For many adventurers, the allure of travel is in the land itself.
- Wildlife & Polar
Wildlife & Polar highlights
- Types of Holiday
Popular Cultural Holiday
Download the detailed trip notes for everything you could possibly want to know about this trip, including detailed itinerary and full kit list.
A perfectly balanced blend of touristy sightseeing activities, incredibly beautiful, varied walks and exciting, unforgettable experiences. We were blessed with fantastic weather, too!
Standing under the 80m high Fairy Falls on the bow of the Milford Wanderer, water pummelling down on our heads, totally surprised, completely exhilarated and utterly happy.
I have to add first seeing Red Crater on the Tongariro Crossing, jetboating, catamaran sailing on the Tasman Sea, walking through Tiritiri Matangi Island’s gorgeous native woodland ringing with exotic bird calls and cicadas, the joy of seeing the glorious colour of Huka Falls. The trouble is that every day had moments like these, so how do you choose!?
Hayley and Josh are an extraordinary young couple, calm, cheerful, incredibly hard working and competent. If everyone drove like Josh, the roads would be safer places. Every suggestion regarding where to eat or shop or what to do in our free time turned out to be good. In his review, Martin mentioned the lady stranger who had a fall, but not that Hayley actually carried her most of the way down a steep mountain after giving first aid! There were, inevitably, some long drives, but Hayley and Josh arranged an enjoyable short walk or other activity at least every two hours. I think I’d trust these two in almost any situation.
Don’t scratch your Blackfly bites! They really are the scourge of South Island, but DEET does deter them so use it. I kept leaving it too late. Bites I managed to resist scratching settled down quickly, those I took the tops off had scabs for weeks and have left scars.
Be prepared for the jet lag - it took us a week to get over it after coming home.
Take lots of notes as well as taking photos -see below!
It has been five weeks since the end of our holiday. It has taken this long to go through all my photos and notes, remembering more and more things that we did, to do research on the internet and to write a journal. Only now do I feel able to take an overall view and write this review. This holiday is a full-on three weeks of new experiences and it is almost impossible to take it all in at the time. For us and, I imagine most people, this was a holiday of a lifetime and I really do recommend making a photographic journal to fix those memories. It is a lot of work, but rather like having the holiday again!
We had promised ourselves this trip for some time and had high expectations. We were looking for a good mix of activities to see and experience the country.
Trails of New Zealand went way beyond our expectations. We thoroughly enjoyed the amazing places, the range of walks in different landscapes, the fun of jet-boating, sailing and cruising, and luging, and the unique birds and wildlife.
We had so many experiences which will stay with us: walking the stark volcanic landscape of the Tongariro Crossing; walking to and flying over Mount Cook and landing on pristine Fox glassier; sailing a catamaran; or travelling at 80mph up a braided river; the magnificent kauri and redwoods, and not forgetting the kiwis.
On our way to Milford Sound on the South Island it poured with rain and we were not expecting to see much. However, soon after we boarded the boat the skies cleared and the fiord was filled with magnificent waterfalls. It was magical as we explored Milford Sound in boats and kayaks, and our ship nosed its way past and into the silver cascading water against a backdrop of majestic snow covered peaks.
Josh and Haley were superb leaders. They were very organised and ensured that we knew all we needed to know. They provided supplements to our meals and provided a super spread when they catered for us. They were great at sharing additional information and encouragement to the slower and faster members of the group.
When they found that an unknown walker had had a serious fall they ensured that she returned down the mountain safely while continuing to look after our group. When the bus developed a technical fault it was dealt with quickly and efficiently.
It is a long way so pace and prepare yourself, but it will repay you many times over.
The country is very varied and so is the weather, so go prepared for everything - it was coldest and wettest at sea level and hottest in the mountains.
This trip is a good balance of activities. You should be reasonably fit and prepared for the unexpected. We were delayed for two hours when a giant kauri fell across the road, and there are no alternatives. So we had a great time chatting with everyone including the fire brigade and police. It is that sort of country.
This was a wonderful walking holiday. We were fortunately blessed with extremely good weather, so the views were unforgettable.
Helicopter flight to the Fox glacier
The group leader was excellent - always keen to please, make excellent meal suggestions and slightly adjust the program to fit the group.
Make the most of this wonderful trip!
If there was one small suggestion I could make (and believe me, it is small and nit-picky), I would recommend cleaning the bus windows if it has become dusty; this could prevent a photoshoot stop on a few occasions. This idea came from a previous tour I made with a different company.
There is no bad time really, but the weather can play and important role. Weather in New Zealand is very changeable throughout the year and all months are moderately wet. Fine sunny spells can happen at any time of year but the departures have been timed to coincide with the best chance of good weather; although you should come prepared for rain. The temperature in Auckland will vary from approximately 11-30C (minmax) from October-March however it will be slightly cooler in October. The weather on the South Island will be slightly cooler with a range of temperatures of approx 7-20C (min-max).
Rebecca Caldicott - Customer Operations
Citizens of the United Kingdom, most EU countries, USA, Canada, Australia and South Africa do not currently require a visa to travel to New Zealand. If in doubt, check with the nearest embassy or contact Exodus.
Rebecca Caldicott - Customer Operations
A lot of people give themselves an extra day or two on the way out to combat any ill effects from the long flight, but you will have plenty of time to rest when you arrive (if you would prefer to do so) so it shouldn't cause any major problems! If you'd like to have flights on different dates, just let Exodus know.
Emma Garrick - Product Manager
Most clients are eligible to travel via the US under the US Visa Waiver Programme, however to do this you must register for an ETA (Electronic Travel Authority). This must be done prior to departure - more details can be found at www.exodus.co.uk/usvisa.
Rebecca Caldicott - Customer Operations
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