Trails of New Zealand

19 days
from
5 585 €
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Traveller ratings
4.7 / 5 from 15 reviews >
Trip code: 
ALN
Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Tailormade Adventures
Activity:
Natural Wonders
Min age:
18
Group size:
6–14

An active adventure exploring the Land of the Long White Cloud

From the waterfront city of Auckland to the spectacular Southern Alps, New Zealand is blessed with an array of natural wonders. By far the best way to appreciate these is on foot and by boat, and this active trip maximises the time spent in the outdoors. Whether it's sailing through waterways, hiking between volcanic peaks or jetboating through Mount Aspiring National Park, New Zealand is a country that always exceeds expectations. Make the most of this striking country with this jam-packed itinerary that includes many of the highlights en route.

Highlights

  • Auckland and Christchurch
  • One-day Tongariro Crossing and other exciting walks
  • Lake Taupo and Rotorua Abel Tasman, Fox Glacier and Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park
  • Queenstown and Milford Sound

Key information

17 nights in comfortable hotels and lodges, most with en suite facilities, 1 night cruise boat with shared faciilities

What's included

  • All breakfasts and 2 dinners
  • All accommodation 
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request) 
  • Visas or vaccinations
Call us on
020 420 22 20
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

Auckland
to
Christchurch
  • Day 1

    Arrive Auckland

    The day is free to relax and recover from the jet lag. Auckland is a beautiful city and worthy of some time to explore. The nearby Viaduct restaurants are an ideal means of overcoming the last of the jet lag and the day just slowly passes by. If you are feeling lucky visit the Sky City Casino tower for one of those lunches you just don't forget. Those not flying with the group should meet at the start point at the Auckland City Hotel at 6pm for a full briefing with your leader.

    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Dinner
  • Day 2

    Visit Rangitoto Island

    Auckland is the City of Sails, so what better way to start your holiday than to take a cruise across the Gulf to the beautiful Rangitoto Island; which at only 600 years old, is the youngest volcano in New Zealand. The island has undergone a significant restoration programme and is entirely pest-free which encourages the native flora and fauna to thrive. We will walk through lava fields and forests to the summit of the island which stands 259m above sea level and has some stunning panoramic views of Auckland and the Hauraki Gulf.

    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 3

    To Rotorua

    Leaving the city behind us we head south to Rotorua (approx. 3.5 hours drive) and our accommodation. On arrival we stretch our legs with a hike around the redwood forest followed by an optional afternoon at leisure in town or a hike at Blue Lake. The evening highlight is the Marae (ceremonial ground) visit. Our Maori hosts welcome us in their traditional manner before entertaining us with a concert and hangi (traditional meal).

    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 4

    To Tongariro N.P

    We explore one of New Zealand's most colourful thermal areas with boiling mud pools, hot streams and silica terraces. The natural wonders that first attracted the Maori in the 14th century, and later the European's, still draw large numbers of tourists every year. Rotorua is a unique natural wonder and a must see destination. Leaving Rotorua we drive south (approx. 3 hours) to Tongariro National Park. On the way we visit the steaming Wai-O-Tapu geothermal valley and impressive Huka Falls.

    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 5

    Hike Tongariro Crossing

    From the many walking options that exist, you are free to take your choice as we explore this volcanic landform. Two half-day walks to beautiful waterfalls and bush lands (unguided) or the amazing 8hr Tongariro Alpine Crossing are on offer. The Tongariro Alpine Crossing has been called one of the greatest one-day walks in New Zealand and provided the weather is kind the rugged volcanic desert, craters and glacial valleys combined with the incredible views make this a day to remember. The crossing should not be under estimated and there are a number of steep sections where the loose surface can make it tough going, so come well-prepared. The crossing can take 7-8 hours depending on walking ability. A magnificent scenic flight option also exists for those wanting to understand the volcanic origins of the area.

    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 6

    To Wellington

    Relax following yesterday's efforts as we drive (approx. 5 hours) south to Wellington. Continue across the Rangitikei and Manawatu Plains and down the Kapiti Coast to Wellington. Across from our hotel is Te Papa, the NZ National Museum which we can explore in the afternoon along with the beautiful Botanic Gardens and cable car and enjoy the exciting nightlife of our capital city.

    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 7

    Ferry across Cook Strait to Marlborough; drive to Abel Tasman N.P

    After an early breakfast we board the ferry and leave the North Island behind as we cross the Cook Strait, passing the Marlborough Sounds with 1500kms of beautiful coastline. From Picton we have a 90 min drive to Nelson where we take the time out explore the city – or an optional visit to the amazing Wearable Arts Museum. After this visit we drive to Motueka (approx 60 min) on the edge of the Abel Tasman National Park, with its idyllic golden sand beaches and forests.

    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 8

    Half day coastal walk; boat to Motueka

    Out of Marahau, this morning coastal walk takes us through the beautiful beaches and ancient forests as the track weaves through the park, providing a kaleidoscope of impressions. The path is well maintained and the walk will take approx 3-4 hours. We meet our sailing boat at the Anchorage Bay, providing the return to Marahau and some time to relax dining out at the small town of Motueka.

    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 9

    To Buller River; sunset walk at Punakaiki

    Our departure from the Abel Tasman National Park is followed by a scenic drive down the mighty Buller River. After a short stop at Cape Foulwind to see the local seal colony, we then stop at Punakaiki, home of the famous Pancake Rocks, to watch the setting sun (total driving time approx. 5 hours). If the tide is up the ground can physically shake and water spurts from the blow-holes and fissures that dot the coastline.

    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 10

    To Fox Glacier passing Okarito en route

    Passing through areas of lush forests, we continue south down the beautiful west coast. We drive onto the small village of Okarito nestled on the lagoon, home of the rare Kotuku (white heron). On offer here is optional kayaking where we float in on the incoming tide and explore the bush-clad waterways seeking out the abundant bird life the lagoon is famous for. Those looking to stretch their legs can hike to the nearby Trig station (approx. 1.5 hours) for the spectacular views over the Southern Alps. Later we continue the short drive through to Fox township.

    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 11

    Walk to Fox Glacier; continue to Wanaka

    After breakfast we stroll around the reflective Lake Matheson, a photographer's dream. As an optional extra (weather permitting), you can take a helicopter ride over the glaciers that lace the Southern Alps. As we head out of town, we take a drive up the valley and hike to a viewpoint of the spectacular Fox Glacier. 

    We then continue south along bush-clad roads and past the dramatic coastline with its wild windswept beaches to the settlement of Haast. Turning inland we climb over Haast Pass, the southernmost crossing of the Southern Alps that forms the boundary between Westland and Otago. From here the tussock lands of the eastern slopes merge with the beech forests. We travel through to Wanaka, home for the next two nights

    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 12

    Jet boat in Matukitiki

    In the morning we head into the Mount Aspiring National Park and experience an exciting jetboat ride along the braided rivers leading into the park. Jetboating was invented in NZ as a means to negotiate the shallow braided rivers which we use to access a track leading to a hike into the cirque surrounded by huge mountain walls. Back at our coach we eat our picnic lunch before driving onto our 3 hr hike at the beautiful Diamond Lake that provides stunning views of the river delta and the landscape.

    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 13

    Transfer to Milford Sound and board overnight boat

    From Wanaka we depart early heading for Te Anau and then into the Eglington Valley through to the start of the Routeburn Track. At the saddle we take a 2-hour walk to Key Summit from for some spectacular views. We continue further into the spectacular mountains of the Milford region and then into Milford Sound itself where we join our floating accommodation for the night. The newly refurbished boat has private two bed cabins with shared facilities amidst dolphins and mighty peaks towering above the fiord.

    Basic Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 14

    Cruise Inner Sound; drive to Queenstown

    After an early morning breakfast we cruise the inner sound again searching for dolphins and seals before disembarking and retracing our tracks to Te Anau and then a stunning lakeside hike (approx. 5km) through the rainforest. After this hike we drive (approx. 3 hours) onto Queenstown and our next two nights are spent here.

    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 15

    Free day in Queenstown

    A free day to enjoy the scenic delights of this world famous destination, home of the famous bungy jump! Optional activities include a 4x4 drive into the remote Skippers Canyon; a visit to the historic gold mining centre of Arrowtown; a cruise aboard the historic steamship to Walter Peak sheep station; paragliding or bungy jumping! Then again, you may just prefer to simply spend the day shopping or relaxing.

    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 16

    Transfer to Mt Cook N.P.; trek in Hooker Valley

    Travel through the barren Kawarau Gorge where large amounts of gold were dredged at the turn of the century. Drive over Lindis Pass to the tussock-covered plains of the Mackenzie basin and into the Mt Cook National Park (total approx. 4 hours). Beneath NZ's highest peak we walk into the Hooker Valley with its crashing glaciers and glacial lakes. By early evening we reach our motel and watch the spectacular view from the warmth of the restaurant.

    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 17

    Drive to Christchurch via Canterbury Plains

    After breakfast we have the option to hike (approx. 2 hours) to the nearby red tarns on Mt Sebastapol or an optional visit to the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre and the local Department of Conservation Centre. By late morning we depart for nearby Lake Tekapo and visit the observatory on the summit of Mt John, a short hike down to the township. From here we drive (approx. 3.5 hours) across the mosaic of the Canterbury Plains out to Christchurch and the end of our drive.

    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 18

    Hike to summit walkway for spectacular views

    Above Christchurch is the summit walkway and in the morning we have a final hike (approx. 2-3 hours) enjoying the spectacular views into the Lyttleton harbour and across the Canterbury Plains. After the devastating earthquakes of 2010/11, the city is undergoing a major rebuild, unrivalled in the world. The afternoon is free to explore this city rebuild as well as the beautiful gardens and Hagley park.

    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 19

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

New Zealand

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.

TRAVELLING VIA THE USA
If you are travelling via the USA (even for transit) and are eligible to transit under the Visa Waiver Programme (most British citizens with a machine readable passport), you are now required to register in advance for an Electronic Travel Authority (ESTA). There is a USD14 charge for the ESTA, which is only payable online with a credit card. Please see the FCO website for further information. All other non-residents passing through the US must get a visa in advance.

Vaccinations

New Zealand

There are no specific health risks.

Eating and Drinking

The itinerary includes 18 breakfasts and 2 dinners.

Breakfasts will be either supplied by the accommodation or by the guides for you. We will always be able to purchase lunches on the run but can also facilitate creating sandwiches at your accommodation and have these stored in our on-board fridge. Morning tea / coffee stops are available at your own cost. 

Weather

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 (min-max) 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). As New Zealand is in the Southern Hemisphere the seasons are opposite to those in the UK. Summer runs from December to February, spring September to November and autumn March to May. Adverse weather may require changes to the itinerary. The guide will discuss these with the group

Is this trip for you?

This is a varied trip with 3 full day walks and 5 half-day walks. There are a number of other activities included in the itinerary which require a good level of fitness. The majority of walks are on good paths however those wishing to undertake the Tongariro Crossing should be prepared for some scrambling. If you wish to undertake the climb of Mt Ruapehu you should be aware that the trek can be difficult and will require a good level of fitness.

Call us on
020 420 22 20
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Hotels & Cruise Boat

You will spend 17 nights in comfortable hotels most of which have en-suite facilities. There will also be one night spent aboard a cruise boat with shared facilities. Accommodation on this trip uses a mixture of character motels and friendly hotels, some of which offer spectacular views.

Single rooms are available for a supplement, this covers all nights apart from 1 evening when we are aboard the Wanderer boat. Please advise the sales team at the time of booking if you require the single accommodation.

Call us on
020 420 22 20
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Experts

Contact a member of staff who has done this trip

Call us on
020 420 22 20
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

  • Reviewed April 2017
    Anna Cheer

    Trails of New Zealand

    A perfectly balanced blend of touristy sightseeing activities, incredibly beautiful, varied walks and exciting, unforgettable experiences. We were blessed with fantastic weather, too!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    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!?

    What did you think of your group leader?

    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.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    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!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    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!
  • Reviewed March 2017
    Martin Bigg

    Trails of New Zealand

    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.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    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.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    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.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go!!! 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.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    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.
  • Reviewed March 2017
    Helen Cock

    Trails of New Zealand

    This was a wonderful walking holiday. We were fortunately blessed with extremely good weather, so the views were unforgettable.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Helicopter flight to the Fox glacier

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The group leader was excellent - always keen to please, make excellent meal suggestions and slightly adjust the program to fit the group.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make the most of this wonderful trip!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    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.
  • Reviewed March 2017
    Eileen Bigg

    Highlights of New Zealand

    An excellent and varied itinerary through stunning scenery. Much travelling thoughtfully balanced by good walks. A good mix of group activities and free time.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Definitely the Tongariro Alpine Crossing - hard work and a long day but worth it. The views round Lake Matheson. The waterfalls in Milford Sound. We clocked up a few first experiences: first time in a jet boat (great fun and something we would not have done otherwise), first helicopter flight, first time sailing a catamaran (yes, I took the helm), first time on the Luge ...

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Hayley and Josh were calm, efficient, funny, informed, caring and very committed. They were great. They prepared us well for each day's activities.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take a daysac as well as your 40 litre rucksack, if you can. Pack layers - it can be very hot and very cold. Don't forget sunhat, suncream and insect repellant. Poles can be hired for the Tongariro crossing.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This trip doesn't cover Auckland and Northland up to Cape Reinga, the Coromandel peninsula, the deep south or Kaikoura so you might want to try to fit them in before and/or after the trip. After all, it is a long way to go back again!
  • Reviewed January 2017
    Suzanne watt

    Fabulous trip

    A tour of both North and South Islands with numerous short walks included which aren't listed on the trip notes. The scenery is just breathtaking (sometimes literally with some of the hills we walked up....) and just needs to be seen.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing into the Red Crater at the top of the Tongarairo Crossing. The photographs just do not do it justice at all. Plus, you then get to run down the scree which is a lot of fun....

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent knowledge of the flora and fauna, I know more about NZ wildlife that that in the UK.... He also took us on numerous little walks to break up the long coach trips, many weren't listed on the trip notes but he knew them any way.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Even in summer, weather is variable. Actually, you are guaranteed rain in Westland... I used my light down jacket more than I thought. You need DEET On the south island, sandflies are evil

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Go on this trip. Consider doing your own add on to go to the Bay of Islands or the Coromandel Peninsula while you are there.
  • Reviewed March 2015
    Julia Bowman

    A fabulous taster trip of New Zealand...

    This trip encompassed everything I had wanted to experience in New Zealand and more - helped by excellent guiding by experienced Exodus leader Ian and supported by Pete - and perfect weather conditions. If you want to see the highlights of both islands at a reasonable price, then this is the trip for you! Just be prepared for long days on the minibus, which are unavoidable unfortunately.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    So many good moments that it's difficult to discriminate - but I particularly enjoyed our day jet-boating; our climb up to Mt Cook; the day coastal walking and sailing near Motueka (all in S Island) - and got immense satisfaction from my completion of the 20k Tontoriro Crossing trek in N Island!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ian, as our principal leader, was great...we were expertly guided and cajoled by him! He had a light touch (with our mainly 'early-retired' large party of 16) and inspired confidence... Pete - although new to Exodus - was also a very good support leader, most kind and caring.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for all and any weather conditions! Also, to get the best out of this trip, it is probably wise to arrive in a good state of fitness in order to be able to enjoy the many walks and trails on offer.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I am happy to say that this is probably the best Exodus trip that I've travelled on - and I have been on sufficient now to qualify for my 10% discount!!
  • Reviewed February 2015
    Paul Ashcroft

    A great trip

    This was a great trip overall. You get to see a lot of NZ and can do some great walks and other activities. The range of places visited on both islands means that some days there is a lot of traveling but the guides work really hard to break the day up with short walks and stops.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Some of the more challenging walks rewarded you with great views and a real feeling of having achieved something. Jet boating and catamaran tip were both great experiences.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Both guides were knowledgeable and prepared you well for the next days activities.
  • Reviewed January 2015
    Mark Roberts

    Trails of New Zealand

    The holiday exceeded our expectations and in the main the Trip Notes accurately reflected the details of the holiday (see below). A fantastic holiday.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There really was not only one inspirational moment. The entire holiday was inspirational for different reasons - spectacular scenery; friendly / clean country which appeared to be devoid of litter; interesting culture / history which has been impacted so much by the european settlers; the several planned walks / treks that had been arranged as part of the holiday together with the evening spent on the boat at Milford Sound.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    There were two guides on the Trip - Ian Douglas and Helen Tait. They complemented each other very well with both adding detailed commentary / background of the country that equated to their area of expertise. They were both very patient, encouraging and helpful especially with suggestions for possible activities at approaching destinations.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    There were some inaccuracies in the Trip Notes that came to light during the trip. 1. Some of the hotels were marked as BH (Basic Hotels) when in fact the 'hotels' (motels) were some of the best hotels at which we stayed during the Trip because of their location and facilities e.g. Queenstown, Wanaka and Mount Cook for example. This incorrect or misunderstood classification may have had the effect of dissuading people interested in the Trip from booking. 2. The details of the holiday on the Web include a picture of one of the activities where travellers could walk on the Fox Glacier. This is in fact not correct as the only way to do this is by paying for a helicopter to land on the Glacier - there was insufficient time available within the day's schedule to take up this opportunity . The day's activity is to walk from the car park to the face of the glacier where conditions allow. Unfortunately with our Trip, as it had been raining heavily, the Park Rangers had cordoned off the path because of the danger of rock falls.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We hope that the above advice is taken into consideration so as not to deter future travellers from booking this trip. The grade assigned to the trip was accurate.
  • Reviewed January 2015
    Rosemary LEIPER

    Trails of New Zealand

    Covered the highlights of the whole of New Zealand in a three week marathon trip! Hit all the major spots of the whole country which of course means many long hours of driving (3000 miles!) but worth it. Managed as well to fit in special things for us on free days so best of both worlds.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Lots of highlights including jet boat on matukituki, Maori evening with hungi, Mount Cook on a clear crisp day, breakfast at Cherry May's in Wanaka, kayaking at Milford Sound under rain laden clouds and amazing waterfalls, thermal pools at Rotorua in technicolour and of course seeing kiwi's even if in a wildlife sanctuary..... to name a few!!!!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Helen and Ian complemented one another . Both so enthusiatic and delighted to share their experiances and knowledge of their home country with us all. Nothing too much trouble from cooking us breakfast to sorting out requests for things to do on our free days ..and supporting me at Christchurch Park Run on last day!!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Expect to be jetlagged if coming from UK . Accomodation was exellent with laundry facilities so I took far too much! The accomodation was far from basic and in most cases execelent with cooking facilities ( including fridge) in all the Motels which means you can go to supermarket and eat in if you want for a change with nice bottle of New Zealand wine. Price in supermarkets on a par with UK in most cases.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Exceeded our expectations . Walking was not particulary hard to be honest except the Tongariro Crossing and I wore good walking sandles on most walks. Poles not really needed except perhaps for the Tongariro Crossing but not essential. We had good dry weather for all our walks . Watch out for the sandflies on the west coast area...lethal and I was bitten ++++ but a badge of honour I told my husband as I scratched them. Nothing will deter them getting you !!! great holiday ...you will love it!
  • Reviewed January 2015
    Dolores Rice

    Trails of New Zealand

    The Trails of New Zealand tour was, in my opinion, a well planned itinerary as we saw the highlights of this beautiful country, both North and South Island.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Too many to mention, but I particularly enjoyed the Maouri cultural evening at Rotorua, North Island, watching the cloud lift from the summit of spectacular Mount Cook, South Island and the evening/ night we spent on the boat in Milford Sound admiring the wonderful scenery.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Nicole was a very good leader who worked very hard looking after the needs of all the group. She displayed a maturity far beyond her years and made a fantastic Christmas dinner for us! She has a great bubbly personality and her obvious love for her native country is infectious.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Just go and see for yourself!

Dates & Prices

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An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

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