New Zealand: Off the Beaten Path

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10-day hiking and wildlife adventure on New Zealand's South Island. Hike on the Routeburn, Te Araroa, Rakiura and portions of the Hollyford Track.


Duration: 10 Days
Starts in: Queenstown, New Zealand
Ends in: Queenstown, New Zealand
Group Size: 4-12
Difficulty: 3/5

Operated by:

Wilderness Travel

Wilderness Travel is an award-winning leader in adventure travel, renowned for superb itinerary design, high-value, and the best Trip Leaders in the business. Group departu...

Additional Information

What an adventure—fantastic day hikes on some of New Zealand's famed "Great Walks" (the Routeburn, Rakiura, Te Araroa, and Hollyford tracks), a helicopter flight across Milford Sound to a remote lodge in the untamed Te Wahipounamu World Heritage Area, wine tasting in Central Otago vineyards, a jet boat ride up beautiful Lake McKerrow, and ultra-remote Stewart Island, famous for its pristine forests and the best place to spot kiwis (the feathered kind). Unique wildlife encounters abound, our lodges have South Island character, and we savor superb local wines and farm-to-table meals.


Days 1-2
Mt. Crichton Loop / Routeburn Track 
From Queenstown, our first hike brings us through manuka and beech forests and past tumbling waterfalls on the Mt. Crichton Loop. In the Te Wahipounamu World Heritage Area, we hike a beautiful section of the Routeburn Track, crossing swing-bridges over the roaring, jade-green waters of the Routeburn River.

Days 3-6
Central Otago / The Catlins Coast / Stewart Island / Rakiura Track / Kiwi-Spotting 
We hike along Lake Wakatipu, visit the Kawarau Suspension Bridge (where the sport of bungee-jumping was invented), and taste wines in Central Otago, home to noted pinot noirs. Heading to the remote Catlins Coast, we hike along the Catlin River, and from our lodge, take a night walk to see native glow worms—a surreal experience. We'll look for rare Hector's dolphins as we hike the beach at Porpoise Bay, then fly to far-flung Stewart Island. Here we take our second "Great Walks" trail, the Rakiura Track, and at twilight, search for kiwi, New Zealand's signature bird.
Days 7-10
South Coast / Milford Sound / Hollyford Track 
Back on the mainland, we hike part of the Te Araroa Trail, then take a breathtaking helicopter flight along the coast to rugged Martins Bay in Milford Sound. We'll look for Fiordland crested penguins and New Zealand fur seals on our coastal hike, and a jet-boat ride on Lake McKerrow brings us to our hike on the famous Hollyford Track, flanked by the mighty Southern Alps. Depart on Day 10 via Queenstown.


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