Beautiful South

Queenstown – Routeburn & Milford Tracks – Milford Sound – Glenorchy – Gibbston Valley – Wanaka

Days: 10 Days
From: US$5999 + TAX
Activity Level: Easy
Group Size: 4 – 12 People
Days: 10 Days
From: US$5999 + TAX
Activity Level: Easy
Group Size: 4 – 12 People

Trip Overview

Looking up from anywhere throughout this part of the South Island, you’ll see vast towering peaks. The constant geological movement of this region has created an incredibly beautiful jagged landscape, allowing us to walk deep in its forested valleys and up to its high points, exploring fiords, sounds and river canyons. Of course, it wouldn’t be complete without sampling the world-renowned local wine, in particular the Pinot Noir, produced in the Central Otago Region, where you’ll have the chance to indulge in the finer things of life, as well as the outstanding natural beauty of the area.

Itinerary

Day 1 - Queenstown & Central Otago Pinot Noir

Another world awaits you as you arrive into Queenstown, with the rugged peaks of the Remarkable Mountain range rising sharply out of the crystal clear waters of Lake Wakatipu on one side. Turn 180 degrees and the spectacular views carry on as far as the eye can see – simply stunning. What better way to kick things off than by venturing down the Kawarau River Gorge to a local winery. The Central Otago region is New Zealand’s finest producer of Pinot Noir. We’ll taste, tour and immerse ourselves in the wine making process, before relaxing in Queenstown with views of the Remarkables and surrounding peaks.

Accommodation: Crowne Plaza Queenstown (view details)

Walking: After flying halfway around the world, just a short walk (1 hour) of the town and lakefront is enough to shake off the jet lag.

Wines: Central Otago is New Zealand’s most spectacular vineyard region. The inland mountainous location provides a semi-continental climate with crisp winters, hot summers, cool night-time temperatures and low rainfall. The unique climate combined with the glacially derived soils, to produce spectacular Pinot Noir.

Dining: New Zealand is a melting pot in many ways, especially when it comes to food. Tonight we’ll choose a blend of Pacific, Asian and New Zealand flavours to introduce your palate to our local flavours.

Other activities: Queenstown – the adventure capital of New Zealand. You name it, you can do it here. Just ask us!

Day 2 - Routeburn Track & Milford Sound

As we drive into Fiordland National Park, ‘glorious’ is just one word that will pop into your head. As the granite peaks get steeper, higher and more imposing, the rainforest flanking them grows ever thicker, and the rivers ever clearer. We’ll walk to a viewing point on the Routeburn Track, before dropping down into Milford Sound and discovering what the words ‘beautiful’ and ‘dramatic’ really mean. Here, you’ll see waterfalls like nowhere else in the world. This place receives over 21 feet of rain a year, so it might well be raining during your time here – and if it is, you’ll experience this place REALLY come alive!

Accommodation: Milford Sound Chalets. The riverside chalets here bring comfort and class to an isolated and wild place. The roar of the river and sound of local bird life will make your private chalet experience one to remember. (view details)

Walking: A 3 hour round trip walk to the Key Summit viewing point on the Routeburn Track is our first walk. There’s a bit of elevation in this one, but don’t worry it’s a gentle walk to a view point that will knock your socks off. We’ll then walk 10 minutes to the Chasm on the way in to Milford Sound to look down into the throat of a tight canyon carved out by millions of years of rushing water.

Dining: Dinner at Milford Lodge. We’ll also have a sumptuous lunch spread prepared in the Hollyford Valley.

Day 3 - Walk the Milford Track & Afternoon Cruise on Milford Sound

Wake up feeling refreshed and relaxed, sip your latte on the deck of your chalet, listen to the roar of waterfalls, spy the native Kea – the world’s only alpine parrot, and prepare for a walk through exquisite native forest on the world famous Milford Track. Later today, we’ll board a boat for a scenic cruise of Milford Sound for a unique perspective on this glorious wilderness area. Today is a day to immerse yourself in an area unique to New Zealand and the world.

Accommodation: Distinction Hotel, Te Anau, on the shores of Lake Te Anau. (view details)

Walking: A 2 hour walk from Sandfly Point on the Milford Track. This trail follows the Arthur River, which cascades down into Milford Sound.

Dining: The Deep South has flavours of its own worth sharing – it’s especially famous for wild salmon and venison.

Other activities: A cruise of Milford Sound.

Day 4 - Glenorchy & jet boat the Dart River

Begin the day on the shores of one awe inspiring lake and mountain vista and end it on another, with the beauty of Southland and a jet boat ride up one of New Zealand’s most incredible river valleys. We’ll make the journey back to Queenstown through rolling hills that eventually turn into the rugged peaks of the Wakatipu area. After a little time to enjoy a drink, we’ll replace the hustle of this adventure town and enter the quiet world of the Dart River valley via jet boat – a high speed journey on the glacial waters of this incredible wilderness area. Finish the day in the beautiful and isolated Glenorchy, at the furthest and most stunning end of Lake Wakatipu.

Accommodation: The Headwaters, Glenorchy (view details)

Walking: Stroll the shores of Lake Wakatipu just down from Glenorchy after our jet boat ride on the Dart River.

Dining: Fine dining at the edge of the world best describes dinner in Glenorchy.

Other activities: Stroll the shores of Lake Wakatipu just down from Glenorchy after our jet boat ride on the Dart River.

Day 5 - Walk Routeburn Track

Start the day with breakfast and incredible lakeside views, before we delve back into the World Heritage area of Fiordland National Park and Mt. Aspiring National Park. We’ll return to the world famous Routeburn Track with a walk along the banks of the Routeburn River. Deep greens of native beech forest, crystal clear waters cascading beneath, and inner valleys to wide open spaces, make this a varied and unforgettable day of walking. Of course, if you’d like to take things slower today, there’s no better place to relax and unwind with a good book as you soak up the surroundings.

Accommodation: The Headwaters, Glenorchy (view details)

Walking: 4.5 hours of walking along the gently undulating trail alongside the Routeburn river.

Dining: A delicious lunch at Routeburn Flats hut in an incredible setting.

Day 6 - Walk Bobs Cove & Return to Queenstown

We’ll take our time this morning, enjoying the quiet at the head of the lake, before journeying back along the shores to Queenstown. En route, we’ll walk a short beech forest trail to Bob’s Cove – a stunning isolated lake beach with outstanding views out to the Dart River arm of the lake. Then it’s time to take in Queenstown.

Accommodation: Crowne Plaza Queenstown (view details)

Walking: A 40 minute walk to Bob’s Cove through native beech forest. There’s plenty of bird life here too – our guides will have their eyes and ears open for you.

Dining: Head out and discover the vast range of dining options here in Queenstown.

Other activities: Queenstown will amaze you with its multitude of options.

Day 7 - Queenstown free

Elegant, exciting, welcoming, compact and always beautiful, Queenstown is a place for anyone and anything. On the shores of Lake Wakatipu, surrounded by stunning peaks, you’ll find a quiet sanctuary indoors or outdoors here, or an activity to get the adrenaline flowing. Dine, indulge, drink, walk, fly, float, ride – just let your guide know how you’d like to spend your time here. Be sure to soak in the many moods of the lake and forget about the world outside this amazing place.

Accommodation: Crowne Plaza Queenstown (view details)

Dining: A foodie’s dream – ask us for local tips and recommendations, there will be something to please everyone’s tastes.

Other Activities: Ask us for suggestions here, and you’ll be surprised if you have something in mind that isn’t available.

Day 8 - Gibbston Valley Winery, walk Mount Iron

Just over the Crowne range at the head of the Wakatipu basin is the Cardrona valley and Wanaka. We’ll transport ourselves from the dramatic lake scene, to a stunning high mountain tussock grassed valley and back to another dramatic lake and mountain setting. Only this time, in a much more laid setting – Wanaka. It’d be rude not to stop at a world class winery on the way though, so a stop at Gibbston Valley winery is on the agenda. Settle into the laid back life in Wanaka, but not before a leg stretch on Mount Iron – an impressive, glacier carved, rocky knoll that rises above the surrounding countryside.

Accommodation: Edgewater Resort Wanaka (view details)

Walking: 1 hour 30 minutes return on a trail that weaves up to the summit of Mount Iron. From the summit there are excellent 360-degree views of the The Pisa range, the Upper Clutha Basin, Lake Wanaka and the Southern Alps.

Wine: There’s a little something for everyone at the world renowned Gibbston Valley.

Dining: Take your time to choose a laid back place to dine here in Wanaka. The options are plenty.

Day 9 - Walk Diamond Lake

Wanaka, and it’s surroundings are blessed with spectacular, varied natural beauty. We’ll walk above one of it’s tussocky valleys and up to the secluded Diamond Lake. High peaks of the Southern Alps give way to sweeping wide grassland valleys. While surrounded by massive mountains, the valley is broad – this is big wide open country and an assault to the senses indeed.

Accommodation: Edgewater Resort Wanaka (view details)

Walking: 2 hours 30 minutes of easy walking (round trip), on a gradual incline up the valley.

Dining: We like to keep things very civilized so, it’d be rude not have lunch at a local winery after our walk. Dinner is at your leisure this evening.

Day 10 - Head back to Queenstown, depart

One last scenic drive over the Crowne Range between Wanaka and Queenstown brings the Beautiful South trip to an end. We’ll wave goodbye at Queenstown airport for departing flights, unless you can’t get enough of Queenstown and decide to stay on – we’ll drop you off at your choice of accommodation.

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What’s Included

Once you arrive, we want you to relax, escape the day to day, and indulge in the incredible sights, sounds, tastes and hospitality that make our trips world beating so we include almost everything in our trip fares.

Your trip fare includes:

  • Meals.
    – New Zealand is the home of fresh and decadent produce. It’s a big part of the New Zealand experience, so we’ve made sure most of your meals are included – breakfast, lunch and dinner. There are a couple of instances where dinner isn’t included, so you can head out and explore the options on your own. We’ve specified this with an asterisk * next to the dining description in the itinerary.
  • Transport on the ground.
    – When you arrive, we’ll pick you up from Queenstown airport or your hotel, and we’ll take care of the rest, until we drop you off at Queenstown Airport. Our passenger vehicles are roomy and comfortable.
  • All guiding.
    – A fantastic guide will take your trip from “great” to “I don’t know how life will be same”. Our incredible local guides are on-call 24/7 on your trip and will ensure that your New Zealand experience is seamless, relaxing and welcoming – you won’t want to say goodbye at the end of your trip!
  • All accommodation.
    – It’s as much about the where, as it is the what. So we’ve chosen beautiful places to sleep, rest, experience and escape to.
  • All activities in the itinerary.
    – Walking in wild, scenic and beautiful places is what we do. Although we’ll also be taking a lake cruise & soaking in hot pools. There are some optional activities that aren’t included highlighted as “optional”.
  • Wine.
    – With dinner every night (where included), we’ll feature a couple of bottles of local wine. Whilst we wouldn’t describe ourselves as connoisseurs, we love our local wines and enjoy sharing them with our guests in beautiful surrounds.

Not Included:

  • Flights to New Zealand
    – Two experienced guides per trip. In New Zealand you’ll have a lead guide and a co guide. 
  • Free day activities
    – A range of hotels, lodges, chalets, inns, sheep stations and backcountry huts, depending on which trip you choose. 

Departure Dates

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