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New Zealand Uncut - Hiking New Zealand - 13 Days

Hiking New Zealand

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Highlights

Discover the world underground at Waitomo, explore the geothermal delights of Rotorua, hike across active volcanoes and lava valleys in the world-renowned Tongariro National Park and sip coffee in the coolest little capital of the world – Wellington. We have chosen excellent quality hotels and lodges and all rooms have ensuite bathrooms. Every place we stay has something special to offer and your evenings will be just as enjoyable as your days spent outdoors. Wonderful meals are included giving you an opportunity to sample the local cuisine from the restaurants in the cities and towns we stay.

What You'll Get

Itinerary

Day 1: AUCKLAND - ROTORUA 1-2km/2 hours hiking

Stop At: Ruakuri Cave, Waitomo Caves 3977 New Zealand
Meet your North Island guide and the rest of the group in the Heritage Hotel foyer at 7am before driving south through the classic patchwork green farming country alongside the Waikato River. Arriving at the Waitomo Caves area descend into the vaulted galleries of the Ruakuri Cave with its limestone formations and crystals. Be captivated by the thousands of tiny glowworms that cling to the cave ceiling and mimic a starlit night sky. Later we emerge into the sunshine and wander on a loop trail through an outstanding limestone canyon. We arrive in the volcanically active area of Rotorua late afternoon. Rotorua is also the centre of Maori cultural tourism in New Zealand and tonight we enjoy an evening meal and cultural performance.
Duration: 4 hours

Meals included:
• Lunch
• Dinner
Accommodation included: Distinction Hotel, Rotorua

Day 2: ROTORUA LAKES - LAKE TAUPO 8km/5 hours hiking

Stop At: Lake Taupo, Taupo Marina New Zealand
Hike alongside the beautifully clear Lake Tarawera, enjoying the shade that towering tree ferns and ignimbrite cliffs offer. Plop into the water to cool off at any one of the tiny pumice beaches as you wait for the others to catch up. There are astonishing views all along this trail, giving glimpses of how expansive this massive wilderness of forest, lakes and volcanoes really is. In the afternoon we explore some of the amazing thermal areas located a little south of Rotorua. Wander along boardwalks that connect pools of bubbling mud, mineral-tainted hot pools and plumes of rising steam as you wonder at this unique area. Grab a cuppa before we drive toward the lakeside town of Taupo. At Huka Falls feel the power as the huge Waikato River gets pinched through a narrow rock corridor. Our accommodation is in Taupo. Relax with a drink and enjoy the views.
Duration: 8 hours

Meals included:
• Breakfast
• Lunch
• Dinner
Accommodation included: Beechtree Motel, Taupo

Day 3: TONGARIRO 8km/2-4 hours hiking

Stop At: Taranaki Falls, Ngauruhoe Terrace, Tongariro National Park New Zealand
Enjoy the views of volcanic peaks across Lake Taupo before we drive around it's shores to New Zealand'’s first National Park, –Tongariro. Take a leisurely morning walk through stunning rainforest around the slopes of Mt Pihanga and to the mystical Lake Rotopounamu (Lake of Greenstone). The next two nights are spent in a hotel on the edge of the park, providing a great opportunity for you to explore the area at your leisure. Join the guide this afternoon for a great walk to Taranaki Falls, cascading 20 metres over a 15,000 year-old lava flow. Enjoy dinner with the group in the comfort of your hotel.
Duration: 8 hours

Meals included:
• Breakfast
• Lunch
• Dinner
Accommodation included: A hotel at the gateway to Tongariro National Park

Day 4: TONGARIRO 23km/6-8 hours hiking

Stop At: Tongariro Alpine Crossing, Off State Highway 48 Mangatepopo Valley, Whakapapa Village, Tongariro National Park New Zealand
Join the guide today for a full days walking on the famous Tongariro Alpine Crossing, regarded as one of the best day walks in the world. The well built track traverses up, steeply at times, to the craters of Mt Tongariro. Stop and admire the views of the Red Crater, Emerald Lakes and steaming vents that make this hike so iconic. After a sometimes long and physically challenging day celebrate your achievement at dinner with a bottle of fine New Zealand wine. Those who prefer a more restful day can find plenty to do at the village: Soda Springs walk, Taranaki Falls walk, or simply drink coffee and view the great exhibits at the Park Visitor Centre. Enjoy your second night in this village.
Duration: 8 hours

Meals included:
• Breakfast
• Lunch
• Dinner
Accommodation included: A hotel at the gateway to Tongariro National Park.

Day 5: TONGARIRO - WELLINGTON

Stop At: Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, 55 Cable St, Wellington 6011 New Zealand
Rest your legs this morning as we drive south through rolling green hill country to the capital city of Wellington. The tour finishes early afternoon in this buzzing wee city. Stroll along the fabulous waterfront and absorb some of New Zealand’s history in the national museum - Te Papa, or simply get lost admiring the heritage houses along one of the many improbably steep streets. Nowhere is very far in Wellington. There is a vibrant café and restaurant scene here – enjoy.
Duration: 3 hours

Meals included:
• Breakfast
Accommodation included: Distinction Hotel, Wellington.

Day 6: WELLINGTON - KAHURANGI NATIONAL PARK 8.5-18.5km/4-8 hours hiking

Stop At: Flora Hut and Mount Arthur Hut tracks, 79 Trafalgar Street Millers Acre/Taha o te Awa, Nelson New Zealand
Before boarding your plane grab a fast breakfast at one of the groovy airport cafes. Enjoy your scenic flight over Cook Straight as you hop from the North to the South Island. Your southern guide will meet you at Nelson airport. Sit back and enjoy the picturesque drive to Flora Saddle in Kahurangi National Park. On a well-formed track, we meander our way up to the bush-line and the Mt Arthur hut. Those feeling keen can venture further with the guide along the rugged marble ridge-line towards the summit of Mt Arthur. Alternatively, perch on a rock and soak in the view before reuniting with the group for the descent (usually via a different track). Tonight, we celebrate our arrival in the South Island by dining together in one of Nelson’s fine restaurants.
Duration: 8 hours

Meals included:
• Lunch
• Dinner
Accommodation included: Rutherford Hotel, Nelson.

Day 7: NELSON - ABEL TASMAN NATIONAL PARK 11.7km/4 hours hiking

Stop At: Abel Tasman Coast Track, Harvey Road, Marahau, Abel Tasman National Park 7010 New Zealand
After an early breakfast, we set off for Abel Tasman National Park. You will be amazed at how different the landscape is here to nearby Kahurangi National Park. Board a water taxi and cruise the coastline past golden sand beaches and rugged granite headlands into the heart of the National Park. Step ashore at Bark Bay and follow the famed Abel Tasman coastal track through native forests and along golden sand beaches. A well-formed trail leads us up and over a gentle ridge into Torrent Bay, where the lovely clear fresh waters of Cleopatra's Pool may tempt you to take a dip or for those more daring - a slide down the naturally formed hydro-slide! At Anchorage, we will meet the water taxi for a return journey to Kaiteriteri, a seaside village and gateway to this National Park, before heading back to Nelson. There is free time to do some more exploring in this vibrant and arty little town.
Duration: 8 hours

Meals included:
• Breakfast
• Lunch
Accommodation included: Rutherford Hotel, Nelson

Day 8: NELSON - PUNAKAIKI 6km/3 hours hiking

Stop At: Pancake Rocks and Blowholes Walk, State Highway 6, Paparoa National Park, Punakaiki 7873 New Zealand
On the way to the West Coast we stop for a remarkable hike to marvel at natural flames which have been burning since the 1920's. We access this phenomena with a local guide through a privately-owned working deer farm. Unlike the Eternal Flames of the Chimera in Turkey these flames are surrounded by lush tree ferns and beech forest. A cup of 'billy tea' and hot cakes prepared over the flames gives this experience a distinctly kiwi flavour. We continue our journey alongside the mighty Buller River as it cuts through the massive wilderness of the upper South Island, arriving on the coast at Westport. We take a short stroll at Cape Foulwind to view a colony of New Zealand fur seals playfully splashing around in the rock pools. We then head south to catch the sunset at Punakaiki and visit a local pub for dinner. Take an evening stroll around the famous Pancake Rocks and blowholes – we try to time our visit with high tides so we may leave the rocks until tomorrow if tide times are more favourable.
Duration: 1 hour

Meals included:
• Breakfast
• Lunch
• Dinner
Accommodation included: Punakaiki Resort, Punakaiki

Day 9: PUNAKAIKI - METHVEN 4km/2 hours hiking

Stop At: Inland Pack Track, Punakaiki New Zealand
Hike the Inland Pack Track from Punakaiki to Pororari. This historic route was once used by prospectors and miners to avoid the immense coastal cliffs while travelling the West Coast. Pass through deep limestone canyons, towering rainforests and groves of Nikau Palms. You may not be able to resist a speedy swim in one of the many deep clear pools you pass on the way! After the hike, we join a remarkable highway which takes us from the lush green rainforests of the West Coast and over the glaciated Southern Alps to the parched soft yellow savannahs of Canterbury. This is one of the most cleverly engineered roads in New Zealand. East of Arthurs Pass, stretch your legs and stroll around the enchanting limestone outcrops of Kura Tawhiti (Castle Hill). This area was an important meeting place and food gathering area for early Maori people. Interestingly it was also bestowed a “spiritual centre of the universe” by the Dalai Lama when he visited in 2002. Today it is a haven for rock climbers who climb and boulder on the multitude of rock forms. We then leave the highway and follow the back roads around Lake Lyndon and on to Methven, a ski town by winter and laid-back rural town the rest of the year. The Southern Alps form a spectacular backdrop. Wander in to the village for a meal at a local restaurant.
Duration: 2 hours

Meals included:
• Breakfast
• Lunch
Accommodation included: Ski Time, Methven

Day 10: METHVEN - AORAKI/MT COOK 5km/3 hours hiking

Stop At: Mount John Summit Circuit Track, Lakeside Drive, Lake Tekapo New Zealand
Drive south following the edge of the Canterbury plains to Lake Tekapo, famous for its stunning turquoise waters and the quaint Church of the Good Shepherd, perched daintily by the lake. Hike up through wilding conifers and tussock grasslands to the summit of Mt John. Revel in the 360-degree views of the Patagonia-like landscape. The sweeping Mackenzie basin is a sparsely populated region in the rain shadow of the Southern Alps; tawny-brown drylands, braided riverbeds and startling glacial lakes extend to the horizon. On arrival at Mt Cook village we hike up to Red Tarns for magnificent views of Aoraki/Mt Cook and the surrounding alps. Relax here and enjoy the views before wandering back down arriving at the door of our accommodation, where we stay for the next two nights.
Duration: 3 hours

Meals included:
• Breakfast
• Lunch
• Dinner
Accommodation included: Lodge within Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park

Day 11: AORAKI/MT COOK 5-8km/4 hours hiking

Stop At: Sealy Tarns Track, Terrace Road, Aoraki Mount Cook National Park (Te Wahipounamu) 7999 New Zealand
Hike up to Sealy Tarns and enjoy the awesome views of Mt Sefton, Mueller Glacier and across the Hooker Valley to Aoraki/Mt Cook. If you're feeling energetic, join the guide for a further climb from the tarns up to the crest of Mueller Ridge for even wider views of this magnificent alpine landscape. Those not wanting to climb to Sealy or Mueller can take the flatter option and walk up the Hooker Valley (unguided), enjoying close up views of the Mueller and Hooker Glaciers on the way.
Duration: 4 hours

Meals included:
• Breakfast
• Lunch
• Dinner
Accommodation included: Lodge within Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park

Day 12: AORAKI/MT COOK - WANAKA 2km/1 hour hiking

Stop At: Tasman Glacier, New Zealand
Travel up the Tasman Valley towards the longest glacier in New Zealand, the Tasman Glacier. Take a short walk through the glacial moraine and board a custom-built boat for a unique spin around the terminal lake. Like most glaciers in the world the Tasman Glacier is retreating and the terminal lake increases in size every year. This dynamic environment is dotted with icebergs of all shapes and sizes from the collapsing terminal wall of the glacier. Our drive to Wanaka follows the Mackenzie country south before climbing over the tussock lands of the Lindis Pass into the southern lakes district. Wanaka is a lovely holiday town on the lake-side.
Duration: 3 hours

Meals included:
• Breakfast
• Lunch
• Dinner
Accommodation included: Edgewater Resort, Wanaka

Day 13: WANAKA - QUEENSTOWN 10km/4 hours hiking

Stop At: Mount Aspiring National Park, Ballantyne Rd, Wanaka New Zealand
A beautiful drive alongside Lake Wanaka leads us to Aspiring National Park. We hike up the Matukituki Valley beneath some fine peaks before turning up the Rob Roy side stream and climbing abruptly to the bushline. This gorgeous trail through virgin beech forest emerges into a splendid alpine basin below the bulking mass of the Rob Roy Glacier. Watch water tumble off the glacier's snout as you relax and enjoy lunch. Keep an eye out for cheeky kea (alpine parrot). You probably won't need to look too hard as these curious birds normally call in when food is around (although it's important to never offer them any titbits and upset their natural foraging behaviour)! After the hike grab a drink and unwind on the lawn of the famous old drover's hotel at Cardrona, before we drive over the Crown Range and into the lively scene of Queenstown. Your tour finishes here in the late afternoon.
Duration: 4 hours

Meals included:
• Breakfast
• Lunch
No accommodation included on this day.

Additional Information

  • Confirmation will be received within 48 hours of booking, subject to availability
  • Near public transportation
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Most travelers can participate
  • This experience requires a minimum number of travelers. If it’s canceled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 11 travelers
Inclusions
  • 11x Breakfast
  • 9x Dinner
  • 12x Lunch
  • Accommodation included: 12 nights
  • Entry/Admission - Ruakuri Cave
  • Entry/Admission - Lake Taupo
  • Entry/Admission - Taranaki Falls
  • Entry/Admission - Tongariro Alpine Crossing
  • Entry/Admission - Flora Hut and Mount Arthur Hut tracks
  • Entry/Admission - Abel Tasman Coast Track
  • Entry/Admission - Pancake Rocks and Blowholes Walk
  • Entry/Admission - Inland Pack Track
  • Entry/Admission - Mount John Summit Circuit Track
  • Entry/Admission - Sealy Tarns Track
  • Entry/Admission - Tasman Glacier
  • Entry/Admission - Mount Aspiring National Park


Exclusions
  • Entry/Admission - Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa


Departure Point
35 Hobson St, Auckland CBD, Auckland 1010, New Zealand


Departure Time
7:00 AM

Duration
13 days

Return Details
Queenstown, New Zealand


Voucher Info
You can present either a paper or an electronic voucher for this activity.

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The Fine Print

7-day cancellation rights do not apply; no refunds or exchanges permitted. Voucher valid only for date and time listed; may not be exchanged or redeemed for other dates. Purchaser name and phone number must be provided at checkout; this information will be shared with Viator and the tour operator for purposes of order fulfillment. Groupon promo codes may not be used for this offer. Groupon voucher Terms of Sale do not apply. See the tour operators terms and conditions for this offer here. Merchant is solely responsible to purchasers for the care and quality of the advertised Goods and services.

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