New Zealand's natural beauty will take your breath away more than the walking will.
Why do a walking holiday in New Zealand? Because where else can you spend the morning hiking up to a hanging glacier followed by wine tasting at a boutique cellar door? Where else can you walk through forests of sweet-smelling manuka trees to the song of bellbirds, or listen to ancient Maori stories of how the mountains and rivers were created? From exploring secluded bays and natural pools in Abel Tasman National Park to discovering the stunning Marlborough Sounds on the Queen Charlotte Track, a New Zealand walking tour will show you why so many travelers fall in love with this country.
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Highlights of hiking in New Zealand
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Hiking in New Zealand FAQs
Everyone traveling on an Intrepid trip must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of carriage.
All travelers are required to produce:
Proof of COVID-19 vaccination
All children aged 5 to 17 years old must provide proof of vaccination (if eligible), proof of recovery or a negative COVID-19 test.
If you are unable to be vaccinated for medical reasons, you may apply for an exemption. Exemptions will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. To apply, you must provide a medical certificate from a medical professional.
In all cases, you must be fully inoculated. This means you must receive the full dosage of the COVID-19 vaccine and allow enough time for immunity to take effect. Each COVID-19 vaccine has different dosages and timeframes for inoculation, so please check the relevant medical advice associated with your vaccine.
The most pleasant time for walking and hiking in New Zealand is during the summer (December to February) when the weather is mild and sunny; however, this is also the busiest period, especially during school holidays (late December to late January). Winter can get very cold throughout the North and South Islands with frequent snowfall, but this is the perfect time to travel if you want to see oh-so scenic views of snow-topped mountains or if you’re looking to tie a bit of skiing or snowboarding into your holiday, particularly on the South Island. Spring is a wonderful time of year when life starts waking up after the winter chill, and the trails are also much quieter than in summer. Autumn is another great time of year when the days are still warm and the autumnal colors turn the landscapes fabulous shades of orange and gold.
Most of our New Zealand walking adventures include overnight stays at comfy lodges and hotels so you'll still have most of your creature comforts. What to pack depends on how difficult the walks you'll be doing are but generally, you'll want to bring the following items:
- Small day bag
- Comfortable walking shoes or hiking boots
- Hiking socks
- Walking poles
- Reusable drink bottle
- Lightweight rain jacket
The main international airports in New Zealand are Christchurch and Queenstown on the South Island, and Auckland on the North Island. There are daily flights between different North and South Island domestic airports, as well as a daily ferry service between Wellington on the North Island and Picton on the South Island which takes around three-and-a-half hours.
Internet access is widely available in most parts of New Zealand, with internet cafes and Wi-Fi hot spots commonly found in urban areas. Access to Wi-Fi and mobile phone data may be limited or patchy when you're out on the hiking trails in more remote areas, but it should work whenever you reach a town or village.
Absolutely. All passengers traveling with Intrepid are required to purchase travel insurance before the start of their trip. Your travel insurance details will be recorded by your leader on the first day of the trip. Due to the varying nature, availability and cost of health care around the world, travel insurance is very much an essential and necessary part of every journey.
For more information on insurance, please go to our Travel Insurance hub.
Intrepid is committed to making travel widely accessible, regardless of ability or disability. That’s why we do our best to help as many people see the world as possible, regardless of any physical or mental limitations they might have. However, we’re always happy to talk to travelers with disabilities and see if we can help guide them towards the most suitable itinerary for their needs and where possible, make reasonable adjustments to our itineraries.