arthurs pass hiking

How to find the best hiking tour in New Zealand

April 2014 | By New Zealand Trails

3 minute read

Get hold of your free New Zealand Trails brochure here

Use our easy guide to compare New Zealand hiking tours and find the one that suits you best.

Finding the best hiking tour in an adventure travel paradise like New Zealand is not an easy task and is quite subjective, what's 'best' for you will be different for someone else. Here at New Zealand Trails, we've been guiding and operating small group hiking tours for nearly 15 years. We've got a good idea of all of the different aspects of a trip that makes a New Zealand hiking tour an incredible experience. Our small group tours are targeted at a certain kind of hiker planning to visit and travel in New Zealand.

Have a read through what we believe are the most important aspects of a New Zealand hiking trip before using our check list to compare the different tours that are out there against each other. 

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Hiking / Walking included in the tour

If you're looking for a walking / hiking based experience then this is really important. We'll help you assess things like which tracks you walk, whether the walks are fully guided or independent and how fit you have to be.

Other activities included in the tour

Are you looking for a trip that focuses solely on walking / hiking or would you like to try some other activities in the New Zealand outdoors too?  Are these activities included in the tour price or are they extra? Are these activities fully guided or independent?  Does your tour include the activities you really want to do?

Group Size / Guide Ratio

How many people will be on the tour and how many guides? This is really important as it affects the kind of experience you'll have. Do you want to be travelling in a small group with ready access to your guides or are you happy to be one of a larger group.

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Standard of accommodation

Some hiking / walking tours stay in 4 star lodgings, some stay in 5 star lodgings, some stay in beach houses or farm accommodation. When staying out in the wilderness do you want to be in a public hut, eating freeze dried food and in sleeping bags or would you prefer exclusive access to a private lodge, with fantastic food and wine, private rooms and hot showers. Both options are out there and you need to know where you'll be sleeping! 

Food & Wine

How many meals are included in the tour? More importantly, what is the standard of food? On some tours guides will cook meals, on others you'll visit award winning restaurants. Little things like are snacks and water included or do you have to buy them?

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Cost

A big factor in the decision process, does the tour price you see actually 'all inclusive' or are there hidden extras like park entry fees or service charges? Does it represent the value you are looking for, in comparison to your other options.

CHECKLIST: HOW TO FIND THE BEST HIKING TOUR IN NEW ZEALAND

 

 

New Zealand Trails

Other Hiking Tour

Included Guided Hiking
Milford Track Yes  
Routeburn Track Yes  
Hollyford Track Yes  
Mount Cook National Park Yes  
Arthur's Pass National Park Yes  
Paparoa National Park Yes  
Included Guided Outdoor Activities
Nile River Underworld Glowworm Tour Yes  
Okarito Lagoon Kayaking Yes  
Wildlife Encounters Yes  
Other Included Activities
TranzAlpine Train Yes  
Milford Sound Helicopter Flight Yes  
Fiordland Backcountry Jetboat Yes  
Guided Stargazing Yes  
Overnight Wilderness Experience Yes  
Guiding
Maximum Group Size 12  
Guide Ratio 1 guide with trip for duration

Plus local guides

 
Accommodation
General Tour Accommodation Standard 4 star  
Wilderness Accommodation Standard Exclusive use, private lodge

Hot showers, gourmet food, hosted

Drying room, 2 people per room

 
Meals
Breakfast Cooked breakfast every day  
Lunch Included every day

Cafes or pack lunches on hikes

 
Dinners Two / three course dinners (8)

No guides or guests cooking

 
Snacks & Water on hikes Yes  
Tour Details
Number of Days 13  
Cost until April 2017 (USD + tax) USD$5399  
'Enforced' Single Supplements No  

 

We hope this is a helpful tool to help you assess and select the best tour for your upcoming New Zealand travel. We proudly operate our 13 day fully guided small group 'World Heritage Walking Tour' from October to April, starting and finishing in Christchurch. You'll hike on the best walking tracks in New Zealand and never forget the iconic New Zealand outdoor activities. Each evening relax in the comforts of home with four star accommodation and enjoy the company of new friends while sampling the best New Zealand food and wine.  If you like the sound of our small group guided trips see all about the tour here or please get in touch now.


Disclaimer:  We have put together our 'World Heritage Walking Tour' after carefully looking at the marketplace and deliberately included New Zealand's favourite walks, once-in-a-lifetime activities in a friendly small groups setting with expert guides, comfortable accommodation and great cuisine.  You may find the tour you are assessing us against comes up short, no problem, just get in touch to book your spot on New Zealand Trails now!

 

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