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New Zealand is an island country of diverse and stunning beauty, steep mountains, green fjords, angry rivers, silent lakes and white beaches. This volcanic island has a nature scenery ... moreand wildlife like no where else. Take the flightless and strange Kiwi, or the burrowing parrot - Kakapo. The remote New Zealand is sparsely populated by humans but densely with sheep. And it´s easily accessible. 

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Country:
New Zealand
New Zealand is located where the Southern ocean meets the Pacific. The mountain filled island with fjords and long beaches is a kayaking paradise. The scenery is beautiful and will ... moreimpress you in so many ways. Kayaking here is an experience you´ll never forget. 

The best way of checking off kayaking in New Zealand of your bucket list is to let local experts help you plan your journey. 

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Country:
New Zealand
The mountain biking trails of New Zealand range from easy to challenging, with incredible sights and a scenery that you might not believe exists before riding there! Coastal stretches, ... morehigh mountains, lakes and fjords. 

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Country:
New Zealand
New Zealand is a hikers paradise. A wet dream that easily can become realityl. There are so many routes and destinations that you can go trekking for the rest of your life. But if ... moreyou have limited time and want to make the most out of your Kiwi dream, you should let local experts plan your trip. 

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The best hiking in New Zealand

$
5,500
/ Person
Destination:
New Zealand
This is the complete New Zealand travel experience. Explore both islands as you weave your way from north to south. Go underground in the Waitomo glowworm caves, explore the geothermal ... morearea of Rotorua and hike the volcanoes of Tongariro National Park. Spend even more time hiking in the south: the Abel Tasman coast, Punakaiki’s luscious green rainforests and the majestic Aoraki/Mount Cook. Finish your time in this magical country under the immense peaks of Mount Aspiring National Park before arriving in Queenstown.

The day hikes and short walks have been specially selected to get you into the best and most diverse wilderness areas of New Zealand. From strenuous alpine hikes to strolls along the beach, choose the walks to suit you. This trip lets you maximise your time in remote areas and marvel at New Zealand’s iconic landscapes.
DAY 1 - AUCKLAND –- ROTORUA  1-2km/2 hours hiking Meet your North Island guide and the rest of the group in the Heritage Hotel foyer at 7am before driving south through the classic ... morepatchwork 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.

Accommodation: Distinction Hotel, Rotorua.
Includes lunch and dinner.

DAY 2 - ROTORUA –- LAKE TAUPO 
8km/5 hours hiking
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.

Accommodation: Beechtree Motel, Taupo.
Includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.

DAY 3 - TONGARIRO
8km/2-4 hours hiking
We drive around Lake Taupo’'s shores to New Zealand’'s first national park - –Tongariro. Take a leisurely morning walk through stunning forest 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 the Chateau. 

Accommodation: Chateau Tongariro, Tongariro National Park. 
Includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.

DAY 4 - TONGARIRO
23km/6-8 hours hiking
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 track is extremely well built and even a novice hiker will enjoy the gradual ascent up to the top of Mt Tongariro. Your guide will set a pace that lets you stop and admire the views of the Red Crater, Emerald Lakes and steaming vents that make this hike so iconic. It will all be worth it when you celebrate 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 alpine village. 

Accommodation: Chateau Tongariro, Tongariro National Park. 
Includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.

DAY 5 - TONGARIRO - WELLINGTON
Rest your legs this morning as we drive south through rolling hill country to the capital city of Wellington. You usually arrive in Wellington in time to grab a late lunch; a great opportunity to sample the fare in this cafe capital. The rest of the afternoon is yours, so take your time as you stroll along the fabulous waterfront and through the busy streets of this buzzing wee city. Absorb some of New Zealand’s history in the national museum - Te Papa, explore the waterfront or simply get lost admiring the heritage houses along one of the many improbably steep streets. Nowhere is very far in Wellington. You are spoilt for choice for places to dine this evening, so take your pick. 

Accommodation: Distinction Hotel, Wellington. 
Includes breakfast.

DAY 6 - WELLINGTON - ABEL TASMAN N.P.
11.7km/4 hours hiking
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 the Nelson airport before your picturesque drive to Kaiteriteri. This seaside village is the gateway to the popular Abel Tasman National Park, and a trendy vacation spot for kiwis. Board a water taxi for a jaunt 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. On the way back to Nelson we stop at the sleepy little coastal settlement of Mapua for some fine local fare. 

Accommodation: Rutherford Hotel, Nelson. 
Includes lunch and dinner.

DAY 7 - NELSON - PUNAKAIKI 
6km/3 hours hiking
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 phenomenon with a local guide over 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. 

Accommodation: Punakaiki Resort, Punakaiki.
Includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.

DAY 8 - PUNAKAIKI
11km/4 hours hiking
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 lunch hike along the Truman track to reach stunning waterfalls, sea cliffs and wild beaches. And of course no visit to Punakaiki is complete without a trip to the Pancake Rocks and blowholes. We walk at high tide when the blowholes are most impressive, blasting sprays of salt water skyward. 

Accommodation: Punakaiki Resort, Punakaiki. 
Includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.

DAY 9 - PUNAKAIKI - CHRISTCHURCH
4km/2 hours hiking
This remarkable highway 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. From Arthur’s Pass hike (unguided) four kilometres down to the village on a well-formed walking track. The trail has superb mountain views, thundering waterfalls and a diverse range of alpine plants. We catch a glimpse of our colonial past as we pass Jacks Hut, a restored roadman’s cottage. East of the pass, stretch your legs again 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 as 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. Arrive in Christchurch in the mid afternoon, time to explore the inner district and see some of the innovative and exciting methods used to rebuild the heart of the city following the devastating 2011 earthquake. 

Accommodation: Hotel Ibis. 
Includes breakfast and lunch.

DAY 10 - CHRISTCHURCH - AORAKI/MT COOK
2km/1 hour hiking
Our mid-morning departure allows time to discover some city cafes or see one of the parks in the ‘Garden City’. Our drive south takes us 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. Arrive at Aoraki/Mount Cook in the late afternoon. Relax and enjoy breathtaking views of New Zealand's highest mountain (3,724 metres). 

Accommodation: Aoraki / Mount Cook Alpine Lodge.
Includes lunch and dinner.

DAY 11 - MT COOK
5-8km/4 hours hiking
Hike up to Sealey Tarns and enjoy the awesome views of Mt Sefton, Mueller Glacier and across the Hooker Valley to Aoraki/Mount 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 Sealey 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. 

Accommodation: Aoraki / Mount Cook Alpine Lodge.
Includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.

DAY 12 - MT COOK - WANAKA
2km/1 hour hiking
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. 

Accommodation: Edgewater Resort, Wanaka. 
Includes breakfast and lunch.

DAY 13 - WANAKA - QUEENSTOWN 
10km/4 hours hiking
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. 

Includes breakfast and lunch.

Departures
Departs:November 2017: 2, 30 
December 2017: 28 
January 2018: 25 
February 2018: 8, 22 
March 2018: 22 
April 2018: 12

Grading & Fitness

Grade: B*

Up to 4-5 hours of physical activity per day

At times carrying a backpack of 4-5kgs (8-10 lbs)

Tracks generally in good condition

Altitude gains of up to 600m (2000ft) on harder days

No hiking experience necessary

*The full (optional) Tongariro Alpine Crossing on day 4 takes 6-8 hours and has an altitude gain of 750m

What to Take
New Zealand’s weather is very changeable and cold weather can be experienced at any time of year, especially in the mountains. We recommend wearing lightweight and breathable fabrics while hiking. Merino or polypropylene underwear is great in cold weather and will still keep you warm when it gets wet, unlike cotton. Jeans are not suitable for hiking.

Essential Items:

hiking boots or shoes

day pack

waterproof raincoat (gore-tex or similar)

warm fleece/wool jersey (not cotton)

shorts or lightweight hiking trousers (preferably quick-dry)

polypro/thermals – top & bottom

long sleeve shirt (for sun protection)

4 pairs of socks 

warm hat

sun hat, sunscreen and sunglasses

drink bottle (1 litre)

spare shoes or sandals

insect repellent

short-sleeved short (quick-dry, polypropylene or wool)

casual clothing for travel and evenings

gloves/mittens

togs (swimming costume)

Recommended items:
walking poles, camera, rain trousers.

We supply:
first aid kit, drinking water, safety equipment and maps.

Luggage:
For the flight between Wellington and Nelson (New Zealand Uncut only) the total luggage allowance is 20kgs per person. This includes hand-carry. 

Equipment Hire:
We can offer quality hiking equipment for use on your tour at no additional charge. We are able to supply fleece jacket, thermal top and bottom, raincoat, gaiters and walking poles. Requests for equipment must be made at least 5 days before the departure date. 

Transport
The average driving time per day varies; we have some days where we hardly drive at all. On a typical day we might be in the vehicle for 2-3 hours. But some days we will drive for longer. The driving time is a chance to rest and enjoy the fantastic scenery that is forever changing. You will travel in a roomy minibus and we aim to have a few spare seats at all times. We tow a custom-built trailer with food, equipment and your luggage. We carry a library box with some natural history reference books for you to peruse too. There will be a range of roads - sealed and unsealed. The guides are easily convinced to stop the vehicle if there is a great photo opportunity, vineyard or notable ice cream shop!

Food
Almost all of the meals are included on this tour, but when staying in the cities we let you do your own thing and try some of the excellent local restaurants (see “Additional Costs” section). Breakfast is usually (but not always) continental-style in the lodges and hotels. There are plenty of opportunities to graze the local cafes if you would prefer to explore in the morning. The lunches we prepare ourselves are often ‘on the run’ in picnic areas or on trails. Our guides usually set out lunch food for you and you simply help yourself. We provide healthy and wholesome food and include a lot of fresh produce. It is part of our philosophy to get everyone involved so there is a pretty good chance you may find yourself wielding a sharp knife or pushing the tea trolley around at lunchtime. Our customised trailers have a fold down table and cooking area that is perfect for preparing picnics at all those secret places we will take you. Included dinners are frequently in lodge restaurants (either set menu or a la carte), or in a restaurant in the town but occasionally somewhere out of the ordinary!

Accommodation
The New Zealand Uncut tour uses a range of hotels and quality lodges chosen for their good standards and wonderful locations. All rooms have ensuite bathrooms. Some lodges have units with two bedrooms per unit. Rooms are twin share or doubles. If you are travelling on your own you will be given a twin share room with a fellow traveller of the same gender. Single supplements are available on this tour.
The New Zealand Uncut tour has been created for those that appreciate a high standard of accommodation after a good day of hiking.

Additional Costs
All activities outlined in the itinerary are included in the trip price.

Meals out: Three evening meals are not included (Wellington, Christchurch and Wanaka). The typical cost for a restaurant main course in New Zealand is about $28. Two breakfasts and one lunch are not included (Wellington and Christchurch).

Guides & Safety
An excellent guide can make the difference between a trip of a lifetime and just an ordinary trip. That is why we work hard to make sure we hire the best guides. Our handpicked professionals come from a range of backgrounds. Each has extensive outdoor and hiking experience and a passion for New Zealand’s wild and beautiful backcountry. Our guides will ensure that your time with us is truly inspiring, a huge amount of fun and safe. All guides are trained in Mountain Safety First Aid.

Please be gentle with your guide - good guides are hard to find!
$
3,760
-
$
3,970
/ Person
Destination:
New Zealand
The Ultimate New Zealand experience! This trip encompasses the very best that New Zealand has to offer - hike the best sections of the Lake Waikaremoana Great Walk and explore the ... morevolcanic wonderland of Tongariro National Park. In the South Island swim in the crystal clear waters of Abel Tasman National Park, kayak on New Zealand’s largest unmodified wetland before being exhilarated by the adrenalin-packed activities of Queenstown. Be dwarfed by the peaks of Milford Sound and the awe-inspiring Aoraki/Mt Cook. The five multi-day hikes throughout the country flaunt the diversity of the New Zealand landscape. The range of accommodation includes: camping, backcountry huts, lodges and cabins. Revel in the outdoor atmosphere while sitting around the campfire. Rotorua thermal park, Row boats, Okarito sea kayaking, cycling the Wilderness Trail and the Milford Sound cruise are all included in the trip price.
Itinerary DAY 1 - AUCKLAND - WHIRINAKI  We head south to Rotorua (with a café halt at 9am for those who missed breakfast). Rotorua has thermal areas and stunning lakes, and with a ... morebackdrop of distant volcanoes is quite unique. The area is also rich in Maori and early European history including the tragedy of the 1886 Mount Tarawera eruption that buried a Maori village. We have a quick stop by Lake Rotorua before driving south and exploring one of the extraordinary Department of Conservation thermal parks (price included). After a picnic lunch, we head east and off the tourist route into the Whirinaki. This forest park is huge but relatively un-visited. It is famous worldwide for its Jurassic-like rainforest - the podocarp trees are an ancient off-shoot of the conifer family and evolved before the flowering plants. It is thought that forests like this once covered the super-continent of Gondwanaland over 150 million years ago. We do a short nature walk, wandering amongst these giant trees to the river canyon before driving back to our simple cabin on a farm property with a mix of bunk rooms and camping. Just us here usually. We cook up a meal together and chill out by the outdoor fire brazier. 

Includes lunch and dinner.

DAY 2 - WAIKAREMOANA - TE UREWERA 
7km/2 hours hiking
This morning we drive east and further into the rugged forest ranges of the Te Urewera National Park. Home of the Tuhoe (Maori tribe) this area was so remote it was one of the last places in NZ where European influence was felt. After two hours winding through the most incredible rain forest we stop for a cuppa (cup of tea) before finally getting to the western arm of the remote Lake Waikaremoana. We drive on to the southern end of the lake and stop for a picnic lunch and a chance to finish organising backpacks for the first hike. Jump into a water taxi and enjoy the 20 minute jaunt across the lake. We usually drop our packs at the lake-side hut or the campsite perched above a small beach before doing a 2 hour lake-side hike to a lovely waterfall. On return we set up camp here and as a group cook a meal. Soak up the surrounds; the reflections of wilderness in the lake, forest and mountains, bird song and tranquillity. On a still evening you can sometimes hear kiwi calls echo across the lake. 

Includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.

DAY 3 - LAKE WAIKAREMOANA 
17km/8 hours hiking
Hoist your pack and follow the track as it climbs up through bright green tawa and beech forest to the Panekiri Range - over 500m above the lake. The trail climbs gently at first and later more steeply - so pack lightly! As we trundle along the ridge to Panekiri Hut you get great views beyond Lake Waikaremoana to the contiguous wilderness stretching for hundreds of kilometres to the north, south and west. At the hut take a rest and devour a well earned lunch. From here the track undulates along the ridge through gnarled beech forest and passes many brilliant viewpoints before the final descent to the road end. A 20 minute drive takes us to the sweet little cabins/camp area beside the wharf. Relax, sit on the wharf and drink a beer. We cook a meal together in the communal kitchen. 

Includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.

DAY 4 - WAIKAREMOANA - TAUPO 
4km/2 hours hiking
This morning we hike on an easy 1 hour track up to the usually calm waters of Lake Waikareiti. If conditions allow (light wind) tumble into row-boats (included) and row out across this most splendid of lakes to a wee island in the middle. This tranquil paradise of bird life, ancient forest and pure waters really feels like a forgotten world. If weather prevents rowing, then there are plenty of other forest walks or viewpoints to explore. After, we drive west then south to Lake Taupo. This is the largest lake in New Zealand – a 600 sq km volcanic caldera crater created when the largest volcanic explosion known to humankind erupted in 186 AD. On the drive towards Taupo we pause to bathe in a natural hot river, one of those secret spots only the locals know about. There is also time for a stop at the Huka Falls where you can feel the spray as the mighty Waikato River plunges seven metres. At Lake Taupo we either grab takeaway food (own cost) or rustle up a quick 'trailer' meal at a lovely lake-side spot on route. Just relax on the strange pumice beach or take a swim in the evening light while dinner does it's thing. The sun may set before driving the last hour to Tongariro National Park. Cabin or lodge rooms. 

Includes breakfast and lunch.

DAY 5 - TONGARIRO NATIONAL PARK
13km/5 hours hiking
Established in 1887, Tongariro National Park is New Zealand's first National Park, gifted to the people of New Zealand by a far-sighted Maori chief who saw this as a way of protecting the tapu (respect, sacredness, preciousness) of this land – in particular the summits of the active volcanoes. Although most other hikers walk the busy one-day Alpine Crossing, only a fraction explore the remote and drier east side of this volcanic range like us, and almost no one does the side trips and short cuts we know about. But rest assured, we do exit (or enter) the area via the 'crossing' so you still see that remarkable scenery - usually when it's less busy if we can be cunning about it!

After being dropped off at the trail start, hike through waving tussock-grasslands between the volcanoes to a hut set in an enclave of native beech forest. After lunch traverse across stony deserts to an alpine hut at 1400m, perched on the edge of an old lava flow. From this hut there are fantastic views of the three main peaks in the park: Ruapehu, Tongariro and Ngauruhoe. It's an extraordinary landscape of active volcanoes and lava valleys, dynamic and changing even in recent years (2013!). Enjoy the experience of sharing an alpine hut with hikers from all over the world. We usually sleep in the hut but very occasionally camp.

Includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.

DAY 6 - TONGARIRO
15km/6-8 hours hiking
Hike up through a moon-like gentle valley of contorted lava flows and ash fields before ascending steeply to the Emerald Lakes. This is where our route joins the spectacular Tongariro Alpine Crossing. Once here we traverse the volcanic plateau, which boasts lava valleys and steaming explosion craters, flanked by the brooding volcanoes, before descending on the western side. In good conditions, there is an option to climb one of the volcanic peaks. Tongariro National Park is full of landscapes the likes of which are found nowhere else in New Zealand. An evening drive takes us to a lodge right inside the National Park, the perfect place to relax with a beer and enjoy the million dollar views across to the volcanoes. Enjoy a meal out in the alpine village. 

Includes breakfast and lunch.

DAY 7 - TONGARIRO - WELLINGTON
1km/1-2 hours hiking
A relaxing start today allows you to check out the Park Visitor Centre with espresso in hand before departing. Those taking the bus back to Auckland can be dropped at National Park Village mid morning; the train passes through National Park the following day. Drive south, eventually leaving the National Park and the volcanoes behind. Descend through the beautiful river valleys of the Rangitikei and finally along the coast to Wellington, New Zealand's wonderful harbour capital, arriving in the mid afternoon - cafe stop on route. This giant fault-created harbour is almost encircled by steep suburbs giving it a giant 'coliseum' feel. Nowhere is very far in this stylish little city. Enjoy. You might like to visit the Museum of New Zealand, called Te Papa, or the 'Beehive' (Parliament House) to see some ranting politicians – or you might not. Wellington is well known for its vibrant café scene and its accessible downtown area. People come into the city to enjoy the lively atmosphere. Includes breakfast.

DAY 8 - NELSON - ABEL TASMAN N.P. 
5km/1.5 hours hiking
Today you have the option to have either a relaxing start to the day or a quick dash around the CBD or walk along the waterfront before catching the group shuttle to the airport for your short flight to Nelson. Your South Island guide will have collected those people joining for just the South Island portion of the trip at noon from the centre of Nelson. From there they will drive to the airport and collect you from outside the airport terminal soon after 12.30pm. From Nelson it is a picturesque drive around Tasman Bay to Kaiteriteri, the gateway to Abel Tasman National Park. Here you can pack your gear for a 2 night stay in the park and then board the water taxi. A beautiful cruise around the coast takes you to Onetahuti. There is plenty of time to take a dip at this sheltered and idyllic beach before following the Abel Tasman Coastal track south to Bark Bay where the tents and guide have been previously dropped by boat. Pitch your tent and enjoy a delicious meal together. Fall asleep to the sound of waves lapping the shore. 

Includes lunch and dinner.

DAY 9 - BARK BAY - ANCHORAGE 
12km/3-4 hours hiking
Today offers the opportunity to hike in this magical National Park and wander along the sheltered coastline marvelling at the crystal clear waters and stunning scenery of this marine reserve. The hike from Bark Bay takes us through glades of Manuka, over a low saddle and across a 47 metre suspension bridge at Falls River. The optional side trip to Cleopatra’s Pool is a must and a perfect place for a swim on a warm summer’s day. Tonight’s campsite is at Anchorage, a stunning bush-fringed bright blue inlet. Time to take another swim, read a book or have a snooze, before preparing and enjoying another delicious evening meal together. Abel Tasman Sea Kayaking can be arranged for this day (4-5 hours) if requested at the time of booking ($170). The kayaking starts and finishes in the same place so you will hike as well as kayak if you take this option at the time of booking. 

Includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.

DAY 10 - ANCHORAGE - MURCHISON
17km/8 hours hiking
Have a sleep in or join the guide for a stroll out to Te Pukatea Bay and Pitt Head – the site of an old Maori Pa. Then back to camp and maybe a swim before leaving behind the beautiful Anchorage Bay, it’s a gentle ramble over a saddle, through lush beech forest with large Kanuka trees. We’ll past through several picturesque bays before eventually emerging out into the estuary. Finish walking the track by crossing the Marahau causeway where your guide will meet you with the van. Time to rest the legs on the drive to tonight’s campsite near Murchison, overlooking the confluence of the Buller and Maruia Rivers. Enjoy some local hospitality with an organic home-cooked meal prepared by our hosts. 

Includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.

DAY 11 - MURCHISON - BALLROOM OVERHANG
8km/3-4 hours hiking
After driving down the Buller Gorge to the West Coast, the first stop this morning is Cape Foulwind. Here is an opportunity to observe a breeding colony of New Zealand fur seals – almost hunted to extinction in the 1800s. After lunch begin the group hike up a spectacular limestone river canyon in Paparoa National Park. Established in 1987, the park covers over 30,000 hectares. It has natural attractions including mountains, limestone cliffs, caves, rivers and wilderness areas. The hike involves several river crossings (your boots will get wet). Collect firewood along the way and set up camp under the massive Ballroom Overhang. 

Includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.

DAY 12 - BALLROOM OVERHANG - HOKITIKA
8km/3-4 hours hiking
Before hiking back splash up a beautiful side canyon, following the stream until it disappears into a cave. Depending on weather and river conditions your guide may alter the route out to include more time in the canyon away from the track. This can be a good chance to use the river crossing skills learnt yesterday! After the hike there is a stop in Punakaiki and a chance to check out the famous Pancake Rocks and blowholes before continuing down the coast to tonight’s accommodation in Hokitika. A thriving gold rush town in the 1870s, Hokitika was described as ‘the most rising place on earth’. Hokitika is better known now for the Wildfoods Festival held every year in March. It is also a good place to buy pounamu (greenstone), which was highly valued by early Maori for tools, jewellery and weapons. Tonight’s lodge accommodation has magnificent sunset views over the Tasman Sea. It is a night off cooking tonight; tuck in to fish and chips on the beach or eat out at one of the many cafés in this bustling little seaside town. 

Includes breakfast and lunch.

DAY 13 - HOKITIKA - OKARITO
39km/4-5 hours biking
Today we mountain bike the stunning West Coast Cycle Trail between Kawhaka Intake and Lake Kaniere; those feeling keen can carry on and cycle into Hokitika township. Pedal your way through majestic native forest, cross crystal clear rivers, passing old reservoirs and water races, before gradually climbing up through lush rainforest. A stop at the Cowboy Paradise Tavern (this really is the Wild West) is always a highlight. Push back the saloon doors, grab a cold beer and enjoy the views – until the sheriff asks you to leave town. Have lunch beside one of New Zealand’s most beautiful lakes – Lake Kaniere, before the trail follows a historic water-race down a sweeping tree lined pathway known as the pipeline. Choose to either finish your ride here or cruise the last 10km into Hokitika.

For those who do not wish to cycle, a lovely 4 hour hike around the shores of Lake Kaniere can be arranged. In the afternoon relax on the drive to the charming coastal village of Okarito where you camp for the night. End a great day by watching the sun set over the pounding surf. 

Includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.

DAY 14 - OKARITO - MAKARORA 
10km/4 hours kayaking
Start the day by exploring the area's main attraction – the exceptional Okarito Lagoon. Here you can observe some of New Zealand’s famous native birds, including white herons and tui, all from the comfort of your sea kayak. Paddle up secluded river channels where 60m tall native Kahikatea trees tower above you, and admire the snow capped Southern Alps in the distance. After lunch, we drive to the village of Fox Glacier. We will hike up to the terminus of the glacier so you can view this monstrous river of ice close up, one of the only glaciers in the world to descend into rainforest. After your time hiking to the glacier we drive down into South Westland and over Haast Pass to Makarora. We will stop to see if we can spy any Hectors dolphins at Ship Creek, and take a short hike near Haast Pass to see the aptly named Blue Pools. 

Includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.

DAY 15 - MAKARORA - ASPIRING HUT
14km/6 hours hiking
Drive alongside the impressive glacially formed lakes of Hawea and Wanaka; both are great for a swim on a (hot) summer’s day. Continue through Wanaka town and wind up the Matukituki Valley to the end of the road. Hoist your pack and head up the valley. A worthy side trip is the steep climb to view the Rob Roy Glacier (you can leave your pack at the bottom of the valley and pick it up on the way back). Cheeky kea (alpine parrots) often mingle with the group at lunchtime, so watch out that your gear is not borrowed, or eaten! Back at the Matukituki River we follow the valley up to Aspiring Hut. The majestic mountain scenery is revealed as you hike gently up the valley. Through the dips in the high peaks glimpse views of the Matterhorn-like Mt Aspiring (3033m) in the distance. 

Includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.

DAY 16 - ASPIRING HUT - KNOBS FLAT
8km/3 hours hiking
We return back down the valley. Enjoy the views from the trail as it meanders down the river flats. Stop for a picnic lunch by Lake Wanaka before the remarkable drive over the Crown Range. From the summit there are breathtaking views across the Wakatipu Valley and lakes. Our late afternoon drive takes us past Te Anau and much of the way to Milford Sound. We camp for 2 nights at the beautiful Knobs Flat campsite. Grab a hot shower and relax. 

Includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.

DAY 17 - KNOBS FLAT - MILFORD 
2 hour cruise, 5km/3 hours hiking
From the gentle valley flats the road punches through into an imposing alpine landscape of granite cliffs and hanging valleys. Lean forwards and enjoy this striking drive into the heart of Fiordland National Park. This amazing World Heritage Site is the largest national park in the country and one of the largest in the world. The huge glacial lakes of Te Anau and Manapouri border the spectacular inland coastline that is Fiordland. The area is dominated by water, either in the form of lakes or as falling rain. Arriving at Milford by mid morning you join a cruise that takes you all the way out to Anita Bay and the entrance to Milford Sound. Enjoy the views of cascading waterfalls and Mitre Peak (rising 1722 metres out of the sea). Fiordland crested penguins, dolphins and New Zealand fur seals often play near the boat. On the way back to Knobs Flat we enjoy a hike up to Key Summit, the final section of the famous Routeburn Track. On the summit, take time to learn about the vegetation and geography of the area along an informative nature walk, and soak up the views of the Darran Mountains and Hollyford Valley to the west. 

Includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.

DAY 18 - KNOBS FLAT - QUEENSTOWN
The drive to Queenstown takes about 3 hours. Hike the afternoon away, up the steep tussock-lands of Ben Lomond. Expansive views of the lakes and mountains of the Queenstown region lay spread before you. Queenstown is known as the adventure capital of New Zealand; bungy jumping, canyon swings, skydiving, mountain biking and jet boating are just some of the activities available. There are also some great day hikes accessible from the town centre into the mountains that offer stunning views of Lake Wakatipu and the surrounding peaks. We stay at a centrally located lodge that is an easy walking distance from the town. Two nights in Queenstown in twin ensuite rooms gives you a chance to catch up on laundry and take some ‘chill out’ time if you wish. If chilling out is not on your list of priorities we will give you a hand to book as many adrenalin-packed activities as you wish prior to your arrival in Queenstown; talk to our team on booking or to your guide at the beginning of the tour. 

Includes breakfast and lunch.

DAY 19 - QUEENSTOWN
This is a free day to get your adrenalin pumping on one of the many activities offered around town. Or you can sit back with a really good coffee and relish the dining choices on offer. This is your day to spend as you would like. Your guide will happily offer advice on the many options available to you. Queenstown is a stunning spot and a playground for outdoor activity; you’ll be spoilt for choice in how to occupy your day here. 

Includes breakfast.

DAY 20 - QUEENSTOWN - AORAKI/MT COOK 
4km/2 hours hiking
Spend the morning driving up through the Central Otago High Country crossing Lindis Pass into the Mackenzie Country. This area is home to some of New Zealand’s largest sheep stations, which measure tens of thousands of acres. It is renowned for high quality fine wool production, thanks to the hardy merino sheep which graze these mountainous areas. Arrive at Mount Cook Village. In the afternoon hike up the steep glacial moraines to the Red Tarns, named for the red pondweed that grows in them. Tonight’s campsite is at the foot of New Zealand’s tallest mountain, Aoraki/Mount Cook (3754 metres) – the Maori name translates to Cloud Piercer. 

Includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.

DAY 21 - AORAKI/MT COOK 
8km/5 hours hiking
We set off with day packs to hike up to Sealy Tarns and Mueller Hut. There are impressive views across the Hooker and Mueller glaciers to the Mount Sefton icefall and Aoraki/Mount Cook. On this walk you can see the forces of nature at work – huge moraines deposited over thousands of years by glaciers, and more recently avalanches and rocks that tumble down distant mountain faces. If you don’t wish to hike this morning you have the opportunity to join a heli-hike onto the Tasman Glacier with a local operator (NZ$550). Get kitted out with crampons (for your boots) and fly up onto the Tasman Glacier where it runs beside the biggest mountains in New Zealand. Marvel at the ice-carved landscape and explore the amazing ice formations and possibly ice caves. Experience this enormous landscape first hand.

There is time in the afternoon to relax at the campsite or visit the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre. This is a great place to be inspired by the courageous stories of pioneering mountaineers and to learn about the park’s natural history. Tonight is the last night of the trip and what a place to spend it – in the heart of the Southern Alps surrounded by that special kind of silence that only big mountains can command. If you are lucky you will see the summit of Aoraki/Mount Cook turn from white to pink as it catches the last of the sun’s rays. We head down to the local pub for some wholesome kiwi kai (food). 

Includes breakfast and lunch.

DAY 22 - AORAKI/MT COOK - CHRISTCHURCH
8km/3-4 hours hiking
Before turning east to Canterbury we explore the Tasman Valley. The Tasman Glacier is the longest glacier in New Zealand. It is rapidly retreating and has an astonishing melt water lake at its snout. Make the most of being in this special place and wander around the glacial moraines and tarns. Our final drive takes us across the plains to Christchurch where the tour ends. 

Includes breakfast and lunch.

Details
Start/Finish: 7:00am, pick up zone outside Sky City, 20m from Sky Tower base, corner Victoria and
Federal Streets, Auckland (Rotorua pickup by arrangement) 
Christchurch - 6pm (approx.) 

Departs:
July 2017: 4 
August 2017: 1 
October 2017: 31 
November 2017: 21 
December 2017: 5, 19 
January 2018: 2, 16, 30 
February 2018: 13, 21, 27 
March 2018: 13, 27 

Grading & Fitness
Grade: D
Average of 4-5 hours physical activity per day, up to 8-9 hours on longer days.
Pack weights of 10-12kgs (22-26lbs) on some days.
Altitude gains of up to 800m (2600ft) per day.
Some uneven track surfaces and river crossings.
No multi-day hiking experience necessary.
You need to be reasonably fit and enthusiastic and have good agility.
Terrain mostly tracks. Some may be slippery or rough; some off-track hiking and river crossings.

What to Take
New Zealand's weather is changeable and we can experience extremely cold weather at any time of year, especially in the mountains. Our huts/camps vary in altitude from sea level to over 1000 metres. It is necessary to have warm clothing. Jeans are not suitable for hiking.

Essential Items: 

hiking boots or good hiking shoes

backpack (at least 60 litres capacity)

backpack liner (plastic bag)

3 seasons sleeping bag

waterproof raincoat (Gore-tex or similar)

warm fleece/wool jersey x2 (not cotton)

shorts for hiking (preferably quick-dry)

short-sleeved shirt x2 (quick-dry, polypropylene)

polypro/thermal underwear - top & bottom

3 pairs of socks (they get wet)

warm hat

sunscreen and sunglasses

drink bottle (1 litre)

spare lightweight shoes or sandals

flashlight/head lamp

insect repellent (sandflies like foreign blood)

casual clothing for travel and evening

gloves/mittens

small daypack 

togs (swimming costume)

towel (lightweight towels are great)

personal toiletries, medication and first aid

Optional items: (but highly recommended)

Gaiters, binoculars, earplugs, walking poles, camera.

We supply:

Therm-a-rest sleeping mat, tents, cooking equipment, plates/cutlery, first aid kit, safety equipment and maps.

Luggage:

We allow space for 120 litres per person (one large pack plus one day pack). You may be required to forward excess luggage if you exceed this. Any gear you do not need while hiking can be locked in the custom-built trailer. We highly recommend travel insurance.

*Ultimate New Zealand only - for the flight between Wellington and Nelson the weight of your baggage must not exceed 20kgs.

Equipment Hire:
We have high quality hiking equipment which you can hire for our Kiwi-Style Hiking trips. Please arrange hire gear when you book. Requests for hire equipment must be made at least 5 days before the departure date.

Transport
The average driving time per day varies, some days you are in the wilderness and won't see the vehicle for 2 or 3 days! On other days you might be in the vehicle for 2-3 hrs or occasionally more. The driving time is a chance to rest and enjoy the fantastic scenery which is forever changing. You will travel in a 12 seat minibus towing a custom-built trailer with camp equipment and your luggage. They are also equipped with a range of natural history reference books. There will be a range of roads - sealed and unsealed. The guide will often stop the vehicle if there is a great photo opportunity or primo ice cream shop!

Food
As well as being the time to rest, refuel and recharge, meal times are also a great time to get to know your fellow travellers better, sit back and enjoy the amazing surroundings and enjoy some great food! Everybody has a turn with the preparation and cooking of meals: barbecues, salads, pancakes, curries, pasta, stir-fries, hangi... Vegetarian meals are no problem. On the "wild nights" the group will usually eat pasta and rice meals (special "secret" recipes used). There is always a lot of hiking food - chocolate, nuts, raisins, biscuits. The vehicles carry a full range of cooking equipment including gas burners, woks, frying pans and billies (cooking pot). When you go on an overnight hike the group will carry a portable stove. 

Accommodation
"Wild nights" vs nights in civilisation...The Ultimate New Zealand is a combination of “wild nights”, which are the nights where you are truly in the wilderness, staying in backcountry huts or camping in locations that may be several hours walk from the nearest road or populated area, versus nights in civilisation where you may stay in cabins, lodges or camp by the vehicle at Department of Conservation campsites. Some of these locations may still be relatively remote and in the wilderness but they can be reached by the vehicle.

Huts - New Zealand has an excellent network of backcountry huts and you will stay in huts or camp next to them on two nights. Huts are equipped with mattresses, running water and an outside toilet. Cooking is done on a portable stove. Huts are only accessible on foot and shared with other hikers. You also have the option of camping beside the hut if that is your preference.

Camping - On camping "wild nights" you may camp under natural rock shelters, on remote beaches or even sleep out under the stars (single tent available on request)! On the non-"wild nights" you will camp near the vehicle in Department of Conservation campsites. If the weather is not great for camping, for instance very wet, stormy or cold conditions, your guide will seek out alternative accommodation, eg lodge, cabin or crib.

Lodges - You will stay in lodge type accommodation on some of the nights, the lodges are usually conveniently located near the start or end of a hike and have multi-share and sometimes twin/double rooms generally with shared bathrooms.

Cabins - some nights may be spent in cabins at a campground. Usually you can put a tent up if you prefer a ‘room’ to yourself on these nights.

Bathroom facilities - on the wild nights there will be long drop (pit) toilets. There will be rivers or lakes nearby for washing, and sometimes there are even natural hot pools! The Kiwi-style Hiking Tours are set up so after a couple of nights of "roughing it" in the wilderness, you will stay somewhere where you can enjoy a shower and a few home comforts (including laundry facilities) before the next foray into the wild!
Additional Costs
Meals: Meals that are not included in the trip price are detailed above.

Optional activities: Abel Tasman sea kayaking (NZ$170*), Mt Cook Heli-hike (NZ$550*)

*Prices are correct at time of publishing.

All other activities are included in the price: Rotorua Thermal Park, water taxi, row boats, natural hot pools, scenic flight from Wellington to Blenheim, Okarito sea kayaking, cycling on the Wilderness Trail and the Milford Sound cruise.

Guides & Safety
An excellent guide can make the difference between a trip of a lifetime and just an ordinary trip. That is why we work hard to make sure we hire the best guides. Our handpicked professionals come from a range of backgrounds. Each has extensive outdoor and hiking experience and a passion for New Zealand’s wild and beautiful backcountry. Our guides will ensure that your time with us is truly inspiring, a huge amount of fun and safe. All guides are trained in Mountain Safety First Aid.

Please be gentle with your guide - good guides are hard to find!
$
1,350
-
$
1,500
/ Person
Destination:
New Zealand
For those who have a little less time but want to experience the very best that the North Island can offer the Ultimate North is the ideal choice. Explore thermal areas in Rotorua. ... moreTrek the best sections of the remote Lake Waikaremoana Great Walk deep in the magical rainforests of Te Urewera National Park. Relax in lodges in beautiful locations. Discover the surreal volcanic wonderland of Tongariro National Park, climbing volcanoes and staying high above the world in an alpine hut. The Ultimate North has many short hikes and two overnight hikes using backcountry huts. The Ultimate North is day 1 to 7 of the Ultimate New Zealand. Not much camping on this trip - mainly huts and lodges.
Itinerary DAY 1 - AUCKLAND - WHIRINAKI  We head south to Rotorua (with a café halt at 9am for those who missed breakfast). Rotorua has thermal areas and stunning lakes, and with a ... morebackdrop of distant volcanoes is quite unique. The area is also rich in Maori and early European history including the tragedy of the 1886 Mount Tarawera eruption that buried a Maori village. We have a quick stop by Lake Rotorua before driving south and exploring one of the extraordinary Department of Conservation thermal parks (price included). After a picnic lunch, we head east and off the tourist route into the Whirinaki. This forest park is huge but relatively un-visited. It is famous worldwide for its Jurassic-like rainforest - the podocarp trees are an ancient off-shoot of the conifer family and evolved before the flowering plants. It is thought that forests like this once covered the super-continent of Gondwanaland over 150 million years ago. We do a short nature walk, wandering amongst these giant trees to the river canyon before driving back to our simple cabin on a farm property with a mix of bunk rooms and camping. Just us here usually. We cook up a meal together and chill out by the outdoor fire brazier. 

Includes lunch and dinner.

DAY 2 - WAIKAREMOANA - TE UREWERA
7km/2 hours hiking
This morning we drive east and further into the rugged forest ranges of the Te Urewera National Park. Home of the Tuhoe (Maori tribe) this area was so remote it was one of the last places in NZ where European influence was felt. After two hours winding through the most incredible rain forest we stop for a cuppa (cup of tea) before finally getting to the western arm of the remote Lake Waikaremoana. We drive on to the southern end of the lake and stop for a picnic lunch and a chance to finish organising backpacks for the first hike. Jump into a water taxi and enjoy the 20 minute jaunt across the lake. We usually drop our packs at the lake-side hut or the campsite perched above a small beach before doing a 2 hour lake-side hike to a lovely waterfall. On return we set up camp here and as a group cook a meal. Soak up the surrounds; the reflections of wilderness in the lake, forest and mountains, bird song and tranquillity. On a still evening you can sometimes hear kiwi calls echo across the lake. 

Includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.

DAY 3 - LAKE WAIKAREMOANA
17km/8 hours hiking
Hoist your pack and follow the track as it climbs up through bright green tawa and beech forest to the Panekiri Range - over 500m above the lake. The trail climbs gently at first and later more steeply - so pack lightly! As we trundle along the ridge to Panekiri Hut you get great views beyond Lake Waikaremoana to the contiguous wilderness stretching for hundreds of kilometres to the north, south and west. At the hut take a rest and devour a well earned lunch. From here the track undulates along the ridge through gnarled beech forest and passes many brilliant viewpoints before the final descent to the road end. A 20 minute drive takes us to the sweet little cabins/camp area beside the wharf. Relax, sit on the wharf and drink a beer. We cook a meal together in the communal kitchen. 

Includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.

DAY 4 - WAIKAREMOANA - TAUPO 
4km/2 hours hiking
This morning we hike on an easy 1 hour track up to the usually calm waters of Lake Waikareiti. If conditions allow (light wind) tumble into row-boats (included) and row out across this most splendid of lakes to a wee island in the middle. This tranquil paradise of bird life, ancient forest and pure waters really feels like a forgotten world. If weather prevents rowing, then there are plenty of other forest walks or viewpoints to explore. After, we drive west then south to Lake Taupo. This is the largest lake in New Zealand – a 600 sq km volcanic caldera crater created when the largest volcanic explosion known to humankind erupted in 186 AD. On the drive towards Taupo we pause to bathe in a natural hot river, one of those secret spots only the locals know about. There is also time for a stop at the Huka Falls where you can feel the spray as the mighty Waikato River plunges seven metres. At Lake Taupo we either grab takeaway food (own cost) or rustle up a quick 'trailer' meal at a lovely lake-side spot on route. Just relax on the strange pumice beach or take a swim in the evening light while dinner does it's thing. The sun may set before driving the last hour to Tongariro National Park. 

Includes breakfast and lunch.

DAY 5 - TONGARIRO NATIONAL PARK
13km/5 hours hiking
Established in 1887, Tongariro National Park is New Zealand's first National Park, gifted to the people of New Zealand by a far-sighted Maori chief who saw this as a way of protecting the tapu (respect, sacredness, preciousness) of this land – in particular the summits of the active volcanoes. Although most other hikers walk the busy one-day Alpine Crossing, only a fraction explore the remote and drier east side of this volcanic range like us, and almost no one does the side trips and short cuts we know about. But rest assured, we do exit (or enter) the area via the 'crossing' so you still see that remarkable scenery - usually when it's less busy if we can be cunning about it!

After being dropped off at the trail start, hike through waving tussock-grasslands between the volcanoes to a hut set in an enclave of native beech forest. After lunch traverse across stony deserts to an alpine hut at 1400m, perched on the edge of an old lava flow. From this hut there are fantastic views of the three main peaks in the park: Ruapehu, Tongariro and Ngauruhoe. It's an extraordinary landscape of active volcanoes and lava valleys, dynamic and changing even in recent years (2013!). Enjoy the experience of sharing an alpine hut with hikers from all over the world. We usually sleep in the hut but very occasionally camp. 

Includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.

DAY 6 - TONGARIRO
15km/6-8 hours hiking
Hike up through a moon-like gentle valley of contorted lava flows and ash fields before ascending steeply to the Emerald Lakes. This is where our route joins the spectacular Tongariro Alpine Crossing. Once here we Traverse the volcanic plateau, which boasts lava valleys and steaming explosion craters, flanked by the brooding volcanoes, before descending on the western side. In good conditions, there is an option to climb one of the volcanic peaks. Tongariro National Park is full of landscapes the likes of which are found nowhere else in New Zealand. An evening drive takes us to a lodge right inside the National Park, the perfect place to relax with a beer and enjoy the million dollar views across to the volcanoes. Enjoy a meal out in the alpine village. Includes breakfast and lunch.

DAY 7 - TONGARIRO - WELLINGTON 
1km/1-2 hours hiking
A relaxing start today allows you to check out the Park Visitor Centre with espresso in hand before departing. Those taking the bus back to Auckland can be dropped at National Park Village mid morning; the train passes through National Park the following day. Drive south, eventually leaving the National Park and the volcanoes behind. Descend through the beautiful river valleys of the Rangitikei and finally along the coast to Wellington, New Zealand's wonderful harbour capital, arriving in the mid afternoon - cafe stop on route. This giant fault-created harbour is almost encircled by steep suburbs giving it a giant 'coliseum' feel. Nowhere is very far in this stylish little city. Enjoy. You might like to visit the Museum of New Zealand, called Te Papa, or the 'Beehive' (Parliament House) to see some ranting politicians – or you might not. Wellington is well known for its vibrant café scene and its accessible downtown area. People come into the city to enjoy the lively atmosphere. 

Includes breakfast.

Note: Those returning to Auckland by bus or train, please contact us for the latest timetable information.

Start/Finish: 
7:00am, pick up zone outside Sky City, 20m from Sky Tower base, corner Victoria and
Federal Streets, Auckland (Rotorua pickup by arrangement) 
Wellington 3:30pm (approx.). Option to bus or train to Auckland from National Park (not included). 

Departs:
July 2017: 4 
August 2017: 1 
October 2017: 10, 31 
November 2017: 21 
December 2017: 5, 19 
January 2018: 2, 16, 30 
February 2018: 13, 21, 27 
March 2018: 13, 27 

Prices:
Period 1st Jul 16 - 31st Aug 17
Adult NZD $1,950.00

Period 1st Sep 17 - 31st Aug 18
Adult NZD $2,150.00

Grading & Fitness
Grade: D
Average 4-5 hours physical activity per day, up to 8-9 hours on longer days.
Pack weights of 10-12kgs (22-26lbs) on some days.
Altitude gains of up to 800m (2600ft) per day.
Some uneven track surfaces and river crossings.
No multi-day hiking experience necessary.
Agility and fitness required.
You need to be reasonably fit and enthusiastic.
Terrain mostly tracks. Some may be slippery or rough; some off-track hiking and river crossings.
What to Take 

New Zealand's weather is changeable and we can experience extremely cold weather at any time of year, especially in the mountains. Our huts/camps vary in altitude from sea level to over 1000 metres. It is necessary to have warm clothing. Jeans are not suitable for hiking.

Watch the video of our Kiwi-Style Hiking packing list.

Essential Items: 

hiking boots or good hiking shoes

backpack (at least 60 litres capacity)

backpack liner (plastic bag)

3 seasons sleeping bag

waterproof raincoat (Gore-tex or similar)

warm fleece/wool jersey x2 (not cotton)

shorts for hiking (preferably quick-dry)

short-sleeved shirt x2 (quick-dry, polypropylene)

polypro/thermal underwear - top & bottom

3 pairs of socks (they get wet)

warm hat

sunscreen and sunglasses

drink bottle (1 litre)

spare lightweight shoes or sandals

flashlight/head lamp

insect repellent (sandflies like foreign blood)

casual clothing for travel and evening

gloves/mittens

small daypack 

togs (swimming costume)

towel (lightweight towels are great)

personal toiletries, medication and first aid

Optional items: (but highly recommended)
Gaiters, binoculars, earplugs, walking poles, camera.

We supply:
Therm-a-rest sleeping mat, tents, cooking equipment, plates/cutlery, first aid kit, safety equipment and maps.

Luggage:
We allow space for 120 litres per person (one large pack plus one day pack). You may be required to forward excess luggage if you exceed this. Any gear you do not need while hiking can be locked in the custom-built trailer. We highly recommend travel insurance.

*Ultimate New Zealand only - for the flight between Wellington and Nelson the weight of your baggage must not exceed 20kgs.

Equipment Hire:

We have high quality hiking equipment which you can hire for our Kiwi-Style Hiking trips. Please arrange hire gear when you book. Requests for hire equipment must be made at least 5 days before the departure date.

Transport
The average driving time per day varies, some days you are in the wilderness and won't see the vehicle for 2 or 3 days! On other days you might be in the vehicle for 2-3 hrs or occasionally more. The driving time is a chance to rest and enjoy the fantastic scenery which is forever changing. You will travel in a 12 seat minibus towing a custom-built trailer with camp equipment and your luggage. They are also equipped with a range of natural history reference books. There will be a range of roads - sealed and unsealed. The guide will often stop the vehicle if there is a great photo opportunity or primo ice cream shop!

Food
As well as being the time to rest, refuel and recharge, meal times are also a great time to get to know your fellow travellers better, sit back and enjoy the amazing surroundings and enjoy some great food! Everybody has a turn with the preparation and cooking of meals: barbecues, salads, pancakes, curries, pasta, stir-fries, hangi... Vegetarian meals are no problem. On the "wild nights" the group will usually eat pasta and rice meals (special "secret" recipes used). There is always a lot of hiking food - chocolate, nuts, raisins, biscuits. The vehicles carry a full range of cooking equipment including gas burners, woks, frying pans and billies (cooking pot). When you go on an overnight hike the group will carry a portable stove

Accommodation
"Wild nights" vs nights in civilisation...The Ultimate North is a combination of “wild nights”, which are the nights where you are truly in the wilderness, staying in backcountry huts or camping in locations that may be several hours walk from the nearest road or populated area, versus nights in civilisation where you may stay in cabins, lodges or camp by the vehicle at Department of Conservation campsites. Some of these locations may still be relatively remote and in the wilderness but they can be reached by the vehicle.

Huts - New Zealand has an excellent network of backcountry huts and you will stay in huts on several nights. They are equipped with mattresses, running water and an outside toilet. Cooking is done on a portable stove. Huts are only accessible on foot and shared with other hikers. You also have the option of camping near the hut if that is your preference.

Camping - You will camp in a range of campsites. On the "wild nights" you may camp under natural rock shelters, on remote beaches or even sleep out under the stars (single tent available on request)! On the non -"wild nights" you will camp near the vehicle in Department of Conservation campsites. If the weather is not great for camping, eg very wet, stormy or cold conditions, your guide will seek out alternative accommodation, eg lodge, cabin or crib.

Lodges - You will stay in lodge type accommodation on some of the nights, the lodges are often conveniently located near the start or end of a hike and have multi-share and sometimes twin/double rooms.

Bathroom facilities - On the wild nights there will be long drop (pit) toilets. There will be rivers or lakes nearby for washing, and sometimes there are even natural hot pools! The Kiwi-style Hiking Tours are set up so after a couple of nights of "roughing it" in the wilderness, you will stay somewhere where you can enjoy a shower and a few home comforts (including laundry facilities) before the next foray into the wild!
Additional Costs

Meals:
Meals that are not included in the trip price are detailed above.

Optional activities:
There are normally no additional activities on the Ultimate North. All activities are included in the price: Thermal Park, row boats, water taxi, natural hot pools. 

Guides & Safety
An excellent guide can make the difference between a trip of a lifetime and just an ordinary trip. That is why we work hard to make sure we hire the best guides. Our handpicked professionals come from a range of backgrounds. Each has extensive outdoor and hiking experience and a passion for New Zealand’s wild and beautiful backcountry. Our guides will ensure that your time with us is truly inspiring, a huge amount of fun and safe. All guides are trained in Mountain Safety First Aid.

Please be gentle with your guide - good guides are hard to find!
$
2,450
-
$
2,600
/ Person
Destination:
New Zealand
A remarkable journey that begins walking among the golden beaches and lapping waters of the Abel Tasman National Park. Travel south to the lush rainforests of the West Coast where ... morethere is the chance to explore deep canyons, hike, kayak and cruise the fiords of Milford. Finally rove east to experience the majestic mountains of the Southern Alps at Mount Cook Village. The Ultimate South has one 3-day hike, two 2-day hikes, kayaking, cycling, boat cruise on Milford Sound and an optional extra of a flight onto a glacier – definitely a tour for the active and intrepid. There is also time to relax at the end of the day as well, at remote huts, idyllic campsites and in comfy lodges, all in stunning locations. Link this tour with the Ultimate North for the Ultimate New Zealand experience! The Okarito sea kayaking, cycling on the Wilderness Trail and the Milford Sound cruise are all included in the ticket price.
Itinerary DAY 1 - NELSON - BARK BAY 5km/1.5 hours hiking Our trip starts at noon in Nelson, giving you time in the morning to wander around this vibrant and charming city. From Nelson ... moreit is a picturesque drive around Tasman Bay to Kaiteriteri, the gateway to Abel Tasman National Park. Here you can pack your gear for a 2 night stay in the park and then board the water taxi. A beautiful cruise around the coast takes you to Onetahuti. There is plenty of time to take a dip at this sheltered and idyllic beach before following the Abel Tasman Coastal track south to Bark Bay where the tents and guide have been previously dropped by boat. Pitch your tent and enjoy a delicious meal together. Fall asleep to the sound of waves lapping the shore. Includes lunch and dinner.

DAY 2 - BARK BAY - ANCHORAGE
8.5-12km/3-4 hours hiking
Today offers the opportunity to hike in this magical National Park and wander along the sheltered coastline marvelling at the crystal clear waters and stunning scenery of this marine reserve. The hike from Bark Bay takes us through glades of Manuka, over a low saddle and across a 47 metre suspension bridge at Falls River. The optional side trip to Cleopatra’s Pool is a must and a perfect place for a swim on a warm summer’s day. Tonight’s campsite is at Anchorage, a stunning bush-fringed bright blue inlet. Time to take another swim, read a book or have a snooze, before preparing and enjoying another delicious evening meal together. Abel Tasman Sea Kayaking can be arranged for this day (4-5 hours) if requested at the time of booking ($175). The kayaking starts and finishes in the same place so you will hike as well as kayak if you take this option at the time of booking. 

Includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.

DAY 3 - ANCHORAGE - MURCHISON 
14km/5 hours hiking
Have a sleep in or join the guide for a stroll out to Te Pukatea Bay and Pitt Head – the site of an old Maori Pa. Then back to camp and maybe a swim before leaving behind the beautiful Anchorage Bay, it’s a gentle ramble over a saddle, through lush beech forest with large Kanuka trees. We’ll past through several picturesque bays before eventually emerging out into the estuary. Finish walking the track by crossing the Marahau causeway where your guide will meet you with the van. Time to rest the legs on the drive to tonight’s campsite near Murchison, overlooking the confluence of the Buller and Maruia Rivers. Enjoy some local hospitality with an organic home-cooked meal prepared by our hosts. 

Includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.

DAY 4 - MURCHISON - BALLROOM 
8km/3-4 hours hiking
After driving down the Buller Gorge to the West Coast, the first stop this morning is Cape Foulwind. Here is an opportunity to observe a breeding colony of New Zealand fur seals – almost hunted to extinction in the 1800s. After lunch begin the group hike up a spectacular limestone river canyon in Paparoa National Park. Established in 1987, the park covers over 30,000 hectares. It has natural attractions including mountains, limestone cliffs, caves, rivers and wilderness areas. The hike involves several river crossings (your boots will get wet). Collect firewood along the way and set up camp under the massive Ballroom Overhang. 

Includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.

DAY 5 - BALLROOM OVERHANG - HOKITIKA
8km/3-4 hours hiking
Before hiking back splash up a beautiful side canyon, following the stream until it disappears into a cave. Depending on weather and river conditions your guide may alter the route out to include more time in the canyon away from the track. This can be a good chance to use the river crossing skills learnt yesterday! After the hike there is a stop in Punakaiki and a chance to check out the famous Pancake Rocks and blowholes before continuing down the coast to tonight’s accommodation in Hokitika. A thriving gold rush town in the 1870s, Hokitika was described as ‘the most rising place on earth’. Hokitika is better known now for the Wildfoods Festival held every year in March. It also a good place to buy pounamu (greenstone), which was highly valued by early Maori for tools, jewellery and weapons. Tonight’s lodge accommodation has magnificent sunset views over the Tasman Sea. It is a night off cooking tonight; tuck in to fish and chips on the beach or eat out at one of the many cafés in this bustling little seaside town. 

Includes breakfast and lunch.

DAY 6 - HOKITIKA - OKARITO
39km/4-5 hours biking
Today we mountain bike the stunning West Coast Cycle Trail between Kawhaka Intake and Lake Kaniere; those feeling keen can carry on and cycle into Hokitika township. Pedal your way through majestic native forest, cross crystal clear rivers, passing old reservoirs and water races, before gradually climbing up through lush rainforest. A stop at the Cowboy Paradise Tavern (this really is the Wild West) is always a highlight. Push back the saloon doors, grab a cold beer and enjoy the views – until the sheriff asks you to leave town. Have lunch beside one of New Zealand’s most beautiful lakes – Lake Kaniere, before the trail follows a historic water-race down a sweeping tree lined pathway known as the pipeline. Choose to either finish your ride here or cruise the last 10km into Hokitika.

For those who do not wish to cycle, a lovely 4 hour hike around the shores of Lake Kaniere can be arranged. In the afternoon relax on the drive to the charming coastal village of Okarito where you camp for the night. End a great day by watching the sun set over the pounding surf. 

Includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.

DAY 7 - OKARITO - MAKARORA
10km/4 hours kayaking
Start the day by exploring the area's main attraction – the exceptional Okarito Lagoon. Here you can observe some of New Zealand’s famous native birds, including white herons and tui, all from the comfort of your sea kayak. Paddle up secluded river channels where 60m tall native Kahikatea trees tower above you, and admire the snow capped Southern Alps in the distance. After lunch, we drive to the village of Fox Glacier. We will hike up to the terminus of the glacier so you can view this monstrous river of ice close up, one of the only glaciers in the world to descend into rainforest. After your time hiking to the glacier we drive down into South Westland and over Haast Pass to Makarora. We will stop to see if we can spy any Hectors dolphins at Ship Creek, and take a short hike near Haast Pass to see the aptly named Blue Pools. 

Includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.

DAY 8 - MAKARORA - ASPIRING HUT
14km/6 hours hiking
Drive alongside the impressive glacially formed lakes of Hawea and Wanaka; both are great for a swim on a (hot) summer’s day. Continue through Wanaka town and wind up the Matukituki Valley to the end of the road. Hoist your pack and head up the valley. A worthy side trip is the steep climb to view the Rob Roy Glacier (you can leave your pack at the bottom of the valley and pick it up on the way back). Cheeky kea (alpine parrots) often mingle with the group at lunchtime, so watch out that your gear is not borrowed, or eaten! Back at the Matukituki River we follow the valley up to Aspiring Hut. The majestic mountain scenery is revealed as you hike gently up the valley. Through the dips in the high peaks glimpse views of the Matterhorn-like Mt Aspiring (3033m) in the distance. 

Includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.

DAY 9 - ASPIRING HUT - KNOBS FLAT
8km/3 hours hiking
We return back down the valley. Enjoy the views from the trail as it meanders down the river flats. Stop for a picnic lunch by Lake Wanaka before the remarkable drive over the Crown Range. From the summit there are breathtaking views across the Wakatipu Valley and lakes. Our late afternoon drive takes us past Te Anau and much of the way to Milford Sound. We camp for 2 nights at the beautiful Knobs Flat campsite. Grab a hot shower and relax. Includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.

DAY 10 - KNOBS FLAT - MILFORD 
2 hour cruise, 5km/3 hours hiking
From the gentle valley flats the road punches through into an imposing alpine landscape of granite cliffs and hanging valleys. Lean forwards and enjoy this striking drive into the heart of Fiordland National Park. This amazing World Heritage Site is the largest national park in the country and one of the largest in the world. The huge glacial lakes of Te Anau and Manapouri border the spectacular inland coastline that is Fiordland. The area is dominated by water, either in the form of lakes or as falling rain. Arriving at Milford by mid morning you join a cruise that takes you all the way out to Anita Bay and the entrance to Milford Sound. Enjoy the views of cascading waterfalls and Mitre Peak (rising 1722 metres out of the sea). Fiordland crested penguins, dolphins and New Zealand fur seals often play near the boat. On the way back to Knobs Flat we enjoy a hike up to Key Summit, the final section of the famous Routeburn Track. On the summit, take time to learn about the vegetation and geography of the area along an informative nature walk, and soak up the views of the Darran Mountains and Hollyford Valley to the west. 

Includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.

DAY 11 - KNOBS FLAT - QUEENSTOWN
The drive to Queenstown takes about 3 hours. Hike the afternoon away, up the steep tussock-lands of Ben Lomond. Expansive views of the lakes and mountains of the Queenstown region lay spread before you. Queenstown is known as the adventure capital of New Zealand; bungy jumping, canyon swings, skydiving, mountain biking and jet boating are just some of the activities available. There are also some great day hikes accessible from the town centre into the mountains that offer stunning views of Lake Wakatipu and the surrounding peaks. We stay at a centrally located lodge that is an easy walking distance from the town. Two nights in Queenstown in twin ensuite rooms gives you a chance to catch up on laundry and take some ‘chill out’ time if you wish. If chilling out is not on your list of priorities we will give you a hand to book as many adrenalin-packed activities as you wish prior to your arrival in Queenstown; talk to our team on booking or to your guide at the beginning of the tour. 

Includes breakfast and lunch.

DAY 12 - QUEENSTOWN
This is a free day to get your adrenalin pumping on one of the many activities offered around town. Or you can sit back with a really good coffee and relish the dining choices on offer. This is your day to spend as you would like. Your guide will happily offer advice on the many options available to you. Queenstown is a stunning spot and a playground for outdoor activity; you’ll be spoilt for choice in how to occupy your day here. Includes breakfast.

DAY 13 - QUEENSTOWN - AORAKI/MT COOK
4km/2 hours hiking
Spend the morning driving up through the Central Otago High Country crossing Lindis Pass into the Mackenzie Country. This area is home to some of New Zealand’s largest sheep stations, which measure tens of thousands of acres. It is renowned for high quality fine wool production, thanks to the hardy merino sheep which graze these mountainous areas. Arrive at Mount Cook Village. In the afternoon hike up the steep glacial moraines to the Red Tarns, named for the red pondweed that grows in them. Tonight’s campsite is at the foot of New Zealand’s tallest mountain, Aoraki/Mount Cook (3754 metres) – the Maori name translates to Cloud Piercer. 

Includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.

DAY 14 - AORAKI/MT COOK NATIONAL PARK
8km/5 hours hiking
We set off with day packs to hike up to Sealy Tarns and Mueller Hut. There are impressive views across the Hooker and Mueller glaciers to the Mount Sefton icefall and Aoraki/Mount Cook. On this walk you can see the forces of nature at work – huge moraines deposited over thousands of years by glaciers, and more recently avalanches and rocks that tumble down distant mountain faces. If you don’t wish to hike this morning you have the opportunity to join a heli-hike onto the Tasman Glacier with a local operator (NZ$550). Get kitted out with crampons (for your boots) and fly up onto the Tasman Glacier where it runs beside the biggest mountains in New Zealand. Marvel at the ice-carved landscape and explore the amazing ice formations and possibly ice caves. Experience this enormous landscape first hand.

There is time in the afternoon to relax at the campsite or visit the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre. This is a great place to be inspired by the courageous stories of pioneering mountaineers and to learn about the park’s natural history. Tonight is the last night of the trip and what a place to spend it – in the heart of the Southern Alps surrounded by that special kind of silence that only big mountains can command. If you are lucky you will see the summit of Aoraki/Mount Cook turn from white to pink as it catches the last of the sun’s rays. We head down to the local pub for some wholesome kiwi kai (food). 

Includes breakfast and lunch.

DAY 15 - AORAKI/MT COOK - CHRISTCHURCH
3km/2 hours hiking
Before turning east to Canterbury we explore the Tasman Valley. The Tasman Glacier is the longest glacier in New Zealand. It is rapidly retreating and has an astonishing melt water lake at its snout. Make the most of being in this special place and wander around the glacial moraines and tarns. Our final drive takes us across the plains to Christchurch where the tour ends. 

Includes breakfast and lunch.

Grading & Fitness
Grade: D
Average of 4-5 hours physical activity per day, up to 7 hours on the longest day.
Altitude gains of up to 800m.
Some uneven track surfaces and river crossings.
No multi-day hiking experience necessary.
You need to be reasonably fit and enthusiastic, and have good agility.
Terrain mostly tracks. Some may be slippery or rough; some off-track hiking and river crossings.
Note –on days 4, 5, 8 and 9 your backpack (with sleeping bag, food and equipment etc) will weigh approximately 10kgs.

What to Take
New Zealand's weather is changeable and we can experience extremely cold weather at any time of year, especially in the mountains. Our huts/camps vary in altitude from sea level to over 1000 metres. It is necessary to have warm clothing. Jeans are not suitable for hiking.

Watch the video of our Kiwi-Style Hiking packing list.

Essential Items: 

hiking boots or good hiking shoes

backpack (at least 60 litres capacity)

backpack liner (plastic bag)

3 seasons sleeping bag

waterproof raincoat (Gore-tex or similar)

warm fleece/wool jersey x2 (not cotton)

shorts for hiking (preferably quick-dry)

short-sleeved shirt x2 (quick-dry, polypropylene)

polypro/thermal underwear - top & bottom

3 pairs of socks (they get wet)

warm hat

sunscreen and sunglasses

drink bottle (1 litre)

spare lightweight shoes or sandals

flashlight/head lamp

insect repellent (sandflies like foreign blood)

casual clothing for travel and evening

gloves/mittens

small daypack 

togs (swimming costume)

towel (lightweight towels are great)

personal toiletries, medication and first aid

Optional items: (but highly recommended)
Gaiters, binoculars, earplugs, walking poles, camera.

We supply:
Therm-a-rest sleeping mat, tents, cooking equipment, plates/cutlery, first aid kit, safety equipment and maps.

Luggage:
We allow space for 120 litres per person (one large pack plus one day pack). You may be required to forward excess luggage if you exceed this. Any gear you do not need while hiking can be locked in the custom-built trailer. We highly recommend travel insurance.

*Ultimate New Zealand only - for the flight between Wellington and Nelson the weight of your baggage must not exceed 20kgs.

Equipment Hire:
We have high quality hiking equipment which you can hire for our Kiwi-Style Hiking trips. Please arrange hire gear when you book. Requests for hire equipment must be made at least 5 days before the departure date.

Transport
The average driving time per day varies, some days you are in the wilderness and won't see the vehicle for 2 or 3 days! On other days you might be in the vehicle for 2-3 hrs or occasionally more. The driving time is a chance to rest and enjoy the fantastic scenery which is forever changing. You will travel in a 12 seat minibus towing a custom-built trailer with camp equipment and your luggage. They are also equipped with a range of natural history reference books. There will be a range of roads - sealed and unsealed. The guide will often stop the vehicle if there is a great photo opportunity or primo ice cream shop!

Food
As well as being the time to rest, refuel and recharge, meal times are also a great time to get to know your fellow travellers better, sit back and enjoy the amazing surroundings and enjoy some great food! Everybody has a turn with the preparation and cooking of meals: barbecues, salads, pancakes, curries, pasta, stir-fries, hangi... Vegetarian meals are no problem. On the "wild nights" the group will usually eat pasta and rice meals (special "secret" recipes used). There is always a lot of hiking food - chocolate, nuts, raisins, biscuits. The vehicles carry a full range of cooking equipment including gas burners, woks, frying pans and billies (cooking pot). When you go on an overnight hike the group will carry a portable stove. 

Accommodation
"Wild nights" vs nights in civilisation...The Ultimate South is a combination of “wild nights”, which are the nights where you are truly in the wilderness, staying in backcountry huts or camping in locations that may be several hours walk from the nearest road or populated area, versus nights in civilisation where you may stay in cabins or camp by the vehicle at Department of Conservation campsites. Some of these locations may still be relatively remote and in the wilderness but they can be reached by the vehicle.

Huts - New Zealand has an excellent network of backcountry huts and you will stay in huts on several nights. They are equipped with mattresses, running water and an outside toilet. Cooking is done on a portable stove. Huts are only accessible on foot and shared with other hikers. You also have the option of camping near the hut if that is your preference.

Lodges - You will stay in lodge type accommodation on some of the nights, the lodges are usually conveniently located near the start or end of a hike and have multi-share and sometimes twin/double rooms generally with shared bathrooms.

Camping - You will camp in a range of campsites. On the "wild nights" you may camp under natural rock shelters, on remote beaches or even sleep out under the stars (single tent available on request)! On the non -"wild nights" you will camp near the vehicle in Department of Conservation campsites. If the weather is not great for camping, eg very wet, stormy or cold conditions, your guide will seek out alternative accommodation, eg lodge, cabin or crib.

Cabins/Cribs - Some nights may be spent in private cribs (summer house) or cabins at a campground. Staying in the cribs is a real authentic New Zealand experience and you may even start to feel like a kiwi on holiday! Often you can put a tent up if you want a 'room' to yourself on these nights.

Bathroom facilities - On the wild nights there will be long drop (pit) toilets. There will be rivers or lakes nearby for washing, and sometimes there are even natural hot pools! The Kiwi-Style Hiking Tours are set up so after a couple of nights of "roughing it" in the wilderness, you will stay somewhere where you can enjoy a shower and a few home comforts (including laundry facilities) before the next foray into the wild!
Additional Costs
Meals: Meals that are not included in the trip price are detailed above.

Optional activities: Abel Tasman sea kayaking (NZ$175*), Mt Cook Heli-hike (NZ$550*)

*Prices are correct at time of publishing.

All other activities are included in the price: Okarito sea kayaking, cycling on the Wilderness Trail and the Milford Sound cruise.

Guides & Safety
An excellent guide can make the difference between a trip of a lifetime and just an ordinary trip. That is why we work hard to make sure we hire the best guides. Our handpicked professionals come from a range of backgrounds. Each has extensive outdoor and hiking experience and a passion for New Zealand’s wild and beautiful backcountry. Our guides will ensure that your time with us is truly inspiring, a huge amount of fun and safe. All guides are trained in Mountain Safety First Aid.

Please be gentle with your guide - good guides are hard to find! 

Questions
Can I do more than one kiwi-style hiking Tour?
Yes. The Ultimate North has been designed in conjunction with the Ultimate South to make the complete package which we call the Ultimate New Zealand. 

Does everyone get involved with camp duties?
Everyone is fully involved with the running of the Ultimate South, from collecting firewood, to setting up camp and cooking meals. You are expected to do your share of work. If you are not a great cook, don’t worry - your guide and other people in the group will help you.

Does it matter if I am travelling alone?
Most of the people on our kiwi-style hiking trips are travelling alone. The kiwi-style hiking trips are strong on group activities and participation including playing outdoor games, going for swims, helping one another to cross rivers, exploring secret places, and overcoming obstacles and challenges. You are encouraged to participate in activities, but if it’s not your thing that is also OK. Time is allowed for people to be by themselves during the trip if they need it.

What do I do with my valuables (passport, airline tickets, money, etc.) while hiking?
Keep them with you in your hiking pack. You can pack all those things in plastic bags to keep them dry and keep them with you while hiking.

I have specific dietary requirements - is that a problem?
Vegetarians, gluten free and dairy free hikers join our trips regularly. Please let us know in advance as meals take more planning. Everyone takes a turn in meal preparations, if you have complex dietary requirements you may need to be involved more frequently. It is advisable to join the trip with some of your own food items if you are worried. Once you are on the trip the guide may ask you to join him/her when they go food shopping. Preparing meals for several different dietary requirements in the wilderness with limited facilities can be challenging but with your help we can make it work.

What is the weather going to be like?
New Zealand experiences very changeable weather - especially in the remote mountainous regions where you will spend most of your time. Some days you can be broiling in 30 degrees and then the next day you could be freezing in a cool southerly from the sub Antarctic. It is best to be prepared for the worst conditions you are likely to expect - see the ‘'What to Take'’ section. You may get some rain on the trip so a good waterproof raincoat is important.

Who is in my group?
A small group (maximum 11 people), with a range of ages, nationalities and work backgrounds. Seventy percent of people are between 20 and 40, though there are sometimes people from 17 to 72. On average, half are women and half are men. Everyone shares an enthusiasm for outdoor adventure and an appreciation of nature.

What if I can’'t keep up with the rest of the group?
The group hikes together, stopping often for snacks and a good lunch. Some activities are optional if you feel like having some time out.

Can I charge my camera/phone/laptop, etc. while on the kiwi-style hiking tour?
About two or three times per kiwi-style hiking trip you stay at places that have electricity so you will be able to recharge batteries. If you have a vehicle adapter, bring it along as there may be an opportunity to charge items while driving.

Can I do laundry on a kiwi-style hiking tour?
Yes, at least once, usually half way through the trip. It is recommended that you bring items that are quick drying and plenty of spare pairs of socks and underwear, since you will most likely have to line-dry clothing.
$
2,200
/ Person
Destination:
New Zealand
The North Island is blessed with an array of natural wonders. Discover the world underground at Waitomo, explore the geothermal delights of Rotorua, hike across active volcanoes and ... morelava 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.
Itinerary DAY 1 - AUCKLAND –- ROTORUA  1-2km/2 hours hiking Meet your North Island guide and the rest of the group in the Heritage Hotel foyer at 7am before driving south through ... morethe 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. 

Accommodation: Distinction Hotel, Rotorua.
Includes lunch and dinner.

DAY 2 - ROTORUA LAKES - LAKE TAUPO
8km/5 hours hiking
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. 

Accommodation: Beechtree Motel, Taupo. 
Includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.

DAY 3 - TONGARIRO
8km/2-4 hours hiking
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 the Chateau. Accommodation: Chateau Tongariro, Tongariro National Park. Includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.

DAY 4 - TONGARIRO
23km/6-8 hours hiking
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 track is extremely well built and even a novice hiker will manage the gradual ascent up to the top of Mt Tongariro. Your guide will set a pace that lets you stop and admire the views of the Red Crater, Emerald Lakes and steaming vents that make this hike so iconic. It will all be worth it when you celebrate 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 alpine village. 

Accommodation: Chateau Tongariro, Tongariro National Park. 
Includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.

DAY 5 - TONGARIRO - WELLINGTON
Rest your legs this morning as we drive south through rolling green hill country to the capital city of Wellington. You usually arrive in Wellington in time to grab a late lunch; a great opportunity to sample the fare in this cafe capital. 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. 

Includes breakfast.

Start/Finish:
7:00 am, Heritage Hotel foyer, 35 Hobson Street, Central Auckland 
Wellington, 5:00pm (approx.) 

Departs:
November 2017: 2, 30 
December 2017: 28 
January 2018: 25 
February 2018: 8, 22 
March 2018: 22 
April 2018: 12 

Prices:
Period 1st Jun 17 - 31st May 18
Adult NZD $3,150.00
Single supplement NZD $675.00

Grading & Fitness
Grade: B*
Up to 4-5 hours of physical activity per day
At times carrying a backpack of 4-5kgs (8-10 lbs)*
Tracks generally in good condition
Altitude gains of up to 600m (2000ft) on harder days
No hiking experience necessary

*The full (optional) Tongariro Alpine Crossing on day 4 takes 6-8 hours and has an altitude gain of 750m.

What to Take 
New Zealand’s weather is very changeable and cold weather can be experienced at any time of year, especially in the mountains. We recommend wearing lightweight and breathable fabrics while hiking. Merino or polypropylene underwear is great in cold weather and will still keep you warm when it gets wet, unlike cotton. Jeans are not suitable for hiking.

Essential Items:

hiking boots or shoes

day pack

waterproof raincoat (gore-tex or similar)

warm fleece/wool jersey (not cotton)

shorts or lightweight hiking trousers (preferably quick-dry)

polypro/thermals – top & bottom

long sleeve shirt (for sun protection)

4 pairs of socks 

warm hat

sun hat, sunscreen and sunglasses

drink bottle (1 litre)

spare shoes or sandals

insect repellent

short-sleeved short (quick-dry, polypropylene or wool)

casual clothing for travel and evenings

gloves/mittens

togs (swimming costume)

Recommended items:
walking poles, camera, rain trousers.

We supply:
first aid kit, drinking water, safety equipment and maps.

Luggage:
For the flight between Wellington and Nelson (New Zealand Uncut only) the total luggage allowance is 20kgs per person. This includes hand-carry. 

Equipment Hire:
We can offer quality hiking equipment for use on your tour at no additional charge. We are able to supply fleece jacket, thermal top and bottom, raincoat, gaiters and walking poles. Requests for equipment must be made at least 5 days before the departure date. 

Transport
The average driving time per day varies; we have some days where we hardly drive at all. On a typical day we might be in the vehicle for 2-3 hours. But some days we will drive for longer. The driving time is a chance to rest and enjoy the fantastic scenery that is forever changing. You will travel in a roomy minibus and we aim to have a few spare seats at all times. We tow a custom-built trailer with food, equipment and your luggage. We carry a library box with some natural history reference books for you to peruse too. There will be a range of roads - sealed and unsealed. The guides are easily convinced to stop the vehicle if there is a great photo opportunity, vineyard or notable ice cream shop!

Food
Almost all of the meals are included on this tour, but when staying in the cities we let you do your own thing and try some of the excellent local restaurants (see “Additional Costs” section). Breakfast is usually (but not always) continental-style in the lodges and hotels. There are plenty of opportunities to graze the local cafes if you would prefer to explore in the morning. The lunches we prepare ourselves are often ‘on the run’ in picnic areas or on trails. Our guides usually set out lunch food for you and you simply help yourself. We provide healthy and wholesome food and include a lot of fresh produce. It is part of our philosophy to get everyone involved so there is a pretty good chance you may find yourself wielding a sharp knife or pushing the tea trolley around at lunchtime. Our customised trailers have a fold down table and cooking area that is perfect for preparing picnics at all those secret places we will take you. Included dinners are frequently in lodge restaurants (either set menu or a la carte), or in a restaurant in the town but occasionally somewhere out of the ordinary!

Accommodation
The Northern Portion uses a range of hotels and quality lodges chosen for their good standards and wonderful locations. All rooms have ensuite bathrooms. Some lodges have units with two bedrooms per unit. Rooms are twin share or doubles. If you are travelling on your own you will be given a twin share room with a fellow traveller of the same gender. Single supplements are available on this tour.
The Northern Portion has been created for those that appreciate a high standard of accommodation after a good day of hiking.

Additional Costs
All activities outlined in the itinerary are included in the trip price. One lunch is not included (Day 5).

Guides & Safety
An excellent guide can make the difference between a trip of a lifetime and just an ordinary trip. That is why we work hard to make sure we hire the best guides. Our handpicked professionals come from a range of backgrounds. Each has extensive outdoor and hiking experience and a passion for New Zealand’s wild and beautiful backcountry. Our guides will ensure that your time with us is truly inspiring, a huge amount of fun and safe. All guides are trained in Mountain Safety First Aid.

Please be gentle with your guide - good guides are hard to find! 

Questions
Does it matter if I am travelling alone?
Most of the people on our tours are travelling alone. The tours are strong on group activities and participation which effortlessly results in everyone getting to each other pretty well and pretty quickly - some becoming lifelong friends after travelling on our trips.

I am travelling and have a lot of stuff that I will not need on the tour, what should I do with it?
You can store it at your accommodation if you plan on returning to the area. Or, you can travel with it on tour. We allow a maximum space of 120 litres per person (1 large suit case plus a daypack).

I have dietary requirements, is that a problem?
Not at all. We often have a variety of dietary requirements and as long as you let us know at the time of booking we should be able to cater for this.

What is the weather going to be like?
New Zealand experiences very changeable weather - especially in the remote mountainous regions where we spend most of our time. Some days we can be broiling in 30 degrees and then the next day we could be freezing in a cool southerly from the sub Antarctic. It is best to be prepared for the worst conditions we are likely to expect - see the 'What To Take' section. We may get some rain on the trip so a good waterproof raincoat is important.

Will I be fit enough?
We generally walk between 2 and 4 hours a day, except for the Tongariro crossing hike (North Island) which is 6-8 hours and 23kms. However, there are some great shorter walk alternatives on this day if you feel this is too much for you.

Who is in my group?
A small group (maximum 11 people), with a range of ages, nationalities and work backgrounds. We have hosted guests from 17 to 72. On average, half are women and half are men. Everyone shares an enthusiasm for outdoor adventure and an appreciation of nature.

How far in advance do I need to book?
The sooner the better for tours departing in the peak season (November to April). We get many advance bookings so it is important to book early to avoid disappointment. 

What type of gear should I buy?
If you intend to do a lot of hiking then it is worth buying quality equipment - good leather hiking boots and hiking clothing. If you think you might not do any more hiking after the tour then you could buy cheaper alternatives - just remember that it won't last as long nor do the job as well. You may also borrow certain items from us (no charge).

What if I can't keep up with the rest of the group?
We hike together as a group, stopping often for snacks and a good lunch. Some activities are optional if you feel like having some time out.

Can I charge my camera/phone/laptop, etc. while on tour?
Yes. Most places we stay have electricity so you will be able to recharge batteries. If you have a vehicle adapter, bring it along as there may be an opportunity to charge items while we are driving.

Can I do laundry on tour?
Yes, most places we stay have laundry facilities. We recommend bringing items that are quick drying and plenty of spare pairs of socks and underwear.
$
3,260
-
$
3,450
/ Person
Destination:
New Zealand
This South Island experience will take you through the adventure and activity hot-spots. From postcard perfect Abel Tasman National Park to Punakaiki’s luscious green rainforests and ... morethe majestic Aoraki/Mount Cook. Finish your time in this magical country under the immense peaks of Mount Aspiring National Park before arriving in Queenstown - the adventure capital.
Itinerary DAY 1 - NELSON - ABEL TASMAN N.P. 11.7km/4 hours hiking Your guide will meet you at the Rutherford Hotel (9am) before driving to Nelson airport to collect those walkers ... morethat are doing the full New Zealand Uncut and are on a flight from Wellington. Sit back and enjoy the picturesque drive to Kaiteriteri. This seaside village is the gateway to the popular Abel Tasman National Park, and a trendy vacation spot for kiwis. Board a water taxi for a jaunt 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. On the way back to Nelson we stop at the sleepy little coastal settlement of Mapua for some fine local fare. 

Accommodation: Rutherford Hotel, Nelson. 
Includes lunch and dinner.

DAY 2 - ABEL TASMAN –- PUNAKAIKI 
6 km/3 hours hiking
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 over 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. 

Accommodation: Punakaiki Resort, Punakaiki.
Includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.

DAY 3 - PUNAKAIKI
11km/4 hours hiking
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 lunch hike along the Truman track to reach stunning waterfalls, sea cliffs and wild beaches. And of course no visit to Punakaiki is complete without a trip to the Pancake Rocks and blowholes. We walk at high tide when the blowholes are most impressive, blasting sprays of salt water skyward. 

Accommodation: Punakaiki Resort, Punakaiki. 
Includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.

DAY 4 - PUNAKAIKI - CHRISTCHURCH
4km/2 hours hiking
This remarkable highway 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. From Arthur’s Pass hike four kilometres down to the village on a well-formed walking track. The trail has superb mountain views, thundering waterfalls and a diverse range of alpine plants. We catch a glimpse of our colonial past as we pass Jacks Hut, a restored roadman’s cottage. East of the pass, stretch your legs again 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 as 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. Arrive in Christchurch in the mid afternoon, time to explore the inner district and see some of the innovative and exciting methods used to rebuild the heart of the city following the devastating 2011 earthquake. 

Accommodation: Hotel Ibis. 
Includes breakfast and lunch.

DAY 5 - CHRISTCHURCH - AORAKI/MT COOK 
2km/1 hour hiking
Our mid-morning departure allows time to discover some city cafes or see one of the parks in the ‘Garden City’. Our drive south takes us 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. Arrive at Aoraki/Mount Cook in the late afternoon. Relax and enjoy breathtaking views of New Zealand's highest mountain (3,724 metres). 

Accommodation: Aoraki / Mount Cook Alpine Lodge (please note, accommodation this night for 31st January 2017 departure is Aoraki Court Motel). 
Includes lunch and dinner.

DAY 6 - AORAKI/MT COOK 
5-8km/4 hours hiking
Hike up to Sealey Tarns and enjoy the awesome views of Mt Sefton, Mueller Glacier and across the Hooker Valley to Aoraki/Mount 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 Sealey 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. 

Accommodation: Aoraki / Mount Cook Alpine Lodge (please note, accommodation this night for 31st January 2017 departure is Aoraki Court Motel). 
Includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.

DAY 7 - AORAKI/MT COOK - WANAKA
2km/1 hour hiking
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. 

Accommodation: Edgewater Resort, Wanaka. 
Includes breakfast and lunch.

DAY 8 - WANAKA - QUEENSTOWN
10km/4 hours hiking
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. 

Includes breakfast and lunch.

Grading & Fitness
Grade: B
Up to 4-5 hours of physical activity per day
At times carrying a backpack of 4-5kgs (8-10 lbs)
Tracks generally in good condition
Altitude gains of up to 600m (2000ft) on harder days
No hiking experience necessary

What to Take

New Zealand’s weather is very changeable and cold weather can be experienced at any time of year, especially in the mountains. We recommend wearing lightweight and breathable fabrics while hiking. Merino or polypropylene underwear is great in cold weather and will still keep you warm when it gets wet, unlike cotton. Jeans are not suitable for hiking.

Essential Items:

hiking boots or shoes

day pack

waterproof raincoat (gore-tex or similar)

warm fleece/wool jersey (not cotton)

shorts or lightweight hiking trousers (preferably quick-dry)

polypro/thermals – top & bottom

long sleeve shirt (for sun protection)

4 pairs of socks 

warm hat

sun hat, sunscreen and sunglasses

drink bottle (1 litre)

spare shoes or sandals

insect repellent

short-sleeved short (quick-dry, polypropylene or wool)

casual clothing for travel and evenings

gloves/mittens

togs (swimming costume)

Recommended items:
walking poles, camera, rain trousers.

We supply:
first aid kit, drinking water, safety equipment and maps.

Luggage:
For the flight between Wellington and Nelson (New Zealand Uncut only) the total luggage allowance is 20kgs per person. This includes hand-carry. 

Equipment Hire:
We can offer quality hiking equipment for use on your tour at no additional charge. We are able to supply fleece jacket, thermal top and bottom, raincoat, gaiters and walking poles. Requests for equipment must be made at least 5 days before the departure date. 

Transport
The average driving time per day varies; we have some days where we hardly drive at all. On a typical day we might be in the vehicle for 2-3 hours. But some days we will drive for longer. The driving time is a chance to rest and enjoy the fantastic scenery that is forever changing. You will travel in a roomy minibus and we aim to have a few spare seats at all times. We tow a custom-built trailer with food, equipment and your luggage. We carry a library box with some natural history reference books for you to peruse too. There will be a range of roads - sealed and unsealed. The guides are easily convinced to stop the vehicle if there is a great photo opportunity, vineyard or notable ice cream shop!

Food
Almost all of the meals are included on this tour, but when staying in the cities we let you do your own thing and try some of the excellent local restaurants (see “Additional Costs” section). Breakfast is usually (but not always) continental-style in the lodges and hotels. There are plenty of opportunities to graze the local cafes if you would prefer to explore in the morning. The lunches we prepare ourselves are often ‘on the run’ in picnic areas or on trails. Our guides usually set out lunch food for you and you simply help yourself. We provide healthy and wholesome food and include a lot of fresh produce. It is part of our philosophy to get everyone involved so there is a pretty good chance you may find yourself wielding a sharp knife or pushing the tea trolley around at lunchtime. Our customised trailers have a fold down table and cooking area that is perfect for preparing picnics at all those secret places we will take you. Included dinners are frequently in lodge restaurants (either set menu or a la carte), or in a restaurant in the town but occasionally somewhere out of the ordinary!

Accommodation
The Southern Slice trip uses a range of hotels and quality lodges chosen for their good standards and wonderful locations. All rooms have ensuite bathrooms. Some lodges have units with two bedrooms per unit. Rooms are twin share or doubles. If you are travelling on your own you will be given a twin share room with a fellow traveller of the same gender. Single supplements are available on this tour.
The Southern Slice has been created for those that appreciate a high standard of accommodation after a good day of hiking.

Additional Costs
All activities outlined in the itinerary are included in the trip price.

Meals out: Two evening meals are not included (Christchurch and Wanaka). The typical cost for a restaurant main course in New Zealand is about $28. One breakfast is not included (Christchurch).

Guides & Safety
An excellent guide can make the difference between a trip of a lifetime and just an ordinary trip. That is why we work hard to make sure we hire the best guides. Our handpicked professionals come from a range of backgrounds. Each has extensive outdoor and hiking experience and a passion for New Zealand’s wild and beautiful backcountry. Our guides will ensure that your time with us is truly inspiring, a huge amount of fun and safe. All guides are trained in Mountain Safety First Aid.

Please be gentle with your guide - good guides are hard to find! 

Questions
Does it matter if I am travelling alone?
Most of the people on our tours are travelling alone. The tours are strong on group activities and participation which effortlessly results in everyone getting to each other pretty well and pretty quickly - some becoming lifelong friends after travelling on our trips.

I am travelling and have a lot of stuff that I will not need on the tour, what should I do with it?
You can store it at your accommodation if you plan on returning to the area. Or, you can travel with it on tour. We allow a maximum space of 120 litres per person (1 large suit case plus a daypack).

I have dietary requirements, is that a problem?
Not at all. We often have a variety of dietary requirements and as long as you let us know at the time of booking we should be able to cater for this.

What is the weather going to be like?
New Zealand experiences very changeable weather - especially in the remote mountainous regions where we spend most of our time. Some days we can be broiling in 30 degrees and then the next day we could be freezing in a cool southerly from the sub Antarctic. It is best to be prepared for the worst conditions we are likely to expect - see the 'What To Take' section. We may get some rain on the trip so a good waterproof raincoat is important.

Will I be fit enough?
Our tours are graded B, C or D. If you are concerned about your fitness get out there and do day hikes in the weeks prior to your tour departure.

Who is in my group?
A small group (maximum 11 people), with a range of ages, nationalities and work backgrounds. We have hosted guests from 17 to 72. On average, half are women and half are men. Everyone shares an enthusiasm for outdoor adventure and an appreciation of nature.

How far in advance do I need to book?
The sooner the better for tours departing in the peak season (November to April). We get many advance bookings so it is important to book early to avoid disappointment. Availability for our trips is updated regularly on our departure dates page.

What type of gear should I buy?
If you intend to do a lot of hiking then it is worth buying quality equipment - good leather hiking boots and hiking clothing. If you think you might not do any more hiking after the tour then you could buy cheaper alternatives - just remember that it won't last as long nor do the job as well. You may also rent certain items from us.

What if I can't keep up with the rest of the group?
We hike together as a group, stopping often for snacks and a good lunch. Some activities are optional if you feel like having some time out.

Can I charge my camera/phone/laptop, etc. while on tour?
Yes. Most places we stay have electricity so you will be able to recharge batteries. If you have a vehicle adapter, bring it along as there may be an opportunity to charge items while we are driving.

Can I do laundry on tour?
Yes, most places we stay have laundry facilities. We recommend bringing items that are quick drying and plenty of spare pairs of socks and underwear.

What can we do in Queenstown?
Queenstown is a beautiful town tucked under the mountains and beside the crystal clear Lake Wakatipu. There are a huge number of adventure activities on offer here. You might like to take a thrilling jet boat ride, face your fears on the highest bungy in New Zealand, or paddle peacefully down a river on an inflatable ‘funyak’.
Many of New Zealand’s famous Great Walks start within reach of Queenstown. The dramatic Hollyford Track in the heart of Fiordland National Park is a wonderful guided walk option. The unforgettable Milford Sound is a half-day drive from Queenstown. Steep cliffs and dense rainforest border this spectacular fiord that can be explored by boat. Whatever your preference, we can help you with any post-trip activities that you might like to add on to your New Zealand adventure.
$
720
/ Person
Destination:
New Zealand
This remarkable little trip explores the gorgeous east coast headlands and beaches of Northland. Enjoy remote coastal hiking near the Bay of Islands, open coast kayaking at Whangaroa ... moreand driving to Cape Reinga right at the top.

Enjoy utter isolation at the apex of New Zealand where you can hike in the surreal dune-scapes of Cape Maria Van Diemen. The southward journey takes you west to the ancient and mighty Kauri forests. Shorter and easier than our other Kiwi-style Hiking Tours, the Coastal Wanderer has plenty of swimming and snorkelling in secret coves of clear water, one full day hike and lots of short hikes.

It is also a bit warmer in the ‘winterless north’.
Itinerary DAY 1 - EAST COAST BEACHES 1km/1 hours hiking Meet your guide this morning and drive north out of Auckland along the scenic east coast, stopping to explore glowworm caves ... morealong the way. Negotiating some crazy coastal back roads gets us to remote coast, far from the maddening crowds. The beach is lined with bright pohutukawa trees (NZ Christmas Tree) which cover hidden coves. Have the first swim of the trip or take a stroll along this great stretch of coast, or do both. These waters also offer excellent snorkelling if the sea is calm, and are loaded with octopus, paua and many species of coastal fish. We eventually arrive at our grassy campsite, just above an idyllic Northland beach and miles from any shop, accommodation or internet. 

Includes lunch and dinner.

DAY 2 - BAY OF ISLANDS 
9km/6 hours hiking
Tumble out of sleeping bags and leap into the sea for a refreshing wake up. We begin hiking 5 min from our campsite, ascending through regenerating native bush onto open ridge tops where we'’re treated to views of secret sandy coves and rocky headlands. Take a break and enjoy gazing across the sparkling blue waters of the Pacific. Along the trail, examine the whale pots of an old whaling station, left over from a time when whalers and sealers were the only Europeans interested in New Zealand. We stop for a picnic lunch in a quiet cove with turquoise water and funky palm trees. The trail takes us to the summit of Pukehuia (345m), the highest point in the Bay of Islands, and the best spot to get a view of this magnificent area. Descending from Pukehuia we finish up in a quiet bush lined bay dotted with yachts. This is a great chance to take a dip in the clear water and freshen up after our walk. From here it‘'s a short drive to the historic township of Russell. Take the ferry across to Paihia and enjoy the vibe of this cool little town before we drive further north to our campsite at Tauranga Bay and a welcome hot shower. 

Includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.

DAY 3 - WHANGAROA KAYAKING
10km/4-5 hours kayaking
Today you have the opportunity to go on a fantastic guided kayak trip (optional extra) along some of the areas most remote coastline. Launching from a private beach, you will paddle around red volcanic headlands and inshore islands, through sea caves and then enjoy lunch on an unspoiled sandy beach. Continue up into the sheltered waters of Whangaroa Harbour either kayaking into the mangrove forests at the harbour's end or scramble up the short (but impossibly steep!) volcanic conglomerate of Kairara Rock, before returning. If you would rather not kayak, chat to your guide about the range of other hiking options, or simply chill out for the day, swimming and eating ice creams at the most agreeable Tauranga Bay. Tonight we 'dine' at the famous Mangonui Wharf Fish Shop en route to the twin coves campsite, located in the charming Matai Bay. 

Includes breakfast and lunch.

DAY 4 - NINETY MILE BEACH, CAPE REINGA
2km/2 hours hiking
Matai Bay is another great spot for swimming and snorkelling, so hit the water again this morning before we jump in the van and drive north once more. Lap up the freedom and admire the waves rolling in from the Tasman Sea as we as we visit the hard packed sands of Ninety Mile Beach. We arrive at Te Paki’'s mountainous sand dunes, grab a sandboard and impress the group with out of control fat-air-antics and displays of your brilliant balance. Once you'’ve exhausted all your sandboard moves we continue on to yet another beautiful campsite in a small sandy cove. Plenty of time to set up camp in the afternoon sun, have a short zzzz and then either enjoy a cliff top walk, or grab a ride with the guide to the edge of the world –- the spiritual Cape Reinga -– where the waters of the Tasman Sea and the Pacific Ocean collide. Watch the sun slip away from the northernmost tip of New Zealand and remember your friends are probably at work right now. 

Includes breakfast, lunch and dinner. 

DAY 5 - CAPE MARIA VAN DIEMEN
4-12km/3- 4 hours hiking
Today we explore a more secluded part of the Cape as we cross Te Paki Station to the surreal iron-stained sand dunes of Cape Maria Van Diemen. Climbing high, you will get grand views of this incredible piece of New Zealand landscape. Wander along an expansive stretch of empty beach before returning for lunch. Then we turn the van around and drive south through the town of Kaitaia, crossing the Hokianga Harbour on a car ferry and ending up in the grandeur of Waipoua Forest. Visit New Zealand’s biggest Kauri -– Tane Mahuta (Lord of the Forest) -– an ancient giant estimated to be over 1250 years old. We pitch camp amongst the kauri and later do a night walk, creeping around to try and stumble into the endangered North Island Brown kiwi. Generally we are successful, but not always! Later listen for the screeching call of the kiwi as your curl up in your sleeping bag. 

Includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.

DAY 6 - KAURI FORESTS
2km/1 hour hiking
This morning wander around the Trounson Kauri Reserve and bask in the shadows of these huge trees. The reserve is an intensively managed mainland ‘island’ surrounded by predator traps. The mainland island concept protects the resident birds from invasive pests and provides a refuge for many threatened species; it is home to a well-nurtured and protected population of kiwi. After lunch we continue south to the vibrant harbour city of Auckland, arriving around 3pm. Includes breakfast and lunch.

Notes
Tides: This tour is affected by tide times and sea conditions - particularly on Ninety Mile Beach. Plan B is to go in a different or reverse order, but very occasionally your guide may be forced to skip something altogether. 
High Season: If you are doing this trip between Christmas and mid January expect to see more tents, sun-scorched folks, and ice-creamed kids at campsites. When it all goes too mad your guide may choose different campsites on night two and three to keep us all sane.

Start/Finish: 
Auckland - 8:30am, pick up zone outside Sky City, 20m from Sky Tower base, corner Victoria and Federal Streets 
Auckland - 3:00pm (approx.) 

Departs:
October 2017: 17 
November 2017: 14 
December 2017: 12, 26 
January 2018: 9, 23 
February 2018: 6, 20 
March 2018: 6, 20 

Prices:
Period 1st Jan 17 - 30th Apr 18
Adult NZD $990.00

Grading & Fitness
Grade: B

Average of 4-5 hrs physical activity per day; up to 6 hours.

At times carrying small backpack of 4-5kgs.

Tracks generally in good condition. 

Altitude gains of up to 600m on harder days.

No hiking experience necessary.

Reasonable standard of fitness required

Some energetic sections and climbs, but includes lots of time for relaxation and other activities.

What to Take
New Zealand's weather is very changeable so you need to be prepared for any eventuality. Thankfully, it's warmer up north so thermal underwear and warm hats become an option rather than a necessity. However, you still need to take the essential items listed below.

Essential Items:

hiking boots or shoes

day pack

2-season sleeping bag

waterproof raincoat (gore-tex or similar)

warm fleece/wool jersey (not cotton)

shorts for hiking (or lightweight hiking trousers)

long sleeve shirt (for sun protection)

3 pairs of socks

polypro/thermals – top & bottom (optional December to February)

warm hat (optional December to February)

gloves/mittens (optional December to February)

sun hat, sunscreen and sunglasses 

drink bottle (1 litre)

spare shoes or sandals

insect repellent

dry bag for clothes/valuables

casual clothing for travel and evenings

beach towel

Optional items (but highly recommended): 

Walking poles, camera, rain trousers, flashlight/headlamp

We supply:
First aid kit, drinking water, safety equipment and maps.

Luggage: 
There is an allowance of one large pack, bag or suitcase plus one day pack.

Equipment Hire: 
We have high quality hiking equipment which you can hire for our Hiking Tours. Please arrange hire gear when you book. Requests for a hire equipment must be made at least 5 days before the departure date. 

Transport
You will travel in a 10 or 12 seat minibus towing a trailer with camp equipment and your luggage. All vehicles have a public address system, and a stereo with a variety of music. It is also equipped with a range of natural history reference books. The average driving time per day is around 2-3 hours and there will be a range of roads - sealed and unsealed. The guide will often stop the vehicle for you to take photos. On some of the nights you will be camping by the vehicle.

Food
Everybody is involved with the preparation and cooking of meals: barbecues, salads, pancakes, curries, pasta, stir-fries etc. Vegetarian meals are no problem. For all specific dietary requirements we ask that you notify us prior to departure. That way we can ensure we are catering correctly for your needs. When you are on overnight hikes the group will usually eat pasta and rice meals (gluten free is usually an option). There is always a lot of hiking food - muesli bars, chocolate, biscuits fruit and dried fruit. The vehicles carry a full range of cooking equipment including gas burners, woks, frying pans and billies. When you go on an overnight hike the group will carry portable stoves.

Accommodation
Camping - You will camp in a range of campsites; on the Far North you will camp near the vehicle in Department of Conservation campsites or private campsites (single tent available on request). If the weather is not great for camping, eg very wet, stormy or cold conditions, your guide will seek out alternative accommodation, eg lodge, cabin or crib.

Additional Costs
Optional activities: Sea Kayaking NZ$115* or half day NZ$90* (minimum of 2 people)
Optional activities are paid for during the trip.
*Prices correct at time of publishing.

Guides & Safety
An excellent guide can make the difference between a trip of a lifetime and just an ordinary trip. That is why we work hard to make sure we hire the best guides. Our handpicked professionals come from a range of backgrounds. Each has extensive outdoor and hiking experience and a passion for New Zealand’s wild and beautiful backcountry. Our guides will ensure that your time with us is truly inspiring, a huge amount of fun and safe. All guides are trained in Mountain Safety First Aid.

Please be gentle with your guide - good guides are hard to find! 

Questions
Does everyone get involved with camp duties?
Everyone is fully involved with the running of the trip, from collecting firewood, to setting up camp and cooking meals. You are expected to do your share of work. If you are not a great cook, don't worry - your guide and other people in the group will help you.

Does it matter if I am travelling alone?
Most of the people on our tours are travelling alone. The tours are strong on group activities and participation including playing outdoor games, going for swims, helping one another to cross rivers, exploring secret places, and overcoming obstacles and challenges. You are encouraged to participate in activities, but if it’s not your thing that is also OK. Time is allowed for people to be by themselves if they need it.

What do I do with my valuables (passport, airline tickets, money, etc.) while hiking?
Keep them with you in your hiking pack. You can pack all those things in plastic bags to keep them dry and keep them with you while hiking.

I have specific dietary requirements - is that a problem??
Vegetarians, gluten free and dairy free hikers join our trips regularly. Please let us know in advance as meals take more planning. Everyone takes a turn in meal preparations, if you have complex dietary requirements you may need to be involved more frequently. It is advisable to join the trip with some of your own food items if you are worried. Once you are on the trip the guide may ask you to join him/her when they go food shopping. Preparing meals for several different dietary requirements in the wilderness with limited facilities can be challenging but with your help we can make it work.

What is the weather going to be like?
New Zealand experiences very changeable weather - especially in the remote mountainous regions where you will spend most of your time. Some days you can be broiling in 30 degrees and then the next day you could be freezing in a cool southerly from the sub Antarctic. It is best to be prepared for the worst conditions you are likely to expect - see the ‘What to Take’ section. You may get some rain on the trip so a good waterproof raincoat is important.

Who is in my group?
A small group (maximum 11 people), with a range of ages, nationalities and work backgrounds. Seventy percent of people are between 20 and 40, though there are sometimes people from 17 to 72. On average, half are women and half are men. Everyone shares an enthusiasm for outdoor adventure and an appreciation of nature.

What if I can'’t keep up with the rest of the group?
The group hikes together, stopping often for snacks and a good lunch. Some activities are optional if you feel like having some time out.

Can I charge my camera/phone/laptop, etc. while on tour?
About two or three times per trip you stay at places that have electricity so you will be able to recharge batteries. If you have a vehicle adapter, bring it along as there may be an opportunity to charge items while driving.

Can I do laundry on tour?
Yes, at least once, usually half way through the trip. It is recommended that you bring items that are quick drying and plenty of spare pairs of socks and underwear, since you will most likely have to line-dry clothing.
$
1,250
/ Person
Destination:
New Zealand
Northland is beautiful and it feels a long way from anywhere. Long white beaches stretch between ancient volcanic headlands, remote dune-scapes meld into sub-tropical forests, warm ... moreevenings yield to starry nights. There is plenty of time for swimming in secret coves of turquoise water, brilliant short walks as well as one big climb. Two fabulous locations will act as the base from which to explore this magical area. Unpack your bag and feel like you are on holiday as you stay two nights at each location. Return after a good days hiking and unwind on the veranda with a glass of wine. Highlights include the remote coastal hike near the Bay of Islands, the feeling of isolation at the very tip of New Zealand, the expansive Te Paki sand dunes and standing under BIG trees.
Itinerary DAY 1 - JOIN TRIP IN AUCKLAND 1 km/1 hour hiking Depart Auckland and follow the east coast northwards, with a quick cafe stop for anyone who missed breakfast. A short deviation ... moreto a limestone cave gives you a chance to see one of the best glowworm spectacles in the country (expect wet feet!). After a picnic lunch here continue on to the historic township of Russell. We arrive early afternoon. Check into your accommodation and explore this charming little harbour settlement and New Zealand’s original capital. Enjoy a swim off the wharf, or just chill with a glass of wine and chat with your fellow travellers. Later on drive a few minutes to the peninsula’s end before returning to enjoy a barbecue dinner in the hotel garden-nook. If it’s not barbeque weather, we’ll pop into a local café or pizzeria. Today is an easy day but gets us to where the fun starts. 

Includes lunch and dinner.

DAY 2 - BAY OF ISLANDS
9 km/5 hours hiking
After a 30 min drive east you reach the first of today's hikes. Traverse up through regenerating native bush to a ridge top and gaze out across the bright blue Pacific Ocean. Below are sandy coves and rocky headlands. Descend to a wonderful swim spot and then walk through the bush to the old whaling station. Pass huge steel pots and old brick vats amid the ruins. These stations are a sad reminder of the many humpback and southern right whales that were once hunted here. Many of New Zealand's first European settlers came for the sealing and whaling rather than our beautiful natural environment! We hike back to the vehicle before a short drive takes us to our second hike. Pukehuia at 345m is the highest hill and best viewpoint in the entire Bay of Islands area. The track climbs steadily up with plenty of view points on the way. On return we stop at a perfect bush-fringed bay of lapping water and moored yachts. This cute cove of turquoise water is the ideal place to wash away your exertion. It is a short drive back to Russell and your accommodation. Tonight you eat at one of the many lovely cafes and restaurants (own cost) on Russell's waterfront. 

Includes breakfast and lunch.

DAY 3 - WHANGAROA - 90 MILE BEACH
5 km/3 hours hiking or 3 hours kayaking
This morning you travel by vehicle ferry across to Opua and drive through Paihia, the main tourist centre of the Bay of Islands, before driving north to Whangaroa. You have the option of a fantastic half-day guided kayaking trip along the coast (optional extra* see below) or a hike into a beautiful forest-fringed inlet. This hike sidles up and over a small saddle passing through sub-tropical forest before meeting the stream and mangroves at the head of the inlet. On a warm day plop into the pools to cool off. The trail follows this coastline of red volcanic headlands and island outcrops a short distance to a historic hut. You can swan around on the hut deck enjoying the peace and quiet, or stomp your way up the spectacular old volcanic plug (Duke’s Nose) for views. Later catch the water taxi back to the jetty where the vehicle waits. A short drive takes you to Mangonui where the group enjoys a simple meal of fish and chips at the famous Fish Shop bar on the old wharf. An early evening drive north gets you to a remote old homestead lodge in the middle of the dunes on the edge of 90 Mile Beach. A little more rustic than your previous accommodation, this off the grid lodge more than makes up for it with its amazing location and wonderful atmosphere. 

Includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.

DAY 4 - CAPE REINGA
2 km/2 hours hiking
A one hour drive brings you to the tip of the North Island where there is the chance to explore some of the trails of the Cape Reinga walkway. Hike a less visited part of the cape's coastline. Cross Te Paki Station to the surreal iron-stained sand dunes of Cape Maria van Diemen. Climbing high, get grand views of this incredible piece of New Zealand landscape. Wander along an expansive stretch of empty beach before ending up on the edge of the world at the Cape Reinga lighthouse where the Pacific Ocean meets the Tasman Sea. In the afternoon you may choose to do a cliff top walk to the stunning white sands and blue waters of Tapotupotu. Return to your lodge and relax in this beautiful spot. After a good meal, sit on the veranda and enjoy life as you watch the sun set over the Tasman Sea. Being so far from any light pollution, the starry nights up north are quite remarkable. 

Includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.

DAY 5 - KAURI FORESTS
1 km/1 hour hiking
You leave the far north early today and begin the journey southwards, passing through Kaitaia and across the sleepy Hokianga Harbour on a car ferry. In Maori mythology Hokianga is the returning place of the great Maori navigator Kupe. At Waipoua Forest you get to see New Zealand’s biggest kauri tree Tane Mahuta; it’s easy to feel humble beneath him. The last walk before Auckland is through the Trounson Kauri Reserve, an intensively managed mainland conservation ‘island’, surrounded by a sea of farmland. Trounson is one of the better kauri forests in the country and provides refuge for many threatened species including brown kiwi. Arrive in Auckland at approximately 5:00pm. Includes breakfast and lunch.

Start/Finish: 
Auckland - 8:30am, pick up zone outside Sky City, 20m from Sky Tower base, corner Victoria and Federal Streets 
Auckland 5:00pm (approx.) 

Departs:
November 2017: 21 
December 2017: 19 
January 2018: 16 
February 2018: 13 
March 2018: 13 
April 2018: 10 

Prices:
Period 1st Jun 17 - 31st May 18
Adult NZD $1,750.00
Single supplement NZD $425.00

Grading & Fitness
Grade: B

4-5 hours physical activity on some days; up to 6 hours on second day.

At times carrying small backpack of 4-5kgs.

Tracks generally in good condition.

Altitude gains of up to 600m on second day.

No hiking experience necessary.

Reasonable standard of fitness required.

Some energetic sections and climbs, but includes time for relaxation and other activities.

What to Take
New Zealand's weather is very changeable so you need to be prepared for any eventuality. Thankfully, it's warmer up north so thermal underwear and warm hats become an option rather than a necessity. However, you still need to take the essential items listed below.

Essential Items:

hiking boots or shoes

small day pack

raincoat (gore-tex or similar)

warm fleece/wool jersey (not cotton)

shorts or lightweight hiking trousers (preferably quick-dry)

long sleeve shirt (for sun protection)

3 pairs of socks 

sunhat and sunglasses (and warm hat Mar- Nov) 

polypro/thermal underwear – top & bottom (optional Dec to Feb)

drink bottle (1 litre)

spare lightweight shoes or sandals

insect repellent and sunscreen 

casual clothing for travel and evenings

togs (swimming costume)

towel (lightweight towels are great)

gloves/mittens (optional Dec to Feb)

Optional items (but highly recommended): 
Walking poles, camera and rain trousers

We supply:
First aid kit, drinking water, safety equipment and maps.

Luggage: 
There is an allowance of one large pack, bag or suitcase plus one day pack.

Equipment Hire: 
We have high quality hiking equipment which you can hire for our Hiking Tours. Please arrange hire gear when you book. Requests for a hire equipment must be made at lease 5 days before the departure date.

Hire gear
5-7 day trip (NZ$)
Fleece jacket $20
Thermal top and bottom $20
Raincoat $20
Walking pole (each) $20 

Transport
We travel in a 10 or 12-seat minibus, towing a trailer with equipment and luggage. All vehicles have a stereo and we carry a range of natural history reference books. We average 3 hours driving per day. We travel on a range of roads, from sealed highways to dusty, windy, bouncy tracks. We can stop whenever you want to take photos or check out the locals!

Food
Breakfasts are continental style in Russell, and at Hukatere Lodge we also offer a warm breakfast. We make picnic lunches of delicious sandwiches and wraps, and fresh fruit, and have plenty of snacks to move you along at a happy pace! We rustle lunch up en route from supplies your guide carries in their backpack, or from the custom trailer kitchen when we are touring. Hot and cold drinks are also generally available (even when hiking) and we always have drinking water for you in our bus. Dinner is varied from lovely restaurants to simple fish and chips at a wharf cafe. We provide dinner on night 1 (picnic-style at the beach or at a café or pizzeria if not picnic weather), night 3 (basic but tasty fish and chips from a wharf café) and night 4 (a home-cooked meal). Any special dietary requests or requirements are easily provided for. Please let us know at the time of booking.

Accommodation
The trip uses double/twin share with en-suite accommodation on nights 1 & 2, and double/twin share with shared bathrooms on nights 3 & 4. Occasionally different accommodation is used. We will tell you when you book if this is the case.
Additional Costs
Meals: One evening meal is not included in this trip.

Optional sea kayaking on Day 3 - NZ$90 pp (minimum of two people).

Guides & Safety
An excellent guide can make the difference between a trip of a lifetime and just an ordinary trip. That is why we work hard to make sure we hire the best guides. Our handpicked professionals come from a range of backgrounds. Each has extensive outdoor and hiking experience and a passion for New Zealand’s wild and beautiful backcountry. Our guides will ensure that your time with us is truly inspiring, a huge amount of fun and safe. All guides are trained in Mountain Safety First Aid.

Please be gentle with your guide - good guides are hard to find!