Beautiful South

Fiordland National Park – Queenstown – Wanaka – Milford Track – Routeburn Track – Glenorchy – Mount Aspiring National Park – World Heritage Areas

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

Trip Overview

Look up from anywhere in this area of the South Island, and you’ll see towering peaks. The constant geological movement of this region has created an incredibly beautiful jagged landscape, enabling us to walk deep in its forested valleys and high points and explore fiords and river canyons. Of course, your experience wouldn’t be complete without sampling the world renowned local wine, in particular, the Pinot Noir produced in the Queenstown and Wanaka area, where you’ll have the chance to indulge in the finer things in life in a series of stunning settings. If mountain views and walks are your indulgence of choice, then you’ll feel right at home in the  “Beautiful South.”

Areas Visited:
– Fiordland National Park
– Queenstown
– Wanaka
– Milford Track
– Routeburn Track
– Glenorchy
– Mount Aspiring National Park
– World Heritage Areas

Itinerary

Day 1 - Queenstown & Central Otago Pinot Noir

Another world awaits you as you arrive into Queenstown. The rugged peaks of the Remarkables Mountains rise sharply out of the crystal clear waters of Lake Wakatipu with Cecil Peak and Ben Lomond dominating the rest of the vista. There’s no better way to kick things off than by following the course of the Kawarau River to a local winery in Gibbston Valley. We’ll taste, tour and immerse ourselves in the wine-making process and take a walk on one of the many trails in Gibbston Valley. Today we’ll also visit the quaint, charming gold-mining community of Arrowtown, before returning to Queenstown to relax with views of the Remarkables and the surrounding peaks. A gentle introduction to New Zealand’s charm, wine, and walking.

Accommodation: Scenic Suites, Queenstown.

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

Dining: Queenstown is full of outstanding places to eat – your guides will take you to one of their favourites!

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

Day 2 - Kepler Track & Milford Sound in all their Glory

As we drive into Fiordland National Park, “glorious” is just one word that will pop into your head. The granite peaks become steeper, higher and more imposing. The rainforest flanking them becomes more dense, and the rivers even more crystal clear. We’ll walk a beautifully still and peaceful section of the Kepler Track along the banks of the Waiau River, before driving down into Milford Sound and finding out 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’ll probably be raining – if it is, you’ll experience this place REALLY coming alive.

Accommodation: Milford Sound Chalets. The mountain view chalets here are a touch of classy comfort in an isolated and wild place. The trickle of the river and sound of local bird life will make your private chalet experience one to remember. (view details)

Dining: We’ll have a sumptuous lunch spread prepared in the Eglinton valley, and dinner at Milford Lodge.

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

Wake up feeling refreshed and relaxed, sit out 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 the Sound and a unique perspective on this glorious wilderness area. Today is a day to immerse yourself in an area unique to New Zealand and a balm for busy minds and bodies.

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

Dining: The deep south has flavours of its own worth sharing and Te Anau is famous for showcasing its local cuisine.

Other activities: A cruise of Milford Sound.

Day 4 - Glenorchy & Jet Boat the Dart River

Start the day on the shores of one awe inspiring lake and mountain vista, and end it on another, with the beauty of Fiordland and Otago, 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 jagged peaks of the Wakatipu area. After a little time for lunch, we’ll replace the hustle of this adventure town with the quiet world of the Dart River valley via jet boat – a high speed journey on the crystal clear waters of this incredible wilderness area. End the day in quiet isolation at the furthest and most stunning end of Lake Wakatipu.

Accommodation: Camp Glenorchy, Glenorchy. (view details)

Dining: Your talented guides will cook up a delicious dinner.

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 views of the crystal clear lake out front, then we’ll delve back into Te Wahipounamu – South West New Zealand’s World Heritage Area. We’ll walk on the world famous Routeburn Track along the banks of the Routeburn River. Deep greens of native beech forest, gin clear waters cascading beneath, and narrow valleys to wider open spaces make this a varied and unforgettable walk. Of course, if you’d like things on the more laid back side today, there’s no better place to unwind.

Accommodation: Camp Glenorchy, Glenorchy. (view details)

Dining: A delicious picnic on the Routeburn Track and dinner in an equally impressive setting, in Glenorchy.

Day 6 - Walk Glenorchy & Return to Queenstown

We’ll take our time this morning, enjoy the quiet of the top of the lake with a stroll along on the Glenorchy Walkway. Afterwards we’ll head back along the shores of Lake Wakatipu to Queenstown. En route we’ll stretch our legs in one of the handful of quiet coves on the lake. Then, it’s time to take in Queenstown, where you’ll have the afternoon and evening to explore this exciting town.

Accommodation: Scenic Suites, Queenstown.

Dining: We’ll head out and discover another great dining option here in Queenstown.

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

Day 7 - Free Day in Queenstown

Elegant, exciting, welcoming, compact and always beautiful, Queenstown is a place for everyone and everything. On the shores of Lake Wakatipu and surrounded by stunning peaks, you’ll find a quiet sanctuary indoors or outdoors here, or an activity that will assault your senses. 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 beauty and bustle of Queenstown and forget about the world outside this amazing place.

Accommodation: Scenic Suites, Queenstown.

Dining:* Fill your boots. Don’t be afraid to ask us where we think is good – we have loads of recommendations.

Other Activities: We’re often asked about fly fishing and Queenstown, with its abundant lakes and tranquil rivers is a premier spot. Or we can help you organise a round of golf or a spa day (optional).

Day 8 - Cromwell Winery, Walk Mount Iron

Today we’re heading for Cromwell on the shores of Lake Dunstan. The lake here was formed by the damming of the Clutha River in 1992, and when some buildings were under threat of flooding, they were painstakingly removed, or reconstructed to form the quaint ‘old town’ which we’ll explore before lunch and wine tasting at the Wooing Tree Winery. Once sated, we’ll continue around to yet another dramatic lake and mountain setting, only this time, in a much more laid back setting – Wanaka. Mount Iron offers a great leg stretch, with an impressive, glacier carved, rocky knoll that rises above the surrounding countryside.

Accommodation: Edgewater Resort, Wanaka (view details)

Wine: There’s a little something for everyone at our favourite Cromwell winery, the Wooing Tree.

Dining: With plenty of delicious local eateries to choose from in Wanaka, your guides will arrange a current local favourite for tonight.

Day 9 - Lake Cruise & Nature Walk

Wanaka and its surroundings are blessed with spectacular, varied natural beauty. We’ll take a cruise on the lake to Mou Waho Island, a predator-free zone, where we’ll take a nature walk and hope to see the rare flightless Bluff weka, which has been extinct on mainland New Zealand since 1920. As part of our eco-walk experience we’ll plant a tree, an opportunity to give back to this beautiful landscape we’ve been exploring. Afterwards we’ll cruise back to the mainland and the township of Wanaka, we’ll grab a drink together and enjoy our final farewell dinner at your guides’ favourite restaurant, and look back at our favourite bits of the trip.

Accommodation: Edgewater Resort, Wanaka. (view details)

Dining: We’ll have our final dinner together this evening in Wanaka.

Day 10 - Head back to Queenstown, Depart

One last scenic drive through the Cardrona Valley and over the Crown Range between Wanaka and Queenstown brings the ‘Beautiful South’ trip to an end. This journey may well prove to be your favourite, as you’ll pass over the highest mountain road in New Zealand, offering sublime views in every direction. We’ll wave goodbye at Queenstown airport around 11am for departing flights, unless you can’t get enough of Queenstown and decide to stay – we’ll drop you off at your choice of accommodation.

Request a Full Itinerary

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
    – This trip starts and finishes in Queenstown. Chat to our team for advice on best times to travel and routes to get here.   
  • Free day activities
    – There is a free day in Queenstown on day 7, allowing you time to sample some of the many activities available in this bustling hub. 

Departure Dates

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