Hang glider over Queenstown South Island, New Zealand

Best of New Zealand Nature Vacation: Mountains & Coastline

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Customizable Itinerary

This is a sample itinerary to inspire a personalized trip designed with your travel specialist

Countries Visited

New Zealand

Places Visited

Queenstown, Milford Sound, Wanaka, Franz Josef Glacier...

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Suggested Duration

10 Days

Experience nature like nowhere else in the world during your 10-day best of New Zealand tour. You will venture into the outdoors to find tumbling glaciers and remarkable rainforest. You will travel beneath dramatic volcanic peaks and along shimmering fiord waters for adventures across six national parks. From heli-hiking along rugged glacial surfaces to trekking over rolling hills, your New Zealand adventure will highlight the marvels of the great outdoors.

Customizable Itinerary

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Trip Highlights

  • Fly in a helicopter above Fiordland and touch down in a place of natural ice sculptures
  • Kayak and hike to untouched beaches in Abel Tasman National Park
  • Choose your adventure in Mount Aspiring National Park with mountain bikes and horses being your two possible riding options
  • Venture on a heli-hiking excursion on Franz Josef Glacier, where ice meets rainforest and beach
  • Spend the night in Milford Sound and paddle with dolphins
  • Discover the evocative trails of Kahurangi, which is New Zealand’s forgotten national park
  • Explore Queenstown and its legendary surroundings, where there are rivers, lakes, and mountains
  • Cross the Te Wahipounamu UNESCO World Heritage Site and choose the places that you want to explore

Detailed Description

In some countries, you must search for places to go outdoors, but in New Zealand, there are very few indoors. This is a country where landscapes remain untamed and unchartered areas can still be found. Here, the wilderness dominates, and the trails are never crowded because there are so many. From golden beaches that are only accessible by kayak to fjords that can only be reached by helicopter, this will be the ultimate, 10-day exploration of New Zealand’s outdoors. You will explore Te Wahipounamu on the South Island, where the landscapes are as varied as they are dramatic. Over ten days, you will discover six different national parks and experience the country’s wonderful variety of activities.

Queenstown is an obvious place to begin your adventure because it is a town that is surrounded by lakes, mountains, rivers, and fjords. You can customize some introductory adventures with a local guide before indulging in an overnight cruise on Milford Sound. You will then fly in a helicopter above Fiordland on day three, which is when you will touch down in a wilderness that is dominated by ice sculptures and remarkable vistas. Wanaka will be your destination for day four, which is a handsome, lakeside town that acts as a base for exploring Mount Aspiring National Park. You can mountain bike single-track trails, horseback ride across woodland and meadows, or choose from one of many hiking trails.

Continuing by road, you will traverse the rest of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Te Wahipounamu. Your transfer will be private, and there are hundreds of places that you can stop along the way with options for canoeing or indulging in a picnic in a place of solace. Nights five and six will be spent beneath Franz Josef Glacier, allowing for a full day to go heli-hiking on the glacier and search for kiwis in the surrounding rainforest. Of all the South Island landscapes, this is probably the most dramatic because the juxtaposition of the habitats is so rare and congruent. Nowhere else in the world can you hike on a glacier that tumbles through a rainforest toward rolling surf.

You will complete your New Zealand excursion with three nights at Westhaven Inlet, which is a remote locale that is positioned between Abel Tasman and Kahurangi national parks. One full day will be dedicated to each of these parks, and you will kayak and hike to beaches that are otherwise inaccessible. Then, you will journey into a ragged mountain range of Kahurangi, which is a land of ravines, rivers, and iconic trails. Like with the rest of your journey, your days of adventure can be followed by laid-back evenings in luxurious locations. While New Zealand knows how to get your heart racing, it also knows how to bring you down to earth, so you can always feel connected with Mother Nature.

Starting Price

$9,095 per person (excluding international flights)

Your Zicasso trip is fully customizable, and this sample itinerary is a starting place for your travel plans. Actual costs are dynamic, and your selection of accommodations and activities, your season of travel, and other such variables will bring this budget guideline up or down. Throughout your planning experience with your Zicasso specialist, your itinerary is designed around your budget. You can book your trip when you are satisfied with every detail. Planning your trip with a Zicasso travel specialist is a free service.

What's Included

The starting price is based on travel during the low season for a minimum of two travelers staying in shared 3-star accommodations. Please inquire for a custom trip quote based on your travel preferences and travel dates.

Reviews of Zicasso's Referral Service

4.85 stars based on 1579 reviews.

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