New Zealand Walking, Wine & Food (13 days)

This 13-day journey gives you a taste of New Zealand’s stunning scenery, and delicious food and wine on both the North and South Islands. Experience all this firsthand and close up through gentle hikes, luxurious accommodations, rich New Zealand culture, and a delicious sampling of the local wine and food. Enjoy unforgettable experiences along the way – relax in New Zealand’s premier area of geothermal activity, waterfront picnics with breathtaking views, scenic cruises through the glorious wilderness, a glittering grotto of glow worms in a 200 metre system of caves, a jet boat ride up one of New Zealand’s most incredible river valleys, and more!

Active Adventures is designed for small group tours, anywhere from 4-14 travelers depending on the type of tour. Trips sometimes have set departure dates or may be customized to a group. Contact Terraficionados for more information.

Daily Itinerary

Day 1

Details for Today

Arrive in: Auckland

  • Short cruise to Waiheke Island, home to some of the most exclusive wineries and stunning coastline in the world
  • Local artisan red wine tasting
Transfer through rolling green countryside to Rotorua

Accommodation: Wai Ora Resort, Rotorua

Meals: L,D

New Zealand

What better way to get 13 days of walking and indulgence underway, than a short cruise across the Hauraki Gulf from our largest cosmopolitan city of Auckland to Waiheke Island? A spectacularly beautiful place where bohemians decided to escape the rat race in the 60s, now home to some of the most exclusive wineries and stunning coastline in the world. We’ll wander the Park Point coastal walkway before sampling the acclaimed local artisan red wines. After a short cruise back across the Hauraki Gulf, we’ll head south through the rolling green countryside to Rotorua for our first night.

Activity for today: 2 hours, easy walking

Day 2

Details for Today


  • Relax at the Thermal Wonderland of Wai-o-tapu
  • Experience the local culture and history

Accommodation: Wai Ora Resort, Rotorua

Meals: B,L,D

Rotorua, New Zealand,

Wake up in Rotorua, the cultural hub of New Zealand, and sample our fine espresso coffee. Once we’re wide awake and well fed we’ll drive a short distance down the road to the thermal wonderland of Wai-O-Tapu, New Zealand’s premier area of geothermal activity. Bubbling mud, steaming cracks in the earth, myriad sulphuric colors and smells abound in this fascinating area. Tonight we’ll spend the evening appreciating local culture and history at a Maori cultural & dining experience at Te Puia.

Activity for today: Short walks exploring 18 square km’s of the Geothermal hotspot

Day 3

Details for Today

Transfer to: Lake Taupo

  • Walk through Huka falls
  • Visit Rotopounamu Lake
  • Waterfront picnic lunch

Accommodation: Oreti Village, Turangi

Meals: B,L,D

Huka Falls, Taupo, New Zealand,

No need to hurry this morning – we’ll take our time with breakfast, before heading south to our largest inland body of water – Lake Taupo. Draining from the lake is the Waikato River, which starts its journey through a tight cataract and spectacular chute – Huka Falls. We’ll walk the trail to the Falls and have lunch on the lakefront.

Afterward, for those who are keen, we’ll walk some of the loop track around a crater lake, Lake Rotopounamu. Afterward, we’ll head to our accommodation for the night, Oreti Village, where your guides will cook a delicious dinner.

Activity for today – Huka falls: 3km, 1.5 hours; Rotopounamu: 5km, 2 hours

Day 4

Details for Today

Lake Taupo 

  • Walk around and explore Tongariro National Park
  • Afternoon Tea at Chateau Tongariro

Accommodation: Oreti Village, Turangi

Meals: B,L,D

 Taupo, New Zealand,

Wide open arid volcanic landscapes, picture perfect volcanic peaks, waterfalls, and clear flowing waters. It’s no wonder this is a World Heritage site. Today we’ll take the Silica Rapids walk, which follows a cascading stream through mountain beech forest to the creamy white terraces carved out from thousands of years of volcanic activity. If you’re up for another waterfall, we’ll take a 6 kilometers loop track to Taranaki Falls, where the water tumbles 20 meters over a 15,000-year-old lava flow to crash into the pool below.

This afternoon we’re heading to one of New Zealand’s most iconic hotels, in the volcanic central plateau, the Chateau Tongariro, where we’ll have afternoon tea. This evening your wonderful guides will prepare another delicious meal.

Activity for today: 4.7km, 2 hours on Silica Rapids trail; optional Taranaki falls 6km, 2 hours

Day 5

Details for Today

Lake Taupo:

  • Explore Sanctuary Mountain
  • Visit a conservation project to see some of New Zealand’s most incredible animals in a sound ecological environment

Transfer to Cambridge, known as New Zealand’s equine capital


  • Explore this quaint community on the banks of the powerful Waikato River

AccommodationKelly Road Cambridge Lodge, Cambridge

Meals: B,L,D

Kelly Road Cambridge Lodge, Cambridge, Supplier website

Today we’ll take a beautifully scenic drive north, around the west side of Lake Taupo, to Maungatautari, where we’ll explore Sanctuary Mountain. This conservation project is a gigantic predator-proof area of 3400 hectares. The project aims to continue the re-introduction of threatened and endangered species via breeding programmes and gives visitors the opportunity to see some of New Zealand’s most incredible animals in a sound ecological environment.

Later today we’ll head for the town of Cambridge where we’ll spend the night. Known as ‘the town of trees and champions’ as well as New Zealand’s equine capital, we’ll explore this quaint community on the banks of the powerful Waikato River, before dinner out at one of Cambridge’s amazing restaurants.

Activity for today: Short walks around the conservation land

Day 6

Details for Today

Fly to: Queenstown

  • Enjoy free time to explore the resort town
  • Cruise on a steam ship built in 1912, on Lake Wakatipu to Walter Peak
  • Watch a sheepdog demonstration on a working sheep station

Accommodation: Scenic Suites, Queenstown

Meals: B, L

Earnslaw Cruise, Queenstown, New Zealand,

We’ll head north to Auckland airport this morning and board a short flight to Queenstown, where another world awaits. The rugged peaks of the Remarkables Mountain range rise sharply out of the crystal clear waters of Lake Wakatipu on one side. Turn 180 degrees and the spectacular views carry on as far as the eye can see – simply stunning.

This afternoon you’ll have some free time to explore the resort town, before gathering again at Steamer Wharf in town to take a cruise on the TSS Earnslaw, a steam ship built in 1912, for a cruise on Lake Wakatipu to Walter Peak, where we’ll enjoy a delicious buffet dinner and a sheepdog demonstration on a working sheep station.

Day 7

Details for Today


  • Enjoy a full day at leisure

Accommodation: Scenic Suites, Queenstown

Queenstown, New Zealand, Supplier

Elegant, exciting, welcoming, compact and always beautiful, Queenstown is a place for anyone and anything. On the shores of Lake Wakatipu, surrounded by stunning peaks, you’ll find a quiet sanctuary indoors or outdoors here, or an activity to get the adrenaline flowing. Dine, indulge, drink, walk, fly, float, ride – just let your guide know how you’d like to spend your time here. Take time to appreciate the beauty of the local gardens and the lake, and forget about the world outside this amazing place.

Day 8

Details for Today

Transfer to Milford Sound

  • Enjoy a series of short walks en route to Milford Sound
  • Eat lunch at a stunning picnic spot
  • Explore breathtaking waterfalls

Accommodation: Milford Sound Chalets

Meals: B,L,D

Fiordland National Park, New Zealand,

As we drive into Fiordland National Park, ‘glorious’ is just one word that will pop into your head. As the granite peaks get steeper, higher and more imposing, the rainforest flanking them grows ever thicker and the rivers ever clearer. To really explore the area we’ve chosen a series of short walks to take on the way to our ultimate destination, Milford Sound.

We’ll explore the Eglinton Valley and eat lunch at a stunning picnic spot. As for Milford Sound – you can expect to see waterfalls like nowhere else in the world. This place receives around 7 meters of rain a year, so it might well be raining during your time here – and if it is, you’ll see this place REALLY come alive!

Activity for today: Short walks at the Chasm, mirror lakes and Marian gantry – about 45 mins total

Day 9

Details for Today

Milford Sound:

  • Walk the Milford Track
  • Enjoy a scenic cruise of the Sound and a unique perspective on this glorious wilderness area

Accommodations: Distinction Hotel, on the shores of Lake Te Anau

Meals: B,L,D

Hike, Milford Sound, New Zealand,

Wake up feeling refreshed and relaxed, sit out on the deck of your chalet, listen to the roar of waterfalls, spy the native Kea (the world’s only alpine parrot) and prepare for a walk through exquisite native forest on the world famous Milford Track.

Later today, we’ll board a boat for a scenic cruise of the Sound and a unique perspective on this glorious wilderness area. Today is a day to immerse yourself in an area unique to New Zealand and a balm for busy minds and bodies.

Activity for today: 10km, 3 hours, to Giant Gate Falls & return

Day 10

Details for Today

Lake Te Anau:

  • Take a boat journey across Lake Te Anau
  • See a glittering grotto of glow worms in a 200 metre system of caves, underground waterfalls, sculpted walls and swirling pools
  • Walk the world famous Kepler Track

Accommodations: Distinction Hotel, on the shores of Lake Te Anau

Meals: B,L,D

Glow Warm Cave, Te Anau, New Zealand, Supplier

A boat journey across Lake Te Anau brings us to a glittering grotto of glow worms. These fascinating bugs light the way in a 200-meter system of caves, underground waterfalls, sculpted walls, and swirling pools. From the darkness of the glow worm caves, we’ll head back into the light of Te Anau and on to the world famous Kepler Track, where we’ll walk a section that skirts the edge of the Waiau River under the canopy of pristine mountain beech forest.

Activity for today: 10km, 3 hours

Day 11

Details for Today

Transfer to Glenorchy on a boat excursion

  • Embark on a jet boat ride up one of New Zealand’s most incredible river valleys, Dart River

Accommodations: Camp Glenorchy, Glenorchy

Meals: B,L,D

Jet Boat, Dart river, New Zealand, Supplier

Begin the day on the shores of one awe-inspiring lake and mountain vista and end it on another, with the beauty of Southland and a jet boat ride up one of New Zealand’s most incredible river valleys.

We’ll make the journey back to Queenstown through rolling hills that eventually turn into the jagged peaks of the Wakatipu area. After a little time to enjoy lunch, we’ll replace the hustle of Queenstown with the beauty of the Dart River valley via jet boat – a high-speed journey on the glacial waters of this incredible wilderness area. Finish the day in the beautiful and isolated Glenorchy at the furthest and most stunning end of Lake Wakatipu.

Day 12

Details for Today


  • Walk the world famous Routeburn Track along the banks of the river

Accommodations: Camp Glenorchy, Glenorchy

Meals: B,L,D

Glenorchy, Routeburn Track, New Zealand, Supplier

Start the day with breakfast and incredible lakeside views before we delve back into the Te Wahipounamu World Heritage Area. We’ll return to the world famous Routeburn Track with a walk along the banks of the Routeburn River. Deep greens of native beech forest, crystal clear waters cascading below, and narrow valleys to wide open spaces make this a varied and unforgettable day of walking. Of course, if you’d like to take things slower today, there’s no better place to relax and unwind with a good book as you soak up the surroundings.

Activity for today: 3.6km, 1.5 hours

Day 13

Details for Today

Transfer to: Queenstown

  • Depart to airport for your flight home

Meals: B

Flight, home,

We’ll enjoy the quiet at the head of the lake this morning, before making our way back along the shoreline to Queenstown. We’ll wave goodbye at Queenstown airport for departing flights. 


Wai Ora Resort, Rotorua

Set on the shores of Lake Rotorua, this casual resort is 6 km from scenic views at the Redwoods Treewalk and 9 km from geothermal Kuirau Park. Simply decorated rooms come with free Wi-Fi and flat-screen TVs, tea/coffeemakers, and furnished terraces or balconies. Suites add kitchenettes, whirlpool tubs, and separate living rooms. Some units provide lake views. There is room service is 24/7 and a stylish restaurant. Other amenities include a cozy bar, a spa, and an outdoor pool with a terrace and sun loungers.

Oreti Village, Turangi

The relaxed lakefront apartments with mountain views offer kitchens, and open-plan living and dining areas, as well as free Wi-Fi, TVs and decks; some have tubs and exposed wood beams. Amenities include an indoor lap pool, a terrace and a tennis court, as well as a cozy bar with a stone fireplace. There’s also a restaurant with beamed ceilings and lake views.

Kelly Road Cambridge Lodge, Cambridge

Kelly Road Cambridge Lodge is an elegant and contemporary accommodation in Cambridge, New Zealand. Located at the entrance of the beautiful tree-lined Cambridge, 5 minutes from the town square, boutique shops, and cafés. Your home away from home while you soak up the local rural natural environment and explore the region’s attractions. Stay in one of the studio units or a one, or two-bedroom apartment with artwork and stories of the region’s champions showcased in each room. All rooms feature a kitchenette and a private bathroom and free WiFi.

Scenic Suites, Queenstown, Supplie Website

Scenic Suites, Queenstown

Scenic Suites features panoramic views of the Southern Alps and Lake Wakatipu. This streamlined hotel is a 5-minute walk from art at Milford Galleries Queenstown and a 7-minute walk from Skycity Queenstown casino. Modest rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows offer balconies or patios, as well as free Wi-Fi, TVs, and tea and coffee making facilities, and room service are available 24/7. Suites add kitchens and washer/dryers. Some quarters have lake and mountain views. There is no air-conditioning in these suites. Enjoy the restaurant and a lobby bar with a fireplace. Other amenities include a spa and ski lockers.

Milford Lodge Chalets, Milford Sound 

Milford Sound is one of NZ’s most beautiful and popular places, and our lodge is the only accommodation in the area. Nestled beneath the towering peaks of the Darran Mountains, Milford Sound Lodge provides a stunning base to experience the beauty and majesty of Fiordland National Park / Te Wahipounamu. A true way to experience this World Heritage destination in a more authentic in a relaxed way.

Distinction Hotel, on the shores of Lake Te Anau

Distinction Te Anau Hotel and Villas offers chic, elegant accommodation. Surrounded by extensive, colorful gardens and overlooking spectacular Lake Te Anau, and the Fiordland ranges. This 4-star accommodation sets the tone for your stay in one of the world’s most breathtaking regions. Located on the Te Anau lakefront, a short stroll from the Te Anau town center. It offers 112 luxurious rooms, including standard hotel rooms, spacious villa suites, comfortable villa rooms, and deluxe suites, offering a breathtaking lake or garden view.

Guests can relax and enjoy impressive South Island cuisine in the hotel’s MacKinnon Room Restaurant, renowned for offering the very best of South Island cuisine. The Explorer Bar and Lakefront Terrace is a great spot for relaxing and enjoying the views of Lake Te Anau with the finest ales and wines.

Camp Glenorchy, Glenorchy

Camp Glenorchy is New Zealand’s first Net Zero Energy Retreat & Cabins. It is part of The Headwaters, an inspiring revitalization of classic camping, cabins, group gathering, and retail services in the Glenorchy community. To reach the Campground guests must travel a beautiful 40-minute drive up the scenic shores of Lake Wakatipu.  Camp Glenorchy is nestled near the base of the towering Richardson and Humboldt mountains. Nature’s beauty surrounds you, both in the unforgettable landscape and in the warmth of the people of Glenorchy.

New Zealand Walking, Wine & Food (13 days)