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Venture Off the Beaten Path in New Zealand

Guide(s)
Chai Pyle, Hiking New Zealand
Trip options

Booking for a group?
Reserve spots for 5 or more people, and get $49 off for each
People
1 Person
Date(s)
--
Duration
5 day
Guide(s)
Chai Pyle, Hiking New Zealand
Reserve deposit (25%) $0
Second Payment Amount: $0
  • Discover the underground world of bioluminescent Waitomo Caves, take a swim in Lake Tarawera and explore the Tongariro National Park. The park, which is one of the oldest ones in the world, safekeeps the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, a challenging hike along which you’ll find green lakes, glacial valleys, lava flows and more. Excellent ensuite rooms in quality hotels and lodges and an eclectic mix of restaurants will make your evenings just as enjoyable as your days spent outdoors.

    • Meet your guide and your group at the Heritage Hotel in Auckland at 7 am. Drive south and enjoy the passing scenery of lush countryside greenery alongside the Waikato River, the longest one in New Zealand. Arriving at the 30-million-year-old Waitomo Caves, journey down to the depths of the world-famous Ruakari Cave—a magical universe offering a bioluminescent experience like no other place on the planet. Thousands of tiny glowworms glittering like stars in the night sky will dazzle you, as will the crystal tapestries and subterranean waterfalls you’ll find along the way. Surfacing back to sunlight, go on a loop trail through a limestone canyon. Final stop of the day is the volcanically active area of Rotorua, the center of Māori cultural tourism and your accommodation for that day in which you’ll have your evening meal and see a cultural performance.
      Accommodation: Distinction Hotel, Rotorua
      Meals: Lunch and dinner
      Hiking: 2 hours, 0.6-1.2 miles/ 1-2 km

      Glowworms in Waitomo caves.
    • Hike alongside Lake Tarawera, the largest lake surrounding the eponymous volcano. If the canopies of tree ferns aren’t providing you enough shade, dive into the lake at any one of the pumice beaches along the way and cool off while drinking in the views of the vast volcanic area. Rotorua also features geothermal phenomena, which you’ll have the chance to explore in the afternoon—blow off any steam you might have by strolling along bubbling mud pools and lakes. Moving onto the lakeside town of Taupo and the mighty Huka Falls, you’ll hear, feel, and see huge amounts of water erupting from a natural gorge and thundering into the Waikato river. Spend the night in Taupo.
      Accommodation: Beechtree Hotel, Taupo
      Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
      Hiking: 5 hours, 5 miles/ 8 km

      Geothermal pool in Rotorua
    • Spend your morning exploring the Tongariro, the oldest national park in New Zealand where you’ll hike through mountain beech woodlands around the volcanic peak of Mount Pihanga and stroll around the peaceful Lake Rotopounamu. Take a leisure walk to Taranaki Falls, possibly encounter some of the park’s fauna along the way and go see a waterfall cascading over a 15,000-year-old lava flow. Settle in the hotel at the gateway of Tongariro where you’ll stay for two nights and have a well-deserved meal with your group.
      Accommodation: Hotel at the gateway to Tongariro National Park
      Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
      Hiking: 2-4 hours, 5 miles/ 8 km

      Lake Rotopounamu in Tongariro NP
    • Regarded as one of the best hiking trails on the planet, trek across the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. Expect a challenging full-day hike and steep climbs, and your effort will be awarded with a profusion of natural phenomena: tour the strikingly green Emerald Lakes, the flaming Red Crater, steaming vents, glacial valleys, lava flows, alpine flora, and vivid crater lakes. If you prefer to take it easy, there’s plenty to do at the village—you can tour the Soda Springs walk and Taranaki Falls walk, or you can learn more about the area at the Park Visitor Center. Recuperate with a glass of wine and enjoy your second night in the village.
      Accommodation: Hotel at the gateway to Tongariro National Park
      Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
      Hiking: 6-8 hours, 14 miles/ 23 km

      Emerald Lakes in Tongariro National Park.
    • Relax and rest while driving through verdant rural landscapes on your way to the capital city of Wellington. Choose what you want to do or see—discover New Zealand’s history at the interactive national museum Te Papa, ride the historic Wellington cable car, get your coffee fix in whichever of the vibrant cafés you choose, or saunter down the promenade. At the end of the day, take a few last photos and say farewell to New Zealand!
      Meals: Breakfast

      Cable car in Wellington.
    • What you get on this adventure:

        • An experienced, local hiking guide with extensive knowledge of the area
        • Five days of hiking and exploration
        • All accommodations for the duration of the tour
        • Minibus transportation for the duration of the tour
        • All activities outlined in the itineraries
        • All meals outlined in the itineraries
        • Wai-o-tapu Thermal Wonderland
        • Māori Village Experience

      What’s not included:

        • Transportation to Auckland
        • Transportation from the endpoint of the tour
        • Accommodations before and after the tour
        • Meals not outlined in the itineraries
        • Travel insurance
        • Guide gratuities — optional
    • The best thing about the New Zealand guided hiking tour is that there are options for all skill levels. The hiking tour suits all skill and fitness levels, but keep in mind that you’ll be doing around 4-5 hours of physical activity per day. The most you’ll hike is on day 4, when you’ll walk 23 km (14 miles) through the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. However, there is an option for a more restful day where you can choose how you want to spend your day. You’ll also be carrying your daypack (25-40L).

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

        • Backpack with a minimum 60L capacity and small day pack
        • Day pack with a 25-40L capacity
        • Hiking poles — optional
        • Gaiters — optional
        • Water bottle or CamelBak (2L capacity)
        • Hiking boots or good hiking shoes
        • Spare lightweight shoes or sandals
        • Spare clothes for layering
        • Thermal underwear (top and bottom)
        • Shorts or lightweight hiking trousers (preferably quick-dry)
        • Short-sleeved shirts (quick-dry, polypropylene, or wool)
        • Warm fleece or wool jersey
        • At least 3 pairs of socks
        • Raincoat (Goretex or similar)
        • Sunhat
        • Warm hat or balaclava
        • Gloves or mittens (wool or fleece)
        • Swimming costume
        • Toiletries (sunscreen, hand sanitizer, bug spray, toilet paper, etc.)
        • Headlamp or flashlight
        • Sunglasses
        • Camera — optional (but recommended)

      Your guide will supply:

        • Pack-liner to keep things dry inside your backpack
        • Kit bag to hold your spare gear when you’re out hiking
        • Emergency first aid kit
        • Plates, cutlery, mugs, pots, etc.

      Your guide offers hiking gear rentals. If you need a hiking backpack, raincoats, or a walking pole, contact us and we’ll help set you up.

      Bring extra socks and polypropylene layers – ensure you have enough warm items. Also, bring some comfortable clothes for non-hiking days. Spare clothing can be left in the secure trailer when you are away on the hikes, so don’t worry about the extra weight.

    • During this 5-day tour, you will spend four nights in cozy hotels and lodges.

    • Group sizes and prices:

      • For this tour, the groups consist of up to 13 people, with a usual 13:1 guest-to-guide ratio.
      • It takes a minimum of 4 participants for the tour to run.
      • If you happen to be a solo traveler, you’re more than welcome to join the group! Travelers will be added until the minimum group size to confirm the trip can be guaranteed.
      • There is a possibility of a single supplement and it costs $320, in case you would like to ensure a room to yourself, and not share it with anybody.

      Hiking in New Zealand 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 anytime prior 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.
    • To start this tour, most people fly into Auckland International Airport. From there, you can take a bus, shuttle or taxi to Auckland city center. You’ll meet your New Zealand hiking guide and the rest of the group in the Heritage Hotel foyer at 7am on Day 1 of your tour.

    • We highly recommend that you cover all your bases with both emergency medical and travel insurance. With medical insurance, if you have an accident or medical emergency on or off the mountain, you’ll avoid paying out of pocket for costly expenses. This covers everything from hospital treatments to emergency air transportation and more.

      Travel insurance covers canceled flights, natural disasters and other scenarios that may interrupt your travel plans. 

      We also expect you to respect local regulations and take measures to protect yourselves, your guides, and the communities you’re traveling to. For more information on travel recommendations and restrictions in New Zealand, please refer to the official New Zealand travel website.

      If you need assistance selecting the right insurance for your group, let us know and we will be happy to help!

    • Tours are scheduled to fit with the seasons and ideal hiking conditions. When the weather does not cooperate, your guide will know the correct course of action to take. Whether that’s shifting to a more favorable location or postponing until conditions approve, your guide will know just what to do. In New Zealand, there are plenty of backup options for rainy days. In the event of predictably bad weather, you will be contacted prior to the trip to discuss suitable alternatives.

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