Nelson and West Coast Short Walks Tour

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Nelson & West Coast Short Walks Tour

Nelson & West Coast Short Walks Tour

Prices start from $3,200 pp twin share
8 day / 7 nights. Visit the beautiful top of the South Island enhanced by short walks of around an hour or less.
 
This is a Tours Direct escorted Tour. Tour Leader – Helen Tait

Helen is one of our regular tour leaders, who particularly enjoys leading some of our more active walking and cycling tours.   While we are unable to take our travellers to exciting destinations overseas, she is keen to share some of her favourite South Island walks.

The focus of the trip is on short walks which give access to highlight features of each area.   All are on well made paths.  Almost all are around an hour or less, and, if you find you have had enough on any of the days, all have the option of allowing you to stay with the bus (or boat) to meet the group at the end of the walk, or just having time off for another activity.

Tour at a Glance

Tour Prices$3,200 per person, share twin
$795 single supplement

Tour Dates

14 – 21 February, 2022

Your Tour Leader: Helen Tait

Helen lives in Christchurch and is a keen skier, cyclist and walker. She has led tours for Tours Direct for over 10 years, and loves sharing her enthusiasm for a wide range of places and cultures. She specially likes to share walking and cycling tours, at a relaxed pace suited to travellers for whom this might be a first.

 

Fully Vaccinated Requirement

All travellers joining this tour must be fully vaccinated. Your 'My Vaccine Pass' must be brought on the tour as proof of full Covid 19 vaccination.

It is important that the date of your final dose is at least 14 days before the tour departure date.

Fully Vaccinated Requirement

All travellers joining this cruise must be fully vaccinated. Your 'My Vaccine Pass' must be brought on the cruise as proof of full Covid 19 vaccination.

It is important that the date of your final dose is at least 14 days before the cruise departure date.

Booking Conditions
Cancellations
Inclusions
Variations
Travel Insurance
General Information
Health & Fitness
Covid 19 Vaccinations
Terms & Conditions

  • Booking Deposit of $750 per person
  • Final Payment Date: 16 December, 2021

  • Between 44 – 31 days, 50% of tour cost
  • Less than 30 days, 100% of tour cost
  • No refunds will be made after travel has commenced

  • 4 breakfasts, 2 lunches and 1 dinner
  • Accommodation in 4.5 star boutique hotels
  • 2 wine tastings
  • E-Bike and a helmet
  • Full technical and back up support with a vehicle and an experienced driver/guide
  • All shuttles as per itinerary
  • Luggage transfers
  • Services of a Tours Direct Tour Leader
  • Airport transfers

  • Domestic airfares
  • Travel Insurance

To safeguard your deposit and tour payment in the event of you having to cancel your reservation or curtail your tour, we highly recommend you take out travel insurance.

call us on 0800 868 748 if you like a travel insurance quote

The bike trails in the Hawke’s Bay are easy to ride and generally flat and smooth. Introductory Level.

If you have never ridden an E-Bike before we can help you learn, usually in 15 minutes. These trails are great to build confidence and increase your riding skills.

Needless to say the fitter you are the more you will enjoy the rides. Most days, 2 – 3 hours on an E-Bike (with frequent breaks).

All clients and support crew are required to be fully vaccinated.

Extensive Terms and Conditions are outlined in the free Information Pack

Booking Conditions
Cancellations
Inclusions
Variations
Travel Insurance
General Information
Health & Fitness
Covid 19 Vaccinations
Terms & Conditions

  • Booking Deposit of $750 per person
  • Final Payment Date: 31 January, 2022

  • Between 44 – 31 days, 50% of tour cost
  • Less than 30 days, 100% of tour cost
  • No refunds will be made after travel has commenced

  • 4 breakfasts, 2 lunches and 1 dinner
  • Accommodation in 4.5 star boutique hotels
  • 2 wine tastings
  • E-Bike and a helmet
  • Full technical and back up support with a vehicle and an experienced driver/guide
  • All shuttles as per itinerary
  • Luggage transfers
  • Services of a Tours Direct Tour Leader
  • Airport transfers

  • Domestic airfares
  • Travel Insurance

To safeguard your deposit and tour payment in the event of you having to cancel your reservation or curtail your tour, we highly recommend you take out travel insurance.

call us on 0800 868 748 if you like a travel insurance quote

The bike trails in the Hawke’s Bay are easy to ride and generally flat and smooth. Introductory Level.

If you have never ridden an E-Bike before we can help you learn, usually in 15 minutes. These trails are great to build confidence and increase your riding skills.

Needless to say the fitter you are the more you will enjoy the rides. Most days, 2 – 3 hours on an E-Bike (with frequent breaks).

All clients and support crew are required to be fully vaccinated.

Extensive Terms and Conditions are outlined in the free Information Pack

Inclusions
Variations
Booking Conditions
Cancellations
Travel Insurance
General Information
Health & Fitness
Covid 19 Vaccinations
Terms & Conditions

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Inclusions

  • All meals, including a pre-show dinner at Dockside Restaurant on the Wellington waterfront
  • Entrance fees
  • All transport by comfortable, air conditioned coach (maximum of 18 travellers)
  • Services of your knowledgeable guide
  • Quality accommodation chosen for a “sense of place”

Variations

  • Domestic airfares
  • Travel Insurance

Inclusions

  • Return airfares from Auckland (please ask us about flights from other airports – there could be a price adjustment).
  • All meals
  • Entrance fees
  • All transport by comfortable, air conditioned coach (maximum of 18 travellers)
  • Services of your knowledgeable guide
  • Quality accommodation chosen for a “sense of place”

Variations

  • Land Only price on application
  • Travel Insurance

Inclusions

  • All meals
  • Entrance fees
  • All transport by comfortable, air conditioned coach (maximum of 18 travellers)
  • Services of your knowledgeable guide
  • Quality accommodation chosen for a “sense of place”

Variations

  • Domestic airfares
  • Travel Insurance

Inclusions

  • 7 breakfasts, 2 lunches and 4 dinners
  • Accommodation in 4-star hotels and motels
  • Transport in a Luxury Mercedes Sprinter Coach
  • Services of your knowledgeable Tours Direct Tour Leader/Driver Helen Tait

Variations

  • Domestic airfares
  • Travel Insurance

Flexibility is our motto: The quoted cycling distances for each day are based on the expected riding. An individual can adjust the cycling according to their needs and weather conditions on the day.

GRADE: Introductory. Easy cycling on well formed trails.

22 - 26 May, 2022

Sun 22 May  Auckland - Ngaruwahia - Hamilton Gardens - Cambridge (27km)

This morning we depart Auckland from the Greenlane Countdown Carpark.
First stop is historic Ngaruawahia, and the place where two rivers meet. The newly developed cycle trail is a joy to ride as we follow the mighty Waikato River. A highlight along the way is the iconic Perry Bridge, one of the longest walk/cycle bridges in New Zealand!
Waikato River TrailBefore we start we will have bike fittings and a practice in the rotunda area; also morning tea and a toilet opportunity. Then, its off and away along the river trail. Our destination is the award-winning Hamilton Gardens; a great place for an independent lunch and an opportunity to stretch your leg muscles as you walk around the themed areas in the gardens. When we are ready we take our private transport to the Cambridge accommodation. Here you will have some leisure time to visit the Cambridge town centre.
We have an early independent dinner and then we gather together to take our transport to the start of the Kayaking adventure. We start from the Epworth camp and kayak our way down a truly beautiful section of the Waikato River to the Pokaiwhenua stream. With stunning twilight lake views, we head under the Pokaiwhenua Bridge and into the glowworm canyon.
Draped with native ferns, the canyon offers a true slice of New Zealand Beauty, and as the light fades away, the unique incandescence of the glowworms starts to shine from the surrounding walls. After a quick glass of some of New Zealand’s finest wines complemented with some tasty cheeses, we can enjoy over the warmth of a campfire, it’s back in the boats, as we drift slowly downstream using only the light from the glowworms. Viewing glowworms from a kayak on the surface of the world is a whole different experience from seeing them inside a cave, like at Waitomo.
Accommodation at the Hidden Lake Hotel, Cambridge

Mon 23 May  Cambridge - Lake Karapiro - Matamata - Te Aroha (B) 43km

Waikato River Trail

This morning we cycle from Cambridge to Lake Karapiro.
We have a coffee stop at the Podium Café, with amazing views over the Lake, and then travel by van to Matamata. Whilst we may be on the look-out for hobbits (I don’t think bicycles are featured in Tolkien's books), we are also going to be cycling on the newly finished cycleway from Matamata to Te Aroha. This is a lovely easy ride past lush Waikato farmland and horse studs.
Along the way we plan to have an independent lunch at the delicious Café 77, Manawaru, nicely situated right by the trail. After lunch its off and away on our bikes to Te Aroha (The Mountain of Love). Te Aroha is a small rural town with historic mineral spas, a lovely domain, quirky art and cafes. This town is full of interesting bits and pieces from the colonial days of New Zealand and the gold days. If there is time, Mandy will take you on a walk to see some of the unique sculptures.
Then it's back in the van to travel to our accommodation for the next two nights in Paeroa.
Recommended dinner spot: One3One Restaurant (a 2 minute walk from our accommodation).
Accommodation at Pedlars Motel, Paeroa

Tue 24 May  Te Aroha - Waihi - Paeroa (B) 47km

Pareoa

This morning the van delivers us back to Te Aroha and we aim to cycle two sectors of the Hauraki Rail Trail. The day begins with a leisurely ride through serene country landscapes beside the Kaimai Ranges. 
Morning tea is at Paeroa and when we are ready, it's off to Waihi. Some say this is the most beautiful part of the Hauraki Rail Trail as it passes through the dramatic and stunning Karangahake Gorge; a deep canyon cut through the Kaimai Ranges. This distinctly different landscape includes the cascading Owharoa waterfall, photogenic gold mining sites, the charmingly old-fashioned Victoria Battery museum, and a 1.1 km long railway tunnel (it is lit but carrying a light will make it easier for you). Halfway along the trail is the Waikino Station where there’s a charming railway cafe. This is the terminus of the Goldfields Railway vintage train which runs between Waikino and Waihi.
Our goal is to have a late lunch at the Ti Tree café, Waihi. After a rest and nourishment we will walk on to Martha Mine to look at this great hole in the ground.
When we are ready we will take our private transport back to Paeroa for the night.
Late afternoon if you have the energy there will be the opportunity to get that iconic picture of you with the huge Lemon & Paeroa Bottle (very close to our accommodation).
Accommodation at Pedlars Motel, Paeroa

Wed 25 May  Paeroa - Thames (B, D) 34km

Cheese Barn

Today we tackle the Paeroa to Thames section of the Rail Trail. Our aim is to reach Thames township, rich in pioneering and gold-mining history. Along the way we suggest you pop into The Cheese Barn café at Matatoki.
This section of the trail is through rural tranquillity with views of the Hauraki Plains and Coromandel Ranges.
Tonight we will have a farewell dinner together at Grahamstown Bar & Diner (The GBD).
Accommodation at Rolleston Motel, Thames

Thu 26 May  Thames - Miranda - Auckland (B,L) 35km

Today we are going to cycle from Thames to Miranda, the trail following the curve of the Firth of Thames. We should have glorious views of the water and the birds.
As we leave Thames you may like to stop and enjoy the many sculptures along the community’s Arts Trail.
We are cycling to the Miranda bird hide to play ‘spot the godwit’.
We visit the Pukorokoro-Miranda Shorebird Centre, where we will enjoy a picnic lunch and then travel back to Auckland.

14 - 21 February, 2022

Mon 14 Feb      Christchurch (D)

 

Arrive Christchurch and check into accommodation.
2pm: Meet tour leader Helen Tait for an optional walk through the centre of Christchurch. The tour will cover post earthquake plans and developments, and will include Turanga, the award-winning central library, the new Convention Centre, Margaret Mahy Playground, the dramatic architecture of the city’s new retail area, including the Riverside Markets, earthquake memorials, and the restored Arts Centre.
This evening we will gather for a welcome dinner at the beautiful Curator’s House in the Botanical Gardens.

Accommodation at Novotel Christchurch Cathedral Square

Tue 15 Feb        Christchurch - Kaikoura - Nelson (B,D)

This morning we head North to Kaikoura for a walk around the rugged coastline, where we might be lucky enough to come across seals and even see a dolphin or two frolicking nearby.
Our walk will end in the township of Kaikoura, where there will be time to explore and to have lunch, before we head on to Nelson, making a stop on the way for a native bush walk at Pelorus Bridge. You may be ready for a refreshing dip in the swimming pool when we arrive at our hotel.
We will dine this evening at Flames Restaurant at the hotel.

Accommodation at Hotel Nelson

 

Wed 16 Feb       Nelson (B,D)

Time to explore Nelson’s great range of interesting cafes and galleries after our walk for today – a path up to the “Centre of New Zealand” for splendid views out over Tasman Bay, before traversing around the hill and down to the Founders Heritage Centre, where there are interesting historical exhibits.
On our return we will pass through the tranquil Queen’s Gardens, and end the walk at the Suter Art Gallery. There will be time in the afternoon for further riverside walks or just to relax at a riverside café.
This evening choose from one of Nelson’s many interesting restaurants.

Accommodation at Hotel Nelson

 

Thu 17 Feb       Nelson - Abel Tasman National Park - Motueka (B,D)

Today we move on across to Kaiteriteri on the other side of Tasman Bay, where we will have the opportunity to enjoy the Abel Tasman National Park from both land and sea.
On the way we will stop off at the picturesque settlement at Mapua Wharf, where there is a range of attractive galleries and cafes, as well as a coastal walk. A great opportunity for a morning coffee before we continue to Kaiteriteri, where we join a Vista Cruise into the marine reserve in the heart of the park. We pause to check out the antics at the resident seal colony, before disembarking at one of the park’s many sheltered coves, to walk along the well-marked coastal track shaded by lush native forest, with panoramic coastal views, and re-join the cruise for a relaxing return to Kaiteriteri. There will be a picnic lunch to enjoy on the cruise or on shore.
Following the cruise we travel to nearby Motueka and our accommodation for the next two nights.

Accommodation at Nautilus Lodge Motel, Motueka

Fri 18 Feb          Motueka - Golden Bay - Motueka (B)

Today we travel via Takaka Hill to Golden Bay, a less visited part of the region.
We will start by heading up towards the Northern tip of the South Island at Farewell Spit. Our walk here will take us out over rolling farm land to Wharariki Beach, with its amazing sand dunes, caves and off-shore islands.
Keep an eye peeled for seals sunning themselves on the rocks! We will also walk up to the northernmost point of the South Island for a view of spectacular rock formations, before we head back for a lunch stop in Collingwood. On the return journey we will stop for a walk in the Te Waikoropupu Springs (Pupu) Springs area. These are probably Golden Bay’s most famous attraction, and its story and mysteries are still a fascinating one. The springs are best known for the clarity of the water, and the volume of water discharged. The horizontal visibility of the water in the springs has been measured at an average of 63 metres, second only to sub-glacial water in the Antarctic. The springs are also spiritually significant to the Māori people.
After a stop in Takaka and a chance to stroll through the main street, we will leave Golden Bay to travel back over the hill to Motueka.
This evening we have a choice of one of Motueka’s many restaurants and cafes.

Accommodation at Nautilus Lodge Motel, Motueka

Sat 19 Feb          Motueka - West Coast (Punakaiki) (B,L,D)

An early start, to head for the West Coast, stopping at Murchison for morning tea, then on to Cape Foulwind, for a dramatic walk along the rugged coastline to Tauranga Bay, where there is a close-up view of a seal colony.
We have a lunch stop at a remote country café where we enjoy pizza and an optional beer or wine, before heading to Helen’s favourite walking track anywhere in NZ – Truman Track – down to a spectacular bay through native bush, then on to the final stop for the day at the famous Pancake Rocks.
Our luxury accommodation for the night is immediately adjacent to the rocks, giving us the chance for a return visit to enjoy the sunset after a meal in the hotel restaurant (or a dawn walk for the early risers in the group!)

Accommodation at Punakaiki Resort

 

Sun 20 Feb         Punakaiki - Hokitika (B,D)

The day starts with an easy return walk through native bush to an impressive waterfall before we head inland to the dramatic Hokitika Gorge for a short walk.
Our next stop is a walk through the treetops, where some amazing engineering gives us the opportunity to view a range of native forest from the heights of walkways and a viewing tower. A pleasant café at the treetop site is a good spot for lunch while we are there.
Back in Hokitika at the end of the day a beach walk will give us a chance to admire the creativity of some of the local driftwood sculptors.
We will round off our walking tour with a farewell dinner at Ocean View Restaurant.

Accommodation at Beachfront Hotel, Hokitika

Mon 21 Feb        Hokitika - Christchurch (B)

Our final day takes us through the dramatic scenery of the Otira Gorge to Arthur’s Pass, where we can stop for a short nature walk, before continuing to the Castle Hill reserve, where we will explore its strange rock formations.
We’ll make a stop for a lunch choice of pub or café at Springfield, before heading to Christchurch, where we can make a drop off at the airport on the way into town.
Arrive Christchurch mid afternoon. Tour concludes. Drop-off is available at airport or city centre. Departing flights should be booked for 5pm or later.