June 26th 2020

Inspiration for a New Zealand Big Trip!

We are now taking 2021 bookings for our biggest Walk - our 13-nighter in New Zealand's fabulous South Island.

To get the maximum out of your vacation we have designed this Walk with a thoughtful mix of road trips and time on the trail. And even though this is a true bucket-lister, taking in some spectacular, remote areas, the walking is an easy Level 2.

And there are options to take a helicopter ride over Mount Cook and land on a glacier; do a spot of trout fishing in a stunning location or take in a round of golf!

To get the dreaming under way, we have gathered a selection of movies and books that will bring the wonders of New Zealand straight to your living room.

New Zealand - A South Island Spectacle

Lake Matheson

The lakes are turquoise and the mountains snow-capped. New Zealand's South Island stretches from balmy wine country to a coast where the next stop is Antarctica!

On the way, there is so much to see and do, we need 13 nights - and days - to make the most of it.

At Queen Charlotte Sounds we retrace the steps of Captain Cook who landed here in 1770. The Queen Charlotte Walkway provides a spectacular highlight with panoramic views, diverse landscapes and peaceful tranquillity.


Southwards to Kaikoura passing the vineyards of Blenheim, and a chance to see the famous basking seals along this dramatic coastline. Fresh seafood for dinner in this quaint seaside town.

Franz Josef Glacier

We move to the West Coast where lush rainforests and river tracks wind through primeval landscapes of strange rock formations. The majesty and beauty of Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers are a true must-see. Arthur's Pass takes us on high across the majestic Southern Alps, which divide the island.

Walking on New Zealand's South Island

Our journey continues to Wanaka for tranquil lakeside walks and a hike to the summit of Mount Iron for unsurpassed views of Mount Aspiring National Park.

Traveling south again via a fascinating and well-preserved historic gold rush town, we head for to the dramatic landscape that surrounds lively Queenstown. Walks are in store along Lake Wakatipu's lovely shoreline, with the snowy mountain peaks in front of us and on part of the famous Routeburn Track.

Dream now, visit later

Beautiful and awe-inspiring, there's no denying New Zealand's green mountains, glassy lakes, and wild coastlines appears to a wide range of writers and creators. Here is our pick of movies, TV shows, art and books that bring "The Land of the Long White Cloud" to life.

The Luminaries

Watch out for the new TV adaptation of The Luminaries, author Eleanor Catton's ambitious novel that went on to win the prestigious Man Booker Prize. Organized into astrologically inspired sections, a series of intriguing characters meet each other during an 1860s gold rush on the South Island's West Coast, where we walk, when many Europeans flocked to the area after word spread that two Māori men had struck gold.

Top of the Lake - season 1

Top of the Lake (Season 1) is an eerie television show about sordid crimes in a gorgeous region of New Zealand (shot mostly in Queenstown and Glenorchy, which we visit on our Walk. Elisabeth Moss plays a troubled detective with mysterious issues around returning home for the first time. The scenery is stunning.

Hunt for the Wilderpeople

Hunt for the Wilderpeople, the story of a Māori preteen and his unlikely foster father's adventure in the Bush is a feel-good choice for anyone looking to venture to New Zealand. It takes us on a trek through the Central Plateau and Waitakere Ranges of the Auckland region.

Chronicles of Narnia

Director and New Zealand native Andrew Adamson took filming back to his home country when creating the movie versions of author C.S. Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia, the beloved children's fantasy series. A grand scope of New Zealand serves as a backdrop (with a lot of special effects in the foreground), including scenes in Flock Hill, Woodhill Forest, Waitaki District, and Purakaunui Bay.

The piano

The Piano has a bleak and unruly 19th-century New Zealand as the background for this love story that went on to win multiple Oscars, including Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress for Holly Hunter and a young Anna Paquin. Director Jane Campion explores ideas of class barriers, British imperialism, and challenges to antiquated British ideals on the "wild" island.

The Hobbit

Not forgetting The Lord of the Rings series! No surprise that Peter Jackson's film adaptations of J.R.R. Tolkien's fantasy book series were filmed exclusively throughout New Zealand. This is a real-life Middle Earth!

Auckland's Art Gallery Too o Tamaki

There's the opportunity to dive into New Zealand's visual history on a virtual tour of the nation's largest art gallery - Auckland Art Gallery Too o Tāmaki. Explore outstanding works by Māori and Pacific Island artists alongside painting by European Old Masters. Click here to explore the rooms within the gallery.

For readers:

Come on Shore and We Will Kill and Eat You All

Come on Shore and We Will Kill and Eat You All. In this endearing, offbeat memoir, Christina Thompson effortlessly alternates tales of mostly disastrous early encounters with the Maori (she's an anthropologist) and the story of the love of her life, Seven, the Maori she married. Her title is taken from what "Darwin said that Cook said the Maoris said at that interesting moment when Europeans first appeared." What probably actually transpired on that fateful day in 1769 at the Bay of Isles was more complex.

In The Bone People, her novel that won the Man Booker prize in 1984, Keri Hulme creates a moving mystery full of complex characters and themes of love, loss, isolation, and grief. With her mixed cast of characters, outsiders, and recluses of both European and Māori identities, Hulme tells a larger story of New Zealand's historical relations.

A Personal Kiwi-Yankee Dictionary by Louis Leland. Take this book with you on your trip to help you untangle the sometimes perplexing and colorful local idioms.

Slipping Into Paradise, Why I Live in New Zealand. In this far-ranging book, a travelogue of sorts, Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson (who left the rarified atmosphere of Berkeley for Auckland in 2000) combines his travels and tales with history, riffs on the Kiwis, nature and society.

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