I can't wait to come back!
So where do I start? I chose the Southern Slice 8-day hiking tour which started on the 16th of April in Nelson. My initial enquiry and BOOKING experience with Hiking New Zealand was easy and simple. Big thanks to Magan who made the process enjoyable and confusion free. Even though the website has all the information you’ll need, her quick, friendly and helpful responses to my questions were much appreciated. Thanks Magan!
The TOUR itself was nothing short of amazing. If you’ve never been to NZ before, then this tour is a great taster to see, feel and understand what NZ is all about. An outdoor playground, ready to be explored and experienced. The tour started in Nelson and then made its way down to Queenstown covering some unforgettable scenery in the SouthIsland, which admittedly left me speechless. My highlights included Kahurangi National Park, Lake Tekapo, Aoraki Mt Cook National Park (Tasman Glacier lake boat ride was a game changer!), Castle Hill, all the small quirky towns we visited and the natural flames in Murchison! Plus, the pit stop at Fairlie for pies and sausage rolls was beaut (it’s making me drool thinking about it). Wait was that everything on the tour?!
The FOOD provided on the tour was A+++. I’m pretty sure I had two servings of food at almost every meal and I’m not even sorry about it. They were delicious, varied and plentiful. The snacks of fruit and granola bars before and after hiking was much appreciated too. However the real winner was the beetroot chutney. If only I can get my hands on that in Sydney!
The HOTELS we stayed at were lush. I don’t think I found a fault in any of the places we stayed at. They were clean, cosy and comfortable. I would definitely stay in those places again.
The HIKES weren’t difficult but provided enough challenges to make the experience memorable. Make sure you bring enough memory card storage as the landscape views will surely fill it to the brim. It was the first time my GoPro was almost full of videos!
Last but not least, big big big thanks to our HIKING GUIDES for the trip, ‘Dr Dre’ Andre and ‘Weather Witch’ Eva. My experience of NZ wouldn’t have been as incredible if it wasn’t for these two. Their knowledge about the country, history, flora and fauna and the landscapes were so appreciated (Plant and Fun Fact Of The Day!). It’s evident that not only are they good at what they do but unmistakeably passionate about NZ and sharing that with us. And for that, I’m grateful. They were organised, helpful and professional without being overbearing. Thanks Andre and Eva! Hopefully I’ll see you guys in the near future.
In summary, I could have easily chosen to book with the big tour companies such as Contiki, TopDeck, Intrepid, GAdventures etc but as a big advocate for local businesses, I definitely recommend Hiking New Zealand. Sure, the tour is a little pricey, but you definitely get what you paid for and much more. It’s clear from what I’ve written above how great my experience has been. I would be happy to book again with them! If a tour can make a customer say ‘I can’t wait to come back!’ at the end of their trip, then you know it’s done its job right.
Paula.M - Australia, April 2019, TripAdvisor
Recently back from the Southern Slice trip - it really WAS a Wonderful Trip! The walks which had been chosen really were iconic walks showcasing what the South Island has to offer.
John was a great guide and driver, the distances we travelled each day were relaxing, safe, enjoyable. Eva looked after us non stop, I don't know how she did it! She not only guided us in a very professional way but shopped for us, prepared our lunch, and provided us with a constant supply of snacks!
The whole trip was really well organised and well thought out, many thanks to Eva, John and Hiking New Zealand for a FAB experience, would recommend it to anybody!
Ceilia - UK, February 2019, TripAdvisor
Second time, just as lucky!
We were lucky from start to finish with the weather and credit our guide, Dan, with knowing which way the wind would be blowing! We found the inclines of the Southern Alps more challenging than we anticipated but eventually we found a way to catch our breath while stopping to admire the amazing scenery. Dan kept us informed with his knowledge of geological formations and tracks and entertained us with stories related directly, or tangentially to the area. Leaving the planning and logistics to Hiking New Zealand made this a true holiday for us.
Bytown - Canada, April 2018, TripAvisor
Never feel disappointed!
What an amazing trip of southern slice, which brought me to explore how beautiful of New Zealand are at first time. Yeah!!!Not only itinerary that meet everyone expectation but also giving extra care to customers with special need in the trip. I do really have very enjoyable time during these 8-day, with a kindness and caring hiking guide. Of course his knowledge of the geological are strong! HNZ do offer several choices of tour with full of informative that you need. Most important their customer care team gives lot of advices and closely follow up even before you make up your mind. Definitely I made a right choice after all. For sure, I will keep HNZ as my first priority of hiking and traveling company.
99Bebe2018 - HongKong, April 2018, TripAdvisor
Great way to explore the South Island
I spent two weeks on the South Island and one week with Hiking New Zealand was a great way to round out my solo travel. The group size was small (6) and the guide (John) was friendly and knowledgeable. This is one of those times when letting the experts handle the details just makes sense. And in my opinion, using a NZ-based company is the way to go (vs. a US-based company, in my case). The conversation with other guests is just more interesting and varied. One night we stayed in a hotel where another US-based group was staying and I was very glad to be with Hiking New Zealand! Some days were more travel time in the car than I'd hoped for, but the payoff was seeing the variety that the island has to offer. One day we'd be in the lush rain forests of the West Coast, another day, exploring a glacier lake! They do an awesome job describing their trips in detail, so do your homework and you won't be disappointed!
Hikergirltravel - USA, March 2018, TripAdvisor
Excellent in every way
Luxury accommodation, meals and service with spectacular itinerary and first class guides (two per minibus). Challenging walks and exciting excursions without white knuckle experiences, and there is always an easier option if required. Every day is filled with activities or travelling and suites solos, families and groups of moderate or better walking abilities. Worth every penny, enjoyed every minute.
- February 2018, TripAdvisor
Came back for more
I used the company 10yrs ago to do South Island tours and came back for more! They have committed and professional guides and some awesome walks.
Karl - United Kingdom, February 2016, TripAdvisor
Hiking New Zealand fantastic first visit to NZ
We just finished the Southern Slice hiking tour with Hiking New Zealand and are so pleased that we chose to take the tour with them. Our guide (Graham/Grum) was so nice, helpful, knowledgeable about the country, hikes, wildlife and ecology, activities ... well, he's been around NZ a bit so pretty much everything. We loved the itinerary that Hiking NZ planned - each day we seemed to get to more amazing scenery. Dan and Anne went out of their way to plan a good experience for us, even including baking us a pear and ginger cake to help with one dinner! All in all a wonderful trip and thank you to Hiking NZ for the experience.
Hilary D - USA, March 2014, TripAdvisor