Experience one of the best multi-activity adventures in the world, with our unique, memorable, fully guided, continuous 4 day adventure Journey. The trip is the ideal “once in a lifetime” holiday and shared experience for active families, and small groups of friends or corporate groups.
The Journey travels across the wonderful and varied landscapes of Richmond Forest Park, Abel Tasman National Park and Kahurangi National Park, in the northwestern corner of the South Island of New Zealand. Immerse in a stunning scenery of sweeping golden beaches, turquoise seas, superb native bush, imposing mountain ranges, wilderness rivers and the remote and spectacular coastline of the Heaphy Track.
Two nights are spent in lodges and one aboard our 46 ft luxury catamaran Te Harinui.
The trip can be tailored to your preferences, with the days becoming harder/longer or easier/shorter to suit your fitness and sense of adventure. You can make your Journey 2 days, 3 days, the classic 4 or even 7 days by removing or adding days.
After we collect you from your accommodation in Nelson, we take you to our helibase to meet the helicopter which flies to 1000 metres at Dun Saddle in Mt Richmond Forest Park behind Nelson City. While enjoying stunning views of the top of the South Island, you’ll walk for half an hour on a rocky trail to collect your mountain bikes at Coppermine Saddle for the exhilarating 15 kilometre downhill ride through native bush. The Coppermine Trail is a classic ride, and part of The New Zealand Cycle Trail Network, which follows the route of New Zealand’s first railway, built to service an alpine level chromite mine in 1860.
Descending through open alpine country, then beautiful native forest, you ride back down to Nelson City. We provide lunch at our iconic cafe, Broccoli Row in the City, and cycle some more on interesting sections of Tasman’s Great Taste Trail, before joining the catamaran Te Harinui at the seaside village of Kaiteriteri.
Alternatively if you prefer cycling on easier trails, rather than mountain biking, you can cycle on Tasman’s Great Taste Trail before joining the yacht at Kaiteriteri.
You can relax or get involved in sailing the yacht (depending on the wind) to beautiful Anchorage Bay in Abel Tasman National Park. Here you spend the night on the yacht. You can swim or walk on the tranquil golden sand beach before enjoying dinner prepared by our chef.
Today you explore the famous Abel Tasman coastline in sea kayaks. One of the best sea kayak destinations in the world. You’ll enjoy paddling along the rocky coastline, with it’s golden beaches, peaceful inlets and native bush, before making your way to Awaroa Eco Lodge in the National Park where you spend the night.
You will be paddling for 3 – 4 hours, with time to stop and swim or just enjoy the stunning beaches and bays.
After breakfast our helicopter will arrive for a scenic trip through the heart of the one million acre Kahurangi National Park, New Zealand’s second largest. Flying alongside jagged peaks, you’ll land at beautiful, glacial Boulder Lake at 3000ft, before descending to the Heaphy River near the Tasman Sea. Here you hike the last day of the famous Heaphy Track, one of New Zealand’s Great Walks, through luxurious subtropical rainforest.
It’s a 5 – 6 hour walk along the stunning, rugged and remote western coastline on the edge of the Tasman Sea. The end of the track is at Kohaihai and the small isolated village of Karamea, where we spend the night.
We start the day with a short helicopter trip into the Karamea River. Known as one of the world’s great wilderness multi-day rafting trips, we raft the last section through the Karamea Gorge. Rafting grade 4-5, this is what we call cerebral rafting. Long boulder gardens and powerful water require great teamwork from guides and paddlers.
Because of its remote location, the Karamea River is seldom rafted, and we are unlikely to see anybody else on the river. At the end of the day you have the option of flying by fixed wing aeroplane directly back to Nelson. Alternatively we can arrange for a rental car, so you can begin the superb drive down the South Island’s West Coast to the glaciers and Queenstown.
You can delete this day if rafting is not your preference.
All accommodation, yacht and meals
Guides, helicopters, planes, bikes, national park fees, sea kayaking, rafting, transfers
Not included – Alcohol, which may be purchased on the Journey
How physical is the trip?
The trip can be adjusted to suit your fitness and inclination. Sections can be shortened, or you can substitute the helibike for easy cycling on Tasman’s Great Taste Trail. Because this is a private trip, the pace is up to you and your group. Individual sections can also be made harder or longer if that’s your preference.
The trip is well within the reach of anybody with moderate fitness.
How long does each section take?
The helibike takes around 2-3 hours from the time we collect you, to the time you reach the yacht marina.
Sailing to Anchorage takes about an hour, or longer if we can enjoy an extended sail. The sea kayaking takes about 4 hours, and the helicopter trip is around 1 1/2 hours before you begin walking on the Heaphy Track. The walking section is 16 kilometres and takes around 5 – 6 hours.
What happens if we have a family or group member who doesn’t wish to do each section (particularly the active sections) but wants to be part of the trip?
During the helibike, that member can enjoy the helicopter ride, and walk if they wish to the start of the ride, before flying back in the helicopter. During the sea kayaking, that person will travel by water taxi on to the Resort at Awaroa. On the Heaphy walking section that family member can enjoy the scenic helicopter trip, then be dropped at the Karamea accommodation by the helicopter along with the baggage.
How long and how hard is the helihike?
It’s around 19 kilometres (12 miles) and takes around 5 – 6 hours with stops for lunch. It is mostly gently undulating walking along the coastline with a steady climb over a small saddle at the end of the track .
What grade is the rafting?
It is mainly graded around 4 but depends very much on river flow. Two rapids are often 4. 5 to 5 and are portaged.
What happens in the event of bad weather?
We will sometimes change the sequence of the Journey to work around the weather, but will consult you on our judgement around safety and comfort before we make final decisions to proceed with any section of the trip. If a section is cancelled due to bad weather we will refund that portion of the trip.
We have a family/group member with specific diet requirements. Can you accommodate this?
We have our own chefs who prepare all of our food. We can accommodate most dietary preferences with advance warning.