Take a guided walk on the spectacular Franz Josef Glacier and marvel at its crevasses and ice caves. Kayak the tranquil Okarito lagoon and watch native birds feeding in the shallows. Hike through podocarp forest to natural hot pools surrounded by mountain peaks in Westland NP. Watch for penguins and dolphins while strolling along isolated beaches.
Note: Grade: Medium.
Day 1: Drive from Nelson to Kahurangi NP, hike through beech forest, camp under natural rock shelter, 4 hours hiking.
Day 2: Hike up above the bushline on Mt Arthur. Drive to camp beside the Buller River, 7 hours hiking.
Day 3: Visit NZ fur seal colony. Drive to Paparoa NP and hike while learning river crossing techniques, 3 hours hiking.
Day 4: Explore limestone caves and hike down a river canyon. Visit the Pancake Rocks at Punakaiki, 5 hours hiking.
Day 5: Drive to Franz Josef and walk to the glacier terminal, or do the guided walk on the glacier ($35), 2 hours hiking.
Day 6: Kayak ($40) across Okarito lagoon and up forested river channels, or walk along beach 4 hours kayaking.
Day 7: Hike up the Copland valley to Welcome Flats hut and soak weary muscles in natural hot pools, 7 hours hiking.
Day 8: Boulder-hop up to a waterfall with stunning mountain views, or have a rest day, 4 hours hiking.
Day 9: Hike back down the Copland, visit a penguin breeding colony, and camp on an isolated beach, 6 hours hiking.
Day 10: Hike along a beach frequented by dolphins, drive over Haast Pass and continue to Queenstown, 2 hours hiking.
Also see tour packages in:
Australia and Oceania New Zealand Outdoor: Land Rambler Hiking & Trekking
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