Walking in New Zealand

New Zealand - Trip code WZN Walking and Trekking
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310Kg of CO²e
Average carbon footprint per person
Carbon Footprint
You deserve to know everything about your holiday, from what is included, what to expect and every kilogram of CO2 emitted on average per person along the way.

We've partnered with ecollective to measure the carbon footprint of this tour based on an average group size. Find out more about how we calculate this and why we think it's important here.

Why book this trip?

New Zealand is all about the great outdoors, exploring on foot brings you the best of this compact yet varied country. The North Island combines awesome natural beauty with a rich Maori heritage and the South Island is blessed with dramatic scenery.

  • Milford Sound - Boat trip along the tranquil ford beneath towering mountains
  • Mount Cook - Discover the soaring landscapes of the Southern Alps
  • Tongariro - Explore the spectacular volcanic and alpine scenery
  • Included meals

    Breakfast: 18

    Lunch: 1

    Dinner: 1

  • Trip staff

    Explore Tour Leader / Driver

    Local Guide(s)

  • Transport




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    17 nights comfortable hotel

    1 nights simple hotel

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    Walking grade:


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    Group Size:

    10 - 15


Day 1 - Join trip in Auckland

Our trip starts in Auckland, New Zealand's largest and most diverse city. Surrounded by volcanoes and volcanic cones, beautiful beaches and rolling countryside, Auckland offers a great introduction to New Zealand. Depending on your arrival time you could take a short city tour of Auckland before we all meet for a briefing this evening.


Grade: Comfortable Hotel

Single room available

Meals Provided: None

Day 2 - Travel south through Waikato region to volcanic Rotorua

After breakfast this morning, we depart Auckland and travel southwards through the Waikato Region to Rotorua, the North Island's most famous destination for overseas visitors and an important cultural centre. You'll soon adapt to the distinctive sulphur smell, which comes from many vents to the underground thermal region. The region is known for its many geysers, steaming lakes and streams, and mud and hot mineral pools known for their curative properties. On arrival we will explore Rotorua town or take an optional walk in the area before we check in.

This afternoon there are optional walks include around Blue Lake / Lake Tikitapu, and a trail through the magnificent Redwood and Douglas Fir trees of Whakarewarewa Forest . For those interested in walking your tour leader will recommend the most suitable walk for the weather and accompany the walkers. In the evening we get to experience a Maori 'hangi' dinner - cooked using heated rocks in a pit oven.

Today's optional five-and-a-half kilometre walk around Lake Tikitapu is expected to take around one-and-a-half hour and the optional three-and-a-half kilometre walk in Whakarewarewa Forest is expected to take around one hour.


Grade: Comfortable Hotel

Single room available

Meals Provided: Breakfast & Dinner

Day 3 - Visit to Waimangu Valley geothermal park. Lake walk

This morning we visit Waimangu Valley, a fascinating geothermal park of bubbling mud pools, hissing geysers and steaming lakes created in 1886 following the volcanic eruption of Mount Tarawera. We walk amongst the hot springs and steaming cliffs, with panoramas over the valley and the Southern Crater. We take the steps up to inferno Crater which erupts to eight metres high, every 38 days.

Leaving Rotorua we travel through an important forested area via the picturesque Huka Falls to Lake Taupo, the largest lake in New Zealand. Later we drive to Tongariro National Park where there is a choice of several short walks.

Our two kilometre sightseeing walk today in Waimangu is expected to take around one hours on a marked trail.


Grade: Comfortable Hotel

Single room available

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Day 4 - Explore the Tongariro National Park on foot, including a section of the iconic Tongariro Crossing

Today we'll enjoy a combination of short walks and drives to see the best of Tongariro National Park. Exploring the diverse and dramatic terrain: steam vents, volcanic peaks, waterfalls and magnificent views.

We depart from Whakapapa Village to hike to Taranaki Falls, crossing scrubland to enter the beech forest. The path passes Cascade Falls and over Wairere Stream to the waterfall. There are views on a clear day to Ngauruhoe's cone (aka Mount Doom), keep an eye out for native birds in the diverse forest. Returning from the walk we take a scenic drive along Bruce Road for spectacular views over the Whakapapaiti Valley and to Tawhaii Falls (Gollums Pool).

This afternoon we head up the Mangatepopo Road to the start of the Tongariro Alpine Crossing for a return hike up to Soda Springs. The main track gently climbs through the valley alongside a stream and around the edges of old lava flows with views to Mount Tongariro.

Today's morning six kilometre walk to Taranaki Falls is expected to take around two-and-a-half hours. The afternoon's six kilometre walk on the Tongariro Crossing is expected to take around two hours. The terrain is boardwalks and well-trodden mountain paths.


Grade: Comfortable Hotel

Single room available

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Day 5 - Explore Wellington

The trip continues southward through the fertile farmlands of Levin to Wellington (approximately six hours drive). New Zealand's capital lies partially on reclaimed land at the harbour and the steep hillsides adjacent to the Cook Strait. Wellington has been the capital city since 1865 and as such is also the country's political centre. We take a city sightseeing tour and drive to Mount Victoria from where we can enjoy a beautiful view over the city. The rest of the afternoon is free to explore.


Grade: Comfortable Hotel

Single room available

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Day 6 - Cross the Cook Strait and Marlborough Sound to the South Island

This morning, we visit Te Papa Tongarewa, the modern National Museum, which gives a good insight into New Zealand history, Maori Culture and Pacific culture. More than 20 galleries house imaginative exhibitions and interactive experiences that explore New Zealand's unique natural environment, dynamic art heritage, fascinating history and the vitality of Maori culture. In the afternoon, we say farewell to the North Island and board the Interisland Ferry to cross Cook Strait and cruise through the scenic Marlborough Sounds, an area of 'drowned' valleys, which resulted from the geological sinking of a mountain range. Today the Sounds are a maze of deep channels, sheltered waterways and secluded bays, encompassed by verdant bush-clad hills. After an approximately three-hour journey often described as one of the most beautiful ferry rides in the world we reach the idyllic harbour town of Picton.


Grade: Comfortable Hotel

Single room available

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Day 7 - Visit Motuara Island Bird Sanctuary. Walk along Queen Charlotte Track

This morning we board a water taxi and cruise to Motuara Island Bird Sanctuary (1 hour) where we enjoy a short hour's walk from the jetty to the lookout over Marlborough Sounds. Later we are dropped off at Resolution Bay to walk part of the Queen Charlotte track. This 67 kilometre coastal walking track stretches from historic Ship Cove to Anakiwa in the spectacular Marlborough Sounds, and enjoys a temperate climate which allows good year-round walking conditions. Today we are walking from Resolution Bay to Endeavour Inlet. The verdant, subtropical native bush is home to many of New Zealand's native birds. In the late afternoon, we reach Endeavour Inlet, and board the water taxi again to cruise back to Picton.

Today's 11 kilometre walk is expected to take around three-and-a-half hours with an ascent and descent of 300 metres on a marked coastal trail.


Grade: Comfortable Hotel

Single room available

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Day 8 - Explore Abel Tasman National Park by boat and on foot

After breakfast, we take the Queen Charlotte Drive between Picton and Havelock, one of New Zealand's most delightful scenic drives. Winding past the Sounds' numerous bays, this bush-fringed road takes us to the head of Pelorus Sound and the seaside village of Havelock. Once a thriving gold-mining town, Havelock is New Zealand's primary producer of Greenshell mussels. We then continue on to Keiteriteri, (approximately three hours drive), where we take a water taxi in Abel Tasman National Park to Onetahuti. We will pass several offshore islands that provide a protected habitat for native wildlife including Tonga Island famous for its seals.

From Onetahuti we walk along the Abel Tasman Coast Track downto Bark Bay with beautiful goldan beaches and stunning coastal views. The return boat transfer from Bark Bay takes us to Nelson, the town with the most sunshine hours in the country. Many years ago New Zealand's first roadside cafe opened here and today the town is home to craftsmen and artists.

Today's five-and-a-half kilometre walk is expected to take around two hours with an ascent and descent of 230 metres along a marked coastal trail. The walk is shorter at low tide.


Grade: Comfortable Hotel

Single room available

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Day 9 - Fossils, fur seals and Pororari River Track

Our journey today takes us inland through an unbelievably scenic region with excellent roads and minimal traffic. Rugged, green and wild, the West Coast was in the nineteenth century one of the busiest and richest areas, when gold drew men from all over the world. On the way to Westport we'll travel through Murchison, where we can learn about the earthquake of 1929. At Hawks Crag we'll drive under a spectacular overhang, where the road has been cut out of solid rock. Just past Westport is Cape Foulwind, where we will take the Tauranga Bay Seal Colony Walk (20 minutes) to have a close encounter with a colony of New Zealand Fur Seals in their natural habitat.

From Westport, we journey to Punakaiki, where visit the famous Pancake Rocks with dramatic blow holes during high tides and take a walk along the Pororari River Track; this track follows a magnificent limestone gorge with two main features - a river with huge rocks in deep pools, and beautiful forest featuring subtle changes from sub-tropical to temperate. Tonight we stay in a motel, with simple apartment style rooms and private facilities. It's ideally located on the West Coast Road.

Today's seven kilometre walk is expected to take around two hours. The duration of the walk will depend on the weather and time available, but will be up to two hours.


Grade: Simple Hotel

Single room available

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Day 10 - Walk in glacial valley

Leaving Greymouth behind us we take a short drive to our next stop, Hokitika, known as New Zealand's Greenstone capital. Most of this precious stone is found in this region and then turned into beautiful pieces of jewellery. We pass the forgotten gold miners' towns of Hari Hari and Ross on our way down the West Coast to Westland National Park making a stop at Okarito lagoon. The lagoon is home to more than 76 species of native birds including the white heron and royal spoonbills. Here we have two short walks available depending on time, weather and interest, a wetland board walk or up to the Okarito Trig viewpoint overlooking Westland Tai Poutini National Park.

In the afternoon we reach the spectacular Southern Alps and the region of the Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers. Unfortunately at present the glaciers are in a state of retreat and as such we cannot walk to either of the terminal faces. We will however make our planned walk in the valley as the receding glaciers have carved out an impressive landscape which is fascinating to explore. If the weather is good then we will be able to view the glaciers from a distance. To get a closer view there is also the option, weather permitting, to take a scenic flight which offers a bird's eye view of the glaciers and surrounding landscape. Please speak with your tour leader who can help you arrange this activity locally.

This morning's wetland walk is expected to take around 30 minutes, the alternative four kilometre Trig Hill walk is expected to take around one-and-a-half hours. The afternoon three kilometre walk through the glacial valley is expected to take around one hour. The exact walks will be decided upon by your tour leader dependant on the day's weather conditions.


Grade: Comfortable Hotel

Single room available

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Day 11 - Experience Gondwanaland. Drive to Wanaka

In the morning (weather permitting), we will go for a walk around Lake Matheson, which could provide us with an excellent opportunity to take that perfect photo of Mount Cook with its mirrored reflection on the lake's calm water. We then continue our trip through Westland National Park, a World Heritage Park. The rainforest is very impressive and has subtropical character. Here we undertake a walk through the coastal brainforest to reach the seldom-visited Monro beach, which once joined part of Gondwanaland. Your tour leader will explain the different species of native trees, such as Rimu, Kahikatea and Beech. We continue driving via Haast Pass towards Wanaka, in Aspiring National Park, with breathtaking views of the surrounding snowy peaks and the glacier lakes Hawea and Wanaka.

The two-and-a-half kilometre walk around Lake Matheson is expected to take around one-and-a-half hours and the five kilometre walk to Munro Beach is expected to take around two hours.


Grade: Comfortable Hotel

Single room available

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Day 12 - Free day to explore Wanaka

Wanaka is a hiker's paradise because of its beautiful environment. The tranquil township lies directly on the shores of beautiful Lake Wanaka, New Zealand's fourth largest lake. It reflects the snow-capped peaks of Mount Aspiring National Park whose dominant feature is impressive Mt Aspiring, towering above a magnificent glacier-sculpted wilderness. The area boasts a great variety of walking tracks. Today is free for exploring.


Grade: Comfortable Hotel

Single room available

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Day 13 - Discover Arrowtown Chinese Settlement. Explore Queentown

After breakfast, we traverse the Crown Range road and take the opportunity to visit the partially restored and well-interpreted Arrowtown Chinese Settlement. This is a quiet reminder and tribute to the contribution made by the Chinese goldminers and business people to the region's goldmining, cultural and business history. We then continue on to Queenstown, the Adventure Capital of New Zealand. In the afternoon, you can take an optional walk to Ben Lomond before returning down to explore the town.


Grade: Comfortable Hotel

Single room available

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Day 14 - Walk part of the Kepler Track

After breakfast, we make our way to Te Anau, known locally as 'the walking capital of the world'. Some of the most wild and dramatic scenery in New Zealand can be found in Fiordland, in the southwest corner of the South Island. Fiordland is one of the largest National Parks in the world and a World Heritage area. Here the power of nature stuns the enthralled visitor - from its waterfalls tumbling hundreds of metres into virgin, forested valleys and lonely fiords, to endless stretches of shimmering lakes and granite peaks. Today we walk part of the Kepler Track, one of the great walks of New Zealand, to Rainbow Reach.

Today's nine-and-a-half kilometre walk is expected to take around five hours. The track is gently undulating and wanders through mountain beech forest with some great river views.


Grade: Comfortable Hotel

Single room available

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Day 15 - Boat cruise on Milford Sound. Walk to Key Summit

This morning weather permitting we take a walk to Key Summit, a half-day walk on the Routeburn Track (departing at 7am). This walk offers spectacular views of Fiordland National and panoramic views over the Humboldt and Darran Mountains.

In the afternoon we drive to the most accessible and best known of the fiords, Milford Sound. The Milford Road (between Te Anau and Milford Sound) is one of the finest alpine drives in the world. The scenery is exceptional, ranging from broad grassy flats, dense rainforest, and towering mountains through to glacial lakes and alpine herb fields. No other road in Fiordland offers such a diverse glimpse into New Zealand's alpine zone. We take a one-and-half hour boat trip on the Milford Sound, which is dominated by the mighty cone of the Mitre Peak, rising steeply up from the water where we will have an included lunch. Late this afternoon, we arrive back in Te Anau.

Today's nine-and-a-half kilometre walk is expected to take around three hours with 640 metres of ascent and descent. The terrain is forest sub alpine shrublands, although the majority of the walk is easy the last 30 minutes up to the summit is quite steep.


Grade: Comfortable Hotel

Single room available

Meals Provided: Breakfast & Lunch

Day 16 - Scenic drive to Twizel through the Lindis Pass. Free afternoon

After passing by Lake Wakatipu and through the rocky Kawerau Gorge and Cromwell village, the road winds upward to Lindis Pass where we can take a short walk to the viewpoint. The plains of the Mackenzie highland lie before us. On the left are the mountains of the Southern Alps that we will continuously see whilst we drive to Twizel.

As we travel through old gold settlements and small towns there are some optional stops on route according to the group's interest and conditions. There are a number of vineyards which can be visited including one of New Zealand's premier winemakers Cloudy Bay cellar Door near Cromwell (there would be additional charge for wine tasting) or take an hour's walks along the Clay cliffs at Waitaki.

The afternoon is free for your tour leader and driver; you can independently explore the area or relax.


Grade: Comfortable Hotel

Single room available

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Day 17 - Walking in the shadow of Mount Cook

This morning we drive to Mount Cook village to enjoy the unique environment of different alpine plants and flowers and the panoramic vista of New Zealand's highest peak, Aoraki Mt Cook (3,724m). Walks may include Tasman Glacier and Tasman Lake. Blessed with a marvellous view of the surrounding peaks we overnight again close to the Mount Cook National Park.

There are different short walk available and one will be chosen by your tour leader depending on the weather. One of the regular walks is three kilometres and takes approximately one-and-a-half hours.


Grade: Comfortable Hotel

Single room available

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Day 18 - Drive to Akaroa via Lake Tekapo

This morning we drive to the stunning turquoise Lake Tekapo, and visit the Church of Good Shepherd set on the shore surrounded by mountains. Built in the 1930's in memory of the local pioneers all the materials for the church were sourced from a within a five mile radius and the builders were instructed not to disturb the site so rocks were incorporated into the walls. We then continue our drive to the French style village of Akaroa. The afternoon is left free to explore this quiet village and harbour sitting at the centre of an ancient volcano.


Grade: Comfortable Hotel

Single room available

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Day 19 - Trip ends in Christchurch

This morning we drive to Christchurch for a short city tour. The trip ends at 12.30 in Christchurch or 13.00 at Christchurch airport. If you have booked a later flight there is the option to be taken to the Heartland Hotel, where you are able to leave your luggage and be free to explore Christchurch more this afternoon. A shuttle bus transfer will then be arranged from the hotel to the airport to meet your flight. There are limited facilities available at the hotel but showers are available at the airport if required.

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Trip information

Climate and country information

New Zealand


New Zealand's climate is maritime: mild and pleasant with abundant sunshine, high rainfall and a few extremes of heat and cold. However, settled weather cannot be counted on at any time of year - all seasons can be experienced in one day! Generally the summer months (Nov-April) are warmest and most pleasant, with least rainfall. In the Southern Alps temperatures can fluctuate dramatically. Seasonal weather patterns can be unpredictable.

Time difference to GMT



3 Pin Flat





Budgeting and packing

Optional activities

The following excursions and/or activities are usually available and may be arranged locally. Estimated costs are provided below for guidance only, are on a per person basis unless shown otherwise, and may depend on the number of participants. Prices quoted are correct as of the date these tour notes were originally issued but may change at any time due to currency fluctuations. Please note: These activities are booked and paid for direct with the supplier and do not form part of your Explore holiday contract.

Auckland - Sky tower NZ$32; Revolving restaurant NZ$30-40 min. spend; Auckland War Memorial Museum NZ$25
Tongariro National Park - Scenic Tour lunch NZ$18
Wellington - Cable car NZ$9 return; Zealandia NZ$19.5 self guided / Night tour NZ$85; Wellington Movie tour NZ$60
Punakaiki - Paparoa National Park: River Kayak NZ$45 for up to 2 hours and $5 each following hour (per adult)
Fox Glacier / Mount Cook - Helicopter flights; NZ$279-480
Wanaka - Jet Boat and Walk - NZ$239
Christchurch - Lord of the Rings tour, visiting Mt Sunday ( film set Edoras) NZ$299; Antarctic Centre NZ$59; Willow Bank Wildlife Reserve NZ$32.50; Punting on the River Avon NZ$30 plus Garden tour NZ$45
* Prices are subject to change


Bring light and comfortable clothing that can be layered according to the temperature. The weather conditions in the mountains can be changeable, and it can become cool, especially at night, so bring warmer layers. Tops made from wicking materials which keep you drier and warmer are recommended as a base layer, and walking trousers are preferable to trousers of heavier material such as jeans. A waterproof jacket is essential at all times in case of rain and wind. Fine Merino products can be purchased in New Zealand and are warmer than synthetics. Please note that most accommodation in New Zealand has laundry facilities - washing machines and driers - available for guest use, and hairdryers are available in most places.

-Breathable wind and waterproof jacket (you may also wish to bring waterproof trousers)
-Long sleeved tops
-Long trousers
-Shorts (if you prefer to walk in them)
-Swimwear and towel
-Midlayer Fleece/pullover
-Socks (liner and thicker pair)
-Insulated jacket


We recommend you bring walking boots with ankle support- leather or fabric are both fine. Make sure that your boots are worn-in and comfortable before the start of the trip. Also trainers or sandals for relaxing and if you want to do any water based activities. We suggest that on international flights you either carry your walking boots in your hand luggage or wear them - should your luggage be lost or delayed, your own boots are the one thing that will be irreplaceable. Please make sure your boots are clean before travel; if your boots are dirty on arrival - this may result in long delays in customers where they will be cleaned in biosecurity before you are permitted to enter with them.



Luggage: On tour

One main piece of baggage and a daypack. A backpack or soft holdall preferably with wheels may prove more convenient due to the variety of transport used on this trip. You will be required to carry your luggage to/from on/off coaches, trains and ferries. A 20-30 litre day sack is recommended. You will need to carry what you need for the day which may include a raincoat, jumper, camera, sun-cream, water and picnic lunch. On hot days you will carry fewer clothes but more drinking water.


-Sun cream
-Small Torch (with spare batteries and bulb)
-Walking poles (if you usually use them)
-Personal toiletries
-Personal first aid kit - On each walk a first aid kit is carried but you should have your own blister kit, supply of plasters, aspirin and other essentials.
-Insect repellent (best purchased in New Zealand, as these are specific for the New Zealand sandfly)
-Small waterproof dry bag (for items such as your mobile phone)
-Reusable water bottle (minimum 1 litre) - Get 15% discount on a Water-to-Go bottle
-Lunch bag/Tupperware (for packed lunches)


Explore leader
Tipping isn't compulsory, and we work hard to ensure that our leaders all receive a fair wage. However, you might want to recognise a leader that's done a great job or really added to your trip by giving them a tip. We're often asked about the recommended amount. It's a tricky one, and down to personal preference, but we'd recommend between £15 to £20 per person per week as a guideline

New Zealand

Food and drink

The costs for meals may vary depending upon location, type of restaurant and number of courses eaten and so the prices given are an average guide. Local restaurants located off the beaten track may be less expensive, whereas an upmarket restaurant located in the centre of a major city may charge more.

Lunch price
Dinner price
£20.00 - 24.00
Beer price
Water price
Foreign Exchange
Local currency
N.Z. Dollar.
Recommended Currency For Exchange
Local currency in New Zealand is the New Zealand Dollar. You can choose to either change your money in advance or on arrival at the airport. Here you will find both ATMs and Bureau de Change. The exchange rate with the NZ$ is approximately NZ$ 1.94 to the British Pound. Please check on line for up to date information
Where To Exchange
Tour Leader will advise on arrival
ATM Availability
ATMs can be found in the major towns and cities for cash withdrawals in NZ$. Always have some cash back up as they are not always reliable
Credit Card Acceptance
Credit card are widely accepted in many shops and restaurants but some may be subject to a service charge
Travellers Cheques
We do not recommend Travellers Cheques
Transport, Accommodation & Meals

Transport Information

Bus, Boat, Ferry

Accommodation notes

During this tour we use a mixture of hotels and motels, usually centrally located and perfect for exploring New Zealand's mixture of interesting towns and stunning nature. Motels are simple apartment style rooms with private facilities, often with self catering facilities including a fridge and tea and coffee making provisions.

Essential Information

Government Travel Safety Advice

We strongly recommend that you check your government's travel advisory for up-to-date information and advice about your destination: safety and security, entry requirements, health, local laws and customs. For UK citizens, check the latest Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office advice.

Please refer to our COVID-19 entry requirements page for any country-specific conditions of entry. Whilst we strive to update this on a regular basis we recommend you also check the FCDO website for the latest advice on entry requirements in this fast-evolving situation. Information can change at any time.

Under 18 immigration guidance

Please note that some countries require proof of parental consent when travelling overseas with under 18s. Please check requirements with the relevant embassy or consular office well in advance of travel if this applies to your party.

Price Guarantee

Once your booking has been confirmed we guarantee the price will not increase, whatever the circumstances. Before booking please ensure you have read our important tour pricing information.Booking Conditions

Visa and Passport Information

New Zealand: From 1 October 2019, travellers must have an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) to travel to NZ as well as having to pay an INTERNATIONAL VISITOR CONSERVATION AND TOURISM LEVY (IVL). You will be able to obtain these from July 1st 2019 onwards via the mobile ETA app or the website
ETA - The cost of the ETA is NZD$ 9 via the mobile app or NZD$ 12 via the Immigration New Zealand website.
IVL - The cost of the IVL is NZD$35. Visitors pay the IVL when they apply for a visa or ETA either on the ETA App or immigration website.
We recommend you to allow at least 72 hours for processing

Once issued the these are valid for 2 years or until your passport expires and can be used for multiple visits. Travellers should allow 72 hours for processing.

USA: (including those in transit) Citizens of the UK, New Zealand, Australia, Canada and passport holders from several EU countries can enter the United States without a visa under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) - where you apply for an ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorisation), which applies if you enter the country by sea or by air. This must be done on line - no later than 72 hours prior to travel. Travellers who have not registered before their trip are likely be refused boarding.

You must have an electronic passport with a digital chip containing biometric information about the passport owner. UK passports which are biometric feature a small gold symbol (camera) at the bottom of the front cover.

If you have visited Iraq, Syria, Iran or Sudan since 2011 or are dual nationals of these countries, you cannot travel with an ESTA and instead you will need to apply for a visa from the nearest US Embassy or Consulate. If you are unable to provide a valid visa before boarding flights to the US, or entering via another method, you may not be permitted to travel.

Please note for your ESTA application you will be required to supply Point of Contact information. Explore' s USA contact information will be listed on your final documentation which you will receive approximately 3-4 weeks before departure. If you are leaving for the USA before this, please call the Explore team to get this information.(Not necessary if in transit)

For further information please check out the US embassy website. Visa applications -

Canada: An electronic travel authorisation (ETA) is required by British citizens transiting via Canada. For more information see the official Canadian government website:
Other nationalities should consult their local embassy or consular office.

If you do require assistance in obtaining a visa then you may be able to apply through Explore's recommended visa service in the UK, Travcour. See to download the relevant visa application for your trip, if applicable (UK citizens only), along with details of how to apply for your visa through Travcour. The Team at Travcour will be happy to answer specific questions relating to visa applications, please call them directly on 0208 5431846.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you are in possession of a full passport, with the correct validity for your chosen destination.

Booking conditions

Before booking your Explore trip, please ensure that you read both our Essential Information and Booking Conditions.

Minimum age restrictions

For our group tours, the minimum age is 16. The minimum age on Family trips varies between 7 and 11 - please check the 'Family information' section of the trip page for more information. 


Find out more about Trip Transfer Terms and Conditions before you book.

Booking a land only package with Explore

Customers who have chosen to book on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements of our tour, please ensure that you have checked your tour specific ‘Joining Instructions’ prior to booking your own travel arrangements. Your joining instructions can be found below in the dates and prices information. 

You may also be eligible for the Free Explore Transfer.

Joining Tour Abroad

Customers booked on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements will receive a Free Transfer, provided you arrive and depart on the tour only itinerary start and end dates. The complimentary transfers will be arranged from the Explore designated airport or train station to your trips joining point, and then back from the ending point to the designated airport or train station. Generally the airport or station that Explore have selected will be the one that is closest to the town or city where the trip starts, or the one nearest to the joining point. It will be either an airport or train station but not both.

The exception to this rule is customers who are booked on a tour where the joining and ending point is at the designated airport or train station.  

Free transfers are not available for Self-Guided, Polar, Tailormade or Tours for Churches customers.

If you are not eligible for the Free Transfer then you will need to make your own way through to the joining and ending point. On a majority of our tours Explore will be able to provide a private transfer at an additional cost. Please ask for a quote at the time of booking.  

For more information regarding the Explore Free Transfer click here


It is a condition of booking with Explore that you have adequate valid travel insurance. It is your responsibility to arrange appropriate travel insurance and ensure you have read and understood the full terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to ensure that you are covered for all activities you intend to undertake whilst on the tour, including all optional activities. Your Insurance Policy must fully cover you for medical expenses and emergency repatriation to your home country. Please ensure your policy includes medical emergency helicopter evacuation in the event of illness or injury and covers the entire duration of your holiday. If you are trekking at altitude please ensure that there is no upper altitude limit which may limit or exclude cover for your trip. The cost of many of our Polar Voyages will exceed the capped amount covered by standard insurance premiums and you will be required to pay an additional premium to cover the full value of your trip. Please ensure that you are covered for the full amount of your holiday cost, as insufficient cover could invalidate a claim under the policy. Medical and repatriation insurance cover is not mandatory for UK residents who are travelling on trips within the United Kingdom.
Read more information about what travel insurance is required.

Flight information

Explore offers a wide range of flexible flying options to make joining and leaving our trips easy. Read more about them here.

Flight Information

You are able to book this tour on a 'land only' basis or as a ‘flight inclusive’ package. Your flight inclusive package will be fully protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) ATOL protection scheme.


Booking a flight inclusive package with Explore

We have a good selection of flights not only from London but from many regional airports around the UK allowing us to compare fares between scheduled carriers as well as low cost and charter airlines. Our dedicated flights team will match the best flight options to your arrival and departure airport.

On our website we display a UK flight inclusive package guide price which is generally based on a London departure. To avoid paying supplements or to secure your preferred flight option, we recommend booking as early as possible, especially for peak travel dates.

Ability to swim

An ability to swim is essential for your safe enjoyment of the water based activities on this trip. If you wish to participate in these activities then we insist that you are able to swim.

New Zealand


Nothing required. Tetanus recommended Please check the latest requirements with your travel clinic or doctor prior to departure. The above is not an exhaustive list. Further information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found by following the NHS and NaTHNaC links at Explore Travel Health and from your local healthcare provider. Visa and vaccination requirements are subject to change and should be confirmed by you before travelling.

Walking and Trekking information
Walking grade
Trek details
Walks on 11 days for between 1 and 3.5 hours. The walkways though usually clearly defined are dirt/gravel tracks, they can have puddles or roots growing out of them, uneven and a little steep in places. We have graded the trip as easy. The daily walking descriptions are an indication of the planned walks, the length and hours are a rough guide only.
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