Auckland to Christchurch 15 day hiking explorer
Auckland to Christchurch
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Auckland to Christchurch 15 day hiking explorer

Explore Tongariro National Parks famous Tongariro Crossing day hike, considered one of the finest day walks in the world. Then travel south and cross the Cook Strait and drive the Pacific coastline to Kaikoura and onto Christchurch.  From there you'll head to Mt Cook National Park before venturing deeper south and into the Southern Lakes region. From here you take the 3 day/2 night guided walk on the famous Routeburn Track. Returning to Queenstown you then continue north to the glacier region  before returning to Christchurch on board the Tranz Alpine Scenic Train.

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Tour summary and feature
Quick Itinerary Details

North & South Island Self Drive

This suggested tour costs from NZD$9,633 per person (twin share, low season)

Starts in Auckland, finishes in Christchurch

15 days/14 nights

Hotel 4 star

 Rental car included

 Viewed 14 times in the last 7 days

Tour Inclusions

- Shared Transfer from the Railway Station to a City Hotel
- Private transfer accommodation to Christchurch Airport
- Private Transfer Auckland Airport to Auckland accommodation
Meals included: 14 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 3 dinners
Tour at a glance

Day 1: Welcome to Auckland the 'City of Sails'
Accommodation: SkyCity Hotel Auckland

Day 2: Travel south through rural Waikato and King Country to Tongariro National Park
Accommodation: The Park Hotel Ruapehu
Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 297 kms / 184 miles : 3.6 hours

Day 3: Today you'll accomplish one of the greatest day walks in the world - The Tongariro Crossing
Accommodation: The Park Hotel Ruapehu

Day 4: Follow State Highway 1 South to the capital city of Wellington
Accommodation: Bolton Hotel Wellington
Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 322 kms / 200 miles : 3.9 hours

Day 5: Cross to the South Island and then drive the Pacific Coast to Kaikoura
Accommodation: Bendamere House B&B
Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 157 kms / 98 miles : 2.1 hours

Day 6: Continue south and onto the city of Christhchurch
Accommodation: The George Hotel
Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 178 kms / 111 miles : 2.5 hours

Day 7: Enjoy a scenic drive through Canterbury and the MacKenzie Country to Mt Cook National Park
Accommodation: Hermitage Hotel, Aoraki Wing Premium
Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 350 kms / 217 miles : 4.1 hours

Day 8: Follow the dry lands to Lindis Pass which leads into Central Otago, then through the Kawerau Gorge to Queenstown
Accommodation: Millennium Hotel Queenstown
Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 257 kms / 159 miles : 3.0 hours

Day 9: Explore the sights of Queenstown and this afternoon attend your Routeburn Track briefing
Accommodation: Millennium Hotel Queenstown

Day 10: Travel from Queenstown to the start of the Routeburn Track, then hike to Lake Mackenzie
Accommodation: Routeburn Track Lodges

Day 11: Fantastic mountain views today and tonight you stay at the Routeburn Falls Lodge
Accommodation: Routeburn Track Lodges

Day 12: Descend to the forested lowlands, before you return by coach to Queenstown
Accommodation: Millennium Hotel Queenstown

Day 13: Take the Crown Range Road to Wanaka before travelling the spectacular Haast Pass to the West Coast
Accommodation: Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier
Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 350 kms / 217 miles : 4.6 hours

Day 14: Drive north along the stunning West Coast Road and take the TranzAlpine train to Christchurch
Accommodation: The George Hotel
Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 170 kms / 106 miles : 2.1 hours

Day 15: Depart Christchurch today

Tour full itinerary
Detailed Itinerary
Auckland to Christchurch 15 day hiking explorer - Day 1
Private Transfer Auckland Airport to Auckland Accommodation

You will be met at the Auckland airport by the driver and transferred to your Auckland accommodation.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Harbour Sailing Cruise with Explore

Enjoy the City of Sails from the water on a relaxed harbour sailing yacht. This cruise offers a uniquely local experience experiencing the harbour und...

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Enjoy the City of Sails from the water on a relaxed harbour sailing yacht. This cruise offers a uniquely local experience experiencing the harbour under sail with a small vessel with an intimate and engaging atmosphere. View the stunning city sights while sailing on the inner Waitemata Harbour. Sail where the wind takes us while enjoying Auckland's city highlights; including sailing under the Harbour Bridge and other well-known landmarks along the harbour's edge. The crew's local knowledge will give you the best harbour sailing experience Auckland has to offer. Become the crew and help participate with the sailing experience take the helm while you carve through the water, or if you prefer just sit back and relax above deck.

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SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Wētā Workshop Unleashed

Explore worlds of horror, sci-fi and fantasy in the making. An exciting, realistic, and authentic experience, with three fully developed and original ...

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Explore worlds of horror, sci-fi and fantasy in the making. An exciting, realistic, and authentic experience, with three fully developed and original film concepts: A nail-biting horror Fauna, a fantasy epic Age of the Ever-Clan, and the mind-bending sci-fi Origins.
A 90-minute guided experience through fully themed environments, including immersive horror, fantasy, and sci-fi story worlds. Be immersed by a specially-created unique sweeping cinematic soundtrack, animatronic creatures, physical and digital interactives, hyper-realistic sculpted giants and characters, a horror house experience, and much more.

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SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - All Blacks Experience

See what it takes to make, shape and be an All Black. Experience first-hand the excitement and emotion of game day. Discover the stories behind some o...

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See what it takes to make, shape and be an All Black. Experience first-hand the excitement and emotion of game day. Discover the stories behind some of world rugby’s most famous players, moments and matches.
This guided experience introduces you to the game of rugby before being lead through state-of-the-art displays combining sound, images, interactive technology and hands-on activities. Discover New Zealand’s deep passion for our national sport, experience the full force of the All Blacks haka, tackle interactive zones where you can try out your kicking, catching, line-out and accuracy skills against legendary All Blacks.

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Your accommodation: SkyCity Hotel Auckland

This modern and spacious hotel allows you to relax in style while enjoying the world-class casino, more than 20 restaurants, cafes and bars, a theatre, free live entertainment on selected nights and the iconic Sky Tower - all right on your doorstep!
Auckland to Christchurch 15 day hiking explorer - Day 2
Collect your rental car

This tour can be priced with any of the rental cars available in our fantastic range, from economy hatchbacks to prestige saloons and SUVs.

Auckland to National Park Village

Today you will leave Auckland and travel south through the rolling pastures of Waikato. Take the time to detour to Waitomo and experience its network of underground caves before heading inland to the Central Plateau and arriving at Tongariro National Park. A world heritage site, Tongariro is home to three active volcanoes Ruapehu, Tongariro and Ngauruhoe as well as a host of activities including hiking, fishing, climbing, mountain biking and skiing.

Your accommodation: The Park Hotel Ruapehu

Located in the centre of National Park and is the ideal base for exploring New Zealand's Tongariro Crossing. The on-site Spiral Restaurant & Bar is full of character and is open daily. The outdoor hot tubs, courtyard hammocks & open fireplaces are complimentary for guests and offer the perfect opportunity to relax and unwind after a day of adventure in the Ruapehu region.
Meals included: Breakfast

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 297 kms / 184 miles : 3.6 hours

Auckland to Christchurch 15 day hiking explorer - Day 3
Private Guided Tongariro Alpine Crossing with Adrift

For the exclusive guided trips you'll be provided with a really personal, informative and friendly day you will never forget. This trip is tailored so that group sizes are small, your guides are well informed and are able to provide you with an amazing experience. Your guide will also 'work behind the scenes' constantly assessing the weather and track conditions, timing for your Ketetahi personalised transport pick-up at the end of your hike, and other little details that will maximise your enjoyment. They can also tailor the trip to accommodate different fitness levels and know a few tricks about avoiding weather exposed or crowded areas.

It is important you read and understand the risks associated with this activity. For more information see here.

Your accommodation: The Park Hotel Ruapehu

Located in the centre of National Park and is the ideal base for exploring New Zealand's Tongariro Crossing. The on-site Spiral Restaurant & Bar is full of character and is open daily. The outdoor hot tubs, courtyard hammocks & open fireplaces are complimentary for guests and offer the perfect opportunity to relax and unwind after a day of adventure in the Ruapehu region.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch
Auckland to Christchurch 15 day hiking explorer - Day 4
National Park to Wellington

Leaving National Park, you will drive past military town of Waiouru which hosts the Army Museum, an incredible collection of New Zealand's military history and a memorial to its servicemen. Heading south you pass through the rural towns of Taihape, Mangaweka and Bulls before arriving on the Kapiti Coast. The coastal seaside towns of Paraparaumu, Paekakariki and Plimmerton are worth a short detour before arriving into the capital city of Wellington. Plan to take most of the day for this drive.
Wellington City is New Zealand's capital. It sits on a wonderful deep natural harbour and is surrounded by bush clad hills. The city centre itself is quite compact (only around 1 square kilometre) and so exploring on foot is relatively easy. From your city centre accommodation you can easily stroll the cafes and restaurants around Courtenay Place and if you arrive early enough New Zealand's national museum, Te Papa, is also close by.

Your accommodation: Bolton Hotel Wellington

The Bolton Hotel offers contemporary apartment-style accommodation in the heart of Wellington. Just steps from the Parliament buildings and central business district, Bolton Hotel is conveniently close to the best of the city's shops, cafes and restaurants and is within walking distance of Wellington's vibrant waterfront.
Meals included: Breakfast

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 322 kms / 200 miles : 3.9 hours

Auckland to Christchurch 15 day hiking explorer - Day 5
Interislander Ferry Wellington to Picton with exclusive access to the Premium Plus Lounge

The 92 km journey between Wellington and Picton takes around 3 hours and has been described as 'one of the most beautiful ferry rides in the world'. Leaving Wellington Harbour you pass many interesting points such as Pencarrow Head on top of which is New Zealand's oldest lighthouse (1859). Red Rocks is home to a seal colony and Oterangi Bay is the site which recorded the country's highest ever wind speed of 268 kph (167 mph). From the Cook Strait, spectacular views of the Kaikoura Ranges on the South Island can be enjoyed and dolphins and many sea birds are often seen.
Around one hour of the cruise takes you through the Marlborough Sounds - and this region of bush covered mountains, small islands, crystal clear waters and secluded bays is a remarkable photographic opportunity. At the end of Queen Charlotte Sound the cruise comes to an end in the picturesque town of Picton.
When you're not out on the deck enjoying the amazing views, you can retreat to the exclusive Premium Plus lounge which is the most comfortable and relaxing way to travel across the Cook Strait. You'll enjoy complimentary beverages, light snacks, lunch or breakfast, internet access, magazines and newspapers and the most comfortable seating, so you can sit back and enjoy the journey.

Picton to Kaikoura

From Picton head south on State Highway One towards Blenheim, and the wine producing region of Marlborough. Ideally located to enjoy an afternoon sampling the local produce, stop for a guided wine tour with Full Day Marlborough Wine Tour.
Crossing the dry hills of the Marlborough ranges you head towards one of the most spectacular coastlines of the South Island, the Kaikoura Coast. The road hugs the shore for around 50 kilometres and offers many chances to view the native wildlife such as seabirds and New Zealand fur seals. To the east is the Pacific Ocean and to the west you'll follow alongside the Kaikoura Ranges before arriving into the bustling Kaikoura Township.

Your accommodation: Bendamere House B&B

Bendamere House B&B has quality ensuite rooms, detached from the main house adding to the privacy and comfort, with superb views overlooking the Pacific Ocean and Seaward Kaikoura mountain range.
Meals included: Breakfast

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 157 kms / 98 miles : 2.1 hours

Auckland to Christchurch 15 day hiking explorer - Day 6
Kaikoura to Christchurch

Today you travel down the coast before heading inland through the North Canterbury wine region - the Waipara Valley. As you drive through this area you’ll be greeted by one of New Zealand's most notorious animals, the sheep. If you’ve time on your hands we recommend taking a detour to Hanmer Springs for relaxing dip in its thermal pools. Arriving into Christchurch you'll see a new and improved city, steadily rising from the ruins of the 2011 earthquake.

Your accommodation: The George Hotel

The George is the essence of supreme comfort. The award-winning 5 star hotel is opposite Hagley Park and just a few minutes stroll from the Botanic Gardens. It also has an award-winning restaurant, 50 Bistro onsite.
Meals included: Breakfast

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 178 kms / 111 miles : 2.5 hours

Auckland to Christchurch 15 day hiking explorer - Day 7
Christchurch to Aoraki Mt Cook National Park

Today you'll drive through the heart of the South Island, crossing the vast Canterbury plains. Catch your breath in Geraldine before continuing through Fairlie. Ascending Burkes pass you'll come to the picturesque lakeside town of Tekapo.
Follow the road and take in the view of Aoraki Mt Cook (New Zealand's tallest mountain) from the shores of Lake Pukaki, known for its glacier fed turquoise blue colour. Continue along the lake to your final destination Mt Cook Village.
Please note: There are no food shops at Mt Cook, and dinner options are limited to one restaurant. If you wish to self-cater, you must stock up before arriving in Mt Cook, or make dinner reservations in advance.

Walking tracks in and around Aoraki / Mt. Cook National Park

There are many short scenic walks beginning in and around the Mt Cook Village, suitable for all ages and abilities. Located within the Mount Cook Village is the Department of Conservation information centre, where updates on the track conditions and suitability is available as well as information on the history of the area and its wildlife.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Glacier Explorers Mt. Cook

Experience 500 year old icebergs up-close on the Mt Cook terminal lake. The Glacier Explorers tour is the only one of its kind in New Zealand and one ...

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Experience 500 year old icebergs up-close on the Mt Cook terminal lake. The Glacier Explorers tour is the only one of its kind in New Zealand and one of only three in the world! Very few glaciers terminate into lakes and even fewer of them are accessible. See towering ice cliffs and floating icebergs from the safety of a specially designed boat. These boats provide a safe way to view unseen and inaccessible areas of New Zealand's largest glacier The Tasman.

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Your accommodation: Hermitage Hotel, Aoraki Wing Premium

The Hermitage Hotel ringed by magnificent snow-capped peaks of the Southern Alps, is a world-renowned tourist destination and has been an icon of superior accommodation and dining since 1884.
Meals included: Breakfast

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 350 kms / 217 miles : 4.1 hours

Auckland to Christchurch 15 day hiking explorer - Day 8
Aoraki Mt Cook National Park to Queenstown

Leaving the alpine region of Aoraki Mt Cook, you'll travel through the lakeside town of Twizel, then a little further to Omarama the gliding capital of New Zealand. Continue on over the Lindis Pass, one of New Zealand's highest roads with a summit of 971 metres. Arrive in the quaint village of Tarras, then continue on a short way to the historic Bendigo Reserve, one of Otago's original gold mining settlements.
Follow the road to Cromwell, and keep going through the sheer cliffs of the Kawarau Gorge towards Gibbston, one of New Zealand's premier wine growing regions. See the historic Kawarau Bridge where you can bungy jump or relax and watch others take the plunge. Approaching Queenstown, the Remarkables mountain range comes into view as you arrive into the adventure capital of New Zealand.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - TSS Earnslaw cruise to Walter Peak including gourmet BBQ dinner and a farm tour

Enjoy a quintessential Kiwi experience, a delicious gourmet BBQ buffet meal and a farm demonstration in a stunning lakeside setting. Take in the stunn...

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Enjoy a quintessential Kiwi experience, a delicious gourmet BBQ buffet meal and a farm demonstration in a stunning lakeside setting. Take in the stunning views of Lake Wakatipu and its surroundings as you cruise across the lake to the historic Walter Peak high country farm aboard the TSS Earnslaw Steamship.
Enjoy the ambience of the heart of the stately homestead while your Colonel’s Homestead Restaurant chef prepares a gourmet BBQ dinner. Your seasonal menu includes an extensive selection of local New Zealand produce, including succulent meats and a selection of delicious vegetables and salads. Complete your meal with your choice of delicious desserts, New Zealand cheeses, tea and coffee.
After dinner, watch the farm dogs in action with a sheep-herding demonstration and say hello to the other farm animals. Finally, cruise home under the southern stars and enjoy the fresh night air as the lights of Queenstown draw ever closer.

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Your accommodation: Millennium Hotel Queenstown

Right in the heart of the action, the Millennium Hotel is just minutes from Queenstown's central shopping and entertainment district. Outdoor activities such as bungy jumping, white water rafting and jet boating are just some of the easily accessible activities nearby in New Zealand's adventure capital.
Meals included: Breakfast

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 257 kms / 159 miles : 3.0 hours

Auckland to Christchurch 15 day hiking explorer - Day 9
Explore Queenstown

Although celebrated as New Zealand's ‘adventure capital’ Queenstown offers far more than a fast-paced action-packed holiday. Settled on the shores of Lake Wakatipu beneath a soaring panorama of the Remarkables Mountain Range, this alpine town is surrounded by a plethora of historic, gastronomic and scenic wonders.
Head down the Gibbston Valley wine trail to sample some of the region’s best Pinot or catch a ride on the 100 year old Steamship - the TSS Earnslaw -  to Walter Peak Station for dinner and a farm tour. Browse the waterfront cafes and have lunch at Michelin star chef Josh Emett's ‘Rata.’ Check out nearby historic Arrowtown and enhance your experience with a four wheel drive trip to Macetown.
Take a leisurely lakeside stroll or ride the gondola for breathtaking views. Drive through Lord Of The Rings country - or for the really fanatic, jump aboard one of many dedicated LOTR tours. If you do really want the adrenaline rush Queenstown is known for, take your pick from the Shotover Jet, Bungy, Canyon Swing, Zipline, Luge or Heli-ski.
Finally, if you're lucky enough to visit in winter (July-September) there are four ski resorts close by. You can head up to Coronet Peak and the Remarkables close to Queenstown, or head to Wanaka for Cardrona and Treble Cone.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Skippers Canyon 4WD Adventure Tour

Nomad Safaris offers a complete 4WD tour into the historic Skippers Canyon. The Nomad Safaris Skippers Canyon adventure is a half-day heritage tour th...

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Nomad Safaris offers a complete 4WD tour into the historic Skippers Canyon. The Nomad Safaris Skippers Canyon adventure is a half-day heritage tour that follows the rugged and once treacherous Skippers Road. Travel the road that was hacked by hand into the sheer cliff sides of the Shotover River Valley making this an exciting adventure the whole family will enjoy. As your guide navigates this awe-inspiring canyon you will visit many historic sites such as the Skippers Suspension Bridge and the township of Skippers. Visit the restored school house where you will gain a real insight into the local heritage through photos and histories of life in this tough environment. British Automobile Association voted Skippers Canyon Road as one of the 25 most scenic roads in the world.

It is important you read and understand the risks associated with this activity. For more information see here.

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Leave your vehicle at your Queenstown accommodation

This evening leave your rental car keys with the reception at your accommodation. Make sure you take any items with you and that the car fuel tank is full. The next morning Europcar staff will collect the rental car from your accommodation.

Routeburn Track Briefing

Please check in at 13:45pm on the day prior to your walk for a group pre-track briefing. The briefing is held at the Ultimate Hikes Centre, Ground Floor, The Station Building, Duke Street Entrance, Queenstown. At the briefing, you will have the opportunity to confirm your dietary, medical information and emergency contact details. You will be able to pick up any gear you need to borrow from us or purchase any last minute items from our shop. The customer service staff will also give you an overview of what to expect while you are on track. If you cannot make the pre-track briefing, please contact Reservations on +64 3 450 1940 or info@ultimatehikes.co.nz as soon as possible.

Your accommodation: Millennium Hotel Queenstown

Right in the heart of the action, the Millennium Hotel is just minutes from Queenstown's central shopping and entertainment district. Outdoor activities such as bungy jumping, white water rafting and jet boating are just some of the easily accessible activities nearby in New Zealand's adventure capital.
Meals included: Breakfast
Auckland to Christchurch 15 day hiking explorer - Day 10
Routeburn Track 3 day Guided Walk with Ultimate Hikes

The Routeburn Track traverses wild and scenic mountain country between the Hollyford and Dart Valleys at the base of New Zealand's Southern Alps. Since the 1880's the Routeburn Track has proved to be one of the most accessible and popular journeys into New Zealand's forests and mountains. The Routeburn Track passes through two national parks, Fiordland and Mount Aspiring, and is part of Te Wahipounamu, South West New Zealand World Heritage Area. The area is a haven for native birdlife: The Robin, Fantail, Parakeet, Bellbird, Yellowhead and watch out for the resident Kea at Routeburn Falls! The variety of landscapes will also astound you: Mountainous peaks, sheer rock faces, alpine basins, pristine lakes, cascading waterfalls, luxuriant forest, turquoise rivers and million-dollar views around every corner.
The Routeburn Track Guided Walk is a 3 day / 2 night Queenstown to Queenstown all-inclusive walk traversing New Zealand's Southern Alps. The package includes all transport, private or shared accommodation in custom built lodges, meals, snacks, backpacks and rain jackets and you will be led by expert Ultimate Hikes guides.

Routeburn Day 1 - Queenstown to Mackenzie Lodge

The day begins early with a coach ride to the Divide, stopping in Te Anau for morning tea on the way. At the Divide, make sure you collect your lunch from the guides before setting off. The track begins with a steady climb up through Silver Beech forest to the turn off to Key Summit. Leave your pack at the turn off before climbing to the Summit for great views and a wetlands walk. Collect your pack, and it’s a short walk down to Lake Howden for lunch. In the afternoon, the track gradually climbs to the 80m (240ft) Earland Falls. Stop for a break at the base pool. The track then traverses around the mountain side to the Orchard. Beyond, you’ll climb for a short section before a steep descent to Mackenzie Lodge.

Your accommodation: Routeburn Track Lodges

The Routeburn Track lodges have been purposely designed and built and all lodges have drying rooms, flush toilets and hot showers complete with soap, shampoo and conditioner. The lodge kitchen treats you with a three course dinner and cooked breakfast. Accommodation is in a private room with queen or twin bedding or bunk bed rooms sleeping up to 4.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Auckland to Christchurch 15 day hiking explorer - Day 11
Routeburn Day 2 -Lake Mackenzie to Routeburn Falls Lodge

The track starts just past Lake Mackenzie and rises up through ancient beech forest emerging out of the treeline for stunning views of the lake below. At the top of the zig zags is Ocean Peak Corner. On a clear day you’ll have a full panorama of the Darran Mountains across the Hollyford Valley, to the distant Tasman Sea at Martin’s Bay. Follow the track along the mountain face and ask your guides to point out the native flora, including mountain daisies, buttercups, gentians and edelweiss. After lunch at the Harris Saddle, if track and weather conditions allow, you can climb Conical Hill for a panoramic view of the surrounding peaks. The track continues around Lake Harris, before descending into the upper basins of the Routeburn Valley skirting the Routeburn Falls. Spend your final night at the aptly named Routeburn Falls Lodge. Today's hike will be 11 km (6.9 miles) and will last about 4-6 hours.

Your accommodation: Routeburn Track Lodges

The Routeburn Track lodges have been purposely designed and built and all lodges have drying rooms, flush toilets and hot showers complete with soap, shampoo and conditioner. The lodge kitchen treats you with a three course dinner and cooked breakfast. Accommodation is in a private room with queen or twin bedding or bunk bed rooms sleeping up to 4.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Auckland to Christchurch 15 day hiking explorer - Day 12
Routeburn Day 3 - Routeburn Falls to Queenstown

The track descends from the lodge through Red Beech forest to the alpine pastures of the Routeburn Flats. Picnic beside the Routeburn river at Forge Flat. The track shadows the river through the beech forest to the Road End. Take the nature walk at the detour to read more about the native forest and listen for native birds in the valley. At Road End the coach will be waiting to take you back to Queenstown, stopping at the small town of Glenorchy for refreshments. Today's walk is 9km (5.7 miles) and will take between 3 to 4 hours.

Your accommodation: Millennium Hotel Queenstown

Right in the heart of the action, the Millennium Hotel is just minutes from Queenstown's central shopping and entertainment district. Outdoor activities such as bungy jumping, white water rafting and jet boating are just some of the easily accessible activities nearby in New Zealand's adventure capital.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Auckland to Christchurch 15 day hiking explorer - Day 13
Collect your rental car

This tour can be priced with any of the rental cars available in our fantastic range, from economy hatchbacks to prestige saloons and SUVs.

Queenstown to Franz Josef Glacier via Wanaka

From Queenstown you'll cross the Crown Range, the highest sealed road in New Zealand to arrive in the Alpine town of Wanaka, gateway to Mt Aspiring National Park. Skirting the shores of both Lake Wanaka and Hawea, you will enter the small town of Makarora. Stop at Blue Pools for a 1-hour return walk through the native beech forest to a glacier-fed swimming hole. Continue on through the remote seaside settlement of Haast before heading up the wild West Coast highway you pass through ancient temperate rainforests while getting sneak peeks of the wild coast beaches occasionally. Paringa Salmon Farm is worth a stop to stretch your legs, feed the fish, and stop for lunch and refreshments. Keep heading North and be sure to enjoy the view of the ever-changing towering snowcapped Southern Alps Mountain Range. Fox Glacier welcomes you first, then comes your destination for the night Franz Josef township.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Twin Glacier Scenic Helicopter Flight with The Helicopter Line

Take a spectacular scenic flight over two of New Zealand's most famous glaciers. Land at the head of one and view the incredible sight of this frozen ...

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Take a spectacular scenic flight over two of New Zealand's most famous glaciers. Land at the head of one and view the incredible sight of this frozen river as it winds its way through ancient carved valleys. Should weather not be suitable to take this flight you are able to transfer your booking onto a similar tour on any of the Helicopter Line's operations in Queenstown or Mt Cook.

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Your accommodation: Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier

Only a breath away from the Franz Josef Glacier, Scenic Hotel is located in the heart of Franz Josef Village. Here you will find all of the amenities you would expect, as well as being close to the shops, restaurants and activities on offer in the beautiful Westland region.
Meals included: Breakfast

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 350 kms / 217 miles : 4.6 hours

Auckland to Christchurch 15 day hiking explorer - Day 14
Franz Josef to Greymouth Train Station

Today head north along the mighty West Coast highway you pass through ancient temperate rainforests while getting sneak peeks of the wild coast beach occasionally. Whataroa is the next town where you can see one of the world's rarest birds, the New Zealand white heron or Kotuku nest at the Waitangi Roto Nature Reserve, and guided tours from October to March will take you there. 
Ross is the site of an old gold mining town and some of the old buildings and workings remain. In fact, Ross is still home to one of the few working gold mines left in New Zealand and the local information center offers you the chance to pan for gold.
Hokitika is a great place to explore craft and gift stores and head to the coast and take in the endless sea views. The Jade or Greenstone on offer in Hokitika is probably some of the best you will see in the country. The Hokitika Gorge is located 45 minutes inland and offers turquoise waters flowing through a narrow gorge. A great short walk will deliver you to this piece of paradise.
Continue on to Greymouth, the largest town on the West Coast and the starting point for the next leg of your journey the TranzAlpine Scenic Train. Drop your rental car at the Greymouth Train Station depot located at the train station building before boarding your train to Christchurch.

TranzAlpine Scenic Train: Greymouth to Christchurch

Considered one of the world's great train journeys, the TranzAlpine Scenic Train takes you from Greymouth to Christchurch. You'll travel across the South Island from the west to the east coast through Arthur's Pass National Park. From the comfort of your carriage see lush beech forest, deep river valleys and the spectacular peaks of the Southern Alps. Descend to the windswept Canterbury Plains before arriving in the city of Christchurch.

Shared Transfer from the Railway Station to a City Hotel with Christchurch Touring

On arrival at the Christchurch railway station, you will be met by a driver and transferred to your Christchurch accommodation.

Your accommodation: The George Hotel

The George is the essence of supreme comfort. The award-winning 5 star hotel is opposite Hagley Park and just a few minutes stroll from the Botanic Gardens. It also has an award-winning restaurant, 50 Bistro onsite.
Meals included: Breakfast

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 170 kms / 106 miles : 2.1 hours

Auckland to Christchurch 15 day hiking explorer - Day 15
Private transfer accommodation to Christchurch Airport

A private transfer will collect you from your accommodation and transfer you to Christchurch Airport in time for your departing flight.

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Auckland to Christchurch 15 day hiking explorer

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