Flexible cancellationsBook stress freeLearn more
moderate to challenging

Traveller Rating


  • Trail Running
  • 4 nights hotel/motel
  • 3 nights alpine lodge
  • 3 Dinners
  • 6 Lunches
  • 7 Breakfasts

8 Days$3370NZD

Hit the trails with confidence

Flexible Cancellations
Stress free booking, learn more about our flexible terms.

COVID safety measures
are in place with extra cleaning and hygiene protocols

Remote adventures
means social distancing comes naturally

Small groups only
Guided group sizes are strictly limited to a maximum of 14 people

Trip Code: TOS

Trip highlights

  • Warm up on the beautiful Queen Charlotte track with a 26km run from Ship Cove.
  • Discover the remote Nydia Bay trail with two beautiful passes and hidden inlets.
  • Two days running in the Nelson Lakes National Park on lakeside tracks, through native bush and along open ridges.
  • Experience the rarely run traverse from Flora Saddle to Golden bay in Kahurangi National Park.
  • Enjoy the finale run through the beautiful Abel Tasman walkway from Awaroa to Marahau with its beaches and golden sands.
  • Seasoned kiwi trail runner Mal Law will guide and inspire you through some of the best tracks in New Zealand.

Weaving through native bush, tussock-lands and golden beaches, this 8 day, fully supported, and guided trail running trip let's you explore some of NZ's best trail runs at the top of the South Island.

Warm up on the Queen Charlotte Track, soak up views of towering mountain ranges from ridge-lines of Kahurangi National park and marvel at the glistening bays along the Abel Tasman Walkway.

As with many great runs, often the start and finish are miles apart which then requires tricky transport arrangements. In order to provide an effective and efficient running experience for you, we are providing transportation, and a running guide who has first hand knowledge of the trails which we have personally selected.

This tour is an awesome means of experiencing a wide range of great runs day after day, as part of a small group of like minded people.

Today is the meet and greet so get yourself to Picton and chill out as you get to know your fellow runners. We will get together at 7.00pm at the motel for our briefing followed by a meal together at a nearby restaurant. If you are travelling from Wellington ferry tickets to Picton can be purchased at www.interislander.co.nz.

Meals:  D

Today the rubber hits the trail and what better way to start than the beautiful northern end of the Queen Charlotte Track. To get there we take a scenic water taxi ride down the Sound to historic Ship Cove. From there we run approx 26kms through lush coastal forest, skirting the bays and enjoying great views. Our ascent during the run is around 600m, with mostly gentle gradients. From Camp Bay we rejoin our water taxi and return to Picton and our accommodation for the next night. Running distance: up to 26km

Meals:  B,L,D

We kick off with a short but twisty drive to the start of our Nydia Bay run. This beautiful 24km long trail is pretty much single track all the way with a couple of decent 300m+ climbs that are rewarded with some awesome downhill running. More beautiful and varied native bush and glittering bays keep the spirits high. After reaching Tennyson Inlet we drive inland to St Arnaud on the edge of the awe-inspiring Nelson Lakes National Park and make ourselves comfortable for a 3-night stay. Running distance: up to 24km

Meals:  B,L

The Nelson Lakes National Park is one of our very favourite places on the planet to go running. The alpine setting is stunning, the trails are world-class and the views are to die for. But best of all it’s pretty much all accessible from the back door of our comfortable accommodation! The itinerary for these two days will be a moving feast depending on the weather and how energetic everybody is feeling. We’ll most likely be able to offer a couple of options each day to keep everybody happy. But whatever happens you can be assured of superb trail running along undulating native beech forest, up and down some meaty climbs, along incredible open ridge tops and around high alpine tarns. Heaven on earth! Running distance: mix of trails to choose from depending on desired run

Meals:  B,L

We’ll make an early start for our drive to the unique environs of the Kahurangi National Park. Parking at Flora Saddle (1,000m altitude) the sweep of the Tasman Bay provides a great backdrop for the start of the 25 km run that first heads down a gorgeous river valley before climbing to open tussock. Progressing on to the Tablelands the terrain becomes increasingly rocky and the views keep opening up as we traverse this wonderful limestone landscape and sidle around the incomparable ice-sculpted Lake Peel. A final short climb leads to a breathtaking 500m descent through native forest to finish at the Cobb Reservoir. But the fun is not yet done as we still have the memorable drive down the Cobb Valley to take us to our accommodation in Takaka. Running distance: up to 25km

Meals:  B,L

The finale of the trip is a run through the beautiful Abel Tasman National Park on the world-famous Coastal Track. Just a short drive will deliver us to Totaranui where we catch a water taxi just along the coast to Awaroa before embarking on 33 kms of single-track through some of the most heavenly coastal scenery you’ll ever wish to see. For anyone looking for a shorter day there are options to start further along the trail by taking the water taxi further down the coast. The small settlement of Marahau marks the end of the day and our tour runs. We then make the short journey back to Motueka for a celebratory meal. Running distance: up to 33km

Meals:  B,L,D

All good things come to an end and after breakfast we head off back to Christchurch dropping tired but happy trail runners en route at Nelson, Blenheim or Picton to meet flights and ferries. Those seeking a ride to Christchurch can accompany our driver guide all the way to the Garden City.

Meals:  B


  • 7 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 3 dinners
  • 4 nights hotel/motel ensuite accommodation on a twin share basis
  • 3 nights alpine lodge accommodation on a twin share basis
  • Professional qualified driver/guide - Two running guides where numbers are applicable
  • Private vehicle transport
  • Water taxi transfer to Ship Cove on Day 2
  • Water taxi transfer to Awaroa on Day 7
  • Informal workshops and discussion groups
  • Option to be driven from and back to Christchurch pre and post tour
  • Airport transfer to Nelson at the end of trip
  • Access and concession fees paid to the Department of Conservation
  • New Zealand Goods and Services Tax (GST)

  • International or domestic flights and taxes
  • Arrival and departure transfers - other than return to Nelson Airport
  • Meals not mentioned in the itinerary
  • All beverages, other than breakfast
  • Any additional water taxi transfers as decided by runners
  • Optional activities not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Personal expenses (eg. phone calls, internet, laundry, shopping, specialist running snacks such as gels etc)
  • Travel insurance
  • Visa (if required)
  • Tips

About Your Leader

Our guides are one of our biggest assets. We pride ourselves on the standard and quality of these great people who you will be spending your holiday with. This trip will be led by Mal Law, whose passion for introducing runners to New Zealand’s wild places has made this trip possible. With more than 25 years experience and several trail running firsts to his name, Mal is uniquely qualified to take charge of this awesome adventure. He will be supported by a second, highly experienced running guide (if we have a group of 6 or more).



moderate to challenging  

With no formal grading system for Trail Running, we are guided by distances and personal experience having run all these trails in preparation for this tour. Distances can vary according to personal fitness and desire, although some trails such as the Nydia Track are a through run requiring a total commitment. Trails have been chosen for their interest, variation of scenery and trail surface and challenge. Generally the runs are on well formed DOC trails with a good running surface. Runners will have the option to sit out or modify a particular days run in discussion with the guide.

Departure dates

Want to organise a private group?

Fundraising events, sporting groups, family treats; learn how you can organise a Private Group from just 6 travellers.

Total Priceper person from


Options & Supplements*
  • Single SupplementNZD$750
*Prices listed are per person

Essential information

Ready to book? Make sure you download and read the detailed Wild Things Top of the South Island Trail Running 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.

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