Beautiful South - Matai

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

Days: 10 Days
From: US$5,999 + 15% tax
Activity Level: Leisurely
Group Size: 4 - 12 people
Days: 10
From: US$5,999 + 15% 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
– Milford Track
– Routeburn Track
– Glenorchy
– Mount Aspiring National Park
– World Heritage Areas
– Kepler Track


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! (Breakfast, lunch included)

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 mount ain 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.

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

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.

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

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.

Dining: Your talented guides will cook up a delicious dinner. (All meals included)

Other activities: Stroll the shores of Lake Wakatipu just down from Glenorchy after our jet boat ride on the Dart River. Half hour wilderness walk in Mt Aspiring National Park.

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.

Dining: Your talented guides will cook up another delicious dinner this evening. (All meals included)

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 eat lunch together in Glenorchy, this evening your guides will take you out to explore the excellent Queenstown dining scene. (All meals included)

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. (No meals included)

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

Wines: 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 let you in on their favourite for tonight. (All meals included)

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.

Dining: We’ll have our final dinner together this evening in Wanaka. (All meals included)

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. (Breakfast included)

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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 the best in the world, 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. In the ‘Dining’ section for each day’s description you’ll see which meals are included that day. The only ones we don’t include are on days where you’re free to go exploring the local dining scene.
  • Transport on the ground.
    – Our passenger vehicles are very comfortable. When you arrive, we’ll pick you up from the Queenstown Crowne Plaza Hotel, and we’ll take care of the rest, until you either board your flight at Queenstown Airport, or leave us to explore more of New Zealand on your own.
  • All guiding.
    – A fantastic guide will take your trip from “great” to “I don’t know how life will ever be same.” Our incredible local guides will ensure that your New Zealand experience is seamless, relaxing and welcoming, you’ll feel like you’ve gained a couple of family members!
  • All accommodation.
    – We enjoy our creature comforts, so a good night’s sleep, cosy & comfortable surroundings and first class hosting are just as important as where we are and what we’re doing. So you’ll find yourself in lovely 4 star accommodations located in beautiful and sometimes secluded places, with quiet rooms, great views, comfortable amenities and impeccable service. When we’re a bit more off the beaten track, we’ve managed to track down similarly comfortable places to stay, in locations which might not even have road access!
  • All activities in the initerary.
    – Walking in wild, scenic and beautiful places is what we do, although we’ll also be taking a cruise and jet boat ride. There are some optional activities that aren’t included, highlighted as “optional”. That said, all activities are optional – this is a holiday not a bootcamp!
  • Wine.
    – With dinner every night we’ll feature a couple of bottles of local wine. 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

  • Click on the date below that you are interested in, and we’ll get back to you straight away to let you know about space & answer your questions.

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