Trip details

On Day 10, you can join a local operator for a guided heli-hike on the Tasman Glacier. If you would like to join this heli-hike, let us know how many people in your group will be joining the tour.

On Day 13, you can join a Milford Sound kayaking tour. If you would like to participate, let us know how many people in your group will be joining in.

  • Explore a colorful blend of New Zealand’s iconic Great Hikes and lesser-known gems on a 15-day hiking and multisport adventure. Ride, walk, paddle, and sail along the South Island’s greatest natural landmarks, learning about the native Maori culture. Off the trails, unwind with fellow adventure-lovers in cozy campsites, lodges, and panoramic mountain huts. 
    • Meet your guides and fellow hikers in Newlson and head out of town to Kaiteriteri, the gateway to the Abel Tasman National Park. Take a boat cruise to Awaroa Bay, where you’ll enjoy a picnic on the idyllic beach before starting your hike. Follow the Abel Tasman Coast Track south to Bark Bay, where your tents and gear will be waiting for you. Pitch your tent, enjoy a delicious meal, and fall asleep to the sound of waves lapping the shore.
      Distance covered: 9 km
      Hiking time: 3 hours
      Meals: Lunch and dinner

      Hikers descending a path near the Tasman sea
    • Depart from Bark bay through contrasting stands of manuka and luxuriant mixed forest, over a low saddle, and across a high and airy suspension bridge above the Falls River. You can take a side trip to the Falls River Cascades or Cleopatra’s Pool, both awesome swim spots. If you’re in the mood, you can also join your guide for a boulder hop among the idyllic pools and waterfalls, before settling at the bright blue inlet of Anchorage.
      Distance covered: 8.5-12 km
      Hiking time: 3-5 hours
      Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner

      A view of the Abel Tasman Coast.
    • Explore Abel Tasman’s coastline by Waka (Maori canoe). Learn about local waka teams and their customs before exploring the coves of the mainland and the wildlife refuge of Adele
      Island, where you can observe a breeding colony of New Zealand fur seals. Paddle into the beautiful Kaiteriteri beach, have a picnic lunch, and restock on supplies before driving to a private campsite near Murchison, overlooking the Buller and Maruia rivers.
      Distance covered: 15 km
      Paddling time: 3 hours
      Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner

      Travelers in a traditional Maori Waka in New Zealand.
    • Your first stop on the wild West Coast is Charleston. Take a short hike through lush West Coast bush checking out the dramatic headlands, wild waves, and secluded bays. After a picnic lunch, hike to the spectacular limestone river canyon in Paparoa National Park. Cross a few rivers, collect some firewood, and set up camp under the massive Ballroom Overhang fluviatile cave.
      Distance covered: 8 km
      Hiking time: 4 hours
      Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner

      Hikers walking under limestone cliffs in Fox River
    • After breakfast, head to the West Coast town of Punakaiki to check out the famous Pancake Rocks and seawater blowholes, before retreating down to tonight’s accommodation in Hokitika, a gold-rush town full of cool local jewelry. Enjoy lodge accommodations a short walk from the beach, where you can enjoy some beautiful seaside views.
      Distance covered: 6 km
      Hiking time: 3 hours
      Meals: Breakfast and lunch

      Footprints in the sandy coastline of Abel Tasman
    • Enjoy group breakfast at one of the great cafés in town before leaving for a cycling tour of the awesome West Coast Wilderness Trail between the Arahura River bridge and the historic township of Kumara. After the ride, sit back and take in the landscapes as you drive into the Southern Alps and the quaint mountain village of Arthur’s Pass. Eat and spend the night in a private hut, preparing for tomorrow’s hiking trip into Edwards Valley.
      Distance covered: 39 km
      Biking time: 4-5 hours
      Meals: Lunch and dinner

      Cycling the West Coast Wilderness trail in New Zealand
    • While not as famous as some of the other National Parks visited on the tour, Arthur’s Pass will amaze you with rugged peaks, wild rivers, and adventurous trails. Follow Edwards River to the Edwards Hut right above the bush line with a great view of the valley. Camp outside or stay in the hut, depending on how many hikers are out there. Fall asleep listening out for the call of the Kiwi, New Zealand’s national bird that is known to inhabit this valley.
      Distance covered: 9 km
      Hiking time: 5-6 hours
      Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner

      Hikers wading a river in New Zealand
    • Make the most of this alpine valley with an optional hike before packing up and hiking back out to the road. Have lunch along the way. Watch the scenery change dramatically, with the steep forested slopes of the west replaced with wide braided rivers, tussock grassland, mountains flanked with scree, and the surreal limestone formations of Castle Hill. Leave the main highway and follow an inland route to the tiny village of Mt. Somers, where you’ll spend the night.
      Distance covered: 9 km
      Hiking time: 5-6 hours
      Meals: Breakfast and lunch

      Hikers scrambling up Mueller Ridge, Sealy Tarns
    • Spend the morning driving along the western margin of the Canterbury Plains and into
      the Mackenzie Country, an intermontane basin of huge glacial lakes and snow-capped mountains. Arrive at Aoraki/Mt. Cook village and get ready for a hike to Sealy Tarns, and maybe even Mueller hut. Experience the towering moraine walls, glacial lakes, and the frequent rumbling of distant avalanches, before returning to your accommodation in a private hut.
      Distance covered: 10 km
      Hiking time: 6 hours
      Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner

      Hikers heading to Aoraki/Mt. Cook through Hooker Valley
    • After a relaxed breakfast, you get the option to join a local operator for a guided heli-hike on the
      Tasman Glacier. Alternatively, join the guide for a hike up the steep slopes of Sebastopol to
      the Red Tarns for more stunning views. By mid-afternoon, reunite with the group and continue south through the Mackenzie Country and over Lindis Pass into the Central Otago region. Spend the night near the shores of the glacial Lake Hawea, ringed by the mountains, and enjoy a meal in a local restaurant.
      Distance covered: 4 km
      Hiking time: 2 hours
      Meals: Breakfast and lunch

      A hiker heading towards the Aspiring Hut in New Zealand
    • Drive to the Wanaka township where you’ll grab a coffee and wander around. Then, head on up the Matukituki Valley to the road end. Shoulder your pack and enjoy stunning Matterhorn-esque views as you hike across grassed flats to Aspiring Hut. There’s another optional steep, yet rewarding climb here. Alternatively, stay and chill at the hut.
      Distance covered: 14 km
      Hiking time: 6 hours
      Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner

      View from a window at the Aspiring Hut in the Southern Island
    • Start your return hike early, enjoying pretty views and easy walking along the floor of this wide glacially formed valley. Back in Wanaka, recharge with a lakeside picnic and a dive into the lake. Drive over the remarkable Crown Range and take in the views, before arriving at the Knobs Flat campsite. Relax and make the most of the available hot showers.
      Distance covered: 9 km
      Hiking time: 3 hours
      Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner

      Hikers crossing swing bridge over Matukituki river
    • Drive to the heart of Fiordland National Park and enjoy Milford, one of the world’s great day cruises. Enter Milford Sound and enjoy stunning views of cascading waterfalls and the iconic Mitre Peak. You could even spot a dolphin. A kayaking option is also available. Before returning to Knobs Flat take a hike up to Key Summit, the final section of the famous Routeburn Track. This informative nature walk transitions from forest to alpine vegetation and prolific birdlife, with spectacular views of the Hollyford Valley and the Darran Mountains.
      Distance covered: 7 km
      Hiking time: 3 hours
      Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner

      Kayaking in Milford Sound, New Zealand
    • After breakfast, take a short hike to check out a beautiful waterfall near our campsite, where you may want to soak up one last little bit of Fiordland by jumping under a bracing shower. Make your final drive to Queenstown in the early afternoon. Afterward, celebrate the great adventures you’ve had for the past two weeks with your new friends.
      Distance covered: 2 km
      Hiking time: 45 minutes
      Meals: Breakfast and lunch

      Hikers sitting in front of a mountainous vista in New Zealand
    • Your guide departs early for Christchurch, marking the end of the tour. If you’re staying in Queenstown, keep in mind that it’s known as the adventure capital of New Zealand, so there are a ton of superb hiking and cycling tracks in the area!

      Night at Queenstown on New Zealand’s South Island
    • 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!

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