Small-group guided walking tour of New Zealand - the holiday of a lifetime. The mountains, rivers and fjords of New Zealand are among some of the world's most dramatic natural features.
Imagine a small country blessed with more than its fair share of natural wonders, and you are imagining New Zealand. Subtropical beaches, volcanoes and spectacular thermal areas, fjords, ice-capped mountains, unique flora and fauna. Worth travelling half way around the world for? Most definitely! Chapters Experience Holidays is one of the few British tour operators licensed by the Department of Conservation to legally operate walking holidays in New Zealand. The best way to discover New Zealand is on foot, so we will enjoy a series of walks and sightseeing during this epic trip. Our holiday starts in Auckland, a city cradled between the Tasman Sea and the Pacific Ocean. We travel south from here to Rotorua, centre of both Maori culture and the most extraordinary thermal activity. Here there are geysers, bubbling mud pools and lakes which fizz all the colours of the rainbow. Our next stop is the Tongariro National Park situated in a spectacular region of active volcanoes. The Tongariro Crossing is amongst the greatest one-day walks anywhere in the world (this can be done as an optional extra). From the capital, Wellington, we sail across the Marlborough Sound to Picton on South Island. After walking by Queen Charlotte Sound and visiting a vineyard we spend two nights at St Arnaud by the beautiful Nelson Lakes. Here the view from the top of Mount Robert is one of the finest in the country. We travel to Fox Glacier and follow a riverside trail to the terminal moraine, walk along Gillespie’s Beach with the chance of sighting fur seals and dusky dolphins, and take in the incredible view across Lake Matheson to the Southern Alps. The journey over Haast Pass brings us to Queenstown. The setting, on the shores of Lake Wakatipu with the craggy ‘Remarkables’ as a back drop, is sensational. The Moke Lake Walk is often voted the best of the holiday, and an ascent of Ben Lomond is also possible. Te Anau is our base in the Southern Lake District, from where we cruise on Milford Sound. This fjord lives up to its reputation, with dramatic cliffs, hanging valleys and waterfalls cascading into the dark waters. We then head north to spend a day exploring the area around Mount Cook. The view of New Zealand’s highest mountain set against Lake Pukaki or the Hooker Glacier is yet another highlight. Journey’s end is Christchurch; a city which has recovered with great fortitude from the earthquake of 2011. This really is a holiday of a lifetime. With our expert knowledge, we purposely, as far as possible, the excessively touristy places, and spend as much time as we can in the great New Zealand countryside, with its magnificent lakes and rivers, providing you with that exhilarating feeling of really being in wide open spaces (because you are). Tongariro Alpine Crossing Option* Heralded as the best one-day trek available in New Zealand, it spans the length of Mount Tongariro covering 12 miles (19.2km) and takes on average 7-8 hours to complete. This can be booked independently through a local operator as an optional extra and will be organised for you to partake in during your stay in Turangi. Price includes local guide, lunch, trekking/wet weather gear hire and return transfers from Turangi. A medium to high level fitness required. If a part of our programme, this would be a more challenging level C activity.
You will have the option to book your own flights independently with the operator.
With a 70 year history of specialising in guided small group walking holidays, Ramblers Holidays offer over 250 inspiring guided walking and activity holidays in the UK, Europe, and worldwide. The nature of their holidays not only gives you an up close and personal experience of your destination, but travelling in a small group also reduces the environmental impact. Ramblers Holidays has a passion for travel and discovery and they are dedicated to making exploring the world on foot a fantastic and positive experience for everyone; for you as the traveller and the locals whose country, culture and lifestyle you’ve come to enjoy.
From their early pioneering holidays into the wild and mountain landscapes of Europe, they have continued with their passion for travel by creating discovery walking holidays to an increasing range of destinations. Their ethos is about seeing the world on foot, offering everything from lowland ambles to high mountain trekking, from short sightseeing walks to challenging long distance trails, from adventurous activity holidays to strolling between the museums of renaissance Italy.
Travelling in small groups, un-insulated from the world you’re visiting by a coach window, allows you to get a very direct and personal experience of your destination and to discover the essence of the place you are visiting. You’ll get to see not only the big ‘must see’ highlights but also the less discovered places, you’ll get a feel for the history and culture that’s shaped the country as you see it today and you’ll taste the food the way the locals do it. Ramblers most immersive holidays are their Experiential tours which take you beyond the trodden path and allow you to get under the skin of your chosen destination. Seek solace amongst the mountains on a mindfulness, yoga and meditation retreat, learn the art of cooking a perfect tagine in Morocco, watch a stunning sunset as you chase the ‘Big Five’ across Kruger National park or tread amongst tranquil temples of worship in Indonesia.
Ramblers Holidays’ company mission is to generate funds for walking charities. So, unlike most tour operators they are run as a not-for-profit. All of their profits not required for the running of the business are channelled back into charitable causes, both home and away. In the UK, through the Ramblers Holidays Charitable Trust, they support the Ramblers and other smaller outdoors charities. They also offer direct financial support to walking groups through The Walking Partnership. In order to aid their sustainable tourism ethos, they run a staff-managed initiative called Heart and Sole which directly supports communities in the destinations they visit.
You can contact Ramblers Walking Holidays directly by: