Small wonder Kiwis have perfected the art of “tramping” given the amazing and diverse landscapes that their vast network of walking trails allows access to—especially on the South Island. Travelers on our “Walking New Zealand: Splendor of the South Island” vacation will discover the country’s immense natural beauty during invigorating walks in the foothills of the Southern Alps and along the scenic shores of the Marlborough Sounds. We’ll also stay in remote, intimate eco-lodges with splendid settings and get to sample some of New Zealand’s renowned seafood and wine. To give you some more insight into the itinerary of this fabulous tour, check out our Top 5 Reasons to walk New Zealand with VBT…
Hike the spectacular Abel Tasman Coastal Track
Designated as one of New Zealand’s “Great Walks” the ATCT is a 32 mile walking path with stunning views of the beaches and forested hills of Abel Tasman National Park. We’ll walk a section of the track on day 6 passing by rocky outcrops, sheltered coves and golden, palm-lined fringed beaches en route to our fabulous eco-lodge located within the park.
Two Nights at the Serene Raetihi Lodge
Since the 1930s, Raetihi Lodge has built a reputation as a popular destination in the Marlborough Sounds—one of New Zealand’s most exemplary outdoor playgrounds. For over a century the area that surrounds the lodge has hosted visitors from around the world with a common bond: a passion for exploring the outdoors in style. The lodge went under extensive renovations recently and the 4-star accommodation features luxury and comfort amidst the serenity and nature of the Marlborough Sounds.
Kayak through the northern coast’s scenic inlets
During some free time at both of our seaside lodges you’ll have the opportunity to use complementary kayaks (Raehiti Lodge) or take a guided tour with a local guide (Awoarea Lodge) to give your legs a rest and take in the coastal beauty from a new vantage point. Not only will the mesmerizing beauty of the Marlborough Sounds be a treat for your eyes, but you’ll also want to be on the lookout for some unique marine life playing in the waters like fur seals, whales and a variety of birds.
Post-trip Extension in Queenstown
You can make your vacation in New Zealand longer by taking our optional Post-trip extension in Queenstown, the self-proclaimed “Adventure Capital of the World.” With three days at leisure to explore Queenstown on your own, you’ll have plenty of time to take advantage of all the amazing outdoor activities. Perhaps you'll take a boat side through breathtaking Milford Sound; rent a jet-ski for a thrilling ride through the Shotover River Canyons; try your hand at bungee-jumping or simply hike along the many easily accessed hiking trails that surround the town.
Any fan of seafood will love eating New Zealand’s most renowned shellfish, the Greenshell Mussel. Known for their anti-inflammatory properties, as well as their deliciousness, cultivating these mussels has become a quarter of a billion dollar industry in New Zealand. On tour, we’ll learn all about them from our Captain during a private boat cruise in the Kenepru sounds. During the ride, we’ll even stop and collect some wild mussels to dine on later at our lodge, perhaps alongside a glass of award-winning Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.
These are just a sample of the fabulous features of our Walking New Zealand: Splendor of the South Island vacation. Of course, if biking is more your speed, you can learn all about VBT’s biking vacation on the western side of the South Island here. If you would like to reserve a vacation or speak with one of our Tour Consultants, please call 800-245-3868. They are available Monday-Friday from 8:30am to 6:30pm EST and Saturdays from 10:00am to 3:00pm EST.