BEACHES & BACKCOUNTRY

Hiking New Zealand's Wilderness

Auckland, Bay of Islands & Northland, Marlborough & Nelson, Otago & The Southern Alps, Southland & The Fiords

Duration: 15 nights

Price: From £6,600 per person in low season based on two adults travelling together and including all flights in economy class, accommodation on a bed and breakfast basis, private transfers and taxes

One of the best ways to experience New Zealand’s spectacular and diverse landscapes is by hiking (or tramping, as the locals call it), and this walking holiday, you can explore two of the country’s most beautiful National Parks – Abel Tasman and Fiordland. Venture deep into the heart of untouched wildernesses, from pristine glaciers and lush green rainforests to secluded beaches and sweeping bays, and find out more about the ancient landscapes and their wildlife.

You’ll also get to enjoy jetboat trips and a memorable scenic flight over Milford Sound, as well as take in New Zealand’s beautiful adventure capital, Queenstown, where you can indulge in a vast range of thrill-seeking adventures on land, air and water.
Perfect forKeen walkers and adventurers who want to explore some of New Zealand’s most beautiful landscapes.
In the knowIf you fancy some kayaking in Abel Tasman National Park, an alternative itinerary here offers the chance to spend a couple of days kayaking around the beautiful coastline and one day walking the Coast Track.

Best for

  • Landscapes & Scenery
  • Walking & Trekking
  • Eco-tourism
  • Adventure

All Exsus holidays are tailor-made

This itinerary is just a starting point. Tell us your budget/wishlist/preferred length of stay and we'll help you select the best hotels and experiences, so your holiday is totally personalised.

Call 020 7337 9010 or Make an enquiry

Itinerary details

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2 nightsAUCKLAND

Start your holiday in Auckland, where you can stretch your legs (and warm up) with a walk around the harbour, a browse of the eclectic shops and a trip up the Sky Tower for panoramic views across Auckland and the island-dotted waters beyond. Stop for an artisan coffee or a craft beer, and put your feet up afterwards at the stylish Sofitel, overlooking the waterfront.
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5 nightsABEL TASMAN

Today, you’ll fly to Nelson to begin your five-day walking adventure along the lovely Coast Track in the beautiful Abel Tasman National Park, which is hugely popular with both locals and visitors – and with very good reason. This is not a hugely challenging track, and you can choose how much walking you do each day (you can split walking with boat trips), and there is plenty of time to relax along the way. This is ideal for those who want to take in the scenery at a more leisurely and not-too-strenuous pace, with expert guides on hand to help you make the most of everything that the park has to offer.

There are three days of walking and two days spent at beachfront lodges, where you can enjoy a welcome breather before the next leg of your journey. So as well as experiencing the landscapes, including beech forests that lead down to sweeping beaches of golden sand, you can cool off with scenic swims in beautiful bays, and enjoy a boat cruise around the coastline for alternative Abel Tasman views.

Day 1
6km/2 hours’ hiking plus tidal crossing
Your hike begins with a leisurely cruise across the coastline, including a welcoming hot drink onboard. After arriving at Totaranui, you can relax on the beach or walk to Anapai Bay, before heading south for approximately two hours to Awaroa, via a lush green rainforest of palm trees and the Awaroa estuary. You’ll spend the night at the secluded Meadowbank Homestead in Awaroa, where you can unwind over a three-course dinner with your fellow walkers and wake up to a hearty breakfast, accompanied by sunrise over the beach.

Day 2
Today can be as active or relaxed as you wish. Explore Awaroa with a walk or a kayaking trip, and visit historic landmarks such as sites exhibiting ancient Maori rock drawings. Alternatively, simply relax on the beach and at the charming homestead.

Day 3
15km/5 hours’ hiking
Refuel with another hearty breakfast before leaving Awaroa and making your way over the Tonga Saddle to Onetahuti, with opportunities to relax on a beach flanked with granite headlands and visit Tonga Quarry along the way. Stop for lunch at Bark Bay, where you will have the opportunity to swim or sunbathe, before spending the afternoon enjoying one beautiful view after another, including headlands, estuaries and curved beaches, as you walk through dense native forest and cross the swing bridge at Falls River. If you’d prefer to do less walking today, you have the option to take a boat trip part of the way – just choose the amount of walking that suits you. You will stay overnight at the beachfront Torrent Bay Lodge.

Day 4
Today, choose how adventurous or relaxing you’d like your day to be. Hike through ancient forests to the waterfalls on Falls River, canoe around the estuary and visit the tranquil grotto of Cleopatra’s Pool. You could also walk to the lovely Anchorage beach and Te Pukatea Cove to experience more of Abel Tasman’s stunning coastlines, or you can just chill out on the beach at Torrent Bay without going very far at all, and refresh yourself for your final day of hiking.

Day 5
13km/4-5 hours’ hiking
This morning, you will follow the coastline as you make your way from Torrent Bay to Kaiteriteri, guaranteeing spectacular views of pristine bays and beaches at every turn. Stop for lunch at one of the most picturesque spots before you walk the last leg of the journey to Marahau (near Kaiteriteri), from where you will be transferred to Nelson.If you’d prefer less walking today, there are options to join a cruise for part or all of your journey to Kaiteriteri.
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1 nightNELSON

Reward yourself after your trek and give your legs a rest at your luxurious suite or villa at the Bronte Country Estate in Nelson, which sits on the Bronte Peninsula overlooking Waimea Estuary, in a beautiful setting between the ocean and the mountains. Unwind with a dip in the pool or a welcome massage, or soak up the views on your private patio, accompanied by a glass of wine. If you’d like some high-octane but less strenuous sightseeing, enjoy a helicopter trip around Nelson (the estate handily has its own heli-pad…).
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2 nightsQUEENSTOWN

The adventure capital of Queenstown is next on your itinerary, where you can indulge in anything and everything from jetboating to skydiving, as well as enjoy more impressive views, this time over Lake Wakatipu and the surrounding peaks of the Remarkables mountain range. Your stylish hotel, The Spire, is near the lake’s shoreline, and has quintessential Queenstown views. Enjoy an exclusive heli-hike here. Fly over Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkables for incredible Queenstown views, or head to  Middle Earth, with the only company that has landing rights to one of the most magical locations featured in The Hobbit – a unique and memorable experience for Tolkien fans. Fly over mountains, glaciers and plunging waterfalls, before landing in a remote valley spot and enjoying a 2-3hr hike to the waterfalls. After a gourmet picnic lunch, you’ll be picked up for the scenic flight back, ascending for over 1,000m past a glistening blue hanging glacier. Choose from several options to find your perfect flying/hiking ratio, and you can even tailor-make your perfect heli-hike and personalise it to suit you.
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Hollyford Track Walk, New Zealand

3 nightsHOLLYFORD TRACK

After you’ve had your fill of buzzing Queenstown, you’ll begin a three-night adventure on the scenic Hollyford Track in Fiordland National Park, which is one of New Zealand’s most spectacular walks. Starting with a convenient pre-departure briefing at and morning departure from your Queenstown hotel, this walk takes you through untouched, pristine wildernesses and showcases their diversity, including snow-capped mountains, jagged glaciers and dense rainforests, as well as crystal-clear rivers, lakes and waterfalls. Along the way, enjoy a jetboat journey down the Hollyford River and a scenic flight over Milford Sound, as well as comfortable riverside lodge accommodation, where you can enjoy gourmet evening meals and breakfasts – and a picnic lunch will be prepared for you to take with you in the morning.
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2 nightsTE ANAU

Rest your legs at the luxurious and secluded Fiordland Lodge in Te Anau, which is set in several acres of grasslands. Follow in the footsteps of illustrious guests such as the cast and crew of The Hobbit, as you enjoy lovely views over Lake Te Anau from your cosy room or log cabin, soothe any aches and pains in the whirlpool tub, and relax on your balcony or by your fireplace. Toast your walking holiday with a drink or two from the bar before tucking into a delicious evening meal – the cuisine here makes the most of local, fresh produce and seasonal flavours. If your legs aren’t too weary, explore the beautiful surroundings around the lodge and the lake, and as night falls, enjoy some spectacular stargazing in the panoramic night skies.
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