Rimu Adventure Small Group Active Tour

from £4199
excluding flights *
13 nights Sep-Apr

Overview

The 14 day Rimu Ultimate Adventure tour is an active guided group adventure designed for you to experience a number of the most beautiful places in New Zealand, some well-known and some less so. This trip suits all tastes and abilities with two guides in attendance to take extra good care of you along the way. 'The Rimu' was voted one of National Geographic Traveller magazine's '50 Trips of a Lifetime' in 2015.

The tour starts and ends in Christchurch and takes in some of the South Island's most iconic areas.

Highlights

  • Snorkelling to a seal colony
  • A multi-day guided backpacking trip
  • Biking or sea kayaking trip
  • Some of New Zealand’s stunning day hikes

What's Included

  • Accommodation in rooms with private bathroom (some bathrooms may be shared)
  • All meals
  • All transportation
  • Excursions as per itinerary

Full description

The Rimu is a great way to see the country if you enjoy the outdoors and like a challenge. The accommodation varies from the comfort of B&B’s, lodges etc used for over half the trip, to more rustic lodgings in order to access the most beautiful off-the-beaten track places in New Zealand. Most places will have en-suite bathrooms, however, you may need to share a bathroom with other group members on occasion.

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Authentic holidays for passionate travellers

Prices & Dates *

Airfares start from around £825 per person and are quoted separately to the holiday price. When enquiring, our Travel Specialists will provide the best fare possible from your preferred airline / airport.

From prices per person based on 2 sharing a room

Departure Duration Twin Price (pp)
24 Sep 2018 13 nights £4,199
01, 08, 15, 22, 29 Oct 2018 13 nights £4,199
05, 12, 19, 26 Nov 2018 13 nights £4,199
03, 10, 17, 24, 31 Dec 2018 13 nights £4,199
07, 14, 21, 28 Jan 2019 13 nights £4,199
04, 11, 18, 25 Feb 2019 13 nights £4,199
04, 11, 18, 25 Mar 2019 13 nights £4,199
08, 22 Apr 2019 13 nights £4,199
23, 30 Sep 2019 13 nights £4,199
07, 14, 21, 28 Oct 2019 13 nights £4,199
04, 11, 18, 25 Nov 2019 13 nights £4,199
02, 09, 16, 23, 30 Dec 2019 13 nights £4,199

What's Included

  • Accommodation in rooms with private bathroom (some bathrooms may be shared)
  • All meals (from lunch on first day to lunch on last day)
  • All transportation
  • Activities as per itinerary
  • Guide services
  • 24 hour emergency assistance from our team during your holiday
  • No surcharge guarantee

Itinerary & Accommodation

Itinerary & Accommodation

Day 1: arrival day in Christchurch, snorkel with seals or hike to a seal colony in Kaikoura

On arrival in Christchurch you will be met and taken to the seaside town of Kaikoura where you can snorkel with friendly New Zealand fur seals. You’ll be supplied with a wetsuit, mask and snorkel, and have the chance to swim to within a couple of feet of seals as they cavort in the water. Alternatively, you can hike out to the scenic Kaikoura Peninsula. Today is a relaxed introduction to New Zealand giving you the chance to recover from your flight.
Overnight: Kaikoura Lodgings, Kaikoura. Lunch and dinner included.

Day 2: Vineyard visit, start of the multi-day options

From Kaikoura we’ll travel north for a couple of hours to Blenheim and visit Forrest Estate Winery to sample some of their fantastic wines and enjoy a picnic. Today you can choose from one of three multi-day options – a backpacking trip in Nelson Lakes National Park (the Angelus Circuit), a sea-kayaking trip in the Marlborough Sounds, or a mountain biking trip on the Queen Charlotte Track. The backpacking trip stays in mountain huts while the cyclists and sea kayakers stay in more conventional lodgings, with private rooms and some with hot tubs – depending on where you stay!

After lunch, we head off for our various activities:

Option 1: Hike Angelus Circuit (Nelson Lakes National Park)
Our hike begins in the charming village of St Arnaud, on the edge of Nelson Lakes National Park. We’ll hike the relatively gentle trail alongside Lake Rotoiti to Lakehead Hut. This is a special place and in our opinion, vastly superior to its more famous neighbour, Abel Tasman National Park. This is serious wilderness country with incredible views and marvellous solitude. You don’t have to carry a very heavy pack – our guides will carry the lion’s share of the load. All you’ll be carrying is a backpack with your sleeping bag, a few spare clothes, and some food and we’ll provide tents and so on if you’d like to camp under the stars.
Overnight: Lakehead Hut, Nelson Lakes National Park. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

Option 2: Sea Kayak Marlborough Sounds
After lunch, you will head to Ngakuta Bay in the Marlborough Sounds to begin your three days of paddling in style. Head out with your specialist kayak guide for a gentle first days paddle to Tanglewood Lodge which offers sparkling views of the surrounding sounds. You don't need any previous paddling experience but if you are a keen kayaker we will certainly keep you challenged.
Overnight: Tanglewood Lodge, Queen Charlotte Sound. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

Option 3: Mountain Bike the Queen Charlotte Track
After lunch, you'll head to Anakiwa on the edge of Queen Charlotte Sound, where you will be fitted with a specialist mountain bike for the terrain. You will ride from Anakiwa to Onahau Bay and back. Tonight accommodation is at a cosy eco lodge set amongst native tree ferns.
Overnight: Tanglewood Lodge, Queen Charlotte Sound. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

Day 3: Hike Angelus Circuit

Option 1: Hike Angelus Circuit (Nelson Lakes National Park)
Today is an unforgettable day – the scenery gets better with each step! We walk along the Travers River through beech forest, before heading up the Hukere Stream towards the ridgeline. This is a steep hike but is absolutely worth it. If you prefer to relax, that’s fine too! Many people tell us that the Angelus Circuit was the highlight of their New Zealand adventure.
Overnight: Angelus Hut, Nelson Lakes National Park. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

Option 2: Sea Kayak Marlborough Sounds
Today we will kayak around the secluded bays of the Kenepuru Sound. You can paddle at your own pace and we'll make sure you get as much or as little "paddle time" as you like. You will see beaches, birdlife and native forest. Luck permitting you will see local dolphins, fur seals and little blue penguins. There will also be plenty of time to stop for short beach and forest walks along the way.
Overnight: Tanglewood Lodge, Queen Charlotte Sound. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

Option 3: Mountain Bike the Queen Charlotte Track
Awaking to native birdsong, you will head out to Torea Saddle where you will bike towards the Bay of Many Coves. This part of the track is known as "The Jewel in the Crown" with stunning views of both Sounds. The area is well known for its native beech forests, secluded golden beaches and birds.
Overnight: Tanglewood Lodge, Queen Charlotte Sound. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

Day 4: Hike Angelus Circuit

Option 1: Hike Angelus Circuit (Nelson Lakes National Park)
This morning we’ll wake up on top of the world. After breakfast, it’s a four to five hour hike out along Robert Ridge with dramatic views of Tasman Bay and the mountainous Kahurangi National Park, before dropping below the treeline into native beech forest completing the hike on the shored of Lake Rotoiti.
Option 2: Sea Kayak Marlborough Sounds
This morning you will have another chance to spot wildlife as we paddle along the northern coastline from Anakiwa in the Queen Charlotte Sound. Later, cross over the Sound and finish back in Ngakuta Bay, which will complete the round trip of the Grove Arm
Option 3: Mountain Bike the Queen Charlotte Track
Spend the morning biking on the Waikawa Mountain Bike Park near Picton. Later we'll enjoy lunch at Picton Harbour before heading to Saint Arnaud to rejoin the hikers and carry on along the west coast.

After regrouping in St Arnaud we’ll head to the West Coast – 650km (400 miles) of gorgeous, rugged coastline with a population of only 40,000 people. For dinner this evening, we'll mingle with the 'coasters' in the seaside village of Punakaiki, exchanging tales of our adventures over fish and chips at the local pub!
Overnight: West Coast lodgings, Punakaiki. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

Day 5: Hike Punakaiki Rainforest

We’ll spend most of the day in Punakaiki hiking among the limestone canyons and lush rainforest of the Inland Pack Track and also experience the famous Pancake Rocks and blowholes. Then we’ll head down the scenic coastal road to Hokitika to check out local art galleries and pounamu carving workshops before carrying on to Okarito Lagoon. Okarito is a hidden gem that is all but untouched – and watching the sun set over the Tasman Sea is definitely not to be missed!
Overnight: Rainforest Retreat, Franz Josef. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

Day 6: Kayak Okarito Lagoon, hike coastal forest and beach

You have a lot of options today. You can spend a relaxing day in this sleepy but beautiful beach town to recharge your batteries, or opt to do some hiking and kayaking. Okarito is home to the only native white heron colony in New Zealand, as well as a host of other interesting birds including the Okarito brown kiwi. You can sea kayak on the lagoon with a backdrop of snow-capped mountains for a few hours, then hike through lush coastal forest to Three Mile Lagoon, and walk back along deserted beach.
Overnight: Rainforest Retreat, Franz Josef. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

Day 7: Hike near Franz Josef Glacier

Today we’ll spend most of the day hiking at Franz Josef Glacier, up through the rainforest to either Alex Knob or Roberts Point, both of which give great views of the terminal face, lower reaches and lateral moraines of Franz Josef Glacier. We only do these hikes in good weather, as the rocks get very slippery in the rain.

Heli-hike option (additional cost, US$350 + tax)
A less strenuous, but outrageously scenic option today is to heli-hike on Franz Josef Glacier itself. After being fitted with crampons, ice axes and so on, you’ll board a modern turbine helicopter and fly towards the highest peaks of the Southern Alps, landing on the glacier at 4,000 feet (1300m) above sea level. Led by specialist glacier guides, you’ll hike through the grand ice formations of the glacier, checking out its crevasses, seracs and tunnels – no previous experience required! At the end of your hike on the ice, you’ll take another helicopter ride out of the mountains and back to civilisation.

From Franz Josef it is about three hours down the coast to Makarora, a small farming village bordering Mt. Aspiring National Park. We’ll stay at a beautifully landscaped, family-style homestead on the edge of the village with incredible views of the mountains right outside your window.
Overnight: Makarora Lodgings, Makarora. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

Day 8: Cycle Te Araroa Track

This morning we’ll exchange beech forests for open plains as we head inland to Lake Hawea. Here take a scenic bike ride along the Te Araroa track to Wanaka. This gently undulating section of the track follows the crystal clear Hawea and Clutha Rivers to the charming mountain town of Wanaka where we’ll stop for a picnic lunch. From there, we'll hike to the top of Mt Iron - a hill with outstanding views over Lake Wanaka and the surrounding mountains. From Wanaka it's a short but dramatic journey over the Cardrona Saddle to Queenstown and your overnight accommodation near Lake Wakatipu.
Overnight: Crowne Plaza, Queenstown. Breakfast and lunch included.

Day 9: Free day in Queenstown

It’s all up to you today – enjoy! Choose from horse trekking, gondola, kayaking, fishing, winery tours, jetboating, skydiving or simply soak up the atmosphere and relax.
Overnight: Crowne Plaza, Queenstown.

Day 10: Hike Routeburn Track

This morning we head down to Te Anau for lunch, before continuing on to The Divide where we will hike part of the Routeburn Track. Located in the heart of Fiordland, our largest and arguably most spectacular national park, this hike gives us unsurpassed views of the Hollyford Valley. Milford Sound is truly breathtaking; sheer rock walls plunge thousands of feet to the Tasman Sea and waterfalls cascade into the deep blue water, it’s no wonder Rudyard Kipling rated it as the eighth Natural Wonder of the World. Tonight we’ll stay in some fairly basic accommodation, but the location alone makes up for it – take a walk outside and experience the true sound of silence.
Overnight: Milford Lodge, Milford Sound. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

Day 11: Sea kayak Milford Sound, hike Kepler Track

It’s an early start today! Most people see Milford Sound from the deck of a big cruise ship but we’ve got a better way – gliding along in sea kayaks, getting up close and personal with the Sound while causing very little disruption to the friendly seals and dolphins, which are often eager to visit if they’re in the area. After your morning’s kayaking, we'll enjoy a tasty lunch before heading out to explore more of Fiordland's wilderness on foot. This afternoon we'll take a hike on the famous Kepler Track, one of New Zealand's Great Walks. Beginning at Rainbow Reach, we follow the track through mountain beech forest and along the Waiau River. This is an awesome hike with spectacular views. Tonight we stay at the edge of Lake Manapouri, enjoying the scenery and the delicious local fare.
Overnight: Lake Manapouri Inn, Manapouri. Breakfast and dinner included.

Day 12: Explore a High-Country sheep farm

Today we have a relaxed start and head back up the road to Queenstown where you have some time to yourself. Then we’ll drive up to Lake Pukaki, near Mt. Cook, where we stay on a 60,000 acre high-country sheep farm, called Braemar Station. While we’re here, we stay in the shearers’ quarters. It’s not a 5-star hotel but many of our clients have told us this was one of their favourite places on the whole trip! The view out of the kitchen window in the morning will knock your socks off! With no lights for miles around, the stars on a clear night are like nothing you’ve ever seen – just the place for your last couple of nights in New Zealand!
Overnight: Shearers’ quarters, Braemar Station. Breakfast and dinner included

Day 13: Hike Aoraki/Mt. Cook National Park

This morning it is an hour or so to Mt. Cook village, at the head of Lake Pukaki. Mt. Cook, known as Aoraki or ‘cloud piercer’ by the local Maori, is the highest mountain in New Zealand and we have a stunning and little-known day hike (weather permitting) to the main ridge above Mueller Glacier – directly opposite Mt. Cook. It’s a tough slog up, but you’ll remember the view of the Mueller Glacier and the surrounding peaks of the Main Divide forever! There are also other hiking options if you’d like to take it a little easier. On our final night we’ll enjoy a traditional Kiwi BBQ and a cold drink as we sit outside and watch the sun set over Mt. Cook.
Overnight: Shearers’ quarters, Braemar Station. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

Day 14: Depart for home

After breakfast we will head into Mackenzie Country, to Morelea Farm, an 800 acre working farm producing wool, lamb, beef and some dairy grazing stock. The farm is nestled amidst rolling pastureland with the Canterbury Southern Alps as a backdrop. After a hearty farm-style lunch, we head onto Christchurch, arriving in time for late afternoon flights. This is the end of your Rimu trip and we will leave you refreshed and invigorated from the good food, exercise, rest, and great times you’ll have had with us in New Zealand!
Breakfast and lunch included.

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