On offer

Hidden Gems & Iconic Landmarks of New Zealand

Vulcano Ngauruhoe - Tongariro NP
Duration: 22 nights
Type: Worldwide walking holidays
Walking Grade: 2
from £7,199pp

Few places on the planet rival New Zealand when it comes to natural beauty spots. So its easy to see the appeal of a holiday that takes lovers of the great outdoors from north to south to truly experience everything the country has to offer. Highlights include tramping sections of two of the country’s Great Walks, taking a memorable cruise on Milford Sound, enjoying geothermal activity at Wai-O-Tapu, and spending time in big-name cities such as Auckland, Wellington, and Queenstown. To top it all, there’s a chance to experience Māori culture with a typical hāngī meal (a traditional underground cooking method).

What you’ll love

  • Discovering the thunderous Huka Falls at Lake Taupo
  • Tramping the iconic Tongariro Alpine Crossing
  • Trekking through Abel Tasman National Park
  • Exploring the valleys of Mt Cook National Park
  • Cruising through Milford Sound
  • Enjoying a traditional hāngī meal at a Māori village

What’s included

  • Full programme of guided walks led by local HF Holidays Leaders
  • Comfortable accommodation
  • Half-board (breakfast and evening meal)
  • All sightseeing and national park entrance fees (as per itinerary)
  • Iceberg boat trip and fjiord cruise
  • Air-conditioned transport
  • All internal flights
  • Return flights from the UK including hold baggage and airport transfers

Trip Notes

Easy to download as a PDF, our trip notes provide detailed information for every holiday. Please click below to find the trip notes for your departure date.

All our carefully-curated itineraries are designed by our experts. While we make every effort to adhere to the described itinerary, we may take alternative routes or adapt the running order for weather and/or operational reasons.

Depart UK on an overnight flight to Auckland, sometimes mistaken for New Zealand’s capital, although that mantle belongs to Wellington.


Arrive in Auckland and meet your local guide before you transfer to your hotel. After checking in and freshening up, you’ll have the chance to explore the “City of Sails”; discover the city’s two glistening harbours, climb to look back over the narrow Aukland isthmus dotted with inactive volcanic cones and get to grips with the neighbourhoods rich with top-notch restaurants, watering holes and art. Rejoin the group in the evening for a pre-trip meeting and evening meal.

Meals: Dinner

Heritage Auckland, Auckland - New Zealand (For 2024 departures only)

We begin in Auckland at the modern Heritage Auckland Hotel. Centrally located on Hobson St, the hotel is a short walk from the harbour.


To start your trip, you’ll head south to Rotorua (approx. 3 hours) and the Wai-O-Tapu thermal reserve, stood on one of the most extensive geothermal systems in New Zealand. Enjoy a gentle walk through this thermal wonderland thousands of years in the making, looking out for vibrant and improbably colourful lakes, mud pools, sinter springs and hissing steam vents, as well as the magnificent Lady Knox Geyser. In the evening we’ll whisk you to a vibrant café in the city for dinner.

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

Distinction Hotel, Rotorua - New Zealand

We stay at the Distinction Hotel in Rotorua. Located near the Whakarewarewa Forest, the hotel offers the perfect place to relax after a day exploring the local area.


Next, you’ll take a short drive before a trek on the southern shoreline of Lake Tarawera. Follow a well-made trail around this bush-fringed crater, pausing for a hot spring soak. You’ll catch a scenic water taxi back. In the evening, we’ll take you to a Māori village for a traditional ‘Hāngi` meal, where food is cooked in an earth oven and shared.

Distance: 4½ miles (7km) with 950 feet (290m) of ascent on an undulating trail, approx. 3 hours.

Meals: Breakfast Lunch and Dinner

Distinction Hotel, Rotorua - New Zealand

We stay at the Distinction Hotel in Rotorua. Located near the Whakarewarewa Forest, the hotel offers the perfect place to relax after a day exploring the local area.


Travel east to the Jurassic-like Whirinaki Rainforest in the Taupo area of central North Island, home to New Zealand’s largest lake. Here you’ll follow the Whirinaki River on a loop trail through some well-preserved podocarpus rainforest, full of ancient conifers. Later, on the way south to Taupo, stop to discover the thunderous Huka Falls, where the powder blue waters of the Waikato River are forced through a narrow channel into a series of turbulent plunge pools.

Distance: 6 miles (9½km) with little ascent, approx. 3-4 hours

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Beechtree Motels, Taupo - New Zealand

Modern accommodation which offers style and comfort and is only a 5-minute walk from the lake.


Transfer to the extraordinary, volcanic Tongariro National Park, which boasts dual World Heritage status. Here, in New Zealand’s oldest national park, you’ll be treated to the famous Tongariro Alpine Crossing, heralded as one of the Best One Day Walks in the World. When you tackle the route will depend on the conditions, and your local guides will advise on the best day to make the trek.

The Crossing is a unique, exhilarating chance to explore the alpine moorland and landscape scarred by volcanic activity as you trek between soda springs and craters, uncover impossibly turquoise emerald lakes created by minerals leaching out of the soil and considered sacred by local Maori, and marvel at the active volcanic peaks of Tongariro, Ngauruhoe and Ruapehu. Scale the Devil’s Staircase for unobstructed views of Mount Taranaki on the west coast of North Island, if the weather is kind and clear.

Distance: 12 miles (19½km) with 2,950 feet (900m) of ascent and 3,700 feet (1,150m) of descent.

On the alternative day, you’ll take shorter walks to explore the area. Perhaps you’ll loop through open tussock and forest filled with native birds to Taranaki Falls, or press on to the Lower and Upper Tama Lakes. Maybe you’ll seek out Lake Rotopounamu, named after the greenstone found in the area, or alternatively climb alongside Mangatepo Stream on the fringe of an old lava flow to the cold water Soda Springs.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch* and dinner

*Lunches on days 7 and 8 may be at own cost, dependent on trail choices and weather.

Skotel Alpine Resort - New Zealand

A cosy and welcoming alpine resort nestled in the heart of the national park amidst tussock and striking landscapes.


Finish your exploration of the North Island by travelling to the harbour city of Wellington (approx. 4 hours). On a sunny, windless day this compact city is wonderful to explore independently on foot. Victorian timber architecture abuts bushy hillsides above the hook-shaped harbour, while the centre buzzes with museums, theatres, galleries and arts centres at odds with its small size. There’s a superb café and restaurant scene, and if you need to walk that off, easy access to surrounding hills and ranges; there’s a cable car that climbs above the city if that seems like too much effort though!

Meals: Breakfast

Copthorne Oriental Bay - New Zealand

Enjoy a two-night stay in the heart of humming Wellington.


Board a flight to Nelson in the South Island, which enjoys a winning combination of beautiful surroundings and sophisticated cultural scene. Meet your South island guides before a chance to immerse yourself in what is hailed as one of New Zealand’s most ‘liveable’ cities. Get to know the area on a gentle walk up Botanical Hill; although small, this peak is billed as the centre of New Zealand and provides great views over Nelson, Maitai Valley and Tasman Bay. In the evening let us show you one of the city’s hip restaurants.

Distance: 1½ miles (2½km) with 500 feet (150m) of ascent.

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

Rutherford Hotel, Nelson - New Zealand

A stylish, centrally located hotel. We stay here for 2 nights on arrival on the South Island.


Next, you’ll drive to Kaiteriteri, a beach resort that acts as the gateway to the stunning Abel Tasman National Park, to walk a section of the Abel Tasman Track. This is probably New Zealand’s most relaxed Great Walk. After a water taxi ride up the coast, stroll sandy beaches and lush coastal forest trails between Bark Bay and Anchorage to get a real feel for this idyllic stretch of coast. At the end of the trail revive your feet with a paddle or dive into the Tasman sea to cool off. We’ll shuttle you back to Kaiteriteri by boat and then on to Nelson for another night out.The distance on the day depends on whether we take a high or low tide route.

Distance: 5-7 miles (8-11½km) with 1,000 feet (300m) of ascent.

Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Rutherford Hotel, Nelson - New Zealand

A stylish, centrally located hotel. We stay here for 2 nights on arrival on the South Island.


From Nelson you’ll journey southwest over Hope Saddle to the West Coast, following the mighty Buller River as it travels along the southern boundary of Kahurangi National Park. Journey through the imposing Buller Gorge and reach the wild west coast. Stretch your legs on a well-graded trail at the uncompromisingly named Cape Foulwind to find a fur seal colony, and then travel on to Punakaiki.

Distance: 2 miles (3½km) with negligible ascent.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner


Today, spend time in Punakaiki discovering the strange Pancake Rocks that take their name from their unusual formation, where thin layers of limestone lie piled upon one another. Look out too for blowholes at certain tide times, where the sea bursts through eroded limestone in great fountains. Afterwards, you’ll cross over the Southern Alps, stopping to stride out on a section of the Arthur’s Pass walking track, giving you the chance to enjoy the alpine bush, wetlands, waterfalls and rich local history here. Later, you’ll also walk among the imposing limestone outcrops of Castle Hill.  Finish the day by heading south through the Canterbury plains to Methven.

Distance: 3 miles (5km) with 1,000 feet (300m) of ascent for both walks.

Meals: Breakfast

Ski Time, Methven - New Zealand

Enjoy stunning views from the hotel as you relax with a drink.


While driving south and inland, spend the day transitioning form rolling green pastoral landscapes to tawny brown steppes. Here you’ll find Lake Tekapo. We’ll drive to the summit of Mount John, home to a powerful astronomical telescope, to walk a loop with several unobstructed viewpoints of nearby lakes and glaciated summits. A further drive will bring you to Aoraki/Mount Cook, and the chance to explore Mount Cook National Park on foot while you marvel at some of New Zealand’s highest mountains and longest glaciers. Immerse yourself in this rugged land of rock and ice and watch for alpine tarns, herb field and spectacular glacier views. Encounters with kea, mountain parrots, are part of the adventure!

Distance: 2½ miles (4km) with 1,100 feet (335m) of ascent.

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner


Drop into the Hooker Valley, within the heart of Mount Cook National Park. You’ll follow the milky blue Hooker River and look out for superb skyscraping views of the south face of Aoraki/Mount Cook, at 3,724m the highest mountain in New Zealand. At the end of the trail, you’ll arrive at Hooker Lake, where the retreating Hooker Glacier sometimes deposits icebergs in the chilly water. About 3 – 4 hours in total.

Distance: 6 miles (10km) with 400 feet (120m) of ascent.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner


Today you’ll take a cruise on the Tasman Glacier Lake. Created by a retreating ice shelf, the glacially-rich waters are coloured a magnificent spectrum of blues and regularly dotted with icebergs of all shapes and sizes, making it incredibly photogenic. Superb views of the surrounding mountains can also be had. After this memorable encounter with New Zealand’s largest glacier, make your way to Wanaka, set on the shores of a lake that bears the same name, and relax at your waterfront accommodation.

Meals: Breakfast

Edgewater Resort, Wanaka - New Zealand (For 2024 departures only)

Peaceful and directly on the shores of Lake Wanaka, this is a fine place to soak up the intermontane landscapes.


The highlights keep coming with a hike among the post-glacial features of Diamond Lake and the Rocky Mountains area. Follow a loop to numerous lookout points and soak up the 360-degree panorama from the high point across Glendhu Bay to Roys Peak and Lake Wanaka.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Distinction Hotel, Te Anau - New Zealand

Distinction Te Anau Hotel and Villas offers chic, elegant accommodation and FREE unlimited WiFi for the perfect Fiordland getaway. Surrounded by extensive, colourful gardens and overlooking spectacular Lake Te Anau and the Fiordland ranges, this 4 star hotel and villa accommodation sets the tone for your stay in one of the world’s most breathtaking regions.


Next up is a tramp on a section of the Kepler Track, one of New Zealand’s designated `Great Walks`. This awe-inspiring track was designed to show off the best features of Fiordland, from the vast Te Anau Lake to muscular mountains, glacier-carved valleys and tall waterfalls. You can choose between an easier and harder route; the former explores the fragile wetlands along the shoreline to reach a shallow bay, while the harder option walks through moss-draped beech forests full of prolific bird life, crosses boggy country on boardwalks and climbs to take in the views from on top of the limestone cliffs above the bush line; you’ll descend and catch a water taxi back to Te Anau.

Distance: 7½-13½ miles (12-22km) with 2,500 feet (760m) of ascent on the harder option.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Distinction Hotel, Te Anau - New Zealand

Distinction Te Anau Hotel and Villas offers chic, elegant accommodation and FREE unlimited WiFi for the perfect Fiordland getaway. Surrounded by extensive, colourful gardens and overlooking spectacular Lake Te Anau and the Fiordland ranges, this 4 star hotel and villa accommodation sets the tone for your stay in one of the world’s most breathtaking regions.


Travel to Milford Sound, stopping along the way at The Divide to walk a section of the Routeburn Track, another of New Zealand’s Fiordland Great Walks. Discover stunning alpine scenery and soak up ever-changing views of snow-capped peaks, tussocky moorland and pretty lakes on the climb to and from Key Summit or, if the cloud is low, venture into the Hollyford Valley. At Milford Sound board a boat and set sail on the deep, ink-dark waters of this glacially-gouged fjord, with its dramatic forest-clad cliffs hundreds of metres high. Cruise past the distinctive outline of Mitre Peak, past impressive waterfalls, u-shaped valleys and coves to the entrance of the fjord and the Tasman Sea, all the while looking out for dusky dolphins, fur seals and, if you’re lucky, the rare Fiordland crested penguin.

Distance: 4½ miles (7km) with 1,000 feet (300m) of ascent Summit

Distance: 1½ miles (2½km) with 525 feet (160m) of ascent Hollyford Valley

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Distinction Hotel, Te Anau - New Zealand

Distinction Te Anau Hotel and Villas offers chic, elegant accommodation and FREE unlimited WiFi for the perfect Fiordland getaway. Surrounded by extensive, colourful gardens and overlooking spectacular Lake Te Anau and the Fiordland ranges, this 4 star hotel and villa accommodation sets the tone for your stay in one of the world’s most breathtaking regions.


Wrap up your exploration of New Zealand with a transfer to Queenstown via the Gibbston Valley. Known as the ‘Valley of the Vines’ there are a dozen vineyards here, including some of the oldest in New Zealand. The rugged schist mountains and impressive Kawarau Gorge make this a dramatic place, and you’ll pause at a local vineyard for launch before continuing to Queenstown with its contrasting adventure scene and cosmopolitan dining and arts quarters, all set against one of the beautiful and dramatic natural scenes in New Zealand.

Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Heritage Queenstown, Queenstown - New Zealand

In Queenstown we stay at the Heritage Hotel, situated on the edge of Lake Wakatipu. Rooms benefit from a range of views over the surrounding mountains, forests and lake.

Facilities include swimming pool, gym and free Wi-Fi.


After breakfast, transfer to Queenstown airport and start the return journey to the UK.


Itinerary map for New Zealand

Skotel Alpine Resort - New Zealand

A cosy and welcoming alpine resort nestled in the heart of the national park amidst tussock and striking landscapes.

Rutherford Hotel, Nelson - New Zealand

A stylish, centrally located hotel. We stay here for 2 nights on arrival on the South Island.

Hermitage, Mount Cook - New Zealand

Following a drive through the parched high country, we arrive at our accommodation at the Hermitage. The hotel is located at the edge of the high alps of Mt Cook.

Heritage Queenstown, Queenstown - New Zealand

In Queenstown we stay at the Heritage Hotel, situated on the edge of Lake Wakatipu. Rooms benefit from a range of views over the surrounding mountains, forests and lake. Facilities include swimming pool, gym and free Wi-Fi.

Distinction Hotel, Te Anau - New Zealand

Distinction Te Anau Hotel and Villas offers chic, elegant accommodation and FREE unlimited WiFi for the perfect Fiordland getaway. Surrounded by extensive, colourful gardens and overlooking spectacular Lake Te Anau and the Fiordland ranges, this 4 star hotel and villa accommodation sets the tone for your stay in one of the world’s most breathtaking regions.

The Park Hotel, Tongariro - New Zealand (For February 2025 departure only)

With stunning alpine views and outdoor hot tubs, this is the perfect place to relax after a day’s walking. All rooms have free Wi-Fi and hotel facilities include a restaurant and bar, plus a relaxing lounge area set around a log fire.

The Scenic Hotel Resort, Punakaiki - New Zealand

The Scenic Hotel Punakaiki offers stylish and modern guest rooms with stunning beach, ocean, or rainforest views. The hotel's Ocean View Restaurant and Bar provides visitors with a premium dining experience in one of New Zealand’s most beautiful locations.

The Travel Lodge Auckland - New Zealand

The Travel Lodge Auckland boasts an enviable position in the centre of Auckland, close to the waterfront. Its selection of well-appointed rooms all come with ensuite facilities and free Wi-Fi.

Oakridge Resorts - New Zealand

Situated just 3 km from the stunning Lake Wanaka, Oakridge Resort is surrounded by beautiful mountains and is a great starting point for outdoor activities. All rooms are ensuite and include tea and coffee making facilities. The hotel also has a whopping nine outdoor heated pools, a spa offering relaxation treatments, and a restaurant serving excellent local dishes.

Distinction Hotel, Rotorua - New Zealand

We stay at the Distinction Hotel in Rotorua. Located near the Whakarewarewa Forest, the hotel offers the perfect place to relax after a day exploring the local area.

Beechtree Motels, Taupo - New Zealand

Modern accommodation which offers style and comfort and is only a 5-minute walk from the lake.

Copthorne Oriental Bay - New Zealand

Enjoy a two-night stay in the heart of humming Wellington.

Ski Time, Methven - New Zealand

Enjoy stunning views from the hotel as you relax with a drink.

Essential information

It's best to be prepared for all weather conditions. To make it easier, here is a list of items you should consider packing.   

Essentials  

  • Walking boots 
  • Waterproof jacket 
  • Waterproof trousers 
  • Insulated jacket/top 
  • Walking clothing  
  • Walking socks (plus spares)  
  • Sunhat 
  • Gloves/mitts and warm hat
  • Water bottle (minimum 2 litre capacity)  
  • Headtorch 
  • High-factor sunscreen (minimum SPF 30)  
  • Sunglasses with a dark lens 
  • Rucksack (15-30 litres)  
  • Mobile phone 
  • Personal first aid kit (containing your medication, blister plasters, etc.) 
  • Passport 
  • Visa (if applicable) 
  • Copy of your travel insurance policy 
  • UK Global Health Insurance Card (formerly known as EHIC

Recommended

  • Collapsible walking poles 
  • Swimwear and travel towel
  • Snacks
  • Dry bags
  • Rubbish bags
  • Insect repellent

Optional extras

  • Camera 
  • Sit mat
  • Flask for hot drinks 
  • Durable lunch box
  • Gaiters 
  • GPS device 

Guest reviews

All holidays are subject to availability. Supplements may apply.

Non-member fee: £30 per person.

All packages that include flights are ATOL protected. Advertised prices listed below show the lowest economy flight price option for that departure. On holidays where we offer local UK airports, details will appear in the “Important Information” section below and available alternative flight options will be offered when you book. Seating upgrades may be available on request and at an additional charge, please call 020 3974 8865 for a quote.

Date (Start - End) Itinerary Double / Twin Room Single Room Notes / Offers Trip Notes Book
2024

14 Oct - 05 Nov 2024

22 nights

Itinerary
Flight from London Heathrow Airport

Single from

£10,404

Double from

£8,599 pp

from

£8,599 pp

from

£10,404

Trip Notes
Book Now
2025

03 Feb - 25 Feb 2025

22 nights

Itinerary
Flight from London Heathrow Airport

Single from

£10,934 £10,734

Double from

£8,999 £8,799 pp

from

£8,999 £8,799 pp

from

£10,934 £10,734

Save £200 Per Person Trip Notes
Book Now

10 Mar - 01 Apr 2025

22 nights

Itinerary
Flight from London Heathrow Airport

Single from

£10,934 £10,734

Double from

£8,999 £8,799 pp

from

£8,999 £8,799 pp

from

£10,934 £10,734

Save £200 Per Person Trip Notes
Book Now
Date (Start - End) Itinerary Double / Twin Room Single Room Notes / Offers Trip Notes Book
2024

14 Oct - 05 Nov 2024

22 nights

Itinerary

Single from

£9,004

Double from

£7,199 pp

from

£7,199 pp

from

£9,004

Trip Notes
Book Now
2025

03 Feb - 25 Feb 2025

22 nights

Itinerary

Single from

£9,934 £9,734

Double from

£7,999 £7,799 pp

from

£7,999 £7,799 pp

from

£9,934 £9,734

Save £200 Per Person Trip Notes
Book Now

10 Mar - 01 Apr 2025

22 nights

Itinerary

Single from

£9,934 £9,734

Double from

£7,999 £7,799 pp

from

£7,999 £7,799 pp

from

£9,934 £9,734

Save £200 Per Person Trip Notes
Book Now

Important information

  • With flight holidays: Price includes economy flights to Auckland returning from Queenstown, hold baggage and airport transfers
Duration:
22 nights
Type:
Worldwide walking holidays
Walking Grade:
2

22 nights from £7,199pp

On offer

or call 020 3974 8865

For group bookings of 10+ guests click here

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