Wonderous Walks of New Zealand

From $5,450 per person

Thursday 26 November – Wednesday 9 December 2020  (14 Days)

New Zealand has an extensive network of walking trails for all abilities and is a real treat for lovers of the great outdoors. There are a huge variety of walking opportunities, from more relaxed gentle strolls to challenging day walks through sub-tropical bush or energetic treks into alpine environments. This 14 day tour includes walks in both the North and South Island and offers options for those who don’t wish to walk or may want to rest up.

Day 1          Thursday 26 November 2020
Today we commence our travel south travelling to Rotorua, with our first stop being Waimangu Volcanic Valley. Your guided walk in the Waimangu Volcanic Valley takes you on an ecology-focused adventure of the craters of this beautiful valley. As you walk through the youngest eco-systems in the world you will view a range of geothermal activity, native plants and bird-life. There are many walks, mainly downhill, for you to choose from. Options include Echo Crater, and Frying Pan Lake, the world's largest hot water spring.  The mysterious and dramatic Inferno Crater and its beautiful blue hot lake will take your breath away.  At any stage of your walk you can take the courtesy shuttle bus, which regularly circles the valley, back to the Waimangu Visitor Centre.  There is a café onsite for you to purchase your lunch. This afternoon we depart Waimangu and drive through the Kaingaroa State Forest, one of the largest planted forests in the world, to Wairakei.  Here steam ensuing after contact with hot rocks beneath the earth's crust is harnessed to generate electricity at two power stations.  Stop at Huka Falls and marvel as the mighty Waikato River thunders through the narrow canyon.  Continue the short distance to the resort town of Taupo on the shores of Lake Taupo, New Zealand’s largest lake.  From Taupo travel around Lake Taupo to the Tongariro Volcanic Plateau in the Tongariro National Park, a UNESCO cultural and natural World Heritage Site.  The volcanoes of Ruapehu, Ngauruhoe and Tongariro dominate the landscape of the Central North Island.  Tonight we’ll enjoy a group dinner at the hotel.
Accommodation: The Park Hotel, National Park – 2 nights

Day 2          Friday 27 November 2020
Today you get the option to choose the walk you would like to complete in the Tongariro National Park.
Option One: Taranaki Falls (6km, 2 hour walk): A walk through open tussock and forest to the falls which plunge over the edge of an ancient Lava flow. A good area to observe small native birds flitting among the mountain beech trees in search of insects.
Option Two: Tama Lakes (5-6 hour, 17km walk): This walk continues from Taranaki Falls to the Lower and Upper Tama Lakes, offering fine views of Mount’s Ngauruhoe and Ruapehu

Day 3          Saturday 28 November 2020
After breakfast this morning we depart National Park and travel to Wellington.  Pass through Waiouru and Taihape and descend through the Mangaweka Hills to the Manawatu Plains.  Continue down the Kapiti Coast and arrive in Wellington early-afternoon.  Wellington is built on the hills around a magnificent natural harbour. This afternoon we enjoy a sightseeing tour including Parliament Buildings, Old St Paul’s Cathedral, Victoria University, the views from Kelburn and the lovely Botanical Gardens. Some of you may wish to stroll through the botanical gardens back to our centrally located accommodation. Dinner tonight will be at the hotel.
Accommodation: Novotel Wellington

Day 4          Sunday 29 November 2020
This morning we visit Te Papa, New Zealand’s National Museum which offers visitors a unique and authentic experience of New Zealand’s treasures and stories.  Time to explore Te Papa independently to learn about the shaping of its land, the spirit of its diverse peoples, its unique wildlife, landscapes and its distinctive popular culture.  There will be time to have lunch here in the café (own cost). This afternoon we depart onboard the Interislander Ferry for the 3-hour cruise to Picton.  The city of Wellington is set around a magnificent harbour and there is no better way of appreciating its grandeur than from the ferry as it cruises south towards Cook Strait.  This narrow stretch of water named after the explorer Captain James Cook can be extremely turbulent due to the high winds that are funnelled between the South and North Islands.  The ferry is only in the Strait for a short time before entering Queen Charlotte Sound through Tory Channel.  The cruise down the calm waters of Queen Charlotte Sound to Picton is sure to be a highlight as the hills surrounding the Sound are particularly picturesque. We arrive in Picton in the early evening and settle into our accommodation for the next two nights. Dinner tonight is at our hotel.
Accommodation: Picton Beachcomber Inn – 2 nights

Day 5          Monday 30 November 2020
After breakfast this morning, we walk down to the Picton Wharf to board a Cougar Line vessel to cruise Queen Charlotte Sound. The Queen Charlotte Track runs almost the entire length of New Zealand's Queen Charlotte Sound. The track stretches from Ship Cove to Anakiwa: 71 kilometres (approximately 45 miles) of spectacular walking track passing through historic sites, secluded bays and lush coastal bush. Today there is a walking and non-walking option and all passengers receive a picnic lunch to enjoy along the way. On arrival back in Picton, the remainder of the afternoon is at leisure. Dinner tonight is included at our hotel.

Walking Option:
Furneaux Lodge to Punga Cove (4 hours, 11km walk)
Returns to Picton at 4.30pm
Step ashore at Furneaux Lodge and take a walk on part of the Queen Charlotte Track (Furneux Lodge to Punga Cove, 4 hours, 11km) through magnificent virgin forest with breath-taking views of the Sounds.    This coastal walking track passes through lush coastal forest, historic bays and along skyline ridges with unsurpassed views of the Marlborough Sounds. A picnic lunch will be included for you to eat during your walk. Upon arrival at Punga Cove Resort relax on the deck of the Boat Shed Café with a well-deserved beverage (own cost) before boarding the water taxi for the journey back to Picton. The remainder of the day is at leisure.

Non – Walking Option:
Sounds Delivery Cruise (3 hour cruise)
Returns to Picton at 1.00pm
For those not wishing to complete the walk, sit back, as Cougar Line takes us on their Sounds Delivery Cruise. You can enjoy 80km of beautiful coastline in 3 hours going into coves and hidden bays, not seen from the Interisland ferries, delivering walkers to the Queen Charlotte track and freight and fresh supplies to the remote homes and resorts along the Queen Charlotte Sound. Enjoy the skipper’s commentary on the natural environment and local history. At the completion of the cruise, the remainder of your day is at leisure in Picton.

Day 6          Tuesday 1 December 2020
Travel south through the vineyards of the Marlborough Wine Country surrounding the town of Blenheim on State Highway 1 and continue south along the eastern coastline hugging the Pacific Ocean to Kaikoura where the mountains meet the sea.  The Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway track crosses the peninsula’s clifftop, with excellent views of the Seaward Kaikoura Range, ocean and coastline, to South Bay.  Arrive Whalers Bay from where a ten minute track follows a former whalers’ route down the cliff to the shoreline. Return back up via the same cliff track and continue to South Bay View Point.  Leave South Bay View Point to walk to the South Bay car park for coach to pick up. (2 hour walk).  Time out for lunch in Kaikoura (own cost) before reboarding the coach and continuing your journey south through the newly established wine region of Waipara and the farmlands of North Canterbury to Christchurch, where we will enjoy an orientation tour of the city. Dinner tonight is at the hotel.
Accommodation: Quality Hotel Elms, Christchurch – 2 nights

Day 7          Wednesday 2 December 2020
The day is at leisure to enjoy the ‘Garden City’, which has also been described as “the most English city outside England”.  You may wish to stroll through the Botanic Gardens and along the banks of the meandering Avon River, visit the shops and stalls of the Arts Centre, ride the historic tram around the city circuit (extra cost) or visit the Canterbury Museum and the new Christchurch Art Gallery. Dinner tonight is at your leisure.                                                          

DAY 8          Thursday 3 December 2020
Today we travel south across the fertile Canterbury Plains.  The area is New Zealand’s major crop producer as well as sheep and cattle farming.  We will stop in the charming boutique village of Geraldine, visiting the Four Peaks Plaza which is home to an array of speciality shops offering imaginative giftware, quality clothing and locally made gourmet delights. We continue our journey with our next stop being Fairlie, the eastern gateway to the Mackenzie Country, where we will stop for lunch (own cost). The road travels climbs over Burkes Pass into the MacKenzie Country named after a 19th century sheep stealer.  The climatic change is dramatic with vast tussock covered plains framed by the Southern Alps as a backdrop.  Pass the turquoise coloured glacier fed waters of Lakes Tekapo and Pukaki with views of the Alps to the west. See the quaint Church of the Good Shepherd on the shores of Lake Tekapo. We will stop in Tekapo for photo opportunities before continuing to Twizel where we stay for the next two nights.
Accommodation: Mackenzie Country Inn, Twizel – 2 nights

Day 9          Friday 4 December 2020
This morning we retrace our steps drive along the shores of Lake Pukaki into Mount Cook National Park and Mount Cook village where you can view Mount Cook itself (conditions permitting). At the heart of New Zealand’s most spectacular alpine region is Mt Cook, at 3743 metres, it is the highest mountain in New Zealand. The Mount Cook National Park comprises 70,013 hectares of ice, snow, rock, sub-alpine scrub, tussock and riverbeds. Our day will be spent walking near Mount Cook, taking a spectacular route along the Hooker Valley (3 hours,10km walk) with views to Mount Wakefield, Footstool and the south face of Mount Cook.  This popular route leads towards Mount Cook, crossing two swing bridges and continues to the terminal of the Hooker Glacier. After our walk we stop in at the Hermitage for you to purchase lunch (own cost).  Later this afternoon we drive back alongside Lake Pukaki and return to Twizel for the evening. Dinner tonight will be at our hotel.

Day 10          Saturday 5 December 2020
After breakfast this morning we depart Twizel and travel south through the small town at Omarama. At the southern end of the Mackenzie Country, the road climbs through bleak rugged hills to the summit of the Lindis Pass before descending into Central Otago.  The road follows the mighty Clutha River into recently created Lake Dunstan then through the spectacular rugged Kawarau Gorge to Queenstown. After our lunch stop near Queenstown (own cost), we drive around the eastern shores of Lake Wakatipu and across the picturesque Southland countryside to Te Anau, the gateway to Fiordland National Park and starting point for some of New Zealand’s most famous walking tracks.  Te Anau is set on the shores of Lake Te Anau, the largest freshwater lake in the South Island.  On arrival in Te Anau, we will check into our accommodation. Dinner tonight will be at our hotel.
Accommodation: Distinction Luxmore, Te Anau – 2 nights

Day 11          Sunday 6 December 2020
TE ANAU      (B)
Today we board the Fiordland Jet for a fast and thrilling jet boat ride across Lake Te Anau, the largest of the southern glacial lake, surrounded by majestic mountains and ancient forests.  Marvel at the Murchison Mountains, which rise a staggering 1400 metres above the lake surface as we skim across the pristine waters towards Dock Bay. At Dock Bay we disembark the boat and enjoy some time on shore to look for Mohua and Korimako and admire different species of moss and marvel at the beech forest up close. There will be plenty of time for photos, so make sure your camera is fully charged with plenty of memory space. You then have the option to return via jet boat or return to Te Anau via the self-guided Kepler Track. It is approximately two hours walk back to Te Anau, and you can walk this at your own pace. On arrival back in Te Anau, the remainder of the day is at leisure.

Day 12          Monday 7 December 2020
Depart and journey into the dramatic landscape of the Fiordland National Park to Milford Sound.  Stop at the Mirror Lakes to see the near perfect reflections of the mountains in the calm waters, see the Disappearing Mountain as you drive down ‘The Avenue’ then take a short walk to the Chasm and see where the waters disappear into the rocks before arriving in Milford Sound.  Cruise the fiord past Mitre Peak to the Tasman Sea enjoying the stunning scenery of cascading waterfalls, dense rainforest, steep cliff faces and marine life that inhabits these waters.  A Picnic box lunch is included and your nature guide will give a commentary on the interesting features of the area. At conclusion of the cruise, we retrace our steps back to Te Anau travelling via the Cleddeau Gorge, Homer Tunnel and the lovely Eglinton Valley.  From Te Anau we travel through the quaint settlements of Mossburn, Athol and Garston then travel along the shores of Lake Wakatipu to Queenstown. On arrival in Queenstown, we enjoy an orientation tour before checking in at our accommodation. Dinner tonight is at our hotel.
Accommodation: Millennium Hotel, Queenstown – 2 nights

Day 13          Tuesday 8 December 2020
Today is at leisure.  Queenstown has a plethora of optional sightseeing activities available from jet-boating on the thrilling Shotover Jet; a jet-boat excursion along the scenic and remote Dart River; winery tours to the premier Central Otago wineries; 4WD tours into unforgettable Skippers Canyon; scenic flights; fly-fishing or if you dare – bungy jumping or tandem sky-diving!  Extra cost for optional sightseeing excursions.  Dinner tonight is at leisure.

Day 14          Wednesday 9 December 2020
Today you will be transferred from the hotel to Queenstown Airport for our flight to Auckland.

The Park Hotel

Located in the Tongariro National Park, The Park Hotel Ruapehu offers affordable accommodation in a stunning alpine setting. Guests are provided with free parking and 500MB of free WiFi. The Ruapehu Park Hotel is at the foot of a large ski field and volcano at Mt Ruapehu. It is surrounded by two other famous mountains Ngauruhoe and Tongariro. The natural setting around the Lodge is ideal for mountain biking, rafting, hiking, rock climbing, fishing or relaxing in thermal springs. Each room includes an en suite bathroom and comes fully-furnished with a bed, work desk, and a refrigerator.

Novotel Wellington

Novotel Wellington is located in the heart of the CBD, close to many of the attractions the area has to offer. Guests can walk to Te Papa, Wellington Cable Car, Botanical Gardens and the Waterfront all from the luxurious comfort of the hotel. With 139 guest suites and rooms all designed with guest comfort in mind, contemporary accommodation offers guests all the amenities a modern traveller could need. 

Picton Beachcomber Inn

The Beachcomber Inn Hotel is situated on the waterfront of Picton, just a 2 minute walk from the main street, 800 metres from the Ferry Terminal, 400 metres from the train station. The Restaurant boasts spectacular views of the marina and is open from 6pm using locally-produced ingredients and always with a gluten free option available. Please note, during the winter months the restaurant may be closed. Cooked and continental breakfasts available as room-service.

Quality Hotel Elms

The Quality Hotel Elms is situated in a quiet suburban area yet accessible to many of the attractions and activities the area has to offer, surrounded by award-winning gardens and is ideally situated midway between the airport and central city. All 97 guest rooms are well appointed and equipped with all the amenities a guest could need, offering luxurious accommodation in an ideal location for those wanting to explore the area.

Mackenzie Country Inn

Located in the heart of the Mackenzie region, a unique area of New Zealand's South Island. Featuring natural stonework, the architecture beautifully reflects and compliments the mountains and riverbeds of the surrounding landscape. There are 108 comfortably furnished guest rooms, all with shower over bath ensuites and private balconies/patios from which to admire the glorious mountain views. The hotel also features its own restaurant, bar, and modern conference facilities. 

Distinction Luxmore

Distinction Luxmore Hotel, conveniently located in the town centre and close to many attractions and activities the area has to offer. With 180 guest rooms all offering comfortable and luxurious stays, complete with all the in-room amenities a guest could need and access to the hotel's wider facilities.

Millennium Hotel Queenstown

Millennium Hotel Queenstown is located in central Queenstown. The hotel is a short walk to the local shopping and entertainment areas. it offers 220 spacious and elegant rooms. The hotels Observatory restaurant offers a modern New Zealand cuisine and the Club Bar can be a perfect place to relax at the end of the day.

Tour Inclusions

  • Door to door home collection & drop off service available from select areas
  • 13 nights accommodation with private en suite
  • Queenstown to Auckland airfare with Air New Zealand - other ports on application
  • Touring in modern air conditioned tour coach
  • 13 breakfasts, 2 lunches and 10 dinners included
  • Guided walk of Waimangu Volcanic Valley
  • Choice of two walks at Tongariro National Park
  • Visit Te Papa Museum
  • Interislander ferry from Wellington to Picton
  • Return water taxi to Queen Charlotte Track
  • Kaikoura Peninsula Walk
  • Hooker Valley Walk
  • Jet Boat ride on Lake Te Anau
  • Milford Sound Cruise
  • Day of leisure in Queenstown - Leisure Time Tours can assist with optional sightseeing bookings

Tour Payments Per Person ($NZD)

Club Member Guaranteed Share Twin Cost:$5,450.00
Non Member Share Twin Cost:$5,500.00
Single Supplement:$1,450.00
Non-refundable deposit due at time of booking$200.00

Full balance of tour payment due by Thursday  15 October 2020

Book and pay in full by Wednesday 29 July 2020 and receive $150.00 discount per person!

Booking Terms & Conditions

Terms & Conditions….
(Applicable for New Zealand Tours from 01 May 2020 - 30 September 2021)

Acceptance of Terms and Conditions
If you book a Packaged Tour with us and pay your deposit, you are deemed to have accepted these terms.  If you booked your Packaged Tour with us through an agent, the agent is deemed to have accepted these terms on your behalf.  We may ask you to sign a copy of these terms when you join your Packaged Tour to provide a record of your acceptance of these terms and you agree to sign these terms on our request.

The itinerary for your Packaged Tour was correct at the time of printing, but it is subject to change without notice.  Your itinerary could change due to road or weather conditions, changes imposed by other tour operators or a range of other factors outside our control.  You agree that we have no liability to you for changes to your itinerary.

Price Amendments
Prices were correct at the time and date of printing, however Leisure Time Tours reserves the right to amend the price subject to any changes in price imposed by other tour operators and carriers included in the itinerary or major fluctuation in the exchange rates, or increases in government or other levies. The final tour cost will be guaranteed not to change once the full and final payment has been received. Tour Price excludes drinks, telephone calls, travel insurance and items of a personal nature. Leisure Time Tours also reserves the right to cancel the tour due to low numbers and in this instance a full refund will be provided.

*Guaranteed Twin Share Prices
Our Guaranteed Twin Share price is available for those passengers willing to share with another single traveller of the same gender. If there isn’t another passenger of the same gender to share with we GUARANTEE our twin share price. Leisure Times Tours accepts no responsibility for the compatibility of passengers travelling under this arrangement. If someone is not compatible with the person they have been matched up with, all additional costs incurred to assist with changing their shared room type to two single rooms will be at the expense of both travellers and will be subject to availability. Acceptance of a guaranteed twin share room is subject to the individual’s medical condition being suitable for this type of arrangement.

Health and Fitness
Passengers should be in good health and able to walk moderate distances to fully participate and experience the sightseeing opportunities within the enclosed itinerary.  All passengers are required to acknowledge that they are of reasonable health and are considered to be fit to travel and are not travelling contrary to any medical advice.  By acknowledging their health and fitness to participate passengers are indemnifying us from all actions, claims and demands arising out of any lack of health and fitness.  We reserve the right to remove a passenger from a tour if their health or fitness interferes with any other passenger’s experiences or the day to day running of the tour.  In this instance our normal cancellation terms and conditions will apply.  You agree that we have no liability to you for any loss, damage, costs or other effects of health problems you may encounter on your Packaged Tour.

Health and Safety Information Including COVID-19
For the health and safety of all passengers on tour any illness (such as fever, coughing or difficulty breathing) will not be accepted onboard the coach unless they can provide us with a negative Covid19 test result received within the past 72 hours.  Should any passenger start to feel unwell on arrival or while on tour, they must immediately advise their tour manager and contact Healthline then visit a medical practitioner/medical centre/hospital.  To return to the tour the passenger must be deemed fit and well to participate fully on a coach tour, obtaining and providing us with a written medical clearance – not just a negative Covid19 test.  Any costs incurred will be at the passenger’s own expense.

Payments, Cancellations and Refunds
A non-refundable deposit per person is required at time of booking to confirm your seat. All balance payments must be received by Leisure Time Tours prior to the date specified as per itinerary or your booking confirmation. Payments are available to be made by Cash, Cheque, Direct Credit or EFTPOS only –  Credit Card payments are not available without an additional surcharge.  Leisure Time Tours reserves the right to amend or reschedule the tour due the result of circumstances outside the company’s control. Leisure Time Tours also reserves the right to cancel the tour due to insufficient numbers and in this  instance a substitute date will be offered or a full refund will be made available. Tour Price excludes drinks, telephone calls, travel insurance and items of a personal nature.

Travel Insurance
Leisure Time Tours strongly advises all passengers to purchase a travel insurance policy. An important part of planning the holiday is to purchase a comprehensive travel insurance policy as it may prevent passengers from spending extra money in case of an emergency and will help passengers feel protected during the holiday. We are agents for Cover More Travel Insurance. Ask us for a no obligation insurance quote today.

Land Component Cancellation Policy
By making a booking with us and paying your deposit you agree to pay us the full price for your booking.  If you cancel your booking:

  • 31+ days prior to tour commencement, loss of non-refundable deposit
  • 15-30 days prior to tour commencement your cancellation charge will be 60% of the holiday price (40% refund) plus any applicable supplier cancellation fees
  • 8-14 days prior to tour commencement your cancellation charge will be 80% of the holiday price (20% refund) plus any applicable supplier cancellation fees
  • 0-7 days prior to tour commencement your cancellation charge will be 100% of the holiday price (no refund)

No refunds on any unused portions of any itinerary.  The exception is if a sightseeing service is cancelled by operator due to weather conditions/safety concerns etc and the operator authorises a refund.  Any such refunds will be processed through agent.

Please note that any applicable airline content does not apply to the above refunds – see your airline for their specific cancellation/refund policies.

COVID-19 Cancellation and Refund Policy
COVID-19 has created uncertainty for us all, therefore for cancellations directly related to COVID-19, we have negotiated special terms with our suppliers which would override ‘normal cancellation’ terms as outlined above;

If the New Zealand Government imposes travel restrictions that would impact our ability to deliver your travel package prior to commencing travel, passengers will receive a full credit, less any applicable airline cancellation fees.  If travel restrictions are imposed while on tour, we will seek credits on any unused portions of the itinerary from all suppliers.  Any applicable credits will first be applied to any additional costs that our company may have incurred on the passenger’s behalf e.g. if alternative accommodation or transportation to repatriate the passenger to their home city or nearest airport etc is required.  Any remaining refunds will be credited to the booking agent to enable them to pass onto their passenger.

If a passenger has been tested positive for COVID-19 directly prior to travel or while on holiday with us, then with supporting documentation provided to us (a positive COVID-19 test), we will seek credits on any unused portions of the itinerary from all suppliers.  Any applicable credits will first be applied to any additional costs that our company may have incurred on the passenger’s behalf e.g. if alternative accommodation or transportation to repatriate the passenger to their home city or nearest airport etc is required.  Any remaining refunds will be credited to the booking agent to enable them to pass onto their passenger.