Walking New Zealand: Splendor of the South Island
Palm-fringed beaches, alpine lakes, rugged mountain peaks, and tranquil forests—all this and more await the avid walker and curious traveler in New Zealand’s alluring Southern Island. While staying at serene, comfortable lodges set in national parks, we’ll explore fertile wetlands, cliff-top habitats, coastal inlets, and rugged peninsulas, each with its own unique wildlife and ambiance. We’ll also soak in thermal springs, delight in crisp Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc and fresh Greenshell Mussels, and relax on a chartered cruise. Our daily walks immerse us in varied natural beauty, a balm to the spirit and a joy for the senses.
- Walk the dramatic flanks of Mt. Robert for exceptional scenic vistas.
- Discover the beauty of Lake Rotoiti while walking the Brunner Peninsula.
- Soak in the rejuvenating waters of thermal Hanmer Springs.
- Delight in the beauty of Abel Tasman National Park on a coastal trail.
- Pace your walks with the tides at Totaranui—and take a dip, if you like.
- Enjoy a picnic by Kerr Bay and a boutique lunch at a Moutere Valley vineyard.
- Explore the rolling ridge that overlooks beautiful Te Mahia Bay.
- Be on the lookout for whales, dolphins, and seals on the Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway.
What To Expect
This tour features a combination of easy terrain mixed with moderate hills. We walk primarily on dedicated footpaths, which may be rough at times and can become wet and muddy on rainy days. While in the Abel Tasman National Park and Marlborough Sounds, we travel via water taxis, which require stepping over a transom. Several of the walks require a transfer from our hotel to the start of the walk. Our Trip Leaders often use this time in the van for to share more information about the route, so we can enjoy a more leisurely morning at breakfast.
Average Daily Mileage: 4 – 8 miles
Average Walking Time: 2 – 5 hours
Average High/Low Temperature (°F) – Nelson
Jan 74º/54º Feb 73º/54º Mar 70º/51º Oct 64º/43º Nov 68º/48º Dec 71º/52º
Average Precipitation (in.) – Nelson
Jan 2.9 Feb 2.8 Mar 2.9 Oct 3.5 Nov 3 Dec 3
Walking Tour Only – without Air
- 8 nights in comfortable lodgings
- 17 meals – 8 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 4 dinners
Air Package Plus
- Roundtrip international airfare
- 9 nights in comfortable lodgings
- 19 meals – 9 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 4 dinners
- AND the option to add our Low-Cost Trip Extensions: Pre-trip: Sydney – 3 nights for only $1,145 • Post-trip: Queenstown – 2 nights for only $395
Both Vacation Options Include
- FREE use of our custom VBT walking poles
- Service of two VBT Trip Leaders
- On-tour full vehicle support
- Daily route directions and maps
- Welcome reception
- Sightseeing and cultural activities
- 5% Frequent Traveler Credit to use on your next VBT vacation
- Special Good Buy Discount
New! Reading List
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