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South ISLAND BASED
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WORLD HERITAGE WALKING TOUR

The very best with all the bells and whistles.

Rediscover the joy of simple pleasures and the thrill of new experiences, without having to sacrifice the creature comforts you’ve grown to expect. Go walking in UNESCO World Heritage areas and on several of The Great Walks, at a relaxed pace of course, with guides who embody legendary Kiwi hospitality. They’ll help you reconnect with nature then pour you a generous glass of local wine afterward. Share stories on the trail with new friends and belly laughs around the table at the best restaurants before retiring to your private room with an ensuite so you can get your beauty sleep. The World Heritage is a perennial favourite full of genuine ‘only in New Zealand’ experiences taken up a few notches, such as choppering into a remote wilderness lodge that’s a far cry from roughing it. Adventure travel that’s a bit posh but will show the kids, and even the grandkids, you’ve definitely still got it.

World Heritage HIGHLIGHTS

A New Zealand walking tour with comfort in mind - our most luxurious experience yet.

routeburn falls hut2

The Great Walks

Hike many of New Zealand’s most acclaimed Great Walks including the Milford Track, the Routeburn Track and the Hollyford Track.

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Milford Sound

Explore the world-famous Milford Sound and enjoy exclusive access to the Milford Track walk

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Variety of Walks

Explore the lush rainforest on the rugged West Coast and the towering snow-capped peaks of Aoraki/Mt Cook.

fine-dining

Fine Dining

Order off the menu at our favourite restaurants.

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First Class Accommodation

Stay in fantastic locations with your own private ensuite bathrooms (almost) every night.

Lake-Mou-Wahu

Wildlife Sanctuary

Cruise Lake Wanaka to Mou Waho Island – a unique and serene wildlife sanctuary.

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Wilderness Lodge

Helicopter from Milford Sound to remote Martin’s Bay for a walk to a wild seal colony and return to your well-appointed wilderness lodge by jetboat.

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Kayak Okarito Lagoon

Paddle out on New Zealand’s largest coastal lagoon to spot some of our rarest birds.

aoraki-mount-cook-hooker-valley-track

Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park

Hike the UNESCO World Heritage National Park around New Zealand's highest peak. Take a boat to the terminal face of a glacier or opt for a guided heli hike to walk on the glacier.

TRIP EXPLORER

Day 1

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Christchurch
Hike Arthurs Pass

Includes

Lunch
Dinner

Activities

Hiking
Sightseeing

Accommodation

Punakaiki

Day 1 – Arrive in Christchurch and Hike Arthur’s Pass National Park

After meeting everyone, we depart Christchurch for the Canterbury High Country. We'll get some sun on our faces during a hike in Arthur's Pass National Park before continuing on to the remote West Coast. We spend our first night together in Punakaiki, the home of the famous Pancake Rocks.

Hiking in Arthur’s Pass National Park

Fill your lungs with mountain air as we enter Arthur’s Pass National Park. The majestic Southern Alps are the backbone of the South Island, dividing it into East and West, two distinct regions with its own unique climate, landscape and life forms. This magical park is its gateway and this afternoon we will show you our favorite places hidden within the national park for a perfect gentle start to your New Zealand outdoor adventure. We will walk up the stunning Bealey Valley, through ancient beech forest and alpine wetlands, along the crystal clear mountain stream to the edge of the alpine zone with views up to Mt Rolleston and the permanent glaciers. 

West Coast

After exploring Arthur's Pass National Park, we continue our journey towards the remote West Coast, where we wind up at the seaside hamlet of Punakaiki for dinner on our first night together.

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Day 2

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Punakaiki
Hiking & Glowworm Caves

Includes

Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner

Activities

Caving
Hiking

Accommodation

Punakaiki

Day 2 – Explore the Nile River Glowworm Caves and Hike Paparoa National Park

Today we will spend the day exploring one of the most untouched parts of New Zealand. First, it's a short but stunning trip up the coast to Paparoa National Park, where we'll begin this otherworldly experience in the Nile River glowworm caves. This afternoon you have the option to check out the beach at Punakaiki, our home for the night, or hike the stunning Pororari River Track.

Underworld Glowworm Caves

Upon arrival in Charleston, your guides will lead you on a walk through the rainforest to the Nile River caves. These natural cathedral-like formations were discovered relatively recently and the cave we'll explore today is one of only a few in the world you can easily walk through and experience in the same state as it was found. The large, dry upper levels are stunning, complete with spectacular stalactites and stalagmites covered with galaxies of glowworms that are unequaled anywhere! We'll get kitted up in wetsuits and walk a short distance to find small inflatable rafts we'll use to float through these amazing glowworm caves. It's a surreal, only in New Zealand experience you'll never forget.

The Magic of Paparoa National Park

Limestone and time are responsible for most of Paparoa National Park's most impressive landforms. Water ran over the relatively soft rock over many thousands of years to form an environment known as karst, which features deep river canyons, sculptured mountain ridges, and an extensive network of caves and sinkholes. Then add a thick cover of lush Gondwanaland rainforest to the dramatic natural sculptures.

Paparoa National Park Hiking

This afternoon's options include hiking a beautiful riverside trail in Paparoa National Park or some downtime at the beach, just a short stroll from tonight's accommodation.

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Day 3

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West Coast
Kayak Okarito Lagoon

Includes

Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner

Activities

Kayaking

Accommodation

Okarito

Day 3 – West Coast and Kayaking on Okarito Lagoon

We take an incredibly scenic journey down the West Coast to Okarito for a kayaking tour on New Zealand’s largest coastal lagoon with specialist local guides. Soak up the majestic beauty and for keen birdwatchers, this is home to the rare kotuku (white heron) as well as other coastal and forest wildlife. Optional hike for elevated views of the coastline. Overnight in Okarito.

Wild West Coast Scenic Drive

First time visitors to New Zealand are always amazed by how stunning the drives are and today you will see this for yourself. Sit back and enjoy the views - the snowy peaks and glaciers of the Southern Alps, virgin West Coast rainforest and the rugged Tasman Sea coastline – Wow!

Guided Kayaking on Okarito Lagoon

A quiet kayak is the best and most peaceful way to enjoy this spectacular coastal wetland. Okarito Lagoon is well known for its outstanding birdlife (over 70 species of birds have been recorded here). The lagoon is a common feeding ground for kotuku (white heron) and royal spoonbill, both of which breed in the nearby Waitangiroto Nature Reserve. We will glide quietly around this beautiful waterway and have the best chance of observing the birdlife in their natural habitat without disturbing them. All of this with the mighty Southern Alps as our backdrop!

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Day 4

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West Coast
Glaciers & Southern Alps

Includes

Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner

Activities

Hiking

Accommodation

Wanaka

Day 4 – Glacier Country & Mt Aspiring National Park

Your camera will get a workout trying to do justice to the perfect reflections of Lake Matheson and the views of Fox Glacier's terminal face on our morning hike. We then continue down the West Coast into gorgeous Mount Aspiring National Park. Overnight in the relaxed lakeside village of Wanaka. 

Fox Glacier

At 13 kilometers in length, Fox Glacier is the largest and most accessible of the West Coast glaciers and the terminal valley is impressive in its own right, a real testament to the sheer force of nature. The valleys and lakes around the Fox township are all remnants of the ice age and provide some excellent hiking trails, all under the imposing shadow of New Zealand’s highest peaks. We’ll hike to the Fox Glacier terminal face and also the Lake Matheson track, for the famous reflections of Mt Cook! You also have the option for a heli hike, for those who want to set foot on the ice. 

The Haast Pass, Mount Aspiring National Park and the Wanaka Lakes

As we continue the scenery is impressive all the way, once over the Haast Pass the views change dramatically as we head into the mountains and bid farewell to the coastline. We follow the Haast River into Mount Aspiring National Park and the Wanaka Lakes district; this pass was used by Maori on Pounamu (jade) and food gathering expeditions as one of the earliest routes linking the West Coast and Central Otago.

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Day 5

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Wanaka
Mou Waho Island

Includes

Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner

Activities

Cruise
Wildlife Walk

Accommodation

Queenstown

Day 5 – Lake Wanaka Boat Cruise and Hike in Mou Waho Island Wildlife Reserve

This morning, we'll cruise across Lake Wanaka to a tiny island wildlife sanctuary. Our favourite ecologist and long-time Wanaka guide will lead us on a hike of Mou Waho Island, one of the most magical spots on the South Island. In the afternoon, we have a scenic journey over the Crown Range to Queenstown, a world-class resort town known as the "Adventure Capital of the World," where we'll stay for the next three nights.

Lake Wanaka Cruise & Island Wildlife Walk

Close to the centre of Lake Wanaka is Mou Waho Island Nature Reserve, which is only accessible by a 35-minute boat ride. We are walking with our long time local guide and eco warrior! He will lead us on the well-formed track on our gentle climb through native bush to near the top of Tyrwhitt Peak. Just before the top we see Arethusa Pool, a small lake on the island with islands in it – very intriguing! From the top we have a sweeping 360-degree view of Lake Wanaka, the surrounding mountains and valleys, and below Arethusa Pool. On a hot day you may not be able to resist a dip in the cool crystal clear waters.

The Cardrona Valley and Queenstown

Our afternoon drive takes us through the Cardrona Valley, over the scenic Crown Range into the Wakatipu basin. You have probably seen pictures of this area and the Range is by far the most scenic way into Queenstown!

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Day 6

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Glenorchy
Routeburn Track

Includes

Breakfast
Lunch

Activities

Hiking

Accommodation

Queenstown

Day 6 – Hike the famed Routeburn Track

This morning we travel to the top of the lake along the shores of stunning Lake Wakatipu, recently voted one of the best drives in the world, for a full day on the famed Routeburn Track. Options depending on how far you'd like to hike. Overnight in Queenstown. 

Hiking on the famous Routeburn Track

Today will be one of the hiking highlights of the trip! The famous Routeburn Track. Our day starts from Queenstown with a beautiful journey along the shores of Lake Wakatipu to the ‘Head of the Lake’, the most dramatic scenery you’ll ever see! We reckon if you’re coming all the way to New Zealand and not heading to the head of Lake Wakatipu and Glenorchy then you’re missing out!

Once on the trail your guides will lead you through the beech forest (lots of Lord of the Rings filming locations around here), alongside the crystal clear river onto Routeburn Flats and for those looking to stretch their legs a bit more, Routeburn Falls.

As with all our hikes, there is a lot of flexibility. If you want to push yourself a little or just enjoy a comfortable hike on the flat trail, it is all here. Either way, the scenery is magnificent and your guides are there to take care of you all the way.

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Day 7

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Queenstown
Free day to explore

Includes

Breakfast

Activities

Free Day

Accommodation

Queenstown

Day 7 – Explore Queenstown

What to do with an entire day free in one of the most beautiful resort towns in the world? You're spoilt for choice with heaps of options on land, water and even in the air. Your guides will point you in the right direction -- relaxing also permitted, of course! Overnight in Queenstown. 

Queenstown offers something for everyone, from adrenalin activities to much more gentle pursuits and in so many ways it encapsulates much of what New Zealand is about. Famed for its international winter ski profile, Queenstown is also a brilliant spring, summer and fall destination. Today is yours to make the most of Queenstown’s scenic beauty, easy walks, and endless opportunities to relax. You might like to try fishing, golfing, gold panning, wine tasting, or boating. One thing is certain, you won’t run out of things to do and we’ll be on hand to make sure you have all the information and support to make the most of your day.

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Day 8

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Fiordland NP
Milford Sound

Includes

Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner

Activities

Sightseeing

Accommodation

Milford Sound

Day 8 – Fiordland National Park & Milford Sound

We’ll have a relaxed start to the day before making our way to Fiordland National Park on another of the world’s most scenic drives. We'll make plenty of stops for photos and short walks along the way, as well as lunch on the lakeside in Te Anau, before a grand entrance into Milford Sound. Overnight in Milford Sound.

Lake Wakatipu & Te Anau BBQ lunch

After a relaxed start to the day we’re off to begin three fabulous days exploring one of the most pristine corners of World Heritage New Zealand – Fiordland National Park. Our day starts with a drive, famous for its stunning scenery, down to the Southern end of Lake Wakatipu and on to Te Anau for a lakeside lunch. Nestled on the shores of the South Island’s largest lake and with the expanses of Fiordland stretching as far as we can see, our lakeview lunch spot is just perfect.

Eglington Valley, Homer Tunnel & Milford Sound

After lunch we’re off into the the most famous of all our national parks and we’ll feel the spirit of the early explorers as we follow the trails they blazed through forests and across mountain passes. Travelling into Milford Sound from early afternoon means we enjoy our stops in peace and quiet, we’re not in a rush to get anywhere and there’s so much to see. The Eglington Valley, our first glimpse of the Hollyford, the Divide and the Homer Tunnel are just some of the highlights on this journey you’ll never forget.

We'll arrive into Milford and the sanctuary of our lodge with plenty of time for a walk to the foreshore and the opportunity for your own memorable photos of the ‘Eighth Wonder of the World’, Milford Sound.

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Day 9

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Milford Sound
Hiking & Martins Bay

Includes

Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner

Activities

Hiking
Heli flight
Jetboat

Accommodation

Martins Bay Lodge

Day 9 – The Milford Track, Milford Sound by Helicopter and Jetboating in Martins Bay

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Day 10

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Fiordland NP
Hollyford Track

Includes

Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner

Activities

Hiking
Jet Boat

Accommodation

Te Anau

Day 10 – Fiordland Backcountry, Jetboat Ride and Walk the Hollyford Track

Start with another exhilarating jetboat ride, this time up the Hollyford River and across Lake McKerrow. Just when you thought your Fiordland experience couldn't possibly get better, we've got this full-day guided walk on the Hollyford Track. Arrive in Te Anau for dinner with lake views and overnight.

Jetboat Lake McKerrow & up the Hollyford River

Regarded by many as New Zealand’s most beautiful wilderness valley, this is the perfect setting for our final incredible walking experience. Our adventure today starts with a jetboat across Lake McKerrow before your guides lead you on your day's hiking through the World Heritage beauty of the Hollyford Track.

Hiking on the Hollyford Track

Stepping into the Hollyford Valley is literally like entering a lost world, it feels like a prehistoric wilderness untouched for thousands of years! The Hollyford Track is the only major track in Fiordland that is consistently at a low altitude, undulating gently through native forests, beside picturesque lakes and roaring waterfalls as we shadow the swift, clear waters of the Hollyford River. Naturally spectacular, this valley has an unparalleled diversity of vegetation and wildlife from 1,000-year-old giant rimu trees to ancient beech forest, hundreds of intricate ferns, crimson southern rata and the emerald mosses and velvet lichens of the under-story.

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Day 11

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Mackenzie Country
Gibbston Valley

Includes

Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner

Activities

Wine Tasting
Stargazing

Accommodation

Mt Cook Village

Day 11 – Arrowtown, High Country Lakes, Aoraki/Mount Cook & Stargazing tour

Today we'll make our way to Arrowtown in time for lunch, and an explore around this picturesque historic gold mining town. Then we continue on our breathtaking journey into the heart of the Southern Alps among the glacier-fed, high country lakes. Tonight enjoy a stargazing tour in the Aoraki Mackenzie Dark Sky Reserve and planetarium visit. Overnight at the Hermitage, Mount Cook.

Queenstown Winery Lunch

This morning we will take it easy after our wilderness adventures of the last few days to enjoy a sleep in or stroll along the lakefront before we depart for Arrowtown. We'll arrive for lunch and have time to explore this quaint historic gold mining town. Stop in the museum, wander the boutiques or have a look at the remains of the Chinese goldminers' settlement.  

Mount Cook National Park

After lunch, we're heading for the Mount Cook region, a beautiful area of highland turquoise lakes surrounded by vast fields of golden tussock, gazed upon by the spectacular Southern Alps. With a settlement population of less than 100 people and building restrictions enforced, Aoraki Mt Cook offers a tranquility seldom found, its uninterrupted natural views will stop you in your tracks – is there anybody out there?

International Dark Sky Reserve

Recently earmarked as one of only three of the world’s Gold Standard Dark Sky reserves – tonight we will experience the unforgettable Mt Cook night sky, the reason the southern-most observatory on earth is located here. Accompanied by an expert star watching guide you will get a learned insight into our universe and beyond. Through both telescope and specialized binoculars view the Milky Way Galaxy, the Southern Cross and Alpha-Centauri. You may also have the opportunity to see star clusters like the fascinating Jewel Box, faraway planets, our own Milky Way and distant worlds which test the limits of our imagination.

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Day 12

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Aoraki/Mount Cook
multiple choice

Includes

Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner

Activities

Choices

Accommodation

Mount Cook Village

Day 12 – Glacier Boat Tour and options in Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park

This national park is home to not only our highest and most sacred peak, Aoraki/Mount Cook, but an impressive 19 peaks topping more than 3,000 meters. After a glacier boat tour this morning, options include hiking, exploring the village or optional glacier heli tour.   

Glacier boat and Hiking in Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park

Your last full day on the trip will be one of your most memorable. Some of the best alpine hikes in New Zealand are here in Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park. These are the mountains where Edmund Hillary honed his mountaineering skills before he and Tenzing Norgay became the first pair to summit Mount Everest in 1953. Mt Cook, or Aoraki "the Cloud Piercer" as the Maori named it, stands proudly as our highest peak at 3724m (over 12,000 feet).

We start the day with a boat ride across the terminal lake to the ancient ice of the face of the Tasman Glacier. Then in the afternoon we have a couple of great options for you. A walk on the Hooker Valley track to the Hooker lake complete with icebergs and glimpses of Mount Cook towering above us. Or you can relax in Mount Cook village which has excellent cafes and things to do. Or, for an additional cost you can opt for a stunning helicopter ride to the Tasman Glacier for a guided walk on the ice and snow of New Zealand's largest glacier.

Day 12 Continued

Whichever option you choose, you won't be disappointed. After a full day of activities, we'll meet up and return to the Hermitage (our accommodation) for dinner and a chance to trade stories of the day. We're staying within one of the best Dark Sky Reserves in the world so tonight you can simply walk outside to enjoy some of the best stargazing anywhere. 

Overnight at the Hermitage, Mt Cook.

Choice 1

Walk the Hooker Valley Track

This is one of the South Island's most popular trails in glacier country. When you look down from the impressive swing bridges down to the rushing river below that leads you all the way to an alpine lake complete with icebergs, you'll understand why. For flower lovers, the Hooker Valley is one of the best places to see Mount Cook lilies in season.

Choice 2

Free time around Mt Cook Village

Today is a great opportunity to explore on your own. Visit the museum and planetarium in the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre, take some short walks or just soak in the views with a coffee and a book.

Day 12 Optional Add-ons

Below are some of the optional add-ons you can also enjoy:

Glacier heli-hiking

Take a chopper and land high up on the Tasman Glacier – New Zealand’s longest – where you’ll don crampons and explore the dramatic ice caves and clear blue ice with a specialist guide.

USD390+TAX
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Day 13

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Mackenzie Country
Lake Tekapo

Includes

Breakfast
Lunch

Activities

Sightseeing

Accommodation

Finish the trip in Christchurch

Day 13 – Tekapo and the Mackenzie Country, Depart Christchurch

We've saved some of the best scenery for our final day together. The unreal colours of Lakes Pukaki and Tekapo make the perfect backdrop for photos you’ll treasure for years to come. After 13 days of extraordinary adventure, bonding, and fun, we’ll say our goodbyes with drop-offs at Christchurch airport or your city accommodation.

I would definitely travel with you again

Tammy Koontz USA

February 2017

“We enjoyed all the activities, all the hikes were great, we especially loved the Routeburn Track. Would definitely travel with you again! I am already thinking of a follow up trip, perhaps explore a little more of the North Island.”

Photos of Tammy's trip

Wow!

Jack and Maureen Larmour California

February 2017

“This is truly a unique trip with amazing scenery, first class accommodations and food, combined with diversity of fun physical activities (hiking, boating, kayaking, helicopters, and cave tubing. Wow!). Our guides were fantastic and made this already amazing trip extra special. Thank you Emily and Kate!”

Photos of Jack and Maureen's trip

Our guides were FABULOUS!!!!

Tammy Koontz USA

February 2017

“This trip was everything we expected and more! We absolutely loved New Zealand, and your company was a big contributor to that. Great guides, great, itinerary, great travel companions. It really was just fabulous!”

Photos of Tammy's trip

Take this vacation!

Patrick & Judy Ongena Dallas, TX

February 2017

“We planned for a year to travel New Zealand. Every single aspect of our trip was incredible. The attention to detail that NZ Trails works in to their tour is the best. Our guides were the fantastic, the route and timing throughout the 2 weeks of our various hikes was well thought out and logical, and the experience: Once in a life time, day after day. Reserve your time now and experience a trip you did not see coming. We cannot put in to words how pleased we were with this trip. Take this vacation!”

Photos of Patrick & Judy's trip

The lunches every single day were the BEST!!

Patrick and Judy Ongena Dallas, TX

February 2017

“Our very favorite dinner and the ‘bonding’ moment of our group was in the town were we all stayed in the house and Kim made our dinner. It was fantastic. Not to mention, she took the time to make a birthday cake for my wife for a surprise!! Again, Kim went the extra mile day after day. We want to adopt her as her home-base American ‘parents’ ”

Photos of Patrick & Judy's trip

We would like to thank you for our recent trip of a lifetime.

Tom & Louise Rhode Montana USA

February 2017

“We would like to thank you for our recent trip of a lifetime. Tom and I recently returned from the 13 day tour of the South Island with Shona and Holly and it exceeded everything we expected. The food, accommodations and activities were unbelievable but by far the most amazing was the hospitality and support of our guides. Through their guidance and direction I was able to complete all the activities (kayaking especially) and end smiling and having a fantastic time. God bless their patience! I have a great deal of respect for all the quides knowledge and your choice of staffing. Everyone we met was unbelievable.

Photos of Tom and Louise's trip

This was the best vacation experience we have ever experienced.

Patrick and Judy Ongena Dallas, TX

February 2017

“NZ Trails has done a fantastic job of not missing a single detail. 2 full weeks without a single issue proves this point. The variety of hikes from day to day was fantastic. A perfect trip that we have been talking about every day since we returned home. Thank you to everyone involved. Your incredible attention to detail shows 24/7.”

Photos of Patrick and Judy's trip

Great people, great life stories, great humour, brilliant company.

Nigel and Dawn Johnson UK

February 2017

“Quality food and accommodation, great guides and the whole trip was very organised. Like with all these types of trip that we have done over the years, the success normally depends on the other members of the group. On our trip we had 13 guests and 2 guides and it took about 36 hours to gel together and then our whole group just bonded and encouraged each other to get the most out of the trip. The whole group were just a great credit to humanity, and we felt it a privilege to be part of it. Great people, great life stories, great humour, brilliant company.”

Photos of Nigel & Dawn's trip

Our trip exceeded our expectations

Gillian Wood and Charlie Pick UK

January 2017

“Our trip and our guide ‘Young Dave’ exceeded our expectations. He was excellent, he worked so hard to give us the best trip possible always, and is a real credit to New Zealand Trails. Delicious goodies served in breathtakingly beautiful remote places and beautiful lodges what more could anyone ask for? - A walk will never be the same again without our lovely guide Dave!”

Photos of Gillian and Charlie's trip

The World Heritage Tour was fantastic in every way

Carol Elfverson Australia

February 2017

“I've done a number of trips with other tour companies in a number of countries including U.S.A. Canada, Alaska, South America, Europe, Asia and here in Australia but your guides Bruce and Dave were by far the best I've ever encountered! Nothing was too much trouble for them. Their initiative and thoughtfulness combined with a great sense of humour enhanced the trip for the whole group. I’ve already recommended it to my family and friends.”

Photos of Carol's trip

Kim was adorable…

Judy Ongena Dallas, TX

February 2017

“Kim was adorable, well spoken, knowledgeable, and with worldly travels way beyond her age. She has done more than any 10 of us on the trip combined. She handled a van load of ‘A’ personalities with charm and professionalism. Always with never blinking an eye. She added little surprises every now and then that set both herself and New Zealand Trails miles ahead of anyone else in the industry. I deal with people in marketing and personal contact every day, Kim is an enormous plus to your organization and I know that you all recognize that fact!!”

Photos of Patrick & Judy's trip

Thank you again for helping us enjoy the vacation of a lifetime

Katherine & Paul Becker California USA

March 2017

“Our World Heritage tour was absolutely perfect in every way, every detail arranged with care and thoughtfulness, and the best customer service we have experienced in our worldwide travels. We especially want to call your attention to the work done by our guides Josh and Dave to ensure that we were safe, happy, and well taken care of throughout. We are well aware that the behind the scenes logistics required for an itinerary of this magnitude is no simple task! They handled everything in advance so that one activity flowed to the next seamlessly, and maintained a cheerful, enthusiastic attitude while juggling many balls in the air at once.

Photos of Katherine & Paul's trip

It really was as promised, the trip of a lifetime!

Ellen Goldstein California USA

December 2016

“I’ve been raving about this trip, it really was as promised, the trip of a lifetime. The service and adventures and beauty of our time there was brilliant. We couldn't have planned all the adventures and lodging and food and adventures ourselves. And it was great not to have to deal with driving. We'd absolutely recommend this trip!!!”

Photos of Ellen's trip

One of the best trips I have ever been on.

Denice Stouffer California, USA

November 2016

“The World Heritage Walking Tour was one of the best trips I have ever been on. From the initial inquiries, to planning, to the actual trip itself I couldn't have asked for more. I loved the variety of activities that were offered, the trails were incredibly beautiful and our guides felt like best friends by the end of the trip. I highly recommend experiencing this beautiful country with New Zealand Trails.”

Photos of Denice’s trip

Far superior to any guide experience we have had around the world.

Richard and Christine Beebe USA

November 2016

“ ‘EM’ and Amanda were FANTASTIC!!! ‘EM’s' knowledge of the ecology and environment was far superior to any guide experience we have had around the world. Both she and Amanda added a tremendous amount of personal background knowledge regarding the people, traditions, and territory that was incredibly stimulating and appreciated. Both women were very personable and easy to approach. They made a great team.”

Photos of Richard and Christine's trip

Absolutely fantastic!

Mary Martin Smith USA

October 2016

“Absolutely fantastic! Well planned out trip. Fantastic food, awesome accommodations and great adventures. Our guides Dave and Kate were the best. No stress at all on this trip!!! Thank you for the trip of a lifetime!!! I highly recommend New Zealand Trails!!”

Photos of Mary's trip

Want to spread the word?

Dan Veddern USA

April 2016

“Our family of 5 had a blast on this trip. We met great people, our guide was fun and engaging and, of course, the star of the trip is the incredible beauty of New Zealand's South Island. We loved the variety of the activities. It's a well thought out, and well-executed, itinerary. I'd highly recommend it to anyone. Happy to talk to others? Yes, sure!”

Photos of Dan's trip

Don’t just Google it, DO IT!

Geoff and Natalie Lambert Australia

March 2016

“New Zealand Trails provided an incredible experience that we have already recommended to others. They did everything possible to make our experience entertaining, challenging, comfortable, informative and simply amazing! As a small group, it just felt like a home away from home – we met some very interesting and wonderful people – and at the end surprisingly it was so hard to say goodbye.”

Photos of Geoff and Natalie's trip

I felt like a celebrity!

Sandra Crannage UK

March 2016

“My favourite bits were the Milford track, the helicopter, the lunch after drop off, the walk to the end of island and boat back to lodge, the overnight stay, jetboat out and the Hollyford track. We have a programme in the UK called I'm a celebrity!! And that is just what I felt like. You can't improve your service it's already amazing and far exceeded my expectations, the best holiday I have ever had thank you x”

Photos of Sandra's trip

NZ Trails have set the bar so high!

Susan and Fred USA

March 2016

“New Zealand Trails was our first group tour, and they have set the bar so high I wonder if any other tour company can live up to this standard. Experiencing New Zealand by hiking is the core focus, supplemented with a variety of other fun activities. We found this mix just right. Our experienced guide was knowledgeable, supportive and enthusiastic. While there was more hiking than I had expected, I was fine with that. I was gently pushed, and with the great leader and the team effect, I accomplished more than I would have alone. Loved it! The hotels are all comfortable and don't worry about going hungry.

Photos of Susan and Fred's trip

Genuine holiday of a Lifetime!

Mike and Ann Wood UK

February 2016

“This trip was everything we hoped for and our guide made it even more unforgettable. The Routeburn and Hollyford were the stand out hikes, the glow worm caves were amazing and we loved the helicopter flight and jet boat. The vehicle was spacious, relaxed and comfortable and everywhere we ate was a joy. Thanks again for all you did to give us a genuine holiday of a lifetime!”

Photos of Mike and Ann's trip

Loved everything about my NZ Trails tour!

Donna Coster Australia

January 2016

“Our tour guide Dave was fantastic, and we had a wonderful group from US, UK and Australia. Lots of fun and laughs. The walks were great, the forests, waterfalls, raging rivers, and streams all breathtaking. It was a perfect mix of active days and comfortable evenings with lovely dinners, a glass of wine, and the luxury of the accommodation. All the inclusions - guide, additional local guides, activities, meals and accommodation - made it value for money. Highly recommend this tour to anyone who enjoys physical activity combined with some comfort. Thanks, you did a great job!”

Photos of Donna's trip

New Zealand Trails - a 5 star experience!

Nancy and Einar Seadler USA

January 2016

“We still bask in the afterglow of an extraordinary experience perfectly choreographed and executed by the NZ Trails team. The nature thrills are every bit as wonderful as advertised. What doesn’t come through, largely because the team are quite modest, is the amazing attention to every detail which ensures that all we had to do was enjoy ourselves. Everything is very well thought out and executed to precision. It’s amazing how they are able to keep all of the “back of the house” operations hidden from view so we can enjoy each moment. When Andrew says ‘this is your holiday’, he means it.

Photos of Nancy and Einar's Trip

Loved the whole trip!

Gwen and David Cole Canada

January 2016

“We took a New Zealand Trails tour and loved the whole trip - my best day was the Milford Track, with boat ride, hiking, boat, then helicopter down Milford Sound, picnic lunch, seals and the stay at the lodge which was fabulous! Our guide was amazing - he seemed to anticipate all of our needs and desires. Best guide ever. The trip was great combination of hiking, eating, relaxing and other activities such as kayaking and caving. Highly recommend New Zealand Trails!”

Photos of Gwen and David's trip

Completely in love with New Zealand!

Cheryl Hanson USA

December 2015

“I want to let you know that the Dec 10-22 trip that I was on was absolutely fabulous! The best!! I am completely in love with NZ, the most beautiful country I have ever seen and I have seen many. Em was terrific, numero uno, number 1, a wonderful, knowledgeable guide, a fantastic person, and a total delight to explore NZ with. I have already recommended NZ Trails (and Em) to many of my friends, you may see them next year. I had such a great time, I may want to do it again myself! Thank you also for the lovely book about NZ, every time I look at it...

Photos of Cheryl‘s trip

Every day was more exciting than the last!

Anne and Tom Tickell UK

October 2015

“From the moment we met our guides we relaxed and enjoyed every bit of the holiday. They couldn't have been kinder but also realistic and if they felt an activity would not be a good idea found enjoyable and doable alternatives. We never felt hasselled or a nuisance and the whole group became very companionable. Every day was more exciting than the last, we couldn't believe that there was so much variety in a two week holiday and would highly recommend it.”

Photos of Anne and Tom's trip

Sad to come to an end!

Ben and Leslie Wood USA

November 2015

“This was the first group tour we have ever done. We immensely enjoyed the variety of activities, the boutique accommodations we stayed in and the food establishments for dining. All were first class and exceeded our expectations. Our guide, Marilyn, was awesome and her local knowledge of the island and of the flora and fauna were a great addition. The itinerary obviously has been well thought through and meticulously planned. Everything went so smoothly, no issues with any of the accommodations, food, hikes, or excursions. This was definitely a trip of a lifetime, and one that will be hard to exceed.

Photos of Ben & Leslie's trip

No better travel experience!

Cynthia Newcomb USA

November 2015

“There is no better travel experience than walking the land with a congenial group of travelers. This tour gives you a better sense of life in New Zealand than the big, bus tours that visit tourist destinations only. I recommend it to fit, sure-footed people who enjoy the outdoors.”

Photos of Cynthia's trip

The best tour we’ve been on!

Barbara and Gus Savage Australia

March 2015

“This is definitely the very best tour we've been on for a long time, and we have been everywhere from Norway to Alaska and in between. The people, the places and the scenery were above and beyond all expectations. The very best in the world.”

Photos of Gus and Barbara's trip

I want to do it all again!

Jill Davies UK

February 2015

“I would thoroughly recommend this tour to anyone who doesn't want to see NZ through a coach window. It was a lovely mix of activities, and the Heli hike and caves were amazing. The food was excellent everywhere and I enjoyed the wonderful kiwi coffee. I also very much loved having rooms with views. Our guide, Andrew, was great at ensuring we all had a good time and reassuring us that we could go at our own pace. This tour suited my needs and fitness level very well. It has been a holiday of a lifetime and I would love to do it all again!!”

See all the photos from Jill's trip

Fantastic Trip to New Zealand

Joan and Robert USA

November 2014

“We saw so many places and got to hike all the great walks, my favourite was the Routeburn - lots of variety and beautiful scenery. Amazing food and accommodation made for a great trip and Marilyn was the best guide ever! She went above and beyond to make sure everything was perfect and taken care of ahead of time. She made the trip for us and I'm so glad she was our guide.”

See all the great photos from Joan's trip

Wonderful Trip

Elaine Alster USA

January 2015

“The trip with New Zealand Trails was wonderful. We saw and did an amazing amount of sights and activities during our stay. I don't think I would have been able to find several of the activities if I had come to New Zealand on my own. The helicopter ride to Martin's Bay with the walk to the seal rookery, the trip out to the island in Wanaka Lake, and the glow worm cave tour were especially memorable.”

Photos of Elaine‘s trip

Wonderful memories!

Bill & Jill Crombie USA

March 2015

“We had really high hopes that our New Zealand trip would be a good one - and not only was it good - it was fabulous! The group was so easy to be around and our guide was the best. We'll have wonderful memories. Thanks again for the photobook you gave us too.”

Photos of Bill and Jill's trip

Exceeded our expectations in every way

Dave & Nancy Johnson USA

March 2015

“The trip was great! New Zealand Trails exceeded our expectations in every way. Food, lodging and itinerary were all very much First Rate! Marilyn is a superb guide – she really did amplify the fun and quality of our experience. Thanks again.”

Photos of Dave & Nancy Johnson's trip

The highlight of my holiday in New Zealand

Julia Lindemann Germany

February 2015

“The accommodation, guides, hikes and organisation throughout the trip were exceptional. There was not a single hike I didn’t enjoy! Along the way, it was wonderful to have such good guides – they were knowledgable, great fun to be with, highly professional and dedicated. Everything was talked about or presented with enthusiasm and a lovely sense of humour. Many thanks to New Zealand Trails and Marilyn for a wonderful group hiking tour. It was the highlight of my holiday in New Zealand. ”

Photos of Julia's trip

The top vacation we‘ve ever been on

Bob McBroom and Kathy Flynn USA

January 2015

“This is probably the top vacation my wife and I have ever taken. The sights, the hikes, the food, our guide Andrew and the accommodation were all first class. The boat rides and the helicopter flight made more exotic destinations possible without having to hike for days to get there. If you like the outdoors and you want to see New Zealand (and you should - I knew it would be wonderful, but it still exceeded my expectations), I would not hesitate to recommend New Zealand Trails. Absolutely a first rate tour.”

Photos of Bob and Kathy's trip

A holiday that ticked all the boxes

Elizabeth Nairn Scotland

February 2015

“This holiday ticked more boxes than I even knew possible. The walks, accommodation and food were first class from start to finish and our guide, Marilyn, was a real star - her enthusiasm, knowledge and passion for your country shines through in everything. She has antennae for picking up on clients' interests and tailoring, pointing out or making suggestions to make sure they get the maximum out of the trip. Thank you again for the planning, attention to detail and obvious love of New Zealand which went into our trip.”

Photos of Elizabeth's trip

A Fantastic Trip – Thank You

Ray Ducker UK

February 2015

“I wanted the opportunity to see a lot of the South Island, to get off the beaten track and to have an active and exciting holiday. On this tour I did all of these things. I also had great food, stayed in excellent accommodation and had knowledgable, friendly guides to explain so much about the country, the flora and fauna. Each day seemed to be better than the great day before. It was the holiday of a lifetime. A fantastic trip – thank you.”

Photos of Ray's trip

A holiday I will remember for life

Julie Attwood UK

January 2015

“You certainly fulfilled your mission statement – I will remember my holiday with New Zealand Trails for life. Our tour guide, Marilyn, proved to be excellent and had amazing knowledge of New Zealand. Nothing was too much trouble and she made sure everyone's needs were catered for - Marilyn made a great holiday even better! For me, the highlights were visiting Milford Sound, Martins Bay and the Hollyford track. The walking was simply spectacular, the hosts were warm and welcoming and the food was beautiful. Thanks for an unforgettable trip!”

Photos of Julie's trip

New friends & fabulous memories

Andrew and Jocelyn Wood Australia

January 2015

“We have both had an awesome time with our guide Marilyn and your team, visiting some truly magnificent places in New Zealand. Thanks New Zealand Trails - everything was well organized, right from the initial inquiry until we climbed aboard. Travelling in a comfortable bus, eating delicious meals, staying in special locations - New Zealand Trails organized an itinerary that pleased us all! We have made some new friends and have so many fabulous memories that we will treasure for years to come. Thanks so much for your hospitality.”

Photos of Andrew and Jocelyn's trip

We enjoyed every moment

Jack & Stephanie Pettigrew Scotland

February 2015

“Our experience with New Zealand Trails will be a memorable one for all the right reasons. We enjoyed every moment, the company, activities and hikes. The glow worms especially were spectacular and I enjoyed tubing in the caves. Each day was unique, varied, well planned and interesting. The food was very good and of a very high quality – it was a part of the holiday and I looked forward to every meal! A big thank you to our guide Andrew and New Zealand Trails for such a wonderful time.”

Photos of Jack & Stephanie's trip

An active and fun New Zealand holiday

RH Australia

January 2015

“As a normally independent traveller it was wonderful to experience small group travel with New Zealand Trails. I was able to participate in many unique and interesting activities that I may not have done if travelling by myself. I particularly enjoyed the helicopter flight, as I hadn’t flown in one before. Having everything meticulously organised for me meant that I was able to relax and truly enjoy my time in New Zealand. The trip was great value, and I feel that I had an active, involved holiday. Thanks again!”

Photos from the trip

A most enjoyable and fun adventure

Pamela Anstee Australia

January 2015

“The unique hiking options, activities and quality accommodation were what originally drew me to New Zealand Trails. I had a great time! This is a most enjoyable and fun adventure trip showcasing a large area of the South Island in comfort. Two standout experiences were the glowworm cave adventure and Milford Sound. I feel like I have learnt so much about New Zealand – geography, history, bird life, glaciers and that ‘funny’ accent! The trip definitely exceeded my expectations.”

See all the photos from Pamela's trip

The trip couldn’t have been any better

Art and Maura Keene USA

January 2015

“We had a wonderful time with New Zealand Trails and would recommend the tour enthusiastically. The itinerary was fantastic – just about perfect – and everyday felt rich and fulfilling. Marilyn was an excellent tour guide and was impressively attentive to our needs and interests. Accommodation was excellent, the food was well done and we had a delightful group of amiable folks. All in all, the trip couldn’t have been any better. Thank you for a wonderful experience!”

Photos of Art and Maura's trip

A holiday to remember

Phyllis and Ron Williamson Australia

December 2014

“Our tour with New Zealand Trails showcased a very special side of the country that we didn’t know existed. We especially enjoyed floating through glowworm caves on rafts and the helicopter flight over Milford Sound to Martins Bay. The Mou Waho nature trek was a real highlight – we loved the 360 degree views over Lake Wanaka. Excellent accommodation and meals and a fantastic small group made this a holiday to remember.”

Photos of Phyllis and Ron's trip

Highly recommended – I did not want our trip to end

Barbara Toeppen-Sprigg USA

December 2014

“Wow! I did not want our trip with New Zealand Trails to end! Such a gorgeous country, with wonderful hikes, boating, animals, etc. And excellent knowledgeable guides throughout – Marilyn was splendid; knowledgeable, perceptive, attentive, and a skilled driver. Definitely would recommend it!”

See all the photos from Barbara's trip

The trip of a lifetime

Hoshi Tamboli USA

December 2014

“We have travelled to over 40 countries over the years but this was by far the best and most memorable trip we have been on. It exceeded our every expectation. The itinerary was very thoughtfully planned and included a whole myriad of activities, which enabled us to enjoy this uniquely beautiful part of the world. Our guide Andrew was outstanding and was knowledgeable, caring, safe and paid attention to every detail. My wife and I would unhesitatingly recommend this trip and New Zealand Trails without any reservations whatsoever.”

See all the photos from Hoshi's trip

An unforgettable life experience

Sandy & Cameron Godfrey USA

November 2014

“Our trip to New Zealand was truly an unforgettable life experience, a ‘bucket list’ trip for us. The incredible friends we made, amazing places we saw, the grandeur and beauty of New Zealand and its people will forever be in our hearts. The New Zealand Trails World Heritage Walking tour is perfect in every way.”

See all the photos from Sandy and Cam's trip

Ode to New Zealand Trails

Dawn & Bob Brubaker USA

November 2014

“To New Zealand we travelled quite out of the blue, 6 Texans plus 3 with nary a clue Of the fabulous adventure lying ahead, thru thoughtful itinerary from A to Zed Hiking, no - tramping, with M and Andrew, thru Arthur's Pass hail and Mt Cook skies so blue We saw foliage, rocks, flowers, who knew?! Lots-o-birds, some actually flew! Across the South Isle we did some neat hopping, stopped for scenics and toilets but not enough shopping! We traversed via rail, land, sea and air, the lap of luxury, food and accommodations beyond compare The most memorable of holidays - can't say enough, except that we're STAYING And that's...

Photos of Bob & Dawn's trip

Focus on the fun without worrying about the details

Cathy Tanner Canada

February 2014

“NZ Trails have done a brilliant job of coordinating and organizing the tour, everything came off without a hitch. The guide was stellar and did everything to ensure we were all comfortable and had everything we needed. The lodgings were comfortable, spacious and clean and the meals outstanding. New Zealand is a lovely country and Kiwis are among some of the friendliest and most helpful people I've met in my travels. I would highly recommend New Zealand Trails to anyone contemplating an active holiday which allows you to focus on the fun without worrying about the details.”

Photos of Cathy's trip

We were sorry to leave the tour

Val & MIke Sweeney UK

March 2014

“This tour perfectly matched our requirements for comfort, adventure, outdoors/hiking and experiencing the country. The guide was first rate, he took care of us from day 1 and went out of his way to ensure we had a great time. We were sorry to leave the tour at the end and wished we had booked the 13 day tour to go star gazing and hiking at Mount Cook.”

Photos of Mike and Val's trip

Fantastic itinerary which got better and better

Andy Gardner USA

January 2014

“With only a short time available for travelling in NZ, I was looking for a tour which took care of everything and showed me the best the country has to offer and New Zealand Trails delivered in every way. The itinerary was fantastic, it just kept getting better and better. The guide was friendly, always available and really knowledgable, which meant I learnt so much in the short time I was there. My favourite place on the whole trip was Punakaiki and favourite activity was the jetboat up the Hollyford River, which was awesome. Keep up the good work New Zealand Trails.”

Photos of Andy's trip

An active holiday with a bit of luxury

Moya Australia

January 2014

“An active New Zealand holiday adventure for anyone who also enjoys a bit of luxury. I loved the walk on the Milford Track and the riverside hiking at Punakaiki. The glowworm caves were great, the drive into Milford Sound was quite spectacular as was the helicopter ride into the Hollyford Valley where the lodge at Martins Bay was one my favourite places on the whole trip. Our group gelled really well, Andrew looked after us well and kept us informed and entertained. Memories to last a lifetime and seeing the photos has bought it all back. Many thanks New Zealand Trails.”

Photos of Moya's trip

Exceptional Guide

Frances Mahon Australia

January 2014

“The guide on our tour was exceptional - friends asked me what the highlight of the trip was, for me it was learning so much about the history, culture, geography, fauna and flora of New Zealand. This trip was a special treat for myself with very good accommodation and amazing food. For a little luxury with your walking - New Zealand Trails is the one.”

Photos of Frances' trip

Constantly delighted by the little extras.

Melinda Correll USA

January 2014

“The trip is a great overview of the South Island and you come away having learned so much and with wonderful friends and memories. The guide looked after us so well and anticipated our every need so that I always felt completely relaxed and comfortable about leaving everything in his capable hands. I was constantly delighted by the little extras that were not mentioned in the itinerary. 13 days very well spent!”

Photos of Melinda's trip

Out of five stars, I give this tour a six!

Ken Olsen USA

November 2013

“My New Zealand walking tour with NZ Trails was the trip of a lifetime - truely excellent. Our guide Andrew was fantastic, he was extremely knowledgable, friendly and well organized. Our tour included a great mix of trail hiking and other fun activities (kayaking, glowworm cave, glacier hiking, winery visits etc.) I don't normally travel on guided tours like this but was so glad I did and it was absolutely worth every penny. The accommodation and meals were also excellent. Out of five stars, I give this tour a six!”

Photos of Ken's trip

Recommending it to our friends

Ray and Pamela Bryars USA

November 2013

“We thoroughly enjoyed our New Zealand walking tour with New Zealand Trails. Our guide Andrew was outstanding and his knowledge of geology, history and the environment made every day a learning experience. The hiking trails were amazing and we did so many things like riding in a jet boat and a helicopter for the first time. Everything was very well planned, with outstanding accommodation and excellent restaurants. We have very fond memories of our trip and are already recommending it to our active friends.”

Photos of Ray and Pamela's trip
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'Wild about New Zealand – Fiordland'

Andrew Wells - New Zealand Trails Note - The documentary is being uploaded to the TVNZ website for viewing on demand but this is not available outside of New Zealand.

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aoraki mount cook national park

World Heritage New Zealand – See What All the Fuss is About

The South West New Zealand World Heritage Site takes up a massive ten percent of New Zealand’s total land area, that is a whopping 2.6 million hectares (6.4 million Acres)...

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Alps to ocean on the TranzAlpine

Punakaiki and Paparoa National Park Punakaiki is one of those places that just gets under your skin; I first visited as a guide in 1999 and it has always been...

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arthurs pass

Castle Hill and Arthur's Pass hiking – Day one highlights

Our 13 day New Zealand Hiking Tour is packed full of highlights so in NZ Trails style, we'd like to slow things down and take some time to introduce you...

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milford hollyford hiking track

Looking for a tour with the best hikes New Zealand has to offer?

Are you planning an active vacation to New Zealand? Looking for a fully guided walking tour with the best hikes New Zealand has to offer? Want to stay in some...

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wanaka mou wahu

Hiking in New Zealand for your bucket list

Like all Kiwis, we love our backyard and reckon you will too.  The New Zealand Southern Alps and surrounds offer an amazing natural environment that makes it so easy to...

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Hiking guys

Hiking Guys are back!

It's hard to stay away from doing what you love so after a 2 year hiatus I'm happy to announce that Hiking Guys are making a comeback to the New...

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Tour Price

13 Day Tour – Christchurch to Christchurch US$57995799 + tax, per person (twin or double share)

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We do have shorter trip options and solo travellers don’t pay more, unless you’d like an upgrade to a private room. PLEASE NOTE: This is a sample of our current itinerary. Keep in mind we are constantly fine-tuning and improving our trips based on feedback from our guests and guides, availability, etc. So your trip will be at least this good, but we reserve the right to make slight alterations without notice to make it even better!

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