Trekking in New Zealand

23 days
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£5,769
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Traveller ratings
4.8 / 5 from 12 reviews >
Trip code: 
TLZ
Way to Travel:
Guided Group
Activity:
Walking & Trekking Holidays
Min age:
16
Group size:
5–11

Explore New Zealand's incredible landscapes, predominantly on foot

New Zealand epitomises contrasting scenery and culture and is an ideal country for adventure travel. Explore both islands as you weave your way through New Zealand on this active trip, visiting all the main highlights and many off-the-beaten-track attractions. Maximise your time in out of the way places and yet still marvel at the iconic destinations. Enjoy true wilderness campsites followed by comfortable lodges. Trek through Jurassic-like rainforest, hike along a glacier, climb up volcanic peaks and enjoy fish and chips on the beach. It's this mix which makes New Zealand extraordinary - it's majestic but down to earth, otherworldly yet reassuringly familiar. A range of activities from whitewater rafting to sea kayaking and glacier walking complement the hikes superbly and keep this tour as diverse and exciting as the landscapes travelled!

Highlights

  • Raw, primeval landscape of Rotorua shaped by volcanic activity
  • Golden beaches of Abel Tasman
  • Fox Glacier and the deep fjord complexes around Milford
  • Optional adrenaline activities in Queenstown
  • Heli-hike in Mt Aspiring NP

Key information

12 days walking including 7 days light backpacking

What's included

  • 16 breakfasts, 17 lunches, 7 dinners
  • All accommodation 
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request)
  • Visas or vaccinations
Call us on
0208 772 3936
Trip Notes

Download the detailed trip notes for everything you could possibly want to know about this trip, including detailed itinerary and full kit list.

Day by day breakdown
Day 48.0km/4.0miles
Day 58.0km/4.0miles
Day 612.0km/7.0miles
Day 713.0km/8.0miles
Day 911.0km/6.0miles
Day 103.0km/1.0miles
Day 115.0km/3.0miles
Day 125.0km/3.0miles
Day 138.0km/4.0miles
Day 1410.0km/6.0miles
Day 159.0km/5.0miles
Day 179.0km/5.0miles
Day 185.0km/3.0miles
Day 197.0km/4.0miles
Day 205.0km/3.0miles
Day 214.0km/2.0miles

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

Auckland
to
Christchurch
  • Days 1-2

  • Day 3

    Start Auckland.

    Start Auckland; afternoon free to relax at your central hotel or wander the downtown to get your bearings in New Zealand's largest city. Catch a ferry to Devonport or clamber up the Mt Eden volcanic cone to get panoramic views of the city and its bright blue harbours and gain a sense of the city’s complex volcanic past. There will be a briefing at your hotel this evening.
    Standard Hotel

  • Day 4

    Travel to Rotorua.

    We depart Auckland and head south through the dairy farming plains of the Thames Valley before passing over old ignimbrite flows to reach Lake Rotorua with its stunning crater lakes and volcanoes. We savour a picnic lunch sitting on the beach of Lake Tarawera - an ancient caldera crater amongst forest and volcanoes. In the afternoon we enjoy a bush walk along a good trail alongside this splendid lake - there are plenty of great swimming spots. Sample good kiwi kai (food) with an evening meal at one of the many cafes and restaurants in Rotorua.

    Walk approx. 8km/3 hours
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Lunch
  • Day 5

    Visit the Waiotapu Thermal Reserve; hike through the Jurassic-like rainforest of Whirinaki Forest Park.

    En-route to the Whirinaki we visit Waiotapu Thermal Reserve, where you can walk at your own pace through this fascinating thermal wonderland of geysers, bubbling mud, steaming ground, expansive vistas, huge volcanic craters and sinter terrace formations. From here it is a 2-hour drive to the Jurassic-like rainforest of Whirinaki Forest Park. This park covers an area of 60,000 hectares and is famous for its podocarp trees, an ancient off-shoot of the conifer family that evolved before flowering plants. It is thought that forests like this once covered the super-continent of Gondwanaland more than 150 million years ago. This is where the BBC ‘Walking with Dinosaurs’ series was filmed. Step back in time as you hike amongst weeping ferns, forest giants and rare birdlife. On our way back to the vehicle we keep an eye out for the rare Blue Duck that are sometimes seen in this river.

    We drive on to Taupo, situated on the shores of the largest lake in New Zealand. The lake was formed by a series of massive volcanic eruptions over the last 2000 years. We'll visit Huka Falls before arriving at our lakeside accommodation.

    Walk approx. 8km/3 hours
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 6

    South to Tongariro; trek east to west through park.

    Seize the day with a morning dip in Lake Taupo before the short 1-hour drive around the shores to Tongariro National Park. Established in 1887, it was New Zealand's first National Park, gifted to the people of New Zealand by a Maori chief (Tukino Te Hue Hue) who saw this as a way of protecting the tapu (respect or sacredness) of the land - in particular the summits of the active volcanoes. It is also a dual World Heritage Area, a status which recognises the park's important Maori cultural and spiritual associations as well as its outstanding volcanic features. We hike through waving tussock-grasslands between the volcanoes to a hut set in an enclave of native beech forest. It was here that the great battles from Lord of the Rings were filmed. We then traverse up across stony deserts to an alpine hut perched on the toe of an old lava flow. From this hut there are fantastic views of the three main volcanic peaks in the park. The sunrises here are spectacular. We generally stay in the huts but very occasionally camp nearby. Everyone in the group carries a bit of the group food and cooking equipment for the overnight hikes. Sometimes, usually for weather reasons, we may do this hike in reverse.

    Walk approx. 12km/5 hours
    Basic Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 7

    Trek through moonscape of scarlet lava flows and surreal turquoise lakes.

    We hike gently up through a moon-like valley of contorted lava flows and ash fields before climbing up the last steep section to the Emerald Lakes - our usual lunch stop. All around this scarlet moonscape are turquoise and blue-green crater lakes, adding their surreal colours to the landscape. We cross this volcanic range before descending on the western side. In good conditions there is an option to climb one of the lower volcanic peaks. This is a tough walk and will challenge even the fittest of walkers.

    An evening drive takes us to a lodge beside the park with great views of the volcanoes.

    Walk approx. 13km/5 to 8 hours
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 8

    To Wellington; free time.

    This morning we drive to Wellington, arriving in the early afternoon. Wellington is New Zealand’s wonderful harbour capital. The giant fault-created harbour almost encircled by steep suburbs gives it a giant coliseum feel. You have free time to enjoy walking around the central city and absorb the lively atmosphere. Wellington is well known for its vibrant café, art and culture scenes. There is no shortage of places to have a coffee or a drink - with more bars, cafes and restaurants per capita than New York. You may like to visit the museum of New Zealand, called Te Papa, or the beehive (Parliament House).
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 9

    Short flight to Picton; to Abel Tasman; water taxi to campsite.

    We transfer to Wellington airport for the short flight across the Cook Strait to the South Island. Here we meet our South Island-based guide. A pleasant drive through the orchards and vineyards of Nelson Bay takes us to Kaiteriteri a popular holiday spot for kiwis and a gateway into Abel tasman National Park. Abel Tasman’s wilderness flows unhindered to a coast of golden beaches and granite headlands; there are no roads here - just boat and walking access. We hail a water taxi to reach the lovely Onetahuti Beach in the heart of the park. From here we start our hike on the famed coastal track and hike through to our tranquil campsite at Bark Bay. A great spot to gaze at the stars before falling asleep to the sounds of the ocean.

    Walk approx. 11km/3 hours
    Full-service Camping

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 10

    Optional walk along coastal path in Abel Tasman N.P.; to the Buller Gorge.

    Today we wander through lush coastal forests, cross Falls River via a 47 meter suspension bridge then depending on the tides we may cross an estuary or follow the all tide track. Cleopatra's Pool is a worthwhile side trip, here the river has carved a smooth slide down the rocks into deep clear pools - you may not be able to resist taking a dip! We finish our hike on the golden sand beaches of Anchorage, we a water taxi takes us back to Kaiteriteri and our vehicle. We spend the night in Murchison, a quiet rural town on the edge of the wilds. This is the north eastern limit of the vast wilderness ranges and rivers that dominate much of the South Island.

    Walk approx. 3km/2 hours
    Basic Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 11

    To Paparoa N.P.; hike up Fox River to the Ballroom Overhang.

    This morning we drive west beside the mighty Buller River to the rugged West Coast. At Cape Foulwind we take a short walk to view a seal colony. The New Zealand fur seal pups are born in December and January. We might see the young pups frolicking around in rockpools sheltered from the heaving waves that pound this part of the coast. After lunch we start an overnight hike in Paparoa National Park. Amongst the largest remaining tract of coastal native forest in New Zealand are towering limestone cliffs, caves and rivers - an ideal area for hiking. Starting at the mouth of the Fox River, we take a historic pack-horse route to Dilemma Creek, and then follow the river upwards to the Ballroom Overhang where we spend the night. Your guide will show you river crossing techniques and you will be thankful for your proper hiking boots, which are essential in this terrain. The Ballroom is a large limestone overhang which shelters a serene campsite just above the Fox River. The evening is spent sitting around the campfire and enjoying a delicious meal.

    Walk approx. 5km/3 hours
    Full-service Camping

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 12

    Hike out of canyon; drive to Punakaiki, Pancake Rocks, Hokitika and Fox Glacier.

    After a leisurely breakfast we hike back down the Fox River before driving south along the coast to Punakaiki and the Pancake Rocks. These 30-million-year-old limestone rocks have formed immense features with thousands of layers. Continuing south, we stop at Hokitika. Originally known as the 'Capital of the Goldfields', Hokitika was once a thriving and prosperous port. Much of its old character remains and it is now a major centre for greenstone (pounamu) or jade. This hard stone is treasured by the Maori who used it for decorative jewellery and for carving some of their lethal weapons – the war clubs known as meres. From Hokitika we continue south to Fox Glacier, one of the few places in the world where you will see glaciers descending into the level of the rainforest.

    Walk approx. 5km/3 hours
    Basic Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 13

    Fox Glacier trek; optional glacier hike; to Makarora.

    Today we hike up to the terminal face of Fox Glacier situated in the South Westland World Heritage Area. This dynamic glacier falls 2600m over 13kms as it makes its journey from high in the Southern Alps to temperate rainforest just 250m above sea level. You may want to explore more of the glacier and join a heli hike (this is optional, and only available subject to weather and glacier conditions. All equipment is included). You will fly to the midsection of the glacier, where your glacier guide will lead you on a remarkable hike amongst crevasses and ice ridges enjoy spectacular views of the neve and surrounding peaks in one direction and rainforest and ocean in the other! But there are plenty of other hike options in this area - after visiting the terminal face, you have the option of a hike at Gillespies Beach to a lagoon which passes by old gold mining relics slowly being reclaimed by the bush. Later in the day we drive on to Makarora crossing back over the Southern Alps en route at Haast Pass. On the way we stop at Ship Creek to look out for Hector’s Dolphins, the world's smallest marine dolphin that is only found in NZ inshore waters. Tonight we stay in cabins right on the doorstep to Mt Aspiring National Park. There is an option of a restaurant or self catering for dinner.

    Guided glacier heli-hike (extra cost) is subject to weather conditions.

    Walk approx. 8km/3-4 hours
    Basic Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 14

    Heli-flight around Mt Aspiring NP; land in remote Siberia Valley; hike up valley to a glacial lake.

    We start the day by boarding a helicopter for an exciting 20 minute flight to the remote Siberia Valley. Part of the South Westland World Heritage area, the park is characterised by glaciers, ice carved peaks and large areas of wilderness. Just upstream from our landing site is Siberia Hut, which will be our home for the night. We leave any surplus gear here (sleeping bags etc) and head off for a hike up to Lake Crucible. This challenging hike takes us even further into the awe-inspiring mountains of Mt Aspiring National Park and right up to the shores of an old glacial lake at the foot of Mt Alba. Set at 1172m this lake often stays frozen well into the summer, so you may prefer to save your swim for the river! In late spring this valley is dotted with the large white and yellow flowers of the Mt Cook lily. After lunch we make our way back down the valley to the Siberia Hut. Together we prepare a tasty meal, before relaxing on the verandah gazing at the southern stars with the freedom from light pollution. Enjoy the wonderful peace and quiet that goes with spending a night in the wilderness.

    Walk approx. 10km/5 hours
    Basic Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 15

    Hike above the Siberia River; jetboat trip down Wilkin River; transfer to Queenstown.

    Head down the valley - sidling above the Siberia River. We gain spectacular views of the surrounding mountains and waterfalls of the lower Siberia Valley. A jetboat picks us up at the confluence of the Siberia and Wilkin valleys and carries us on a thrilling 45 minute journey downstream to Makarora. After lunch we drive beside the milky turquoise Lake Wanaka and over the golden tussocks of the Crown Range, stopping off at the historic Cardrona Hotel for a drink before arriving in Queenstown in the late afternoon.

    Walk approx. 9km/4 hours
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 16

    Free day in Queenstown.

    Labelled the adrenalin capital of New Zealand, Queenstown offers the chance to sample many adventure activities - skydiving, bungy jumping and white water rafting, to name just a few. You may choose to sit back, relax and take in the amazing views from the shores of Lake Wakatipu on this free day. There are also some great day walks (some up to eight hours) that leave from this bustling little town. Your guide will outline all the options on how to make the most of your day.
    Standard Hotel

  • Day 17

    To Fiordland N.P; Hike to Key Summit on the renowned Routeburn Track; overnight in historic cabins.

    We head into Fiordland National Park - World Heritage Area that is the largest National Park in New Zealand. The huge glacial lakes of Te Anau and Manapouri are the border of Fiordland’s dramatic inland coast. The area is dominated by water, either in the form of lakes, ocean fiords or as falling rain – which has enabled the establishment of temperate rainforest. We hike to Key Summit (the tail end of the renowned Routeburn track) for fantastic views across to the gneiss and granite Darren Mountains. We stay the night in the eclectic historic cabins at the 'Hollyford Valley Camp'. The late Davey Gunn, who was one of the first people to guide on the Hollyford Track set up the camp; he also farmed cattle in the area until the 1950's when the valley became a National Park and the cattle were driven out. There is a quirky museum with a great collection of relics from days gone by. The cabins offer basic but comfortable accommodation in the heart of the national park.

    Walk approx. 9km/3 hours
    Basic Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 18

    Drive to Milford Sound; optional boat cruise into the fjord; to Te Anau.

    Optional 2 hour boat cruise

    We rise early and drive through the Homer Tunnel and down to Milford Sound itself. Here we have the option to take a cruise (~ NZ$82) on the fjord with its cascading waterfalls and views of Mitre Peak (1722m). Fiordland crested penguins and New Zealand fur seals often play near the boat. On the drive south to Te Anau we pass through the stunning Eglinton Valley, one of the only road-accessible valleys in Fiordland National Park.

    Walk approx. 5km/2 hours
    Basic Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 19

    Drive through Mackenzie Country to Aoraki/Mt Cook; hike up Mueller Ridge.

    Central Otago’s high country landscape contains some of New Zealand's largest high country sheep stations, many measuring tens of thousands of hectares – Pategonian-like in size and splendour. Crossing Lindis Pass we continue through the MacKenzie country to the shores of Lake Pukaki and then west to Aoraki/Mt Cook (3754m). An afternoon hike takes us to a stunning view point of the Hooker Glacier and terminal lake. Icebergs float in the lake and the steep crumbling moraine walls beneath the icy peaks provide a dramatic backdrop.

    Walk approx. 7km/4 hours
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 20

    Continue up Mueller Ridge to Sealy Tarns

    Today we hike up the Mueller Ridge via Sealy Tarns, with awesome views of Mt Cook and Mt Tasman (the two highest peaks in New Zealand) and Mueller Glacier with its terminal meltwater lakes. There is time in the afternoon to take another hike up to the Red Tarns, or alternatively take a stroll around the village and visit the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Center.

    Walk approx. 5km/3 hours hiking
    Basic Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 21

    Hike small lakes of Tasman Glacier; transfer across the Canterbury Plains to Christchurch.

    Time for one final hike this morning, as we explore the nearby Tasman Valley, a stunning area of alpine vistas, lakes and glacial morraines. Leaving Mt Cook we continue north through the MacKenzie country, taking a break at Lake Tekapo - aqua blue waters framed by the Southern Alps. Tekapo is filled by glacially fed rivers which deposit tons of glacial flour (finely ground rock) into the lake; this flour is so fine that it is suspended in the water and refracts the light giving the lake a stunning colour. After crossing the Canterbury plains we arrive in Christchurch in the mid afternoon, and here the trip concludes after 3 weeks of hiking through volcanoes, thermal wonderlands, rainforests, glaciers and remote mountain valleys. We generally dine out this evening and celebrate our trip together.

    Walk approx. 4km/2 hours hiking
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 22

    Free day in Christchurch; evening depart.

    Those on the flight inclusive package will depart for London this evening for the flight back to London; Land Only arrangements will finish after check-out from the hotel.

  • Day 23

Essential Info

Visas

New Zealand

Citizens of the United Kingdom, most EU countries, USA, Canada, Australia and South Africa do not currently require a visa to travel to New Zealand.

TRAVELLING VIA THE USA
If you are travelling via the USA (even for transit) and are eligible to transit under the Visa Waiver Programme (most British citizens with a machine readable passport), you are now required to register in advance for an Electronic Travel Authority (ESTA). There is a USD14 charge for the ESTA, which is only payable online with a credit card. Please see the FCO website for further information. All other non-residents passing through the US must get a visa in advance.

Vaccinations

New Zealand

There are no specific health risks.

Eating and Drinking

The itinerary includes 16 breakfasts, 17 lunches and 7 dinners.

Usually the group and the guide prepare the meals together as many of the meals are picnic style lunches or dinners. Breakfasts are generally buffet/continental style; lunches are sandwiches, salads and fruit. The evening meals prepared in the backcountry are a little more basic for practical reasons, but still flavoursome and nutritious (mainly vegetarian). Please note: food for lunches and dinner will be purchased during the tour by your leader, and you may be asked to help with this.

Weather

Weather in New Zealand is very changeable throughout the year and all months are moderately wet. Fine sunny spells can happen at any time of year but the departures have been timed to coincide with the best chance of good weather; although you should come prepared for rain. The temperature in Auckland will vary from approximately 11-23C (min-max) from October-March however it will be slightly cooler in October. The weather on the South Island will be slightly cooler with a range of temperatures of approx 7-20C (min-max). As New Zealand is in the Southern Hemisphere the seasons are opposite to those in the UK. Summer runs from December to February, spring September to November and autumn March to May.

Is this trip for you?

Treks vary in length and terrain: half day to full day, well formed tracks to remote valleys. Away from the tourist areas, tracks can become slippery and rough and there are a number of river crossings (your boots will get wet!).

We hike together as a group stopping for lunch and regular snacks. On hiking days we average 3-5 hours a day, with the longest day being 5-6 hours walking, not including rests.

On the day walks you will need a small (30) litre day pack, however on the overnight hikes you will need to carry your own sleeping bag, clothing and a share of the group equipment so a larger (50 litre) pack is required. For the overnight hikes expect packs to weigh up to 12kgs. 

Call us on
0208 772 3936
Trip Notes

Download the detailed trip notes for everything you could possibly want to know about this trip, including detailed itinerary and full kit list.

Accommodation

Hotels, Lodges & Cabins and Camping

2 nights hotels with en suite facilities, 7 nights lodges and 5 nights cabins, some en suite and some with shared facilities, 5 nights huts/camping with shared facilities.

Call us on
0208 772 3936
Trip Notes

Download the detailed trip notes for everything you could possibly want to know about this trip, including detailed itinerary and full kit list.

Experts

Contact a member of staff who has done this trip

Call us on
0208 772 3936
Trip Notes

Download the detailed trip notes for everything you could possibly want to know about this trip, including detailed itinerary and full kit list.

Expert Blog Entries

  • Reviewed March 2017
    Sharon Chollet
    A truly brilliant 3 week trip highlighting the best of North and South Island

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Too many to choose one. Highlights for me included the beautiful coast paths and beaches of Abel Tasman, helicopter to Siberia hut. The challenge of hiking to lake Crucible. Fantastic cruise on Milford Sound seeing dolphins swimming around the boat. The amazing Mount Cook National Park and everything in between

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Kath on North Island is an experienced, professional guide with an easygoing style. She was ably assisted by Anne who was an intern. Chai on South Island is younger with a very different leadership style. To begin with felt he was at a slight disadvantage as we had all bonded well as a group and he had to get to know us. I definitely warmed to Chai as time went by. He is extremely passionate about New Zealand, its history and flora and fauna. Especially enjoyed his stories and his legendary "Hakka"

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    As previously documented this is a full on trip and you have to be organised with packing. Using several sizes of dry bags within your luggage helps. Get yourself fit as possible, preferably with plenty of hill climbing and descending practice. Breaking the outward journey in Dubai and extra night in Auckland helped with jet lag.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    A fantastic trip with so much packed into 3 weeks. Go for it, you won't regret it
  • Reviewed December 2015
    Kirit
    Excellent trip with varied iteniary with amazing landscapes

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    lots...trek in Tongariro national park, Milford Sounds, Mt Cook trek, Helicopter and jet boat rides , etc

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Both island leaders were good. But Justine in south Island was exceptional . As an Ex Ranger who had also trekked extensively in his young age , he was full of knowledge as well as being very practical.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    JUST DO IT as they say in the advert ! Dont take excess clothes as opportunity to dress smart for evenings is limited since itenary is packed so most of us just wore our clean trekking gear. Also will need larger backpack for the couple of camping days because will need to carry spare clothes,sleeping bag and tent, and some food for cooking.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    A long way away for us Brits but well worth it.
  • Reviewed December 2015
    Charles Preston
    A very well put-together trip with a variety of really interesting experiences

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing "Mount Doom" appear out of its cloud cap on the Tongariro crossing - on cue, during a snack break - and disappearing again the moment my wife had got her camera ready! Helicopter trip into Siberia valley....

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Linda (north island) - lovely Lady - felt very safe in her capable hands Justin (South island) - a tireless bundle of energy, very knowledgeable and a great organiser.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Expect to go up to waist deep on the river crossings after any rain!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Thoroughly recommend this holiday,but if we were to travel to NZ again, we would break the journey with an overnight stop (or two) en route -maybe in Dubai.
  • Reviewed February 2014
    Anonymous
    A great way to see and do a LOT!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    What to choose! Camping on the beach at Abel Tasman was beautiful, big sky, stunning sunset and dawn. The Red quarry on the Tongariro crossing was the most amazing sight, the colours in the rocks unlike anything I've ever seen, then there was Lake Crucible, the refelction of the glacier so clear and sharp. I guess if I had to choose one, the sky dive over Queenstown was the most spectacular experience, we were blessed with a clear, bright day, making the views quite magical.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Both guides were brilliant, Graham on North Island and Chris on South. They both delivered beyond the expectations and were extremely knowlegable and passionate about their country. Changing the itinerary at short notice due to adverse weather was much appreciated and made for a very enjoyable final day. Chris's Dad, supplier of delicious birthday cakes, much appreciated too.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This is a very full on trip, you need to be quite organised packing and unpacking every  night. It is absolutely worth the long flight and a fantasitc way to see a lot of New Zealand and I would do advise doing all the activities and options on offer, it's that kind of place!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Hiking New Zealand were fab hosts and could not have done more to ensure the best possible experience.
  • Reviewed January 2014
    Anonymous
    A well-organised, varied and very enjoyable trip with great leaders and nice group members which did what it said on the tin.  A good mix of travel and walking and other outdoor activities - a perfect first taste of NZ.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Difficult to say - the immediate immersion into the relaxed NZ vibe after the stresses of the UK pre-Christmas rush, the amazing volcanic landscapes round Rotorua, fabulous lake-side accommodation at Lake Taupo, the bizarre lunar landscape on the Tongariro crossing, the remote windswept beaches of the west coast of South Island, the lush greenery and deep inlets of Fjordland, the majesty of (unfortunately mist-shrouded) Mount Cook - the list goes on.   

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Graham and Chris (respective group leaders for North and South Island parts of the trip) were both very capable and efficient as well as being friendly, impeturbable and very knowledgeable about the flora and fauna and history of NZ.  They worked really hard to ensure we had the best holiday possible and to facilitate group members contributing as well ot the experience. I really don't think they could have done any more than they did and indeed they exceeded our expectations e.g. Chris invited us to his house for a buffet lunch on Christmas Day.  

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you want to get a general overview of New Zealand in as short a time as realistically possible, with a bit of walking and other outdoor activities throughout, I can highly recommend this trip.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I understand that Exodus is thinking about changing the local agent, Trek New Zealand.  From my experience Trek New Zealand provide a really excellent service which leads to satisfied clients who will therefore be more inclined to go on other Exodus trips.  So changing the local agent could prove to be a false economy.      
  • Reviewed February 2013
    Anonymous
    An absolutely brilliant three weeks in the most wonderful country. Everything as described in the trip notes, and more. 

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Difficult to decide, but some of the highlights were the trip up to Abel Tasman NP, including camping on the beach - watching the sun set across the water, then seeing the southern night sky in all its glory; the helicopter flight in Mt Aspiring NP and the next day a very welcome lift back down the final stretch of river by jet boat, after a 7 hour hike; the stupendous scenery around Mt Cook; and paragliding from 1400m up in Queenstown. And not forgetting rainforests, thermal springs, kiwis, active volcanoes, glaciers and fjords... 

    What did you think of your group leader?

    On North Island leader Kath - what a character! Really knowledgeable and upbeat even in the face of 50mph winds, hail, sleet and snow on the Tongariro crossing.Chris - great guy too. Arranged for the sun to shine the entire two weeks on South Island and even managed to produce home made scones when we arrived! 

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    UK citizens need an ESTA visa if transitting via the US (return flight was via Los Angeles) - the Exodus office didn't know this for sure. Anyway it's easy to obtain online - I did it while in NZ.The weather in NZ (see earlier comment above) really can be "all four seasons in a day" - temperatures we encountered varied from freezing to 30 degrees - pack accordingly but try to travel as light as possible as you'll constantly be packing and repacking.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Despite the long walks I don't think I lost weight - the Kiwis like to serve generous portions of food. Great bunch of people in our group - we even won the Mt Cook pub quiz! At the beginning, I did wonder what I'd got myself into when I found out I was sharing with a guy who'd bagged all the Monros in Scotland and been up Everest (hi Pete!) but, as a not particularly fit 54 year old, I had a blast.In conclusion, if you are at all considering this trip, just go for it!
  • Reviewed December 2012
    Anonymous
    The trip was an unending variety of activities and experiences; physically tiring but without the stresses sometimes felt in non English speaking countries.  It was a superb trip but 3 weeks is barely enough time and I have returned home with a list of things/places to return and visit again or anew.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I find it difficult to choose a single most inspirational moment of the trip but would include the sceneries around the Tongariro crossing and Mount Cook which were really beautiful and unique.  It was awe inspiring just being there.I also chose to jump out of a plane, skydiving from 12000 feet near Queenstown.  This was our single rest day on the trip, but by this time the adrenaline was flowing.  That was pretty memorable.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We had separate group leaders for the North Island (Kath) and South Isalnd (Chris).  Both were from Hiking New Zealand and were excellent.  They both had the same well balanced mixture of Enthusiasm with Energy, Professionalism with Knowledge.  They were always happy to enthuse but remained flexible in order to provide the best for people on the day.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    On arrival in NZ open your minds to a non stop rush of movement and experience.  On return be prepared to feel shattered from the whole trip.  Enjoy!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Take seriously the signs at Auckland airport arrivals point which warn against taking any foodstuffs into the country.  A single apple can cost you NZ$400 fine. I saw it happen.
  • Reviewed December 2012
    Anonymous
    We packed so much in the three weeks that it was necessary to come back home and sit down with the itinerary. notes etc. to appreciate just how much we had achieved!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Imposible to single out just one highlight for this trip. We were a small group of  only five people, plus a diferent leader for each of the islands . Smaller groups get things done more efficiently, enabling all of us to pack more into an already busy schedule, combined with exellent knowledge by our leaders Kath & Chris, for whom  nothing was too much trouble.  Their help, imformation and passion for their home New Zealand lead us to efficient use of our time, with many extra side trips , viewpoints and short treks added . 

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We had one for North & one for South Island! Both knew their country like the back of their hand;  Kath lead us North and Chris lead us South. We all developed team spirit, strange when a group of people are thrown together at random.  Our leaders were passionate about their homeland ,keen conservasionists ,so helpful, full of knowledge and enthusiasm.  Quickly they became our friends rather than a leader. 

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This N.Z. must be the best action packed ,sight seeing ,thrill seeking New Zealand package available ANYWHERE. OK, you could say OH, we will make our own way, do our own arrangements , No Way, time would be wasted sourcing and organising, you would see and do far less. These guides know their stuff, just who to contact etc. while your kayaking/ trekking/whitewater rafting/sight seeing /jet boating or whatever is your passion these guys are booking /organising the next step! 

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The walk on the Fox Glacier was probably the only slight disappointment.  It was very busy and you were not given a chance to look around much.
  • Reviewed January 2012
    Anonymous
    An action-filled three weeks. The trip was well organised to fit so much in the time.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I enjoyed the two days in Siberia the most; as well as Milford Sound and around Holyford.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We were guided by exhuberant Kath and wise and understanding Graham. Both were gregarious, and gave of themselves fully.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The minibus was cramped for 11 +1 persons and its windows lacked height for seeing the amazing scenery.An arrangement initiated by the guides to rotate the sitting in the front seats would contribute to greater fairness and reduce tensions.
  • Reviewed January 2012
    Anonymous
    Fantastic jam packed three weeks in the wonderful New Zealand. The trip was more than I could have hoped for, New Zealand would be a great back drop for any visit.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    So many great days, so many great moments. Camping on the beach at Able Tasman and watching seals playing in the evening surf. All sitting on a rock in silence watching the sun go down on the volcano tops in the Tongariro Park. But when your birthday falls on the day that you have a dramatic flight by helicopter to the Siberia Valley that has to come tops. How they managed to smuggle cake into the hut to surprise me I can’t guess. The walk up to Lake Crucible later was hard work, perhaps it was the cake. Must mention the bird life, be quiet and still and you will be amazed how tame they are.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Both the leaders were fantastic but differant in their own ways. Great but real people who brought their own personalities to the job. Very hard working and if you do go on this trip please chip in with the household jobs. You will enjoy the trip more as the team builds.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Sand Fly deterrent is not optional it is a must. Also you will want to stock up on itch relief. Long sleeves and long trousers are also needed to help keep the evil things off you. They bite and it hurts, try to not scratch because it make them flare up again. Get the local snake oil from the first chemist you find, don’t bother with the stuff you can find in Boots in the UK. The walks to the huts are hard work due to the weight of gear that has to be taken along. As well as all your own gear there are the shared items which add up. Everybody has to help and it only works if the team all pull together. It was not clear that there was a short hop from the North to South by a tiny one prop plane. Great trip as it does not get high and the view is stunning. But there is a strict 20Kg limit on all luggage. That includes hand luggage of which there is none because it can’t fit inside. So that’s everything has to add up to 20Kg maximum. Wash and wear is the way to go and many of the motels have laundrettes but getting it done when you arrive late and have an early start is not easy. I will not go into my experiments with microwaves and hairdryers due to health and safety.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Take some music for the van; in the north the CD collection is abysmal and Kath needs help. In the south Graham has an Ipod/mp3 connection and too large a collection of Country and Weston. We organised guest DJs for the front seat and that helped pass the long journeys. The New Zealand people are lovely and you should make time to chat, they will be very willing and interested. Thank you Exodus, a fantastic trip I could not have won a better prize or shared it with a better group.

Dates & Prices

An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: sales@exodus.co.uk

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