Whichever journey of New Zealand’s South Island you choose, each morning will be like waking up in a new dimension. One day you’re surrounded by the ice-capped mountains of the Southern Alps, the next you’re sailing and swimming among cerulean waters. One minute you’re making pancakes above eternal flames, the next you’re breathing in the ocean air as water bursts through the blowholes of limestone rocks. We haven’t even mentioned what Rudyard Kipling once deemed the eighth Wonder of the World… Listing everything would take forever, but luckily you can experience all the elements on this voyage across time and space.

  • Summit 3,000m peaks one day, unwind on golden sand beaches the next

  • Discover South Island’s rich biodiversity—sail, paddle, and meet dolphins in Milford Sound

  • Watch the terrain switch from tropical to glacial in a heartbeat

Choose itinerary

Southern Slice: 10-Day Hiking Tour of New Zealand’s South Island
Nov 14|Dec 12|Jan 07|+4 more
Ultimate Tour of New Zealand’s South Island
Nov 24|Dec 08|Jan 05|+6 more

Meet your guides

Daniel Murphy
Daniel Murphy
Daniel is the co-owner and South Island Operations Manager of Hiking New Zealand. He started out as a hiking guide in Spain in the 90s, and later on he became a backcountry guide in New Zealand. Daniel has the enviable job of tour research and developm...
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Anne Murphy
Anne Murphy
Anne is the co-owner and managing director of Hiking New Zealand. Having grown up in rural New Zealand, it was no surprise she found her career outdoors. Anne tried life as a city slicker with a commerce degree, but packed in corporate life when she me...
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Malcolm O’Neill
Malcolm O’Neill
Malcolm is the co-owner and North Island Operations Manager of Hiking New Zealand. Even before he could walk, he was carried through New Zealand wilderness in a pack on his father’s back. Since those early days, he has hiked, climbed, sea kayaked, a mo...
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Hiking New Zealand
Hiking New Zealand
Hiking New Zealand is a small, but very dedicated team specializing in matching adventurous travelers with their dream holidays, both in New Zealand and beyond. They are passionate about active travel, wild places, and their conservation, and extremely...
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5.00 (5 reviews)
Wander739990 about Hiking New Zealand on Tripadvisor

Excellent in every way. Luxury accommodation, meals and service with spectacular itinerary and first class guides (two per minibus). Challenging walks and exciting excursions without white knuckle experiences, and there is always an easier option if required. Every day is filled with activities or travelling and suites solos, families and groups of moderate or better walking abilities. Worth every penny, enjoyed every minute.

Daniel B. about Hiking New Zealand on Tripadvisor

We had a fabulous trip with guides, Andre and Katie. So many great hikes and activities covering so many iconic spots throughout the South Island. Small friendly group, well-paced for a range of fitness levels, and comfy accommodations. Can’t say enough great things about this trip. Far exceeded our expectations.

smnovia about Hiking New Zealand on Tripadvisor

The best trip I did in three months in New Zealand! Hiking New Zealand offers this amazing early season trip, with highlights of some of their summer south island treks. Camping on the beach in Able Tasman, a New Zealand falcon soaring above us at Sealy Tarns (with views of Mt Cook/Aoraki), a challenging but do-able overnight trek to a DOC hut near Arthur’s Pass. These are just some of the experiences I’ll always remember. Chai took very good care of us, adjusting the schedule as the spring weather demanded, and taught us a lot, about the history, wildlife, and culture of New Zealand. I strongly recommend including a trip with this outfitter to enrich your experience of New Zealand.

Celia B. about Hiking New Zealand on Tripadvisor

Recently back from the Southern Slice trip – it really WAS a Wonderful Trip! The walks which had been chosen really were iconic walks showcasing what the South Island has to offer. John was a great guide and driver, the distances we traveled each day were relaxing, safe, and enjoyable. Eva looked after us non-stop, I don’t know how she did it! She not only guided us in a very professional way but shopped for us, prepared our lunch, and provided us with a constant supply of snacks! The whole trip was really well organized and well thought out, many thanks to Eva, John, and Hiking New Zealand for a FAB experience, would recommend it to anybody!

An excellent value for the cost of the trip.
jlo2100 about Hiking New Zealand on Tripadvisor

What a fabulous trip! Very educational! A great way to see and learn about the southern portion of New Zealand. Mel was the best guide I could have hoped for. She was incredibly knowledgeable, capable & interesting. We had a great group of trekkers. Weather was perfect. Overall, not as difficult of hiking as I thought it might be.

Things to know

  • What you get on this adventure:

      • An experienced, local hiking guide with extensive knowledge of the area
      • 10 or 15 days of hiking and exploration
      • All activities outlined in the itinerary
      • Meals as indicated in the itinerary
      • 10-day Southern Slice tour includes the following:
        • Accommodation in hotels and lodges
        • Abel Tasman boat cruise
        • Natural Flames
        • Glacier boat trip 
        • Cruise in the Milford Sound
      • 15-day Ultimate South tour includes the following:
        • Accommodation in lodges, cabins, camping, and backcountry huts
        • Abel Tasman Waka experience (Maori canoe)
        • Cycling tour of the West Coast Wilderness trail
        • Cruise in the Milford Sound
        • A free final day in Queenstown
        • Minibus transportation for the duration of the tour

    What’s not included:

      • Transportation to South Island, New Zealand
      • Transportation from the endpoint of the tour to Auckland
      • Accommodations in New Zealand before and after the tour

    Optional activities:

      • 15-day Ultimate South tour:
        • Optional Milford Sound kayaking tour ($110 USD per person)
        • Optional Mt. Cook heli-hiking tour ($400 USD pp)
  • Both the 10-day and the 15-day tour don’t require any hiking experience, but you still need to be reasonably fit, agile, and enthusiastic. You’ll be walking for an average of 4-5 hours a day, up to 8-9 hours on longer days, while carrying packs weighing up to 10-12 kgs (22-26 lbs). The most you’ll hike is around 6 miles (10 km).

    During the 15-day tour, you’ll also overcome altitude gains of up to 800 m (2,620 ft), covering some uneven terrain and river crossings. Finally, some tracks can be slippery or rough and there will be some off-track hiking and river crossings. There are options along both trips when you can choose more energetic or more restful days.

    If you’d like to witness both the North and the South Island, check out this guided hiking adventure in New Zealand or New Zealand uncut adventure. For those more interested in the North Island, this is a hiking tour of New Zealand’s North Island.  

  • Here’s a list of the equipment you need to bring:

      • Backpack
        • 25-30L capacity for the 10-day tour
        • 60L capacity for the 15-day tour
      • Dry bag for clothes
      • A small day pack for the 15-day tour
      • Sleeping bag (3 season, lightweight) and liner for the 15-day tour
      • Water bottle or camel pack (1L capacity)
      • Thermal underwear (top and bottom)
      • At least 3 pairs of socks
      • Shorts or lightweight hiking trousers (preferably quick-dry)
      • Short-sleeved shirts (quick-dry, polypropylene, or wool) and long-sleeved shirts
      • Warm fleece or wool jersey
      • Waterproof raincoat (Goretex or similar)
      • Casual clothing for travel and evenings
      • Spare clothes for layering
      • Swimming costume
      • Hiking boots or good hiking shoes
      • Spare lightweight shoes or sandals
      • Gaiters — optional
      • Sunhat
      • Warm hat or balaclava
      • Gloves (wool or fleece)
      • Lightweight travel towel
      • Toiletries (sunscreen, hand sanitizer, bug spray, toilet paper, etc.)
      • Personal medication and first aid
      • Headlamp or flashlight
      • Sunglasses
      • Hiking poles — optional
      • Camera — optional but recommended

    For the 15-day option, your guide offers hiking gear rentals. If you need a hiking backpack, sleeping bag or liner, fleece, thermal clothes, raincoats, or walking poles, contact us and we’ll help set you up.

    Dress comfortably and for the weather in clothes you can move in. We suggest bringing clothing appropriate for the season. Layers are best and don’t wear jeans.

  • Group sizes and prices:

      • For the 10-day adventure, the usual client to guide ratio is 13:1.
      • For the 15-day adventure, the usual client to guide ratio is 11:1.
      • It takes a minimum of 4 participants for these tours to run.
      • In case you would like to ensure a room to yourself, and not share it with anybody, there is a possibility of a single supplement for an additional $1100.
      • The cost does not decrease as the group grows.

    Hiking in New Zealand’s South Island can be arranged for larger groups. Contact us to make arrangements.

    Min. age requirements:

      • If you are older than 18, you’re good to go.
      • Minors younger than 18 may be permitted to join the hike on a case-by-case basis, but must be in the presence of a parent or legal guardian.

    If your group has hikers under the age of 18, contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.

  • A 25% deposit to secure your place is due upon booking. The remaining amount is paid 95 days prior to departure. For bookings within four (4) months of the departure, full payment is required.

    Once the trip is confirmed by the guide, the cancellation policy stated below applies. 

      • If Client cancels the Booking anytime prior to ninety-five (95) days before the departure, Client gets an 80% refund of the deposit back.
      • If Client cancels the Booking ninety-four (94)to twenty-one (21) calendar days in advance of the trip contemplated by the booking, Client is entitled to a refund in the amount of eighty percent (80%) of the total amount paid when Booking. 
      • For cancellations twenty (20) to eleven (11) calendar days in advance, Client is entitled to a refund in the amount of fifty percent (50%) of the total amount paid when Booking. 
      • After that deadline, Client is not entitled to any refund. Any reimbursable expenses arising out of the Booking incurred by Guide prior to the date of cancellation (including but not limited to plane tickets, car rental payments, and lodging or transportation fees) are non-refundable as soon as they are incurred by the Guide.
  • The beginning of both tours is in Nelson. To get there, most people fly into Christchurch International Airport or Auckland Airport, located on the South Island. From there, you can either drive or fly into Nelson. There’s also a possibility of flying from Christchurch to Nelson. 

    For the 10-day Southern Slice tour, you’ll meet your guide and the rest of the group in the Rutherford Hotel, Nelson at 4 pm on Day 1 of your tour.

    For the 15-day Ultimate South tour, you will meet your guide at a predetermined location in Nelson, which will usually be at the airport or the i-Site Visitor Information Centre.

  • 57hours is committed to providing safe outdoor adventure experiences. We require all guides using our platform to have a COVID-19 safety plan and to make the details of that plan accessible to travelers. In most cases, group sizes will be reduced, guides will avoid overcrowded locations, and other safety measures will be met depending on the location and activity. 

    We also expect clients to respect local regulations and take measures to protect themselves, guides and the communities they’re travelling to. For more information on COVID-19 measures in New Zealand, please refer to the official New Zealand travel website.

    Please contact us if you have any questions or require further information. We are happy to provide you with the most up-to-date information!

Have more questions? Read our FAQ, or Book a call
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