Sealy Tarns hike

South Island 8-Day Tour

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What You'll Do
  • Experience the true elements of New Zealand's South Island over 8 days
  • Become completely immersed in the heart of its mountain ranges and let their beauty guide you forwards on your hike
  • Jump in a sea kayak and splash around the warm bays of the Abel Tasman National Park
  • Sample local cuisine from restaurants in the cities and towns you stay in
This experience will take you through the adventure and activity hot-spots. From postcard perfect Abel Tasman National Park to Punakaiki’s luscious green rainforests and the majestic Aoraki/Mount Cook.
What to Expect
The South Island experience will take you through the adventure and activity hot-spots. From postcard perfect Abel Tasman National Park to Punakaiki’s luscious green rainforests and the majestic Aoraki/Mount Cook. Finish your time in this magical country under the immense peaks of Mount Aspiring National Park before arriving in Queenstown - the adventure capital. 

The supplier has chosen excellent quality hotels and lodges and all rooms have ensuite bathrooms. Every place you stay in has something special to offer and your evenings will be just as enjoyable as your days spent outdoors. Wonderful meals are included giving you an opportunity to sample the local cuisine from the restaurants in the cities and towns you'll stay in. 

Day 1      Nelson – Abel Tasman National Park, 11.7km/4 hours hiking

Your guide will meet you at the hotel before driving to Nelson airport to collect those walkers that are doing the full tour and are on a flight from Wellington. Sit back and enjoy the picturesque drive to Kaiteriteri. This seaside village is the gateway to the popular Abel Tasman National Park, and a trendy vacation spot for kiwis. Board a water taxi for a jaunt into the heart of the National Park. Step ashore at Anchorage and follow the famed Abel Tasman coastal track through native forests and along golden sand beaches. The lovely clear fresh waters of Cleopatra's Pool may tempt you to take a dip or for those more daring a slide down the naturally formed hydro-slide! After passing through Torrent Bay a well-formed trail leads you up and over a gentle ridge into Bark Bay where you'll will meet the water taxi for a return journey to Kaiteriteri. On the return to Nelson there is time to freshen up before strolling downtown for dinner, the town center is well known for its vibrant and arty atmosphere. Rutherford Hotel, Nelson (Lunch, Dinner)

Day 2      Nelson –Punakaiki, 6km/3 hour hiking

On the way to the West Coast stop for a remarkable hike to marvel at natural flames which have been burning since the 1920's. Access this phenomena with a local guide over a privately owned working deer farm. Unlike the Eternal Flames of the Chimera in Turkey these flames are surrounded by lush tree ferns and beech forest. A cup of 'billy tea' and hot cakes prepared over the flames gives this experience a distinctly kiwi flavour. Continue your journey alongside the mighty Buller River as it cuts through the massive wilderness of the upper South Island, arriving on the coast at Westport. Take a short stroll at Cape Foulwind to view a colony of New Zealand fur seals playfully splashing around in the rock pools. Head south to catch the sunset at Punakaiki and visit a local pub for dinner. Punakaiki Resort, Punakaiki (All meals)

Day 3      Punakaiki, 11km/4 hours hiking

Hike the Inland Pack Track from Punakaiki to Pororari. This historic route was once used by prospectors and miners to avoid the immense coastal cliffs while travelling the West Coast. Pass through deep limestone canyons, towering rainforests and groves of Nikau Palms. You may not be able to resist a speedy swim in one of the many deep clear pools you pass on the way! After lunch hike along the Truman track to reach stunning waterfalls, sea cliffs and wild beaches. And of course no visit to Punakaiki is complete without a trip to the Pancake Rocks and blowholes. Walk at high tide when the blowholes are most impressive, blasting sprays of salt water skyward. Punakaiki Resort, Punakaiki (All meals)

Day 4      Punakaiki – Christchurch, 4km/2 hours hiking

This remarkable highway takes you from the lush green rainforests of the West Coast and over the glaciated Southern Alps to the parched soft yellow savannahs of Canterbury. This is one of the most cleverly engineered roads in New Zealand. From Arthur’s Pass hike four kilometres down to the village on a well-formed walking track. The trail has superb mountain views, thundering waterfalls, and a diverse range of alpine plants. Catch a glimpse of the colonial past as we pass Jacks Hut, a restored roadman’s cottage. East of the pass, stretch your legs again and stroll around the enchanting limestone outcrops of Kura Tawhiti (Castle Hill). This area was an important meeting place and food gathering area for early Maori people. Interestingly it was also bestowed a spiritual center of the universe by the Dalai Lama when he visited in 2002. Today it is a haven for rock climbers who climb and boulder on the multitude of rock forms. Arrive in Christchurch in the mid afternoon, time to explore the inner district and see some of the innovative and exciting methods used to rebuild the heart of the city after the devastating 2011 earthquake. Camelot Motor Lodge (Breakfast, Lunch)

Day 5      Christchurch – Aoraki/Mt Cook, 2km/1 hour hiking

The mid-morning departure allows time to discover some city cafes or see one of the parks in the ‘Garden City’. The drive west takes you to Lake Tekapo, famous for its stunning turquoise waters and the quaint Church of the Good Shepherd, perched daintily by the lake. Hike up through wilding conifers and tussock grasslands to the summit of Mt John. Revel in the 360-degree views of the Patagonia-like landscape. The sweeping Mackenzie basin is a sparsely populated region in the rain shadow of the Southern Alps; tawny-brown drylands, braided riverbeds, and startling glacial lakes extend to the horizon. Arrive at Aoraki/Mount Cook in the late afternoon. Relax and enjoy breathtaking views of New Zealand's highest mountain (3,724 meters). Aoraki / Mount Cook Alpine Lodge (Lunch, Dinner)

Day 6      Mt Cook, 5-8km/4 hours hiking

Hike up to Sealey Tarns and enjoy the awesome views of Mt Sefton, Mueller Glacier and across the Hooker Valley to Aoraki/Mount Cook. If you’re feeling energetic, join the guide for a further climb from the tarns up to the crest of Mueller Ridge for even wider views of this magnificent alpine landscape. Those not wanting to climb to Sealey or Mueller can take the flatter option and walk up the Hooker Valley (unguided), enjoying close up views of the Mueller and Hooker Glaciers on the way. Aoraki / Mount Cook Alpine Lodge (All meals)

Day 7      Mt Cook –Wanaka, 2km/1 hour hiking

Travel up the Tasman Valley towards the longest glacier in New Zealand, the Tasman Glacier. Take a short walk through the glacial moraine and board a custom-built boat for a unique spin around the terminal lake. Like most glaciers in the world the Tasman Glacier is retreating and the terminal lake increases in size every year. This dynamic environment is dotted with icebergs of all shapes and sizes from the collapsing terminal wall of the glacier. The drive to Wanaka follows the Mackenzie country south before climbing over the tussock lands of the Lindis Pass into the southern lakes district. Wanaka is a lovely holiday town on the lake-side. Edgewater Resort, Wanaka (Breakfast, Lunch)

Day 8     Wanaka – Queenstown, 10km/4 hours hiking

A beautiful drive alongside Lake Wanaka leads you to Aspiring National Park. Hike up the Matukituki Valley beneath some fine peaks before turning up the Rob Roy side stream and climbing abruptly to the bushline. This gorgeous trail through virgin beech forest emerges into a splendid alpine basin below the bulking mass of the Rob Roy Glacier. Watch water tumble off the glacier’s snout as you relax and enjoy lunch. Keep an eye out for cheeky kea (alpine parrot). You probably won’t need to look too hard as these curious birds normally call in when food is around (although it’s important to never offer them any tand upset their natural foraging behaviour)! After the hike grab a drink and unwind on the lawn of the famous old drover’s hotel at Cardrona, before you drive over the Crown Range and into the lively scene of Queenstown. Your tour finishes here, in the late afternoon. (Breakfast, Lunch)

What's Included
  • Guide
  • Transport
  • All meals excluding 2 meals and 1 breakfast
  • Accommodation
  • First-aid kit
  • Safety equiupment
  • Maps
  • Drinking water
What's Not Included
  • Optional activities
  • 2 meals and 1 breakfast
Meeting Point

Nelson 9:30 Rutherford Hotel, 27 Nile Street.

What to Remember
• Up to 4-5 hours of physical activity per day
• At times carrying a backpack of 4-5kgs
• Tracks generally in good condition
• Altitude gains of up to 600 meters (2000 feet) on harder days
• No hiking experience necessary, hiking and fitness grade B

From £2,724 per person

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Hiking New Zealand

Product ID: 52709