New Zealand hiking has air so clear you can see for miles and in South Island you will see some of the most stunningly beautiful scenery in the world. These three walks have become internationally famous as magnificent alpine adventures.
The Routeburn Track is a wonderful walk, featured in National Geographic as one of the top hikes in the world. Unlike the Milford Track which is booked out sometimes months in advance, the Routeburn Track is a great alternative with better availability and often preferred by locals for the diversity of scenery. It is an easy to medium walk where you experience moss draped forests, energetic streams and busy waterfalls. The Milford Track is considered to be one of the best walking experiences in the world. Located in one of New Zealand’s most remote areas, the Fiordland National Park, the track passes through the heart of this breathtaking region. Immersed in nature, you’ll be surrounded by native birdlife – Kea, Weka, Bellbird, Robin and maybe even Kiwi if you’re lucky. Book early!The Kepler Track is a 60 km (37 miles) circular tramping track which travels through some of the spectacular scenery on South Island. The track passes through many landscapes of the Fiordland National Park ranging from rocky mountain ridges to tall mossy forests, from lake shores to deep gorges. Moderate difficulty.New Zealand has air so clear you can see for miles and in South Island you will see some of the most stunningly beautiful scenery in the world. These three walks have become internationally famous as magnificent alpine adventures.
Prices: 2016 (NB – prices below are per person based on two people sharing in Queenstown.
Single supplements will apply for individual travellers – £125 for the St. Moritz, £115 for the Copthorne, £95 for the Garden Court, £85 for the Blue Peaks, £55 for the Black Sheep
ACCOMMODATION QUEENSTOWN Room Milford5 night/5 day Routeburn5 night/5 day Routeburn4 night/4 day Kepler5 night/5 day
Black SheepBackpackers Twin/dbl £450pp £430pp £360pp £360pp
Blue PeaksLodge Twin/dbl £475pp £470pp £395pp £400pp
Garden Court Suites & Apts Twin/dbl £490pp £475pp £400pp £410pp
Copthorne Lakefront Resort Twin/dbl £510pp £500pp £420pp £430pp
St Moritz Twin/dbl £530pp £515pp £440pp £445pp
Routeburn – 5 Days/5 Nights or 4 Days/4 Nights
All track transport Pre walk briefing All hut bookings and fees Queenstown accommodation for one night before and after walk Track map and information Recommended food and gear lists Souvenir track book Cruise of Milford Sound with picnic lunch on the last day (not on 4 day option). Booking services of our Queenstown office for optional activities
Milford – 5 Days/5 Nights
All track transport (bus and boat), Pre walk briefing, All hut bookings and fees, Queenstown accommodation for one night before and after walk, Track map and information, Recommended food and gear lists, Souvenir track book. Booking services of our Queenstown office for optional activities
Kepler – 5 Days/5 Nights
All track transport, Pre walk briefing, All hut bookings and fees, Queenstown accommodation for one night before and after walk, Track map and information, Recommended food and gear lists, Souvenir track book. Booking services of our Queenstown office for optional activities
Not Included: Transportation to/from home.
Departures: These walks operate on demand between late October and late-April. December and January get booked up very quickly.
Routeburn (For Milford & Kepler see below)
Arrive in Queenstown (hotel accommodation included), free time to explore or book your post hike activities. Pre track briefing at 3pm.
Pick up at hotel accommodation, travel by bus to the head of Lake Wakatipu through Glenorchy and past Paradise to the Routeburn Shelter for the start of the Routeburn Track. Entering the Mount Aspiring National Park, you have a gentle walk through beech forest and along the Routeburn valley, a short steady climb takes you past waterfalls and up to the first night at the Routeburn Falls Hut. Situated by the Routeburn waterfall overlooking the valley below, it’s a stunning location for your first night on the track. Approximately 2½ to 4 hours walk.
Today you head up over the Harris Saddle where there is an optional side track to the summit of Conical Hill with expansive views across the Hollyford valley and out to the Tasman sea on a clear day. The descent down to Mackenzie hut traverses the Hollyford Valley mountain through alpine vegetation and then down into a ‘magical forest’ covered in moss and lichen. It’s not hard to see why Fiordland was used to film Lord of the Rings. Mackenzie Hut is situated by a lake in a hanging valley, truely photogenic whatever the weather. Approximately 4½ to 6 hours walk.
The track starts out to reveal lush forest and waterfalls before opening out to look down the Hollyford valley and beyond. Earland Falls (174m) is a great place to pause and take in the atmosphere before walking onto Howden Hut, approximately 3 – 4 hours walk.
It’s a short walk to the Divide with ample time to take the side trip up Key Summit before catching the lunchtime coach to Milford Sound. Approximately 3 hours walk including the side track. It’s a short distance to Milford Sound where you board a cruise to take in the sights of the world famous Milford Sound. Complementary tea and coffee and a licensed bar are on board the purpose built vessel and a picnic lunch is included in your package so you have fresh sandwiches after your walking adventure. After your Milford Sound cruise, your luxury coach returns to Queenstown with a short comfort stop in Te Anau. Reclining seats and ample leg room mean it’s hard to stay awake on the journey home. You will arrive back at your hotel in Queenstown early evening for a well deserved shower and choice of dining options!
Milford (For Kepler see below)
Arrive in Queenstown (Hotel accommodation included), free time to explore or book your post hike activities. Pre track briefing at 4pm.
Pick up at hotel accommodation, travel by coach to Te Anau. After a break and time for morning tea you will be transported by bus to Te Anau Downs to connect with your ferry for a cruise up Lake Te Anau to the Milford Track jetty at Glade House. From the landing a 1½ hour walk takes you to Clinton Hut where you will spend the night.
Today your walk follows the Clinton River for approx 5-6 hours to reach Mintaro Hut. Mintaro Hut is situated at the base of the Mackinnon Pass.
You will hike to the top of Mackinnon Pass – approximately 2 hours from the hut. This is the highest point on the track at 1073 metres. After the descent you can take an optional side walk to Sutherland Falls, among the highest single drop falls in the world, before continuing to Dumpling Hut. Approximately 6 hours walking.
Follow the Arthur River to Lake Ada and onto the track end at Sandfly Point. From here the launch will transfer you to Milford Sound where you will board your coach for the journey back to Queenstown.
Arrive in Queenstown (hotel accommodation included), free time to explore or book your post hike activities. Pre-track briefing held at 2pm.
Pick up at hotel accommodation, travel by coach from Queenstown to Te Anau where a water taxi takes you&amp; to Broad Bay, the start of the Kepler Track. After walking through mountain and beech forests, you ascend to the first night on the Kepler Track at Luxmore Hut just above the tree line. Approximately 3½ to 4½ hours walk.
There is an opportunity for a 10 minute side trip to the summit of Mount Luxmore with excellent views before heading along the stunning alpine track to Iris Burn Hut. Approximately 5-6 hours walk.
A steady days hike down through beech forest, riverside clearings and a gorge, takes you to Motura hut situated beside a beautiful beach with panoramic views of Lake Manapouri. Approximately 5-6 hours walk
The last day is a gentle stroll through beech forest to Rainbow Reach. A shuttle service will take you to Te Anau, where a coach will bring you back to Queenstown for a well earned shower and drink