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Walking in New Zealand WZN

Visiting: New Zealand
Trip Duration 20 Days
 

Reviews for Walking in New Zealand

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Walking in New Zealand reviews verified by reevooReevoo

16 reviews

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Walking in New ZealandScores 9.2 out of 10 based on 16 reviews
(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
(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
(9 out of 10)

Douglas

Brentwood
This tour packs an amazing quantity and variety of experience into a short amount of time. The walking was provided in some of the most iconic scenery this amazingly photogenic country has to offer, sampling some of the best known paths and trails, and providing one remarkable day's hiking on the Tongariro Crossing. Another remarkable day was spent " in the spectacular environs of Mount Cook, including a tramp" (local terminology) up the Valley, affording breathtaking mountain views.
We were fortunate to have brilliant sunshine throughout most of our journey, a significant exception being for the cruise on Milford Sound, which was obscured for the most part, by rain and mist, our disappointment only partly alleviated by a substantial, warming buffet lunch on board the vessel.
Such weather is not unusual, and even in summer all possibilities have to be provided for. Waterproof overtrousers and swimwear are among necessary items to pack. My own oversight was in failing to bring insect repellent for some of the South Island walks, one soon remedied in a local pharmacy, after receiving some quite painful bites from aggressive sand flies.
One other highlight for me was the visit to the Waimangu geothermal valley. I would have loved to have spent more time among the geysers and bubbling mud pools of this and other nearby geothermal areas, even if this meant reducing some of the abundant forest walking.
We were extremely fortunate in our leader, Rob, not only a capable driver, experienced walker, and dedicated environmentalist, but a mine of information on his adopted homeland. Apart from broad botanical and geological knowledge of the country, he interpreted the agricultural environment we passed through with the authority of one who farmed himself (which he did).
For a mere three weeks, this tour offered a great introduction to New Zealand, its magnificent scenery, culture, and its hugely enjoyable walking.
Confirmed traveller: 12 March 2016
Published on: 22 March 2016
(10 out of 10)

Sylvia

London
Rob , our tour leader was excellent going the extra mile for us. He was practical and a very careful driver
He was extremely passionate and knowledgeable about his adopted country. The trip exceeded my expectations and New Zealand absolutely stunning. Thank you for a wonderful holiday
Confirmed traveller: 11 March 2016
Published on: 25 March 2016
(10 out of 10)

John

Whitby, N.Yorks
Not a moment wasted, a full packed itinerary led by a wonderful man who's knowledge of N.Z. is astounding and wisdom in shepherding a happy bunch of people was sublime, thank you Herbie for making so much happen.

Personal highlights include Tongariro Crossing, Mount Aoraki and final chilling out in Akarowa (a delightful town that should not be overlooked) but the whole trip was crammed with amazing places and breathtaking views, my camera was rarely off the "panorama " setting.

Found the humour of the Kiwis inspirational, such a warm happy race. Reserving a cafe spot by leaving your car keys and wallet on the table speaks volumes.

New Zealand, if you've never been, don't die wondering.
Confirmed traveller: 12 February 2016
Published on: 29 February 2016