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Epic Kiwi Adventure: 15 Days of Guided Hiking Bliss in New Zealand

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Embark on a 15-day guided hiking adventure across New Zealand, exploring glowworm caves, majestic fjords, and stunning national parks. Enjoy Maori cultural performances, fine wines, and comfortable lodgings. Perfect for beginner hikers seeking unforgettable experiences.



Overview

Turn your hiking fantasies into reality in New Zealand. This fifteen-day tour (From $7,370 (USD) / 15 days) meanders from the North to the South Island, hitting highlights like magical glowworm caves, Milford Sound’s marine life, and Tongariro National Park’s volcanoes. Participate in Maori cultural performances in Rotorua, then unwind with Central Otago wines and eclectic dishes in Wellington.

New Zealand, one of the most biodiverse countries in the world, boasts 80,000 endemic species. With 15 days to explore, you’ll never feel rushed. This adventure covers six national parks and world-famous attractions such as the Waitomo Caves, Rotorua, Tongariro Alpine Crossing, Punakaiki’s rainforest, and Mount Cook. Each day is filled with natural wonders, and evenings are spent relaxing in high-quality hotels and lodges.

Day-by-Day Itinerary

Day 1: Auckland and Rotorua

Join your group in the Heritage Hotel foyer in Central Auckland and meet your guide. Start by driving past patchwork farming country alongside the Waikato River. Visit the Waitomo Caves, where thousands of glowworms create a magical experience, and hike through a fascinating limestone canyon. In the afternoon, arrive in Rotorua, the center of Maori cultural tourism, and enjoy a cultural performance in the evening.

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

After breakfast in Rotorua, hike alongside the crystal-clear Lake Tarawera in the shade of tree ferns. Enjoy swimming in the lake and views of the area’s expansive forests and volcanoes. Explore the geothermal features south of Rotorua, and spend time by the powerful Waikato River. Arrive in Taupo for dinner and evening activities.

  • Accommodation: Beechtree Motel, Taupo
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
  • Hiking: 8 km (5 miles) / 5 hours
Days 3 and 4: Tongariro National Park

Start with breakfast in Taupo and drive along the shores of Lake Taupo to Tongariro National Park. Walk through the forest and explore Rotopounamu Lake and Taranaki Falls. On Day 4, embark on the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, a challenging but rewarding 15-mile hike featuring the Red Crater, Emerald Lakes, and steaming vents.

  • 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
Days 5 and 6: Wellington and Nelson

Drive to Wellington and experience the city’s vibrant culture. Spend time bar hopping, visiting museums, or riding the cable car to Wellington Botanic Gardens. On Day 6, fly over Cook Strait to Nelson and meet your guide for a tour of Botanical Hill.

  • 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
Day 7: Abel Tasman National Park

After breakfast, head to Abel Tasman National Park and board a water taxi to Bark Bay. Hike the Abel Tasman Coast Track through native forests, cascading streams, and the pristine Cleopatra’s Pool. Return to Nelson for more exploration.

  • Accommodation: Trailways Hotel, Nelson
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
  • Hiking: 12 km (7.5 miles) / 4 hours
Day 8: West Coast

Head to the West Coast and visit a private deer farm to see natural flames. Continue alongside the Buller River, enjoy views of the West Coast, and stop at Punakaiki to catch the sunset and explore the Pancake Rocks.

  • Accommodation: Ocean View Retreat, Punakaiki
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
  • Hiking: Up to 8 km (6 miles) / 3 hours
Day 9: Punakaiki

Hike the Inland Pack Track from Pororari to Punakaiki River, passing clear pools and lush rainforest. Visit Tura Tawhiti with its remarkable limestone outcrops before heading to Methven.

  • Accommodation: Ski Time, Methven
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
  • Hiking: Up to 10 km (6 miles) / 3 hours
Days 10, 11, and 12: Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park

Spend three days around Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park, hiking Governors Bush, Sealy Tarns, and exploring the Tasman Glacier. Drive to Wanaka, stopping for wine tasting en route.

  • 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
Day 13: Mount Aspiring National Park and Te Anau

After breakfast, drive around Lake Wanaka to Aspiring National Park. Hike around Diamond Lake and Rocky Mountains before heading to Te Anau.

  • Accommodation: Distinction Luxmore Hotel, Te Anau
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
  • Hiking: 7 km (4.3 miles) / 3 hours
Day 14: Fiordland and Milford Sound

Hike a section of the Routeburn Track to Key Summit for panoramic views, and then cruise through Milford Sound, observing marine wildlife and stunning waterfalls.

  • Accommodation: Distinction Te Anau Hotel and Villas, Te Anau
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
  • Hiking: 7 km (4.3 miles) / 3 hours
Day 15: Queenstown

On the last day, hike the Kepler Track to Lake Manapouri and drive to Queenstown. Enjoy the views from the Skyline Gondola or stroll through the Queenstown Gardens.

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

Conclusion

New Zealand Uncut Hiking Adventure is the ultimate way to explore the natural beauty and cultural richness of New Zealand. With expert guides, luxurious accommodations, and well-planned itineraries, this 15-day adventure offers an unforgettable experience for beginner hikers. From the glowworm caves of Waitomo to the fjords of Milford Sound, each day is filled with awe-inspiring landscapes and unique experiences, making it a perfect getaway for nature lovers and adventure seekers alike.

Book you fifteen-day Guided Hiking Trip to New Zealand (From $7,370 (USD) / 15 days)


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Terms of Use: As with each guide published on SKYBLUEOVERLAND.com, should you choose to these routes, do so at your own risk. Prior to setting out check current local weather, conditions, and land/road closures. While taking a trail, obey all public and private land use restrictions and rules, carry proper safety and navigational equipment, and of course, follow the #leavenotrace guidelines. The information found herein is simply a planning resource to be used as a point of inspiration in conjunction with your own due-diligence. In spite of the fact that this route, associated GPS track (GPX and maps), and all route guidelines were prepared under diligent research by the specified contributor and/or contributors, the accuracy of such and judgement of the author is not guaranteed. SKYBLUE OVERLAND LLC, its partners, associates, and contributors are in no way liable for personal injury, damage to personal property, or any other such situation that might happen to individuals following this route.