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Experience New Zealand Queenstown to Auckland

Our ‘Experience New Zealand’ 17 day itinerary showcases three stunning and varied guided walks covering both the South and North Island – the Hollyford Track, the Queen Charlotte Track and the Tongariro Lodge based Hiking Tour.

All of our itineraries are provided as a base and we can tailor any combination of accommodation levels or trip variations to your preference.

Day 1

Arrive into Queenstown (own arrangements prior to this).  

Check into your Motel/Apartment accommodation in central Queenstown.  

(Backpackers, B+B or hotel accommodations can be arranged instead – please advise if you would prefer this option)

At 5.30pm attend your pre-trip briefing for the Hollyford Track.  


The track package included within this itinerary would be as follows:


Hollyford Track Three Day Guided Walk:


  • Pre-departure briefing
  • Return coach transport to Queenstown 
  • 2 nights’ track accommodation in well-appointed private lodges with twin share rooms, hot showers and flush toilets
  • Well-informed guides
  • Wilderness jet boat trip down the Hollyford River and across Lake McKerrow
  • Scenic flight into Milford Sound
  • Friendly professional lodge hosts
  • All bedding including duvets and hot water bottles, towels, soap, shampoo and hairdryers
  • All meals on the track
  • Use of backpacks and rain jackets if required 


Day 2

The Hollyford Track

Located in the spectacular Fiordland National Park, the dramatic Hollyford Track guided wilderness experience is one of New Zealand’s greatest walks. It has native rain forest, alpine views, lovely rivers and waterfalls along its length.  While on the track, you will stay in private accommodation in well-appointed lodges with twin share rooms and hot showers and with all meals provided. The group size is limited to 16 per departure to ensure a personal experience with your specialist, experienced guide. 

Travel from Queenstown this morning to the Hollyford Valley then walk with your guide through native beech forest to Pyke Lodge. You'll re-trace the footsteps of Maori and early pioneers while walking in the shadow of the mighty Southern Alps, including Fiordland National Parks’ two highest peaks - Mt Tutoko (2746m) and Mt Madeline (2537m).  A relaxed evening is spent at Pyke Lodge where you can visit the nearby glow-worm colony.


Inclusions: Accommodation and all meals on the track


Day 3

Soak in the morning light on Lake Alabaster before boarding a jet boat for the next part of your adventure. You may even encounter a family of Bottlenose Dolphins who are regular visitors to the lower river and lake. Walk through ancient forest giants such as native rimu, totara and kahikatea before arrival at your home for this evening, Martins Bay Lodge.


Inclusions: Accommodation and all meals on the track 


Day 4

Explore Martins Bay spit today and learn about the history of both its Māori and European settlements before flying by helicopter into Milford Sound where the coach awaits to return you to Te Anau and then Queenstown. Your scenic flight takes you along the rugged coast and into the truly spectacular and dramatic Milford Sound. An amazing finish to your journey . . . From Milford you’ll be met by your coach driver and travel the impressive Milford Road through the famous Homer Tunnel and journey back to Queenstown, arriving around 7pm


Inclusions: breakfast and lunch 


Check into your Motel/Apartment accommodation in central Queenstown.  

(Backpackers, B+B or hotel accommodations can be arranged instead – please advise if you would prefer this option)


Day 5

Rest day in Queenstown – we can assist with booking a Lord of the Rings Scenic Tour, or how about a wine tour – additional costs apply. 

Stay another evening in your Motel/Apartment accommodation in central Queenstown.  


Day 6

Travel from Queenstown to Blenheim/Picton.  This can either be by flight (via Christchurch), bus (allow 2 days for this with an overnight in Christchurch) or car hire (again at least a 2 day trip). We can certainly book your bus tickets or flights between Christchurch and Blenheim with SoundsAir) – additional cost applies for all of these options above the package price quoted.  We can also make the connections between Blenheim and Picton if required 

Check into your 4 star Motel accommodation in Picton.  Here you can expect quality service and warm hospitality in a convenient location. 

(Backpackers, B+B or hotel accommodations can be arranged instead – please advise if you would prefer this option)


Day 7

Rest in Picton, or enjoy a wine tour of the local famous Marlborough wine region or the fascinating Omaka Heritage Centre.

At 5pm attend your pre-trip briefing for the Queen Charlotte Track.  

The track package included within this itinerary would be as follows:


Queen Charlotte 4 Day Classic Guided Walk: 

  • 3 nights superior, seaview twin share accommodation with own private ensuite - suite at Furneaux, chalet at Punga and chalet at Lochmara Lodge 
  • All meals – restaurant meals  
  • Complimentary glass of wine each evening or other beverage  
  • Packed lunch each day 
  • Guiding services 
  • Water transport to and from track 
  • Luggage transfers 
  • Queen Charlotte Track Land Pass 
  • Picton accommodation transfers


(Independent, Boutique or 5 day options are also available on this track – please advise if any of these options are your preference)

Stay again in your 4 star Motel accommodation in Picton. 


Day 8

Queen Charlotte Track

The Queen Charlotte Track is New Zealand’s most diverse coastal walk set in the geologically unique Marlborough Sounds. Stretching from historic Ship Cove to Anakiwa, this undulating trail features remnants of virgin native bush with a sea view around almost every corner.

You will be collected this morning at 7.30am from your Picton accommodation by your Guide to begin your Queen Charlotte Track experience. Your water taxi departs at 8am this morning. Walk from Ship Cove to Furneaux Lodge today. This scenic & historic reserve was a favourite anchorage for Captain Cook during his explorations in the 1770s. Experience virgin beech forest at its best plus stunning views of the Queen Charlotte Sound. 

Inclusions: Accommodation and all meals 


Day 9

Today’s mainly coastal walk takes you around the inlet through regenerating native bush to the call of bellbirds, fantails and other NZ native birds. Pause at the head of the bay to learn more about antimony & the mining industry that thrived there in the 1880s. Follow the main track onwards and into Big Bay before working your way towards Camp Bay and Punga Cove.

Inclusions: Accommodation and all meals


Day 10

A challenging day walking on the ridgeline between Punga Cove & Torea Saddle near Portage. Truly grand vistas abound round every corner, a wonderful reward indeed. Those who feel like a day’s rest can opt for a boat ride around the bays of the Queen Charlotte Sound to Lochmara. Beachcomber Cruises will meet you at Torea Bay and will bring you to Lochmara Lodge.

Inclusions: Accommodation and all meals


Day 11

Depart Lochmara Lodge and ascend via their private track to the ridgeline once again. Open farmland and a grand native bush section to finish is a fitting finale. Today you return by boat from the Outward Bound Wharf and join Beachcomber Cruises service back to Picton to compete your journey. 

Return again to your 4 star Motel accommodation in Picton. 


Day 12

Check out of your Picton accommodation and take the morning ferry from Picton over to Wellington.  Enjoy the afternoon exploring Wellington – perhaps the Te Papa museum or the cable car – additional costs apply

Check into your hotel accommodation in central Wellington. 


Day 13

This morning either fly, bus or car hire up to Taupo (we can certainly book your bus tickets for you) – additional costs apply

At 4pm, you will be picked up in Taupo and taken out to Chateaux Tongariro Hotel, your base for the next 3 nights.

The track package included within this itinerary would be as follows:


3.5 day Guided Tongariro hiking tour:

  • Pick-up Rotorua 3pm or Taupo 4pm
  • Join a small group, or have an exclusive tour for your own group
  • 3 days / 3 nights all-inclusive New Zealand hiking tour
  • 4-8 hours hiking each day over varied and rocky terrain
  • Carry a day pack only
  • Includes: meals, snacks and wine; return Rotorua or Taupo transport; 4 star historic hotel accommodation; hot pools; chairlift tickets; raincoats & day packs; experienced local guides


Day 14

Hike the Tongariro Alpine Crossing - known as the best one-day walk in New Zealand and possibly the world. A challenging hike leads through stunning volcanic landscapes, past steaming craters, quirky coloured lakes and impressive dome volcanoes. Fantastic views over central North Island. 

Return to your lodgings to soak your weary muscles in the hot plunge pool, before having a casual pub dinner with the locals.

Inclusions: Accommodation and all meals


Day 15

Walk up Mount Ruapehu taking a chair lift up to 2000m, then hike up to the crater lake near the summit (approx 2 hours up to 2660m). The lake reaches temperatures of up to 60 C. Impressive views of the central plateau and all its volcanoes are afforded from near the summit of the North Island's highest mountain.

Inclusions: Accommodation and all meals


Day 16

This morning you will explore more of Tongariro National Park with a walk to the Taranaki Falls. Tumbling 20 metres over the edge of an old lava flow, which erupted from Mt Ruapehu 15,000 years ago, the falls plunge into a boulder-ringed pool. The track passes through an interesting range of alpine meadows and beech forest, with spectacular views of the mountains. Then hike around the glistening Lake Rotopounamu, which is nestled in the side of an old volcanic mountain and totally fringed with lush forest. Walking Legends support an eco trust that are working to restore the native birdlife to this special area.

Following your walk, you will dropped back off again in Taupo or Rotorua

Overnight in your comfortable centrally located Motel 


Day 17

This morning either fly/bus or car hire from Taupo/Rotorua to Auckland (own arrangements following this).