Experience Maori culture, spectacular mountain and lush rainforests, Routeburn Track, trekking hut to hut, high ridges and beautiful alpine waterfalls and meadows, helicopter hike on magnificent Fox Glacier, TransAlpine Express Railway through the Southern Alps, incredible fiordlands of Milford Sound, sea kayak the crystal waters of the Tasman Sea, jetboat Queensland's Shotover River.
Day 1-3 Christchurch
Arrive in Christchurch on New Zealand's South Island and transfer to our inn. The remainder of the afternoon is free to explore this charming, English-style town, known as the Garden City of New Zealand. Overnight Christchurch. D
Day 4  TransAlpine Express
This morning we board the TransAlpine Express, one of the world's great railway journeys. We leave Christchurch on the east coast, cross the fertile farmlands of the Canterbury Plains, wind our way through the stunning Waimakariri Gorge, pass over massive viaducts, cross New Zealand's greatest mountain range, the Southern Alps, and travel through lush beech forests and past serene lakes, until we arrive in Greymouth on the beautiful West Coast. Overnight at lodge...BLD
Day 6 Abel Tasman National Park
We travel northward and journey along the coast and then board a water taxi to a remote trailhead in Abel Tasman National Park, our starting point for a fine day of hiking, sea kayaking in the crystalline waters of the Abel Tasman Sea, and exploring the lush forest interior. Abel Tasman is a  sublime nature reserve of crystal-clear seas, golden sandy beaches, sculpted granite cliffs, and spectacular coastal trails. There is no road access into this remote park and all plant and animal life is protected.. Evening Maori traditional dinner. Overnight at lodge...BLD
Day 7 The West Coast / Paparoa National Park
Today we drive to the wild west coast and Paparoa National Park. Declared a National Park in 1987, Paparoa was the first "scientific" national park in New Zealand, its boundaries carefully chosen to encompass a complete range of ecosystems. Our coastal hike in Paparoa brings us panoramic views from sea to glaciated mountains. Tonight we enjoy an evening meal on the beach and overnight in beachside accommodation...BLD
Day 8 Hokitika
This morning, we take a relaxed walk on the beach and hike along the Porori River through subtropical rainforest. Later in the day, we visit the old gold mining town of Hokitika and enjoy a coastal hike with panoramic views from the sea to glaciated mountain peaks. At the end of the day, we arrive at our comfortable lodge in Fox Glacier Township, our accommodation for the next two nights....BL
Day 9 Fox Glacier
On the mighty Fox Glacier, flanked by emerald rainforests and framed by the snowy giants of the Southern Alps, we take an exciting flight by helicopter to a remote spot on the glacier giving us up-close perspectives of the sea of jagged ice. We spend the day exploring this immense, ever-changing mass of ice and rock. Crampons, boots and ice axes are provided. This glacier, the closest to the equator, moves 10 times faster than those in Europe, we may hear the glacier creaking and groaning beneath us. Return to our lodge for the night....BL
Day 10 Heritage Highway / Wanaka
Early morning, we take a serene forest stroll that leads us to Lake Matheson, where the reflections of Mt. Cook, New Zealand's highest peak(12316 feet). and Mt. Tasman are often perfectly mirrored. Leaving Fox Glacier, we drive to Munro Beach for a short hike in search of Fiordland crested penguins and seals, then continue our morning drive on the Heritage Highway along the Tasman Sea. At spectacular Haast Pass, we stretch our legs on another short hike, and later we sample the wares at a picturesque lakeside winery. Overnight at our B&B at Wanaka...BL
Day 11 Mount Aspiring National Park / Wanaka
After a drive through the Matukituki Valley, our morning hike takes us to stunning viewpoints of Lake Wanaka, Twin Falls, and the glaciers and mountains of Mount Aspiring National Park. Mount Aspiring National Park is an immense alpine reserve dominated by a pyramid-shaped peak of snow and ice that the Maori call Tititeaor ("Upright Glistening Mountain"). At 9,961 feet, Mt. Aspiring towers above a sea of mighty peaks and more than 50 named glaciers. Later this afternoon, we head to Queenstown, a once-sleepy lakeside village that has become a sophisticated resort. Queenstown sits nestled in the Remarkables Mountains at the base of Lake Wakatipu, perhaps the most haunting of Central Otago's lakes, with its serpentine shape and rhythmic "breathing tides." According to Maori legend, the lake was formed when an evil, sleeping giant was set on fire by a brave youth. Overnight at our lodge overlooking Lake Wakatipu and the mountains...BL
Day 12 Queenstown
Queenstown is the adventure capital of New Zealand and in this year-round resort village, we split into smaller groups for a day of biking, rafting, jet boating, or other activities. The swift rivers near Queenstown are the scene for whitewater rafting, river surfing, and jet-boating, New Zealand's home-grown way to run rivers upstream or downstream. Other possibilities include canoeing, kayaking, sailing, trout fishing, hiking, horseback riding or just hanging out and enjoying the view. The stouthearted can try bungee jumping, a sport born in New Zealand at the historic Kawarau Bridge....B
Days 13 Fiordland / Milford Sound / Routeburn Track
A spectacular flight over wild mountains and deep fjords takes us to incredible Milford Sound, one of the world's most spectacular meetings of mountain and sea, for a day cruise into breathtaking fjord scenery where 4,000-foot-high walls rise directly from the water's edge. Returning from our day cruise, we depart for our grand finale, a 3-day hike on the world-famous Routeburn Track, one of New Zealand's most scenic "walking tracks".  On our three superb days of hiking the Routeburn Track, we enjoy spectacular alpine landscapes, beech forest, native bush, and crystal-clear rushing rivers. The hiking begins along a well-graded trail above treeline with views of the Fiordland peaks and miniature alpine communities at Key Summit. The Routeburn track traverses 33km of Mount Aspiring and Fiordland National Parks. After a brief descent to Lake Howden, nestled at the base of the mountains, we continue steadily upwards to Earland Falls. Before we reach our first hut at Lake Mackenzie, the snow-capped peaks and glaciers of the Darran Range come into view....BLD
Day 14  Routeburn Track
When we leave the Lake Mackenzie hut, we hike along the lake's emerald waters and zigzag up above treeline into dramatic alpine terrain. Traversing the Harris Saddle and passing Lake Harris on the way, we descend into an immense basin alive with wildflowers in spring and summer. We hike to Routeburn Falls for our second overnight. ....BLD
Day 15  Routeburn Track
Our last day on the Routeburn Track begins with a hike that winds down from Routeburn Falls to the meadows of Routeburn Flats. Hiking past the Routeburn's crystal-clear pools, we enter a forested gorge that leads into a quiet glen and end our trek at Wakatipu Basin, from which we return to Queenstown. While on the Routeburn Track, we hike for four to six hours a day and spend our nights in comfortable mountain lodges that provide hot meals, wine, and hot showers. Most of the rooms in the lodges have four to six beds to a room.It's coed dorm-style, but with very comfortable bunk beds furnished with duvets and pillows. On Day 15, we return to our lodge in Queenstown BL
Day 16 Queenstown / Depart
After a relaxed breakfast, we may have time for a quiet stroll along the lake or some last-minute shopping before we transfer to the Queenstown Airport...B

Depending on weather and the groups interests, we may add a half day of mountain biking (mostly downhill) during one of the appropriate mountain legs. 


$4990  10-12 members
  5290   8-10
  5590   6-8

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International Airfare, some meals in the city
Optional tours-some meals, Liquor, laundry, tips

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