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Walking in New Zealand WZN

Visiting: New Zealand
Trip Duration 20 Days
 

Reviews for Walking in New Zealand

Travellers were asked to provide a review of the trip, including highlights and tips.

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Walking in New Zealand reviews verified by reevooReevoo

20 reviews

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Walking in New ZealandScores 9.2 out of 10 based on 20 reviews
(10 out of 10)

Allan

Wetherby
My first Explore tour, so didn't know what to expect! But I didn't need to have any concerns, as every aspect of the holiday exceeded my expectations. The majority of the group were seasoned 'Explorers', but we gelled very quickly and without exception everyone helped as individuals and as a collective to make the most of the amazing experiences we shared. New Zealand had been a destination I'd considered for many years and believe me it did not disappoint! Although friends and relatives had previously holidayed there and were able to recount marvellous memories, nothing prepares you for magic and marvels that you experience by getting up close and personal, which the tour itinerary enables. Our tour guide, Rob, was so knowlegeable about culture, geology and the native flora and fauna that his enthusiasm for the whole New Zealand experience was infectious amongst the group. There were so many highlights in a 'whistle stop' three weeks tour, but for me, the Tongariro Crossing is right up there with the best of 'life time' experiences. The views before you on the crossing are exceptional and quite surreal; there is no doubt the crossing deserves its status of one of the best 'day walks' in the world. The experience was only added to by our guides for the day, Sarah and Brett, who were excellent in imparting their knowledge and obvious love for the area and their country. From accommodation to return flights and every other aspect of the tour, Explore got it right, so thank you Explore.
Confirmed traveller: 11 February 2017
Published on: 14 February 2017
(10 out of 10)

David

Poole
An outstanding tour with an excellent guide and superb colleagues. The trip around New Zealand met all my expectations.
David
Confirmed traveller: 10 February 2017
Published on: 23 February 2017
(10 out of 10)

Solvejg

Copenhagen
Excellent trip, but would have liked more time in Rotorua and Wellington
Confirmed traveller: 10 February 2017
Published on: 11 February 2017
(9 out of 10)

Angela

Warminster
A fantastic trip including many New Zealand classic destinations: From Auckland on the first day we visited Rotorangi Island and a first experience of Tui's singing; North Island Robins hopping round our feet; Weka chicks; raw solidified lava and native bush establishing itself. On to Rotorua, and a traditional Maori hangi helped us understand the Maori creation view; a fantastic walk along the Waimangu valley to experience the thermal springs in their natural setting; a quick stop at Huka falls - what a lot of water; disappointment at Tongariro - the weather prevented walking the crossing, but we felt that those who knew it, were not going to put us in danger by risking it. Instead we were taken on The Old Coach Road on the edge of the National Park, and learned some of the history of New Zealand European settlement - tea and biscuits included in the middle of a viaduct! Windy Wellington did not disappoint; Te Papa museum worth longer attention than I gave it; the crossing from here to South Island was worth staying on deck for, including great views of both Islands and sea birds like Albatross and Shearwaters.
South Island was something else. Fantastic visit to Motorua Island from Picton, accompanied by dolphins and a peek at a blue penguin, then on the boat again to Ship's cove for a walk on the Charlotte Track. A visit to Abel Tasman National Park was specatular - walking through wonderful native bush and finishing with a refreshing paddle on a tropical beach in Bark Bay. A drive down the West coast including a Jade workshop at Hokitika and an opportunity to walk along the cliffs to a seal colony and a stop at the spectacular Pancake Rocks. As we continued to Franz Josef and Fox Glacier, the weather deteriorated and kept us from seeing any glacier in the next couple of days. Instead we learned about the New Zealand gold rush at Ross. Driving over the Haast pass revealed more amazing scenery carved by glaciers, and led us to beautiful Wanaka. Everywhere, the native bush was lush, green and fascinating with unfamiliar(Tui, Bellbird, Grey Warbler) and familiar(Chaffinch, Blackbird, Thrush) birdsong. Wanaka's jewel is the lake, surrounded by mountains; a great place to spend 2 nights. On to Arrowtown historical gold mining settlement and Queenstown via the Cardrona pass and a welcome coffee and log fire at the old gold mining pub on a cold day. A ride on the Gondola once we were in Queenstown and an optional, but worthwhile walk up to Ben Lomond saddle for a very cold but stunning view, encounters with Tom Tits and a Kea and the opportunity to pull up wilding pine seedlings where they aren't wanted. Torrential rain in Queenstown that evening was clearly falling as snow because our trip to Te Anau was beautified by icing sugar sprinkles of snow to a lower level on the mountains. We included a walk on part of the Kepler track - a mesmerising trek through native temperate rain forest; a natural fernery inhabited by mosses, birds and ancient trees. An early start the next morning for our much anticipated trip to Milford Sound. A walk was scheduled in on the way on part of the Routeburn track taking us up the side of the glacier valley through bush and out onto alpine wetland at Key Summit. We enjoyed our walk in the dry, but Milford Sound provided what it is almost guaranteed to do - rain. However this didn't detract from a great boat trip under sheer, weeping, glaciated walls of rock. It was worth getting wet on the outside of the boat to experience a sense of insignificance in the face of some magnicent creation. The next day was a long day of driving but through the different terrain of tussock grassed McKenzie country to Mt Cook village. A glimpse of Aoraki/Mount Cook didn't prepare us for the stunning day that followed without a cloud in the sky. It was our tour guide's day off, but the majority of the group walked together up the Hooker Valley to Hooker Lake for a picnic lunch together in the sun - under the gaze of Aoraki and Mount Sefton and their courtiers. Our last full day was a long drive across South Island to ancient, volcanic Akaroa. What a beautiful place to end our tour! If only we could have stayed! Our tour was completed in Christchurch where reconstruction work continues after the 2010 earthquake. The Botanical gardens and the Museum were worth more attention than we were able to give them before we embarked on our homeward flight. Our tour gave us a wonderful overview of what New Zealand has to offer while enabling us to have a few in-depth experiences of her riches. No tour can ever be repeated step for step, and in particular the mix of participants can never be predicted, but I found that the group personalities and dynamics enhanced the whole experience. Everyone made an effort to get to know each other and ensure that no-one missed out. The experience was topped off by our tour guide, Gabi Plannger, who performed her role to an exceptional level.
Confirmed traveller: 03 December 2016
Published on: 07 December 2016
(9 out of 10)

Robert

Fleet
This was a repeat of the same walking tour that I experienced two years ago, which was such an amazing holiday that I wanted to do it again. I was not disappointed: with a different group of people, a different tour leader and a different weather pattern I had another great time. The highlights are the stunning scenery, experiencing walking in temperate rain forests and being made aware of the nature of the earth's geology resulting from volcanic activity. The standard of accommodation was generally very high and in every case was very clean.
Confirmed traveller: 03 December 2016
Published on: 06 December 2016
(9 out of 10)

Michael

Bangor
Big disappointment not being able to do the Tongariro Crossing due to bad weather. Maybe scheduling two days in this area would give flexibility with regards to the weather. The alternative walk (Old Coach Road) was good and could be used for the non-Tongariro day.

Otherwise very good schedule and superb guide/leader/driver. It would have been very difficult to have travelled independently and fitted in the amount of walking/sight-seeing/travelling that this trip covered.

Highlights: Abel Tasman/Waimangu Valley/Wanaka/walking by Mount Cook
Disappointments: Mount Cook village accomodation and breakfast arrangements, the Queen Charlotte track a bit tedious
Confirmed traveller: 02 December 2016
Published on: 06 December 2016
(10 out of 10)

Lesley

London
An excellent, varied tour with some great walking days. I have visited NZ twice before but chose this trip because it incorporated a few things I had done before plus some new experiences. I was not disappointed. We had a lovely group, an expert and cheerful leader, we mainly had sunshine, we saw wonderful landscapes, wildflowers, birds, dolphins and penguins. It really was a very happy three weeks, I suggest you book right away!
Confirmed traveller: 02 December 2016
Published on: 04 December 2016
(6 out of 10)

Debra

The tour gave an extensive view of New Zealand and it's wildly different areas. The highlights were the Mount Cook, the Milford Sound trip and a train ride we took from National Park to Wellington which had amazing views of the countryside. The tour involved too much time in a minibus for us (often 5-6 hours per day) and we arrived too late in many places to explore them at all. A good snapshot of New Zealand but would recommend doing a little less and spending more time in more places.
Confirmed traveller: 12 November 2016
Published on: 04 January 2017
(2 out of 10)

Margaret

Stoke on Trent
Very bad. Want to forget and recover
Confirmed traveller: 12 November 2016
Published on: 14 November 2016

Thank you for providing us with your feedback for your holiday to New Zealand, I’m sorry that you were disappointed and felt the trip did not meet your expectations. If you would like to discuss this in further detail, please contact our Customer Relations Team.

(9 out of 10)

Andrew

Brilliant leader.
Some hotel rooms rather hot at night.
Perhaps some journeys were too long but not sure you can do anything about that as we wanted to see all the places. Perhaps add a couple of days on or offer a trip confined to South Island as most people prefer it.
Confirmed traveller: 12 March 2016
Published on: 23 March 2016