateway to Fiordland National park

Driving distance and time: 164 kms / 102 miles : 1.9 hours

Times are based on averages for this specific route and allow for stops. Use these times as guidelines and to assist in the planning for your day.

Queenstown to Te Anau

Queenstown to Te Anau
Queenstown to Te Anau
Queenstown to Te Anau
Queenstown to Te Anau

As you traverse the shores of Lake Wakatipu you'll see The Remarkables mountain range towering over your approach to the small township of Kingston. Continue towards Southland before crossing the rolling tussock-lands of Mossburn (deer capital of New Zealand) and shortly arriving into Te Anau, gateway to Fiordland National Park.

Accommodation: Distinction Te Anau Hotel & Villas

Accommodation type: Hotel 4 star

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Distinction Te Anau Hotel & Villas
Accommodation: Distinction Te Anau Hotel & Villas
Accommodation: Distinction Te Anau Hotel & Villas
Accommodation: Distinction Te Anau Hotel & Villas

Accommodation features

  • Check in time: 2 pm
  • Check out time: 10 am
  • Walk time to shops/restaurants: 2-5 mins
  • Parking: onsite free parking
  • Internet facilities: In room free access
  • Restaurant on site
  • Bar on site
  • Tea/coffee facilities in room
  • Room service available
  • Hairdryer
  • Swimming pool
  • All rooms non smoking

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Day 16 - Today you'll walk a spectacular section of the world famous Milford Track

Driving distance and time: 0 kms / 0 miles : 0.0 hours

Times are based on averages for this specific route and allow for stops. Use these times as guidelines and to assist in the planning for your day.

Milford Track Guided Day Walk

Milford Track Guided Day Walk
Milford Track Guided Day Walk
Milford Track Guided Day Walk
Milford Track Guided Day Walk

Get a taste of the famous Milford Track on a one-day guided adventure. The Milford Track, long regarded as the 'finest walk in the world' is a four day trip through the heart of Fiordland National Park. If you don't have the time to do the full walk, a Milford Track Guided Day Walk is the only way to go. Join your guide in Te Anau and take a short coach trip to Te Anau Downs. Enjoy a hot drink as you cruise across Lake Te Anau to the start of the Milford Track. Your guided walk takes you along the Glade Burn to historic Glade House where you'll stop for lunch and a hot drink. The path then follows the stunning Clinton River, across a swing bridge into a mystical beech forest. On your trip, you will experience the tranquility of strolling beneath ancient beech trees, witness emerald waters and listen out for native birdsong. Along the way, your knowledgeable nature guide will help you interpret the magical surroundings, providing you with information about the track's history and the unique native birds and plants around you. This walk is easy, there are no big hills and the group is small (12 people per guide), making for a fun day out amidst amazing surroundings.

Accommodation: Distinction Te Anau Hotel & Villas

Accommodation type: Hotel 4 star

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Distinction Te Anau Hotel & Villas
Accommodation: Distinction Te Anau Hotel & Villas
Accommodation: Distinction Te Anau Hotel & Villas
Accommodation: Distinction Te Anau Hotel & Villas

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Day 17 - Travel the remarkable Milford Road for a night in Milford Sound. This afternoon you'll take to air for grand scenic flight

Driving distance and time: 117 kms / 73 miles : 1.8 hours

Times are based on averages for this specific route and allow for stops. Use these times as guidelines and to assist in the planning for your day.

Te Anau to Milford Sound

Te Anau to Milford Sound
Te Anau to Milford Sound
Te Anau to Milford Sound
Te Anau to Milford Sound

The road to Milford Sound has countless photo opportunities and short walks. The Mirror Lakes create perfectly clear reflections of the surrounding mountains and glacier formed meadows.  Further along the road The Chasm Walk includes two walking bridges over the dramatic Cleddau River, while the surrounding ancient native beech forest creates a fascinating landscape. You'll pass through the Homer Tunnel, an incredible feat of engineering at 1219 metres long. Milford Sound is the only sound accessible by road, making it very popular to visit. Coming into the village you'll be greeted with an amazing view of Mitre Peak which rises spectacularly from the waters up to the sky. Real Journey cruises can take you out into the sound where you'll receive a wealth of information on how this magnificent area has been formed and experience first-hand the multitude of waterfalls that line the fiord.

 

Milford Sound Grand Scenic Aeroplane Flight

Milford Sound Grand Scenic Aeroplane Flight
Milford Sound Grand Scenic Aeroplane Flight
Milford Sound Grand Scenic Aeroplane Flight
Milford Sound Grand Scenic Aeroplane Flight

A fantastic 40 minute flight that takes it all in - Mitre Peak, the Milford Track, Sutherland Falls and Tutoko Glacier.

Accommodation: Milford Sound Chalets

Accommodation type: Motels - premium

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Milford Sound Chalets
Accommodation: Milford Sound Chalets
Accommodation: Milford Sound Chalets
Accommodation: Milford Sound Chalets

Accommodation features

  • Check in time: 2 pm
  • Check out time: 10 am
  • Parking: onsite free parking
  • Internet facilities: In room free access
  • Breakfast service available
  • Tea/coffee facilities in room
  • Kitchen/kitchenette in room
  • Laundry facilities: On site
  • All rooms non smoking

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Day 18 - Return through Southland countryside to Queenstown

Driving distance and time: 277 kms / 172 miles : 3.6 hours

Times are based on averages for this specific route and allow for stops. Use these times as guidelines and to assist in the planning for your day.

Milford Sound to Queenstown

Milford Sound to Queenstown
Milford Sound to Queenstown
Milford Sound to Queenstown
Milford Sound to Queenstown

Enjoy the wonderful drive along the Milford Road as you head back towards Te Anau. Crossing the rolling tussock lands you pass through Mossburn, the deer capital of New Zealand. Following the lake north the Remarkable mountain range towers over you as you approach the adventure capital of Queenstown.

Accommodation: Millennium Hotel Queenstown

Accommodation type: Hotel 4 star

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodation: Millennium Hotel Queenstown
Accommodation: Millennium Hotel Queenstown
Accommodation: Millennium Hotel Queenstown
Accommodation: Millennium Hotel Queenstown

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Day 19 - Cross the Lindis Pass to the MacKenzie Country and on to Mt Cook National Park

Driving distance and time: 256 kms / 159 miles : 2.9 hours

Times are based on averages for this specific route and allow for stops. Use these times as guidelines and to assist in the planning for your day.

Queenstown to Mt. Cook National Park

Queenstown to Mt. Cook National Park
Queenstown to Mt. Cook National Park
Queenstown to Mt. Cook National Park
Queenstown to Mt. Cook National Park

Today your drive from Queenstown to Mount Cook is a scenic one, so be sure to leave plenty of leeway for sightseeing. You'll go through the Kawarau Gorge and over the historic Kawarau Bridge - a popular bungy jumping location. Choose to participate in this daredevil sport or watch others instead. Continue on to the Gibbston Valley stopping at one of its many vineyards for tastings. Leaving the gorge you'll arrive in Cromwell, well known for its many fruit orchards. If you're a foodie at heart, we recommend taking a side trip to Bannockburn for a complete food and wine experience at one its many award-winning wineries and restaurants.

Cromwell itself sits at the head of the Kawarau Gorge and the old historic town is well worth the visit. Completely submerged when the Clyde Dam was built and Lake Dunstan established in 1992, the remnants of the old Cromwell town provides a unique snapshot into this areas history. Head over through the Lindis Pass, one of New Zealand’s highest roads, with the summit reaching 971 metres. It's tussock covered hills are a barren but beautiful sight as you descend into the Mackenzie Basin. You'll go through the towns of Omarama and Twizel - the last stops before you arrive at Lake Pukaki and take the Mount. Cook Highway to arrive in the small village.

Glacier Explorers Mt. Cook

Glacier Explorers Mt. Cook
Glacier Explorers Mt. Cook
Glacier Explorers Mt. Cook
Glacier Explorers Mt. Cook

Experience 500 year old icebergs up-close on the Mt Cook terminal lake. The Glacier Explorers tour is the only one of its kind in New Zealand - and one of only three in the world! Very few glaciers terminate into lakes and even fewer of them are accessible. See towering ice cliffs and floating icebergs from the safety of a specially designed boat.  These boats provide a safe way to view unseen and inaccessible areas of New Zealand's largest glacier - The Tasman.

Accommodation: Hermitage Hotel, Wakefield Wing superior room

Accommodation type: Hotel 4 star

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodation: Hermitage Hotel, Wakefield Wing superior room
Accommodation: Hermitage Hotel, Wakefield Wing superior room
Accommodation: Hermitage Hotel, Wakefield Wing superior room
Accommodation: Hermitage Hotel, Wakefield Wing superior room

Accommodation features

  • Check in time: 2 pm
  • Check out time: 10 am
  • Parking: onsite free parking
  • Internet facilities: In room free access
  • Internet facilities: On site free access
  • Restaurant on site
  • Bar on site
  • Tea/coffee facilities in room
  • Hairdryer
  • All rooms non smoking

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Day 20 - This morning explore one of the many short walks in Mt Cook National Park before driving to Christchurch

Driving distance and time: 327 kms / 203 miles : 3.7 hours

Times are based on averages for this specific route and allow for stops. Use these times as guidelines and to assist in the planning for your day.

Short walks in and around Mt. Cook Village

Short walks in and around Mt. Cook Village
Short walks in and around Mt. Cook Village
Short walks in and around Mt. Cook Village
Short walks in and around Mt. Cook Village

There are many short scenic walks beginning in and around the Mt. Cook Village, suitable for all ages and abilities. Located within the Mount Cook Village is the Department of Conservation information centre, where updates on the track conditions and suitability is available as well as information on the history of the area and its wildlife.

Below is a snapshot of some of the walks available:

 - Bowen Bush Walk  - 10 minute return

 - Glencoe Walk - 10 minute return

 - Red Tarns Track - Two hour return

 - Kea Point Walk - Two hour return

 - Hooker Lake - Four hour return

Mt. Cook National Park to Christchurch

Mt. Cook National Park to Christchurch
Mt. Cook National Park to Christchurch
Mt. Cook National Park to Christchurch
Mt. Cook National Park to Christchurch

Leaving Mount Cook national park, travel a short distance before stopping at the visitor centre on the southern shores of Lake Pukaki. Learn about the formation of the region and take in the spectacular views of Mt. Cook. Lake Tekapo also displays the same reflective qualities of Lake Pukaki - making the waters a bright turquoise. You’ll go through the small town of Tekapo, home to some of the most photographed subjects in the country, the Church of the Good Shepherd and the Collie Dog statue. It's a great place to take a scenic flight, enjoy a guided horse trek, a boat trip on the pristine lake or just marvel at the magnificent views. From here you travel through Burkes Pass and into the rich farming valley that surrounds Geraldine. Continue on across the vast Canterbury Plains to arrive in Christchurch City, your destination for the night.

Accommodation: Novotel Christchurch Cathedral Square

Accommodation type: Hotel 4 star

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodation: Novotel Christchurch Cathedral Square
Accommodation: Novotel Christchurch Cathedral Square
Accommodation: Novotel Christchurch Cathedral Square
Accommodation: Novotel Christchurch Cathedral Square

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Day 21 - Explore Christchurch before departing for your onward journey

Private transfer to Christchurch airport

You will be collected from your accommodation and a private transfer will deliver you to Christchurch airport in time for your departing flight.

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