What 7 Days in New Zealand's South Island looks like...
ICYMI, we are heading to New Zealand in October with Active Adventures for a week of hiking, biking + kayaking around beautiful South Island!
We're bringing you this adventure because we think there's a need for trips that are action-packed; that have you out + about as much as possible, exploring grand landscapes up close and personal. If you love to travel this way, this trip is for you.
WHEN: October 20 - 26, 2019. We will meet at 6pm on the 20th and we will be back in time for flights heading out from midday onwards on the 26th
WHERE: Starting + ending in Queenstown, the Adventure Capital of the World!
So let me take you a photographical journey of what you can expect over the 7 days:
Day 1: arrive + meet the group in Queenstown! Now, we’re not meeting until 6pm and flights can land way before this sooo this gives you some time to wander around this extraordinary town.
And I don’t use the term “extraordinary” lightly. I have met Canadians and Americans who hail from alpine towns remark how unique QT is because not only do you have these beautiful mountains but you have these sparkling turquoise vast lakes. I could gush forever about the landscapes here.
In town, treat yourself to a Fergburger OR my personal favourite, a Fergbaker PIE and coffee. Stop by BOUND Books & Records for a carefully curated selection of reads and art supplies by a Queenstown local. Have a NZ craft brew at Atlas Beer Café. Take a ride up the Skyline Gondola and look over this gorgeous little town and the endless surrounding mountains and Lake Wakatipu…
And after all that, your adventure is ONLY JUST BEGINNING.
Day 2: we're going on a sneaky overnighter in Mount Aspiring National Park!
We're putting on our bigger packs and hiking 3 hours to the Hut. This is a 8.8 kilometre hike with a 120 metre elevation gain so pretty gradual which means we’ll have plenty of energy to soak up the views.
At the Hut, we’ll have the rest of the day to chill, playing cards, reading, chat and just pinch ourselves that we’re in such an incredibly place and we got there on our own two feet!
For those who have never stayed in a backcountry hut before, you’re going to love Mount Aspiring Hut.
(and by the way, if you prefer to camp here, you can! We can loan you some tents. Bigger backpacks + sleeping bags also available for loan.)
Day 3: we'll stop by Rob Roy Glacier on our way out of Mount Aspiring Hut to take in the amazing and ancient world of glaciers, mountains, river valleys and alpine lakes. Honestly, it is immense here. I found it hard to tear myself away.
Then we'll be biking the Hawea River Trail which is a flat, maintained trail so don’t worry, those who haven’t done much cycling, this will be a relatively easy ride! The ride ends in Wanaka, a charming lakeside town. From Wanaka, we’ll be driving along the Crown Range Pass, New Zealand’s highest road, to return to Queenstown. This is one of the most spectacular drives - even the driving in New Zealand is a spectacle!!!
Day 4: so we're back in Queenstown and for those up for a challenge, we’ll be hiking Ben Lomond, which stands over Queenstown at 1,748 metres and offers seriously EPIC mountain and lake views. This is one of my favourite hikes in the world, EVER. And you’ll probably be welcomed up to the summit by some friendly, loud and hungry keas…
Day 5: Next up is Fiordland National Park, New Zealand’s largest national park. We’ll hike 2-3 hours along the Kepler Track, one of New Zealand's Great Walks, through lush beech forest and fernery. You will feel like you’ve stepped right into Avatar. This is a 10 kilometre hike with practically no elevation gains or losses so it’s going to be a very much welcome active recovery day after Ben Lomond. It’s a really rejuvenating walk.
We’re staying in Te Anau tonight, the gateway to Milford Sound…so no guesses needed as to what is coming up next…
Day 6: nobody is going to want this adventure to end but end, it must! And at least we're ending it all with a MASSIVE bang.
It’ll be an early start but the drive into Milford Sound along is worth it. And then we’ll be embarking on a 4-hour sea kayak journey through Jurassic Park, we mean Milford Sound (arguably the 8th Wonder of the World). I did this back in 2015 and it is still, to date, one of the most incredible experiences of my life (and I have since hiked in Yosemite, Zion, Switzerland). Being out on the water in kayaks is HANDS DOWN THE BEST WAY to see Milford Sound because the sea cliffs absolutely tower above you, making you feel so tiny. You’ll also (if you’re lucky) get up close and personal with seals and penguins :)
AND IT’S NOT QUITE OVER YET.
After a hearty lunch, we’ll be doing a part of another Great Walk; the Routeburn Track. It’s a wee 6.8 kilometre return journey to Key Summit so we’ll be walking for about 3 hours. At the summit, you’ll have expansive views of the Humboldt and Darran mountain ranges. I think that staring out over these big mountains, that we don’t get back here in Oz, is just the perfect way to say goodbye to New Zealand…
We’ll be spending our last night together in Te Anau.
Day 7: it’s time to fly home 😞We’ll be back in Queenstown for those with flights to catch (after midday only!!).
For those who can’t quite say goodbye yet, there are so many other adventures in + around town. Just a few examples: hike up Queenstown Hill, walk along the Sunshine Bay track, take a day trip to Glenorchy or Arrowtown, camp overnight at Moke Lake. It is a neverending smorgasbord of adventures here!
So what do you reckon?
ONLY 3 SPOTS LEFT
DEPOSITS DUE BY 20 FEBRUARY
For a detailed itinerary, what’s included, what’s excluded and pricing information of this trip: