New Zealand Trekking, Tramping and Kayaking 26 Days

Duration: 26 Days
PAX: 7-11

Tour

Overview

This tour of New Zealand is our “Southern Hemisphere Classic” for tramping enthusiasts and nature lovers. We have now organised this arguably unique tour to the Land of the Long White Cloud for over 12 years with our own, experienced travel guides. We are therefore familiar with all locations that are usually not listed in some travel guides, which we would like to share with you… in short – New Zealand is the dream of many adventurers, dropouts and active holidaymakers.

Nowhere else in the world will you find so much variety and breath taking scenery. From lush tropical rain forests, endless sandy beaches, volcanoes, enormous and glistening glaciers through to mountain tops covered with dazzling white snow one is captured by the fascination for these islands at the most beautiful end of the world. The best way to experience and get closer to nature is bush walking and tramping, as it is called in New Zealand. And the most effective way would be a round trip in a small bus through both islands.

We commence with our combined trekking and round trip in Auckland, New Zealand’s secret capital. From there we drive to the Coromandel peninsula to undertake a tramp in the Coromandel forest. We continue along the limestone coast to the “Cathedral Cove”, and later take enjoyment in the hot springs of “Hot Water Beach”. Carrying on we visit a Maori village and a geothermal power station. Other attractions such as the Pohutu geyser and the Huka falls of the Waikato River are also along the way to the Tongariro National Park. The trekking tour takes us past impressive volcanoes and fascinating lakes. We take leave of the Maori’s sacred mountains in order to travel to Wellington.

We then leave Wellington and the North Island by ferry. We reach the Abel Tasman National Park via Nelson. The most exciting way to experience the bizarre granite coastline with its beautiful bays and golden sand is by way of a kayaking tour, where you will be able to observe a great number of sea birds and seals and with some luck playful dolphins.

We then travel past dense rain forest and the limestone structures of Pancake Rocks in Paparoa National Park through to the Fox and Franz-Josef glaciers and to the famous mirror lake “Matheson”. From the starting point of Te Anau we embark on our 3-day trekking tour of the Kepler Track or the Hump Ridge Track. On the way we will have spectacular views of Fjordland’s mountains, lakes and rivers. We travel to the Mount Cook National Park via Dunedin, Abel Tasman glacier and Lake Tekapo, the Canterbury Plains and Christchurch. Here our eventful and impressive journey through the land of the kiwi ends. It is also possible to complete this trip in the opposite direction.

Tour

Highlights

  • Hot Water Beach
  • Abel Tasman Sea kayak tour
  • Hiking in Tongariro National Park
  • Day trip to Fiordland National Park
  • Day hike to Mt. Cook

Tour

Essentials

Day 1 - Auckland

Arrival in New Zealand’s secret capital. The visit to the city’s volcanic hill Mt Eden affords us a first overview of the “City of Sails”. Depending on arrival time and interest there may be time to visit Kelly Tarlton’s Underwater World, War Memorial Museum, Albert Park or similar, or free time.

Location: Auckland
Accomodation: N/A
Meals: N/A

Day 2-3 - Thames/Hahei

On the first day in the southern hemisphere we leave Auckland and travel to Thames on the Coromandel peninsular. During the half-day tramping in the Coromandel forest we commence with our first “activity”, which takes us through regenerated bush with many relicts from the logging and gold digging times, where besides the Nikau palms, bamboo and passion fruit we will also see the ancient and gigantic Kauri trees. The Kauri by its straight, branch free and high growth delivered an exceptional timber, with up to 240 m3 per tree! These days great endeavours are placed in preserving this type of tree. At the Hot Water Beach everyone can dig their own pool in order to enjoy the bubbling hot springs (dependent on tides). We overnight in Thames and Hahei.

Location: Thames and Hahei
Accomodation: N/A
Meals: N/A

Day 4 - Rotorua

At the Hahei Marine Reserve you have the possibility to climb down to the limestone coast and “Cathedral Cove” and enjoy the white sandy beaches of Hahei. At Waihi we will learn about the Martha Mine (gold mine). On our drive to Rotorua we stop at the “3600 – Kiwifruit Country”. Here we are shown interesting things about kiwifruit.

Location: Rotorua
Accomodation: N/A
Meals: N/A

Day 5 - Taupo

At the Maori village Ohinemutu we can observe the Maoris doing their carvings and also view these in the St. Faith’s Anglican Church. At the Maori culture centre Te Puia we gain an impression of Rotorua’s geothermal wonderland. One of the thermal park’s attractions is the up to 30m high fountain of the Pohutu geyser. The Waikato River tumbles down the Huka Falls with a mighty roar nearby.

Location: Taupo
Accomodation: N/A
Meals: N/A

Day 6-7 - Trekking Tour

Our non-guided trekking tour takes us through a UNESCO heritage site which boasts 3 active volcanoes. Mt Ruapehu with its 2,797m is the highest mountain in the North Island. Just as exciting is the crossing of the South Crater or the walk to Red Crater with fantastic views of the Emerald Lakes as well as the Blue Lake. Also impressive is the strenuous side trip to the crater rim of Mt Ngauruhoe (2,291m). Our trail takes us along cooled-off lava streams, scurrilous rock formations, the ever-present tussock grasses and magical beech forests. Time and again we can enjoy incredible views of Mt Ngauruhoe and Mt Ruapehu.

Location: N/A
Accomodation: N/A
Meals: N/A

Day 8 - Wellington

We are heading to New Zealand’s capital Wellington, also called the “windy city”. Here we have the opportunity to visit the impressive parliament building “Beehive” and the national museum Te Papa. The Wellington night live beckons in the evening. We are overnighting at a youth hostel.

Location: Wellington
Accomodation: Hostel
Meals: N/A

Day 9 - Marahau

We are crossing over to the South Island with the ferry. From Picton we are driving through the mountainous region of the Marlborough Sounds to Marahau.

Location: Marahau
Accomodation: N/A
Meals: N/A

Day 10-12 - Sea kayaking in Abel Tasman NP

A very attractive way to discover the bizarre granite coast with its beautiful bays and golden sandy beaches is a paddling tour in the Abel Tasman NP. We begin at Sandy Bay in Marahau. There is enough time throughout the tour to enjoy the species-rich marine fauna or simply have a swim. Detours to several lagoons, solitary beaches or Tonga-Island are possible. Cormorants as well a sunbathing seals are to be found in this marine reserve. From Onetahuti Beach it is possible to walk through to Awaroa Bay on the coastal track. The tour ends with a leisurely paddle back to Marahau, arriving back on land late afternoon.

Location: Abel Tasman National Park
Accomodation: N/A
Meals: N/A

Day 13 - Punakaiki

Accompanying our trip through the Buller Gorge on the West Coast are many narrow gorges as well as the lush rainforest. At the limestone formations of Pancake Rock at the Paparoa NP we can see the water shooting through eroded rocks at high tide.

Location: Punakaiki
Accomodation: N/A
Meals: N/A

Day 14 - Fox Glacier

Between Greymouth and Hokitika we drive across a one-lane bridge that due to the limited traffic is still being shared with a train. In Hokitika we visit one of the famous greenstone factories; it is interesting to experience the making of jade jewelry. Maori have manufactured their Tiki figurines and weapons from this coveted stone. Today you will explore both the Fox and Franz Joseph Glaciers. From a height of more than 3,000m they flow down to 200m into the rain forest. A walk to the vicinity of the glacier tongue will demonstrate this impressive natural spectacle.

Location: Fox Glacier
Accomodation: N/A
Meals: N/A

Day 15 - Wanaka

Early morning we will walk around Lake Matheson, the famous mirror lake and are hoping for just that effect in order to admire the Southern Alps in its still waters. A fascinating drive over the World Heritage Driveway across the Haast Pass (562m) in Mount Aspiring National Park awaits us. The green and luscious bush clad scenery, as well as gigantic waterfalls are an invitation for many photo opportunities. We will overnight in Wanaka, located at the lake of the same name (180 km2, 311m deep).

Location: Wanaka
Accomodation: N/A
Meals: N/A

Day 16 - Te Anau

Today we arrive in an area of gold diggers, vintners and nature lovers. At the Kawarau Gorge the daring can expect an elevated pulse rate by bungy-jumping off the Kawarau Bridge. If time allows we will visit the picturesque township of Arrowtown, a former gold digger settlement. Queenstown, situated at Lake Wakatipu (84 km long, 378 m deep) is the ideal location for your own (adventurous) activities, such as jet boat tours, or one can simply enjoy the majestic ranges of the Remarkables from Bob’s Peak.

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

Day 17-19 - Non-guided Trekking Tour

Over the next 3 days we will hike one of the many tracks within Fjordland (for example Kepler or Hump Ridge Track). All tracks are characterized by fantastic views as well as still untouched wilderness, and take us through the typical vegetation of southern beech forests. Time and again we are indulged with fascinating panoramic views of this unique Fjordland scenery. Daily hikes take between 6 to 8 hours and are 15-22km long. On one of those days a height of 800 to 1000m have to be conquered. We overnight twice in non-catered mountain huts with dormitories.

Location: Fjordland
Accomodation: N/A
Meals: N/A

Day 20 - Te Anau / Milford or Doubtful Sound

Today there is the possibility to visit one of the most popular natural attractions in the world, the Milford Sound, or Doubtful Sound, which is regarded by insiders as the more spectacular one. The highlight during these individual tours are the boat trips out on the sound with breath taking photo opportunities and insight into this impressive mountain world and untouched nature.

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

Day 21-22 - Otago Peninsula / Oamaru

The next two days are spent observing penguins, seals and albatrosses. But first we make a stint visit to the most “Scottish” city of New Zealand, Dunedin. In Oamaru and the Otago Peninsula we can observe the abundant animal life, such as: blue and yellow penguins, the only mainland colony of albatrosses, as well as many other sea birds, seals and sea lions. On our way to Oamaru we will stop at the famous 4 million years old and up to 4m circumference stone boulders of Moaraki.

Location: Oamaru
Accomodation: N/A
Meals: N/A

Day 23 - Mount Cook

From the East Coast we are driving through the Waitaki Valley alongside the Waitaki River, which is an angler’s paradise, through to Mount Cook National Park. We will erect our tents at Lake Pukaki. The Maoris have named the mountain “Aoraki” – the cloud piercer. With a height of 3,754m Mt Cook towers as the highest mountain New Zealand’s over the enormous massif. The many tracks offer several hours of exploration of this park’s flora. During springtime the largest buttercup flower, the Mount Cook Lily, can be found here. On the way to one of the glacier tongues we gain an impression of the enormous powers at work here. Steep rock faces, glacial streams, lateral moraines and boulders are testament to that.

Location: Mount Cook
Accomodation: N/A
Meals: N/A

Day 24 - Akaroa

From the hilly MacKenzie Country and through impressive gold-yellow tussock fields that form the gate to the glacial Alps our drive takes us to the Canterbury plains. We stop at the turquoise Lake Tekapo to admire the picturesque small stone church of the “Good Shepherd”. Our destination today is the former French settlement Akaroa on the Banks Peninsula.

Location: Akaroa
Accomodation: N/A
Meals: N/A

Day 25 - Christchurch

Our trip ends today with a drive along the rim of an extinct volcano. We arrive in Christchurch in the afternoon, the largest city in the South Island. For the many parks and gardens this city is also called the “Garden City”. Unfortunately the effects of the devastating earthquakes suffered in recent years are still very much visible. Our journey ends here and we will prepare for our departure.

Location: Christchurch
Accomodation: N/A
Meals: N/A

Day 26

With transfer and flight we farewell the Kiwis and New Zealand.

What is included in this tour:

  • 20 nights in 2-person tents
  • 3 x simple tramping huts (dormitory)
  • 1 x dormitory and 1 x in double room at backpackers
  • Travel with 12-seater small bus with luggage trailer
  • Shared airport transfer in New Zealand
  • Ferry between North and South Island

What is not included in this tour:

  • Abel Tasman NP kayaking tour approx. from $150 NZD
  • Catering costs – group kitty approx. $300-400 NZD
  • Trips to Milford or Doubtful Sound approx. $99-245 NZD
  • Additional optional trips and entry fees
  • Single tent $190 NZD