5
Moderate
Activities
  • guided walk
Accommodation
  • 2 nights hotel, 5 nights guesthouse
Meals
  • 5 Dinners
  • 6 Lunches
  • 7 Breakfasts

Price

8 daysfrom

$4740NZD

Trip Code: GSW

Trip highlights


  • Delicious kiwi-style home-cooked meals using local ingredients
  • Visit a Whiskey distillery, for a tour and tasting
  • Enjoy sampling a diverse range of local, seasonal produce from avocados to cheeses and coffee
  • Specially selected private walks with a professional guide
  • Be enchanted by the Blue Springs (Te Waihou)
  • Explore Maungatautari predator-free ecological sanctuary
  • Marvel at the natural beauty of Tawarau Forest

The Waikato region of the North Island stretches from the west to the east coast around about the middle of the island. It is well known for hobbit film sets and caves but there is far more to this diverse region than even many locals know. Visit spectacular waterfalls, explore magnificent limestone landscapes hidden amongst native forest and walk ancient enchanted rainforest. Wake to morning birdsong at charming guesthouse accommodation and indulge in delicious home-cooked three course meals infused with local hospitality and award-winning wines. Your guide knows the best places to sample local cheese, coffee, avocados and more in between liberal doses of nature on a range of picturesque, well-known and not-so-well-known day walks that will have you sleeping soundly every night.


Itinerary

Make your own way to Auckland and check-in to your trip accommodation any time after 2:00pm. The city is New Zealand's largest, both in area and population and hence is often mistakenly thought of as the country's capital. Spend some time exploring the gardens and open spaces of The Domain, wander through the fascinating War Memorial Museum for a glimpse into Maori history and culture, visit the Sky Tower for spectacular 360 degree views, visit an art gallery, cruise the harbour, wander the foreshore or explore the shops. Food lovers will be spoilt for choice with a multitude of cafes, restaurants and bars to suit all budgets and tastes.

Meals:  Nil

You will be picked up from Auckland around mid-morning (you may need to make your own way from the hotel to a central pick-up location; details will be advised closer to departure). Your journey starts where you are collected by your guide and head south to the Hunua ranges. Here begins a scenic walk along ridge lines covered in native bush, boasting stunning water views with an opportunity to cool off in a beautiful swimming hole. Travelling further south, enjoy a private tour and tasting at a Whiskey distillery which is New Zealand's only cooperage. In the afternoon you arrive at the Farmhouse boutique Lodge style accommodation, an authentic Hereford stud farm situated on a secluded back country estate. This is your base for the next three nights. Enjoy a glass of local wine or beer with your evening meal, while learning about the next day's activity from your guide.

Meals:  B,L,D

After a hearty breakfast today, explore natural beauty on your back country farmland guided walk. You may encounter cows, sheep, wild goats and deer, along the way. The terrain will vary and will take us over rolling farmland, giving way to a stunning rocky outcrop and leading to a small limestone canyon where we stop for lunch. Ancient native trees and endless views are yours to enjoy before ascending to the track that leads back to the farmhouse, where the hot tub beckons. The local chef will prepare a delicious farm inspired meal for you tonight.

Meals:  B,L,D

Enjoy a relaxed start this morning after a wonderful breakfast prepared by the lodge hosts. Travel only a short distance to reach today's walk at Vivian Falls via the native forest-clad Harker Reserve. At 12 metres high, the falls are a local hidden gem with an interesting story and legend behind them. Afterwards we visit a local organic avocado farm, with lunch taken in the orchard. This afternoon we head back to the Farmhouse Lodge for the last night. Here you can relax with a glass of mulled wine and marsh-mellows over an outdoor fire, while taking in the sunset.

Meals:  B,L,D

After departing your accommodation this morning, we stop for excellent coffee before continuing to reach the banks of a beautiful turquoise stream. The track leads to Te Waihou (Blue Springs). Naturally filtered, the water is amazingly clear and a stunning blue colour. Approximately 70 percent of New Zealand's bottled water originates here. We visit an award winning specialty cheese factory and deli where handcrafted cheeses are made from local raw ingredients. Rounding off with some time at the world's largest mainland ecological island - Sanctuary Mountain (Maungatautari). Enjoy a short walk among ancient forests, and delight to an abundance of bird song. The journey today comes to an end when we reach our accommodation. Check in for a two night stay in glamping luxury. Reflect on the adventures so far, while enjoying your dinner with a glass of wine.

Meals:  B,L,D

After a good breakfast this morning, a full day guided walk in the Tawarau Forest is on the agenda. The track is mostly unformed and can be described as a backcountry 'tramping' (hiking) track. There are many beautiful places along the way to stop and take photos or to simply absorb the sounds of nature. Marvel at the many limestone features and visit the impressive Marokopa Falls in the depths of the forest. Sleep well tonight after a sumptuous evening meal, at your glamping retreat.

Meals:  B,L,D

Begin your morning with a hearty breakfast before taking time to explore the wonderful 700-hectare, third-generation family farm that is at your doorstep. During the short walk along the ridge line, take in the breathtaking panoramic views including the profile of Mt Pirongia to the north. After our last lunch at the Glampsite it's time to return to Auckland, with a final stop in at a coffee producer. Learn how your espresso begins it’s journey from the plant, all the way to your cup and discover the techniques of roasting and blending the beans. Arrival back in Auckland is expected to be around 5pm. Explore the abundant dining options at your leisure before your final nights' (included) stay.

Meals:  B,L

After breakfast this morning, trip arrangements end at check out time in Auckland.

Meals:  B


Inclusions

  • 1 night pre-trip hotel accommodation in Auckland (twinshare) with private bathroom
  • 5 nights Boutique farmhouse with shared bathroom and luxury glamping accommodation with private bathroom, (both with Queen bedrooms, no twin share)
  • 1 night post-trip hotel accommodation in Auckland (twinshare) with private bathroom
  • Daily breakfast
  • Packed lunches, local cheese and antipasto platters (except in Auckland)
  • Two or three course evening meals every night (except in Auckland)
  • Professional local guide
  • Private transport in comfortable air-conditioned vehicle throughout the trip
  • Return shuttle transfers from Auckland
  • A glass of New Zealand wine, beer or non-alcoholic drink of choice each evening (except in Auckland)
  • Group food and whiskey tastings mentioned in the itinerary
  • Group first aid kit

  • Travel to Auckland on Day 1 and onward travel from Auckland on Day 8
  • Meals not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Beverages other than drinking water and those included with evening meals
  • Optional activities, extras and upgrades (such as single supplement, massage, purchases of specialty food items to take home)
  • Items of a personal nature (eg. laundry, shopping, internet)
  • Daypack (large enough to fit a lunch box and water bottle); a limited number of daypacks are available for hire if required (must be requested in advance)
  • Personal hiking gear and walking poles; a limited number of walking poles are available for hire if required (must be requested in advance)
  • Travel insurance
  • Visa (if required)

Trail Surface


Accommodation


Grading

Moderate  
5

MODERATE - GRADE 5 This adventure involves walking up to 6 or 7 hours a day, at a steady pace. There is a 600m altitude gain on the hardest day. You will need a good level of fitness and must be in good health. Be prepared for potential variable weather conditions and uneven terrain. Walking each day is over a variety of trails including uneven bush tracks with mud, tree roots and rocks, as well as some well-maintained paths with even surfaces. Care needs to be taken as there are some steep sections that have a loose surface and are slippery when wet. We recommend 45 minutes of aerobic type exercise, three to four times a week for several months prior to travel for adequate fitness preparation. This can include swimming, jogging, hard walking or cycling. Hill or stair walking is also highly recommended at least once a week in variable weather conditions with a loaded daypack of about 12kg. On the trip you will need to carry your daily requirements such as water, lunch, spare clothing and personal items so it is a good idea to carry a daypack with some gear in it during your training.


Departure dates


Notes

1
Private custom tours available on request for minimum 6 people; price variation may apply

Want to organise a customised tour?

School groups, friends, family trips, corporate events and even making the trail accessible for everyone. Learn how you can organise a Customised Tour with Great Walks of New Zealand.

Priceper person from

$4740NZD

Options & Supplements*
  • Single supplement (own room)NZD$290
  • Solo Traveller surchargeNZD$290
*Prices listed are per person and also from

Essential Information

Ready to book? Make sure you download and read the detailed Food Lover's Waikato Guided Walk trip notes which contains all the essential information you need to know before booking. Once you’ve booked, we will supply you with a Pre-Departure document which contains a detailed gear list and other important information to help you prepare for your adventure ahead.


Trip reviews


Why walk with us

Self-Guided Experts

Our itineraries have been carefully designed and researched with you in mind.  The logistics are handled for you allowing you the freedom to walk New Zealand at a level of your choosing and in your own stride.

Kaitiakitanga

A core Maori value exercising guardianship in relation to nature, flora and fauna and its people, ensuring that sustainability and environment are valued, respected and protected for future generations to enjoy.

Supporting Local

As a small business ourselves, we love supporting and sharing New Zealand with other small and likeminded businesses and communities to showcase for you, what our land and people have to offer.

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