Arataki Auckland – Christchurch

Duration: 23 days
PAX: 7-12

Tour

Overview

Probably the best way to get closer to New Zealand’s outstanding nature is on foot. Hike through an untouched primeval landscape, accompanied by the sound of your own breath and exposed to the elements of nature. After a few days you will feel at inner peace and at the same time your mind returns to the basics of life! … An unforgettable experience.

Tour

Highlights

  • Rangitoto Island – a young volcano with native bush and fabulous views of Auckland and the islands and peninsulas of the Hauraki Gulf (ca.3 hours)
  • Tongariro Northern Circuit / Tongariro Alpine Crossing – an impressive trek through volcanic landscapes with views of Taranaki / Mt. Egmont (ca. 6-7 hours)
  • Tablelands Circuit in Kahurangi National Park – partially without paths through the wilderness with wild rivers, high plateaux, coastal forests and alpine herb meadows New Zealand’s second-largest National Park (2 days)
  • Abel Tasman Coast Track – in the smallest National Park in bush along golden beaches and blue-green bays (4 hours)
  • Bootsfahrt auf dem Milford Sound – do not miss the 8th world wonder with its steep rock faces and high waterfalls (ca. 2 hours)
  • Routeburn Track – one of the most famous of Trekking Paths through the Southern Alps over alpine meadows and canyons (3 days)
  • Kepler Track – Tussock meadows, mountain beech forests and waterfalls (2-5 hours)
  • Mt. Cook National Park: Müller Hut, Mt. Oliver – mountain lakes, glaciers, vertical rock faces: training area of Sir Edmund Hillary (7 hours)
  • Hooker Valley – swing bridges over wild mountain creeks, rare alpine plants, glacier lakes and moraines (3 hours)

Tour

Essentials

Day 1 - Arrival in Auckland

Transfer to your accommodation, just a short walk from the centre and harbour of Auckland.

Location: Auckland
Accomodation: Hotel
Meal Options:
N/A

Day 2 - Rangitoto Island

Breakfast meeting with the guide. Briefing for the tour. Later (about 9:15h), ferry to Rangitoto Island,  a volcanic island in the Hauraki Gulf (about 25 minutes). First walk as individual tramper for about 3 hours along the coast to the summit. At 259 m beautiful views over the “Hauraki Gulf Marine Park”.

Location: Auckland
Accomodation: Hotel
Meal Options:
N/A

Day 3 - Auckland – Taupo

Morning drive from Auckland to New Zealand’s largest lake, Lake Taupo. Prior to Taupo a stop at the Huka Falls, walk along the Waikato River (the Rhine of New Zealand). In the evening opportunity to visit a Hangi & Concert (optional). The food is inspired by the traditional Maori feast together with various dance performances.

Location: Taupo
Accomodation: Motel
Meal Options:
N/A

Day 4-5 - "How the world began" Tongariro Northern Circuit - Tongariro Crossing

Travel continues along the lakeshore in the Tongariro National Park, famous for its three volcanoes, Mt Ngauruhoe, Mt Ruapehu and Mt Tongariro, the latter’s latest eruption in 2012. Over the next two days the hike passes through one of the most spectacular area in New Zealand – a section of the Tongariro Northern Circuit and the Tongariro Crossing (Great Walk – Individual trekking / see note!) The track leads across a lunar landscape, passing hot springs, turquoise crater lakes and bizarre solidified lava.

Day 4 Overnight: Hut Ca. 4h; ▲ 100 m, ▼ 60 m
Day 5 Overnight: Motel Ohakune Ca. 6h; approximately 1100 m ▲, ▼ 750 m

Location: Ohakune
Accomodation: Motel / Hut
Meals: N/A

Day 6 - After Wellington and ferry - Picton

After breakfast, the journey continues to Wellington, the capital of New Zealand. Since the ferry to the South Island leaves in the evening, there is still time to visit the New Zealand National Museum “TE PAPA”. The name of the museum originates from Maori language and means “the place of treasures of this land”.

Location: Picton
Accomodation: Motel
Meals: N/A

Day 7-8 - Tablelands Circuit in Kahurangi National Park

Early morning drive to the start of the track in the Kahurangi National Park near Nelson.  Hike through a spectacular marble karst landscape with New Zealand’s deepest cave system, the 889 m deep and 23 km long Nettlebed Cave. At the highest point, the 1795 m high Mt Arthur, an unforgettable panoramic view opens in all directions – on a clear day see across Nelson Bay to Farewell Spit and Mt Taranaki on the North Island.

Day 7 Overnight accommodation: hiking hut,  4h;  ca. 200 m ▲, ▼ 80 m
Day 8 Overnight accommodation: track end – Motueka, Motel,  7h ca. 700 m ▲, ▼ 850 m

Location: Motueka (Day 8)
Accomodation: Motel / Hut
Meals: N/A

Day 9 - Abel Tasman National Park

This day is at your leisure. The Abel Tasman National Park with its golden beaches is considered as the “concept in the paradise” by many guests. There are plenty of opportunities, such as a day hike on the Abel Tasman Coast Track (Great Walk), one of the most popular tracks in New Zealand (about 3-4h). Other possibilities include swimming, boating or kayaking.

Location: Motueka
Accomodation: Motel
Meals: N/A

Day 10 - Abel Tasmann National Park - Franz Josef Glacier

Travel continues along the wild West Coast to Franz Josef Glacier in Westland National Park, stopping on the way at the Pancake Rocks and beach in Hokitika.

Location: Franz Josef
Accomodation: Motel
Meals: N/A

Day 11 - Free day Franz Josef Glacier

Options:

  • Individual glacier adventure with Franz Josef Glacier Guides
  • Helicopter trip to the top of the glacier and various possibilities for glacier hiking or ice climbing
  • Several hikes in the area, 2 – 4 hours

Location: Franz Josef
Accomodation: Motel
Meals: N/A

Day 12 - On the way to Queenstown

Drive to Queenstown, the fun and outdoor centre of New Zealand. Stop in Mt Aspiring National Park, 1-2 short walks.

Location: Queenstown
Accomodation: Hotel
Meals: N/A

Day 13 - Free day in Queenstown

Queenstown, the “St. Moritz of the South Sea “is considered the mecca of adventure seekers and is beautifully located on Lake Wakatipu. Countless activities on how to spend your day are on offer. The more adventurous people can go bungee jumping or race around the rivers in a jet boat. On a quieter note, take a trip on a steamer with the venerable TSS Earnslaw Steamship across the lake and visit a farm.

Location: Queenstown
Accomodation: Hotel
Meals: N/A

Day 14-16 - Routeburn Track - One of the 10 most beautiful hiking tracks in the world!

Starting from Glenorchy the hike on the Routeburn Track takes three days between Mount Aspiring and Fiordland National Park. The first stage takes you through deep rain forest, then forward through a ridge featuring a hike along waterfalls allowing views at the summits of the Humboldt chain. On Day 16 the track ends around 14:00h on the road to Milford Sound.

Day 14: Glenorchy- Falls Hut ca. 5 h, approximately 700 m ▲, ▼ 100 m
Day 15: Falls Hut- Mackenzie Hut 6 h, approximately 350 m ▲, ▼ 450 m
Day 16: Mackenzie Hut – Divide parking ca. 4 h, approximately 80 m ▲, ▼ 600 m

Note: The New Zealand Department of Conservation (DOC) does not allow a pre-booking of the Routeburn Track Huts. Therefore, it is possible that these huts are fully booked before the minimum number of participants is reached. As an alternative trekking route the Kepler Track would be available. The Kepler Track is, like the Routeburn Track, part of the “Great Walks” of New Zealand.

Location: Te Anau (Day 16)
Accomodation: Motel / Hut
Meals: N/A

Day 17 - Free day in Te Anau

Options:

  • Morning boat transfer across Lake Te Anau to the starting point of the Milford Track. The track leads along the emerald-green waters of the Clinton River and finally across a suspension bridge to Clinton Hut.Ca. 4 hours, ca. 50 m ▲, ▼ 50 m;
  • Te Anau Glow Worm Caves, The walk in the caves is a great experience … as if under a superb starry sky.
  • Day hike on the Kepler Track

The tour guide will provide further tips and suggestions.

Location: Te Anau
Accomodation: Motel
Meals: N/A

Day 18 - Milford Sound

Trip to Milford Sound with stops for one or two short walks. Afternoon arrival in the sound for a different kind of adventure: An overnight cruise into the wild beauty of the most famous of all fjords, “World Heritage” and 8th Wonder of the World. Marvel over towering mountains and dramatic waterfalls. With some luck, dolphins, seals and penguins can be observed up close in their natural environment. A naturalist guided kayak tour is included as well as dinner and breakfast the next morning.

Location: Milford Sound
Accomodation: Ship
Meals: Dinner

Day 19 - On the way to Dunedin

After this exciting adventure it’s back to civilisation – Dunedin. Via the Catlins on the East Coast, far from the usual tourist routes, the tour leads to Nugget Point featuring a hike to the lighthouse. Final destination of the day: the university city of Dunedin on the Pacific coast.

Location: Dunedin
Accomodation: Motel
Meals: Breakfast

Day 20 - Mt Cook National Park

Travel from Dunedin to Mt Cook National Park – THE centre for mountaineering in New Zealand. Undisputed king of this white landscape is the 3754m high Aoraki Mt Cook. Here, every hiker gets his money’s worth!

Location: Twizel
Accomodation: Motel
Meals: N/A

Day 21 - Free day in Mt Cook National Park

There are several short hikes (e.g. Hooker Valley about 3 hours) and full-day excursions into the valleys around the Aoraki Mt Cook Village. The most popular is the track to Mueller Hut (1600m ca.6h) with breathtaking views of New Zealand’s highest mountain peaks. Any spare energy may be tested on the climb from Mueller Hut to Mt Oliver (1933 m), the first summit of mountaineering legend Sir Edmund Hillary.

Location: Twizel
Accomodation: Motel
Meals: N/A

Day 22 - On the way to Christchurch

Today your adventurous trekking and hiking tour throughout New Zealand comes to an end with a visit to the Garden City of Christchurch.

Location: Christchurch
Accomodation: Hotel
Meals: N/A

Day 23 - Return flight from Christchurch to Germany

Transfer to the airport and departure to Germany.

Tip: Why not consider individual extension of your holiday, e.g. beach holiday in the Cook Islands or Tonga.

Owing to possible changes beyond our control (e.g. weather or changes in accommodation), we reserve the right to confirm the final itinerary approximately 2 weeks prior to departure.

What is included in this tour:

  • Airport Transfers in New Zealand
  • Bilingual German / English driver guide
  • 14 nights accommodation (hotel, motel) 3-4 star, double room with shower / WC
  • 3 nights accommodation (hotel, motel) 3 – 4 star, 2 rooms share shower / WC
  • 1 night (cruise Milford Sound) / 3-4 bed cabins / 2-bed cabin on request
  • Dinner, breakfast and kayak trip on the Milford Sound
  • 4 nights hut accommodation during the trekking tours
  • Ferry crossing North / South Island
  • Transfer Rangitoto Island

What is not included in this tour:

  • International flights
  • Optional excursions
  • Sleeping bags for rent $165 NZD (about 85 €) per sleeping bag
  • 2-bed cabin Milford Sound (double or single cabin) on request

Note: The tour guide will collect $180 NZD per participant for TRC (Tour Related Cash), e.g. fees to be paid to the Department of Conservation for the inspection and maintenance of walks and tracks in the National Parks.

Start date

End date

Tour starts

20/11/2020

12/12/2020

Auckland

14/12/2020

05/01/2021

Christchurch

15/01/2021

06/02/2021

Auckland

All information subject to change and availability

As this tour is like an expedition, we must point out that there may be delays, route changes or program changes – due to unfavourable conditions, bad weather, organisational difficulties, etc. You should bring a spirit of adventure, coupled with a willingness to compromise on comfort and, if necessary, to practice tolerance and patience.

The Department of Conservation in New Zealand does not allow guiding on the Tongariro Crossing, Kepler Track and Routeburn Tracks. However, to give you the opportunity to walk one of the most famous tracks in New Zealand, you will be travelling as “freedom tramper” during these days.Your guide will provide detailed introduction and necessary maps for the tracks.

The groups may be joined by international participants (Europeans, Americans, etc.), so the guide will be fluent in both German and English.

Tongariro Crossing

This hike is extremely dependent on the weather and geothermal activities, which are regularly checked and assessed by the relevant authority. Adverse conditions may change the itinerary at short notice!

Routeburn track

The New Zealand Department of Conservation (DOC) does not allow a pre-booking of the Routeburn Track Huts. Therefore, it is possible that these huts are fully booked before the minimum number of participants is reached. As an alternative trekking route the Kepler Track would be available. The Kepler Track is, like the Routeburn Track, part of the “Great Walks” of New Zealand.

Requirements

You will be hiking with daypack and on multi-day hikes will be required to carry a sleeping bag, clothes and food; you must have mountain hiking experience and be in good physical condition. Hiking daily stages – 4 to 8 hours.

Overnight during the trek

During multi-day hikes, nights are spent in simple huts, which are equipped with mattresses.

A sleeping bag can be rented: $165 NZD, – per sleeping bag.

Tips Equipment

What to bring – bring sturdy shoes, gloves, hat, multifunction underwear, rain gear, sunscreen, backpack for day hikes. In the huts, meal preparation kitchen duties etc. is shared by everybody.

Food / Breakfast

Breakfast on the day of arrival is included in the price and offers the opportunity to meet the tour guides and group.

On other days you can have breakfast either in the hotel or visit any of the nearby cafes. Prices range between $18 and $30 NZD (e.g. “Continental”or “Cooked” breakfast)

Your guide will give you tips for shopping and usually knows a good restaurant.

Most units have cooking facilities, microwave and sink, partly electric cooker or hob / electric frying pan.

Accommodation

The right choice of overnight stays is very important to us, for at the end of an active day, every guest wants to relax in comfortable and pleasant surroundings. In cities such as Auckland, Christchurch and Queenstown, we choose centrally located 3-4 star hotels/motels. In other areas we prefer selected accommodation, “NZ-owned and operated” where possible, combining authenticity with the comfort of good 3-4 star accommodation.