Great Explorations

(800) 242-1825
(604) 730-1247

National Geographic






“We found the people we met made the trip so special. Several of us have already been talking about which trip to go on next year.”

– Kay & Jim D,
Burlington, VT

More testimonials


Trip Dates:

Jan 7-15

Jan 21-29

Feb 4-12

Feb 18-26

Mar 29-April 6


Jan 6-14

Jan 20-28

Feb 3-11

Feb 17-25

Mar 28-April 5

Trip Size:

8-16 participants

Total Days:

9 days/ 8 nights






Wilderness Lodge, Arthur's Pass

Te Waonui Forest Retreat, Franz Josef Glacier

Wilderness Lodge, Lake Moeraki

Edgewater Resort, Lake Wanaka

St Moritz, Queenstown


Land Cost (current year):
8+ pax-US $3250

4-5 pax - add US $800 pp


6-7 pax - add US $400 pp


Includes 8B/8L/7D

Single Supplement:
US $950


New Zealand

Hiking Luxe - Arthur's Pass National Park, Franz Josef Lake Moeraki, Wanaka & Queenstown

The South Island of New Zealand is arguably the world’s most beautiful hiking destination and for good reason; the network of trails through mesmerizing scenery is unparalleled. Imagine snow-capped peaks, beautiful pristine lakes, lush valleys, cascading waterfalls, fjords and more. This region is truly spectacular. This itinerary begins in Christchurch and explores Arthur’s Pass National Park, Lake Moeraki, Lake Wanaka and Queenstown. For this itinerary, you fly into Christchurch and out of Queenstown.



                                             DAY 1:
Arthur's Pass National Park - We meet at 9 am in Christchurch and depart towards Arthur’s Pass National Park. En-route we will stop at the Kura Tāwhiti Conservation Area for a morning hike through the lush hills that feature limestone monoliths popular with rock climbers and also a sacred place for the Maori. Afterwards, we'll have lunch at a 36,000 acre sheep farm. Early afternoon, we continue on to the Wilderness Lodge set in Arthur’s Pass. This eco-lodge boasts 3,000 acres and a working sheep farm where you can watch (or participate) in sheep shearing or mustering with sheep dogs. Still feeling energetic? There is a daily hike at 5:00 pm with a naturalist guide from the lodge.

DAY 2:
Arthur's Pass National Park- Today, hike through beech forest to open mountain tops high above the Waimakariri River. Learn about alpine plants and enjoy lunch at a historic hut which once sheltered shepherds when this area was part of the Wilderness Lodge farm.

                                             DAY 3:
Franz Josef Glacier - Walk through a glacier basin to the Upper Otira Glacier, enjoying mountain panoramas, alpine flowers, cascades culminating in a mountain picnic below Mt Rolleston. After returning to the lodge, we'll transfer to Kapitea Lodge for lunch and then continue the drive through the Southern Alps to Te Waonui Forest Retreat.


DAY 4:

Franz Josef Glacier - Today is your chance to see the Franz Josef glacier up close. Walk from the trail head all the way to Franz Josef village. If you wish to try a scenic flight over the glacier this can be arranged (weather permitting – additional cost). The Douglas Walk takes you over glacial landforms formed between 1600 AD and 1750 AD by glacial advances and retreats. Visit Peters Pool, a reflective kettle lake, and the historic Douglas Bridge. Enjoy time in Franz Josef town and then late afternoon, transfer to Lake Matheson, nestled in ancient forest and and famous for mirror views of Aoraki/Mount Cook and MountTasman. It’s mirror-like reflecting properties are due to the dark brown colour of the water - the result of organic matter leached from the humus of the forest floor. Following this hike, we transfer to Wilderness Lodge Lake Moeraki.

                                             DAY 5:

Lake Moeraki - Described as one of the most wild and natural places left on earth, the Te Wahipounamu is a South West World Heritage Area boasting pristine natural paradise of rainforests, beaches, lakes and rivers. Hiking options include a hike that traverses dramatic and challenging seacoast. Scramble over volcanic boulders, climb through rainforest and enjoy tea beside a tumbling waterfall. There may be a chance to see fur seals and penguins. The Moeraki Pack Track & Historic Hut is a more adventurous walk on a trail that provides access to the upper valley. Cross a swing-bridge spanning thunderous rapids and enjoy lunch in a historic hut before returning to the lodge.

DAY 6:
Lake Wanaka - Today, transfer to the Otago region and Lake Wanaka. We begin a hike at Lake Hāwea along the Hāwea River track. We stop for lunch in Albert Town and then continue to Wanaka via Beakon Point. Stay at beautiful Edgewater Resort, directly on the shores of Lake Wanaka. Optional scenic flight over Milford Sound including a boat cruise through the fiord. Alternatively, you can walk up to Diamond Lake or kick back and relax at the lodge.

                                             DAY 7:

Lake Wanaka - Our day begins with a one hour drive along the beautiful Matukituki Valley into the Mount Aspiring National Park, an amazing world of mountains, glaciers, river valleys and alpine lakes. At the road’s end, the Rob Roy Glacier Track follows the Rob Roy Stream through beech forest - enjoy waterfalls and the luxuriant understorey of ferns and mosses. At the tree line, the forest gives way to alpine vegetation and spectacular views of the hanging glaciers beneath Mount Rob Roy. Spectacular waterfalls line the jagged cliffs.



DAY 8:
Queenstown -We leave Wanaka behind to transfer to Gibbston Valley where we walk along the Arrow and Kawarau rivers between Arrowtown and Gibbston, crossing historic Kawarau Bridge and the spectacular Edgar suspension bridge, rising 80 m above the Arrow River. Afterwards, we taste wine in one of the prominent vineyards in the valley and enjoy lunch before continuing to Queenstown, the acknowledged adventure capital of New Zealand.


DAY 9:
Departure Day - Stroll through Queenstown and choose from the many activities that are on offer here, from jet boating, bungy jumping, and more. We'll provide hiking routes for you to choose between in case you want additional walking. We offer transfers to the airport for those departing.

  • What's Included
  • Weather
  • Ride Info
  • Map

Map of the Area

Ride Info


What's Included in the Cost of Your Trip?

What is included: Regular trip

  • services of one or more experienced Great Explorations guides and support vehicle
  • lodging as per final itinerary
  • All breakfasts, 8 lunches, and 7 dinners
  • entrance fees for selected historical sites and museums
  • detailed map and route instructions
  • all baggage transportation
  • Travelogue
  • Pre departure Trip Planner with tips on what to bring and general information about travelling in New Zealand
  • all tips in hotels, restaurants, etc. (excludes discretionary tips for guides)

Please note: Final itinerary is subject to revision; any changes made are done so in an attempt to provide the best possible trip given route conditions and available services. Due to the nature of our business and exchange rates, prices are subject to change. All prices quoted are U.S. dollars but we gladly accept payment in Canadian dollars also. Due to cancellations and waiting lists, trip availability fluctuates daily. If you have any questions or would like to confirm space on this trip before making your reservation, please contact us at or by telephone at 604.730.1247



Need more details?
Download a detailed itinerary of this trip, which includes a day-by-day breakdown, activity level descriptions and other helpful information.

To receive a copy of this trip's itinerary, simply fill out the following form and the itinerary will be emailed to you directly. (Fields marked with an * are required.)


Are you a travel agent?*


Call Me


Have you travelled with us before?*