Epic New Zealand Hiking
Discover majestic peaks, lush valleys and fresh mountain rivers in this great hiking destination
Personalised journeys from start to finish
Save an acre of rainforest each time you travel
Every detail taken care of
- Full support from your travel designer and travel concierge before, during and after your trip
- Luxury accommodation throughout
- Expertly led hikes
At a glance
Breathe the fresh air as you make your way through some of New Zealand’s most beautiful valleys, and over impressive cliffs and stunning glaciers. This 13-day trip is the perfect way to explore the country’s diverse mountains and rivers and take in the scenery of what is, without a doubt, one of the world’s most stunning countries.
Begin your trip with a visit to the soulful and isolated west coast, then get a bird’s eye view of an active volcano as you take a helicopter trip over White Island. You will also get to venture into the other-worldly Tongariro National Park as you embark on one of New Zealand’s ‘Great Walks’.
Another heli-hike from Mount Cook will give you the opportunity to walk in the footsteps of mountaineers as you trek on the slopes beneath Aoraki and Mount Tasman in the Southern Alps. Your next stop is Queenstown when a guided walk beginning in charming sheep pastures will take you across a swing bridge, into a forest and above the treeline near Rob Roy Glacier.
Then take to the air once more as you view the islands in Dusky Sound. You will also get to spend time at the Hidden Falls on the beautiful Hollyford River.
Example Trip Itinerary
Private transfer to your hotel
Accommodation in Auckland
- 172 Rooms
- Two Restaurants
- Swimming pool
Located in the heart of the city’s vibrant restaurant and entertainment precinct, Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour, blends French ‘art de vivre’ with the natural beauty of New Zealand’s largest city. The elegance of old-world values meets new-world energy at this luxury hotel, where service and style are always in sync. Guests are surrounded by water and light and treated to panoramic views of Waitemata Harbour. The 172 bedrooms feature floor-to-ceiling windows, oversized bath tubs and Juliet balconies that open into the fresh air. Natural tones in the décor are reminiscent of the sea and sky. One of the most striking features of the hotel is the water wall in the lobby. It descends into a pool where a Maori water god sculpture watches over guests. You’ll also find Maori and Pacific art exhibited on the walls, paying homage to New Zealand’s rich culture. Expect flavour and flair at Lava Dining, where the menu blends the best local produce with a refined French touch. The amber glow of its back-lit marble wall is inspired by Auckland’s volcanic origins. For something lighter, pop into 21 Viaduct Café, the silvery water reflecting city buildings, as you sip on an espresso. Or celebrate life like an emperor at the Sabrage champagne bar. Guests can restore some balance at So Spa and then take advantage of the gym, sauna, steam room and lap pool.
- 411 rooms
- Spa and fitness centre
At the Cordis, Auckland is a modern hotel in the city’s lively uptown area, with its fashionable boutiques, galleries and museums within easy reach. There are 411 rooms and suites offer views of the lush green Auckland Domain and the city skyline. Colour palettes are neutral pastels, with hardwood furniture offset by rich textiles and luxurious fittings. Large windows let in the light and showcase the hotel’s prime location. Expand your culinary horizons at Eight, where you get to sample classic and contemporary Asian and Western cuisine from eight interactive cooking stations. From American grills to sushi and Indian curries, it’s a gastronomic adventure. The stylish lobby lounge bar the dazzling heart of the hotel. Enjoy a light meal, or indulge in the exquisite afternoon tea served. Recharge at the fitness centre, with access to state-of-the-art gtym equipment and free weights and an award-winning spa. The hotel’s heated outdoor pool is ideal for brisk early morning laps, as well as energising night swims beneath the stars.
New Zealand’s largest cosmopolitan centre is a lively mix of culture, cuisine, music and art with ample green spaces and easily accessible beaches. It is the modern melting pot of the Pacific with influences from Asia, the Pacific islands and Europe along with traditional Maori culture. A fresh and vibrant city, Auckland boasts some of the best restaurants in the country, and the harbour, which underwent a revamp before hosting the Rugby World Cup in 2011, is now a wonderful place to soak up the buzz of this exciting city.
Auckland's west coast is known for its natural beauty and isolation, and is very different from the east. Dense rainforest, crashing surf, black sand and often wild weather combine to make this a very soulful, brooding and beautiful place.
Visit the world-famous glow worm caves, enjoying a boat ride along an underground stream to witness the dazzling glow worms.
Rotorua and Taupo
Accommodation in Rotorua and Taupo
- 10 suites
- Spa treatments
Solitaire Lodge is located in a lush environment upon the fringes of Lake Tarawera, with a spectacular backdrop of volcanoes and forest, a vista which each of the ten stylish suites makes the most of through vast glass walls. Fine dining at the restaurant is a particular highlight here, with Solitaire’s talented chefs creating daily changing contemporary New Zealand fare prepared with fresh local ingredients, complemented by a variety of superb wines from selected regional vineyards, enjoyed in the communal dining room or somewhere more private. Head down to the lake to explore its waters aboard the lodge’s motorised dinghies and kayaks, fish from the jetty or simply swim from the private beach. There’s a spa menu to indulge in, self-guided hikes to nearby Tarawera Falls and cycle trails past some stunning geothermal sites. Scenic helicopter flights, Maori guided tours of Rotorua and more challenging hikes can also be arranged, along with a full roster of adventure sports nearby or perhaps a visit to the Hobbiton village movie set from The Lord of the Rings.
- Four suites
- Spa treatments
- Mountain bike hire
On the shores of Lake Taupo sits the Acacia Cliffs Lodge, in an enviable position overlooking this most scenic of waters. The four boutique suites are stylish and modern, without compromising on the charm of a holiday retreat. Each room is large and spacious, coming with either a large private deck with breath-taking lake views or a private garden courtyard. The communal areas drink in the landscape through vast glass walls, with the dining area particularly spectacular, a fitting setting for wonderful meals complimented by local wines. Acacia Cliffs Lodge is a great base from which to explore everything Taupo has to offer, whether a scenic flight over the lake and nearby active volcanoes, fly fishing, golf, hiking and more. The nearby town of Taupo has a great selection of cafes, galleries and restaurants, easily reachable by bike, and you can look forward to returning to a selection of in room spa treatments.
- Main Lodge and seven cabins
- Exclusive use Blake House
- Safari Camp
- Gourmet cuisine
- Archery and shooting range
Poronui is a magical wilderness retreat, a 16,000-acre private estate in the breathtaking Taharua Valley in the heart of New Zealand’s North Island. The collection of luxurious lodgings make it the ideal getaway for hikers, anglers and outdoor enthusiasts. Dotted across the reserve, places to stay include the main lodge and seven individually appointed guest cabins that have transformed a rustic fishing camp into one of the world’s finest sporting lodges, with a kitchen serving up gourmet seasonal cuisine – much of it sourced on the estate – and a convivial feel to be found around the crackling fires. There’s also the private use Blake House, sat overlooking the Taharua River, with two grand suites as well as two bunkrooms making it ideal for families and small groups. The kitchen here is well equipped for either guest use or with your own personal chef. Finally, the two canvas and wooden huts of the rustic Safari Camp provides an authentic wilderness experience without foregoing creature comforts like crisp cotton sheets, hot running water, flushing toilets, gourmet food and fine wine. For the use of all the guests at Poronui, the stables contain modern gym and health club facilities – including steam, sauna, and massage treatment rooms. Also located in this complex is a full-sized antique English billiard table and two additional dining venues – the cabana (outdoor barbeque) and the atmospheric underground wine cellar. Activities at Poronui are suitably outdoorsy, and range from incredible fly fishing to horse riding, guided walks, hikes, cultural experiences with the Ngati Tuwharetoa tribe of the Maori, mountain biking, archery and shooting. Poronui is also close to various attractions such as the geothermal lands of Central North Island, the Tongariro Alpine Crossing and adventure sport enthusiast favourite Taupo.
- 18 rooms
- Massage services
Since 1924, Huka Lodge has maintained the spirit of generous hospitality as was espoused by its charming founder, Irishman Alan Pye. Originally harbouring a reputation primarily as a trout fishing paradise, it is now known as an exceptional luxury retreat, and regarded among the best in the world. The lodge sits upon the banks of the exceedingly picturesque Waikato River, its rushing waters on the literal doorsteps of 20 spacious junior suites. The Owner’s Cottage enjoys a muted woodland palette and is upmarket and refined, white wooden beams arching over comfortable living spaces which are warm and rustic. Constructed with strong cedar, heart timbers, stone and brick, The Alan Pye Cottage is a nod to early 20th-century architecture with a reinterpretation of contemporary design. The kitchen at Huka Lodge upholds a tradition of generous cuisine, changing daily to accommodate all palates and preferences. Raw honey is collected from the numerous bee hives from the local breeding programme on the property, ideal for deserts as it’s not too sweet. Outside the lodge, activities abound. Enjoy anything from white water rafting to the lodge’s gorgeous namesake of nearby Huka Falls. Traverse the horse riding trails or similarly embark along hiking trails through this volcanic region.
Steaming mud pools, erupting geysers and Maori traditions all make Rotorua and Taupo a special area to visit and one that is distinctively unique to the rest of New Zealand. Explore geothermal parks before heading into nearby native forests for hiking or mountain biking the numerous world-class trails. Lake Taupo is actually a volcano crater, the lake’s deep blue waters draw visitors with its idyllic swimming holes, reputable fishing and adventure sports. On a clear day the views stretch out over the glassy water to the snowcapped volcanoes of Tongariro National Park in the distance.
Fly to, and land, on New Zealand’s only permanently active volcano, White Island. Leaving Rotorua, you fly past the northern lakes district before crossing the coast. As you approach you will enjoy aerial views of the active crater before landing on the lunar-like surface. Here you will embark on a leisurely guided tour of the island's crater floor to view active steam vents, hot streams, vibrant sulphur formations and the steaming crater. The landscape is constantly changing as the activity forms new features and removes old ones. The Crater Lake changes in depth and temperature so that from one day to the next, the landscape is different.
Part of the tour includes a walk through crumbling mining ruins to view the weathered remains of what was a working factory abandoned in 1933. On the flight back enjoy wonderful aerial views of the wider Bay of Plenty.
With your guide, you will trek across a volcanic alpine landscape of dramatic contrasts - steaming vents, glacial valleys, ancient lava flows, alpine vegetation and vivid crater lakes, all with stunning views.
Rated as one of New Zealand’s ‘Great Walks’, the Tongariro Alpine Crossing is one of New Zealand’s most spectacular hiking tracks. The Tongariro National Park is a World Heritage site which has the distinction of dual status, as it has been acknowledged for both its natural and cultural significance
Flight to Christchurch
Rental car pick up for self driving on the South Island
Glaciers and Mount Cook
Accommodation in Glaciers and Mount Cook
- 4 Rooms
- Private Spa
- On-site Observatory
- Wine Cellar
- Tennis Court
On the doorstep of Aoraki Mount Cook National Park, the exclusive Mt Cook Lakeside Retreat is set in a forest wilderness by the azure waters of Lake Pukaki, with spectacular, uninterrupted views towards the Southern Alps and Aoraki Mt Cook itself, New Zealand’s highest mountain. There is a range of accommodation options, from the private two-bedroom Ashley Mackenzie Villa and the Moraine Villas that overlook the magnificent Ben Ohau ranges, to the two-bedroom Pukaki Homestead, located just 350 metres from the villa. Breakfast provisions and a three-course evening meal are included. Visit the garden and choose your favourite vegetables for dinner. The garden is bursting with berries, herbs and vegetables – for everything else, pureness and authenticity are paramount when it comes to suppliers. The retreat is located in the Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve. In the company of your hosts, enjoy a superb stargazing experience. Guests also have access to a tennis court, pétanque, croquet, and curling rink (winter).
- Two suites
- Dining room
Located near the shores of Lake Tekapo and just a short walk from the Church of the Good Shepherd, are Alpine Suites on Tekapo. With just two suites, guests will feel right at home here. Bright and airy, rooms feature private outdoor decks from where you will enjoy views of Lake Tekapo and the Two Thumb Mountain Range. Owner Kevin Bowie is a fine art landscape photographer and beautiful images of New Zealand’s stunning scenery are displayed on the walls. Breakfast is served in the dining room which enjoys views of the lake and the Southern Alps and guests will also enjoy complimentary New Zealand wines and craft beers along with local smoked salmon, cheeses and chutneys. You’re ideally located to explore Lake Tekapo as well as Lake Pukaki which is less than a hour away.
New Zealand’s highest peak, Mount Cook or Aroaki in Maori, is an arresting sight jarring out from the 700 square kilometre Aoraki National Park of tussock hills and ice fields. With 19 peaks over 3000m, the national park is home to most of New Zealand’s highest mountains, all formed of a unique grey rock that accumulates as gravel in the valley floors. The park offers great walks with spectacular alpine viewpoints but the weather is extremely temperamental and prone to turn to rain. At its heart is the mighty Mount Cook, looming at 3754m, its peak often piercing into the clouds.
Descending almost to sea level from this epic alpine range are New Zealand’s two largest and most stunning glaciers, Fox and Franz Josef. These ancient valleys of ice that have crushed their way down through rainforest are truly spectacular to behold. Both Fox and Franz Josef are within easy walking distance and their temperate environment allows visitors the rare opportunity to experience dynamic glacial valleys in ease and comfort. But if you’re looking for a closer encounter, there are guided ice treks and heli-hikes where you can explore the crevasses of these ancient ice beds, which are sadly rapidly retreating year on year.
Today you will explore the Tasman Glacier, the largest of several glaciers which flow south and east towards the Mackenzie Basin from the Southern Alps. At 27km in length, the Tasman Glacier is New Zealand's longest glacier, up to 4km (2.5 miles) wide and 600m thick. The glacier covers an area of 101 square kilometres and starts at a height of 3,000 metres above sea level.
Your helicopter will fly you from Mount Cook airport to around 1,200 metres above sea level where you will spend up to two hours in the mountains, where your guide will lead you into the most spectacular terrain that is usually seen only by experienced mountaineers. You will trek on easy undulating terrain, below Aoraki/Mt Cook and Mount Tasman, the highest peaks of the Southern Alps. The snow-covered mountains tower above vast ice-falls that bulldoze and grind down the mountain sides. Your helicopter will fly you close by the 1,000 metre high Hochstetter Icefall as your journey ends and you return to Mt Cook airport.
Accommodation in Queenstown
- 16 rooms
- Dining options
Sat on the shores of the deep Lake Wakatipu, Matakauri Lodge is a tranquil haven of serene blue waters and sweeping mountain landscapes. Snow-capped peaks reach towards the sky, providing a backdrop like no other to this incredible luxury establishment. Modern, bright and with plenty of room, the 16 suites have been styled by the highly celebrated designer Virginia Fisher. Four suites are found in the main lodge section while others have been built in a native forest with alpine panoramas. All have their own private balcony, lounge area and decadent bathroom, not to mention the cosy fireplace. The sizeable Owner’s Cottage is an idyllic getaway for larger groups or families. Boasting a menu that changes constantly with the availability of seasonal produce, the kitchen at Matakauri Lodge focuses on a clean and fresh experience for the palate. There are a number of settings in which to savour this modern New Zealand cuisine, from the privacy of your own patio to the property’s spacious courtyards. Located near great pine thickets, the spa provides an exclusive space where you can rejuvenate and reinvigorate your body with completely personalised treatments. Fall in love with the heated pool, let off some steam in the sauna or enjoy a leisurely time in the hot tub. Whether you arrive to the long, warm days of summer or to a winter wonderland of snow, there is always so much to do during your stay at Matakauri. Walks and hikes dominate the area, as do scenic horse riding trails and wine tours. Avid golfers will rejoice to know a PGA-rated course is nearby; The Hills is surely one of the most stunning and gorgeously isolated round of 18 you can play anywhere in the world.
- 6 rooms
- Kitchen garden
- Designed by acclaimed designer Neil McLachlan
A relic of stately Victorian elegance, Hulbert House is a luxury villa that operates as one of Queenstown’s oldest residences. Built in 1888, this boutique hotel offers historic charm with contemporary comforts and modern amenities. Transformed by an award-winning designer, the interiors are vibrant while paying tribute to the antiquity of the property. The six luxury suites are all individually designed, carrying through a feeling of old-world opulence with extravagant, bold and fresh furnishing. Each has views over either Lake Wakatipu, Skyline Hill or the well-kept gardens. A scrumptious breakfast of fresh and delicious ingredients waits those early morning risers, while the kitchen can provide tasty snacks throughout the day. Ideally placed, Hulbert House is found in close proximity to many of the attractions of Queenstown, with popular cafes, restaurants and shops all within walking distance. It is also only 450m from the banks of the large Lake Wakatipu and just a little further from the Skyline Gondola and Luge.
- 10 rooms
- Bar with tapas menu
- In-house spa treatments
With a history intertwined with the region’s gold rush, the building of Eichardt’s Private Hotel carries with it the understated and classic elegance of a bygone era. With sweeping views of Lake Wakatipu’s emerald blue waters and eminent mountain peaks, it is a gateway to Queenstown and the untouched wilderness beyond. Choose from Eichardt’s lake view or mountain view suites, or the one- or two-bedroom apartments. For more privacy, or for those looking for a group getaway or family foray, there is the stand-alone three-bed Eichardt’s Residence which has a spacious kitchen, private dining area and sweeping balconies. The hotel bar has been considered a town favourite since 1867, providing the perfect environment in which friends and colleagues can sit down for a refreshing cocktail or a refined vintage from the famed Otago wine region. For those feeling peckish, there are comprehensive tapas menus to suit every palate, with locally sourced seasonal ingredients. The bar also serves breakfast, lunch and dinner in a cosy dining area with a fireplace. From the hotel you can treat yourself to an extensive range of in-room spa treatments provided by a local spa, wander down to the lake edge or head into the heart of the action in bustling Queenstown.
- 22 rooms
- Dining room
Set against a gorgeous mountain background among lush parkland, the Queenstown Park Boutique Hotel is an upmarket, eco-friendly hotel. With a fresh and modern aesthetic, all 22 rooms and suites are furnished with a discerning eye. Stylish and modern, the Gondola rooms enjoy a private outdoor area while those in the spacious Remarkable rooms and suites can lounge on balconies, savouring beautiful views of the Remarkables mountain range. The Tower Suite, operating as a private penthouse, is spread across two levels and features a kitchen, lounge and dining area enjoys panoramic views from the verandah and private garden. There is also a two-bedroom tower suite with a kitchen, lounge and dining area which opens onto a balcony. The guest lounge is the perfect place to enjoy complimentary pre-dinner drinks and canapes, before sitting down to enjoy a meal made using ingredients grown in the hotel’s herb and vegetable garden.
From the towering alpine ranges that envelop Queenstown, to its laidback lakeside sister Wanaka and the incredible Milford Sound, this is easily one of the most spectacular regions of the country. Seek out one of the endless thrills on offer here from skiing, white water rafting, canyon swinging, jet boating, mountain biking and bungy jumping, or slow down to the cosmopolitan pace of life in Queenstown and cool Wanaka and you’ll discover its flourishing arts scene, excellent vineyards, fine dining and quiet lakeside shores where you can take in the incredible scenery. And, of course, Milford Sound with its spectacular 1692m-high Mitre Peak (Rahotu in Maori) is unmissable.
You will be met at your accommodation and travel by 4WD around Lake Wanaka to the beautiful Mt Aspiring National Park. Within the park is the Rob Roy Glacier. It is a huge glacier beginning high above on Rob Roy Peak, clinging to the ever-steepening mountainside as it descends into the Rob Roy Valley.
Your guided walk begins through farmland with sheep and cattle, before crossing a swing bridge into the alpine rainforest to emerge above the treeline into the alpine herb fields opposite four glacier faces. This is the perfect lunch spot and a base for further exploration of this magical valley. Following lunch the walk is all downhill back to the car park.
Accommodation in Te Anau
- 12 rooms
Fiordland Lodge is privileged to sit in a World Heritage Site on the shore of the unforgettable Lake Te Anau. Rolling green meadows dotted with thickets of forest and bush meet snow-capped mountains, painting a gorgeous New Zealand tapestry of unrivalled wilderness and surreal landscapes. A maximum of 29 guests in 10 luxurious suites can stay in the refined comfort of the lodge or in two self-contained, exclusive log cabins. Each of the private rooms and suites overlooks the picturesque waters and rolling grasslands that surround the property. While being a lakeside resort, it is only a short drive to the nearby tourist town of Te Anau. While the culinary team is small at the lodge, they deliver huge taste experiences with a farm-to-table philosophy. The kitchen fully utilises local connections, with all produce coming from the farmers, cheesemakers and independent producers of the region. The resident drinks expert will happily provide suggestions to complement your meal, drawing on the list of exquisite vintages, colourful cocktails, fine beers and classic spirits. Beyond the lodge, you can discover the famed New Zealand countryside in isolated bliss. Guided fishing trips, hikes and walks allow you to savour the real gems of this wonderful and wild land. For the ultimate adventure, hop into a helicopter to get a bird’s-eye view of remote alpine environments before landing atop Mount Luxmore to visit Luxmore Hut. Alternatively, journey underground into the mysterious and captivating Te Anau Glowworm Caves. Across the lake lies over three million acres of untouched wilderness that makes up the Fiordland National Park, part of the South West New Zealand World Heritage Area.
Nestled on the edge of Milford Sound, Te Anau is a picturesque town perfectly positioned for exploring the surrounding glacier-carved wilderness of Fiordland National Park. In addition to an underground waterfall and grotto of glowworms, the region features trails through beech forests, glacial valleys and mountains.
Visit the southern part of the South Island’s wild West Coast and experience the many scattered islands and early history unique to New Zealand’s largest fiord, Dusky Sound. Your return journey will take you to the head of Doubtful Sound, through the hidden valley of Campbell’s Kingdom and back down the South Arm of Lake Te Anau.
Travel along the world-famous Milford Road to the lesser-known Hollyford Valley. Follow the gin-clear Hollyford River for two and a half hours to the thundering Hidden Falls. Views of Fiordland’s highest mountains can be had from the swing bridge. After returning to the vehicle by the same route there is an optional stop at the quaint and quirky Hollyford Camp for a cup of tea before returning to your Lodge.
Drop off rental car in Queenstown
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Epic New Zealand Hiking
How We Work
We create fully personalised trips from start to finish, working with you to pick locations, accommodation and guides that suit you.
Each time you travel with us, you preserve an acre of precious rainforest through our partnerships.
From in-depth private tours to restaurant reservations, we take care of every detail so you can make the most of your journey.