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


Custom trips available and can start any date. Call or email for details.


Jan 6-14

Feb 7-15

Feb 17-25

Feb 27-Mar 7

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 $4250

4-5 pax - add US $800 pp


6-7 pax - add US $400 pp


Includes 8B/7L/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. Still feeling energetic? There is a complimentary daily walk/ activity at 5:00 pm with a naturalist guide from the lodge where you can watch sheep shearing and mustering with sheep dogs. Hiking distances: 3.4km; afternoon walk option - 3km

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. Hiking distance: 15.3km; 860m (easier walks available also).

                                             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 a cosy cafe for lunch and then continue the drive through the Southern Alps to Franz Josef. Hiking distances: 6km; 200m ascent; afternoon walk option: 3km+-


DAY 4:

Franz Josef Glacier - Today is your chance to see the Franz Josef glacier up close. After a short drive to the trail head, walk up towards the glacier, or alternatively, walk the Douglas Track past Peters Pool, a reflective kettle lake, and the historic Douglas Bridge. If you wish to try a scenic flight over the glacier this can be arranged (weather permitting – additional cost). 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 Mount Tasman. 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. Hiking distances: 5.4 km; Douglas Track option: 5km; Lake Matheson loop distance: 4.6km

                                             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. There is also a moderate hike from the lodge property out to Munro Beach. Walking distance options: 5.5 km; 40m ascent; Munro Beach distance option: 5.5km; min ascent

DAY 6:
Lake Wanaka - Today, transfer to the Otago region and walk from Albert Town to Wanaka along a well graded lakeside trail with a picnic lunch on the shores of the lake. The Edgewater Hotel boasts a splendid location on Lake Wanaka; should you wish to walk further, there are trails from the hotel further around the lake and a short trail leads to Rippon Vineyard, where we will enjoy an afternoon wine tasting. On this evening you can enjoy one of the many excellent restaurants here - we will provide you with recommendations. Walking distance options: 6.5km; 13.5 km; 20km


                                             DAY 7:

Lake Wanaka - Our day begins with a one hour drive along the beautiful Matukituki Valley into 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. We will dine out at a favourite restaurant. Hiking distance options: 11.3 km; 380m ascent



DAY 8:
Queenstown -We leave Wanaka behind to transfer to Gibbston Valley where we walk along the Kawarau river between Gibbston and the historic Kawarau bridge, with shorter and longer walking options. There are wine tasting opportunities at both Peregrine Wines and Gibbston Valley Winery should you wish to sip more and walk less! The Kararau bridge is where the first commercial bungy jumping took place and it is a popular adrenilin activity, along with zip lines and jet boating, all located here. In Queenstown, we will finish the trip with a celebratory walk along the boardwalk, with our final night reception in a most unique setting followed by dinner at an acclaimed restaurant. Walking distance options: 5.5 km; 8.1km


DAY 9:
Departure Day - Stroll through Queenstown and depart after breakfast for onward travel. We will provide you with our City Guide to Queenstown with a list of activities to consider, restaurant recommendations and more.

  • 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



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