Pristine New Zealand

Fiordland National Park – Queenstown – Milford Track – Routeburn Track – Kepler Track – Lake Te Anau – Mount Aspiring National Park – Glenorchy – Rotorua – Tongariro National Park – Waiheke Island – Local Wineries

Days: 13 Days
From: US$8499 + TAX
Activity Level: Leisurely
Group Size: 4 – 12 People
Days: 13 Days
From: US$8499 + TAX
Activity Level: Leisurely
Group Size: 4 – 12 People

Trip Overview

You simply have to experience the contrast between the North and South of New Zealand, while still keeping the pace smooth and easy (just like our Pinot Noir), and your journey starts here.

Cruise out to Waiheke Island, New Zealand’s most sought after island lifestyle destination, to walk the coast and sample wine before taking a short trip to the cultural heart and most dynamic geothermal area of New Zealand – Rotorua. Explore the outrageously beautiful landscapes of the volcanic central plateau, and then it’s on to the South Island where you’ll discover a new meaning of the word ‘dramatic’ in Fiordland and Milford Sound.

Walk the valleys and forests surrounding Lake Wakatipu and relax with some of the world’s finest wines from Central Otago.

In true kiwi comfort and style, relish the diversity that is the ‘Land of the Long White Cloud’.

Areas Visited – North Island:
– Rotorua
– Tongariro National Park
– Waiheke Island
– Local Wineries

Areas Visited – South Island:
– Fiordland National Park
– Queenstown
– Milford Track
– Routeburn Track
– Kepler Track
– Lake Te Anau
– Mount Aspiring National Park
– Glenorchy


Day 1 - Waiheke Island Wine & Walking

What better way to get 13 days of walking and indulgence underway, than a short cruise across the Hauraki Gulf from our largest cosmopolitan city of Auckland, to Waiheke Island? A spectacularly beautiful place where bohemians decided to escape the rat race in the 60s, now home to some of the most exclusive wineries and stunning coastline in the world. We’ll wander the Park Point coastal walkway before sampling the acclaimed local artisan red wines. After a short cruise back across the Hauraki Gulf, we’ll head south through the rolling green countryside to Rotorua for our first night.

Accommodation: Wai Ora Resort, Rotorua.

Wine: Waiheke is a premier wine growing area in New Zealand. Sample and enjoy.

Dining: Selection of Puhoi cheeses and local island fare. Dinner out on Rotorua’s ‘Eat Street’. (Lunch, Dinner included)

Day 2 - Wai-o-tapu Thermal Wonderland, Te Puia Maori Experience

Wake up in Rotorua, the cultural hub of New Zealand, and sample our fine espresso coffee. Once we’re wide awake and well fed we’ll drive a short distance down the road to the thermal wonderland of Wai-O-Tapu – New Zealand’s premier area of geothermal activity. Bubbling mud, steaming cracks in the earth, myriad sulphuric colours and smells abound in this fascinating area. Tonight we’ll spend the evening appreciating local culture and history at a Maori cultural & dining experience at Te Puia.

Accommodation: Wai Ora Resort, Rotorua.

Dining: We’ll dine at Te Puia this evening, experiencing a ‘Hangi’ – a traditional Maori feast cooked in an earth oven. (All meals included)

Day 3 - Walk Huka Falls & Visit Lake Rotopounamu

No need to hurry this morning – we’ll take our time with breakfast, before heading south to our largest inland body of water – Lake Taupo. Draining from the lake is the Waikato River, which starts its journey through a tight cataract and spectacular chute – Huka Falls. We’ll walk the trail to the Falls and have lunch on the lakefront. Afterwards, for those who are keen, we’ll walk some of the loop track around a crater lake, Lake Rotopounamu. Afterwards we’ll head to our accommodation for the night, Oreti Village, where your guides will cook a delicious dinner.

Accommodation: Oreti Village, Turangi.

Dining: Your talented guides will cook a delicious dinner this evening. (All meals included)

Day 4 - Explore Tongariro National Park & Afternoon Tea at Chateau Tongariro

Wide open arid volcanic landscapes, picture perfect volcanic peaks, waterfalls and clear flowing waters. It’s no wonder this is a World Heritage site. Today we’ll take the Silica Rapids walk, which follows a cascading stream through mountain beech forest to the creamy white terraces carved out from thousands of years of volcanic activity. If you’re up for another waterfall, we’ll take a 6 kilometre loop track to Taranaki Falls, where the water tumbles 20 metres over a 15,000 year old lava flow to crash into the pool below. This afternoon we’re heading to one of New Zealand’s most iconic hotels, in the volcanic central plateau, the Chateau Tongariro, where we’ll have afternoon tea. This evening your wonderful guides will prepare another delicious meal.

Accommodation: Oreti Village, Turangi.

Dining: We’ll eat a boxed lunch while we’re out exploring Silica Rapids. In the afternoon, High Tea at Chateau Tongariro will be served, an indulgent exercise best experienced from in front of the Ngauruhoe window. Your guides will cook up some delicious New Zealand fare this evening for dinner. (All meals included)

Day 5 - Sanctuary Mountain & Explore Cambridge Township

Today we’ll take a beautifully scenic drive north, around the west side of Lake Taupo, to Maungatautari, where we’ll explore Sanctuary Mountain. This conservation project is a gigantic predator-proof area of 3400 hectares. The project aims to continue the re-introduction of threatened and endangered species via breeding programmes, and gives visitors the opportunity to see some of New Zealand’s most incredible animals in a sound ecological environment. Later today we’ll head for the town of Cambridge where we’ll spend the night. Known as ‘the town of trees and champions’ as well as New Zealand’s equine capital, we’ll explore this quaint community on the banks of the powerful Waikato River, before dinner out at one of Cambridge’s amazing restaurants.

Accommodation: Kelly Road Cambridge Lodge, Cambridge.

Dining: Tonight your guides will take you to their favourite restaurant in town. (All meals included)

Day 6 - Fly to Queenstown & Earnslaw Cruise to Walter Peak

We’ll head north to Auckland airport this morning and board a short flight to Queenstown, where another world awaits. The rugged peaks of the Remarkables Mountain range rise sharply out of the crystal clear waters of Lake Wakatipu on one side. Turn 180 degrees and the spectacular views carry on as far as the eye can see – simply stunning. This afternoon you’ll have some free time to explore the resort town, before gathering again at Steamer Wharf in town to take a cruise on the TSS Earnslaw, a steam ship built in 1912, for a cruise on Lake Wakatipu to Walter Peak, where we’ll enjoy a delicious buffet dinner and a sheepdog demonstration on a working sheep station.

Accommodation: Scenic Suites, Queenstown.

Other activities: We’re often asked about fly fishing, and Queenstown, with its deep lake and tranquil rivers, is a premier spot. Or we can help you organise a round of golf or a spa day (optional).

Dining: We’re taking a beautifully scenic cruise on a steam ship to Walter Peak for a delicious buffet of locally sourced Kiwi fare. (All meals included)

Day 7 - Free Day in Queenstown

Elegant, exciting, welcoming, compact and always beautiful, Queenstown is a place for anyone and anything. On the shores of Lake Wakatipu, surrounded by stunning peaks, you’ll find a quiet sanctuary indoors or outdoors here, or an activity to get the adrenaline flowing. Dine, indulge, drink, walk, fly, float, ride – just let your guide know how you’d like to spend your time here. Take time to appreciate the beauty of the local gardens and the lake, and forget about the world outside this amazing place.

Accommodation: Scenic Suites, Queenstown.

Dining: A foodie’s dream – ask us for local tips and recommendations, there will be something to please everyone’s tastes. (No meals included)

Other activities: We’re often asked about fly fishing, and Queenstown, with its abundant lakes and tranquil rivers is a premier spot. Or we can help you organise a round of golf or a spa day (optional).

Day 8 - Short Walks On The Way To Milford Sound

As we drive into Fiordland National Park, ‘glorious’ is just one word that will pop into your head. As the granite peaks get steeper, higher and more imposing, the rainforest flanking them grows ever thicker and the rivers ever clearer. To really explore the area we’ve chosen a series of short walks to take on the way to our ultimate destination, Milford Sound. We’ll explore the Eglinton Valley and eat lunch at a stunning picnic spot. As for Milford Sound – you can expect to see waterfalls like nowhere else in the world. This place receives around 7 metres of rain a year, so it might well be raining during your time here – and if it is, you’ll see this place REALLY come alive!

Accommodation: Milford Sound Chalets. The mountain view chalets here bring comfort and class to an isolated and wild place. The sound of the local bird life will make your private chalet experience one to remember. (view details)

Dining: Dinner at Milford Lodge. We’ll also have a sumptuous lunch spread prepared in the Eglinton Valley. (All meals included)

Day 9 - Walk the Milford Track & Afternoon Cruise Milford Sound

Wake up feeling refreshed and relaxed, sit out on the deck of your chalet, listen to the roar of waterfalls, spy the native Kea (the world’s only alpine parrot) and prepare for a walk through exquisite native forest on the world famous Milford Track. Later today, we’ll board a boat for a scenic cruise of the Sound and a unique perspective on this glorious wilderness area. Today is a day to immerse yourself in an area unique to New Zealand and a balm for busy minds and bodies.

Accommodation: Distinction Hotel, on the shores of Lake Te Anau. (view details)

Other activities: A cruise on Milford Sound.

Dining: The deep south has flavours of its own worth sharing and Te Anau is famous for showcasing its local cuisine. (All meals included)

Day 10 – Glow Worm Cave Experience & Walk Kepler Track

A boat journey across Lake Te Anau brings us to a glittering grotto of glow worms. These fascinating bugs light the way in a 200 metre system of caves, underground waterfalls, sculpted walls and swirling pools. From the darkness of the glow worm caves, we’ll head back into the light of Te Anau and on to the world famous Kepler Track, where we’ll walk a section that skirts the edge of the Waiau River under the canopy of pristine mountain beech forest.

Accommodation: Distinction Hotel, on the shores of Lake Te Anau. (view details)

Other activities: The glow worm caves & Lake Te Anau boat cruise.

Dining: More flavours from the deep south await this evening. (All meals included)

Day 11 - Glenorchy & Jet Boat the Dart River

Begin the day on the shores of one awe inspiring lake and mountain vista and end it on another, with the beauty of Southland and a jet boat ride up one of New Zealand’s most incredible river valleys. We’ll make the journey back to Queenstown through rolling hills that eventually turn into the jagged peaks of the Wakatipu area. After a little time to enjoy lunch, we’ll replace the hustle of Queenstown with the beauty of the Dart River valley via jet boat – a high speed journey on the glacial waters of this incredible wilderness area. Finish the day in the beautiful and isolated Glenorchy at the furthest and most stunning end of Lake Wakatipu.

Accommodation: Camp Glenorchy, Glenorchy. (view details)

Other Activities: Stroll the shores of Lake Wakatipu just down from Glenorchy after our jet boat ride on the Dart River. Half hour wilderness walk in Mt Aspiring National Park.

Dining: Tonight your talented guides will cook a delicious meal of Kiwi fare. (All meals included)

Day 12 - Walk Routeburn Track

Start the day with breakfast and incredible lakeside views before we delve back into the Te Wahipounamu World Heritage Area. We’ll return to the world famous Routeburn Track, close to a place that really is called Paradise. We’ll walk along the banks of the Routeburn River, absorbing the deep greens of native beech forest, crystal clear waters cascading below, and narrow valleys opening out to wide open spaces make this a varied and unforgettable day of walking. Of course if you’d like to take things slower today, there’s no better place than Glenorchy to relax and unwind with a good book as you soak up the surroundings.

Accommodation: Camp Glenorchy, Glenorchy. (view details)

Dining: A delicious picnic on the Routeburn Track and dinner in an equally impressive setting, in Glenorchy. (All meals included)

Day 13 - Return to Queenstown, Depart

We’ll enjoy the quiet at the head of the lake this morning, before making our way back along the shoreline to Queenstown. We’ll wave goodbye at Queenstown airport for departing flights, unless of course you can’t get enough of Queenstown and decide to stay, in which case we’ll drop you off at your choice of accommodation. (Breakfast included)

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What’s Included

Once you arrive, we want you to relax, escape the day to day, and indulge in the incredible sights, sounds, tastes and hospitality that make our trips the best in the world, so we include almost everything in our trip fares. 

Your trip fare includes:

  • All your meals.
    – New Zealand is the home of fresh and decadent produce. It’s a big part of the New Zealand experience, so we’ve made sure most of your meals are included. In the ‘Dining’ section for each day’s description you’ll see which meals are included that day. The only ones we don’t include are on days where you’re free to go exploring the local dining scene.
  • Transport on the ground.
    – When you arrive, we’ll pick you up from the Auckland Crowne Plaza Hotel, and we’ll take care of the rest, until you board your flight at Queenstown Airport. Our passenger vehicles are roomy and comfortable.
  • All guiding
    – A fantastic guide will take your trip from “great” to “I don’t know how life will ever be same.” Our incredible local guides will ensure that your New Zealand experience is seamless, relaxing and welcoming, you’ll feel like you’ve gained a couple of family members!
  • All accommodation.
    – We enjoy our creature comforts, so a good night’s sleep, cosy & comfortable surroundings and first class hosting are just as important as where we are and what we’re doing. So you’ll find yourself in lovely 4 star accommodations located in beautiful and sometimes secluded places, with quiet rooms, great views, comfortable amenities and impeccable service. When we’re a bit more off the beaten track, we’ve managed to track down similarly comfortable places to stay, in locations which might not even have road access!
  • All activities in the itinerary.
    – Walking in wild, scenic and beautiful places is what we do, although we’ll also be taking a cruise and jet boat ride. There are some optional activities that aren’t included, highlighted as “optional”. That said, all activities are optional – this is a holiday not a bootcamp!
  • Wine.
    – With dinner every night (where included), we’ll feature a couple of bottles of local wine. We love our local wines and enjoy sharing them with our guests in beautiful surrounds.

Not Included:

  • Flights to New Zealand
    – This trip starts in Auckland and finishes in Queenstown. Chat to our team for advice on best times to travel and routes to get here. 
  • Free day activities
    – There is a free day in Queenstown on day 7, allowing you time to sample some of the many activities available in this bustling hub. 

Departure Dates

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