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Guided Walking : Asia & South Pacific

New Zealand: The South Island

Easy to Moderate Terrain: 4-7 Miles Daily

New Zealand: The South Island

With its golden castaway beaches, dense manuka rainforest, emerald hills, tranquil river valleys, and windswept headlands, New Zealand is a land of astounding contrasts. Due to its geographical isolation, its evolution has been unique, leading to a singular ecosystem of flightless birds, distinctive trees, glowing insects, and strange ferns. In this unparalleled landscape, you’ll walk along colossal mountain glaciers, explore rushing gorges, and browse in quaint frontier towns. On the untamed West Coast, you’ll stroll through estuaries, bogs, and wetland forest on a track that passes remnants of the island’s past—an old log tramway and whitebaiters’ huts. Amble along sections of the Abel Tasman Coast Track, one of New Zealand’s Great Walks, and discover the legacy of Maori settlers, who searched the island for precious pounamu—green nephrite jade. Tread through forests of shivering silver birches as you gaze up at snowcapped peaks. Throughout your journey, you’ll witness unforgettable vistas as you savor an extraordinary destination hidden in one of the most remote corners of the Earth.


Tour Highlights:
  • Savor the superior wines of central Otago with a local expert during a private tasting of the region’s acclaimed pinot noirs.
  • Follow the coast past an iconic lighthouse on your way to view an active breeding colony of fur seals in the wild.
  • Sit down to a dinner to remember as your guides host a delicious alfresco gourmet barbecue overlooking the spectacular Fox Glacier.
Flight + Tour Combo

13 days, 12 nights

FROM $7,598 USD

per person, double occupancy

Tour extensions available
Queenstown | 2 nights $298

Tour Only

9 days, 8 nights

FROM $5,698 USD

per person, double occupancy



Request Reservation Online Contact Us

OR Call to Book 800.234.6900

Why Walk With Us

  • Trust our expertise with 36+ years in active travel.
  • 24/7 support from a local representative.
  • Generous inclusions: all breakfasts, many meals, and luggage transfers.
  • Your departure is always guaranteed.
  • Detailed maps and easy-to-follow route notes ensure that you’ll easily find your way.
  • Past guests and referrals always save.

Itinerary & Accommodations

View the Tour Only Itinerary Open
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Day 1

Meet in Queenstown

Meet your group in Queenstown for a walk along the shores of Lake Wakatipu, enjoying stunning views of the region’s grassland and surrounding peaks.

Accommodation: Edgewater Resort, Wanaka

This resort hotel is located on magnificent Lake Wanaka, with extensive lawns and gardens extending to the water’s edge against a backdrop of high peaks. Spacious guest rooms offer views from a patio or balcony. On-site facilities include tennis courts, sauna and spa, and putting green, as well as mountain bike or kayak rentals.

Day 2

Wanaka and Mount Aspiring National Park

Breathtaking mountain and valley panoramas greet you in Mount Aspiring National Park. Choose between a 1,200-foot ascent to Rob Roy Glacier or an easier option follows the shores of Lake Wanaka.

Accommodation: Edgewater Resort, Wanaka

This resort hotel is located on magnificent Lake Wanaka, with extensive lawns and gardens extending to the water’s edge against a backdrop of high peaks. Spacious guest rooms offer views from a patio or balcony. On-site facilities include tennis courts, sauna and spa, and putting green, as well as mountain bike or kayak rentals.

Day 3

Diamond Lake and Rocky Mountain

Ascend to the summit of Rocky Mountain, enjoying sweeping views in every direction, including Diamond Lake below and the Southern Alps in the distance. A shorter option is available.  This afternoon, set off for New Zealand’s west coast, where you stay in a boutique hotel near Fox Glacier.

Accommodation: Te Weheka Inn, Fox Glacier

This boutique hotel located just minutes from the charming town of Fox Glacier offers spacious rooms and private balconies with views of the surrounding mountains. Common areas include a cozy fireside lounge with superb mountain views, a dining room, and a well-stocked guest library.

Day 4

Fox Glacier Te Moeka o Tuawe Valley Walk

Today, enjoy varied perspectives on the Fox Glacier region. The Te Moeka o Tuawe Valley Walk takes you close to the terminal face and glacial moraine, while a loop around Lake Matheson affords views of Mt Cook and Tasman reflected in the clear water.

Accommodation: Te Weheka Inn, Fox Glacier

This boutique hotel located just minutes from the charming town of Fox Glacier offers spacious rooms and private balconies with views of the surrounding mountains. Common areas include a cozy fireside lounge with superb mountain views, a dining room, and a well-stocked guest library.

Day 5

Westland region: Hari Hari coastal walk and Hokitika visit

After this morning’s scenic coastal walk, browse for jade and crafts in Hokitika, a historic gold-rush town. Tonight, enjoy stunning sunset views at Punakaiki Resort.

Accommodation: Punakaiki Resort, Punakaiki

In a stunning ocean-side location, this sustainable resort complex is built among lush grounds just steps from the beach. Spacious suites are contemporary and comfortable and common spaces include an ocean-view restaurant, wide deck, and fireside lounge.

Day 6

West Coast: Pancake Rocks and Cape Foulwind

Minutes from your hotel, explore Pancake Rocks, a natural formation created by seawater sculpting the bedrock into fantastical shapes. Stretch your legs on the Inland Pack Track along the Porarari River. Afterwards, enjoy incredible coastal views and a visit to a fur seal colony.

Accommodation: Punakaiki Resort, Punakaiki

In a stunning ocean-side location, this sustainable resort complex is built among lush grounds just steps from the beach. Spacious suites are contemporary and comfortable and common spaces include an ocean-view restaurant, wide deck, and fireside lounge.

Day 7

Abel Tasman National Park

This morning, enjoy a scenic drive through two national parks, then transfer by boat to your wilderness lodge in Abel Tasman National Park. En route, stop at the Totoronui Bay for a walk through coastal forest lush with towering tree ferns and manuka (tea tree).

Accommodation: Awaroa Lodge, Abel Tasman National Park

This four-star wilderness lodge offers comfortable accommodation in a pristine setting within the national park. Contemporary design and comfort are combined with sustainable practices and local building products in guest rooms and throughout the grounds. The restaurant and café offer organic fare, much of it from the lodge’s organic garden, or sourced from nearby providers.

Day 8

Abel Tasman National Park

Today’s walk options follow open headlands beside stunning turquoise waters and golden beaches ideal for swimming or picnicking. A water taxi whisks you back to comfortable Awaroa Lodge.

Accommodation: Awaroa Lodge, Abel Tasman National Park

This four-star wilderness lodge offers comfortable accommodation in a pristine setting within the national park. Contemporary design and comfort are combined with sustainable practices and local building products in guest rooms and throughout the grounds. The restaurant and café offer organic fare, much of it from the lodge’s organic garden, or sourced from nearby providers.

Day 9

Abel Tasman National Park

Enjoy an early morning stroll along the beach before transferring to historic Nelson, with a lunch at a favorite café along the way.

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Flight

Overnight Flight from USA to Queenstown, New Zealand

Please refer to your air itinerary for your specific flight details.

Arrival

Arrive in Queenstown, New Zealand

After arriving at Queenstown Airport, enjoy a complimentary shuttle transfer to the Hotel St. Moritz, about 15-20 minutes away. After gathering your luggage and exiting baggage claim, look for a representative holding a Country Walkers sign. The shuttle is provided by Super Shuttle. Please note that your hotel room may not be available until 2:00 p.m., however, you may store your luggage at the reception desk while you explore the city. The remainder of the day is at your leisure (no meals included).

Accommodation: Hotel St. Moritz, Queenstown, New Zealand

Renowned as one of Queenstown’s finest accommodations, Hotel St Moritz enjoys an extraordinary setting, overlooking Lake Wakatipu in the heart of Queenstown. Drawing inspiration from the surrounding landscape, it’s a wonderful base from which to enjoy the numerous activities Queenstown has to offer. With sophisticated interiors in a contemporary mountain-lodge style, this hotel features amenities like an outdoor hot tub, garden, and sauna. Lake-view rooms have been reserved. Dining at Lombardi, the on-site restaurant you’ll enjoy locally sourced food and wine from the Central Otago region.

Day 1

Join Your Country Walkers New Zealand: The South Island tour

Breakfast is included at your hotel. Your guide(s) will meet you at the Hotel St. Moritz at 9:00 a.m. in the lobby. Your guide(s) will be wearing a Country Walkers shirt. Please be dressed for walking.

Meet your group in Queenstown for a walk along the shores of Lake Wakatipu, enjoying stunning views of the region’s grassland and surrounding peaks.

Accommodation: Edgewater Resort, Wanaka

This resort hotel is located on magnificent Lake Wanaka, with extensive lawns and gardens extending to the water’s edge against a backdrop of high peaks. Spacious guest rooms offer views from a patio or balcony. On-site facilities include tennis courts, sauna and spa, and putting green, as well as mountain bike or kayak rentals.

Day 2

Wanaka and Mount Aspiring National Park

Breathtaking mountain and valley panoramas greet you in Mount Aspiring National Park. Choose between a 1,200-foot ascent to Rob Roy Glacier or an easier option follows the shores of Lake Wanaka.

Accommodation: Edgewater Resort, Wanaka

This resort hotel is located on magnificent Lake Wanaka, with extensive lawns and gardens extending to the water’s edge against a backdrop of high peaks. Spacious guest rooms offer views from a patio or balcony. On-site facilities include tennis courts, sauna and spa, and putting green, as well as mountain bike or kayak rentals.

Day 3

Diamond Lake and Rocky Mountain

Ascend to the summit of Rocky Mountain, enjoying sweeping views in every direction, including Diamond Lake below and the Southern Alps in the distance. A shorter option is available.  This afternoon, set off for New Zealand’s west coast, where you stay in a boutique hotel near Fox Glacier.

Accommodation: Te Weheka Inn, Fox Glacier

This boutique hotel located just minutes from the charming town of Fox Glacier offers spacious rooms and private balconies with views of the surrounding mountains. Common areas include a cozy fireside lounge with superb mountain views, a dining room, and a well-stocked guest library.

Day 4

Fox Glacier Te Moeka o Tuawe Valley Walk

Today, enjoy varied perspectives on the Fox Glacier region. The Te Moeka o Tuawe Valley Walk takes you close to the terminal face and glacial moraine, while a loop around Lake Matheson affords views of Mt Cook and Tasman reflected in the clear water.

Accommodation: Te Weheka Inn, Fox Glacier

This boutique hotel located just minutes from the charming town of Fox Glacier offers spacious rooms and private balconies with views of the surrounding mountains. Common areas include a cozy fireside lounge with superb mountain views, a dining room, and a well-stocked guest library.

Day 5

Westland region: Hari Hari coastal walk and Hokitika visit

After this morning’s scenic coastal walk, browse for jade and crafts in Hokitika, a historic gold-rush town. Tonight, enjoy stunning sunset views at Punakaiki Resort.

Accommodation: Punakaiki Resort, Punakaiki

In a stunning ocean-side location, this sustainable resort complex is built among lush grounds just steps from the beach. Spacious suites are contemporary and comfortable and common spaces include an ocean-view restaurant, wide deck, and fireside lounge.

Day 6

West Coast: Pancake Rocks and Cape Foulwind

Minutes from your hotel, explore Pancake Rocks, a natural formation created by seawater sculpting the bedrock into fantastical shapes. Stretch your legs on the Inland Pack Track along the Porarari River. Afterwards, enjoy incredible coastal views and a visit to a fur seal colony.

Accommodation: Punakaiki Resort, Punakaiki

In a stunning ocean-side location, this sustainable resort complex is built among lush grounds just steps from the beach. Spacious suites are contemporary and comfortable and common spaces include an ocean-view restaurant, wide deck, and fireside lounge.

Day 7

Abel Tasman National Park

This morning, enjoy a scenic drive through two national parks, then transfer by boat to your wilderness lodge in Abel Tasman National Park. En route, stop at the Totoronui Bay for a walk through coastal forest lush with towering tree ferns and manuka (tea tree).

Accommodation: Awaroa Lodge, Abel Tasman National Park

This four-star wilderness lodge offers comfortable accommodation in a pristine setting within the national park. Contemporary design and comfort are combined with sustainable practices and local building products in guest rooms and throughout the grounds. The restaurant and café offer organic fare, much of it from the lodge’s organic garden, or sourced from nearby providers.

Day 8

Abel Tasman National Park

Today’s walk options follow open headlands beside stunning turquoise waters and golden beaches ideal for swimming or picnicking. A water taxi whisks you back to comfortable Awaroa Lodge.

Accommodation: Awaroa Lodge, Abel Tasman National Park

This four-star wilderness lodge offers comfortable accommodation in a pristine setting within the national park. Contemporary design and comfort are combined with sustainable practices and local building products in guest rooms and throughout the grounds. The restaurant and café offer organic fare, much of it from the lodge’s organic garden, or sourced from nearby providers.

Day 9

Abel Tasman National Park

Enjoy an early morning stroll along the beach before transferring to historic Nelson, with a lunch at a favorite café along the way.

Post-Night

Tour Departure from the Awaroa Lodge

After saying goodbye to your group in Nelson, enjoy a complimentary shuttle transfer to The Rutherford Hotel for your post-tour night. (Lunch and dinner are on your own.)

Accommodation: Rutherford Hotel, Nelson New Zealand

Located in a prime spot only minutes from Nelson’s landmark cathedral and shopping district, the Rutherford Hotel is a luxurious escape in the center of the city. With its complimentary in-room Wi-Fi, an excellent on-site Japanese Restaurant, a gym, and a secluded rooftop pool, you’ll love your stay here.

Departure

This morning, after a complimentary breakfast, you transfer to Nelson Airport via the Airport Shuttle Service.

Add a Tour Extension to Your Flight + Tour Combo
Pre-Tour Extension: Queenstown

2 nights from $298

  • Two nights at the Hotel St. Moritz in lake-view rooms*
  • Transfer from the airport to the Hotel St. Moritz
  • Two breakfasts

For those guests reserving our Flight + Tour Combo, you may wish to further extend your time in New Zealand with an additional two nights in Queenstown. Set in the heart of the Southern Alps, Queenstown is perfectly situated to springboard an outdoor adventure. As the birthplace of commercial bungee jumping, it creates opportunities to get your pulse pounding in spades. From mountain biking to white-water rafting to paragliding, you’ll find outfitters for whatever kind of activity you might want to enjoy. Of course, those with more sedate interests will find plenty to delight them too. Queenstown offers countless exceptional restaurants and excellent vineyards to satisfy foodies of all stripes. And no visit to South Island is complete without watching the sunset across Lake Wakatipu, painting the saw-toothed peaks of the Remarkables beyond.

Single Supplement: $298

*Please note that some hotel city taxes may need to be paid locally.

Flight + Tour Combo Inclusions:

  • Round-trip international airfare (includes airline fuel charges and taxes)
  • Airport transfers
  • One night at the Hotel St. Moritz, Queenstown and 1 night at The Rutherford Hotel, Nelson*
  • Two breakfasts
  • 9-day/8-night New Zealand: The South Island guided walking tour with on-trip inclusions

*Please note that some hotel city taxes may need to be paid locally.

Tour Extension Available

Queenstown
2 nights from only $298

Learn More

Ready to take the next step?

Request A Reservation

OR Call 800.234.6900

Dates & Prices

Tour Only

2017 Dates Per person, double occupancy Single Supplement
more info
Mar 3 - Mar 11 $5,698 $998
Nov 10 - Nov 18 $5,698 $998

Flight + Tour Combo

2017 Dates LOS ANGELES Change Departure Airport
Flight + Tour Combo
more info
Flight + Tour Combo
more info
Single Supplement
more info
Feb 28 - Mar 12 $7,698
$1,248
Nov 7 - Nov 19 $7,698 $1,248

Private Adventure

Make this Tour a Private Adventure

You can transform this itinerary into an exclusive experience for you and your fellow guests. Enjoy all the same walks and inclusions as on our traditional tours, in the company of the same expert guides. Simply gather your friends, choose your preferred departure date, and we’ll take care of the rest.

Learn more about our Private Adventures.

Private Adventure Inquiry

Guides

Guides

Our guides' experience, dedication, and enthusiasm make them ideal ambassadors for your destination. They chart the course, finesse the details, and speak the language (English, as well as the local language). They also possess a truly rare skill, knowing when to let serendipity and inspiration take the lead.

Peter Bersani - New Zealand Walking Tour Guide
Peter Bersani

Peter Bersani is originally from Boston, but has made his home in New Zealand for more than 25 years. An avid outdoorsman who enjoys hiking, mountain biking, and skiing, he loves leading visitors on the many hiking trails of the South Island. Also a trained chef and winemaker, he is eager to introduce the excellent products of his adopted country to others, from craft beers to contemporary New Zealand art.

Rene Schwaller - New Zealand Walking Tour Guide
Rene Schwaller

Rene Schwaller moved to Queenstown from Switzerland in the 1980’s and was a pioneer heli-ski and rafting guide. He then brought the first paragliders into New Zealand and manufactured his own brand of glider – Renegade! Rene spreads his time between leading hiking and cycling tours and working as a tandem paragliding pilot in the summer and heli-skiing in the winter. Rene’s long history of adventuring in New Zealand means he is often running into friends who are local characters during his travels.

Vanessa Wards - New Zealand the South Island Guide
Vanessa Wards

Having grown up on a farm in the North Island, Vanessa Wards, or Ness, loves all things involving the outdoors, including many adventure sports common in New Zealand. After completing a degree in Sport and Recreation Management at the Auckland University of Technology, she went on to work in an array of occupations before a love of travel and adventure took her across the globe, visiting Ireland, France, Germany, Sweden, and Morocco, among other places. Upon returning to New Zealand, she has been able to share her passion for introducing the scenic landscapes of the South Island by guiding adventures throughout her home country.

Tom Ives - New Zealand Walking Tour Guide
Tom Ives

Having spent his whole life on South Island, Tom Ives is a passionate outdoorsman and naturalist. With roots in both Nelson and Central Otago, he grew up enjoying tramping adventures and ski trips with his family and went on to become an avid white-water kayaker and rock climber. Tom majored in botany at Otago University, where he spent many days exploring the rugged coastline of the East Coast. From there, he became a guide on the spectacular Hollyford Track and aboard a boat leading ecological tours of Fiordland and Stewart Island. Tom’s affinity with the outdoors and extensive knowledge of South Island’s flora and fauna make him a fantastic ambassador for his native country.

Brenda George
Brenda George

Raised on a sheep and cattle farm on New Zealand’s South Island, Brenda George began her guiding career working as a trekking guide on the Routeburn Track while attending Lincoln University. Following graduation, Brenda moved to the alpine town of Wanaka working on ski patrol at Treble Cone Ski Resort in winter and as a trekking guide during the summer. Brenda has been guiding for Country Walkers for more than 10 years and loves to show off her favorite places on the South Island.

Madeline Bellcroft - New Zealand Walking Tour Guide
Madeleine Bellcroft

Madeleine Bellcroft or “Maddy” is a woman of many talents and interests, having worked in the areas of culinary arts, conservation, and outdoor education before becoming a guide in her native New Zealand. She enjoys yoga, rock climbing, skiing, and kayaking and has endless stories to share as she has skied in Antarctica, taught English in Nepal, flown a helicopter, and cooked dinner for King of Malaysia!

Yvonne Cook - New Zealand Walking tour guide
Yvonne Cook

Yvonne Cook has worked as a guide, interpreter, and educator for small groups on adventurous expeditions in the polar regions in addition to being a kayak and trekking guide in both New Zealand and internationally. A university education in natural sciences combined with wide-ranging guiding experience has given her a broad knowledge base with her main areas of expertise being geology, glaciology, oceanography, meteorology, marine mammals, and botany. As a South Island local she is committed to understanding and protecting New Zealand’s natural environment. In addition, she has three decades of managing national and international field projects and personal expeditions that have all provided extensive experience in risk management, team work, and interacting with people from a variety of cultures.

Photos

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