There’s a reason why Kiwis call their native land “Godzone”—short for “God’s own country.” These landscapes are unmatched on earth, as you’ll discover on a New Zealand active vacation that combines biking, walking, and kayaking with VBT. Renowned as one of the best hiking destinations on the planet, which also boasts epically beautiful cycling terrain and peaceful lagoons to kayak; New Zealand’s magnificent vistas leave you wondering whether you ever had a destination in mind. Rugged mountains, palm-fringed beaches, alpine lakes, and sylvan forests reward lovers of the great outdoors with enriching days and tranquil nights.
On our New Zealand biking and walking tour, wonder and awe fill your days. It’s a privilege to stroll among such grandeur, dwarfed by snowcapped peaks one day and standing tall alongside a glistening lagoon the next. “Tramping,” as the locals call a good long walk, has never stirred the soul so completely. From rolling mountain ridges and fertile wetlands, from rugged peninsulas to pristine coastal trails, explore this famously gorgeous nation in the slow lane, by foot and by boat and by making time for a swim and a crisp local vintage.
On the saddle, your days spent biking on this New Zealand trip lead you into emerald rainforests, trace invigorating seashores and glittering lakesides of Westland National Park, and deliver you to the foot of a mammoth glacier. Let birdsong be your soundtrack as you paddle the calm water of the Okarito lagoon lush with wildlife. Descend a plunging valley to cycle along the glittering Haast River. There are plenty of discoveries off your bike, too, from a rail journey through stunning gorges to an evening beach stroll in search of the celestial Southern Cross.
Best of all, there’ll be time to take on that laid-back Kiwi air. Embrace the easy pace of life, soaking in the soothing waters of hot springs, picnicking in the great outdoors, and getting to know locals around their dining tables. Tradition and history greet you along your path, as well, as you delve into a rich Maori heritage and learn about New Zealand’s own Gold Rush. And with every step and every pedal, your VBT Trip Leaders provide insight and inspiration.
From the edge of a glacier to the heart of a rainforest, we’ve hand-picked the most memorable locales for your stay: deluxe accommodations where it’s a pleasure to end each rewarding day over the freshest cuisine from farm and sea … and it’s pure joy to raise a glass of New Zealand’s best to this spectacular place called “Godzone.”
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Beauty knows no bounds on New Zealand’s South Island. Boundless beauty calls for boundless exploration, which is why VBT explores these spectacular landscapes by bike, foot, and kayak. We’ve handpicked the best routes—and the most rewarding ways—for you to fully experience it all.
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Travel+Leisure® and World’s Best Awards are trademarks of Time Inc. Affluent Media Group and are used under license. From Travel+Leisure Magazine, August 2017 ©2017 Time Inc. Affluent Media Group. Used under license. Travel+Leisure and Time Inc. Affluent Media Group are not affiliated with, and do not endorse products or services of VBT Bicycling and Walking Vacations.