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New Zealand Uncut Hiking Adventure

Itinerary
Guide(s)
Malcolm O’Neill, Daniel Murphy, Hiking New Zealand
Trip options

Booking for a group?
Reserve spots for 5 or more people, and get $57 off for each

Add-ons

During your hiking adventure in New Zealand you can reserve a single room for an additional fee. If you don’t add the following single supplement to your booking, we will assume you’re alright with sharing the room with another hiker from your team.

Itinerary
People
1 Person
Date(s)
--
Duration
15 day
Guide(s)
Malcolm O’Neill, Daniel Murphy, Hiking New Zealand
Reserve deposit (25%) $0
Second Payment Amount: $0
  • Experience New Zealand’s natural wonders (including 6 national parks) with a local guide. Visit the country’s capital and world-famous attractions such as Waitomo Caves with glowing worms, Rotorua with its unique geothermal features, Tongariro Alpine Crossing (considered one of the best day hikes in the world), Punakaiki’s lush rainforest, and Mount Cook, famous for glaciers and alpine landscapes. Finish your days with laidback evening activities in high-quality hotels and lodges.

    • Join the rest of your group in the Heritage Hotel foyer in Central Auckland and meet your guide. Start the tour by driving past patchwork green farming country alongside the Waikato River. After the drive, visit the Waitomo caves with thousands of glowworms clinging to the surfaces and hike through a fascinating limestone canyon. In the afternoon, you will arrive in the volcanically active area of Rotorua, which is also the center of Maori cultural tourism. Spend the evening enjoying a cultural performance.

      Accommodation: Distinction Hotel, Rotorua
      Meals: Lunch and dinner
      Hiking: 1-2 km (0.5-1 miles) / 2 hours

      Glowworms in Waitomo caves.
    • After breakfast in your hotel in Rotorua, hike alongside the crystal-clear lake Tarawera in the shade of tree ferns. You’ll be able to swim in the lake and enjoy the views of the area’s expansive forests and volcanoes. In the afternoon, explore the area south of Rotorua with its mineralised hot pools and plumes of rising steam. Later you’ll spend some time by the Waikato river, whose flow is particularly powerful in this area because of a narrow rock corridor. Arrive in your accommodation in the lakeside town of Taupo and enjoy dinner and other evening activities.

      Accommodation: Beechtree Motel, Taupo
      Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
      Hiking: 8 km (5 miles) / 5 hours

      Aerial view of a blue river in a powerful flow in a narrow rock corridor covered in trees.
    • Start the third day off with breakfast in Taupo. You will have a drive along the shores of Lake Taupo and arrive in New Zealand’s first National Park—Tongariro. Walk through the forest and explore the Rotopounamu lake, as well as the magnificent Taranaki Falls, cascading 20 m over a 15,000 year old lava flow. Enjoy dinner with the group in the comfort of your hotel.

      Day 4 will be challenging as it features a 15-mile (23 km) hike, but it’s definitely worth the effort since we’re talking about the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, considered one of the best day walks in the world. During the hike, you’ll see the Red Crater, Emerald Lakes and lots of steaming vents. This will be your base for the next two days. 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 the village.

      Accommodation: Hotel at the gateway to Tongariro National Park
      Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
      Hiking: 8 km (5 miles) / 2-4 hours on Day 3 & 23 km (14 miles) / 6-8 hours on Day 4

      Aerial view of the turquoise lake nestled between rolling hills with a mountain peak in the distance.
    • After breakfast, drive south to the nation’s capital, Wellington. Experience the city’s vibrant culture and spend some time bar hopping, visiting one of many museums, or going on a cable car ride to Wellington Botanic Gardens. The dinner on Day 5 and the breakfast on day 6 are not included which gives you an opportunity to explore the city’s restaurant and street food scene. On Day 6, spend more time in Wellington and take a flight over Cook strait to Nelson. Settle in your accommodation and meet up with your guide around 4 p.m. Later you can either take the guided tour to the Botanical Hill with the views of the Tasman Bay and the Nelson City or simply explore Nelson on your own.

      Accommodation: Copthorne Hotel in Wellington & Tides Hotel in Nelson
      Meals: Breakfast on Day 5, dinner on Day 6
      Hiking: 2.5 km (1.5 miles) / 1 hour

      City vedute from the trees and sea in the foreground, skyscrapers in the middle and residential area in the hills in the background.
    • After an early breakfast, you will set off for the Abel Tasman National Park and board a water taxi to the Bark Bay. The park is known for its long sandy beaches and rugged granite headlands. Follow the Abel Tasman Coast Track in a native forest with views of cascading streams and get to the Torrent Bay featuring the pristine Cleopatra’s Pool. Board the water taxi again and return to your accommodation in Nelson where you will get some more time to explore the town.

      Accommodation: Trailways Hotel, Nelson
      Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
      Hiking: 12 km (7.5 miles ) / 4 hours

      View of a sand beach with rock formations with trees in the background.
    • Head to the West Coast and stop at a private deer farm to marvel at the natural flames which have been continuously burning since the 1920s. Relax with a cup of tea and cakes made over the flames. Continue your journey alongside the Buller River, enjoy the views of the West Coast and learn about its past. You will later head to Punakaiki where you will catch the sunset and enjoy dinner in a local pub. Later in the evening, take a walk around the Pancake Rocks. Settle in your accommodation in the Punakaiki Resort and get some rest.

      Accommodation: Ocean View Retreat, Punakaiki
      Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
      Hiking: up to 8 km (6 miles) / 3 hours

      Pancake Rocks, Punakaiki, West Coast, New Zealand
    • Hike the Inland Pack Track from the Pororari to the Punakaiki River and admire the lush rainforest with tropical nikau palms. Pass many clear pools and take a short swim in one of them! You will spend some time on the road with views of the Southern Alps and soft yellow tussock grasslands. Later in the day you will visit Tura Tawhiti with remarkable limestone outcrops. The site was once an important meeting place for early Maori people and was named “Spiritual Center of the Universe” by the Dalai Lama. Get back on the road and drive past the Lyndon Lake on your way to Methven, a laid-back town which has the Southern Alps as its backdrop. You’ll have some time to explore the town and dine in one of its restaurants.

      Accommodation: Ski Time, Methven
      Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
      Hiking: up to 10 km (6 miles) / 3 hours

      View of the river inside of a rainforest with tropical trees to its left and a steep cliif covered with plants on its right.
    • Spend the next three days around the Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park. Follow the edge of the extensive Canterbury Plains then up into the intermontane Mackenzie Basin to Lake Tekao, famous for its turquoise waters and the quaint Church of the Good Shepherd. Revel in broad views of the Patagonia-like landscape during picnic lunch. This is a sparsely populated region in the rain shadow of the Southern Alps: tawny-brown drylands, braided riverbeds, and glacial lakes. Hike in Governors Bush and up to Red Tarns for views of Aoraki/Mt Cook. Settle into your accommodation where you’ll stay for two nights.

      Start off Day 11 with a hike up to Sealy Tarns. Enjoy spectacular views of Mt Sefton, Mueller and Hooker Glacier terminal lakes and the towering south face of Aoraki/Mt Cook. Those wanting an easier alternative to the Sealy Tarns climb can explore the valley floor independently, taking the walk up the Hooker Valley for views of the Mueller and Hooker Glacier terminal lakes and the towering south face of Aoraki/Mt Cook.

      On Day 12, sail the terminal lake of the Tasman Glacier dotted with pearly icebergs, also the longest glacier in New Zealand. Later on, drive to Wanaka and stop at one of the vineyards for wine tasting. Settle in your accommodation in Wanaka, a lakeside holiday town.

      Accommodation: Lodge within Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park on Days 10 and 11, Oak Ridge Resort, Wanaka on Day 12
      Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner (no dinner on Day 12)
      Hiking: 5 km (3 miles) / 3 hours on Day 10, 10 km (6 miles) / 4 hours on Day 11, 3 km (2 miles) / 1 hour on Day 12

      A man and a woman on a hike with a small clear lake to their left, a canyon to their right and tall, snow-covered mountain peaks ahead of them.
    • After breakfast, take a drive around Wanaka Lake and head to the Aspiring National Park, home to natural wonders such as the Diamond Lake and Rocky Mountains. On your way to Te Anau, the largest lake in the South Island, you will pass through the scenic wine growing area of Gibbston Valley. Te Anau is the gateway to the Fiordland National Park. Your hotel is conveniently located near the lake and the commercial center of the town.

      Accommodation: Distinction Luxmore Hotel, Te Anau
      Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
      Hiking: 7 km (4.3 miles) / 3 hours

      View of a deep-blue lake with a boat in the middle of it and very steep mountain peaks in the background.
    • From Fiordland mountains, head to the Milford Sound, one of New Zealand’s most iconic tourist destinations. Walk a section of the Routeburn Track to Key Summit for panoramic views of the Humboldt and Darran Mountains. Easier short walks, and the preferred option if cloud is likely to rob Key Summit of views, are located below in the Hollyford Valley. Continue on to Milford Sound and experience the true magnificence of the fiord by cruising through it. The highlight of the day is cruising along the fjord between glaciated mountains featuring impressive waterfalls while being on a lookout for marine wildlife—most notably dusky dolphins, New Zealand fur seals and, if you’re lucky, the rare Fiordland crested penguin. Return to your hotel in Te Anau.

      Accommodation: Distinction Te Anau Hotel and Villas, Te Anau
      Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
      Hiking: 7 km (4.3 miles) / 3 hours

      The picturesque fjord of Milford Sound
    • On the last day, hike the Kepler Track to Lake Manapouri, known for an array of islands and its mountain backdrop. Head north to Queenstown, the last point of your adventure. Set against the dramatic Southern Alps, Queenstown is known as New Zealand’s adventure capital. You can travel up the Skyline Gondola to enjoy some show-stopping views, or have a leisurely stroll through the Queenstown Gardens before heading for dinner somewhere downtown. Tomorrow you’ll say goodbye to New Zealand or continue touring on your own.

      Meals: Breakfast and lunch
      Hiking: 10 km (6 miles) / 3 hours hiking

      Aerial view of Queenstown.
    • What you get on this adventure:

        • An experienced, local hiking guide with extensive knowledge of the area
        • 15 days of hiking and other activities outlined in the itinerary
        • Meals as outlined in the itinerary
        • Accommodation as outlined in the itinerary
        • Daily transportation during the adventure
        • Plane ticket from Wellington to Nelson
        • First aid kit
        • Drinking water
        • Safety equipment and maps

      If you have any special dietary requirements, please let us know prior to booking to make arrangements.

      What’s not included:

        • Transportation to and from New Zealand
        • Some meals (listed in the itinerary)
        • Personal equipment
        • Travel insurance
        • Guide gratuities — optional
    • This hiking adventure is beginner-friendly! You need to have a basic level of fitness and be able to walk up to 8 hours a day (4-5 hours on average), with an elevation gain of up to 2,000 ft (600 m) on hard days while carrying a backpack weighing around 9 lb (4 kg). You will often be stopping during the hikes to get some rest and eat lunch and various snacks.

      For more information, check out our post on the best hikes in New Zealand’s North Island!

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

        • Hiking boots or shoes
        • Day pack
        • Waterproof raincoat (Gore-Tex or similar)
        • Warm fleece/wool jersey
        • Shorts or lightweight hiking trousers (preferably quick-dry)
        • Polypro/thermals – top & bottom
        • Long sleeve shirt (for sun protection)
        • Socks
        • Warm hat
        • Sun hat, sunscreen and sunglasses
        • Water bottle (1 L)
        • Spare shoes or sandals
        • Insect repellent
        • Short-sleeved short (quick-dry, polypropylene or wool)
        • Casual clothing for travel and evenings
        • Gloves/mittens
        • Swimsuit
        • Camera — optional (but recommended)

      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.
      For the flight between Wellington and Nelson, the checked luggage allowance is 23 kg/ 50 lbs per person, with a carry-on luggage allowance of 7 kg/ 15.4 lbs.

    • Group sizes and prices:

        • For this adventure, the usual client to guide ratio is 13:1.
        • The cost is per person and doesn’t decrease as the group grows.
        • It takes a minimum of 4 participants for this tour to run.

      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 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.

    • The adventure starts in Auckland and finishes in Queensland. To get to Auckland, most people fly into Auckland International Airport (AKL). From there, you can take a shuttle service to get to the meeting location in the city—the Heritage Hotel foyer, 35 Hobson Street, Central Auckland.

    • 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 traveling to. For more information on COVID-19 measures in New Zealand please refer to the official New Zealand 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!

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