Relaxing Journeys Blog

The South Island’s Best Day Walks

New Zealand day walks have gained quite the reputation among folk who love to stomp their mark on the world’s trails. Beautiful, varied and simply unforgettable, a few thousand steps and six to eight hours can change the way you understand the natural world beyond the South Island’s usual suspects.

There’s nothing like delving deep into the thick of things, picking your way along beaten and not-so-beaten paths for those pay-offs and world-class vistas – we promise, you’ll be spoiled with more than a few. But where should you start? How do you know which trail strikes your fancy or fits in with your New Zealand holiday timeline? We have you covered.

Let’s Get Glacial

What to Expect: The Franz Josef Glacier walk is not a lung buster. If you’re not completely keen on tricky inclines and obstacles, this South Island walking tour is for you. Think sweeping, regenerating rainforests, informative commentary and regular stopping points as you come to understand the history and significance of the area. Why not do it for free on your own time? Guides have specific permission to take sight-seekers beyond public barriers, getting up close and personal with the terminal face.

Franz Josef Hike

Franz Josef Hike

Length: 3 hours
Holiday Vibe: Relaxing
Inclusions: All equipment, right down to comfortable hiking boots, waterproof jackets and toasty woollen gloves.
Level: Beginner to Advanced – everyone is welcome!
Perks: Entry into the adjoined hot pools is included in the tour price.
Where Do I Sign Up? Click right this way.

Miles to Milford

What to Expect: Do you like sightseeing with a dash of drama and generous helpings of inexplicable beauty? Us too. The Milford Track is dramatic, stunning and just a little (pre)historic, transporting visitors worlds away from their expectations into a world of gorgeous alpine scenes, rumbling rivers and truly ancient beech forest. Depending on time and weather, you’ll cover 11km return through those aforementioned forests, vast grasslands and picture-perfect wetlands with only 11 other companions in addition to your extremely experienced guide. Expect to have a wow or two at the ready – words will simply escape you much of the time.

Milford Track

Milford Track

Length: Full day, including 4-5 of gorgeous trails and a luxurious coach transfer from either Queenstown or Te Anau return.
Holiday Vibe: Adventurous
Inclusions: Morning and afternoon tea; a nutritious picnic lunch to keep your body moving.
Level: Confident Beginner to Intermediate
Perks: With both transport and food taken care of, all you need to worry about is your own kit. We recommend walk-ready shoes and a day-pack full of essentials like sunscreen, insect repellent, water and a camera (of course).
Where Can I Find Out More Info? Check out everything you need to know here.

Boat It, Walk It, Love It

What to Expect: Hold onto your hair (or tie it up), as you zip past soaring waterfalls, immense mountain chains and photogenic landscapes with close-shave precision; what’s a walk without a little help to get to those hard to reach places, right? Once ashore, you’ll explore three examples of abundant paradise, following McGill’s Creek to a tumbling waterfall, through a forest and then to the lip of an eye-popping gorge. Your guide won’t be the silent type either – this is a fully immersive, cultural experience, down to the commentary. Experience Mt Aspiring National Park off the beaten track.

Wanaka Jet Boating on Matukituki River

Jet Boating on Matukituki River

Length: An easy 4 hours, including jet boat ride.
Holiday Vibe: Light thrill-seeking
Inclusions: Complimentary hotel transfers to any property in Wanaka – handy!
Perks: Lord of the Rings alert! Scene spot as Rocky Hill comes into view and get your camera ready.
What Else Do I Need to Know? The facts and only the facts right here.

Warm up those legs, brush off your favourite walking boots and make New Zealand your next holiday destination… even if you’ve already been, we guarantee you’ve yet to see, savour and capture it all. Speak to one of our Relaxing Journeys specialists today.

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