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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

27 reviews

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Walking in New ZealandScores 9.2 out of 10 based on 27 reviews
(10 out of 10)

Rajinder

London
This trip provides an excellent overview of New Zealand. You see lots in a short space of time which you could never do on your own. The accommodation and transport is excellent. The tour leader, Herbie, was exceptional, with his knowledge of the plants, birds, NZ - he used to give us talks on the bus which made the journeys more interesting and taught us a lot.
You are able to buy food in supermarkets a lot, cutting down on the cost of restaurant meals - NZ is more expensive than UK. Our group got along very well, partly because we did different things for dinner and the bus was so roomy, allowing people their own space.
We were a group of 12. Highlights were Tongariro and Mt Cook, however the whole trip is full of new discoveries and sights of interest.
For me, this was a fabulous trip and I would recommend it.
Re options, I went to Hobbiton and did the dolphin cruise at the end. Both were good - i'd rate them 4/5. Hobbiton was very crowded though. As it wasn't on the trip itinerary I missed one of the walks at Rotorua to do it.
There are about 3 days of long driving, but I didn't mind as the scenery is fabulous and there are frequent stops to see interesting things along the way.
The walking gets better and better as the trip progresses and there are options to make it harder if you want. I found the walks very enjoyable and definitely not a doddle in the park, beware the Mueller hut walk at Mt Cook - It was pretty tough. Even the walk up to Sealy lakes was quite hard. People who did the Hooker Valley walk were very happy with it.
This trip must be done!
Confirmed traveller: 11 March 2017
Published on: 16 March 2017
(9 out of 10)

John

LL55 3PG
Excellent full on trip to experience NZ highlights in 3 weeks,many early starts but well worth it.
Highlights....too many to list but Mount Cook area superb,climbed up to the Mueller Hut for fantastic views,a tough 7 hour walk.
Herbie our leader made this trip even better.
Confirmed traveller: 11 March 2017
Published on: 13 March 2017
(9 out of 10)

Juanita

Pennsylvania, USA
The leader, Herbie is excellent with significant information and always helpful for issues and questions. The sights are great and the walks also. I would recommend this trip to others as long as you are in reasonable condition for walks.
Confirmed traveller: 10 March 2017
Published on: 13 March 2017
(8 out of 10)

Susan

Norfolk
We had such a varied itinerary and each new place we visited was more breathtaking than the last .
Some of the walks were brilliant but a couple of days were spoiled by far too much time on the bus. Also, as a walking holiday I did not enjoy being taken to a jade shop or the gold mining town; this time could have been taken up more fruitfully with a couple of good walks.
Confirmed traveller: 10 March 2017
Published on: 12 March 2017
(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)

Christine

Knutsford
A fabulous introduction to the unique natural environment of NZ! It more than met my expectations and my only complaint is that I would have loved to have spent more time in a few places (hence 9/10 for the itinerary). NZ is not a cheap destination and as such I felt that the tour was very good value for money - it wouldn't be possible to do as much as we did, for the price that we did it, on your own. And not as much fun either, as our group got on really well together and enjoyed sharing all the new experiences along the length and breadth of the islands. Our leader Rob was extremely knowledgeable and good at adapting the itinerary to suit local conditions day to day where necessary. He struck the right balance between leading us as a group and letting us discover places for ourselves. The easy walking took us to some of the most beautiful scenery I have ever seen, particularly for those interested in landscapes, trees and plants, and the underlying geological features. It's hard to pick a single highlight so I will mention the Waimangu Thermal Valley walk, the Tongariro Crossing, the helicopter ride onto the Franz Josef Glacier (optional extra) and the time on the West Coast in general as being amongst my favourite bits. Thank you Explore, this was a great trip!
Confirmed traveller: 10 February 2017
Published on: 27 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