Hikers looking at spectacular mountain vistaBird of prey flying above reflective waterGreen shore near water and mountainsView of reflective lake through greenery with mountains in backPink and purple flowers in front of baby blue waterHikers descending mountain trailSmall bird on rocky cliffsideHikers on trail in front of snow-capped mountains

South Island Lodge Based Tour

Christchurch, New Zealand

Trip Highlights

  • Comprehensive New Zealand Tour
  • Pristine Forests & Lakes
  • Stunning Mountain Landscapes
  • Iconic & Off-the-beaten-path Highlights
  • Unique, Hand-picked Accommodations
  • Wonderful, Local Eateries
  • Amazing History of New Zealand

Description

HAERE MAI KI NEW ZEALAND! With a mix of highlights such as the Milford Sound, Queenstown and Mount Cook and more off the beaten track locations such as Manapouri and Glenorchy, we’ll show you the amazing beauty of New Zealand. In these 10 days we mix a range of amazing day hikes and spectacular scenery with beautiful accommodations and delicious local fare. Our hikes will take you to mountain top vistas, lush rainforests and 360-degree panoramas of the most dramatic scenery that New Zealand has to offer.

Read more …
10 Days
$6150 PER PERSON
$1500 SINGLE SUPPLEMENT

$1500 SINGLE SUPPLEMENT

Return Guests get a 10% discount on all Trips!
Trip Type: Inn-Based Tour
Difficulty Level:
Solitude Level:
Group Size: 4-12 Guests
Trip Length: 10 Days
Distance: 39MI / 63KM

DIFFICULTY LEVEL 2

Scale of 1-5. 1 is least difficult; 5 is most difficult

Be prepared for a variety of moderate hiking with some long days (up to 8 miles) and significant but not extreme elevation gains and losses.
Hiking Distances:

Up to 8 mi
Backpack Weight:

10-15 lbs
Terrain:

Lightly Rugged
Max Daily Elev. ↑↓:

Up to 3,208 ft
Heights Exposure:

Moderate

Physical requirements:

  • Hiking uphill or downhill with a 310-15 lb backpack for 6-8 hours
  • Maintaining balance and footing on variable, uneven terrain
  • River and creek crossings
  • Hiking with occasional, moderate heights exposure

SOLITUDE LEVEL 2

1 least solitude, 5 most solitude

We rate this New Zealand hike a solitude 2. You can expect a couple hours of solitude at a time.

BOOKING FLIGHTS

For this New Zealand trek you will need to fly into Christchurch Airport on Day 1 in time for the 5PM orientation meeting and dinner. It’s best to arrive before 4PM. Flights to Christchurch (Day 1) and from Queenstown (final day) are the guest’s responsibility. Multiple airlines operate flights into Christchurch and out of Queenstown, most connecting through Auckland or major Australian cities. All international airports in the USA fly either direct or with connections to Auckland and/or major Australian cities like Sydney and Melbourne.

Your flight out will be from Queenstown, and should leave any time after Noon on the final day. Another option is to travel from Queenstown to Christchurch for your return flight. Several bus companies service this route, and the drive time is 6-8 hours.

Minimum of 4 Guests

We require a minimum of 4 guests to confirm this trip. If a trip date is not confirmed yet, you can register and will be notified when the trip is officially confirmed. We recommend not making final travel arrangements until your trip meets the minimum number of guests and is confirmed.

In most cases, if a trip does not reach the minimum number of guests, you may choose to transfer to another trip date or another trip, be refunded your payments in full, or you may have the choice to pay a supplemental fee to run the trip with fewer guests. We make the final determination for these trips 45 days before the departure date.

Private Trips

Travel in perfect company by booking a private trip exclusively for your group!

Our sliding scale for private trips is based on the final number of guests in your group. Rates are per person and do not include sales tax, national park fees or guide gratuity. The final rate is based on the actual number of guests on the trip and may adjust based on cancellations or additions.

Please Note: you can also enjoy a private trip at our normal scheduled rates by filling any empty tour to capacity. However, if group members drop from the tour those spots will automatically become available on our website for instant booking. By purchasing a private trip at the rates listed below, your trip will remain exclusive to your group regardless of cancellations. 

Private Rates FOr This Trip

  • 4-5 People: Rate x 1.5
  • 6-10 People: Rate x 1.15
  • 11-12 People: Rate x 1

*all rates are per person and single supplements apply

 

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Itinerary

Itinerary

DAY 1

Welcome to New Zealand! Today we will pick you up at the airport and shuttle you to our first night’s lodging. Your Wildland Trekking guide will meet us at 5pm at our hotel for an orientation meeting in Christchurch. Here we will meet everyone on the trip and have a chance to ask questions to help prepare for the adventure ahead! After the meeting we will enjoy a delicious welcome dinner served up by a talented local chef. Our guides will provide the plan for the next day.

Small river and trees in Christchurch NZ

DAY 2

  • Driving Duration: 4 hours
  • Hiking Mileage: 3 miles (4.8 km)
  • Elevation Gain: 150 feet (# m)
  • Elevation Loss: 150 feet (# m)

On this New Zealand hiking tour we begin our first day with a hearty breakfast, then travel south where we’ll stretch our legs and hike in the Peel Forest, known for its diversity of flora, fauna and bird life. Subsequently, we’ll visit Lake Tekapo with its brilliant shade of blue, glacier-fed water and beautiful backdrop. It is the second-largest of three lakes that run north/south along the northern edge of the Mackenzie Basin. It’s also the home to the Church of the Good Shepherd, arguably one of the most photographed church’s in New Zealand. After our visit and hike, we enjoy our drive to our accommodation for the night, where we have dinner and our guides will deliver the plan for the next day.

New Zealand shoreline

DAY 3

  • Driving Duration: minimal
  • Hiking Mileage: 4 miles (6.4 km)
  • Elevation Gain: 3200 feet (975 m)
  • Elevation Loss: 3200 feet (975 m)

Aoraki or ‘cloud piercer’ as named by the South Island Maori or more commonly known as Mt. Cook, is the highest mountain in New Zealand sitting at 12,218 ft. Today’s hike is stunning as we walk above Mueller Glacier. It is a challenging but rewarding hike to the main ridgeline and we have breath-taking views of the glacier and the surrounding mountains! The weather conditions are very important to this area, as it’s a true alpine climate that’s notorious for sudden weather shifts. If we’re not able to hike above the Mueller Glacier, or you’d prefer to take it easy instead, there’s another amazing hike up to a glacier lake (complete with icebergs!) at the base of the Hooker Glacier.

Hikers talking on rocky mountain

DAY 4

  • Driving Duration: 2.5 hours
  • Hiking Mileage: 4.5 miles (7.2 km)
  • Elevation Gain: 1230 feet (375 m)
  • Elevation Loss: 1230 feet (375 m)

This morning after a delicious breakfast, we’ll travel to the town of Wanaka and hike the Diamond Lake and Rocky Mountain trail. This area has been carved out by glaciers and is home to a spectacular circuit lined with native forest and shrub land. We will enjoy a steady ascent until we get to one of the most beautiful view points in the area. We will have views of Mt. Aspiring, Roy’s Peak and beautiful Lake Wanaka. We will have lunch at the vista and then continue back down. We will have free time before dinner is served at the beautiful Edgewater hotel. Our guides will provide the plan for the next day.

Lone tree standing up from water

DAY 5

  • Driving Duration: 1.75 hours
  • Hiking Mileage: 2.7 miles (4.3 km)
  • Elevation Gain: 650 feet (198 m)
  • Elevation Loss: 650 feet (198 m)

After a hearty breakfast, we begin our short and dramatic drive over the Cardrona Saddle to Queenstown. We finally reach the shores of Lake Wakatipu from where we’ll head up the most recognizable mountain range of the Southern Alps, The Remarkables. Our trail today begins at the ski resort and follows the rocky ski trails up and over through the alpine wetlands and up to the glacial carved bowl which forms picturesque lake Alta! It’s Amazing! We will have lunch in route and then weave our way out of Queenstown towards the beautiful and isolated hamlet of Glenorchy, the furthest and most stunning end of Lake Wakatipu. This peaceful little settlement is the gateway to a multitude of valleys, dense forest and mountains, a perfect spot to rest our head for the night.

Mountain top coming into the light at sunrise

DAY 6

  • Driving Duration: 1 hour
  • Hiking Mileage: 7.5 miles (12 km)
  • Elevation Gain: 600 feet (182 m)
  • Elevation Loss: 600 feet (182 m)

Today we will wake up early, have breakfast and begin our day. It’s worth the early start as we’ll hike part of the famous Routeburn Trail! Our trail will take us through lush beech forests, beautiful waterfalls until we reach Routeburn Flats! Upon arrival, we will have views of amazing mountains and glacial rivers. If we’re lucky, we will be able to view some beautiful native birds such as the Kea, Kakariki, Mohua or the elusive blue duck! We head back to our van and drive back to Queenstown, where we will spend the next couple of nights.

Narrow wooden path through field

DAY 7

  • Driving Duration: minimal
  • Hiking Mileage: 5 miles (8 km)
  • Elevation Gain: 3208 feet (978 m)
  • Elevation Loss: 3208 feet (978 m)

This morning after breakfast we will enjoy the views of Queenstown as we ride on the gondola to the top of a tree-covered rocky mountain, known as Bob’s Peak! We will start our hike from here as we pass through open alpine tussocks to the Ben Lomond saddle. We are immediately rewarded with panoramic views of Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu, backdropped by the Southern Alps. For those eager to keep hiking, we will have the option to climb Ben Lomond’s summit which also reveals views of Mt. Earnslaw and Mt. Aspiring (2 of New Zealand’s highest peaks!) If the weather is clear we may even be able to see Mt. Cook. After we have enjoyed our time, we will descend, head back to our hotel and enjoy free time until we meet up for dinner. Our guides will provide the plan for the next day.

River and large green mountains

DAY 8

  • Driving Duration: 2 hours
  • Hiking Mileage: 5.5 miles (8.9 km)
  • Elevation Gain: 165 feet (50 m)
  • Elevation Loss: 165 feet (50 m)

This morning after breakfast, we will load up and begin hiking the world famous, Kepler Track. Interestingly, the Kepler Track differs from the Routeburn and Milford Tracks in that it didn’t actually evolve from a necessary Maori greenstone trail but was custom-built for hiking. The section we will hike passes over the control gates at the outlet of Lake Te Anau and meanders through ancient beech and podocarp forest to Brod Bay. At Te Anau, we will check into our accommodation and enjoy free time before meeting for dinner. Our guides will provide the plan for the next day.

Hikers walking through forest

DAY 9

  • Driving Duration: 4 hours
  • Hiking Mileage: 6 miles (9.7 km)
  • Elevation Gain: 985 feet (300 m)
  • Elevation Loss: 985 feet (300 m)

It’s worth the early start this morning as we set off for our largest and perhaps most spectacular national park, Fiordland. When we arrive, we’ll be greeted with jaw-dropping views of Mitre Peak and the surrounding jagged granite peaks – quite possibly the most picturesque mountain range in New Zealand – though we’ll let you be the judge of that! We’ll then take a short boat ride to where our hike will begin at Sandfly Point and we will walk until we get to the Giant Gates waterfall, a spectacular section of the Milford Track. The forest is quite lush and we begin to follow the Arthur River until we reach Lake Ada. From hiking from the Milford Sound trailhead, we get to enjoy the trail to ourselves, which is a luxury others rarely get to experience. Once we arrive back at the Milford Wharf, we’ll board a boat for a 2 hour nature cruise to the head of the beautiful Fjord. We then leave Milford sound and set out to hike some lesser-known trails in Eastern Fjordland before returning to Te Anau.

Blue water with large mountains in background

DAY 10

  • Drive Time: 2 hours

This is our last day of the trip and we’ll all be refreshed and invigorated from the good food, rest, exercise, and great times we have had in New Zealand! We’ll drop you at the Queenstown Airport in time for your afternoon departure or stay on in Queenstown and have a few more adventures on your own. Thanks for choosing Wildland Trekking!

Please Note: We always do everything in our power to follow the set itinerary, however occasionally trips are subject to itinerary changes based on a variety of circumstances, including but not limited to: lodging/campground availability, extreme weather, political or bureaucratic obstacles, earthquakes, fires, flooding and more.

Trip Dates & Booking

TRIP DATES & BOOKING

Click on a date to register. You can also click here to request new dates or book through customer service.

Available to Book

AVAILABLE TO BOOK

This trip is available and bookable online! Click on the date to register now or contact us online to book through our award-winning customer service team!

Going Fast

GOING FAST

This trip has 1 or 2 spots remaining and is bookable online! Click on the date to book now or contact us online to book through customer service.

Request a Reservation

REQUEST A RESERVATION

This trip is exclusively booked through customer service due to logistics with lodging, permits, staffing, availability, or something else. Please contact us online or call us at 800-715-HIKE (4453) to request a reservation.

Don't see your dates? Call us! We may be able to add new trip dates.

800-715-HIKE (4453)

Trip Details

Trip Details

WHAT'S INCLUDED

  • A detailed trip packet that takes the guesswork out of your travel, training, packing, and preparing for the trip
  • Access to our Adventure Consultant team 7 days a week
  • Transportation for the duration of the tour starting on Day 1 and ending on the day you depart
  • Hotel and lodge accommodations for the duration of the tour.
  • Gear including backpack and trekking poles
  • All meals from dinner on Day 1 through breakfast on the final day of the tour
  • Professional, certified Wildland New Zealand hiking guides
  • Emergency equipment including a company-issued first-aid kit and satellite phone
  • You will receive a Lifetime Hiking Membership entitling you, your spouse and kids to a lifetime discount of 10% off any Wildland Trekking hiking trip after your first one!

WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED

  • Flight to/from New Zealand
  • Trip insurance that includes medical coverage and at least $100,000 in evacuation and repatriation coverage (required)
  • All expenses due to unavoidable events e.g. flight cancellation, personal illness, strikes, etc. (we recommend trip insurance coverage for these variables)
  • Clothes, rain gear, and footwear (Oboz hiking shoes and boots recommended)
  • Sunscreen, toiletries and personal items
  • Water bottles and a headlamp or flashlight
  • Gratuity for guide(s) – tipping is not routinely expected in New Zealand but is always appreciated. Many of our clients do choose to tip their guides at the end of an awesome trip, and in this instance US$100 per person per guide is the local industry standard. USD or local currency is acceptable.

Click here to see a printable, downloadable trip information packet with more detailed guidance about what to pack.

MEALS: WHAT TO EXPECT

This New Zealand hiking tour features a combination of in-town meals and meals prepared by your guide. For the most part we’ll be enjoying in-town meals in carefully-selected restaurants and lodges for dinner and some breakfasts, and lunches are prepared on the trail by your guides.

For optimal taste and energy, we supplement all our meals with spices, herbs, oils, cheeses, butter, sugar, and fruits and vegetables. In addition, we provide you with with an assortment of trail mix, snacks, and dried fruits to eat at your own discretion.

We can often accommodate vegan, vegetarian, kosher and non-gluten diets and make adjustments for food allergies. These and other special dietary requests may require an additional fee, and in some countries may be more difficult to accommodate than others. Please inquire with us for more information about the specific trip you’re interested in.

GEAR WE PROVIDE

We provide all group gear which includes the following:

  • Deuter or Osprey backpacks
  • Leki or Black Diamond trekking poles
  • Company-issued first-aid kit
  • Emergency communication device(s)

WHAT GEAR TO BRING

We ask that you supply a couple of gear items on your hiking tour. These items are two 1-liter water bottles per person and basic items like sunscreen, bug repellent (where and when applicable), lip balm, and toiletries are also important.

WHAT CLOTHES TO BRING

When you register for this tour you’ll receive access to a printable, downloadable trip information packet with detailed guidance about what clothes to pack (click here to see it now.) All trips require a sturdy pair of hiking shoes or hiking boots, rain gear, and our recommended clothing system. A minimum of three pairs of wool or synthetic hiking socks are also required.

Trip Logistics

Trip Logistics

HOW DO I REGISTER?

Reserve your spot today! In the Trip Dates & Booking section of this page, the green and red dates are bookable online by simply clicking on the date, and blue dates must be booked through our customer service team for a variety of possible reasons. To email our customer service team, you can click here to get the ball rolling. Our adventure consultants will confirm availability, and if you’re ready to register we’ll email you a link to a registration profile. You’ll have 72 hours to complete your profile (and that of any dependents) and pay the deposit.

Feel free to call us for more info – we’re here 7 days a week!

WHERE DO WE MEET?

You’ll meet your hiking guide and group in Christchurch, New Zealand on Day 1 for an orientation meeting at 5:00 PM. Your guide will be in contact approximately 45 days before your trip to coordinate the rendezvous.

Click here to see a printable, downloadable trip information packet with more detailed guidance about flights, shuttles, recommended lodging and more.

SAFETY CONSIDERATIONS

Your safety is our top priority. This trek is led by professional hiking guides along with additional support staff. All of our guides are wilderness-certified first responders or EMT’s, each with years of guiding and wilderness experience. We’ve developed comprehensive risk management protocols that our guides adhere to in case of an emergency, and all tours carry a satellite phone. If you have any further questions about safety, please contact us at 1-800-715-HIKE (4453) for more information.

In the interest of your safety, it’s important to refer to the Center for Disease Control website for up-to-date recommendations on immunizations before your trip.

GUIDES

This trip is led by expert, local Wildland guides. Our approach to international travel is to combine the best of two worlds: the dialed-in details, professionalism and consistency Wildland trips are known for; and the cultural immersion and intimate regional knowledge that only locals can provide. To excel with this approach, we vet and hire the best local guides, welcome them into the Wildland family and train them to meet our standard of excellence with every aspect of a trip. But along with managing logistics and safety, your guides will teach you about the area’s history and culture, and provide a level of familiarity and intimate detail only locals can.

Check out our Meet Our Team page for staff bios.

GUIDE WORKING PARAMETERS

Guides are required to take 8 hours off each 24-hour period to sleep, recuperate, take personal/down time…etc. In addition, as part of the 8 hours off they must sleep/rest or be in their tents/rooms uninterrupted for a minimum of 5 hours each night. We ask guests to respect these requirements and to not interrupt guides’ off time and sleep time unless there is a true emergency.

GROUP SIZE AND AGE RESTRICTIONS

The standard group size on this hiking tour is 12 guests and 2 guides. If you have more questions about group size, please give us a call at 1-800-715-HIKE (4453) and we’ll answer all your questions.

Age restrictions are as follows:

  • 12 and older to join scheduled tours (mixed groups)
  • 5 and older to join private tours, with final approval and specific logistical requirements (such as porter or stock assist) determined on a case by case basis

TRIP INSURANCE

For your protection, the purchase of field evacuation, repatriation, and medical trip insurance with coverage of at least $100,000 is required in New Zealand. International travel is expensive, and the modest cost of trip insurance is a sound investment in an uncertain world.

If you wish to purchase trip insurance, we recommend IMG/iTravelinsured. They are one of the world’s leading providers of travel insurance.

For information on recommended IMG/iTravelinsured policies please click here.

For even greater information, or if you simply prefer communicating with a real, live person, feel free to contact our exclusive agent Michael Bennett. Michael will help you identify the best product for your needs, and there is no cost associated with his assistance. You may contact him at:

Email: WildLandTrekking@EasyToInsureME.com
US by Phone: 877-305-9083
Direct/International by Phone: 702-448-3664

If you already have insurance or wish to purchase from anyone other than IMG/iTravelinsured, we recommend careful consultation with the provider to ensure appropriate coverage. This is because many providers have a number of policy exclusions.

If you secure an insurance policy please bring a copy of it to provide to your guides at the orientation meeting.

WEATHER IN NEW ZEALAND

New Zealand weather varies significantly by latitude, including big variations on the North Island versus South Island. This trip is entirely on the South Island, which is, during summer months (Dec-Feb) quite temperate but potentially chilly in the higher mountains. Because New Zealand is surrounded by ocean, its temperatures stay quite moderate, but inland areas (i.e. mountains) can see dramatic and sudden temperature and weather shifts. We will likely experience many micro climates, changing frequently (like 4 seasons in one day) and it is best to be prepared for anything!

Below are overall average highs, lows but precipitation is separated for two of the places you will visit during the summer months, you will notice there is a stark contrast in precipitation and this is to highlight how wet the West Coast can be. Bear in mind that New Zealand has a very complex climate and average temperatures don’t realistically reflect the different weather you may encounter. You might encounter a high of 100° F or a low of 30°F. So, again, come fully prepared for all four seasons!

Month
Queenstown
High/Low
Queenstown
Precip
Milford Sound
Precip
December
70°F/48°F
2.7in (69mm)
23.4in (595mm)
January
70°F/48°F
2.8in (72mm)
24.9in (633mm)
February
72°F/50°F
2in (52mm)
19.6in (500mm)

Accommodations

Accommodations

MERIVALE MANOR

MERIVALE MANOR

MERIVALE MANOR
1 NIGHT

This beautiful hotel was built around the heritage listed manor house with clean, modern and quiet rooms, comfortable amenities, and perfect location.

THE HERMITAGE

THE HERMITAGE

THE HERMITAGE
2 NIGHTS

This hotel is nestled in the heart of Aoraki Mt Cook National Park, and has housed visitors for over 100 years. It boasts dramatic views of Aoraki and surrounding mountains.

EDGEWATER HOTEL

EDGEWATER HOTEL

EDGEWATER HOTEL
1 NIGHT

This is the only accommodation in Wanaka directly on the lakefront. It has unsurpassed views and tranquility with modern, clean and luxurious rooms.

CAMP GLENORCHY

CAMP GLENORCHY

CAMP GLENORCHY
1 NIGHT

Recently opened, this eco retreat boasts in-built wetlands, clever power and water insulating systems that reduce your carbon footprint, and beautiful mountain vistas.

CROWNE PLAZA QUEENSTOWN

CROWNE PLAZA QUEENSTOWN

CROWNE PLAZA QUEENSTOWN
2 NIGHTS

Crowne Plaza Queenstown helps guests to not only soak up the breathtaking scenery from the hotel but also to experience the heart of town and the beauty of Lake Wakatipu.

THE DISTINCTION

1 NIGHT

Located on the Te Anau lake front, a short stroll from the Te Anau town centre, this hotel and villas are perfectly situated for hiking, exploring, and relaxing.

* These exact accommodations are not guaranteed. In some instances alternative accommodations of similar quality and location may be used.

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